fashionable

I've got fashion on my mind this week, what with Project Runway, New York Fashion Week, and my recent viewing of The September Issue (Grace Coddington is a genius! The spreads she styles are beautiful.) all happening recently. As I slowly become less blobby and more nicely shaped, I also find that I want to wear pretty things again. Couture is never going to fit into my lifestyle, but I am starting to sew for myself a little bit here and there after a long absence from my sewing machine. I've also been saving images to a fashion inspiration board on my Pinterest. I thought I'd do a post now and then where I imagine how I could take these images and let them inspire me to make them a reality. I may or may not follow through on these, but just searching out fabrics and patterns and imagining how I could wear something is fueling my creative fire. 

Here's what I love this week:

Kimono2
If there was enough of this fabric available, I could make it using this pattern, with minor modifications. 

Patternfabric

I am definitely going to keep my eyes open for vintage kimono fabrics. I love how pretty and fresh and a little dramatic this is!

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another simple thing

I am not a jewelry maker. I don't even wear much jewelry beyond earrings and my wedding ring. Still, sometimes it's nice to add just a little something something to an outfit. And sometimes you just want to make something that won't take hours and hours or loud power tools. I've noticed little leather bracelets every where lately, worn in multiples. The lightness of them appealed to me, so I decided to whip up my own little girly take on them. 

image from www.flickr.comI also had some fabric scraps laying around, as one often does when one likes to play with fabric. Somewhere in my internet crawling I saw some cute leather bracelets wrapped with stripes of floss, so I decided to try something similar with fabric. Once the fabric was on there (with just a dot of Fabri-tak at each end to hold it in place), I dug through my big jar of pearl buttons and pulled out some of the smallest ones I could find. It was easy enough to just stitch them in place. 

image from www.flickr.comI had some cord ends, so I glued them in place and crimped the ends a bit to fit closer to the flat leather. I need to find some of those end crimpy thingies that are actually made for this sort of project, I'll have to find a bead store for that I think. I also used giant jump rings, but it's what I had. I want to do a few more, and maybe try some knotted closures so I don't end up with a whole bunch of metal bits. 

image from www.flickr.comThey are very sweet and I think I need three or four more. 

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some links

I want to do better with this whole blog thing, so I’m playing around with some ideas and design and improving my photography, and just generally figuring out how to make time to do more here. So please don’t mind random changes in the look of things around here, and I hope I don’t get too rambly with my posts while I figure all this out.

Today I give you some random links:

Why have I never heard of this before? Art Project by Google. High-resolution images of prominent works of art from the best museums in the world. You can even walk around the galleries, Google street-view style. When I lived in Northern Virginia, I spent as many of my days off as possible visiting the museums on the National Mall and all around town. I was pleased to see that one of my favorites, the Freer Gallery, was included! Although the National Gallery is missing, which was another favorite. The Sunday night concerts there were one of my favorite D.C. events.

Princess

The Princess from the Land of Porcelain, by James McNeill Whistler, The Freer Gallery

I think I need to start saving up for one of these bags. Is that yellow one not just perfect?

I just got this book (by this blogger/photographer/chef), and I love it. I can’t wait to work on my food styling and photographing. It’s a challenge, since during the week I’m not home during daylight hours long enough to spend any time taking pictures, and I do most of my eating at work. While I enjoy the spontenatity of iphone photography, I’d like to improve my regular photography (not to mention my food-stying skills, which are currently non-existent).

The first words out of my mouth when I saw this were HOLY COW. And then I bought the pattern. Three of my favorite things-quilts, knitting, and bees (or at least honeycomb), all colliding in one, enormous, clever, beautiful project. It may take the rest of my life, but I am going to start making hexipuffs whenever and wherever I can.

QuiltPhoto by Tiny Owl Knits

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summer, a list

A list (this post is brought to you by Instagram (and Magic Hour)):

1.Summer hair. I'm growing mine out, but when it's hot I hate it on my neck. I've been doing this a lot, although I obviously need to work on my bobby pin placement:

image from www.flickr.com

2.Summer nail color. I'm pretending I'm trendy and wearing this lavendar on my fingers and toes. I've only just discovered Essie, so obviously I'm not really up on any trends. It's formaldahyde-free (as well as missing some other yucky chemicals found in most nail polish), and there are so many great colors. You can get some at Target.

3. Summer reading. What are you reading? I've got a stack of books to enjoy, but I'm re-reading Harry Potter just for the fun of it, and I just finished listening to A Game of Thrones, which was epic and brutal, and kept me entertained on my drive to and from work for nearly three weeks (it was 34 hours long!). I'm not quite up for the second book in the series yet, so I took a break and listened to a Stephanie Plum novel, which is definitely a guilty pleasure. In the stack on my nightstand I've got a copy of Centuries of June, which the publisher sent, so I need to get on that soon. It sounds highly entertaining, so I'm looking forward to that one. Also there is a gift from my sister-in-law, called Enslaved by Ducks, which I suspect will hit very close to home, as it is the story of a couple who adopt various animals and the hijinks that ensue. I can't tell you how many times I've watched all the little creatures in our yard, and thought about the comedies (and tragedies) I see and what great stories they would make. 

4. Summer farm. My garden has not materialized as I hoped, as we have had some crazy weather (frost, in June, triple-digit tempuratures earlier this month, followed by another frosty night last weekend), so I have to be content with nurturing the two new little hens I brought home last week. They are month-old Buff Orpingtons. My buffs were all stolen in the Great Chicken Robbery of 2009, and I've missed having some in my flock. These two are sweet as can be, with that same mellow buff personality that I love. 

image from www.flickr.com
5. Summer crafts. I have been cleaning out our disaster area of a shed in the hopes of doing some more wood-working type projects, but until that gargantuan task is finished, I am contenting myself with some smaller crafts. I may even put a few things in my etsy shop again soon, who knows! Last weekend I made some tiny mushrooms for some tiny terrariums, because what could be better than a terrarium? A teeny, tiny terrarium, of course! I've got some moss to add to these, and hopefully enough chain to make them into necklaces. 

image from www.flickr.com

6a. Summer food. Do you know what season it is right now? Fig season! They are one of my favorites. This is a good way to make them: slice in half, and wrap each half with prosciutto. Then drizzle with good olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Grind a little pepper on top, and enjoy!

image from www.flickr.com6b. More summer food. There was also some yellowtail tuna caught by some co-workers who went on a three-day fishing trip and graciously shared their haul. I sliced up a piece and coated the slices in olive oil and herbs and just seared the outside. Served with agrodolce relish (tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, minced garlic, all sauteéd in olive oil and finished with a spoonful of red wine vinegar and a spoonful of sugar), coconut basmati rice, and arugula. 
image from www.flickr.com
What's on your summer list? 

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birthday week, day four

This is fun! It's a little stressful making enough time to blog every day, but now I have a whole list of fun beauty products to try, so it's definitely worth it. I think I need to get some dirt and spackle, just because of the names, not to mention the Be Fine Food skin care line, which all sounds completely delicious.

Flower photos seem to becoming a habit for me, but I did say I was obsessed. I brought home the Lily of the Valley that has been on my desk since Monday so I could be sure and get some good pictures. I wish I could capture the scent for you, it's so wonderful.
Lilyofthevalley

I love how they curl up like little fairy bells.

On to a completely different subject, not related in any way to anything else here tonight, I made a fun discovery this weekend. Our house was built in 1939 and a previous owner had a welding shop on the property. We have found all sorts of odd metal bits here and there, including a few horse shoes. I decided to clean one up to hang over my studio door, and as I was scrubbing off the dirt and rust I made a very fun discovery. It was once painted the nicest shade of blue!
Found2

Also, it was made for an enormous horse. I don't know why, but it's just so appealing to me. I expect to have enormously good luck now.
Found1

All right, on to the giveaway. I thought it would be quite appropriate to share a gussied up t-shirt for one of my presents. I hope you like orange!
Tshirt2

I still have to actually stitch the appliques in place, but that will happen before I send it to the lucky winner. It's a lightweight cotton knit, very nice for layering, and a size medium. The long sleeves make it nice for these chilly Spring days.

Tshirt1

I think this time I'm going to ask for help spending a shiny little Nordstrom gift card. I'm thinking shoes, probably in the sandal family, for Summer. I have some black sandals that I like (click the link to see them), but they are very casual, and don't go with everything, so I think I could use either a dressier pair of black sandals, or sandals that I could wear with black that aren't necessarily black. Or maybe some fun, Summery black flats, preferably in the $100 range. Help me out please! 

And don't forget, you can still enter any of the previous posts still too, so scroll down so you don't miss anything!          

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