Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The New and Improved Queen of the Goblins' Ball

I felt a little uneasy, and none of the beading seemed to be going very well, was I rushing things?  I think so.  Sometimes you have to rework a piece to get it where you want it to be.

The motto on the old button, which I have learned is a blazer button, says in Latin, "Spes Nostra es Deus."

Friday, August 27, 2010

Queen of the Goblins Ball

Just listed on Etsy for the ghastly grand dame who wants plenty of advance time to prepare her wardrobe -- things are getting a bit autumnal, you know.  This one was lots of fun to put together, with a vintage insignia button, possibly military with a Latin motto around the edges, service pin enamel badges, ethnic beads, and old jewelry parts reclaimed.  The little skull is polymer clay.  And of course, the ever luscious sari silk ribbon that is so wonderfully tatty; this time it's blood red.  Whether you're Rubenesque or wraithlike, the bow at your neck will tailor fit you and may draw attention from your favorite vampire.  Tasty.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Romaine, Lady Monson

Romaine, Lady Monson, nee Stone , was an American heiress, the daughter of General Roy Stone, veteran of the Spanish American War, and one of the grand promenade of American women who married into European titled aristocracy.  On the grand promenade was also the beautiful young woman who became the mother of Winston Churchill.  In a wonderful old book, The American Almanac Year-Book Cyclopaedia and Atlas, there are pages devoted to the portraits and lineages of these young ladies who swept from wealth to nobility and became icons of the romantic yearnings of generations of girls. 

In tribute to Romaine, who was a woman of intelligence as well as beauty, I was inspired to create a high collar necklace with her portrait.  Her face, from the Cyclopaedia, is collaged on a scroll-patterned oval pendant, suspended from a fine antique cut steel and brass button, and a cockaded band of lustrous recycled sari silk of a royal hue, layered with natural brass chain and antique cut glass beads.

I hope it captures something of the sumptuous languor and heedless elegance of the age known as the Belle Epoque.   And heedless it was, a time of unrestricted wealth and spending, soon to end in the shock and travail of World War I.

To learn more of the grand style and fascination of the Edwardian Age, visit The Edwardian Promenade, Evangeline's lovely website that explores it more deeply and is indeed a treat for the eyes and mind

Monday, August 9, 2010

Olympic Mt. Wildflowers

Campanula rotundifolia (Pipers Harebell, Bluebells of Scotland), on a misty ridge between Hurricane Hill and the Elwah Trail, at about 6,000 ft. elevation, nodding on slender stalks weighted with rain.  They do seem as though they could be ringing, but so finely we couldn't hear.

The Nootka Rose, rosa nootkana, nestled amongst fir needles.  If you meet her, do stop to enjoy her fragrance, which is rose squared, just as the wild strawberry is sweeter and more intense, so is the Nootka Rose.

Orthocarpus imbricatus, or "owl's clover" is closely related to the paintbrush family, having a similar 5-fold symmetry, but woody stems.  In the Olympics, it can be found on well drained slopes, growing in loose volcanic soil, in colonies no higher than 6 inches. 

And now the charismatic lilies of the high alpine meadows, erythonium montanum, the Avalanche Lily, which springs up at the edge of the retreating snowfield, and

Erythonium grandiflorum, the glacier lily.  If you confuse them, because they are neighbors and both lilies, remember "avalanche, blanche, glacier, gold."  That should help.