Art Journal

Nature Ramblings ~ Past Times Time Travel ~ Romancing Daily Life

Monday, August 10, 2015

Road to Half Moon Bay - Sanchez Farm (field trip)

Stock blooming at Sanchez Farm
Highway 92 cuts across one of the narrower sections of the Santa Cruz Mountains, past Skyline Boulevard and then on down to Half Moon Bay. Before reaching our destination we stopped off to buy peaches and admire the in-bloom stocks.

Ench By Sew-35:Enchanted by Charles James - 20'th Century Fashion History




The Charles James Ribbon Gown - Muslin in the background
Enchanted by Charles James - Stepping into a liminal space to study and enjoy glorious fashion designs and analyze the construction of those garments is the kind of thing that keeps me … enchanted by sewing.

Hey let’s go to the show together! To do that you can either download the ‘cast from iTunes - Click on this link to iTunes  , 
*OR* listen directly on the web, by clicking on this link


* * *
  Some months the Enchanted by Sewing podcast, journals my own sewing project accomplishments, techniques and creative ideas. Other times I share the source of  some of my sewing inspiration. This month is inspiration time, as I take you along on an another in-the-,moment fashon exhibit - a visit to the beautiful Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco , where I went repeatedly to  view the exhibit, High Style: The Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection  exhibit of the Brooklyn Fashion Museum.

This collection – which is housed  and curated by the Metropoliton Museum of Art  in NY City- includes a wide range of the work of 20’th century designers and couturiers.

There was no way I could share all of what I saw with you.

By my third visit, I realized that , despite the charms of designers and coturiers in the exhibit- Elsa Schiaparelli and Madeleine Vionnet, just to name a few of the big names, and some that have been almost forgotten- the hands-down winner for sharing with you, was Charles James. That’s because James, and his clients and admirers, worked to see to it, that more than his beautiful garments were saved in this collection, to motivate and educate future sewists, designers and couturiers. This historical treasure trove includes sketches and muslins which really tell the story of how he worked, and what went into the garments he fashioned. They are an inspiration for the creative process.

The body of Charles James work extends from the 1930s into the1950s. The garments he designed, constructed and created were worn by high society types like  Austine Hearst, the wife of Mr. William Randolph Hearst, Jr., Millicent Rogers and Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney. They were also made for women with less blue blood like Jeanne Bultman the wife of the artist Fritz Bultman, and Gypsy Rose Lee!

James didn’t just sketch up a gown and expect others to produce it. He worked in the true couture tradition (some say the only American designer who did). He draped fabric in complex ways to get what he was after. Often he created specialized support systems under his gowns, to enhance and extend their third dimensions . Charles James also used fabric in studied ways working with color, light and reflectivity in addition to the hang or drape of the material. He also focused on developing seaming techniques that molded the fabric into directions he wanted it to move.

I’ll be blogging more about Charles James garments I saw at this exhibit over time . You’ll find those in the podcast show notes and at my regular blog, MeEncantaCoser.blogspot.com. So if you find Charles James as appealing as I do, subscribe to the podcast show notes or Me Encanta Coser to be notified about new James postings.


Show at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco http://legionofhonor.famsf.org/legion/announcements/collecting-fashion-20th-century-couture-costume-and-textile-arts-collection?utm_source=Fine+Arts+Museums+of+San+Francisco+E-Mail+List&utm_campaign=e68929bce3-15_3_4_e_news_general&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_9757c5111b-e68929bce3-85610377

Other SF show links
https://legionofhonor.famsf.org/highstyle

https://legionofhonor.famsf.org/highstyle/about

~ ~ ~
The Entire (over 400 items) Charles James Collection is Freely Available and Searchable Online at the Metropolitan Museum - Brooklyn Costume Collection. This collection includes not only beautiful garments, but muslins and design sketches James created along the way.
http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search?&ft=charles+james&what=Costume&pg=1

A few Example Links in the above collection - Use this link to do your own searching

Muslin for the Ribbon Gown  http://www.metmuseum.org/search-results?ft=charles+james+muslin+ribbon


Charles James Fashion Sketches

Clover leaf Ball Gown Sketches



Monday, August 3, 2015

Inspiration for a garden -Japanese Tea Gardens, Golden Gate Park - San Francisco Field Trip

I'm quite interested in creating themed gardens at home these days - whether in a pot or larger gardening space. Recently my daughter and I went up to the Japanese Tea Gardens in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, and you can bet I was thinking the whole time about elements for the perfect mini tea garden at home!

Do you think I can manufacture something for a large pot garden, or a stretch of yard, as perfect as a drum bridge?

I've seen miniature bridges, but none as perfectly rounded as this. Kids love to climb over this - and I've had a lot of fun on it as a no-longer-a-kid myself.


Hummmm I think I'm going to need some green glass to give a watery look, something along the lines of this lantern and a lovely orange lily. I have a lot of chasmonti floribunda that's overgrown my yard. It has a lovely orange flower and similar lily foliage. 


I might not be able to squeeze in a temple in a pot, or in my yard for that matter, but these burnt reds contrasting with green are certainly something to think about when it comes to plants, and or a ceramic pot or tile.



Saturday, July 25, 2015

How To Invite Fairies to Live in your Garden (Tutorial)


Fairy magic adds enchantment to my gardening life


Wegman's Nursey ( Redwood City)  helped me prepare for fairies

How To Invite Fairies to Live in your Garden
Ice plant and succulents enhance this tea party garden

1)Find a nice pot - I got mine in my Wegman's Fairy Garden Class /Workshop.
 You might get creative here and re-purpose a pot, large bowl, can, or any open vessel you already have. Fairies are not picky. Make sure you have a hole in the bottom, or some kind of drainage.
2) Fill the pot nearly full with potting soil

3) Decide on a story you want to tell in your garden - the sleeping green fairy below had a very warm bike ride to a cool lake. He parked his cycle, walked across the stepping stones over the lake, and is enjoying a  snooze next to some frog friends on a leaf that's big enough to serve all of them as a little island bench in the lake
4) Pick out a few little outdoor or indoor plants to enhance the story. Tiny ground cover  plants might work well. In my Wegman's class, I included Australian violets/Australian bluebell and some Irish moss. I had some spider plants at home that had shot out spider plant babies, so I added several of those as well. 

In other fairy habitats - such as the tea party themed one above - I've been using (flowering) ice plant, thyme and a lot of the succulents I've been repurposing from pots. With these I often use pea gravel to fill in as a natural stream or landscape. Non-miniature plants like geranium/pelargonium and iris stems can stand in for trees.

5) Find a fairy, and some items that she or he might enjoy. I used a
There are Fairies at  the Bottom of My Garden
fairy, a leaf bridge with frogs, and a fairy bicycle. You could also use little toys - like tiny dolls. You don't even have to include a fairy. Just creating the perfect environment , may well encourage a fairy to move in with you. Just because you don't see one, doesn't mean they aren't living there.
 6) Rocks, gravel, broken pottery shards, sand and other textures add greatly to the story. In the Fairy Garden class I went too we had access to crushed blue and green glass (you can buy bags of it) and broken shards from a turquoise pot. Those items made me think lake when I spotted them.
Waiting for fairies Just because you don't see them, doesn't mean they aren't living there.
Fairy garden is in-progress - keeping my eyes peeled for additions
If children live in or visit your house, make sure they have access to and maintenance rights over the fairy garden.

My fairy gardens live on my patio. I hand water them when it gets dry. Small garden like these are great during our drought, because they takes very little water. In fact, when we often re-purpose leftover water from other domestic events for watering our pots.

Books
Both these Disney Garden books inspire my theme gardening style, which is so vital for a fairy gardener. I like the tabbed-cookbook style of DISNEY'S GARDENING WITH MICKEY when I want to quickly review the steps for creating a hanging basket or well illustrated how-tos for small topiaries. (There's lots of good info for larger topiaries and garden sculpting as well - I just haven't tried it out) In addition, there is good gardening (yard or pots) basic techniques as well as many recommendations for plants that work well for specific themes and temperatures. I highly recommend it, because I have used it a lot over a period of several years.

I also turn regularly to my Secrets of Disney's Glorious Gardens book. It has a lot of similar techniques and information as DISNEY'S GARDENING WITH MICKEY and it also has lovely, lovely photos that inspire me. So when I want to sit down and just get ideas for themes or gardening styles, I pour through the photos in this book.
                
Fairy magic is adding enchantment to my life, when it comes to gardening.

~ ~ ~
There are Fairies at the Bottom of My Garden

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Ench By Sew-34:Sewing with the Flow - Fairy Inspired

This month’s show is Fairy Inspired… Fairy Gardens that is– where my sewing (like my gardening)  knows,  It’s the Story that makes it.

Listening Option 1: Download from iTunes
Click on this link to iTunes  to download this and other Enchanted by Sewing shows to your mobile device (iPhone, Android, etc.) free from iTunes

Listening Option 2: Direct Download/Listen on the Web
 LISTEN RIGHT ON THE WEB (while sewing perhaps?)   by Clicking on this Link 
(http://traffic.libsyn.com/enchantedbysewing/CastFINALJuly2015SewFlowFairiesFairyGarden.mp3)
~ ~ ~
Enchanted by Sewing IS, An  EXTENSION OF my regular sewing blog - Me Encanta Coser, which,  roughly translated means, Enchanted By Sewing 

My blog is written in English. The name celebrates the historical and modern use of the beautiful Spanish Language in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, where I live
~ ~ ~
 I was feeling pretty serious about my sewing when I got back into town last month. I was thinking that any day I’d get on with some serious pattern drafting work.

Well, I haven’t! As a matter of fact whenever I thought about doing intense pattern work – either drafting or pattern alteration – I just found something else to do. And, as this has been an unusually busy summer for me, both professionally and personally, it was easy to put sewing off.

Finally I just quit worry about what I’d planned to do, and responded to materials and projects that were singing out to me from the bins over my machine. And I was, once more, reminded of Lori Van Monnans’s advice to ‘sew forth now’.

Sometimes you just gotta sew. By just responding to what I had on hand, I was working on getting in some summer garment essentials. They were essential because there items I really use at this time of year, and also essential to my happiness. It doesn’ t always matter whether I’m carrying through on garments I blue sky about. What matters is that I respond to my essential need to sew because, sewing enchants me.

In this month’s show

1) Recent summer essential sewing – Journaling about what’s useful additions I’ve sewn for my summer armoire.

Lucy Locket's Mobile Pocket Bag - http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2015/06/lucky-lockets-mobile-device-pocket-bag.html

A new Tapestry Cap - http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2015/06/replacing-my-tapestry-cap.html

Enchanted by Sewing(Aug 2014) Capping Off Summer - Creating a simple pattern for, and sewing a cap http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/08/ench-by-sew-023-capping-off-summer.html

-Singing the Blues Tee - Pattern drafted from my moulage http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2015/07/sewing-summer-essentials-singing-blues.html

- Rose Embellished Straight Skirt - Pattern drafted from my sloper http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2015/06/terminado-rose-embellished-straight.html

2) Technicos: Techniques I used to complete My Rose Embellished Denim Straight Skirt – Sloper to Pattern, and embellishment techniques

Enchanted By Sewing Show (May 2015) Parlez Vous French Pattern Drafting ?http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2015/05/ench-by-sew-32-parlez-vous-french.html

3) Fairy Gardens Inspire My Sewing
Whether gardening or sewing – it’s the story that makes the creation

Postcard from California - How to Invite Fairies to Live in your Garden - A Fairy Garden Tutorial http://postcardfromcalifornia.blogspot.com/2015/07/how-to-invite-fairies-to-live-in-your.html


Postcard from California - There are Fairies at the Bottom of My Garden - CA patio garden that is
http://www.postcardfromcalifornia.blogspot.com/2015/07/how-to-introduce-fairy-to-california.html

Both these Disney Garden books inspire my theme gardening style. I like the tabbed-cookbook style of DISNEY'S GARDENING WITH MICKEY when I want to quickly review the steps for creating a hanging basket or well illustrated how-tos for small topiaries. (There's lots of good info for larger topiaries and garden sculpting as well - I just haven't tried it out) In addition, there is good gardening (yard or pots) basic techniques as well as many recommendations for plants that work well for specific themes and temperatures. I highly recommend it, because I have used it a lot over a period of several years.

I also turn regularly to my Secrets of Disney's Glorious Gardens book. It has a lot of similar techniques and information as DISNEY'S GARDENING WITH MICKEY and it also has lovely, lovely photos that inspire me. So when I want to sit down and just get ideas for themes or gardening styles, I pour through the photos in this book.
                

Wegman's Nursery in Redwood City has regular Fairy Garden Classes! http://www.wegmansnursery.com

Fairy magic is definitely adding a little more enchantment to my life, when it comes to gardening.
And ….It’s also given me a better understanding of how to keep my sewing enchanting.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

California Summer at the Beachside Boardwalk in Santa Cruz( SF Bay Area Field Trip)

Back around the turn of the 20'th century, amusement parks were a big summertime draw for regular folks - middle class and the lower middle class. With the railroad making close by day trips doable - people took weekend trains out to the edges of urban areas to ride fast rides, eat funnel cakes, compete for cheap prizes and enjoy a little fresh air at a plethora of public amusement parks.

The railroads, having acquired massive tracts of territory
through power private and public land grabs, often owned these temporary fun towns. The trips increased train ridership, 
even though the actual take at the gate didn't provide much in the way of profit for these major corporations.


A Trip to the Boardwalk inspires thoughts of Appliqué
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk was a part of a chain of seaside parks along the West Coast of the United States. Built in 1907, it is the oldest such park to surviveand, though no longer accessible by train, it  still makes for a wonderful weekend field trip from the San Francisco Bay Area.

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