Found Inspiration

I've been incredibly weighed down with work related activities this week so I decided to find inspiration through silent film, art, Pinterest, hanging out with friends and of course craft time (which I will show at a later date). Here are brief snaps and tidbits of what I'm being inspired by at the moment.

How's your week going so far? Fret not, Friday is just right around the corner!

Pinterest Love:

*Above: This ivy cathedral in Belgium is just beautiful- the art, structure, and texture inspired me in many way.

I've also been quite struck by the colour green lately. Having a love for many colours it's easy to let each day perspire a new mist of influence for my wardrobe. By incorporating old pieces with new ones I have recently been into vintage basket-styled handbags, and I do believe I'm in the market to acquire yet another one soon!
Fashion Tales Inspiration

Above: (Source) Pierre Herme's Sable a L'olive Noir 
I want to try these savory black olive cookies.  
  Below: (Source)  Art/Building inspiration
Painted staircase Singapore

Vanity + Vintage #11

Hello dear fashionistas, it has indeed been quite wonderful to take a break, and I must admit you were missed very much. However, it was definitely a breath of fresh air to get away from work and be pampered.

In this week's V+V series I take a look into my fabric bin and bring you retro material with a modern twist. I have only been back for one day now and found myself listening to vintage records, in lieu of unpacking and catching up on some reading for work. It's absolutely difficult to come back (to reality), after having a nice holiday with primarily doing, well not much at all, yet enjoying mother nature's surrounding beauty.

As I get back into the swing of things I found inspiration, guided by none other than the simplicity of black and white with a scarf addition, which was my small nudge of boldness getting back into my wardrobe.

I do hope that you are having a wonderful summer week and for my other international friends possibly a fashionably colder climate at the moment.

This strapless dress was from vintage striped and embroidered fabric that a family friend gave me, I used it to make a dress and added a large button as an adornment.
These Japanese panels were also in the same box that I received; I actually used these to produce a kimono inspired outfit for a fashion show (a very long time ago). The panel pieces were joined together so I separated them into vertical sections, still having about 10 pieces left over I'm using this as a belt on the dress as my primary accessory.

The goods:   Scarf - Diane von Furstenburg, Dress- Gestalt Collection/ladyofashion,  Japanese panel belt- Gestalt Collection/ladyofashion, Shoes - BCBG
*My thoughts and prayers goes out to Norway and family of those who were affected by the current events in Oslo.


Since I am still on holiday and celebrating my birthday I wanted to do something a bit different on my blog. Instead of one guest post, I decided to ask a group of bloggers to be inspired by music, and then interpret it in their outfits by a song title or lyric. I hope that you like it as much as I do! I miss you all and will be back before you can say "Comme des Garçons!" 

Just as art inspires me music influences my work and life, particularly lyrics ... I invite you to view below what these featured ladies have on their style-tunes.
"She don't believe in shooting stars, but she believe in shoes and cars."
-Kanye West, Flashing Lights

"I LOVE this song and I think it'll always be one of my favorite Kanye songs (and songs in general). It's a bit dark in nature but it makes me move every single time."

" ain't everyday you get to give"
-K'NaanTake Minute

I had the extreme pleasure to hear in concert the original version of the song "Take a Minute."  K'Naan came to the U.S. with his family fleeing the civil war in Somalia and he explained the gravity of these words to us. There are so many people on this planet trying to survive, people who are sick, scared, hungry, in the middle of war just trying to live and so the ability to give is a gift, and if you can give no matter how big or small you are in a special place.

"I chose to represent the lyrics with an image of my new tattoo inspired by The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Not only is this small book a beautiful story on giving but the tattoo is in honor of my brother, my mama, and my aunt. My brother was the giving tree in grammar school and I have a very clear memory of my mama and aunt carefully making his costume well into the late hours of the night.  In "Take a Minute" there is another lyric and it aptly sums up the tattoo's other meaning: Dear mama, you helped me write this by showing me to give is priceless. I'm so lucky to have my mama, aunt and brother still teaching me the lesson of giving. "
~Jamillah, Made-to-Travel

Rhapsody in Blue
-George Gershwin

"This tunic reminds me of Gershwin’s classic tune and one of my favorite songs, not just for the touches of color, but for the swirling design which calls to mind the vision I get whenever I hear “Rhapsody in Blue”: that of a glamorous 1920s American society in all of its “metropolitan madness," as Gershwin put it."

Closer to Fine
-Indigo Girls

"The less I seek my source for some definitive, the closer I am to fine." 

" is this the real life, is this just fantasy... any way the wind blows"
-Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody

"I've been wanting to wear these 70s-inspired flares for a while, but just realized this pink crop top was the perfect fit! Wore it with aviators, a headband, floppy hat, and a scarf - things that I find to be very boho-chic."
~Cheryl, Oh-to-be-a-Muse

"Faith pours from your walls, drowning your calls
I've tried to hear, you're not near
Remembering when I saw your face
Shining my way, pure timing..."
Badly Drawn Boy - The Shining

"The Shining is one of my all time favourites, a beautiful melody and composition I never tire of. Also vastly under appreciated. It is symphonic, intelligent, beautiful and meaningful. I literally wanted to have my whole wedding soundtrack to be all Badly Drawn Boy music, though I settled for our introduction to the reception being All Possibilities (the Orthodox church seems to frown upon modern music in the church service apparently).

Now I have to get a wee bit serious here too, because the lyrics hold a lot of meaning for me. I lost someone close to me last year (my grandmother), who was such a source of strength in my life and a tremendous influence on me growing up. 
This song reminds me of how much love we had for each other, how she would want me to be happy, and how much hope and success I have in my life because of her.  I see her more and more in all the little things: my renewed faith, my passion for life, my thankfulness for her pours over me...yes, like the warm sun on a gorgeous day."

Do you have a favourite lyric that has inspired you? Enjoy your day lovelies.

Handled With Care

Oh yes, and one more thing... 
Okay, so you don't know what to do with those straps that you've cut off your bag? Well, here's what I did with the pieces leftover from the animal-inspired clutch that I made the other day.

I transformed the handles/straps into mini (cuff-like) bracelets! Additionally, a second clutch was also created, because my younger sister wanted one, so I decided to make the version of her's a bit more sleek than mine, however still having attitude. Enjoy and see below.

*Don't like reading much? Skip to results below!
What you'll need:
Handles/straps from bag
Sewing machine
Small loose chain (can be flat or rolled)
Fabric & metal glue
Flat elastic 3pcs. cut 2-3" length/ea.
Button or Velcro if you don't have elastic
*Love & patience (for newbies working w/ loose chain)
Stacked & Straps:
After the cut measurement of your wrist to where it's as tight as you want the cuff to be take chain and lay 2 or 3 pieces in a desired design. Carefully glue the chain to the fabric, you may also use tweezers for placement if you have a shaky hand during application. I used a mixture of fine chain this time because I wanted three separate rows.

Afterward the drying process takes place and it's time to add a snap, button or Velcro for closure. However, instead of those stated I decided to create a braided elastic method. To do this you'll need the cut measurement of elastic and start braiding the pieces together, if you like go ahead and place tape on one end until the other is finished. On right side of fabric to right side of braided elastic (=face to face) join the seams together. Cut excess closely, then flip cuff over and top-stitch to secure strongly in place. Repeat this for the other side of the elastic. That's it!

For the second bracelet, I used more feathers from the Ladyofashion archives, and placed my selected design in the center of the strap/handle. Make a center stitch to tack in place, then use a small amount of fabric glue to adhere the feathers to the strap/handle. *Repeat the closure process as above. I used a manual braided elastic here as well, giving it a unique look. Here's the result!
Zwei Clutch!
This clutch was from the bottom part of the initial bag, it needed depth to whatever design I was going to choose. Making a simple adornment by using printed pleather attached to a vinyl piece I cut the pleather to the length of the clutch (minus 3/8" total) and a separate piece approx. 6cm or so... This will be the added piece for a dimensional effect. Top-stitch the pleather (above used as a center focal point) to the clutch Using studs that I already had from a previous project, I adhered them to the separate piece (use metal glue or hot-glue). Of course studs and other adornments may be acquired at your local arts and crafts store.

All seaming was pretty much done, the main thing was to create a lining, becasue it had to be pretty much torn out for the initial clutch. Use a sewing machine to stitch lining on the inside straight to the clutch or you may use fabric glue if you prefer. I sewed mine. I also have an additional strap piece from the bracelets and used it as a binding piece sewn at the top and bottom of the clutch openings. For closure, I used magnets, but you may also use buttons, Velcro, or snaps, etc.

Pin It

Mission: To use all of the fabric from project:  Mission complete.

Have a wonderful week!

Vanity + Vintage #10

Floral Days:
It's been a pause or three since the last installment of V+V, but here it is my dears! This week is about impressional floral prints. One of my favourite colours (of an inspiring several) is blue, specifically the variances of light blues, shades and tones.

This vintage day dress exudes the lifestyle mongrel of say... a Susie Homemaker or floral loving teacher from the countryside, or Sunday school girl, yet in the print it offers its common sensibility to us all. Blue illustrates many things, faithfulness, loyalty, but also sadness, and tranquility amongst other meanings.

When I wear this little dress a soothing effect happens, a calming spirit, but also an uplifting one, probably because of the power of blue. For me the blue in this print embodies the confidence and peace needed for the changes on the road ahead. It's providing a subtle, but powerful display of a feminine wildflower.

I also love this dress because of the deep functional pockets, nothing's hidden; everything from the zipper to the lace trim is pretty much exposed. The refining qualities are in the options of how to wear the dress.  I chose to add a modern belt.

Lastly, I am preparing for a short holiday coming up in a week or so, however I will still be visiting your lovely blogs when I get the chance. Stay updated next week on Twitter if you like. Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

The goods:  Vintage dress-Somewhere in SF, Wedge sandals-Anthropologie, Silver pendant/necklace-Nordstroms, Necklace-vintage, Belt-Gestalt Collection/Ladyofashion, Bracelet worn here-handmade from grandmother, Bangles-Dorothy Perkins, Earrings-Aldo
Further reading: Feng-Shui-Blue
*Special Thanks to Nefferth of Mode-Plus for her "Denim It Up" feature this week. See it here!


A Paperboy Gem and Animal Clutch

Today's inspiration comes from my adoration for paperboy hats. I've had this one for quite a long time, and caught sight of a handful of marbled gems from the crafting bin to give a hint of glitz to the style. Don't worry, this hat DIY is probably the easiest that I've done so you needn't rapidly scroll down just for fabulous results! Instead, enjoy the tutorial as well ... anyone can do this!
Inspiration board;  Ladyofashion

Materials used:
Hot glue gun/fabric glue
Glue sticks
Scissors Obviously!
Sewing machine
Loose gems, beads, or other adornments
Clasp or Button
35 minutes out of your day to do both DIY projects!

A Crown of Gems:
I'm constantly finding a reason to use older items that I haven't needed in the past few years. These marbles were no exception! I simply used tape to see how I wanted my marbled-gems positioned and used hot glue to create a different effect. If you're certain about your design skip the mock-up and simply hot glue it to the hat or in this case it was adhered to the ribbon band of the hat. I have tons of hats including a few of this style, so I wanted a version that would make a unique impression when worn. Enjoy!

I also decided to embellish my notions handbag. Although I only use this bag to carry my sewing supplies from place to place I felt that it needed a bling-boost! (Below)

Savvy Safari:
This is an old bag that was actually free from a grab bag that I received probably more than 7 years ago. The actual bag has that awkward strap measurement where you can't wear it as a satchel nor could you use as a proper shoulder bag. Either way it would be too short or a bit weird to hold by the handles alone. I decided to make it into a clutch. It was the logical option for me, and since I loved the print it completely worked!

I started by cutting the straps, then measured how long I wanted my clutch to be. This particular bag had separating lining, therefore it would need to be joined later. I used pins to tack in the new lining, and then sewed around the edge of the bag. Turn inside out and begin to sew the bottom seam (=bottom of your clutch). To finish the inside seams you may fold and sew them or place binding on the edges and press. I used binding for a finishing. Turn ride side out, you're almost done!

For the embellishments I used wooden beads that I had from a bracelet that was going in the tossing bin. I also decided on a versatile clutch, making both sides (with trim) differently.

On the opposite side I used beaded running yardage on mesh that I cut to the measurement of my chosen length. (for me it was the width of my clutch 11.5 minus .25" per side =around+ 11"/28cm). For both applications I used a small amount of hot glue, in addition to fabric glue for the beaded mesh.

  Of course there will be an outfit post showcasing this soon!


The Birdcage Song

It's a beautiful sunny day and nothing to stress over, just enjoying the brisk morning wind that hits my face waking up - listening to the birds sing as my wake-up call, and pressing the off-button on my mobile device. Well, not entirely... a tweet here or a tweet there, still with room to experience thanks.

I hope that you're enjoying every minute of today, appreciating mother nature, possibly having a bbq, staying in if you are always on-the-go, or spending time with loved ones who may be the essential parts to your happiness. I'm going to take it easy this weekend reading my favourite magazines, blogs, and even work on some new projects with the enthusiasm that has been bottled up from a long work week.
A birdcage's purpose is to confine the animal. Today I'm releasing my birdcage so-to-speak - just because we have a long week does not mean that it has to merge into our weekend. Just because your regular blog visitor hasn't made an appearance this week doesn't mean that they aren't reading. Life is short, days are busy, but we can always find something good if we are in the market of seeking.

My birdcage says, it's summertime, commanding the joy that's in my heart and finding the positive songs that I write daily with each step that I take, and by each seam worn.

What does your birdcage say today?

The goods: Dress- Victoria's Secret, Birdcage-gifted mother, Sunglasses- D&G, Sandals-AE, Beaded necklace-thrifted, Clock necklace-Etsy

Theatrical Seasonings and Playful Dressings

This week has been immensely wonderful and very busy. I've also received news that the headquarters of my work may be moving later this year ... so partial excitement has been going through my veins with anticipation as well as slight hesitation. All of this energy triggered me to rummage through my things, particularly costume and jewellery boxes—that sudden feeling came of needing to dress-up, taking small captures of favourite pieces and items that I have not worn in a long time.

A costume jewel and feather mask that I molded/designed years ago.

Jewellery may not speak to everyone, but it does speak to many, especially women by pieces with precious stones or dramatic styling to the overall influence of one's attire, whether dull, dated, or elaborate. Even in scale, be it big or small jewellery has the ability to make a statement! I absolutely love jewellery and believe it to be good investment pieces.

In some cultures jewellery is displayed as a status ranking or security, others are influenced by lifestyle, religion, and geographical locations for impressions of significance amongst countless alternative elements. It's interesting to me that decades ago, and even centuries ago many women who wore jewellery were more likely to have received it as a gift.

Today, we acquire beautiful pieces that we love freely, we're able to don any type independently. We can have fun with varied pieces, integrate them into our daily styling, and create a personal new meaning despite the appearance. Less might be more at times or more just may be the less that you're seeking. Jewellery: A perfect addition or finishing touch to our clothing.

Do you have a favourite piece of jewellery or accessory whether fine pieces, costume, shells, leather or plastic, etc., that you really cherish?

The Fun Begins:

Remember this vintage necklace? Well, I did wear it with a dress, but here's me just having mobile fun with a favourite piece from the archives.
This is actually part of a side piece from my couture gown that my late friend Bruce designed, I clipped a few pieces, added an extra layer, and detached it from the gown because I wanted to wear it as a hat... and Poof!
Lastly, I know this is not jewellery, however did I ever mention that I have a few pairs of cool chopsticks? I eat so much sushi that my friends give me stylish personalised chopsticks. Here's me with my chopsticks and fashionable zebra printed box. I think even Mr. Lagerfeld would likely eat his sushi out of some fashionable box as well, no? Though his box would probably have diamonds encrusted on the handles. Hhmm...

Enjoy the weekend lovelies!

Further interests: Indian jewellery, African jewellery,
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