Archives for category: Kitsch

This weekend I’m working with The fashion souk at The Good Life Festival, My workshop is billed as customising clothes, hand sewing & learning how to make a 1 hour wrap skirt so I thought I’d better have a go!

pattern

working out the size; measure your waist and add half again (30 inches plus 15 = 45) Then multiply the waistline by 30% (45 x 0.3 = 13.5) round it off to 14 inches.

To work out the hem multiply by 40% (45 inches x 0.4 = 18 inches). Then decide how long you want your skirt, I went for 24 inches.

pattern 2 You end up drawing (with a ruler!) a shape 14 inches across the top, 24 inches down the sides and 18 inches along the bottom.

pattern 3 You then cut this shape out of paper and lay it on top of your fabric (I used old curtains) You need to cut three identical shapes.

20130425-001521.jpg

Next stage is to sew the side seams, make sure you put the wrong sides together!

20130425-001529.jpg

20130425-001535.jpg

You then want to iron the seams back and front to make them nice and flat.

20130425-001542.jpg

Next you’ve got to sew the hem edges on either end of the skirt. To do this iron quarter of an inch and then another half inch over again and sew. You need to create your waist band next, to do this fold over quarter of an inch and them a good inch and sew.

20130425-001549.jpg

At this point you need to make a little hole for your ribbon to pass through at the inner edge of the first panel. You can do this by creating a button hole using your machine.

You then sew the ribbons on at either end. Finish off your bottom hem and Bob’s your uncle!

20130425-001602.jpg

20130425-001609.jpg

I know my instructions aren’t great, I’m better at verbal and demo than I am at writing instructions down so come along to the Good Life Festival at Oxford Island this weekend (25th April) it’s free, there will be lots to do for all the family and I can help you make a wrap skirt patter, way hey!!

Advertisements

Tis the season of giving which should be a joyful experience of blessing ones friends and family with little love and generousity. Potentially gifts should say so much; I love you, I understand you, I think of you… pressure!

Whilst preparing for Christmas I recently reflected on the best gifts that I had received during 2011, they had two things in common: they were all second hand and thus, they all came with a story..so I though I would share a few of them with you, I can never resist a story!

Most Kitsch

I had taken a notion back in the earlier part of this year to find for myself a stuffed bird, preferably a canary. However, the purchase of this particulr item would have proved too costly. My wee brother  found this little pair of beauties in an antique shop in Saintfield. Aparently they had belnged to the owner who had them hung in her halway for decades. I named them Peter and Paul, somehow the filled the gap that had been waiting for the yellow canary and I halted my search!

Most Random

I was very puzzled when a good friend of mine brought this gift over out of the blue, fully wrapped in sparkly paper. Isn’t it fascinating to discover  what people think of when they think of you?! My friend Edyta  knows that I appreciate a bit of good old retro product design. Her husband was working on the renovation of a house and found this Electrolux hoover sitting all by itself (dead as a doornail) in a room that time forgot and so they thought of me!. Edyta’s father,who lived and worked through communism in Poland when times were tough and everyone did anything to fix up, re-cycle and re-use, knew exactly what this little h00ver needed to bring it back to life. He worked 0n it every evening for nearly a week and managed to breath new life into it’s beautiful little retro body. It actually works incredibly well and is as strong as an ox, makes you wonder what’s been happening in the progress of hoovers over the last 40 years!

 

Most weird

Most people who walk into my house find the sight of this deer skull slightly disconcerting. For me, it brings back  memories of the crisp February day  that I found the deer carcass tucked in behind a rotting boat on the shore of  a mountain lake. It must have sheltered there during the winter and not made it through, I felt quite attached to it immediately, the kids and I named it Smokey! We took the skull home and after bleaching it I handed it over to my husband with a request to have it mounted in some way for my birthday. The carpenter who mounted it did a beautiful job, creating an oak panel and attaching poor Smokey’s skull ever so carefully.  Smokey is mounted high up on our kitchen wall, I feel him gives the room a good old fashioned mountain lodge feel!

Most Precious

Most of my friends know of my love of tea sets, I have already blogged more than once about beautiful tea cups, cakes and sugary things. It’s fun searching for interesting tea sets in charity shops and flea markets but  it’s ten times more wonderful to be given something special. Recently my friend gave me this tea set, apart from the fact that it is more beautiful than the majority of sets that I own, I love the story that comes with it! It belonged to an elderly gentleman who passed away at the age of 92, he was the great uncle of my friend Elaine. The tea set belonged to himself and his wife and would have been their good set (probably from their wedding) which explains the perfect condition it’s in. The couple met during the war when she was sent out from the Donegal Pass as a refugee to the far flung safety of Purdysburn (about six miles away). I don’t know much else about their history  but I love to think of them sitting in their good room together sipping tea from their beautiful china and reminiscing about the circumstances in which they met.

Most cute!

I found this little parcel lying on my door mat last week, it was only the size of a matchbox!

I love anything wrapped in brown paper!  It was from a friend who spends a lot of time in France, he had found some tiny pill boxes which he thought I may be able ton use for one of my slightly eccentric pieces of artwork (as seen below!)


Amsterdam is obviously well known for its coffee houses and crazy cakes but not the type you’ll find in ‘De taart van m’n tante’ 

Translated ‘My Aunties cakes’, this tea room is not a place you could easily walk by and miss. The floor to ceiling old style windows are crammed with crazy kitsch objects, colour,  pattern and most importantly cakes which pull you in and lead down the culinary path of no return. 

The interior has evolved over twenty years into a wonderful ecclectic mix of old and new, plastic and leather, flat colour and busy pattern.  Walking into ‘De taart van m’n tante’ from the cold wet street was like falling down a rabbit hole (often happens to me) and waking up in another world, I didn’t know what direction to turn, where to focus my attention first. In every direction there were towering cakes in colours and patterns I had never imagined, collections of strange and amusing figurines, objects and furniture from every decade. The interior design plan:  as long as it passes the kitsch test, it gets in.

It shouldn’t really work because it’s all so mismatched and crazy but it does. I reckon it must be the more relaxed attitude of the Dutch towards creativity which allows them to pull it all together and get away with it. They seem to be able to go with the flow and enjoy putting interiors together without becoming too purist and serious about it all, it makes Northern Irish cafes seem so terribly staid! 

The cakes themselves which are all created in the family bakery, display a slightly unhinged but absolutely glorious attitude. They shout freedom, fun and party on! if you’re going to have a big sugary monster of a celebration cake why opt for muted colours and dainty rose petals like everyone else? 

On Sunday afternoon the tea room was buzzing, it’s obviously a popular spot with families and especially ladies! What lady does not appreciate a spot of tea and a decent chunk of attractive looking cake! I, myself could not resist the most colourful item on display in the chiller, I never could steer clear of contrasting colours! Swedish Princess cake, with a delectable surface of smooth deep green marzipan decorated with raspberry pink swirls. I didn’t expect it to taste good, having been hooked on looks only but it turned out to be equally wonderful though not as colourful on the inside. 

At the very back of the tearoom grouped around a retro ceramic coffee table sat two big studded leather armchairs, one in mossy green. The sofa was covered with wildly mismatched crochet squares, the area brimming with colour and pattern to a bursting point. The only improvement which could have been made to this area would have been to have a few kindly grannies permanently parked on the sofa to offer friendly advice and give knitting lessons (now there’s a new business idea, anyone?)


‘De taart  van ma tante’ can be found near the beginning of Ferdinand Bolstraat close to the henniken factory. They also have a bed and breakfast above the shop aptly named  ‘Cake under my pillow’ which looks equally intriguing.  www.detaart.com