blithe and bliss

a handmade bohemian lifestyle brand

a handmade bohemian lifestyle brand- created out of a need for one of a kind, handmade with love items that spread happiness in what we wear, what we do, and wherever we go.

 

Creative and Creator's Club UPDATE: Teen and kids classes/camps!! WAHOO!

Blithe and Bliss is so excited to announce the upcoming Creative and Creator's Club classes/ camps! See below for more info! wahooo! 

Remember-- to stay connected and see all the fun that we make-- follow us on instgram @creative_creators_club !

SIGN UP NOW IF YOU ARE A TEEN TO BE PART OF THIS FUN CLASS ON MONDAYS AT THOUSAND OAKS TEEN CENTER! REGISTRATION IS ON IT'S WAY AND SPACE IS LIMITED! gGO TO: http://www.crpd.org/ AND CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

KIDS SLOWFASHION CAMP IN JUNE AT THE OAK PARK COMMUNITY CENTER- SIGN UP AND LEARN MORE HERE : http://www.rsrpd.org

KIDS DESIGN WORKSHOPS AT THE CONEJO OUTDOOR UNIT START WEDNESDAY JUNE 21! SIGN UP NOW BEFORE SPACES FILL UP: http://www.crpd.org/programs/registration/default.asp

KIDS SEWING FASHION CAMP IN AUGUST AT BORCHARD COMMUNITY CENTER- SIGN UP HERE- SPACES LIMITED

blithe and bliss is: eclectic gypsy kimonos!

With the summer coming to a close and the sun not as scorching hot in the afternoons, I thought it'd be the perfect time to start making some FUN eclectic GYPSY kimonos! I have an idea to try to make/ post on etsy at least 1 a week!! So we will see how that goes-- here are two that are DONE and posted in the shop! I have been inspired by late 1960s/ 1970s art/ fashion-- I think you'll see the influence in these pieces for sure!

This kimono was a labor of love! The back crochet mandala was made a while back on a train ride to Orange County from Ventura County! I remember having 'Downton Abbey' on my laptop as I crocheted! The fabrics in this kimono have some great memories as well! The bright pink fabric and multi colored fabric is upcycled from scarves I found and knew I could make something fabulous out of! 

1968 -UK Vogue- photo David Baily

1968 -UK Vogue- photo David Baily

inspired by 1966 illustration by Marike Koger Dunham

inspired by 1966 illustration by Marike Koger Dunham

Inspired by 1968 cover illustration art for Jackie magazine- issue 214

Inspired by 1968 cover illustration art for Jackie magazine- issue 214

This is a glimpse at the first stage of the design process! I gather all the fabrics and trims I think go together and then from there I cut and drape!

This is a glimpse at the first stage of the design process! I gather all the fabrics and trims I think go together and then from there I cut and drape!

Inspired by the end of summer and slight weather changes in Southern California, these kimonos are light weight to keep you cool in the sunshine but warm from the ocean mist!

Inspired by the end of summer and slight weather changes in Southern California, these kimonos are light weight to keep you cool in the sunshine but warm from the ocean mist!

inspired by 1971- Lesley Ann Warren

inspired by 1971- Lesley Ann Warren

behind the scenes look at the kimono on the form

behind the scenes look at the kimono on the form

Behind the scenes look at where all the colorful magic happens!

Behind the scenes look at where all the colorful magic happens!

This is a look at a collage I put together for the beginning inspirations for some of the kimonos

This is a look at a collage I put together for the beginning inspirations for some of the kimonos

blithe and bliss beats the heat with flowers in the hair!

Blithe and Bliss is: a colorful watercolor just for you! Here to inspire you to keep cool and maybe to take a walk by the beach and enjoy a lovely grapefruit cocktail!

bliss is: a walk on the beach with my love

bliss is: a walk on the beach with my love

 Take the juice of one grapefruit, 1.5oz absolute vodka, 2 oz La Croix grapefruit soda water and mix together. Pour in a fancy glass filled with ice and frozen blueberries!

 Take the juice of one grapefruit, 1.5oz absolute vodka, 2 oz La Croix grapefruit soda water and mix together. Pour in a fancy glass filled with ice and frozen blueberries!

In the sunshine I hand stitch with lots of love and happiness into the garment.

In the sunshine I hand stitch with lots of love and happiness into the garment.

Inspired by the Spanish mantilla and vintage lace.

Inspired by the Spanish mantilla and vintage lace.

Painting by Adolfo Busi- art deco postcard- 1891-1977

Painting by Adolfo Busi- art deco postcard- 1891-1977

This summer has been very HOT and the best way I find to beat the HEAT is to: wear lace in the back to catch a cool breeze, walk in the sand until there's sea water to your knees, enjoy a refreshing drink that's sure to bring you ease, and eat an ice cream that will surely please! 

The back is upcycled vintage lace from two different dresses! The lace has a fabulous romantic floral pattern.  

The back is upcycled vintage lace from two different dresses! The lace has a fabulous romantic floral pattern.  

Vivian Leigh in a lace veil- studio portrait 1940

Vivian Leigh in a lace veil- studio portrait 1940

blithe and bliss is: SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE Senora!

  Sometimes you just have to 'shake- shake- shake- Senora! SHAKE your body right!' The best way I find to dance away the summer heat is  to wear a FANTASTICALLY happy and colorful outfit! Wearing something that expresses colorful happiness is guaranteed to end up with you in a great dance of life!

PicsArt_07-14-06.55.49_1468852715849.jpg

Inspired by: 'The Flamenco Dancer'-Paintings by German painter: Leopold Schmutzler 1864-1940

Colorful embroidered trim with hand stitching at the neckline

Colorful embroidered trim with hand stitching at the neckline

The back is hand draped with a light weight woven upcycled from a scarf found in Old Town Orange a few years ago. The fabric is soft, sheer, and perfectly flowy. 

The back is hand draped with a light weight woven upcycled from a scarf found in Old Town Orange a few years ago. The fabric is soft, sheer, and perfectly flowy. 

The flat view of the front shows the asymmetrical hem and the loose easy fit at the body and chest. This style is designed to be layered over a lacey bralette or cute little light weight slip dress. This style fits a majority of sizes and heights. I love these adjustable easy to layer pieces because it's just so easy to throw on and look fabulous!

The flat view of the front shows the asymmetrical hem and the loose easy fit at the body and chest. This style is designed to be layered over a lacey bralette or cute little light weight slip dress. This style fits a majority of sizes and heights. I love these adjustable easy to layer pieces because it's just so easy to throw on and look fabulous!

Back view laid flat

Back view laid flat

Patchwork with trim

Patchwork with trim

A fun watercolor to inspire you to do a little shake and make a delicious margarita!

A fun watercolor to inspire you to do a little shake and make a delicious margarita!

An easy low calorie way to enjoy a summertime margarita is with Frozen fruit in ice cubes! YUM and FUN.

An easy low calorie way to enjoy a summertime margarita is with Frozen fruit in ice cubes! YUM and FUN.

Cheers to dressing your own unique way, living the life you love, and being YOU. This movie with Rosalind Russell- 1958- 'Auntie Mame' is one of my inspirations for LIFE. The message of the movie : ' You've gotta LIVE LIVE LIVE'. The costumes and decor are a great inspiration and the witty dialogue will not only inspire but will have you giggling with joy! 

Cheers to dressing your own unique way, living the life you love, and being YOU. This movie with Rosalind Russell- 1958- 'Auntie Mame' is one of my inspirations for LIFE. The message of the movie : ' You've gotta LIVE LIVE LIVE'. The costumes and decor are a great inspiration and the witty dialogue will not only inspire but will have you giggling with joy! 

Tuesday thoughts: blithe and bliss is a handmade bohemian lifestyle...

It's been about 6 months since I transitioned my career from being a 'corporate fast fashion apparel' designer to a 'small business' slow fashion'  maker/ creator. .. How is it going you may ask? Well, my first response is: 'AHHHH its really exciting and Im just so thankful I get to pursue my small niche of a passion' ... The second response, is; Even though I am happier than I've ever been and I dont feel like I am wasting time or my creative passion....everyday is a lesson and it's a process of figuring out how to be a 'handmade/ solo-preneur'. 

Not sure if you are in a similar situation of making. creating, branching out on your own as a small business owner/ solo-preneur, or if you are just here interested in this little creative journey of happiness, either way, I am here to inspire, share, and let you in on the inner workings of this handmade bohemian lifestyle called blithe and bliss, or in other words... happiness.

Things I am learning:

1) set a schedule everyday- I have been doing a "makers" calendar every Sunday to achieve my goals of how much product I can make. I got a little overwhelmed in the beginning trying to balance making product for craft fairs, online shops like : etsy and kate and bean, marketing ideas... etc. Once I implemented a 6 month goal of how much product I wanted to make and then figured out how much I could realistically make per day, it gave me a clear understanding of how to manage my time and see how much product I could get into the online shops and for the craft fairs. This is still an everyday ebb and flow and my numbers and timing hasn't worked perfectly but it's a process to work through just like anything new in life :)

2) be KIND to yourself. That sounds pretty generic I know. But once you start to work for yourself, you become your own worse boss..... I mean to say, if you are driven, passionate, and a goal setter like me, you expect and think you can DO IT ALL in the SHORTEST amount of time! If you don't achieve your unrealistic goals you feel like a failure...  That's not productive or true! This has been a great lesson. Being KIND to yourself by setting REALISTIC goals!. duhhh,, right? Well, I still had to learn that lesson I guess. I am learning to write down all my ideas like a brainstorm page, then I look at the overlapping ideas and group those as ONE. From there I categorize a timeline and work backwards of what I need to do to make that idea come into reality. As a creative I still do find it hard to not get bogged down by too many ideas. But one thing I'm learning is to focus on one and follow that one through. Because having a lot of ideas is great, but you can get stuck like a record and you'll never end up finishing the song and enjoy the music if you dont be kind to the record and just finish the one song. Hope that made sense... I think it does :) 

3)Educate/ learn/ absorb: I feel like I am putting myself through a boot-camp trying to figure out how to succeed in this "handmade/ small business" world. It's REALLY exciting but also at times overwhelming..... I have been listening to 'craft/ small business' podcasts, reading articles on blogs of successful's in the field, and just doing my best every day. I can see my self changing and becoming more confident as I connect with other makers and the crafting community. Only time,  perseverance, and passion can really make you a success. But really, re-defining success is important as well. On a podcast called "SHE PERCOLATES" they ask the guests: 'how do you define success" This is such a great question that has lead me to my own personal answer: To me, success is being able to LIVE, maintain, and thrive in blithe and bliss; Success to me is a day by day achievement. It is when I follow my routine and I am able to make a yummy dinner or dessert for my love, spend time with my cats after I put away the work, and being able to make beautiful things that express my creativity and passion for my handmade business. Now 10 years ago, the answer would have been VERY different.... but luckily in life people change and so does what's important to us. I am after the LIFESTYLE not the "life"... I am creating a life I WANT to live.. surrounded by the people, food, music, movies, and everything that in the end... bring a bit of blithe and bliss...

As I make and craft these words float through my creative brain...

As I make and craft these words float through my creative brain...

This one of a kind handmade bohemian dress is upcycled from a vintage Mexican embroidered tunic from the 1960s, a vintage Indian Sari, a 1980s tropical skirt, and the vintage Hawaiian 'Barbados' shirt was found in an antique store in Ventura! Oh the memories and stories these fabrics must have! 

This one of a kind handmade bohemian dress is upcycled from a vintage Mexican embroidered tunic from the 1960s, a vintage Indian Sari, a 1980s tropical skirt, and the vintage Hawaiian 'Barbados' shirt was found in an antique store in Ventura! Oh the memories and stories these fabrics must have! 

The styling of this dress is completely inspired by Carmen Miranda! I had just as much fun wearing this as she looks like she is having in her musical numbers!

The styling of this dress is completely inspired by Carmen Miranda! I had just as much fun wearing this as she looks like she is having in her musical numbers!

The way the mixed fabrics are patch-worked kind of looks like 'vacation' postcards!

The way the mixed fabrics are patch-worked kind of looks like 'vacation' postcards!

A special part of this creative process is finding the forgotten clothes and asking the story and history of the garments.

blithe and bliss is: a tropical gypsy

Continuing on the 'Vintage Vacation Tropicana Gypsy' theme, here are a few more handmade bohemian one of a kinds. Inspired by a tropical gypsy, these pieces are full of color, detail, print mixing, and have a retro romantic feel. Wearing these beauties can only lead to tropical cocktails under the palm trees and dancing in the moonlight. 

Inspired by Gilda Grey- 1920's actress and dancer who became famous in the US for the dance called the "shimmy"! Also forever inspired by the simple romantic comedy musicals of Fred Astair and Ginger Rodgers in the 1930s- 40's.

Inspired by Gilda Grey- 1920's actress and dancer who became famous in the US for the dance called the "shimmy"! Also forever inspired by the simple romantic comedy musicals of Fred Astair and Ginger Rodgers in the 1930s- 40's.

 A little about these fabrics: the traditional Hawaiian fabric is a rayon crepe, upcycled from a dress my Grandma used to wear. She was an elementary school teacher, and to this day at the age of almost 85 yrs old, she still volunteer's at the Oxnard School district! She radiates happiness and spreads LOVE to all she encounters. I can only imagine having a bit of this special fabric upcycled into the dress will bring lots of new moments of happiness and love.  The brown tribal fabric is a gorgeously light and airy woven fabric. This is perfect to wear when its HOT and sticky outside because these fabrics breathe and the easy loose fit will help keep you cool and give you the look of dancing as you walk down the boardwalk.. 

 A little about these fabrics: the traditional Hawaiian fabric is a rayon crepe, upcycled from a dress my Grandma used to wear. She was an elementary school teacher, and to this day at the age of almost 85 yrs old, she still volunteer's at the Oxnard School district! She radiates happiness and spreads LOVE to all she encounters. I can only imagine having a bit of this special fabric upcycled into the dress will bring lots of new moments of happiness and love. 

The brown tribal fabric is a gorgeously light and airy woven fabric. This is perfect to wear when its HOT and sticky outside because these fabrics breathe and the easy loose fit will help keep you cool and give you the look of dancing as you walk down the boardwalk.. 

Inspired by Rita Hayworth on the cover of Movie Show magazine, April 1943-- Love the grand layered necklaces and magnificently flirty ruffles.

Inspired by Rita Hayworth on the cover of Movie Show magazine, April 1943-- Love the grand layered necklaces and magnificently flirty ruffles.

The Hawaiian floral fabric was upcycled from a silk blend shirt found at a second hand store in Camarillo. They raise money by selling donated clothes and home goods, all of the proceeds go back to local families in need. I love supporting local businesses because it creates a sustainable future and healthy vibrant local economy. This one of a kind top is part of that circle of giving. From those unwanted forgotten clothes a new romantic fantastic tropical gypsy top is made! 

The Hawaiian floral fabric was upcycled from a silk blend shirt found at a second hand store in Camarillo. They raise money by selling donated clothes and home goods, all of the proceeds go back to local families in need. I love supporting local businesses because it creates a sustainable future and healthy vibrant local economy. This one of a kind top is part of that circle of giving. From those unwanted forgotten clothes a new romantic fantastic tropical gypsy top is made! 

Inspired by Carmen Miranda-- Her vibrant zest for life, flamboyant costumes, and sassy happiness are what I've tried to put into these one of a kinds. When you wear them, I hope you feel happy, excited, fantastically beautiful and one of a kind. I hope you will dance in them even where there is no music. I hope there will be a fruity cocktail in your hand and you are with the ones you love just loving life. I hope they bring you a bit of blithe and bliss.

Inspired by Carmen Miranda-- Her vibrant zest for life, flamboyant costumes, and sassy happiness are what I've tried to put into these one of a kinds. When you wear them, I hope you feel happy, excited, fantastically beautiful and one of a kind. I hope you will dance in them even where there is no music. I hope there will be a fruity cocktail in your hand and you are with the ones you love just loving life. I hope they bring you a bit of blithe and bliss.

blithe and bliss is: a vintage vacation tropicana gypsy!

This is a collection of 12 styles that all have fabrics with a lot of colorful stories and past lives lived. For these HOT months in the summer time, I wanted to offer a FUN, COLORFUL, RETRO, VINTAGE VACATION GYPSY BOHO feeling and vibe. Blithe and Bliss is part of the #slowfashionmovement. Where the clothes that are created are part of a bigger story, they reduce waste, they support local business, and they spread a bit of happiness, or in other words, blithe and bliss. Every garment has a story. As the creator, designer, and maker of these one of a kinds, I don't know the WHOLE story, but I do know a little. Below I will share the intricate, detailed, special, beautiful, romantic, colorful story of these handmade bohemian lifestyle pieces.

I will forever be inspired by vintage and Old Hollywood... The fantastic "Technicolor" musicals and romantic comedies are what my creative dreams are made of. The outrageous colorful, happy, and beautiful costumes of Carmen Miranda, Esther Williams, Gene Tierney, and Dorothy Lamour are all inspirations for this collection. I imagine these one of a kinds being worn walking down the streets of Cuba, strolling hand in hand with your love down the beach in some tropical island, or just simply sipping a fruity cocktail in your own sweet paradise you make for your self... Where ever these beauties go, they are sure to dance in the wind and guarantee a few smiles your way...

I will forever be inspired by vintage and Old Hollywood... The fantastic "Technicolor" musicals and romantic comedies are what my creative dreams are made of. The outrageous colorful, happy, and beautiful costumes of Carmen Miranda, Esther Williams, Gene Tierney, and Dorothy Lamour are all inspirations for this collection. I imagine these one of a kinds being worn walking down the streets of Cuba, strolling hand in hand with your love down the beach in some tropical island, or just simply sipping a fruity cocktail in your own sweet paradise you make for your self... Where ever these beauties go, they are sure to dance in the wind and guarantee a few smiles your way...

The purple/ multi color stripe and floral fabric was upcycled from my great Aunt Flo's top she gave me years and years ago. She noticed when I was younger that I had a love for colorful and unique clothes and fabrics. I do remember her wearing it as I sat across from her eating at her favorite "diner"--- Dennys..... haha. I'm sure that top was witness to many family conversations and cups of coffee.. and bacon extra crispy. Her new home in this romantically happy dress seems fitting. Along with other happy florals and ready to dance the night away... and maybe end up for pancakes at Dennys?

The purple/ multi color stripe and floral fabric was upcycled from my great Aunt Flo's top she gave me years and years ago. She noticed when I was younger that I had a love for colorful and unique clothes and fabrics. I do remember her wearing it as I sat across from her eating at her favorite "diner"--- Dennys..... haha. I'm sure that top was witness to many family conversations and cups of coffee.. and bacon extra crispy. Her new home in this romantically happy dress seems fitting. Along with other happy florals and ready to dance the night away... and maybe end up for pancakes at Dennys?

The pink embroidered fabric was cut from a hand sewn apron from Ecuador. I would love to know the story about the person who hand embroidered it. But, alas, the mystery will remain as to who this artisan was... But they will live on in this dress and their work will continue to spread joy. I found the embroidered apron at an antique shop in Agoura Hills on a rainy day a few moths ago. My Mom was visiting me in my new place and what better way to spend the day than antique and thrift shopping!? Needless to say, we got some good finds and of course celebrated with a well deserved margarita!

The pink embroidered fabric was cut from a hand sewn apron from Ecuador. I would love to know the story about the person who hand embroidered it. But, alas, the mystery will remain as to who this artisan was... But they will live on in this dress and their work will continue to spread joy. I found the embroidered apron at an antique shop in Agoura Hills on a rainy day a few moths ago. My Mom was visiting me in my new place and what better way to spend the day than antique and thrift shopping!? Needless to say, we got some good finds and of course celebrated with a well deserved margarita!

The yellow floral fabric was a vintage cloth bought in an antique store in Ohio. The multi color Hawaiian floral was cut from a 1980's vintage skirt found in the Conejo Valley.

The yellow floral fabric was a vintage cloth bought in an antique store in Ohio. The multi color Hawaiian floral was cut from a 1980's vintage skirt found in the Conejo Valley.

Back is upcycled from a 1980s embroidered lace top I bought at a vintage store.

Back is upcycled from a 1980s embroidered lace top I bought at a vintage store.

The patchwork on this style is upcycled from knit beach graphic tees. These are from the early 2000's. They were worn by me as individual tees--- probably bought on a shopping trip to the Ventura mall with my sister-- do you remember when 'beach graphic tees' were THE thing to wear? well, apparently I thought it was :)... Now these graphic tees are transformed into lovely patchwork and into a  one of a kind top! 

The patchwork on this style is upcycled from knit beach graphic tees. These are from the early 2000's. They were worn by me as individual tees--- probably bought on a shopping trip to the Ventura mall with my sister-- do you remember when 'beach graphic tees' were THE thing to wear? well, apparently I thought it was :)... Now these graphic tees are transformed into lovely patchwork and into a  one of a kind top! 

Here is an up close shot of the hand stitching detail on this fun style. The patchwork tees on this style are from the early 2000's and definitely have stories to tell of that era! 

Here is an up close shot of the hand stitching detail on this fun style. The patchwork tees on this style are from the early 2000's and definitely have stories to tell of that era!