Friday, December 17, 2010

DIY : Making a stunning fabric cuff from scraps - Perfect last minute gift! This is my tutorial for the perfect last minute gift. A really fun project, very quick and easy with maximum result!
Here's what you need:

Fabric scraps (enough to cut about 13 circles of 4cm diameter) sewing machine or good sewing skills fancy or contrasting thread contrasting fabric for the flower embellishment a snap button, for the inside a decorative button or bead, for the outside Start with cutting circles out of fabric. You can use a glass or round lid as a template. Don't use delicate fabric because you don't want it to start fraying. I used vintage fine italian leather- leftovers from my dad's past as a Florentine salesman - and it's a gift for my mother so I want it to look luxurious. You can use different types of fabric and alternate them, all options are open! Dab a bit of paper glue ( pritt or uhu stick) at the right half of each circle and layer the next one on top of that to form a straight line: The reason for using glue is because it's easier to sew the pieces together for the next step. Get your sewing machine ready and choose a nice thread. I used metallic gold for my cuff. Start with a first line straight in the middle and then one on either side. You can do any type of stitch. I used a zig-zag line for this cuff.
Now it's time to decide where to place the snap button. Sew one on the back of the first full circle ( first circle from the left in the 3rd picture) Try it on and find the best spot to sew the other part of the snap button.

The finishing touch: gather a piece of fine fabric ( I used lace here) and sew it together with a decorative button on top of the full circle. Your cuff is ready!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

DIY : Making a lip balm container from a vintage brooch.
Are you one of those people constanly looking for their lip balm in each and every pocket, handbag or drawer? I have to buy a new one nearly every other week as I keep misplacing mine. No more of that! I have a trick and I am going to share it with you.
A while ago I bought this beautiful vintage Avon owl brooch from the local car boot sale. It was in absolute mint condition, with the perfume glace still intact in the container behind the wing. Sadly, the pin broke after a couple of times and another thing...the perfume didn't smell very nice after all these years.
So, the brooch ended up in the drawer and that was it. Then winter came and with that, the annoying problem of dry lips. After yet another trip to the shops for new lip balm I came up with a solution: I took the broken pin off the brooch, glued a blank ring base to the back and cleaned out the perfume container(took a few washes as the perfume really stinks!) and replaced it with my favourite lipbalm et voila : A statement ring and much needed beauty product in one. I hope this will inspire you to make something new and useful out of the old and forgotten!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

November Randomness
It's a dark november day and there isn't enough light to do any decent work in my studio, so why not post a few dark november photos I took in London last Sunday while being stuck in traffic. My favourite picture is the one with the black branches and a pristine white St Martins church in the background. Not bad for an iphone camera, is it?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Alice, I'm falling, I'm falling....
Help, I'm falling for it too! Ever since I saw the interesting trailer for the movie I wanted to do something with this theme. While I haven't seen the movie (yet) and I like to stay away from the next big trend I couln't help getting caught up in the whole Alice hysteria. While a few people told me they never liked the story as a child and found it creepy, I have always loved the illogical twists in this magical story. I do admit I was scared of the Queen of Hearts, though. So, one rainy afternoon I made my own Alice drawing: she's holding the magical potion and contemplating whether to drink it or not. I transferred it to fabric appliques and matched it with vintage embroidered and lace trims. The result : a new fun and quirky jewellery line for the Alice in Wonderland fan. And please excuse me now, time for tea!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What's on the work table today? - part two.
Nearly a month ago I showed you a picture my worktable and today I am happy to say that the bag I was working on, together with two other bags, are now for sale at Qetty Bang Bang Boutique in Tetbury. This is one first big step I've taken since I've moved to the UK, and it feels good!
I am feeling motivated and therefore I have something new on my work table today. This time I am working with another favourite theme of mine, the photo booth beauties. I rediscovered a few boxes in the back of my storage, full with beautiful trims and fabrics. A few of them handmade my grandma, others given to me by the daughter of a belgian seamstress who tried her luck as a designer in America in the early sixties. And more unique pieces picked up in thriftstores, bazaar shops and other unusual places. I am giving each photo booth picture a different trim... it's almost like a photoframe collection on handbag instead of on a wall!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What's on the work table today?
On mine: loads of postage stamps! I am working on a new postage stamps handbag and the only way for me to do this is to have all the stamps scattered around me. I know this will probably give stamp collectors a small heart attack, but I can't keep stamps in neatly sorted books and folders, organized by year or! I simply stuff them into boxes and envelopes and then when I start working I keep emptying box after box and rummage around till I find the perfect stamp for the perfect spot on the bag. Sometimes I lose track of what I am doing and end up staring at the mini artworks of countries that no longer exist, extinct butterflies, scientists from different eras. It's like walking through a history museum, but in the comfort of my own home. Some stamps are still partly attached to their envelopes, a far-away address still visible, and I wonder who sent them and what was written in the letters that travelled around the world. Funny how a tiny piece of paper can have so many different meanings, don't you agree?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Vintage Illustration of the Day Saturday 16-01
A few years ago I bought the complete edition of a local Belgian women's magazine, published only for a few years in the 40s and 50s. I paid quite a lot of money, but the investment was worth it. It was a traditional magazine, full of inspirational tips for housework and decoration, romantic stories, recipes and fashion. I love browsing through them, it's like being teleported to a different world where etiquette was the new black and the readers would seek advice on how to tell their fiance politely to cultivate some table manners without sounding offensive. I wish I had the patience to translate these letters and articles! I will be posting scans from this magazine from time to time. The illustration of today comes from a 1956 publication and part of the story "And Lea chose a Mule" ( as I said, it's from a different world...).
"And even though Dad and Luc would get enraged by the glamorous hustle and bustle, Tessy simply wouldn't care about it!"

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Etsy Finds 12th January 2010 Have you ever played around with the Pounce feature on Etsy? I must warn you : it's addictive. I keep finding more beautiful items to share with you! Catherine from Cramoxx22x is a talented young designer, inspired by her grandma's closet and the recyling of beautiful textures and fabrics. This Fairy Flight Sweater is just one of the beautiful creations in this shop! Next find is this lovely Lily Purse by London Designer Ammagyan. Amma's feminine and romantic handcrafted leather creations are made in the heart of London with locally sourced materials and are truly unique and individual pieces of art!
If you like spicing up your home with unique pieces, then I just found the perfect Etsy shop for you! Kelly McDavid from RustedRoof makes her own - very cute and quirky! - chandelier shades and has a small selection of impressive vintage chandeliers for sale as well.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Fresh Finds for the New Year
Happy 2010 everyone! First post of the year and it's literally a fresh start of the new year as I am nearly up to my knees in the snow here in Ascot.
A beautiful scene it is, but one day of snow is enough so I am staying inside and discovering some fresh new shops on Etsy!
I found this stylish pillow in brand new Etsy shop fancy4u. Fancy4u makes glamorous handmade pillows featuring beautifully handpainted shoes and boots...a shoe lover's must-have!
If you have read my bird stories on this blog you might know that I have a soft spot for the feathered babies. It is not surprising that I fell in love with this cute pair of bird earrings from FERNandDANDY.
Next up is an old favourite of mine, the vintage bag! I discovered this quirky green leather purse in New York based shop SelectiveMemory. This shop sells vintage treasures picked by twin sisters Alice and Brooke.
And if you are looking for bold jewellery, OBRDESIGNS might just have the right piece for you! I fell in love with their bib necklace, featuring shiny sequins and chains designed by the mom and daughter duo.
Hope you enjoyed today's finds!


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