Huipil for the people!


I have had the most amazing summer out in the country…. farmers markets, auctions, flea markets and tiny antique stores in the middle of nowhere. Two weeks ago I stumbled upon a gold mine at an auction in southeast indiana. Who knew that in the middle of miles of cornfields in a 3 story  1800’s farmhouse I would find an amazing collection of gorgeous south american and mexican textiles including this group of  huipils!  I still feel bad about viciously out bidding the lady next to me – sorry but they were going to be MINE!

Here is some background info straight from Wikipedia so you know what you are drooling over…..

Huipil [ˈwipil] (from the Nahuatl word huīpīlli [wiːˈpiːlːi]) is the most common traditional garment worn by indigenous women from central Mexico to Central America. It is a loose-fitting tunic, generally made from two or three rectangular pieces of fabric which are then joined together with stitching, ribbons or fabric strips, with an opening for the head and, if the sides are sewn, openings for the arms. Traditional huipils, especially ceremonial ones, are usually made with fabric woven on a backstrap loom and are heavily decorated with designs woven into the fabric, embroidery, ribbons, lace and more.




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beautiful things…..

After a long winter I am feeling more inspired than i have in a long time!  The weather is warmer, the trees and flowers are blooming (as miserable as it makes me feel) and I am ready for summer.  I have seen some amazing and beautiful antique textiles lately and thought i would share some images.   These are from ICFF where i was busy shopping for my imaginary store……








Whadizit – part 2 – darned sock

As Jessica Simpson once said, “I dunno what it is but I want it!” – well that’s what I said when I saw this sock.  or stocking.  I don’t know anything about it.  I suspect it is Victorian.  I know it is old, a beautiful color and been darned within an inch of it’s life.  It also helps that it has the two initials of my daughters names.  Clearly a lot of work went into making it last – check out the amazing stitching in the heel and toe.  Darned sock!

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strange house pets?

As you may or may not know I am a textile designer working in home furnishings.  It wasn’t until recently when I began working with the fabulous Suzanne Tucker that I had an “appreciation” for animal patterns in textiles.  I always thought any sort of cheetah or leopard was cheap and sleazy.  In some arenas, I am still right and stand my ground  – in others i’m willing to reconsider.  In fact, i would even say i have found a affinity for animal patterns in terms of textiles.  Of course it has to be good quality, construction and color!   Here are some of my favorite fabrics drawing inspiration from the animal world!babytapir

okay, there is nothing more beautiful than a baby tapir!  their beautiful stripes and spots disappear as they grow up (how sad!) and when I see a picture of one (clearly they are not roaming around here in brooklyn!) I cannot help but think of mud cloth fabrics from Mali.  Below is a shot of one here in my studio and another favorite shot of a vintage chair upholstered in one.


mud cloth


mud cloth chair by Ariele Alasko

armadillo…..  i don’t know if i love them or hate them but either way they are funny little critters.  Rose Tarlow has an amazing cut velvet in her collection called …. “Armadillo” shown below.


Tom Brakefield / Getty Images

Shagreen……   Not as uncommon I know but an absolute favorite.  The texture of the stingray leather traditionally makes beautiful accessories.  Below is a lovely silk fabric I developed with Suzanne Tucker Home inspired by and simply called … “Shagreen”.


Photograph by Nadya Kulagina, My Shot


stingray skin

And for the most exotic of all…….  the soft and loveable kitten belly as shown below.    Actually, i just needed to figure out how to get my new kitten Cash in on the action.


photo by Vera Vandenbosch

His super soft stripes and spots do remind me of these fabulous Pierre Frey pillows…..


Pierre Frey “Coussin Lynx” pillow


Being a pattern oriented, textile-ey kind of girl I am always watching for shapes and patterns in my every day life.  Once  something is on your radar it is amazing how often you see it.  The last few days i have been particularly taken with honeycomb and what a great, well balanced pattern and texture it is.  We are all well aware of the plight of the honeybee and the benefits of consuming local honey but looking deeper, their homes are so beautiful and fragile.  Take a look around and you will see it everywhere!


cannot find photo credit! help!


if only i could surf……… no photo credit available. please advise if you know details!


gorgeous fabric by Rubelli


handmade bowl from abc home. i am slowly collecting the whole set. thanks for the start Coll!


many a skinned knee from this honeycomb concrete at carroll park!


gucci honeycomb dress

purple – not just for 8 year old girls…

It’s taken me 41 years to fall in love with purple.  Well, i’m sure i had a phase around 7 or 8 along with rainbows and unicorns (I definitely had a purple trapper keeper!) but every girl goes through that. Until now i’ve avoided purple at all costs – it’s Barney’s fault.  Anyway, I’ve worked through it and now i’m seeing it in a whole new light.  Flowers, food, textiles, fashion…..  no unicorns included.


Khadi napkins my good buddy colleen brought me from india…


beautiful coral from bob’s house. not sure if it is the natural color or not but who cares?!


purple ikat coat from uzbekistan. this lives in my studio and i always wish i was small enough to wear it!


the almighty solange in purple for complex. not just anyone can rock a pair of purple leather hot pants.


ikat fabric i am developing for the new ST Home collection.


a family of orchids at the san francisco flower market.

London 1927

I’m sure a lot of you have already seen this video but if you haven’t you should.  It is lovely footage of London filmed in 1926 (although often noted as 1927) by  Claude Friese-Greene.  Not only is it amazing to see the cars, people, buildings and monuments but I find the colors particularly amazing and am feeling very inspired.  Click on the images below to link to the video.  Best watched on a rainy day.

Old Color Photos of London in 1927 (1)

Old Color Photos of London in 1927 (2)The colors in the video reminded me of this beautiful color way of Zoffany’s printed velvet Arden.

zoffany6I am also really smitten by the color of the interior of this 1927 Bugatti.


Inspiration – pink!

Okay.  I’ve never been much of a pink person but today when I was at an event in the D&D Building I saw these peonies and about fell over.   Seriously.  These are ridonculous!   It made me want to post some other outrageous pinks.  I’ve neglected you pink.   I’m sorry.



(Source: aubreylstallard, via qurlfriendinacoma)

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unable to find photo credit 😦
found on pinterest

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flowers from the wonderful team at tucker and marks.

Inspiration – burnt orange and gold


For years i have torn pages out of magazines, collected swatches of antique fabrics, saved bits of yarn in color combinations for projects and hoarded all kinds of other stuff.  The problem has always been that they have been tucked away in boxes.  When i moved to my apartment and envisioned the studio space upstairs I immediately knew what i needed:  an entire wall of pinup board!   At the moment everything is arranged by color and today I am particularly enamored with the orange/gold section.  Here are a couple of shots to give you an idea.

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Confession:  I bought this crazy orange begonia purely because I wanted to put it next to my orange board (lame).

This is a photo I stumbled upon and I love everything about it – the fabrics, the bracelets and  the color combinations.  The hit of purple is an amazing contrast with the orange.

Need I say more?!


So at the risk of sounding like a late night host, I am going to start a column called Whadizit?   This is a game my friend and co-worker Vera and I play on a regular basis.  When she started a past job (at a company that shall remain nameless), she eagerly turned on her new computer and discovered a file on her desktop simply titled “what is it?”.  She opened it and sure enough she didn’t know what it was.  That’s how i often feel when i am sifting through the various textiles and  items i have collected during past travels.  So my first installment is this AMAZING indigo, hand embroidered caftan (?).  I honestly (and embarrassingly)  do not remember where i bought it…. morocco perhaps?  I feel that it is African but perhaps one of you know what it is and can share…..

Either way it is the perfect combination of everything i love – indigo – embroidery – and attention to detail.  Enjoy!




The enormous sleeves of this garment hang low and button together in the back.  When turned up the insides of the sleeves reveal this beautiful embroidered detail.


The image below really shows how deeply embedded the indigo is in the fabric.  My hands and fingernails turn blue every time i touch it.  Don’t wash with whites!