About Me

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Los Angeles, CA, United States
I'm Julia! I sew and design fabric and go on food adventures!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Go Fourth!

Happy Fourth of July Americans! For everyone else... Happy Fourth of July: The Day They Discovered the Higgs Particle (probably)

In Santa Cruz there is no formal fireworks show on the 4th, an Idea that is taking time to adjust to for this girl who loves 4th of July Fireworks. *Sigh*

However, it's only one week until I leave for San Diego, so I'm using this opportunity to start preparations and packing.

Today amidst BBQing and lurking Tumblr, I tried on my Lady!Loki costume to make sure that the costume looks satisfactory all put together. I'm very pleased!

The base of the dress is a very comfortable bamboo jersey with green sequins and gold lame bias tape as trim. The cape is osnaburg muslin trimmed with faux fox fur and a decorative clasp.

The horned diadem is is a ring of brass strips I got from the hardware store and E600ned together (yes, I am turning that into a verb). The horns themselves are wire armatures covered in  tin foil, and then covered in Cloud Clay. The decorative pieces are Cloud Clay as well.

The wig is fabulous, and from Arda Wigs. This particular one is Buttercup in Black. Not only does this wig look and feel great, but it's easy to style, and I ordered it in the morning and arrived the very next day from Chicago. I am definitely going to purchase from them again.

The corset is from Pendragon Costumes (I bought this one at Clockwork Alchemy. Buying at a con is fun because you get to try before you buy!), and the makeup is all M.A.C.

I have a few tweaks to make (foam to the band of the diadem for comfort, coins for the hair, and maybe fur trim for the boots), but I think the costume is pretty good as-is. I based it on a mix of fanart and some official art.

So hopefully I'll get some killer photos at the Con!

In other news, my friends at Play Crafts (members of the SBAMQG) recently released their first product, a Palette Builder for designers, quilters and crafters! And it's AWESOME!!!

Basically, the idea is that you can upload a photo, and the Palette Builder will create a color palette from the colors that it picks up on. But you can also focus the palette on particular regions of the photo, and choose both the number of colors that it picks up on, and how monochromatic the colors are.

I made this one from some new charms I'm making for Alchemy Tea. This palette builder is super addictive!

Until next time, Happy 4th!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Exciting Times

I have some fun news! In fact, lots of fun news!
First of all, I am now a college graduate! Yeah! Four years and no debt, and I'm feeling pretty good about it. Now if I could only get that B.S. degree to turn its self into a job....

In the meantime, to supplement my retail career, I'm pushing my brand of accessories, Alchemy Tea! And I'm extremely excited to announce that a selection of Alchemy Tea accessories are now available at the Red Square Boutique in San Mateo!

If you live in the CA bay area, you should definitely go check this place out. Red Square has a marvelous collection of fashionable pieces all produced and designed by local artists that you can't find anywhere else. I'm extremely honored and excited to have the opportunity to sell my products here!

The Alchemy Tea Shop is slowly filling back up! Soon to be added are belts and fascinators! http://www.etsy.com/shop/alchemytea

Alchemy Tea also has an official facebook page now:  https://www.facebook.com/alchenyteaaccessories

To celebrate the new page, we'll be doing a small earring give-away when we reach 50 fans! So help spread the word!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fanime 2012

For most Americans, Memorial Day weekend is for family, barbeques, and remembering those we've lost at war. For me and many others though, it's mainly associated with the long-held tradition of geeking out about our favorite fandoms by dressing up as our favorite characters and fraternizing with like-minded people at Fanime.

Fanime is a fan-organized anime convention held at the San Jose convention center every Memorial Day weekend. I have been going to Fanime ever since I moves to Santa Cruz four years ago, and for me, it's an un-missable event. It's not just about anime for me anymore. Not only are lots of other non-animated and non-Japanese shows represented alongside my favorite animes, but it's also a warm reunion between me and my friends that I don't get to see very often for many reasons. Fanime for me is about letting my geek-flag fly and catching up with my friends.

And this year, Fanime held a partner Steampunk convention called Clockwork Alchemy at a nearby hotel, which made it even better. Of course, I made a bunch of items, not knowing what I would feel like wearing, and only managed to wear a fraction of it, but for now, here are some notable outfits I wore:

Day One: Steampunk Lolita.

Day Two: Captain America Lolita

Day Three: Steampunk Lolita
What a whirlwind! And now, back to reality, sadly. I wanted to point out that I made that last skirt with fabric from Rouge Aerie Designs. I got a million compliments on it, but all the hard work was done by the talented Kate, who designed the fabric. Sadly, the fabric is no longer available, but Kate's making a line with it that is just stunningly gorgeous. And if you go like her facebook page and help her reach 1,000 likes, she'll be doing a give-away that will be drool-inducing for sure.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


I know, I know, it's been a while! And even after promising myself that I would make a blog schedule for myself. It's shameful really, but I'm back now, making an effort.

During my last post I mentioned the "Inspiration" challenge for my quilt guild. Well the challenge is over (it was due in April! Golly, it HAS been a while!) and I love the results!

It was so exciting to see this quilt top come together pretty much exactly how I wanted it. Not all of my points match up, but it reads like I wanted. I chose a litho print of Alphonse Mucha's Zodiac and made rows of wonky star blocks in colors to coordinate. I used mostly cotton couture colors from Michael Miller (so, so, so yummy!!!!). As of now, its still just a top since I had no idea how to quilt it. But I recently purchased a free motion foot for my machine, so once I get the hang of it to my satisfaction, I think I'll quilt in a wonky star pattern. Until then.... coasters, coasters, coasters!!!

Since my last post, I've also fallen love with asterisk blocks and granny squares! So much fun! I love taking blocks and blowing them up. I think next I'm going to have to do a giant asterisk, because that block is a cutie!

Additionally, I was given the honor of being given a Liebster award from Anne and Gillian over at Play Crafts! The Liebster award goes to great blogs with fewer than 200 followers (I know, I fit one of those categories for sure!). Once awarded the Liebster, the blog owner chooses 5 other qualifying blogs to receive it.

Or, in bullet format:
1. Thank my Liebster Blog Award presenters.
2. Link back to my presenters’ blogs.
3. Copy & paste the blog award on my blog.
4. Present the Liebster Blog Award to five blogs with 200 or fewer followers that I feel deserve to be noticed and post links to their blogs on my blog.
5. Let the recipients know they have been given the Liebster Blog Award by posting a comment on their blog.

This is so cool! Love to baby blogs! However, since my circle of blog friends is pretty small, step 4 is going to be an ongoing process for me. Most of the blogs I follow were awarded already by the Play Crafts ladies, but this will encourage me to make more friends :p

I will award my first blog though!

Megan, AKA Dinomeg has a totally "stitchin'" blog that chronicles all of her fiber arts love. She is a crafty crazy cat lady with mega talent, and a quirky personality. Plus you can spot me once or twice over there ;) She is wayyyyyy better about documenting her craft-ventures than I am!

 She also made me this scarf!

So thanks again Play Crafts! And I promise to share more amazing blogs as I discover them!

Meanwhile, you should check out the South Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild blog, and the Harts Fabric blog where I've been making posts (along with my co-workers and other guild officers). You'd think that since I'm responsible for some "real" blogs that I'd actually be able to update my own once in a while... ha! Oh well.

Next up... Fanime costumes and graduation! (from college!!!! GASP!!!!)

Friday, January 6, 2012


It's no secret that I have somewhat eclectic tastes. So when it was announced that our first guild challenge for the South Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild would be to draw inspiration from a photograph or painting, I was instantly overwhelmed with inspiration. Now I am stuck in the predicament of choosing just one image. I may just have to do multiple quilts!

Clockwise from top right: A water color by Naomi Ito, Horoscope by Alphonse Mucha, Maru in a box, and a random gorgeous image that I found on Tumblr ages ago (I would love the source/creator)

There's a little bit of everything that makes me happy here. I think that the Mucha could be the most challenging, but perhaps the most interesting, while I have good ideas for all of the others that I know I could execute. 

This challenge certainly has me thinking about my inspiration, where I find inspiration from and the way that it manifests its self in the things I create. It's also got me thinking about what kinds of images that I find beautiful and comforting, and how I want that to be represented in what I make and present to the world. There is more to think about on this subject for sure. 

I can't wait to see what I choose (Ha!) and I can't wait to see what other members do!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Holiday Wrap Up (heh)

Happy 2012 blog followers! 2011 went by so fast that it's just now sinking in that a new year is starting in.

2012 is going to be a huge year for me, I'll finally be graduating college and entering the "real world". WHile I should be appropriately terrified of that notion, I'm actually excited to have a little extra crafting time (priorities anyone?).

My resolutions for the new year can be summed up as: Craft more, eat less. Lol, although that's not the entire story. For 2012 I would really like to push the boundaries of my crafting abilities by tackling more challenging projects and work on refining my techniques. I also want to go back to eating healthier (not just less) and being smarter about meal planning and calorie intake. Easy, right? We'll see!!!

Here's a round up (or wrap-up, get it?) of presents and projects I made for my Handmade Holidays of 2011.

Last year I made my boyfriend a quilt for Christmas, and my dad was touched by the idea. So this year, I decided that my father (who is an avid vegetable gardener) would be the recipient of a quilt. I spent all year gathering the fabrics (my usual shop was out of many of the prints in this series by the time I decided on the theme) and the pattern is a modified version of "A Wedding Quilt" from the Purl Bee. I'm happy to say that he was thrilled and moved by the gift.

I made these easy leather pouches super last minute for a white elephant gift exchange. I wanted something useful and not gender exclusive. The large one is sized for a phone or bills (or cosmetics etc.) and the small one is perfect for business cards or coins.

While I had grand plans for some adorable crocheted cat toys, that plan never came to fruition. Thus, the wool felt cat toys were born, and they were a huge hit. I honestly think that the cats in my life were the most pleased with their home made holiday gifts this year (although if I had filled all of my other gifts with "drugs" then the story might have been different. haha, I kid, I kid).
These little guys are simply stuffed with some polyfil and a generous amount of catnip and used wool felt that I had laying around the house. I get my wool/rayon crafting felt here.

I also rounded the gift list off with several silk scarves by using about 1/3 of a yard of silk, and then finished the edges with a rolled hem on my serger. Fast, easy, fun.

And as a reward to myself, I finally started on a quilt that I have been promising myself that I would make for ages now: My Heather Ross Quilt.

Photo taken at SueDee's in Scotts Valley at January's South Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild meeting.

Heather Ross is easily my favorite fabric designer, and over the years I have amassed large scraps of her fabric from other projects that I have made, and decided that this project needed to be done. The center panel is from one of her banner kits, and today I am adding a large aqua border to make it "sofa sized". The back will have a scrappy stripe with large blocks of tangerine and snow, and the binding will be just a little bit scrappy. I'm so excited about this project! And it will be the first ever quilt that I have made for myself and not as a gift.

So far I'm satisfied with my productivity over Winter Break, but I still have a few more things I want to work on before school starts up again next week. Eek!