Wednesday, 30 April 2008

New Earrings.

I recently purchased these beautiful earrings from LisasLovlies and I find them so delightful. I love how she has used the idea of a standard earring hook shape and function and made it into its own actual earring from scratch.This actually hadn't clicked when I first saw it, I found them very unique and almost futuristic, like something I'd see on Star Trek (which I have been watching an awful lot of lately, please see a future entry on this!).
I wasn't sure on how exactly they were supposed to be worn, but I was so intrigued that I just had to (embarrassingly) ask how! I was able to choose out of a variety of stones and as I'm always painting my nails postbox red, I just had to get the red ones to accent it!They're light, delicate, and from a short distance it looks like I have tiny red orbs floating below my earlobes. I want to get all the colours now! I also have my eye on her 'Apple Red Coral Oxidized Sterling Silver Hoops' which already sound yummy, let alone look it!

Monday, 28 April 2008

Organisation.

I was in desperate need of some form of organisation for my room, just somewhere to put those little bits and pieces and my first thought was to browse IKEA for ideas.
I already knew I didn't want shelves as I could imagine those looking cluttered too if I didn't get boxes for everything and I prefer my walls to be bare. I definitely wanted some form of drawer unit, not the typical 3-drawer ones though, as everything starts getting piled up and you can't find small things quickly. I pretty much wanted a chic filing cabinet but without it looking too office-like, and I found it for only £19.99 ($40) called the Helmer! ..and it slotted perfectly under my table, which was also from IKEA, so of course, they would have already thought about these things the clever lot!

It came in either red, silver or white, but I definitely had to get the latter because I'm currently obsessed with everything being white. Prior to that, I wanted everything in my room to be pine, and it was, but then I got sick of it so changed it all. My ever-changing taste can make life expensive, although I think I'll be liking white for quite a while, I hope! The funny thing is, my boyfriend and I hope to live together in a couple of months and he likes mahogany, so it will be amusing to see how we cope!

Back to my new unit! I'm also thinking of replacing the drawer pulls with vintage ones and/or knobs.. something crystal, Deco, brass, French, Nouveau, Venetian..list is endless as long as it is vintage or maybe even custom made! I may have to visit the Alchemy to request something and I want them all to be different! This will probably take a while for me to find those perfect parts, so I will keep you updated.

I love how the drawers aren't too short or too deep, but instead just beautifully linear, a perfect size for a lot of my little things and here is a peek at some of them!
As I was moving all my ribbons into the drawers I just couldn't help but tie the drawer pull with some ribbon scraps...

I'm sure I've mentioned somewhere in my blog that I love embroidery and here are a few of my unfinished projects and my never-ending supply of threads, I think I have about 80 there.

And lastly, papers and cards for my little handmade books, I remember spending absolutely ages hand cutting and tearing each one that were originally a size A3 or A4, took me forever! A lot of potential book ideas in there... in fact, I'd completely forgotten that I had this many until I was scouring my room for things that were suitable for my drawers!

... now that all the drawers have filled up very quickly, I'm thinking of getting another one now, or two. I don't think I'll be making labels for them yet either until I have all I need, then maybe source some beautifully patterned papers for them? Any ideas? I'm definitely not cutting a white rectangle and scribbling its contents down, how boring!

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Why you shouldn't run around London in nice boots - update.

So, I had a bit of a shoe problem which you can read here, but it has now been resolved with superglue! My little felines had dropped off and I never did get round to taking them to a shoe repair shop and really missed wearing them. So I grabbed my superglue, smeared it onto the back of each feline, and stuck them on, easy!
Also, instead of putting them on straight, like how they originally were, I placed them at a slight angle to follow the line of the foot...OK OK I'm lieing, it was by accident and the glue had already fixed before I could change it, but I much prefer it anyway!
I'm glad they're done even though I spent 40 minutes after that trying to peel glue off my fingers, later to find out that nail varnish remover would have solved that problem!

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Custom Pouch Order.

Some of you may have read this blog entry a few days ago on my personalised pouches which shortly lead to doing a custom order of 50 for JensJewellery!It was a bigger job than I thought but seeing them all in such a large quantity that I did all by myself was fantastic! I really hope she is pleased with them when they arrive all the way to Australia.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Pushing Daisies, again.

I know I've already made a Pushing Daisies blog entry (four down) but I just love this program.. and I didn't get to finish off my entry like how I originally wanted to, as I couldn't find the dress I was talking about that I loved so much.
However, while reading Grazia magazine, I spotted the advertisement, the one with the dress, and I just had to scan it in... almost for closure! I adore the pleats coming out of the bust dart, it doesn't sound very appealing at first thought, almost like it would make ones breast look distorted especially as it looks like it is in a heavy, velvet-like material. However, when looking at it on the advertisement, it must be one of the most flattering details I've ever seen! (Click to enlarge.)
Also, whenever the break comes on and it shows the Toblerone advert (who sponsers the show)...doesn't it make you crave some!.. definitely good advertising there.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Flamingo Reborn.

I made this very pink flamingo print book way back in January and it just recently sold. Also, not only that, but someone else wanted it too! So I went and made another which I was very happy to do and this is the point where I can make a comment about it being like a bus, you wait for ages and then three come at once.. but I wont, because it's so cheesy.Anyway, I wanted to utilise the drawing again, but this time, I actually wanted my flamingo to be pink, rather than black. However, the card I use for the front covers are pearlescent, and black is the only 'colour' that actually comes out as... black. So, I punched up the colour and made it a bright fuchsia pink, put my silver card into my printer, pressed print, and my flamingo came out a lovely shade of rose pink. The pearlescent quality of the card had diluted a lot of the original colour out and left it with something so much more beautiful... I think I'll definitely be experimenting with more colour now!

Friday, 18 April 2008

Why you shouldn't run around London in nice boots...

...because from this: ..my lovely, oh-so comfortable Irregular Choice 'Miaow' boots turned into this:I was late for everything I was doing so I had to do a lot of running around in and out of the Underground and everywhere else... so much, that my felines decided that they couldn't take such constant aggressive motions and fell off. I wasn't too disheartened about it as at least I'd noticed them fall off (with a loud clank!) and saw that there were holes for me to stitch them back on. However, I tried last night, thinking they'd go straight onto the (very tough) fabric part... but they don't!.. they're meant to go through the fabric and then straight into the shoe. Impossible for me to do... I don't have the tools or the strength. I really wanted to wear them today too and the boots aren't anything without them. I guess I'm off to a shoe repair shop again... (I also noticed how beautiful pendants those felines would make!)

...which reminds me, my last shoe problem was given a quote of approximately £60 - £80 ($120-$160) to get a zip put in.. which just isn't really worth it... I think. Although, I was also told that the section where I find most difficult to take off may have a cardboard filling, and with that removed (by making a slit), it could be easier for me to slide my feet out. This is something I need to contemplate.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Personalised Pouches.

From a previous post, I introduced some personalised pouches I made using a simple transfer technique. However, I have now decided that I didn't want to buy the pouches to print on, but I wanted to make them myself entirely from scratch instead! Here are the results:I prefer them so much more, the finishing is better than the bought ones and instead of cord to close the pouch, I have used ribbon instead. I also decided that on occasion, whenever I make a sale via my Etsy Shop, I am going to print the buyers' name onto the pouch, as a little gift I guess... and it's easy determining what colours to use by what they purchased.
I already started doing a bigger version of this with a recent book sale. All I know is that if it was me receiving a pouch with my name on it, I'd be over the moon! .. and I do hope this buyer will be too!

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Pushing Daisies.

This aired for the first time on British television on Saturday. I had seen it advertising everywhere, loved it, and made sure I was to catch its premier showing!It is about a man who, as a young boy, possesses the 'power' to bring people back to life from a simple touch, however, a second touch would make them permanently dead. Also, if he brings someone back to life for more than one minute, someone else dies. I love this catch, otherwise the program would be so predictable. Because of this 'power', him and a policeman use it to bring dead people briefly back to life to ask what had happened, he then makes them 'dead' again, and they split the reward.
The first episode shows him bring a murdered girl back to life to find out who killed her, but it is actually his childhood sweetheart, played by Anna Friel... who wears the most beautiful clothes! There is one particular dress that is stunning which is on posters around the London Underground, it is a pale salmon pink velvet with beautiful pleats cascading out of the bust darts and I can't find it on the Internet anywhere! .. Anyway, this is all I am going to say now... you just have to go and watch it!

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Polka Dot.

I was reading a fashion business magazine that I am subscribed with, Draper's Records to be precise and, I read that soon enough, people will need to start paying for plastic bags which is quite horrendous! You may have noticed certain supermarkets and retail shops (UK) e.g. Sainsbury's and Marks and Spencer's offering you cute, little tote bags (to buy) to put your shopping in, instead of the use of plastic bags. So, from reading this statement in Draper's Records, I thought I better start making my own tote bags to fold up and take out with me!!

I went to have a look in my fabric boxes to see what I could find... and amazingly, I found the perfect fabric! It is a pale pink and white polka dot canvas fabric, perfect for a tote bag!!

.. and so, I drew out a simple pattern to begin my tote bag! Of course, when making something new, one should always make a mock-up first, so all problems can be resolved before starting on the actual fabric. This is how far I got with my mock up: This always happens to me, I get so bored making something 'perfect' when it isn't the real thing. Nevermind, at least I tried... right? I then went straight onto the beautiful polka dot fabric and was very very happy with the results! However, if I'd finished off my mock up, I would have realised that it is a little bit too small for a tote bag and the straps were a bit too short, but fine if you're not wearing thick clothing. I suppose the latter isn't a problem as it is more of a Spring/Summer bag anyway and you wouldn't exactly be wearing thick jumpers! I guess I should have also looked at other tote bags that I owned to compare size instead of just rushing into it!.. but it was just one of those things that you absolutely must do as soon as possible and common sense just goes out the window.. or is it just me? Apart from the size problem which I will adjust on the pattern, I am so impressed with my sewing, especially my top stitching, as I was always so bad at it at University!

Thursday, 10 April 2008

The Painted Veil.

I'm subscribed to Lovefilm, which you may have seen advertising all over and is a place where you can buy, download and rent films and games. I only use it for renting, and I find it so easy. You just make a list of the films you want to rent and they get sent to you, and you send it back when you're done, very very convenient!
My latest film has been The Painted Veil. I mainly chose it because it is set in the 1920's, Naomi Watts is quite a good actress, and I wanted to have a peek at the costume. The film ended up being better than I thought. I won't explain what it's about because I'll end up spoiling it but here is the trailer which should make you want to go rent it too!

Monday, 7 April 2008

My first ever pair of Irregular Choice shoes.

I've mentioned this shoe brand a few times now and thought I'd share my very first pair! These are called 'Ellipse' and are about 3" high with a gold foil effect and beautifully embellished! I bought them a week before my 21st birthday as I wanted something special to wear. I hadn't heard of Irregular Choice at all and came across them on eBay (OK, I wanted something special to wear but I also wanted a bargain!) ... and made sure I won them, especially as they were unworn. I couldn't believe my eyes when I received them, I'd never seen anything like it! .. and ever since then, Irregular Choice have been my number one shoe brand and continue to wow me with their new designs!

Sunday, 6 April 2008

"Don't judge a book by its cover". Part III.

My previous "Don't judge a book by its cover" blog entries, part I and part II are my personal examples of why you should judge a book by its cover. Unfortunately, I have come across a book which I judged and was wrong to do so. The Sixth Wife by Suzannah Dunn.
I honestly can't believe how disappointing this book was. From the title of the book, one would assume it is about Henry VIII's sixth wife, Katherine Parr, but it isn't at all. It is narrated by her 'best friend' Catherine, Duchess of Suffolk and her affair with Katherine's husband, Thomas Seymour (after Henry). I hadn't realised Suzannah Dunn was giving this a modern twist, otherwise I would not have bought it, and the front cover is quite deceiving! Although the more I look at it, the more modern it actually seems.
The most annoying aspect of the book was Katherine and Catherine being referred to as Kate and Cathy, I found it so irritating and felt like I was reading a soap opera instead of watching one, and on that note, dialogue was horrendous, which is one of the things I love most about reading historical fiction. However, in the epilogue, Suzannah Dunn explains that she is not a historian and chose not to write in typical historical dialogue because she didn't like it and 'how do people actually know how they spoke?'. She further explains that literature doesn't prove anything as people write differently to how they speak. I suppose this is a fair argument... but her style of writing is definitely not my cup of tea.
It has taken me about 6 months to read because I never enjoyed it, making each time to pick it up harder and harder. I even felt I was avoiding having to read it at times!... but I always like to finish books, no matter how bad it is, in hope that maybe the last few pages will compensate for the previous... but this one did not. I will not be buying any more books from this author and have just ordered 'The Constant Princess' by Phillipa Gregory, which is about Katherine of Aragon and I will slowly be purchasing and reading them all in chronological order..they all also have such beautiful covers! I can't wait to get it! However, regardless of this 'situation', I will still be judging books by their covers, unless anyone can recommend an outstanding book with an unappealing cover for me to try out?

Friday, 4 April 2008

New Dress Creation.

I recently finished this dress (available here) which I made with crepe de chine and this beautiful baroque patterned fabric that I was given on a fashion design internship. It was a sample fabric and they were having a clean out and as I was still at University, with not much money, I was willing to take everything that I may possibly use for my own projects!
I'm so pleased with this dress and would actually like to keep it! .. but I enjoy making things so much and anything I make from my creations just basically goes back into buying more supplies to make more things.. ..it's an ongoing creative cycle!I still have enough left to make another two or three full dresses, but I'm still contemplating the designs for this as once the fabric is used, it's gone forever! However, I desperately want to make some form of bubble dress as the fabric has a lovely weight to it and I could create such volume!...

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Clothing labels.

I've been experimenting with using Iron-On Heat Transfer Paper to print designs onto some cotton twill tape to act as labels for the clothing I am (slowly) making. I got some made a while ago which I blogged about and you can read it here but my brother wasn't very impressed with my design and thinks it should be simplified. I agree with him to a certain extent, but my main focus was that the colours on my original design may clash really badly on the garment it is getting put on!So I decided to design some 'plainer' ones to go with garments that weren't so plain.. I wasn't sure how the inkjet printing would work so I did a few tests and washed it several times to see how it'd cope, and it was actually quite good! However, it does have a very slight 'stiffer' feel because of the transferring component used and wouldn't suit being on a really lightweight fabric, for example, chiffon. Although this is a good way to make labels, I think I prefer the softer labels that I had previously bought.. I just need to be a bit wiser when it comes to designing them! My next idea is just to have 'decadentdiamond' in a beautiful font, so stay tuned!Additionally, I have decided to use this method to print onto little calico bags for when I sell small items (mainly jewellery) via my Etsy shop. I would usually wrap the item in tissue paper and place it in a cotton filled box.. then pop it into the padded envelope, ready for sending... but having thought about it, I really wanted another bit of protection, and a little drawstring pouch was the perfect solution! ..and although it may just be thrown away once the buyer receives it, I must admit that I am obsessed with personalisation and will do it whenever possible so things like that are just shrugged away! I guess I just see it the same as how shops have branded bags, I'm just doing a mini version of it!