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)
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