Monday, 31 January 2011

Harpers - A fashion History

How a about a trip down history lane?
I found this magazine tucked in amongst some old books whilst moving classrooms. This was in the classroom that I was moving into and the previous owner would not have been old enough to buy it so I guess it was given.
It is the September issue of Harpers in 1950.
I have picked out a few pages that I thought might of interest and it shall be a two post offering.

This does not look too comfortable to wear!
It is described as...

"Sleek at the waist, smooth at the midriff, and a flawless follow through is your new figure line. To wear beneath the latest slender lines. Berlei present this light and lovely Controlette......"

Hmmm! flawless follow through? Sounds like a golf term but this was the figure shape desired in the 1950's. I do not know anyone to ask if they ever owned one of these. There is not a price stated either.

This advert is showing coats for those 5 feet 4 and under (Glad our height is recognised as all coats look long on me even if they are not supposed to be!)

Phantom Wallaby has been used which is meant to resemble real Beaver fur. Price £37.15.6.

Not PC at all today, but this is a different era. I love the drawings in this magazine and I seem to remember that there were more "drawn" elements to magazines in the 1980's too.

I used to use Max factor when I was younger and worked in a chemist, I used to get discount you see. The advert is promoted with a picture of Ava Gardner and MGM star! It is for hand and body cream.....
"This Unique Max Factor Hollywood preparation- based on an entirely new formula- brings you today and everyday the heavenly fragrant year round Hand and Body skin loveliness you've always dreamed of."

Price 2'11.

Max Factor- "Cosmetics of the Stars"

This is a lovely drawn advert using what looks like pastels. Great colours. I do have to say that a vast proportion of the magazine is made up of adverts like these shown above. There is a story, some information about new fabrics and colours so not much has changed really if you consider what is in a current issue of Vogue.

I would love to try on a genuine 1950's dress, I might need to be shoe horned into it as my figure is possibly not quite the right shape. I think I would need a re-enforced version of the Berlei.

Paris designs are also featured, such as the above by Balenciaga, Schiaparellis and Dior. Again the drawings are lovely, suggestion lines for the skirt and legs. The features are hinted with a few careful lines and no colour.

As regular readers will know, I collect powder compacts so this advert is one of my favourites. Made by Yardley (I have a couple in my collection) for feather pressed powder will available refills. Again, a lovely 2"drawn" advert with a gold tone appearance.

I have really enjoyed looking through this snippet of fashion history and I shall post some more pictures and follow it up with a modern take on the concept of women's fashion magazines.


Friday, 28 January 2011

Knitted Lacy Hat Make

Having made a couple of the knitted lacey cloche hats that are featured in my tutorials in the side bar, I decided that perhaps I was now ready to make one as a gift.
A couple of weeks ago Sophie and I went to buy some nice black wool called Big Softie, which it is.

I decided that I would make my brother-in-laws wife a knitted hat for her birthday! Big deal this as many regular readers will know that I have a bit of a struggle with knitting but 2010 was the year that I picked to try and progress with it. I did!

About 1.5 hours later I had knitted the above!! It took half an hour longer this time due to a couple of false starts because I was watching a DVD called "8 Below" which was really good. I have yet to master knitting and watching TV.
It is being modelled and when worn by an adult the lacey pattern is more noticeable. It is a good hat for a range of head sizes.

I then thought about adding a flower to the hat. I made a white one to start with but decided that it looked too stark against the black. So going to my saved Youtube videos I then crochet a flower in matching wool.

So voila! A handmade knitted hat with crochet matching flower made by me to give as a gift.Hip Hip Hooray a landmark has been reached, Phew I need to go and have a lie down. Off tomorrow to delivery it to the birthday girl, hope she likes it.


Thursday, 27 January 2011

Vintage Note Cards - Creative swaps

It has been some time since I last took part in one of Leena's creative swaps. Work has mainly gotten in the way, (I first took part in 2008, click HERE to see my other contributions) but at Christmas I decided to sign up for a Vintage card swap.
A large group of us needed to create three cards and we would in turn receive three cards back. I have made an extra one for the swap host Leena.
When we signed up we were also emailed a PDF with images that we could use to actually create the cards. Not having any vintage images within my own picture collection, I decided to use the ones on the PDF. The two cards above used two images of ladies using a sepia film. The card on your left is attached to a patterned clear velum sheet and an edging of pure cotton lace has been attached down the side to link with the lace on the dress in the picture. The other card is also presented on velum which has a rose on the front, a length of light brown ribbon and more lace .
The above card is on landscape with cream flower design on craft paper. The next vintage illustration is then added in the middle. To frame it I have then added more of the light brown tape down either side.
The final card is also on landscape and has a rose velum background added. More goldy tape and the image had some music along the bottom so I re-added that to the card as well.

We were also asked to maybe add design to the envelopes. No being too sure what to do here without it looking awful, I decided to keep it really very simple and then promptly forgot to take photos of them, doh! Sorry, it has been quite a two weeks lately and I am so tired I am not really sure where I am at the moment. You know that exhausted feeling.

They have now been sent off to Leena in America and then swapped with someone else's and I hope that they are ok as they are a completely different style for me to do.
Many thanks for the visits and comments for my i-touch cosy. The fabric was a fat quarter and I am now on the look out for some more!

UPDATE: My cards have now safely arrived and are now featured on the Creative Swaps blog. They have been beautifully photographed.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Waste not want not............

After having made the i-Touch case I decided to make something else with the leftovers. Whilst thinking, because I had not actually planned to make anything, I looked at the bag which I take to my sewing group and in there were these.................
A scissors case!! Along with expensive items not having cases, sharp sewing items do not seem to either. Unlike some of my hubby's tools which do come with something, even if it is only a plastic sleeve.

I use to make little drawstring bags for my scissors during my degree, but that was years ago, time to revive the usage.
So I quilted the leftovers to give thickness and stitched up the sides. Again I lined it with the same fabric. I made the case to the size of the fabric so no actual measurements were ever thought out.

I still had the buttons out and so I simply had to use one to add a little bit of detail.

I can get two pairs of scissors inside with wriggle room. The black handled set is a mid sized set of fabric shears and the other pair used to be a gold colour which has rubbed off with use but they are between shears and embroidery scissors. I take these everywhere and now with a bit more style.

I can sense some more of these being made, my needle case has just fallen apart too but I have had it for over 15 years!


Tuesday, 25 January 2011

i-Touch Cosy

After nearly ten years of regular use, my personal CD player decided it was time to stop working two days before Christmas!
It was too late for a lovely replacement for Christmas or birthday from hubby so New Year saw the challenge to find something else.
I thought that perhaps I ought to drag myself into the 21st century and look at a Nano or i-touch player. So I treated myself to the above.
As is often the case, despite paying a tidy bit for gadgets like these you rarely get a case with it or you have to buy one separately.
Ahh, but this signals a crafty chance to raid the stash pile and make something original.
I have had the above fabric for a while. It was intended for a dairy cover commission but an alternative fabric was used.
I decided to lightly quilt it and lined it with the same fabric. I love buttons and this sparkly one just bounced up and down in the box saying "me! me! Sew me on!", so of course I did.

A simple quick fastening means that I can include the earphones and if needed the charging cable as well, plenty of room inside.
The top flaps over and the loop secures around the button. I have been able to put the i-Touch upside down and wear the headphones while it is still in the case! I did not want to mess around with holes to attach the earphones through, difficult to finish it off neatly.
I am really pleased with the way it turned out and I even had some fabric left over.
Want to know what I made with it?
Pop back to see tomorrow.

Monday, 24 January 2011

CAB Team Treasury

I was lucky enough to get an email via Etsy about one of my handmade purses being included in a CABTeam Treasury.

My item is on the print screen above, top row second one in from the left.
The print screen is in two halves due to only having a notebook laptop and this just happens! Anyway, it is so nice when your items are picked out from the 1000's which can be found on Etsy.
This would make a lovely Valentines present for someone or a treat for yourself, there is a matching bag too.
I actually saw Easter Eggs in the shops at the beginning of January and thought that we have not even finished with Valentines. I do feel that the year does know get shorter.
Have a great week and keep warm, we must have been if the electricity bill that has just arrived is anything to go by!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Eden Project Sketchbook Visit

A couple of weeks ago we visited the Eden Project to renew our locals visitors cards. Once we had done that we looked around the Biomes. I posted about the viewing platform that Sophie and Hubby were brave enough to go up, but not me!!
We also visited the education centre and it was very interesting and links well with Textiles.
There was also a very large sculpture called The Seed made from 170 tonnes of concrete which once sculpted now weighs 70 tonnes. There are photos with a step by step explanation of the design from start to finish and to too nearly 2 years to completed. How they got the shaping of each seed section is fascinating.
Sorry, blogger playing silly "bloggers" again as this picture has been turned on it side again.
There were also other pictures and mini exhibitions of seeds and these were ideal for my SEED sketchbook.
This page is a combination of two of my photos from The Seed sculpture and I simply weaved them together to gain another unusual picture. I like this technique and use it a lot.
If you are going to the Eden Project just go and see this exhibition, it really is quite incredible. Oh and make sure that you have camera with you!

I promise that this is the last post about making my SEED sketchbook but I did get to enjoy doing this and I so not think that it turned out too bad in the end, did it?
Now it is time to move on to something else.
Have a good week

Monday, 17 January 2011

Seed Sketch Book - Final pages.

Nearly finished the SEED sketchbook.
I was given a lovely birthday card at Christmas with a dandelion image and this set off another few pages.
It is a pity that blogger just would not let me put the picture the right way round!!
Anyway, above I used watercolour paints, fine line pen and some coloured pencils.
The above picture shows the cards at the top and then my ideas underneath. I intended on having this picture t open my post but you would need to lie down to view it, well maybe you are anyway. I hope you can still see what I was trying to do. I think that I may revisit this picture too.

This section of the book shows some pictures that I took out and about last September and on the left is a picture which I printed onto photo paper and then with a fine black pen extended it out from the photo and onto the background page which has a green and yellow water colour wash background.

Close up of my drawing.
The side view of the sketchbook looks quite interesting too, don't you think?

I can now concentrate on my new sketchbook challenge and we will soon move into February where we will get a new theme. I would like to try and add another couple of pages to my "Highly Prized" pages before that if I can.

However, my SEED sketchbook is now a closed book.

Hopefully it will go on display along with everyone elses with the Embroiderers Guild branch that I try and attend during the year. I will let you know what happens with that .

More tomorrow as I want to try and do some work tonight and leave the weekend a bit clear. I think hubby is flying off somewhere else again on Sunday.

Keep warm as it is literally freezing here in Cornwall, trust me, I have just grabbed a bag of stuff out of the car and it is all jammed up already!!


Sunday, 16 January 2011

What is this?

I found this sculpture whilst surfing the internet. It is in the USA and was created in a park. I was at my friends house and did not get a chance to write all of the details down.
This is pretty much how I look at the end of a working week!

Any ideas?
I was astonished to find it is made out of......

.....Lots and lots of brightly coloured flip flops!!!

I can not wait for warmer weather so that I can put mine back onto my feet. I find them so much more comfortable than anything else.


Friday, 14 January 2011

My New Read.

It has been really hectic since going back to work. Sewing has been on the back burner. I even had to fore go my sewing evening this week because hubby had to suddenly go on a business trip to Edinburgh.
I have managed to fit in a bit of reading before putting the light out otherwise I do not fully unwind and lay awake for hours!
So I have finished Memoirs of a Geisha and the above is next to be opened.
I was given it by my parents as part of my birthday present in December. I find this author easy to read and I have read everything written so far!
I have been playing around with my new camera and so some items will be photographed tomorrow and crafting will commence (I hope) well after taking Sophie to ballet and then food shopping!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Eden Project - Aerial View

Last weekend we decided to pop down to the Eden Project and re-new our local visitor cards. We have not been for ages, months even. There is still some sorting out to do due to the flooding a couple of months ago.
However, there is now a viewing platform (see above) that you can pay to go up to and it is high, near the top of the Tropical Biome.

I do not like heights and unless there is an angry bear chasing me I will not go, so Hubby and Sophie decided that they wanted to take a look, so I stayed on the ground, (offered the use of a bench which was nice) and Hubby took my camera to take these pictures for me.

This picture is looking down on the palms in the Tropical Biome.

This picture might give you an idea of perspective. Just above the wall is the walkway to start getting up to the platform.

This is what the surface of the steps and viewing platform looks like. Lots of holes, you can see below.....all the way down......a long way down........equals in my mind as ..........................FEAR!!!! Sorry, I shall clam down a bit now.

I can not bring myself to walk on something that does not look strong enough, I know, I know it is not rational etc but if the steps and the platform were filled then I would go up. Defeats the point a bit I suppose.

I think that this picture is lovely and I hope to perhaps use this at some point in my sketchbook.

The white ball in this picture is a balloon which has a seat attached for one person and this was used last year for maintainance and then for visitors to have a go. It was very popular so hence the platform was built.

Here, you can see how small the people are walking below to get an impression of how high this platform is, shiver, shiver!

It was a great couple of hours and then home to get changed and meet up with friends for an Indian Buffet.

The last few months have been filled with work, illness, rehearsals and then panto performances, plus the festive season. So it was good to get out without having to rush around. I find visitng Eden very enjoyable and a chance to use my camera. In this case, my new Christmas Camera.Still learning to get to grips with it.

We did go into the Mediterranean Biome but I shall save that for tomorrow. I have got some work to do for the day job.

One final picture, I really like this, pity I could not find out what the plant was called.

Take care


Sunday, 9 January 2011

Sketchbook Challenge 1 - Highly Prized

Well, here it is. My first installment for the Sketchbook Challenge theme for January which is "Highly Prized"
I decided to use digital photography for this one, partly because I could not really draw all that I wanted to include. I also wanted to create a double page spread.

I took pictures of a range of people, places, themes etc which I prize. Then I wrote a series of words around the border to link to the pictures. My hubby's solution to avoiding yet another soaked wash due to rain was hilarious, but it worked!!

Finally, I used blue watercolour over any white patches on the border to blend them in a little so that they do not look so stark. The above page features some things I have made plus my daughter making a hat and some primary students work.

I am quite pleased with my first effort and the fact that I have made the deadline.
Now to get the pictures onto Flickr.
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