creativity


05.01.08 {springish baubles | one}

Happy May Day, my dears! Hurrah for May! I love May more than any other springtime month… and it’s not just because my birthday is nestled in. hehe.

The weather and general excitement over the springishness is causing me to contemplate season-appropriate accessories. Rhiannon posted this beautiful photo a month ago. It’s been stuck in my mind ever since! I used to wear flowers in my hair occasionally, but during the wintertime I generally don’t–mostly because I think I’d look rather ridiculous traipsing through snow with a flower stuck in my hair! lol.

05.01.08 {springish baubles | five}

The other day I was in Michael’s during a routine “eraser-run” for my always-sketching sister, and spotted their single-stem florals were 50% off. So of course, having spotted some pretty silk flowers a few weeks ago (and not wanting to pay full price), I snatched up a few picks; two “gigantic” and a stem of small, red flowers. I snapped the heads off (eek! lol), was happy to discover that they actually glue together the layers of silk flowers now (so they don’t pop apart like they used to when you pulled the wire stems out), and trimmed down the plastic connectors.

05.01.08 {springish baubles | three}

[ its a snap! ]

I glued them all to clip-style barrettes (tip: open the barrettes before you glue the flowers on), and used hot glue to attach the flower heads to the barrettes. I know some people use oversized bobby pins instead of barrettes, but I’ve always had a hard time with those sliding out of my hair over time. For under $5, I have five floral barrettes to embellish my hair-do’s! I am definitely dying to wear the large flowers soon–they’re so dramatic! I think, however, I do need to make some in other than pink or red–I have a tendency to get “stuck” on just those hues when it comes to selecting flowers! hehe!

So, now that I’ve dragged you through the tutorial portion of this post, it’s time to get to what you really want to know: the winner of the giveaway! Using the age-old tradition of putting all the names in a bowl and pulling one out (I’m still so old-fashioned this way!), I found the winner…

Renee!!!

Congrats!!! I think these little drawings are way too much fun; perhaps I’ll have another later this month. So keep your eyes peeled!

Have a lovely Thursday… I shall be back tomorrow with my weekly round up of links and other inspiration; and perhaps some reporting on the craft/creativity front!

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After days of furious coding, databases crashing (not my fault…), late nights, and trying not to change the design yet again, I have a portfolio website!

04.27.08 { new site | one }

I’m so ecstatic! In the process I also moved my blog, and the new address is: http://blog.caseybrowndesigns.com. As with my last blog-move, I’ll be posting in conjunction with the “old” blog for a week, and then will permanently move to the new home. So please adjust your feeds (sorry about this–I know it’s so annoying!).

04.27.08 { new site | two }

So what do you think? I’ve been attempting to move away from my Elegant Musings moniker for awhile; it’s been an online identity I’ve had since my late teens and doesn’t quite fit anymore. Its a huge leap of faith for me–I’m really nervous people will view my blog/work differently (in a less friendly/approachable way; does that make sense?). But after talking with Kate a few weeks back about establishing an professional presence online, I know that this is the right move. Especially as I’ve been getting more work in the graphic design field and realizing that I really needed a portfolio!

There will be a few changes to the site and blog. Elegant Musings will still be maintained as a place to house my favorite inspiration images. I love sharing those with y’all! The site will probably be restructured later this year to reflect the changes, but will remain at it’s current address.

04.27.08 { new site | three }

Here’s a preview of some of the exciting stuff I’m working on for the new portfolio and revamped blog!

– The blog will be restructured a tiny bit. I still plan on writing about my sewing and other projects, but I also really want to bring in topics like art and design; two things that are near and dear to my heart, yet I have rarely talked about online. I think I feel somewhat shy about thrusting them on my blog readers, since my blogging to this point has been so creativity-centric. Well, I guess it’ll still stay creative–just an expanded definition!

– I’ll also occasionally write about my latest projects/commissions. I realized after I posted Kate’s site that most of you had no idea I do this! hehe. I guess it’s because I have been kind of silent on that aspect, mostly because the freelance work didn’t start coming my way until January. So it’s all still new to me!

– There will be more freebies to download over the course of the summer. I have a lot of desktop backgrounds and other miscellaneous images/resources I’ve created over the years that I’m dying to share with y’all!

I want to thank everyone who has encouraged me (directly or not) during this process! Especially Kate for encouraging me to take the leap into my new identity, and Nubby Twiglet’s sage advice again and again about creating an effective website. And thank you all for following me around the last year as I’ve transitioned and been seeking to find my place in life. It really means a lot to me to have such a wonderful support system. You all are so sweet!

As of tomorrow, I’ll be back to my normal, blogging schedule–sorry about the lack of posts lately! I hope you have had a lovely weekend…

04.18.08 {portfolio | kate's site 01}

04.18.08 {portfolio | kate's site 2}

[ snippets of Kate’s website ]

Just popping up from my little hiding-spot behind my computer screen! I’ve spent a good deal of the week immersed in coding and design… In fact, I think I’ve become a wee bit obsessive lately–formatting and editing code until the wee hours. hehe! Anyway, I just finished working on a website for the lovely Kate! Her photography is really gorgeous–I just love the lush colors and the way she captures the scene. I was so tickled that she asked me to do this for her–go check out her beautiful work!

04.18.08 {portfolio | snippet}

[ a sneak-peek at my portfolio-in-progress! ]

I’m also busily working on my own website as I have little snippets of time. I think I must be the pickiest “client” ever–I’ve gone through four different design ideas in as many weeks! lol. I finally hit on a look that I feel both captures my design sensibilities, and allows my portfolio to be the main focus. Hopefully that’ll be up in a few weeks…

Anyway, I’m keeping this rather short because the Beau is visiting for a super-short weekend! I haven’t seen him in nearly a month, though it seems quite longer. We’re trying to cram all kinds of things in the couple of days he’s back: errands, catching up on ‘news’ and other important-things, celebrating his birthday… Problem is I’ve only got one half of his birthday gift. I purchased an amazing tshirt from Poison Apple Shirts, but the dive knife I wanted to get him isn’t in the local shop anymore. Oh well… I’m sure i can always find something.

Enjoy this week’s links. I hope you all have a absolutely fantastic weekend!!

 tutorial of recycling magazine pages into bubble mailers!
 I love the simplicity of this artist’s work [ via ]
 turn an old, chipped or broken platter into a mirror
 this photography is breathtaking [ via ]
 nubby kindly answered my font question with some fantastic resources!
 love the colors and linework of this art
 a super-helpful website/blog/book on running your own business

Cheers!

[ email me ]

p.s. Did you know Wendy’s new book is out??? I don’t know about you, but I’m saving up my pennies for this one!

04.14.08 {taking a break}

[ this has nothing to do with dresses–well not really; except these are the latest additions to the inspiration notebook! ]

The weekend is over already–I can’t believe it’s flown by. And my goodness–it’s already the middle of April! Thankfully, I did get a lot done on my research paper over the weekend; it was something I wasn’t looking forward to doing, if only because the topic was one I didn’t feel I had a good handle on. Happily I finished it by late yesterday and have handed it off to The Editor (aka my younger sister–she’s a real whiz at proofreading/editing!).

In the midst of being stuck for a few hours on the last page (why is it always the last one that is the hardest?!), I too a little time off to refocus and bring some clarity to my words. A few evenings ago, I struck upon the idea of refashioning this recent thrift find:

04.14.08 {before my scissors got to it!}

Its a very bright, vintage robe! I found it a couple weeks ago while thrifting, and was quite smitten with the shades of pink (it reminds me of the gorgeous azalea blossoms that are due to pop out all over the yards here in a few weeks!). I don’t use robes, however, so it was going to be one of those “pretty” things that just takes up space. Which right now is at a premium (you don’t want to know how packed my closet is!! hehe!). So, I thought, why not make a dress out of it?

04.14.08 {rasberry pink}

The end result isn’t that radical of a change, but I think makes for a very fun evening frock. I basically snipped off 15” from the hem, turned it up 2-¼” and hand hemmed it (the thing that took the longest… but looks very nice!). I added a snap to the cross-over so it stays snugly in place. The sleeve I trimmed down to elbow length and reattached the original cuffs. Quick and easy!

Lately I’ve been feeling quite guilty about simply not having the time to sew from scratch (aka a length of yardage, a sewing pattern–you know, actually cutting out a pattern and constructing it from the flat pieces! lol!). But as my mom said: why sew from scratch when you can refashion successfully?! Hmm… sounds like good sense to me!

Finally, here is today’s Vintage Monday image!! I’ve lately been on a 1950’s kick–full skirts, cinched waist, trawling through Ebay trying to find the “perfect” 50’s summer frock! hehe! I love all the details on these; simple yet elegant. Enjoy.

04.14.08 {50's fun!}

Cheers!

[ email me ]

04.09.08 {the polka dot frock | one}

Its taken me a bit longer than I anticipated to finish this dress, mostly because I couldn’t decide whether I wanted a ruffle at the hem or not! And then I had to figure out what kind of trim? Sheer cotton voile, lace, or eyelet? *sigh* I can be such a picky-picky gal sometimes! hehe! In the end, I didn’t like the cotton ruffle, and haven’t really found any lace in my stash that goes well with the dress, so I left the hem bare (for now…). Instead my trusty, vintage petticoat will suffice to add some frill!

04.09.08 {the polka dot frock | original full length}

[ the original…

What started out as a rather dowdy, vintage Lanz dress I plucked from the rack a few weeks ago at a thrift store, had to be reworked! I fell in love with the whimsical sailor collar and bright polka dots (I have quite a collection of red polka dot frocks; I think this is my third or fourth!). But not the length, or the sleeves that hit at the wrong point of my arms (who ever thought it was a good idea to have sleeves that stopped right above the elbow?!), or the very high neckline (even for me).

04.09.08 {the polka dot frock | two}

Out came my trusty Gingher scissors and quick as lighting the hem was shortened, the sleeves removed, and neckline lowered! I rebound the armholes with pieces leftover from the hem reduction (lol!), and added a piece of vintage eyelet salvaged (from the ever-trusty 60’s lace dress) to the neckline. I love how fun and happy the dress looks!! Now that the weather is (finally) starting to cooperate and act springish, it quite matches my mood!

04.09.08 {the polka dot frock | three}

I admit, the whole look was somewhat inspired by the lovely lithograph posters of 19th century artist Jules Cherét. Th brightness and exuberance really struck a cord with me and this dress!

04.09.08 {the polka dot frock | four}

So, let’s see, this is my fourth refashion this year, I believe? (I’ve lost count… bad me!) As part of my “year without mass-retail” experiment, I’m quite delighted with how these restraints on what I can and can’t purchase is pushing the creativity envelope! Somehow, I don’t feel as… encumbered by the offerings of the stores and what the going “look” is. I’m much more excited to strike out on my own–so abstaining from purchases of a clothing-nature (at least at the mall–no one said anything about thrifting! hehe!) has been a bit easier. I even find that because I’m not allowed to go to the mall to shop, I actually shop less; its no longer quite the recreational activity it used to be. So in turn I’m consuming less, and spending less. Even with my thrifting I’ve become pickier: if I can’t foresee using a garment as-is, or being able to easily refashion it, then I put it back on the rack!

04.09.08 {the polka dot frock | five}

Anyway, I’m off to do some work and homework! I’ve been busy work on websites and logos, and all manner of fun graphic designs lately! (As well as some top-secret personal projects… look for a debut in a month or so!) Oh yes, and enjoying this sunny day! I want to thank you so much for your sweet comments and emails of late–I’m so tickled that you enjoy my silly ramblings! hehe!

I hope you all are having a lovely day wherever you are!

Cheers!

[ email me ]

04.04.08 {twitter}

Oh dear! I missed a day of Nifty Thrifty posts… looks like I’ll have to play “make up” tomorrow, perhaps? hehe! Anyway, I will do today’s installment later this afternoon. For now, I hope you enjoy these links to various, inspiring spots about the web I stumbled upon this week!

Oh, and I must tell you that Bead Simple is turning out to be quite a favorite book around here; I’ve finally been poking about in my stash of bits and bobbins. I unearthed a pretty wren (I think… I’m so bad with bird species!) ornament I bought after Christmas. I thought it would make a fetching necklace pendent, but I never found a necklace suited to attach it to. So yesterday evening I pulled out some chain, a few beads I scrounged from an old rummage-sale necklace, and voila! Perfectly suited to the spring weather, don’t you think?

 a thought-provoking post on the current state of fashion
 brilliant method for repairing torn tissue sewing patterns!
 inspiring interview with design-extordinaire Nubby Twiglet
 these sweet images make me smile! [ via ]
 a whole site of found snapshots [ via ]
 gorgeous artwork by Hillary Webb
 a fun way to use orphaned belt buckles!
 dreamy frocks and more…
 a variety of snazzy, easy-to-make headbands! [ via ]

I’m off to spend a day of poking around in thrift shops with my mom (we’ve been planning this for months and schedules just haven’t meshed! hehe!)!! Have a lovely Friday… stay tuned for the Nifty Thrifty post later on!

Cheers!

[ email me ]

03.31.08 {reading}

The weather has been going back and forth, forth and back, for the past two weeks. It is now starting to affect my head on a daily basis! I woke up this morning with the distinct impression that I had cotton stuffed between my ears… which has made my morning a rather muddled, and entertaining mess (thank goodness for to-do lists!)! hehe! So I apologize in advance if this post is a wee bit… well… out of it. lol.

I relaxed all weekend; which was nice after the ups and downs of the previous week. I try not to get into personal matters on this blog, but let’s suffice to say that we had a situation with an extended family member, taking up a good deal of emotional energy. Its been stressful for my parents especially, so I’ve been having to step in and “hold down the fort” as my daddy likes to say. hehe. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this week will be just a wee less dramatic. So, as a result, I feel rather bad that I don’t have a ton of exciting things to blog about this morning. But I hope you will understand…

I have been doing some reading–non-school reading! Hurrah! On Saturday afternoon, my sweet mum surprised me with my own copy of Bead Simple. Thank you, Mom!! I am now plotting what to make next… and being quite bad spending time searching through Etsy’s wonderfully-tempting bead supply category. I already made a few little purchases. hehe! But I’m trying to be a little good, and “go shopping” through my collection of vintage jewelry that I don’t wear often.

I’m also reading the utterly inspiring and delightfully-written Anti 9 to 5 Guide by Michelle Goodman (per Kate’s recommendation). I haven’t gotten terribly far in it yet, but the first chapter has made me feel quite a bit more at ease about my seeming “inability” to stay motivated working a normal job. hehe! I shall have a full review when I’m done!

Something I wanted to share with you all; a super-simple project that is perfect for adding a bit of sweetness to any outfit! Last week, in a fit of needing some new, pretty accessory for one of my “tried and true” outfits, I pulled out some antique dress trim and whipped up this little bow pin:

03.30.08 {

Its made from an antique, 1880s dressing gown I purchased years ago (the photo is of an art project that I showed last spring in the school-wide art show, in which I used this gown). Its falling apart, but the moire ribbons are still largely intact. Which means perfect for salvaging and reusing! Just stitched together and to a pin back, it makes for a quick, and interchangeable little bit of flair for any outfit! I’m thinking perhaps I need to make one up in a piece of wide lace as well–and maybe one of my favorite, vintage cotton prints (with the edges unfinished–just so it doesn’t get too time consuming and complicated!). Do you have any favorite, quick and easy tricks to liven up an outfit? Do share!!

Now for this week’s Vintage Monday feature! This is from a 1947 pattern catalog in my collection, which I am constantly referencing for ideas! Just look at the sweet ruffles and shirring along the skirt! Would be so pretty in a modern dress too, I think–perhaps with a more modern fabric or even something like a knit!

03.31.08 {vintage monday!}

Keep an eye out for the first Nifty Thrift post later this afternoon! I’m so excited to launch a week-long thrift-love fest!

Have a lovely Monday, my dears!!!

Cheers!

[ email me ]

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