Friday, April 29, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.

All of the hullabaloo surrounding the royal wedding has got me feeling very nostalgic for London. I lived there years ago and have been back a couple of times to visit. It will probably always be my favorite city. In honor of the occasion, I ventured into the depths of my closet, unearthed a dusty photo album, and scanned in a few photographs to share.

This was the view from my bedroom window. I lived in a split level flat on Paddington Street, above the Cherry Top Cafe (which sadly has been turned into something else now). One of the things I miss most about London is all of the nooks and crannies, weird doors, and winding staircases that seem unique to older British buildings.

The view from the balcony.

I passed this pretty area (Westminster Abbey) nearly every day on my way to school.

Regent's Park was near my flat, and I spent a lot of time there with friends. It was one of those places that held a little bit of magic; no matter what was going on in our lives, it was impossible to have a bad day there.

The William Wallace was one of many neighborhood pubs where I was given too many free pints.

(I didn't edit these photos at all after I scanned them because I like that they're faded and that some of the colors are a bit off.)

Have you ever lived in a place far from home that stayed with you, years later, like an indelible bond?

*Post title is a quote from Samuel Johnson

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New in the Shop + a Sneak Peek

Have a look at these shiny new items in my shop.

A pretty dandelion brooch.

A yellow flower. I listed this one last weekend, but I think I need to work on my photos a bit more because they aren't really doing the brooch justice; it's much cuter in person.

A (tiny) Great White. Watch out for this guy.

And last but not least, a sneak peek of a couple of items coming to the shop: a blue-green flower and a pink cupcake. I'm making three different cupcakes in various colorways. These two will probably be added to the shop later today. And the vintage brass clasps are for something else coming later in the week, so stay tuned!

What are you guys making?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday Playlist

One day I'll probably get sick of making these, but it hasn't happened yet. Enjoy.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Braided Hex Nut Bracelet

Recently, I came across this D.I.Y. Hex Nut Bracelet from Honestly...WTF (via this blog) and decided I wanted to try to make a version of my own.

I knew I wanted to use silver hex nuts and colored string to make it more my style, but otherwise, I closely followed the instructions on my first attempt.

It looked great, but unfortunately, the hex nuts were way too heavy and caused the bracelet to hang awkwardly on my wrist. I also found that there was too much string, even wrapping it around my wrist a couple of times.

On my second attempt, I used thicker yarn and fewer washers. I also cut down the length significantly. It looked much better on.

I wore it the following day with a navy polka dot skirt. It held up fairly well. I don't know how often I'll wear it, but it has given me ideas for other projects I want to try in the future. Have you made anything lately, just for fun?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chicken Family

I came across this tutorial on Eye Candy Food Blog for a chicken family made from hardboiled eggs, and it's too adorable not to share.

Aren't they the cutest things you've ever seen? Click the link above for the full tutorial. And be sure to read the comments if you decide to make them because there are some additional helpful tips.

I also made a little Easter chick pin last week. He's in the shop.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Vintage Prettiness

The approach of Easter always makes me think of pretty dresses in pastel shades. Here are a few lovely vintage dresses from the 1920s, '30s, and '40s (all found on Etsy).

1940s Pale Lace Party Dress from Thrush
1920s Saffron Embroidered Sheer Flapper Dress from Bad Cholla Vintage
1920s Tiered Lace Flapper Dress from Vindemial Vintage
1930s Sailor's Wife Sheer Chiffon Polka Dot Dress from Simplicity is Bliss
1920s Ivory Tiered Lace Garden Dress from Open Door Clothing
1930s Silk Chiffon Sheer Ruched Lawn Dress from Allen Company Inc.

I love all the sheer fabrics, ruffles, and lace. Aren't they gorgeous?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Scenes from Life

Recently, I've been trying to be better about taking shots of everyday life. I've been inspired by all the 365 projects people are doing, but I knew that'd be too much of a time commitment for me. I'm aiming a bit lower: my goal is to always bring my camera with me when I leave the house, and when I see something interesting, take the very important next step of getting my camera out of my bag. For some reason, this can be difficult. (I went to the Cherry Blossom Festival and didn't take a single photo!) Anyway, enjoy this peek into some random moments of my day.

I actually took this photo to show my niece my nail polish because it's one of the colors that was made for the last Shrek movie. (If anyone's curious, the book I'm reading is Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link. I checked it out of the library because it was recommended to me by several people, but I haven't gotten that far into it yet.)

Packing up orders - yay!

If you order something from my shop, you get cute packaging and an extra surprise, which I'm not showing here because then it wouldn't be a surprise, of course.

My downfall.

Watching my favorites and making stuff for the shop.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sneak Peek

Here's a little Daschund puppy brooch I've been working on. He will be added to the shop later today.

I liked the panda brooch from last week so much I made another one--this time with a yellow background.

And last but not least, these color wheel earrings made from vintage Japanese cabochons are back in the shop after a long hiatus.

This week went by so fast; I didn't even get halfway through my to do list, so I'll probably be spending the weekend trying to get caught up. What do you guys have planned? Anything fun going on?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Calder's Portraits

A couple of weeks ago, I went to see "Calder's Portraits: A New Language" at the National Portrait Gallery, and I loved it.

Most people are familiar with Alexander Calder's mobiles, but he also made many other types of sculptures, toys, jewelry, and painted throughout his career. This exhibit features his wire sculpture portraits: some caricatures of famous celebrities of the day, like Babe Ruth and Jimmy Durante, others of fellow artists or of himself.

Like most art, these sculptures look quite different in 3-dimensional space. As you move around the portrait, the shapes change and become more abstract. "We can see into and through these portraits; their ever-changing wire outlines and shadows suggest facial expressions in flux, as well as the fluidity of identity itself" (from the exhibit prologue). Indeed, Calder is credited with developing "a new language" of portraiture and of "drawing in space," much like he developed his own form of art with the mobile.

I wasn't allowed to take photos inside the exhibit, but I did buy a couple of postcards of the show. Unfortunately, these images don't really do the sculptures justice. To see better examples, click the Portrait Gallery link above, and to see even more, here's a link to google images.

These postcards have nothing to do with the portrait exhibit. They are, however, images of the most whimsical wonderful thing Calder ever created (and my most favorite). I'm talking about Calder's circus, of course, and I wish I had a time machine so that I could go back to the 1920s and attend one of his performances. He made all of the animals and performers (complete with moving parts) out of wire, metal, wood, cloth, rubber tubing, and other materials. To me, it is the perfect example of Calder's artistic gift, that he could inspire a sense of play and childlike wonder in even the most serious art critics, combining mechanical engineering and artistic skill with imagination, humor, and fun.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

This and That

I'm always seeing things that remind me of other things, noticing patterns or color relationships. So, I thought I'd do a "this and that" post.

I think these two look nice together. By the way, as I write this post, I've got the theme song to The Patty Duke Show going through my head..."cousins, identical cousins and you'll find..." And that immediately brings to mind the Beastie Boys (someone out there will get that).

(Sources: Candela necklace by Spinthread, Purple Precis Butterfly from Real Butterfly Gifts)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring Colours Week

Last week, I participated in Poppytalk's "spring colours week" on flickr. Each day was assigned a color (Monday-green, Tuesday-yellow, Wednesday-pink, Thursday-lavender, and Friday-white). You can see a small sample of the photos I submitted to the group below. The photos didn't necessarily have to be new (as long as they hadn't been submitted to a previous color pool), so I uploaded a mix of mostly new photos with a few older photos tucked in between. It was the first time I'd ever participated in anything like this, and I was delighted when several of my photos popped up on Poppytalk's blog. To see more of my photos, check out this set I made on flickr. To see everyone's photos, click here. It was a lot of fun, and I would definitely do it again.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Happy Friday

(Source: from Le Petit Prince, read online here)

Any exciting plans this weekend? I'm hopefully getting a long-overdue haircut, making new pins for the shop, reading the book I just checked out of the library, and getting outside. Actually, a lot of plans are up in the air due to the impending government shutdown (which, as of Thursday night when I'm writing this, is still not resolved). All of the Smithsonian museums will be closed (and possibly also the Cherry Blossom Festival, the National Zoo, etc.). Of course, the government shutdown is much more than an inconvenience to locals and tourists, it affects a lot of people's jobs, including my boyfriend's. Let's hope they can get their acts together!

Anyway, have a fun and relaxing weekend friends!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sneak Peek

Here are a couple of new things I made for the shop: a panda bear brooch and a pair of earrings made with vintage German glass cabochons. These will be added to the shop tonight. There are a couple of other projects in the works also, so stay tuned. Can you believe it's already Thursday? This week is going by so fast.