Tag Archives: designers

Inspired to create a wedding dress by a ruffled cake…

13 Jul

I have no doubt if you follow my blog that you have been waiting with bated breath to find out the outcome of the wedding dress project…or if I am being realistic you’ve probably forgotten actually about it.

As many design projects go & what seems to elude most of the public…designing is a long-planned out process, Nothing is created in a half an hour to an hour segment. Despite what the media wants you to think there is rarely any instant gratification in the design world.

The itself dress started out as a conversation in April. Nicole (if I had, had another daughter I would have named her Nicole, love the name) has known me since 2004 when I worked as the Interior Design Director for a large home builder. She was the sassy little receptionist who kept everyone on their toes with her playful sarcasm & quick wit.

Things have long since changed & we are both in different places in our lives…the builder is no longer around…but as facebook friends we have made sure to keep tabs on each other.

According to her I told her way back when that I would be happy to make her wedding dress when she had asked me. Other than the costumes I made on  Halloween’s for my children I am not sure how she knew that I had a thing for needle & thread.

Okay I don’t…not exactly. Needles & thread are really a means to an end. What I love it designing. I have been sewing since I was five. I started out by designing dresses for my Barbie’s. I really never played with them I just sewed & designed clothes for them. I was very common to find my naked doll with her feet stuck in the bottom of a large spool of thread so she would be held upright, acting as a dress form.

The truth is my plan was to be a fashion designer first…others things happened though. I am essentially self-taught & during my teens I would devour every book on clothing construction I could find & back then it wasn’t easy to find such publications. Most of the instructional books were from the 40’s & 50’s.

So there is a little History for you. Nicole & I discussed the dress & she came to visit a couple of times to go over things. I encouraged her to go look around at prices & styles before she made the decision to have me make it. I wanted her to be completely committed to the process because it is a huge commitment on my part as well & because she lives in Vegas & I live in Utah she would have to arrange to come here for fittings.

After a few rather discouraging shopping trips & going over photos with me of what she loved & didn’t she decided to give me a shot. Kudos to her for faith because she hadn’t seen what I could do yet. All she knew is that I can sew.

I pulled together some concepts to help her narrow down the look she wanted based off her preferences & emailed them to her & waited to hear back. It cracks me up now thinking about it but I think it is an important part of the process. This is something I encourage my clients to do in the most appropriate manner, & that is communicate.

No matter what we are designing we don’t read minds & we need your considerate feed back. We also need you to be present in the process. “April” she said, “I love these but I was wondering if you can add a ruffle?” She was so nervous when she said this, uncertain of my response. She had tried on a dress with crumb catchers…huge ruffles on the bodice that drowned her but she got emotional when this happened because it reminded her of a cake she loved…this is the key. The emotion. We designers want results that get to the heart of your dreams & desires…the emotion is a clue to which direction we should take.

I was so happy that we had hit that deeper level. I asked her to please send me a picture of the cake & that became my inspiration for the dress.

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This was a 400+ hour process. Between concept drawings, creating the pattern & a mock-up dress out of muslin first to making the actual dress it is a big job. We were able to coordinate everything smoothly with her visits from Vegas for fittings which had me more that a bit nervous. Designing & making a custom dress for someone who lives nearby is one thing, but one who lives in another State is different story.

I am happy to say that she is thrilled & she looks amazing in it. It is perfect for her…made just for her. I also have a new love for ruffles…as long as they are done correctly. I affectionately call them Fruffles now.

If you follow me on Facebook, twitter or Instagram you may be so lucky as to see the bride in the dress since I plan to take pictures tomorrow night at the reception.

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Also I ask my  friends & sister Heather in Arizona for forgiveness from with holding photographs until now.

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Happy Valentines!!! Inspired to Create by…Sweet Peas & Roses.

14 Feb

I hope this Valentines day finds you all well & happy! I admit I haven’t had much luck with “Val’s Day” as I like to call it.  Yes, there are quite a few stories here… I will say that my ex husband asked me to marry in on Valentines which was over fifteen years ago now & since it didn’t work out…well you get  the idea.

My best unsolicited advice is that, if you don’t have a sweetheart or if you aren’t sure the one  you have can take the pressure, then have very small expectations for the day.

The man I have been dating for the last five years + always somehow manages to get out of us celebrating this holiday at all…more stories on this subject that I don’t have energy to tell.

This year I have decided I will buy my own chocolate & if I get a kiss from him I will be grateful. I think we both suffer from Valentine angst, though no one is actually fessing up.

I am working on a set of paintings right now that has had me a bit preoccupied. I was thinking this morning how nice it would have been to have them ready to add to a post this morning but I am sleep deprived enough as it is.

Then as I was driving the children to school it hit me like a lighting bolt….I have the perfect inspired creation for this lovely Val’s day to share.

Sweet Peas & Roses…

I am well aware that I tend to come across as a contradiction to others.  My friend the astrologer David Porter says I cannot help it…something to do with the planets or stars I think…

I will tell you all day long, that roses are not my favorite flower but if you knew how many I’ve collected, planted, drawn & painted over the years you would think this was a lie.

I love orchids best though I must confess & my love of flowers in general leaves many beauty’s standing close together in the line of favorites.  There is something about roses though. The fragrance & the ease in which I could get them to grow & the romance associated with them…

I am a Libra so beauty & romance is my passion. That is the excuse Davy gave me for it anyway. I am worried at times it is really just an undiagnosed mental disorder. I have always loved to have flowers around me & in my home. A few years back I had a rose garden right outside my office window so I could open up my windows & let the breeze invite in the fragrance which I would just drink it in as I was designing.

Summer through fall I had cut roses almost every day inside the house, in nearly every room.

The rose garden outside my office in Herriman Here is a section of my rose garden from my Herriman Home. In my previous home in Clearfield I had rows of rose bushes under the windows & knew I could not be without them ever again after that. In the Clearfield home I had a country garden with two full-grown wisteria’s vines, a large peony planting, with a small sweet pea garden & a honeysuckle vine growing around ninety percent of the fences. There is nothing like vases of honeysuckle, roses & sweet peas on the window sill in the summer. I had hollyhocks also, but they are not my favorite, based off their attraction for bugs or the other way around I mean…

Roses & Sweet Peas in WhiteI am not sure when I began to develop a passion for all these frilly flowers. I was a bit of a tom boy in my youth. I used to wear combat boots with my dresses in my teens…that paints a picture for you doesn’t it? Did I mention that I am a  contraction already?

Maybe my flower lust has something to do with an art assignment I did in High school using acrylics & gesso paints. I am not sure what the criteria for the assignment was (it was that long ago) but I painted a stylized slightly abstracted painting of Roses & Sweet Peas for it. Someone bought it after that. I am not sure who. Some other school I think. I remember taking my money to buy new prismacolor pencils. Yes, that is what you do when you are a poor artist in school. I do however have a digital file so prints can be made up through imagekind if your heart so desired.

“Roses are red violets are blue”…I am going to have a great Valentines day (as long as I get my chocolate) & I hope you do too!

In all seriousness Have a lovely day full of love & happiness my friends.

Love, April Elizabeth

Why the New Blog Inspired to Create by…?

10 Jan

As an Interior Designer & Artist I am becoming increasing aware of the need to support one another as Designers & Artists. It seems the process of inspired creation has become diluted by many different factors. Our highly competitive money driven world has become a world of copycats who seem to only rely on the direct interpretation of the talents & ideas of others to create…now while I believe that the work of others & they themselves are constantly inspiring… I do not believe it is fully inspired creation, to mimic another designers works. While we understand & accept that much of what we showcase or publish as designers & artists is vulnerable to the imitation of others…maybe we even feel at times it flattering that they do so…I want to personally highlight what I find inspiring in my own creations & my process of taking from inspiration & creating something new from it. Perhaps this will help others to break down the limits they put on themselves when it comes to the flow of creation.

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