Friday, June 4, 2010

Rabbit Whiskers Great Giveaway and Interview





 
I came across this wonderful shop last year whilst I was putting together a treasury and used one of Judy's dresses for my theme. I decided to contact Judy to see if she would tell us a little more about the art of smocking. Judy not only does all the smocking but then hand embroiders little ducks, rabbits, and many more delightful little animals on her dresses, and the art she creates on her children's clothing is simply beautiful. Therefore, I was delighted when she agreed, and so asked her a few questions and here's what she had to say.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN SMOCKING
I have been smocking for 34 years, since my daughter was a baby. As a child I always loved  to look at baby clothes in the dept. stores and in my baby cousin's closet, where I found  her little smocked dresses  that I believe came from the Philippines.


WHAT WAS YOUR VERY FIRST PROJECT
I have always loved the arts and creating new things and always had a particular interest in little girl's clothing.I love the infinite amount of designs and special touches that can be added to girl's clothes to make them cute, pretty, fun, and special. I especially love hand smocked baby dresses and always hoped to have a little girl that so that  I could dress her in them. The first smocked dress I made was yes, you guessed  for my daughter and looked nothing like the dresses that I make today, however it was smocked, and it looked smocked! From there, there was no stopping me and my daughter had almost more smocked dresses than she could wear. She is now 32 and I have smocked continually since then and, as the years passed my smocking improved. I got bored with stitching just the basic designs, so I started adding bits of embroidery here and there, mostly little flowers

 DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE YOU WORK
I have music on continuously while I work~ always classical music.We have an excellent classical radio station here, and I find it helps and  inspires me to continue with my creations.
WHERE DO YOUR IDEAS COME FROM
I get my ideas largely from nature, and I also love looking at pictures for inspiration. I love going for walks & looking at all of the beautiful & interesting plants & animals, and I think that is probably my biggest influence. I also like to think of ways to depict animals in human-type roles in scenes embroidered on my dresses hence the name Rabbit Whiskers. There is a longer story attached to this but I fear it is a bit to long to explain right now, perhaps I will blog about it soon:)

DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER HOBBIES
I have lots of hobbies- unfortunately more than I have time for. I love to garden &  could spend all day every day in the garden~ if I could. I also love to read, write- especially poetry, knit, and then there are a zillion art projects that I'd love to be able to do, but just don't have time, I also like to paint & draw, I would also love to do stained glass & quilt, to name a few, and it's on my list.

DO YOU KNOW WHERE SMOCKING ORIGINATED FROM
Smocking is a very old art form created in England, I believe, and  it has quite an extensive history, but I've never really taken the time to research it- I've managed to pick up a few snippets here & there, for example, I think it was first begun as a way to shape clothing; to reduce the bulk & make it more shapely & decorative


WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A BEGINNER
Hmmm, I think I would say to be very patient and not in a hurry to be finished. It is a very slow process and improvement comes from lots of trial & error. Expect to make mistakes at first-




DO YOU HAVE A HANDMADE ITEM THAT YOU CHERISH 
  Unfortunately, I am the only one in my family who likes to make handmade items, so while I love them, I have very few handmade things that have been given to me~ I guess I would say my favorite is the beautiful crib quilt that my aunt made for my son when he was born. I really treasure that. He & his wife are expecting their first baby in January, so I'm planning to pass it down to them~
 "GIVEAWAY"

I  also discovered that Judy is an excellent photographer and makes beautiful cards collected from her  travels in the countryside in Walnut Creek CA, and she has kindly offered to giveaway a set 4 cards
from her "The Language of Flowers" edition, shown below,  giveaway prize value is $13 and some lucky person will receive the set.


"The Language of Flowers"



HowYou Can Enter Upto 3 Times

Here's your chance to win a set of beautiful cards from Judy's shop, and all you have to do is go to Judy's shop, choose your favourtie item, add the link to your entry and tell me why you choose that particular item.

1. Please follow my blog to enter, and please leave a comment and a contact email address.

2. Tweet this giveaway and you will get another entry.

3. Facebook and you will gain another entry.

4. Winner will be announced  and notified on the last day June. Will use the random generator to select the winner.

Thanks and good luck

To see Judy's work here is her shop:  www.etsy.com/shop/rabbitwhiskers

If you would like to read a little more on smocking: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/smocking

Examples of smocking stitches: www.fashion-era.com/smocking_illustrations.htm
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