Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Candy Kisses and Birthday Wishes

This is my obligatory selfish post about what I want for my Birthday.  There are things that you want, need and would like to have.  Mine is mostly what I view as needs, since they have to do with me producing better and more clothes in general or at least faster I hope!   Hopefully I get my tax return check before then so I can present myself with some of these things. 

I do this thing that is pretty simple and nondescript of making wishlists at all the places I like to shop such as
Think Geek
Urban Outfitters

All of the above however (minus Amazon) are just wants.  My needs are books, sewing supplies, art supplies and a good SLR Camera.  Oh and some cute looking but good headphones for work while wandering the stacks.  Something that does not go directly into my ear because I seem to frighten myself and other people alot when I can't hear anything else.
From Strapya

My selection of books can be easily be found on my Amazon wishlist as well as some sewing supplies.  But I've posted a few below to save you the anxiety of looking through my long lists.

Next are Sewing Supplies.  I need another smaller serger that I can travel with to my classes in a bind.  I'm thinking Juki or Brother.  Most likely Juki but the Babylock also calls to me with it's patented airflow threading system which would be a DREAM.  Unfortunately I do not think that the machine is small enough to accomadate travel, also the jostling around in my car could be very bad for the lovely airflow system.
I'd also really like the Brother PED program to design my own embroideries and get new designs.

Lastly a gathering foot would be a nice addition to my foot collection.  I talk about it a lot in my CCAD CE class so I feel that I really need one.

Art Supplies.  I really really want to get back into some more classical art practices like oil painting again.  I have no oil paints and majority of my good brushes are missing/gone.  One thing I didn't have before that I would love to have is a nice wooden easel.  This table top one would be great so I can transport it from my upstairs to the basement drafting table and it would be compact also.   It's not like I would ever stand and paint.

Now for the one thing I really feel I NEED is a digital SLR camera.  I know I want a Nikon and most affordable one is a D40.  This is something I think I can get on my own with my tax return but a little help never harmed anyone. 

Just to make this fun I posted some things that I want but don't particularly need!
Like this Piggy Bank! from Strapya

Microbes that I don't have which are on my wish list at Think Geek
Lastly I would be kind of great to finally get Final Fantasy 13 with the Guide Book.  And as always finish out my Ranma 1/2 DVD's and get the Second GTO box Set.

Monday, April 26, 2010

It made my heart Flutter

There are few things when scanning the internet that make me gasp but as soon as I saw this post on Style Bubble I did.

Duh Brain DIY

Simply because of the following two photos

All that sweet supple leather and canvas into an assortment of bags.  The only thing that could be better and make me drool is if those were shoes!   I love love love seeing things in multiple collections.  That is actually one of my driving aesthetics for my own designs, repeitition with individuality. 

If you have ever seen any place that I have lived or occupied you will notice that I collect things.  Somewhat randomly mostly on the theme of them being a soft plushie or resembling some cute nononsense character that may or may not have a name.  I think I tend to collect for the sake of collecting.  Thank GOD I never got into Pokemon, that would of driven me insane.  I do in fact own what I believe to be every single color Yoshi plush made out there.

On totally serious working, adult note.  I feel really good about my work right now and where I am heading for design.  F- Project Runway if I don't get called back.  I have other things to do and life to keep living.  I have a UK embroidery competition to tackle, OAL Absolutely Absurd submission to starte and complete, Handmade Nation Truck show, CCAD Fashion show to attend, and orders to fill for Undone Lingerie and Shoe Boutique.  Not to mention teaching and hopefully securing my day job which would leave me with a lot of freedom from stress about materials and such.

After this weekend I feel surprisingly relaxed and refreshed and ready to get to work!
MOST importantly my Birthday is fast approaching.  I will be a mere 29 years old. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Price of Beauty

Isn't it a damn shame when all your makeup runs out at the same time?  Even though I bought them at all different times in different amounts all my basic makeup regiment has failed me and run out at the same time.

There are just a few essentials that I have learned to make up my basic everyday face to protect, nourish and cover the flaws (no this is not a sponsored commercial).  Very basic needs but things I can not live without nonetheless.

My first must have is a good mosturizer.  I have tried the gamut of products from drug stores to high designer lines.  I remember starting with my first good brand in highschool.  I was prone to pick up the Shiseido Purenss line. 
Which is still very good but just doesn't hold the punch it once did with my then youthful teenage skin.  With the drug store varieties the cheaper it was the worse it did.  I felt that if I was going to spend the money it wouldn't be a drug store anyways.  After many trial and errors I have found my good dependable to be Hope in a Jar by Philosopy.  It has never done me wrong although it costs anout $38 which is not an easy for me to spend that much when it doesn't add to the style of my wardrobe.  Good Skin just like a good body is the basis for everyone on top to look good though.
My next best thing is a good light foundation for my lazy days.  Something that blends easily doesn't clog my pores and that is a bit no nonsense.  I love my mac foundations NC20 and they do a great job at covering and looking flawless the problem is I find them too heavy to deal with everyday.  Truth be told I am LAZY about my skin care.  If I can't sleep in it for a day or two without worry about immediate clogs and belmishes then it's too much for me.  I just can't be bothered every night to wash my face when I have books to read, things to knit and Dr. Who to watch!  So far "Some Kinda-A Gorgeous" ($28) has been my day to day saviour of looking a little less rolled out of bed for work and basis enough for my powder.  Along with that I use "You Rebel lite" ($30) both of which are by Benefit. 

Another regiment of mine by Benefit is "Dr. Feel Good" that I use as a matte primer but I have no need to re-filling that at this time.  It is a great balm to smooth out and fill lines.  I like the scent of it as well as the velvety feeling it gives my skin after applied.
Just for those 3 things that I have run out of will cost me around $96.00 before taxes and I'm sure I will spend even more now that I see that Simone Legone has paired up and is now doing a line of TOKI DOKI Makeup!   My obsession with Toki Doki is bad and I know I will have to buy some of that up as well.  The good thing is that it is with Sephora which is my destination for buying all of these essentials.  I like being able to get all my makeup needs in one place plus they give a lot of great free samples and perks/points on products that I find pretty worthwhile. 

A few other things I must wear everyday are a good eyeliner.  It varies how I feel and what my wallet looks like.  Currently I have been rocking either Mac Gel Fluid line ($15.00) or Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil ($17).  I don't usually do more then a simple sweep with a cat's eye point.

A couple things I pick up from Target are Mascara and Powder.  I could get nice expensive powder from Sephora as well or I could save myself over $15 and get Rimmel's Stay Matte Pressed Powder which works excellent!  Maybe when I make some more bank I will spoil the last layer of my face with something better.  For now I will keep using Rimmel as it has not caused any complications with my skin and it does the job.  The only downside is that it being cheaper at only $4.99 it also has less in it so I find myself getting a new one about every other month.
Lastly for Mascara I really have no opinions.  Anytime it's an event or I go out I use false lashes.  For the day to day I typically curl my lashes and slap on whatever is at my disposal.  The ones that happen to be in my makeup case right now are Maybelline Stilletto, Great Lash and Define a Lash.
I did at one point have Benefit's Bad Gal and that was ok....... but it dried up quickly and for that money I can get two of the previous. I only remember one mascara ever being truly Fantastic and that was from Sheer Cover mineral makeup.

This concludes my everyday basics.  I used to up to a couple years ago always have a full face of makeup with a very vivid eye shadow palette but these days waking up at the bullshit of morning to go to work just doesn't happen.  Not to mention when 7/8 of the time I am doing makeup in the my first 10 mins of getting to work while my printouts are going for the day.  It would like a little suspicious for me to have more then a single small makeup bag on my desk.  Not saying I don't care or try but at work I am bare minimum usually.  After work is when I glam it up to what I feel is my normal routine.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Out into the World

I know it has been a long time since I have been out of school but there are certain things I miss about it.  Mostly assignments.  You would get an assignment you had an allocated amount of time to complete and then you were graded and then move onto the next one.  It had it own sense of purpose to be assigned tasks to do.  In work I find that I need to make my own schedule which is fine but creatively it is a bit of a struggle.  There are very few things that I do that have immediate deadlines. 

My model Gloria from the Shoot

Recently when I did a photoshoot one of my models still in College was telling me about how she had a 5 page paper to write that night.  I asked her if she had started, no of course not.  When was it assigned, 2 weeks ago.  It made me remenisce on my own academi endeavors and how they relatet to my life right now.  In highschool unless it was something that especially caught my interest I would procratinate.  Not neccessarily wait to the last minute but still would widdle away at those days till I knew I had to get the library or tutor to work on it.  If it was something I was excited for I would start it right that minute and even after the assignment was done would work on perfecting it and add more details.

In college I was on assignment with everything, I can't recall asking for an extension on anything at all.  I loved it all even though it would be 4-5 projects all due the same week.  That business was fantastic.

Now as an adult and working I find it hard to get that same feeling of encouragement in my heart to get new things done.  I know some of you think I am full of it right now the way I keep writing about busting my ass on projects.  Seriously though in my heart of hearts I feel like I could do more.  I almost long for some stern german accented fashion teacher to loom over me and tell me NOT ENOUGH do it AGAIN! (Gosh I miss my teacher Sarah).  To have someone to really push my boundaries and expand my talents even more.  I look at myself as a teacher and always wonder, am I pushing them enough?  am I pushing them too much?  Are they truly learning from me?.  What they think of me as a person is irrelevant so long as they learn exactly what I set in my guidelines and then some.  For myself selfishly I wish I had someone to push me a long a bit more.

Since I have no one I look to these contests, competitions and trying to set new goals for myself.  I look at these as my new assignments and try to envision the judges as my teachers that I do not want to disappoint.  I hate to hear that I am doing fantastic when I feel I could do much much more.  I wonder if other artist or designers are feeling this same way as me, or are they content with what they have done already?  I never want to be the satisfied designer resting on my laurels, I feel like I would no longer be innovative or creative.

I suppose my conclusion in all this babble is that I personally need to make myself into my own teacher and explore the world for my assignments.  I must be strong and ever vigilent as a creative mind to continue to enrich myself and push my designs further.   I want Avant Garde not just Pret Porter.  I want to learn to be as close to True Couture as possible.

Next post will be all pictures from the shoot to thank you guys for putting up with the text heavy posts as of late.

Book Review - The Sewing Bible

From Drop Box
Yet another crafty pretty looking book has hit the shelves in the past couple years.  But is it worth it, is it substantial or will it just look nice and impressive on the shelf as you only read it one time?

This book I picked up on a whim when I was at Sew To Speak for their Birthday sale over a month ago.  It had taken me a bit of time to read it for lack of time in my life as well as it being quite a hefty book at 304 pages.  It was surprisingly not daunting at all when I had gotten around to it.

This book is one of the very very very few books that I would suggest to all my friends and students who are learning to sew or are just beginners.  I would even suggest it to some of my seamstress friends.  It really is that good. A+ indefiniately.

Not only does it have clear and concise photos to go along with the instructions and examples but the way it is written is easy to understand.  No "turn the angle 45 degrees to the right at point 1B".  It is very straight forward and takes you easily step by unconfusing step through a myriad of techniques.  I actually found several things in there explained much more clearly then I ever could to incorporate into my own lessons.  As well as some techniques I never thought of using such as the double welt button hole. 

The book itself is a mere $35.00 which is really a deal considering that it was bound and made to last through many uses and abuses.  The pages are much thicker nearly a cardstock feel and large format so you are not straining your eyes to read the print and figure out what is happening in the example photos.  The way the binding is done allows you to easily prop it open and keep it open flat so you can have it right there as you work on projects or techniques.  The cover itself is hardbound and looks pretty enough and modern that it could be mistaken for a coffee table book.

Don't believe me?  Here are a couple other reviews to peruse

Thursday, April 15, 2010

K-pop and Lady GaGa

I'm usually not one to write about music at all, much less my taste in it considering my Ipod still reguarly plays "Kriss Kross", "Snow: Informer", and "Counting Crows: Round Here".

Something funny that I noticed while walking around at work listening to this Ipod was how in Bad Romance Lady Gaga Does this crazy claw hand motion.  I was trying to recall where I had seen it then the next song hit me!  It was by NOISE in their song "Sam sam sou-gae" or "daydreams" translated.  They do pretty much the exact same thing but 16 years earlier.  Lady Gaga would of been 6 years old so I doubt she knew about them or even had any idea what K-Pop was.  Shoot...... she probably has no idea who H.O.T. was or Clone and I'm sure she would of liked them.

Anyways here are the two videos so you can watch one after another and see what I am talking about.  It is during the Chorus on the second time when they do a close up.

Just for fun my next 10 songs on my Ipod Play list are
- Park Ji-yoon - Sung in Shik
- Roo'ra - Ahn young
- Jem - 24
- Sechs Kies - Couple
- Young MC - Busta Move
- Two Two - Geu da Noon mul  kka ji do
- Strong Bad - TROGDOR
- N'Sync - Bye Bye
- Green Day - When I come around
- Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Turn Into

What's the next 10 songs on your Ipod?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

An Essay

Sometimes I like to just write for writings sake.  With Prom Season coming up I remembered I had this essay that I wrote earlier when a former High School student of mine was asking for help to find or make her Prom dress.
And so here it is.  A bit lengthy so don't feel bad if you don't read the whole thing.

Prom Season the never ending Bane of our Youth.
Prom season is always huge for any High School student be it, boy or girl. In my life I have gone to 6 proms during my High School career and for every reason from sympathy date, school assignment, and to first love, as a freshman till senior.

For the boys it is always pretty simple, one word, Tuxedo. At least it used to be that way. Now days there are a plethora of options for this once simple ensemble. Our young men can now choose their color of the suit, the color and style of the tuxedo shirt. They have socks to worry about, shoe styles and cufflinks. Then there is of course the option for tie, bowtie or ascot. A trend that I have noticed more also is the addition of a hat. Sometimes our young gentlemen want to pull a little Humphrey Bogart or tilt it like the cool Usher from his music videos. All of which must match up perfectly with their Prima Dona Prom date madam or sir.

The biggest challenge for the Prom Season is for the ladies, finding that perfect dress. It can equate to a women searching for her wedding dress or perceived as the trial run before looking for a wedding dress. Parent’s beware this is most assuredly a foretelling of the future as you may have the unfortunate pleasure to play a role in it. If you are lucky your lass already has a good idea of the dress she is looking for then it is simply a “Where’s Waldo” search amongst the sea of dresses which in itself can be daunting but we’ll get to the search a little later.

If you are unfortunate and have a particular princess then she wants something one of a kind and dramatic but will have to try on a million and one dresses before she is marginally satisfied. For that as lame as it sounds you may need a specialist. A specialist does not have to be a pageant director or stylists, it simply needs to be someone fashionable, preferably older who has gone to prom and not related to you in any way shape or form. There is something about the psychology of getting advice from a near stranger or some one you have no affiliation that makes it easier for the teen to take criticism and advice. This could simply be a friend of yours that the child looks up to as the “cool” Aunt or Uncle or just a store clerk that dresses particularly well and is knowledgeable. Another good thing to look out for is that whoever is giving the advice is not dedicated to just ONE store. That means they are selling something and they are trying their darn hardest to make their goal or make commission and could inflate the price with a few sparkly nothings that your little lady does not need. Just because they work for a particular store does not mean they have to sell from that store. I’ve worked retail for 16 years and I know that if my store doesn’t have it I can recommend them to a place that does and 9 times out of 10 they come back to my store just to shop and visit me because of the valuable advice I had given them.

Back to our princess! Do not be disheartened if she hates everything. If in hating everything has narrowed down the search to what she is looking for then it is still not a battle lost. You will also learn of the temperament and patience your girl has and as the adult lay down the law if necessary and give her an early reality check. Another good way to help her figure out what dress is best suited for her is give her a budget to begin with this will greatly narrow down the search. Even if you are willing to go all out don’t let her know that because that widens the options much too far. You can decide for this budget to be all inclusive, meaning dress, shoes, jewelry or allocate a different budget for each. It may seem trivial but these are small lessons that she will learn remember on budgeting later in life because it is associated with such a major event.

Think of going straight to those Big Prom dress stores in the malls and around them if she wants to be one of a kind. Several stores have registries where once the dress is paid for no one else from their school can get that same dress. It’s a great option but also limiting. In those stores every dress that is sold is one less dress your girl can have. Also you won’t know the status of the dress usually until you get up to pay which can be frustrating all around especially if she fell in love with that particular number and you’re forced to start from ground zero. Another little tip about these stores is to go early in the day, you never know how long it will last, once a consultant is set on you they will continue to bring dress until you tell them quite pointedly to stop. If you are annoyed easily by sales people you can tell them up front that you are only looking for dresses to avoid them from bringing you anything unnecessary to make the process longer such as shoes, and jewelry. A good sales consultant will take that into consideration and respect your wishes or ask before throwing anything into the dressing room without your permission. Please remember that even if you are annoyed it does no good to treat your sales consultant badly, just keep calm and remind them exactly what you wanted and if they aren’t listening you can ask for a manager to set you with another consultant or just simply leave thanking them for their time and that you have things to consider before this major purchase. Being Rude to a sale consultant will not help anyone, it will most likely delay your services as they complain to their manager or fellow consultants and give you poor results.

If there are no results from this, broaden your range. Think outside of that bright colored flower scented bedazzled box. This goes for all girls. If they know what type of style dress they want then search on Google not just for “prom dresses”, try “evening dresses” or “bridesmaids” or “Quincera”(Hispanic sweet sixteen gowns), even “pageant” sometimes the dress in their mind can even be found as costume! The main dress types to search for are as follows:
-Mermaid - is narrow from bodice to hips or knees and flares out (think mermaid fin)
- Ballroom – Large floor length full skirt like a fairytale princess
- Straight – just like it implies, straight dress usually it indicates that it is also floor length
- Short – a dress with any variation of short skirt styles
- Corset – is the type of bodice top that has lacing in the back
-Sweet heart Bodice – meaning the front of the dress resembles the top of a heart curving up at the breasts
- Straight Bodice – Top cutting straight across chest
- Strapless – dress with no supporting straps and almost always has built in boning to hold it up
- Spaghetti straps – very thin straps resembling the width of spaghetti
- Empire – dresses that have a short bodice that stops just below the breast usually and has a flowing skirt starting at the high waist has a Grecian/roman look to it (Or think of the movie Emma with Gwyneth Paltrow)

My favorite of these searches is doing bridesmaid. Any company that does a bridesmaid dress with have a variety of styles, swatches of colors and fabrics, so that you can pick and choose the type of dress and colors yourself. It’s almost like making that perfect dress of your own. Typically they are not any more expensive then your run of the mill prom dress from a specialty store and in a lot of cases they can be cheaper. If you feel overwhelmed just looking up bridesmaid dresses on your own use a bridal website such as “the Knot” to help you look for them and narrow it down. Once you see several styles from a particular brand you can venture to their website on your own as well. Another advantage to using a third party website is a lot of them will tell you if there are nearby stores that carry those lines for you order from.

Another helpful way to search for dresses is to dismiss a low price point. Don’t feel like you have to spend at least $200 or else the dress just isn’t that special. There are dozens of beautiful dresses out there on sale all the time. Sometimes in these bridal websites they have sample dresses on sale for less then $100 and one of those could be the one!

There are also stores like J Crew and BCBG that have bridesmaid sections to order dresses. Don’t dismiss Urban Outfitters, Modcloth, Plasticland, FredFlare, Avantgaudy and some of those other “Indie” clothing stores. A lot of them have large dress sections with some very classy looking dresses. There is also Zappos which is not just shoes, Bluefly.com, and places like TJ Maxx and Filene’s basement carry a lot of designer dresses at discounted prices. Who cares if it was 3-4 seasons ago, that makes it better in my opinion because no one else is likely to have it or wear it! Remember Prom dresses do not always have to be this big extravagant taffeta ball gown. They are whatever makes the girl happy that fit with the guidelines of that school. If I had the variety in dresses when I was in school that the girls have today I would for sure have spent a lot less money and headache looking for what I wanted. For the recent generations they have the entire expansion of the internet virtually as a portal of stores at the tips of their fingers.

Lastly if they are really digging for inspiration they can check out some fashion blogs on the internet. Some of my Favorites that wear a lot of dresses are Weardrobe, Gala Darling, Doe Deere Blogzine, Keiko Lynn, Glamourai, and the website Polyvore.

Polyvore can be a great tool not only to look for dresses but also to accessorize once you have found the perfect one. It is like an internet collage that you can make taking images from different websites and combining them into one and share them with other members or e-mail to friends for opinions.

For my parting words I just want to remind you what is really important in prom. You want to keep reminding your kids it is just another dance and it is more important that they have fun and make positive memories then become the gaudy Prom Queen who gets a flimsy crown. Heck if they want a crown go buy them one! It’s not the end of the world if they can’t find that perfect dress, it’s only as bad and they envision it. Keep positive and keep pumping all the positive things going on for them and it’ll make it that less painful. Think of Prom as a good time to teach your kids the importance of the bigger things in life like budgets, courtesy and patience and that might help you keep your sanity as well. If you get wrapped up in the hype then it does no one any good.

 It’s just another dance a little fancier and at the end of the year.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It talks to me

For me choosing fabrics and what I am going to make is a very organic process.  I see fabrics or materials and they instantly talk to me and tell me what they want to be made into.  I find it much harder to design and then pick a new fabric out.  I work much better just buying something on a whim and making it work.  Almost everything I buy fabric for that is planned out does not turn out as I would of wished it to.  Usually I end up scraping that idea and re-working the pattern and re draping it all into something much more fantastic.

Currently I am nearly done with this piece of  Leather.  It told me it wanted to be a pintucked wrap skirt.

Now I am in the process of encrusting the closing flap with Swavorski crystals and glass beads.
From Drop Box
It was a bit laborious going through this on my Innov-is 80 Brother machine but she toughed it out and all I needed was to change my leather needle about 3 times.  I'm always suprised how well that little electronic machine can handle heavy fabrics.  Still I prefer my Sears Kenmore for heavy leather.  It was a good experiment.

Very soon I am getting a new machine!  The Brother sewing and embroidary machine Innov-is 900D!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hand and Lock - Colors and Fabric

I just made my order today for my Hand and Lock competition fabrics.  I am using Silk Organza for the body and Cotton Jersey for the beading underneath.  I am also getting some worsted weight cotton yarn to do some cording.  All bought from Dharma Trading Company.  Yes the website looks cheesy BUT they have incredible prices on dyes, natural fabrics and yarns and many other assortments of things.  I was able to get an 11 yard bolt of 100% silk 45" wide Silk Organza from them for less then $40 which is AMAZING.  I could fathom making my own wedding dress if the price is that low.   If you checked out the website you'll notice it all comes either white or natural colors in the fabrics and yarns.  Personally I think that is fantastic, since you can then dye the colors to suit what you want and need.   Perfect for this contest since I wanted to experiment with some ombre on the sleeves.   It will also make it so much easier to match my colors.

Speaking of colors I was looking for inspiration swatches for them since some of them seemed unfamiliar to me.  The following are all the colors in my portion of the brief that I am supposed to be using.
The pictures are of the following Indigo, Indigo, Antique blue, Blue Smoke, Crystal, Azure, Lead, Azure, Light Foam, Sky Blue, Sea Breeze, and Crystal.