Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Framed Collage

I realise that I haven't shown you what I've been making recently...
Occasionally its nice to come away from the sewing machine and work on something different. I'm finding it hard to juggle everything that's going on here at the moment, so to work on a simpler project now and then is relaxing.
Making for the V&H fair on top of my website stock is a lot of extra work...added to this, there is a mass of gardening to do at this time of year, always housework(!), and family life - its half term as of next week too...anyway, you know how it goes, so if my blog posts dry up for a while, you'll understand why....
This is my latest work:

A framed collage of antique and vintage treasures.
I used to make these a lot when I had my shop. Hopefully you can make out the one on the right hand side of the shelf (below) - I made use of an odd antique glove for that one!

I make them using Victorian/Edwardian picture frames found at flea markets and fairs; the ones with the painted gold slips around the edges - This creates a void a few millimeters deep between the glass and the backing board for the small items used in the collage to just fit.
For this one I covered the back in antique sheet music and a length of fine old lace. A card of linen buttons, thread and bodkin suggest that the lady in the frame liked to sew...

A genuine Victorian scrap adds colour and another suggestion to the past.

The Victorian cabinet photograph is teamed with some vintage velvet violets to pull the purple colour scheme together.
I shall be wrapping this up and storing it for the fair, as I need to make a conscious effort to be well prepared for it now...

Have a great week,
Niki x
PS: Thanks so much for your Scheurer love on my previous post!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Shopping for Scheurer!

Cafe Rouge in Bath was the venue for a light lunch spent with two lovely ladies - an all too brief meeting with Michele was enjoyed on Friday morning, by Sue and myself. After catching up and savouring the French style food and ambiance, Michele had to head for home.

You may know that Sue recently made a very large purchase of hundreds of antique French fabric samples by the Scheurer company. Each sample is approx: 80cm x 50cm and had been stored in the Scheurer archives, many from the 1800's. Most were dated and held in paper folders, which means they are as crisp and new looking as the day they were first printed. The colours and condition are truly unbelievable for textiles of this age.
Sue came back home with me to let me have a look through the whole collection. Just to view these gorgeous designs is a privilege, to think that some of these prints haven't been seen for decades is awe inspiring...
Some of the designs are printed onto fine silks. If these fabrics had been used back in the day, there is no way they would have survived the years intact for us to enjoy today...OK I'm gushing here, but I really enjoyed myself!

It took a good two hours and several cups of tea to look through each and every sample. There are several colourways for most of the designs and picking favourites was extremely difficult!

In some cases I couldn't manage it, so chose three!
Of course my purse came out and I made a few purchases...
Being the predictable girl that I am, pink roses feature heavily!

I'm thinking that I may have to make a patchwork bedspread with large rectangular patches, so that each design can be seen and enjoyed every day.
Perhaps your choice wouldn't be pastel colours and roses? The Scheurer company had most styles covered; from bold ikat styles, Art Nouveau and Deco designs, full blown county house prints with urns filled with tumbling bouquets, to more graphic, almost William Morris type designs. You can see a few of these other styles on Sue's slide show here.
If you are interested in looking through the samples, then email Sue for details. Its a treat that I would recommend, but allow plenty of time!

I'll leave you with photos of the rest of my purchases. I've labeled those that were dated on their sample folder with a date of production...I obviously should have been born around the early 1900's!







Hope you enjoyed my selection - there's plenty more left for anyone interested...
Have a lovely weekend,
Niki x

Thursday, March 26, 2009

If a Picture Paints a Thousand Words...

...then I wonder what mine say about me...

We stayed at my brother's house last weekend. He has been doing up his home for the last two years and is finally on the homeward straight. The walls are white and furniture is bulky and made of leather. The only possessions on display are large sculptural house plants and a few pictures, which I helped him to hang before we went out to the party. His choice in art for the walls is modern, very graphic, with bold areas of colour. (Could a brother and sister be more different?!)

On my return home, I saw our house with fresh eyes...and I enjoyed looking at the pictures that we have on our walls again. I admit that I don't have sophisticated taste when it comes to art and am of course drawn to vintage prints.

People and faces feature heavily, which I feel adds life and soul to a room. The picture above is a beautiful Victorian calendar print from 1909, which is entitled 'Our Boy'. Very chocolate boxy and uncool(!), but I love its romantic and nostalgic air.

An old French advertising board hangs in my workroom.

C1920’s prints with their dramatic colour scheme can be found on the walls of the back hallway.

An original portrait of a beautiful woman with a red rose in her hair has been with me for many years.

'The Four Seasons’ hang in their round Barbola floral frames above a doorway.

A newer addition is this collage on a tin tile made by ‘Sea Dream Studio’, which I purchased through Etsy a year or so ago.

Framed C19th toile de jouy features an angel and cherubs.

One of my favourite prints is this one; ‘Best of Friends’ by Raphael Kirchner. I’m often drawn to flapper girls in pretty hats, and the fact that I picked this one up for £2.50 was a bonus.

Also in our living room are these two small pieces. One, a mirror, with a cherub panel by Bessie Pease Gutmann; the other is an old photo postcard that I embellished with tiny millinery flowers and lace.

A German advertising letter rack is useful in the hall.

I found this old print at a flea market for 50pence and placed it inside a moulded frame painted white. I love the fact that it echoes my love of roses and hats!

Reclining ladies printed on silk from 1890 entitled ‘A Lullaby’, look at home above the slipper bath in our master bedroom.

More lovely ladies rest on the hook rail in the bathroom….

Along with this confident lass from the 1950’s!

A Victorian flue cover with another chocolate boxy image! And a tiny cracker tin has a child’s portrait on its lid.

Pretty girl and roses – perfect!

One of my tiniest pictures is the angel print above the dressing table…

Which ties in nicely with the toile panel on my bedside cupboard…

With more people and faces on the cushions.

A decoupage panel on the fire screen, again in the master bedroom, coordinates well with the blue tiled fireplace.

'The Bloom of Youth’ welcomes visitors to our home, in the porch.

My other love, as you may know, is roses…I just can’t resist a beautifully painted rose picture to add a splash of colour to a room.

A Victorian religious print in my workroom, with its simple reminder.

Catherine Klein floral prints in unusual oval frames…
and another in a rectangular frame for good measure!

Roses abound in the downstairs loo too!
Pink roses on an old calendar.
And more pink blooms, this time an original artwork.

Another favourite of mine is this large lilac and roses yard long (or yard tall!) on the stairs.

White milk glass painted with red and white roses with a wedding cake icing frame.

…oh yes, I love red and white!

And at night I gaze up at another original painting, this one dated 1927 and in a jet black frame.

You would also find framed embroideries of country cottages, Victorian cabinet photographs and family photos too scattered about our home, but I’ve probably bored you enough for today!
Enjoy the rest of your week,
Niki x