Odile Gova: I am mostly self taught, although I have made attempts at Art college and various workshops over the past 25 years. I am deeply passionate and committed to my art forms. I’m a stay at home mother, how lucky am I ??!! I pour concrete garden art in the Spring and early Summer . The rest of the year is devoted to knitting, crochet, sewing, embroidery and felting. My felt is made from reclaimed wool sweaters that I find at thrift stores and the like.
$20 from the yumi yumi shop.
We just enjoyed 3 days of glorious sunshine (which is a rarity this time of year here on the “wet coast”) and all I could think of was how I’d love a new dress or two soon, to be ready for all that summer will have to offer. A little insight into life here in Vancouver, we locals joke frequently about how most of our city’s dwellers have at least a mild case of “SAD” (seasonal affective disorder), and how we love to watch abandoned streets, patios and beaches become almost instantly filled when the first hint of summer sunshine arrives. Honestly, I’m getting wistful just typing this! Before I segue, I’ll just let you know that if you need somewhere to visit in the summer time, Vancouver is truly where it’s at if you love the great outdoors, good food, and unique shopping (and no, I don’t work for Tourism Canada ;).
Moving along… I’ve got a wonderful fashion duo to share with you today! Hailing from Australia, Three Little Ducks is a boutique fashion label run by Katherine Humphery and Patrick McDermott. Their line is full of beautiful classic tailoring, figure flattering cuts and details that make this fashion lover swoon! More than one dress from this collection has caught my eye and has me mentally calculating shipping costs and timing for a package to arrive from Australia to Canada.
Katherine and Patrick share on their blog that the focus of their line is quality and simplicity with details brought into their pieces through the use of layers and textured fabrics. Their passion for what they do is so evident – it seems clear to me they know the power fashion can have to transform us and they say it best on their blog:
“Even the serious fashion cynic can find him or herself in unconscious appreciation of a tailored shirt and aware of its persuasive influence on both wearer and observer.
The clothes we wear of course surround us and, if we accept Alain De Botton’s notion that, for better or worse, we are different people depending on our surrounds, we should resist the gauche and embrace skillful design and construction in fabric and clothes.”
I hope you’ll enjoy this peek into their latest collection and are inspired by their passionate approach to their craft. If you have a favorite indie design label you think we should cover here on the blog I’d love to hear about it!
There’s nothing like fresh cut flowers. Here in the NYC area, it’s one of our few inexpensive luxuries. A simple bunch costs about $10, and adds instant freshness to any room. Placed in an office, on a kitchen counter, coffee table, or windowsill; flowers, like tulips, are an easy and inexpensive addition to your home. All you need to do is fill a container with water, add flowers, and done. (Small vases are perfect for small spaces, from Anna’s Pots. )
Tulips are the flower I buy the most often, and, I think, completely underrated by many people. Depending on where you live in the U.S., fully bloomed tulips can be found from the end of March through April. The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, about 60 miles north of Seattle, is a popular tulip festival in the U.S. Showcasing fields and farms of tulips, the vistas are the closest thing we get here to Holland. For a tulip fix all year round, this beautiful felt appliqué pillow from Alexandra Ferguson would freshen up any room’s decor.
On the east coast, Washington DC hosts its Cherry Blossom Festival, the countries’ most famous. Under the category of “who knew”? The cherry blossom festival first bloomed in 1912 when the Mayor of Tokyo gifted the U.S. with 3,000 Cherry Blossom trees. First Lady Taft and the Viscountess Chinda, wife of a Japanese Ambassador, planted the first 2 trees. Visually the cherry blossom tree bloom is stunning and an apropos introduction to spring. (This cool cuff from The Shag Bag shop has a subtle cherry blossom pattern. It’s available in different colors.)
Peonies, another spring flower, are closely related in look to the cherry blossom. (This barret from The Belle And The Beau captures the beauty and fun of peonies.)
There are so many different flowers that bloom at different times during the Spring. Everyone has their favorite, from tulips to azaleas to roses to daisies to Dogwood trees; some bloom in March, others in May. That might be the best part of Spring, the seemingly endless roll call of new blooms.
bio: I’m Kumi Middleton and based in Northants, UK. I have produced one-off handcrafted bags and corsages since 2005 after a career break (bringing up my family). I was trained as knitted textile designer.
My career after the art college includes working for fashion prediction company as well as producing one-off garment and length. Since I started family, however, I change the direction and decided to create something more accessible to wider audience.
My inspiration comes from nature around us and the nature of the materials I use. I create the fabric for my bags by dying, stitching, starching and embroidering. I use a range of materials, including genuine kimono fabric – I buy them in Japan at second-hand shops or kimono shops which sell remnants ,or sometimes make use of those inherited from my family.
I am committed to reducing the amount of waste in general and I am very careful when I produce my work. I am a strong believer of “art for everyone” hence the reasonable prices and the promotion of “handmade/crafted” products. I am an associate member of Design Factory (based in the East Midlands), and my work is also available at various galleries around the UK.