India- A journey of a lifetime

I have had the great fortune of traveling many places so far in my life : India, Egypt, Turkey, Indonesia, and Fiji (5 times). I have traveled to all of these magical places with my mother, who has been so kind and amazing to make it all possible.

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*In Turkey, at the rose distillery, playing in the petals*

For anyone that has traveled to a far away country, you know what I mean when I say that travel to these countries changes you as a person, always in a good way.  

My first journey out of the country was to India when I was 21, I turned 22 in India. It is an ancient land, with an absorbing history. India presents endless varieties of physical features and cultural patterns; In short, India is “the epitome of the world”.

There is no way to describe the poverty that  blatantly slaps you in the face when you arrive, in addition to the smells, the overpopulation, the pollution, the cows, goats, camels, elephants roaming the streets, the mysterious sari clad Indian women flowing their colorful wear behind them as they go about their day, the wafting of the street food lingering in the air, the shop vendors calling out to you, doing whatever they can to sell their crafts. It is utterly overwhelming and beautiful at the same time. These people who often survive off a mere $ 5-$10.00 per month, and live in overcrowded one bedroom tin shacks with their family, are so happy. Happy happy happy. 

This is not, of course to say that some parts of India do not have a middle class, and a very small percentage, upper class.  Either way, the people of India work hard. WAY harder than any part of America I have ever seen. Their happiness is based off of family and togetherness, while much of America seems to base worth on money. I must say I came back from India feeling ungrateful and ashamed. I had a GREAT life, and lived better and more comfortably than most maharajahs.  India is a land of color, busy-ness, spirituality, and happiness. It is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever been too.

I am happy to say I have earned the opportunity to revisit the country I first visited 14 years ago. Not only do I get to go with my mother again, but this time I get to take my amazing husband who has NEVER been out of the country; even Canada.  I cannot begin to describe how utterly excited I am to take this journey again and to share it with my 2 best friends. I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to travel out of the country  at least once in their lifetime. To tell you what it feels to be across the world is not the same as experiencing it. It is like walking back in time, and it truly has helped to mold me into the person I am today.India, the land of diversity, the land of spices, a land of magic and amazement!

Diversity in India

Weekly DIY- Dazzle up a plain shirt

This week’s DIY comes courtesy of http://www.mrkate.com/2013/05/23/diy-lace-insert/.

We all have those plain T-shirts in our drawer that we either wear to bed, to work out in, or to lounge in; but be honest do you REALLY wear T-shirts as an every day clothing item? I didn’t think so. Well, now you have your chance to dress that shirt up, and rock it right to the front of your closet as an EVER DAY clothing item!

The great thing about this tutorial, is you do not need any sewing experience! As long as you can thread a needle, and cut out shapes, then no sewing machine is needed, although it certainly will  go fast if you DO have a machine :) 

Let’s get to work so you can start making your new wardrobe! You will need a T-shirt, or any shirt with a light material. The great thing about this project is that you do not HAVE to use a T-shirt, you can use any shirt with a lightweight material! 

Items needed :

T-shirt, or any lightweight shirt

Favorite cutout shape( Use a thick paper)

1/2 yard of favorite lace

Scissors

Matching thread and needle(or sewing machine)

*If you have a fear of needles , you CAN use hem tape, but if may come off after a few washes, so I HIGHLY recommend sewing it in.*

Instructions :

Using thick paper, trace and cut out your favorite shape in size you want. To make the shape look really good, you can easily print something offline. Pin pattern to spot you want to cut out on shirt. It REALLY helps if you have a rotary cutter, if not make a tiny snip on any edge of pattern to get you started. Cut carefully! Now, using the same shape , take your lace and cut with an extra inch on all sides for seam allowance. I know that seems like a lot, but no one is going to see the inside of the shirt but you, and having that extra allowance will assure  it will easily attach to your shirt.

Pin LACE on the underside of shirt against the open pattern you’ve just cut. Either machine sew with a stretch stitch, or sew by hand with a straight stitch. If sewing by hand be careful and do not pull stitches to tight when sewing. T-shirt material is usually made from Jersey, and will pucker if you pull the stitched to tightly. Now put it on and rock it like the star you are!

33 Clever Ways To Refashion Your Clothes

Monthly style guide- Crocheting- It’s not just for the cute grannies

What do YOU think of when you think of crochet? Your granny crocheting you your annual Christmas afghan?  Dolls with handmade froofy dresses? While that is still ever-present in the crochet world, other styles have been around since the 60’s , and are becoming more and more popular in present fashion.

Extra Long Plus Size Cardigan Sweater with Crochet Circles

*This gorgeous handmade coat can be found with other colorful items @ http://www.subrosa123.etsy.com*

I have always loved ‘wearable art’ and the idea that a meticulously put together form of art can be draped on the body beautifully. It is one of the top reasons I began designing and sewing.  Wearable art is not widely noticed or even appreciated, except in the fashion world. I say start bringing on those creative juices, be green, and start creating!

One of my favorite free form artisits is ‘Janet Lipkin’ Like several of the other artists in the 1970’s crochet art-to-wear movement, Lipkin was a graduate of the Pratt Institute art school and amongst those there who set the stage for fiber and art wear to be taken seriously be the art world.She was know for her three-dimensional, highly textural, sculptural crochet stitches. I admire her very much, and she inspires me to create. and be crazy with my designs!

Post image for Edgy 1970′s Crochet Art: Janet Lipkin Decker

*One of Janet’s many amazing creations; a free form bird coat*

Of course crochet, sewing, ect does not ALWAYS have to be wild and crazy. Simplicity is always appreciated as well. With fall in full effect; hats, mittens, and scarfs alike are popping up in stores everywhere, although I am much more of a ‘hand made’ advocate. Owning something made by hand, and not machine made, makes all the difference in the world.

Pixie Hat, Hooded Cowl, Womens Crochet Hat, Fall Fashion, Halloween Hat

*This adorable crocheted pixie hood can be found, with many other wonder items @ http://www.simplymadebyerin.etsy.com, and she and I share the same name, so OBVIOUSLY she is totally awesome:) *

So take some time to peruse all the handmade crocheted items on sites like etsy, amongst others and support handmade crafting. Look cute doing it as well!  I have a knit shop I will soon be adding crochet too, find me @ http://www.hipknitism.etsy.com

Check out my upcycled clothing and accessory shop as well @ http://www.dramatiquedesigns.etsy.com