Paper swans are in the shop! (A kit is coming later this spring – i just got a big crate of supplies). I had such a good time photographing them. I think I made them mostly because I wanted to photograph them – I have lots of plans for more. I bought the blue velvet box above 20 years ago – my first year in NY and it’s been on my mind lately. I love that peacock blue, the patina and the little silver latch- it looks like it has a marvelous story. It’s one of those things I love so much just as it is I couldn’t make anything with it. It was perfect for this photo – the color combination surprised me and I love it. Lot’s more swan photos below and if you have questions please get in touch.
And P. S. – the cake toppers have their own instagram account now – you can find it here.
(spying on swans)
I’ve made an astounding number of flamingos in the past few weeks. I make flamingos in my dreams. There are tiny bits of pink paper everywhere. I do some of my best thinking while I’m making them and my note book is always right next to me.
While I was making this last batch I accidentally designed a new cake topper. I’ve been rolling around the idea of crepe paper birds for a couple years but couldn’t quite get the shape I wanted, failed a bizillion times- I am particular. While I was making the flamingo armatures I stumbled upon the solution – I wasn’t even thing about it, the idea just appeared, a eureka moment, I hardly ever have those. Once I had an armature shape that was right and reproducible I knew what to do with the rest and a few hours later I had birds – here is a sneak peek at mr. and mrs. chickadee.
I’m still working out details – supplies, production testing, packaging etc. and I haven’t made up my mind about bases. I like the idea of them going directly into the cake – like the flamingos, keeping it super simple but I’m not sure – what do you think- a little base or no?
You could win your very own crepe paper bunnies! In celebration of spring I’ve teamed up with fellow Brooklynite Vané Broussard of Brooklyn Bride to offer you the chance to win a pair of forest folk cake topper bunnies – a perfect cake topper or an unexpected Easter basket treat for someone special. The winner gets to choose the flower and glittery slipper color for mrs. bunny. Find all the details and enter here. The winner will be chosen on Friday 4/11.
Something new I’ve been working on:
Crepe paper bunnies in love, dressed up and ready to celebrate. I’ve got a few production details to work out but they will be in my shop very soon – you can join the shop mailing list if you would like an email notification when they are available.
update 2/27/: they are available now in the shop
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:
It’s really just part of a gown – the lace part. I love the asymmetrical skirt – it would have floated over a longer silk skirt. I’ve already used almost all of it – every little bit. The heavier lace became ring pillows.
I have a little collection of ring pilows made from antique gowns and petticoats available at bhldn now. The rest of the lace became gowns for little brides – also for bhldn.
josephine and fritz
Inspired by this antique gown – josephine’s gown is made from the white tulle:
The little glass feet it floats on is my favorite part.
Introducing : The Shelleys! (mary and percy).
I never planned to make another cake topper, the birds ended up in the nuptials biz by accident. Earlier in the summer I discovered a vintage souvenir seashell doll at a barn sale. I love vintage souvenirs and this one hit all the right notes for me: a small and perfect memento of a special day , a time and place, a remembrance, sweet, a little bit sad and deeply nostalgic. It inspired these little figures and I tried hard to create that kind of sentiment – a memento of a happy day.
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:
Some fancy fascinators and boutonnieres :
And a family! Everybody is going to be on the cake – pretty sweet.
I am. And getting rid of things. And rearranging. This is my newly appointed 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).
And the world’s tiniest boutonniere.
And a very fancy fascinator for his girl.
This was a great dress, it was ruined in such magnificent ways. I’ve been making things with it for almost two years and it still has more to give – transparent silk chiffon, a little more lace and bits of shattered silk – not sew-able but perfect for tiny corsages.
I wish I had spent more time photographing it when it arrived so I’m giving it a last hurrah now – it’s last breath in it’s original form.
Wholesale -that is what I am up to over here. I shipped off the first order for 2012 yesterday – letty and lou – for BHLDN. Here they are packaged to go. I like the idea of purchasing something from a giant retailer and receiving something so personal and direct – each unique and expressive, each made as if it is the only one I will ever make. Really. That’s the hard part. And the good part. I also like that BHLDN supports and celebrates that idea.
This set will be available soon online at BHLDN – I’m not sure if it will be in stores but I’ll find out. Over the next couple weeks I’m finishing orders for Catbird , Cog and Pearl, and another order for BHLDN – all beautiful collections I’m flattered to be part of. This is not a pace I can maintain for a great deal of time without losing my marbles though. I am still doing everything myself – every label, every package, every stitch, every word, every photo, all the book keeping, and communication etc. etc. The details are endless. My first priority after these orders ship is to get a little help with the stuff I can, should and must have help with.
letty and lou
I spent the larger part of the day packing and shipping things – that will occupy about half of tomorrow too. I secretly enjoy it.
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.
And just for fun – a caption contest! A while back Lisa of a thread from the edge suggested 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!
Everyone is welcome to participate – just create a caption for this photo and leave it in the comment section:
(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.
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.
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.
Two really – one from each lace and tulle sleeve. And maybe later today a little boat with gauzy sails and little peach silk flags.
Finished! snowflake and ashton
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.
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.
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.)
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
And constance and o.
And be sure to checkout BHLDN’s new decor line – it’s beautiful and I’m flattered to be included.
I have been pretty occupied lately with this group of birds. They’ve been finished, packed and shipped off and later this spring, for the first time ever, sweetheart birds will be available someplace other than my shop.
I’ll let you know where you can find these limited edition birds very soon .