i am long overdue in writing this post about my favorite brooklyn plant resource, the gowanus nursery. i have been a client at this nursery for quite a few years, following them to their new location on van brunt street. their opening each spring puts me in such a great mood as it marks the start of the outdoor season. the plant selection is extraordinary - black pansies anyone? - and i am always bound to find things that i've never seen before. given that i have a black thumb and a challenging outdoor space, that's a very good thing.
Sunday, August 3, 2014
Friday, July 18, 2014
Friday, June 13, 2014
ever wonder where marc jacobs, miucca prada, or the creative team for old navy go when they need a jolt of inspiration? they go to the design library, one of the best kept secrets in the creative world. the design library is located in wappingers falls and, while it may sound like you need to take the hogwarts express to get there, it's really only an hour and a half from the city on metro north, in the gorgeous hudson valley. what will you find there: the world's largest and best organized collections of documentary fabrics, original artwork, wallpapers, embroideries, yarn dyes, numbering over 7 million designs (!). the collections date from the 1750s to the late 20th century and are sorted into 900 categories. the design library regularly acquires entire archives from designers and fabric houses, ensuring these invaluable collections stay together and are available for perusal. because that is the business of the library: the sale and licensing of antique, vintage, modern and contemporary textile designs for inspiration to the fashion, home furnishings, textile, wall covering, graphic arts, and paper product industries. in a nutshell, this place is textile heaven, nirvana for the fabric-obsessed and awe-inspiring.
Saturday, June 7, 2014
yesterday i went to the country living fair in rhinebeck, new york. while not exactly your typical flea market - and certainly not priced like one - it's an amazing place to find one-of-a-kind gifts and home accessories, meet like-minded crafters and recharge your creative batteries. the rhinebeck show ends on sunday, june 8 at 5pm.
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
dainty and ladylike, shoe clips are a fun but somewhat old-fashioned accessory that needs to be taken our of the bridal realm, and back to the forefront of fashion. the shoe clips below are a witty take on preppy tasseled loafers.
1. per clip: cut four 6” long pieces of t-shirt yarn.
2. fold this bundle of yarns over and tie together with another piece of t-shirt yarn, using a double knot. cut off the ends.
3. thread a hex nut onto each tassel end and make a knot underneath.
4. hand sew the shoe clip to the back of each tassel. done!
after making the tassels, I decided to try my hand at t-shirt yarn bows: cut twelve 3” long pieces of yarn and tie this bundle in the center together with a 10” length of T-shirt yarn, then wrap it over six times, and finally tuck under the end. hand sew the shoe clip to the back of the bow.
Thursday, May 8, 2014
i attended the opening night of the collective design fair last night, at moynihan station in manhattan. twice as large as last year's edition, the show features an exceptionally curated group of galleries and dealers, all with an extremely unique point of view on design innovation. highlights include the new designs by india mahdavi and the quirky scandinavian antiques showcased at dienst + dotter. but in the end, what really caught my eye were the amazing jewelry designs, such as the deer antler collars by jennifer trask, and the insect necklaces by marta mattson. unbelievably gorgeous! the show is open through may 11, don't miss it...
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
t-shirts are probably among the most widespread item in our closet today: we buy them on vacation, we get them free as promotional swag, we end up with siblings' cast-offs. there are expensive designer shirts, work-out and sports shirts, shirts proclaiming anything from your political affiliations to your chosen brand of cat food (i had one of those). the pile can easily grow out of control. here's a fun project for the shirts you're ready to part with. step-by-step instructions are below the image.
1. turn t-shirt inside out, iron and place flat on work surface.
2. cut in a straight line from armpit to armpit, so that you are left with a tubular piece of fabric. the height of your tube should be 17” high; if it is longer, cut tube down to a 17” height (so basically, any t-shirt that measure 17” or more from hem to armpit will work for this project).
3. measure 8” across from the left side seam and draw a vertical line with pencil or tailor's chalk. pin both layers of t-shirt together and cut vertically to the right of this line, leaving about a half inch seam allowance.
4. machine stitch on this line, so that you now have a tube that is 17” high and 16” diameter.
5. from the rest of the T-shirt, cut a strip that is 8” long and a quarter inch wide.
6. turn tube good side out, gather and double-knot firmly together with this strip at 10” height.
7. cut the rest of the tube that sticks out above the knot into quarter inch vertical strips.
1. turn t-shirt inside out, iron and place flat on work surface.
2. cut in a straight line from armpit to arm pit, so that you are left with a tubular piece of fabric. the height of your tube should be 17” high, if it is longer, cut tube down to a 17” height (so basically, any t-shirt that measure 17” or more from hem to armpit will work for this project).
3. measure 16” across from left side seam and draw a vertical line with pencil or tailor's chalk. pin both layers of t-shirt together and cut vertically to the right of this line, leaving about a half inch seam allowance.
4. machine stitch on this line, so that you now have a tube that is 17” high and 32” diameter.
5. fold over your inside-out tube vertically, and make a mark on the fabric fold at 8.5” high. from there, using pencil or tailor's chalk, draw a curved convex line to the top corner. flip over and repeat the process on the other side.
6. unfold and cut to the right of this curved u-shaped line (though both layers), leaving about a half inch seam allowance.
7. machine stitch on this line and cut off seam allowance diagonally at both ears, making sure not to cut into the stitching.
8. turn hat good side out.
9. fold over existing bottom hem by one inch to the inside of the hat. pin in place and machine stitch, leaving a 2” opening.
10. cut an 18” long piece of flat elastic, attach a safety pin to one end, and use that to feed it through the opening. make sure to hold onto the other end of the elastic. once elastic has been fed all the way through, machine stitch both ends of elastic together and hand sew 2” opening shut.
11. last step: make a single knot in each “ear”. done!
Sunday, April 27, 2014
over spring break, we took an amazing trip to tulum in the yucatan region of mexico. it was amazing! we visited the mayan ruins in tulum and chichen itza and toured the sia ka'an biosphere reserve. we swam in cenotes; sinkholes resulting from the collapse of the limestone bedrock that exposes the groundwater underneath. we even explored an underground - and underwater - cave. the town of tulum itself is quaint and picturesque. i am working up various reasons for returning asap.
Thursday, April 24, 2014
last month i visited the march housewares store on sacramento street in san francisco. i'm not much of a cook, so housewares are usually not on top of my shopping list, but this store is amazing. it's artfully merchandized, and meticulously curated. from the green splatterware to the handwoven bungee rugs, from the braided denim bags to the delicate porcelain spoons, there is so much to covet, yet the store did not overwhelm. my favorite picks were the vincent van duysen canisters in a cool new blue color palette (sadly i forgot to take a picture) and the art by carrie mae smith, which brought a smile to my face. a must-visit!
Friday, April 11, 2014
after more than two years of traveling to san francisco on a very regular basis, i was finally there at the time of the alameda point antiques faire. this renowned northern california flea takes place on the first sunday of every month. the weather was gorgeous, the company was lovely and the shopping was enticing. i vowed to come back soon.
Monday, March 24, 2014
last week i visited "art in bloom" at the kentshire galleries on madison avenue, an exhibit and sale of 100 antique rugs and textiles curated by san francisco-based dealer peter papp. the stunning tribal pieces included saddle covers, mats, an ikat robe and many gorgeous prayer rugs. the show runs through march 30.