Sunday, November 29, 2015

My 17th c Inspired Stumpwork Flemish Box

 Dutch Tulips & Glittering Gold Scrolls 
 If you love 17th c embroidery & embroidered caskets, you will have no doubt come across at least one or two Flemish cabinets in your studies. They are unique in their construction and typically set up on tall floor stands. The cabinets are made of ebonized hardwoods with elaborate embroidered or lacquered interior decorations. This type of cabinet comes from Flanders, the area of the Southern Netherlands in the late 16th to 17th centuries~ from cities such as Bruges, Ghent, Kortrijk, Antwerp, Leuven & Brussels (just to name a few).  I have always admired Dutch art and textiles~ the scrolling motifs are so unique...and the tulips! (enter a long sigh here:::)  The above cabinet is accession no 77.58 and part of the Royal Museum at the  Rockox House ~ you can view it online here .
  I am making my own version of an Antwerp or Flemish Cabinet and was working up an embroidery pattern as practice for the inside panels~ about this same time, a Dear friend of mine became sick, so I decided to make it up into a box for her.  I am real happy with the results so far, and from the feedback I have been getting, so watch for some little kits and patterns based on this design in the ETSY shop or on my blog in the future!
 I redrew the scrolls and tulips from the Antwerp Cabinet to represent a stylized vase of 'get well' flowers for the top of my little box. The little wood box itself was a gift from another Dear friend that originally held Mr Stanley's Crystallized Ginger. I used Piper's Silks and real gold threads for the embroidery. What is so unique about the embroidery on the Flemish cabinets is their use of the crenelated gold plate for the scrolls. Few of the remaining cabinets have all the gold plate still attached, so it was really fun and rewarding for me to be able to reproduce how the panels would have originally looked when they were new
 The bulk of the flowers are worked in long and short stitch, but there are also satin stitch, burden stitch, needle weaving,  couching and overtwisting.
 The interior is a thickly wadded or 'tufted' silk taffeta
  I am sure I'm not the only one who loves little boxes~ anything can be covered with embroidery!
 The stitching is over a duchess silk satin, with antique gold metal trim on the sides and top, which is also lightly padded~ you can see the slight dome to the top.
I worked two panels testing different colors and stitches on each~ I knew I was making one into a box, but wanted to frame up the other in ebonized wood to see how they would look in the cabinet~ and I must say, I really love the panels against the black! I took a little video to show how these would sparkle in the dim candle lights of the era~ just really spectacular in person!  A few months ago, I was joking that I have finally discovered what was indeed inside the black briefcase in  the movie 'Pulp Fiction' was embroidered like this! The glow is amazing and I cant wait to make up my cabinet!  I do have a wait list running for cabinets, so if you would be interested, just drop me a line or send me a comment with your email address and I will add you~ dont worry, I never publish comments with personal info included in them!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

THE Best Hot Chocolate in Santa Fe

Kakawa Chocolate House
 As part of my Christmas gift to the children this year, I took them to Santa Fe to do their Christmas shopping. WHAT a day~ we had such a great time! They bought their presents for each other in record time....sooooo easily done at the Plaza. I thought I would share with you their unanimously voted number one favorite place of the day( the close second was Dinosaurs & More)~ not only because it is of coarse totally awesome, or that it has been voted the number one chocolate house in all of Santa Fe....but its got a great online website with store so you can order yourself some chocolates if you are not within driving distance!  You can visit the website here . Heck, they even sell their beautiful cup & saucers!!
 The Kakawa Chocolate House is located on Paseo de Paralta~ actually just a quick diagonal walk across the parking lot behind the San Miguel Chapel.....which, is the oldest church in the United States if you didnt know, built between 1610-26....the bell was cast in 1356 if I remember right~ its amazing and worth a trip in itself! In keeping with early Colonial tradition and times before, the Kakawa House is known for their drinking chocolates, or elixirs,  that are organic, and historically accurate. Want to sip a cup of hot chocolate made from a recipe straight out of Thomas Jefferson's journal?  You will want to order the Jeffersonian then. Curious what Marie Antoinette used to drink? Order the Marie Antoinette and find out! Want to light your whole head on fire with chili pepper spice? Go for the Rose Almond. (Im not kidding~ its the hottest they sell...even hotter than the 'Chili' elixir)  I left the pictures of the counters large, so click on them and explore the house!
The children raved over the hot chocolate~ Josh sipped his the slowest, trying to string it out forever~ he kept saying he didn't want it to end. We had the Tzul, which...well, the only way I can describe it is like a pumpkin chocolate, and without the pumpkin. It was really good!  Of coarse I brought home a few bags for the next snowstorm.

So go check out the website, and have fun reading about all the different elixirs and chocolates~ and if you are close to Santa Fe, or are planing a visit, you simply cannot miss it!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

To all our Military Veterans & their Families

Thank You for your Service & Sacrifice

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Slate Frames of the Olde West.....

Custom Painted Slate Frames, as unique as their owners~
  I just had to share one of my latest custom painted slate frames. To me, it so very exciting! When I think 17th c embroidery, or someone mentions an embroidered casket, I immediately think of the English style embroideries~ kings & queens...stags, flowers and animals. Its my favorite period, but also very English! I was absolutely elated when I was asked to make this frame, to coordinate with the making of a very unique & Early American inspired casket that is in the works. There are bison, screech owls, pine trees and long rifles!
  I love a good challenge as well~ I have never painted a screech owl before, and when designing this frame, I drew out three of them in and amongst Jersey Pines
 I love this frame, it screams 'American' to me~ the long rifles in themselves are very iconic in American history. I added gold accents to what would have been originally brass ornaments on the rifles.

 So much fun to paint~ every little creature became its own little personality~ this buffalo scratching on a tree is my favorite of them all I think
 I say it in every note that I write, and I do mean it with all my heart, that it is truly an honor for me to be trusted to make custom slate frames and thread palette sets for my customers. I put myself in each and every one, in hopes it will bring as much joy as possible when the special recipient uses it.

Beautiful tools are a gift that keeps on giving...speaking of such~ if you would like to give, or get, one in time for Christmas, now is the time to order to be sure I can have it finished on time. As much as I would like help, I am a one person business~ just me, just these two hands!