Sunday, July 31, 2011

men's shirts applique tee

...another refashion with scraps!

(in case you missed it, this tank was also refashioned with scraps)

Today is my last day at Martha's Vineyard,  my last chance to wear an 'all white outfit',
since in New York white doesn't last white for a mere second!
...Sported with the aqua & pearls star ...

My husband has to be all dressed up for work.
...Which means a lot of crispy whites.
and because he travels all over the world, he finally found a great tailor in India that makes him gorgeous suits and shirts at a fraction of the price (I believe I gave my husband the 'bargain bug', yup it's that contagious).

Once a year, he has a bunch of shirts made and he comes home with a lot of tiny pieces of fabric scraps... in my world this means party time!!

I made this shirt with some of the white scraps, taking the inspiration from the J.Crew "Mum Applique Art tee"..

Looking at the J.Crew detail, I cut a lot of shapes that sort of looks like pieces of an anemone, and hand stitched overlapping them over the t-shirt with a light grey thread. 
I have two of these 'anemone' shapes: one on the bottom side and one placed vertically on the other side, just next to the arm.
I liked the idea of using different fabric and textures, in fact... I like my version better ;)
I didn't fray checked the pieces, so now that the shirt has been washed several times, all the fray edges are showing off ... love it!!

xox, d.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

beaded shorts

finally done
...and ready to wear!

... Remember many moons ago when I stained with tea a pair of khaki shorts gone bad?

... Since the tea stain was a success, I decided to give them a "facelift" and this is how they turned out after I started to work on these, but for one reason or another, being left in a corner for almost a month.
Yesterday we had a thunderstorm here, and then it was a little too cold and foggy for the beach: perfect day to finish my project!

gryphon shorts:

Inspired by a pair of Gryphon shorts, I got my sequins, beads and thread out and started sewing.
After being done with the first leg, I wasn't sure if I wanted to make the other leg symmetric or not.
I opted out for a non-symmetry since I know myself well enough that if it didn't turned out exactly 100% symmetric it would drive me insane. (OCD, anyone?)

Random is a better option, sometimes!!

This project is a bit time consuming (about 5 hours total), but hey, a heck of a way to make your khaki shorts look waaaayyyy different!

xox, d.

will *<:) party here!

Monday, July 25, 2011

the girotondo tee

means "ring around the rosie" in italian.
It is also the name of an Alessi's collection.

yes, this tee refashion was inspired by... a tray.
Alessi round tray

This is not the first time that I took inspiration from some kind of design originally intended for the home and translated into something to wear. 
...and this is a great way to cover up several random blueberry (and raspberry too) spots on your t-shirt!

Get your patience ready, and cut out this guy's shape out of an old even more messed out shirt about...  25 times. (mine is about 2-1/2" high and 1-3/4" wide)

Place the first ones on the spots and work around in circle, like they are holding hands. 
... and stitch with a contrasting thread.
Easy, peasy (but very boring indeed)

Just for fun, I left some of the "legs", "arms" and "heads" hanging passed by the hem of the shirt... just because.

I hand stitched all these little guys, but it can be done with a sewing machine, of course. But I do get anal OCD and like the hand stitch detail a lot better. Shame on me!!

xox, d.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

asymmetric ruffle

This is another t-shirt refashion made in my 'pre-blogging' era: I made it at about the same time of this other ruffle tank top.

This one could go in the 'cute' ruffles category, although the asymmetric ruffle and the randomness take some of the cuteness away ;)

What did I use? ... a grey basic tank top and ... leftovers. My favorite raw materials ;)
I'm wearing it today with my eyelets shorts!

--> How to:

* make three strips of about 1-1/2" x 30" with some light mesh aqua and ruffle them
* place the ruffles around the neckline and the back in a way that won't follow the neckline (one of the ruffle is overlapped on the shoulder and looks like a long single piece)
* cut out lots of round shapes from some turquoise and light blue fabrics and lace, most are 3/4" diameter, some are bigger: there's no right or wrong, and sew it in random order overlapping here and there
* one piece of about 10" turquoise lace that I ruffled just a little and placed under the ruffle in the front.

Hope you like this easy way to spruce up a basic tank top in very little time (and using your bits of scraps!!)

xox, d.

Monday, July 18, 2011

to grey or not to grey?

is grey the new black?
well it is for me!

8 years ago (day less, day more), I took a decision that I was pondering for a really long time.

... Stop dyeing my hair and let it go grey.
mmmhh. Not an easy decision.

I was always attracted by women not yet very old, proudly showing their grey hair.
But when I had my first greys... I covered them up.
I started quite young, but got into the dyeing routine every 3-4 weeks when I was 30 +/-.

After so many years I was thinking to go grey, but wasn't sure, then I couldn't handle the (literally) 'grey area' between brunette, brunette with lots of roots and grey.
Finally, decision. I would do it!

I believe this is the only picture I have of the "let the roots go crazy" period:
I spent probably more than a month in a pony tail!

My hairdresser was pushing me into this direction (he's a good hairdresser, not very good if you look from the marketing point of view!!) saying that I had the right features to look good in it.

Well, if you're leaning toward this direction, I can tell you few things that I love and hate about going grey.


1- No dye. Means no chemical, and your hair gets stronger-er-er.
2- No roots. No needs to comment!
3- Time saving. Whether you are a diy dyer or a hairdresser one, you don't have to do it. Considering 45 minutes if diy or 1.5 hr if you go to the hairdresser every 3 to 4 weeks, you'll have at least 9 extra hours/year to do other things than dyeing your hair.
4- Money saving. A lot. Again... need to comment?
5- When I'm tan, or with make up on I LOVE the look, it's so stylish and sophisticated.


1- You do look older, a little. Let's not get in denial: guessing age gets easier... grrr...
2- Pick the right haircut. Not all the haircuts look good in grey just like with a full color. Play around until you find your right style. (this is not a real 'hate' just a tad annoying)
3- You'll be asked why. But I do hate other kind of stupid questions not hair related that people ask.
4- Some change in color choices in clothing. But again, we all look better in one color than another.

I can't really think of anything else, overall, I passed the "7 years itch" and still love my grey hair.

I changed different styles, and length, and so far in my case, short works better.


1- In my opinion, the best and fast way to go grey: once your roots are let's say 1" long... get a short haircut and you've done with the past!
2- If you're scared of very short hair, you can let your roots grow and when you have figured out the shade of grey you're in, ask your hairdresser to do grey highlights (this is an extra chemical process) - and consider a good haircut
3- Go at you hairdresser appointment with make up on and clothes in a deep, rich color: going from dark to grey will make you like you're fading and wearing light beige or light grey or pastels will look weird at first (see #4 in things I hate)
4- At the time, I tried to camouflage the roots for a while with some coloring shampoo. White hair absorbs much more color, and this technique didn't work for me. Even if the shampoo isn't permanent, the white hair will turn yellow-ish and as a result, made my process of going grey a little longer.
5- After you'll turn grey, use a shampoo which has a deep purple pigment: it keeps hair silver preventing the yellowing

If you're trying to make up your mind and take a decision, I hope this was enlightening and helpful!

Are you pondering the idea of grey?

xox, d.

Friday, July 15, 2011

blue knitted sweater

... Finally finished!

So much going on, and this guy was half the way done in a bag. 
But the other night, I managed to finish it! yay!!

Here it is. Perfect for these cool summer nights.

It's probably heavier than the Rag&Bone Holloway sweater that I took the inspiration from, but I wanted a blue, reasonable chunky cotton knit, and now I have it!

I finally found a way to make patterns using Excel and then saving it into jpeg format, so by clicking on the images, you'll be able to print and have a detailed pattern.
Every square is one row and one stitch.

*   Go here the how-to for the "drop stitch stripes"
*   I knitted with 5 1/2 mm needles, and I'm a size 2. 
*   Sweater is a loose fit for me.

For the collar (which is not in the pattern) I casted on 109 stitches, worked on tubular for 10 rows, than knit for one row.
I knitted two more rows on stockinette in a contrast yarn, that I unraveled once i sew the collar onto the neck opening.

(I also don't have a ruler, nor a measurement tape here! Iwill eventually update these info once I'll get back home!!)

xox, d.

linked to some of these parties *<:)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

two to make one

Found last year, at the very bottom of my drawer, a white sheer t-shirt that was there probably since my twenties, and a grey boxy t-shirt which had a logo next to the collar in the back.
I didn't wear any of them, and figured that make one shirt out of two un-used ones would be the right thing to do.

Wear the white sheer shirt, cut out the grey one just under the armholes, and wear it over the sheer one.
Pinned in place.
Take both off (and be careful with the pins!)
I used a saucer to trace the heart shape in the front, and cut a straight line for the sides and back.
Sew it all over.
Curt the excess sheer fabric underneath.

I had some tulle off white thin 1/4" tape (can't even remember why I bought this and when... I'm sure it happens to many of us...) and pinned it over and hand-stitched to give some extra texture.

xox, d.

linked to some of these parties *<:)

Monday, July 11, 2011

mouth blown glass

In this part of the world, summer is mild, the breeze is cool and even in July, you can have a fair amount of cloudy if not rainy days.
...Bummer. ... Or not.

Take the chance of a not beach-perfect day to wonder around and see what this island has to offer.

Today I stopped by this small, amazing place in West Tisbury. 

Being italian, I've been several times to Murano - Venice and see artisans working with glass, and every time, it's a one of a kind experience.

Hand made, mouth blown glass. 

I could spend in a glass shop every rainy day and even most of the sunny days, 
... probably.

These guys are amazing.

these two pieces are mesmerizing!

more gorgeousness

the birth of a mouth blown twirled vase ... amazing

A mouth blown glass will not look the same after seeing the amount of work, perfectionism, patience, passion and dedication that goes into that.  

Love this 'inspiration' paper on the wall. 

and yes, they do have an online store...

xox, d.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

NYC by me #3

OK, I'm cheating.

This isn't a real NYC by me, but it's actually a NYC by authors Avery Monsen & Jory John.
...but, since I can relate to their point of view, and they are absolutely better at writing things that I possibly imagine... enjoy my favorite parts of this book!

When I saw the title, I knew I had to have it.

I feel relatively neutral about New York
on the porch of a pretty house on Martha's Vineyard... priceless :)

It arrived the day before leaving, and I read it on the ferry boat while coming to Martha's Vineyard.

For all of you that are dreaming and thinking that New York is the best place on Earth, well, I've got some news: it is not!!
It is a great place once you get used to it (I'm slowly getting better towards New York, but it's taking me quite some time).

stinky subway, snow in NY, cabs phenomena. it is ALL TRUE!

You might have figure out by now that I really feel somewhat less than neutral about New York, therefore, reading this book and enjoying it it's kinda of an upgrade!! ;)

xox, d.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

shiny silver

I saw several tees in stores with some silver decor on it, 
but if you know me a bit by now, 
I had to find a way to make it on my own.

... Have on hand...

* a white t-shirt
* silver Pebeo fabric paint
* brush
* my computer to browse through images...

picture in the center: koziol flower cut out coaster


* Downloaded the image of the Koziol flower coasters.
* Enlarge the picture until it fit the page and print it twice
* put my t-shirt onto a cardboard
* cut the printouts and placed them overlapping between the cardboard and the t-shirt and pinned
* painted the flowers and let dry
* iron on reverse the day after
* easy J Crew-ish effect with none of the price !

p.s. ... have you noticed how the silver fabric paint shines? ... and it is not stiff.
I can't stop loving painting on fabric :)

xox, d.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

flowers for the black thumb pt.2

Yesterday I was over at nifty thrifty things as guest blogger with this projects that I completed the evening before leaving, did you go over her blog and check it? did you? did you?
In case you missed it... I asked her permission to use her photographs for a project I had in mind, and this is what I came out with.

In my blog  I mentioned already that I have issues with living plants, flowers, ...oh well, green stuff in general.

But I do like flowers, a lot.

Also, when I get fresh cut flowers, I do get upset when they die. 

I came up with a solution that gives me some color and none of the upsetting 
(also none of the scent, but there is a downside almost everywhere)...

I know you must be familiar with "floral Friday" ;)

all the printouts from nifty thrifty things
Well, Vanessa can take some pretty pictures, and she and her mom do have the ultimate green thumb (envy, envy, envy)

   --> What I did:

* stole downloaded all the floral friday pictures
* cut them in pieces (my rotary cutter was getting dull, so I mis-used it)
* cut pieces of wire hangers in different lengths
* coiled one end with pliers
* filled the bottom of a can with clay
* placed the pictures into the coiled part
* sticked the metal stems into the clay in the can

... immediate result.
I would like better flowers that are alive, but I might have to live with this B plan
Thank you Vanessa, for letting me use and enjoy your flowers!

❀ ✿ ❀ ✿ These are the links I used ✿ ❀ ✿ 

xox, d.

Monday, July 4, 2011

happy 4th of July!

this is my dream way to spend any holiday!

xox, d.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

NYC by me #2


Living in a complex society means boundaries and limitation.

oh well, the way I see it: New York is the ultimate complexity.
If you walk around town for few blocks, pay attention of
all the thing that you're 

I do like some of these NOs, the don't honk is my favorite one, although either nobody care about it, or they aren't enforcing it at all. 
 The 'no dogs allowed' in parks, lawns and grass areas didn't quite fit for us (me and my dog).
And while the NYPD will not bother to give you a fine if you honk in a 'don't honk' area, you can be 100% sure that they will 'warn you' to keep your dog outside the grass area while you're walking next to the Hudson River (it really happened to me, Lucky wasn't peeing or anything, her paws were on the grass, just that).

After much frustration, long night walks to try to get Lucky less scared of the noisy (and honky) city, her getting sick, we went to Italy for the summer and Lucky 'decided' that she would be better off being an ...italian bitch ;)
Now she has all the grass she wants, Birba and Spota (and Gilda, but she counts only 1/4) to play with, and grandparents (my parents) to spoil her rotten.

I am the one having to deal with the loneliness, she is definitely having fun!

xox, d.

Friday, July 1, 2011

sort of missing in action

I will be sort of MIA in the next days...
I do have few things that I am working on, but for the most part I am officially on vacation :)

...which sounds pretty weird considering that I'm retired, 
but in my dictionary vacation means BEACH. 
Every other free time doesn't count!! aha!! 
And yes, I"m on vacation, yes, on the beach!!!

View from the house we've rented... could be worse!! 

I brought with some things that I've made in my pre-blogging era, so something will come up (but slowly, internet here is kinda primitive!)
... and I still have my sweater to knit
... and my shorts to decorate.
... and you never know, I might find something else to do other than tanning, reading, enjoying life here in beautiful Chilmark in Martha's Vineyard :)

Wish you a great  4th July weekend!
Husband, my dad, and my father in law will be busy on the BBQ ;)  

xox, d.
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