04.04.08 {nifty thrift | instant fun!}

I was going to post this one on the fifth installment of Nifty-Thrifty, but I think I’ll switch the posts, and instead do my last post of “favorite finds” tomorrow! So instead, in keeping with the usual “Inspiration Friday” linkage, I’ve gathered a bunch of links on thrifting and recycling those finds–I hope you’ll all enjoy!!

04.04.08 {nifty thrift | ornate}

 Amanda’s fantastic list of thrifting tips!
 national directory of thrift stores (great especially for finding places when you’re travelling!)
 Lorimarsha makes some really swanky refashioned clothes
 painfully hip’s “thrift stars” category–quite inspiring
 Tricia is the Queen of Thrifting (in my humble opinion! hehe!)
 a wardrobe “thrift-along”! [ via ]

Know of any good thrifty-links? Please share!

[ Read the other Nifty-Thrift posts here. ]


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p.s. Curious about the photos? They’re a couple little treasures I picked up this afternoon whilst thrifting! Click on the images for more…


03.26.08 {mary quaint quote}

I still haven’t quite finished that dress I posted a sneak peek of on Monday (the polka-dot material was snipped from the most major alteration I did). It is just missing the voile ruffle, but I dare not show the entire piece until it is complete! hehe. Hopefully by Friday I shall have eked out an hour of sewing time to finish it…

Anyhow, I spent a little bit of time the other night, winding down with a cup of chamomile tea, my pretty little cahier (I found the website of the manufacturer–they are some other, absolutely delicious notebooks!), and a pile of inspiring images that had been sitting on my computer.

03.26.08 {art nouveau inspired}

As you can see by this page, Art Nouveau has been absorbing me quite a bit lately! Design History class this week we spent most of the three-hour class discussing the movement and viewing utterly gorgeous slides!! I was in heaven! I think I took nearly four pages of notes… hehe! I just love the color and vibrancy of line; I think it fits quite well with the mood springtime brings. Do you ever feel a stylistic look fits well with a particular season?

03.26.08 {unfinished details}

I think perhaps next week I shall declare it A Week of Thrifty Finds! I’ll post a photo (or two…) of some lovely goodies I have happened upon in the past months, since I have been so bad about sharing them (and its quite a pile now! hehe!). Is anyone else game for five days of blog and thrift-fun? Do let me know… perhaps we can organize an informal little something.

Oh, and before I dash off, I wanted to remind you that the deadline for signing up for the Creative Cacophony Swap is nearing! Be sure to drop me an email by Friday evening if you’d like to be included… I think it is going to be so much fun!!!

03.26.08 {japanese style}

Have a lovely Wednesday, all!!


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p.s. Ali, is having a week of Amelie themed posts!!! What a perfectly lovely idea… a whole week of basking in Amelie goodness! Read all the posts (thus far) here. Discovered via Frolic!.

Why is it, I wonder, that so many of the best creative ideas strike late at night, when one is tired and wants nothing more than to crawl into their comfy bed? But sleep is set aside in pursuit of this new idea, because one never knows when they’ve hit upon something worthwhile. So it must be tried and analyzed while eyes are drooping, and everything takes three times longer.

lady in the bonnet

I had an “ah-ha!” moment late last night; well not late, but I certainly was more than ready to retreat to my nice, warm bed. It was an idea that must have been percolating for some weeks, but came together all at once. I’ve always been a bit tentative about my artwork; I think because I’ve spent a great deal of time the past few years trying to make my art into a style that it isn’t–capture a viewpoint that I don’t really hold. So the past few days I’ve started to slowly go back to the more illustrative style I developed while I was still in highschool. A combination of 19th century fashion plates, Tasha Tudor and my favorite 19th century illustrators (Henry Clarke, Arthur Rackham, etc.). I feel more at peace now that I’m not sitting there thinking “this isn’t a valid piece of art because it doesn’t look perfect or like ‘X’.”

But I’m getting off the point. Anyway, yesterday I had a flash of inspiration and quickly gathered up my paints and chalk pastels. After a little while I emerged somewhat triumphant, covered with chalk dust, but very happy:

first experiment

I finally spent some time this morning linking my Thunderbird inbox with my Gmail account. Easy-peasy–I can’t figure out why I didn’t do it sooner! So, from now on hopefully I’ll be a bit better about replying to comments… hopefully!

drawing in process

I’d like to thank Ambika of Into the Fray for the awfully nice mention on her blog of my whale pins! (Thank you again, Ambika!) It always makes my day to know that my creative meanderings add a little brightness and joy to someone else’s life!

distant faces

Lastly, but certainly not least… I stumbled across a collection of daguerreotypes in the digital collection of the Library of Congress. I love early photography; particularly portraits. Besides being excellent for studying fashions of the era, I always ponder over the faces of people from the 19th century, wondering what they were like? There are many interesting and diverting early portraits in this database. I daresay it’ll take me awhile to get through it! But loads of inspiration!!

two women

Edited to add: If you search for “daguerreotype” from the photos and prints division hub, it’ll yeild many interesting photographs from the era. I love this one I stumbled upon… doesn’t it look positively spooky?

Have a lovely and inspired Tuesday!

Cheers & Creativity,
Casey [ email me ]

p.s. I stumbled across an interesting tutorial on the French-language Japan Couture Addicts blog about how to do a beautiful, pleated yoke. I can’t read a word of it (one day I’ll learn French!!), but the pictures are quite helpful, and I get the gist of it from those.

vintage goodies

Golly… I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for fourteen weeks! Though not entirely consecutive, since the first handful of Inspiration Week posts were sporadic at best. But now I’m in the habit and love sharing my weekly assortment of links found ‘round the web!

♥ inspiration [ week fourteen ] ♥
 miss gala reviews ameircan apparel garments
 an amazing textile artist [ via ]
 jenny talks about her inspiration notebook and the process of design
 the suburban queen weighs in on the beauty industry!
 yarndex: a new toy for the yarn-craft types! [ via ]
 old-fashion, almost hobo-esque fashion [ via ]
 the delicate artwork of hiromi sato [ via ]
 the perfect little gift to knit up for a wee someone on your holiday list!

Have a lovely Friday morning!

Cheers & Creativity,
Casey [ email me ]

mirror, mirror...

I’ve been s-l-o-w-l-y catching up on my blog feeds today. Perhaps I’m the only one who does this: but every time I get a little behind, especially on the blogs I love to read every day, I feel so “guilty” about not having read them, and just avoid my feeds altogether. lol. Funny how the human mind works, isn’t it? But my goodness, there have been some utterly interesting things that have been rooting around in blog land this week! I know its not Friday, but I must share a handful with you:

 camilla engman’s paper cut-outs
 liesl discovers nifty trick with a thread spool
 amazing fascinator made from a holiday decoration and netting! [ via ]

scottie tote

I’ve been keeping myself busy this afternoon with little Shoppe duties. I’m trying to restructure my days (again!) to fit around giving myself at least a three hour block in the afternoon to just create Shoppe inventory. The computer-end of the business has been a bit of a time-eater lately, so I’m trying to tell that bad little monster to just settle down! lol. The Scottie bag and more lace cockades (with more fetching names! hehe!) are my main occupation:

more lace cockades

Tonight I plan to finish that sketch I showed you all yesterday. I have a bad tendency with these sorts of illustrations to waffle forever on how I want the bodice necklines to be, and the trims… Golly, you’d think I was actually making these! lol. I think I finally found some ideas that I liked, and have started sketching them in a bit more, in a little more detail. I think afterward I’ll transfer it to a piece of Bristol and ink them in. The “Happy Holiday” message will be collaged (possibly… still working out this idea) in the center. Eeep! I’m getting fidgety to draw just talking about it! lol.

Back to work for this little gal… I’ve got a couple more important things to do (like finishing the cockades!). Then dinner, drawing and hopefully some knitting time! I managed to finish one sleeve on the Briar Rose bolero, but have yet to cast on the other… The pile of purple yarn is sitting atop the television cabinet, mocking me every time I set foot in the family room. hehe!

Have a wonderful evening!

Cheers & Creativity,
Casey [ email me ]


Eeeep! I can’t believe Friday is already coming to a close–and I didn’t post my Inspiration Week links yet!! Why, what could have ever prevented Miss Casey from doing this? you ask. Two words:

Rummage sale.

The annual, gargantuan rummage sale that raises funds for the local hospital. A worthy cause, and I get to find some neat stuff! I woke up long before the sun even thought about shining, and planted myself right by the main front door at 7:30 am (knitting in hand…) to wait until 9 when the public is admitted and I could go rummaging. I have to admit, I’ve never been this tired after the rummage sale (this is the fourth year I’ve done this), but I plan that on the dratted Mono. Despite the fatigue, I lugged home quite a few clothes and loads of vintage goodies (including fashion illustrations from the 1860s and 1870s!) that I’m going to share with you over the coming week!! Plus, I found some lovely things to center my Autumn Blog Give-Away around… (stay tuned for that!).

inspiration [ week eleven ]
quick fashion fixes & Gala’s emergency fashion kit!
kate spade’s “I’ve always wanted to…” [ via ]
projects, tips and tricks from alabama chanin [ via ]
how to make yummy almond butter!
teatime is a glorious thing!

Have a lovely Friday evening, and Saturday all!! I shall return on Sunday; rested and hopefully with pictures and a rummage sale report to share!

Cheers & Creativity,
Casey [ email me ]

p.s. I dare say I’m starting to sound like a broken record. But all the comments you, my dear readers, have been leaving are just warming my heart so much! Thank you bunches! *virtual hugs all ‘round*

oh the horror!
I fully intended to post yesterday, but L. came by to visit, and being rather desperate for visitors (and admittedly happy to see him!), we sat out on the deck talking for three hours. By the time he left, I was too tired and the light had dimmed so I couldn’t take pictures for my blog post! I know: excuses, excuses! lol.

The weekend turned out to be quite productive… which was a pleasant surprise! Saturday, my first “weekend day off” from business work proved to be good. I got a lot of personal projects done; most importantly I started photographing and writing the tutorial for the Most Secret Project (details coming very soon!). I forgot how much longer making something and working on a tutorial in conjunction takes, but it seems to be the best way for me. Otherwise I tend to forget (like the *coughcough* polar bear pattern and tutorial… which I promise will be coming… sometime!)! I also (drumroll, please) drafted the sleeve sloper! It’s all cut out and awaiting a test run, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Sleeves and I have a torrid history of hating each other.

I also got some sketching done, which was very relaxing! I’ve had lots of ideas for trims and garments, and I’m finding if I don’t take the time each day to jot these down, I tend to not only forget but drawing doesn’t come as easily. I suppose I shall have to make a point of having an official “art time” each day to sketch; if nothing else to stay in practice. It’ll also mean I’ll finally get some of the drawings I’m halfway through finishing/inking done! lol.

azaela "gretel"
I recently purchased and downloaded Ysolda’s pretty “Gretel” beret pattern. I just love all the cables! That is one of the things I really love to knit: cables. It may take me a couple tries if the pattern is more complicated, but I am fascinated by how such a simple variation of stitches, a cable needle and a little patience combine to make such a beautiful motif. Saturday afternoon the yarn I ordered specifically for this project came! I purchased it from an Etsy seller, woolhandcrafts, and I am so delighted with it! Not only is the color exactly what I wanted (sort of an “Azalea pink”), but the yarn is so soft. I think it will be lovely made up in Ysolda’s pattern. Mom kindly picked up the needles I needed this morning, since all the ones I have were larger than what the pattern recommends!

I just wanted to say thank you for all the encouraging comments you’ve left on my entries lately! I really, really appreciate the feedback! One thing that is becoming increasingly annoying with Blogger is that there is no function to directly reply to comments. I’ve thought about switching, but some of the other services aren’t clear about how they handle the whole “reply to comments” situation; anyone have advice?

a little bit of fun!
Lastly, has anyone else been watching the hilarious and informative Etsy “holiday preparation” videos?! I have gotten so many ideas from that (which is what prompted me to make the hang tags pictured in this post!). Even if you don’t have a shop on Etsy, I highly recommend watching them for tips on how to creatively approach the holiday season.

Have a lovely evening!

cheers & creativity,
    ♥ casey [ email me ]

p.s. Susan of Sulu Design is having an earring give-away all week!! Be sure to drop on over to her blog and enter for your chance to win one of her lovely designs!

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