Tuesday, December 29, 2009

NYC Mood Fabrics


For Christmas this year, my family went to NYC. My youngest daughter and I are big Project Runway fans and so MOOD was top on our list of places to go. As we walked through the garment district, my daughter was fascinated by all the wonderful fabrics full of sequins in the windows. I was busy reading the addresses looking for MOOD. It is more elusive than that, based in an older business building with a lobby and old elevators shuffled up and down by uniformed gentlemen. For those of you who don't know me, I am very easily entertained and find wonder in all kinds of inconsequential things that most don't notice, so riding in the elevator run by an operator was a fun little treat for me.
We arrived on the 3rd floor and not knowing what to expect, I was blown away. My husband who sat reluctantly through this past season with me so I wouldn't have to watch alone, commented that the show does not do the store justice and he is absolutely right. As a quilter, I am used to quilt shops with little bolts of fabric I can carry around with me...I was not physically in shape to do the same here. I arrived with a specific idea in mind of what I was looking for and that was helpful or I would have left empty-handed due to my indecisive nature.
My find was this beautiful lightweight knit that will eventually be an artistic jacket to be worn all winter and spring.

I didn't even look at all the trims and buttons that were available or I would have gone insane with envy. The wall in the background is just one of 5 or 6 walls of trims. The button boards in the foreground are again just a teeny tiny example of what is available. Being completely enmeshed in my own fabric search, I didn't realize (fortunately) until the end when getting fabric cut that there were other floors of fabrics. The above picture also shows a Project Runway board that has photos of some of the outfits along with fabric swatches...just in case you need to own the same fabric from a show fashion.All the fabrics are labeled and I will watch season 7 with a new eye. The staff was very very helpful and cheerful even.

Now I don't have a picture but the crazy little tidbit to this story is this: I had forgotten my camera the first go around and luckily our hotel was only 4 blocks away. My family was forced to go back, get the camera, and return to MOOD (where I refrained from more shopping) so I could have pictures. On our way back to the shop, my daughter and I spotted Nicolas Putvinski from season 6 leaving the block and he walked right past us but I was too chicken to call him out. He wasn't our favorite from this season due to his catty behavior. I hope he was edited badly and still wish him luck. It must be very difficult to work in those rushed conditions and the heavy competition of the NYC fashion industry.

In closing: Thank you MOOD and my family for indulging me.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hand-Painted Traditions

Sugar Plum Ornament ©2008
3" sq on point to 4 1/2"
The history of Christmas ornaments dates back to the 1800's and although I do not collect them myself, I am constantly drawn to them and find them fascinating. First of all, they are miniature and most of them are shiny and that is a double threat for me. I think females in general have those same 2 downfalls (most I know anyway). All that needs to be thrown in is a hidden compartment or box and the urge to possess said item is overwhelming.
My mother collects ornaments as do many of my friends. My children are forever scarred that I didn't save every single handmade "what is it?" that came home with them to hang on my tree. Before I get "how could you?" responses, I have saved specific items that touched my heart but being military, it just isn't practical to save it all. As a child I grew up with a Christmas tree full of the multi colored lights and ornaments full of memories. I am a very sentimental person but I had always been completely and utterly in love with the department store trees that were themed with just white lights. After 6-7 years of doing what I had grown up with, I decided that I could have my own tree and changed it to white lights and big and small poinsettia ornaments in deep reds....just what I had always dreamed of.

2006 Christmas Tree with "Las Flores de Amigas" © 2005 in the background

Last year I decided that even if I didn't collect ornaments, I could make them. My first ornament was the Sugar Plum ornament shown above. It is still my favorite but running a close second is the holly ornament shown below.
Both are hand-painted and finished by free motion stitching leaves in metallic thread across the surface. I enjoy the look of a traditional binding with beaded hang and tassles. They are a labor of love for what they cost and they are beautiful to me.

Holly Ornament ©2008 3" sq on point at 4 1/2"

This year I added lighthouses to the ever growing list of available ornaments. I started with Cape Lookout, NC since this was the 150th anniversary of it's lighting. I have added Bodie Island, NC and Cape Hatteras, NC. All are lighthouses on the Historic Outer Banks of NC. They are hand-inked, free motion stitched, and beaded.
To read more about the local lighthouse see my previous post here.

Cape Hatteras Ornament © 2009 3"sq on point to 4 1/2"
I sell these through a local gallery and also online. Today is the last day for orders to be delivered by Christmas. If you are not a collector, I bet you know one. These are miniature and shiny...sorry no hidden compartments. Maybe that should be my next ornament:)
Have a wonderful holiday season to my followers and online friends.