Archive for May, 2010

Vintage Reincarnated: Pink + Green Tropical Floral Belt

May 27, 2010

Here is the green version of the black dress I featured the last time from Target.  In order to break up the monotony of the green, I paired the dress with a belt I made from a vintage pink & green tropical floral print.

Green Dress from Target + Vintage Pink & Green Tropical Floral Belt

Pink + Green: A cool, soothing color combo.

Vintage Reincarnated: Reversible Wave Belt

May 25, 2010

Although I hardly ever wear black, I absolutely could not resist this black dress at Target because it had such a retro, 60s vibe. However, to give it a burst of color, I paired it with a belt I made a while back from two different vintage 60s/70s garments–the first, a white & red polyester wave print dress that I assume was inspired by Hokusai’s most famous print The Great Wave off Kanagawa; and the second, an orange polyester flower & fan print dress.

Black Dress from Target + Vintage Reversible Wave Belt

Out of all the vintage fabrics I have found over the years, this white & red wave print is my absolute favorite. The first time I found a garment with this fabric was at a white elephant sale. The second time I found a garment with this fabric (talk about being lucky!) was at a Goodwill store.

The reverse side of the vintage belt.

Fabric belts are extremely easy to make.  First, cut 2x enough length and any width of fabric.  Then, sew the 2 pieces together with the right sides facing each other, leaving a small opening in which you can then turn the fabric right side out.  Lastly, stitch the opening closed.  If you want to use vintage 60s/70s fabrics, probably the best place to look is at white elephant sales (but get there early!). Ten years ago, I used to find my vintage fabric at Savers, but ever since more and more designers started to use vintage prints in their collections, it became harder to find vintage garments at Savers.  Or, perhaps I’m just too picky when choosing what vintage prints I want to work with.  After all, I do not buy anything that I would not wear also.

Tropical Petals 101: Rainbow Obake

May 22, 2010

Anthuriums on the Big Island are cheap, like crazy cheap.  After all, all the anthurium farms are on the Big Island.  When I went to the Hilo Farmer’s Market last year, one vendor tried to sell me a bucket of anthuriums (containing perhaps 2-3 dozen anthuriums) for only $5!  On the other hand, when I went to the KCC Farmer’s market on Oahu today, I walked away with a half dozen Rainbow Obake anthuriums from Green Point Nurseries for $5.

Rainbow Obake Anthurium: There are other anthuriums out there that combine green and pink, but this variety is, in my opinion, a perfect balance of green, pink, and white. Furthermore, notice how the veins on these anthuriums are well-defined in pink.

Don’t get me wrong, though, because this price for these anthuriums is dirt cheap on Oahu (which has to import anthuriums in from the Big Island). In fact, Green Point Nurseries is from the Big Island.  When I worked at the flower shop, I loved when our anthuriums arrived from the Big Island because every shipment of anthuriums was always different.  The colors always changed depending on what was growing, and whenever we got in pink & green anthuriums, I always wanted to make arrangements that utilized two of my favorite colors.  However, today was the first time I ever saw the Rainbow Obake variety and I just had to buy it!  Luckily, I had been at the market early enough to find them since Green Point Nurseries sells out extremely fast and thus, it is imperative that one go early for the best selection.  I bought these anthuriums because I wanted to see how it would mesh with my arrangement of Sexy Pink hanging heliconia that I had bought earlier in the week.

Rainbow Obake Anthuriums & Sexy Pink Hanging Heliconia: Notice that the Sexy Pink hanging heliconia I bought on Tuesday is still going strong. And I didn't even change the water yet (but I really need to)!

It’s weird to think that anthuriums and heliconia are actually not native species to Hawai’i.  Anthuriums were first introduced to Hawai’i in 1889 and heliconias (depending on the specie) were not introduced until the 1950s.  On the other hand, the Obake Anthurium hybrids originate from here.  Nevertheless, these tropical flowers have become synonymous with Hawai’i, and grow extremely well here in our hot, humid climate. Anthuriums, after all, can last more than 2 weeks, but careful care is crucial.  In order to ensure a long life for anthuriums, stems should be cut and water replaced every two days.  Furthermore, one should mist anthuriums daily with a spray water bottle.

A fun juxtaposition of tall & bold and short & sweet--this will make the perfect centerpieces for my wedding!

Invitation Draw

May 19, 2010

Since I am officially on vacation, I decided to find my creative side again.  It’s hard to be creative when I’m surrounded by mountains of paperwork.  But now that those mountains have eroded, I can devote as much time as I want to creative projects.  Thus, I tackled my first creative project today–drawing wedding invitations.

Surf Bunny Invitation Template

Surf Bunny Invitation Template: This drawing took me all afternoon. I am, after all, not someone who can draw naturally. In order to create this drawing, I had to utilize old drawings I did for my Fashion Illustration class. For example, the hibiscus was part of a repeat pattern design I had done to put on sketches of clothes.

I decided to make my own wedding invitations for two main reasons.  First, it’s so much cheaper to print out your own invitations than to buy them:

$8:  Approximate cost of 40 sheets of White Textured Cardstock

$50:  Approximate cost of Black & Colored Printer Ink

In other words, for under $75, I will be able to print out all of the invites for my wedding.  Of course, though, this may not have been so simple if I did not have Adobe Photoshop.  After I drew the surf bunny template, I scanned it into Adobe Photoshop and proceeded to place the text into the template.

Here's what the invite looks like scaled down to size to fit in the envelope.

The second reason I chose to draw my own invitations was because I wanted to do this ever since I saw an article in a wedding magazine about the newest trend being to actually draw your own invites.  I immediately thought, “I can do that.”  But at the time, I had work to think about and I could not devote any time to drawing.  Hence, I still looked at wedding invitations websites, thinking that I would just order an invite off the internet.  But for whatever reason, I never could find an invitation I could be happy with.  Granted I am very indecisive, I think in the back of my mind I just really wanted to draw my own invitations.  And now that I have done so, I couldn’t be happier.

Tropical Petals 101: Sexy Pink

May 18, 2010

Ten years ago, if you told me that I would end up working almost 3 years at a flower shop I would have laughed at you.  After all, a job like that was inconceivable.  Then again, ten years ago, if you told me that I would now be working as a teacher, I would have laughed even harder.  But that’s another story for a different time.  Working at the flower shop was a real love-hate relationship.  I loved the creativity and color that came with working with flowers.  I loved learning how to arrange flowers from my aunt.  I loved being able to see my brother and his family (they owned the shop) all the time.  On the other hand, I hated illogical customers that demanded replacement flowers because they didn’t seem to get it that “Hello–we live in Hawai’i where most flowers (think imported flowers like roses, tulips, lilies, and all those other dainty, fickle flowers) don’t survive 1 day in a hot house with no central a/c!”

Lesson #1:  Don’t buy flowers that can’t stand the heat unless you’re prepared for a fast death.

Pink + Green: Called "Sexy Pink," this hanging heliconia sells extremely fast in flower shops. Expect this cut flower to last at least 5 days in a hot house (but be sure to change the water frequently and cut the stems every time the water is changed).

Lesson #2:  Embrace the vibrant colors, bold shapes, and clean lines of tropical flowers.  Not only are these flowers extremely fun and modern, but they are relatively cheap compared to imported flowers.  Furthermore, they thrive in Hawai’i’s hot, humid climate and hence, don’t die fast!