Dee Wilkie – The Art Project, Does Jamaica: Michelle Duncan

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Tank top: Dainty Hooligan, Michelle Duncan, Dee Wilkie.  Shorts: Eclipse.  Heels: Spring.

Have you ever ordered something that looks super cute online and then when it finally gets to you it just doesn’t look quite right?  Maybe it’s still nice enough that you keep it and wear it occasionally, but it doesn’t look as good as you had hoped.  Or you get it and the size is wrong, or the fabric isn’t what you thought it would be or it just isn’t what you wanted.  I think most girls are probably organized enough that they would just send these garments back and get a new size or their money back, but to me that just seems like a headache.

While getting ready for my trip down south, I realized my wardrobe was in major need of some sprucing up.  I have a million racer back tanks and hoodies, but nothing that would look cute with heels.  My friend Sara introduced me to this super cute online store called Dainty Hooligan.  They have SO MANY CUTE CLOTHES!!!  I especially love their tank tops and dresses.  So I ordered two dresses, a tank top, (and of course the essential “sticky bra”.)  The dresses came in and fit like a glove.  The tank top on the other hand just wasn’t quite right.  I LOVED the back of it and didn’t want to send it back, but the chest area was…not flattering to say the least.

THANKFULLY I have some pretty great fashion friends.  I messaged Michelle Duncan, one of my most trusted fashion designers here in Fredericton and she reconstructed my tank with my own screen printed silk.  It turned out to be one of my favourite tops on my trip!  Basically all Michelle did was take apart the tank top and add a new front with my custom made silk and VIOLLA!  I got to keep the super cool back AND I now only have two boobs when I wear the top and not four.  It was a win win really.

If you would like to see more of Michelles’ work and to get a sneak peak of her new up and coming line, click here.

“Before something great happens, everything falls apart.” – Anon

D.W.

 

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Top 5 Reasons To Work With A Surface Designer

“What is a Surface Designer!?” You ask.  Well, the best way I can describe it is this.  You know the patterns on tissue boxes, fabric, shower curtains and wallpaper?  A Surface Designer is the person who creates those patterns.  It is our job to create the artwork that goes onto products.  My specialty lies in textiles.  I like to create patterns and artwork for fabric and then use that fabric to turn into beautiful things with other designers (or by myself).  I primarily work with silk, but I can work with other fabric as well such as cotton or velvet.

  1.  Surface Designers are constantly studying color and motif trends.  We know what the latest trends are, and what people are attracted to.
  2. Speaking of color…if you are a surface designer, you have probably taken at LEAST one course in color theory in your life.  We not only know what colors are popular and most likely to sell, but we also know what colors look great together, and what clashes.
  3. Buying fabric from a big box store can make it difficult to find just what your looking for.  Surface Designers can make something totally customizable for you!  Looking for that perfect shade of red, or just a different pattern/motife that you can’t find in stores?!  We are the people to call!
  4. Working with costume fabric takes your brand from “drab to fab!”  Having fabric made specially for you makes your project even more luxurious than if you bought your fabric from a big box store.
  5. Two heads are better than one.  Everyone has a different set of skills and talents.  Working with another designer just increases the quality and knowledge behind your work, and people will see that.

If you are interested in learning more, or placing an order through me, please contact me here.

“The right product in the wrong color won’t sell.”

D.W.

Feature Friday: The Upcycling Junkies

Suzanne and Garry Gaudett are the proud owners of The Upcycling Junkies.  The Gaudett’s take any old furniture they can get their hands on and “up-cycle” it.  They also make custom pieces, as well as smaller “craftier” pieces such as Christmas ornaments. (I ordered a ton this year, they were just too cute AND customizable!)  The great thing about The Upcycling Junkies is that you literally never know what they might dive into next!  It could be a book shelf, a coffee table, or a hand painted sign.

Suzanne and Garry started their small business a little over a year ago.  They love creating new things, and selling their creations through “Whimsy” a lovely store that is a little slice of heaven to anyone who is a lover of supporting local businesses.  They also sell independently out of our their home.

As a family with two young children (and a third on the way), they can’t thank everyone enough for their continued support in their upcycling endeavors!  If you’d like to see more from them  you can follow them on facebook: www.facebook.com/TheUpcyclingJunkies

The Upcycling Junkies
Re-purposing unique finds into creative statement pieces.
“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

Bathing Beauty

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Almost one year ago to the day, this talented group of people teamed up to do a photoshoot.  Some of us had never met, but we all had one common goal, to create something beautiful.  Model Alyssa Yvette and photographer Nathanael Patriquin got together to capture these gorgeous photos.  We used my hand dyed silk, and props from Lindsay Earle.

Today, I am off to meet with Alyssa and Nate one year later to do another shoot inspired by Pantone’s colour of the year.  I can’t wait to show you all the results!

“The same water that softens the potato hardens the egg.” – Anon

D.W.

Organizing, Planning and Hating My Life

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Does anybody else hate new years resolutions as much as I do?  Actually, it’s not even that I hate them, I just don’t even take them seriously anymore.  When it comes to organization and planning, I am NOT the person to turn to.  I HATE plans, commitments (how did I end up married!?) and worst of all…ORGANIZING!!!!!!  The word itself sends shivers down my spine.  So when the New Year roles around, I always try to make my resolutions something suuuuper easy like, “I will google things more often when I have a question” (What kind of new years resolution is that!?!  Mine.  2015.  And I did it).

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My friend, Paige, however LOVES planning and organizing. She invited me over for an afternoon of goal setting, dream making, and cutting and pasting.  It wasn’t as horrible as I thought.  Number one, she provided me with gold fish crackers as a snack (I’m sorry, but who doesn’t love gold fish crackers!?). Number two, her four year old came in and out of the room and was super cute and cuddly. Number three, it was actually just plain fun to cut and paste like a kid again with my long time friend.

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For 2016, I have decided not to make one HUGE goal for the year, but a few small ones spread throughout the year.  Since I hate committing to things, I won’t be TOO specific about my personal goals. I want to leave room for change, in case I change my mind. Although I guess that defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? Oh well.  Here are some of my “goals” for the New Year.

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  • DECLUTTER!!!  I practically have an entire craft store in my apartment. As I have mentioned before, I rarely spend any time in there.  Not to mention the rest of my apartment is also filled with trinkets and things that we don’t need or use.  So, Ryan and I have decided that this year, our “new years resolution” is to clean UP and clean OUT!  We want to get rid of old clothes and furniture that we don’t need anymore and give it to people who do.
  • Continue to publish two blog posts a week  (I have actually been really good at this, so, yay me!).
  • Do one thing a month that is art related.  That can be a photoshoot, a painting, dying some yardage, whatever. I want to finish something each month.  MINIMUM!

I hope that any of you who hate goal setting and planning (as much as I do) don’t feel obligated to make a new years resolution. However, if you are interested or just really like goal setting and planning like my friend Paige, I highly suggest making a vision board.  It was fun, stress free and actually kind of motivating.

 

“Strive for progress, not for perfection.”

D.W.

 

 

 

 

 

Easy Peasy No-Sew Halloween Bunting Tutorial

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Bunting is very trendy right now and I’ve been getting lots of compliments and requests for my up-cycled flag bunting. It adds a fun, playful element to nurseries and children’s bedrooms but it’s also great as decoration for parties, weddings, holidays and other events. I love love love holiday celebrations and Halloween is no exception! Anyone who knows me knows it is one of my favorites, which is probably why Dee asked me to do this post. This Halloween is particularly exciting for me because it’s the first big holiday with my daughter who is now 8 months old.
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My daughter Amara, trying on her lion costume

With October 31 just around the corner, I thought I’d share how to create an easy peasy no-sew version of my flag bunting to add some instant not-so-scary Halloween decor to your space. You could also use fall colors or customize for any holiday or celebration.

firstBaby boy inspired flag bunting, made from up-cycled fabrics

You will need:
Cardboard or card stock
Ruler
Pencil and/or chalk
Assortment Halloween colored fabrics in a decent quality cotton
Iron
Pinking shears (optional)
Scissors
Hot glue gun + glue sticks
Twine

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Instructions:

If you are like me, an uninterrupted hour is unheard of because you have a baby crawling around, and this will most likely take you 3-5 days of naptime crafting sessions. For the rest of you, if you plan on doing this all in one go, now would be a good time to plug in your glue gun. The last thing you want is to be anxiously awaiting hot glue to complete the final step of your bunting.

First, using your cardboard, ruler, and pencil you need to create your triangle pattern for tracing on to your fabric.  I have one that I use for all of my flags but it’s up to you how big or small you want your flags to be. You can perfect your triangle on paper first and then trace it onto your cardboard. After you finish drawing your triangle, cut it out.

Next, you need to decide how long you want your bunting to be. Using your pattern, trace your triangles on to the backs of your freshly ironed fabrics (this makes it easier to trace and cut). Remember, this is YOUR bunting so you can use whatever and how ever many fabrics you like. Just make sure you trace the proper amount for the full length of your banner. In terms of type of fabric, anything cotton should do, quilting weight cotton works best but as long as you’re using something that will cut easily and lay flat you should be fine.
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Tracing my triangle pattern

I try to use up-cycled fabrics for projects like this partly because I find it wasteful to go out and purchase all new fabrics when there is a bountiful of old sheets, pillow cases, curtains, clothing, etc. at thrift stores and stored away in people’s closets that they are usually willing to part with. I also love the character old fabrics add. Let’s just say it’s a hobby of mine. However, if dumpster diving isn’t your thing, you can go to Fabricville or another store and buy an assortment of fabrics. The advantage to this is that you will have more to choose from and will not have to dig as deep.  (Thrifting can be time consuming!)

Moving along, it’s time to cut out your triangles. I like to use pinking shears for this, especially if I am not sewing the flags to give them a more finished, decorative looking edge. They are also great for hiding flaws such as uneven cutting (I can’t cut a straight line to save my life). HOWEVER, these are costly tools, especially if you never plan on doing another project that requires them. So, regular, sharp, scissors will get the job done.

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Cutting out my triangles from striped fabric

So, now you should have a handful of triangles from assorted (or not) fabrics. The next step is to lay them all out in the order you’d like to see them and measure your twine the length of the flags. I prefer my flags to be touching so there’s no need for extra length in between but keep in mind now is the time for that if you wish to have spacing. Add 5 inches to a foot of extra twine on each end and cut.
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Triangles cut, laid out and ready to glue

The final step in this process is attaching your flags to the twine. Add a small line of hot glue to the very top edge of your triangle, fold over the twine and press to seal.  Remember to attach the first flag 5 inches to a foot in so you have room to tie it or pin it up. Continue to attach your flags. As I said, I like the look of them being connected so I tend to overlap just a bit.

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My first flag attached to the twine

There you have it folks, a beautiful(?) set of Halloween bunting to decorate your space. 🙂

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Thanks  so much for stopping by! To keep in touch, you can follow me on Instagram @creativsoul26 I’d love to see photos of how your bunting turns out! Stay tuned for the opening of my Etsy shop and more exciting things coming soon!