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 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!


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,