Just had to take a moment and post my beautiful birthday flowers from my wonderful husband. I'm so in love with these flowers....they have such wonderful texture and vivid color! And I can't believe that I've never even seen those cute little green fuzzy globes before! Definitely the best flowers I've ever received!
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
I love ribbons. They're right up there with ruffles and lace and other frilly fripperies. There's just something about them that is so unabashedly feminine and fun. I think they tap in directly to the little girl in all of us, the little girl that wants to twirl in something pretty and be the belle of the ball.
And there is just so much to love about ribbons...so many colors, patterns and textures. The feel of something has always been just as important to me as the look of it, and I love to stroke my fingers over silks, satins and velvets; they just feel like luxury.
Ribbons on a garment always make them feel just a little bit fancier, a little more indulgent. I think it's because they're not strictly neccessary; it's their decadence that makes them so much fun!
And that goes double for leingerie...you only have to take one look at this beauty to know this is not the bra you throw on under your sweater for a day of grocery shopping...you'd crush those divine trailing ribbons of loveliness!
So lately I've been searching for beautiful ribbons that inspire me. I don't usually have a specific purpose in mind when I find them, I just know that their beauty speaks to me and I have to hold that ribbon in my hands. I think that is part of the fun of creating...not knowing what the next creation is going to be. I love just playing with my supplies of trims and ribbons and laces; sometimes something comes together, and sometimes it doesn't. I've learned that you can't force something, you just have to wait for the right combination of elements. Each piece will dictate how it should be used; this dainty velvet ribbon lent itself perfectly to a delicate little fluff of soft white marabou feathers.
This choker came about because I fell in love with a gorgeous lace and ordered it without a clue what I was going to use it for. But as soon as I touched it I knew it was destined to become a luxurious choker; the lace was so silky and sensual that I couldn't imagine sewing it onto a garment....it had to be against my skin!
And my newest pieces are all about the beautiful sculptural quality of textiles...these soft Japanese laces draped and twisted so beautifully, I found myself just playing with the graceful shapes they could make. I love the interplay of textures between the cotton trims and the velvet ribbon. And I also love the idea that beautiful jewelry doesn't have to be cold and hard...it can be soft and sensual.
I like to think of my pieces as little mini versions of couture clothing....I've always longed to own just one of the beautiful couture dresses that float down the runways, but it's unlikely I ever will. Too expensive, and where would I wear something like that? But jewelry is so much more versatile; depending on what you pair it with you can wear a beautiful piece of jewelry for almost any occasion. So while you might not be able to own a hand sewn gown by Marchesa or Lacroix, you can wear a one of a kind creation of vintage silk ribbons hand sewn with pearls and feel as luxurious and decadent as any fashion princess.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Well, it's Etsy's European week so there are countless lovely Euro finds to be discovered if you have a few minutes to spare. The fabulous Scoutie Girl shared her European love in a beautiful post on Austria, and she's totally inspired me to share some of my (what else?) Paris love. Here are some of my favorite Paris themed items from the wonderful sellers of etsy. The gorgeous print above can be found at Alicia Bock's lovely shop.
These little earrings by Handmade by Bluebird totally remind me of typewriter keys...I know, typewriter keys don't have cursive and they're only one letter, but still, there's just something about them that gives me that wonderful vibe.
Simply French Vintage has a whole bunch of these gorgeous pillows on vintage burlap that so perfectly encapsulate that french country aesthetic.
And this little beauty from Nicole La Bay is a vintage signed Lanvin bracelet...to die for!
And I'm in love with these simple vintage knobs from DK General Store. They too have that wonderful french country charm and they'd look just perfectly casual chic on a salvaged flea market dresser. Such a wonderful patina!
What about you? What European city are you longing to be in right now?
Friday, March 19, 2010
I am so excited...my etsy shop finally has a proper banner! Fabulous, no? For the past few months I've been collaborating with my ultra-talented cousin Stacey Chomiak (who just finished an animation degree and whose short film has won two awards and has been screening at 30 different film festivals!) to create a little french mouse who could become the face of my shop. So here's Frenchie...
We did a color and a line version as a nod to the two inspirations for my little mouse, Betrix Potter's delicately colored illustrations, and Tenniel's iconic line drawings. I'm so happy with how she turned out, and I have great plans for her! She's going to be an integral part of all my packaging. Wrapping up my little fripperies for the post office is one of my favorite parts of the etsy business; I love beautifully wrapped presents and I want each of my customers to feel like they're receiving a sweet little gift put together just for them! Since the name of my shop comes from a line in Alice in Wonderland I've been using Tenniel's images on my gift tags, but now I hope to have a custom stamp created of Frenchie.
Isn't she darling? I can't wait to send her to someone!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
I'm completely obsessed with chandeliers...it's a fun obsession because I currently live in a home that does not have the ceiling height for large dramatic light fixtures, so I can go into total fantasy mode and just dream of the perfect piece of pretty! Never mind that all of these are antiques from 1st Dibs and cost a veritable fortune, I'm at least several years from being in the position to own any chandelier so for now I can debate the merits of murano glass vs crystal, clear vs color, French vs Italian and so forth....
Sunday, March 14, 2010
One of my first posts on The French Mouse was about Emily Cooper's beautiful dream like art; I hadn't checked in with her site in a while and was so pleasantly surprised when I did. In addition to her beautiful paintings, she has a wonderful repertoire of fashion photography. This first one of course reminds me of a wonderful Alice in Wonderland interpretation.
And I love the sense of history in these images; they really reference the wonderful portraiture of the Renaissance and upwards through the 18th and 19th centuries.
These two remind me of Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood respectively.
And this one is just gorgeous in general!
Friday, March 12, 2010
I should be doing other things right now, but I couldn't resist posting these sweet lovelies from Anthropologie. All I can say is, it's a good thing I don't live anywhere near one of their shops....I'd be powerless to resist!
Sorry I haven't written lately...I've been trying to put my house in order so to speak. It's pussywillow season again and I am busy restocking my supplies (translation: my husband went out and got me more pussywillows and now I have to sort through the masses of boughs and cut them down to a manageable size!) I love the organic nature of working with pussywillows; their shape and size inspires the project they will be used in. The tiny ones end up as boutonnieres and the larger ones become fuzzy little flower girl bouquets. I was fortunate enough to be featured in a beautiful etsy gift guide for woodland themed weddings, so I am excited to restock my lovely little silvery pussywillows and make more sweet little accessories.
I'm also working on several large orders for my boutonnieres, but I hope to be finished within a couple days. I have a couple of lovely ideas for blog posts percolating in my mind right now, so hopefully I'll "see" you all again soon!
Thursday, March 4, 2010
A great big thanks to Scoutie Girl who runs an amazing blog dedicated to everything handmade. Like myself, she is eagerly anticipating the upcoming Alice in Wonderland film release and has featured some great Alice themed items, including my own blue and white feathered fascinator. It's definitely one of my favorite items in The French Mouse Boutique and it all started with these gorgeous little vintage watch faces I ordered on etsy. They've become one of my favorite supplies to play with because they all have their own character and unique look; I have to wait to find just the right combination of feathers or fabrics or lace that fits the personality of the watch face. This one was just right for the prettiest blue ostrich feathers and this wonderful vintage heart trim...halfway through making it I realized that it was so perfectly Alice! And of course, what's more Wonderland than a clock themed item?
This is my most recent piece, inspired by the divine white dress that Anne Hathaway wears as the White Queen in the film. As soon as I saw that dress I knew it was a palette I wanted to work with. White, gold, silver and pearl....it just feels so decadent!
And this is just for fun...I've been collecting these wonderful corks from a particular red wine called "Queen of Hearts." Tres perfect, hmmm? I didn't even know why I was saving them, other than the fact that I loved that they were stamped with a heart. And then the other day I got the idea to slice one up and see what I could do with it.
So anyways, be sure to check out Scoutie Girl to discover lots of wonderful artists dedicated to handmade!
Monday, March 1, 2010
"I daresay it's a French mouse..." Alice comments when she tries to engage a timid mouse in conversation in the pool of tears. As is evident from the name of my blog and etsy shop, I am rather enamored of Carroll's strange and wonderful story. And now with the imminent release of Tim Burton's Alice film, I find myself pondering the cult-like fascination with Alice and her Wonderland.
The story was too strange for my own childhood tastes, and the Disney film never appealed to me. Looking at the Disney version now I think it rather missed the spirit of the book which I believe can much better be appreciated by adults with a taste for the whimsical and odd than the average child! The humor is so dry and satirical that it is no surprise to me that the book was lost on me at the age of seven and completely appeals to me now at twenty seven.
It was all very well to say DRINK ME, but the wise little Alice was not going to do that in a hurry. "No, I'll look first," she said, "and see whether it's marked poison or not"; for she had read several nice little stories about children who had got burnt, and eaten up by wild beasts, and other unpleasant things, all because they would not remember the simple rules their friends had taught them: such as, that a red-hot poker will burn you if you hold it too long; and that, if you cut your finger very deeply with a knife, it usually bleeds; and she had never forgotten that, if you drink much from a bottle marked "poison," it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later.
There is such a love of language and British stiff-upper-lip culture and their potential absurdities in this passage; it really gives a very good sense of the mood of the story. And this is why I'm so excited to see Burton's interpretation. Who better to capture the essence of a weird, dark, humorous but whimsical story than Burton and the chameleon-like Johnny Depp?
Of course, Alice and compatriots have long been a rich source of visual and artistic inspiration for many. Tenniel's classic black and white line drawings are the most famous (and many would passionately argue that they are the best and should be the only!) but I have a soft spot for Arthur Rackham's delicately tinted illustrations.
Rackham is one of the great fairy tale artists of the Golden Age of illustration, immediately recognizable for his monochromatic color schemes and anthropomorphized gnarled trees. And I think when I look at the photography stills coming out of Burton's film that he was definitely influenced by Rackham's vision. Rackham's frontpiece of Alice seems like it could almost be a concept drawing for Burton's lovely heroine...
Beyond my literary love for Alice, I am just so excited to bask in the pure visual spectacle and delicious costumes. Ever since I was little I have loved period costumes and wanted to have some excuse to wear them. I think I could make an argument for needing this gorgeous blue coat. And how amazing is the ric rac embellished skirt peeking out from underneath it?
And I love the images of the almost unrecognizable and always divine Anne Hathaway as the White Queen. I am already plotting a delectable hair frippery inspired by that amazing costume...
But mostly, I think I'd just love to be invited to tea in that weird wonderful fantasyland of surreal dreams. How about you?