Tuesday, August 21, 2007




My mom just sent me a huge stash of natural fabrics made from materials such as pineapple and banana. These are the old-school eco fibers--organically produced, and are traditionally used for Filipino formal attire for both men and women. The embroidery is amazing in its intricacy, and is usually positioned on the fabric in anticipation of how it's going to be used in a piece of clothing: butterfly sleeves on a woman's dress, the front of a man's barong? My favorite piece is the geometric one above. I've had a small collection for a while and a few ideas for their use, but mom's infusion of material is making me want to sit down and just start making.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Hat Anatomy: One in Ten Auction

Wrong side of the fabric.

The blue satin lining makes an appearance.

Hot cha cha. Well, not really, but nice 'no?

The light blue bridal satin lining wanted to say hello, but the brim was having a bad interfacing day due to the humidity and refused to be photograped alone, acquiescing only to a couple of group shots.

The Everyday Cloche is a deep crown hat made from patterned upholstery fabric, with a silver buckled self-fabric belt and a short curvy brim. It is lined in a blue bridal satin. This is size 22 1/2. As part of the One in Ten Auction, you can bid on the Everyday Cloche here. To explore other amazing handcrafted pieces, look here.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Making Community

Photo from bara.

As a student-milliner and novice sewing enthusiast, I've turned to creative and craft blogs for inspiration and validation. The making community is a generous and supportive one—marked by a joyful nature.

Early in June, Eireann Lorsung’s mom suffered an aneurysm, which they were told only one in ten people survive. Thankfully, her mom is on her way to a full recovery.
Eireann is a poet and artist, and when she decided to organize an auction of handmade pieces to raise funds for her mother’s medical costs not covered by insurance, I knew that I was going to sew a hat for the auction.

A lot of beautiful handmade pieces from a variety of artists and crafters are waiting for your bids. Please check it out
here. To learn more about each piece and its maker, please peruse the main auction site at One in Ten.

Bidding will begin tomorrow, August 19th, and will continue until Friday evening (August 24th), so go, Go, GO!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Our lips are sealed...

The Specials, Fun Boy Three, The Colourfield, The Lightning Seeds -- some of my favorite music.

Terry Hall is the common thread.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Fresh Figs with Goat Cheese and Peppered Honey

Recipe Find!

I had some of this at my favorite French Bistro, the Cafe Divine, on Washington Square Park in San Francisco.

From Epicurious.com:

I was recommended having this appetizer along with gazpacho and some crusty bread on a hot night.


1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 fresh figs
1/4 cup soft fresh goat cheese
1. Combine honey and pepper in small pitcher; you may need to melt the honey a little to blend.
2. Starting at stem end, cut each fig into quarters, stopping 1/2 inch from bottom to leave base intact. Gently press figs open.
3. Spoon 1 teaspoon cheese into center of each. Arrange figs on platter; drizzle with peppered honey.

This magical cafe has large scale artwork and jazz music, great french pastries and an amiable atmosphere. Outside, a large park fronts a gorgeous chapel in the heart of San Francisco's North Beach Italian neighborhood. The park is a restful haven, full of running doggies and small babies playing underneath windswept pine and eucalyptus trees.

The weather today is a perfect Mediterranean, moist and breezy, warm with overcast clouds.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Hardware Notes

Pictures above and immediately below from Pottery Barn - Small Spaces.

C, you know my moving history. Having spent several years in less than 200 sq. ft. (it did have a killer corner view over Manhattan, in a building that filmed Spiderman, the X-files, Superman, Batman, and many others), I moved out west for a few months and enjoyed a glam view over San Francisco Bay from a 500 sq. ft. multi-room pad with crown molding, hardwood floors, bay window, full kitchen, dining room, and foyer (not to mention closet space that was so big I didn't need a bureau). But the story continues...

For many reasons, I chose to leave my lovely Russian Hill view and hit it back east, this time Boston-Beantown. I wanted to stay in Boston itself and have been pricing some great apartments in fascinating historical neighborhoods that are still within walking distance to my new office.

But the challenge is returning to what will probably be less space. Um, 350, maybe 400 if I am super-lucky. And a one-room studio with a kitchen just sort of part of the wall. Maybe. So, how do you make 400 sq. ft. look like 1,200 sq. ft.? I thought I would research some room divider possibilities...

Check these out:

Ceiling Mounted Hardware, at Pottery Barn (right). It lets you get some curtains and partition a room with some really pretty fabric, straight down from the ceiling wherever you feel like hiding something (like a full-size bed).

Even JC Penny has their ceiling mounted curtain rod hardware starting at $14.99 (picture above left, used as a canopy over the bed). I think I'm going to need some help when I move back east. :-D

Some other cool hardware was this great Wire/Cable Rod Set by Mt. Drapes:

Designed to be mounted on the inside of the window jamb or on facing walls, the cable rod system is custom fit when installed. A hint of Nickel or Brass: a curtain rod system that makes the world feel a little smaller and the view seem larger. Recommended for light weight draperies only. Up to 16' of cable included. Easy installation instructions included.

I'm thinking about hiding my bed behind a long cool sheath of semi-transparent silk, or maybe some magnificent embroidered chinese cloth. I imagine long panels of amazing fabrics falling vertical from the ceiling, blocking out my unsightly bed-sitting-in-the-living room/kitchen/dining room.

What have you done?