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For some reason I knew and still remember the name of the pattern my mother used to decorate my room when I outgrew the nursery look: Chopsticks. It’s pretty 80’s; minty green + lavender geometric basket-wea

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ve and I had a mint green plastic stunner shade style radio to match. Chopsticks wallpaper on the bottom half of the wall with a traditional viney floral on the top half above a chair rail.  I don’t remember where she used the fabric, but I found a swatch of it recently when I was purging my collection. So it’s no surprise that today I have a love of patterns, textures, contrasts, colors, paper, layers and details—and entertaining to see those elements always reflected in processes that are beyond me.

Photo credit: Chopsticks by Jay Yang with catalog page from the 2009 Waxing Poetic catalog

Guest Blogger Lizzy Gilligan, One Girl’s Opinion

I’ve known Lizzy Gilligan for years and I’m forever impressed by her style and talent.  Lizzy has a fabulous line of unique designer clothes for girls called one girl’s opinion, which I absolutely love.  I’m thrilled to introduce Lizzy as our very first guest blogger on Proof!

Lizzy, I have known you since art school, and you have always had an amazing and original sense of fashion.  How would you describe your style?

Eclectic-whimsical-bohemian?  I’ve always liked to mix up vintage pieces, current trends and classics. Of course being a mom has brought me down to earth.  I need to work on that.

Who taught you how to sew?

I basically taught myself. I had a little sewing instruction in middle school home-ec but mostly I followed the directions on commercial patterns and winged it.  I still learn new things all the time. The wealth of sewing and crafting blogs and websites can be overwhelming! There is so much information being shared. It’s really amazing.

When did you make your first “outfit” and what was it?

I made a cream-colored linen skirt and blazer when I was in 7th or 8th grade.  It was from a Vogue pattern featured in a magazine.  My version didn’t look quite the same as the one from the photo.

What or who inspired you to start the “One Girl’s Opinion” line?

It’s a bit of a cliché but my daughters were the inspiration for my current business. I started my collection because I couldn’t find anything just for school age girls in the handmade market place. Now that I’ve been marketing the clothing for about a year I’ve gotten a lot of feedback and I’m trying to develop designs that can work for a broader range of customers.

Can you share a few pictures of recent designs and who they were for?

Here’s an Easter basket of handmade hair accessories that I gave to Veronica.

This one is a t-shirt that I did for Cordelia for Valentine’s Day.

Here’s a skirt that I made to sell.

And here’s a look at a new skirt design I’ve just started offering.

I so admire your craft and your “one of a kind” aesthetic.  Can you describe your process a bit?

I have a hard time staying on task so making each piece a little bit different allows me to stay interested.  I have some basic designs that I use as a starting point and then I individualize each piece either by using different fabrics or different embellishments.

Where do you find your great fabrics?  Is there one particular material that you love working with?

I’m typical of the sewing personality—I love fabric of all kinds and I have way too much stashed away, some left over from projects most of it purchased with great ideas in mind which life never permitted.  Currently I’m working in quilting-weight cottons and I’m loving them!

Who is your favorite customer?

I’ve been selling through Etsy for a while and last fall I started selling through craft shows.  It’s so great to actually meet the people making purchases.  I’m always flattered when another designer buys my work.

These clothes are truly keepsake quality.  Do you have some favorite clothing treasures that you will hand down to your daughters?

I have a fashion history of me that I’ve been storing away for years. I have some things I made when I was in high school and on through adulthood as well as some designer pieces that the now frugal mommy me can’t believe I splurged on back in the 1990s.  My older daughter just turned 10 so we will soon see if these clothes are heirlooms or destined for charitable donation.

If you could choose a Waxing Poetic gift for any occasion, what would it be and to whom would you give it?

I love the insignia charms but I think I would give my younger daughter Veronica the Wish Tonic – Remedy in a Bottle.  It would be perfect for her and to avoid playing favorites I’d give Cordelia, my older girl, the Once Upon a Time Storybook Charm.  She is a great writer of stories.

What is the best part of your day?

Early in the morning before anyone else is awake.  I’ll walk the dog while the coffee is brewing and then tackle some work in the studio before I need to get the kids going for the day.  It’s a reliably productive time for me.

Thanks Lizzy, I appreciate this!  You can find Lizzy on facebook, twitter, etsy, and flickr.

Behind the Design: Shield Shakedown

We’re often asked what inspires our pieces and how the design process works, so Behind the Design will be a weekly feature here on Proof in which we’ll tell the story of how a line of Waxing Poetic jewelry came to be.

Here’s the story behind one of our favorite designs, the Shield Pendants and Shield RingsPatti [Patti Pagliei, Waxing Poetic’s CEO and Creative Director] found a cool antique brass shield fob, filled with a cobalt looking substance.  It’s very traditional and simple but with detailed floral engravings on the backside.  I remember her holding it over her fingers saying, “I want to do big shield rings.”  So we did!  I used vintage lace renderings for the details and hand drew a series of icons for the centers of the shields, which we also related to the mini tonic charms.  The butterfly is my favorite; this spring I’ve been wearing the taupe shield pendant on the long brass twisted link chain and the butterfly tonic charm with any other larger charm, on the deerskin leather necklace.

Pradalphabet

This amazing alphabet caught my eye when I was reading my New York Times Sunday Magazine a few weeks back.  This surreal A-Z is a limited edition series of t-shirts designed by M/M Paris for Prada.  A collector’s edition with exclusive 64p book will available in Prada stores soon.  A great fashion treasure (and wouldn’t these make incredible mixed metal pendants?).

Surfer Chic in Marie Claire

The June issue of Marie Claire on newsstands now includes a feature with model Tori Praver beautifully adorned in Waxing Poetic jewelry.  Tori’s sexy bohemian look pictured here included Waxing Poetic’s Square Insignia Charm, Fleur de Lis Charm, and Lucky Mojo Horseshoe Charm all strung on the Leather Cord Necklace.  We love the layering of her gauzy top, crocheted sweater, and a variety of flowing necklaces and bracelets in leather and mixed metals.  The resulting look is casual enough for a surfer girl while at the same time totally chic.