Jul 28, 2009

Rags to Treasure Chests.

   I found a little gold suitcase a few years ago. My youngest immediately possessed it for her best treasures. She has now outgrown it and I have reclaimed it.  Some one had already glued some butterfly wings on it , even  exotic luminescent blue wings. I added some more that I found in the autumn. and other bits for an interesting look. I added a  fairy picture  my youngest feels to old for . My Mum gave that to her a long time ago. I'll use it...
   It is not my best artwork but it just looks like an ancient remnant of something opulent dug up.
    And look ; my Bushbabies can sleep in here , and have midnight parties!
     I lined the little suitcase with an old ovencloth from the fifties , all crazy patchworked with scraps on a sturdy backing of brown jute cloth. The edges were bound with a strip of  vintage Sanderson material.  I did it pretty roughly , but it was fun.  With a left over piece I made a little lavender bag so that my suitcase and my Bushbabies will smell fresh. 
  I harvest the lavender from our own garden in the autumn , and mix it with some orris root to fix the scent. 
I think I like the red fabric with the little red seedpods the best.
   There were still some small scraps left over.  I cut them into little circles and made "yoyo's" out of them . I covered a piece of thick felt with some of the 50's scraps and stitched 5 yoyo's onto each. Three small glass buttons each , then a pin on the back. And 3 little encrusted brooches were created , from the scraps of an old ovencloth!   I have worn one to school this week and already had some positive comments .  
   This is pushing thriftiness to the max ; the scraps were already reused as kitchen cloth , and now as jewellery!    Exactly as I like it....

Jul 25, 2009

Mystery photos and market planning.

  In the school holidays I went opshopping ( ofcourse) and I also popped into the local antique store . There I found these old photographs , to which I took a liking. Some forgotten people from the past.
The first 3 are of the same mystery woman , but at different life stages. First alone , then married and then her first child , I'd say a boy. She looks like she was born in the 1800's. Very young looking in her wedding photo , and her new husband too.... I think her name was Madge , or maybe Maybel. Or is she an Agatha? 
 How many kids did she get , and did they all survive their first two years! What with scarlet fever , polio and t.b.c. or "consumption" and strange ideas of hygiene .
The 4th woman is from a later date , and I reckon she was more bubbly with a loud laugh, but fiery personality. I don't think you messed with Prue , or is she Anne? Something snappy , I feel.  I hope she married a suitable bloke , who totally got her.  Probably not.......She has this determined look in her face.
The snowflake is made of a delicate porcelain , and  I unravelled the ribbon in all it's shiny baby blue.  Et voila , a little Winter display to look at.
    More silk and merino wool felted flower brooches. They are so soft to the touch. All ready to be sold , yeah!!
     I got sick a week before the holidays  , the symptoms were suspiciously like swine-flu , both my teen girls did too. But for me it resulted in another bout of bronchitis,  to which I am prone. And a chest infection , so inhalers, anti-biotics and many nights of coughing in my husband's easy chair , which can be pushed into a near lying position. He was away for most of the first week for a work conference , so we didn't make him sick.  It lasted a good 10 days. 
   After that I did manage to get in to my studio , and actually finished sewing all those Dutch fabrics into 236 double sided triangles. All red-white-blue with a little orange.  PPfffff....
  And now I have made up 4 sets already , with one on www.trademe.co.nz  to try , and some on my Felt website shop. I 'll try to make up one a week , and sell them at the Rudolph Steiner School Fair before Christmas and the Next Hohepa country Fair next Autumn. Lots of Dutchies and related people visit those events.
   I stencilled the Delft kissing boy and girl on the fabric with acrylic and a fabric medium mix.  The Delft "tile" came from a tablecloth.  The bandanna fabric from original "farmer's hankies". The checks and stripes are cotton woven fabrics.  
   And they all have an orange ribbon or bias binding to hang from." Oranje boven!"; Orange above !    They are ready for all sorts of festivities.

Jul 7, 2009

Flowers and a House Book.

A bunch of flower brooches was made a little while ago. I made them from combed merino , dyed in saturated hues of pinks and reds , by a lovely dyeing fibre artist from Woodville ; Tracy White.  People ask me if I dye my own wool. Well , I could , but the results are usually "surprising". That means I have no idea of the results. But there are some amazingly talented people out there , that can get the right colour every time . So I buy my wool from them.   Each to their own talent. 
Part of the flower is a silk tissue fabric felted into the wool , resulting in a lovely wrinkled texture . A vintage glass button from my "sparklies" collection gives the brooch that needed glitz .   Some are not brooches but little hairclips.    
And yes , I actually kept one for myself this time. 
   A while ago I joined a new club , a bookarts club , where people make books of all kinds of shapes and sizes.  I was already altering old books, making them into new stories or themed art pages.   Like I needed another hobby!!  
  Anyhow this is the beginning of a "house" shaped book about home fashion and sewing. This is the back of the accordion type book. It folds out so it can stand up by itself.  It has the names of many fabrics stamped on the back , with pattern paper layered over it.  The hinges are made from strips of vintage barkcloth ; an old curtain with pink blossoms.  I ripped the material and left the stray threads on for added texture.   I don't like everything pristine and neat .  Life isn't like that either. 
  So here I have put the wooden tennis racket clamp to good use. It works really well to straighten the board while the glues and paints are drying.

  Pages 1 and 2 . Not entirely finished  , I still need to  put a title or blurp sentence on the title page.   I have used many layers in the background , paints , words , sewing pattern tissue paper. Then a  remnant of 1950's fabric from my stash , one that would go with the colours of the sewing pattern models. I cut the models from the front of the original packet.   I also used braiding and ric-rac , and I think I will add other notions such as buttons , hooks and eyes etc.

   Pages 3 and 4 . I totally adore that red and pink roses material..!  Unfortunately all I had was only twice the size as this...  A while ago at a local auction they had a apple box full of these kind of fabrics , with large painterly flowers on them. All still crisp and unused , a few metres each. By the time I blurted out"$35!" it was already up to $50 and very rapidly rose to $120. I couldn't afford that , but the woman who got the box lot definitely got a bargain. ....sigh.....