Thursday, 23 February 2012

Tamara de Lempicka

At my local art appreciation group we have been studying Tamara de Lempicka.  I had never heard of her before.  She was born into a wealthy and prominent family in Warsaw in 1898 and lived to be 82 years of age.

In 1916 she married Tadeusz Łempicki,a well-known ladies' man, gadabout, and lawyer by title, who was tempted by her significant dowry.  This is her painting his portrait.

In Paris, the Lempickis lived for a while from the sale of family jewels. Tadeusz proved unwilling or unable to find suitable work, which added to the domestic strain, while Maria gave birth to Kizette de Lempicka.  She rarely saw her daughter. When Kizette was not away at boarding school, she was often with her grandmother.  Kizette was neglected, but also immortalized. De Lempicka painted her only child repeatedly.  She won her first major award in 1927, first prize at the Exposition Internationale de Beaux Arts in Bordeaux for

 Kizette on the Balcony.

Kizette in Pink, 1926
During the Roaring 20s Tamara was part of the bohemian life.  Famous for her libido she was bisexual and her affairs were scandalous at that time.

Her first famous show was in Milan in 1925 and she was soon the most fashionable portrait painter of her generation among the aristocracy, painting duchesses and grand dukes and socialites and through this network of friends, she was able to display her paintings in the most elite salons of the era.

In 1925, she painted her iconic work Auto-Portrait (Tamara in the Green Bugatti) for the cover of the German fashion magazine who described the self-portrait as a real image of the independent woman who asserts herself - her hands are gloved, she is helmeted, and inaccessible; a cold and disturbing beauty through which pierces a formidable being—this woman is free.

Here are some more of her paintings

If you would like to learn more about Tamara de Lempicka you can read about her here.  Apparently Madonna is a huge fan and collector of her work as are Jack Nicholson and Barbara Streisand also.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Oh So Vintage Sale

I just thought I would post photos of some of the items I have in the Oh So Vintage Sale.

This white crocheted drawstring bag is just £4.50 and would be ideal for storing hairbrushes, straighteners, and hairdrier on the back of a bedroom/bathroom door if you are short of space.

This French enamel pitcher/jug is reduced to just £24. It stands 15 inches in height and is watertight so suitable for displaying fresh flowers.

How about this galvanised mop bucket, dated 1975.  This would look lovely (and unusual) planted with spring flowers.  The price is £9.

Another unusual item is this French wine cork inserter - perfect for the person who has everything (except one of these).  Another bargain at just £5.

This wooden 'bowl' was sourced in France and sold to me as having been used in butter making but I'm not sure.  It stands almost 8 inches in height and has been hand made/carved and has a spout for pouring.  It could be used as a fruit bowl or for a plant.  Priced at just £15.

This lavender bag has been made from Hungarian grain cloth and I have appliqued a monogrammed 'C' that I bought in France.  The ribbon is from East of India.  If this is your initial or if you have a friend called Clare, Caroline, Charlotte etc. then this would make a lovely present.  Cost £5.

If you are interested in any of these items please have a look at a more detailed description on my website in the Sale section.  I will also be reducing more items over the next few days.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Felted bag

I have just finished my first attempt at a felted bag and am quite pleased!

I had previously made the flower so as the colours were the same I decided to use this rather than make another.

The strap actually took ages to make with continual rolling and wetting. 

There are no seams in the bag, it is all made in one piece with a template in the middle then layers of wool around the template.  The only sewing was to attach the loop and felt button.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Nuno Felting

This is my first attempt at nuno felting (a technique which bonds loose fibre, usually wool, into a sheer fabric such as silk gauze).  Having seen lots of beautiful scarves on Pinterest and google images I decided to make myself a scarf.  I watched several videos on youtube and decided this lady's were the easiest to follow.  The most suitable fabric I could find was some black silk chiffon so then it was a question of deciding which colours of wool to use.  As most of my clothes seem to be grey or black I decided to keep to these colours.  This is the finished result. 

I was really pleased with my effort but the first friend I showed it to remarked that it was drab and stiff!  Undeterred I did wear it and had lots of favourable comments.  It is stiffer than I had wanted but now I have discovered that the company from which I buy my wool tops also sells silk gauze (unfortunately only in white but I can dye it).

Because I did not have a piece of silk long enough then I had to join two pieces in the middle.  This is quite easy as the felted wool joins them.  I also had to put wool all around the edges as they were raw edges.

I am really keen to make some more scarves and am even wondering about selling them.  What do you think?

I have started going to my ceramics class again though I am not very good at it.  Here are some hearts  I have made


and some crackle glazed Christmas bells, stars and holly.

I have also made several ceramic buttons and I am wondering if these would also sell as I can do them in any colour people would want.  They could be used on cushion covers as well as knitwear.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Vintage Market

Yesterday my daughter and I visited Boscombe Vintage Market near where she lives.  We'd never been before and were pleasantly surprised at the lovely things for sale. 

I only bought one thing (and for myself, not re-sale).  I love these mosaic ear clips which I shall wear as dress clips on a dress or jumper. 

We then went into Christchurch

for some lunch (her treat) and a bit of shopping at Kiki's boutique.  It's a lovely shop and I usually find something to buy there.