Apr 24

Handmade. Unique. Priceless.

Posted In Clothing, Decorating, Green Design, Old to New, Recycle/Reuse, Shopping, Uncategorized

There is something extra special about stuff that is hand made by artists, especially those that use and reuse old fabrics, textiles and furniture.  If it is stitched, embroidered, patched, quilted, or hand painted, so much the better! The final effect is new, unique and inspiringly fresh, oozing personality and soul.

I recently discovered (and fell in love with) these puffy blue pillows at  JUXTAPOSITION in Newport Coast. I first thought they were made of old blue jeans, but upon touch, could tell the fabric was much much softer and very fine. When I saw the price, I knew they must be something special indeed. (around $480 each)

They are made of “Boro”… vintage hemp and cotton fabric woven by Japanese farmers to make their everyday clothing in the early 1900′s.  Washed, worn and eventually torn, bits and pieces of  this fabric are now very rare… and valuable.  You can see more examples, read about it and even buy from this ebay dealer here…

Anthropologie does a great job of ferreting out the unique, especially considering they are a large corporation. MOST of their furniture is so distinct, especially that with hand stitched, quilted and patched together fabrics. These gorgeous pieces might not be one of a kind, but they are distinct and not something normally seen in other furniture shops.

I first saw this chair made of vintage denim bits and pieces right after seeing the Boro pillows at Juxtaposition, so they immediately caught my eye.  Such a casual, cool, and rough look for this a formal chair.  LOVE.

Beautiful fabric collages were everywhere… Anthropologie IS known for this sort of look.  How about this ottoman?

AND… sofa:

Mathilde Sofa, Dots

Anthropologie is currently showcasing the upholstery work of Serbian artist Draga Obradovic… unique, one-of-a-kind pieces created when she reupholsters vintage frames in coated-cotton canvas fabric that has been layered with rich pigment ,then screenprinted and hand-distressed.  The final product has a durable, leather-like finish. This is my favorite… I’ve always been a big fan of polka dots.

Prestino Sofa

Another example of Obradovic’s one of a kind, repurposed vintage pieces.

Partial Eclipse Armchair

I’m drooling now… time for some more upholstery classes!  What has caught your eye recently… anything unique or handmade?  Please share!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One comment »

Apr 13

Building a Focal Point

Posted In Art, Budget, Decorating, Green Design, Move-in's, Plants, Recycle/Reuse, Redesign, Styling, Uncategorized

With no fireplace in this living room, it was in desperate need of some kind of focal point . Shelves would have worked well, as would a hutch or armoire, or even a very large piece of art.  But for this project our job was to use what was already in the house… nothing new.  None of the pieces alone would be big enough for this very tall wall, but in combination, they will work beautifully.

To start… a bamboo sofa table, the perfect base and grounding piece for the arrangement we are building above it.  The art and mirror go high on the wall, leaving room for other pieces to sit on the table.

Next, we kept layering art, leaning some of it on the table and against the wall. Accessories were added, providing color, texture and height.

One last layer under the table… 2 ottomans, ready to pull out and use for extra seating.

The final product… this wall has now become a beautiful focal point for the room!

The secret… layering.  Lots and lots of it, from high to low, front to back, and left to right… and all with items found around the house and in the garage. It’s always surprising, and rewarding, to see how great a room can look…. without spending a dime on new things!  Give it a try!!

 

 

tags: , , , , , , , , ,

No Comments »

Apr 03

Flea Market Find of the Month/April

Posted In Art, Budget, Craft, flea market, Green Design, Recycle/Reuse, Shopping, Uncategorized

Its always fun… waking up early, throwing on warm, comfy clothes, grabbing a handful of cash, my backpack, a steamy hot cup of coffee… and then heading off to the monthly flea market at the Great Park. Even though I wasn’t looking for anything specific this time around, I loved checking out all of the new stuff the vendors had for sale, and seeing all of the flea market regulars. This month was a good one… LOTS of temptations, but only one item had me pulling out my wallet: this basket… full of scarves in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and conditions. $20 for at least 25 scarves. Whooopppeee!!!

I admit, I’m a sucker for a cute scarf… wearing one is such an easy way to style up an outfit. But, I have a different plan for these scarves… to use them as gift wrap!

 

Yes…!  My 2012 resolution is to  wrap up all of the gifts I give in reusable fabrics, scarves, towels and ribbons.  No more piles of beautiful wrapping paper to tear off and trash after a quick look.  I will give a gift within a gift… a scarf that can be re-used in some way, even if it is just to rewrap another gift someday.

I have been experimenting, with ways to fold, twist, tie and wrap.

 

It’s fun! I especially like the way that wine bottles look when swaddled in silk.

I’d like to come up with more creative ways to wrap with fabric… does anyone have fabric folding/wrapping/tying/twisting techniques to share??

 

tags: , , , , ,

One comment »