Monday, February 8, 2016

Happy Chinese New Year - 2016, Year of the Monkey

Patrick, a dear friend of mine celebrated his 50th birthday on February 2nd. A dinner party for 15 people was organized and hosted in the home of the sweetest, most gracious and generous couple, Frances and Bob. When we asked what could we contribute, decorations was the answer. Knowing very well that our friend puts his heart and soul in decorating his house when he's the host, we thought "no monkeying around".
The birthday boy is Chinese-Canadian, and the Chinese New Year was around the corner so we went 'Chinoiserie' all the way.

Reusing some of my older lanterns, I refreshed them with some cherry blossom designs.

A garland of origami cranes was made by my daughter.

Different types of fabrics cut in circles to represent the new moon were sewn together to create more garlands.

The same organza fabric was used to dress up tea lights.

 And for the table, I made this arrangement using a long rectangular bread basket, bamboo canes and a black teapot.

The little lanterns hanging from the bamboo cane were also handmade using glossy paper from old magazines.

My black teapot came in very handy nestled in the middle. The flowers were added later on the day before the dinner party.

I designed some wind catchers, one of a monkey and one of a horse. My friend is a horse in the Chinese horoscope.

We set up everything the day before.

The final touches were 50 little origami horses made by Astrid and placed all over the tables and around the dining room.

We had the most delicious meal with perfect wine and shared the loveliest time amongst friends.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Hallway Bench - 1st DIY of the Year

2016 began with the completion of a project I started last summer: a hallway bench using the footboard of an old bed. Antique beds are shorter and narrower than today's standards, making them rather impractical. At the risk of being cyber-chastised by the antique furniture purists, I decided to re-purpose the footboard and its wood frame into a bench for our hallway.
Measurements: 54½" wide x 14" deep x 19" heigh

Our basement has many pieces of scrap wood left behind by previous DV owners.  I was able to find an old plank for the seat. Although warped this part would be hidden by the cushions.  I had to purchase a piece of wood for the two front legs, customized to match the two back legs. Staining will come later.

Below are my two mitred corners.

With leftover fabric from an earlier sewing project, I made two thick seat cushions.
So they wouldn't look like pillows, I did some basic tufting.

Almost done.

I also had some beautiful fabric to make some cushion covers.

Very 'William Morris', in keeping with the vintage of the house.

The original railings are affixed to the board with metal hooks, but that makes the bench wobbly so I added a very long screw at the back to stabilize it.

original hooks 

Here we are, the front legs have been stained and all the scrapes and scratches have been touched up without loosing the original patina of the wood.

It sits below a tapestry dear to my heart for its romantic medieval scene; a couple in a garden surrounded by little creatures of all sorts.

Another creatures dear to my heart, my little senior Beauty.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Ending 2015 on a Soprano's Note

Earlier in December, I had the lovely surprise of having my Christmas tree gown appear on Faerie Magazine's Facebook page. I was literally floored by the amount of 'Likes' and 'Shares' it generated and genuinely touched by the very kind comments and sweet compliments. Ms Carolyn Turgeon, Editor-in-Chief at Faerie Magazine, later asked me if she could include my dress in their newsletter.
I was honoured.

18th-Century Christmas Tree Gown 2015
Faerie Magazine is an enchanting publication that celebrates beauty and imagination. The style captures an otherworldly dimension that many creative types can retrieve to. My spirit friend, The Countessa Papera Ephemera, for whom I design these dresses, would approve wholeheartedly.

About Faerie:
Faerie Magazine is a quarterly print magazine that celebrates all things enchanted—from a scattering of mushrooms in an ancient forest to a sweet, scented gown made only of roses. Every issue features exquisite photography, original fiction and poetry, travel pieces (from bioluminescent bays to Scottish fairy hills and castles), artist profiles, recipes, home décor, otherworldly beauty tips, craft tutorials, and much more—with a dash of faerie (and mermaid, and dragon!) magic sprinkled throughout. Regular contributors include Alice Hoffman, Wendy and Brian Froud, Charles Vess, and many more. Faerie is published four times a year—in Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter—and is available in the Lifestyle section of Barnes & Noble (ask for magazine #28145) and through the Faerie Magazine website. We ship all over the world.

Faerie Magazine also as an online gift shop offering unique and carefully curated products, many of them made by artisans. From intricate miniatures, limited edition prints, jewelry, crowns, books, soaps, candy and much more. For every budget, age group and occasions, all in keeping with the enchanting spirit of the magazine. 

Below are a few of my favourites.

Blueberry Cluster Necklace
Mermaid Lollipop
Nesting Herb Spoon Set
Thank you Carolyn for an enchanting journey into your world.
On this crowning note...
To all a magical New Year!