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.
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.
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.
The top is mostly cotton, loose and cool. It's become a little more dressed up.
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!)
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.
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!"
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.
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...
A baby card for a friend...
A little Christmas angel...
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...
The old silver rotating photo display below was a cool op shop find. I enjoyed printing out my favourite cabinet cards to fill it.
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.
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.
I'm enjoying taking photographs of all the beauty I see every day. It's like a gratefulness journal of appreciation.
Now for the 50th Simply Neutrals Give Away!!!
I have two high resolution images to share with you for your artistic purposes. All I ask is that you don't resell or redistribute them as plain images.
I've cleaned up the image and prepared one in colour and one in sepia. You can click on the image, then right click and choose 'Save image as', then rename your images. These images will only be available free for a month, then I will be saving them for my Etsy shop which has been in the pipeline for a long time. 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! (Please don't pin these two images to any other social media.)
See you later; I'm off to see what's on display at Wen's blog.