Monday, August 1, 2011

A New Website:


For all interested in arts, crafts and design, I am inviting you to visit a new website
There are articles about designers, and their work, creative ideas for everyone, ceramics, textile, paper, photography, video, events, art schools and many others.
I would appreciate your suggestions and comments.
See you on The Golden Fingers website!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Molas: Textile Art of Kuna People

Molas are the colorful, multi-layered appliqué panels of blouses worn by Kuna women of Panama. The Kuna live in a region called Kuna Yala, which means “Kuna Land.” This area, more formally known as the San Blas Archipelago, lies off the eastern coast of Panama. Molas developed after Spanish colonization, in particular within the past 100 years when cotton yard cloth became commonly available to the Kuna. The intricately designed and sewn molas are attached to the front and/or back of women’s blouses and are considered a major form of artistic expression and ethnic identity.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Few Wall Decorating Ideas

Do you need wall decorating ideas? The first thing people usually think of when it comes to decorating the walls of their home is to put up framed art or photographs. However, there are many other wall decorating ideas that are unique, inexpensive and easy to incorporate into each room of your home.
Here is a quick hit list of cheap and easy ways to decorate your walls and perhaps create a whole new wall decor in the process.
  • Quilts are a classic decorating accessory and can be used with any decorating style. Hang them on a wall, stack them on a shelf or showcase them in a shadow box or frame on the wall.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Nature-Inspired Crafts for Children

Whether you gather supplies in your neighborhood or at the crafts store, your kids will love bringing the outdoors inside with these easy natural crafts projects featuring supplies found in nature.

Rain Stick

This instrumental craft might not summon the rain, but the natural seeds inside the tube sound like a real thunderstorm when your child turns it from end to end.

Make It: Cut a piece of decorative cardstock or scrapbook paper 1/2 inch wider than the circumference of an empty paper towel roll and 1 inch taller than the roll. Measure across the inside of the roll to get the diameter. Cut a piece of boxboard or heavyweight cardstock 1/4 inch narrower than the diameter of the roll. Accordion-fold the boxboard and stuff it inside the roll.

Next, tape one side of the roll closed. Have your child scoop rice and popcorn seeds into the tube; tape the other end closed. Adhere the decorative paper to the outside of the roll, folding the paper over the ends. Adhere two circles of the same decorative paper to cover the ends of the roll. To finish, have your child choose pretty ribbons to tie on to an elastic band. Place the band around the tube and you're ready to play.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Lush Designs

Lampshades!!! Pillows!!! Tea Towels!!! Greeting Cards!!! .... And Much More!!!

Lush Designs is the creation of Marie Rodgers and Maria Livings. They design and manufacture homewares and gifts which feature our idiosyncratic print designs.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Magic of Czech Glass

Vases designed by Dagmar Pankova

The Czech glass is without doubt phenomenon not only within history of glass making but even in context of whole world culture.Although history of glass making in Czech lands is not as long as in countries that were part of classical civilization in Roman times, Czech glass at least since 18th century is considered a part of European cultural heritage.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

"Zip 'er up!!!" , A History of the Zipper

After a slow birth and years of rejection, the zipper found its way into everything from plastic pencil cases to sophisticated space suits and countless "fly" jokes. The zippers used today are little different then the Gideon Sundback design of 1917.

An early device similar to the zipper, "an Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure", was patented by Elias Howe in 1851, but did not reach the market. Howe was preoccupied with the sewing machine that he had patented in 1846. Whitcomb L. Judson loved machines and experimented with many different kinds of gadgets. He invented a number of labor-saving items, including the zipper. It came about because of a friend’s stiff back. The problem was that his friend could not do up his shoes.  Judson came up with a slide fastener that could be opened or closed with one hand.  This was an absolutely new idea, and in a few weeks Judson had a working model.  On August 29, 1893, he patented his new "clasp locker."  The earliest "clasp locker"  fasteners were being used in the apparel industry by 1905, but they weren't considered practical. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Make your own and unique slippers

Funny, comfy, cozy, chic & stylish!
Whether you are a novice or expert seamstress, with or without sewing machine, slippers are a fun and easy project to tackle in one evening. They also make a great personalized gift.

Your first step in making slippers is to choose fabric. If you are looking for just the right expression of your personality, check out your local fabric store and wade through the bolts for the perfect swatch. If you are on a tighter budget, or just like to be green, consider up cycling a towel, bathrobe or other tatty piece of clothing.
The simplest type of slipper to make is an open toed slip on. For this style slipper, you will need a half a yard of fabric, plus batting or fill for padding. You might select contrasting cotton and silk to make a pretty toe holder that pops from the slipper sole. It’s recommended to use a machine washable fabric that you can toss in with the laundry. Cotton prints work great, or you can try a polyester fleece or twill like cotton.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Calligraphy introduction

Calligraphy is the beautiful way of writing and is a visual art. According to Wikipedia “Modern calligraphy ranges from functional hand-lettered inscriptions and designs to fine-art pieces where the abstract expression of the handwritten mark may or may not compromise the legibility of the letters. Classical calligraphy differs from typography and non-classical hand-lettering, though a calligrapher may create all of these; characters are historically disciplined yet fluid and spontaneous, at the moment of writing”.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Paper + button + ribbon + lace = The Magic

Recently I came across the work of Danielle Flanders, an American who is a real master of work with paper, scrapbooking and card making.

That is what Danielle said about herself:

'I am a certified K-8 teacher turned stay-at-home-mom with 2 beautiful girls and live near Albany, NY with my husband of 10 years!
Creating things has always been my passion since I can remember! Scrapbooking and card making were introduced to me when my first daughter was born 9 years ago. Since then I have really flourished and adore trying new techniques! I enjoy creating scrapbooks for my daughters and want them to know how we feel about being parents, how much they are cherished, and create something memorable for them to keep forever. But the process is what I really enjoy the most! I feel my style is girly, artsy, creative and a bit of shabby chic thrown in for good measure!
Quilting, painting, and spending time with my family are also my favorite past-times. I strive to create work that inspire others as much as I've been inspired!! My goals are to continue designing for manufacturers and obtaining freelance design work as well.'

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Royal School of Needlework - Keep hand embroidery alive

The Royal School of Needlework is unique in the field of hand embroidery and has a wealth of experience and expertise accumulated over  more than 130 years.

The early history of the RSN is linked with the social, cultural and political history of Victorian and Edwardian Britain. The RSN began as the School of Art Needlework in 1872 founded by Lady Victoria Welby. The first President was Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, Queen Victoria's third daughter, known to the RSN as Princess Helena.
The founding principles of the RSN were two-fold: to revive a beautiful art which had fallen into disuse and, through its revival, to provide employment for educated women who, without a suitable livelihood, would otherwise find themselves compelled to live in poverty.
The RSN began operating in a small room above a bonnet shop in Sloane Street, London, initially employing 20 ladies. By 1903, after sterling fundraising efforts from Princess Helena and others, George, Prince of Wales (later King George V) was able to open a new purpose-built centre on Exhibition Road, close to the Victoria and Albert Museum where, at its peak, the RSN employed around 150 workers.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Story of the Bookmark

What are you using as a bookmark? A simple ribbon or piece of string? An old concert ticket? A wrinkled paper with someones phone number? I remember my father used to put in the book just a small, ripped off piece of newspapers.

Well, I hope you are more creative person, who, like I do, think that is much more in this small object called the bookmark. And there is a quite a history of it....

Monday, June 6, 2011

Emma Bridgewater's special touch

Emma founded the company in 1985 and since then has designed a huge number of patterns, many no longer available. The very nature of pottery (i.e. it breaks!) also means that as time goes by less and less of the discontinued patterns are in existence, and are therefore more collectible.
Emma Bridgewater is the oldest daughter in a large family and her mother Char provided the first inspiration for her as a designer. Emma grew up in Oxford, where her mother’s welcoming kitchen was dominated by a scrubbed pine kitchen table and a big dresser covered in colourful, mismatched china including big Victorian meat plates, pretty cups and saucers and generous jugs big enough for a bunch of flowers from the garden. An early exponent of kitchen living, with rush matting on the floor and Elizabeth David’s cookbooks on the window sill, Char Stroud’s taste defined relaxed, easy living. Emma’s father started, built up and eventually sold, a publishing business; this gave Emma an insight into entrepreneurial life.
Emma graduated from London University with a degree in English Literature. Her first and only job was working for knitwear designers Muir & Osborne. She became involved in every aspect of this small fashion company and it gave her the taste for doing something for herself.

Union Jack collection
Matthew trained as a theatre designer, and subsequently designed bespoke furniture. He also produced a range of stationery and desk accessories featuring his watercolour paintings of Venice, country houses and farms.
Emma and Matthew met when they were both selling their products at London trade fair Top Drawer.
Born in 1962 in London, Matthew is the only son of designer Pat Albeck and theatre set designer Peter Rice. Matthew went to Chelsea and Central School of Art. He set up furniture design company David Linley Furniture with David Linley, an old school friend from Bedales, in 1985. Matthew produced a range of beautiful desk accessories and stationery for the company featuring his trademark muted watercolours. Subjects included Venetian scenes, country house and English farms.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Creative Gift Wrapping

Turn your gifts into works of art

The gifts wrapping could cause you a lot of trouble as much as a choice of the right present. Giving a beautifully wrapped gift makes a lasting impression.With a nice, creative wrapping even a smallest and modest present could give a great deal of joy. 

All you need is a good will, a bit of imagination and creativity, and some 20 - 30 minutes of spare time. Even if you are not too skilled for crafts and if you don't have "the golden fingers", your present may look adorable - chic, elegant, funny, serious, childish, romantic, rustic... or - just name it! With a little effort you can achieve a wow effect. 

Let's start!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Wool Felting - Enjoy the Colours!

You put your new woolen sweater in a washing machine and it shrinks at least 4 sizes? Hmmm... Not a nice thought, but maybe you can learn something new out of it. 
The reason why you actually ruined your sweater is simple and amazing. Wool and other animal fibers have scales. When you agitate the fibers with hot water and soap, or heat them and exert pressure, the scales rub together and bond. Nothing can reverse this bonding.
Felting is a process that creates a strong, homogenous structure from wool fibres. Felt is made using moisture and heat or a felting needle. This technique allows you to create clothing and home accessories, decorations, clothing and toys. Felting offers endless craft opportunities and is suitable for beginners and experts alike. Felting can be divided into three techniques:

Magic embroidery with AVALON (Madeira)

What is AVALON? A transparent fabric, which dissolves in cold water, eco-friendly and leaving no residue. Simply place thin fabric, lace looped and knitted fabrics under or between two layers of AVALON before you start to embroider. These materials, as well as stretchable fabrics will no longer lose their shape as you sew or embroider on them. AVALON prevents loops from pulling on knitted or looped fabrics (terry towelling). 

AVALON helps you expand your creativity. This water-soluble transparent embroidery fabric from Madeira and a simple sewing machine allow you to turn any fabric or clothing into unique individual creations. AVALON can be used for everything - free style machine emroidery, appliques, terry towelling, jersey, buttonholes, and even darnings.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pure optimism by Orna Lalo

Orna Lalo is a graduate of Shenkar College for Fashion and Textile. She began her professional career in 1990 designing distinctive fashion accessories. Her unique look and imaginative eye brought her much attention by leading fashion designers for custom work on the runway. Color, shape and texture play a significant role in her original designs.
Orna Lalo neckless (synthetic resin)
As Orna shares, "People ask me what inspires my creations. So, it's this: all the dresses I always wanted to wear. Everything I always wanted to be. My dream that one day I'll stand on a big stage and I'll be a singer. When I design, I try to capture that feeling of longing. I always think about the person who will be using my products, I want my colorful creations to smile at you and make you feel good."
Orna Lalo bracelet (synthetic resin)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Papier Mache: An Easy Way to be Creative

A Bit of History

Papier mache has a very long history. Its origins comes from China; the inventors of paper itself. They used papier mache to make helmets of all things, which they toughened by many layers of lacquer. Examples have been found dating back to the Han Dynasty (BC 202 – AD 220).

Despite the French sounding name (French for “chewed paper”), papier mache was not made in France until the mid 17th century. However, they were the first country in Europe to do so.
From China, the interest in papier mache spread to Japan and Persia, where it was used in mask making and festival activities. Eventually it spread across the world. Large imports of papier mache objects swamped European markets. This in turn led France to start making its own wares, and England followed suit in the 1670s. There was only a half-hearted interest until the late 1700s and into the 1800s, when it
became widely used. 

Designate - Contemporary rustic style

Designate create fabulously rustic handmade interior accessories using reclaimed materials including wood, slate & fabrics.

The husband & wife, Andy and Kirsty Field,  have been trading since 2000 and produce a large range including small clocks, wall clocks, mirrors, blackboards, frames, and lamps. Designate’s style is distinctly rustic, which comes from the materials they use, making every item unique. Each item, although made in the same style, will have its own individual character whether it be in the grain, colour, paint effect or size.

Designate aims to produce good quality, unique items at an affordable price ensuring both our distributors, and their customers, have a product to be proud of.

Designate products can be found in their showroom in Matlock (Derbyshire, UK) or at some of their stockists (Iapetus, Malvern, Worcestershire)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

His Majesty - The Thimble

A thimble is a protective shield worn on the finger or thumb generally worn during sewing.

While collecting thimbles became popular in the mid 1800 as a result of the special thimbles that were made for the Great Exhibition held in the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London, the earliest known thimble was Roman and found at Pompeii. Made of bronze, it has been dated to the first century AD. A Roman thimble was also found at Verulamium, in the UK. and can be seen in the museum there.

thimble collection

Kaffe Fassett's Way of Life

 Kaffe Fassett has inspired people across the world with his colourful work in fabric, knitting,
needlepoint, patchwork, painting and mosaic. 

Kaffe Fassett was born in San Francisco in 1937. When he was 19, he won a scholarship to the Museum of Fine Arts School in Boston, but left after three months to paint in London. He settled in England in 1964.

Kaffe ventured into the world of colourful yarn on a visit to a Scottish wool mill with fashion designer Bill Gibb. Inspired by the colours in the landscape, he was thrilled to find the same colours in yarns. He bought 20 colours of Shetland wool and some knitting needles, and on the train back to London a fellow passenger taught him how to knit. His first design appeared as a full page spread in Vogue Knitting magazine.

Missoni and Bill Gibb commissioned Kaffe's early commercial collections and his one-of-a-kind designs have been collected by Barbra Streisand, Lauren Bacall, John Schlesinger, Ali McGraw, Irene Worth, Shirley Maclaine, Helen Frankenthaler, Alan Bergman, and HRH Princess Michael of Kent.

In 1985, Kaffe launched a needlepoint project on the TV programme Pebble Mill at One, inviting anyone across the country to needlepoint an image of their favourite thing, no bigger that 6 inches square, to form part of a tapestry. Over 2,600 entries were sent, forming the Pebble Mill at One Heritage Tapestry which was on show at Chatsworth House until recently, and now is at Harewood House. The same year, the British Crafts Council invited Kaffe to present a BBC daytime television series interviewing leading UK crafts people. 

Easy way to make a tassel

Tassels,  little bunches of loose yarn bound at one end and hanging free at the other — are the usually long, decorative bits that hang off furnishings and seem to serve no other purpose than to make things look pretty. However, that is their purpose — to make the everyday things look prettier.

Tassels are generally embellishments: adding colour and style to various furnishings (such as trimmings for cushion-covers, curtain tie-backs and lampshades); serving as bookmarks; hanging off a graduation cap; or even adorning evening bags and gifts.

The art of tassel-making dates back to the 17th Century where it became an art form known as passementerie in France.
A basic tassel is a fairly simple thing to make and should only take about 15 minutes or less.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Batik - A bit of theory and practice

Batik is a resist method of patterning cloth. The principle of all resist techniques is that a "resist" substance, such as wax or starch paste, is applied to the surface of the cloth to prevent the dye from penetrating to those areas when the fabric is placed in the dyebath. Therefore, when the waxed cloth is removed from the dyebath the areas that have been coated with wax retain their original colour, while the unwaxed areas take on a new hue.
Applying the wax with tjanting
Some theories suggest that batik originated in China between 474BC and 221BC and that the art then spread eastward to Japan. Today, batik is practised  in many parts of the world, including India, Africa, South-East Asia and Europe. However, one island, Java, is at the heart of batik design. Javanese batiks have come to be regarded as among the most beautiful and sought-after pieces in the world.
Probably the most widely recognized batik garment is the sarong, which typically consist of the skirt woven in the shape of tube, worn by both men and women. Most popular colours include red, blue, black and cream, and gold for celebrations.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

My Etsy Shop