Friday, July 30, 2010

Moroccan Pouf 2.0

Jennifer Kee at The Fabled Needle tried my pouf tutorial and came up with this summery vintage rendition. (She spent a long time looking for a tutorial by searching 'Moroccan ottoman.' So for the sake of search engines everywhere, I will throw the word ottoman into this post a few times. Ottoman.)

Isn't the doily "lid" brilliant?

Elizabeth Abernathy's potato print version is here.

My ugly-party-dress-to-pouf is here.

Have a nice weekend.

Ottoman. Ottoman. Ottoman

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

DIY Wednesday: Make no-sew ruffled flower necklines and jewelry

As promised, here is part 2 of last week's DIY. Here are a few ways to make the most of your no-sew extremely easy flowers.

On the back side of your flower, glue a pin back or velcro. Or both.

For the velcro, cut out a small piece of both the hook and loop side of the velcro. Glue one side to the flower and keep the other side attached to it until needed.

If you are making several flowers for pom-poms (which I'll show you in a sec) alternate which side of the velcro you glue down. In other words half should have loops glued to the flower and half should have hooks glued to the flower. This - ta da - allows you - this is complicated - to velcro two flowers to each other.

First up, pin the flowers along the neckline of a plain cardigan. I used 10 flowers.

Next up, use the velcro option to attach your flower to necklace chains. Here I bunched three up close to the end of a short chain.

Which looked better than I expected.

Recently I came across the work of Kathryn Blackmore via This is Glamorous. She is the the jewelry design behind the Etsy shop The Vamoose.

Her jewelry involves hand-dyed fabric and real gold chains. But I was gratified that on my own I came up with a self-designed necklace that wasn't too far off from what a real artist created. (If you stand really really far back.)

And our last option. Velcro two of the flowers to each other with a necklace chain running between them and you have a 3-D pom-pom necklace. (I think this would look better if the flowers were a little smaller in diameter.)

And last, if you were lazy and made only one flower, you can velcro it to a medium chain and call it a day.

Other options: Pin a few flowers onto a top. Or attach a set of flowers to shoe clips to embellish a pair of shoes.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Nothing like some homegrown mint in your beverage of choice.

I got to go in an actual swimming pool this weekend. How did you stay cool?

Friday, July 23, 2010

From the Stash: Lavinia Fici Pasquina

Cool, calm and collected.

Images: Metropolitan Home

Thursday, July 22, 2010


We (very appropriately) had a family reunion at the St. Louis Zoo recently. Isabella is a little droopy because it was so HOT.

We fed the sting rays and watched the monkeys being gross.

For posterity, here is the whole family saying hello.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Watermelon aria

Another fruit-oriented post. Mr. Bromeliad and I ate nearly an entire half a watermelon last night. We ate it in the best possible way, which is to say outdoors and barehanded, where seeds are jettisoned over the railing and juice runs freely down elbows and drips on toes.

In between the slurping, we enjoyed live opera, courtesy of The Metropolitan Opera and Brooklyn Bridge Park. We listened in the best possible way, which is to say outdoors from one's balcony where the soprano notes ripple off the water and float through the trees, where birds can hear what we've got and where mundane life is for a time underscored with a dramatic soundtrack.

To create a similar experience:
  • wait until evening
  • open up a watermelon
  • take it and your laptop outdoors
  • play this clip
  • spit

DIY Wednesday: Make no-sew fabric carnations

We've got an easy little not-too-original DIY for today.

I've seen tutorials for making these puffy ruffled round flowers all over the Internet. (Mrs. Priss has a very cute one, for example.) The only advantage to mine is that it doesn't require any sewing and it will be followed by some handy pointers for reusing your work four or five or maybe even six different ways.

You will like these little flowers. They are easy and versatile.

You will need some fabric (I used a ripped dress shirt), a little bit of felt, a glue gun and scissors.

Start off by cutting lots of circles. Mine are three inches in diameter, but you could go smaller. You will need seven or eight circles per flower. You will also need one small felt circle per flower. (I traced mine from the lid of a cheap bottle of tonic. A water bottle lid would also work.) If you don't care for fraying, you may want to treat the edges of your circles with Fray Check (a step I neglected) or use a non-fraying fabric like jersey.

Fold each circle in half and place a dot of hot glue in the crease and squeeze shut. Fold in half again and place a dot in the corner crease and squeeze shut.

When you have a stack of folded circles, start gluing them to your felt.

Put a dot of hot glue on the tip of one folded piece and place it in the center of your felt. Place two more pieces on either side of the first one, alternating the direction of the folds.

Add more pieces until the entire felt circle is filled in and your flower looks full and fluffy. If you have the spray version of Fray Check, you could give your flower a spritz.

The backside of your flower will look like this.

Stop back next week when we will do a bunch of cool stuff with this basic flower.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Blueberries are in season here.

Spent a very lazy weekend eating lots of them.

How about you?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Google a la Josef Frank

Today Google has this for its logo.

I immediately recognized the textile design of Josef Frank but was then shocked to discover the man was dead and had been for some time. (Today would have been his 125th birthday.)

There's probably some sort of lesson in this about the breadth of data available in the information age versus the narrowness of interests some of us acquire. Or it could just be that Frank's designs are so incredibly timeless that they could have been issued yesterday or 100 years ago. Take a look at some of his textiles and furniture.

Can you believe all this was designed in the 40s and 50s? Check out the room below. If this is midcentury modern (which I normally loathe), I'll take it.

Images: Google; Svenskt Tenn

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

DIY Wednesday: Make a Breton stripe memo board

Breton stripes (that's horizontal black and white stripes to all you non-Brets) are one hot ticket fashion item this summer. Horizontal stripes are also popping up in home decor.

To get this summery "lighthouse" look for your home without investing in something heavy duty like curtains, you can make an easy memo board from dollar store supplies.

I used a piece of foam core from The Dollar Tree, one and a half rolls of black ribbon and some scrap white fabric.

Cut your foam core board to the desired size. Cut a piece of white fabric slightly larger than your board. Using spray adhesive, attach the fabric. Fold the extra fabric over the back of the board and glue.

Measuring from the bottom of the board, lightly mark off your "stripes" with a pencil so they are equal distance apart. Cut lengths of ribbon about an inch longer than the width of your board.

Using fabric glue, glue down the ribbon, turning the excess ribbon behind the board and gluing there.

I ended up using my board as a shelf liner in my closet. I had originally planned to stick my enormous collection of vintage pins and some photos on it but discovered that I liked the minimalist look better and left it plain.

Images: J.Crew; Little Green Notebook

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

From the Stash: Steven Sclaroff

I'm noticing that I bookmarked a lot of guy-looking rooms. Is that because guy rooms are usually neutral and sleek and girl rooms are usually hot pink and fluffy? I like fluffy. Where are the sleek rooms with fluff?

Images: Timothy Kolk for Elle Decor; Metropolitan Home.