New hand printed design!

downtonabbeyinspiredpic1For this week I was inspired by a few different garments from the show. I fell for one the gowns from the fashion show that Lady Mary and her aunt Lady Rosamund attends. I also loved the idea of hand stamped fabric from one of Rose’s dresses. So, this post combines both.






This dress is apparently from the time period! It was rescued, new beads were added and a new lining helped to give it structure. I love this! The shape of the bottom part of this dress inspired my design that I came up with for my print. I found a pattern from the 20’s and came up with this look. pic2












Lady Rose’s dress has a beautiful flower print. I thought that making my own linoleum stamp would be perfect for my next design! I thought that creating a rounded clutch would match the shape well. I came up with a design, drew it, carved it and then stamped it on fabric that was in a blue/purple tone. I always like the look of white stamped in color and decided to go in that direction.



















Since I have been painting for over 20 years, this made a lot of sense to me. I love sewing and creating something that I could stamp my own design with is amazing! I am looking forward to creating new designs with this!
Get the Look!

Her gloves caught my attention. I could not find any gloves that had buttons on top. I thought that this is something that could be easily designed into a sewing pattern. Creating this look shouldn’t be that difficult. Here is a pattern offered from VtgFashionLibrary. A few buttons could be added to the top of this pattern and these gloves would be amazing!



















I also came across a necklace that has a similar length and use of clear beads. This is found in TrulyNewVintage‘s Etsy shop. Her shop has some great Downton Abbey inspired pieces as well! Kindred spirit!










I tried to look up a bunch of dresses that matched Rose’s. I found a few that were almost, but didn’t quite match. These can be found in my Favorites on Etsy. I found a dress that reminded me of the one that walked down the runway. These dresses are hand made per order from WearDreamsAreMade:

























My last item isn’t found on Etsy. It is a book that I already own that is AMAZING! If you love vintage dresses, jewelry, shoes, then you would love this book. It shows you how to recreate certain looks from different time periods. Her finger wave in this look can be found in this book! I got my copy at Powell’s Books in Portland, OR.









Have you ever printed on fabric?

Ooh… “Granny has a past!”

downtonabbeyinspiredSince I love Violet how could I not make another style based off of her! This episode reveals a hidden past romance with a Russian Prince! I love that this season is showing that the older woman are still getting some attention from the males. Earlier years it was all about learning about love through the young ladies. This year it explores what it means for a mature relationship. These woman have had decades of experience with the matter and their decisions on why they  choose certain men for their lives.

One of the scenes that I loved was when Violet was telling everyone about her visit to the Russian palace when she was younger. She had been given a fan….the man was actually there! She had “hid” this fan in order for her husband not to be jealous. Their looks said quite a bit to each other though!











When coming up with the design for the week I originally wanted to use this sparkly blue fabric that I had. I loved how her jacket draped. My polyester blend (with sparkles) would have been really garish though. I felt that since I don’t have any silk velvet I decided that I should go in a different direction. One of the aspects about this coat was the matching fabric covered buttons. (I said in the first post that the jackets were probably going to be the inspiration for this show!) It is hard to see in this shot, but here you can see them along the cuff. I figured that I would use the blue inspiration, the fabric covered buttons and imagery that would be similar to what is on a vintage fan.












Here is the design that I came up with! I have made two and I have two more just about to be finished.























Get the Look

Each week I am finding items on Etsy that can give you this look.

Well, since it is about the coat, I had to see if I could find one that was similar in MyVintageCocktail‘s shop.














Of course I watched the making of video about the historical accuracies that the show has made. One of the things that the actresses spoke of was how important certain gloves were. They had to remember to wear or not wear them for certain situations. I figured that Violet’s look has these in her hands. Here is a vintage pair in RareRagsandTreasures‘s shop that has similar designs to hers.
















She has a lovely broach as well. This one in JMPierceJewelry‘s shop has a similar shape. This one is even an Edwardian piece!













The fan has a major role in this scene. Here is a lovely one that I found in GildedAgeAffaires‘s shop.











I like to add some sewn aspects to these blogs as well. I found a cross stitch that features a rivalry between two of the wise women on the show. There are some really great designs in crossstitchheroes‘s shop.










So, here you see it ends with her talking about her past and he is in the background! Curious to see how this develops!

Downton Abbey- Violet












For Season 5 of Downton Abbey, I am creating a bag each week inspired by a detail from a character’s garment. This week I was interested in my favorite character on the show, Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham. I love her attitude and her interest in “keeping up with traditions.” She is always impeccably dressed and put together.

I really liked the Dowager’s dress during tea. I liked the detail of the folded fabric and thought that this may be interesting as a detail in a bag. I chose to design the shape of the bag to what may have fit her character the best.

I had some fabric that I had bought that I associated with the Dowager. The decorative trim along the neckline is similar to the design in the fabric. I also had some blue and tan fabric that was very similar in color. I used this as my inspiration for my design.















I have created two of this bag. These can be found in my etsy shop: rebeccashellyart

Find a similar style:
Each week I am going to feature other Etsy sellers with this post.

The Dowagers Dress: A pattern that I found from SewingPatternGallery looks like it could be adapted to recreate this look:
















I found a pair of earrings that have a very similar look to the pair of pearl earrings that she is wearing. These are found in sparkliesbyjulie‘s shop.













The scene takes place during afternoon tea.










I found a lovely tea service at cynthiasattic.











There is also a little tea strainer spoon used in this shot. I found one at HOTCollection.







I wanted to end with a funny version of the Dowager. Toadbriar draws each of the Downton Abbey characters in the form of an animal. If you love the show, you would love these! Here you go!


















Do you have a favorite character on the show?

Introducing the Downton Abbey Post!

downtonabbeyinspired I am a HUGE Downton Abbey fan! I guess this is obvious since I am creating a whole new line of bags inspired by the show. If you are a sewer, Downton Abbey is basically “dress porn.” Each scene is layered with amazing imagery, draping, hand stitching, carefully placed sparkles, cuffs, and pleats….don’t get me started on the pleats! I am going to be using my excitement about these little moments to make bags that are inspired by this. I am not simply recreating a bag that is already on the show, I am using a feature of one of the sewn items. This will also be a learning experience for me. I will be coming up with new designs, most likely learning how to add beading, embroidery, pleats, etc. I am looking forward to this challenge!

My first example is Lady Edith’s jacket. (I love ALL of the jackets! I may need to step away from this fascination and explore some of the other garments for this). What I love about this jacket is the bold button with the matching fabric and the way that the collar stands. There is also a tab that isn’t really seen in this shot. Blue is a popular color for garments in this episode.













These can be found in my etsy shop:












The inside of the bag is a recycled men’s dress shirt. The bag strap is a recycled bike inner tube. I have created five of these styles with this fabric and similar hardware.












Find a similar style:

I figured that other sewers or vintage lovers may have items that could recreate this outfit in real life. Each week I am going to post items from Etsy that are available for sale from other sellers. These items will be clothing, hats, accessories, patterns, etc.

I chose this jacket by FriederikeZobel because it had a similar blue tone, an interesting collar, and had fabric colored buttons. The look for this jacket has a more contemporary fitting than the 1920’s version. These jackets are hand made in Berlin, Germany.


















The hat is also great for this look. There is a sewing pattern that I found on Etsy that could recreate this look! VintagePatternGirl has a great cloche style.










If you are not interested in sewing a hat, there is also a vintage style that is very similar. It is straw and not fabric but has a very similar shape. This can be found in VintagelyVogueDeJavu‘s shop.












A German book is a major player in this episode. This seemed to be an appropriate accessory for this look.









The book is a “German Primer” and was owned by Lady Edith’s secret lover who has disappeared.
I found a vintage German Primer on Etsy! There is so much amazing vintage items on here! These are vintage readers from MerrilyVerilyVintage.
I hope that you are enjoying these posts. Let me know if you are an Etsy seller who features items similar to what may inspire an episode. Keep in mind that I live in the United States and we are now seeing the show for the first time (no spoilers please!)

Happy Holidays!

thefamilyI just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Holiday! We brought a new little one into our lives! We missed having a little guy running around and found this Chihuahua through He is two and has a lot of energy! He has a definite different personality from our former dog, but we still enjoy him. Here we are all in our big puffy jackets!


I am super excited about where my goals are right now. Goals are important to focus on because these are milestones that make you feel as if you are accomplishing things. I make daily goals on my chalk board and business goals on my handy dandy post it note creation I made. I love writing and then being able to cross things out. This is so incredibly satisfying! When there is a lot to try and sort through as a visual person it is great to be able to physically sort and organize where my direction goes next. I will share more about this on my blog soon.

I am now going to include in my posts things that have been inspiring for me. This is going to be a new feature on my blog.

Wild Web Roundup:


Making Candied Ginger:

I just wanted to share some things that have influenced me this week: I made Candied Ginger for the fist time. I love ginger and have a sensitive stomach. I thought that this would be a great sweet to make. I created some and they are awesome! Next time I will make them a little thinner. The thicker ones have a really strong ginger taste. If I am ready for it, they are awesome. The thinner ones are a little easier on the tongue to eat. Candied Ginger: David Lebovitz


Crafting and being an online seller podcasts:

I have been obsessed with listening to While She Naps podcasts. Abby Glassenberg is a successful online crafter. She has an amazing weekly podcast where she interviews other business savvy crafters. It has been such an amazing collection and has helped incredibly. This blog and podcasts have inspired me in the next few weeks to be redesign my website, this blog will have its own shop and my reshelly line will have more of a consistent branding throughout my social media platforms.

Coming Soon!

I purchased a great little frame mold on Etsy from MasterMolds. il_570xN.689322161_rmf9I am going to be making some very tiny frames with some little drawings, paintings or cross stiches. I love miniatures and I love being able to create my own multiples.

Ready to ship!

I have been so excited about my new business. I am creating items that are using recycled materials and giving them a new life. The name of my shop on etsy is RebeccaShellyArt. I turned my old etsy account into a new platform for these items. Soon I am going to be sharing my new bags! Today I wanted to share quickly what I created to ship these. I had my first sale (of two items!) and was glad that I got to create my packaging for this part of the online business process. I created these boxes for the magnets and earrings. I had fallen for these frame stamps and now had a purpose for them! I then created a stamp for my reshelly products and a little thank you. I cut out and stamped a bunch at once so that they are ready to go.














I also came up with this wrapping for the items. I wanted it to look like a present when people got it. I am also giving a free card with each purchase for the holidays.















Here are a few things from my shop!



Happy Thanksgiving!

Being Thankful. There are a few things that I want to definitely point out.

I am thankful that I have a partner that is supportive in my decision to start my new business. I have been working on creating this for months now. I started the idea in August to make up for going down to three shifts at my waitressing job. I wanted to balance out what I was making before with my own creative projects. Well, I started planning, researching, creating pie charts, getting image inspiration, creating documents to keep track of my progress, inventorying product, etc.











Well before I was trying to make a little extra. Now it has become what I am hoping will be my part of the income in our relationship. It takes some time for an etsy shop to get going. I have had my shop open since 2007 yet for very different items. Before, it was just artwork.  Now, I am introducing my reshelly line. It is products that use recycled material; magnets, earrings, bags, etc.

Stuart helped me come up with so many aspects of this. We brainstormed over the name for a long time and then all of a sudden he came up with “reshelly.” It seemed perfect! He didn’t stop there. He was a graphic designer before I met him and this comes in handy for me. He designed a really amazing logo, product tags, bag tags, magnet tags, etc. I feel that he needs to be included on my etsy page as part of the business.













I am thankful that I get to spend my days making things. I have always done this, yes, but for different reasons. I would get art shows, make work, sometimes sell, sometimes not. These would not be the main source of my income. I would get a waitressing job and work 3-4 days a week but have enough time to do my creative projects as well. Last summer I taught a class at the Maine College of Art for precollege students and loved it. Seeing what it was like to earn money doing what I feel like I am best at really changed things for me. Waitressing became a challenge for me in a way that I didn’t expect. I was thankful that I had the job but over and over again people kept asking me why I don’t sew or create cards for a living. In my mind that just didn’t seem like a possibility.

Now though I am trying to make it work. (Yes that is a Tim Gunn reference!) I am creating product. I am inventorying. Stuart is helping me come up with the branding, packaging, etc. I am photographing and uploading to etsy. I am learning about new ways of marketing. I am researching. I am making. I am happy.

I know that I can make this work. I am a determined person once I decide on something. Now is the time for me to use the sewing skills that I have built up for the last five years. Now is the time for me to create items that have been influenced by my travels, my living in certain places, my own experiences. I feel like I can make items that people want to carry around, wear, or give to a friend. Below is the bag tag that Stuart designed for me! I will be introducing the bags within the next few days!














I am thankful for being near family. They have helped me incredibly this past fall. First with helping me move and then with trying to cope with my dog Topher’s death. Being close to family is why I wanted to move back to New England. We don’t know what will happen with Stuart’s next teaching job, but I am hoping that we will continue to be near them.

My lovely sister!

My lovely sister!













I am also thankful for friends. I consider myself an old lady now. I used to go dancing, go out with friends to bars, go to shows, go to parties, etc. That is what you do when you are in your twenties. Now, I am in my thirties and I see a definite change. I love staying home, working on a creative project, cooking something, or just watching a movie (or many shows in a row on Netflix) with my loved one. That being said I still feel like friends continue to be there for you even if you haven’t seen them for years. When Topher passed it was really helpful to have people contact me and send me their condolences. It helped sooo much! Even though your surroundings may change over the years, your friends can be the part that stays solid.


I want to also thank the people who read my blog, like my photos, and share with me their inspirations. Having created a great network of artists over the years it really is great to see their projects, their successes and their goals. Having a world that is so incredibly connected virtually in some ways seems a little scary but also makes me feel like visually I get to be involved with things I never would have imagined.

So, I am thankful to be living in the now. For the people who have influenced me. For the people that guide me. For the new community that we have moved to. For the time to make the things that I feel so passionately about. For being able to write this right now and share it with you all!

Thank you!

Making Applesauce!

Now that I am living in the country I figure that I should do things that are fitting to the area. There is an apple farm right down the street from our house.







So, why not make some applesauce! It was a little past the pick your own time period. It was perfect for “the drops!” These apples have fallen from the tree yet are still good to eat. These were .25 a pound!









We got this whole bag for $4! Score!
















We walked around a bit and checked out the apples trees. It was a lovely walk around the area.

















I have my Mom’s food mill. It saves so much time when making applesauce. I just cut out the middle and was able to boil the apples down to a mashed level. I then put them into the top of the mill and sent it through.
This separates the applesauce parts from the skins.
This is what I was able to make.
I looove the color that these made! My Mom says that the color always depends on the types of apples used. Using the mill also allows for the skin to remain on while cooking. Otherwise there would be just a simple whitish color. This pink is pretty awesome!
Have you ever made applesauce?


Last week we lost our beloved dog, Topher. He was my studio mate and you will find his photos strewn about on my blog. He was my shadow and always in my lap. I called him a Succubus, but I loved that about him. He got you to calm down, relax and just connect with him. He was a quiet mannered dog who was surprisingly a Chihuahua. He only barked if he was excited about eating a little bit of pizza crust or if his “cousin” Teddy a Beagle was around.

















When you have a major loss it changes how you see things. You are reminded that life is short and that you need to appreciate the little moments. He was such a tiny dog, but was a huge part of my life. That absence has been really hard for me to comprehend. I have cried, sobbed, screamed and shared tears with others. Little things will bring tears to my eyes that I didn’t expect. This is to be understood when dealing with a loss.

The week that he died we had just moved into a new apartment and unpacking and talking on the phone with family and friends gave me some distraction. Now that we are more settled in I have begun working on building up my own craft business. I had started it a few months ago before we had known that we were going to move (my partner got a long term subbing position in Cornish, Maine). This has given me major distraction yet I still miss him soooo much!

Topher’s passing was caused by a shrunken liver that had been fighting and trying to heal itself. We had him at two vets all week, on iv’s, getting tested, getting ultrasounds and xrays. We expected him to get through his getting sick and not wanting to eat. We had adopted him at age three and have had him for five years. We now think that he was much older than that. His liver had tried to heal itself and according to the ultrasound it had odd shapes showing that it had begun renewing itself. Too much damage had already been done though. Once we learned this he passed quickly.

Thinking about his liver now makes me think about the healing process. His liver transformed into a new shape in order to heal from the damage. In the same way that his body was trying to heal, my own emotions are trying to mellow out. My crying bouts are shorter and I am starting to feel like my heartache is softening. I will always miss this little one but it is amazing to notice a difference in how we heal. A cut on your hand goes through different stages. Right now I am at the moment where there is a hardened covering trying to protect the damage underneath. Soon though this will disappear and a new surface will be found. I see personally that this has changed me. My shell that I have built will soon embrace what life has to offer again.

I love creating, making, painting, sewing, cooking, canning….basically “domestic lifestyle” things. We are in a beautiful new area and I feel that this is a perfect place for healing, exploring and sharing these things with others. Now that I have lived in many different places I feel lucky to have had so many amazing people in my life. The emotional support people have given me over Topher’s death has been incredibly helpful.

So, my blog is going to blossom into my appreciation of life and how I explore it. I am a quirky artist who loves coming up with new ideas for things. I love reusing items in new ways. I love color and sewing. All of these things are going to come together and I am going to post them on here. Even though I am in a small town the blog makes me feel like I am connected with others. It has been great to hear from people about what I have been posting on here. I hope that you enjoy the journey along with me.

Thanks so much for your kind words with Topher’s passing,




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