(re)focus on sustainability

I recently discovered the Seamwork podcast (one I’m loving, by the way), which in turn lead me to discover designer and slow fashion blogger Jacqui Palhegyi at Birds of a Thread.  On that blog, Jacqui offers an ethical shopping guide, patterns and encouragement to sew yourself, and more.  It’s a lovely, inspiring site and definitely worth a look.

Listening to that particular episode, combined with the dilemma of having yet again accumulated perhaps too much sewing stuff, made me realize I’ve really lost sight of what used to be one of my major priorities in crafting: sustainability.

There was a time when I was quite adament about where everything I bought came from, but I got lazy and my diligence faded when faced with the challenges of finding ethically and sustainably made goods.

I want this to become my focus again: slow down, buy less, be aware of where everything is coming from and how its production affects people.

Do you feel like you need to embrace slow fashion again?  Or has it always been part of your life?  If you have resources you’d like to share for encouraging sustainable living, please pass them on!

Wildflowers, Updates, and You.

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Is it weird that some of my favorite flowers are noxious weeds?  (I don’t know, but since I’ve been told I’m weird, I guess it makes sense.)  So, here are some photos for your enjoyment!

Also, for your enjoyment, I’d like to announce that I am slowly updating this site so that there are links to sewing and knitting resources, art, artists, and local love (for those who are in Kansas, and particularly the Wichita area).  I want you to know this so that 1.) you can benefit from the info, and so that 2.) you can let me know what’s missing!

If you know of any great fiber crafting sites, artists, or cool Kansas entities that are not listed on my site, be sure to let me know!  Comment below, send me a private message, get in touch on facebook.

Are you an artist or crafter?  Don’t hesitate to tell me about yourself, either!  I want to know what kinds of awesome things you do!

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“So here’s what happened…” + Delightful Discoveries: Down Under Edition!

If you can count on me to be consistent in just one thing, it would definitely have to be my fickleness.

Long story short: I started new blog with a new name because I thought it might have a slightly different feel than this blog (but honestly it was just the same blog), yet I continued to accumulate followers here and none at the new blog, so I’m back now!  (Wow.  That was riveting, I’m sure.)

So are things going to be different here at Prairiesque?  Probably not in any way anyone other than myself would notice.  Because…well…probably not actually.  I’ll still be sharing projects, inspiration, etc., when the mood strikes.

And it would seem there are some of you who are still interested in what I post, so today I’ll be sharing some…DELIGHTFUL DISCOVERIES!

  1. What We Do in the Shadows
    This “mockumentary” movie follows a group of vampires flatting together in New Zealand.  This came out in 2014, but I only discovered it this year.  It is simply hilarious, and I found it to be more so with each viewing. Please do yourself a favor and check it out.  If you’re like me, you won’t be able to stop quoting from it…
  2. frankie
    I recently picked up this “Australian Fashion Magazine,” but it seemed to me to be a little more substantial than that; there also is a strong focus on art and DIY culture, and lots of cool indie businesses and entrepreneurs featured inside.  
  3. The Neighbourhood Studio
    Discovered via the aforementioned magazine, The Neighbourhood Studio may not be of great interest to you unless you actually live in New Zealand, but I found the article on them pretty inspiring.  The studio/store focuses on screen printing and types of fabric dying, offering classes and more.  I’ll probably never go there, but I wish I could.  (I do, however, intend on getting serious about my long-time dream of screen printing my own fabrics…heh, well, we’ll see.)  If you check out The Neighbourhood Studio facebook page, you’ll see lots of lovely photos like these…you know I’m all about pretty pictures. 

 

A Craftacular Weekend

Last weekend was…Craftacular!!

As always, the handmade and vintage market held in Wichita was full of great artists, crafters, and vintage vendors.  There was a really great variety of goods to choose from, and I know the shoppers were appreciative of the selection and quality.

It’s always a privilege to be able to host this event–to come together with like-minded individuals, chat with old friends, and make new ones–and promote handmade in my community.  It’s a joy when a new entrepreneur gets their name out there and makes some good sales.  And while I love it all, this will probably be the last Craftacular–at least for a while.

This doesn’t mean it won’t be revived in a few years!  And it certainly doesn’t mean I won’t be working on other new exciting projects in the meantime.  It’s definitely been a learning experience that I’m thankful for, but for right now, I’ve decided it’s time to move on to other adventures…and you know I’ll keep you posted.😉

Enjoy these pics from the weekend!

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(What’s so funny!?  Oh, it’s me…) Good times with The Soiled Dove!

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Snowfox Pottery is lovely!!

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DSC_0052Gorgeous adornments by HAIKU

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This fabulous, real exotic beetle mounted by Pink Elephant Embellishments

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(I’m happy to say this big, black, beautiful beast is now mine!)

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Scents from Heaven and their lovely illuminated bottles.

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The girls from Oh Yarn It! knitting up a storm…I love to see live crafting!

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Sweet accessories from remixed on eco-friendly, upcycled tags!

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Beauties from Glass Innovations.
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Fun vintage from Grey Vintage!

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I just love Blythe Hollow’s business card!! Not to mention her doll creations…

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Lookin’ good, Reclectic!

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And you know I’m wild about WildFire Studios

It was a lovely day!  To see the rest of the great vendors, click here to  be taken to the official Craftacular Facebook page.

Happy Friday!

xo,
Leanne

Pearl, Ruby, Maxine, and Josephine…a Soiled Dove Co. perfume review

soileddovesamplesOh, hai!  The long-awaited (at least by me) review of my Soiled Dove Co. perfumes is here!!  I know I’m a broken record by now, but all of Riley’s creations are simply exquisite.  Hopefully, these brief descriptions will help you find your perfect fit.  Of course, these are only four of twelve perfumes in the line…I’m thrilled to be able to sniff them all on October 24th at Craftacular!  (By the way…you should, too!)

pearlPearl {No. 3}
Elegant, warm, and lustrous like the shimmer of–yes–a pearl!  I always find the scent of jasmine to be delightful, but it also transports me back in time, which makes it one of my favorites.  It’s also perfect paired with the frankincense and myrrh found in Pearl.  Sweet and sexy, this is definitely a classic.    

rubyRuby {No. 2}
Ruby is cheerfully romantic–I’m a big fan of rose, so naturally I love it!  But I also know some people dislike rose perfumes, saying they have an “older”/grandmotherly feeling.  Ruby, however, could not be further from this.  It is decidedly upbeat and youthful with a shot of raspberry and peach, yet not too fruity.

 maxineMaxine {No. 11}
Leather, vanilla and amber mingle to create the perfect balance of cool and warm in the seductive Maxine.  Sophisticated and urbane, Maxine is a girl who knows what she’s about!   This is a pleasingly unique scent.

    

Josephine {No. 6}josephine
Another scent featuring lovely jasmine, I visual Josephine as being a bit of an earth child.  In true Soiled Dove fashion, this girl is anything but typical.  This blend, featuring grapefruit and mahogany, is vibrant yet rooted.

The P-Word.

Epiphany time: as I was contemplating a certain theme, I thought to myself, “I wish I were a little more eloquent.”  It wasn’t until after the thought fully formed that I saw the irony and nearly laughed out loud.  For you see, dear reader, I had been expounding (mentally) on the necessity of practice–mainly in art and dance, though the same principle applies language and pretty much any other skill in the world.

So, instead of just dreaming of how I might encourage people, or waiting until I’m “good enough” at expressing my thoughts, I’ll follow my own advice and dive right in, be it ever-so-awkwardly, because you can’t get to where you want to be unless you Practice.

 

Throughout my life, I’ve had more than my fair share of what I’d call leisure time.  I’ve also had lots of encouragement from others to pursue various activities, little discouragement, and a natural inclination to not really care about other people’s negative opinions anyway.  As a result of these two huge advantages, I’ve practiced various arts pretty extensively.  Most of my interests were self- (or book- or internet-) taught, but I’ve spent a lot of time doing the things I love.

People frequently give compliments on my work.  They tell me I’m talented and creative.  At the risk of sounding completely full of myself, I won’t say they’re wrong.  Whatever skills I have are great gifts.  However, any talent I might have wouldn’t even be apparent if I didn’t practice.  Likewise, you can never know what talents you have unless you discover them…through practice, practice, practice!

I think this concept is largely ignored because it’s repeated so often.  It’s become just a buzz in the background of clichéd inspirational phrases.  But it’s repeated so often because it is so true!  Whether it’s drawing or dancing or writing or woodworking…you must do the thing not-so-well before you ca do it beautifully.  There will absolutely be a time when you are inept and uncomfortable in any discipline.  This period could last a month or ten years.  It’s different for everyone and with every skill.  You will make some things that aren’t quite up to par.  You will make some things that are just awful.  Everyone, including the most skilled–or perhaps I should say, especially the most skilled–has.

The only possible way for you to get better at something is to do that thing.  And above all, do not tell yourself you can’t.  Understand that every single person whose art you admire was, at some point, not an expert.

I’ll take a break from pontificating now.  And after writing that last sentence and reviewing what I’ve written here so far, this flashes across my mind: “I can’t think of a good way to wrap this up.  I’m no good with conclusions.”  More sweet irony!  It’s okay to end like this.  This piece doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be.  If I want to be a good writer, I’ll have to write some bad stuff first.  And keep practicing.

Prairie Moon Elixir

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It’s almost that beautiful, perfect time of year.  Already there have been some days when there’s not quite a nip in the air, but nearly–driving past some fields yesterday with the windows down, I was just about chilly!  The light’s changing, too, and these days I’m giddy with romance and ridiculousness (which are essentially the same thing.)❤

Also, it’s high time for a treasury.  These are some things I’ve had my eye on for a while, along with some new finds.  I hope you enjoy and take the time to swing by these shops linked below!  You can also go directly to the Prairie Moon Elixir treasury by clicking on the image of it here:

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(Left to right, top to bottom):
1. warrior cuff
2. watercolor painting
3. ring
4. honeycomb necklace
5. pearl lotion
6. printed pillow
7. gloves
8. tights
9. journal
10. datura print
11. moon print
12. leather purse
13. felt hat
14. crescent necklace
15. leggings
16. moth hair clips

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Today’s advice: take a moment to stop and smell the datura.

Hi again!

It’s been a while!  I really didn’t want to let TWO MONTHS go by without saying anything, but between a serious home repair saga, an art show, and several other little things, most of my time and energy has been completely sapped.  However, I’ve had a week of “decompression” and I’m back for now!So…updates!

First, I’m finally on the ‘gram…..is that what the kids say?  No?  Okay, fine, but you can still find me there at instagram.com/prairielicious.

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Second, my art show at TISSU Sewing Studio was a huge success, thanks to every single person who came out, and to my amazing hosts, Nina and Fred!!  I’ve talked about it before, but I have to mention this hidden treasure again.  Nina has the best sewing and pattern-making classes, and great opportunities for people to learn, create, and find inspiration.  Fred is simply a wizard in the kitchen and does so much behind-the-scenes work.  (And as if that wasn’t enough, they are two of the sweetest and most generous people I know!)  If you are in the Wichita area and haven’t done so yet, please check out TISSU sometime it’s on Douglas in Clifton Square, upstairs and facing Yale Street (at the northeast corner.)  You can stay updated on their events at their facebook page, facebook.com/tissusewingstudio.

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Not only was the show fabulous, but I got to see my other incredibly generous friend, Riley, who brought me some pretty scents.  Spoiler alert!!:  Reviews to come shortly.

In other news, I’ve finally started knitting again (I had a bit of a break…) and hope to have some new patterns within the month.

We’ll chat again soon, but for now…I need to get started on some projects!!

 

 

Book Review: Ignite Your Creative Spirit

When it rains, it pours.  (Though it has quit raining.)

After all that May precipitation, the garden is wild and needs attention, I still need to paint for a show coming up in July, and on top of that, a major home repair needs to be done now.  I am not complaining, though!  I am blessed beyond measure.  My point is…I may not get around to updating the blog as quickly as I planned.

taylanadenquoteHowever, while I have a moment, I must tell you about just one of the new ebooks available from WildFire Studio, called Ignite Your Creative Spirit: A Short Guide to Finding and Cultivating Inspiration by Tayla Naden.

Don’t let its compact nature fool you–it is crammed full of ideas, suggestions, and exercises on sparking your creativity.  Whether you’re just beginning to dabble in art, an old pro who’s stuck in a rut, a sculptor, musician, painter, or poet, this dazzling little guide is sure to give you at least a good handful of new ideas…but probably more.  Naden offers some great insight on why we create, the beauty of limitations, and more.  Throughout the book are exercises to help jumpstart projects and expand your repertoire.

Also from Tayla is The Craft Show Guide; these ebooks are available for $7 each at the WildFire Studio website at www.wildfirestudio.co.  I definitely recommend checking it out.

Review: The Soiled Dove

Behold, the long-awaited review of…The Soiled Dove!!!

If you’re familiar with its sister company, Madame Scodioli, you’ll understand why I was so excited about the launching of The Soiled Dove.  Unsurprisingly, the doves do not disappoint…

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Handmade in Kansas with yummy ingredients and a number of scents to choose from, it was hard to decide on a just a few things (because I do have to pace myself!).  Ultimately, I purchased a pump lotion in the Flora scent for myself, a jar of Hazel for mom, and the Refreshing Face and Body Soap…again, for myself.

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Flora (pomegranate, bergamot, and black tea) has a lovely, very feminine, *almost* fruity scent–but black tea takes off the overly-fruity edge, which I appreciate because I’m not a big fan of fruity scents.  This is the perfect, refreshing combination of sweetness!

As for the feel of the lotion, it’s quite thick, creamy, and as luxuriously rich as you can get without being too greasy, and contains two of my favorites: avocado and sweet almond oil.  I love the feel.

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soileddovereview4Hazel (tobacco, vanilla, and rose) has a deliciously rich fragrance.  I adore Hazel’s earthy–yet still very feminine–personality.  It almost seems to have a touch of honey scent to it, but this could just be me.  Unfortunately, my mom won’t let me use any of this.  I will likely have to buy my own.

soileddovereviewLastly, the Refreshing face and body soap is just that.  It has the exquisite lather I expect from soap made by this artisan; an uplifting, minty scent; and exfoliating oatmeal.  I hated to have to open the gorgeous wrapper, however…it was most certainly worth it.

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soileddovereview6Not only is the product itself a dream, but the packaging is gorgeous, and Riley, the owner, is a true professional.  My parcel was shipped promptly and arrived quickly, and was carefully packed.

My only problem now is deciding what to choose next; I’m thinking I’d like to give Pearl, Josephine, and Maxine a try…but I’m also considering Vera and Violette…oh my.  Which ones sound good to you?  (You can see them all by clicking here.)

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