Thursday, December 6, 2012

Greetings!

I want to wish everyone a great holiday season.
I love this cold weather. It means I get to wear long wool coats, hats, scarves, and gloves. Well, a couple of times at least in So Cal. I think this is why I like to visit Alysen in Paris during the winter. You HAVE to dress warm even to run to the market.
The "Chic Chix" have been doing some planning for 2013 (YIKES!). We will be throwing a couple of challenges your way in the next few weeks.
Please check out our etsy shop and facebook for some upcoming sales in time for holiday giving.
My husband (www.helminiakartanddesign.com) and I will have a booth at the Long Beach 2nd Saturday Art Walk (www.artwalklb.com) this Saturday. Please come by and visit. I have been working on a few new sweater coats. In addition I have become obsessed with felted hats. They are crocheted out of wool yarn and then washed in hot water to shrink and felt them. It is fun to see how they come out. I can do the same pattern on two different hats and they end up different. Always a surprise. Here are a few of them:




Ciao for now,
Peggy

Friday, November 9, 2012

Update

Hello holiday spirit!
I have been struggling with getting together some new holiday items. I guess I was in denial that it is the second week of November, but.... here are a few of the things I have been working on:


I will have them at the 2nd Saturday Art Walk in Long Beach (www.artwalklb.com) November 10th. We will also be offering gift certificates at the art walk (11/10 & 12/8) and in our Etsy Boutiques.
Do you ever start looking for something on line and end up someplace that you didn't know you wanted to check out? It happens to me a lot. I like to watch programs on my IPad while I sew. I had missed a a movie that one of my cousins was in, so I thought I would watch it while I working. I ended up on her website and then checked out her blog. I thought she had some great info and would like to share it -  http://autumnreeser.com/blog.
I am sad to say that Alysen and I will not be doing the Marche' Noel this year. Between high air fares and prior obligations we just couldn't make it work. I guess this gives me another year to learn French. Hopefully, I can get there after the first of the year. I am not sure I can go two years without my French fix.
Enjoy the lead up to the holidays and happy shopping. Please keep in mind to shop small business and artists. Etsy is always a great place to start!
Ciao for now,
Peggy

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Musings

I thought Fall had arrived, but..guess what? It was 90 degrees on Saturday. When will this madness end? Maybe I can contribute the heat to my scattered brain? I have been all over the place creatively. It is time to settle down, but can I? Can we as artists just do one thing repeatedly? I say no, so here is an update on what the Chic Chix have been up to.
Robin is in Wisconsin visiting a friend and showing off a sweater coat that should be for sale. Truth be told I did have her in mind when I made it and it is promoting our business so.... Here is a photo of it on our niece Jamie:


Alysen has been down with a cold. Tried sending chicken soup via e-mail, but not sure it made it. Get well soon Al. I know you have been working on as many different things as I have.

I have been working on a few new items that will soon be posted in our Etsy shop, www.etsy.com/shop/ChicChixnChampagne. I have also gotten distracted with felt hat making. Here is a pic of my first attempt:

I am looking forward to embellishing this one and making a few more.

We will have a booth at the November Long Beach 2nd Saturday on Saturday the 10th. It runs from 4:00 PM until 10:00 PM. Lots of art, music and people watching. Please come down, do some holiday shopping and stop by to say "hi". Here is their website if you want to check it out, www.artwalklb.com.

I am going to toot my own horn and announce that I am a featured artist in Altered Couture again!!!! It goes on the newsstand November 1st.

Ciao for now,
Peggy

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

UPDATING

I am so happy Fall is finally here. I am not a fan of hot weather. I do not feel creative when I am melting.
The "Chic Chix" are all home and working on new items. Please check out our Etsy site - http://www.etsy.com/shop/ChicChixnChampagne regularly to see our new postings.  I will have some of our new items at the Long Beach Art Walk 2nd Saturday coming up this Saturday (10/13). Here is the link for details - www.artwalklb.com. I believe we will be in space 21. The weather should be terrific for a nice afternoon/evening out so please come by and say "hi".
With the holidays coming up, I would like to challenge folks to shop local small and family owned businesses. If you are buying for folks who appreciate hand made and original items, please consider buying directly from artists. Most areas have holiday boutiques. If you prefer to shop on line, Etsy is full of great artists with more items then you can possible imagine. If you have an idea of what you want it is possible to narrow your search to keep the overwhelming feeling at bay.
Ciao for now,
Peggy

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tie Phone Holders

I have had a couple of requests for additional photos of the upcycled cell phone holder, mini purse made from men's neckties. I have to confess, I have not posted them on Etsy as I have not gotten a photo that I am pleased with yet. I think they will give you a good idea of what is available.
Please comment here or convo me on Etsy if you have any questions.
Cheers,
Peggy




















Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Musings

I want to give a shout out to those who came to the 2nd Saturday Art Walk. It was so great to see you and we appreciate the support. We have a wonderful time in Long Beach. I love chatting with everyone. It is always interesting getting feedback on what people look for when they stroll an art walk.
I was particularly interested in the feedback from this last walk. The original idea behind the formation of CCC was to concentrate on a very distinct under served market. We strayed a bit, but will be heading back to our original thought based on the feedback received. Thanks to all who shared their thoughts.
We will be back in Long Beach on September 8th. Here is the Art Walk link - http://www.artwalklb.com/

My 4 year old granddaughter, Isabelle made her modeling debut on Saturday (thanks Marek!) wearing a Chic Chix and Champagne child's upcycled sweater coat. I think she enjoyed it as she did the styling and bugged everyone all day about when she got to do the catwalk.







Sunday, July 8, 2012

MUSINGS

Greetings,
It appears that Summer has kicked in! It was 100 degrees before 10:00 AM this morning. I figure it is a good time to do a blog post because I don't do outside when it is over 90 degrees. Yes, I become a whiny wienie.
I have seen some articles recently detailing what happens to our discarded clothing (see one article below) and some statistics on buying habits. While Chicchixnchampagne was founded on upcycling this was a very sobering read. I personally am working towards buying thoughtfully. Buying form chain stores is becoming less attractive. I also have never been one that wants or needs to be in the same "uniform" as everyone else. A trend my oldest granddaughter (4 years old) appears to be following. Upcycled, one of a kind clothing is right up my alley.
I hope that as you do your clothing shopping you will consider the environment and support your local (and on-line) clothing designers. More is not necessarily better. If we have to wear clothes why not have yours reflect your personality? Think of dressing as a bouquet. Which do you prefer, a bouquet of the same flower or one where there is a variety of blossoms?
In future posts, we will be sharing some of our favorite designers.
I will step off my soapbox and wish you all a great Summer. Stay cool and check it often.

Cheers,
Peggy





Source: Eco Child's Play (http://s.tt/1fOBh)

A story posted on Slate.com last Monday got me thinking about fashion. It was an expose on what happens to the clothes we donate to thrift stores:

What American doesn’t have something hanging in his or her closet worn only once or twice, a pair of pants waiting for a diet, or even a brand-new dress or jacket with the tags still on? Common sense and everyday experience tell us that we have so many clothes that a major­ity go underused and neglected. According to a 2010 national survey in ShopSmart magazine, one in four American women own seven pairs of jeans, but we only wear four of them regularly. Not surprisingly, charities regularly see brand-new clothes come in with tags still affixed. “We see people throwing away new stuff every day,” Maui says.

There is an enormous disconnect between increasing clothing con­sumption and the resultant waste, partially because unworn clothes aren’t immediately thrown out like other disposable products. In­stead, they accumulate in our closets or wherever we can find space for them. Master closets now average about 6 feet by 8 feet, a size more typical of an extra bedroom 40 years ago.

Somehow, when we donate our “used” clothing to a thrift store, we feel like we are doing a good deed like feeding the homeless. We feel this donation is like an act of penance. The truth is American thrift stores can’t handle the volume of donations.

Slate.com continues:

Most Americans are thoroughly convinced there is another person in their direct vicinity who truly needs and wants our unwanted clothes. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Charities long ago passed the point of being able to sell all of our wearable unwanted clothes. According to John Paben, co-owner of used-clothing processer Mid- West Textile, “They never could.”

There are thousands of secondhand textile processors in the United States today, mostly small family businesses, many of them several generations old. I visited Trans- Americas Trading Co., a third- generation textile recycler in Clifton, N.J., which employs 85 people and processes close to 17 million pounds of used clothing a year. Inside Trans-Americas, there is a wall of cubed-up clothing five bales tall and more than 20 bales long. “This is liter­ally several hundred thousand pounds of textile waste, and we bring in two trailer loads of this much every day,” Trans-Americas president Eric Stubin told me. The volume they process has gone up over the years alongside our consumption of clothing…

Most of our donated clothing does not end up in vintage shops, as car-seat stuffing, or as an industrial wiping rag. It is sold over­seas. After the prized vintage is plucked out and the outcasts are sent to the fiber and wiping rag companies, the remaining clothing is sorted, shrink-wrapped, tied up, baled, and sold to used-clothing ven­dors around the world. The secondhand clothing industry has been export-oriented almost since the introduction of mass-produced gar­ments. And by one estimate, used clothing is now the United States’ number one export by volume, with the overwhelming majority sent to ports in sub-Saharan Africa. Tanzanians and Kenyans call used clothing mitumba, which means “bales,” as it comes off the cargo ships in the shrink-wrapped cubes like the ones I saw at Trans-Americas and Salvation Army. The bales are cut open in front of an eager clientele and buyers, who pick through it for higher-value finds.

Once again, while many Americans might like to imagine that there is some poor, underdressed African who wants our worn and tattered duds, the African used clothing market is very particular and is demanding higher quality and more fashion-forward styles. Paben told me that access to the Internet and cellphones has made the con­tinent fiercely fashion-forward in recent years. “There’s been a change in what you can sell there,” he says, and the bales have to be much more carefully sorted based on style, brand, and condition. As incomes rise in Africa, tastes become more savvy, cheap Chinese imports of new clothes flood those countries, and our own high-quality clothing supply is depleted, it’s foreseeable that the African solution to our overconsumption

It is not just Americans that are overconsuming clothing. GreenBiz.com reports that “Brits toss $142 million in clothing after single wearing.”

Monday, July 2, 2012

BIRTHDAY SALE

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and staying as cool as possible.
The Chic Chix have been busy working, shopping and visiting. Check out the new items in our handmade  Etsy shop - http://www.etsy.com/shop/ChicChixnChampagne and our vintage shop - http://www.etsy.com/shop/ChicChixVintage.
We are having a birthday sale in honor of our firecracker partner Alysen (for those of you who might not know, our expat friend was actually born on the 4th of July.). We are offering a 30% coupon for anything in our handmade shop (does not apply to the vintage shop). Please use coupon code ALBIRTHDAYSALE30 at checkout. The sale runs until 11:59 PM (PST) on July 7th.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALYSEN!!!!!!




Friday, June 8, 2012

Checking In

Howdy all,
I know I have said it before, but it bears repeating, TIME FLIES!
I thought I was on a roll with being focused and getting things done, but one hitch and it all goes to ...wherever. Oh well, more lessons to learn?
The good news is that we will be in Long Beach for the 2nd Saturday Art Walk http://www.artwalklb.com/ (4-10:00 PM on Linden between Broadway). If you are in the area and can come by we would love to see you.
We will be posting some new items this weekend so please check us out on Etsy.
Have a great weekend!!
Peggy

Sunday, May 20, 2012

London College of Fashion Catwalk

I Chunneled over to London recently to see Chloé in her first Fashion Show. She was one of the few first-year students selected by a jury based on a rendering of their project. The hitch is that they couldn't wear their own creations, so she partnered with another French girl about the same size, etc.
Her dress is an assymetrical cut with the bottom out of a brocade tapestry in gold, pink, blue with pearls draped as an accent.. The top is a bunch of arch-shapes in burgundy velvet with gold embroidery thread in a running-stitch and applied to a cotton bodice. At the last minute backstage she added a little extra piece of material on the high side of the skirt because the model didn't have all sheer pantyhose.

Mathilde in Chloés dress
Chloé arrived from France that same morning, feeling nauseous, feverish and altogether blah. Stress added to the situation so we didn't even stick around for the other groups' shows, nor the party after. We headed back to her dorm room where she slept for a few hours and eventually felt somewhat better, but still too late for the party!
Chloe in Mathilde's futuristic coat with make-up to match
They were the last two out and we had no way of knowing who would be next so I just kept my camera at the ready.
Now, my pix don't do justice to their respective haute couture, in part because these girls were so nervous they just strutted down the catwalk hardly taking the time to pause for pictures. And in part because my camera took a second or two to focus after each pic. So I had to judiciously snap what I could, when I could, from my not-so-great vantage point.

That little extra bit on the hem was a last-minute add on due to the model's pantyhose line.
At the final walkthrough, I just barely (mis) focused in time!
All said and done, the students did a great job of creating and modeling despite the chaos behind the scenes of which I found out about later.
So glad to have had the occasion to see my girl's first fashion show and I'm looking forward to seeing many more. She's going into Theater and Costume Design so I'm sure we'll be seeing her work in future plays, musicals and wherever they wear costumes. I may be biased since I'm her Mom, but I seriously feel that she's destined for a great future. You Go Girl!
Alysen.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Musings from the Studio

Do you ever wake up in the morning engerized and ready to get going on your projects for the day? Do you find that sometimes you get distracted and can't figure out how it went so sideways? If you have welcome to my world. I got up early this morning so I could get started on the things I need to prepare for Long Beach's 2nd Saturday Art Walk this weekend. However, I found myself making a bathing suit for a dinosaur (see photo below). Really not sure how that happened, but it probably has something to do with an adorable granddaughter saying "please". I will refocus and get it all done.
For those of you who might in the Long Beach area this Saturday evening, please stop by and say "Hi". We will be across from the Wine District. The Art Walk is on Linden between First and Third. It runs from 4:00 to 10:00 PM.  I will have new things from Chic Chix & Champagne, including the suit that is featured in the Summer 2012 issue of Altered Couture (on the newstand now). Helminiak Art and Design is showing some new items also.
Ciao for now,
Peggy

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Altered Couture

Happy May Day to all!
I hope you will allow me to shamelessly toot my own horn here. I am obsessed with a magazine called Altered Couture. A few months ago I read about a challenge to make something for as little money as possible. I had just purchased some jackets and a couple of suits from the Assistance League for a $1 each. I altered one of the suits and submitted it to Stampington (publishing co. for Altered Couture and a few other awesome mags). Much to my surprise they decided to publish an article about my suit. I had another challenge as they asked me to write the article.
Please check out the Summer issue of Altered Couture that went on the newsstand today. I would love your feedback.
If you are in the Long Beach area and want to see the suit or any of our other items up close and personal, come by our booth at 2nd Saturday on 5/12. it is located downtown on Linden just south of 3rd St.
Ciao for now,
Peggy

Monday, April 9, 2012

Facebook Fans Celebrate!

We recently got our Facebook Page up and running (Yay!). I've been spending alot of time and effort getting the word out and it's paid off. We're having a sale in our Etsy shop (look over to the right) for our Facebook Fans (that's what you're called when you "Like" a business page).
If you've been eye-ing a certain item in our shop, head on over to our FB page (again, link is on the right side of this page), fan us and pick up your code for a 30% OFF Discount.
www.chicchixnchampagne.etsy.com
We're shouting out a big Thank You or Merci to all of our fans. Here's to ya!
Al