Chicken-less Soup For the Soul, DIY For Sanity

Pardon the title, I was "under the weather" as they say... But I'm feeling much better today after cooking some of mother's chicken soup recipe sans the chicken!

Channeling the need to create once again I decided that it was time for another FASHION TALES DIY session. I'm uncertain if I had mentioned before, but there was a time when I used to participate in costume designing (with dramatic show detailing) at a couple of theatre houses. I later left the costuming sector to pursue my passions in production & men's wear, in addition to other avenues within the industry.

However, there were still influential traces left from those unglamorous "lights, camera, action" experiences from beaded trims, and you probably already guessed it ... FEATHERS!

Here's a small dose of what I have been working on, of course there is far more to to be served in this delicious course. But, let's start with a couple of hors d'œuvres or three before our main course shall we? 

I do hope that you like these as much as I do, especially given the fact that I was inspired to create my own earrings after browsing many sites where they were being sold anywhere ranging from 18-45 USD online! It's easy, quick & affordable.  Enjoy the rest of your week my lovelies!
As you may know I adore asymmetrical things, so it's no surprise that each earring is a tad unmatched.
Sequins elastic headband with beads, I just hand stitched a small design on the elastic & attached remnant fabric on the edge & gathered together.

Yes, I still have loads of peacock feathers, remember this? Howver, I sold the previous ones. For this piece I added snaps and metallic beads, in addition to chain that I purchased from the wholesale market (will definitely wear soon).

I enjoy wearing unique accessories, so I wanted to design something for my vintage wool blazer. I started with cutting strips of jersey on the bias, them rolled, twisting the pieces and knotting the ends. Making a larger knot creation as the focal point (one that I was pleased with) I then started to intertwine the chain, wrapping it around sections of the knot. Afterward, I tacked down a few of the loose ends to keep the chain in place and used hot glue to adhere the beads to the ends of each piece. Here is the result. 

Happy Friday! I hope that you have a wonderful weekend and continue to be inspired!


Vanity + Vintage Vol. #03

Welcome all to the third installment of Vanity+Vintage! It has already been a pretty wonderful, yet busy week so far. Sifting through a few boxes and storage containers inside of my closet I found a few more stylish items that (have three colours) I'm very much loving at the moment grey, red, and navy.
I completely forgot about these beautiful Italian shoes that were a gift from my parents many years ago. I adore the tiny tassels. Red, navy, and white seem to compliment any outfit in a classic way, and this ensemble makes me feel content --- as if I'm absolutely ready for a nice holiday & soon please!!
This jacket is a recent purchase that was made on the weekend. Of course I had to show my appreciation for stripes! I was charmed by the scale of this tassel, especially paired with the loafers. I actually acquired it 7 years ago at a local jumble sale, so I added it as an adornment on my handbag.
Old glam for daytime!
Guess what? I found an outfit to wear with my hat and vintage clutch! 

The goods: Vintage YSL skirt, Massimo Italian loafers, DIY feather/lace hat, DIY handmade belt, Grey leather clutch-vintage Brandahl Sweden. Navy/white striped jacket-Consignment shop, White travel watch-gifted from Japan, red coral necklace/earrings=Maylee's jewellery, Denim-CheapMonday, Urban Outfitters straw hat

Shopping Bliss, Friends and Family

This past weekend was completely filled with family, friends and good fun. Moments before my weekend officially began I was off to run errands, including a little bit of shopping, mailing packages, and picking up my friend from the airport, etc.

I did anticipate a few busy hours ahead, given the planned agenda, however the minute that I left the office my "to-do list" was being completed far earlier than expected. I managed to take a few snapshots on my way to complete the journey. Here's what I wore on this very casual and sunny day.

Did you do anything exciting? I hope that everyone enjoyed their weekend, whether celebrating Easter festivities, leisure living, or perhaps appreciating the beautiful weather.
 I carried this bag that I picked up at Forever21 for $1.50, Shoes: Urban Outfitters
T-shirt: bargain find at a record store, ribbon & bead necklace-gifted, Turquoise beaded cuff bracelet- mother's
Shorts: CitizensofHumanity old jeans that I cut up.
*During the weekend I was able to find a great jacket, which I will later post...

Friend Friday: INSPIRATION

1. Which celebrity (celebrities) do you look to for fashion 
I don't normally look to a celebrity for my fashion inspiration, but I do love some of the styles of Gywneth Paltrow, Zoe Saldana, and Liv Tyler, all for different reasons, mixing simplicity, colour, and edginess. I'm such a jacket fan, most specifically adoring blazers & well, these ladies rock them well!
photos: Getty images, fashionhippo

2. When it comes to your own personal style, what inspires you? 
Although my style is pretty eclectic, there are romanticised elements in my personal style. I'm inspired by colour and the challenge of minimalism, which for me used to be very difficult (to only wear simple silhouettes), yet it's what aids me in the editing of my daily ensembles.

3. How do you hope to inspire your readers? 
I hope to inspire my readers by my outside of the box thinking in the ways that I capture style and talent in fashion. My perspective on fashion does not always stick to the status quo of trends. I hope that my readers (YOU) get inspired by small positive doses with each visit. 

Tadao Ando architecture: Source
4. Outside the realm of fashion who/what inspires you?  
I know that I've said this many times in the past, but besides fashion related things, I'm often inspired by architecture, light, and geometric shapes (think, Bauhaus). Thanks to my engineering father, and architect grandfather I have learnt so much from them, and always tend to grab influence from these genres in some way from concept to finished result. 

5. And since Idol is ending… Which songs inspire you? 
I must say that I have not been following "idol," however my music inspiration is quite diverse. Recently, I've been really inspired by some of my family's vinyl collections --- from "I will Survive to True Colours," Gloria Gaynor and Cyndi Lauper to Sam Cooke, Smokey Robinson, Sade, The Beatles, and Stevie Wonder, amongst many others.  

This post is apart of Friend Friday (FBFF) created by Katie of Modly Chic. Click to see inspiration from other fellow bloggers here! 


Vanity + Vintage Vol. #02

With the Vanity + Vintage series still being in it's infancy stage, I decided to give it a go and try a weekly installment, or twice a month... of course you shall know by next week. Though, Tuesdays/Wednesdays seem to feel right at the moment.

This week in the FASHION TALES vault of goodies there's a couple of amazing finds, and a random surprise all with fabric involved. I'm a material girl, but not in the sense that one normally ponders her to be, rather a girl who has an undying love for fabrics, and raw materials whether printed, painted, embroidered, or even dyed.

And this to me, is the material-hunt alert. The material-hunt (M-H) alert for the most part is embedded in my mind, (allowing my eyes to react immediately to radiant fabrics, or trims) of a certain period and rests stylishly beside other important thoughts in my head. Albeit, the alert is showcased at typically notable times for example, at flea markets, charity/thrift stores, vintage boutiques, and wholesale shows, however yesterday's eagle eye of all M-H alerts was quite different.
(60s inspired print. I loved it! This was the top & bottom, there's more on one side with a smaller scale of the crowd, although  this remnant is only approx. 68cm+/-. I will find something to create).

After working a not-so-typical relaxed Monday morning my boss started conversing with me about her mother who had a few bags of vintage pieces, old art supplies, and what she called "scraps" of fabric at her home. Her mother, (stylish, and approximately in her early 80s) wanted to dispose of everything in her attic, which also included the bags. Being that many of us in the office love vintage, and fabric in general, I was so pleased that my boss wanted me to have a first viewing.

Consequently, I knew that the M-H alert was about to have the spotlight, so I hoped.

Anxiously I went to have a look at these supposed few bags. Unfortunately, the first one was a disappointment, with only actually finding pieces that I had given away during moves myself. The second and third bags, conversely had several items that were definitely worth the drive over.

Here's inspiration and a brief glance at the assorted bag of goodies, in addition to lists for future creations.
Here's old fabric that I found in the closet, (cotton/acrylic embroidered print). Possibly a pillow for my friend's son, not certain what else to do with this, any suggestions? 
The two fabrics on the end are vintage silks, the middle fabric is a pleated metallic copper material that I cannot wait to use.. I see men's ties and so much more!!
(Above-left) This is a shell that I made as a necklace, given to me decades ago. My mother would collect them in her youth, so I chose the largest one to keep. (Above-right) I loved the colour in this purple African wax print! I want to make a bag, hat, or skirt from this with a solid waistband. Oh my... so many things to do!
This beautiful embroidered fabric reminds me of a men's waistcoast from the 18th/19th Cent. Long ago, I used to work at a costuming center that refurbished materials and designed clothing from those periods for filming. Although, this seems to be a modern version (cotton and silk blend), it reminds me of that!
I also dug up these 90s patterns in my own bin & thought that it was funny, especially since some of the styles are modified & apparent today. Box shoulders, notch & high-waisted pencil skirts, & the ultimate Tartan plaid jacket.
Lastly, I picked this one up because for some reason I am determined to make something unique with this unattractive (poly) fabric! What's in your closet?
Stay tuned for the next installment....


Rain, Sun: Sun, Rain

With small blooms of spring being revealed periodically it is indeed exciting! However, in transition I was caught in the sprinkles of rain last week from time-to-time. Here's a few snapshots from the effects of the brisk wind and sun peeking through trying to shine a nice "hello" in my direction just moments before I left to go shopping one day.

This dress is an old favourite purchase. My decision to add a layered skirt underneath was simply because the dress probably wasn't designed for a person of my height. Well, I am guessing, anyway! Nonetheless, I was determined to make it work. How's the April weather where you're located?
Back detailing: At first I wasn't fond of the exposed zipper, but now it's growing on me!
Skirt that I made: (oldie but goodie) I am sure that you will see this many times in the future!
Drops of rain still falling in this quick shot!!  Shoes-Jeffrey Campbell, Jacket-Thrifted


Pekka Salokannel: Light, Time, and Design

After a much needed boost of inspiration last month, my friend Lars and I went out to do a stint of what we call a day of museum-jetting, which included an art show of modern wine sculptures, catching up on local exhibits, and conversing about industrial design and architecture. 

Along the way we met a couple who also shared some of these interests and were just as passionate. The artsy couple spoke of a particular art piece that they loved; it reminded them of a certain designer and artistic style they’d heard of recently.

The irony of the conversation was the fact that I had just spoke to Lars about the work of the designer they were referring to, because of a wristwatch design that caught my eye. To say the very least, this specific wristwatch was quite clever. It was also created for the Swarovski Competition by Finnish industrial designer, Pekka Salokannel.

Days later, I was browsing the Internet and came across yet another piece of inspiring work, unaware that it was also done by the same exact designer. With that being said, I decided to share with you more works of Salokannel as well as my brief conversation with the designer himself.

“Finnish design heritage have taught me to always somehow do functional products, and I'm very happy about that.”

As with any impeccable design, there’s always a process, a time frame, and result wanted. In this innovation below, Salokannel shows us that great concepts are worth waiting for to achieve an excellent outcome.
(Above) Cresco lamp for Freedom of Creation (FOC), one of Salokannel’s proudest creations! He also credits Janne Kyttänen for extensive experience in 3d-printed lamps as being invaluable. "Usually in my best work, ideas come quickly but, making it ready, of course takes time," Salokannel said.
Here’s another favourite. Jacket buttons!
More creations may also be found in his shop here.  

The TEMPUS-wristwatch that Salokannel designed for the Swarovski Competition (Seen above). The unique design involves e-ink technology. With the designer’s love for watches, it was natural to want to participate in the competition. He showcases a sleek presentation of the wristwatch offering gemstones as ornate fashion with the added tech of a USB. In addition, he provides the wearer with the ability to transform the style or personality of their watch.

You may also check out his most recent award winning concept development project for Finnish furniture design company Martela. "Together with Martela we [intend] to realize the concept and reveal it next year, when Helsinki is the World design capital," Salonkannel said.

In fact, according to the World Economic Forum (WED), Finland ranks third for being one of the most digitally connected economies. Sweden holds the #1 spot, Singapore rests at #2, and Switzerland and the U.S. fall in line at the fourth and fifth position respectively. Therefore, as in design innovation and digital technology, Salokannel may not be too far off the projecting path.

For more information visit:

Getting to Know Pekka Salokannel:
Location:  Helsinki, Finland
On favourite designers… Leonardo da Vinci is the number one, there's no doubt. There hasn’t been more of a competitor in the fields of art, engineering and experimentation before or after him. Eero Aarnio, he has done design classics since the '60s, and continues doing it with a smile on his face. Also, Peter Callesen's paper art has stayed in my mind since I found those inspirational works few years ago.

On his current focus and occupation... I work as an industrial designer for my day job. However, I'm concentrating on marketing design, such as POS material, and shop and exhibition design. 

Do you have a set studio? Where do you design &  produce your products? My home is my studio. When working at home, I have time and enthusiasm for new designs. 3d-printing has made it possible to work from my home; providing the products as files, just like music and videos nowadays. The 3d-printed products are produced in the Netherlands.

What's your priority when designing? Functionality vs. design aesthetic...
Functionality, maybe. Let's say that it's rare if I want to do anything which is only about aesthetics. When a product is meant to be a decoration, like jewellery, it still has to work. Otherwise it's still a concept. Finnish design heritage have taught me to always somehow do functional products, and I'm very happy about that.

What's currently on your music playlist? I go with the modern Scandinavian classics: Kings of convenience, Röyksopp, Mew...

How has your location affected your personal style & design mentality? I believe that nature in Northern Europe, with it's special light behavior, has affected me a lot. The polar night of the winter and the midnight sun during summer has shown me the path for designing time and light related products. For years my passion has been lamps and watches. We basically live with artificial light and time, especially up in the north. We live more with the clock than the sun; we live more with the lamp than sun!

Photos: Courtesy of Pekka Salokannel


Vanity + Vintage Vol. #01

Here’s a first volume of Vanity+Vintage where I rummage through my closet, interesting finds on shopping ventures, or items geared toward vanity (a positive self-importance element that we all need from time to time). I will take these items and somehow make it look modern, whether in an outfit post or other visual showcasing.

This week I was on a mission to find a few vintage items for a work project throughout my weekend. We scored an item or three and missed a few, but there’s always next month. However, during this fun-filled excursion it also prompted me to get inspired from sifting through my own closet (basement, storage, and attic included).

From moving around a ton, one usually goes through a purging session; gathering the unnecessary to give away or in my case finding things I had forgotten I'd possessed at all! Here are a few treasures that I found  and really excited to keep!  Hhhmm, I also sense another DIY day looming. To be continued…
*(Above) I have not worn this necklace in years. I suppose it's time to find the perfect outfit for this lovely piece! (Top) This vintage leather bag is one of my favourites.

Also, a while ago on the way from vintage shopping we stopped by a wonderful fabric depot in Portland, Oregon. I found more amazing fabric to add to the raw material archives and wanted to immediately create. Printed and embossed impressions was on the searching mission. The piece that I ended up loving had a softer tone than I thought I wanted initially, however after 45 seconds of viewing the colour I had to have it! Here's a small bag that I made: project:1 from the 3 yards that I purchased. Mini fringe-like trim will be added to the bottom of the leather... well, maybe.
Do you have any recent favourite DIY projects or vintage finds? Do tell!
Material: buttery coloured & patch-work embossed faux-leather with gold-metallic luster!

Lastly, does this look familiar? It's been a long time coming. Have a view below at the wool and feathered-lace headpiece that I finally finished. I was inspired by costume design, Vegas shows, period film, in addition to my friend Jasmin, who I call a Princess of hat design.

This is a horsehair, feathers, lace, & wool creation! 
*Will need to concoct a stylish outfit to wear with this piece in the future.* more pics added/updated 14/04
© FASHION TALES. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig