Friday, March 29, 2013

New Lace Book

My friend Eileen is participating in a lace book round robin and asked me to make a page for her book. Although I'm not taking part in that particular swap, I've never made any fabric book pages for her and was happy to have a hand in her book.  Her theme was accessories, which is so wide open -- so it took me some time to narrow my ideas down.  As I do whenever I start a group project, I brainstormed the theme and started scouring both my stash and my sources to find images and embellishments that would work with the theme.

I used this image by pre Raphaelite Frank Cadogan Cowper because of the rich design and beautiful accessories she is wearing.  Whenever I am going to print an image onto fabric (I use Jacquard brand prepared sheets) I always increase the saturation of the photo by about 25 percent.  Even with the best conditions, some vibrance is lost in the printing, and this boost helps keep the vitality of the image.

This hairpin is something that could have been worn by the lovely lady in the picture.  It is tucked into a pocket I fashioned from some velvet trim.  The golden lace at the top of the book is from M&J Trim, one of my favorite NYC garment district shops.

The button in the top right was a plain rhinestone, but I aged it with a bit of watered down acrylic paint to fit with the overall look of the page.

I found this vintage watch at a consignment shop just downstairs from my apartment. 
Love the look of it.  And the black beaded medallion is from a garment district shop as well.

This pendant also might have been worn by the woman in the photo.  Eileen loves things Asian, so I wanted to include it for that reason as well.

A fragment of a poem by Mary Oliver seemed to call out to be paired with the image on the corresponding page.  The beautiful fabric in the background is shot through with gold threads and mimics the pattern in her headpiece.

And this french script fabric is the backing for the page, which is all ready for Eileen to tuck into her book.  

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

You remember Hurricane Sandy, the storm that devastated the beaches of New York and New Jersey.  Yesterday my daughter took me on a tour of the Toms River beach area, and while many homes and streets have been renovated over the past 5 months, there's still a lot more work to do.  Here are a couple of pics...

Only the top floor is left of this house

and this one, too

It's sad to see this.  There are still many houses marked with large red "X's" to indicate they will be razed and either rebuilt...or not.

Real estate signs are up on many once-prime properties

I wonder if property values will ever recover. In the meantime, it's a buyer's market.

And on a much happier note, for those who have asked for a grandbaby update, here's my little guy at 7 months!

Later that day, he was fitted for a pint-sized, skull and crossbones print helmet, which he'll wear for a month or two to correct a little flat spot at the back of his head, something that developed when he was turning his head to only one side (and corrected with physical therapy).   He looks like a little football player, doesn't he? He quickly adjusted to it and seems to prefer helmet on to off!

And Liam's mama is in her fourth month of pregnancy with the twins.  It looks like they'll be due around the same time as Liam's first birthday. For a couple who needed in-vitro for their first baby, it's a triple blessing!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Keys 4 Art 2013 - Key Largo


I just returned from a week with my art sisters in Key Largo. I said goodbye to 75 degrees and sunny and returned to 36 degrees and snowy here in New York, but it’s all good.  As much as I love to get away, I’m always happy to return home to hubby, friends (the furry ones, too), family and my own bed. 

Here's What I'm:

Listening To: Jen Rogers made us a compilation CD for the Keys, and I’ll be rocking that for a while. 

Watching: I started playing catch up last night on the shows I tivo’d while away.  About the latest episode of Project Runway –---the male dancers did a great job of distracting us from the sadly lacking garment construction skills of the contestants. (I don’t understand how someone who has never done a set-in collar made it on the show.)

Reading: Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks.  She’s such an incredible writer, and while the topic is a sad one, the book keeps it moving.  I’m really enjoying it.

Making: Learned lots and lots of great techniques at the Keys 4 Art retreat in Key Largo. Here’s a collage I made of a rooster. Isn’t he cute?  I can see I’ll be doing a lot more with collage.

Grateful: To my family for supporting my art obsession and my occasional need to get away with kindred spirits.

Thinking:  Of our new pope and hoping the world gives him a honeymoon before they start judging him.  We would each want the same.  

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Tattered Cuffs

Tomorrow, I'm leaving for a week in Key Largo, time to spend relaxing and creating art with my dear friends -- and thanks in very, VERY large part to Elena, who makes it all happen every year.

I wanted to make something for each woman attending, and since I love sewing, I thought something shabby, lacy, and unique was in order - so I created these tattered cuffs as gifts.  I used soft 'n warm as a base, covered with fabric (some of which I printed myself with soy wax resist), embellished with sari ribbon, lace, charms, buttons, fabric flowers, and anything else that asked to be included - and each cuff has an elastic loop and button closure.  

I hope everyone likes theirs.