Etsy Find of the Week – Recycled Sweater Blankets

Recycled wool sweaters are a definite trend right now (hmmm, next Trending post?), and I’ve seen lots of cute pillows, stuffed critters, and the like made from them, but this is the first time I’ve seen an entire blanket!

Created by Michelle Christman from LovelyJustLovely, this blanket is made up of 8 different thrift store sweaters that were then felted, pieced, and then sewn together with a tight zigzag stitch.

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Artisan Profile – Jan DiCintio of Daisy Janie Fabrics

I felt blue this morning, so opened up Jan DiCintio’s blog and within five minutes all that blah was washed away by her cheery, cheeky attitude and the philosophy surrounding red flowers.

 

An artist’s soul is inextricably wound up in their work, but this seems particularly true with Jan and Daisy Jane Fabrics.  While researching this profile I wandered onto her blog, and before I’d even touched my tea her infectiously sunny, positive, let’s-do-it voice had led me six pages deep.  That doesn’t happen often.  So let’s meet this wonderful lady and see what she’s all about.

The focus of Daisy Janie is the design of original patterns for use on organic cotton fabrics, with wholesale collections released twice a year, spring and autumn.  The product is produced with cotton that has been grown, harvested, processed, and woven according to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).  Both the low-impact pigments and pigments used in the printing & finishing stages are similarly in accordance.  And, in addition, the fabric is produced in a Fair Trade Certified facility.

That’s the dry version.

What it doesn’t capture is Jan’s enthusiasm, or her passion for pattern, line, texture, and form, or her “fiery personal philosophies for ecofriendly living”.  And, just as certifications and standards can’t express the personal depth of her business practices, so words can’t adequately express the spring-like joie-de-vivre of her designs.  Only pictures can do that. Read the rest of this entry »

Trending – Vintage Lace

I traveled to North Carolina last week and, as I always do, I stocked up on fashion magazines for the flights.  It’s my little “hey, I’m going to be stuck in a cramped seat on a crowded flight for way too long” indulgence.

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Valentino Spring 2012

As I flipped through magazine after magazine, a particular trend caught my eye.

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Louis Vuitton Spring 2012

Designers were embracing lace.

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Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2012

A LOT of lace.

Which means that the current trend for vintage lace in interiors is only going to get stronger.  But how do you embrace the look without going full on frilly?  Here are some suggestions….

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Etsy Find of the Week – Recycled Army Blanket Pillows

First off, I’d just like to say a big THANK YOU to all of our wonderful veterans out there!  We wish you a very happy Veteran’s Day!

In honor of the day, here are a couple of wonderful, recycled Army blanket pillows I thought you might like to take a look at.

Created by Etsy seller Shop at Ten, these pillows are made from old Army blankets that are then hand felted with fun new patterns.

Here, a series of patches added to the blanket over time were surrounded with colorful, needle-felted roving, becoming a wonderful pattern of irregular squares.  What many would see as a flaw has instead become an inspired design.

You can see more of Shop at Ten’s work here.

Thanks for visiting – and don’t forget to give a Veteran a hug today.  They deserve it, and so much more!

Rachel

Born in the U.S.A. (Spun and Milled Here Too!)

Wonderful!

Harmony Art Chili Pepper Flannel

The lovely folks at Near Sea Naturals, the already notable internet source for organic fabric, have taken things to a whole new level with their new venture, American Grown-Spun-Milled.  With an inventory consisting of nothing that isn’t organically grown and then spun and manufactured in the United States, they are fulfilling a growing need for more locally based materials.  They are also continuing a long tradition of cotton and wool production in North America, as well as providing work for mills whose workload might otherwise be shipped off to China or India for cheaper manufacture.

Says Tara Bloyd, president of NearSea Naturals -

“At a time when many textile jobs and businesses are going overseas, our customers are demanding domestic, sustainable fabrics. They understand the importance of supporting the US textile industry and want to keep their business supply chains local.”

So far, their inventory is small, but enticing.   I imagine as demand increases so will the number of choices.  For now, here are some of the lovelies they have:

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Etsy Find of the Week – Maps for Naps

Doesn’t every parent wants a give their child the whole world?

Well now you can – at least in pillow form – thanks to Etsy seller My Bearded Pigeon.   Who wouldn’t want to dream of great explorations while snuggled up on this pillow?

Since the adorable child is not included, here’s what the pillow looks like on its own…

This bright and cheerfully colored map, circa 1865, is printed onto a 100% organic cotton pillow cover, with a black organic cotton back and zipper closure (insert not included).

My Bearded Pigeon also has an amazing selection of decorative map pillows for grown-ups who dream of travel.

Maybe you’re dreaming of a tropical island paradise… Read the rest of this entry »

Etsy Find of the Week – Recycled T-Shirt Rugs

I never thought I would say this, but I think I NEED a rag rug…

Designed and made by Etsy seller GreenatHeart, these fantastically colorful rugs are made of recycled t-shirts from local thrift shops and other charities.

Of course, rag rugs have long been a way to recycle old clothing, linens, fabric cuttings and what have you, but they also tend to look just like you would think something made of scraps would look.   Not these vibrant rugs…

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An Ode to Woad – Part 2

So, as I mentioned last week in An Ode to Woad – Part 1, I now have a serious addiction problem.  Let me show you how that came to be…

After gathering at the lovely French General for the workshop, we all carpooled over to the park where our dyeing experience would take place.

Once at the park we got a delightful and informative overview of the history of woad dyeing from Denise Lambet, who flew all the way from the South of France just to create a legion of new woad addicts dyers.  After regaling us with stories of previous woad workshop students stripping down to their skivvies in an attempt to have just ONE more garment to dunk in the vats, she proceeded to explain how the process worked, and what we would need to do to have a successful dyeing experience.  Then we got to work. Read the rest of this entry »

An Ode to Woad – Part 1

I’ve recounted my experience dyeing with woad this last weekend to quite a few people in the last several days, and almost every one of them had the same question, “what the heck IS woad?”  So, for those of you who have the same question, here is a little background:

Woad comes from the common Isatis tinctoria plant.  It has been in use as a pigment and dye since Egyptian times, and possibly longer.  Many have thought that the blue pigment the Picts (early Scottish tribes) used to color their skin blue was woad, although there is some debate about that.  Oddly, for a dye that has been around for so long, it is surprisingly difficult to extract.  Because of that, the cultivation and processing were controlled by wealthy “woad masters” throughout much of European history.  Until Napoleonic times, the extraction method took a full year and a half, and involved a long fermentation in urine filled vats.  I can’t even begin to imagine the smell!  And not just any pee would do.  In order to have the proper ph level. it had to be human male pee.  Thus the preponderance of taverns near where the woad was produced.  Cheers!

image via woad.org.uk

 

Even once Napoleon’s chemists had figured out a quicker (and hopefully less odoriferous) method, so as to supply his army with blue cloth, the extraction was still a laborious process.  Above are workers hand rolling “woad balls” in order to put them out to dry.  Unfortunately, the heavy manual labor required to extract the dye made it fall out of favor, and the last woad production ended in England in the early part of the 20th century.  Happily, some dedicated people, like those at Bleu de Pastel de  Lectoure , have been working hard, to not only revive the art, but to improve upon it and make it a commercially viable, natural, alternative to synthetic dyes.

image via woad.org.uk

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New Stripes From Twill Textiles

Twill Textiles has just released a handsome new printed fabric collection by Peter Fasano.  Both Taconic Ticking & Taconic Stripe are printed on Belgium linen in 5 colorways: Mushroom, Sage, Straw, Lake, and Chinese Red.  Perfect for drapery or upholstery.  I love the way the printing highlights the texture of the fibers.

Contact Twill Textiles to learn about this and other sustainable fabric offerings.