Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Little Deco Inspiration

Due to the steady stream of contractors, avalanche of drywall dust and copious plastic hanging from the ceiling in my home (workspace), I can't sew. But I can, however, be inspired by awesome and beautiful Deco things. Here's some of the gorgeous stuff I've come across this week...

(Source: Mariaunet)

(Source: Mariaunet)

 (Source: [....CoCo....])

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Gift Giving, Honey Cooler Handmade Style!

You: "Where is Stephanie and what has she been up to?"

Glad you asked. I've been sewing my little heart out, but not for Etsy. As it turns out, two very important people had birthdays over the past month and I was determined to knock out two very handmade and very special gifts for both of them in the space of just a few days.

The first gift was for my best friend's daughter Sadie, who just turned 4. Even though there's an enormous age gap between us, I can relate to Sadie on many levels. We both like princesses, pink, glitter, butterflies and dancing. So when her birthday rolled around this year, I knew I had to make something uber special to add to her cache of princess wear. After consulting with her mom about Sadie's favorite things, I decided that a pink sparkle tutu lined in purple tulle and topped with giant rhinestone-spangled butterfly wings would be the most practical solution to every fairy princess' problem: "What the hell do I wear for a day of adventure?" So, behold. The finished product!

The wings were by far the most fun part of this whole enterprise! If I can get BFF to take photos of Sadie in all her fairy princess glory I'll make sure to do a full-on blog post about this uber-fun piece. Sadie is already mastering the ability to turn down paparazzi photo shoots, so I wasn't able to get shots myself. As a side note, this tutu is for outside use only because the glitter tulle sheds sparkly speckles everywhere. Wish I'd known that when I bought the tulle, but hindsight is 20/20.

Next up: my husband. His birthday was this week and he's been asking me to make him a button-down shirt for years. Too scared to venture into the uncharted waters of menswear, I always pushed off the project, but this year I decided to make his dream a reality. I drafted the pattern off one of his existing shirts and got down to business sewing. It was actually a really fun project!

My husband looks amazing in his shirt, but I doubt he'll model it for me so you'll have to be content with folded close-ups for now.

My workspace is currently overrun with contractors (long story), so needless to say there will be no sewing this week. Next week, however, I plan to rock the socks off every Deco-loving person on the planet once again. I scored some lovely lightweight jacquard this week, so expect some incredible loungewear in the coming weeks.

Have you ever made a gift for someone that stretched beyond your realm of expertise or comfort? I'd love to hear about it!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Preview: Clara Souvenir Skirt

I was so lucky to find the yummiest Victorian pleated petticoat flounce at the Alameda Antiques Faire. When tiered with cotton jersey knit and a golden acetate lining, it makes the perfect summer skirt! Look for it in the Honey Cooler Handmade shop tomorrow!

Now on Etsy: The Mona Souvenir Top

Nothing gives me more joy than when little independent pieces click into place perfectly and unexpectedly, and that's exactly how Mona came to be! Here's the math:

               shabby silk petticoat
                       -  shredded silk
              + printed charmeuse
  + butterfly crochet lace yoke
                  + vintage rick-rack
+ Victorian inspired buttons
                                + patience
                                      + love
= Mona

Check out Mona here!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Where is She? and How Doth She?

I'm not dead.

I know I haven't blogged in over a week, but I do have good reason. I was in Philadelphia for one of the most amazing weddings I've ever attended - two close high school pals tied the knot, and our weekend turned into a whirlwind of amazingness, with no time left over to devote to Honey Cooler Handmade.

BUT this blog is not all about HCH, so let's just talk pretty for a moment, shall we? The wedding was on Saturday and mercifully, our Sunday flight out of Philly was at 8pm, so we had all day to recover and regain our composure before our jaunt home. While reeling from my full-body hangover, I trudged all the way from Rittenhouse Square to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, husband in tow. I took some lovely shots there, which I shared on my personal Twitter account.

Edgar Degas' Little Dancer of Fourteen Years, 1881 (one of my favorite works of all time)

The Little Dancer's tutu was the inspiration for the ballerinas' costumes in the musical version of The Phantom of the Opera

Augustus Saint-Gaudens' Diana, 1892


18th century Eye Portraits

Of course this is a tiny sample of what's available for perusal at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Well worth the trip if you're ever in the City of Brotherly Love. Even if you've got a wicked hangover!