Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday, Mia!

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Mia is wearing the crown we made together in this tutorial

I can't believe my baby is turning 4!  She is not really a baby at all any more!  Some days it's wonderful to see her growing into a young lady, and other days I am wishing it would stop!  She is such a vivacious little girl, from her choppy bob she cut herself to her thoughts on... well, everything... which she shares incessantly.  {Aidan's birthday is in 2 days--they had the same due date!  I usually do a big photo shoot around that time of the two of them together.}  I wanted to take at least one photo on her official birthday, so went to the backyard to snap a quick one.  Mia had opinions about what she should wear, how she should stand, exactly how she should smile... and half the pictures were no good because she was singing Taylor Swift songs the entire time!  It's so strange: one day, it's Elmo and Sesame street, and the next moment, Barbie and Taylor Swift!  How the time flies!  Happy Birthday to my little miss Mia!  To quote your favorite musician: Oh, darlin' don't you ever grow up!
Friday, November 25, 2011

Photo Folie - Gold Chevron


Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you had a wonderful, relaxing holiday with you and yours!  Sorry I skipped out on DIY Wednesday.  The kiddos are home for the holiday week, Robert is working extra hard, and Joyfolie is busy of course.  It makes for a full life!  I do have a photo Folie, though!

Today's photo Folie is inspired by a lovely hand-painted chevron tray by Up in the Air Somewhere.  In particular, I loved the combination of gold leaf with a chevron print.  I searched around for a few weeks and could not find anyone who makes a gold chevron fabric.  So, we hand painted our own fabric in the studio, paired it with some jingle bells for the holidays, and added the smallest touch of sparkle.  The result are some spunky little Chevron flats that make the sweetest little chinking noise, making it easy to keep tabs on your little one.
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Normally, we do not sell the photo Folie shoes unless they get an overwhelmingly positive response, in which case we take them into production as one of our firm-soled designs.  This holiday, though, we are offering some soft-soled shoe inventory for our holiday release.  This little chevron shoes will be available for purchase the second week in December, size 3-8 with one per size.  Here is the inspiration photo and the shoes side by side.
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In keeping with the theme of gold leaf, I have a few other lovelies for you: {From top: Gold mason jar / tumblers / ring  / cards  spotted together via The Sweetest Occassion.}
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Finally, in case you missed it, we are offering 25% off all our in stock items on our site with the code BFSHOP25 now through Cyber Monday.  Not sure what to get or need to give a gift to a little miss several states away?  We are happy to announce we are now offering Gift Certificates!  For each $25 purchased, get $10 for yourself!  Click here to shop them now!

Happy Holiday Weekend!

Black Friday Sale!

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Photo Folie - Plum Peonies

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Happy Friday!  It seems that everyone, including me, is running around this week: to classroom holiday feasts and planning for Thanksgiving.  Every year I am taken aback a little by how busy it gets.  Thus, photo Folie is dragging into the later hours tonight.

If you are just joining the Joyfolie blog, every Friday I design a new pair of shoes inspired by a photo.  Generally, I do not sell them, and they are just design practice for me.  {Actually, there was a while where I did not do this and I almost got itchy with creative energy that was waiting to get used.}  Like I said, normally, we do not sell the photo Folie shoes unless they get an overwhelmingly positive response, in which case we take them into production as one of our firm-soled designs.  This holiday, though, we are offering some soft-soled shoe inventory for our holiday release.  The photo Folie shoes over the next few weeks will be sold at that time, size 3-8 with one per size.

Today's shoes are inspired by the Wedding Chick's "Bouquet Recipes," in particular the pink, purple and succulents mix.  I was drawn to this photo by the lovely shade of plum paired with the soft and fresh green with the espresso in her skirt as the perfect backdrop for all that color.

So, I started with some super thick espresso and tan wool in a chevron print.  {I adore Chevron in all it's various forms.  In fact, you may see it in production this summer *wink.*}  I lined the shoes with organic cream {like her top} and added in the colors found in the lovely bouquet.  The result:
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Sweet and soft little flats with pretty plum peonies.  They are finished with green silk that I bought in Austin and some loops of purple ribbon, reminiscent of the lilac.
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I will be personally making all the flowers for these on these shoes we sell.  Joyfolie does flowers on shoes all the time, but I am really pleased with the uniqueness of the shape of these in particular, the variety of textures, and the lovely jammy shade.
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Here is the inspiration photo paired with shoes:
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Be sure to check back for details on our holiday release in early December.  Not only will these be available, but we have all sorts of events in the hopes of brightening the holidays for you and yours.  Have a lovely weekend!

Oh, and if you are inspired to make your own shoes in a similar palette, we just released a new pattern in size 2-6!  For more details, click here.
Thursday, November 17, 2011

DIY Holiday Table and Six Dollar Sparkle

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I don't know about you, but I so excited about the holidays this year.  The kids are getting older and have so much enthusiasm for each new season--and they notice and smile at every little decoration along the way.  Next week is Thanksgiving, so I thought I would post a quick and easy idea for your holiday table.  However, if you don't use it then, well, there are so many applications of this concept. But before I get into that, let me share why I posted this DIY.

I don't know if I have talked about this much, but I don't spend a lot of time out with friends.  Having a business and two children and a husband with a busy wine schedule; our lives are extremely full.  Sometimes it feels like work to try and figure in one more appointment.  But--and this is a big BUT--it's worth it.  So, I am going to try to be more hospitable, invite people over and say "yes" more than I say "no."  Easier said than done, but friends and companionship, especially while in the throes of mothering young children, is so very important.

Anyway, I was thinking that I want to have some friends over for brunch and go the extra mile to decorate the table with something fun and festive and maybe even Christmas-y.  At a Pumpkin Carving Party, we glittered one tiny pumpkin.  The lonely, tiny pumpkin looked so cute on our dining room table, that I thought it would look even better in the company of a little more sparkle.

So, a quick trip to the dollar store, six dollars later, and I came back with 3 vases and 3 very fake-looking plastic pears.  The rest of the materials, I had lying around:
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Materials:
several glass vases
fake pears {fake apples, gourds, or little pumpkins would also be cute}
modge podge or elmers glue
glitter in color of choice
spray acrylic sealant
paint brush

So, this project is pretty self-explanatory.  Together, Mia and I painted the vases with glue and sprinkled them with glitter one by one.  My daughter is three and this was a great project to do together, messy but fun.   We did the same with the pears and gave them an hour to dry.  The important part of this step is the spray sealant.  If you don't seal your project, the glitter will flake off every time you touch or move it.  However, spraying it with sealant was super easy, and you get a pretty hardy finish to the glitter.

The result are some simple, sparkly elements to add to your table:
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Drop in a few fresh clippings from the yard, and you have a festive table... for an evening gathering, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years--whatever the occasion.  I wanted to photograph it all arranged on our dining room table, but the sun was setting so I just plopped them down on the porch table.  I think this would have been even better in a more vibrant color like turquoise on a set table with some colorful flowers and lit candles. 
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Happy almost holidays!
XO
Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New T-Strap Pattern


As you may already know, we have offered a baby bootie pattern for a long time on our site.  I think it's a great pattern because it is very approachable--even if you don't own a sewing machine or know how to sew, you could still hand make the booties with a high level of success.  However, we get regular requests for patterns for larger sizes. 

So, just in time for Christmas, I put together a brand new pattern.  This pattern is a T-strap which fits infant to approximately 2 years old {size 2-size 6} and can be made for a boy or a girl.  Not only does this pattern fit a broader range of sizes, I also tried to add in as many extra goodies as I could think of, like:

*lots of step by step photos
*a page of troubleshooting tips and techniques
*a trick how to print your own labels at home using household materials
*and a FREE little bag pattern, to package them for gifts

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In addition, all pattern purchases from now through Friday will be entered in a raffle for a free pair of our manufactured shoes!  For more information and to purchase our new T-strap pattern, click HERE.

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Photo Folie - Gold, Pink and Poms


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Happy Friday!  What a week.  I am definitely behind on blogging.  It's been a busy, plus my computer has been acting up, freezing, etc and a blog post ends up taking me three times as long.  Quite the frustration!  {If anyone has any tips, feel free to share!}

Back to Photo Folie, I was inspired by the lovely photos above taken by Benjamin Edwards and posted by Elizabeth Anne Designs.  All the photos are whimsical and very feminine.   In fact, I posted a few extra photos from the collection, so you could see them...
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...the vintage table settings with layers of light and texture.  You can view all the pictures here.
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Today's shoes pair gold with touches of amber and pink in the lining and whimsical cream texture, inspired by the plumes and fabrics in the photos above.  Even the pom poms were custom made in our studio.  I am really pleased with the texture of the fabric in these T-straps; they have a lovely crinkle to them, which is fun:
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I know I missed DIY Wednesday this week.  I had it in my mind to do a tutorial on a soft and flow-y tutu.  I though it would be fun to photograph the skirt with these shoes and other vintage elements in golden light... Alas, there were just not enough hours in the day!  Maybe I will get to return to my idea sometime in the future.  I did take several photos of the pom pom shoes, but the styling is all essentially the same.
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Typically I do not sell Photo Folie shoes; however, that will the exception for the next few weeks!  We decided that we would offer several soft-soled shoes and a few accessories all hand-crafted in our studio.  I am planning on releasing them in early December, and will also include some special holiday events, the details of which will unfold over the next several weeks.

We are planning on offering a minimum of 6 styles of soft-soled shoes, available in size 3-8.  {Sorry, but I do not think the soft-soles are durable enough for the older sizes.}  The soles are a thin rubber that is flexible and light.  The soles are not as durable as our manufactured soles, but I think they are perfectly appropriate for the wee girls.  We will only have one pair of shoes per style per size, these will be one-of-a-kinds!  The price will range from $42-68, depending on the style.  We will also offer a few unique accessories by the dozen: belts and brooches, similar to last years.  

I hope this answers some of the questions I saw posted on facebook about the soft-soled shoes.  I can't wait to show them to you; they have a lot of jewel tones and some finishes that we have never used before, that I think you will love for the holiday season.  Joyfolie has grown so quickly, but I think it's nice to go back to our roots this Christmas.  I will have more details and a specific date soon.

Have a lovely weekend, and special thanks to photographer Benjamin Edwards for the inspiration!
Thursday, November 10, 2011

Holiday Release Sneak Peek

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We have some exciting, limited-edition soft-soled shoes coming this holiday!  {Lots of fun styles--think gold and jewel tones.}  This photo is one of the designs that will be available and is also this week's photo folie.  Check back tomorrow for more details!
Saturday, November 5, 2011

Photo Folie - For the Love of Fall

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photo found via We Heart It

Typically for Photo Folie* posts, I chose a photo and design a pair of shoes around it--selecting many similar colors, trim, etc, inspired by the photo.  This photo folie is a little different and not that literal.  I love fall and I just adore the image above.  Fall is my favorite time of year, and in Houston we have to wait until November until the heat finally breaks and there is a chill in the air.   Even this weekend, it is supposed to be 80 on Sunday!  However, this Friday it was nice and chilly in the morning.  I lit a fire in the fireplace, and the kids huddled by it for warmth, eating pancakes and asking if Christmas was coming soon.

Back to Photo Folie*, I love fall and the image above.  I have also been wanting to make a military boot for a long time.  However, not a military boot in the traditional, utilitarian, lace-up-to-the-knee military boot, but more like a military boot inspired by a military jacket, with the cross straps.  So, I pulled out some camel-colored reclaimed leather inspired by the photo, mother of pearl, and some cotton webbing.  Here is the result:
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These boots have a spat like most Joyfolie boots; however, the spat is more narrow, stiffer, and extends above the top line of the boot.  They have military-inspired straps, finished with mother of pearl brands.  Here are a few photos of the Military Boots on Mia:

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And one last photo of the inspiration picture and the boots together:
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If you like these boots and want to see them go into production, don't forget to leave a comment and let me know!  Happy Weekend!!

*For those new to Photo Folie, I design a new pair of shoes inspired by a photo.  Photo Folie shoes are always new designs that are one-of-a-kind; they are just design practice for me, I do not sell them.  However, if it turns out that the design is really popular, there is a good chance it will end up in production as a firm-soled shoe.  {Shoes with the highest comments and Pinterest pins have a better chance of being produced.}
Friday, November 4, 2011

PF Sneak Peek!

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Photo Folie sneak peek!  Will have the whole post up tonight or tomorrow!

Zoe Boot Winner!

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Congrats to comment #272 LandOJake, winner of the Zoe boot giveaway!  To view the Random.org drawing, click here

Didn't win?  Well, we have a several special things planned for the holidays, which includes not only some giveaways but a release of several soft-soled shoe and accessory designs handmade in our studio!  Think jewel tones, warm/textual wools, and touches of gold.  More details will follow over the next few weeks!  Keep checking back for details!
Wednesday, November 2, 2011

DIY Wednesday - Paper Bag Floor Finish

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(show with our Emerald City heels)

I have to say, of all the DIY posts that I have made so far, this one is my favorite!  While the kiddos were little and learning to walk, we were quite happy to have carpeted stairs.  However, imagine running up and down the stairs coffee in hand or little kids carrying sippy cups full of chocolate milk and after awhile--the carpet on the stairs was in sad shape.  We have wood floors through most of our home, so I wanted to replace the stairs with a solid surface and lose the carpet.  However, to have pre-finished wood risers professionally installed would probably be around $6K, and we don't want to invest that much in this house, since we don't think we'll be in it much longer.  Plus, if I wanted to spend that amount of $, it would be on a trip to Sinta, Portugal.   

Pinning on Pinterest, I stumbled across this photo from Lovely Crafty Home of stairs refinished with paper bags--that's right--paper bags!
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I tend to gravitate towards unusual things and was really taken with her paper bag floor finish.  Anyway, the next Saturday came around and before I knew it, I was up to my elbows in torn out carpet.  {That's sort of my modus operandi.  One day, in our old home, Robert came home from work to discover I had knocked down half a wall.}

Back to the paper floors, I am absolutely thrilled with the results!  At one point in my 20's I worked at a flooring store doing marketing and interior design.  I had always loved cork flooring from Portugal, and the brown paper steps looks quite a lot like that.  First, I tore out the carpet, pad, tac strips, and all nails and staples.  Next, I bought a gallon of elmer's glue, a big roll of brown paper, water-based polyurethane, a couple sticks of trim, liquid nails, and 3 rolls of white wallpaper border.

I brushed each step with a layer of straight glue.  Then I dipped pieces of crumpled brown paper in a solution of 3 parts water to 1 part glue.  Once they were crumpled, I would apply them to the step and smooth them out--a la paper mache.  What is really important, I think, is to lay the paper on a floor brushed with straight glue.  If you look at the brown paper floors at An Oregon Cottage, the floors are really light and really look like paper.  When I was putting the paper down, I was afraid it might come up if applied with only the watery glue mixture.  As it turns out, laying down the paper on straight glue turned the floors much darker, which I really love.  I thought I would have to stain them, but I actually love them just like how they turned out.

After all the treads were covered with paper, I let them cure for a day.  The risers of the subfloor had a lot of knicks and dings in them--and I wasn't too keen on having to apply 3 coats of white paint to get the risers looking good.  So, I brushed a textured wallpaper border {called anaglypta} with more elmer's glue, and applied to to the risers.  I love anaglypta because looks so much like vintage painted copper ceilings.  It also has a really clean look that still has textural interest.  It was a very fast and inexpensive way to give a clean look to the risers.  To make the steps extra clean, I finished the bottom of each one with white trim.  I am not sure what kind of trim exactly, but it was thinner than quarter round.  I broke the chop saw trying to cut a pillar {really stupid on my part} and this trim was so light and thin, I was able to cut it with shears.  I attached them with liquid nails.  After that, I applied 4 coats of water-based polyurethane.  I have to say--this project way exceeded my expectation!  The steps look great--in fact, better than anything more traditional.  It's a shame that I don't have the right equipment to take pictures that do them justice:
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the up close pic again:
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If you like this look, definitely visit An Oregon Cottage or Lovely Crafty Home for lots more tips on this technique.  I love it!  I think it would even be interesting to do something non-traditional in a studio space... like sheet music or vintage book pages.  Anyway, hope you enjoy!
Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Anthropologie Catalog!

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Have you seen the new Anthropologie catalog?  It's divine!  Be sure to check out page 54!  Click here to view!

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