22 November 2006

Oh, where has the time gone?

I admit I am VERY behind on my posting these days... my little guy Evren turned a month old on Monday, which means I have not posted since he was born! That is what having a newborn will do; in addition, I am incredibly forgetful and misplace my keys daily, rarely get to change out of my pajamas until after noon (for some, this may be a perk, but for me, I don't feel like I have started my day until I change my clothes!), and have been able to make a decent dinner all of three times in one month. And that was with my parents here to help.

But, excuses aside, I still have been making things behind the scenes. Here is the Nest Benefactress Travel Pouch recently added to their site for the holidays:

You can purchase the pouch directly from Nest. And, I am making 18 cute little coin purses for my mother's bridge ladies. I'll post a couple when they are done. In addition, my jewelry designer, Meral Tuncer, has been busy making gorgeous sets for Nest. I'll share some images when they are on the site.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! to everyone who celebrates it.... here in Turkey it will be less exciting this year. Last year we made lasagna, mashed potatoes and profiterol with friends who also live in Turkey that are originally from California. This is all for now! Baby is calling! But here is one super cute picture I have to share...

18 October 2006

Daily Candy - Nesting instinct

Rose Deniz Handbags and Nest have been featured in today's Daily Candy. Please share this honorific and delightful moment for us with everyone you know so we can continue building a strong circle of support for women seeking self-sustainable art and craft-based livelihoods in developing nations. This includes our very own Meral Tuncer, jewelry and accessory designer for Rose Deniz Handbags.


EVERYWHERE ---------------------------------------------

As a child, your piggy bank held a meager 38 cents (counting the few pennies stuck in the mouth). As an adult, your savings still reside in a pink ceramic pig.

New rule: No more frivolous shopping.

Loophole: Nest, the new nonprofit shopping site.

Nest provides interest-free loans to women in developing countries (like India and Madagascar) who are trying to start their own businesses. A co-op of sorts, Nest sells clothes, housewares, and jewelry made by both loan recipients and up-and-coming designers. Portions of proceeds then recirculate into the Nest community.

And the rewards for your charity are downright pretty: The Benefactress wristlet, which was designed in Istanbul, has gathered retro fabric adorned with an aquamarine charm. The cheery red and white Kukka ("flower") throw, made of ecofriendly materials, is created in Lithuania.

It's all guilt free, so go ahead and shamelessly spend what's left in your piggy bank.

You've always been a big advocate for change.

Available online at buildanest.com.

13 October 2006

Diaper Bag

So I broke down and did it... I made a diaper bag. I had no logical conclusion like: I make handbags + I am pregnant = I will make a diaper bag. But frustrated by the extreme quality and price variations in diaper bags, both in Turkey and in my online perusals, I decided I would never find the bag I wanted unless I made it. I confess that there are aspects of it that I don't like (I won't point them out, though), and if I ever get the motivation to make another one, I'll be able to simplify the process and hopefully avoid those errors. But here are the highlights!
  • two interior pockets to hold bottles
  • one interior side has two pockets to hold diapers
  • the other interior side has a snapable pocket to hold a blanket or clothes
  • triple layer fabric plus use of recycled plastic components to reinforce sides and back
  • two snap closures on the front flap
  • main zipper closure
  • the pink brocade detailing is sewn into the seams
  • interior fabric a washable polyester
  • side exterior cell phone pocket
  • strong single strap (not adjustable, but I couldn't do everything this time!)
I admit to having some satisfaction that I did it and can tell people I did (because I get asked all the time if I will make one), and while making it, enjoyed it. I am not ready to make a Limited Edition version of it (more tweaking and changes will have to be made), but I would be open to discussing a custom order. Once I can get some things figured out and the kind of materials I need to make a batch, I may just leap into the 'designer diaper bag' world....

If you want to see more pictures of the diaper bag, I have posted them on my Flikr account.

27 September 2006

Fall changes

Çok Tesekkür Ederiz! ... We'd like to give a huge thank you to everyone who has supported the Limited Edition line of Rose Deniz Handbags in its first year. It is time for me to switch gears as I prepare to welcome my first baby into the world October 2006. While nesting, I will be continuing the Original line, taking Custom-made orders, designing a new Limited Edition line for 2007, working with wholesalers, and starting to develop my own textile designs.

To view the 2006 Limited Edition collection, click here.
Visit Cut+Paste for more Rose Deniz handbags.

Just added to the site, the Aiyla hobo....

07 September 2006

Cyberoptix Tie Lab

Break hearts with Cyberoptix's Heart Attack tie, just one of several heart-racing screenprinted and handsewn ties featuring vintage illustrations from Bethany Shorb. If you are feeling particularly literary, the ExLibris tie also comes in a variety of tie colors (sky blue is my favorite color choice, followed by white) with your choice of ink color. And for a more luxurious version of the poly-blend tie, many are available in 100% silk. For those of you with a more daring nature, there is a Squid Brain!, Bats with Hearts, and pink Bombs Away tie.

All ties are handscreened in Bethany's Detroit studio, where she also has a custom costumes division that has been responsible for outfitting feature films, music tours and other major events with hand detailed clothing. Her work has also been featured in Make and Fiberarts, lending strength to the credence that ties are not just for men.... sexy and classic at the same, I love the idea of sporting an ExLibris tie or the following Fern Illustration tie with stylish frames in a well-cut suit.

Visit Bethany's site at: Cyberoptix Tie Lab

Karin Eriksson

signe beaker small, espresso leaf pattern, filled gold

Witness the beauty that is Karin Eriksson's work ... from design process to final, graceful and elegant product, her cups and beakers, vases and mobiles, lighting and chandeliers are thoughtfully and gorgeously made from stonewear, earthenware, glazed porcelain and mixed media.

signe tealight holder, rose bud pattern

With delicate drawing techniques, collage elements and pattern, her work derives from a fascination with nature, fashion, and functionality. Take a look at her sketches on the Inspiration page, and Working Process to get a glimpse of what goes on in her studio.

signe vase wide, collage pattern

And for a daily dose of the things that catch her eye, Karin's Style Blog is an excellent and color-rich accompaniment to her site. ... Karin Eriksson... photo credits: Lars Jonsson

01 September 2006

Nest Benefactress Clutch Wristlette

Now available exclusively through Nest, the Benefactress Clutch Wristlette. Lush, retro-inspired magenta, lavender and citrus floral-print fabric and striking aquamarine stone adorn the Benefactress clutch wristlette. Tucked under your arm or draped from your wrist, the Benefactress has soft gathered corners and a sweet center gather from which suspends the lovingly made aquamarine charm. Wrist strap and interior are robin’s egg Nest blue. With a sturdy zipper closure and measuring 6.3” x 9.4”, the Benefactress is the perfect clutch to hold your most precious jewel-like items.

In collaboration with Nest, we will be the first recipients of their micro-loan made available to women in developing countries who are building their own art and craft based businesses, and who would not have the opportunity to flourish in their craft without support. The micro-loan will provide my seamstresses and jewelry designer the opportunity to do such a thing, and we are excited to design exclusive items for Nest that will be available globally.

To read more about Nest's global vision, particpating designers and to shop for beautifully crafted items, please read my previous post on Rose Deniz and visit Nest's home page.

31 August 2006

Domestic Details

Today I love my coffee cup and ironing board. This morning the linear floral-esque pattern of the cup caught my eye as it gracefully sat upon my notebook and lovely bill to be paid. I bought two identical mugs with a glamorous inscription on the bottom that reads Vera Lezetti from the Bavaria Collection (complete with twin tigers and a crown crest) at Real, a not very glamorous department store/supermarket found all over Turkey, for approximately 2.36 ytl.

This image also gives you a glimpse of a non-traditional Turkish home (reminder that I must post images of average suburban Turkish apartments). I have become much more minimal in my color choices and furniture selection since moving to Turkey. I am now drawn towards simple, solid things that illuminate pattern, rather than get drowned by it.

And I couldn't resist posting a detail from our Lady (note the registered trademark) ironing board with mod diamond pattern. Every time I iron I am happy to see the juxtaposition of geometry and calligraphy-like product name. I admit that when scouring small home supply stores called Tuhafiyes *my pocket dictionary lists sundries, notions, and haberdashery as items that can be found there* (haberdashery...! how perfect, as I am reading a lot of Jane Austen these days), I was very excited to find that this ironing board was not only durable but attractive. Next time I may give in and buy the evil-eye patterned ironing board pad that everyone uses here.

John Derian & Jane Hammond

Vintage glass candle ornaments imported from Turkey by John Derian. At $80 each, the price is comprable to similar ones I've seen at the Grand Bazaar and the streets lining the bazaar district. But while you can bargain with shopkeepers in gorgeously lit shops in Istanbul, this price is fixed. Yet still, you can surround yourself with these sumptuosly votive globes without having to hassle on a price or drink endless cups of black or apple tea. Unless you like that sort of thing, which I do when my Turkish is passable.

I can't mention John Derian without remarking on his beautiful Decoupage. Perhaps most people's first experimentation with Decoupage included some sort of small discarded cigar box with glued on victorian greeting cards or, if I can admit this, hormonally induced clippings from teen magazines glued to a tabletop... either way, John Derian transforms the medium into singular moments of museum-worthy imagery that at times remind me, like this Libra/Scorpio zodiac tray, of Jane Hammond, whose work can be seen at Lemberg Gallery in Ferndale, MI.

John Derian, above

Jane Hammond, From the Goose to the Girl, iris print, relief work, handcoloring

29 August 2006

k8: kate love

Today, the postaci gave me a most wonderful unexpected surprise! A soft, sweet jersey wrap made by my dear friend Kate Love. Kate, a painter and textile enthusiast, has long been a friend of mine ever since I dumped my coffee on her drawings in a Drawing Fundamentals class in undergrad. She even flew to Turkey to be a bridesmaid in my wedding and started working with fabric and textile design right about the same time as I did. She has occasionally threatened to return the favor and pour coffee on my work, too, for she told me it was a turning point in her artistic career when I was inconsolable over my clumsiness. Kate is now a Brooklyn-based artist, whose reused and preloved clothing has been worked and embellished with beads, ribbon and painterly details.

To view her other amazing creations, visit K8 Love on Lesbionic.com, also based in Brooklyn. Expect many more beautiful things to come from Kate's clothing collection in the months to come. My apologies for the color differentiation... taken under different light, the photo of me wearing the wrap is less saturated than in real life.

Secondhand Rose

It is always gratifying to find one's name used thoughtfully... and Secondhand Rose conjurs the most romantic possibilities. Thanks to design*sponge, a lovely blog discovery of the day that I am now infatuated with, I was led to Secondhand Rose's Ottoman Empire collection of furniture. This piece is a mid-19th century bone and ivory inlaid pedestal. Its place of origin is not listed on the site, but several others claim heritage in Egypt, Persia, and French Morocco. Secondhand Rose has an incredible wallpaper selection, which is how it caught my eye on design*sponge.

This is one of those days where every site I come across seems filled with beautiful things... my previous list of favorite sites and blogs seems very incomplete even a couple days later.

So here are a couple more that I have come to cherish, sans pictures or description...

claire coles
brocante home

25 August 2006

Lovely lists

The impulse to organize everything has taken over, so I feel compelled to give a tidy list of my most recently discovered favorite blogs and sites.

print & pattern, with jen lewis illustration shown here.

craving anthropologie, an unapologetic homage to the store
bearing the same name, and my own declaration of longing for a sanctuary not found in Turkey.

oh joy, who also posts favorite home accessories, design finds and textiles, but from philadelphia. Thanks to this blog, I was introdroduced to Brocade Home, who has produced a catalog of amazing home decor that I am very eager to receive. Only downside is Brocade Home doesn't ship catalogs internationally, so I finagled a copy by having it sent to my parents' house. (oh joy gives a nod to craving anthropologie for the Brocade Home tip, I credit oh joy and so continues the links and discoveries one can only find from a blog.)

decor 8, which gives a thorough review of Amy Butler's In Stitches, a book I pre-ordered this morning and will have someone I love from the US send or bring to me in Turkey. I also pre-ordered Built by Wendy's Sew U... it may be months before I get either book, and the wait will be filled with longing.

I must say that I spent an enormous amount of time on Amy Butler's website, too... I love her detailed photographs, views of her studio, various inspiration and her Sunbloom fabric print.

tarsian & blinkley, who design and produce with talented Afghan women, socially conscious organic clothing. They have a wealth of information on their site, including photographs and biographies on the women they work with.

Last, but not least, the wish jar journal, companion to keri smith's illustrations and musings. Be sure to look at her list of ideas... perfect for both artist, writer, or designer's block or an motivated, inspired day.

.... There are many, many more blogs and sites that I love, but they will have to wait for another afternoon, another cup of coffee.

24 August 2006

Yellow Gingham Infatuation

I bought four yards of yellow gingham to make curtains and so far, instead of applying myself to the task, have made a pillow, baby bib, and drapery for a vintage cabinet. Here is some evidence of my most recent infatuation with the color yellow. red-orange nails on yellow by light of sewing lamp. dramatic and perfect.

detail of pillow... yellow machine embroidery stitch on pale aqua

the finished pillow/// now I only need to redecorate our entire apartment to match! I first spyed this deep yellow when wandering around Tekzen, the Turkish equivalent of Home Depot and found a paint color called Sultan's yellow. How amazing.

01 August 2006

Build your Nest

Rose Deniz Handbags is excited to announce a forthcoming collaboration with Nest, a nonprofit agency that works with individual designers to produce an exclusive item for Nest, the proceeds from which benefit women in developing countries as they create their own art-based businesses. We are incredibly pleased to be the first recipients of the micro-loan from Nest, as the loan will go towards supporting materials for the seamstresses and jewelry designer we work with. It has long been my vision to see these incredibly talented women further their own work and build sustainable incomes for themselves and their families.

In the words of Founder Rebecca Kousky,
"Women have been artists through the centuries, whether they are creating utilitarian household objects, clothes for the family or decorative objects for themselves, the female artistic tradition is a way of defining and maintaining the community. By providing entrepreneurial loans to craftswomen and artisans, their life can become their livelihood and the decorative objects that are the fruits of their labor can be enjoyed by discerning patrons throughout the world." The catalog and online store will be debuting the end of this summer, as will our clutch wristlette designed for Nest. Please visit the Nest website for more information on their global vision and the other designers working with Nest to create change for women in developing nations.

31 July 2006

Hediye postadan

Today I received a most happy treat when the postaci rang my doorbell with my package from Frau Liebe! Enclosed were the fabulous vintage bag I posted earlier, and red set including necklace, bracelet, and huge red clip on earrings. I love them! You can find more amazing finds from Germany on the Frau Liebe website. For those of you who didn't know... but can now see in my self-portrait with red jewelry, as of this week 31.07.06, I am 28 weeks pregnant! Photos taken in our lovely Turkish bathroom, which is as big as my old bedroom on Henry Street in an apartment I shared in undergrad.

Before I even opened the package, the smell of vintage leather wafted outward... vintage leather smell is not something I encounter often here in Turkey. The bag perfectly accomodates a book (currently reading A Short History of Byzantium)and all of my stitching materials as it opens accordion style.

This Thursday I will be going to Eminönü in Istanbul to buy beads and other jewelry-making supplies with my jewelry designer, Meral Hanım. Eminönü has a labyrinth of small shops one can get lost in. I can't wait to select new materials for new bags!

Magnolia cupcakes

What is there not to love about cupcakes? Intrigued by the following description of The Magnolia Bakery written by my friend Catarina, I decide to post her review and the tempting pictures she took. Truly, a good cupcake is a work of art in an of itself, and I have not had one since moving to Turkey! Oh, you lucky New Yorkers!

When we started to queue, there was only one woman ahead of us. She was dressed in medical scrubs and unsolicitedly regaled us with the the prize-winning nature of the cupcakes within. The store is small and rather rule-oriented. The small size of the shop only holds a handful of customers, so a baker/bouncer keeps the line in check. Inside there are signs telling customers that they can only buy up to 12 cupcakes per visit, and that no one should mistake the cake window display for seating space.

The beauty of the cupcakes is in their simplicity. No exotic sprinkles or gold flakes. Ranging from cheerful pastels to deep chocolate, the frosting caps have a homespun, yet elegant look.

p.s... if you are patient and want your very own wearable cupcake, visit Pancake Meow, who makes delicious -scented!- jewelry. She has put the jewelry on hiatus for a short period of time, so queue yourself in her cupcake line...

Central Park

La Divina
and Anna's Companion, two custom-made bags as worn by Catarina and Kate, in Central Park.

27 July 2006

La Divina

La Divina custom-made shoulder bag and baguette.....

Turquoise green silk thread from Bursa, a legendary stop on the Silk Road, was used to hand-stitch the profile of one of my nearest and dearest friends, Catarina. To transform her striking profile into a commemorative wearable object, she simply emailed me a b+w profile photo of herself. So now wherever she goes, she need look no further than her elegantly adorned shoulder to always knows where she is.

La Divina baguette....
For inquiries, email custom@rosedeniz.com.

La Catarina with La Divina in New York.

22 July 2006

Custom-made Milano Tote

Dear ladies,

This custom-made Milano tote is made from shimmery greenish-blue fabric and lined with a soft pink and black floral pattern. While this particular Milano tote can't be replicated (I used the last of the blue-green fabric and have only a tiny amount of the pink left -- for a clutch, perhaps?), I want to remind you that nearly every bag online can be crafted to your signature style. So be creative, play around with colors and details, and let me know how I can make your bag reflect you and no one else. -- Love, Rose