Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sewing and Silk.

This week l've dusted off the sewing machine to make a couple of projects and hoped you might like to share them with me. Usually when  l'm inspired to sew something l head for the back room where l have a pretty large stock of vintage fabrics, trims, braids and cottons etc.This allows me to not only recycle, but also to create something unique. As the weather is getting cold l decided to make some armwarmers which are great to tuck up under 3/4 sleeves or even longish short sleeves.

To make them l've just found an old top and cut the sleeves off. The sleeve seam is cut open to allow all the trims to be sewn on flat. Here I've used vintage heavy lace, and 3 rows of pale cream lace which has been pleated as l've sewn.Then added ribbon to hide the messy stitching. The seam is then resewn to fit and elastic added to the end that tucks under your oversleeve, so they don't fall down..... Voila!! easy.

l was on a roll, so found a large piece of vintage curtain fabric and cut around the shape of a top l like the shape off. Just sewed the shoulder seams first then sewed some heavy lace along the front neckline and then added the neckband. sewed all the side/arm seams and added the sleeve and waist bands. The sleeves are a wee bit tight but will be o.k in the warmer weather, without sleeves underneath.

Sometimes the library has great books and a few weeks ago l borrowed this lovely book called Silk. (Jacques Anquetil). l took  some pics of my fave's which l'm showing here.

Pics. 18th century emboidered silk bodice, and silk court shoes.

18th century French brocade and pekin (fine soft silk) on frock.

Left. 18th century brocaded lampas (type of fabric) silk.
Right. Chine velvet patterned 19th century chair.

Peacock tapestry 1773. Silk brocade owned by Russia's Catherine the Great.
Right. Damask drapes with lampas silk border.

19th century French portrait of Rose Caron wearing satin and silk chiffon frock.

Over the years l've been able to collect a few silk embroideries, they often also have some form of handpainting.

l'm pretty sure these are both machine done but still beautifully done and typically Asian.

Gorgeous bed linens using a variety of fabrics from Bellanottelinens

Have a wonderful relaxing weekend, til next time.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Featuring - Annemeike Mein

Hope you all had a relaxing and fun Mother's day. Us girls (Mum & Sis) spent a few hours lunching and trawling antique shops in a nearby town which was so much fun, especially for them, cos for some reason they were doubled over laughing when they saw me running up the hill to catch up with them, carrying my new prize of two pink flamingoes. Since it was sunny on Monday l thought l'd take some snapshots, to share with you, so pleased with them was l. ..... looking awesome on the front lawn...  

Pink plastic flamingos were hugely popular in the US and were designed in 1957 by Don Featherstone. They even won him the Ig Nobel prize for Art in 1996.
While we were in a shop a lady noticed l was carrying them and told us that she used to do parties for people where she was asked to put them on their front lawns in the middle of the night, the amount of flamingos for the age the person would be. How weird is that.....

l've recently had the watercolours and fine liner out again.......... some more Oriental style paintings. The flamingos made me think of putting these on to share. (cos of the cranes).If you would like to know how they're done and see a couple more visit here.

This week l'm sharing with you a wonderful textile artist, Annemeike Mein. l found her incredible book called "The Art of Annemeike Mein" in my local library and was stunned at the beauty, workmanship, and attention to detail of her art, and have since borrowed the book a number of times. 

Annemeike was born in Holland in 1944 but came to Australia with her parents in 1956 and was schooled in Melbourne, after she finished school she decided to become a nurse where she met her (future) doctor husband Phillip, and relocated to Sale (Victoria), where many of her works are on permanent display . Above right is a snap of her in her studio.

Annemeikes' work includes many mediums and techniques including paints, dyes, machine embroidery, pleating, felting and beading. Also a number of different materials including felts, silk, wools and furs.

Annameike was fascinated and inspired by the diversity of the Australian wildlife and collected as well as sketched insects and learnt to raise and breed butterflies.

Her work became well-known and she is thought to be one of the world's foremost textile artists. In 1988 she received the Order of Australia Medal for services to the arts.

References for these images are               
Annemieke_Mein    and  Russian Website

Also for anyone that's interested.... the Ararat (Victoria) regional art gallery is having an exhibition of Annemeikes work from the 19th of May until the 3rd of July which would be well worth a trip....... 

l've loved putting this post together and hope that you've enjoyed it as well.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

For The Mums

It'll soon be Mother's Day and we'll have another reason to celebrate. It seems to be  everything at once, not that l'm complaining, Mothers Day is my most favourite celebration of the year. lt was especially great when the kids were little and they'd be sneaking around trying so hard to keep their secrets and hide their pressies. They seemed to really enjoy the whole process of making inedible brekkies and unusable gifts... how l miss those days haha!! Don't know if anyone else remembers the old school Mothers Day stall, we kids (ok.. Mums) would have to make or donate a gift worth no more than about a dollar and on the Friday before Mothers Day the trestles were laden with gifts in the school hall so all the kids could pick out a pressie for Mum, and maybe Grandma if there was anything left over. The preps always went first and then the Grade 1's and so on.
l'm sure Mum would train us for that event, buying us new runners, wording us up on what to grab, and showing us a bit of karate so we could elbow our way to the front. Sorry Mum, that bit's rubbish...... but l wonder if some Mums did, that would explain how all the good stuff was gone by the time l got there.

Four generations of Mums, bottom left is me with my Mum, to the right is her Mum and above is my Great Grandmother on her wedding day.
The pic on the right is a favourite photo of my kids when they were little, my son is trying unsuccessfully to copy the pose of his sister. They were cute then.. haha!!

For those unorganised people like me, l thought l'd share a few gift ideas that l hope you agree are not only pretty but also practical.
Vintage lace boxed hankies and contemporary, funky ones. On the right are a battenburg lace tablecloth and a modern beaded and sequinned tablecloth.Both bought secondhand but still with labels.

Useful is always good heh.........on the left is a lovely vintage pinnie (apron) and the one on the right is one l made which is a little more contemporary, you may notice the hand painted chandelier and the ever useful pockets also.

Little tubes of hand lotion are also great. You can pop them in your bag and keep one in the car....
The pink lace background is a scarf which also makes a nice gift.

Teatowels are always handy as well, whether you or your mum are the velour using type or a linen user. The ones shown are vintage linen.

To me the cards were always the most special part of the pressie as the kids would often draw and write their cards to me. They were usually son once wrote "To Mum or significant female guardian."
The pic on the right shows a selection of new "Artsy" cards and some vintage ones, even if the vintage cards have been used you could  glue new plain paper over the old message on the inside/back.

If there's any guys out there reading this, here's the heads up, the things above and their ilk are gifts we don't want, not even if they're expensive.... or come in pink.
l mention this only because........the pic on the left shows an actual present l did recieve one year after expressing that l'd like to make dolls house furniture.....perhaps he thought l said trolls house. Though l can't deny it's usefullness over the years... just not to me.

Flowers are things we like to see.

l spent an idle hour hanging this silver ball on Monday, it's been part of an old fountain and is made of steel. it only has holes through it (no hook) so it was my dilemma how to hang it, without it eventually coming down. In the end l plaited some leather and threaded it through and tied it onto one of the beams. When hubby got home so pleased was l with my efforts, l had to show him, he just rolled his eyes and said "that looks a bit crazy doesn't it." That means he loves it haha!!

Enjoy the rest of your week.