Favorite Finds | 1 | Size Medium

Friday, September 23, 2011

beautiful tunic in such a surreal print. i love this! find it here.

Hello Friends. I have a new favorite find this week and that is Size Medium from Etsy. First I was really drawn to the name, then when I took a look at the clothes I saw the high quality in which they were made. As I looked a little more closely I found I loved so many of the pieces; they are definitely feminine, which is fun, but they also look really wearable, which is essential in my book.  I also love that there are a lot of little details that have a vintage feel, yet they are totally contemporary, excellent. I love subtle surprises, so I quickly decided this was a favorite for me. But as I learned more about this shop and the philosophy behind it I knew I wanted to learn even more and also to share this fabulous find! Diana, of Size Medium, was kind enough to do an interview with me so I could get a little more information on her shop and the wonderful philosophy behind it.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your shop on Etsy?

I am your typical girlie girl, I love all things pink, sparkly and pretty!! But I also have a bit of boy in me... I am very active, I like to get my hands dirty, and I am all about comfort. I started sewing at a very young age, taking lead from my mother who is a tailor. I would watch in fascination as she pieced together little bits of fabric into one marvelous creation. Once I started designing and sewing my own clothing, I kept true to the girlie-girl in me by creating very feminine pieces, but also gave into my tomboyish ways by working with only soft, breathable fabrics and creating garments that were lavishly comfortable. I opened a shop on Etsy, which had quickly become my favorite place to search for unique handmade items, at the encouragement of my friends who truly expressed a love and interest in my pieces.

I love your shop's tagline "because women are not designed to fit the world of one standard size," can you tell us more about this/what is your inspiration behind this?

I would always find it frustrating when I would see a woman pick up a beautiful piece of clothing in a store, gush over the fabric, louvre the cut and style, then look at the tag and say, "Oh, this a size 6 and I'm a size 8, it's not going to fit" and then put it back on the rack. Unless every piece of clothing is cut the same way and created out of fabric with the exact same amount of stretch, you will never be stuck on just one specific size, girls! The clothing that I purchase fluctuates between three different sizes dependent on how it is made, And even then, sometimes I wish parts of garments could be adjusted without any major tailoring. So one day I started thinking about the clothing in my closet and the areas where I consistently found myself fussing... and before I knew it I was creating designs that were versatile and could accommodate a range of body shapes.

How do you feel about the way women are portrayed in fashion?

I am always keeping an eye on fashion trends, and even more so, I love drooling over pretty showcases and unique fashion photography. But, and here is a BIG BUT... I truly wish the industry would change it's marketing designs to reflect real women with real bodies. There are so many body types... tall, short, slim, curvy, athletic... each one is beautiful in it's own way. Especially as women, we need to recognize and embrace that.

What kind of woman do you envision when you design clothes?

Honestly, I think of myself, lol. I think to myself: do I really truly love this? Do I see myself wearing this? Is it practical? Can it be carried from day into night? Do I see myself LIVING in it? How versatile is this piece?

What is your favorite material to work with?

I absolutely adore cotton. It's soft. It's breathable. It's  comfortable. It's wearable and washable and makes sense for every day life :)

You have an Etsy shop and a really great blog OneCraftyFox; for others out there that may just be getting started can you share with us how to do find time to do it all?

I say, don't go crazy with it. Create only when you feel inspired... this way you will consistently produce something you love and can be proud of. And if you love it, others will love it too.

For other bloggers or Etsy shop owners, (or both), what is one key point of advice that you can share?

Stay true to your own style and don't try to be someone, or produce something, that is not reflective of you. Your best results will come from your best work which always comes from the heart.

Thank you so much, Diana, for taking the time to share your story, philosophy and your shop with us. I think what you do is really inspiring and I absolutely adore the concept behind your shop and product. Not to mention (again) that they look impeccably made!

Here are some more examples of Diana's beautifully crafted work from her shop Size Medium

i love vintage inspired looks and this top is calling my name. find it here.

i couldn't resist adding another one of these gorgeous tunics! find it here.

 i heart this skirt so much! it makes me want an office job in a 1940's detective agency. find it here.

 this dress absolutely defines the day to night look to me! find it here.

 can you say fall is here? this is a perfect skirt to add to your fall wardrobe. and if you love pockets as much as i do...find it here.

i can absolutely see myself in this shirt with my leggings and boots, being cozy in my house (because that's where i am all the time) but feeling like if i wanted to, (or had the opportunity) i could totally hit the town in this! find it here.

You can also check out my interview (for my shop plumed) with Diana on her blog OneCraftyFox HERE

Treasure Hunts

Monday, September 19, 2011

We "find stuff" all the time, whether it be cool vintage finds from a yard sale, estate sale or thrift shop. Whether it be an amazing blog post, website or Etsy shop. I know I find really great things all the time and I always want to share them, or mean to share them, but I forget! So I have decided to make a new blog series of my favorite finds, kind of like Oprah's My Favorite Things, but a little different, considering we don't probably have the same audience or resources. I was inspired to start actually doing this when I stopped by a yard sale this weekend and found all these great items, and guess what I paid? 7 bucks! For ALL of it. I love that! Vintage finds that make me feel like I am treasure hunting are definitely some of my favorite things. What's your favorite things to find?

 A couple vintage toys my twin boys picked out

  Vintage Nordic Ware USA Pan 

An old copy of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and a few other books, all at a quarter each!

 An old Tin which is really sweet but inside was a special prize....
 Old recipes from the Newspaper some were from the 50's and 60's

 And some were handwritten in, I don't know, Dutch maybe? How fun is that?!

 Another old book, this is a Nancy Drew Mystery. I don't know if I will actually ever get around to reading this as my reading list is very long, but I just couldn't pass it up, the inside picture is really cool too.

I got this picture in a pretty bad frame, for a dollar! I was adding up my goods and I turned back to look for my wandering twins and I spotted this...which my son said is maybe a "boat spotter?" I thought it was a sort of blueprint. But my 13 year is one of those people that know about everything and told me that boat/ships would have photos (drawings) of other boats so they could identify them.  

Now I just need to figure out where I am going to put all this stuff!!!

Missoni + Target = Pandemonium (apparently)

Friday, September 16, 2011

While watching the local news the other night, which is one thing I don't usually watch - I think I was watching the end of the Bachelor Pad and mindlessly kept embroidering when it came on. Oops, I probably shouldn't admit I watched the Bachelor Pad, (boo, holly!). Anyway, on the news I saw that Targets website went down. Target? What? Here's another little factoid about me, while I love handmade and I love vintage and I absolutely am an ardent supporter, and believer in gay rights and EQUALITY in general (boo, Target for that one; I mean it just shouldn't even be an issue!) I love Target. I would say that it's the closest thing to an affair that I am going to have for long time. Almost all of the clothes I have bought in the last five years are from Target. So when they said that Target's website went down due to the new Missoni line coming out, I realized I am definitely not alone in shopping for clothes at Target. But I was also really curious as to what the heck was going on?
So I did a little poking around to figure out what all the hubbub is about. I had been seeing the commercials of the afgan looking chevron-stripes, and really, to be honest, I just wasn't that impressed myself, so I didn't mark my calendar or anything, or expect that others would. I mean there is some cute stuff here, how could there not be, there is about 100,000 different things in this line (I made that number up btw) but I think my lack of "oohs" and "ahhs" is mainly due to the fact I have bought my clothes second hand for years, and for several of those years I bought pretty exclusively second hand and vintage, so I had a lot these chevron-stripe sweaters that were made popular by Missoni the first time around in the 70's, and when I think them, I just feel itchy flashbacks. But apparently people flocked to Target stores, where it was described as mobs of people waiting in long lines to get in before the stores even opened. Store's sold out all over the country and, as I said, the website crashed due to a flood of people trying to get their hands on Missoni goods.

I love fashion, I know of the top designers, and I like high-end clothes...but with that said, I really don't care in practice. If I like something, it's comfortable, it fits me well and it's "me" I could not care less what the label says; whether it costs two hundred dollars or two dollars, And I much prefer finding something I love for two dollars! (Although there are certain stores I stay away from of which have no redeeming qualities whatsoever, I don't care how cheap or great something is). Having said that though, I was really excited when Target started releasing affordable fashions for the body and the home from top designers. Why? Mainly because I don't like classism and I think fashion can attribute to that pretty well, (now I am having flashbacks to Jr, High). I don't think only people with millions of dollars like nice things. I don't think those of us that can't afford quality items should be forced to walk around in pleather shoes and shirts that hems come undone after a few washings, or jeans that fit poorly. So I knew that when high-end designers would be putting their name and label on affordable fashions for Target, they wouldn't want to sacrifice too much quality in, at least, the construction. Let's be real, this is also a marketing strategy for these designers, or the design industry as a whole, they give us a nibble of their product and we will go back for more. Hence the limited release of these lines, that are very short. And it all seems like a win-win for me for the most part and on that note I just won't get into the issue of where these products are made. Anyhoo, Target has featured several top designers such as: William Rast, Isaac Mizrahi, and Michael Graves (whose collaboration started this trend if I remember correctly from the documentary I saw on Target...see I do love Target and I watch way too much tv.)

So who is Missoni anyway and why did this happen? I mean, Target, as I mentioned, has launched several top designers for their seasonal collections but this has never happened before. To answer the first question, Missoni is an Italian designer in the ranks of Gucci or Armani, it's big time for fashionista's to be able to get these goods at such affordable prices. But seriously, are there enough fashionista's to go crashing through Target stores and buy out inventory by 8am? Or up at 5am to crash their website by 7 o'clock on Tuesday morning, the day this line was launched? And do that many people want to sleep in a chevron-striped bed, put on their chevron-striped knit wear, drink their coffee from a chevron-striped cup, dress their baby in a chevron-stripped jumper, then jump on their bicycle that is, you guessed it, chevron-striped? Well, maybe, but the real issue I have found is that there were other people out shopping for Missoni Tuesday, some people might refer to them as vultures. Apparently one of the reasons for this pandemonium is that, I guess with the heavy advertising Target has done since spring building the anticipation and the stock market down, people decided to give up their portfolios and  invest in Missoni to resale on Ebay. There are some pretty interesting accounts of people going in and buying 80 pairs of shoes, while there was nothing left for the little fashionistas that just wanted one pair of rainboots. Sad.

But don't worry, you can still get Mossoni for Targets collection online at Ebay, apprently there are over 24,000 listings for it! But forget the whole concept of "affordablility" here because those that crashed Targets website and cleared the racks are charging 4 times what Target was charging! I don't know about you, but this, for one, seems crazy and for two, it just doesn't seem fair that people can do this. Would the word extortion fit here? Maybe not but is seems pretty sketchy. Well, while the average consumer might not be very happy about all this, I bet Target and Missoni are feeling pretty good, even with a couple hiccups.

It's Official: One of My Pillows Will Be on HGTV!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

 le pillow (i love louisiana)

So, I have been repressing my excitement about this for awhile now... Here's my story of how my craft has led to a pretty exciting "design" moment in my life. A few days after I opened my shop Plumed on Etsy, I was contacted by Emily Henderson of HGTV's Secrets From a Stylist. I woke up one morning to an email that said, "Long story short: I want to use one of your pillows on an upcoming episode of my show." Maybe, I shouldn't have put that in quotation marks because it isn't an exact quote, but it's pretty close.

I knew exactly who Emily Henderson was, as I am an HGTV enthusiast and love Design Star; which she won last year and how she got her very own HGTV show, Secrets From A Stylist. Of course she was my favorite and that had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that we are both from Portland. Okay, maybe that had something to do with it, but not the fact itself, but because I feel like she really brings Portland to L.A., which is a nice change - L.A. has been coming to Portland for a long time. Portland is a really eclectic place that truly values handmade, upcycled, recycled, independent artisans, vintage finds, as well as, modern designs. We have it all you know : ) Emily absolutely brings that to her show, so I was over the moon when not only was I contacted to have my pillow be on TV, but I was contacted by someone I really admire and feel like represents the same ideals; not only in design, but in community, Emily is an avid supporter of indie artists and small business.

Okay, back to June 23rd 2011, of course I remember the exact date! I was so excited when I opened this email. Truthfully I was in a complete daze. Then I thought, maybe this is a horrible crazy scam, when the pillow was actually ordered, I was crazy excited again! I was at a point in my life where I needed to make about a choice about what I was going to do to support myself and my three kids. I had no clue what expect from making pillows and selling them on Etsy, but this little voice in my head kept telling me to try it. So, I opened my shop and hoped for a sign as to whether or not this was a good place to put my time and energy, lo and behold, this happens. While I was really excited, especially for the first  24 hours, my focus quickly changed from thinking "maybe this will work..." to "something is working and now it's time to get down to business." My attitude changed mainly because I suddenly had confidence in who I was and what I was doing (or I at least needed to seriously fake it now!); TV or no TV, this was the real highlight here. This was my sign : ) I honestly stopped caring if it made it on to the final design of the show because I didn't believe that was the real reward ...but it seems to be the icing on the cake, because it did make it into the final design! Now that a few months have gone by of focusing on really trying to establish my shop, and not daydreaming of what my pillow will look like as the camera scans the room, I am simply just excited again to just see my pillow on TV. That's pretty exciting right?!

Emily let me know that she purchased the pillow for a client who lives in L.A. but is originally from Louisiana. I was inspired to make this pillow because while I have no real ties to Louisiana myself, I know people that are from there and they have a genuine love of their state. I have been intrigued this and by it's rich, rich culture. I absolutely love my home of Portland, Oregon, so this was my ode to others that have that same deep seeded love of theirs in Louisiana.

So back to the future...This week I got an email that, yes, my pillow made it into the final design, and I can officially be excited about it, blog about it, harass my friends and family to watch it and DVR it and start planning my snack menu for that glorious half hour of television. You can catch the episode too, (Eclectic Arty Odyssey - love that!) on HGTV September 24th on Secrets From A Stylist, which you should just watch in general because it's a great show. You will want to check your local listing times, but here it's on at 9pm PST.

And for further reading, here is a great blog post from Emily's Blog titled What Did We Do Before Etsy?

I will leave you with some photos to peruse of Emily's amazing design work...which, again, I absolutely love! I adore her mix of patterns, textures, clean lines and the sense of coziness and lushness every room she designs encompasses. While her designs are AMAZING, they look livable - not staged, not like you couldn't kick your feet up or picture your kids running around. And having kids myself and a real joy in kicking my feet up and feeling cozy, I guess that's why they are my favorite! Oh, how I wish her show was filmed in Portland! I would totally apply.

I love old world and vintage finds. Emily has the midas touch when it comes to making these looks feel uncluttered and even contemporary. This is a perfect example, I think.

i love how this ultra modern furniture is set against a vintage inspired backdrop of wallpaper and accessory pieces. i love that painting, a lot.

 this has to be one of my favorite rooms! i love the color and style of the sofa which is grounded with that amazing coffee table. it looks clean and cozy...my favorite!

i LoVe the upholstery on this sofa!

i wish this photo was a little more crisp because this would also rank as my favorite. emily's designs have single-handedly made me wallpaper crazy!  and i love that you really could use so many pieces in your own home, or from second-hand markets to re-create this look in your own home design.

the idea of doing something like this would make me panic, but it works and it's great! i suppose that's why she has her own show...i'll just stick to pillows.

For more info on Emily and photo's of her designs visit her blog Style by Emily Henderson and I will be sure to post pictures from the upcoming episode after it airs, on the 24th!

And feel free to visit my shop here: Plumed and share any of your crafting or shop stories in the comments!

ABC's of me...Sponsored By VoiceboKs

Saturday, September 10, 2011

This is a little blog exercise I was invited to do through voiceBoks, an online community of mamma bloggers. So, while this is not something I have done before, or am accustomed to doing on my blog here, I figured I would be a good sport and join in the fun...that way I could also put a little extra time into sewing this weekend! Honestly, I thought this would be really quick and easy, but boy howdy, it was kind of hard to come up with all the "abc's of me!"  I am thinking that a tutorial on basket-weaving may have been easier. So, what ya do is really quite simple and here it goes... (If you decide to join in post your link in the comments! Or even write it in the comments.)

Appeture - my dream as a girl was to travel the world as a freelance photographer and while that dream didn't come true, i always have a camera handy and a love of photography.

Boys - as in little boys, i have three little boys whom i could never have imagined, me having three boys? but now i could imagine nothing else!

Cable - okay, so my dirty secret is out! i love cable and am addicted to a plethora of awful reality shows. but i balance these with a lot of foreign films (J for justification should be next!).

DIY do-it-yourself of course!

Egypt - my most favorite place in the world next to home, in the great northwest. i long to go back someday...

Fisher!- my thirteen year old, only child for ten years. he is my heart and my soul. love that boys tender heart and wicked sense of humor. he can make me laugh those laughs that come out of your gut and makes me so proud i get a little choked up when i think about how wonderful he is.

Grandparents - there is just nothing like them  and i look forward to being a meddling old grandma someday!

Heart - is where the home is.

Ice cubes - there was a time in my life where i had a fierce addiction to ice cubes! and i know everywhere in the portland-metropolitan area to get the best ones.

Jack of all trades, or maybe i should say jill? i believe in knowing a little bit about everything, so you can DIY of course.

Karma - i believe you will get back what you put out into the world. from the wise words of justin timberlake...what goes around comes around.

Luca! - my first born twin. he always has a smile on his face and is full of the most positive energy, he gives the best hugs around your neck and makes my little heart melt.

Milo! - my second born twin and the baby. he is calm and snuggly, easy going, has the best belly laugh in the world and has me securely wrapped around his little finger.

Old world - i love things that tell a story just by looking and feeling them and intrigue me to wonder about their history.

Plumed - the name of my pillow shop on etsy and the biggest thing in my life right now second to my kids.

Quiet ...

Reading - because i love to read, i love to surround myself with books and have long conversations with others about them. there is a book on every surface in my house.

Sunshine - even though it burns me horribly, i love sunshine, a lot.

Texture - can evoke an amazing sensory experience, it can add depth and drama to any design.

Understanding because we all deserve some and we can always offer it to another.

Vacation - i want one!

Women - women are amazing and i am so proud to be one. i am so lucky to have so many remarkable women in my life!

Xenophilia - "love of foreigners" i love knowing and talking to people from all around the world. learning different histories, perspectives and cultures. we all have so much to learn and share with each other.

Yardage - oh, this word has become a real regular in my vocabulary!

Zombie - okay, i'll end this with another confession, i have recently become addicted to 'plants vs zombies' on my iphone. it all started when my little milo got to my phone and started playing it and then i had to "help" him. well, helping him has turned into me pulling my phone away from him because he's going to "ruin" the game if he plays it. oy vey! i guess the child in me is still alive and well.

Cupcake and Cake Decorating Idea: Paper Bunting Flags

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Making a paper bunting is a very sweet and simple way to decorate your cupcakes, or you can make a larger bunting and decorate an entire cake. My twin boys recently turned 3, (oh it just goes too quickly!) and I wanted to make them cupcakes for their amusement park birthday party. I looked into many ideas that involved decorating with icing, but truth be told, I am just not very skilled with icing at all! So instead I decided to make "fair themed" cupcakes and I was really happy with the way they turned out. It is a little bit time consuming, but for me it was much easier. For one I was able to just do it on the couch in the evening before their party while watching a little Project Runway, rather than labor in my kitchen on a hot summer evening with 14 different colors of icing. Another thing I like about this idea is you can make a pretty healthy cupcake, white frosting (no dyes) and it's still just as fun and festive as cupcakes with m&m's, red hots and gum drops. I even made a couple for my mom, who is diabetic, without any frosting at all, and it still looked really cute.

What you need is:

Paper (in a couple colors/textures - I used velum, in red and transparent white and an off-white paper)
Sticks or long toothpicks (I used skewers and just broke them into three pieces)

What you do:

First I cut all my pieces of paper into little flags. I cut enough to have 5 flags for each cupcake, so just times the number of cupcakes you are making by 5. Then I cut my string to about 7 inches, that way it will have a little slack in the middle and enough extra string to tie the ends. If you need more room to tie you can always cut your strings longer and then trim them. Then as you can see from the photo on the left, I simply sewed the flags on using an embroidery needle. After you have all your flags strung on your string, tie them to the ends of your sticks, which I had cut to about 4 inches long. Stick them into your cupcakes and tada, you are done!

Happy Birthday!

Le Cupcake

For my boys individual cupcakes I added a balloon for a "hot air balloon" look. I added a bunting across the balloon and then stuck the string down the middle of the cupcake, using one of my skewer sticks. I was going to add a little figure of my twins in the cupcake (as the hot air balloon basket) but, um, I never got that far...But it was a good idea!
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