Tuesday, October 16, 2012

La Revenante - The Countess Papera Ephemera



It's again the time of the year when my friend the Countess comes for a visit and orders a new dress. For a change, she thought it would be fun to wear something from the late 19th century to fit in with The Dusty Victorian's surroundings.

Her dress is made of different types of paper products that I had already at home: brown craft paper for the skirt, white textured wall paper found in the attic for the bodice, coffee filters for the frills, and cardboard for the bustle support. Cardboard was also used for the hat, along with paper tape for ribbon details. I used different types of glues, including a glue stick, white glue, spray glue and packing tape. Only the belt and gloves are made of fabric and are from my own wardrobe. I would say that at least 95% of this project is made of products that can be recycled or reused.

To know more about the Countess Papera Ephemera you can go here. You can see her stepping out for last year's Halloween here
The bustle gives the Victorian dress its signature shape.



I had just bought a new bag of coffee filters when our coffee maker gave up the ghost.
We now use a French press so those filters have been put to a different use.

Giving the sleeve a natural curve required a lot of cut and past.
This shot reminds me of a Vermeer.












The Countess's dress is now ready. 
She will be stepping out on the 26th with her new dress and standing on our front porch again this Halloween.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dimmer Days & the Imminent Return of the Countess


Now that the days are getting shorter, natural light in an old Victorian is making itself scarce, so my attention has shifted to interior lighting. The suspended light fixture in the English study was waiting for four matching glass shades. I found a suitable foursome on Ebay at Jimmy's Attic Treasures - Thank you Jimmy (and wife) for your excellent service.


When days grow shorter, I know I'll soon be visited by The Countess Papera Ephemera for a new custom dress order. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Chandelier Porch Light


Patience is a must when owning an old home and following a budget. Tending to the 'container' must have priority over the content. Repairs, restorations and replacements come first, while decoration and beautification are a distant second. But sometimes, it's nice to break the rule and indulge in aesthetic improvements even though it's not a priority.

For a while now, I've been keeping an eye open for a porch light. Something old with some 'oomph'. Then I found it, a beautiful chandelier, Plaire on Etsy – Thank you, Shealagh, for great customer service.

Don't know much about this piece. It's not Victorian, but it has the spirit. The unusual flattened shape makes it perfect for where it will hang since the box on the ceiling is close to the wall. The chandelier is an unexpected choice, but I think it gives the house more whimsy and romance. It had a brown/rust finish, so I spray painted it flat black for an old cast iron look. Pieces such as these trigger my imagination. Its unusual shape makes me wonder where it might have hung in the past. I know I'll be regularly sweeping away the spider webs, but it'll be well worth the effort.

The timid ceiling light to be replaced...
by a more exuberant choice.
Hanging near the little bistro set. 
Inconspicuous wires anchor it in place so it doesn't sway or swing into the glass window.
Lighting to a house is like jewellery on a woman.
Not only does it illuminate the exterior entrance,...
but the interior one as well.
A Happy Thanksgiving to all!