Friday, September 24, 2010

New Tricks from Old Friends

Those were the good old days, when people used to get together and sew. Now sewing is an individualized sport. I spend most of my days solo in my sewing studio, longing for the stimulation of other like minds. That is one of the reasons I decided to ask some crafty friends of mine to sew scarves for me. It has been really fun for me to show them how I do what I do. They each took my instruction and then went their own way with it. You can see all of the results on my etsy site. Each one of us five girls has a style all our own.

During this project I kept very open to how other people might do things and I picked up a few new tricks. I'm so glad I did it because it has helped me to keep my own style fresh and ever-evolving. When you are on your own and in your routine, sometimes you don't realize what you are doing is becoming very "routine." 

One day Lauren and I were comparing scarves. I noticed that she sewed on her four-hole buttons in two straight lines. I sew mine in an "x." We both laughed at ourselves because neither of us had thought to do it the other way, but it was such a simple concept. Likewise when I saw the scarves from Cassandra I noticed they had a soft, fuzzy texture. I really liked the chunky grain on this light fabric she used. I asked her where she got it. She said that she had taken sweatshirt fabric and turned it inside out. I smiled as I thought, "no kidding, sweatshirt in reverse." You know I'm going to take that idea and go places with it.

I'm beginning to realize how important it is to have friends, and share ideas. The more tips I learn, the more I'm working and thinking, "What can I turn upside-down or inside-out? What material haven't I used yet?"
I often have to remind myself that it is OK not to innovate all the time. Being open-minded can make you so much better at being you. I mainly apply this thought to my sewing, but it works for life too. I don't do anything any better than anyone else, just different.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Available at Earthtones


Florida Scarf fans in Southern New Jersey get pumped. This is what will be available at Earthtones. This retail location is at 19 N. Centre St, Merchantville, NJ. The number is 856-488-1830. Aside from these fabulous scarves and hoods, Betsy stocks great pottery, jewelry, and gift ideas. Merchantville is a great place to hang out and have lunch, or coffee, and shop.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Shop Hello Bluebird

So this is a show of the merchandise available now at Hello Bluebird. It is a great shop located at 609 Penn Avenue in West Reading, Pennsylvania. If you live in the area, awesome! I've given you a head start on your seasonal shopping. If not, give 'em a shout at

P.S. This is not only women's stuff. She's got kids too!

Friday, September 17, 2010


I've been watching this series on PBS. Obviously, it is called "Craft in America." For anyone that is not familiar, it documents the lives of American artists of a particular craft. The people on the show are just wonderful. Everyone's craft and personality are very different from one show to the next. I can even get my husband to watch it. Of course marriage is always a compromise, so it's one show about art for one show on the military channel. ( I would love a combo-show, "Crafting in the American Army") Last night one of the artists said something that really hit home with me. It was, "Being an artist means mastering the materials of your craft in order to express your heart."
This statement really puts it into words for me. I make scarves. Maybe your thinking, "no big deal." But I really put all of myself into each one. Every piece is different so I give it a personality of its own. Unfortunately this can mean way too much time is spent on one piece. The problem is, I don't feel complete until I feel the piece is complete. I want to be satisfied and I want the consumer to be satisfied. It is far better to spend an extra 10 or 20 minutes on something and really be proud of it than to rush through it.
This is my third season making scarves and I've really been inspired by small details this year. It's about getting into the piece and using five or six types of fabric and adorning them with handmade buttons or vintage beads. I really want anyone who buys my piece to feel special when they wear it. I want an individual to feel like I made it solely for them. Each scarf has a voice. Eventually one will speak to you.

Here are few examples of where I've been going this season:

This piece is actually available now

This piece will be available at Hello World, Philadelphia.

This piece will be available at Hello World, Philadelphia.

No factory can produce the level of quality and aesthetic that an individual craftsman can. If you would like to be inspired further, as I have, watch that series on PBS ( Netflix too)


We have a deep sense of longing for the handmade. Perhaps because each of us, in our own way, has had a craft experience. Sometimes it’s an object passed down to us, or one that crosses our path, and connects us to others in traditions, heritage, and rituals.

Craft gives pleasure as well as function. It is inspirational as well as useful. It is the best representation of who we are as a culture. Craft is democratic. It is broad enough to accommodate anyone who makes something or appreciates the handmade. Craft is all around us. You’ll find it wherever you look – hiding in plain sight.
Craft in America offers you a place to explore these connections and to inspire your own creativity – through the PBS documentary series and this website. Join us on this voyage of discovery. View the programs online or purchase DVDs of the Peabody Award-winning series for your home library.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Savage Dorothy

For every single piece I make there is inspiration. For this particular hood I really started to daydream...

What if, when Dorothy got knocked unconcious she didn't go to Oz? What if she went somewhere more exotic? Instead of ruby slippers she would wear this hood. It may be slightly less glamorous, but it is much more practicle. It helps her to blend in with her new environment. The inside bears the gingham of her former clothing, as well as a magenta leaf print to help her assimilate into the new culture. The brown sweatshirt keeps her warm. Since this wild, new world is mostly dirt and trees the color acts as a camoflage also. Pulling the hood up over her head hides her lovely feminine features. She must remain as hidden as possible for fear of being held prisoner. She will pull the drawstring tight. Not only does her hood have two buttons for secure fastening, but it also has mini nuts and berries that she can use as a food source. Eventually her adventure will wind down and Dorothy will be ready to go home. All she will have to do is wear her hood in the reverse. In doing this, the brown will be on the inside and her bright prints will be on the outside. Once the savages realize her identity she can teach them about both worlds through the fabric. She will be freed through the sharing of knowledge.

 "One should never underestimate the inspiration of eccentricity." 
I appologize for not knowing who said this line. But i am using it to end this post today since I feel a bit silly for what I have written. I had fun doing it though, and I hope you had fun reading it. If you love this hood it is for sale.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Kids Vintage

This is a photo of some of my favorite retro cookbooks. I rarely cook from them, but I love them. Actually, I draw more inspiration for painting or sewing from these pieces than for food. The next shot is one of my favorite pictures.

Isn't that a riot? Something about the late 50's/early 60's is so appealing to me, a 21st century girl. I love using themes and trends from time past to create a lot of my hoods and scarves. The trick is taking theses characteristics and using them ever so slightly to add vintage flair to a modern piece. Sometimes I start with the button, but in this case I've found some killer fabric.

This red mini-floral reminds me of cherry pie and cola in a bottle. The red, white, and blue is also very Americana.

I found this plaid print in the bottom of my gram's sewing closet. That is about as legit-vintage as it gets. I can't help pairing plaid with another repetitive print. I need contrast.

So I've got my materials and I'm ready to sew the pieces. But I'm thinking to myself, "What is more cute than a retro hoodie hat?"
"Duh, a kid's retro hoodie hat."
Anything in a tiny version makes me melt. So what this adventure of inspiratrion turned into was a pair of kids hoods. I couldn't imagine anyone in 1961 actually wearing one of these, but it makes sense now.


Thanks for checking in with Florida Scarf.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Vacation Inspiration

I spent Labor Day weekend celebrating my fifth anniversary, in Napa Valley, California. I knew it is gorgeous there, but I wasn't ready for how gorgeous it is there. To sum it up, my husband and I had the best time. As you can see in the photo we stayed in perfectly rustic, and romantic, lodging. Yes, it does still exist, going by the name Mountain Home Ranch. I fell in love with the scenery and lifestyle. When I got home, I had to put together some fabric combinations inspired by the trip. For me it's a form of journaling, or remembering the trip. I want to render the surroundings of California through my scarves.

So a few of the pieces shown above were influenced by Napa, but there are two outstanding ones on the right. They are my San Fransisco ones. What a great city that was. We only spent one afternoon there, but it was enough to be inspired by the bridge, signs on Market Street, and the bloody mary bar at Hobson's!

California had so much to offer it was hard to some-up in a single style of scarf. The pieces inspired by this trip will be as varied as the offerings of California. By the way, I think the climate in California was made with a Florida Scarf in mind. In Napa, it was so chilly early and late, but warm in the middle. Likewise, San Fransisco runs about 10 degrees colder than its surrounding towns. I was glad to have my favorite fashion accessory. My neckwarmer was cuddly when I needed it, and tucked into Phil's pocket when I didn't.  

Stay tuned to my etsy account to see my Cali-Florida Scarves for sale!