Friday, January 29, 2010

Time for Inspiration

After this week of politics and wild markets, it's time to break out inspiration from Peclers Paris, my absolute favorite  forecasting and styling agency.  This is the cutting edge zone of new ideas and thinking.  What you see on the pages of their publications is beyond anything in  your wildest imagination, the artwork, the thought process, the lifestyle forecasts and changes, the color palettes.

I was a client of Pecler's Paris during the years of my fashion design and selling in NYC, and to go back and review the books, the ideas not only seem classic now (at that time they in another galaxy) but they still project a sense of cutting edge transmutation of history combined with current electron energy.

What does that mean??
Well, imagine your favorite all time classic piece of clothing... like maybe a riding jacket.  The basis of the riding jacket is in the jacket design, but the lines, silhouette embody an energy of the present and future.. it does not get staid, so that if you are wearing it today, you will wear it in 2 more years, 5 years, 10 years and you will be cool.

I don't know how they do it, but maybe it is just because each idea is so unique and cool, it never becomes trendy. 

There are very few people who can pull this off, but my favorite scarf designer who resides in London does it.  Pookie Blezard,  with her  genius in graphic layout, print design, sense of history, and combination of eclectic, precious materials continually pushes the envelope.  I have been a collector of her work for over 10 years and to revisit her collection and process is always an inspiration.

Her label is Pazuki, London.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Art of Finishing Textiles

We all love to create with our fibers...yarns, knitting, weaving, sewing, crochet... yet how many of us take the time to finish our art so that it looks its' best?

Here are my tips for finishing.   I realize many of you will not have access to some of the machines or products that I use so I will give you alternatives.

My finishing process:
First, all pieces are soaked in white vinegar and water to set the color.  The vinegar also strengthens the fiber.
Then I wash the finished work in my Miele washer on "wool" or "silk" settings.  I use "Perwol", a German product for delicate fibers.  I also put "Snuggle" fabric softener in the rinse cycle.  For Black or dark pieces, I use "Black Magic" by the same German manufacturer.   This soap helps retain dark colors instead of fading them in the wash.
**After the washing cyle, I hang the piece over the banister to dry, or if it needs to be blocked, like a sweater, I block it on top of a towel on my dining room table to dry.

For scarves, they are pressed twice with a Rowenta steam iron or Naimoto gravity feed iron, using distilled water.  The result for the silks are glorious... wonderful soft drapes and fabulous sheens.

Usually the sweater does not need any more finishing as I take care in the blocking, smoothing out all the wrinkles wihile it is wet.  The finishing process for knits and wovens is  very important because it evens out all the stitches and sets the knit/ weave.  It "fulls". 

Alternatives:  If you do not have a washer with a gentle/wool/silk/handwash cycle, soak your work in warm water with some blue "Dawn" dish detergent  after the vinegar soak.  The original blue "Dawn" is pH neutral.  Conservators use it for their textiles.   Drain your piece a colander, never squeeze or wring.  Put it back in the sink to rinse.  Drain again.  The final rinse will have the "Snuggle' fabric softener.  Drain in the colander again.
Roll the piece in a towel to absorb excess water.  For scarves or sweaters, follow the directions above **

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Back from Indigo, Direction and Premiere Vision

The best part of the trends and textile show was Peclers Paris, a trend forecasting company with cutting edge ideas.  I sat down at their booth and paged through the new 2011-12 Inspiration Book and was blown away.

The palette is gorgeous.  Subtle, rich, elegant.  I wanted to swim in the colors.   The artwork, photography and text excited my mind-- new ideas swimming, building on the old, taking the twists farther and farther out into the universe. Everything is melding, think circular, think complexity of hue and shades gradually transforming themselves into a form whose origin is indiscernable.

This is one book I may have to spring a fortune--having been a client of Peclers Paris when I was a fashion designer, their books are timeless.. Archives of cutting edge ideas.  You will finally see the ideas from 3-5 years ago appearing on the US streets and stores.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Getting Ready for the Sale

Just Back from NYC--European Preview, Indigo and Direction Shows, and Social Networking panel discussion.  Will review the shows in future blogs.    Hamilton, NY,---setting up the studio/gallery for a sale on yarns, knitting needles, felting tools, handknit accessories... stop in from 11 am to 5pm starting
January 15th...Saturday hours... 10am to 2pm.
Porter Studios and Fine Arts Gallery
20 Broad St
Hamilton, NY  13346

Friday, January 8, 2010

Recycling Serger Scraps

I am serging away beautiful vintage kimono panels, and the little strips are lovely...what to do with them?
For bead makers, how about using them to wrap around those straws?  The silks are so lovely.
Spinners.. tie them together, then use for plying with your handspun for extreme crazy yarn.

By the way, an excellent source for vintage kimono panels is Juliet B's shop on Etsy.
Her quality and service are excellent.  I have been working with her for the last few months for my vintage kimono scarf line that I sell at One of a Kind Show in Chicago and in our gallery, Porter Studios and Fine Arts Gallery.  She is willing to go out of her way to help you.  By the way, she just emailed a photo of what she does with her kimono scraps!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Fashion Trends on

For those of you who want to be cutting edge in design, next week is Premiere Vision in NYC...
Also the Direction and Indigo Show. --great ideas in prints and fabric design.

You can find more information by going to

You will find small mills from Europe weaving unique fabrics, laces, and prints.   A synopsis of the think-tank forcasters such as Promostyl, Peclers Paris, Pantone and more.  Great storyboards on the themes of Spring/Summer 2011.  So be ahead of the pack!

Sign up for current trends in fashion, accessories and home decor at

Just received Earthues new class list.  Check out the site for their latest classes.  I studied with Michele Wipplinger for 10 years learning the process of natural dyeing.  She is a master at color and an excellent teacher.  If you want to expand your skills and creative ideas, spend a week in the Earthues studio.
Partner Kathy Hatori will keep you smiling.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Armenian Christmas

Happy Christmas to those who celebrate the holiday on January 6th.  I feel hopeful about the earth with many people trying to make it better. 
Let's celebrate all our differences!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


A New Era in Marketing

Check out the Etsy Storque blog on social network marketing... it has so many new ways to present yourself on the web...Creativity rules!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Rebuild, Replenish, Renew

It's the second day of a new decade and it's up to us to make it better. Think of all the things you can do with what you already own or what skills you have. Think outside the box. Can I create something new with all the stash on my floor?
What new skills do I need to accomplish my ideas?

I invite you to sort through your stuff, attitudes, dreams and come up with something positive for yourself.