mother’s day gift ideas: heidi’s pottery

I spotted Heidi’s Pottery at Urban Craft Uprising last year, and fell in love with Heidi’s bowls.

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Much of her work uses small dots for designs.

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This urchin salt shaker would look elegant on any table.

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I love the way the light shines through the white porcelain of these tumblers.

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And the handles on these cups are just too cute.
You can see more of her lovely creations here.

mother’s day ideas: specks and keepings

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Every year at Urban Craft Uprising, I ogle waxed raincoats in the Specks and Keepings booth. Isn’t this coat enchanting?

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I love the prairie-girl look, and the layers, and their full skirts, and just about everything else they make.

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If maximalism is the new trend in fashion,
Specks and Keepings was ahead of the curve.
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Necklaces and other textiles look tribal…
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…geometry has fun…

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…and earthy femininity stays to play.
Don’t think it has escaped me that this dress has pockets.

— printing the pattern —

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I’ve picked my pattern for my cherry blossom silk!
I’m going to make a tank top with turned sleeves.
(Not sure if that’s the real name for them, but that’s what I’m calling ‘em.)
It’s the BurdaStyle V-Neck Top.
One of these days I’m going to stop doing v-necks,
since they always cause me trouble.
But how did I get suckered into this one?
I had a few finalist tops, and showed my hubby.
“That one,” he said, swiftly and decisively.
So that’s what I’m going with.
Because (sometimes) I listen to my hubby.

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Downloaded the pattern ($5.99)…

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…printed it–60 pages, whew!
Then realized I had “fit to screen,” which is the wrong setting for printing.
Re-printed.
(Don’t worry, tree-huggers, I printed on the back of the mess-ups.)

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That’s more like it! These puppies are ready to tape together. 60 pages of taping! Mon dieu.

— pre-washing —

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I’ve pre-washed my cherry blossom silk!
This is a photo of the “wrong” side of the silk.
I think I’ll use the wrong side because it’s more subtle than the shiny dark “right” side.
Since the print is already busy, subtle is good.

Now to pick the pattern…I’m thinking tank top of some sort,
to be worn in spring with cardis or in summer bare.

grr. argh.

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Damn you, Burda! With your gorgeous models and fashion shoots, and your tantalizingly low-priced patterns! I get suckered every time, and then I make one of your things and it turns out gigantic and frumpy-looking. Your directions are sparse with no pictures. And even when I sew a “novice” project I’m left scratching my head feeling like a monkey.

Feeling grumpy. I worked all day yesterday on this sleeveless v-neck blouse and it’s basically done but has a bazillion problems. Okay, maybe not a bazillion, but:

1. The shoulders are so loose they just fall off. So if I don’t double-stick tape the thing to my skin I’m going to flash people.
2. The sides under the armholes pucker and look big and potato-sack-y. Every blouse I’ve made so far has this problem. What do I need to know about blouse-making? Is there a trick to customizing it?
3. I put some of the pieces in the wrong place, and when I discovered my mistake it was too late to go back and undo everything.
4. It’s a Burda pattern. Everything I’ve made from Burda so far has turned out gigantic. I did the smallest size this time, but it was still huge.
5. It’s another V-neck. I’ve got to stop making v-necks, they never turn out right.

On the bright side:
1. I am getting better at v-necks. I trim away the bulk, I start from the top on both sides, and I press my problems away. The problem is only visible to me.
2. I altered the heck outta the original project because the original looked ridiculous. Now it’s something I’m pretty proud of because I feel like I partly designed it myself.
3. I tried the top on with some proper styling (skirt, heels, jacket), and I look HOT. So I guess it can’t be all that bad if I can just cover up the problems.

Which gives me some perspective. How can I get discouraged about something that looks fabulous*? I’m going to chalk this project up on the “Victory… with Some Caveats” side of the scoreboard.

*When styled correctly

spring/summer thoughts

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I’m thinking about what pieces I’d like to add to my spring/summer wardrobe. Tops are definitely in order, and although this tank is a little shapeless, I love the drapey silk and ribbon at the neck.

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Everything about this outfit is perfect, though I’m thinking particularly about the cardigan. I could use some light summer cardis, and it’s right up my Anthropologie/Amelie alley.

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Here’s another fun cover-up that would be nice to have in Italy. I’ll be likely wearing sleeveless tops in Italy, but cover-ups are required in churches.

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Dress for Italy, perhaps? Maybe not this particular dress, but I like the big floral blooms.