Monday, October 24, 2011

In the Spirit of Halloween - The Guillotined Contessa


As mentioned in my previous post on the Contessa Papera Ephemera, here she is regally stepping out at dusk.


Her head resting on the shopping block.


Standing and patiently waiting for the kids to show up on Halloween night.


Perhaps seeing a familiar face in the meantime.


Wishing you all a ghostly Halloween.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

From Paper Dress to Rustic Trellis - Last DIY Project of the Season



All summer I said to myself "I need a trellis for my honeysuckle vine". Other more pressing things that can only be done during the warm season had to have priority. Now that it is too cold to work comfortably outside, I decided to do my trellis in my studio.


Our property is surrounded by old trees that shed their branches on a regular bases. They are usually kept for kindling in a pile at the back of the yard. But this time, some of the them would be used for my trellis.


We also have a nasty vine weed that grows on the chain link fence belonging to the neighboring school. We found out recently that it kills Pine trees and one of our trees has already suffered from it. So Brian pulled out as much as he could. They are good for wreaths though.

I selected my branches and positioned them in a pleasing manner.


So they wouldn't move around, I secured them with some twine at each intersection - this only until they were screwed in place.



I sawed off the ends that were sticking out.

Here is the finished trellis before I added the flower wreaths.


I used the vine weeds to do three flowers of different sizes. I don't think the petals will last, but that's okay.





I secured the flowers on the tips of the branches and Brian secured the trellis to the wall. Here I am placing the vines on it.



The honeysuckle vines will now grow upwards instead of falling into the window well.


Voila, my rustic folksy trellis. Not Victorian at all, but I think it still works because of our country setting.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Contessa Papera Ephemera - Halloween Decoration

Gather around children, for I will tell you the tragic story of a dear friend of mine, the Contessa Papera Ephemera, known to me as Poppy. I first met Poppy in a previous life, when I was a Parisian and owned my fashion shop. She would travel long distances every year to visit my shop and order dresses, mantels, wigs, purses, fans, shoes and everything else a beautiful aristocrat’s heart desired. She was a happy and carefree person - lots of fun to be around, but France was, in contrast, a very angry place at the time. The year she died, I had warned her not to come, but vanity and the lure of fashion proved to be too strong. She died in 1789 - guillotined. She still visits me every year (in two separate parts). We have been friends for the last 230 years. She much prefers the Dusty Victorian to my Vancouver condo. For Halloween, she thought it would be fun to show off her latest dress and welcome ‘trick or treaters’ at the Dusty Victorian’s door.

The Contessa will make her appearance on the front porch of the DV a week before Halloween. All materials used to make the Contessa's dress and wig were recycled. Different types of sticky tapes and glue were used to put it together. Of course, the Contessa believes that all is made of silk and wool. To meet a real expert and artist in paper dress making visit Isabelle de Borchgrave.