Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Julia's Rose

Hi there, and thanks for popping in,

Christmas is over for another year and for me the past week has just flown. For many people the excitement still isn't over, with lots heading away on their annual holidays to far flung, exotic locations, and/or enjoying preparations for the New Year parties.
 l'm not one of them, but instead l've had a lovely time here at home catching up with our daughter who has been visiting from interstate. Sadly she had to return home yesterday.
l prefer to head somewhere warm in the middle of Winter if l can possibly swing it.

The rose blooms featured are called Julia's Rose and are mainly a beautiful coffee colour (sometimes called paper bag rose ) but can also contain shades of pink, apricot and cream. It was named after Lady Julia Clements who was an English flower arranger and author, penning some 20 books over her lifetime before she died in November this year aged 104.

When l started setting up for this shoot l had something completely different in mind. l intended for it to be all pale, delicate and colourless but somehow it evolved into something quite different. The flowers were the start of the trouble because the only vase that really suited the blooms was this blue depression glass one, so the whole pale and delicate idea was shot from the get go.

The main doll you see is a Kader doll which came in a number of sizes, this is a small version and she was made in the late 50's. There were also black versions and they were made in Hong Kong.

The two tassle dolls were made by myself in the 90's when every spare wall and corner of the house was filled with decorative items (my favourite era), but now that everything is more minimalist they languish in the back of the dresser drawer, it was great to pull them out and give them some attention. They were made from Das clay, air dryed and the features painted in watercolours. They were then varnished and dressed in various bits of vintage lace velvet and net.

This and the following photos were sourced when l still intended to do a cream shoot and though this didn't happen, l wanted to share these gorgeous pics that were posted by Sepiadreams at who posts lots of photos of vintage items that are predominantly shades of creams and beige especially if you check out her older posts.

Love it all!!!

Be Safe and happy, and enjoy every last moment of this year, and may there be many more to follow.

Til next time 

Sincerely Bron.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Light and Dark

Hi there,

Thanks for visiting at this very busy time of year. In less than a week it will all be done and dusted and in as much as Christmas is fun, joyous and a great time to catch up with friends and family, most of us wouldn't want to live with this level of intensity all the time, so we'll return to our everyday activities without too much complaint.

Below is a painting which a friend of mine asked me to paint for her recently, it is an acrylic painting and has been deliberately painted on a wide but not too high canvas which looks very effective above her widescreen telly and  cabinet (that it sits on).
Her house although built in traditional style (federation) has been updated in a contemporary way and features lovely light painted walls and dark polished floor boards. The contrast of dark background and light blooms seems to complement the space well and also because of the dark background the white flowers really pop. The photo did not quite fit the painting in it's entirety, so l have added it below in two parts.



The crocheted jacket that you see was done by my Mum for my daughter, and was made entirely without a pattern. While it was in the process of being made, my Mum  showed it to a friend, who mentioned it to someone who was getting married and they commissioned her to make three for the wedding all in different sizes (which she actually agreed to do and did do), can you believe the patience of this woman.
Any way the wedding ones were all done in white and like the one shown were absolute stunners.

The torso above was one l bought and originally covered in wadding and velvet to hang my jewellery on, but l got bored with it and after stripping it back to cardboard l decided to mosaic it. It was done using many old smashed saucers and bread and butter plates, l've mostly used the china face side up, but occasionally l have put the the underneath (brand side)up, just as a point of interest.


l have added a vintage beaded bag and necklaces as well as a 60's green headpiece and a modern chandelier on a neck chain as well.

Shown here is a beautiful vintage dress by the House of Dior and is on display at the and is encrusted in crystals. (Glad l didn't have to sew them on).

Timeless easy care black and white linens by 

Well that's all for this post, l intend to be back next Wednesday, so until then a very

Merry Christmas to you all.

Sincerely Bron.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Add a little colour...

Hi there and thanks for visiting,

Yesterday the sun came out and actually became hot enough to warm my bones. This was a much welcome change from the weather we have had here recently. It's been a long, cold, unseasonally bleak Winter, Spring and even (beginning of) Summer.
All that sun made me just want to embrace all the many colours that seem to have just been non existent during these last months.

 There are many great benefits to learning and practising most art forms and with painting specifically, its great to be able to compare your ideas, mediums and skill level against the progression of time.
Above is one of my very early watercolours and is of stylised tulips. Interestingly even today l love the subject matter and the clear bright colours l've chosen, but l like to think that technically l could produce a more pleasing result, however the trade off is the many years it takes to learn how to create a great result consistently.
Although many people are talented in their chosen field (which makes it easier since they don't have to dedicate as much time as some, to acheive acceptable results), anyone with time, desire and tools (and education in the use of those tools) can acheive
results which would truly astound themselves.
We just have to remember that art, like life is not a success only journey,but that dedication and consistency absolutely pay off. We just have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and plod on.

Since the sun was casting lovely shadows in the backyard this morning (and this is a post about colour) l thought it might make a nice change  to lighten things up and go outside. It was a little more challenging than usual to set up, since l had to consider not only the position of the sun, not to mention the wind which kept blowing everything over, but also l had forgotten that it's almost impossible to see the camera screen in certain positions. Still since they say change is as good as a holiday l consider that l've had a mini break, and l hope you enjoy images  l've selected. 
The cushion you can see in the back ground is one of a pair that l made out of a Jag (brand) top l found at an op shop. Amazingly it was beaded both front and back, so with  precision cutting so as not to lose any of the beaded peacock and choosing velvet for the backs of the cushions l was able to make up the pair. I'm not sure if you can tell that it's a peacock, l can see in this photo where you might think it's a giraffe but in the next photo you can see the peacocks tail which completes his image.

On the table is a yo yo quilt l completed 6 months ago. l began it about 10 years ago and honestly never thought l would see it finished, but here it is. It was so long in the process of being made that the colours in my house have changed (in some rooms) four times.Through the years l have added the colours of the moment, mindful of what was already there, l hope this explains it's many (many) vibrant colours. l like to think it works despite it's long, uncertain journey .

We couldn't have sun and a parasol without something to enjoy it. This doll you see in the foreground was inspired by the "Linda Caroll" attic dolls (see previous post). Mine looks nothing like Linda's as mine was hand built from Das Clay and air dried , Linda's are produced in moulds and fired in a kiln. (Not to mention done by an expert).
The most difficult part was producing a head and face that was acceptable , it was a real exercise in patience, (not one of my strong points) and also completely time absorbing. Her outfit was the most fun part to make, back in my comfort zone of sewing, dyeing and embellishing.

These gorgeous, colourful images are by Tricia Guild at 
Tricia's business has it's base in London and is a home and lifestyle store, which was founded in 1970. Nowadays there are offices and stores in Paris, Milan, and Munich and she exports to 60 countries around the world. Tricia is  most well known for her designing and manufacturing of fabric and wallpaper ranges, as well as her many books, now totalling 15 - the latest which is titled "A Certain Style".

Beautiful much!!!

'til next time

Sincerely Bron.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Party Time ..... Mini Project

Hi there and welcome,

It's almost Christmas and there are lots of parties/events for people to attend so l have raided the vintage wardrobe and put a few ideas together, clothing should be fun to wear and as individual as you are. It's nice to mix and match a bit of old and new, all you need is some confidence and a smile to pull it off.
Also l wanted to share another mini project with you. Recently l cleaned out my linen closet and threw out all my dodgy doona covers which left a total of 2 that were usable. Searching ebay for a new one l found a beautiful cover in hot pink and cream that would match my room perfectly, a few days later the package arrived and it was barely through the door and l was tearing at the paper like a 5 year old. (l have no life).
Well....... what a disappointment, instead of pink and cream, it was purple and yellow. Of course no use complaining and sending it back, because the sellers stated that the colours might look different than what was shown, advice l chose to ignore thinking different can it be?......... (Lots apparently).

Anyway how to the solve doona problem. (Still very usable but doesn't match). When cleaning out that linen closet l realised l had a crocheted bedspread that l hadn't used for ages as it had yellowed with age, l'd thought of bleaching it, but really wanted some colour.
l had a tin of Paris Pink (Dylon) dye so l made this up and popped it in a bath filled to a third with hot water and a tablespoon of salt. Once the colour was in the bath l realised it was more apricot than pink, so l filled a jug with boiling water and added half a bottle of pink food colouring and a dozen tea bags with another tablespoon of salt (to help it set), l let this stew for about 15 minutes then added the mix to the bath. After mixing it well, l let it soak most of the day (agitating it occasionally). Then hung it out to dry, no rinsing or spinning. Problem solved, now you can't see the doona.

The first image is not the actual bedspread as l forgot to take a before photo, but it just gives you an idea of the raw colour before hand.
In the next photo you may be able to see how much the colour is fading as it's drying, if l had rinsed it as well it would have been a lot paler.
On the bed it you can see it goes with the wall colour nicely.

The tulle skirt is matched with a vintage angora cardigan (from the 80's), which has plastic and diamante buttons, as well as appliqued flowers with pearl and diamante beading. A little beaded bag is just the right size for your phone and lippy.

This blue lace dress is probably 50's it has a flared bias cut skirt with tulle underskirt. It is teamed with a modern scarf at the waist and velvet flower. Vintage shoes (complete with wool pom poms) and bag complete the look.

Here l have shown an old lace blouse (left) and lace/nylon skirts which date around the late 50's early 60's. They have easy to wear elasticised waists, (necessary at Christmas time). They are tiered and worn just above the knee.The one on the far right is covered in diamantes - the metal casings they sit in, are so old they have oxidised but this definately does not detract from it's old worlde charm.

Here is an old nightie and negligee set (50's) that has diamante and pearl detail at the shoulders. The set is floor length and would make an elegant addition to the Summer holiday wardrobe.

Happy holiday season
til next time,

Sincerely Bron.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Almost Christmas

Hi, and thanks for taking the time to have a look at my blog.

Today l thought l'd add a couple of Christmassy ideas and images. Hopefully this will help put us in a festive frame of mind. lt seems to me that most people can relate to rushing around at the last minute, promising ourselves every December that next year we'll be prepared early, and be ready to kick back and relax at the end of November. (Sounds like a plan anyway).

Although l am not (by anyone's standards) a religious person, l have a fascination for religious icons. They certainly don't have to be Christian related (although l guess in our corner of the world these are more readily available). My particular favourites are Rosary beads and l have collected a number of them. Usually they go unnoticed hanging off the side of my dressing table, but maybe it's possible at this time of the year to put them in a small display somewhere, without looking like you're in contention for nun of the year.

Here l have my Jesus statue among the mix, he is wearing a lovely old necklace which is a bit rough and worn, which l think suits him perfectly. Buddha is wearing  a necklace of plastic Buddha's. l have added some old mercury glass Christmas baubles in the cherubs bowl, and you may be able to see the sets of Rosary beads in the background.

 This little tree is one my daughter made a few years ago, she did this by pulling apart all the broken (or not) pearl beads l owned and then grading them according to size. These were then threaded onto long thin wires. Patiently she then attached all the limbs (from largest to smallest starting at the base), together on a central stick and she then covered any bare pieces with white ribbon.
We bought the reindeer decorations because they were scaled the right size for the tree. Stars were also added and a piece of green beaded wire which just adds another colour.
 Finally it was placed in a glass jar with some flat marbles to keep it steady. You could also put it in an opaque pot and plaster it in. Each year l just pull it out fully decorated and it looks just as pretty as when she first made it.

 It's always a struggle to find the perfect present for friends and family, lt's much more preferrable if someone just says what they want, but usually when asked, they just say they don't need anything.
l was thinking if you knew someone was getting married you could do up a box of beautiful wedding related bits and bobs.
In this example l have placed a lace hanky and a bag of vintage bows (for the table decorations, gift bags, or placecards). There is also a length of vintage lace and a wine cork (with bridal couple on it). There is an old dress pattern which may be inspiration for the bridal dress/party. You could also add a blue garter, packets of confetti, or anything else you felt appropriate.

Below l have found some gorgeous pictures of  Bergdorf Goodmans' Christmas windows. Bergdorf Goodman is a luxury department store/s on 5th Avenue in Manhattan New York.
There are actually two stores one across the road from the other. One is the main store and the other is a mens' store.

 l believe these images are from the 2009 display. Spectacular aren't they.

 Hope you've enjoyed this post.

Kind Regards,

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The mural

Hi and thanks for visiting,

Today l'm sharing photos of a mural which l recently painted in my hallway. 
l've painted a number of murals on this wall over the years, each one has been quite different in style, colour and subject and usually accompanies a change of wall colour in my loungeroom which adjoins the hallway, (therefore altering the mood of the area), it's a nice sized space for me to practice my skills (?) and ideas.

 l've aimed for a contemporary painting.... inspired by the stick and peel wallpapers (often in black and white, of trees and birdcages etc.) which l've seen around at the moment.

The paint l chose is Kabuki (by Taubmans) and is a purply, raspberry colour. lt seemed to blend well with the beige pink of the walls, l was worried the black silhouette look might be a bit harsh.
Firstly l sketched the main features in charcoal just because it's easy to see, l then began painting them in. Many of the elements were moved around a bit as the picture started to take shape. Often what looks O.K. in a small sketch doesn't work when enlarged to this size.

Here is a close up of the peacocks' tail which hopefully shows the small oval mirrors l have placed on each of the feathers. l wanted to give them the sense of importance and drama that they have in real life, without having to add colour. The mirrors seemed like the solution. They flash different colours as you walk by.

This is the finished painting and l was happy with it.

This is the mural that was painted over, it's a photo of photo so it's a little blurry.
It took quite a while to paint as there are so many straight the columns, and the folding doors...the tiles were painted and marbled to match the ones in the hallway.

Today l am bringing you some photos of a gorgeous studio cottage owned by Sandra Foster
here. My shabby streamside studio. The cottage has been featured in a number of magazines and l have attributed the images below. Enjoy the eye feast.

This photo is by Trevor Tondro  and is featured in The New York Times, of Sandra's cottage in the Catskills.

This photo and below are also by Trevor Tondro.

This photo is by Gross and Daly for the Country Victorian magazine.

Til next time,