Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Muse is In: An Owner's Manual to Your Creativity

Hello creative souls!

I want to share with you a book that immediately captured my attention with its colourful and playful look.

The Muse is In: An Owner's Manual for Your Creativity by Jill Badonsky

The Muse is In
And it's not just the cover that attracts the eye with its bright fun images. Every single page of the book is carefully illustrated to the smallest detail. You know right away that this book is about creativity. Its pages are filled with fun images and useful advice. Jill Badonsky addresses various artist's roadblocks, such as fears, insecurities, confusions, frustrations, etc., that hinder one's creativity and offers "Troubleshooting Directions" or ways to overcome those feelings. 

Here are some of my favourite points the author makes in her explorations of creativity:
  • The arts might not be a way to make a living but they make up life and, as I personally feel, make life worth living.
  • Being in a creative flow makes you physically healthy.
  • Creative people are more interesting and magnetic than the rest. (Although everybody gets to be creative).
  • Daydreaming is a valid part of a creative process.
  • Procrastination is a form of punishing yourself. (Not to be confused with daydreaming!)
  • Taking really small steps and lowering one's expectations of oneself (to 60% from the usual 200%) lowers the pressure and eliminates the internal resistance.
  • "Perfection is spelled PARALYSIS." - Winston Churchill
  • Thinking of your creative endeavour in the time between activities counts as being creative.
  • "Being absurd can transport one's mind out of the mundane and the trip can refresh a brain into seeing beyond the habitual."
  • It's better to be absurd in your actions than to be inactive! (My personal favourite!)

Many more gems of advice are hidden in between the colourful pages of this Manual. The beauty of this book is that you don't have to read it in sequence. If you are feeling stuck you can just open up a random page and find a tip which just might get you moving. Try it! Let me know what you think.

To being creatively absurd, inspired and enthused!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year Party Dresses and Gifts

Hello dear all!!!

I hope you had as much fun this past New Year's Eve as I have. How did you celebrate? Me and my fiance hosted a big party which lasted until about 6 a.m. It was fantastic to see our friends some of whom we have not seen in months! It was especially magical because my sister came to visit me and celebrate with us! It goes without saying that I prepared something special to wear for the New Year's party!

My sister chose to wear the dress I made from Butterick pattern 5324. She makes it shine! And it perfectly compliments her sky blue eyes! As for myself, I wore this yellow my number. Yellow is my favourite colour. I wore the dress with the red coral necklace I bought in the Dominican Republic during our friends wedding trip and the peach pumps, a present from Shannon the designer. I like how these colours contrast with each other.

And then of course there is this glorious moment of opening New Year presents.

Excited about my gift!
I lucked out this year because my fiance gave me something that will allow me to diversify my designing and making techniques. It is a hand press machine that can do grommets and all kinds of snaps! My fiance knew exactly what I wanted! Here is the beauty:

My New Year gift!

So my New Year resolution this year is to make more pretty clothes!... with grommets... and snaps!...Don't be surprised if you notice a surplus of these design details on my future creations...  (Blame the man!)

How did you celebrate? What gifts did you get or give? What did you choose to wear?  Do you like to wear something special to mark the beginning of the New Year? What are your resolutions? 

Happy New Year Everyone!!! 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Fashion Collection Teaser

Hello darlings!

Many of you may not know this but I have been taking fashion design courses for the past couple of years. I am just about finished and will show my student fashion collection in April. I am super excited about this as I have been working really hard on its development. So I thought I would show you some of the design details that will end up in my collection. Now I do not want to give away too much of what it will look like but here are just a few teasers:

I have been working on creating a feathery fluffy texture and succeeded in doing so with tulle and organza.

I have also done some leather cutouts attempting to turn leather into a type of lace.

Over sized roping details are integral to my collection. I wove it in various ways using different macramé techniques. Since designing is a process more design details and techniques might emerge as I further develop this. 

All of these details will be integrated into my runway looks. I am very excited to bring my ideas to life. I am sure you know the feeling! Stay tuned and I will show you what some pieces of my collection will look like! And for now, can you guess the theme of the collection?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hot Salsa in Cold December

Hello darlings!

You may not know this but I dance. I love dancing! And I try to come out and dance as often as possible. Unfortunately, that "often" happens very seldom. But last Saturday I attended the 3d Annual Winter Ball hosted by Steps Dance Studio where I take my Latin dance classes. It was a joyous event in a gorgeous venue spiced up by a delicious food menu and hot Latin vibes. On top of that, me and my fiance, along with our group mates, performed our salsa routine at this ball. We performed the same routine as we did at the Canada Salsa and Bachata Congress 2013 earlier in October. Canada Salsa and Bachata Congress 2013 is the biggest festival of Latin dance in Canada so it felt very special to be able to perform on that stage. Here is the video of our dance routine from the Congress: 

I enjoy performing a lot! So I was only happy to perform our salsa dance at the last weekend's Winter Ball. After long months of tedious practice it feels very gratifying to showcase what you have learned. Here are some photos from the Ball's performance:


Besides my performance costume (which is quite revealing to say the least), I wore this champagne lacy dress I made for the past New Year's Party. 

Me and my fiance social dancing

Its shiny material and lacy outer shell are still more than relevant. Besides, its flare and cut out back are very appropriate for social dancing. And believe me I did plenty of the latter! So it worked out that I greeted 2013 and bid my farewell to 2013 in the same dress. It served me well! 

To new dresses in 2014!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Outfit Idea #20. Pretty Plaid Dresses.

Hello fashion-lovers!

Plaids are everywhere this fall! Every apparel store window displays some outfit in plaid. Coincidentally, I happen to love plaids and especially plaid dresses! That is why I decided to show a couple of plaid dresses I made a little while back.

I made this blue plaid dress from McCalls Pattern 5466, which is now out of print. It has tucks at the neckline, cap sleeves and in-seam side pockets. I love its hourglass shape. I usually wear it with this black bow belt. But it is always good to diversify the look. So I styled it with this black blazer cinched with a blue skinny belt. The blazer gives it a professional look and the belt adds a touch of sophistication.

The second plaid dress I want to share is probably my favourite yet! Unfortunately, I cannot recall which pattern I followed so it will have to stay a mystery.

It has a square neckline, wide elbow-length sleeves, it's very roomy and has big big side pockets! I love how unusual it is! I love how wide its sleeves are and how loosely it sits on the body. There is a certain kind of sexiness about it. And I especially like that it goes with just about anything beige or brown. So I can wear it with a beige belt...

...and wear a woven beige belt over it...

You can further diversity the look by adding an extra layer underneath like a blouse or a turtle neck. Isn't it just perfect for winter?

Do you like plaids? Do you think of plaids as primarily fall/winter-appropriate? Or do you think you can sport them year round?

Friday, November 29, 2013

"Fashion Obsession" Discharge Dye Fabric Design

Hello creative souls!

Today I want to show you the fabric pattern that I designed recently. It was my first time using discharge dying technique. Discharge dying is a process of removing dye from fabric with the help of discharge paste. It is basically the opposite of dying. Various methods can be used to create designs on the fabric's surface: shibouri, stenciling, stamping, tie dye, block printing, etc. 

For my fabric, which was black loosely woven silk, I first created a stencil out of plastic. It took me 2 hours to cut that out with an x-acto knife

Stencil for my fabric design
I then put the stencil against the fabric and applied the discharge paste to the fabric with a sponge. You should let the paste dry on the fabric and then iron it. Both heat and steam should be applied to the fabric in order for the design to show through. Here is the result!

My funky grungy fabric
Depending on how much discharge paste you apply to the fabric (how thick the solution) you might get more or less bleached out areas on the fabric. If you want consistency, it is best to practice on a scrap piece first. I wasn't going for consistency with my design. I love how uneven the design looks! It gives this fabric a very grungy look

Close-up of my design
I think this fabric would be perfect for a sleeveless top or skater skirt. It really reminded me of a dress by A Detacher that I saw on the Spring 2014 RTW runway:

A Detacher Spring 2014 RTW
I simply cannot wait to make something with this piece! What do you guys think it should be? Leave me a comment, I'm interested in your suggestions!

Happy Friday!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Outfit Idea #19. Over-sized Pocket Skirt.

Hi darlings,

I am very excited to share this creation of mine with you. It's been so busy on my end that to complete this number I had to literally steal a minute here, a minute there, sometimes sacrificing other chores. Now, it is finally ready and cannot wait to be worn. I made this skirt with a Vogue pattern. My skirt is of mid-calf length and has extremely baggy pockets and extra  long sleeves for belt ties. I installed metal snaps on the fake cuffs so they look real :) I just love how different and unapologetic this skirt is! 

I wore it with a crisp white dress shirt, the black rope necklace and laced up sandals. The fabric on this skirt looks like it's denim but it's actually linen dyed to look this way. That's why even though gathers add bulk, the skirt is still very flowy and has lots of movement.

Midi length skirts have been trending since about a year or so ago and are in full bloom in the runways for Spring.

Spring 2014 RTW
Since a long winter awaits, I adapted the same skirt for the colder months. I wore it with a plain black turtle neck, black high-heeled boots with a sparkle and a statement necklace. Add a shiny clutch and this outfit becomes office party-appropriate!

And I just LOVE this necklace I got from Topshop. I think it perfectly completes this strong look!

How about you? Have you started planning your party outfits yet? If you have, make it loud and unapologetic!