Bead Challenge

I went to the local bead store today for a simple clasp, only to walk out having signed up for the spring beading challenge: taking the provided kit and creating a water lily inspired beaded cuff. I love beaded cuffs, if you haven't guessed it, and I've been eying Monet's Water Lilies quite a bit lately as a source of color.

The true challenge is the provided kit. Frogs. Dragon flies. Butterflies. Sigh.

Everything pictured has to be used. I'm not one for charms usually, so how do I incorporate Kermit into something sophisticated and lovely? Thinking cap on!


La Vie de Cirque

A week-long cold certainly gave me a head start on my goal to read a new book each month in 2011: I just completed my third for January. Water for Elephants by Sara Guin was certainly refreshing after the humdrum memoir Summer at Tiffany (prior to that was a reread the lovely History of Love by Nicole Krauss).

The dazzling imagery of life aboard a circus train is still swirling about my head, and I’m suddenly filled with the longing to surround myself with all things Big Top, from watching one of my favorite movies, Freaks, and brainstorming on how to use a couple of yard of yellow and white striped fabric from my aunt to spending an evening making an circus-themed Etsy treasury.

The glamor of the circus. Visit the collection here and give all these artists a bit of love. The feather dress, by the way, reminds me of the scene in Freaks where Koo Koo the Bird Girl dances on the table at the wedding feast, only far more fabulous.

Where does your inspiration come from?


New Year, New Dress (Project 8)

Let me start this by saying this is my first blog post while nestled at home. The awesomeness of it all is indescribable.

Meanwhile, when I received the invitation to a Mad Men themed New Years Eve party, I didn't exactly know what to expect having never having seen the show. I did know, however, that it would be the perfect opportunity to break out vintage pattern Butterick 6582. This classy little frock has the necessary mix of New Years Eve festivity and early 1960s class.

Armed with a few yards of amazing emerald taffeta, my dress form, and a slew of pins, I began a whirlwind twenty-four hour dress making extravaganza.

It must be said that when one scores excellent bargains like patterns for $1, sacrifices like proper size must be made to obtain the styles you want after other pattern pickers have left the drawers barren. I had to go up two sizes from the pattern, and I couldn't have done it without the genorous gift of my dress form.

A note to Mother Paquette:

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I was absolutely blown away by your gift. I was just about to attempt making my own dress form when I was presented with yours. I think you have forever changed my sewing life!

An hour before the party, I was trimming threads and applying fake eyelashes. I'm pleased with how it turned out, and it was truly the perfect party dress (the twirling definitely gets an A). I'm particularly fond of the neckline. There's something about it that is both feminine and sophisticated. While it's higher, I didn't feel matronly. I will keep this pattern on call for the other silhouetted versions of the dress. It appears to be flattering on everyone from what I can tell in other photos around the web.

What a great looking group! Can you believe those rich colors?