Team Finds: Special Finds for Mother's Day

Team Finds: Celebrate Women's History Month...

    By buying handmade by women from our team shops for the awesome women in your life!

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Finds From Our Team

A Family History of Embroidery

Nordea's blog piece on Artful Embroidery (September 19) reminded me of my teenage years when my mother, a crewel embroiderer, taught me some simple stitches. We lived in the middle of Long Island, where there was never enough for kids to do. 

My mom was a craft person extraordinaire. She made braided rugs, like this, for the rooms in our home by going to rummage sales on the last day when a shopper could fill a bag for $1.

She loaded up on wool jackets and pants, cut the material into strips, sewed the strips together at the ends and folded as she went. She braided the folded strips and then sewed the braids into an oval, like this.

The artistry came in blending the colors that would sit next to each other in the rug.

My mom also made pictures from wool thread, called crewel embroidery. She made mostly simple flower and fruit compositions that went with our New England antique furniture: ladder back chairs and butcher tables and pewter sconces and mugs.

Crewel is a style of free embroidery thousands of years old, done on linen or cotton and many stitches allow the sight of the linen through and around the design. These pieces, like the pillow below, she would frame and hang on the wall above the couch in the living room.

Both my parents were painters, as were relatives on my mother’s side. One of them lived in a lighthouse and painted it, as well as other shore scenes. Some painted the farmlands of Hicksville, Long Island in the early 1900s, which is where they lived, on potato farms. My father painted landscapes in oil and my mother used all media for her pieces. She painted well into her 80s, traveling to Italy to live and paint in Rome for a month.

All my embroidery was done on faded blue jeans. 

My masterpiece was a blue jean skirt that I made from a cut up pair of jeans. I put a few flowers on it, like this:

But I kept working on it over time. In the end, it had the feel of this piece:

According to my mother, I wore it every day from Memorial to Labor Day. It had fringe and hanging threads on the bottom. It was not something that could be purchased at the Smith Haven or Walt Whitman Malls, which is where everyone shopped. It was probably the most comfortable thing I ever wore, and I made it. 


Fall 2012 Color Trends

As the weather starts to cool off just the tiniest bit, my mind is definitely turning to Fall.  I can't wait for crisper mornings when I can wear my favorite sweaters and scarves!

In addition, I'm becoming more and more excited for New York Fashion Week, which kicks off with Fashion's Night Out on September 6th.  As I was taking a look through the Fall 2012 collections, I noticed several colors that kept popping up over and over.  These colors are going to be big this fall and I can't wait to wear them!

Tell me: What colors are you excited to wear this Fall?

By Nnenna of star-crossed smile


Fall 2012: Fashion and Knitwear

I know it's still a bit early, but with all the buzz about Fashion Week in September, I'm starting to get excited about the fall months ahead.  Even though it's still pretty hot and sticky here in NYC, I'm dreaming of crisp fall mornings and cozy knits to wrap myself in.  As I was browsing through the collections from last Fashion Week, I was inspired by all the wonderful fashion knitwear that I was seeing.  Take a peek at some of my favorite looks below!

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Tell me: Are you still in summer mode or are you ready for Fall to arrive?

By Nnenna of star-crossed smile

Met Gala 2012 Fashion Wrap Up

Arguably the biggest night in red carpet fashion happened here in New York at the annual Met Gala Costume Institute Benefit on Monday. Celebrities, designers and who's who turned out in pieces that pushed the envelope for better...or for worse.

Starting with the best of...

Bright hues continued to trend on the carpet this year, as Katherine McPhee chose this shimmering piece by Elie Saab. *Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Ginnifer Goodwin continued the orange alert in this bead embellished stunner by Monique Lhuillier. *Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Emma Stone pulls off sweet chic in Lanvin.
*Photo courtesy of The Associated Press

Glee's Dianna Agron wears a gorgeous green gown by Carolina Herrera.
*Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Black is always chic and Christina Ricci turns it up a notch with this piece by Thakoon.
*Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Rooney Mara looks flawless in lace by Givenchy.
*Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Cate Blanchett chose to walk the carpet in a chic ostrich feather gown by Alexander McQueen.
*Photo courtesy of Associated Press

Rihanna wears a sleek, long-sleeved crocodile number by Tom Ford.
*Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Gisele stuns in my favorite dress of the night by Givenchy.
*Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Metallics also made a strong showing as Jessica Alba demonstrates in this one shoulder dress by Michael Kors.
*Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Nina Dobrov looks incredible in this black metallic ombre piece by Donna Karan.
*Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Sofia Vergara wears a gorgeous silvery gown by Marchesa.
*Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Camilla Bell chose a sleek silvery number by Ralph Lauren.
*Photo courtesy of Getty Images

As always, there were some questionable choices on the carpet this year...

Beyonce in Givenchy. I'd really like to love this, but...(no pun intended)
*Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Karolina Kurkova in Rachel Zoe is a bit late to the Star Wars Day party.
*Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Donald & Melania Trump forcing the future in Marc Bouwer Couture
*Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Mary-Kate Olsen as the crypt keeper in The Row.
*Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Chloe Sevigny goes disco DIY in Miu Miu.
*Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Kristen Stewart confused in Balenciaga.
*Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Sarah Jessica Parker in Valentino for The Secret Garden.
*Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Jessica Chastain in Louis Vuitton channeling Prom - 1995.
*Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Eva Mendes as a Jetson's ice cream cone in Prada.
*Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Kirsten Dunst looks older, but not necessarily wiser in Rodarte

Marc Jacobs being Marc Jacobs in Commes des Garcons.

That's the wrap up, so what made your hits and misses list from this year's Met Gala?

Spring 2012 Fashion Trends on Etsy!

Since Spring has officially sprung here in NYC, I thought it would be fun to feature some of spring's hottest fashion trends.  Check it out below to see how you can snag these trends on Etsy!

Mint is everywhere right now and this color just screams "Spring!" to me!  Adding mint-colored bobby pins would be a nice way to jazz up a hairdo or you can accessorize with mint earrings or a mint necklace.  You can also knock out two trends in one with this lovely green colorblocked clutch- so fun!

Brighten up your cubicle or office space with this amazing woven journal- no more boring office supplies!  You can also add a little bit of bright colors/neons to your life with any one of these pretty jewels.  Trust me, people will definitely notice that bit of color- in good way! :)

Florals is one of those spring trends that reappears year after year, but what is more springy than flowers in bloom? :)  You can carry your business cards in this pretty floral card holder or add a bit of floral decor to your home with this beautiful photograph.  Also, you can use this floral ribbon or these crochet flowers as hair accessories or even to finish off a package prettily!

Tell me: Which of these Spring trends is your favorite?

By Nnenna of star-crossed smile

Fall Colors Make Me Swoon

Only a couple more weeks until autumn officially begins! I love the deep browns, olives, and vibrant oranges that come into fashion when the weather turns chilly. You can get dressed from head to toe with a handmade outfit from the talented designers of the {NewNew}.

Start off with a brown Pillowcase Tunic by BShorr

Paired with this lovely Plaid Skirt by Rocks and Salt

Slip on this beautifully tailored Olive Herringbone Jacket by Jesswitaj

Pin a Cameo Brooch by KnitKnit on your coat

Bring along a Dark Green Neckwarmer by MellowBeing for when the weather turns chilly

And hang The Jackie Shoulder Bag by LolaFalk on your shoulder as you head out into a brisk fall day.

For more fall fashions, be sure to check out the Fall Fashion Preview at the Brooklyn Indie Market in Carroll Gardens on September 18, from 11am - 7pm.


Fall Fashion With The {New New}