Saturday, May 21, 2011

Art Nouveau Jewelry book

Isn't this the most beautiful lotus? After I got the Fashioning Fashion book, I started looking for other museum exhibition books and I stumbled across this one. It is divided into sections of gorgeous pictures of flora, fauna and the human figure. I love Art Nouveau and jewelry/anything in that style, so I've seen lots of books on it. This book has pictures of jewelry I've never laid eyes on and the pieces are breath-taking! All the pieces are from a private collection. This book definitely serves as an inspiration.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

A promenade through French Blogs

A while ago, I happened upon a French embroidery blog and that began a week-long surfing expedition through blogs it linked to, and blogs they linked to, etc.

I can't tell you all the blogs I visited, but I started out at Facile Cecile's blog here. Her blog title actually means "It's easy with Cecile." She is a teacher and designs projects that a group of women work on together. (I don't speak French and Google Translate isn't the best, so I'm apologizing in advance, if I don't quite get it all right...)

One interesting thing about this group of French embroiderers is that they like to embroider much more on patterned fabric. They refer to surface embroidery as "traditional embroidery" as opposed to Ribbon Embroidery or Cross Stitch, which is also very popular. I kept wondering what SAL stood for, since I assumed it was an acronym of French words - imagine my surprise to find it meant "stitch-along"! It was a "Duh" moment for me....

These are both by Cecile.

When they attach a motif, like a "silkie", they embroider all around it, differently than I've seen. Sometimes the motif is not square or rectangular, it's very irregular. I saw it over and over, wide branches and flowers, blending the motif into the background fabric.

One of the projects was a design of poppy pods, where each pod was broken up into 3 or 4 vertical areas, and then each area was embroidered differently, say one area with beads, one with stem stitch, one with bullions, etc. They seem to have very interesting and beautiful ribbons....

There is often quite a mix of all different fibers in one project...on patterned fabric again. You'll see chenille wound with floss as stems, for instance...and lots of layering of ribbons.

There is a lot of embellishing of patterned ribbon...

I saw some ribbon embroidered flowers, where some of the ribbon looked like strips of tulle. I couldn't tell if it was cut by the stitcher; or if it was bought, but it was often space-dyed. Does anyone know anything about this? Check out the pictures below...

I'd like to experiment with a more loose style like this...

Happy Stitching,
Lin Moon

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Spring Garden Show

Last week I went to the 22nd annual Spring Garden Show held at the South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. The show is set up on all 3 floors of the huge mall there and different companies set up displays. And I don't just mean displays of flowers - they bring in dirt, stones, benches, flowers, plants, water, etc. One of the displays included beautiful flowers and plants, a bench strewn with gorgeous embroidered pillows, with a stream going by! Here is one of the larger displays (click for a better view).

I could have taken a million pictures of all the wonderful flowers there...I really like irises, so here are a few of the more unique ones...

I was blown away by the beauty of these epiphylums- the flowers are huge, six to seven inches across. Don't the petals look just like ribbon?

Check out the shading on these petals...

I don't have tons of room left in my garden - things keep multiplying - I should join a garden club and trade with others...I just bought an iris fan and also these epidendrums (a type of orchid)
It was great fun, but I could have spent about 5 more hours there!
Happy spring,
Lin Moon