Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Art of Upcycle

The Treehouse at Creekview Country Cottage Bed & Breakfast
Have you ever had the urge to re-create yourself?  Maybe it was after a relationship breakup or a pregnancy came to an end, or you lost a bunch of weight?  Well, I have been feeling the urge since returning from Pennsylvania.  My sister and I stayed at the Creekview Cottage Bed & Breakfast during our two weeks there.  It was perfect in every sense ...a private little pocket deep in the woods and mountains and was exactly what I had been dreaming of during the long care-taking ordeal.  Our hostess, Andrea, is now a dear friend to us.  She is an indomitable force wrapped up in a petite lady who has a passion for living.  The three is  us are "senior-ish" but Andrea has so much vitality and spunk that it would be hard for anyone to accurately guess her age.  I was impressed with her fashionable yet practical attire.  She carried off her favorite magentas and pinks and studded sparkly skinny jeans with ease.  My sister has always been a fashion statement, even in her understated way with black and white and gray.  ...And there I was with my old straight-leg stretchy Lee's and plain long sleeve T's, with my decades old Eagle Outfitters boots.  One of my sneakers blew a sole after a few days, and my comfy old jeans had a blowout too.

I didn't realize how out-of-step I had gotten until I saw some photos from the trip.   OMG, I was the granny in the photos!  I couldn't believe my eyes!  For someone who had sewn prolifically, I was always a step ahead of fashion.  For 14 years I was a dressmaker for a European pattern company, and I got the patterns at least a year before they influenced the United States fashion scene.  However, for the past 6 years, I had not really been able to just go shopping.  Getting out of the house was a challenge, and because of that, I made due with what I had.  Meanwhile, everything was getting shabbier and as garments were cast off, they were rarely replaced with something really happening.  When I did get out, I grabbed anything simple that fit and hurried back home.  ...Eventually, I would have been a fashion zilch.  ...Now I have to stop you all right here, as I am not inclined to follow every fad and fancy.  I go for style, and my style was looking like granny's closet.

Well, this calls for a huge makeover.  One of the first things I have done is to look at shoes.  Although I still have not replaced the sneakers, I did purchase some drop-dead gorgeous boots I have been lusting after for the past year:

The BedStu Manchester boot!  I adore them!  They are stylish and yet very simple.  My head is filled with ideas for boot fringes

 and knit boot toppers

...and bracelets and to make.

As I was going through the closet, I came across a favorite magenta knit Henley.  The back of the neckline had separated from the binding and I was ready to toss it when I thought of a Free People favorite that has a patchwork look.  I spent the past few days altering the top and now I have a new/old Henley to wear that is very fashionable.  ...There may be no end to this!

Free People's Kyoto cuff top that inspired me

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Little Someth'n-Someth'n

Everything is different now  ...Better, but still feeling strange not to have my mother here with us.  ...Just taking things easy and trying to get caught up with life and that never seems to be the case for me.  There is always so much that I want to do and need to do.

Making and being creative has been taking a back seat lately, but I do have a beaded wrap bracelet to share.  I had started beading while my mother was fading away from us, and finally completed it just a week ago.  I am quite taken with this boho thing on my wrist. 

The inspiration came when I had to shorten a new pair of jeans.  As the old hem came off, I just knew it would be fun to upcycle into a bead/fiber sort of wrap bracelet.  I sewed over the double rows of stitching and then trimmed close to the stitching so that the edges would fray.  I sewed the beading down and added crochet cord wraps to transition and hide joins, and finished the ends with crimp beads and covers.  Eyelets were added and made perfect places to add in dangling baubles.  Its finished with a toggle clasp.