Friday, February 19, 2010

On our website we have a picture of my great grandfathers tearooms. Arriving from Canton, China around the same time as my great grandmother arrived from England, they met and married in Gisborne, it was quite unusual for a Chinese man to marry a non Chinese women in those times. They became quite wealthy, owning tearooms, hotel and land. As was quite common they went back to China, presumably to take money back to his parents. This was during the boxer revolution. Leaving his family in Canton' he took a trip upriver to his home village, at sometime on this trip he disappeared never to be seen again, it was presumed that bandits got him as a ransom letter was received. A return trip had been paid for and my Grandmother and all 7 children (my grandfather was about 14yrs old) returned to New Zealand, somewhere in the history the younger son was put in a boarding school either in Sydney or Hongkong, information a bit hazy here, it was presumed that he was at risk of being kidnapped. He was the younger son, maybe an easier task.
The moral to this little story is that on Monday I received an email from a girl in New Zealand who was also a descendant from this Howchow line. A small world. How lucky am I though, we can share information on our family tree.
Have a great weekend

Friday, February 12, 2010

What to do with a pair of jeans stained with wax

Dearest grand daughter brought in a pair of her jeans that she had dripped candlewax on and couldn't get it off with washing, the wax had seeped into the denim. Where the skull is was the biggest area of stain, so we mixed gesso with GAC 900 fabric painting medium. When dry we mixed GAC 900 with Acrylic paint and stencilled and stamped in red. Using stazon black we stamped script knowing that it would be washable. Alla arty jeans that are original.

Windows of a period gone by

In the previous entry I mentioned I had gone looking for something to create a hinge on a project that I was working on. Finally finished the project and want to share with you. This is a large piece each window approx 12" x 8" a good size to work in. The lovely old frame Joanne has let me use has pale yellow and cream paint in patches the rest bare wood. Without the hinged covers.The top right hand corner window I have vintage album page with a rather austere looking lady
parlour card and below a smaller parlour card of a gentleman that could be her husband. A small soft leather coin purse, black feather an a vintage button sewn on a piece of vintage fabric.Top middle window the background is a backing page out of one of the covers on the bottom of frame, I just loved the lovely rich colours. A glove metal frame for keeping your gloves nice and neat, all shabby chipped paint, I was lucky to buy a pair at local antiques fair. An old rusty pair of scissors bought at a flea market in Sydney. A piece off a very old moulding from Italy, vintage ephemera and on the bottom a little bottle with blue glitter and a smaller one with a rolled up scrap of a letter.Top right hand window another vintage album page with parlour card. The piece of blue tissue I found in an old album I bought in Sydney it has a lady holding a torch at the bottom of a set of steps a rather roman scene. A scrap of hand dyed silk with a vintage button, crochet scrap with a rhinestone buckle, corrugated cardboard and in the left hand bottom corner an old letter set A.Below right hand corner is a window which I later hinged a cover of an album. A collection of vintage bits and pieces. the spine of an old book which I love the texture and colour. Wired on a fragment from an old plate. Underneath is a lovely silk mantle for a kerosene lamp, below it is the cardboard box it came in and behind the silk mantle is the lovely glassine bag it was protected in. All this housed on a old journal page with the spine still attached.This lovely old album page has these really cute fat chicken in lovely sepia colours with another parlour card of a young girl. On the top left corner a brass metal stencil No 4 my lovely sister gave me. At the bottom of parlour card is a bit of beautiful beaded fabric 1 inch wide that Mandy and I shared from Claremont Antique and craft fair. Its a good idea if you see something really lovely but a bit pricey, share with a friend. The vintage spool with bronze thread is a gift from a really thoughtful friend who bought it from Tinsel Trading which she visited when she was in America. This window is bottom middle.Window bottom left is the collage under the Journal cover. Music sheet background, scraps of knitted fabric with french trims from French Flea Market. Scraps of old vintage sepia colour paper an image on transparency paper and a ticket for Royal stall at a theatre several of these vintage ephemera I have been given by the thoughtful sharing girls that come to our classes.You have got to admit they made beautiful album covers probably in the Victorian era, this one is all padded, in fact when I tried to drill through it all this fibre whizzed around the drill bit so drilling wasn't going to work so I had to Peirce the holes with a awl and hammer (ok don't shudder in horror, its a means to an end) this one sat on top of the bottom right window. This is where I am trying to figure out what looks best. Also these where the covers I was looking for hinging for. Can you see the lovely blossoms engraved in this cover just meant for a bird or two.
The hinged cover on the right side window, I am not going to add anything else other than a photo with an old vintage thermometer, the embossing is too decorative to cover.The finished frame, can you see how I hinged the covers. The left one is hinged with some old bullet webbing I had bought to use in my Dads war journal, there is heaps of it so these three bits won't be missed and they are the right grubby worn look for this period. The right one I have used a strip of calico to hinge and added some vintage buttons.The hinged covers have worked well, they had to be strong to take the weight of the covers.
Across the bottom of frame I have tacked in a brass hinge opened out flat, with the word 'behind'. The book etcera etc inspired me with this collaged vintage window frame. I hope you don't think I am big noting myself by mentioning where I got different items, but I know some readers like to know that sort of thing. This will be for the shop window when our sale finishes.
Have a great weekend

Friday, February 5, 2010

Treasure finds

recently I visited a favourite shop to look for something to make hinges out of. Rustic Gallery in Midland has the most amazing collection of vintage and collectibles in Perth, I hadn't visited for over a year and was amazed at how much stock they now have. If you have a bush block and want old rustic items for garden display, they have just about anything that you can imagine old rusty truck, farm machinery etc. The prices are very reasonable, but every time I go I spend more than I should in volume.

The black box opened in the centre at the back was the dearest item, apparently very collectible it is 'The Boston Crankshaft alignment indicator' which I paid $30, this spoke to me and I went and picked it up several times and put it back again, before I gave in to temptation. The reason I bought it was for the lovely dark dark brown colour, broken hinge, well worn on the edges, but most of all the lovely velvet lining which was at one time a tobacco colour but with age and use is now a dark brown with patch's of gold showing through. This I envisage a lovely little vintage journal or even a small sculpture.
I already have a project for this army water bottle carrier (I think) it is a hard metal covered in webbing fabric and will be perfect for the War Journal on my dad which will be housed inside, can you see a war medal attached to the front and other war memorabilia. This will be a favourite son's Christmas present, see I have started early this year. I have been collecting memorabilia for this journal for over two years. I also wrote the journal up on my computor with all the war photo's and excerpts from letters he wrote to his sister. Now the letter M I just loved the shape and colour, M for mine haha, Mandy.
Now can you see a lovely old journal peeking out of this old tatty tool bag with paint smears in pink and white, just like the old Filerite alpha cards. These cards I can see made into a journal the outside parts have gone a shade of green whereby the hidden from light parts are a lovely shade of turquoise. I had thought the webbing buckle might serve as a hinge the buckle is way to big for what I want. But I will find a use for it, possibly in the war journal.And this dear little leather pouch about 5" x 7" in size has a handmade look about it, stitching coming undone in places, was only $7 what a bargain.
Now to some these will look like a pile of old junk, not seeing the possibilities and possibly still think them junk when I turn them into vintage art but you cannot win them all and thats ok. I love Nina Bagley's art and this is what inspires me. Have a nice weekend