What a simple and fun summer dress! By Sarah Katharine Green.
Nothing better than white space on a computer screen that needs to be filled up as far as I’m concerned… I feel lucky, because as a freelance web designer I have a lot of time to think and to ponder as I’m putting together designs for this and that. As I was putting together the images for this post I couldn’t help but think of “blooming” and what that means to me… What truly nurtures my soul and makes me feel happy and free – the moments where I feel most alive. (Pictured above – Jewelry from Thumble.)
The enchantment of a dusky summer evening, unexpectedly wading in a creek on a broiling summer day, time spent with my closest friends and family. In my day to day work life keeping an outlook that is unerringly positive does wonders for me. Seeing beautiful works that others have created inspires me and invigorates me. Finally, being challenged is of so much importance to me. Trying out new things and making progress in them helps me keep my spark and drive.
Each of the talented makers I’m featuring today inspire me too… Lori’s flower photo, #1 above – available here in her shop – is delicate and beautiful. The name of the print says it all – “Alone”. YumiYumi clearly has a sense of whimsy and fun – that can be seen in each of her colourful prints (#2 above). The bottom flower picture, #3 by HeyZee is a soft and dreamy look at a dahlia. The camisole featured in the bottom right photo is the work of designer Patricia Valery – who in addition to designing clothes finds the time to play the piano and the fiddle too.
So what was to be a post about design and style has taken some unexpected twists and turns! I’d love to hear more about you if you’d like to share. What makes you feel alive, what nurtures you and drives you forward?
In the UK, Glastonbury Festival is the biggest music festival, and in my opinion, the best as well! I have been going for years and now I’m lucky enough to live practically on its doorstep. If you haven’t been, it’s difficult to explain quite how fantastic, or to imagine how big it actually is. There are 150,000 tickets sold, the site takes up 1,100 acres and I’ve just counted 58 stages on the line-up! There are the main music stages, the dance village, the late night weirdness places, the kids’ field, the circus and theatre fields, but it’s the Greenfields where you’ll find the traditional vibes of the 1960s and 70s, and also where you’ll find the best handmade clothes. I’ll definitely be checking those out when I’m there.
However, whilst there is plenty of shopping to do at the festivals, it’s also good to be prepared before you go, so I’ve been busy scouring the internet for the best in festival wear. Essential number one for the summer of love look is the maxi dress. Ideally something light enough to pack and carry without taking too much space in your rucksack, and will embody the spirit of peace and love. This one by SLCSLC Fashion looks perfect to me.
The poncho. I love them! And they are so versatile. Fold in half and drape over your shoulders to stop them burning in the midday sun; roll it up to be a pillow in the tent; sit on it whilst watching bands to stop grass marks on the back of bare legs, and of course, wear for its purpose in the chilly evenings to keep you warm. (Also handily hides a belly after eating a festival burger!)
I could fill a whole post with pictures of fantastic handmade ponchos and shawls – there are so many to choose from. I do like applique though, so I finally picked this one by Malowane lnem to show you.
I can’t finish an article about festival clothing without mentioning the biggest essential of all: Wellies. Or wellington boots to give them their proper name. Readers from hotter climes may disregard this bit, however, for British festival-goers, these rubbery items of footwear are an absolute must. You may not need them, you may be one of the lucky few and experience a completely dry summer festival, but it is better to be safe than sorry; or you may end up like one of the several at Glastonbury ’97 with layers of bin bags tied round their ankles and up their legs – kept their feet dry yes, but their bottoms wet as they all slipped over in the mud.
Wellies aren’t really the easiest thing to make by hand, but you also don’t want to be in the same bog standard green boots as everyone else. More patterned ones are coming on the market, but in my experience they split really quickly. The perfect compromise is going for a normal, good quality pair of wellingtons that have been decorated. My kids painted swirls with glitter glue on theirs, but for some that are (arguably) more artistic, have a look at these by dianamhm.
I’m not sure who Randy and Claudia are but I have a theory. In my imagination, “Randy” and “Claudia” are the summer home aliases of Mr. & Mrs. Claus. You know, their witness protection program names that they use when they summer in the Great Lakes or Spa in Sedona. Everyone needs a name to put on their Safeway Club Card and Yogurtland loyalty account.
When they are not busy making sure that Christmas happens, apparently Randy and Claudia are making these adorable leather “ISH” newborn booties. These booties are not cheap, but aren’t your little elves worth it? The level of detail and craftsmanship on these elevates them to a place halfway between clothing and art.
Even though I’m not so sure about who Randy and Claudia really are, I am sure about something else: The whimsical curlicues on the toes of these shoes just makes me want to smile and giggle.
It’s back to school time and I am feeling very protective of my children’s stuff. After a mostly shoeless summer in tank tops, with no bags to carry or sweaters to lose, these kids are feeling pretty fancy free. They can hardly take a bite out of an apple without losing it in the backyard. I, on the other hand, am feeling the pinch of the economy and the rub of multiple growth spurts over the summer. One thing is for sure, I’m not looking forward to the inevitable blank stare that I am met with when I ask “Where’d you leave that brand new jacket?”