My passion flower…

Flower Power

Spring is almost here, which means I am ready to switch out my warmest sweaters and coats with light, fresh summertime dresses and getting the itch to re-create some of my favorite Spring 2018 runway looks.

Each spring and fall I feature ways to re-create the top runway looks (past recreations can be found here, here, here and here)  through sewing and some accessory purchases.  Some of the hottest trends this spring include boldly colored graphic prints, checks, sorbet and pastel colors (especially lavender), fringe, and florals (my favorite trend of all).

I plan on making at least one version of the Vanessa Bruno gown for the summer.  Not only is this a garment that could hide all flaws, it would also be the perfect garment for a beginner sewer to attempt.  Honestly, it would probably take someone longer to pin snd cut the pattern than to sew it.

The Cushnie et Ochs and Alice & Olivia recreations require a bit more sewing skill but would be well worth the effort to make.  How cool would that Cushnie et Ochs dress and a moto jacket look paired together? Or mixing a floral moto jacket with faded jeans, a tank top, and strappy heels for a rocking night out on the town?  The possibilities are only limited by your creativity, personal style, and flowers of choice!

Cushnie et Ochs
earrings  |  ribbon  |  fabric  |  shoes
Vanessa Bruno
tote earrings  |  fabric  |  shoes
Alice & Olivia
earrings  |  fabric  |  shoes
*Passion Flower – Ella Fitzgerald & Duke Ellington



Heads are a science apart…

“Eye” by Suk-Joon “Peter” Hong

I am always interested when opposite worlds transect.  Last week, I was able to assist a promising Pharmacology postdoctoral fellow with her ArtLab: Exploring the Intersection between Art and Science project, which happens to be something I’ve been passionate about for a very long time… Continue reading “Heads are a science apart…”

Taking care of business…

Basmati Yokes

I’ve been feeling guilty about all of my unfinished projects, which I rediscovered while cleaning our computer/music/craft room (aka: The Pit).  Among the projects squirreled away in various boxes I found:

  • ‘Blues for Allah’ Tribute Jacket*
  • Basmati Bag #1 Embroidered Jacket Back**
  • Basmati Bag #2 Embroidered Jacket Back**
  • Calvin & Hobbes Embroidered Guitar Strap
  • ‘9 Albums’ Embroidered piece
  • ‘My Two Daughters’ pencil drawing

The ‘Blues for Allah’ jacket is part of my long-running series of *Tribute Jackets© which I have been painting for many years.  I replicate iconic rock album covers onto the backs of Levi’s denim jackets as a way of honoring the awesome artwork which contributed to some of the best rock music – and bands – of all time.  My **Basmati Bag Backs© start with burlap rice bags, which I elaborately embroider before affixing to a Levi’s jacket.

I have come to believe these half-completed creations are ’blocking my blessings’ and am determined to complete at least a few of them so I can free some of my mental creative space for new projects I am excited to begin.

I think I will start with Basmati Bag #2, which is a present for my big sis.  True story, I was ¾ of the way finished with this jacket when I lost my workbag containing the two embroidered front yokes during one of my travels.  That pissed me off so much I put the project aside for what is now approaching 2 years. High time I took it out of the box it has  been living in, dusted everything off, and got busy.  Progress updates will be forthcoming…

*Taking Care of Business – Bachman Turner Overdrive

Dark and grey…

Midi 3 Way

Each season I feature ways to re-create my favorite runway looks (my 2016 recreations can be found here, here and here).  Some of the hot trends for Fall 2017 include fringe, checked fabrics, velvets, midi length skirts and dresses, broad shoulders and the color grey – all featured above.  After countless hours spent viewing the shows from New York, Milan, London and Paris I keep coming back to the fashions created by Lela Rose, Victoria Beckham, Christian Siriano, Isabel Marant and Michael Kors.

Any of the ‘3 Midi’s’ pictured above (all from Michael Kors Fall 2017 collection) would be easy to sew and flattering to almost everyone.  Of course, some basic pattern alteration would be required (either by extending hemlines and/or altering the skirt side seam angles) but anyone with moderate sewing skills could easily make the changes before cutting out the pattern.  After you’ve finished the garment accessorize as you see fit and you’ll be ready to rock fall…

Perfume |  Earrings   |  Skinny Belt   |   Gloves  |   Ankle Booties
Perfume   |   Earrings   |   Bag  |   Pumps
Perfume Earrings   |  Belt  |   Bag  |   Boots

Next up – more of my ‘Recreating the Runway’ series featuring my favorite floral and velvet looks.

*Dark and Grey – Kid Rock

Must be the season of the witch…

Green and grey and black (aka: Halloween Mantle 2017)

The only time I feel inspired to decorate my home is between summer’s end and Christmas. Now that it is ‘officially’ fall I am planning my Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas mantle looks (see my 2016 looks here and here).

This Halloween I am feeling inspired by the way black, silver, grey, dirty white and olive green look together.  I will reuse my ‘Boo’ sign, buy a few led candles, ravens and assorted lanterns, and make the black feather wreath, branch bunches, and lace-covered, velvet, and glittered pumpkins.  Check back over the next few weeks as I post a few easy-to-follow ‘ tutorials and to compare how closely the eventual reality matches my vision.

*Season of the Witch – Donovan

I could make a transformation…

Lily Clayton Hansen Quote Transformed

I recently changed jobs and now get to work around and with art every day.  I’ve always been good at incorporating my own graphic and stylistic sensibilities into whatever project I am working on but its been many years since art was truly part of my day-to-day responsibilities. I’m not going to lie: it feels a little like a treat each time I open my office door and realize I get to spend the day surrounded by drawings, paintings, photographs, and sculpture… Continue reading “I could make a transformation…”

My sweet potato pie…

Eat your veggies

I no longer plant my own vegetable garden (thank you deer!) but it hardly matters since I have access to three different farmer’s market close to my home from May through October.  I love to wander the stands and load up on corn, tomatoes, herbs, eggs, melons, and baked goods.  One of my favorite things to make with my fresh veggies is a summer vegetable tart….. Continue reading “My sweet potato pie…”

She sewed my new blue jeans…

Tools of the [sewing] trade
I have started to teach 6 co-workers, who range in age from 26-40, how to sew. We meet each Friday afternoon and spend a few hours sharing lunch, chatting, and discussing all things sewing.  Three are novice seamstresses and the others rank somewhere along the beginner spectrum.  I’ve been sewing for as long as I can remember so I had to really think back to what my grandmother and mother taught me, and combine that with what I learned during my fashion design training to create my own ‘learn to sew’ series.  In other words, always begin with the baby steps.

The first baby step will be to assemble a basic sewing kit, which will come in handy whether one ends up sewing or not.  I’ve suggest visiting JoAnn or Walmart or surfing Amazon to purchase the following:

Over the summer my plan is to teach the group hand sewing stitches and techniques, sewing machine use and maintenance, fabric and pattern skills, and help the group with their first sewing projects (which include a pillow/comforter set for a doll, making a throw pillow cover with a zipper, a full skirt, and a table runner).

Are you a sewer?  What sorts of things do you like to make? Do you have any tips or wisdom I can pass along to my sewing circle? I’d love to know…

*House of the Rising SunThe Animals

Long cool woman in a black dress…


Last weekend I made myself a kimono dress.  Next up is a dress guaranteed to remind me of 70’s summers spent attending concerts like Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, and the Dead.  I had at least 3 different versions of this dress as a teen and loved each one.

The Alice & Olivia Spring 2017 runway look pictured above reminds me of those maxi dresses of my youth.  To recreate the look I plan on using lightweight solid rayon challis for the skirt, a contrasting embroidered cotton print for the bodice and straps, and some complimentary jacquard and satin ribbons for the trim.  All I need to complete the look is a pair of hoop earrings, some espadrille wedgies and a concert ticket (or two)!

*Long Cool Woman (in a black dress)The Hollies

Summer’s here and the time is right…

It doesn’t matter what you wear

Even though summer doesn’t officially begin until June 21st the season always starts on Memorial Day weekend for me.  I can finally pull out my lightweight clothing, go to the beach, and work in the garden (and on my tan) until the skeeters drive me inside.  I tend toward no-fuss easy pieces, with dresses being my ‘go to’ item to wear – or make.

With rain in the forecast this weekend I plan on recreating one of my favorite looks from the Spring 2017 runways – the kimono wrap dress.  It’s such a classic style that flatters most wearers regardless of size or shape.  Plus, kimonos are incredibly easy garments to make.  You can find patterns at Burda and Vogue, and almost any solid or print fabric from gauzes to embroidered cottons to silks will work.  After that, all you need are some sexy shoes and a minimalist piece of jewelry to be ready for dancing in the streets (or anywhere else your summer takes you).

*Dancing in the Street  – Martha and the Vandellas