Saturday, February 26, 2011

Etsy suppliers and my love of vintage items.

I have been letting my mind wrap itself around some new ideas for garters these past days, thanks to the arrival of a shipment of vintage trims and small items.  Like these wonderful pastel-colored embroidered butterflies from Switzerland that are new old-stock and date back to the 1950's.  I added them to a simple but elegant off-white vintage satin trim garter and love the end result!  With the addition of small fresh water pearls stitched to the butterfly, I thought it gave it a special touch and really enhances the applique even more.

 I am always on the look out for "new" vintage items to work with, so imagine my joy when I found these wonderful old beaded blue love knots.  I pounced on them and knew exactly what to do with them!

Here is the end result, a very pretty bridal garter made of vintage lace, white silk satin ribbons, a vintage daisy applique, and of course one of those fantastic blue beaded love knots.

I bought the love knots from a wonderful Etsy supplies seller, Bumbershoot Supplies  ( ) who has the most fantastic items.  I bought some of the pastel pearly-pink pearl beads below.... well as these white pearl beads.....

...and some of the crystal clear faceted glass beads.  Aren't they wonderful! I am working on a brand new garter design using these lovely beads, so stay tuned for the unveiling of something quite different then I have made before.

It is a lovely Etsy shop to browse through, the photos are fantastic and really show the items exactly as they are, even showing them with a little miniature piece of art work that is 1" by 1" square, so you have a good visual feel for how big the items are that you want to purchase.  And one can not help but find items to purchase at Bumbershoot!

Here is the finished garter once again, but my mind is already working on some similar designs using the same white vintage lace as well as some of the newest vintage appliques that I just recieved.  I like to lay the items out with each other, let them work on me for a while, and suddenly I just know how I want to combine them.  Some of the items are from my dear friend, Nancy's wonderful B&M shop in California,  Gilding the Lily. 

The photos below show how much I love to just lay different items with each other all jumbled together, including some of the pearl beads which are still in their little plastic bags.  As they say, "beauty is all in the eye of the beholder".  For me, that little collection of vintage laces, the pearls from Bumbershoot, little appliques, silk ribbons, and trims all look beautiful just the way they are.  But, soon they will be made into bridal garters and listed in my Etsy shops, and it will not take me long before I am mixing and matching other items to see what kind of magic they can make together!

Hop on over to Bumbershoot's blog, I have had the greatest honor of being a Featured Artist there.  I am over the moon with how wonderfully written it is!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Custom Garter Set

I recently had the huge pleasure of working with a customer on a custom ordered garter set for her wedding.  She had written to me explaining that she would like to have something in dusty blue, definitely vintage laces to match the style of her wedding gown, and a butterfly theme to the garter.  Her grandmother meant a great deal to her, a woman who had a passion for butterflies, and she wanted to her bridal garter to have something to do with those beautiful creations as a reflection of her love for a person who was sadly no longer in her life.  After trying several styles, each to do with a butterfly but in a different media such as butterfly buttons, larger and more colorful butterfly appliques, and my own sad try at making a butterfly from silk ribbons, this is the garter set that I created at the end of it all.  I fell in love with it and hoped the customer would too, and she did!  I could not have been more pleased. 

Dusty blue silk satin ribbons show off the beauty of the off-white vintage scalloped lace, and to that I hand stitched tiny butterfly appliques all around the entire garter.  The center is adorned with a blue silk bow and a double butterfly applique, giving it a 3 dimensional look.  The toss garter co-ordinates, but is kept simpler. Lastly,  I added tiny Swarovski crystals near the head of the butterfly, for just the perfect little touch of sparkle to a young lady's very special day.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Paris inspired creation!

I have been feeling particularly inspired this week after acquiring a new supply of laces.  Many are white or off white and date back to the 1950's, some lovely new old-stock laces that are simply divine.  But I also recieved some black French style laces, and my mind stepped out of its comfort zone of Bridal garters of white silk satins with their special "something blue" added, and designed this very Paris inspired garter.  Hand dyed silk satin ribbons in turquiose combined beautifully with the black lace.  I then added black feathers, a silk ribbonwork flower with Swarovski crystal center, and gold-edged ribbon "leaves".  All I can say is,  oh la la!!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunny days and new beginnings!

 The long dreary days of winter often leave one feeling as gray as the skies outside are and without enthusiasm.  But with the arrival of some fabulous bright sunshine these past days, I have felt the stirrings of renewed inspiration, just like what one feels when spring time finally arrives after a long and intolerable winter.  I was inspired to start this new blog, to simply close my eyes and jump back into the world of blogger after a long absense.  It feels good to be back!

 I was also inspired to accomplish much in yesterday's late afternoon hours.  I sat among my silk ribbons, vintage trims, baubles and colorful threads,  plus my own little handmade hat shaped silk pincushion and let the warmth of the sunshine pouring through the window heat my creativity.  I enjoyed a pleasant session of sewing and creating this garter set in white silk satin ribbon, vintage white lace, and the newly acquired vintage 1950's rhinestone buttons.  Aren't they beautiful!  They add just a bit of sparkle without being over-stated, I hope this garter set will soon be a lovely addition to a young girl's bridal ensemble.  It will soon be listed in my Etsy shop.