Monday, September 24, 2007

Dress Up

This is the cover of a fun little fiber book that I made, called "Dress Up"

Along with fabric I used vintage images, such as these fashion drawings from a vintage magazine, and vintage treasures, like this mother-of-pearl buckle.

To protect the fragile vintage papers and make them more durable to sew through, (such as this vintage pattern) I first back the paper with a lightweight iron-on fusible interfacing. Then I cover the front with an iron-on fusible thin vinyl.

This is the books centerfold. On the left is the closet "door" with its own faux mirror, made from silver angelina fibers fused between two layers of fusible vinyl. On the right is a little paper doll.

Open the closet door, and reveal the paper doll's other outfits!

The outfits can be changed because each dress is held on with velcro!

This page shows more vintage children's fashions, along with my old girl scout pin. (I was a lousy girl scout! I only was interested when we did something art/craft related or when we went camping. I think I earned a total of 4 badges in 3 years. My sister's sash was covered front and back with badges!)

A pocket holds cards, each with a different type of paper doll outfit.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Found Treasure

I adore this photo. I can feel the mother's love for her child. My heart swells every-time I look at it. I found the photo at a local flea market, in a box with dozens of other forgotten moments in time. The truly amazing thing about the photo is the personal connection I have with this mother. At the bottom of the photo the handwriting tells me that it was taken in 1915 at Long Park. Her little girl looks to be about one year old. 75 years after this photo was taken, I took my own little one year old girl to this very same park and had the privilege of holding her hand while she took her very first walk, all around the big pond. I will never forget that lovely day, and while we had no photo to commemorate this wondrous occasion, I know that the same joy I felt is the same joy radiating from the mother in this photo.
I treasure it.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Continued Exploration and Making Peace with the Word "Doily"

This week finds me continuing my exploration of the doily form. Still experimenting with deconstructing and reconstructing vintage lace and doilies, I am also fooling around with ways of creating new doilies in unconventional ways. The orange-ish colored doily is just made up of small bits of dupioni silk and sewing thread. It was free-motioned embroidered on a water soluble base, so the end result is a very sturdy, but open, lace like structure. It was a little time consuming for such a small piece, (apx. 5" x 5") but I'm really happy with how it turned out, and the way the light shines through it when you hold it up.

And just for the record, I realize that I truly dislike the word "doily"! I have been collecting them for years and never realized, until I recently started typing blog entries about them, that I had such a distaste for the name. I have no idea why, certainly don't think it's important enough to go into therapy for! I suppose it just sounds so frivolous. I mean think about all the woman who spent countless hours crocheting and tatting. And yes, one could argue that they are primarily decorative, but back in their hay-day they served an important job of keeping the mens gross hair gel from permanently staining the upholstered furniture. Maybe that's where the "oily" part comes from? And maybe the "D" stands for "dirt". Okay this is starting to make sense to me now! A doily's original purpose was suppose to be a pretty way of catching dirt and oil from hubby's head, and preserving the life of your furniture. Who would want to call such a pretty object a "dirtoil"? That's a much more objectionable name! I now see that the name "Doily" is actually the perfect blend of Dirt, OIL, and prettY...
D + OIL + Y = DOILY! (Yes, it is scary how my brain wanders off on these rather unimportant matters, and if you hung in this far, bless you! I am much more at peace with the word "doily" now!)

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Organic Doilies (But in Search of a Better Name!)

These "Organic Doilies" are my current obsession. (Click on the pictures to see the detail up close!) For now, this is just a working title, as I am not sure what to call them! I think they look a bit organic in nature, as if they simply grew and evolved on their own, like a beautiful coral reef. I am open to suggestions for other names if anyone has any ideas.

The way that they were born is that I had been thinking of making a scarf, and when I closed my eyes to visualize how I would create it, and what it would look like, (which is what I always do to become inspired and clarify how to go about creating something new... I spend a lot of time looking like I am asleep!) well, I was only ever able to see the first 6 inches or so. I was getting frustrated as to why I was unable to see the scarf in my minds eye, in it's entirety. Finally it dawned on me that I really didn't want to make a scarf, seeing as I get the most pleasure from working on a fairly small scale, (I have a short attention span and a scarf is just too long in length to hold my interest through to the finish!)

It was then that I saw what I was suppose to be making. Doilies! And I was to make them out of ....? Other doilies! Along with bits of lace, bark cloth, dupioni silk, bits of embroidery, and whatever else caught my fancy! So out came the boxes of vintage tatted and crocheted doilies that I have been collecting for, well, suffice to say most of my life. Then came the fun part of cutting out bits and pieces, layering, stitching, layering and stitching some more, and more... until I was satisfied.

I debuted them last night at a wonderful outdoor show, featuring other great DIY indie artists. I was overjoyed at the positive response that they received and am itching to make more, experiment more, play more.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Vintage Paper Posies

Here are a couple of pictures showing my "Vintage Paper Posies". I made these last winter while dreaming of warmer days. They are made from vintage children's book illustrations which were printed on a great, heavy-weight linen paper. The books are usually coloring book size, and feature these really bright colorful illustrations depicting nursery rhymes, and the ABC's. For the stems I used vintage paper drinking straws. I want to do another set, but this time use the pictures found in the old souvenir postcard books, which also have great colors and are often printed on linen paper, too. If interested you can read about how to make your own version in an article that I wrote, (pages 65-66) for the new Somerset Holidays and Celebrations, pictured below. This special publication from Somerset Studio is packed full of wonderful art and craft projects to help you creatively celebrate the whole year round!