Friday, August 28, 2009

Blast From The Past - Sophie Gelfi

Quilting Arts Magazine ... Spring/Summer 2001 ... the very issue that introduced the Melanie Rose to the world ... also did a feature article showcasing the work of an "avant garde" textile artist from France ... Sophie Gelfi.

Those of you who have been around since then ... and have seen the issue ... will know what I'm talking about! Her work is totally awesome ... her colour sense and stitching talent simply fascinate.

Although Crazy Quilting had become her passion then ... prior to this she spent several years as a designer for a major yarn manufacturer ... and turned out over 150 knitted & crocheted patterns that were published by them! Stunning ... must see stuff ... and she has pics up on her blog!

A girl after my own heart .... as I too went through a period of time when I designed a line of one-of-a-kind pieces that I sold at a friend's shop down in Queen West Village in Toronto! Of course ... I didn't have the presence of mind to take pics of these back then ..... boy do I wish now that I had ... they were some of my best creations ever!

Recently on one of the lists ... someone posted a link to her blog ... where Sophie had a link to a spread done in Magic Patch magazine ... which featured several of her projects ... complete with block maps and details of the stitching. It is written in French ... and even if you don't understand the text ... the eye candy speaks for itself!

I'm not sure when the magazine was published but apparently it is difficult to find these days ... and due to high demand ... Sophie posted it to see!

Drop dead gorgeous pieces of art!

She is one of my absolute favourite artists ... and glad to have found her again!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Last Night ... Wierd Weather ... Scarey!

It's all after-the-fact as I tell this ... but that doesn't make the aftermath any less!

There was a very powerful ... albeit short-lived weather front that came through Southern Ontario last night ... here it started with ''blanket" lightening ... the kind created by heat and humidity ... but that was only the first of it ... as it head off east. In very short time ... the sky went almost black ... and then the rain hit ... white rain ... driving horizontally as it came down in sheets with winds blowing at over 80 K ... or 50 mph. We could barely see across the hydro field to the houses behind us. It carried on for about 20 minutes ... then just ended.

But what we found out later ... was that a funnel cloud had actually formed and touched down west of us ... in the Woodbridge area ... near Canada's Wonderland ... and several homes actually had the roofs ripped off ... several barns were destroyed & cars were flung like toys ... many ending upside down miles from where they were picked up!

Paul found a link to first-hand pics taken on camera-phones ... and it was scarey to see video of the funnel cloud and ensueing destruction ..... definitely a rare event in this region.

Afterward things went calm and there was a beautiful sunset ... but this morning the full impact of the strength of it was evident as the news featured footage of the destruction. Like scenes from some Hollywood movie ... so sureal.

I went out this morning to do some errands and noticed that one old tree at the far side of the hydro cut hat been ripped out by the roots and was laying down. Minimal to what I saw in those videos last night ... save for distance ... one wonders how much worse it could have been if that funnel had actually touched down here! Scarey!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Road Trip!

Found myself with time (holidays) and blessed with a perfect day to take a road trip!

Lindsay here we come! That's where Mary Anne lives.

I was bound and determined to deliver some things to her ... like her puchases from Amy's Ride and her Grand Prize from the event...which was the original artwork from the Melanie Rose article. She declined the magazine that was supposed to go with ... as she already had it.

It's always so much fun to hook up with MA ... and see her current projects first-hand ... and to share my current projects too ... something always gets lost in the pics! Nothing like having it in your hands to see up close!

For example ... the Exquisite Corpse project...awesome! Got to see the last one that she's working on too ... that will be sent on shortly....that has the previous work covered up so that no-one gets to see the full project until the end reveal! Cool idea....but tricky to add to!

She's also working on a "Doll Challenge" ... metal parts a must ... and a real work of art so far ... can't wait to see the finished piece! But ... ha ... you'll just all have to wait!

She in turn got to check out my Drag Bag up close.

Speaking of which ... what if I changed the Drag part of it to an acronym .....D.R.A.G. Bag ...

What would you think the letters should stand for???

Fun time ... post your acronym as a comment!

Can't wait to see what you all come up with! ... I have a version ... but your input is what I'm lookin' for!

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Day of Stitching ... Drag Bag is Getting There !

And....I just scanned some of the newest additions!

I had created two small wrought iron trellises at the side seams ... one is now complete ... and the other is in Stage 2.

I love working with Vikki's silk!

#12 silk pearl for the vines & leaves and Rose Hip Tea 4mm Colonial Knot bud clusters.

This is a close-up of the leaves.

Each began with a Lazy Daisy stitch ... and then were "needlewoven" ... in and out like a Figure 8.
Yes ... time consuming ... but look so coool!

And obviously I am smitten with these because I did the same thing on the other vine with a different colour ... and then decided the flowers I would do a la Clematis ... again with the same stitch!

Call me crazy ... there's probably over 200 leaves between the two ... and each of these flowers have 5 petals each .... but the look was so worth the effort!

Do You Remember Spandau Ballet? Boy George?

My search for more 80's music has led me on a mad quest!

I remembered a title ... True ... but couldn't remember the band ... until I searched it ... and yes! ... found what I wanted ... it was Spandau Ballet! Awesome to find that they are still alive & well ... and touring in Britain / Ireland / Scotland this year!

They were a fabulous band back then! ... I forgot how good until I checked out all the songs listed and began to recall how many hits they had!

And in my travels stumbled across a great source for 80's stuff ... a blog called Lost in the 80's ... which gives great info and YouTube links to videos from that time period. Great stuff!

Discovered a whole list of bands that I will be searching (or have already searched) and am sure will find even more great tunes to add to the Playlist.

Like Boy George & Culture Club! How about Billy Idol? The Cars? Cindy Lauper?

Ahhh ..... to be 20 something again ..... these songs can do that for me!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

About These Old Patterns . . .

I'm thinking that these little gems I've posted about might be fine additions in the Antique Pattern Library .

That will require some work ... make that a lot of work ... scanning in and forwarding ... but at least they'd be saved for all to cherish. I'll get back to you about this.

The patterns are copywritten by Coats & Clark ... and I've sent a note to them inquiring as to whether they'd consider allowing me to submit them ... so will see what they say.

I expect I'd have to do the same with the other publications ... so this may take some time.

For those of you who have not discovered this library ... and love old stuff ... it is an awesome collection of great old publications ... worth the time investment to pour through ... but be warned ... you could spend hours there!

Friday, August 7, 2009

And Here's The Visuals!

These are the two pieces I mentioned in my last post ... the booklet is called Old and New Favorites ... Coats & Clark ... 1954.

See what I mean?

Isn't this elegant?

I'm trying to imagine this in the colours they indicated ... but love the design regardless.

This is so very '50s ... and while it's not the kind of thing that anyone would wear these days ... was an elegant set in it's day.

A Bag of Treasures !

I just got back from a visit with my sister Cate. Hadn't chatted in a while ... so went down the road to have tea with her and catch up.

I took my Drag Bag to show her ... she's had the priviledge of following my progress in person ... and wanted to share my recent additions.

As I was on my way out ... she told me to wait ... that she had presents for me. She proceeded to bring out some things that she was forwarding from my Mom and another sis Nadine.

First she gave me a tall narrow box ... and I was thrilled to see it was a Water Globe! You may have seen commercials on TV about these hand-blown glass balls that you fill with water and insert into a plant ... and it waters the plant for you. I've been wanting to get a few ... we have them at the store ... and it was a fabulous surprise that Mom sent me one!

However ... the other present is the one that just blew me away!

She proceeded to pulling out the contents of a plastic bag ... which contained a whole slew of pattern books! To my shock, amazement and sheer delight ..... they are oldies ..... and awesome! I'm not exactly sure where they came from ... but I think she must have gotten them from one of my grandmothers.

I checked out the publication dates ... the oldest two booklets were printed in 1946 ..... and the more recent were from the '70s !

Afghans ... doilies ... sweaters for all ages ... socks ... mitts ... tea cozies ... crocheted animals ... purses ... edgings (including filagree church patterns) ... all just so artistically awesome that I was entirely mesmorized!

I'm certainly going to have to scan in and share one that entirely took my breath away! It was by Coats & Clark ... published in 1954 (heck the book is older than me ... and cost a whole .10 cents!) ... called "Summer Garden".

With directions given for a dinner plate, luncheon plate, and coaster sizes ... it is a ring of butterflies framing an organdy fabric. The picture is in black & white ... but the threads called for are blue, a lemon/pink mix and shaded light yellows....on yellow organdy fabric.

I'm doubtful that I could even find those threads these days ... but am thinking even basic white or ecru would work ... with beautiful results. I'm so tempted to give it a shot!

And how cool is this? ... on the opposite page there is a pattern for a Hat & Gloves set ... the description reads ... "Gay Butterflies with a Flair for Fashion". The butterflies adorn the wrist of the gloves ... and motifs are appliqued on the hat ... in your choice of white, ecru, or cream!

The pictures will save me a thousand words.

I may just have some time in the morning to scan these in to share ... but for now it's time to get horizontal. Just too much excitement for one night! Need my beauty sleep dontcha know!

Until then ...

Hugs ... Marie

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Old Music & New Stitching

One of my favourite periods of music ... was the 80's ... new bands with fresh sound ... stuff you heard at clubs and loved! I sat down last night and composed a new Playlist with a whole bunch of songs from that time. Check it out and see if there's some stuff you remember from then.

I've been stitching again ... on my Drag Bag ... and after this last bit it'll be ready to complete. All I'll need to do is add the bottom and lining and then it'll be ready to use. It's been a "work in progress" for almost a year now and I'm looking forward to getting it finished and on to something new.

As to what exactly that will be is as yet not completely decided ... but have been thinking about a couple of different ideas ... will see where my creativity takes me ... sketches have given me some ideas and just waiting for the idea to form.

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