ideas - inspiration - stuff

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

craft gone wrong - part 2

these gems are taken from "crochet techniques & projects - a sunset book" by lane publishing company 1975. i don't really know what to say about this, other than i am quite dumbfounded.
what on earth? who in their right mind? why?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

t-shirt hat

this is a quick craft to make from a t-shirt that has gotten too small - i used a size 5T for mine. cut off the bottom of the shirt, from armpit to armpit. you can use the top part and sleeves to make tassels. gather the top edge with a running stitch, cinch and sew together. use a button-making kit to make a button covered in a remnant of the same t-shirt fabric. fold over the bottom edge of the shirt and sew into place, leaving a small opening to insert a wide elastic band. done!

Sunday, February 24, 2013


it is remarkable how many stray socks you end with in a family of four. here's a fun way to recycle them: cut off the feet so you end up with a cylindrical piece of knit. do a small up-and-down stitch all around the unfinished edge. cinch the whole thing together & secure with a few more stitches. fill the sock up with rice. more rice = fatter cat. flatten the top of the sock and close with a simple stitch. to mark the ears, do a little up and down stitch on either side. hot glue two buttons on the face and stitch 2 pieces of twine underneath the eyes. done!
these cats were inspired by my favorite cartoon cat character totoro.

Friday, February 22, 2013

off the chain

i've always liked the hip hop culture's appropriation of the classic chain necklace. i love how they exaggerated scale and size of what was originally one of the most bourgeois items of jewelry. so i thought it wold be fun to make a textile version. i took short lengths of heavy-duty nylon rope - the kind you buy at home-depot or lowe's - and glued them into a loop using a glue gun. i then taped some heavy-duty tape around the seam for extra strength. then I wrapped half inch wide strips of a gold colored silk around this loop, again securing with a glue gun. this makes the first link of the chain. for the additional links, repeat the process, but make sure you "link" them together before gluing.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

cold weather fashion

here's a fashion accessory i would love to bring back: the muff, preferably in fur, lined with heavy satin and finished with ribbons and tassels. utterly useless these days, since we mostly do require the use of at least one hand when outdoors. still, it lends such an elegant silhouette as these examples illustrate.

pillow talk

last year, i bought a large lot of half-finished embroidery projects at the flea market. i love incorporating these into various craft/sewing projects. last night, i went through the entire stash and found this gem. i assumed this was meant to be a pillow cover, possibly a placemat. i love pillows with witty quotes and this one takes the cake. in addition, it seems this is an entirely home-made project (not from a kit) which makes it even more precious.

Monday, February 18, 2013

peter pan collar

peter pan collars are so gamine: they remind me of audrey hepburn, prim and proper uniforms, french couture, vintage sewing notions (a favorite ebay-search of mine).... i could go on. this linen red-white checkerboard collar was a flea market find. i sewed on the mother of pearl buttons for extra weight and attached the shoelaces, also weighted down with buttons, for closure.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

blue and white

for pure inspiration: this wonderful blue and white pottery from ebay. a great and affordable way to set a mix-and-match table.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

viking style

it's probably the ice and snow we're surrounded with right now, but i'm really feeling a primal approach to fashion: fur and metals. viking style! louise is wearing a vintage silver fur stole and a flea market chainmail necklace with hundreds of spiky talons.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

the holy grail of cat books

you know how every design aficionado is pining for a copy of "i married adventure" by osa johnson? well, this is the cat lover's equivalent. "walter chandoha's book of kittens and cats" was first published in 1963 by random house, and quickly became a classic in the field of animal photography. the black-and-white photography is simple, unpretentious, and absolutely delightful. a must for any cat lover! although apparently long out of print, i was able to score a copy for $2 at a brooklyn yard sale, money well spent.

Friday, February 8, 2013

tassel necklace

it seems i wasn't quite done with my tassel obsession yet. i have now started making mini-tassels from an old striped t-shirt, its fabric was very stretchy which made the tassels curl up like little blossoms. i added them to a wooden bead necklace, another lei variation.
ps: the top that serves as a background is by joe fresh.... love that joe fresh!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

craft gone wrong

over the years, i have collected many vintage craft books and magazines and i have found a treasure trove of inspiration in them. but every once in a while, things take a turn down a weird and bizarre road. introducing a new segment on this blog: craft gone wrong... see example below from "macramé accessories" by dona z. meilach (1972, crown publishers, inc.). i mean: i know it was the seventies, but really?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

scrap bracelets

these are so easy to make, and look best when worn in multiples: take a 1 inch-wide scrap strip of textile (a thin silk or cotton works best), twist it onto itself and run a zigzag stitch over it with the sewing machine. fold over one end into a loop and secure with a waxed jute twine. keep wrapping that same twine over the bracelet, and over a short length of bathroom chain (place twine between each ball of the chain). when you get to the other end, string a glass bead on twine and secure tightly. done!

Friday, February 1, 2013

textile lei

yes, i know it's not summer, and i'm not living in hawaii (wishful thinking). but there was a segment on cbs sunday morning last weekend about the making of flower leis. i got inspired and made one from textile scraps instead: more permanent and affordable, though less fragrant. very easy to do: make a bead necklace - mine are vintage wooden girl scout beads - and tie little textile strips in between with a single knot. simple cotton quilt fabrics seem to work well, i left the selvedge on the strips as i loved the little touch of white at the edges.