Monday, 30 May 2011

Poring over Pages: Part One

I think I have mentioned before my fondness for books so I have decided to do a regular book appreciation post.Some of the volumes might be ones I have treasured for many moons and some may be new discoveries.No theme,I just love them.So I thought I'd begin with 'The Grammar of Ornament'by Owen Jones.You can now purchase paperback copies(I've linked to one if you click the title)but my volume is very hefty and the biggest book I own.I've had my copy for about ten years and purchased it secondhand so it has been well loved and used.

It was first published in 1856 and is in very simple terms a design sourcebook but Jones wrote it with an aim to teach the Victorian designers a different way of designing and created 37 principles to work by.Drawing on his travels he displays examples of ornamental design ranging from Ancient Egypt and Greece to Renaissance Italy.

I would have to say that this book is what I would class as a 'cozy afternoon' read because the hours just pass as you pore over the endless pages of beautiful designs.And I have to admit that Jones would probably frown upon my tendency to skip much of the text to get to the images but it's very difficult not to.I've shown you just a few of my favourite pages but I could have gone on forever.

I always find myself drawn to the Indian and Persian designs as the colours are so luscious and the patterns seem almost contemporary at times.Apparently this book had a great influence on William Morris whose work is so inspirational itself which explains the freshness of the designs.

If you haven't ever seen this book before I would highly recommend seeking it out as it really is so visually inspiring.Your local library is bound to have a copy or keep you eye out for a secondhand copy.I have to admit I love the fact that my battered copy is so big and heavy that I feel like I'm opening an ancient volume and I'm a big sucker for a ribbon bookmark.Surely that's not just me..?
Until next time,take care

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Folksy Nook Update

I know I promised a book related post but I just added some new makes to my little Folksy nook so thought I'd just show you them first.I really love making cuffs and have a table full of semi dressed ones dying to be adorned and pretty someone's wrist but I did manage to finish two yesterday.

This one is another 'Edith' cuff which is made with my treasured stash of vintage lace trims which were gifted to me many moons ago by a talented friend of my grandmothers.The lace trim is Austrian and a lovely deep cream shade and it laces up with my new favourite;seam ribbon binding which has been antiqued.

Also I added another cuff to my version of the 'Quiet Princesses' casket (for original tale click here)This new cuff represents a restful and contemplative mood.I used soft clotted cream leather and velvet ribbon in a lovely deep slate blue shade.

And yet again more of that distressed seam ribbon binding.I've always tried to come up with different ways of fastening my cuffs because I worry the ribbon closure isn't the most practical but I have always sold more of the tied cuffs than button closed ones so maybe I've overly concerned.Love to hear your opinions?

I've also been spending a lot of time in the garden sketching and have used my little sketches on fabric on bags but thought I'd try making them into brooches.I gave them little pretty frames in repro feedsack cottons and had fun embellishing them.

Hope you like them.The bee one can be found here and the daisy one here.I'm not too bad with computers but I cannot fathom how to make my images clickable links.Promise I will be back with a book post next time.
Take care

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Apologies,websites and embroidery.

Firstly,I must apologise for not posting here for a little while.I wish I could regale you with a tale of adventure and amazement but simply I have been too busy.Busy fixing broken appliances,doing errands,finishing commissions,entertaining a little restless angel and working on a new website(that last bit is a little bit exciting)

I hope the website will be ready very soon and it has been quite pain free so far. I'm using Create which seems to be quite good value and a bit more editable than others I have tried.Here are some screenshots of my progress so far but it does need a lot more work.To start with it really is more like a gallery of my makes and a way of tying the blog,facebook,etc together but I hope to have a shop on the website eventually(the shop tab will direct you to the Folksy shop at first)Due to most of my makes being one of a kind it can be difficult to choose where to sell what.That's the reason I haven't stocked the Etsy shop currently.  I'd love to hear what you look for in a website or if you have any pet hates about sites?

Technology aside,I just finished another Summer Wanderings embroidery and this time she is a flower loving flame haired lass.She is now available to purchase in my Folksy nook.

I decided to not appliqué the dress this time and test my filling in skills.I used back,split,seed and lazy daisy stitches to pretty her dress.The end result reminds me of pointillism(which I remember being obsessed with when I was fifteen - not your average teenage obsession really)

I also just wanted to say a big hello and thank you to my new followers and to my 'old' ones for popping in and listening to my musings.My next post will be very soon hopefully and the first of my book reviews.I adored reading all your reading recommendations on my last giveaway and always pore over other people's reviews so thought I'd start a regular book post myself.There won't be a theme;just inspiring books that I have discovered recently and also well loved reads.Until then,
Take care  

Monday, 2 May 2011

Sewing and wind watching..what bliss

Hope you've had a pleasant long weekend.We've had Ms Soleil here to stay but she thoughtfully brought along her breezy cousin so the atmosphere has been wonderfully refreshing.I get a curiously giddy feeling when I have a long line a freshly washed linens and lace dancing in the breeze...don't you?

Apart from watching my washing I have been trying to finish off started makes however this above image shows three unfinished ones:(The little girl is taken from my 'Summer Wanderings' embroideries however this one is smaller and instead of using fabric for her dress I filled it with long and short stitch.I plan to place her on the front of a framed clutch purse but am still trying to work out the best way to do this.Any suggestions always welcome.

Also in the first image you can see a little patchwork umbrella brooch that is nearly finished.I have been meaning to make these for an age because they're a bit like my Little Voyages brooches and I really enjoy working in detail on a small scale.

I did actually finish something..yeahh!This patchwork wristlet is now resident in my Folksy nook and is a personal favourite.I have mentioned before about how I am partial to all shades of purple and my second favourite is grey.So when I saw this grey baby needlecord I couldn't wait to use it(when I stopped stroking it!)

The purse also features my old pal gingham and a selection of reproduction 30's fabrics.I've also added one of my hand painted floral buttons and embroidered 'Sing' on one square.My singing voice could crack plastic but I love to try!

Well I better get back to making and singing(ear plugs ready?)
Just a quick note to say thank you to Mel of Sugarplum Kawaii who featured me on her super blog today.I highly recommend Mel's blog because her musings always make me smile and she makes the most delicious jewellery too,
Take Care