Thursday, December 19, 2013

Fun at Winnie's Workshop

Today I want to send a shout out to some really talented friends of mine - Nancy and Meredith at Winnie's Workshop in Midway, Utah. Nancy is an expert with Wool Felting and Meredith is a masterful letter press artist. They are hosting an open house TODAY at there place so if you're in the area, stop by and try your hand at these old world arts. You can also take a virtual visit on their website 

Cute things I've made from felted wool sweaters and 
needle felting-techniques I learned from Nancy
Available on the Plein Air Boutique on etsy:

- Janet

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Met to Exhibit Couturier Charles James

If you are looking for a reason to visit New York this summer, this is it. The Metropolitan Museum has just finished renovating their Costume Institute and this is their opening exhibit. I'm mentioning it now so you can drop hints to those searching for the perfect Christmas gift for you. 

Charles James: Beyond Fashion

May 8–August 10, 2014

Charles James: Beyond Fashion

Anglo-American couturier, Charles James (1906-1978) is best known for his sculptural, mathematical approach to design, especially elegant ball gowns. Without formal training and amidst a very turbulent career (including bankruptcy and IRS forced closure), James became one of the most influential designers of the 20th century. Collaborating with many now famous fashion designers and icons throughout his career, he sadly died from pneumonia - alone and penniless at the Chelsea Hotel in 1978.

From the Met's exhibition info. -

The first-floor special exhibition galleries will spotlight the glamour and resplendent 

architecture of James's ball gowns from the 1930s through 1950s with an elegant tableau 

celebrating such renowned clients of his as Austine Hearst, Millicent Rogers, and 

Dominique de Menil. The New Costume Institute's Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Gallery will 

provide the technology and flexibility to dramatize James's biography via archival pieces 

including sketches, pattern pieces, swatches, ephemera, and partially completed works 

from his last studio in New York City's Chelsea Hotel. 


Photograph by Cecil Beaton. Published in Vogue, March 1, 1948

Charles James, ca. 1950.

Charles James and models, 1950

The Swan by Charles James

One of James' notable gowns, 'The Swan'

So, save a little cash in reserve from the holidays toward a NYC summer trip to see masterful haute couture from one of the finest.

- Janet

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Little Christmas Sparkle

In response to our first real winter snow, I thought I'd share a little DIY project that can bring that snowy sparkle indoors. This one takes little time, money, or effort...the best kind of project this time of year!

Shimmering Branches

Here's what you"ll need:

  Epsom salt
  school glue
  foam brush
  plastic cup
  large baking sheet
  parchment paper or any liner you have
  aerosol hairspray

Water down the glue until it is thick enough to stay on your brush but not gloppy. Line your baking pan with paper. Pour out about a cup of Epsom salt on the paper. Lay your branch on the pan and brush with glue.
To make it realistic, apply the glue heavier in crevices where snow would collect. Sprinkle salt wherever there is glue. Tap off excess. Epsom salts are water soluble so they melt a little when they come in contact with the glue. I love this because it behaves like real snow and melts a bit into the branch. If you want a little more sparkle, sprinkle fine glitter on as well. 
When dry, spray with hairspray. These are only for indoor use as the salts will melt.


Voila! Snow covered branches! I paired mine with some cuttings from a pine tree. They look pretty alone as a centerpiece but if you use sturdy enough branches, they will hold ornaments.

Discard the salts on the pan by folding up the paper. Save the rest of them in the bag and soak your feet after a long day of shopping!


- Janet