Thursday, January 31, 2008

Natural Pattern!

I have this deep secret yearning to be a textile designer. I am fascinated by pattern - but my artistic and drawing skills need a lot of help before I can produce something better than a stick figure print!

So...I had a few more moments of delight with those African Tulip [Spathodea Campanulata] Flowers - Presenting....
"Spathodea Damask"

and "Spathodea Rhythm"!

Ayelet Iontef of Allover Print has a lovely idea - She uses flower shapes to create beautiful patterns for real!

Visit her blog to ooh and aah over her work!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

African Tulips

Mother Nature has been dotting my driveway with giant orange confetti! I just had to show you the blooms from the beautiful African Tulip Tree [Chad thought he was the reason for the photo shoot!]
We are always surprised by their arrival, because they bloom way up in the sky where we can hardly see them - until they fall.That delicious bright orange made me feel all lighthearted and I decided to play!And play...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Great Gardiner!

I mentioned Nancy Gardiner yesterday and I thought I would show you a little of her work today. In the Gardener Magazine she has written an article on Garden Steps - and tells the story of these...
A friend asked all the guests coming to her birthday party to bring broken bits of plate and creramics. She used these to decorate this existing set of stairs in her garden. I guess a kind of Garden Patchwork Quilt full of memories!
More of this gracious and adventurous lady's photos are available here at Images of Africa.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Teddy Stack

A few years ago, I was privileged to spend some time at the home of Nancy Gardiner, a legendary lady, gardener, photographer and author. I remember arriving at her home and seeing the table set for our garden club ladies with bone china tea cups. She herself well into her 70s at that stage was dressed in a beautiful rose print dress. Her garden in the Midlands was awe inspiring and her home - so gracious.
I remember that in her dining room - she had an arm chair - full of teddy bears. I decided then - that one day when I was a granny - I would have a similar chair. My youngest daughter took this challenge up and started to give me teddies for this collection whenever she could - mother's day, birthday, etc.
They have lived in many places in my home - but I quite like the latest place...
I have squashed them all into an old CD rack case, which I painted white. It is much easier for dusting and forms a solid column of colour and interest on my dressing table. And when I become a Granny, I'll put them on the rocking chair!

Friday, January 25, 2008

'Inspiring' Interiors

I am part of the decor team at our church - a lovely modern building. A whole new section has to be decorated and so we've been looking around for inspiration. Gottfried Bohm's Pilgrimage church photographed by Christoph Morlinghaus certainly is an inspirational vision.

His photo of the Kramer Chapel is also striking:
Qubus Design Studio were responsible for the interior of St Bartholomew's Church Nature and Creation often speak to us of God, but He uses beautiful architecture to catch our attention too!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Light White!

Winnie Lui, jewellery designer - now lighting designer for Innermost too - has created a limited edition of 50 white and 50 black chandeliers. Her work gives often overlooked everyday and vintage objects a fresh perspective. I love it! via Haute Nature.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I Still like White!!!

More "white" around my house...

This old wooden tray has been painted white and given a fresh new life! My white sugar bowl/ vase is a real delight to me! My Skinny La Minx tea towel is folded up to form an impromptu tray cloth!

These oil paintings are sentimental to us, but the frames were dated. Instead of replacing them, I painted the 2 different frames white and they now form a light and pleasing pair!
White... is not a mere absence of colour; it is a shining and affirmative thing,

as fierce as red,

as definite as black...

God paints in many colours;

but He never paints so gorgeously,

I had almost said so gaudily,

as when He paints in white.

Gilbert K. Chesterton

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Skye Scraper!

My friend Skye Pengelly is studying Fashion design. I asked her to send me some pics of her final fashion design project.

Her brief went something like this... 50's style dress, empire line, full skirt, 2m of calico, 2 and 3 dimensions, dye, print and embellish.

Skye did something like this... fabric paint/bubble wrap for a honeycombed effect print, silk screen botanic design, fabric roses , tea-dyeing, frayed edges, a lot of fun!

I love the ingenuity of using bubble wrap to print the fabric. [You can see this in the top pic!] Well done Skye! The top twenty dresses will be exhibited at "Manna" in Durban some time this year. I certainly plan to be there!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Abode Attire!

'Clothing as Decor' always interests me:

Photographer Janne Peters captured this beautiful white on white scene.
These blouses in the window - perhaps they were hung there to dry? They tell a colourful story.

Visit Janne Peters for more inspiration.

Then visit my etsy shop to see this decor accessory I have recently added:

Friday, January 18, 2008

Ravishing Ruffles

Isn't this vintage St Michael nighty delightful?

All those ruffles - the wearer must have felt like a pretty iced cupcake in it!

I love buying vintage clothing - for decor. My bedroom already has quite a few evening dresses decorating it, so this little number is going into my etsy shop next week!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Re Tapestries

I love what Frederique Morrel does with "found" tapestries! What a fresh take on beautiful old craft.
She'll be at Maison and Objet in Paris at the end of January!

Via Hidden in France, via Style Files

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Delicious Delft!

I have come across yet another way to pattern food!
Minale Maeda has this toast pan with a co-ordinated plate! What a way to have your toast and marmelade! [via Bientot Demain]

Monday, January 14, 2008

Living in Sari Land

I really enjoy the different patterns and textures of the vintage saris that I come across here in Durban. I have been making some up into table cloths. The fact that they are vintage, and usually slightly damaged makes it easier to cut these beautiful lengths of material up.

I love the fact that these are obviously saris! Many have decorative end pieces and borders only on the one side. They make me smile!

Each one has a storage envelope of matching or contrasting sari fabric to help keep these tablecloths neat when stacked in the cupboard. And yes...they will also be coming soon to my etsy shop!

Belgian is Beautiful!

I just received these beautiful Candle Stick Crystals from my sister-in-law in Belgium. She has such a talent for buying gifts and always gives me "something I really wanted"! Thanks Nicky!

We are hoping to go and visit her later this year. I can't wait to see them and drink all that excellent coffee, visit the street markets, eat amazing food and chocolates, and visit the Brocanteurs!

There are a few other things I've seen on the net that I like in Belgium -

I love Atelier Blink's Polyamide mat featuring dishes from a flea market!
Raphael Charles has designed an industrial-like candlestick, with a built in lighter! The socket for the candle is magnestised, so you can place it wherever you like!
Such Creative Ideas! I love it!
For More Belgian culture and design visit .behive

Friday, January 11, 2008

Antimacassar Tote!

I decided to make a Carrry Bag out of this Vintage Antimacassar. I am trying my best to be "green" by remembering to take my shopping bag with me - instead of buying plastic! The fact that this Carry Bag has already been Re-cycled makes it doubly "green"!
Can you see the Cicada posing amongst the embroidery? Their high pitched, continuous singing is a trade mark of summer here in Durban, South Africa.

The Bag is going to the shop - my etsy one!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

NEWS!!! and Some More Vintage Tags...

Following on from yesterday's Tag post, today I am going to share 3 more "Re-Cycled Design" destinations on the web and also make an announcement! Tarrraaa.....
My own Freshly Found etsy shop is finally up and running and so I have to say that it is a favourite of mine!!!

This Paisley Print Cushion is one of the items I have listed. In it's former life it was a Gentleman's Scarf - now it is 2 cushions! The colours are muted, yet vibrant and I am happy to think that this scarf can go out again! If not on the town - at least on someone's sofa!!

I am very taken with Boris Bally's Transit chairs , made from re-used traffic signs!
Mariella Di Gregorio makes beautiful jewellery from pieces of porcelain. Now who would have thought!?
I am not going to tag 7 people this time. Instead I invite anyone out there to share 7 of their favourite places to visit on the web!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Tagged Vintage

Carolyn Gavin of Designer Blog has tagged me. I was recently tagged, so I decided to share something different this time. I LOVE repurposing and recycling vintage or found goods - giving them a new and sometimes refreshingly unexpected life!
So I thought I would share 7 people around the web who do this in a way that I enjoy...
Petrie Point Designs [via Design Sponge], take Vintage Swimsuits and frame them beautifully. I love it when clothing has the chance to be art!
A favourite - Di Overton owner and designer of Ghost Furniture expresses this so well... specialising in "Bringing quality furniture back from the dead and making it hauntingly beautiful"! This candle stick is a great example of her work.

Author Danny Seo posted a brilliant giftwrapping idea for bottles, using shirt sleeves. I know what I am going to do with the left over sleeves from the cushion on yesterday's post!

Food and Interior Stylist Paul Lowe purchased some old doileys and made this whimsical corsage amongst a whole bunch of other things! Thanks Carolyn! I've enjoyed the tour myself so far! I'll tell you about the other 3 tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Shew! It's a Shirt!

A while ago, I told you how much I enjoyed Pozzynet's post on Shirt Cushions. Well, I have finally done it myself.

I found a delightful blouse, just begging to be turned into a cushion. The process was not as simple as I first thought, and involved unpicking, cutting, and fiddling, etc.

It was a lot of fun and I am delighted with the results. So much so, that I am busy with another one, which I will show you soon...

Monday, January 07, 2008

Geisha Girl

I just love this Japanese Silk Crepe Scarf - and I enjoyed making it up into a cushion cover! The colours are so vibrant! The scarf forms a continuous piece around the front and back, and it closes with a zip. I managed to not cut or snip the scarf at all - so it retains it's integrity as a scarf!