Sunday, May 9, 2010

do you think it's ultimately disappointing...

...if the present inside the gift bag is less cool than the bag itself??

actually, i think i am ok this time, because the mother's day present within is a very beautiful garden book from the metropolitan museum of art, and one of the butterfly bouquets i made last week. i hadn't even intended to make a fancy bag for them, but when i was digging around in the family photos for madeline's bulletin board i came across this one, circa 1967, and i thought it'd be pretty cool, assuming i could clean it up a bit.

my intention was, after brightening the image in photoshop, to play with blending modes a bit, add a few decorative layers, and come up with something that was 99% done when i printed it out, so that i could just mat it and be done. that didn't happen. turns out, i went BIGTIME old school, and spent most of the evening adding "real life" layers and textures and embellishments. but i think it was worth it:

the lace (from michaels, which started out white) is hand-dyed with various shades of glimmer mist and radiant rain. the black edges, and the swirls at the corners are a designer digitals' frame, but i stitched over them with the sewing machine. the gorgeous flower is NOT handmade, i just cut it off some of this amazing trim from webster's pages, and added a vintage lucite button. i FINALLY found more of the pale green may arts leaf ribbon* i adore, and to celebrate, i used at least a yard of it here! there are little silvery dragonfly brads from the ink pad in nyc, as well as some old fancy pants rub-ons, and a bit of recollections bling. here's a close-up that gives a better idea:

and lest you think i have wasted all of this work on a bag...the entire decorative panel--photo, lace, etc-- is attached with foam tape and can be removed and hung elsewhere. if my mom doesn't want to do that, i think i might just have to snatch it back!!! :)


*when i did this before i got questions, so i will essplain the method to get whirly swirly vines without sewing yourself to the page; it is FIDDLY in the extreme, but not actually difficult: 1. layout the curves of ribbon roughly the way you'd like it to look 2. tack a few leaves in place with teeeeeny gluedots 3. place the paper with the semi-attached ribbon under the foot of your sewing machine 4. carefully, using the hand-crank, sew along the "vine" part of the ribbon

(note: it is impossible to be absolutely precise at this...the ribbon will want to shift and you sort of have to go with it; however, any BIG mistakes can always be covered by a few more leaves that you snip & apply with gluedots!)


  1. Gor-jus! You have WAY more patience with "fiddly" than I do.WAYWAY more, but it IS a stunning effect.

  2. I LOVE this idea to alter the bag!
    I would just love to live in your head for a day and see what it feels like to be sooooooooo amazingly creative! You have done such beautiful job with this. If I was your momma it would definitely make me misty-eyed to receive this (and the cool presents).

  3. This is stunning Lauren. You are so creative and I bet your mum gonna be very very happy receiving this beautiful gift bag, with beautiful gift inside... Happy sunday...

  4. GREAT BAGS OF GORGEOUSNESS! Holy shmoly girl, WOW! What an amazing work of art Lauren, of course your mom is going to take it off and display it!! Loads of stunning embellished detail and one super adorable pic as a starting point!

    (-: Heidi

  5. Wowza Wowza girlfriend ... the died lace rocks ... the blue bling ... the rub-ons ... and sewing on the flower stems ... yeah, if she doesn't want to hang it up, I would so take it back home with you.

  6.'s gorgeous...did she cry? I would have if I received something soooo beautiful!

  7. wow! what a gorgeous gift bag!!! love the lace trim around it! just fabulous!!!

  8. OMG!!!
    Miss Lauren this truly truly and utterly `gorgeous`
    Hey I love the ribbons .....
    `Utterly Gorgeous`

    Did I say how `Gorgeous` this is?????
    Your Mam will love it!!!!!

  9. this is seriously gorgeous! what a lovely and thoughtful gift!

  10. WOW. If your mom doesn't keep this, she's cerifiable. She's one lucky momma.

  11. Your gift bag is gorgeous down to every last detail! But you, my dear, look like a little jackie kennedy. You are so adorable! Did you model? This is a GREAT picture and a perfect present for mother's day...I think better than the book in the bag :)


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