ideas - inspiration - stuff

Sunday, July 28, 2013

rhinestone beads

a few months ago, i made a necklace out of polymer clay beads. i had a few leftover beads that were a little burnt, so i decided to make a quick project by covering the damaged beads with craft rhinestones from michaels, using a glue gun. the whole things is strung on a double string of recycled t-shirt yarn, generously donated by keith recker of hand-eye magazine.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

t-shirt yarn from haiti

a week ago, my good friend and founder/editor of the amazing hand/eye publication, sent me box of recycled t-shirt yarn from haiti (thank you!). keith knows how to make a crafter happy! i set myself the goal of making a different necklace from each color. here are the first three. the red necklace is a simple crochet chain, onto which shorter crochet chains are tied. i left the ends of the shorter pieces long and tied hex nuts on them. the black one is a crochet chain into which i crocheted keychain hardware. i then inserted six shorter lengths of yarn in each keychain and tied them off to make them look like a tassel. the last one is the simplest: eight lengths of yarn are held together by these gold-colored rings i found in the hardware store, i am sure there is a technical term of these but it's escaping me at the moment.

Friday, July 19, 2013


a quick word about my summer shoe of choice: espadrilles or alpargatas are casually flat shoes originating from the pyrenees. they usually have a canvas or cotton fabric upper and a flexible sole made of rope and/or rubber. fancy espadrilles can be had for $50 and up, but i get a steady supply from my mom (dank u mama!) who buys them in belgium where they can be had for less than $10 in the supermarket! this year's crop yielded some very cool patterned ones. stay cool...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

clothing labels

i finally got round to doing something with the collection of weird and cheesy labels i kept from my various tie-projects: the wrap and the hairpins. i simply glued them to a scrap piece of leather, and turned them into a cuff bracelet. it's my homage to the unsung heroes of branding and the complete opposite of the coolest of all labels: the 4 white stitches, indicating the no-logo white cotton tape that makes up the martin margiela label. the award for most original brand goes to madeleine vionnet however, who literally incorporated her thumbprint on her label - and she did so in 1923!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

thimble bug

i bought a batch of vintage thimbles at the flea a while ago and - long story short - a thimble bug was born. i think i was an entomologist in a past life.

Friday, July 12, 2013

rice necklace

here's another medium that is great for making jewelry: rice. it provides weight, it is easy to handle, and most importantly, it's cheap. i sewed a "tube" that is about 2.5" wide when flat, using a fabric that was previously tie-dyed in striped pattern. tie off one end of the tube about 5" in, fill with 2 table spoons of rice and then tie off the resulting "bead" using a waxed jute string. repeat until your necklace is the desired length, and make sure it will fit over your head. stitch the remaining ends together and then wrap string over the whole closure. done!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

yoko saito

i just picked up the book "japanese quilting piece by piece : 29 stitched projects from yoko saito". i am blown away. yoko saito is a master quilt artist who explores traditional folk themes, but interprets them with a vintage, yet modern feel. some of the projects in the book are a bit daunting, and require a serious dose of patience, as well as major skill with needle and thread. yet, each page is more inspiring than the next, and yoko's color palette especially is so gorgeous: all tonal tea-stained taupes, mushrooms and charcoals. absolutely gorgeous!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

mother-of-pearl ring

if you've read my blog posts in the past, you know that i like jewelry but that i am mostly drawn to necklaces and bracelets. in fact, i really only wear 2 rings and they're on the same finger: my wedding ring and my late grandfather's signet engagement ring. i decided to branch out and see what i could make with ring blanks: these are simple rings with just a flat round surface which can be decorated at will. here is my first attempt: i hot-glued a stack of vintage mother-of-pearl buttons on the ring blank, from large to small. what do you think?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


i just learned a new word: bunting. bunting is a lightweight loosely woven fabric used chiefly for flags and festive decorations. also: decorations, especially in the colors of the national flag. i made these versions - not in the colors of any flag i know - to use up some random fabric samples i had lying around. in the first version, the flags actually have a front and back, which i sewed together and turned inside-out. the second version was a half-hour project, sewn up by zigzagging with the sewing machine around the edges of the flags and onto a white nylon washing line. happy 4th of july!

Monday, July 1, 2013

blog lovin'

what a lovely surprise this week to see not one, but two blogs reposting my projects. denimology highlighted my denim lavender cubes, while the french blog thread & needles counted my scrap bracelets among their "finds of the week". thank you both!