Sparkling beauties

by Ruth on March 31, 2014

in Inspiration

Charlotte and I hit the French highway and embarked on our first ‘ladies-only’ adventure down to see my friend Corey Amaro. She is a wonderful supporter, listener, friend, fellow hoarder/collector and we spent hours with her talking silk, dreaming and scheming collaborations , drinking ‘Wedding Imperial’ Mariage Freres tea, sifting through antique limoges stamps, chandelier crystals, and lace.

And then just when I thought my brain was about to explode with the excitement of our afternoon, Corey reached for a stepladder, pulled down a dusty plastic bag and announced “Ah I think this will be something you might be able to use”. She pulled out four battered, old, gorgeous, cardboard boxes ‘dans leur jus’, apparently she had bought the boxes on a whim as she just loved how they looked (so Corey) but it wasn’t until later that she opened them to see what secrets they held. Corey did just that in front of me, she opened the first box and inside were stuffed little folder paper slips. The suspense nearly killed me as Corey carefully and slowly opened the first envelope, the tips of her fingers blackened with the dust and dirt from the old paper, my gut could just tell that something special was held within these old pieces of card.

Let their absolute sublimity wash over you!

She gave me one envelope after the next, amber, emerald, smoked topaz, marigold… each envelope contained different sizes of antique turn of the century chatons. I stopped breathing. I told Corey she had gone mad, absolutely mad to want to part with these.  Part of me cannot wait to get started in creating with these but another small part of me wants to wrap these up again and keep them hidden from time just as they were when Corey opened those envelopes for the first time.

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In the studio

by Ruth on February 19, 2014

in Inspiration, Rubanesque News

One of the major inspirations for me at the minute when working away on new pieces is an wondrous painting from the ‘Desirs et Volupte’ Exhibition which ran in the Musee Jacquemart -Andre this winter. I could stare at it all day, Les Roses d’Heliogabalus, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1888

What to do with an antique 1920s metal applique trim… when I saw it I was immediately drawn to the gorgeous art deco design, the handsewn gold and silver metal work, silk thread, and black jet glass beads. I’ve been looking at it pinned to my inspiration board for a few months, dreaming of ways to use it. So I have embellished it just a little with antique French metal sequins, swarovski crystals, metal beads and vintage czech glass beads. It is as the French say, “dans son jus” but I didn’t want to overly-tinker with the beautiful craftsmanship

Detail from The Roses of Heliogabalus, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1888

I’m not generally into religious medals or symbolism but it seems that Dolce & Gabbana are determined to get us all wearing oversized, ornate religious-inspired jewellery. So I suppose I was subconsciously tapping into this when I found two beautiful antique ‘Vierge’ 1930s medals which are surrounded in tiny marcassite chatons, and there is an image engraved on the back with the apparition of the Virgin to Sainte Bernadette in the Lourdes cave .  I created one necklace which I have not taken off and have worn with everything for the last few weeks, and I just finished a second which I will soon put up in my etsy store. I have combined the medal with heavy antiqued metal beads,  and swarovski crystals in pewter, gunmetal and grey, the heavy gold chain ties with a black grosgrain ribbon.

For this piece, I incorporated an incredible antique crystal and silver belt buckle with an antique silk tassle (from the family archives), some vintage nailheads, swarovski crystals and the pendant hangs from a piece of antique silver cord thread. I don’t know if I’ll be able to part with this beauty….

 

This is another major personal favourite, I salvaged an antique mother of pearl belt buckle from early 1900s and created a pendant with an antique gold tassle, vintage czech glass beads, crystals , gold metal sequins and it might not make the etsy shop either …. I realise I am making these necklaces entirely to my taste (and thankfully others love them too!), but unfortunetly once they come together I dread the idea of selling them…. So perhaps I need to adopt some new tactics? How does one create something they don’t personally love? Any advice?

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I got busy the last few days finally finishing some necklace projects that I have been procrastinating over for weeks, I’ll be sharing some of the projects over the next few days.

Sometimes I remember to snap some photographs during the making process and in this particular case, I documented it quite thoroughly as I was taking apart a piece of 140 year old trim and needed to ensure I could restore and rebead it as it was originally (albeit adding my own touch in the process). So here is a little look behind the scenes of how this Jet Trim necklace came together.

 

The foundation of this piece was an incredible salesman sample of handmade black silk passementerie trim from 1870. It features heavy jet beading and was in need of a little love and restoration, so I took on the task and in doing so I added some antique czech copper glass beads and antique french metal sequins. I then added a section of fil d’or antique gold trim from the family archives and attached some black grosgrain ribbon.

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Strike a pose

by Ruth on January 22, 2014

in Inspiration

The new season of Girls just started, I just love Lenas refreshing voice and watched the first two series back to back. The new season coincides with the long awaited Lena Dunham Vogue cover and shoot which is all over the news, how dare she agree to photoshopping, she is conning us all, why don’t we see more than her face on the cover…oh the controversy.

I say well done to her and to Vogue for celebrating an outrageously talented young woman who also happens to have a normal, non supermodel-esque physique. Yes she was photoshopped, so what, I personally don’t feel cheated, this is Vogue for gods sake, we buy it to dive into their immaculately fantastical and stylised world. But that’s just my opinion.

Anyway, I just came across this gorgeous video featuring Lena and Hamish Bowles which really makes this whole argument seem irrelevalent. It is so much fun and really conveys the silliness of it all. It is lovingly choreographed and styled and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Strike a pose.

 

 

 

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Inspiring me this week …

by Ruth January 16, 2014
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I loved reading this interview between two of my favourite creative people, Tavi talks to Lorde … what a wonderful insight into them both! A post by Miss Moss introduced me to the gorgeous work of British illustrator, Eleanor Taylor.  I find it really fresh but yet it reminds me of all that I love [...]

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Anderson’s latest oeuvre

by Ruth January 15, 2014
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I am a huge Wes Anderson fan, I have a framed storyboard print from Cinecitta (from filming The Life Aquatic) hanging in our bathroom and a red striped Royal Tenebaums tracksuit which Raphael has been permitted to wear once, and I just love discovering the new worlds he creates for us, the oversaturated colours, the [...]

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Inspiring me this week

by Ruth January 14, 2014
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My friend Corey wrote about this incredible artist, Mr. Finch in her Saturday Art Saves series and I remember being overwhelmed by his imagination and use of antique textiles, and I just love how he transforms scraps of old textiles into works of art.   Scraps of thread, fabric and paper are stitched and pulled [...]

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Girls day out in Aix

by Ruth January 14, 2014
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My sister came over with her husband (it’s their first Christmas as a married couple and you can see their wedding photographs here) to spend a few days with us and we had a ball! We even managed to plot an escape to the glamorous city of Aix en Provence….a super girls day out!

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Noel 2013

by Ruth December 27, 2013
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I hope you had a wonderful Christmas break!! We just got back from three days with my parents-in-law and extended family, in Vienne (just south of Lyon) about 200 kilo heavier, thanks to the the lashings of foie gras, cured ham, truffle tapenade, buche de noel, and of course really great wine and everything in [...]

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Glimpses of silk

by Ruth December 19, 2013
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I made my first Christmas card using a collage of antique ribbons, lace and trim. A handwritten letter from 1859, some antique metal sequins. Tones of Greys, gold, Eggshell blue and black.  It is going to a very special person and I hope they LOVE it! In the process of digging out the right items [...]

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