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Saturday, January 13

DIY Up Cycled Gift Bows


If you feel guilty like me about recycling calendars and magazines when they're out of date, there's a cure - convert them into dramatic bows to use for years to come! 
I'm sure there are multiple ways to make them, but this is what I know, so get some scissors, a stapler, a cereal box and a hot glue gun and let's go...

1.  Cut a small circle out of a cereal box about 2-3" diameter - no need for perfection, just a rough one will do.  CAVEAT: I am all about quick & dirty, but if you thrive on precision, knock yourself out with the compass and ruler:-)
2.  Choose a magazine or calendar page and cut strips about 1/2" wide the shortest length of your page.  Again, just free hand, no need for super straight cutting and measuring.  If a magazine, the finished strips will measure about 1/2" x 8".  Cut these in half so they are about 4" long.  If a calendar your strips might be longer and will make larger bows.



1/2" x 4" strips with photobomb deer - mountain living at it's best!

 3.  Take one short strip and curve the ends so one overlaps the other one, making a pointy piece.  If you paper isn't too thick (calendars are usually thicker than mags) you can hot glue the ends together, otherwise you may have to staple.  Try glue first, but if they pop open, staple them.  Make about 18 of these before you assemble the bow.  If your pointy piece is too long and the ends overlap too much, trim them down.





4. Here's where the artistic part kicks in.  Plan your layers out so you have a pleasing arrangement of colors/patterns.  Or wing it and revel in serendipity. 
Next, begin assembly:  Hot glue or staple the pointy pieces, one at a time, close together, around the edges of your circle like so:


Finished first layer
5.  Once you have the first layer attached, start placing the second layer, making these pointy pieces fit between the others.  In the example above you will have 7 pointy pieces on the second layer. I show a stapler here because the glue wouldn't hold this stiff, shiny calendar paper very well. If you have larger gaps between some of them, it won't make much difference once you fill in the other layers; trust me;-)


6.  Once you have all of the open spaces on the 2nd layer done, continue with layer three.  If your circle is pretty full, skip layer 3 and decide how you're going to finish the center*.  Or, if you have room for layer three, continue as before.  
*To finish the center you can make a single loop or try to fit 2-3 pieces in.  It's difficult to glue them in at this point, so you may only get 2 pieces to fit.  If using a loop and it looks too scrawny try cutting a wider strip and using that. Or, get crazy and make curls or shredded pieces that burst out like a firecracker!


finished 2nd layer
starting layer 3



Finished bow with a looped center. 



This is a large Vogue magazine bow with both a third row and a center loop.  Make some! Have fun!











Tuesday, May 23

Commemorative



I had the distinct honor of creating a commemorative item for a friend whom lost her mother a few years back.  I was given carte blanche to transform her Mamma's favorite tie-dyed shirt into something more her style.   While at first intimidating - cutting up memories!!! - it rapidly became my favorite commission ever.  Blessed.  Honored.  Flattered.

BEFORE
AFTER

Et VOILA!  A long scarf.  And just in time for Mothers Day. One of my goals was to use every inch of the shirt, especially the neckline and cuffs, which usually get discarded.  I am happy to announce I converted the neckline into a necklace and the cuffs morphed into the posies thereon.  Only a wee bag of scraps were left.  As close to Zero Waste if ever there was! 


Posy Neckline Necklace
      



Scraps




  

Friday, May 19

NEW NAME!

We have a fresh new name!  

Everything will now be under Flora Frock and Fauna.  A quick analysis of the name will explain why, but here's the skinny anyway.  Since we are a sustainable fashion line we wanted to completely encapsulate everything beautiful that this stands for in our name.  Therefore:


  • FLORA - sustainable fabrics mean they come from flora/plants: organic cotton, organic hemp and the like.


  • FROCK - but not just dresses!


  • FAUNA - being eco friendly means we love everything about Mother Earth, especially her animals.  What's good for Her is good for them is good for you is good for us.  Most of our items are vegan - no animal products used - but occasionally, as you know, we use up cycled woolens and cashmere. 

So, welcome to the new Flora Frock and Fauna!  May we wander far and dazzle always.

Monday, March 6

Best Bean Soup Ever

So, I have this crazy 2nd cousin named Zeke whom is famous in the family for many things among them that he's raced the legendary Gumball 3000 road rally through Europe and crewed a boat in The America's Cup during the early '80s.  Zeke's a character, you might say and beloved by all.  

He also happens to have created the world's best black bean soup recipe, at least in my book.
Have at it!  Warning - it makes a huge pot, so if you don't plan to eat if for a week or feed a crowd, cut in half:-)  It takes less than 1/2 hour to make - bonus!

Zeke's 20 Minute Black Bean Soup
5 - 15 oz cans Black Beans, drained (can substitute red or kidney beans for some)
5 C. Chicken or Veg. broth
2T. Olive Oil
2 Onions, minced
3-5 cloves Garlic, minced
1T. Cumin
3-5 - 16oz cans Hominy (white or yellow)
1/4 C. Worcestershire
1 1/2 t. Tabasco
1 1/2 t. Salt

OPTIONAL toppings/sides:
Cilantro and or/ Avocado, Sour Cream 
Tortillas, Tortilla Chips or Cornbread
  • Puree 1/2 of your beans and 1 can of Hominy in a blender.  
  • Sauté onion and garlic in the oil until clear.  Add everything but the serving items.
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer a minimum of 10 minutes but no more than 30.  Quicky soup!
  • Serve with toppings of choice

END of WINTER SALE!!!

Everything except custom orders are ON SALE!!!  Get your cashmere scarves at a reduced price for next year - $5 off as marked.  

Links are all in our Etsy store to the right of your screen.  Thank you for a wonderful winter season.  Now, let's move on toward spring, shall we? 


Cotton scarves for vegans too:-)  


Friday, January 6

Zero Waste Fashion - Our Definition


Zero Waste Fashion has become a "thing" in the last few years, but what does it mean exactly?  

I first read about one of the US based pioneers in the field, Timo Risannen, in an NYT article several years ago but had been unknowingly practicing a version of the concept with Jag & Nevie for awhile.  Mr. Rissanen has been teaching and writing on the subject for years now and I adore his blog.

Zero Waste dwells at the intersection of many eco friendly practices briefly outlined in a great series of articles on Seamwork Magazine's site.  Some of these concepts are mentioned below;  cutting, scraps as design elements and using previously manufactured items.

If you Google around you'll find fashion designers whom cleverly design patterns so as to cut fabric in ways that don't discard a millimeter of yardage. Holly McQuillan's work is a great example of this: 








Here she shows how to lay out pattern pieces for several garments in a very complex and effective way. 














Another part of the concept is designing with scraps from the fabric & fashion industry - my favorite example of this is Zero Waste Daniel  whom works and manufacturers in Brooklyn.




Zero Waste Fashion also includes up cycling which is where we come in. Finding beauty in a (re)useful piece of fabric from a discarded t shirt, sweater or pair of jeans is the absolute foundation of Jag & Nevie.

After using large chunks of a garment I incorporate the small leftover pieces as appliqués, fringe, patches, ribbons, what have you.  The studio is overwhelmed with bags & tubs of scraps waiting for their new incarnation;-)


APPLIQUÉS; FLAT & 3-D
FRINGE: T SHIRT FABRIC & CASHMERE

I am so excited every time I find a way to salvage a special texture like sleeve ribbing or a waist band.
SLEEVE RIBBING: CASHMERE HATS

JEANS: HEM AND INSEAM; T SHIRTS (made into a tote bag)
WAISTBAND PILFED FROM A PAIR OF SHRUNKEN BOXERS:-0



In summary, Zero Waste Fashion is just as the name applies - an endless array of techniques employed to prevent, or at least delay, the shameful amount of textile refuse accumulation that is rapidly polluting our planet.  If we wear what we already own until it is beyond salvation and buy from zero waste designers we will care for Mother Nature in the most chic and responsible manner imaginable.  Thank you for doing your part.

Wednesday, December 7

Heart Warming Eco Fashion Story

So, here at 7200' in the Rocky Mountains it's been 5* for much of the last 48 hours.  We love it, but nevertheless, a little warmth in story form is warranted.  Check out this cool manufacturing business that offers a living wage (imagine!) to garment workers in Kenya.  They also provide two meals a day at the factory.  Things like this are what makes eco-fashion so important.


Happy winter;-)