Monday, 30 April 2012


This is my best time of year, especially in our garden and is always heralded by the first flowers on my Camellias. Aren't they pretty, this is the first time flowering for this tree and it beat the other more established Japonica varieties, which are my beloved pom-poms.

Thursday, 26 April 2012


Now I love really ancient tapestries and really kitsch tapestries but sometimes there are ones in between that are a little blah. Too smooth or something? I also love the digital pixelated nature of them and the limited colour palette, very similar to Paint-by-Numbers. So once again, purists please avert your eyes and take pleasure in the fact my fingers are hurting like heck. I have wanted to distress a tapestry or cross stitch for a long time, a bit like how I cut into paper to make texture for my illustrations. It is amazing just how cathartic and how intricate the process of undoing someones work is. Like going in reverse but with a different outcome all together. There was a section of this tapestry that I wanted to highlight and use in the CON AMORE Haberdashery installation. I created a board yesterday on PINTEREST for Repurposed Tapestries, I could have added a trillion more but was getting too sidetracked!

Opening the back unearthed the pattern number, ooh so awesome and the colour test. The tapestry was pinned to the board by the tiniest and sharpest tacks I haver ever seen, like little devil thorns.

Sore fingers and a large bag of colourful wool fluff later, so pleased with my deconstructed tapestry, will hang it up with pale blue striped ribbon tape on a pale blue hook.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


Had to do a post on the amazing CASSANDRA SMITH, have been a huge fan forever and she was one of the reasons I wanted a blog before I had a blog. Her colour palette is ridiculously beautiful and she interprets New Geometry in such a natural way. Her work is like jewellery on a large scale. No antler dipping posts would be any good without this queen of the taxidermy art. The very clever LUCKY PONY blogged about Cassandra's hatchets recently, make sure you visit her blog she has the best taste ever. If I had a shop these antlers would be hanging in the window no doubt about it!



Tuesday, 24 April 2012


Was delighted to find this little antler on one of my treasure hunts, had to dip it in gold. Have done a Board on my PINTEREST with some other golden antler treats. Antlers are shed naturally by deer, so no nasty cruel stuff involved.


Finished coats of white on the printers tray, done a light paper mask to do the second colour which is a very beautiful light pistachio.

Also finished undercoats on the shoe last and done first coat of duck egg blue. It's funny it looks like I have altered a black & white photo but they are both colour shots, before and after.

I have two old drawers which will be used as shelves, one will have a solid block of colour for the background and the other will have overlapping geometric shapes, probably triangles - in white, blue, yellow and gold.


Have a big painting morning planned, so leaving you will my fave song of the moment. Crazy girl, love her style!

Monday, 23 April 2012


Ordered this celestial Cloud White bunting from BELBUNTING for my Night Picnic. You can hire for your specific function or order your own to keep, made from scratch! Was so delighted with the quick and friendly service. Look how beautifully it was packaged! Have a look at the website for all the lovely styles and fabric choices. It's a partaaaay in a box!


Friday, 20 April 2012


How awesome are these embroidery thread boxes by KNS, the Krishna Novelty Store, thread dealers from Mumbai. The pattern, colour combo and logo banner sigh. Treasure from the haberdashery that sold me the WISS scissors. I know they are probably wholesale thread merchants but I imagine the Krishna Novelty Store to be a place of wonders, at least 5 stories high and packed to the rafters with knick knacks, elusive aromas and dust motes that float in lazy sunbeams that filter through gaps in the tall windows and aging swaybacked roof.

For when you need to be speedy.

I love the quasi religious, almost crusades feel to these boxes, they have the absolute best history. Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908 - 2004) was a French photographer considered to be the father of modern photojournalism. He was an early adopter of 35 mm format and a master of candid photography. He helped develop the 'street photography' style. His father was a wealthy textile manufacturer, whose Cartier-Bresson thread was a staple of French sewing kits. His parents financial support provided him with the independence to develop his photography further than many of his contemporaries of the time. So it can be said that this humble thread has street cred. (Thank you Wikipedia)

His work is really beautiful and many of the images are pretty saucy for the era in which they were shot.

I think this company may be American but any Google action resulted in links to Jerry Jerry Jerry! I like the mod solid blocks of colour on this box, the dust is trés authentic.

Thursday, 19 April 2012


I love scissors nearly as much as I love hammers so I was beside myself when the wonderful gentleman proprietor of a local haberdashery (that is closing it's doors after eons) sold me these WISS scissors. They could not make up for the sadness of the shops demise but are a matching pair to my pinking shears so I am most grateful to have them. These shapely scissors where used by the haberdashers themselves and were not for sale to the public. I will be using the paper packaging in the CON AMORE Haberdashery installation.

There is a lovely history of J Wiss & Sons here.

No discerning manufacturers marks on these two - bought separately from different collectors. Love the austere nature of the black pair and the jaunty red enamel grip of the right pair.

These crazy and extremely dusty high quality numbers hail from a trading store down a busy alley. Going to put them all together in a vintage jar or jug or may even hang them as is, will decide later.

These dainty little bird embroidery scissors have been around for yonks, this is a modern version which reminds me of a stylized Ibis.

The complete other side of the coin, these little thread nippers are practicality personified. No muss no fuss, packaged in grease to keep away the rust. These weeny beasties are all work and no play.

On their recent trip to India, Charles Kerr and Maria Cochrane, style proprietors and owners of CON AMORE, collected these wonderful tailors scissors for the Haberdashery. Read more about their trip here.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012


These are two of the elements I have sourced for the CON AMORE La Lucia Haberdashery installation. Purists out there avert your eyes because I am going to be spray painting them both. Please don't cry, you'll see how beautifully they will don their new hues and bring their vintage aesthetic gracefully into a contemporary setting. Wooden shoe last and Caslon printers tray.

The messy studio looking a bit like a Columbian prison cell, dusty but ready for some spray painting action.

My cheerful yellow drop sheet saw way too much residue during my surf board prep, so cue a shiny new serious, extra strong, 75 Micron number.

All taped up and a little bit Dexter-ish but going to be making a semi violent paint storm. I practise safety first and will post a picture later of my stylish gear, have added a large pair of goggles to my gas mask.

They don't know quite what is about to envelop them but chin up, it's time to be coated in many fine layers of white and the most glamorous duck egg blue.

First coat, only about a trillion to go, rather like this moody shot.

One can down, about half way. Use a really awesome but expensive Painters Flat White, coverage is brilliant and gives the perfect Matt finish. Am on my way out to a final secret shhhhh location for the last few bits and bobs, more posts to follow.