About Me

My photo
Aurora, Ontario, Canada
I am a lover of all things created, history, travel, art and literature. I spend my time with family and friends, working hard and creating things, pretty much in that order. My passion is to make beautiful things to wear, mostly accessories, jewelry, belts, clutches, hair adornments, brooches etc. I create mostly using fabric , fibres, metals, jewels, pins, chain, clips, buttons and more. I have a shop on Etsy.com which I sometimes have a little trouble maintaining depending on the time of year and how busy I am. Check out my Etsy Shop www.etsy.com/shop/dressedtothe9s or click on the box on the left to go directly there.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Quote of the Week (one day late)

Fashions fade, style is eternal.

Yves Saint Laurent

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Wonder of Windows

After doing my post yesterday about doors I thought I would add a post about the lovely windows we encountered on our trip as well.
These would also make a lovely assortment of framed prints to adorn your walls.

Shown here windows from Venice

This one (above) was a particular favorite of mine.

Everywhere I turned there were opportunities for taking great pictures. One has only to use their imagination on how to use them and incorporate them into your home decor.

This little window (below) was in our bathroom in Florence, you could open it and hear the people on the streets and watch people eating and sharing a glass of wine outside the eateries.

And finally these ones....

I hope I have inspired you to go through your vacation photos and frame some memories to be viewed every day.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Delightful Doorways of Design

It's always nice to use your own photography to decorate your home. You don't have to be a  pro as I am certainly not but having a theme can make for a nice collection of framed  prints.
I have yet to do anything with these pictures but have been thinking about it for 2 years now.
When our family was in Paris and Italy 2 years ago I became fascinated with all the gorgeous doors and windows that we stumbled upon in our travels. After taking a picture of one or two I starting really noticing them.
In Paris they were stately and substantial and in Italy , particularily Venice, they were more charming and rustic. More shabby Chic you might say. I wanted to take pictures of all of them but I would be stopping every two seconds and hubby and daughter would not have been impressed because there was so much to see and only 16 days to do it in!
The first door I took a picture of was this big red set of doors in Paris. After I took that picture I was hooked.

In Paris many doors are for driving into. The doors open and it is a laneway into a courtyard where people live and park, sometimes there is a garden sometimes not. Naturally they all seem to be beautiful.

All of the above doors are Paris except the centre bottom shot taken at Versaille.
Depending on what type of look you would like for your photo series you could group certain shots together or have them printed in black and white to tie them together.

As we travelled into Italy the doors changed a little.

These two doors (above) were photographed in Verona. The land of Romeo and Juliet so they say.

These photos below were snapped in Venice. I think Venice housed my favorite doors. So rustic with lots of character. I particularily liked the crooked ones and wondered how old they were.

Love the detail on this one

Maybe they couldn't find the level

My picture taking seemed to taper off towards the end of our trip as I took less pictures of doors and got sidetracked more easily. With so much to take in it was sometimes hard to focus.

Rome and Florence doors follow

This was our home while in Rome

I love architectural details. I hope you find some inspiration for framing some prints for your home and if you take the pictures yourself you will find they spark some memories every time you look at them.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Nature of the Flower is to Bloom

I needed to make something bright and cheery on this winter day in February. Red. Yes red. I found some lovely red satins and a little organza to make a corsage. One of the fabrics was a large check satin hard to see in this picture but so pretty.

A brassy, pink pearled piece to add to the centre along with a piece of faux leather attached to the back with the pin sewn to it. I make these often and sell them on my Etsy store.
Cut out circles of various sizes and singe the edges so they curl up, sew together with nylon thread and glue the backing on with the brooch pin sewn to it.
There you have it. You can wear it on a number of things. A jacket, a hat, a belt, your wrist, even pin it on a handbag or tote.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Toddler Dress from Two Sweaters

I bought a sweater last fall from Forever 21 , just a nice orange casual sweater. I didn't even realize it was made with wool (who would have thought), normally wool makes be itch but this sweater didn't. I wore it and then it went into the wash. It made it through the washing (I wash everything in cold) but when it came to the dryer? well? mmmmm...Not so good.
Of course it shrunk and it shrunk quite a bit. So I thought ...Okay.. I can make something out of this, I love shrunken wool .

I found another sweater in my studio one of my hubby's sweaters ( believe me when I say I have tons of things that I don't throw out). This sweater was a nice charcoal colour and it went beautifully with the orange.
Now to find some fabric to make pockets on the front. Should they match? Should they compliment each other? I found in my trusty dusty designer fabric books some lovely orange patterned pieces. Quite small but perfect for pockets.

Here is the dress laid out to see what it would look like. My first draft.

My thinking was to make the top part of the dress from the orange sweater and the bottom part with the lower half of the charcoal sweater. In my mind it seemed quite simple its not until you attempt to do it that it becomes a little more difficult.
The above fabrics were my first choice for pockets but not what I ended up using.

I cut the bottom part of the charcoal sweater to the size that I thought might work for a size 4-5 for a little girl.

I sewed up the sides of the skirt but my thoughts were that the ribbing at the bottom had to go, too tight. I cut the orange sweater up , a front , a back, and two sleeves. I wanted the sleeves to be 3/4 length , I cut a slit in the front piece in the centre so it would be a little more loose. I found a great piece of fabric and cut a 2 1/2 inch square that I then frayed and sewed to the bottom of the slit I had just cut. I ended up sewing it on a little crooked so trimmed it to make it look more even.

The next step was to sew up the sides and the shoulders and sew along the slit edge at the neck (leaving it slightly raw) just to stop from fraying. The sleeves were added next. My cutting was spot on because the sleeve fit the armhole perfectly.

Now to sew the bottom and top together. My machine stopped working so I had to dig out my Mom's 75 year old Singer. STILL SEWS LIKE A CHARM!

I also trimmed off the ribbing on the bottom and hemmed up about a half inch by machine.
Buttons were found in my button box and a small organza flower that I made was used at the top.

SO VOILA!!! Here it is the finished product. I'm pretty happy with it. I hope you are inspired to dig out those old sweaters and come up with a design of your own. Happy sewing!

Monday, February 21, 2011

A New Necklace: Bib Style!

I've been working this weekend on some things for my Etsy shop. It's nice to have 3 days off so I can get caught up with that (It's family day in Canada). I find that it can take just as long to do the photography for any given item as it does to make the item itself.
I had this idea in my head for using some of the faux leather and suede that I have in my designer fabric books (I'm going to have to take a picture for you of all the books I have in my studio closet so you can laugh).
So the necklace shape dictated itself by the pattern on the piece of faux leather I used.

I cut out the shape for the base of the necklace and installed two grommets. Next thing I did was prepare my florets. I used as the base of the flower a circle of faux suede that I clipped to make petals and then singed them with a lighter around the edges. I also cut out three circles of a satiny crinkle fabric and then 9 circles from some organza that I also burned the edges of. Last but not least I found 3 peachy/orange rhinestones to embellish the centres of the flowers.

I put everything together to see how it looked and then cut some black ribbon for a tie.

The last thing to do was to sew it all together (each flower in its place) and secure the ribbon.

Finally I get to put it on and take some pictures for my Etsy store.
It is so easy to make some of these things and very gratifying. Bib necklaces are very popular right now and look especially good with something strapless so they become a focal point.