Monday, October 31, 2016

Ghost Brides and Orphans

The best costume I ever saw was a ghost bride on six-foot stilts. She appeared one evening at an outdoor art event here in Portland on Halloween. A skilled stilt walker, she moved quickly in a tattered white gown with 15-20-ft long tattered trails of frayed gauzy fabric that flowed after her and blew in the wind. She took such long strides and was gone so quickly that I couldn't get my iPhone out fast enough to take a picture of her. I'll never forget the image of her gliding down the street. It was the coolest costume I have ever seen!

In the spirit of All Hallows Eve and the Day of the Dead, and in case you  might want to costume yourself as a ghost bride this year, here is a collage of lovely ghost brides and also some orphan dolls that are adorable.

Most of these items are from Etsy shops. Click on the image to go to the Polyvore page to read the description of shop and image credits.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Stressed Spelled Backwards is Desserts

In this stressful campaign season, we deserve some rewards. This "Friday Finds" post is a Polyvore photoset that I created from some wonderful finds from Etsy:

If you don't have the time or inclination to stay home and bake cookies, you can order some from the artisan bakers you can find on Etsy! If you are short on time for holiday baking, these bakers can help you with your entertaining needs.

If you click on the photo above, you'll go to the my actual Polyvore set. From there you can click on any element in the photo to follow a link to the seller's Etsy shop. You can buy all four of those yummy cookies in the spread above, the great "Sweet Thing" engraved dessert fork, the pretty fabric bunting, and even the antique white slip or the rockabilly macaroon dress.

Enjoy exploring these featured finds!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

In the Works

I'm working on some pretty hand-knotted necklaces for the shop.

Here's a peak at one called Gavotte in D Major.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Granny Square Seeds

Chez ChaCha needs a new TV-room afghan for this winter. I've been playing around with colors choices and think it's going to be these:

Hope it's done by winter. Check back for progress reports.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Debate Night Special: Fried Baloney or American Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Just for fun (or purely for the irony), if you're having a debate watch party tonight, you might think about treating your friends to iconic sandwiches full of the smoky flavor of fried baloney or the gooey goodness of melted American cheese.

There are a lot of regional varieties on both of these sandwiches. Check out these Pinterest boards for baloney sandwiches and american grilled cheese sandwiches.

Be sure to have some BBQ potato chips on hand, and for sides, try some deviled eggs and some Mean Beans:

And here is a recipe for a good Sucker Punch.

Enjoy. It's almost over.

Monday, October 17, 2016

A Convertible Necklace

This hand-knotted necklace is fun, because it can be worn in lots of different ways.

View it in the shop

If you are into making jewelry, you could make something similar.

Basically, you want to make a two-strand necklace in which one strand is only slightly shorter than the other. Use a lobster clasp for the closure. Then make two dangles. One has its own lobster clasp, and you can attach it wherever you want. The other one is on a closed ring, so you would connect it to the lobster clasp of the necklace itself.

Here are some styling ideas:

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Duttons for Buttons

If you are a button lover, and you live in the UK, you are probably already aware of Duttons for Buttons. If you are a button-lover planning a trip to the UK, you must plan to search them out.  They have three locations: Harrogate, York, and Ilkley.

 Mr ChaCha and I happened upon the shop in York.  Actually, he walked straight on by with his camera in hand, but I stopped dead in my tracks. Then I stepped inside and knew I would have to come back the next day to spend some serious time exploring their inventory.

Imagine a wall full of button bins stocked with every kind of button imaginable. Whether you are looking for glass buttons, metal ones, plastic, bone, rhinestone, pearl, mother of pearl, shell, leather or whatever--you are bound to find something of interest here.

My shopping spree yielded me 55 pounds worth.
(£s not lbs)

Here are some of the new additions to my stash:

The intention is for these pretty glass buttons to become part of button-and-loop closures on some bead-knotted or bead-crocheted necklaces.

Here are some from the more glitzy group:

I am looking forward to using them all!

This is only part of the haul that I carried home. Deciding which buttons to choose from all of Duttons's offerings took me a while, but it was a lot of fun. Check out their wall of buttons here.

If anyone out there has another good source for buttons, it would be great if you would share with us all in the comments.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Mine on Mondays

Having a regular blogging schedule and plan is recommended by social media experts. I've mostly flown by the seat of my pants, so after my long absence from this blog perhaps a little organization would be a good idea.

Here's the plan for now:
  • Perfect on the weekend: a post will feature a perfect one-of-a-kind or limited edition accessory or article of women's clothing. It may be one of my own or it may be by another designer/maker. Limited discussion, because it is after all, the weekend.
  • Mine on Mondays: the post will feature one of my creations. You may find out something secret about the making of it. Or not.
  • Whatever Wednesdays: these posts could be tutorials, cover fashion history, show something interesting that I recently discovered, or just be some musings in general.
  • Featured on Friday: one or more of my finds from around the Internet, primarily from Etsy artists.

Today's item that I have to share with you is a shawl that I hand knit earlier this year. It's in my shop for now, but it's so tempting to keep it for myself.

This shawl starts and ends with a lacy border; in between, it has alternating bands of seed stitch and garter stitch. It is lightweight but warm.

For you knitters, the two fibers used are Meadow in cornflower blue, and Noro Silk Garden Sock Yarn in color 1 (mysteriously named "Soft Natural Brown"). The fiber combination of the two yarns together, based on the weight of each fiber used for the shawl, is 22% Silk, 20% Merino wool, 20% generic wool, 13% baby llama, 12% Polyamide, 8% linen, and 5% mohair.

It is as soft as can be!