Category: this inspires me!

carson converse & her amazing quilts




fact: westchester county, new york, and fairfield county, connecticut are wealthy enclaves, but are not exactly really hot spots for the young and creative. source: i live here (in fairfield).

seriously, folks in their 20s and 30s are thin on the ground here. i often feel like a freak here, both because i’m more than a little off aesthetically and economically and because i’m slightly younger than the typical demographic of this general area. and one has to drive (ugh!) quite far to find good sources for yarn and fabric and whatnot. stuff is out there here and there but frankly it’s not as good as one might find in the city. *grumble, grumble*.

…but, i digress. 🙂

anyway, i was super happy to read about carson converse on the etsy blog yesterday; she was the featured seller, and omg, she’s from westchester! reading that factoid made my heart happy. cool people doing cool stuff, around HERE?! yay! so happy to be proven wrong (somewhat) about this neck o’ the woods. (hahaha!)

i really love the simple, spare look of her quilts, her use of mostly/only solids (i’m increasingly loving this idea as far as developing my own quilts goes). her work has a really modern, but really classic feel. her art background really comes through in her work.

bravo, carson. your work, and you being from here, give me hope.






when we woke up yesterday, poppy asked to go “walk in the city”. so, despite the frigid temps in NYC (hovering around freezing), we obliged. of course! because it’s something all three of us absolutely love to do, as often as we can…

we went to the folk art museum to see the quilt exhibit (not recommended, it was kind of weak, imo), and after that, went to the moma for several hours, which was really great. we all had a lot of fun. so much inspiration to be had there, and i love seeing all the familiar big works by all the big names, makes me feel that my art history degree was worth something. 🙂 btw, there’s a particularly interesting modern kitchen design exhibition on right now…

afterwards we went to cafe katja in the LES with good friends. drank slightly too much spaten optimator, but now it’s a new day, and all is well. 🙂

iris apfel, an icon in motion

a great video featuring my favorite trendsetting octogenarian, iris apfel. it’s basically a little bio on her, her tastes, her influences, her textile business. it’s chock-full of great old photos of her from “back in the day” and lots of sage, style/life advice.

i’ve been a big fan of hers since seeing the 2005-2006 MET costume institute show, rara avis, that featured selections from her fun, bold wardrobe.

seeing her free and bold use of color, shape, motif, and texture was incredibly inspiring to me. it’s still inspiring to me! she’s a woman unafraid to experiment and try new things when it comes to fashion, and at the same time, she knows who she is and curates her style accordingly.

love these quotes from her in the video:

“i just mix and put things to together the way the spirit moves me”

“the fun of getting dressed is that it’s a creative experience, sometimes it’s better than another time”

“freedom of expression, of expressing yourself is the most important thing; if you don’t you’re all bottled up and choking.”

“[be] free, free”

“you only have one trip [life], you might as well enjoy it”

…basically, i think she’s saying:

if enjoying [style] means wearing what you like, the way you want to wear it, when you want to wear it, then… GO FOR IT. and make no apologies.

wise words! iris, you are wonderful!

(via advanced style)

derick melander: second hand (clothing) sculptures



(photos via derick melander)

you might just wear your secondhand clothing, but sculptor derick melander uses clothing cast-offs as an artistic medium, wherein the clothing itself is both a metaphor for people/individuals/society in general, and a means to create substantial structures with which one can react to and interact with. they very powerful pieces, visually, as well.


says he, in his own words, about his work:

“I create large geometric configurations from carefully folded and stacked second-hand clothing. These structures take the form of wedges, columns, walls and enclosures, typically weighing between five hundred pounds and two tons. Smaller pieces directly interact with the surrounding architecture. Larger works create discrete environments.

As clothing wears, fades, stains and stretches it becomes an intimate record of our physical presence. It traces the edge of the body, defining the boundary between the individual and the outside world.”


i love the statement he makes toward the end of the little film, above:

“who are the people who wore this [clothing]?”

something i constantly think about, since so much of what i wear and have worn, lovingly, over the years, has been secondhand.

i love to ponder where my clothing has been, where it came from, who made it, who wore it, what they did in that clothing, why they decided to part with it. so many things to ponder…it can make for quite a nice reverie, when the mind has an idle moment.

what about you? do you ponder where your things have been? is that aspect of wearing secondhand clothing attractive to you? why or why not?

etsy love: off kilter fair isle by good egg




how kick ass are these offbeat, incredibly intricate fair isle sweaters (and knitwear patterns) by etsy-ian good egg?

get this: they are HAND KNIT (the top and bottom one). wow. just…WOW. the cowl in the center is a pattern you can buy from ms. good egg, so’s you can knit one yourself.

all the trend-slingers say fair isle is back (well, i think it never went away, but whatever). but it makes sense, because a.) it’s winter, and we’re all wearing sweaters, knitting sweaters, blah blah blah. but also, b.) there’s this feeling of very traditional things being resurrected and exalted in fashion (and also interiors, really) these days…classic is back in.

but what i think is cool about these kind of fair isle pieces, what makes them so delicious? that good egg takes it to the next level…works with the colors, the contrasts, the patterning, so something classic is in the end wrought so perfectly new and modern. breathtaking. i haven’t seen anything quite like this around, have you? if you have, do dish!


(related aside: i so so so want to try my hand at fair isle…anyone else into it? good books or tips to suggest? danke!)

la casita de wendy: picture (perfect) knits


(images via la casita de wendy)

i’ve gotten this hankering for picture (intarsia) knits of late…so this awesome dolman sleeve sweater dress and tote emblazoned with clouds are both totally hitting the spot. these fine specimens of picture knit goodness are from madrid, spain-based clothier la casita de wendy.


p.s. i’m loving the dolman sleeve thing coming back around…a kind cut to busty gals like me, so loose and free! hee hee!

(free) knit(wear) patterns, woot!

in recent weeks, i’ve run across some VERY chic sewing patterns for knits, available for free via the internets, and i thought i’d pass the word along…


(image via uniform natural)

martha of uniform natural designed this drapey stunner called the origami wrap sweater, which is easy peasy, but has a sculptural shape and is suitable for any mid to heavy weight knit (as long as it doesn’t have a whole lotta stretch, she says). she just put it up the other day; i totally want to make one…stat. wow…martha. just…wow. breathtaking and incredibly chic.


(image via tessuti fabrics)

the gals at sydney, australia’s tessuti fabrics have this drapey tent-shaped tee up on the web for download here. i’ve made one myself already, it’s amazing! the sleeves are fitted, and the rest isn’t, it’s very loose and comfy and kind of, i dunno, japanese, 80s-ish or something? i am so wanting to make another, but want to make it longer so it’s more of a tunic/dress thing. i think i could just about live in it, so roomy and cuddly it would be. it comes out in a small-ish to medium size, so if you’re bigger or smaller you’d have to add or subtract from/to the side seams. sews up in a flash.