Sunday, April 27, 2008

Blue Denim Ball

Come one, come all! To the Blue Denim ball!

Step right up! Step right in! You're invited!

Be my guest and join the party!

It's all about recycling isn't it? And I want to do my part!

Ever wonder what to do with last years, a bit too short and a tad too tight denim skirt?! Ok, so it's not last years or even the year before that, gosh, you see,

I really can't bear to throw anything out, I think a lot of us are that way and I have a box of old clothes that I'm just not ready to part with, oh, but for various reasons,

maybe a certain sweater I was wearing the first time we kissed,

or a pair of jeans worn on our last anniversary, you know sentimental stuff!

Well, that was the case with this old denim skirt, I knew I would never wear it again, Heaven forbid,

but wanted to hang on to it anyway!

Famous last words, I'll find something to do with it...

So I figured, hmmm, denim... canvas...Oh, canvas! Yes that's it!

Why not create a fancy dress ball?! And send out invitations, have all the party girls dressed to the nines, in frills and feathers and lace and such!
And maybe some curtains with fringe on the bottom, and vases filled with flowers?! Well , why not?! Anythings possible!

And party goers toasting and chatting and whispering " Did you see what she's wearing, why the nerve of that girl"!

"Isn't that last years skirt, has she no shame"?! "Well I do declare"!

For all the details and instructions pick up a back issue of the Spring 2007 issue of Altered Couture available here and there are 2 pages of free clip art included of the prettiest girls in town dressed in their finest and ready for the ball!

And to get your party started, here is a free downloadable, from me to you. These lovely ladies are from my private collection of La Mode Illustree , Bureaux du Journal, Paris circa 1868
Feel free to use them in your personal artwork! Enjoy!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Earthly Delights and Needful Things

Shhh, come closer, let me tell you a secret...I have an old shoe box filled with priceless treasures! Trinkets more valuable than the hope diamond, well I guess I should say "to me"! I have collected these items since I was four years old! I think I have mentioned before that my interests are many and varied, it is more than evident as I pull each item from the box to photograph it.

The baubles I deem treasures are quite eclectic, lets say uncommon objects I whole heartedly cherish. The worlds most exclusive private collection of unquestionably, undeniably worthless while simultaneously priceless relics... You can rest assured Indiana Jones has spent no noble efforts in search of these!

First off, there are these fabulous perfectly round, swirled glass balls, magical really, and hard won trophies at that, after class out behind the school! ( don't ask)!

I wound up with quite a marvelous, enviable marble collection! Luck be a Lady! Hee, Hee!

Then there is a little plastic bear, Pooh I believe! And he was shaped just right to fit on the rim of a cereal bowl! And to my astonishment, he was completely free, all you had to do was dig to the bottom of the box!

I have several two tone plastic whistles embossed with a star, they used to be strung on a lanyard I made, but it's long gone now. Actually, I might have traded it off for a couple of rocks and a shell! Which seemed like a square deal to me as I recall!

Fossils have always fascinated me, and I remember like it was yesterday the day I dug these up in an old creek bed, sun shinning on my head, not a cloud in the sky, it was heaven!

And rocks, its an odd thing but I can spend hours sifting through earth and sand... to find just the right one!

A most precious mollusk's door discovered on a long ago trip to the sea,

and lovely amber and purple crystal gems, souvenirs from a daring spelunking expedition(6th grade class field trip).

A fairly recent acquisition, baby blues, (probably don't need too much explanation),

A few pairs of dice, one set made of ivory and one set made of clear red lucite and I think they might just be weighted, because they always come up snake eyes! I acquired these when I was five, again,don't ask!

A truly cherished paper cigar box casually discarded by my Grandpapa, the cardboards sweet scent has long parted but is still a happy and vivid memory!

And once again, no explanation necessary... but lots of fun had! Oh, Yeah!

A dainty, teeny, tiny single blue robins egg, found tossed from it's nest after a rain storm...

Oh, and these, I do love these! A bunch of Creepy Crawlies my cousin and I cooked up in his very own personal bug making machine (non toxic of course)! A few terrificly flattened pennies ( as a result of a not so close by railroad track, that I was never, ever supposed to go near)! Once again, don't ask!

A group of old cast metal keys... what doors they open and secrets they locked, who knows!

Ah, Glow in the Dark Duncan Yoyo! I mean really, could there be anything more remarkable! Well, there was, but the glow in the dark Play Doh I had got lost, or stuck, ok, I won't even say it, but don't ask! I remember there being remnants of it in our station wagon, on the bunk beds, under my desk at school... and those evil gumball machines took every available penny I could get my hands on! I simply could not resist!

A metal Victorian wax seal, I really don't have a clue where it came from but I hang onto it any way, just in case I remember one of these days! You know how it goes!

A few of my favorites, see the little blue robot in the middle! And a silver plastic cowboy ring I used to wear every day, Heaven only knows why?!

And Kiddles! Liddle Kiddles! Babe Biddle, Liddle Diddle, Pretty Priddle, Greta Griddle, Soapy Siddle and the list goes on! I know, you probably think I have lost my ever lovin mind, but thats what they were called!

Remember these! Oh, how I loved them!

Who does Polly Pocket think she IS anyway! Well, truth be told I do have a couple of Polly Pockets, but don't tell the Kiddles it's just not the same anyway!

Liddle Kiddle rings, Liddle Kiddle lockets, even Liddle Kiddle brooches and Kiddle Kola and perfume bottles too!

A single solitary pink glass slipper... no bigger than my thumb nail!
And can you guess what these might be?! Only my favorite toy I ever had, excluding the three other pairs,two that shattered, and one set accidentally hung up in a tree! I was always lumpy and bumpy and bruised but man, was it fun!
The one, the only, Knockers!

These treasures are more valuable to me than all the money in the world and can instantly swell my heart with wonderful beloved memories... I think it's very telling, I mean the kinds of things we choose to keep and treasure, although I'm not quite sure what mine say about me?!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Empress Anna and her Hummingbird

I have a love hate relationship with my artwork. Do you ever feel that way? Sometimes halfway through a piece it changes it's mind and decides it wants to be something else, completely different!

Such was the situation with these dolls. I had every intention of turning them into respectable, well mannered reproductions, to look just like their antique counterparts. Well, all the best laid plans of mice and men, or however that old saying goes...

I had barely gotten the beautiful sea green glass eyes in Anna's head when I heard...
She: hu hem, Empress Anna that is and I, I should like to go, go somewhere over, over the fabled rainbow!
Me: Oh, no you don't! You just keep quiet!

I have perfect plans for you! A doll you shall be, and a fully jointed compo body already awaits you! And, and, I have purchased from my favorite doll dress maker a frock so similar to the one your antique sisters wore, with pretty little pleats and buttons and more!
She: No, no! Not for me!

You see, I am different and special you see! All those years I have waited, in that old cold mold, just wanting and wishing and hoping you see, to be poured and fired and painted and my dream, yes my dream was to be completely transformed into well, dare I say it? Say it I dare, a work of art, lovely art for all to then share! Not just a quiet, old boring, old doll!

Me: But, but you see that small doll lying over there? The one with the bright yellow blonde hair, I was going to turn her into a little dolly just for you! Now wouldn't that be nice?!

She: I want her I do, but I want her to be my very own humming birdie!
Me: Humming bird?! Humming bird, you say?

She: Oh yes! And remember that metal bird cage, the one with the dome, the one that you keep outside in the sun?! I want it for mine, I want it for "me"! That is where my little humming birdie shall be!

Me: Well, I guess we could do that?! I guess there's no harm!
She: Oh yes, and remember that wonderful, ruffled edge, blue and white pin striped (my how she does carry on) corset cover I saw you bring home one day?! It's mine! I love it and know it will perfectly fit! Yes, just rightly!

And remember those ever so long, long legs, the ones that buckle and bend at the knee, and wear the ever so shiny black patent leather boots?

I, the Empress Anna would like those too!
Me: Well, I'm starting to get the picture, I can see, I can see how they would be perfect for you, I do, I do!

And I'm thinking you will need a fancy headdress as well, come to think of it I do have the most luminous, lustrous freshwater pearls I've been saving for just the right thing!

Oh yes, lest I forget a delicate, dangling pair of sapphire ear fobs, they will look just right with the blue and white pin stripe!

Me: Ok, ok I agree, you shall, you shall be Empress Anna to me!

She: hu hem,well done! And now what about, what about my little humming birdie?!

Can she be, will she be a sweet little birdie all just for me?

In ruffles and lace and ribbons and bows?!

From the top of her head to the tips of her toes?!

She: To stay,

and to play,

and to swing all day long and maybe if she wishes,

sing a buzzy humming bird song?

She: Do they sing? Well, maybe not, and I really don't care,

I just want to see her wisp wings flutter on air!

And if she chooses, I'll set her free, with hopes that someday she'll come back to me!

Me: Well, I think, I think thats just lovely, I think thats just fine.

You're a sweet honest Empress and soon to be mine!