Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I Baggu, do you?

A few weeks ago there was this Lucky deal for 50% off of Baggu leather products in Black.  I thought why not. Instead of paying $120 for a small leather back it cost me $60. I realized when I got the package that I have never actually ordered from Baggu before.  I fill up my cart and then I forget about it or realize I already have a ton of totes and reusable bags or that I can make that cute zipper pouch myself. Well with the leather bag I figured I would use it like an instant purse to carry only essentials when I am on the run like my wallet, kindle, keys and lipgloss, maybe a small digital camera and my flip.

 The packaging was about as minimal as possible, which was nice.

Folding out the bag the leather is super soft and supple.  I wish you could feel the gorgeous of it's buttery surface. Although the shape is just that of a normal Baggu bag. I think for $120 it's a bit much, in fact a total splurge. Even though I only spent $60 I still consider it a total splurge.

The interior is raw and just as soft.  I was hoping for maybe a little interior pocket or lining at such a high price point for a bag that is only 10"x18.5"x3.5". I may sound like a naysayer but I love this bag and I am glad that I snagged it. It does work perfectly for a "to go" purse when I am doing a long shopping trip (like in Chicago) and it forced me to minimize what I carry. I was a little disappointed that the deal was only on the black color but now I'm glad it was because the black goes with everything, doesn't show dirt and even for a hobo type bag looks classy. I was even stopped and asked by someone at Nordstorms where I picked it up at. My one hesitation with raw leather is that it can leave some of the oils on whatever things you put inside of it. It didn't discolor anything I had in there but they were mostly black or patent leather, but I did notice the oil on the face of my phone. By the end of the weekend it wasn't giving me that problem anymore but it was just something to be cautious about with a new bag.

If I was someone of more means in money I would like to pick up another one or two in different colors and perhaps try the larger size as well. Alas I am a poor fashionista relaying on coupons and internet offers to enjoy some of life's finer things.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Welcome to Instagram

Now with the release of Instagram for the Droid I have jumped the bandwagon. It's so easy now to take those instant photos with just my camera phone. The quality isn't as good but it works for the instant. I like to think of it as digital Polaroids where the quality isn't so great but the memories are there. It captured my weekend in Chicago pretty decently but I also have photos from my DSLR to upload. That is the other convenient thing of this whole Instagram is that I don't have to pull out additional cords or mess with a SD card to bring it up on the web Instantly.

A new shape of eyeliner that I've been dabbling with. It makes me look a little bitchy and I am OK with that.

The now classic feeling of vintage Singer sewing machine wall from All Saints now open in Chicago.

My new buddy Gustav the Ram but I like to call him a Goat because it works better with his name.

My new shoes from Top Shop for only $70 on sale! this picture doesn't even do their shine justice.

The other nice thing about Instagram is that is much easier for me to remember to take progress photos of work that I have been doing. I certainly don't think I could do a very intensive tutorial with them but I like to be able to look back at different stages of progress. I can also take a snapshot to post as soon as I finish a work, then I can go back and DSLR it for a quality blog post.

My weaving from class before I took it off the loom.

Bruised #2 Embroidery

Scab #2 Embroidery

Scab #1 Embroidery

Beading loom work that I started the other night.

Yup you can get a lot shared via Instagram but I'm still working on my photography skills so I get better images for the blog without relaying on pretty filters. I'm going to try and limit myself to no more then one post a week that uses my instagram photos. Otherwise you can see them on this Tumblr, or off my Twitter.

Friday, April 13, 2012


 For craft shows and my etsy I started to make these Kanzashi like flowers a couple years ago.  I just looked up images and found a little tutorial but then I started to expand on it on my own to try some different things. They are usually clustered flowers put on headpieces or hairpins for Geisha or special occasions.  I just found the technique so enthralling because it dealt with fabric folding I wanted to put my hand on it.

I've been trying to do more research about it and I even have a few books from japan on construction but recently I found this nice little chart explaining about how their wear is seasonal depending on the flowers in bloom, which I found charming.  I would also like to eventually do larger scale hair pieces as the ones pictured.

I Scanned these Pages out of a book called "Geisha" that I found at work.

II am definitely going to work on incorporating some of these traditions into the new batch I am planning to make for the fall shows.  I've been scared to try the streamer's and vines but I think this is the year that I'll conquer that.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

TiLT - Random Joy

For this week I will have no numbering just a simple list of photos and captions for why I love these things. These are the things that are making my life a lot brighter and fulfilled right now.

Sleeping  kitty in the sun.  Franklin looks so peaceful, hard to tell what a little jerk he is tearing up houseplants and swapping at your heels when you go up the stairs.

Huge umbrellas in Little Tokyo, LA on the pavilion. They were lightly decorated with Sakura blossoms.  It just had this grand effect for something so simple.  I think on a sunny day it would of been nice to sit underneath and eat some mochi ice cream.

Little Tokyo in General was just amazing and I loved it! I'm so glad that I was able to go there and experience it. I wish there was something as cute and together as this in NYC but I'm still happy to go to the KinoKuniya book store.

My first time at a revolving Sushi bar!

So much sushi, in so little time.  We stacked about 10 plates in 15 minutes as soon as we started eating.  It was well worth it and something I will seek out in any city that I visit from now on.

My first love is always meat.
All you can eat Korean BBQ in LA certainly spoiled me. I had gone to them before in Chicago but not like this. It was super cheap too, only $17 a person.  We made 4 orders of at least 3 different types of meat combinations each.

The grill was enormous and stone. I hadn't seen anything like that since I was in Korea.

A warm little fire in the middle of our table at the Cafe was perfect for the cool evening.  Where I ended my LA food adventures with delicious Bpat Bin soo.

This is my absolute most FAVORITE dessert.  Lightly sugared shaved ice with fresh fruit, sweet red beans, and Dduk (mochi).  This was a helping big enough for 3-4 people, I ate most of it.

And with this week's TiLT it concludes my trip to LA photos. I hope you all get to enjoy some good eats this coming weekend and take in the things you love to make life a little more pleasant as we deal with this final cold snap in the OH.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Sorry the updates haven't been as frequent I've been struggling to get myself together with the end of some of the largest projects I've done and the start over of working on a new portfolio giving myself the entire year to dedicate to myself and my own work. I was admiring a bruise my friend Claire had and felt inspired to get back into some art making observations on the body and working it into my neuron theory. It is somewhat suitable for me right now to think about bruises because that's a bit how I feel right now. This bit of nagging pain that when you poke it it hurts more but eventually it will heal. Finding motivation to finish something has been hard. I have a cardigan left to knit, a dress left to knit, blanket I have slowly been crocheting and another blanket I have been working on hand quilting.

The things I really need to do is getting to work on my Helena Bonham Carter Collection and back to my neurons. This bruising embroidery is a good first step and a small project that doesn't feel overwhelming at the moment. It also does not help that I have been fiddling my time away with some video games (Kid Icarus 3DS, which is fantastic by the way) and the Hunger Games books. I've told myself and some friends I will be back on my regular program of fashion and art by May. May is always a good deadline for me because it's around my Birthday.

One change I've made for the better has been some bangs!
I've also done a bit of shopping when I really need to be saving. My hubby has been a downer on my potential trip to Korea but I'm going to keep bugging him because it's really important to me.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Burday Style - OOTD

After having completed some major projects I feel a little bit in a slump.  I have another three lined up that I am brainstorming on but I'm finding it hard to put them into process. I decided I would take this doldrum to explore a few things I have been interested in.  One of which has been sewing using one of the new Burda Style patterns from their online site. The idea of having all these cheap patterns on hand seems great for the avid or recreational seamstress. I went for a $2.50 Pattern called the Linda skirt.  Simple A-line that is always classic, although I have my own pattern for this I thought it would be interesting to test the print at home abilities and their sizing for patterns.

28 pages printed later I have this.
Which will need to look like below after being taped together for it to work.

I begin taping pieces together only where it is necessary.  Working on it row by row and using my pattern weights to hold the pieces together and straight. It shows to cut off the extra slivers of paper between the pattern pieces but I don't want to waste time doing that, so I folded them down and make the edges crisp with a bone folder.

As you can see now everything matches up perfectly.  Luckily the seam allowance of 5/8" is already included so there is a little room for error in the pattern.

Piece by piece I think this actually took longer then the sewing of the skirt itself.  If you got off on one part it would set every part after that off skew by an increasing amount.  There was much cursing and repositioning.  If you do this, please use a low residue tape at first and then you can secure it down later, though I doubt many people would use the same pattern more then once unless they transferred it to butcher block paper.

I think it took me about an hour to get this all completed before you have to now cute it all apart.  Seems a little pointless I know but this is how patterns work. Repetition and a lot of prep time to make sure the end product is done just right.  My only mishap was in the far left bottom where you can see the "burda style" logo is a square that I didn't measure.  It is supposed to be a 4x4" square and if it is not then you need to adjust your pattern or grade it. Apparently my square was too small because the entire pattern was 7" too small. This I did not know till later when I cut out the fabric pieces.

Anyways if you were smart enough to measure the square and not ignore it such as I did after the adjustments was cutting it out.  Each dotted line represented a different size, which is always nice to see the grading changes.

Honestly at this point sewing was the easy thing for me.  It called for a folded waist band and top stitch seam but of course I like to make things more difficult for myself and did a stitch in the ditch seam for the waistband.

I love the clean look of a stitch in the ditch waistband seam. When a skirt can be so simple it's nice to add in that extra touch of tailoring that most likely no one else will see but you know it's quality.

My fix of the skirt being too small was adding in 4" panels to each side seam and luckily I had not cut out my waist band so I made the pattern adjustments before cutting that from the fabric.  Adding the panels put in more fullness to my skirt and I clearly am a lot shorter then the model in the photo.  Their skirt hits her right below the knees where my version ended up touching the tops of my ankles.
Just another reminder to check your pattern lengths against you body before you commit to your final fabric.

Skirt - DIY from Linda pattern on Burda Style with Ikea upholestry fabric
Pop Killer Geisha T-shirt - Pop Killer in LA Little Tokyo
Green Cardigan- Express
Gold Chunky platforms - BCBGeneration

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

City Sights

Looking around at all the structures in Downtown LA it was kind of amazing.  Their old signs on their buildings and the shapes of their architecture.  It's a mix of broken down and new all over the place.  I was very fond of the fire escapes.  I would never climb them but they make for some pretty additions to the buildings.  Clean lines and repetition remind me of smocking in garments.  Because doesn't it just always come down to clothes for me?

This was a back area at the end of Santee Alley.  Another example of how amongst the hold they injected something new.

This food stand in the middle of nowhere as we were walking towards the bus stop.  It just screamed local and lovely to me.  Advertising plain as day with no gimmicks just the way I like it.

This sign was just charming to me. It looks like something someone would of done in printmaking for a t-shirt where you fill in the board with your own quirky comment or quote.

This was the outside of the Koreatown Mall.  It made me miss Korea tons!  Super modern and clean with stores inside bartering in only Korean goods with a grocery located on the first floor.

Even their advertisements were like an implant from Korea, sporting their flower boys and random English text to promote god knows what

In the middle of it all was this park with an enormous pond (ok maybe small lake).  We took a short respite here while we figured our barrings to the next destination. Better place then most to sit at while lost and heading to dinner.

I still never get used to seeing the Palm Trees everywhere.  Especially since it was cooler weather while I was there.  We were lucky there was no rain and just sun everyday except for our last.