Archive for November, 2009

On the move

Ok, I may be wrong here, but the woman on the cover of The New York Times Travel Magazine for November 22nd looks frighteningly anorexic, and also… she’s upside-down.

Food is important, and pleasurable too, you don’t want to miss out. Look at these dreamy Argentine cafe’s.

She does look a little healthier inside (and very tall!)…

but I’m going with the dancerly  energy of the gymnast,  Nastia Liukin for my inspiration today.

And how’s this for style?

According to this week’s New York Times Magazine, researchers at Princeton have found that new brain cells (developed with the help of long-term exercise) are resistant to stress, which is a wonderful thing! So if exercise makes us happier and healthier and makes us feel better in general AND helps us weather stressful situations, why is it so hard for so many of us to find the time to get up and move?

“Designers, it might help to clear your heads after your nice Thanksgiving meals if you take a break and do some stretching to get you in the mood for this challenge. I want you to think about a breadth of motion today as you work on your garments. Think about fluidity, stretchability and ease, while creating stylish, body conscious looks for real women on the go.”

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Baubles and bills

Oh, this November 15th cover has lots of pretty details to work with! Thank goodness for Hollywood with all its glitz and glamour.

I found the article on the Swiss video artist, Pipilotti Rist, most interesting, all the color, pattern and otherworldliness of it. Besides, she puts tiny video cameras on the ends of broomsticks to film inside little places and projects her films between floorboards, into purses and onto seashells. As a miniaturist, how could I not be intrigued?

Here’s something wonderful that’s been floating around the web. If anyone knows who made these similarly detailed and beautifully folded money people with their lovely money hats please let me know. Imagine the paper dolls you could make with these!!

“Designer, you have a wealth of riches to work with today. I know it will be hard for you to edit because everything is just so beautiful and you won’t want to leave anything out, but do try to blend things into a cohesive statement. You don’t want it to get too costumey and you want it to be wearable.”

“I know Tim, I’ll try, but you’re right, it would be such a shame to not use all of it.”

“Ok, well, get to work… and have fun with it!”

“Ok, thanks Tim, I will!”

“Nice work Designer.”

“Thanks Nina!”

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Honorable judge

“Designers, I have a VERY BIG surprise for you. Today we have a Project Runway first, an unprecedented event. You will be designing for one of America’s leading style icons, America’s leading lady of fashion! Designers, I  am honored to introduce you to…… MICHELLE OBAMA!!”

“Hello Designers.”

gaspblog“Um, hello Mrs. Obama….”

“You can call me Michelle.”


“You ok?”

“Yes, thank you. This is just… such a surprise!”

“Well, you know how I enjoy fashion and that I am pleased to showcase the work of new and talented (and sometimes little-known) designers. I thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to give all of you the chance to have your designs seen around the world.”

(collective gasps and sighs)

“I hope you will have fun with this challenge. On the one hand, it’s important that your pieces be crisp and fresh and form-fitting with strong clean colors and bright clear prints (though I am open to other creative ideas!) but on the other, there are so many different events and situations I need to dress for, the types of garments you design for me are totally up to you.”

“As you know, I enjoy cardigans and trim dresses for day, casual sportswear for vacations, and beautiful ballgowns for special occasions. You’ve got three covers to work with this time, so the sky’s the limit!”

“This is SO EXCITING!”

“So, I wish you luck, and I look forward to seeing what you come up with for me.”

“Thank you Designers. I’ll see you on the runway.”

“Thank YOU Michelle! Bye.”



When I think back on all the beautiful outfits Mrs. Obama has worn, I remember especially her yellow Isabel Toledo suit, other yellow outfits by Michael Kors, and her chartreuse skirt from J. Crew. I’m thinking I want to make a little spin on a yellow cardigan/jacket for her, something bright and current, yet formal in a Jackie Kennedy kind of way. I want it to be sleeveless and I want it to have buttons. I love her Jason Wu dresses and her fantastic silk sheaths by Thakoon. Maybe I’ll do something completely fitted, or maybe I’ll go for a fuller gathered skirt like some of the dresses she’s worn by Diane von Furstenberg and others…. I’ll have to see what my challenge fabrics have in store for me.

“Ok, Designers, since this is a double post, you will have a $12.00 budget to shop at Food for the Seattle editions of The New York Times Magazine for October 29th & November 8th, and then it’s time to make it work! Remember, it all starts and ends right there at Food in my opinion, so shop wisely. Good luck everyone. Go, go, go.”

“Thank you Tim.”

Now, tell me honestly, do you see a big difference between these two covers??



That’s ok, there are enough details to push them in different directions, you’ll see….

This Design and Living New York Times Style Magazine cover is great fun. I can definitely see making a ball gown from this.


“Ok, designers. That’s it, time’s up. It’s time for the runway!”


“Oh, this is just great. You’ve definitely tapped into my style. I love those kitten heels!”


“Now these bottletop heels are interesting. I’ve never seen any like them before and I do think it’s important to recycle. The skirt is absolutely perfect but the jewelry is a bit much for me. I’d like to wear this outfit but maybe with one of my quieter pins.”

michelle4blog“Ok, Designer, now you’ve gone way over the top. I think this outfit is more about your style than mine. As much as I love children and wish to encourage literacy, one thing you’re never going to catch me in is a Dr. Seuss hat! May I see this outfit without the accessories please?”


“Well, this is better but I still don’t think it’s quite me. I do like the colors and the hand painting but the 20’s shape is a little looser than I’d like. I’ll tell you what, I’ll enjoy trying it on, but I can’t promise to wear it to one of our functions.”

“I know. I got kind of carried away with a Raoul Dufy theme here.”

“We’ll just have to try it and see. I’m enjoying your exuberance!”

“Thank you so much Designers, I applaud all of your efforts! It’s been great fun being here with you for this show. You know how appreciative I am of fresh contemporary design and I will thoroughly enjoy wearing many of your creations.”

“Thank you Michelle, bye. It’s been an honor!”


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Hello everyone. Thanks for visiting my blog! I have a fun post planned for this week but I’m off to Philadelphia Miniaturia and so will do a double post next week. If you’re on the east coast, come visit me (Hestia House) at this wonderful miniature show: http://www.philadelphiaminiaturia.com. Thanks and bye for now, Ilisha


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I had a lovely dream, not a big Jungian dream, but a tiny dream about a pretty blue cover I could make a flouncy little dress out of. I was imagining a delicate dress, something I could make with gossamer fabric, so light a fairy might wear it.

What I got instead for October 25th was Precious, Lee Daniel’s new movie about race, poverty, illiteracy, obesity, unspeakable sexual abuse by both parents, rape, incest, and most remarkably… hope.


Ok, I’ll bite. Sounds like an important film.

There was also another story of hope and renewal, the rebuilding of a neighborhood in San Diego after a wildfire swept through in 2007. Still vulnerable yet full of optimism and defiance, the owners have made their new houses bigger and more lavish than the ones that were destroyed.

I think, about that feathery dress, maybe where fresh starts are concerned, a little stardust could only help.


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