Designer and Couturiere. I love creating and designing whether it's jewelry, knitting /crocheting notions (stitch markers/progress keepers), hand bound journals, ephemera, cards or playing with mixed media. I love knitting, cooking, taking photographs, gardening, sitting outside and listening and enjoying nature. Married to a great husband who supports all my crazy ideas and have a silly Sheltie.

and update you on what I have been working on.  But, before I get into that, I want to say that I really enjoyed the Mini-National Rose Show (July 24 thru 27, 2014).  The  West Jersey Rose Society put on a fabulous show.  They really know how to get things organized and get it done.  I met some great people and got a few invites to be a vendor at a few shows across the Country.

Now on with my update.  After the Mid-Winter Getaway in Harrisburg this year, I started collecting fabrics, making bags, collecting graphics for some journals, note cards and a few special items that I had never made before.

At the Mid-Winter I was asked if I had any neckties.  Well, I didn’t but that I would consider adding them.  After I got back, I set out researching how to make a necktie since I had never made one before.  I never realized how much handwork was involved in making at necktie.  I also didn’t realize that there are a few ways you can tie it and that the necktie is very personal to the one wearing it.  It makes a statement.

So, once I found a pattern that I thought would work, I set out making a sample tie.  As I mentioned earlier, there is a lot of handwork involved.

  • First, you draft and cut the pattern.
  • Then the pieces are cut on the bias so that the tie has the flexibility to be twisted and turned to form the knot.  The only machine stitching I did was to sew the front, middle and back together.
  • You then go to work marking seam allowances, ironing, folding, putting in the lining for the tip, iron in the interfacing, then more interfacing and more folding, hand basting down the folded pieces so they don’t slip; and
  • Hand stitch it up the middle.  Oh I forgot to mention, making the loop and finding the cleanest way to attach it.
  • Finally it is done.

After all of that, I got 4 neckties made and sold all but 1.  I have to say, I really enjoy making them.  For my first ties I decided to make them out of good quality cotton fabric and, of course, since I was going to a “Rose” event, they had to have roses on them in some form or fashion.  I had several requests for Silk neckties so that is one of next projects to look forward to.

I added a few new bag designs, new  journals, some great note cards  that I had not offered in the past.  I wanted to add something really special to the mix so I decided to create a hand painted SILK scarf with a rose motif on it.  That was a fun challenge and I  will write about that in my next blog.

Till next time, I would like to share with you some photos of the new items, views of the neckties in production and my table from the Mini-National Rose Show.

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It is hard to believe that it is April 2nd already.  It has been a BZ time for C’est Lea.

Besides my gowns, handbags, fascinators, I got a little side tracked and have been working on creating note cards, holiday cards and hand bound coptic journals.

I added a few more items this past year and just opened a new Shop on Etsy.  C’est Lea …And More…Stop by and visit my new shop.

I have always loved those beautiful journals and realized that I could make them myself.  So, I previewed them at the Penn-Jersey Mid-Winter Get-A-Way.  They were a hit, as well as, my handbags and other items.

Just finished my first Bridal Show of the Year at the Trump National Golf Club in Colt’s Neck, NJ last weekend 3/30/14.  Gorgeous place, nice people.  Had a great spot.  One lucky bride to be won my Art Deco Bride Journal.

Vintage Inspired Art Deco Bride Journal…..

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Shots of C’est Lea Table:
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Oh, also, made a tutu…that was a lot of fun…photo(23)

You can tell, she had a good time.  I made this for her Birthday Party.

Now it is on to a few new projects for the Penn-Jersey Mini-National Show is July…besides attending and judging a Rose Show.  Will post later some photos from the Penn-Jersey Getaway

I also, hope to be better about my blogging.

Stay warm and hopefully Spring is here to stay.

C’est Lea

Well, Christmas and New Years are almost here.  I am taking a week off.   Spending time with my husband and our 2 crazy Shelties “the Boys”.  I have been enjoying cooking, cat sitting and relaxing.

I have some new projects coming up for the New Year.  The Penn-Jersey Mid-Winter in Harrisburg, PA in March, as well as, a  Bridal Show the end of March in Colts Neck, NJ.   Need to make a couple of items for them.  Ideas are swirling in my head.  I am anxiously awaiting a new book on making handmade journals and books which I can’t wait to get.

Had fun making some new items for Christmas gifts.  Made a great eyeglass case, couple of small holiday clutch purses and holiday wine sacks.  Below are pics of what I have been up to, in addition, to the Holiday Cards that were a BIG HIT and sold a bunch of them.

Eyeglass Case Holiday Clutch Holiday Wine Sacks

I want to thank all my clients, family and friends for their support this past year.  I look forward to many more years and a want to wish all of you …….


I love the Holidays…Thanksgiving and Christmas are a great time to experiment with new recipes, new designs, creating handmade gifts, and spending time with family and friends.

After returning from  a great time at the Penn-Jersey District Rose Society Convention and Show, I began thinking about what new fun–creative items I could make and add to C’est Lea’s line.

I love mixing up fabrics, colors and different mediums.  I have always loved vintage, shabby chic journals, scrapbooks, and handmade cards.  I love to cut out, color, paste and stitch, so, I decided to add a line of items to sell in my Etsy shop.

With the holidays approaching, I thought about how much fun it would be to make some holiday cards and envelopes.  I was inspired by the wealth of information and graphics that are offered through designers on Etsy.

These are the first of what I hope will be many items to include in my shop along with the handbags, scarves, bridal items (sashes, fascinators) and gowns.

I am offering these cards for sale in my Etsy shop……..

You can purchase them as a set, mix and match the collections or buy a single card.  Each collection has a unique Christmas theme.  Each card and envelope are handmade by me in my studio.  The graphics were digitally created by Jen Bishop at

The cards are 5.5 x 4.25.  The inside is left blank for you to insert your own message.  Made from high quality cardstock (archival safe).  Each card comes with a matching envelope (full color).  If you don’t see the card on Etsy when you visit, please let me know which one you would like.  I am working to get them all up shortly.  Enjoy….

Old Fashion Christmas
Old Fashion Christmas
In the Mail
From the Desk of…..
Reds and Greens
Reds and Greens
A Christmas Carol
Old St. Nick
Old St. Nick
Traveling St. Nick
Single Cards
Holiday Singles — these do not come with an envelope. Envelope can be custom ordered.


the days have begun to get shorter and cooler.  There have been some beautiful days and starry nights.  The roses in the garden are changing colors and winding down, however, Queen Elizabeth, Strike it Rich, Mother of Pearl, Comtesse de Provence and Leonie Lamesch are still showing off.

Summer became a blur preparing for my Vendor table at the Penn-Jersey District Convention and Rose Show hosted by the West Jersey Rose Society.  It was a great time to catch up with Rose friends and make new ones.

It was a great time for C’est Lea.  Came away with some great opportunities for C’est Lea in the future.  Had lots of new items and friends shared suggestions for more.  So much to think about.

With that behind me, it is now time for collecting fabrics and developing ideas for some new items for the holiday season.  I can’t wait to start work on them and share them.

I love creating these one of a kind pieces.  I spend lots of time searching for the right fabrics and playing with the different colors until I get the perfect combination.

Thought I would share a few shots from the table at the show and the newer items offered.

I want all that have supported me to know that it is greatly appreciated.




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Well, it is finally warming up…was beginning to wonder if we were going to have any Summer.  Rose shows are over for the Summer.

For my rose friends who do not know, I made the decision to resign as President of JSRS.  I have been an officer in some capacity for many years, first as Recording Secretary, then as Vice President and then for the past 3.5 years as President.  Sometimes life throws you a curve that you do not see.  I am thankful that I had so much support.  I have made lots of friends and look forward to still spending time with my rose friends.

This will give me more time to smell the roses, focus on family, sewing, cooking, photography etc.    I have several projects in the works.  Wraps, bags, etc.  I believe in the old saying…”when one door closes another opens“….

I want to share a few shots I took at the Morris Arboretum on June 2nd at the Philadelphia Rose Show.  The Rose garden was beautiful that day.

Morris ArboretiumA walk around the garden…

Morris2and this lovely little flower…not sure what it was.


Looking forward to sharing more this Summer and will keep y’all posted on the new Items I will have available on Etsy.


Well yesterday was my first Bridal Show of the 2013.  Out of the blue I got a call from the owner of last Thursday evening offering me a great spot to exhibit at the Saturday, April 13th show.  Never had done a show in a Mall, let alone 45 exhibitors.

After some thought,  decided to go ahead.  So, Lance and I packed up the dress forms, gowns, fascinators, bags and sashes and headed off to the show on Saturday morning.  Had a great spot right on the corner of a very open area.  You could see the gowns from several directions.

Ended up next to a DJ…Honestly, I wasn’t sure we were going to be able to hear with the speakers right next to our booth.  But it turned out great.   DJ “Howard Goldstein of was great, nice guy and very professional.

Table at Ocean County Mall, April 13, 2013
Table at Ocean County Mall, April 13, 2013

I had to decide on a door prize. I decided on a beautiful sash I had made.

photo(2)The apricot and white flowers are made of double faced satin and silk ribbon.  Hand appliqued onto a beige double faced satin ribbon.  To show off the sash, I put it on the gown I made from a Vera Wang pattern.  It gave it a really new and updated look.

The lucky bride was Rebecca. She didn’t have a dress yet.  She was so surprised. I hope she gets inspiration from the sash.


photo(6)photo(7)Above are shots of the show.  After I gave the bride her sash…I put the hand beaded sash on the Vera Wang gown. It again gave the gown a different look.


Had some bag lovers stop by also.

Enjoyed talking to all of brides.  I hope that they got a lot out of the show and would love to hear from them when they are ready.

Look forward to some new opportunities and creative designs.

This is going to be a great year for C’est Lea.


Well, it all started when I had the opportunity to meet and work with some great Photographers in 3 different stylized photo shoots with my gowns and fascinators.

Invited to participate in the Model Life Magazine Wedding Issue.  Thank you Chelsea!.  She visited my Etsy shop and the rest is history….

Booked my first client who wanted her bridal gown redesigned…

Spent the first 2 months of the Summer working on my certification to be a Judge for the American Rose Society with the Penn/Jersey District:  West Jersey Rose Society, Harrisburg Rose Society, Philadelphia Rose Society, SPARS in Chambersburg, PA and the Newburgh Rose Society in New York.  Had so much fun and met some really nice people.  Now am a Certified Horticulture Judge for the American Rose Society.

Visited the Old Family Cemetery….wow that was amazing..and last but not least….

Began making some handbags and totes…which have been popular…

Take a look at a few of the photos along the way…So looking forward to 2013 being even better personally and professionally.

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I was so happy when I was approached by Chelsea, Editor-in-Chief of Model Life Magazine.  They were doing a May 2012 Wedding issue.  She had contacted me about featuring my Etsy Shop…. the digital magazine.  She had also mentioned they were having a cover photo contest.  Even though I didn’t win the cover photo contest…they picked 40 photos to show in the mag.  So on page 30 (photo Contest) and page 69…(cestlea) you will see these two photos of my gowns.

I create custom bridal gowns, headpieces and sashes for your special day.

I have to say that over the past few months I have had so many wonderful opportunities for work, photos and promotions…

Please visit

The Best Dress…..classic favorite

Photo Contest ….Bottom Right…Cape May Photo shoot….thanks Caity and Amy..Photograph by Amy Rae Campbell.  Visit Amy at www.amyraephotography,com

The magazine was really beautiful.

It is amazing how one dress can look so different yet beautiful ……I knew when I made this gown that it was going to be special…..Thank you Professor Rizzo for all that you taught me….I have worked with Marissa on another shoot with Erica and she never ceases to amaze me with her creative ideas.  Thank you Marissa and Shea….
Many thanks to Marissa DeCinque and Shea