Category: Craft

Creative mama: Robin

As soon as Fall has arrived and until cherry blossom explodes on the streets of New York, I usually enter into my Feathers and (faux) Fur mood creatively. You might have already noticed this tendency from my last winter’s mood of the day posts.
This year, I also have to be resourceful to fulfill my appetite for new clothing because I still haven’t found a full-time job and I am still have post-pregnancy 15lbs to shed. So I started a sort of wardrobe surgery clinic by transforming some of my old maternity clothing into things that I might actually like to wear rather than have to wear because of my Sharpei like belly and cash shortage.

So here it goes: DKNY simple black maternity dress, brass sequins from the shoulder straps of a worn out Pea in a Pod maternity dress, 2 feather trimmings, black felt and…snaps from Spain (it seems like a random fact but my fashion designer cousin got me these while working for Loewe few years ago and I have yet to find nicer ones… Love them).

Et voila. I like the edge it gives the outfit and even without the feather patches, I could wear the dress with the snaps being visible.

It is called ‘Robin’ because:
A – it’s a bird
B- the kids are currently obsessed by 1970s Disney’s ‘Robin Hood’ or as G would call it ‘Robin the Poop’ so I have to endure it twice a day. It is like brainwashing. It is driving me insane. The worst part of it is that it is supposed to be the story about some guy stealing the bad and rich and give back to the nice and poor. So basically the story of a good dude with compassion, right? So why did my kids become complete pains in the ass since they started to watch this animated movie? I am NICE and POOR!!! Don’t they get it? I NEED compassion.

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Creative mama: Archer

After a quick start and a madly productive period, I dropped the ball with the Amateur Art August challenge…Almost 20 days have passed since I last finished something. It is not because I was lacking inspiration but it was blatantly because I lack skills. I basically spent 2 weeks thinking of a prototype for some removable cuffs and then I finally got into action. Blimey. I realized that even though I really want it, I am not Stella McCartney. Terrible design. Terrible choice of materials. Terrible pattern. Terrible construction. Usually when I create something, it is is an original piece as in ‘look closely at it because you will never see me doing this piece ever again’. It is not snobbery; it is just that I usually have no fucking clue how I got there.  I just wing it.

The key problem with my latest creation was simple: 2 arms, 2 wrists, 2 bloody identical (preferably) cuffs. So yep, totally outside of my comfort zone. Anyway here is my ‘Archer’ piece, tribute to Archibald who was on my ass for the last 10 days  saying ‘Just do it woman, just do it!!!!’.

I cut 2 pieces of soft leather, pleated flannel animal printed fabric with tulle material, and stitched the whole thing together. Then I finished with some golden snaps so the back of the snaps can be seen to add some edge.  I tried them on a long sleeved black top and underneath a men’s jacket. Oh well, let’s hope they’ll last until the end of Fall. Also, it is clearly not suitable for when eating soups.

Lessons I need to apply for my future projects include:

– I have to learn how to use my sewing machine because hand stitching is NOT always a good idea especially if you sew like a drunken sailor walks.

– Because your hand stitching sucks, try to find some ‘forgiving materials’ that won’t show every screw up you make. For example, ‘varnished’ animal prints are a NO-NO, OK?

– There is no way to make shortcuts to cut your leather properly. It takes time. Yes it sucks but that’s the way it is. You need to clean your cutting board, use it with a sharp blade and stop using a pair of scissors to cut leather as if you were doing some friggin’ paper Origami.

I think this is my last piece as part of the August challenge, I had fun and hopefully my creative streak will remain alive. Thanks to my fellow bloggers who took part in the challenge:

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Creative mama: Sandrine

I cannot believe I am still part of the Amateur Art August challenge. I seriously thought I was going to drop out after the first week but that’s the beauty of the blogosphere, you get to ‘meet’ women from all over the world who, despite being sick and/or trying to juggle everything, stuck to their pledge and have been pretty productive. So thank you:

because of you, I am on the longest streak of accessories production since…well…EVER. This week’s piece is called Sandrine, as a tribute to a dear Japan-obbessed friend (or at least, I think she is Japan obsessed, if not…AWKWARD :). Anyway, this friend, a very, very long time ago told me: ‘You should take your creativity seriously, just do it.’ Better late than never, I guess.

I shaped some teal straw and added a double bow. To tell the truth, the shape is pure luck because I cut it out from some old and damaged summer hat. I was going to through the hat away but thought the wave was interesting so I cut out the center piece thinking that one day I might do something half-interesting with it. I hand stitched a piece of black suede leather (yes, my fingers are still hurting and yes, my needle is ruined) into a japanese Obi style shape and used a vibrant ribbon from Mokuba to maintain the shape. Mokuba is an exclusive Japanese ribbons and trims supplier which has stores only in Japan, Paris and NYC. It is like Heaven:  everything is beautiful and soft there.  Heaven with some tenacious guards who don’t allow you to touch anything. You have to look at the ribbon rolls with submission and reverence and you have to lie (e.g. ‘Yes, of course I own a fashion label, here is my uber fake business card’) to be able to buy a piece of Heaven. God Mokuba, I hope I served you well with my ‘Sandrine’.

Sandrine

Working mama: Clemence and fireflies

I have been in a mental slump since returning from our vacation in France hence the frenetic blogging. Apologies to all my readers for becoming that emotionally needy mess and for ‘postifying’ you! However, this week I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is nothing like a solar beam; it’s more like fireflies floating in the dark but still, it is something. I can feel it.

First, I might soon sign my first contract as a freelance consultant for a start up. No big money here but a very exciting collaboration with some really good peeps (professionally and humanely). Can you believe that this might be the first time in 3 years that I am getting paid for using my brain? It’s not volunteering, it’s not caring for my household, it’s not about crafts…So yeah, I am chuffed. This firefly is a kick ass firefly or what??

Second, I mentioned taking part in an Amateur Art August challenge started by Katelikestocreate. And ideas started to mushroom in my head right, left and center. I then discovered that a few others have joined in and thought: ‘shit, I really have to do this now, don’t I? No more contemplating of scarfs, hats, necklaces etc. Chop, chop, woman, and get your dusty craft supplies case out!’

To fulfill my pledge, on this first day of August I am finishing the hat I created for my French girlfriend, Clemence. It is made of felt which I shaped by creating 2 folds on a balsa block and trimmed into a 30s style cloche hat . I curved 3 strands of blue ribbon with a hot flat iron so they softly follow the tilt of the hat and finished with a feather trimming. The head size is maintained by a hand stitched lilac ribbon. Et Voila !

I tried to emulate Clemence’ s elegance and taste for chic but alternative details while celebrating her very blue eyes. What is awesome about her is that she is quite an entrepreneur who started a successful French bakery with now 2 premises in New Jersey from scratch and while being heavily preggers. Disgusting 🙂 She is a true an inspiration to me. A human firefly.

Sent from my iPhone

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