Friday, January 18, 2013

A little hand beading... What do I do with it now???

Last week, while my sewing studio was being used as a upholstery room, I took the time to work on some hand beading.

I took a class on hand beading back in November and finally had the time to play with the skills I learned.

Working on two very different projects gave me time to perfect the basics.

The first project was one that was a must to get done. This one is part of the wedding sewing. I must say I am glad to get it done and check that project off my list! It came out beautiful and my dd is extremely happy with how it turned out. This is a piece that she purchased. However, it was just not quite right.the color palette was too cool and it needed to be warmed up.

I first did a bit of deconstruction and then using some faux pearls I reworked the design and spent a couple hours one evening sewing the new beads on. The look is transformed, my daughter is so very happy, and i got to practice my hand beading basics! win-win all around!! I can't wait to show you the piece in use... You will have to wait until the wedding in July! (Hence the reason why the photo's are close ups and don't show the bigger detail)

This is the before photo

This is the after... No more gunmetal and now beautiful warm pearls.

This next one is the project that I have no idea what to do with!

The second project is one that I am very much enjoying and letting my creative process take over. It was very exciting to see what I came up with as I was stitching the beads on. I have a few spots left that i would like to still add beads to but am trying to figure out what the final project will be! The design is screen printed onto a piece of upholstery weight silk and measures about 5x7.

Close up detail

This truly is a works in progress because, while the beading portion may be almost finished, I still have no concrete plans for what the final project will be. I have some ideas...
- an evening purse using a metal snap frame. (Worried that the heavier weight of the fabric will make it difficult to set in the frame)
- an evening clutch (I have a big enough piece to do it all out of this ivory silk or could use some blue silk dupioni or tussah as part)
- worked into the design of a bigger hand bag
- a framed piece of art to hang on the wall
- a small boudoir pillow (my room is not in blues and I have plenty of other 'stuff' already in it!)
- incorporated into a piece of clothing like a vest or jacket. (Worried about the fabric weight difference)

As you can see I really have no idea! And I don't want it to just sit in a cupboard in my sewing room hiding for all it's life because I can't figure out what to do with it, too pretty for that!

Any body have any ideas?

- Posted by Steph from my iPad

Location:Lisle, IL

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Helping with a custom made chair for a graduate class

This last week my future son-in-law, Dorian Janowicz, invaded my sewing studio with a project. He is in the last semester of his graduate work for his architecture degree. This particular class called, Motivated Portables, was a design class where the students had to design and build either a chair, table or lamp.

He decided to go for a chair. His particular design is quite creative and converts from a foot rest/ottoman type to an actual chair. During the course of the class he periodically called me up to discuss fabric types, fabric design and possible things he was thinking of doing. It was very interesting to be a sounding board to help in his creative process! In the process I also learned several new things, like using and applying seat webbing to a chair base.

The final steps of the upholstery process required him bringing the chair home to my sewing room over the holiday break and actually doing the final upholstery work. I spent time, several days!, walking him through how to make a flat pattern from measurements, how to make a muslin, refining fit and design ideas and applying snaps.

The final outcome is quite nice! I am very proud of what he was able to accomplish. The chair will be in the final gallery show for the class next weekend.

- Posted by Steph from my iPad

Location:Lisle, IL

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Material Translations: an exhibit at Chicago Art Insitute

Last weekend my family and I took advantage of the Bank of America free museum weekend pass. The first weekend of every month in many cities Bank of America customers can go to certain museums for free.

The Chicago Art Institute is on the list!

There is an excellent exhibit going on until April on Japanese Fashion called Material Translations: Japanese Fashion from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

The website describes the exhibit below:

* Presented in the museum’s dramatic Ando Gallery, this exhibition provides examples of the most innovative designs from the 1980s through the 2000s. One is a radical concept by Rei Kawakubo, her 1983 sack dress that characterizes the aesthetic of poverty—concealing, not revealing the female form in muted color. In another garment, Kawakubo befittingly and humorously embodies the meaning of her design label Comme des Garçons (literally translated as "like some boys') with her adaptation of a ballet dancer's nylon and polyester skirt laced with heavy cowhide. The companion jacket, whose pattern was developed from the fabrication of a baseball mitt, likewise contrasts feminine and masculine. Also included are recently acquired designs inspired by anarchic currents of youthful expression by Jun Takahashi of Undercover. A site-specific video projection by artist Jan Tichy, Installation no. 16, complements the bold fashions on display.

This exhibition marks the first collaboration between the FRC and the museum, as well as the first time that fashions from this collection are on public view. *

It is an amazing collection! I could have spent several hours taking in all the details.

- Posted by Steph from my iPad

Location:Chicago, IL

What to do with all your old Christmas Cards...

Make Christmas gift tags for next Christmas!

- Posted by Steph from my iPad

Location:Lisle, IL

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me and Happy New Year to us All!

Currently writing this form the comfy confines of my PJ's and the couch as my family and I spend the rest of New Years Day watching Harry Potter movies and try to recuperate from last nights festivities!

A little Champagne to celebrate my Birthday!

Let's back up 2 days to Sunday. Sunday was my birthday and it as a great one :) I spent it with my family and that always makes for a good day. While my daughter and her fiancé cooked me dinner, my hubby helped to set up my birthday gift. A 32" flat screen TV and blue ray/DVD/smart hub box. I had no idea of all the cool things that could be done with brand new technology! It all hooks up wirelessly to the Internet. I can play movies and fitting and sewing DVD's and Craftsy classes all on this big screen. Very exciting for me! I also got a wonderful sound system for my iPod/iPad to play my music beautifully. Now I may never leave my sewing studio!

Above: my new TV (need to get longer cables to move the boxes to the shelf and off my cutting table)
Below: the new speakers for my listening pleasure.

After the excitement of the new technology, I was treated to an amazing dinner of homemade pierogi. We head meat, potato and cheese pierogi with sour cream and sauerkraut. It was all so wonderfully delicious and such a special treat. I also got to Skype with my little brother in the Netherlands with his girlfriend and my sister who is there visiting for the holidays.

The awesome cooks and the delicious dinner! What a great birthday!

For New Years Eve we hosted a party that lasted to the wee hours of the night, with consumption of many goodies, lots of libations (I may have had several too many...), fun games and happy times ringing in 2013 with great friends and people we love! We had friends sleeping on all available air mattresses in the den, the sewing studio, the front room. The last eleven of us went out for breakfast and then everyone chipped in and my house was cleaned up and back in order lickity split!

The front room all decorated and ready for a party!

Me: looking very thoughtful and/or a little out in space!

Gathering in the kitchen!

Julinda (my "other" daughter) and I. Both looking quite sassy!

Nothing cures a hangover like a good 'ole diner breakfast!

I hope everyone got to celebrate bringing in the New Year with great friends and loved ones!

Cheers for a great 2013!

- Posted by Steph from my iPad