Friday, March 26, 2010

Country Empress

A humble wood box filled to the brim with velvets and silks and lovely chiffon … The ladies in waiting gathered together a gift for their empress. Bottles of beads and tiny wild rose buds are just a few of the things to amuse and delight their Empress while she is in route to her country retreat …


I have a fascination for presentation boxes that were made for the French toy market
from the mid to late 1800. Some were of sweet face dolls with complete wardrobes and toilettes. While others were art kits like
"Fleurs en Papier" (paper flowers) or sewing kits to teach the little French girls their needlework.

I am not lucky enough to own one of these antique delights. So to satisfy my yearning I decided to arrange some of
my treasured bits into a presentation box.
I have a collection of antique and vintage ribbons and it was here that I made my first selections. I decided on blue and cream ribbons made of velvet, chiffon and satin.
The beautiful blues inspired the title The Country Empress.

Keeping in mind the idea of country I picked an oak wood box and lined the inside with a golden bronze colored silk.
To the flap I added vintage jewelry, an old pair of scissor and a small vintage key.
Wild rose buds were picked in June and dried and placed in small bottles,
vintage beads filled three other tiny bottles. The ivory colored folded paper on
the sides holds the tiny bottles in place and provides a pocket to tuck Dresden gold paper cones.

I added a vintage perfume bottle filled with German glass glitter, spools of gold colored thread and a brass Marie Antoinette charm.

The cherry on top so to speak is a hand dyed dove that I found on etsy .
I spent many hours looking for just the right items to include in this presentation box.I wanted this particular box to be very special so it was important that I did not rush the process. “The box of one hundred hours”, was what my family began to called it, was often found on the dining room table with lace and bits scattered about competing to find a place inside this humble oak box.…
In the end I think it is quite fitting for the Country Empress to take along on her journey ....

My hope is that it will become a family heirloom with it’s own story to tell….The story of the pretty little box and the one hundred hours…

----A gift for you----
for personal use only
This postcard was also an inspiration for the Country Empress.

*****Travel box was completed in July of 2008*****
Published in Somerset Life Sping 2010

Monday, June 22, 2009

Time for Paris


* * *

* * *

While perusing an old tattered 1920’s magazine I came across an article about French fashion and began to cut out the tiny pictures of the Paris trends.
I happen to toss them into a box that held aged watch faces and a vintage Eiffel tower postcard. Together laying on the bottom of the shallow box I could see the emerging of a new art kit.

I took a copy of the postcard and punched the watch faces into it giving me the title " Time for Paris".

The colors in the kit was inspired by the vintage French trim made from genuine silver threads and the black dot silk ribbon. .

I also placed a few family treasures in this kit, pen nibs and an ink pen from the desk of my husband's grandfather and a silver deco pin from his grandmother.
Rose buttons from a jumper of mine that I use to wear all the time back in the 80's, I really loved that jumper. As well as some buttons from Aunt Alice's discarded button box.

This kit was in Somerset Life Summer 2009...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

Why art kits....

What are they,
what do you do with them?

This is a question that I get asked all the time..

In the last few months I have giving some thought to this question.

Gewgaws of inspiration I think would be a good description,
that invokes a STRONG desire to touch, explore
and envision some artwork yet to be created.
*Some of my kits are a place to store those saved bits that I just can't bring myself to use or that I have hidden away in a bag on a shelf.
*While putting these juxtapose kits together I am always in search of more treasures to add.
You know that little something extra for color and texture the
candy for the eye.. .. ..
*These kits are like love letter from a time gone by that tells a story of trinkets saved.
*Some are grown up version of a child's collection of things; you remember that box under your bed
of rocks and pine cone and your best friends secret notes....

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tiny boxes....Somerset Life Winter 2009

what I love about these tiny box art kits
is that they come together
"quick as a wink"
and would make great party favors or
socking stuffer..
A favorite small gold box from my stash makes a wonderful
gift just by adding a vintage velvet ribbon and
an old tiny enameled rose buckle.
Inside is an antique french
perfume label..
german glass glitter, ribbon, small vintage spool of
thread and a new checker knob,
and a few vintage buttons.
Take note of the pretty pink and white shoe button inside
the glass vile of glitter.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Emma's Dream

* * *
* * *
art kit published in Somerset Life Autumn 2008

A small collection of things that was inspired by the
the little girl’s pictures that was an ancestor on my husband's side of the family.
Old ribbons, buttons and lace, vintage beads and paper flowers
are just a few of the things that found a home in this vintage
cigar box. Lace on the tiny bottle was from a
great grandmother's cuff and the ivory wide lace on the right came
from aunt Alice's sewing box.
Aunt Alice was a seamstress in Los Angeles in the 1940’s.