Monday, March 28, 2011

Ehrman CushionTapestry Kit Giveaway

Just last week I was  given as a gift 3 Ehrman Tapestry Kits. ( I do have some lovely friends) Although a lovely gift it is totally wasted on me as I don't do tapestry. So I decided that it would be a good thing to pass one on to someone who does. This one is designed by Anita Gunnett and is called Spring Flowers. Might add that my girlfriend is aware that I am doing this:)

The kit is complete with  the canvas which is 20" x 20" (51cm x 51cm), needles and wool and it is worth approx £46, (€56), ($74) here is their web site if you want to have a look.

"Please note that the winner must agree to pay the postage which will be approx €10  ($14)."

All you have to do leave a comment on my blog, then pop back on the 8th of April and I will pull a name out of the hat.  Thanks and good luck. If you have any questions feel free to ask.

Friday, March 25, 2011

What's in The Box? Friday Fun Giveaway

One  box,  three empty compartments. I am going to place something in one  of the compartments and you have to guess which one and what it is. When you make a guess I will pop in and tell you  whether you are hot, cold or warm and you can guess again. Enter as many times as you like.

 The box measures  6.5" x 3.5" (16.5cm x 9cm) and originally it had 3 fabulous bars of  Highgrove lavender soap.

What's the prize? 

I have chosen 2 items and you can take your pick, these are currently listed in my Etsy shop

1. Set of three tartan lavender Poppits
2. Set of three hand dyed woad vintage linen  lavender sachets

Ok, the box is closed and I have placed something into one of the compartments, so which one left, right or middle and what is it?

No long rules but if you don't already follow my blog, that would make me smile. Open worldwide (if you are from Australia sorry they won't allow dried herbs, but if you do win I will change for something else).

Giveaway extended and will close when the first person guesses what is in the box,so pop back in and see if it was you.
Good luck

And here is the offending little critter that made you all pull your hair out guessing

Thursday, March 24, 2011

******Picks of the Day****** Lavada Nicholls Photographer

Lavada Nicholls who is almost my next door neighbour here in the Tarn, and also a very good friend, she has such an amazing eye for capturing and creating stunning photographic works of art in my opinion and never goes anywhere without her camera.  I thought it would be fun to show you some of her work. I am going to have to ask her to explain the picture above to me though. I think it is smoke caught in the light coming through the little window, either that or Lavada has some Ectoplasm loittering with serious  intent:) Here are a few more of her fabulous pictures, hope you like them as much as I do.

Check out her web site to see  her beautiful classic and digital photography.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"A Feather in Our Cap" Chateau Dumas Giveaway Workshop 2011

People think I must be a skilled milliner because of the three hat-making classes I organise every year, but the truth is I wouldn’t know where to begin. Fortunately, though, I know a Man Who Can! Enter Dillon Wallwork, a milliner who oversaw the design and production of headgear for HM Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana amongst others and who has been the millinery tutor at Chateau Dumas for the past three years.  He’s even designed a hat for Kate Middleton."

Dillon is that rare thing. An accomplished and talented milliner, a patient and thorough teacher and an all-round nice guy – funny, charming and down to earth.

He’s often assisted by Adrian Howard who is the in-house milliner at Fortnum and Mason and the two together make a superb double act. I love my millinery weeks at Chateau Dumas, as much for the fun and laughter as the glorious hats that people make from felt, straw or sinamay. It’s so good to see people return and this year we have 3 budding milliners who’ve come back for a second to learn with Dillon.

So why millinery? Chateau Dumas lies at the heart of France’s hat-making region and it seemed an obvious workshop to run. Simple as that! There are three hat factories locally (among them Europe’s largest) and the very sweet International Hat Festival which takes place every year in July. We shall be taking our students down there again this July to soak up the atmosphere, gather ideas and encourage the inspiration to flow.

Hats off to Chrissie for inviting me to write about millinery at Chateau Dumas. Our prize draw will soon be over – Like to win a place on Dillions Millinery?

See for details of the courses. Please leave your prefered cousre in the comment box of the blog to enter the giveaway – the winner’s name will be announced on 1 April on the original blog post here .

Thursday, March 17, 2011

******"State Of The Art" ****** Chateau Dumas Giveaway 2011

When I see a finished painting I’m often mystified as to how the artist got there so I was delighted when painter Joan Lawson sent me these stage by stage shots of her “Walk to the Chateau” painting.

Joan is teaching two painting classes at Chateau Dumas this September and I can’t wait! Maybe you’d like to win a place in our Chateau Giveaway? Thanks again to Chrissie for inviting Joan to reveal her painting methods here.

This sketch gives me the basic composition as well as the tonal structure. Interesting to work out the perspective of the building in the background. I like the slow lazy approach in this image, you don't want to enter the painting too quickly! I love working in red pastel pencil on this rough paper.

I washed raw sienna over the entire canvas and began to block in loosely. Not sure about the blue/pink sky though. Keeping the colour strong in the foreground and soft in the distance, but I'll need to think about placing the warm/cold blues to enhance the distance.

Blocking in a little more solidly now, I'll keep the colder greeney blues to the distance, and put the warmer ultramarines and purples to the foreground. I definitely prefer the yellow sky! I must keep the distant trees soft...

I just need to strengthen and darken the foreground with some lovely reds, and put foliage on the tree to the left. It helps me to think of the muddle of foliage on the right as overlapping flat shapes, like flats on a stage set.

Thanks, Joan, you make it sound so easy!


Like to win a place on Joan’s Painting workshop?
See for details of the courses ( sorry 18-25 September is full). Please leave your prefered cousre in the comment box of the blog to enter the giveaway – the winner’s name will be announced on 1 April on the original blog post  here .

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Featured Guest Blog "Scarf It Up"

I “met” Chrissie on Etsy during one of my foraging episodes for vintage buttons back in 2008. I LOVE vintage buttons! At the time I was seeking large, unusual buttons to embellish felted bags and/or for making funky bead & button jewelry. Our mutual admiration flourished from there. I was further intrigued by her location – in France – since I am a certified francophone (studied in France, taught French for 20+ years, traveled there many times, and have family there!). So naturally, I was very much interested in FRENCH vintage buttons!

When Chrissie asked me to write for her blog, I was honored and excited – and then stumped! What to write? Although my experience includes teaching languages and working in higher education and private practice as a career counselor, my third career has become entirely focused on creating wearable fiber art in knit, crochet, and felt. I am and have always been a recycler, upcycler, repurposer (or whatever the current term is!), thrift shopper, and enamored of making old into new.

My latest ideas – and they do change frequently! – include the use/reuse of old silk scarves that I’ve worn and collected over MANY years, those of my parents, and others that have been recently generously offered by local friends. I wanted to create small, elegant, evening bags from these scarves, adorned with vintage lace, embellishments from other scarves, and vintage buttons. And although I’ve sewn clothing and home d├ęcor for many years, sewing is not my forte or passion, although I do understand the basics of construction.

This project, however, became far more complex than I first imagined – and FAR more strenuous and wearing on the hands (planning my next carpal tunnel surgery in May)! Rather like rug hooking, strips of silk and/or ribbon, yarn, or other textiles are pulled through burlap or monk’s cloth on an embroidery hoop using a crochet hook. I collected scarves with a color theme, tore or rotary-cut them into strips – experimenting all the while with width, design, fibers, etc. And once I filled the 6 or 7” square or circle with pulled silk strips (many hours of intense work), I then was confronted with how to construct the back, lining, pocket, strap, and decoration.

In spite of many years of clothing construction for my children and myself, and even a tailoring class - but MANY years ago – and lots of home sewing, I was stymied by how best to proceed. UGH!!! It was much trial and error, and ultimately probably four days in the making, but I finally produced the first Rug Bud Bag, pictured below.

It is all taupes and neutrals, from silk chiffon, silk gauze, charmeuse scarves, then lined and backed with dupioni silk fabric, embellished with vintage lace, Hanna silk ribbon, and a handcrafted silk bow from a remaining scarf and a vintage button. I added a vintage button closure on the back and finished it with a grosgrain ribbon strap. I had no idea what I was doing!

As owner and sole-designer for Scarf It Up!, I do like to sell my work. But this prototype bag with its valuable components and (too) many hours in construction would have to fetch far too much to make it worth my while.  I loved the bag immediately, but I hated it for being so painful (yes!), time-consuming, labor-intensive, and so damn cute!

Undaunted and with a few days reprieve, I decided (what was I thinking!) to try another – this time ROUND! OMG!!! Really….WHAT was I thinking. I thought I’d try using some bulky yarns in addition to the silk, thinking it would go faster, fill up the space on the hoop in no time at all. It proved to be even more difficult to pull through the monk’s cloth, and the shape made it all the more impossible to back and line. Too much hand sewing, more trial and error, and about FIVE days later, I finally produced this imperfect Rug Bud Bag II.
This one is backed with black velvet, lined with recycled trouser material, and embellished with burgundy tulle, a jewelry finding from another Etsy artist, Premiera Elements, and a crocheted chain strap.

And finally…..I decided to try just one more – and this one I’m thinking of keeping for myself! Actually I may end up keeping them all, because I doubt I can sell them at a price worth my while for the creation process. This one made use of all the animal print scarves I acquired, plus vintage lace and buttons from my stash. The process took a little less time, but I dawdled hugely since my favorite part is NOT the sewing or particularly all the required hand sewing.

I also have another in the making, but I’m really not sure it will ever be completed!

With very sore fingers and hands – and a studio that had materials from one end to another and required hours to organize and clean up, I think I may lay this idea to rest.  What to do with the rest of the scarves – well……not all of them, because many have sentimental value!  The next idea:  silk and ribbon button earrings!  And these – with the proper equipment, which I have since purchased on Etsy and eBay – are a no-brainer.  And quite cute!  What do YOU think?

Although a limited Etsy seller, Scarf It Up!, I sell mostly in three local boutique/galleries in the Wilmington area of southeastern North Carolina: Port City Pottery & Fine Crafts, aMuse Artisanal Finery, and Artful Living Group.  You can find me (Louise Giordano) on Facebook, my blog, and flickr.  Please take a look at my OTHER work – in knit, crochet, and felt.  Maybe I should stick to those!

Thank you so much Louise for sharing your beautiful and such creative work, it has been an absoulute pleasure for me and I had a real challenge in deciding which of your pictures to add as I love them all.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

****** "ThisYearsGirl" ******

I would like you to meet Melissa, a graphic artist and mother living in Pennsylvania with her fiance, beautiful little daughter, and 2 crazy cats. I came across her shop when making a treasury last year and I love her work and wanted to share it with you. Check out her beautiful shop where you will find a wonderful selection of photography and more.

Through her photography and photo manipulations*, she likes to create her very own little dream worlds and secret places. Hope you enjoy stepping into them.

*What is Photo Manipulation?

Photo manipulation is the application of image editing techniques to photographs in order to create an illusion or deception (in contrast to mere enhancement or correction), through analog or digital means. The resulting image may have little or no resemblance to the photo (or photos in the case of compositing) from which it originated. Today, photo manipulation is widely accepted as an art-form. (as defined by


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Yip Another Carnival Whoo Hoo

What a fabulous weekend with the grandkids and another carnival to take them to this time in Albi. They wanted to go on the ghost train and I really wish I had snapped a picture of them when they came out, not quite in tears but  bottom lips that you could sit on and what a rotten nana as it made me laugh all the more. They were not happy with me and said I shouldn't have taken them on such a scary ride!!! Naughty Nana.  No point in mentioning that they were the ones who insisted  :)

I was quickly forgiven by buying them a barbe a papa!  and the smiles were back. Kids never hold grudges for long thankfully.

Even more smiles when they went on the cars,especially when Stevie discovered that he could make it go up in the air by pulling the lever back. Huge squeals of pure delight  and smiles that would melt an iceberg  when they went on the bungie bouncy thing.

Over 100 floats and totally amazing themes, plus the sun was playing nicely and gave us a beautiful sunny day.

No smiles when they could not go into the water bubbles though but they got over it.

6 hours later we took home two very tired but happy little people who went to bed and were asleep within minutes,  the big ones I might add were not that far behind them!! zzzzzzzzzzzz

The kids did this painting today and have talked none stop about the carnival, all the colours must have left an impression on them to do this. Love it

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...