Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Handmade Weddings: Fascinators

A few months ago, one of my friends asked me to make feather fascinators for her wedding. At first, I was thrilled and then nervous/terrified because the prospect of creating and contributing to such an important event, while exciting, carries the pressure of making a flawless product. Certain aspects, like the veil, were trickier than anticipated (a huge thank you goes out to Devilgirl Design and SweetWolf for their help on this), but I was happy with the final outcome.

A glowing bride and enthused bridesmaids helped to reaffirm my confidence in the finished fascinators. To top it off, my feathered accessories were all captured with stunning pictures courtesy of Whitney Lee Photography. If you're like me and love looking at wedding blogs, you should check out WLP's original photo post from the big day as well as her site if you can't get enough of her awesome work. In the meantime, here's some teaser pics to tide you over.

This picture's for good measure since I never seem to have snaps of myself for this blog. :)

Action Jackson out.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

P.S. I Made This

Dear crafty friends and fellow diy-ers, why have you kept P.S. I Made This a secret from me for so long?

I discovered this wonderfully inspiring and simple chic blog/blogger only this week after clicking on an archive link of the always sweet Pommes Frites. At the time, I only scanned over a few posts on psimt and moved on to the next interwebs rotation item (probably checking Facebook again, knowing me). When perusing books at lunch today, I came across the book form of psimt and on a whim decided to flip through it and buy it. I can't put into words how excited I am to test out some of the featured crafts. Perhaps the fact that I've already sifted through all of the blog's posts best conveys this?

Lately, I feel I've been lacking in the inspiration and brain stimulation departments. So, I'm hoping this book will give me the extra cranial kick I need. When I'm done with it (and if I'm feeling ambitious), I might just post a book review on here. At first glance, I can say that what I like about this blog/book over other crafting spaces and publications is:

1. The majority of the pieces are modern and inspired by high fashion and classic pieces. For each craft, psimt creates and features an inspiration page (like the one above) to show this. Not only is it cohesive pairing and visually striking, it's added inspiration.

2. The methods used to create are very simple. Little to no sewing for most of the crafts, even for clothing. For someone like me who wants to love sewing so badly but has never progressed past the learning curve and thus dreads it like most people dread filing and accounting/budgeting, this is awesome.

3. I actually want to use/wear the finished products. Number one pet peeve about many crafting ideas I see out there is that they lack taste. There is a point at which kitschy becomes ugly and when you can't pass off using sticks and wood found outdoors as shabby chic decor. Psimt does not fall into this category.

I can't wait to start reading and crafting. Hopefully, I'll soon be posting about how well my creative juices are flowing. Til then...

Action Jackson out.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day Late, Dollar Short

I had every intention of posting this yesterday, but the day proved to be very busy. I usually celebrate Valentine's by hosting a crafting/sweets indulging party for a handful of my closest friends and then dinner and a movie (usually at home) with my boyfriend. So, the holiday for me has never been about insanely overpriced meals and diamond rings but instead how to celebrate the people I care about (and good food too since I never miss a meal).

Naturally, I was inspired by these great snaps from one of my favorite blogs, thisisglamorous because their Valentine's Day posts usually applaud at-home efforts of simple decorating and dining (though, I must admit the only food I make is usually the out-of-the-box baked goods variety). So, here's to hoping everyone reading this had a great Valentine's Day.

The colors of this rose martini table set-up give it a very vintage 1920s feel.

Raspberry tart/ possibly creme brulee and coffee = best picnic idea ever.

Valentine's Day is all about the sweets and wine, and this snap is extra sweet.

The uses for paper doilies are endless as this ethereal light strand proves.

Action Jackson out.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hearts on Fire

It's no secret that I love tattoo art, especially Americana and Japanese work. I'm partial to sparrows, well-drawn women and pin-ups (emphasis on well-drawn because I've seen plenty of ugly/poorly drawn ones), sugar skulls, pirate ships, flowers, and sacred hearts. My inclination towards the last one might be tied to the fact that it's one of the only things I can/like to draw freehand. Since Valentine's Day is right around the corner, I figured this would be the perfect time to showcase some great tattoo art-inspired heart pieces on Etsy.

Sweetheart Sacred Heart and Bird Necklace by artallnight on Etsy, $26.00

Artallnight has been one of my top favorites on Etsy for a very long time. Her pieces are sweet and well-drawn, and the shop is always stocked to fit varying tattoo tastes.

Winged Heart with Eye Valentine (Set of 6) by illustratedink on Etsy, $7.00

Without a doubt, this is one of my absolute favorite Austin artists and local Etsy shop. Illustratedink's work is part Dia de los Muertos, part vintage carnival, and all good taste.

Tin Sacred Heart Mexican Wall Art multicolored by TheVirginRose on Etsy, $27.00

I am in love with the color mix for this piece. Though the tin hearts in this shop are my favorite, there's a multitude of colorful and sometimes glittery (be still, my heart) Mexican home decor pieces that look like they were straight from Austin's shop, The Turquoise Door.

The French Couple print set by ohashleylove on Etsy, $20.00

I love that this print set is a couple, especially because it's so perfect for Valentine's Day. I'm really digging on the matryoshka craft trend right now too. This shop offers up very classic Sailor Jerry-esque tattoo (the color palette used is spot-on) art prints and sweet knit pieces (the bows are my favorite!!).

Sacred Heart embroidery hoop fabric art by Moxiedoll on Etsy, $50.00

The blue fabric background with this piece is very striking and provides a great contrast for the silver and gold thread used. Every embroidered item in this shop is delightfully nostalgically geeky chic and vintage-inspired (think view-finders, telescopes, and classic poloaroid) and would make the perfect playful touch to any home.

New Tattoo Rose and Heart Locket with Skeleton Key Necklace by wickedminky, $22.00

It was love at first site when I saw this piece. The necklace combines several of my favorite tattoo art motifs- roses, hearts, diamonds, and a key/padlock pair- so, that might be why. Wickedminky's shop is filled with classic tattoo art as well as newer styles, and the greens and blues used are really rich and eye-catching.

If you're still looking for a great way to personalize Valentine's for you or somebody else, any of these finds would fit the bill. Are there any of your favorite tattoo art pieces or Etsy shops that I missed?

Action Jackson out.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Valentine Decorating - Dessert Tables

I will be hosting a small Valentine's Day get together in a few days and have been searching for decoration inspiration, especially for the dessert table (arguably the most important part). Having a delicious looking dessert table is especially important because I'm not an experienced chef/baker, so nothing will be made from scratch (and there will be lots of food right out of the box). Though my expectations at the outset of my search weren't particularly low, nothing could have prepared me for how much awesome I stumbled upon.

Printable Be Mine, Valentine Paper Goods Collection by GwynnWassonDesigns, $6.50

This shop sells really affordable printable paper goods- banners, invitations, favor goods, party circles for all occasions. The added touches for this dessert table really gives a personalized and thoughtful vibe.

I Heart Valentines Day- Coordinating Party Logos- Customized by andersruff, $18.00

Everything in this display looks edible- even the tiered boxes on the two ends that resemble cakes...they are boxes, right? This shop offers up really colorful printable sets as well as event invitations, tags, cards, etc. that are all very theme-oriented.

Another find in my search was the Amy Atlas blog. This snapshot of various display ideas is just one of (I'm guessing here) thousands you can find on her site...because she does this for a living. I'm sure all my savvy crafty friends know about her already, but her inspiration is new to me.

Another Amy Atlas master/table-piece featured on Apartment Therapy (and therein suggesting I am behind on finding out about this crafty lady). Are those tree blossoms lollipops?!

Another table-scape from the same Apartment Therapy post. Take a sweet? Okay, Amy Atlas, but only if you promise there isn't a witch and gingerbread house lurking under the table.

I'm eager to find more calorie-free eye candy on this subject and will report back with what I find. What are your favorite presentation inspirations and dessert table finds?

Action Jackson out.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Ooh La La

As some of you know, I'm a little nutty about Valentine's Day. And not in the 'I must receive a dozen cliche red roses and a heart-shaped box of chocolates from a significant other in a very public place so that everyone can envy me' kind of way. That said, I will eat myself silly with sweets for the approximate window of February 11-15 and no, I won't turn away flowers or sweet valentine notes.

I love Valentine's Day because in school, it meant an excuse to be hopped up on sugar, exchange gifts with friends, and all but shirk learning responsibilities (because honestly, who can focus when there's giant red mylar hearts everywhere?). As I've grown older, I've maintained a deep appreciation for the February culinary delights as well as the bombardment of pink and red kitsch.

The city of Austin has given me more reason to adore this holiday. Valentine's Day means a week filled with burlesque shows and movie buff events that will even leave the 'I hate Valentine's Day'-ers smiling (and yes, I sympathize with/encourage/celebrate the anti side of 2/14 too).

First on the list is Cirque de Flirt at Emo's on Saturday, February 12th at 9pm (Tix $8 in advance or $12 at the door). The show will consist of traditional burlesque, belly dancing, fire breathing and bed 'o nails acts, and a finale fire performance. The first 69 attendees will receive goodie bags, some of which will be packed with Diamonds and Guns goodies. Our friends at Kuhmillion Lingerie will also be there with a pop-up shop, including some DGAJ fascinators and earrings! To top it off, there's a few other giveaways and contests mixed in. For more details, check out the event or visit
Cute Little Three Piece Set available through Kuhmillion Lingerie, $36.00

The second event is brought to you by Alamo Drafthouse. The Moulin Rouge Sing-Along is happening on Thursday, February 10th at 7pm. The wonderful Kuhmillion Lingerie will be there with Black Widow Burlesque showing off their wares. And did I mention rockin raffle prizes? They'll be available courtesy of Kuhmillion. A few DGAJ feather fascinators and bedazzled art deco earrings will be up for sale at the event too! So, if you're bored in line waiting for the show to start or need a last minute Valentine's gift. Never fear, Kuhmillion's here (or there, depending on how you look at it).

Hope to see lots of y'all out at these events!

Action Jackson out.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Good Will Bunting

So, I know that I'm a little late to the party on this trend, but I have recently fallen in love with bunting (i.e. flag groupings/banners traditionally used for decoration). I'm hosting a Valentine's craft party in a few weeks and am dead set on that being the craft of interest, regardless of how practical it is/isn't to expect a group of gals to finish a whole banner in a few hours.

While searching on Etsy for bunting to feature here, I was delightfully surprised to find out that the trendy niche aesthetic isn't limited to just home decorating. The flags can adorn wedding cakes, greeting cards, wall hangings, yourself, or anything you can stamp! As for the home hanging assortment, there are a variety of styles ranging from shabby chic to kitschy cute to classically playful.

Wooden Bunting Flag Necklace-Candy Stripes and Yellow by lucie0ellen on Etsy, $21.00

I kid you not, one of my first thoughts before finding this necklace was, "someone needs to make bunting flag jewelry." She also makes customized name necklaces too adorable for words.

Declare Your Love - Boy Version - 8x10 Archival Print by rosydesignsonline on Etsy, $19.00

Recently Etsy's featured seller, this shop's cards and prints are a mix of heartwarming mementos and Warhol-esque pop and suit any occasion- Valentine's, Halloween, New Baby, and even Gay Weddings.

Bunting Hand Carved Stamp by doodlebugdesign on Etsy, $8.00

Just about every stamp in this shop makes me smile. I think the pastry icing bag and cupcake stamp set was made just for me. The macaron and robot love stamps are my other favorites.

Original Cake Bunting Fawn by KikiLaRu on Etsy, $24.00

This shop specializes in cake bunting and diy kits for any holiday or style. The sweet decor (no pun intended) adds a really personalized feel and would make all Apartment Therapy fans drool.

Fancy Square Banner Embroidery Applique Design Pattern by BigDreamsEmbroidery on Etsy, $4.95

I love the kitschy retro feel of this design. The color and fabric combo is very yummy too. This shop features great machine embroidery applique design patterns to help you get a start on diy bunting. There's a babushka doll in the shop that's to die for!

Happy Birthday Burlap Banner with Fleur de Lis on Etsy by funkyshique on Etsy, $22.00

Funkyshique's shop features all things burlap home decor. I love the shabby chic/simple elegance aesthetic of the work and think the photos and banners would be regulars on

Recycled Map Bunting Notecards (Set of 3) by saratops on Etsy, $9.00

This shop specializes in journals, stickers, tags, and notecards that incorporate recycled materials such as maps, flash cards, library cards, and even security tags. The recycled map pieces, like this one as well as the Military Flying journal are totally rad and would make me feel much cooler than I am carrying them around or sending them as gifts. :)

Check back later when I add more fun bunting-inspired pieces!

Action Jackson out.
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