Friday, October 4, 2013

I've got mail...


Happy October Everyone!

 I'll keep the pictures to a minimum as I am in my pajamas and covered in thread- one of my happiest ways to be! I'm at home working on my new fall things. The weather is so beautiful here in New York and inspiration abounds! There is a change in the air and in the momentum of ErinElsie. I received news that some of my items at a boutique out west have sold. As always, I celebrate the little things, little stepping stones on my creative journey. 

To my delight, I also received a package in the mail from a dear blog reader, Joy Lee. She has been hanging on to a unique, huge, patchwork suede cape for the last 20 years. She has only been able to wear it once, and now has no use of it in southern Louisiana. Joy offered to send it to me to use as I'd like and I could not resist. I love a good vintage piece with a story. She bought this cape in Deadwood, SD, and it was originally made in a leather factory in south Texas. It feels good when others trust me enough to hand special things over to me. Finding and using unique materials is such a huge part of my work, and a huge source of inspiration. I can't wait to get my hands on this cape. I love the basic idea of the cape, so I plan to try and update it into a shorter, more wearable one. I'll use the leftover suede for some other pieces I have in mind...





Also, speaking of Texas, I received an email from a sweet, stylish, and accomplished blogger named Tori Johnson from San Antonio, TX. As a souther girl myself, I love the warmth that comes across in her blog, The sTORIbook. I will be working with her soon on a little promotion and I'm so excited that she reached out me. Please stay tuned and check out Tori's blog :)



Okay, back to work for me. Thanks for reading and have a super weekend!

xo,
 Erin
www.erinelsie.com

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Bring on the Fall


Happy Fall!

 I can't believe it's already the end of September! I am finally enjoying a weekend off from freelance obligations; excited to dedicate time to sleeping in, having my favorite meditative morning coffee moments, and diving back into working on my fall/ winter pieces for ErinElsie. Here is a little ditty about what I've been up to and what I'm working on now.   


 In August I had an ErinElsie booth at the Hester Street Fair in the lower east side of Manhattan. I had a little anxiety about doing the fair, but it is time for me to further push my work out to the public. Deadlines also seem to help the scattered, creative part of my brain get organized and productive! Regardless of the amount of sales, the best part was having customers touch and feel my work with compliments on the handmade quality and craftsmanship. It turned out to be the perfect motivation I needed to keep on going.    





ErinElsie goes West...

Another development for ErinElsie: I now have some pieces in the newly opened Hyperclash Boutique in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  It is an eco-boutique with inspirational work from all over the country. I'm so excited to be part of it! Please check it out if you're ever nearby!
The HYPERCLASH flagship store is located at:
 926 #1 Baca Street Studios
 Santa Fe NM


Freelance work took me to the Los Angeles, California area in early September for 10 days. It's definitely a trek flying westward across the country. Luckily I had an empty row of seats, a pile of reading material to dive into, and my sketchbook just in case. 




I caught up on some fall fashion with my Nylon magazine. Plaid of course is always popular in fall/ winter, but this year it is definitely everywhere in traditional and non traditional ways. 

Studio sneak peek - some of my colorful plaids



My cozy and luxurious reversible, unisex scarf is made from a repurposed men's cotton flannel shirt and soft reclaimed merino wool. More colorful combos coming soon. 
 


I never leave home without one of my coffee cozies, so I decided it might be a good idea to start selling them again. They protect your hands from the hot cup, can be reused of course, and you'll always know which cup is yours! They're made mostly with collars and sometimes cuffs from repurposed from men's shirts. I never like to waste remnants of good fabric and I love that these have such a great everyday use. They also make great little gifts!



One of my favorite magazines, as I am indeed still a southern girl at heart. I got to  read my latest issue, cover to cover on the plane. The recipes are my favorite part :)

My current book of the moment?
 "Catherine The Great," by Robert K. Massie.  I can be a super history nerd at times and this is what I've been going to sleep with at night- and on airplanes. Drifting off into different time periods, especially elaborately costumed ones, can turn into unexpected inspiration.
My bookmark of the moment? 
A postcard of my favorite paintings, Lady Peel, from a visit to the Frick Collection.  That's quite the hat, Lady Peel, I love a good pop of color.
 For more info about this actual piece, click the link below.

 Studio sneak peek - funky and romantic florals  

...combined with cozy fabrics...

...and a little bit of lace

In closing, I leave you with a few photos of California sunshine.

  
  I'm grateful that work takes me to beautiful places, but I'm happy to be back in New York- bring on the fall!

Wishing you a very happy weekend and fall! As always, thanks for coming along on my little journey. 

XO, 
 -Erin 

www.erinelsie.com










Monday, July 29, 2013

Reflect and Recharge


Greetings! Seems like July has flown by and I'm taking a little moment to reflect and share what's been happening in my world.

Labels! Yes, I finally have real labels! It may seem a small thing, but when you are working hard and thoughtfully on something, every step forward is very exciting. It has been quite a while since I've been able to devote some full time to my own work, and I'm very excited to be diving back in to the world of ErinElsie.


I first spent the week of July 4 away in lovely Charlottesville, VA. We spent quality time with friends that feel like family- eating great food, soaking in the outdoors, and laughing until it hurts. During our stay, our lovely hostess Aimee was in the process of moving in and trying to organize her stuff. She, like me, has much of her grandmother's old sewing things, and unexpectedly gave some of these things to me. I love old sewing notions, and I especially love when they are full of sentimental value. It was such a special treat :)

Also, I brought some hand sewing projects to work on during our VA trip, and these earrings are some of my favorites- inspired by the nature that surrounded us.  


This trip was quickly followed by my mom and a friend of hers visiting New York, braving that crazy heat wave! We spent their time here exploring the city, enjoying tasty restaurants, and took in a broadway show - Wicked. It was fun to check out for a bit and play tourist in my own town. 


The second half of July, I have been immersed in freelance work. In my experience, when you are a creative person and maker of things, it is hard to go periods of time without fully creating. Luckily, my freelance day jobs tend to be hands on, sometimes very creative, and even inspiring. 

The first of my freelance jobs, was a location photo shoot at the Woolworth Estate in the Glen Cove area of Long Island, NY. Normally, my location jobs involve more extensive traveling, but in this place just 45 minutes outside of NYC, I felt transported to the Gilded Age  as I walked through these great rooms- sometimes inspiring and sometimes ridiculously extravagant. 



The second of my freelance gigs, I assisted dressing super fashion blogger Chriselle Lim on a photo shoot project with style.com. If you ever feel in a rut with getting dressed in the morning, follow her blog and youtube channel. I can see why she has so many followers- she is a real girl, nice to the core, instilling confidence in the everyday woman. She has a knack for showing you how to effortlessly throw outfits together. Life can feel so serious at other times, and getting dressed should not be!


Check out her blog here:

In this sneak peek- she is rocking a cashmere beanie hat that I handmade from recycled sweater parts :)

When I've spent time away from my own work, its sometimes very hard to jump back in where I left off. Feeling plagued by a creative rut, I hit the streets of my neighborhood to get some fresh air, enjoy some excellent people watching, and eventually found myself in a thrift store that I've been meaning to check out. I came home feeling creatively recharged. Check out some of the fun things I found...

Great silk prints for fall

Handmade tie-dyed fabric 

Fresh wool and cotton plaids for fall 

Vintage belts, leather and wood slippers


Something else I do during a creative block is try to expand my construction skills. This time I learned how to make neckties. It also is proving a creative way for me to use some remnants of great fabric. 


...and onward to August!

Cheers!
 Erin

www.erinelsie.com      

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Meet Elsie of ErinElsie

Happy July folks!

I have been quite busy and will update you properly with a longer blog post soon, just wanted to re-share this blog post from a year ago. I am lucky to have my mom in town visiting and it is always a reminder to never take family for granted. It's hard not living close to my family, and I know my mom and I were both a little heavy hearted as Elsie, my grandmother's birthday past recently. 

If you weren't lucky enough to know her when she was alive with us- meet her below and read how she has inspired the work I do: Elsie of ErinElsie.



(Except from July 2012 blog post)

My grandmother's birthday recently passed and it leaves me with bittersweet emotions. I miss her very much, but I am also filled with joy in the many memories I have of her and growing up in southern Louisiana. She was a kind, warm lady who spoke French and never let you leave her house hungry. I was lucky to grow up 5 minutes from her house. As a child, she would make the best, saltiest, homemade French fries just for me and my brother after school. When my mom came to pick us up after work, my grandmother would tell us not to tell her we ate so much, so we'd only mention an apple... I think my mom figured it out when we weren't always hungry for dinner. She threw together the best veggie soup, and would bring me containers of it because she knew I loved it. She made awesome homemade pickles, banana bread, fried bologna sandwiches(I know what you're thinking, but fried bologna sandwiches are so much better than they sound!). She also had the biggest, old coffee pot, and I can still remember the smell of coffee at her house with all of the family visiting. I used that coffee pot in my first solo apartment until it puckered out. 

I have been sewing since I was 6. My mom taught me the fundamentals and I was overwhelmed with this power to create. My grandmother, my mom, and her sisters were all avid sewers and made most of their own clothes as they were growing up. When visiting my grandmother as a child, I loved to dig through her closet of vintage fabric and clothing. As I grew up she started to pass pieces of her fabric/trims down to me. When she passed away, I inherited the rest of her fabric along with her closet. In mourning her death, I reworked some of her old clothes so that I could wear them in a modern way. This is what influenced and inspired the unique pieces I make today. It also heavily influenced the the process of finding the materials I work with. I keep her memory alive in ErinElsie. She is the motivation for me to work hard in pursuing my dreams and I hope to make her and my family proud. 


Happy Birthday Ma-ma! I miss you, Erin


***Also, re-sharing this Downy web-comercial I was lucky enough to take part in and keep Elsie's memory alive.  




Until next time,


xo, 
-Erin

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Cartagena-mania!

I apologize that this post comes over a month after my last entry, but I promise it's with good reason. I have just returned from an awesome trip to Cartagena, Colombia and I have been quite the busy bee with freelance work and ErinElsie projects. Why Cartagena? We were there to celebrate the wedding of one awesome couple in the company of many close friends. Here's a brief look at the inspiration I found in this colorful old city.

YOUR 10 SECOND HISTORY LESSON ON CARTAGENA...(for more in depth info check out http://discovercolombia.com/cartagena/)

Cartagena de Indias was founded in 1533 by Pedro de Heredia, a Spanish nobleman. In 1552, a fire reduced the village (whose buildings were made of wood at the time) to ashes, and Pedro de Heredia ordered that all structures be made of stone from that point onward. In a way, this directive enabled the city to preserve its lovely architectural heritage to this present day as most of the buildings have remained intact nearly 500 years later. In 1741, after defending an attack by England, the Spanish crown finally decided to fortify the city and its surrounding area with a stone wall. The scale of this project soon converted Cartagena into one of the most well protected colonial cities in all of South America. This area today is known as the "old walled city." 


HITTING THE COLORFUL STREETS OF THE OLD CITY...

photo by Ben Kulo


photo by Ben Kulo

awesome vines that cover many of the old buidlings
photo by Ben Kulo


photo by Ben Kulo


photo by Ben Kulo




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One of the apartments we stayed in was a great example of how the old mansions in the city are structured. On the outside, they are colorful stone structures with giant wood doors and barred windows. Everything is very protected from the street. Then upon walking in, you hit a spectacularly unexpected courtyard. 
photo by Ben Kulo

The courtyard
photo by Ben Kulo

Interior dipping pool of our courtyard
photo by Ben Kulo


Looking up from the courtyard
photo by Ben Kulo
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Standing on top of the wall of the old city.
photo by Ben Kulo

Sunset view from the wall surrounding the old city. 
photo by Ben Kulo




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THE SHOPPING REPORT

As always, I managed to squeeze some time in for shopping. Below are some of the highlights :)



To my delight I came across a little shop called Amitabha Joyeria. It is a collective that sells handmade pieces from local Colombian artists. Although there was a bit of a language barrier between us, the owner was lovely and helpful. I felt like we bonded over our love of special, one of a kind treasures.  My favorite items in this shop were these beautiful hand printed/ batiked wraps. My boyfriend and I make throw pillows to represent our travels together, and I knew immediately that I had found my fabric for our Colombia pillow.












Flory, is a little accessory shop, featuring local Colombian jewelers. A nice selection made with real stones. 


My earring purchases below- real coral and turquoise at a price that didn't break the bank. 


Tennis was a trendy little shop in the old city, well curated with great print bottoms and special tops. I could have done a lot more damage here, but edited down to the pieces below :)





     

FABRIC SHOPPING IN THE OLD CITY

There were way more fabric shops than I expected in Cartagena. A pleasant surprise, and I should have brought an extra bag...





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SNACK TIME

Street snack...the old town is covered with fruit vendors. Pick the assortment of fruits you'd like, and they will cut them up for you on the spot.





One of the best things we stumbled upon was a gourmet pop cycle shop, La Paletteria. An array of awesome flavors, artistically displayed.



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To detail all the restaurants and food would take an entire other blog. My favorite was Cuzco. A Peruvian restaurant with the best live music and best ceviche I have ever had thus far in life...
http://www.tripadvisor.Cuzco-Cartagena

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In closing, I leave you with a sneak preview from the spectacular wedding festivities...more to come so please stay tuned!
Happy couple :)

Street procession to the reception

Part of the multifaceted reception
photo by Ben Kulo

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It's such a pleasure to be inspired by new places and experiences.  I can't think of a better way to have kickstarted summer 2013. Now back to work for me.

Happy Trails!
 -Erin

http://www.erinelsie.com/