gold birds

i bought these yesterday on ebay. i love tacky wall hangings & was blessed with discovering the keyword syroco during one of my morning blog rolls. i'll have to have them in my hands before i decide if they go above the tv or above the bed... yeah!

free smock apron pattern and tutorial

still dottie free smock apron tutorial and pattern

my dear friend divya likes to make food, i like to make things...so an apron seemed the most appropriate gift. this apron was inspired by an apron made by my great grandmother for my mom, way back in the day. it was passed down to my sister & i snagged it from her to make replicas. it turned out really cute; i used a creme fabric with brown polka dots & hot pink bias tape (my first time & i was really happy with what it can do).

this is a simple project, it is a solid piece of fabric with very little detail work. here is my attempt at a tutorial so you can make your own:

what you'll need:
1 yard fabric (washed)
2 packs of single fold bias tape
button or snap

to make:
1. trace pattern on the back of fabric & cut out
2. shoulders - sew left side dotted lines, front to back, together (front of fabric facing one another), repeat with right side
3. sew bias tape along all solid edges of the remaining fabric (see becka's project journal tutorial)
4. sew button or snap on the left back panel (x) with an opposing snap or button hole on the opposite back panel (l)

more pics including some updates.

i have created a pdf that is 50% of the true size & can be printed at 200% at any printer company. click here to download the pdf.

you can also see my other patterns & tutorials here - take a look for your next project!

UPDATE: Vote for my new company, Iva Jean on Daily Candy's Start Small, Go Big Contest. I need your votes today and everyday through September 14.

I'm so excited to be one of three finalists for the Daily Candy Start Small Go Big contest and hope that you'll help me become the Grand Prize Winner. The Grand Prize Winner receives a day in New York City with industry leaders and mentors (Jonathan Adler and Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx), as well as the boatload of press that goes along with Daily Candy. Please help me and my bike fashion and lifestyle company Iva Jean make it!

Here's how it works:
  1. You go to http://www.dailycandy.com/startsmallgobig
  2. Click "Vote" and choose Iva Jean under the Fashion Category
  3. You will have to enter your email, but I promise that they won't spam you or target you obnoxiously - it's just how they keep the voting honest
  4. Vote once a day from August 22 - September 14
  5. Forward this email to your friends and family

I can't explain what an opportunity this is for me and Iva Jean. Please help me win this thing!


finding forever

i bought common's new album, finding forever on saturday night. the album is really smooth, i've listened to it at least 10 times since i bought it. common collaborates with everyone from kanye to d'angelo & will.i.am to lily allen. the video for drivin' me wild featuring lily allen just premiered on mtv yesterday. right now that is my favorite track on the album & is only strengthened by the video (gotta love jeremy piven's cameo).

i definitely recommend the album; he's kept it in his style, but it sounds fresh & new. here's a review from someone a little more unbiased.

moma - what is a print

found on quisopolies this morning, the museum of modern art has a section online called what is print, showcasing four types of print: woodcut, etching, lithography & screenprint. each process features a historical narrative, famous prints & an interactive demonstration of how it works. the demonstrations are easy to understand, using simple graphics & instructions. geesh, this makes me want to do a woodcut print or at least finish my most recent screenprinting project (a black or pink fawn & lettering on a surplus messanger bag from army navy).


faire gallery & cafe

a few months ago divya & i went to faire gallery & cafe on capitol hill; she's a regular there, but it was my first time. my initial reactions were that the staff (owners matt & liz) were really nice, the drinks & food were yummy & the space was so warm & comfortable. after spending some more time there throughout the summer; it seems to me that faire is much more than the typical cafe, even more than the fantastic cafe. the space & the people that frequent it are really open & welcoming (once an old, dusty bookstore).

on sunday nights you'll find that faire is packed full of an eclectic mix of patrons there to see & hear faire play (the weekly jazz group). i went last night for the first time; div & i enjoyed a couple glasses of wine & the music sitting up in the balcony. it's the type of place you pass on your way to somewhere else, stop in & end up forgetting where you planned on going in the first place.



jose gonzales does such a great remix of the song by the knife. i can't really say much more than it's getting played on repeat as i type, thanks to kevin for the info.

the song was used in this advertisement for the sony bravia; using thousands of bouncy balls in nyc set to the song. check out their other advertisements as well.

black forest steins

someday i'll start buying all these t-shirts i claim to love, but for now i'll push them on friends that would like them even more than me. check out nooworks's black forest, a place that claims to be "a land where cuteness reigns, the rivers flow with chocolate and oktoberfest lasts all year long!"


90's r&b

i remember days when i belonged to a cd club & my collection consisted of en vogue, boys ii men, jade, swv, arrested development, tevin campbell & tlc. my girlfriends & i would do talent shows & make up dances on the weekends & after school; my favorite of all time was erin & my dance to motown philly by boys ii men. i also have strong memories of lying on my bed, thinking of my most recent crush & listening to weak by swv. black pudding by swv was such a "naughty" song... "now i may not be a lady but i'm surely a woman, so check it, the truth is in the pudding" & my brother told my dad that i shouldn't be allowed to get the color me badd album, because of the song sex you up.

sent by a friend today, my new favorite website, mixtape maestro. check out videos, discographies & stories about our favorite 90's r&b hits!


foot stools

not long after posting about my couch & my desire (struggle) to find foot stools or an ottoman, i found some. i bought both for $50 from craigslist, they were recently upholstered, in great condition, easy to move around & match the color palette of the moment (the morning sun makes things really bright in my aparment, so it's hard to see the exact color).

the apartment is a work in progress, two things in debate currently:
- whether i should paint my side table yellow
- what sort of painting to put above my couch


alicia bock

i found the link to alicia bocks site at craft synergy. something about her images strike me. i like the feminine & vintage look to her work. i have two square gold frames begging for art & walls begging the same. i am getting the 5 x 5 of this & this (it might be a debate, because i like all of the beach prints). she is from michigan & i'm sure these pics are from lake michigan which makes them even more special to me.


embroidered pillows - tutorial

i just recently finished the embroidered throw pillows for my new couch & decided to do a tutorial. i was surprised to find so few (easy to follow) patterns available online... here is my shot at it.

what you'll need:
18" x 18" pillow form
.75 yards fabric (washed) - I chose the amy butler print ivory/tree peony
embroidery floss
embroidery needle

to make:
  1. cut 41.5" x 19" rectangle of fabric
  2. select flower to embroider & follow outline (choose one that will be on the front square of the finished pillowcase)
  3. fold & pin a 1" hem along edge 1 (the 19" edge, leave edge 2 unfinished)
  4. pin .25" seam 13" from edge 1 & another one 18" from the first .25" seam
  5. sew hem & both seams - sew along dotted lines, i suggest a straight stitch, double enforced
  6. fold the rectangle into thirds (inside out with edge 1 under edge 2
  7. pin then sew .5" seams along edge 3 & 4 of the rectangle
  8. turn the pillow case right side out, there should be about a 4" overlap with the embroidered detail on the front of the pillowcase

for more pictures or a downloadable pattern go to my pics. please let me know if you would add anything to make the pattern or tutorial easier.

UPDATE: featured on craft: thanks to natalie dee


all in a name

my mom called me from fife lake, mi to ask me if i wanted these suitcases. the story is that she went to the estate sale of the woman i was named after & found these. the reasons i like them: the leather detail, the silk lining & most of all, her initials a.l.c. are monogrammed on both suitcases near the handle. they both need some tlc, but i thought they might look nice stacked as an side table. if it doesn't fit the way i think it will, i'll store my fabric & patterns in them instead.

paint the landscape

here is the summer equinox postcard i did for my firm. i was inspired by a previously mentioned website. i have a strong obsession with cal anderson park & am lucky to be a part of the firm who designed it. the postcard was a lot of fun for me to do & let me get even more experience using live trace & controlling gaps within illustrator.


my couch

i bought my couch a little over a month ago from macy's (they now sell their furniture online). i am happy to see it featured on decor8 today; mine is the cafe noir loveseat. i'm really happy with this couch, but it desperately needs an ottoman or footstools (the idea as of now is to find multiple vintage footstools). i liked the mid-century feel of it, with clean lines & upholstery buttons.

i'm completely indecisive in the first place, but picking out a couch was hard for me. with this apartment being the first without a roommate, i've wanted to make it 100% my style. try this on for self-awareness: in figuring out how to decorate my place i've had to try & pinpoint my style; this task has turned out to be very difficult. my taste is all over the place; i like kitschy but clean, vintage but simple. here is the latest collection of inspiration pics, i'll post some "current state of the apartment soon.