Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Call of the Wild

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Last week, I was creating two pairs of shoes that were Joyfolie/MJ old school. Two years ago, designer Paula Prass for Michael Miller fabrics, sent me some fabric to make shoes to promote her line. I made some spunky little Zebra peep toes. Animal prints can be polarizing {people tend to love or hate them.} I appreciate the impact they make, especially when paired with more feminine touches... like, say, Pink.

This project wasn't just for fun, it was for something specific: a well-known little baby. If the opportunity ever arises, I will tell you more. It was reminiscent of 2009, which seems both like yesterday and worlds apart from where we are today, all at the same time. Anyway, here are the tiny little zebra peeps...
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And another itty bitty sparkle pair. Mia was insistent I create with this fabric. Mia frequently gives her input. In fact, just yesterday, Mia was commenting that her new dress "needed something." Considering I picked it up for $8 on clearance at Marshalls, I thought she was quite right. So, she proceed to go into our scrap bin in the studio, cut out pieces of fabric and place them all over the neckline of the dress. Finished with her handiwork, "Next is sewing," she said. Oy! I need to keep my eye on that girl.

Anyway, these little shoes have a lovely sparkle too them... thanks to Mia's persistence.
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Bitty Zebra peeps... called Willow.
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Finally, in other news, we have more and more of the Charlotte {cream and tweed} and Sabre shoes in route. I expect to reopen sales on our shoes very soon, and order shipment to be imminent {starting today, I hope!}

I will keep you posted. Also, I am working heavily on fall. You will love the styles, I think. We have changed around our spat boot, and it's perfect! I can't wait to show you more of them!
Friday, June 24, 2011

Simple Portait Editing

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I love the pairing of burnt cerise pink and mustard, like in the collection of images above. Mia put together her own ensemble in this color palette {she's actually quite good at color pairing} and I took a photo:
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I used to post step-by-step photo editing a lot more often. I am going to gloss over the photoshop nitty gritty and give you the rough idea of how I change the photo. I have other photo editing posts here, which include links to free photo editing software and more detailed editing posts.

For this particular post, it's a quick-y one. My girl has been a real imp ever since she cut her hair. She was being a goof in the kitchen, dancing around and wearing this hat. So, I snapped a few photos. With just a bit of editing, a basic every-day photo can have a bit more polish.

So, here is the original photo straight out of the camera:
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The first thing I do is fix any bug bites or red marks. Lots of photographers use skin-smoothers, but I don't. I don't like overly smooth skin... I like all the nuances {wrinkles, freckles, etc}. But I do minimize shadows under the eyes and fix redness:
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Next, I used one of Shana's Florabella Actions. If you don't have photoshop, I will demystify the lingo: "actions" are really easy to use software to download into photoshop. All you do is press "play" and the photo is edited in a matter of seconds. Shana offers some of the best ones out there. If you are interested, you can buy them here. I used the "soft urban" action:
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Finish the photo with a bit of hand-done sharpening:
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And in a few minutes, the photo has a timeless look. Before/After:
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After:
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Remember I said Mia was an imp, well, here is proof!
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Have a lovely weekend!

PS: We have two shipments of our new summer shoe line in the country!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dreaming of Sintra

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Sintra Portugal by Meunierd

"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us,
or we find it not."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Pre-kiddos, Roberto and I used to travel, especially with his position in the wine industry. However, now that we have two little children, we travel significantly less... but the passion is still there! When I went to Boulder, Colorado to teach at the Makerie, I met the painter Flora Bowley and she told me about her whirlwind summer of teaching and travels. On facebook, she just posted an album of her travels to Sintra, Portugal, which were stunning! I am convinced that this needs to be Robert and I's 2012 destination... I told Flora to see if the powers that be need someone out there to teach a class on shoes. Ha! A girl can dream!

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I don't have much leisure time to speak of, but when I do, I love to pin on Pinterest, a great visual pinboard of photos and inspiration. In particular, I love to pin beautiful travel destinations for my bucket list. You can view my pin board of places I have visited here. And places I am dreaming of here.

Tuesday is a good day to dream big dreams, to seek adventures and to pursue them!

XO
Jessica

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Sintra
Sunday, June 19, 2011

An Experiment and an Update

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Gold and pink are the perfect princess colors, and the right shade is all the difference between demur and tacky. My Mia has an unending love for pink and princess and glitter. So, when I found some interesting gold fabric, I had an idea for a different kind of shoe. A summer sandal, if you will, with just a touch of pink:
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This was just an experiment, and there are some flaws with this one. I think this concept would be more practical with something with a tighter {less hole-y} fabric. Still, you get the idea. Airy and sweet, princessy, but hopefully not over the top. I think this would be equally lovely in a mustard yellow basket-type fabric with daffodil flower.

Often times when I make something new it is to process frustration. This shoe was no exception. For one thing, it has been in the 100's all June. {Booo!} I had about an hour worth of graphic design work into the Women's Flat Pattern, when we got a power surge {probably due to everyone running their AC} and I lost it all! I tried to recover it, when the power went out again! So, I went upstairs and channeled my efforts into something that wouldn't get undone, should the lights flicker for a third time.

In other news, I am sure you are wondering about our new line of shoes. Part of the reason I did not blog nor keep up with Facebook very well this week was because I have been on the phone with my supplier every day, doing everything I can to get the product here and make sure we have more styles for fall. With the summer shoes, all the bags they come shipped in were made too small and the shoes wouldn't fit inside. If you are rolling your eyes and groaning, then you would share my feelings exactly. So, the first batch of product is arriving end of this coming week: hopefully Friday. They are shipping the shoes in batches, as the new bags are made. I am very sorry for the delay, and working round the clock {and pretty sure I am annoying my supplier to no end} to get the shoes here. Honestly, I cut it so close by way of time frame. This is a mistake I won't make again. We have had high demand and short supply for our shoes for such a long time, that I was trying to offer them as soon as I possibly could. Even getting inventory by the fall is going to be tight. But once we develop our line, I want to avoid this tight time frame at all cost. Please know that I am so appreciative of everyone who made a pre-order and that I already factored in a thank you for those orders ;)

In closing, here is one more photo of the gold and pink experiment sandal shoes. Even though I am frustrated by the current set of circumstances, I am excited for the future... for the freedom in future designs and to be able to offer stocked inventory as Joyfolie grows!
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Upcycling - Part 3

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A few weeks back I was inspired by The Reusers Guide to Green Living to create some shoes from materials that would otherwise be discarded. Both the Target and Starbucks shoes were very much an ode to the materials: just to look at them, you could clearly guess their origin. The shoes above are the final pair of shoes I made that were of upcycled materials. However, for these, I wanted to take the most humble material I could think of and transform it into a pair of shoes that appeared to be made from a luxurious and expensive fabric. So....

I give you the brown plastic bag shoes:
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These shoes are made from a brown plastic grocery bag from Kroger--one of our local stores. I used about three layers of the bag to deepen the color. I only used the sides without the blue "low prices" text :)
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After layering the plastic, I stitched lines in the fabric to give it more interest and texture. I lined the shoes with gold satin, again with the theme of fancy and humble paired together. I left the heel open on the shoes, so they are itty bitty sling backs. I added a gold bow with a beautiful sheen. The results are a fun little pair of shoes that I hope look like they are made out of leather or suede or some other expensive material, when they are really made of materials that would have been thrown away!
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Here is a better view of the sling back:
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In similar tones and hues, Mom can compliment in this fun little top from Bouchique that is a steal for only $26.
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Or this fun ensemble in a classic yet feminine palette:
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And I love this trench from Dress, Design & Decor with just the right amount of bow detail:
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Don't forget:

Reduce * Reuse * Recycle


Friday, June 10, 2011

Sky Blue Flowered Shoes

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pretty blue crown, powder blue nursery, quote

I can't believe how quickly life is barreling into the blue skies of summer. I can feel the fault lines of my life shifting... the nature of my "job" changing. My days are no longer filled with the hum of a sewing machine or at least not as much. I spend a good deal of the time on the phone, on Skype, writing emails, giving sample notes. I have been busy not only preparing for the arrival of our kids summer inventory, but also with planning our fall and winter designs and our women's shoes. It's all exciting and wonderful and busy. All the while the kids are groaning that they want to bike or play or swim {just like they are right now} and so I try to fit all the pieces together. Of course, they never do fit just perfectly, but life is full... and I like it that way.

I have a few moments to offer you the shoes below. I have had them in the studio for such a long time! They have a lovely water color fabric with little blue flowers. I only have 4. They are soft-soled and handmade in our studio. Sorry about the paypal button, but the last time I posted a small amount of inventory on the website it was a mess and created an hour worth of email. So, a paypal link it is! Please note that if you are international and purchase the shoes, shipping is subject to a surcharge of a few dollars depending on location.
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*SOLD OUT*
Tuesday, June 7, 2011

More Pattern Possibilities

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In about a week, I hope to have the woman's French flat pattern completed. I keep telling myself that one night I should just stay up all night and finish it... But so far, I have been busy with preparing for the arrival of our kid's shoe inventory, and that hasn't happened. In the interim, though, I have a few more photos of sample shoes created by the pattern.
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And if I were to wear these shoes, I would pair them with dark jeans, a lace-y top, and a dramatic cat eye, like this:
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And baby girl can coordinate in this adorable dress by J Crew, can you stand it?!
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Happy Tuesday!
Friday, June 3, 2011

Milestones

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Growing up is never easy.
You hold on to things that were.
You wonder what's to come.
I think we knew it was time to let go of what had been,
and look ahead to what would be.
Other days.
New days.
Days to come..."

-The Wonder Years

I can't believe it has been almost a week since I made a blog post. I hate when that happens! It's been busy here with the end of the school year. On the back of our house we have a white screened-in porch, and I have a moss, hanging planter back there. Every year, a mother wren makes her nest in the planter. The first year this happened, we didn't even know the nest was there until we were in the middle of eating dinner when we heard a flurry a peep, cheeps, and squawks... ran to the porch and found it filled with a flurry of baby birds learning to fly. This year, we knew the nest was there, and the kids of have been taking turns peeking at the hatchlings. The babies left their nest just a few days ago. It was quite a fiasco... Mia opened the door and a few of the birds got inside the house. I was running after them with dish towels, chasing them under furniture, and trying to scoop them up and set them to safety. This year it was oddly coincidental that the baby birds left their nest on Aidan's last day of kindergarten. First grade seems so old and so big! I don't write about this much, but Aidan was labeled with autism when he was three years old. He was a different kid then: often in his own world and had a very limited vocabulary. What he lacked in words, he made up for in tantrums, though... and biting. Oh, goodness, those were such hard times. But, Aidan is so different now! His autism label was removed. He talks, laughs, and acts... like a normal kid. Don't get me wrong, he still is particular about certain things and is a bit behind in the overall concept of language. But he is in a normal class with normal kids. Aidan is a very polite little boy, a protective big brother, highly opinionated, ever determined, and generally quite happy. I am so thankful.

bird photo is by me, photo of Aidan is by Blue Lily

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