Weekend Escape

This past weekend I went home to Western Massachusetts where I grew up.  It’s been quite chaotic around here lately and going home gave me a chance to slow down and refresh.  I mostly worked on my current knitting project, a shawl which you’ll see more of later.

I spent some time admiring nature, a luxury I don’t often get in the city, and snapped this picture of a Black Capped Chickadee eating a seed.

Of course the weekend wouldn’t be complete without cats!

It was really nice to feel more relaxed and gather some new inspiration, and now I feel ready to tackle some bigger things… like my big move!

A Vintage Notion

Mention vintage to most makers and their hearts skip - whether it’s fashion and style, home decor, notions and tools, or methods and techniques, there is an appreciation for the past.  There are different reasons for admiring vintage and one of them for me is honoring what led us as makers, sewists, designers, and stylists to where we are today.

My mother taught me how to sew I am not only appreciative for the technical skills she gave me, but sewing and creating was also one of the ways we bonded throughout my childhood.

Of course the love of vintage is not always so philosophical - check out the packaging and typefaces on these needle packs! There is something so charming about having such an ornate label on such a little envelope.

The image below of “The Perfect Pinker,” is what was used instead of pinking shears. Opposite the zig-zag wheel there is a smooth metal wheel and the fabric just glides through. How ingenious!

These notions were given to me by a neighbor’s (who passed away some time ago) family.  She had all sorts of vintage goodies left over in her stash and I feel happy that I could preserve some tools which were used in a previous generation for making, an endeavor that I am passionate about today.

Do you have a soft spot for vintage? What’s the draw for you?

Silk Charmeuse, A Love Story

Stopping by the fabric store, or any crafty type shop is a test of my willpower. I nearly always have to suppress the urge to run around like a crazy person, pile everything into my arms and/or basket, and purchase it in the midst of a craft supply induced haze before I realize what I’ve done.

Occasionally I’ll visit a local shop on my lunch break if I need something for a current project. Today it was a packet of hooks and eyes, and a couple zippers. Simple right? Well then I saw this beautiful faux fur remnant for only five dollars that was perfect for the faux fur capelet project which has been floating around my head for the past couple weeks.


Ok, so if I have the fur, might as well get something to line my capelet with… It was then readers, that I saw the most beautiful silk charmeuse:


Now the picture doesn’t do it nearly enough justice but I swear, this charmeuse is like a field of flowers and a cup of tea by the fire all rolled into one, it’s THAT awesome.

For the capelet, I’m envisioning something along the lines of this:


Has there ever been a time when you’ve found true love in a fabric/craft/yarn store and just can’t leave it behind? 

Color Inspiration: Berry

Even though my palette for the Fall Palette Challenge is fairly neutral, I always find berry tones appropriate for the season. They’re so classic and versatile! Try using this palette in an upcoming project.


{Birthday Cake from FoodGawker, Liberty of London from PurlSoho, Mulberry Earrings from A Nordic Rose, forever yummy from Essie, Marchesa Resort 2010 from A Glamorous Little Side Project}

The Wonderful World of Botanical Drawings

When I was a fine arts major in college, I discovered, and now continue to be fascinated by, the combination of scientific precision and organic whimsy contained in botanical drawings.

Check out this brilliant print from Wolfie & The Sneak:


There’s so much for the eye to dissect, and yet the image as a whole comes together seamlessly.  If you look closely, the bold line use within each individual fruit can almost be described as cartoon-ish, while the technical side notes and measurements give the piece such scientific authority. Oh, be still my heart!

I’m particularly excited about a new book called The Art of Instruction (available for pre-order!) It displays gallery owner Katrien Van der Schueren’s collection of vintage botanical drawings and instructional prints. I can’t wait for this beauty to find its home on my coffee table:



I can always rely on botanical drawings to give me a jolt of creative inspiration and stimulate my intellectual capacities.  Do you have something similar you can count on?

Etsy Wednesday - Embellishment Inspiration

Since it’s Etsy Wednesday as well as Power of the Pillow week, I thought we could use today to gather a little inspiration for our next pillow project - The Embellished Pillow.  This could include applique, embroidery, additions such as buttons, beads, sequins, or whatever your heart desires!  Inspiration for this project doesn’t necessarily need to come in the form of a pillow - check out this wonderful embroidery pattern from SeptemberHouse:


You could easily use this pattern to embroider on a pillow cover.

A design using buttons like this lovely work of art by aewilder would be easy to create on a pillow cover:

What about incorporating some ribbon and/or lace like these pretties from Lacebeauty?

Think of the pillow cover as a canvas for your creativity!

Color Inspiration

This peachy pink color palette creates the perfect mood for the warm, sweet days of late summer.  





Wouldn’t the cami above be divine for a romantic August evening? Click on the photo for a Threads article on how to make your own using high-end couture techniques!

Naturally Handmade

Austin and I decided that this summer we needed a garden - he has quite the green thumb and I was enchanted by the thought of my very own secret garden. Now granted, in reality, the secret garden is actually some potted plants on our tiny concrete balcony, but nonetheless a garden!

It’s easy to be inspired by the beauty and complexity of plants.  The colors, shapes, smells, and textures are endlessly fascinating.  Just check out these deep pink lovelies (which I admit to having forgotten the name of):

                  pink                pink close up

Wouldn’t that color translate into a stunning pair of earrings?  We’re also trying our hand at some edibles.  Don’t these little tomatoes look like they’re enjoying the sun?


And of course, our kitty, Cora, wishes she could get closer to admire eat some aromatic herbs.  This little lavender plant was nothing but a few twigs when we first got it!


So many things can be enhanced with the calming scent of a little dried lavender - homemade soaps, candles, even small sachets filled with lavender, placed in your drawers can make clothes smell fresher.  (Keep your eye out for a tutorial!)

Have you ever made a project inspired by something in nature?