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Archive for August, 2009

Deco/steam pendant

This pendant is the simplest, of the steampunk batch, that I did.

peridot in watch face pendant

peridot in watch face pendant

The vintage watch face had such a terrifically art deco feel to it that I didn’t want to take away from it. All that has been done is a square faceted peridot has been set in the centre of the face and a bail attached to the back. There was already a great deal of wear to the face and I think that just adds to the over-all feel of it. The finely carved square details that are above and below the peridot give it a bit of jewellry appropriate dressiness. I think I’ll probably keep this one for myself, as soon as I find the perfect chain.

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While I’ve mostly been focusing my discussions on framing in a traditional style so far, it’s not the only style I can do.

Charles VII costume

Charles VII costume

This is an example of how you can incorporate a very traditional piece of art into a modern space. The art is an antique plate of a costume from Charles VII, King of France. It has been hand-tinted with lovely clear colours. (I think the tinting was done fairly recently) I wanted to bring out the red that makes the piece so dramatic and, luckily Fotiou makes a red lacquer frame that was a perfect match to the print. These high gloss frames have bright, clear colours and clean modern lines and are typical of Fotiou’s ahead-of-the-design-trends styles. The overall effect is strikingly modern while still setting off the artwork. The colour makes it highly dramatic, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing, as it means it would make a terrific focal point, in the right space. (keeping in mind that many modern spaces also have lots of light, I put UV filtering glass on it in addition to using an archival backing and mats)

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Harvesting

The bounty from the garden is starting to really come in. The runner beans have to be checked daily, to keep ahead of production.

garden produce

garden produce

I’ll start letting some form beans soon, but we love eating them fresh. The raspberries are giving us a handful of berries or so a day. The main crop is still working towards ripeness so we should have small amounts until the frost, and that is far more than we had hoped for this, their first year in. The tomatoes are finally starting to change colour. The black cherries are ripening in small numbers (the patio reds and yellows are still producing as well), but soon there will be a flood. These are some of the first ripe brandy-wine, white and beefsteak varieties. We’ll have some tonight in my favorite way: sliced over a thin layer of chevre (a soft white goats cheese) on baguette. I only add a sprinkle of salt, but a few friends I’ve introduced this to swear by a drizzle of balsamic over the tomato slices. I leave it up to you!

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With all of my art interests, keeping the supplies both under control and organized is always a challenge.

suitcase stack

suitcase stack

This style of suitcase stack is one of the solutions I use myself. Take a bunch of vintage hard-back suitcases and stack them according to size. You can make tags for each one that says what’s in it, if you really to push the organizational envelope. (I tend to just count on my memory, for as long as that lasts!) While I have my own set, we’ve been trying to keep one for sale here in the store. Pieces come and go (and I’m still waiting for someone to just take the whole set) but I work at keeping the look, because it’s not just the suitcases I want to pass on, it’s the idea. I just love it as a way to use the beautiful old suitcases that are no longer practical to travel with and also make organization and storage stylish.

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Yet another of the steampunk pendants. This one has the brass back of an antique watch, as the base and a vintage carved tigers eye cameo.

tigers eye pendant

tigers eye pendant

The tigers eye has a pair of warriors in profile. (they are in line, so you see one in full and the other shows just the edge of his profile) Mother found a couple of these carved pieces for a me a few years ago and finding ways to show them off has been brewing, in the back of my mind, ever since. The corners of the stone back have been blunted, so it fits really well into a cradle of gear supports. The overall pendant is only about 1 1/2” wide and the carved stone is around 1”x1/2”. I didn’t want to distract too much from the tigers eye so there is only one additional decorative gear, to enhance the mechanical look of the base. It’s strung, for show, on a gold coloured twist chain.

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Hankies

This past weekend, I had a customer come in who was looking for something very specific. She wanted hankies.

vintage hand linens

vintage hand linens

Not to collect, but to use. She said she was trying to get enough that she could mostly give up on using disposable tissues, I thought it was a great idea. It turned out that we had some sets on hand (and they could be found quickly too!) so she picked up a few and left happy. (her husband was pleased as well, he said “she could want diamonds”) We have had a few linens out, but they tend to be the more decorative hankies or napkins like the ones in the photo. All were clearly never used much, if at all. I’m considering having a little stack of some of the more practical ones out for other people who are also trying to cut down on their use of disposables.

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This is one of the few masks that I’ve done that isn’t an original design.

Summer Queen mask

Summer Queen mask

It’s based on a painting that Micheal Whelan (his website is here) did for the cover of Joan D. Vinge’s novel “The Summer Queen”. I had to simplify the design a bit but I think the overall effect is similar. This piece is one of the things that draws the most numbers of comments from people visiting. What I find funny is how few recognize the bio-hazard trefoil that makes up the centre of the disk. It is a bit stylized but the gilding seems to let it just slip by as a decorative pattern. This photo doesn’t really show the circuit boards that flank the main disk (the flowers/grass cover them, from this angle) and the wires that circle the disk are discreet so the technological tie-ins are often missed. I lined the inside with a purple silk so it’s more comfortable when worn. I also planned around having a hanging loop. This is actually the second version I’ve done of this one and I had to add the loop after, which was not easy. I keep intending to do the other three seasons (and Winter would not be a copy of the prior novel’s cover), but I’m still missing a few parts that I want to use and the time, since these are much more involved than my typical masks. I’m hoping I’ll be able to get to them this winter. At least I’ve got the designs mostly planned out!

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