Category: sweethearts

on my work table : bright and happy things

little birds in progress

little birds in progress

For the last week or so I’ve had lots of happy, sweet, festive things to work on.  It is a lovely thing that I hear from women who had my  caketopper birds for their wedding and would like a little bird for their child and so I’ve been making special birds for little girls. Two were for a birthday cake and had fancy party hats.

tiny party hats

party hat birds

birthday birds

I had so much fun making the hats. I love mini and I love crepe paper – it is magic stuff.  I’m working on a little girl size version of the paper feather crown  and I’ll share the instructions for that soon – everybody needs a feather crown.

birthday party birds

sweet things

dapper

I designed a new cake topper over the summer: Flamingos in Love.

I painted miles of crepe paper in very particular shades of pink and coral.

They are available in my shop now as well as at BHLDN.  I’m also thinking of putting a “make it your self” kit together for these – what do you think?

I loved working with crepe paper and I’ve got something else for the cute department in the works – here are a couple sneak peeks:

cake toppers : recent departures

I finished several special orders for cake topper birds in the past couple weeks and  I’m working on more this week as well as something brand new in the cake topper department that  I’ll share soon I hope – I’m still missing an essential detail.   Here are a  couple photos of  last week’s  finished sets:

airforce bird caketopper

airforce!

Some fancy fascinators and boutonnieres :

ava and finn

ava

letty and lou

And a family!  Everybody is going to be on the cake – pretty sweet.

family of birds

getting organized

I am. And getting rid of things.  And rearranging. This is my newly appointed button drawer:

button drawer

It was formerly my “drop in anything I don’t know what to do with and then never open again” drawer. I dumped it out and found a tiny hand-full of things  I might actually need someday.  It’s perfect for buttons and much better than searching in a bunch of jars and boxes and bags.  Now that my buttons are all organized and in one place I’ll probably be a millionaire by the end of the week.

I’ve also been working on some special caketopper bird orders. This is the world’s tiniest garrison cap (airforce).

world's tiniest garrison cap

And the world’s tiniest boutonniere.

tiny boutonniere

And a very  fancy fascinator for his girl.

fancy fascinator

packing and shipping and a contest!

I spent the larger part of the day packing and shipping things – that will occupy about half of tomorrow too. I secretly enjoy it.

cake topper birds

Today was mostly birds and tomorrow larger things – ships.  Later this week I’ll post my very inexpensive but effective method for shipping large -ish fragile things – so check back if that’s of interest.

packing and shipping

And just for fun – a caption contest! A while back  Lisa of  a thread from the edge suggessted a caption contest. I think it’s a brilliant suggestion and if you check out the comments to this post you can see some of  her caption ideas – so funny and perfect. And a prize! A winner will be chosen by a yet to be determined method  – either a vote or a panel of expert judges and the best caption gets their very own bundled up  bird!

eliza

Everyone  is welcome to participate – just create a caption for this photo and leave it in the comment section:

caption contest

(you can click the image for a larger version if that helps you with your captioning)

A winner will be chosen next Wednesday 12/14.

a new garment

This  antique gown arrived a while ago. I think it’s Edwardian  but it was definitely reworked at some point  – it has fasteners and hardware and repairs that were added later. I guess it has had many lives.

antique lace gown

The peach silk is almost all shattered, it’s torn, stained and many of the seams have let go but the gauze, sheer silk lining and lace are still strong. First I’m making  a bird.

lace bird
Two really – one from each lace and tulle sleeve. And maybe later today a little boat with gauzy sails and little peach silk flags.

*update:

snowflake and ashton
Finished! snowflake and ashton

a wedding party in prospect park

park wedding

park wedding
A wedding party in prospect park. Little birds all made from turn of the century dress maker’s scraps, bits of fabric that were never used and well stored for years and years so the wonderful little prints are bright and fresh and crisp.

park wedding

I haven’t gone to the park to take pictures in a long time and it was lovely – today was a perfect day – sunny breezy and 80 degrees.

park wedding procession
After the ceremony everyone walked down to the picnic house for blueberries, sunflower seeds and lemonade.

(Find the pattern to make your own little birds here.)

the current state of affairs

overgrown

Besides this blog, lots of things around here have been  neglected and are in need of attention ( including email – if you’re waiting to here back form me hang in there – I’ll be catching up this weekend). My little victorian fishbowl terrarium ( a truly inspired gift from my sister becky) has slipped into  chaos and disarray. Maybe I have a little too – we are definitely both a little extra dishevelled.  I’ve collected some moss and tiny plants and will  correct the terrarium situation this weekend.  Next week I’ll be back with some new boats and owls and spiders and other stuff in progress.  For now here are a couple recently finished things pictured with the gowns they are made from and inspired by:

queenie and french

queenie and french

And constance and o.

constanceollie

And be sure to checkout BHLDN’s new decor line – it’s beautiful and  I’m flattered to be included.

ghostly ballgown

ballgown

This edwardian ballgown arrived recently – it’s incredibly fragile and delicate – much of it disintegrates when I touch it but there is still tons of usable and inspiring stuff.  I spent the better part of a day photographing and examining it and then  taking it apart. I found a label in the sleeve that says  B. Altman & Co. NEW YORK; it is one of my  all time favorite garments and reminds me of the very first antique gown, or really pieces of a gown, that inspired my very first birds. I didn’t photograph the gown, I so wish I had, but I still have two of the birds and I’ll show them to you soon.

ballgown3 ballgown 4 ballgown 2 ballgown 5

I’m making a havisham spider from it today, if I finish it before the light goes I’ll post another picture.

havisham spider

couture

I’m working on lots of  things for the shop including  a small collection of sweetheart birds, one of a kind things, detailed and intricate, elaborate and self indulgent – couture girls, la belle epoch. I’ll post progress photos here and if you’d like to be notified when they are ready you can join the shop mailing list.

couture

dolls

I was working on this girl last night and she reminded me of a story I read as a kid. I must have been about nine when I first read it and I still have the book, a collection of stories, “The Doll That Was Rich” was read so frequently that the book falls open to the exact page I was thinking of: ” On the table in front of them were two dolls, one dressed and one partially dressed. Beside them was an open parcel, full of bits of bright colored silk; and beside that again was a work basket.” I still love the idea of a basket of fancy scraps and somebody to dress up.

More shop news: Just for fun, I’m adding a new section of found things, very small collections of very small things, flea market treasures, stuff I love- like this mini iron and trivet.

ironandtrivet.jpg

The first collection will be up within the next couple weeks – just six little things .

tiny tophat

tophatthumb

How to make a tiny tophat (in excruciating detail).

What you will need: top hat pattern (click to download pdf), black poster board, scissors, manicure scissors ( for trimming the little curved bits),  elmer’s glue, floral tape, large paper clips, a light color pencil, a dowel or something for  curling the poster board  and black glitter.

tophatmaterials

Trace the 3 pattern pieces onto the black poster board and cut them out. I use a large paintbrush handle to curl all the pieces a little as shown below. I feel this step is key to your success as a tiny tophat maker. Next, overlap the edges of the cylinder about a 1/4″, glue, and clamp with a paperclip.

tophat1      tophat2     tophat3

When the cylinder is dry trim off any extra bits you might have so the bottom and top edges are pretty smooth, apply glue liberally to the top and bottom edges and place the brim and top.  I use floral tape to hold it all together while it dries.

tophat4       tophat5      tophat6

When the glue has dried trim off any excess on the top and brim and shape and smooth the brim with your fingers. Use the exacto knife to poke a hole in the bottom and then insert the little scissors to cut the opening.

tophat7      tophat8      tophat9

Paint it quickly and completely with elmer’s glue, give it a roll or shake in the glitter, leave it to dry and brush off the excess glitter with a stiff paint brush or old toothbrush. Finished!

tophatthumb

Hello tiny tophat!