Monday, July 30, 2012


I've recently been working with houndstooth. In looking at the fabric for so long I think I was entranced. I started to wonder about its origins and why we still love it so much. So I did a bit of research. I already knew the South loves it; or more specifically, any Alabama fan…Roll Tide! This is thanks to the long-time coach (and houndstooth fan) Paul Bryant. And I know of one celebrity who obviously can't get enough of it….
What were she and Salvatore thinking?
But where are the roots? In Scotland of course. Houndstooth, or dogs tooth, is an obviously crunked cousin of plaid.
Houndstooth was made huge in Australia by David Jones, an upscale department store started in 1838. The houndstooth is actually one of Australia's top ten favorite trademarks. Who knew?
Although I must say I associate houndstooth with much more classic imagery, like that of my great aunt's couch or my Gram's coat in the 60's.
Despite it's boldness I think there is a real sophistication to the print, and I love using it to balance my playfulness.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Etsy Sale

There is a website that has been around for a long while. It's called Etsy On Sale. It's a great place to look for deals on Etsy. Come this September I will be joining the site. For shoppers Etsy On Sale is the best way to save a buck. For sellers it is an easy way to list lots of items for sale, and get a bit of extra exposure.
There are a bunch of scarves in my shop from last season that didn't sell. To distinguish them from the new models I am discounting them. As of 9/7/2012, everything from last season will be $10.00 off.
If you want to get something before then just contact me through the Etsy Shop. I'm more than happy to offer the discount early. I will not be able to ship the item until 9/7/2012, however.
Thanks. Enjoy the rest of your Summer.

Monday, July 23, 2012

During Last Days in Germany...

Fret not. I don't mean my actual last days. I just mean the last few days before I take a long trip.
If you read the journal you know I am leaving Deutschland for six weeks. I'll be back in September.
It is my plan to have an adventure, or two, to share here. If I'm lucky, I may even have some cool art news or exotic shopping trip.
Back to the point. Things have been shaping-up quite nicely for my painting, as well as my sewing. I was fortunate enough to score one last painting job before I skipped town. It was commissioned for a gift, one that will not be gifted until October. Because of this I will have to keeps its composition a secret. I'm sure you understand. What I can share with you are a couple of new (half-finished) works.
Do you love this as much as I do?
When I complete a painting I usually have a lot of paint left over on my tray. I hate throwing it away. Instead of giving up on it; I use it to paint tiny canvases. I just loved this deep forest turquoise, and I had a ton of it, so I put it to use. Initially I had intended on filling these bubbles with images. I was thinking maybe flowers, or sloshing water, or butterflies. But the more I look at this triptych; the more I want it to stay the same. We'll see how I feel about it when I get home.
I was enjoy this last minute painting of bubbles so much that I continued on; with more colors.
(The one on the lower left will definitely have a pirate ship coming out of it.)
These delicious Art Snacks will be completed and up for sale on the Etsy Shop by the end of September.  

In Florida Scarf news; I was contacted by a local handmade fair to participate in this year's show. I was really flattered. They contacted me through Etsy, so I'm sure that's how they found me. I can't participate because I won't be here; but I'm pretty sure my German isn't good enough yet anyway. It does, however, fuel me to learn the language so I can participate next year. If you are in Ansbach I suggest you check it out; and I suggest you let me know how it is.

My last bit is one about a potential new retailer. It was a pipe dream of mine to maybe sell my scarves in shops in Germany. The thought of accomplishing this goal brought on lots of anxiety about speaking German well enough to pitch myself to stores; not to mention the logistics (and legalities) that go along with retail in a foreign country.
A store called re:gal, in Aachen, Germany just found me on Etsy too. They really like Florida Scarf and think it would be a good fit for their store. I figure this is half the battle. Of course, I won't be able to meet with them until the middle of September. But if all goes well there is (absolutely) no reason why I can't figure out the rest of the details....
.....and start slinging' more scarves in Deutschland!
That's all for now. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Florida Scarf Fur

There's nothing better (to me) than working with new products and materials. It is such a cool breeze on my days in the studio. Since I moved to Germany the new supplies have just been abounding. It is incredible to see where your life goes when you meet new people and travel to new places. As I reported (last post) one of my new favorite accessories are my Swarovski crystal buttons. I had a great time visiting their museum and had to bring something home to share. I was pretty pumped that they made buttons. This green cashmere and fur scarf featured above has crystal buttons. (They are not shown.)

And now for my next new feature, fur. I'm not afraid to admit it; I like fur. It's soft, and super warm. The fur that I use is upcycled vintage fur. It's not much of a status symbol, but it's pretty luxurious nonetheless. Currently, I have been fashioning scarves from a 1930's mink. The things this coat must have seen, the places it is sure to have been, are what make it appealing to me. When this coat was purchased, it was a whole different world. And since it was too old to be a coat anymore; I reinvented it as a scarf. Cut up into manageable pieces and accented with gorgeous buttons, the legacy can live on. The tag said the coat was from Flemington Furs in N.J. Flemington Furs is still around. They are celebrating their 90th Anniversary, and they are still at the same location. Impressive.

My other fur resource is my neighbor. As I stated previously, he is a hunter. He gave me some fur to work with. It is fur from a German animal called a Bisam. It is in the mink family. The fur is really soft. If you are interested in learning about my neighbor, and his hunting practices, you can read this older post. In this scarf, I paired Ludwig's fur with some cream fleece, gilded lotus print, and beautiful, handmade wooden buttons from ARemarkYouMade.
I am really excited about these new combinations. If you are too, there are more photos for viewing, and they are available for sale in my Etsy Shop.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Swarovski Scarf

Introducing my latest style...

Swarovski says...Add sparkle to your everyday life.

So I thought some scarves with crystal buttons were, well, overdue.

I am constantly scouring the globe in search of accessories that have never been introduced in the Florida Scarf product line. Most recently I have come across these beautiful buttons at the Swarovski showroom in Austria.
Prior to my holiday in Austria, I wasn't much of a Swarovski girl. One trip to Kristallwelten, one sip of the kool aid, and I was hooked. The crystals are gorgeous, the history is impressive, and the future is innovative. I think these new buttons make the scarves look amazing. They have never sparkled like this before.
If you are interested, here is a tidbit of the Swarovski history:
In 1892, Daniel Swarovski invented a machine to cut crystal more precisely than ever before. Three years later his company was born in Tyrol, Austria. In 1956, with the help of Christian Dior, Swarovski developed it's "Aurora Borealis" finish. It made the cut crystal sparkle. In 1976, the figurines were born. In 1987, the Swarovski Crystal Society was formed. Today it has over 325,000 members. In 1993, Crystal Mesh is developed, all the cool designers start using it. (Yes, I think I am clever.) In 1995, the Kristallwelten opened in Wattens, Austria. This is where I was fortunate enough to travel, a couple of weeks ago. (Perhaps you read about it in the Germany Journal) I was one of over nine million that have toured the premises. Now, in 2012, if you google Swarovski images you will be shown some pretty ridiculously bedecked items. I'm just saying'.

P.S. These scarves will be available on Etsy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I mailed in my request for an absentee voter's ballot today. I feel like a whiz since I navigated my way through the process all by myself. (and I'm not a whiz, it's really easy) Actually, that isn't totally true. I was prompted to handle the situation from an email I received from the Army with a link to the FVAP website. If it wasn't for the heads-up I might have missed the boat on the next election. 
It's pretty embarrassing, but I'm going to admit that the first election I voted in was the last election. I had good excuses as to why I never voted the two times prior to that, but really I was just too lazy to register. I think it was pretty typical behavior as a young American. I completely took my liberty for granted and decided to ignore the whole process. I have obviously matured since then.
Living in a new country, in a new part of the world, has helped me to realize how many things in life I was taking for granted. Likewise, being a part of the Army (and thus a part of the government) has tuned me into world news and politics. I find myself consciously making the decision to read the news; and I mean the whole news article, not just the title. I'll admit something else embarrassing. I didn't acknowledge news (other than fashion and music magazines) until two years ago. Now I'm open to so much news, about so many different places and topics, I wonder how much I am retaining and what kind of influences it is having on me. One thing it has done to affect me is it has (again) made me realize what a lucky individual I am. I am a free woman with an education, and a voice, and money, and choices. There is very little I fear; and that is more than can be said for 70% (I just totally made that percent up) of the women of the world. I feel important; and I owe a lot of that (if not all of that) to the country I grew up in. (as well as the house I grew up in, but that's a different journal entry)
Basically what I'm trying to say is, I vote because I can. I pay attention to the news because I can. I participate in life because I can. It's a waste (of everyone's time, emotion, and energy) if an individual doesn't appreciate themselves and those around them. I hope you will vote too; even if it is just out of sheer appreciation for the ability. It's like eating a lollipop just because the bank teller gave it to you; or having a drink just because someone wants to buy it for you. There are a lot of people that have died and are dying to vote. There are a lot of people that consider it a luxury. I am now one of those people. 

And if I haven't scared you with my political agendas and soap boxes I will be back next time (and the time after that, and the time after that) with actual posts about art and scarves.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Charles J. Casper

What does this guy have to do with scarves? Maybe nothing. Maybe everything. He's my grandfather. Beginning on the day I was born, he has been a huge part of my life. He was laid to rest this past week. In memorial I am exploring his influence on my life and work. 
As I stand today I am a product of my surrounding world. While my grandfather was not an artistic man, (he always described himself as an electronics man) there is no doubt he has affected my creative expressions in some way.
My grandfather was just a regular guy, but the details that prove this fact are not the ones that standout in my mind. The things that have lasted in my memories are the things he did that made him unique. He had a bunch of quirky sayings, he had interesting ways of pronouncing certain words, and I think he had a great smile. It is really big and sincere. (This is funny because, in his later years, he was cranky a lot.) I use a lot of his pronunciations and sayings, and I'd like to think that I have a sincere smile myself. These are the things that make each person extraordinary, no matter how ordinary they may seem.
Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents. My grandfather always supported the different phases of my adolescence. He used to let me borrow his shirts and ties. In fact, I still wear his ties. He helped send me to art school, and even when my paintings were experimentational he always hung them on his walls anyway. This is a shot of the awkward painting he allowed in his bedroom. 
He swore he liked it, but I think it was only because I made it.
When I turned 21 he took the family to his men's club to celebrate. We drank Coors Light draft and played shuffle board. My grandfather was the only guy there who drank Coors Light draft, and the only one I've ever known to bring his family. These Roma Club trips however, ended up as a family tradition. Paying less then $2 for a beer is so nostalgic; and for that matter so are membership fees, a sign-in book for women, and walls with wood paneling.
My grandparents walked me down the aisle at my wedding, and I had my dance with my grandfather. He led me around the floor like a pro. He was an amazing dancer, although the older he got the more he preferred the couch.
My grandfather's existence celebrated the simplicity of life. You don't have to have a lot to give a lot. He had pride in himself, where he came from, (Pottstown, PA) his family, his community, and his country.
Like my grandparents, but not because of them, I am living the military lifestyle. I understand what they went through. Being in the Army presents many rare opportunities; good and bad. I give them credit; 40 years ago it was much more difficult to be a thriving military family. I think one of the aspects that they always enjoyed was the travel. I'll admit to that being my favorite part too. Like my grandfather, my husband enjoys (and is proud of) the fact that it is his job to participate in the protection of the basic rights of humanity and the defense of our great nation.
After writing all this I can clearly see it. He is everywhere in my life. I like working hard. I like being with my family. I love serving my community. I like drinking beer. I love travel. I love to share. I love scrapple. I love Jersey diners. I enjoy watching M.A.S.H. I'm not afraid to admit what I am. I will miss him, but not too much. I have so many great memories, and he helped us build such a great family. I don't really feel like he is gone.