Thursday, October 23, 2014


I'm baaack! No, I did not forget. No, I was not ignoring the blog. Well, maybe a bit because I am way behind on Project Redesign.
Life just has a way of helping me sometimes change my priorities. Instead of working on my redesigned version of the winning Project Runway design for each episode, I have spent time and energy on something that ended up not working out. Now, I am finishing up Halloween costumes. I altered a "chimp" costume for my great nephew and am making a vampire eagle costume for my oldest granddaughter (she's 7). Yep, that's right, vampire eagle. I don't know why she chose a vampire eagle (I asked but didn't get a comprehensible response), but when a grandchild asks you to make something, I do my best to accommodate them. I will include a photo on my next posting.
So, my plan was to have all the Project Redesigns done before the Project Runway finale. Alas, The finale is tonight and unless I stop time or manage to reverse it I will not be done. Fingers crossed that the stars are aligned this weekend and I get everything done.
I am looking forward to seeing the final collections. They are always so inspiring. I will be settling in this Friday with a glass of wine (or 2) and my laptop to take it all in. I know, PR is on Thursday, but I don't have cable. Thanks to Heidi and the folks at PR, I get to see everything the next day.
Signing off for now to make sure both costumes are ready to ship out tomorrow.
Ciao for now,

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Project Redesign Episodes Four and Five

 My challenge continues with my redesign for episodes 4 and 5.
What's with all the fringe? I have never been a big wearer of fringe so working on these last three designs have been a bigger challenge than the first three.
For those who are reading our blog for the first time here is a recap of what I am doing. Basically, I
love Project Runway and I redesign clothing so I decided to give myself a challenge and redesign the Project Runway weekly winners using my thrift store finds and materials from my stash. Needless to say, I am not usually able to recreate the designs as they were presented on the show. So, I either go for something as close as possible or something that represents the essence of what the judges liked about the design. You can check everything out at
The winner for week four was Amanda. Her design is below. They were given vintage men's formal wear to redesign.
My interpretation is a bit more everyday than the winner. I started with a gray knit empire dress. I used cotton knit for the fringe and added accents of silk triangles.

The winner for week five was Sean. The challenge was a red carpet look for Heidi Klum. I don't buy formal wear so I used a slip for my basic design. I dyed it turquoise. I made an overlay in silk and added a contrast at the hem. One of the comments of the judges was that they liked the fringe contrast.
Here is Sean's look:

Here is my redesign:

I am off to get my redesigns done for weeks 6-8.
Ciao for now,

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ponderings and Gratitude

I invite all those folks who deny there is global warming to come to Southern California right now. Last night it was hotter at 2:00 AM then it was at 10:00 PM. That's just not right! It is so hard for me to get anything done in this heat (even with air conditioning and fans). The forecast is for a bit cooler weather the next few days. Yahoo!
Now, I can get back to working on all of the projects I have lined up.
I have to give a gratitude shout out to all the folks who check out our online shops. And an extra special thank you for those who purchase from us. We so appreciate being able to do what we would love to do.
One of my favorite things is a custom order. I enjoy the challenge of making something special for someone. I must admit it can be a bit nerve racking, will they like it, will it fit......
Here are a couple of sweater coats that I have made for a very special lady. She looked at our shop, but didn't find anything that she liked that would fit her. She contacted me about doing a custom order.
So here is the first coat I did for her:

Here are her comments about her coat:
I just received my sweater is beautiful!! I love it and it fits awesome!! I love the "top"sweater..most button sweater pull and this one doesn't
  Love your work!!

It is a good feeling to know that someone appreciates your work. For me it is extra special when someone makes another purchase from us. I love it that we have someone who gets an idea of something she wants and is confident that we can put it together for her.
So here is what I just did for the same person above. She wanted a "rainbow" sweater coat. This was a bit more of a challenge. I wanted to get the colors just right. You would think with all of the sweaters I have in my stash that it wouldn't be a problem. Wrong. I think it took me longer to search for the right color of sweaters then it did to make it. I have to say that she was happy with the photos. I hope she will be just as happy when she sees it in person.
Stayed tuned for my catch up on Project Redesign.
Ciao for now,


Monday, September 1, 2014

Project Redesign Week Three

I trust the folks in Canada and the US had an awesome Labor Day.
I had fun "laboring" (actually, not a labor since I love doing  it!) on my week three Project Runway redesign.
Here is the winning look:

I have to admit, this was a challenge. I have a lot of "stash". but nothing that resembles the trim on this dress.
What to do?
Here are the materials I ended up using:

The white sweater dress had a deep raglan sleeve that I removed. I shaped the bodice to resemble the Project Runway look.
I used a gold metallic sweater and  a dark copper metallic sweater scrap to recreate the metal trim.
Here is my final creation:

What do you think?
I am off to get week four done. I am determined to get caught up this week.
Don't forget to check out Project Runway on Thursday nights. You can also check them out at
Please consider buying local, from small businesses, and from independent artists.
Ciao for now,

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Project Redesign Week Two

Yes, I know, Project Runway just had week six. What can I say? I am always torn between travel and creating. I usually take projects with me when I am on the road, but for some reason I get flack when I want to bring my sewing room with me.
So, here is the week two Project Runway winner:
If you want to find out more about the winner or see the other designs, check out You can also watch past episodes, see the designers portfolios and a lot of other things.

I am beginning to question my statement on only using what I already have in my stash. It is really making me think outside the box, which I guess is not a bad thing, but... When I am looking for materials to use in my redesigns I am going for an interpretation based on the design and the judges comments to help me determine the direction to go.
My choice for the redesign this week was a denim dress. I attempted to get the color out, but was unsuccessful so I ended up with a light blue denim. I removed the sleeves and added silk bias tape to the arm hole. I then attached pink polka dot lace to the front and back. I attached a couple of different novelty yarns over the lace and topped it with a black and white polka dot pleated ribbon. Yes, all from my stash. I have a small sewing room, but lots of "stuff".  I have been sewing and collecting for 50 plus years . When I rerrange things in my sewing room it is like being a kid on Christmas morning as I always find something I forgot I had.
After looking at the dress on the dress form, I decided to cut the lace and to make some slits in the bodice.
Here is what I ended up with:

What do you think?
I am off to get week three done.
Please don't forget to buy local and from small businesses and artists.
Ciao for now,

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Project Redesign

Ok, so I freely admit that I am addicted to Project Runway! It is probably the only program that I watched the first episode and have seen all the shows at least once up to now. I usually get bored or it changes so much that it longer interests me. Obviously, it has not happened with Project Runway.
A couple of years ago I decided to recreate the winning Project Runways designs. It fizzled out quickly. I found it was too big of a project for me at that time.
Last year (2/5/13) I decided to give it another try. I managed to get two outfits done and posted before I gave up.
I am now determined to do the entire season. Since a big part of Chic Chix and Champagne is redesigning our thrift store finds, I decided that I would use the winning design to inspire a redo of an item I already have in my stash. In the remote chance that I can't find anything, I will search my favorite charity shops.
If you have never seen Project Runway or want to check out their website, here is the link:
You can see past episodes, pics of past designs, the designer portfolios, etc.
So, here is the first episode winner and my design that was inspired by it. I would love to hear your thoughts.

I found this jacket that had a similar pattern as the winning design. I trimmed the edges and deconstructed part of the sleeves. I then washed it to fray the edges. I made a pink dye bath and dipped the top part of the jacket and bottom of the sleeves to simulate the ombre effect of the original. I added lace and a piece of deconstructed zipper to the sleeve openings.
This was a fun first Project Redesign so I am off to get episode two done.
Ciao for now,

Friday, August 8, 2014

What's Happening?

It has been over a week since I finished up my prayer flag challenge. I am pleased with the work I have gotten done, but am always looking to make things better/
Tomorrow (Saturday, August 9) is the 2nd Saturday Art Walk. I am looking forward to feedback on my slip dresses. Below are some of the dresses.
I love shrugs. I think they are an easy and stylish cover up. I also think they look good on any figure type.
Who doesn't love a denim jacket? I have been collecting them for a while. I will have some new redesigns on Saturday
I love Project Runway so I have decided to resurrect "Project My Way".  I will use the winning design for each week as inspiration to redesign a garment. Since I have an overabundance of materials, I am hoping to use my stash to remake the designs. If I have to make any purchases, I will be using upcycled materials. This will certainly test my creativity.
Ciao for now,

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Prayer Flags Day Thirty One

Day thirty one, unbelievable.
The last three days of the month my words were clarity, action and now CONFIDENCE. I appreciate that these three words came up together.
  • con·fi·dence

    1. belief in own abilities: self assurance or a belief in your ability to succeed
    2. faith in somebody to do right: belief or trust in somebody or something, or in the ability of somebody or something to act in a proper, trustworthy, or reliable manner
    3. secret: something told to somebody that is to be kept private
    synonyms: sureness · self-assurance · self-confidence · poise · assurance · self-reliance
    I need to have clarity on what I want to do.
    I need to take action to make it happen.
    I need confidence to stick with it no matter what. I need to know that this IS what I want to do.
    What do you want to do? What do you need to do? How are you going to make it happen?
    I am pleased that I got all thirty one days done, despite travel and tech issues.
    I am ready to move on to the next challenge. I am ready to bring more of my ideas to life.

    Ciao for now,

    Wednesday, July 30, 2014

    Prayer Flags Day Thirty

    I can't believe it has been  month since I started the prayer flags.
    ACTION is my word for today.
  • ac·tion

    1. doing something toward goal: the process of doing something in order to achieve a purpose
    2. something done: something that somebody or something does
    3. movement: the way somebody or something moves or works, or the movement itself
    synonyms: behavior · deeds · activities · manners · conduct · performance
    I find it interesting that after I ponder "clarity". I get action. Oh no, does this mean I have to DO something?
    I know I have to stay focused and have a plan to find the way to make a living as an artist.
    I do believe that I am of an age and mindset that I can and will live the rest of my life as an artist.
    I will also be encouraging other artistic people to follow their calling. I believe that G_d (or insert your own word) gives each of us a certain talent. We need to make sure we acknowledge that talent and take action to use it.
    How boring would life be if we all had the same talents.
    Let's all take action today to appreciate the G_d given talent in our family, friends and anyone else we come in contact with.
    Ciao for now,


    Prayer Flags Day Twenty Nine

    The word for today is CLARITY.
    • clar·i·ty
    1. clearness of expression: the quality of being clearly expressed
    2. clearness of thought: clearness in what somebody is thinking
    3. clearness of reproduction: the quality of being clear in sound or image
    synonyms: clearness · lucidity · simplicity · precision · intelligibility · transparency
    I am excited to explore and initiate clarity in my work!
    I am a self employed artist. There I said it. It has taken me a long time to be able to refer to myself as an artist. How can I "work" as an artist if I can't admit that I AM AN ARTIST!
    Now that I am clear on who I am, I will be able to work and represent myself with clarity.
    Look out world!
    Ciao for now,


    Monday, July 28, 2014

    Prayer Flags Day Twenty Eight

    Yea,! I have caught up!
    I can't believe this is the last week. Time does fly.
    My word for today is ENCOURAGE.
  • en·cour·age
    1. give somebody hope or confidence: to give somebody hope, confidence, or courage
    2. urge somebody to do something: to motivate somebody to take a course of action or continue doing something
    3. foster something: to assist something to occur or increase
    synonyms: inspire · hearten · cheer · raise your spirits · buoy up · reassure · boost
    When was the last time you had encouragement from someone whose opinion you respect?
    When was the last time you gave honest encouragement to someone?
    How much of an impact does encouragement have? Could it make or break a person's day?
    Wouldn't it be great if we all acknowledged another person's achievement and made sure that they were aware of it?
    I say, let's make it a practice to give honest encouragement to at least one person a day. Who knows what it might do to make the world a better place.
    Ciao for now,


    Prayer Flags Day Twenty Seven

  • for·give·ness
    1. act of pardoning somebody: the act of pardoning somebody for a mistake or wrongdoing
    2. forgiving quality: the tendency to forgive offenses readily and easily
    synonyms: pardon · absolution · amnesty · reconciliation · exoneration · exculpation
    Why should we forgive someone? How many times should we forgive them? Are there certain things that are forgivable and things that aren't? Should we forgive everyone or just those close to us?
    Do we forget, when we forgive? Can we really forget? Again, does it depend on the offense or the person?
    Do we let people know when they have offended us and that we forgive them? Do we just forgive without letting someone know we were offended?
    Are there any hard and fast answers?
    Do we forgive more as we get older or are we less flexible? 
    Does forgiveness make your life easier or harder?
    I will continue to contemplate this.
    Ciao for now,


    Prayer Flags Day Twenty Six

    My word for July 26th was SUCCESS.
    • suc·cess
    1. achievement of intention: the achievement of something planned or attempted
    2. attainment of fame, wealth, or power: impressive achievement, especially the attainment of fame, wealth, or power
    3. something that turns out well: something that turns out as planned or intended
    synonyms: achievement · accomplishment · victory · triumph · feat · realization
    My definition of success usually centered around money. After reading the definition above, I will be focusing my definition of success on achievement of intention.
    While financial success is certainly on my list, I can't always control the monetary part. What I can control and recognize is the success of my intention to create a quality product and to enjoy the process.
    I can succeed in the joy I have to be able to do what I love.
    Here's to success!!!
    Ciao for now,


    Prayer Flags Day Twenty Five

    I am going to play catch up today. I love traveling, but I get so distracted.
    My word for July 25th was SERENDIPITY. I just love saying serendipity!
    1. discovery of something fortunate: the accidental discovery of something pleasant, valuable, or useful
    2. gift for discovery: a natural gift for making pleasant, valuable, or useful discoveries by accident
    synonyms: fate · destiny · karma · providence · luck · fortune · coincidence · accident
    Do you ever wonder why you met a particular person? Why you took the "wrong" turn? Why something didn't go the way you had planned?
    Do you look back and see that that person changed your life? The wrong turn ended up in the most incredible place? The plans that did not go as you wanted ended up better than you ever imagined?
    After years of getting frustrated when things would go awry I have finally learned (most of the time) to realize that there is a reason and more times than not it is a serendipitous event.
    Ciao for now,


    Friday, July 25, 2014

    Prayer Flags Day Twenty Four

    This is not along the line of the other words I have been working on, but it is a word that is very important to me.
    Here is one of my favorite quotes:
    Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.
    Mark Twain - Innocents Abroad

    Through travel I have met incredible people, seen sites that most folks only see in books and have learned things about myself that I otherwise would not have learned.  Through travel I have learned self reliance, humility and courage, just to name a few. I am humbled when I am in a foreign city by myself, particularly if they speak a different language, and I struggle to communicate. I find self reliance when I can navigate public transportation and make it to my destination. I have found courage when I head off by myself, as uncomfortable as I might feel, and discover something that I might not have seen I had not ventured out.

    Travel also offers you the opportunity to see how others live. It can give you a better understanding of other cultures and of yours.
    I think you can get the effects of travel by exploring places closer to home. I can't imagine any place that doesn't have some learning experience to offer.

    Bon voyage.


    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    Prayer Flags Day Twenty Three

    Day twenty three finds me pondering "JOY".
    For me joy is being able to find the good or fun in everyday things. It's waking up with a smile on your face because you have another day to do what you need or want to do. Another day to make a difference in the world. Another day to make a difference in someone's life.
    Joy is being able to enjoy the birds singing or the sun shining.
    Joy is that smile on your face when you hear children laughing.
    Joy is knowing who you are and be ok with it.
    Joy is a gathering of family and/or friends.
    Joy is spending time with the people you love.
    Joy is!
    Ciao for now,
    I like the idea of putting the flags on the staircase.

    Prayer Flags Day Twenty Two

    My word for day twenty two is GRACE.


     noun \ˈgrās\
    : a way of moving that is smooth and attractive and that is not stiff or awkward
    : a controlled, polite, and pleasant way of behaving
    graces : skills that are needed for behaving in a polite way in social situations
    ull Definition of GRACE
    a :  unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification
    b :  a virtue coming from God
    c :  a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace
    a :  approvalfavor <stayed in his good graces>
    b archaic :  mercypardon
    c :  a special favor :  privilege <each in his place, by right, not grace, shall rule his heritage — Rudyard Kipling>
    d :  disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency
    e :  a temporary exemption :  reprieve
    a :  a charming or attractive trait or characteristic
    b :  a pleasing appearance or effect :  charm <all the grace of youth — John Buchan>
    c :  ease and suppleness of movement or bearing
    —used as a title of address or reference for a duke, a duchess, or an archbishop
    :  a short prayer at a meal asking a blessing or giving thanks
    plural capitalized :  three sister goddesses in Greek mythology who are the givers of charm and beauty
    :  a musical trill, turn, or appoggiatura
    a :  sense of propriety or right <had the grace not to run for elective office — Calvin Trillin>
    b :  the quality or state of being considerate or thoughtful

    Prayer Flags Day Eighteen

    Well, it looks like between the travel and technology issues, I missed day eighteen.
    Funny how things happen. Eighteen happens to be the number for the Hebrew word for life, "chai". I had used my day eighteen word for day nineteen. I had run out of words so I did another set and then pulled "CREATIVITY" to fill in day eighteen.
    To make a short story long.....I find it interesting that on the day for life I pulled creativity.I can't imagine my life without creativity. In the past there have been times when I couldn't work on my projects due to time or other issues. I realized I get very grumpy when I am not working on something.
    Maybe it is just a lose wire in my head, but I don't think I work along straight lines. I feel like I am always thinking about or experimenting with different ways of doing things.
    Perhaps I am always trying to reinvent the wheel? Is this an excuse for not getting other things done?
    I believe everyone is creative. It can be cooking, writing or in a variety of other ways. Some folks can create without getting lost in the process and some of us, lose track of day and time when we are "in the moment".
    Here's to getting lost!
    Ciao for now,

    Monday, July 21, 2014

    Prayer Flags Day Twenty One

    SYMPATHY - Acknowledging another person's emotional hardships and providing comfort and assurance.
    Empathy is the ability to mutually experience the thoughts, emotions, and direct experience of others. It goes beyond sympathy, which is a feeling of care and understanding for the suffering of others. Both words have similar usage but differ in their emotional meaning.

    With this challenge, I am finding that not only do I get to think about what certain words mean to me, but I am learning the meaning of some of the words.
    Do we skate by with sympathy or do we delve in a bit deeper with empathy? Does it depend who it is? Family? Friend? Stranger?
    I think between yesterday's empathy and today's sympathy, I have a lot to work on.

    Ciao for now,