Monday, May 31, 2010

A Table Folly for the EHAG Emporium

 "The Grand Party Horn"

This is the first piece in the "Table Folly" series. The grand gardens of the past all had a garden folly placed in them for interest and intrigue, so why not steal that idea and build a folly for the centre of the table. I know that they are usually called a centrepiece, or table centrepiece or decoration, but doesn't "Folly" sound so wonderful and appropriate. A garden folly is only there for decoration and most of the time have no use; that sounds so appropriate for the party table.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

EHAG Emporium Final Sneak Peek

I'm back! My apologies for not doing any posts this last week, I have been very busy getting my latest piece ready for the EHAG Emporium sale.

Here is the final sneak peek before the opening of the Emporium doors on May 31. This time around I have given you a look at the very beginnings of it here,  and a look at some of the accessories here. Do you have any ideas? Here are a few more clues; garden follies - I will do a post about those soon, costumes, noisemakers, party hats, and... no that is enough.

Go to the EHAG Emporium and enter the contest that is on right now.

Up for grabs is this jar of jelly beans as well as a prize package of goodies from several EHAG artists, to be mailed to the winner from EHAG artists all over the US and Canada. You can sit and savour you jelly beans as you open each parcel as it arrives in the mail. Good Luck!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cakes and Pastries - Inspiration Results

Those pictures of the cakes and pastries that I showed you in this last post I do use for inspiration. Here are some of the results. I like realism with the accessories that I produce and the situations that the figures are involved in.

My collections that I have amassed over the years include vintage tart pans that mimic life size pie pans. These three pies, two berry pies and a rather reddish brown pumpkin pie, are molded in three of these tart tins. The tins that are not visible are left on as part of the finished pie. The pumpkin pie is about 3 1/2" across.

Here are three more berry pies all about 3" across. All of the berry pies have "granulated sugar" dusted on top of the pies. I ground some clear glass glitter in a mortar and pestle, instant granulated sugar.

I love making bread. Artisan breads are so beautiful to look at and are very inspiring as well. This loaf is hot out of the oven. That cake rack is from the Church of the Advent Garage Sale, I decided to use them in the kitchen.

Six very small loaves of bread in a basket. The long loaves are about 3" long. They are handmade from composition, then painted with acrylics.

Here is a sneak peek at some accessories for my latest piece for the EHAG Emporium Sale coming up at the end of the month. The desserts include a berry pie, a pumpkin pie, and a walnut cake with chocolate icing.

Go over to the EHAG Emporium blog and enter the contest that we have going on right now until the end of the month. All you have to do is guess the number of jellybeans in the jar and the person who comes closest will win the jellybeans and a prize package as well.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I went to the Church of the Advent Garage Sale last Saturday.

The Church of the Advent is just down the road from us and every year they have a garage sale. I try not to miss it. You never know what you will find. Silly me, I went with about $30.00, but it is better to ready than forfeit some wonderful item because you didn't bring enough money. I spent an amazing $5.00! That $5.00 gave me five individual purchases...

A vintage rayon scarf to be used for costuming a figure - $1.00...

An elephant eggcup with a few chips around the top, but I love it - 50 cents...

A 1920's silk screened? paper lampshade - 50 cents...

two very old cake racks that may be used in my studio or maybe in the kitchen - $2.00...

A tiny Wade vase ( with a chip on the inside lip, but no one will see it when I use it for a figure or ornament) - 50 cents...

A bag of 1920's/1930's bridge tallies - In it were these three designs...

This Autumn landscape...

This Hallowe'en design...

This unused Hallowe'en bridge score pad...

And inside the score pad were four pumpkin bridge tallies. All of these bridge tallies cost 50 cents.

You never know what you will find. I have never ever found any Hallowe'en items before. The lampshade may be made into something I'm not certain. I had to show you my great inexpensive purchases.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Little Tour of My Brain, Part 19 - Cakes, Cookies, and Pastries

I love colourful desserts or I should say I love looking at them. I don't like rich, gooey, sweet, desserts but less sweet flavour filled desserts. The only time that we have desserts at our house is on holidays and birthdays. If we ate them regularly we would definitely regret it.

Food is a big part of any holiday and the sweet part of the meal is always special, that is one reason I like to include it in some of the pieces that I produce.

I picked this postcard up in Switzerland when we were visiting our son and his wife. The colours are wonderful.

This tin of English "Playbox Biscuits" is from the 1950's. By the way, biscuit is the English term for cookie. The plain biscuit of no special note has a layer of white or coloured hard icing on top. It is then stencilled with another layer white or coloured icing. The images and taste are pure childhood cuisine.

A plate of these cookies pictured on a postcard that I bought in Switzerland would brighten anyone's day.

A very large slice of fruit cake, a jellyroll, a plate of pastries with strawberries, and an iced cake with it's sides smothered in toasted coconut then topped with strawberries, pure heaven. This image is from a 1930's "Pip and Squeak Annual".

One more Swiss postcard, this time showcasing a muffin recipe that is on the back. Bright coloured icing, the vibrant colours of the flowers, and muffin cups that are equal to the flowers and icing in intensity. I LOVE COLOUR!

This photograph and the following five photographs are from the "Cheese Boutique" in Toronto. They very kindly allowed me to take photographs when we were there last December. These pies are very casual with an appearance of being homemade, I like that.

Cookies of all sorts with two sizes marzipan pigs standing in front. The pig is decorated with a four leaf clover and a mushroom. The pig, mushroom, and four leaf clover are symbols of good luck. Marzipan pigs and some of the cookies are specifically for Christmas.

Who needs dinner when you have a lovely dessert this size to look forward too?

More tasty treats, and yes, they are for reference. I do like looking at them though. I probably should have been a pastry chef.

Some of these cakes have a homey quality to them and others are more slick in their presentation, never the less they all look wonderful and I would not say, "No thank-you not for me", to any of them.

The other side of the showcase has more cakes in it.

What are your favourite desserts or sweet snacks? Is it a spectacular dessert from a fancy restaurant or is a more homemade treat that brings back found memories?

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Teapot and the Peek

I love cryptic titles! Recently I picked up this Hallowe'en Black Cat teapot at the Salvation Army Thrift Store. It was sitting on the top shelf with some other teapots that looked as if they had at one time been part of someones teapot collection.

Black Cat was very impressed and felt that it looked very much like himself, regal and mysterious. Jack rolled his eyes.

I pulled out two other cats from my Hallowe'en collection. Black Cat and Jack were each trying to get a closer look as I was taking the photographs. It was very tiresome as they kept nudging my arm just as I would take the picture. There were quite a few pictures that were out of focus! I must use a tripod next time. Jack thought that this cat looked like Black Cat during his awkward teenage years. Black Cat didn't say anything.

There was a bit of a stifled giggle from Jack just after Black Cat made a comment concerning how silly and undignified he felt this wind-up toy looked. "No self respecting cat looks at all like this silly toy," was all that he said. Fortunately Black Cat did not hear Jack.

When this toy cat is wound up and released his tail spins around, he crouches, and then leaps after the butterfly that bobs in front of his mouth never to catch it. Jack later mentioned that Black Cat does this all the time and that just like the toy he never gets what he is stalking. I am so glad Jack had the common sense not to say anything about his observations. Those two are very good friends despite the silly things that go on between them at times.

You have seen the teapot part of the post and now for the peek. I am working on my piece for the upcoming EHAG Emporium sale at the end of the month. This is all that you are going to get a look at, remember this is a "PEEK".

More wonderful work will be available at the end of the month from the very talented artists of EHAG, myself included. Check out the work from previous months, just click here to go there!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mothers Day. Here are a selection of vintage and antique Mother's Day handkerchiefs.

This yellow silk handkerchief has a white lace edge. A white silk chiffon rectangle have been hand embroidered with the words "To my dear Mother". The silk rectangle was then appliquéd  to the handkerchief.

This is a much simpler vintage handkerchief that is all machine embroidered with flowers and the word Mother in a soft blue.

This white silk crepe handkerchief is machine edged in a purple silk floss. A basket of flowers and the words "To my dear Mother" have been hand embroidered on white silk rectangle. It was then machine appliquéd  to the hankie with multi-coloured silk floss.

Another example of a vintage handkerchief that is machine embroidered with flowers and the word "Mother" in a soft pink.

This final silk handkerchief has been commercially printed with purple violets, green leaves, and the words "To my dear Mother" in green.

I hope you have a wonderful relaxing day, if even for a short moment!

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Little Tour of My Brain, Part 18 - Far Off Places

HELLO! I'M BACK!! (I am not going to mention anything about "The Incident" with the computer. Old news, best forgotten.)

I thought that I would show you some vintage advertising art and paintings used to illustrate magazine articles. These images were all painted by hand, as opposed to modern day digital images, for advertising campaigns from the 1920's to the 50's. The colours are so soft and romantic and by that I mean they give as sense of yearning for those far off places.

This image was for a "Brooke Bond Tea" advertisement that I found in a 1956 British women's magazine , "Woman and Home".

I do not know what magazine or article this came from, it was found in an old scrapbook that my mother-in-law gave to me. She noticed that one of her pupils was just going to cut up the scrapbook and rescued it as well as another scrapbook that was in the scrap paper bin. They put together by some young girl? living in England. The two following images are also from the two scrapbooks.

The colours in the painting are so relaxing, it is almost as if you are on holiday in that area faraway from any concerns and exploring the terrain around you.

Totally different from the previous pictures but the colours are very similar.

The luggage travel labels used in this Gilbey's Gin advertisement take you to various parts of the world with the beautiful graphics copied from or inspired by the luggage labels of that era

"The sun never sets on Gilbey's Gin - the international gin." or so says this advertisement. I'm not certain that the view from this window if it were real would be as appealing as the artist has depicted it. None the less it would be interesting.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


My computer has been down for over 24 hours. I thought that I'd let you know that I'm not slacking off! Hopefully I'll have my own computer back tomorrow and I'll be able to do a decent post.  Bye for now.