Sunday, 23 December 2018

A Christmas Angel and Cards

Hello friends,

As Christmas draws closer I'd like to share with you the few hand-made Christmas cards I managed to complete this year, and most of which will be received after Christmas since I am not a good time planner!

The first card features gold foil I saved from the tops of butter, put through a Cuttlebug with an ornate die cutter.

It's finished with scraps of old music, hand-made paper, lace, a script scrapbook paper, a wedding lace motif, a scrap of lace, some gorgeous striped silk shot with gold and two rusty bells. I put two holes in the top of the card for ribbon so it can be hung. 

 I love this tender image, and used photoshop to make it monochrome with a purple tinge.

The next card uses the same image but in a pinkish tint. I love this pink gumleaf that gives it an Australian feel. I painted the background with shades of pink and mauve watery paints and shimmery gold spray. 

Some frayed open weave fabric, pieces of brown and white lace, some old sheet music and gold leaves to compliment the gold butter foil, again put through a cuttlebug.

The card below on the right is my daughter many years ago as a little angel. The left is a found image, using butter foil wings.

Some baby fairies and a lovely mother and child image feature on the cards below.

What magnificent dahlias have flowered now. I picked them just before it rained.

The card below has a stamped and glitter-embossed angel, on a glitter embossed dark background. I used an old book spine for an aged look, some silver butter foil embossed, a crochet scrap, a striped gold and cream silk scrap, gold leaf trim with a white button.

The angel below right is the same stamp, but embossed with black ink and powder over a dark embossed background. Some starry gold sheer fabric, more embossed butter foil, old sheet music, a scrap from an old red dress belt with a flower petal, crochet scrap and button are layered over a scrap of a grey silk blouse with red stitching and some black ticking stripes.

The baby angel is done in a pink, gold and black theme, with tiny rusty bells on the wooden star.

I experimented with a beige and red theme here. The fabric has red roses on a beige linen, and the angel was stitched on through the layeres, something Suzy showed me to do. The angel is stamped on in brown on coffee-dyed paper. Thanks, Suzy! The gold fake diamantes came on a large roll, so I cut a strip to give it a festive feel.

I also spent time altering a cheap Christmas angel which I purchased at a garage sale. I didn't think to take a photo of her before I started re-dressing her. She was a simple hanging glass heart bauble, with a skimpy skirt at the sides made of white gauze netting, with plastic glitter outlined wings. Definitely an under-dressed angel, so I spent an enjoyable morning giving her a new dress and wings.

I used scraps of mauve lace cut from old clothes, a doiley dyed pinky mauve, and some vintage doilies in cream and white. An ear ring is at her waist, some old broken beads hang down with two small golden bells on the ties.

This flower hat decoration clipped onto her dress with its sweet feathery bits hanging down. 

The feathers to cover the plastic wings were found on a bush walk.

These old bells I had were used on our fire truck for the Christmas Eve Santa Run. I sprayed them pink with mat chalk paint.

Now for a very Australian Christmas ritual...

These large Christmas bells were tied into the front of our local fire truck one year for the annual Christmas Eve 'Santa Run', when we take the trucks out filled with volunteer fire fighters wearing Santa hats. Santa himself sits in the passenger seat, and the volunteers throw lolly bags out for the children as we drive along every street in the neighbourhood, dividing the trucks into different areas.

Santa used to ride up on the back of the trucks, but due to changes in safety regulations he now sits in comfort inside the cabin of the truck. This ritual takes place across Eurobodalla, with many local volunteer fire brigades joining in. It's a time to remind people to donate to their brigade so they can afford various extra equipment such as navigation instruments, electronic hose reels, sunhats, folding chairs, drinks and snacks to pack on the trucks for fire-fighting.

As Santa rides around with sirens blasting out to call the children out excitedly, families gather to wave from their footpaths and driveways. While the children line up with arms outstretched to catch the lolly bags, adults toss their donation envelopes into buckets held out of the truck by the volunteers. Often packs of beer or bottles of wine are put into the bucket as thanks for helping to protect the area from bushfires.

In 2009, I got to be a Santa! I had the fun task of sweating in a Santa suit in the Summer heat as our brigade drove around one Christmas Eve. 

I put on a very deep gruff fake voice and Santa laugh, and totally covered by the Santa outfit, I don't think many recognised Santa's gender change!!! Even my own children, then quite young, didn't recognise my deep 'Ho Ho Ho'. Not even when I saw they'd left their own street without permission and commented gruffly, "Does your mother know you are not in your street?". They high-tailed it home, in time for the fire truck to arrive there, ready to catch their lollies. 

I wish you all a peaceful and happy Christmas, and hope your 2019 brings you closer to your dreams.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Vintage Baby Photo Frame Trees

Hello dear friends, 

It's the hectic time of the year, and I'm late with joining Simply Neutrals, but here I am!

These little metal frames hanging on a tree caught my eye at a thrift shop, and I couldn't resist displaying some of my precious orphan pictures from days gone by. I have no idea who they are, but they are the sweetest little angels.

My wonderful Mum gave me these amazing vintage pin cushion shoes, and they are a perfect accompaniment here.

I haven't seen these photo frame trees before, but I found another one in op shop again a couple of weeks later - maybe they are out of fashion, but I'm happy!

A pretty butterfly display with some of my Spring forget-me-nots. I'm certainly not forgetting these, as my cat comes in matted with their seeds every day! Argh! But I do love them!

On a recent walk I found these beautiful pinky shades of gumleaves on the ground, and decided to display them. The range of colours and tones is delicious, isn't it?

I've picked up a few cast-off Christmas decorations, but this year I found this lovely pink santa in a Christmas shop and couldn't resist him... I spray-painted the brush trees pink. The tray is a rescue too, and I spray painted it pink too.

These white lilies were going to be rained on, so I decided to pick some for the Christmas display...

I'm joining Wen for Simply Neutrals over at her blog, Appleapricot. Please join us there to see what other neutral beauty has been created, found or celebrated.

Wishing you some deep breaths to relax and enjoy the Christmas countdown.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Pastel Roses and Lace

Hello Friends,

It's the 50th Simply Neutral Party at Wen's blog, AppleApricot, so I'm celebrating with a bumper post and a special giveaway for you all below. Thank you, Wen for being such a warm and welcoming host, and also the community of artful women who have gathered to share their works and encourage each other in their various artistic pursuits. I've appreciated the inspiration, ideas, and friendships that have grown here.

I've chosen a mauve theme today - along with some other pastel roses, since my garden is overflowing with rose beauty at the moment. It's very challenging for me to limit myself to 'simply neutral' tones!!! I hope these choices fit the theme.

A gorgeous old print of a bunch of mauve roses in its chippy paint frame called to my heart. There's a signature at the bottom - 'Morgan' - but I couldn't find it on the Internet. I can't tell if it might be under copywright or not. This aged and stained mauve silk doiley I've had for years goes perfectly with it. It's from the personal collection of my friend Donna who has a wonderful vintage shop at Burrill Lake near here on the South Coast of Australia, called 'Lakeside Vintage'. Donna sells via Instagram, too, and can mail some things.

I had fun pulling out mauve stuff to display with it. Another reason I've not produced much art this month! Too much playing! You'll see it appears further down in this post with another picture.

Apart from gardening, I have been creative too. I pulled out a pile of old clothes I've been saving to alter - things that didn't fit properly, or needed some attention, or were just not quite right. Some were from charity shops, bought for their fabric, to turn into something else. I set about altering some of them... I stitched the grey rose in chiffon by hand, and attached a piece of lace cut from a round doiley. That made it flow nicely. I then gathered some mauve seam binding to cover the seam, and added a brown ribbon accent.

These mauve roses from my garden were perfect shades to show with it... The centre rose is called Stainless Steel, and the others are Novalis.

Roses by Jesse Rowan

Roses by Jesse Rowan

Roses by Jesse Rowan

This beautiful top had a fully gathered bodice which looked a little like a maternity top, so I added some lace decoration (old doileys) and a pale salmon cloth rose finished with a seam binding bow to break up the line of gathers. I love it much better this way. It's hanging against David Austin's rose, Windermere.

Upcycled top by Jesse Rowan

Upcycled clothes by Jesse Rowan

The cloth roses are sold by the metre, on a gauze strip at a local crafty shop. I used another on this cheap sleeveless top for Summer. I added some black braid around the neck and at the bottom of the lace to protect the cut edge. 

Upcycled clothes by Jesse Rowan

The lace was an op shop buy, gold on black netting. I cut the frill off a synthetic blouse that was too hot to wear here, and stitched it as a layer under the last flounce. I used a scrap from that blouse under the rose as a small frill.

Upcycled clothes by Jesse Rowan

The top is mostly cotton, loose and cool. It's become a little more dressed up.

Upcycled clothes by Jesse Rowan

Since we are here in the garden... 

Gardening has taken over my life these past few months, and our garden is looking magnificent. The roses are the best they have ever been. It's raining here now as I write this...surrounded by vases of roses I just HAD to save from browning in the rain... 29 vases of them!!

I picked a whole bucket of Climbing Cinderella roses at their best, as the rain browns the edges of the petals. I painted a metal bucket with pale pink chalk paint. My kids complain that there's not enough room to sit at the table for dinner, surrounded by flowers! (I do take some away before we eat!)

Cinderella roses by Jesse Rowan

Cinderella roses by Jesse Rowan

Daisies are such cheerful, long-lasting hard workers in my garden... It's hard to find a 'neutral' palette when everything is so green and vibrant at the moment.

Daisies by Jesse Rowan

A dear friend who is staying with her daughter while her new house is being built needed a place to store her vintage typewriter - so I offered it a temporary (sadly!) home. I cleaned it up and displayed a favourite quote on it - my teenage son scoffed at me that "typewriters can't print pictures, Mum!"

Vintage typewriter by Jesse Rowan

Here's the quote:

'Tis the good reader that makes the good book; in every book he finds passages which seem confidences or asides hidden from all else and unmistakenly meant for his ear; the profit of books is according to the sensibility of the reader; the profoundest thought or passion sleeps as in a mine, until it is discovered by an equal mind and heart.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Society and Solitude, 1870 

Not much reading this month! The picture of sweet twins below was a garage sale find. Some more adopted children for my collection.

Vintage typewriter by Jesse Rowan

Now for some cards I've made -  the first three I made some time ago, but I have been doing so many other things this month that my creative output suitable for Simply Neutrals is limited! First, a birthday card...

Vintage style card by Jesse Rowan

A baby card for a friend...

Vintage shabby chic style card by Jesse Rowan

A little Christmas angel...

Shabby chic card by Jesse Rowan

Here's a recent gardening-themed wall hanging which I made at the same time as a garden-themed card for a dear gardening friend's 70th birthday. I made this as I reflected on how my garden has been such good therapy these past months, and its rewards are ongoing...

Garden themed wall hanger by Jesse Rowan

I love old world roses, particularly those with scent, and many petals. One of my favourite roses is David Austin's William Morris...

William Morris rose by Jesse Rowan

William Morris roses by Jesse Rowan

The old silver rotating photo display below was a cool op shop find. I enjoyed printing out my favourite cabinet cards to fill it.

Vintage baby photos

Vintage baby photos

This month I've been busy designing posters for one of our local Museums, the Moruya Museum.  I just want to show one poster draft here, and I will be posting the others soon. What treasures we have hidden away in museums! The top picture here is a cherub from the old baptismal font from Moruya's Catholic Church. The tintype on the left is a wonderfully preserved example of a cased ambrotype, one of the earliest examples of photographic methods from about 1860. The centre is a part of a vintage lace tablecloth, and the right picture is a framed Irish Land League propaganda-style poster depicting the 1881 trial of Charles Stewart Parnell and other leaders of The Irish Land League in Dublin, dated 1890.

Draft of poster by Jesse Rowan

We are so lucky to have museums keeping our stories and artefacts of the past. 

Visitors to my house say my place looks like a museum - I love displaying my old collections. This gorgeous picture cost a whole $1 at a vintage fair - I've continued the mauve theme as it complements the green and mauve tones in the background of the picture. These roses are fake - but pretty good, eh? Garage sale dust collectors - I just washed them and put them in the sun.

Vintage vignette by Jesse Rowan

I'm enjoying taking photographs of all the beauty I see every day. It's like a gratefulness journal of appreciation.

Vintage girl vignette by Jesse Rowan

Sorry, this 50th Simply Neutrals Give Away is finished.

These images will be available on my Etsy shop when it's up. I am currently preparing images from my own collections to sell, and I hope it will not be too long before I take the courage to open shop! 

I've tried to limit my palette for this post to neutral colours and pastels so I can join the 50th Simply Neutrals Party at Wen's blog, Apple ApricotPlease follow the link and check out the display of wonderful neutral beauty there.



See you later; I'm off to see what's on display at Wen's blog.