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Archive for the ‘Art’ category

Kuma: Book Clutch Project

January 16th, 2014

kumabookclutch2 Recently, we’ve talked about and praised handmade artists on Etsy for their creativity and lack of much deserved attention. Today, I’ve got something special to introduce to you—Kuma, the book clutch! Made by artisan Mari Ojasaar, Kuma is a handmade leather clutch made to look like a vintage book. A famous quotation or a phrase of your choice is engraved on the outside of the book clutch. It is however still  a project in the works. It needs to come alive with your help!

Kuma is on Kickstarter and is in need of a lot of serious “backers” (investors with sweet rewards) by Sunday, February 9 to make Kuma a living creation. As you may know, the deal with Kickstarter is that the artist or project doesn’t get any of the donations if the goal amount isn’t met by the deadline. With every donation, you automatically get something from the artist.

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For example: For a mere $15 donation, you get the satisfaction of helping Mari’s project Kuma happen AND get a butterfly brooch from below:

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For higher donation amounts, you get bigger rewards—and as you may have guessed, including your very own personalized clutch like that piece of lemon cake above. Head on over to Kickstarter right now to give to a unique project and get back a reward. Watch the video below to learn more and fall in love!

If you haven’t read my previous post on Erté, a famous Art Deco artist and fashion designer, feel free to poke around! Art Deco is a style of art originally from France from after World War I in the 1920s up until before the outbreak of the second World War in the 1940s. If you only think of flapper dresses when thinking about the 20s, think again!  Art Deco is characterized by lots of ornamentation, vivid colors, and machine inspired geometric patterns. People at the time took great pride and faith in their technological progress.

Below, you’ll find fashion illustrations from the time period in that style drawn by other notable artists.

Art Deco Fashion Design,fashion illustration,French fashion magazine La Vie Parisienne (5)
Source: Art Deco Design Times

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Source: CTG Publishing

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Source: The Dandelion Chronicles

Some modern fashion renditions of Art Deco are below. I love these all, don’t you? Now all you need for these dresses from Holly Hunton below to make them wearable winter art deco is some faux fur or mink coat, shawl, hat, gloves, or collar—put them all on or just a few! Pick patterns and jewelry that are bold, with gold, and geometrical.

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 Source: Holly Fulton Spring 2011

If you’re not into wearing fur at all, you may opt to complete your Art Deco look by wearing outerwear with bat wing sleeves like below from Battise Fashions‘  winter collection:

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Source: Battise Fashions – Black Ragan Sleeve Knit Jacket | Black Knit & Leather Cocoon Jacket

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Source: Batisse Fashions- Long Cocoon Animal Jacket | Short Cocoon Animal Jacket

Here are just a few vintage items from various decades on my Etsy that could work in that style:

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Top (L-R): Diane Freis top | Naeem Khan Riazee Nights beaded dress | Alex Ku Indian tribal top
Bottom (L-R): Andrew Geller pumps | Gwen Pennington faux fur / velvet/ suede hat

divider What is your favorite thing about Art Deco?
P.S. A GIVEAWAY for something with FUR from Battise Fashions is coming shortly!

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“I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls.”

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“The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.”

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“There’s more to sex appeal than just measurements. I don’t need a bedroom to prove my womanliness. I can convey just as much sex appeal, picking apples off a tree or standing in the rain.”
Such as Audrey Hepburn’s beautiful personality and talent, for instance. The quote above kind of reminds me of Ashton Kutcher’s “sexy” speech at the teen choice awards, where he says the the sexiest thing is a person’s brain. audreyhepburn3

“The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries or the way she combs her hair.”

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Make no mistake about it: Audrey Hepburn was a remarkable woman. Not only was she one of the best actresses ever to have graced the silver screen, but she was also a good hearted humanitarian and – according to those who knew her – a lady who lived life to the full. What’s more, she always looked really good while doing it all!

Very few have managed to live up to Audrey Hepburn’s status as the ultimate style icon, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some great lessons we can all learn and easily put into practice.

THE RIGHT FIT
(and length for your body type)

While Audrey Hepburn wasn’t especially tall, it often surprises people to learn that – at 5’7” – she was a good two or three inches above national average. The perception of her being a dainty girl was, in part, enforced by her being repeatedly cast alongside male leads with domineering statures. Obviously, we can’t all enhance our feminine physiques by appearing alongside, but thankfully there is another principle at play here.

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It all comes down to the FIT of the outfit. No matter whether it was a cocktail dress or a simple blouse, you’d be hard-pressed to find an image of Hepburn wearing an outfit that hung off her like a sack… not to say that you can’t look good in an oversized modest top like in a previous outfit post where I wore a large sweater. Of course you can! ;-)

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Audrey wore a lot of solid colored high neck tops (not necessarily turtle necks) and below the knee skirts and crop pants. Below, you’ll find modern day pieces tailored especially for taller women like her. There are tons of specialty stores for plus sizes and petites but not so much for tall figures. This store I found called Long Elengant Legs is specialty store for women with exactly that!

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NOT A WAIST OF TIME

Audrey also had an incredibly small waist size of 20 inches, which you can achieve through a corset over time. However, if you’re not the type who will put comfort aside for style, you can cheat with high waist bottoms with waist cinchers!

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LIKE DIAMONDS IN THE SKY

Audrey wore large chunky diamond earrings as seen above and also from her classic look from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The chunky diamond cluster looked kind of like these modern but classic looking diamond earrings. To add class to a regular gingham outfit from the above left photo, she wore diamond hoop earrings. Not everyone can afford or want to spend money on real diamonds, regardless of being them conflict free. This is where cubic zirconia, a fine and cheap alternative to diamonds, comes in.

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Audrey Hepburn’s face was most characterized by her strikingly thick and shapely eyebrows, which can be achieved with a good pair of tweezers and a bit of eyebrow makeup magic. Her hair was usually in a neat updo with some baby “Bettie bangs,” which not everybody can pull off. Audrey’s best beauty advice however is…

 “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”

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Patricia Smith’s Moon Bags

October 3rd, 2013

patriciasmith_moonbag patriciasmith_moonbag I used to be the proud owner of these two Patricia Smith Moon Bags pictured above until I decided to sadly part with them last year. I do still have an original Patricia Smith belt buckle (pictured below), made from the same material the bag flaps were made of (acrylic). It is one of a kind and very rare. If you think the bags are scarce, the belt buckles are nowhere to be found! Fortunately, I am also giving this away to anyone who wishes to purchase it from me. Please send me an offer!

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Who is Patricia Smith? Patricia Smith is an artist from Milwaukee, WI most well known, at least from my perspective, for her Moon Bags back in the 80s. I wish I could say that the material used to paint her artwork on was literally out of this world but alas I cannot. As much as I’d like to purchase a moon rock (an actual piece of the moon), I don’t think I’ve got the money for it! The lacquer that you’ll find as handles, flaps, or emblems on each Moon Bag is made of earthbound acrylic (that’s just acrylic).

Patricia hand painted each lacquer that you’ll find on her creations. She or her company also sold needlepoint kits to customers, and they in turn sent back their original work to be paired with Patricia’s lacquers and made as bags! What makes these bags extra special is that every piece is unique and no design was replicated. The clutch I had picture above is an example of one of those needlepoint bags. Not only would I love to get in touch with Patricia, I wouldn’t mind meeting the person who stitched the flowers as well. ;-)

In the late 90s, Moon Bags stopped being on the spotlight. Though that happened, Patricia still pursued the sheer love of art, with or without commercial success, through painting.

Below you’ll find a video of a fellow fashionista raving about her Moon Bags collection:

There are all sorts of handbag styles to choose from—clutches, shoulder bags, handbags, etc. Below you’ll find some Moon Bags being sold by previous owners (like myself) of Patricia Smith’s creations:


If you’re a frequent eBay buyer and buy or sell large things, you might want to try something like courier service “bidding” to get the best deal on shipping: http://www.anyvan.com/courier-services

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Some of us don’t wait for Halloween to wear “costumes.” For us, wearing elaborate or theme-inspired clothing is a daily matter. You call it costumes, we call it a way of living! Last year, I wrote about escaping from “Sartorial Stereotypes” for Halloween with just a quick list of ideas.  So, for most people who are just looking for cool and obscure references for their Halloween costumes, how about you take a hint from the lovely Lene Lovich?

Lene Lovich (born Lili-Marlene Premilovich) is an American singer-songwriter New Wave artist from the late 70s-early 80s (my favorite period!). Her most famous hit was “Lucky Number.” This lady, although born in Detroit came from an English mother and an Yugoslavian father. She also went back to her mother’s country for an extensive period to study art. In fact, her iconic hairstyle with scarves came from how she covered her hair to keep it away while sculpting!

Looking at her clothing and hair in plaits,  you can’t help but think of traditional Yugoslavian attire, most likely influenced by her father’s side. Below are a couple of photos of the country’s costume for women:

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Source: 12

Lene Lovich’s “Lucky Number” music video:

 

black mold exposure karen

Karen Noseff is the Texan founder and designer of Fortune Denim. Even without any background in fashion, her jeans have been worn by celebrities like Fergie, Jessica Alba, Drew Barrymore, Mischa Barton… and the list goes on. She is also a contemporary dancer who later pursued singing for a career. Despite being the daughter of a Caucasian father and a first generation Asian mother who threatened to disown her if she didn’t become either a lawyer or a doctor (how typical!), Karen is now pursuing the American dream of doing what she has always loved to do for a living and being really successful at it. What a lucky girl!

Fortune Denim sailor jeans worn by Pin Up Girl Clothing:

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She wasn’t always this lucky, however. Not too long ago, Karen was struck with a rare and understudied illness that was caused or aggregated by toxic black mold. This hapa wasn’t a happy camper when her pretty face frequently transformed into what looked “like a monster,” as she’d say.

Her story is featured in length in a documentary called Black Mold Exposure. The movie is available both on their website and on Amazon and not really found anywhere else. It’s a film worth watching and buying for a friend, and I highly recommend it. It’s also in a way quite entertaining to watch, because it’s real but so bizarre. Below is the trailer:

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As Bruce Banner (Hulk) is to anger, Karen Noseff is to mold.

The worst part about her situation is that not many believed that her sickness was real. You’d think, all she needed to do was to show up to a disbelieving friend or family member’s house in the middle of the night, or whenever she experienced the mold symptom, and show them her deformed face. Yet, she stayed strong. It was difficult enough to go through a sickness like this without a clue about the cause or cure. To be treated like you were crazy by those you trust and love was way too much to bear.

Watch Fortune Denim founder Karen’s interviews about her appearance in the movie below:

My Mold Story

I personally have been a victim of black mold. My mold symptom was developing a bad gluten sensitivity after moving into my husband’s house that had a problem with mold. I nor my family have ever had any allergies to speak of, so this was a real shocker. Something in our house caused it, and it wasn’t very obvious to me at first. The gluten allergy in itself was treated like it was non-existent years ago. Thankfully now, it is widely recognized, studied, provided for with options, and profited from. However as for mold symptoms or mold illness, it is not. My husband is in far worse shape than I am. I can just stay away from food containing gluten, and I am fine. He however is still recovering and figuring out how to heal himself, even after moving to a new residence.

How It Affects You

Just like gluten allergy symptoms, black mold symptoms are not the same from person to person. Once you are hit by a catalyst that lowers your immune system (in this case, black mold), the sky’s the limit on illnesses your body becomes prone to—from allergies to cancer. That is why someone with Lyme’s disease (ticks as catalyst) can have very similar symptoms or remedy for relief as someone with a gluten allergy, a mold allergy, acid reflux, etc. What doctors sell are drugs. What you probably need to do is to get rid of the catalyst first if you can and then strengthen your immune system with naturally available low mold, low toxin food from God’s green earth for starters.

If you have some spare time, please do watch Black Mold Exposure! Let me know what you think of it, and help spread the word about mold illness and what we can do to help others recognize it. What happened to Karen, me, and so many others can happen to you too.

 

suzannelloyd-lawoftheplainsman

Law of the Plainsman (1962)

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Twilight Zone as Maya the Cat Girl (1959)

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Twilight Zone – Ms. Thomas (1959)

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Bat Masterson -  Season 2 Ep 24 “Three Bullets for Bat” as Linda (1960)

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Bat Masterson -  Season 2 Ep 24 “Three Bullets for Bat” as Linda (1960)

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The Saint (1962-1969)

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The Saint (1962-1969)

I first fell in love with Suzanne Lloyd’s face (particularly, her cheekbones) on season 1 episode 9 of the Twilight Zone called “Perchance to Dream.” Although her outfit was rather skimpy in that episode (she was playing the antagonist afterall), her face and acting were enough to capture hearts.

You won’t see too much of Suzanne on the Web though sadly, but you should be able to retrace her movie and TV appearances (mostly TV) from her full filmography on trusty IMDB. She played SEVERAL characters on The Saint, a TV show that ran from ’64 to ’69. She appeared in TV shows like The Avengers in ’65, Zorro from ’58-’61, and Bonanza in ’61.

I seriously think that women in the 40s/50s generally looked better than Hollywood actresses today because the food was better then. It was more organic and less commercialized. The women appeared to be healthier too, but of course a lot of it has to do with the changing perception of beauty as well.

Although I have high cheekbones myself, mine aren’t close to the likes of Suzanne Lloyd’s. However I’m sure with the right contour makeup and technique, you can achieve something like this! I’m a newbie with contouring, but I am having a lot of fun experimenting with highlights and shadows to achieve a chiseled feminine face like this lady!

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