Sunday, September 23, 2012

Vintage Ribbon trimmed hand mirrors

Hope these vintage hand-mirrors inspire! These are from a French collection. The 1920's vintage mirrors would have been displayed on a dresser in the boudoir. I've seen this type of mirror in different antique stores but rarely in such beautiful condition. They would have been embellished with silk ribbons and time is not a friend to silk. They are in beautiful condition and I wonder if there are new pieces mixed in with the vintage pieces. This photograph makes me want to make one. I've made similar pieces using silver-plate hair brushes. I would remove all the bristles and then embellish over the bristle surface with silk fabric, porcelain faces and trim with ribbons and beads. 

Tiny knitted cupcakes

Check out these tiny knitted cupcakes, complete with tatted edgeing and RibbonSmyth French black jet beads. Jane visits my Etsy site and now has a great selection of our French jet beads.  She does not sell the little cupcakes. They are wedding favors. Can you imagine receiving one of these jewels?
If you love lace, please visit Jane's blog
Creating lace is a dying art form and Jane's work is stunning.
 I fell in love with lace decades ago after my first trip to Switzerland, where I found a beautiful red wool lace shawl. The piece has the weight and beauty of a spider web. Then when teaching in Belgium, I spent my free time in antique shops searching for a tiny (something that would fit my budget) hand-made piece of Battenburg lace. The tourist stores all carried imported Battenburg lace tablecloths and placemats.  When I returned home, my local favorite antique dealer called and said her husband acquired a large piece of Battenburg lace in with an auction lot of tools. The lace was tacked to a piece of paper in beautiful condition.  The lace "leaped" into my car and  immediately went to a framer. If  it had not been framed, it would have sadly been placed in a drawer or trunk. The lace now hangs above a Civil War rope bed in one of our bedrooms. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Garden at our farm

A picture of a garden at our farm using Victorian iron fencing. I had wanted a little Victorian garden with a fancy iron gate. When I see the photo, I am reminded of how we can manifest our desires into physical form. I spent months visiting architectural salvage outlets and the iron fencing available, was always out of my price range. One day I got a call from a friend saying she had seen some fencing on the side of the  road. There were stacks of wrought iron fencing with the most beautiful gate I had ever seen. The fencing was at my seamstress's house. Her husband had salvaged the fencing from a Philadelphia mansion on the Main-Line. I loaded up all the fence the truck would hold. She sold the fencing for $60. This picture was taken before Mike had installed the gate. I have a little concrete bench and birdbath in this area.

Mike in my studio kitchen

An old photo I found while cleaning the studio. You have to love a picture of a guy washing dishes!

Mike was the "Butler" at one of the events I had in my studio. In his tux, he would park all the cars for my students and then serve each one of them a Mimosa on a silver tray, while they settled in for a day of classes. And then wash dishes while my assistants would serve finger sandwiches and scones with clotted creme. At the end of the day, when the studio was quiet, we would celebrate with champagne. I am grateful. I can't even begin to think of the number of  trade shows and classes at the studio, where Mike would help out, while I was teaching.

Rescue Pygmy Goats

I promise, my last pet rescue picture! This is an old photo with Mike and a small herd we rescued. All the does were pregnant and we took the whole crew to prevent them from being sent to auction. Each doe had twins. Paddy, the little gray and white goat is now 16 and the last of the herd. He is such a gentleman and lives for his apples and his 8 baby aspirin a day. He has a front leg that is very arthritic. In the photo is Junie, a little boy, and when he was born, I thought he was a little girl, thus the name June, standing next to the donkey and then there is Patsy Cline, Camilla, with Sarah Ferguson (cropped out of the pic) and Paddy next to Mike. Little goats are simply the best. Picky eaters and nervous too, but such sweet spirits.

Rescue animals at the farm

This is an old photo I found while working in the parlor. This is a photo of Schmoozie. It's difficult to see, but on the other side of the gate are two little donkey ears in front of the back of my horse. I had Schmoozie for 17 years and there are times when I think I see her tail scoot around the corner.
  Late one night a friend called and had found this kitten in the mouth of her Great Dane. I went over to pick up the kitten and was smitten. I had a bag of Cheetos on the coffee table. She jumped out of my lap, and crawled into the bag, and turned around with a Cheeto in her mouth. And only minutes before, she would have been a snack for a Great Dane.
We rescued the mini-Sicilian Donkey from a farm that raises race horses. I would "free" all race horses if I could.   Mike gave me the donkey for our anniversary.
 And one day Mike was at a convenience store getting coffee. The guy at the counter said he was taking a horse to auction because his daughter was a show jumper and her legs were now too long for such a small quarter-horse. Mike said we would take the horse. No animal should ever be sent to the auction in Lancaster. Chocolate Chip, was the best horse a girl could have. He would ride English, or Western, jump gates, back-up, all you had to do was ask.  If the donkey or the sheep were being a little feisty, chasing the goats, I would see all the little goats stand beneath the horse, using Chocolate as their protector. In the summer, I would wake up hearing the sound of hooves thundering across the pasture under a moonlit night, followed by silly little donkey hooves, chasing the horse.
 As Chocolate became elderly, the donkey became his eyes and Chocolate would stop and whinny if Barley was not nearby. Barley, would go lean into the horse and they would come into the barn together. Lucky to have had years with the best horse on the planet. Still looking for a horse that could hold a candle to Chocolate Chip.

Rescue feral Kitty

Please click each day at  ~ Your click feeds rescued animals.

This is the first photo I've been able to take of a little stray kitty living in our barn. I found him in the barn 6 weeks ago and he was painfully thin, with an injured leg. He is feral, so I cannot get close to him yet. It usually takes me a few months of spending time, in silence, with a feral kitty, every few days getting a little closer to their space as their comfort level improves. I knew if I caught him in a "pet-friendly" trap, that a no-kill shelter would not take him.  I've named him "Tripod". He has to hop wherever he goes. One back leg  is permanently positioned in the wrong direction. When we were out of town, I had the care-taker put food out twice a day and she never saw him. The first day we were back, he came out and laid on my studio stairs. Yesterday he ventured into the back pasture and was stalking something. He would have had to have "hopped" fast to catch anything, but the fact that he was trying, was my gift for the day.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Vintage hat with silk ribbon

I just found this hat in an old hat box, while cleaning out my studio.The hat, from the forties received a bit of an update with an embroidered ribbon. The motif, in the woven ribbon, was duplicated in silk ribbon, onto the brim, then a "pouf" of tulle netting and an ivory wire-edge ribbon bow, with loops of pearls, were added. The hat box and hat were featured in a magazine. What a sweet hat body.

 The dumpster is parked just outside  the barn doors and the studio is going through a ruthless purging. How ruthless can one be, when walking through nine rooms of treasures collected over a lifetime? Bags filled with fabric and trims have been making week-end journeys to my favorite thrift store.  Each room is filled with remnants from past lives.

One room still holds huge cartons of boxes, created for a popular chain store, that announced it had gone bankrupt; after the first shipment of infant clothing from the studio, winged its way to Chicago. Memories of waking up in the middle of the night, in the studio, draped over one of my machines, in the throes of whipping up bibs and burp pads, goes out the door, with those cartons.

 Leftover wreaths, painted mailboxes and flower pots, stacked on production tables; all used for products sold in a New York showroom, make me recall my first trip to New York. A few supplies left over, after numerous trips made to nursing homes, still sit in the corner.

Supplies used for booklets and videos created for Plaid Enterprises and JoAnn Fabrics sit in old bedroom dressers. An Emporium, filled with stitching supplies, designed and decorated with tulle and chintz-covered walls for Victoria Magazine and a taping for The Discovery Channel, still makes me smile.  A packing room filled with shelves holding threads, spools and spools of silk ribbon and shelves of silk fabrics, begs to be "fluffed up".

 A sitting room with a china and silver-ladened buffet, working fireplace, crystal chandelier and old wicker lounges; that hosted wonderful days filled with women enjoying time in the country, while learning to create their very first Spider Web Rose.

 A kitchen table, always lined with  bottles of dye from my most recent dyeing excursion, lets me dye ribbons while I look out the window into the back pasture. Any undyed ribbon or piece of silk fabric, holds promise of that sought-after color combination.

I am the luckiest broad on this planet and overwhelmed with Gratitude. And now the gift of reconfiguring the studio with the goal of enjoying all that clean, open space!