Saturday, June 23, 2012

Castine 2012

On Friday 8 June, Mavis, Diane and I flew from JFK to Portland in Maine. We rented a car for the trip to Castine through the beautiful green country side and lots of delightful little towns.

We stopped in Camden for lunch and I bought this lovely painting by John Pa....? at Lucy's Dollhouse shop,  I can't figure out the last few letters of the name, I suspect it is a British artist, if anyone knows who the artist is, please let me know. Lucy's also sell beautiful antique dolls, wonderful to look at if you are a doll lover.

Late that afternoon we arrived in Castine, it was great to meet new and old friends and spend Saturday peacefully just relaxing a bit before the busy week kicked of with the opening dinner on Saturday night.

Sunday morning our classes started, mine was a full day class and more, the brass bed has 165 parts, wow, that is a lot of turning, just look at that pile of brass blanks waiting to be turned into a bed. I have never done any metal turning before and wasn't really sure what to expect, well, once I got the hang of how the tools worked which took about the first day, I really started to enjoy myself and then it was a race against time, I was determined to at least go home with all the parts finished and I did manage to do that.

Here is a photo of Bill Robertson's finished prototype bed that I took in the exhibition room, mine is still a pile of brass pieces, hopefully I will have it finished in a week or so. One of the tasks I found the hardest was drilling holes through all the brass ball bearings that is used to join all the pieces together. The task itself wasn't too difficult, but my poor hands just got sore from the handle on the drill tail stock that was just a piece of metal with no soft covering and we had to drill holes through about 50 ball bearings.

Here we are all hard at work. All in all it was a fantastic class and I learned more than I ever expected and I am eager to use my new found skills on some fire screens that has brass parts on them, like the original full scale ones in the following two photos .

Can you see the tiny brass finial on the top of this one?

And look at that brass pole on this one.

And here are some of my brass pieces together with a half stitched William Morris rug, wallpaper and fabrics that I am thinking of using in the bedroom that still needs to be built.

Castine is just an awesome experience and if you have ever wanted to go, don't wait too long, you won't be sorry

Friday, June 22, 2012

New York

Wow, what can I say about New York, it was my first time there and it sure is a big busy city, probably not a place I want to live in, but I did enjoy my three days there. I met up with Mavis Cheyne, an IGMA scholarship winner from New Zealand that I met online on the Petitpointer Yahoo group and we went all over Manhattan in the three days that we were in NY.

On the first day we first spend a few hours in Central Park waiting for the shops to open up.

Here I am in front of Alice in Wonderland.

Next we went to Annie & Company where I bought some lovely thin velvet cord and some 100% Bamboo embroidery thread, I have been planning a small French Knot rug for a bathroom and would like to try this thread. Locally I buy socks made from bamboo which I love because they are so soft and comfortable to wear, so I just couldn't resist the thread :-)

Next stop was Tiny Dolls House shop close to the Metropolitan museum of History, and here I bought these two plates by Christopher Whitford, aren't they just stunning!

I have been looking for a vase for this little antique shelf that I bought last year at Lucy's Doll House in Camden on the way to Castine, at first I thought it was porcelain but it is actually made from some kind of metal, it fits perfectly and I have no idea who painted it. From here we did some family gift related stops.

Last stop for the day was a tool shop where I bought a lot of cutters and drill bits for my drill press that is hard to find in SA, three friends shared with me so we have quite a big variety now. I also bought another few tools needed for my class in Castine. By this time we were very tired, we started the day by taking a bus to 66th street, from there we walked up through Central Park to about 94th street where the needlework shops were situated, from there we worked our way slowly back to 46th street to the tool shop, the hotel was in 31st street, so after buying the tools all we wanted was supper and a hotel room ASAP after all that walking.

On day two we went to The Cloisters museum where we saw the magnificent Unicorn Tapestries, it took long to get there and except for the tapestries I was rather disappointed with the museum, it was a lot smaller than I expected. Next we went to the MET museum where my mission was to see the original of the easy chair that I recently made and have started to stitch for, it was wonderful to see for real and I was happy to see that my color choices wasn't far off from the original chair, by this time we were rather tired again and went to have a well deserved supper.

I think the part of NY that I enjoyed the most was spending the evening at a concert of the NY Philharmonic orchestra, they played two of my most favorite Mozart violin concerto's, just heavenly to listen to and we desperately needed to rest out tired feet.

On the last day Diane Yunnie, a doll maker from SA joined us and we went to the garment district in NY, my favorite shop was Tinsel Traders where I bought these lovely antique metal embroidery threads that will make fantastic trim in mini.

I also found these lovely silk cords on the left and the tiny twisted cord on the right at Tinsel Traders.

Mavis gave me this beautiful doll that she made as a thank you gift for arranging the whole trip, the doll is only 4cm high and Mavis knitted her whole outfit which includes all the underwear as well, what a delightful surprise.

Next: Castine

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Amsterdam and Rheda

I arrived back home late on Sunday night and has spend the last few days just resting and getting back into my own time zone after 2 very busy weeks in Europe and the USA. Today I will share my adventures in Amsterdam and Rheda.

On day one Josje met me at the airport, it was so great to meet her for the first time and she instantly felt like an old friend. First we went to Mc Lennan's Pure Silks, oh boy, what a feast for the eyes, here I bought the silks in the photo above. Next we went to a quilt shop where nothing spoke to me, so I didn't buy anything there.

Next, Josje took me to Den haan en Wagenmakers, a shop that sells quilt fabrics reproduced from fabric that were used in antique Dutch quilts, I don't think that I have ever seen such a beautiful collection of quilting cottons and I really had to exercise restraint and managed to buy only the three pieces in the above photo. From there we went to meet Mary Lynne at the train station, another first meeting with an "old" friend. After a well deserved supper we went on to Elly's apartment where I was staying for the next two nights, thanks Elly!

The next morning, we all met up again for the drive to Rheda in Germany, poor Elly, it was pouring with rain the whole 3 hours and more that it took us to reach Rheda.

Lunch at Rheda, from left to right, Elly, Winnie (a fellow blogger and petit pointer member), Josje, me and Mary Lynne.

I was so lucky as to receive some very special gifts on my trip and these I received over the three days in Europe. Elly gave me a copy of the book she had published about her Mouse House (what a great idea) and the glass egg container that needs some eggs. Mary Lynne gave me the beautiful little house that she bought on her trip in France and she bought me a lovely blue and white plate from Stokesay Ware. And Winnie gave me the most beautiful piece of tiny tatting that I have ever seen that she made herself. Thanks everyone, I felt really spoiled.

And now for my show purchases.

A full dinner service with six place settings from Stokesay Ware that I ordered and paid for earlier this year, so I could just go to them and pick it up without parting with a cent :-)

A lovely tea set from Avon Miniatiures painted by an unknown Dutch artist (Josje, I think you might have a name?).

Lovely glass items by Gerd Felka, the perfume bottle's stopper is removable, just amazing work.

The figurine is by Neil Carter, another plate from Stokesay Ware and two brass strips for furniture railings etc from Christina Noriega.

A beautiful light fitting and lamp from Ray Storey.

Ivory sock darner and horn thimble by Jurgen Engel and working dress shears by Edmund Drescher.

And finally, a hob grate kit for the fireplace in my dining room from Phoenix that I have been wanting for many years.

On Monday Elly and I went to visit Josje and see her wonderful work and collection for real, that was a wonderful treat, thanks Josje, for having us and giving us a delicious lunch. From there Elly took me to the airport for my flight to New York, Elly, thanks for everything you did to make my time in Amsterdam special.

I am slowly catching up on all your blogs, I simply didn't have anytime for reading while I was away.


Friday, June 1, 2012

The Adventure Begins!

In less than four hours I will go to the airport for my trip to Amsterdam and Castine, Josje will meet me at the airport, what fun! I hope I see some of you at the Rheda show on Sunday. Here are a few photos of the last ten months work, what a learning curve this was. Enjoy!

The Sewing Tables

The Gothic Chippendale Chairs

Tilt and Turn Tables

Rhode island Easy Chairs

Have a great weekend