Thursday, March 17, 2011

Show and Tell

Last weekend I didn't have to sing "Rain, Rain, Go Away" again as I have been singing for the last 3 months.  The Alameda Antique Fair in the San Francisco bay area, which takes place the first Sunday of every month, has been rained out for 3 months. What's a girl going to do when you just HAVE to go antiquing.  Well, when I received word that it was being rescheduled to last weekend, my bags were packed even before I finished reading the announcement.

One of my favorite finds....the bronze shoes above.....simply love them!  There are two different shoes.  Did the parents who had this made have two children???  or are they shoes from one child at different ages???  I'll never know but the charm of these sweet antique shoes, preserved for me to enjoy and speculate upon will hold a special place in my studio.
Even with the reduced number of vendors in attendance, I was able to find some pieces that will hopefully find their way into my designs......bits of lace, watch cases, watches, compasses, hardware, buttons, doll heads, and more.

Just had to buy these antique baby dresses to use in my doll creations.
I just had to share with you my latest addition to my JoAnna Pierotti doll collection.  JoAnna painted this sweet face on fabric and adorned her with lushous bits of antique, tea dyed fabric.  She is now my favorite.   I am so looking forward to taking two classes from JoAnna at Art-Is-You in Petaluma, California this September.  Have you discovered Art -Is-You yet???  If not, hop on over to the site and check out the great line up of classes.  There is also an Art-Is-You on the east coast.

 Have you ever been so touched by a stranger's thoughtfulness that it brought tears to your eyes?  Well this handmade IPad case was made by the loving hands of Niki Weippert.  Niki contacted me and when she saw that I replied to her inquiry via my IPad she offered to design a case for me from antique quilt fabric she purchased in France.  She included some of my favorite things...lace, Madonna, and rhinestones.  The Madonna pocket is perfect for holding my earphones.  Thank you Niki, I so appreciate your gift!!
On my design bench now...my Charlotte is sleeping as the resin I used to attach her to the antique carving cures.  She will soon find her place dangling from an antique brass chain and hopefully around someone's neck who will love her.

Tootles
Diana

Friday, March 11, 2011

Chair Cushions

Who would have ever thought that finding these chair cushions at Ross for my studio would cause a redecorating frenzi for the following week.  Those things happen to me often, how about you?  I change one thing and see all of the other things that can be changed....I have a vision.....and just have to bring it into reality.  I wanted to "freshen up" my studio and just took off.  First, I visited our local lighting expert in search of an antique chandelier and found one immediately. Within 24 hours Jack had the chandelier rewired and ready to go.  Within another 24 hours, my hubby had it hung for me.  Next,  Chloe, my 1800's manequin, had been pleading with me for a long time to dress her in something fantastic instead of standing nude for years.  I obliged and with a little gathering here and there, tearing strips of tulle and ribbon, Chloe now is dressed in her finery.

The curtains hanging on my storage shelves were next. 
Wall decor was next.  I have a collection of wonderful antique cabinet cards that just stay hidden in drawers and I decided that it was about time they were showcased and enjoyed somehow.....so this is what I did.  I took an ornate gold frame I had stored for years and repurposed it as follows:
-sanded the frame to remove some of the gold paint
-distressed the wood with a hammer and filled in nicks with paint
-tore pages from antique French book and with matte medium, attached the pieces to the velvet section of the frame.  Layers upon layers....let dry.
-after it was dry, I used a combination of bronze, teal and brown paints to accomplish a worn, patina effect on the paper.  Using a baby wipe, my fingers and a brush, I rubbed paint on and rubbed the excess off.  This took a while to layer the paints but I love the aged look it soon took on.
Next, how do I display my cabinet cards in a way that I could change them out when I wanted.  This is what I did:
-purchased burlap and heavy gauge plastic fabric.
- using the cards as a guide, I sewed the plastic onto the burlap to form pockets.  I sewed the plastic onto the burlap in two strips so that the pockets were open above each photo.
-when I put it all together, I noticed that the sharpie sewing guidelines I put on the plastic did not get concealed with the stitches....oh boy...creative opportunity!  So that's when I added the bling with the deco dress clips...oh yes!
I attached the finished burplap piece to a piece of foamcore I had and attached it to the back of the frame with ducktape.
A ribbon for hanging was attached to the top of the frame with hooks.
I was pleased with the results.
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So, with the studio redecorating completed, I was off onto another project....getting ready for Artfest.  One of the classes I am taking is Shelley Massey's "License to Create".  I so love Anahata's images and decided to model my box after one of my favorites. 
You know me and my fasination with antique doll heads...so what a perfect opportunity to feature one on top of my box.  For the head, I started with purchasing a discarded porcelain doll from the Goodwill. After removing the head from the body and striping the hair off (sounds rather barbaric doesn't it?),  I painted the head and glazed it.  I have never done this before and it took me literally hours to paint her.  I'm pleased with it for my first attempt.  Paperclay will be used to create her hair, and you can see the flowers that await to be arranged on her head.  It will be fun to put it all together.  I will share the finished project with you upon my return.

Well, that catches you up some what as to what I have been up to. 
Hoping you are all well and honoring that creative spirit of yours.
Tootles
Diana