Beaded Jacket for a Mother of the Groom

It’s the season for weddings!
A beaded jacket for a mother of the groom, finished!
And ready for the party.
beaded mom of groom

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Blue/Green for a Mother of the Groom

A just finished mother of the groom jacket, top and skirt.
The bridal colors are teals and coral, ‘but not too much coral please’.
A gorgeous gradated shibori kimono silk for the jacket and skirt and a beautiful print for the shell.
On the jacket, appliqued squares of the print to tie them all together.

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Mother of the Groom

I’ve been working on a new suit for a wonderful mother of the groom.
Lots of vintage beads sewn onto the most amazing watery blue kimono silk.
I’ve sewn on all the beads, now I finish the jacket and skirt.
What a treat to make something sparkling and bright for such an important occasion!
A close up view:
beaded pool 2

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Spring Garden Fair

This Saturday I took the day off  to visit the best little plant sale around.
Every May the Clackamas County Master Gardeners invite local nurseries to bring their plants, set up tents and sell their wares.
And it’s popular! People crowd in to find new, unusual and old favorites for their gardens.
master gardeners plant sale

In the morning the shelves are full.
master gardener sale 6

People bring their wagons and fill to overflowing with beautiful flowers,
master gardeners sale 4

master gardeners sale 5

master gardeners sale

Vegetables, bulbs, perennials, annuals, trees and more.
master gardner sale 7

Enticing displays are arranged just so.
master gardeners sale 3

For me: rhododendrons, daphne, lavender, heliotrope, ornamental grass and an amazing variegated aloe.
I can’t wait to get you little guys into the ground!
master gardeners plant sale 7

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Maryhill Spring Tea

We’re off to a fundraiser for the Maryhill Museum, a springtime tea party and lecture about The Theatre de la Mode, the museum’s collection of French fashion dolls.
Marsha and Martha in the rear view mirror, wearing their spectacular hats! Perfect for a tea party.
martha and marsha

Maryhill is about 2 hours east of Portland, on the hills above the Columbia River.
Originally intended to be a home for Sam Hill, lawyer, businessman, railroad executive, world traveler and friend of artists, the museum houses an eclectic collection of exhibits, including NW Indian art and artifacts, Romanian orthodox icons, Rodin sculptures and the Theatre de la Mode.
maryhill museum

Looking west out to the Columbia River, the views are spectacular.

And to the east.
columbia 2

But we were there for a tea party.
Tea, scones and little sandwiches with the crusts cut off.
tea party food

And a lecture and slide show about the Theatre de la Mode.
My view through hats.
maryhill slides 2

The Theatre de la Mode are French fashion dolls created just after World War II, to show that despite the ravages of war, Paris was still the center of fashion. The Paris designers of the day put together couture collections for doll sized wire framed figures.
The dresses, jackets, coats and hats were sewn perfectly to scale.
Each piece of jewelry, every shoe, tiny bag, glove and hairdo meticulously crafted.
maryhill fashion dolls 3

Sets for the dolls were built and painted by artists and theater designers.
The entire exhibit toured throughout Europe and in 1946, to the United States, ending up in San Francisco.
After, the dolls were put into storage, the  painted backdrops were discarded and the jewels returned to France.
In 1952, they were sent to the Maryhill Museum, where they were displayed in glass cases in a basement exhibit room.
Although the Maryhill curators knew they were there and were on view for the many museum visitors, to the rest of the world they were lost.
maryhill fashion dolls 2

They were “discovered” in 1983 and were eventually returned to Paris to be restored.
In 1990 the dolls and 9 of the recreated sets were exhibited at the Musee de la Mode in the Louvre. After Paris, the show traveled around the world including London, New York and Tokyo.
Then in 1995, they returned to Maryhill.
maryhill fashion dolls

Although they are not able to show all 9 sets at once [in the Musee de la Mode, the exhibit took up several floors!], there are always 3 on display.
There’s a beautiful book about the dolls, their history and restoration and full of information and detailed photographs; “Theatre de la Mode, Fashion Dolls: The Survival of Haute Couture“.
My picture of Elisabeth taking pictures.
maryhill dolls picture taking

Thank you Maryhill Museum, for a wonderful afternoon!
maryhill trip 2

And thank you Martha and Marsha for being such charming companions!
You are fabulous!
maryhill trip

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Beaded Swing Vest

She asked me, “Could you make this vest in a full swing version?”
And I said, “Yes!”
I pieced the grid and diagonal lines.
Then, I sewed on the beads. And then more beads.
And more beads and more.
In the beginning I thought I’d never finish.
But you know, after a while, well, after a long while, I did!
Shibori Vest Swing
The back of the vest is in the foreground and in the distance, the front.
Next up: steam flat, sew into a vest and send off to its new home!

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Layering Patterns

I love the play of pattern against pattern! A coat over a jacket over a top, each with a different fabric.
And layers of clothes make sense, add more if you’re cold and less if you’re warm.
Plus, it can look so cool!
Two grid designs, a meisen checked trench coat over a jacket with a flower patterned collar.
layered checks

For a different look, the same trench coat over a jacket pieced with the check and various shibori silks.
layered meisen

I look to the Japanese, who are masters of layering, as you can see in this 18th century print.
“The courtesans Hitomoto and Tagosode” by Kitao Masanobu.
Each woman is wearing at least 3 or 4 distinct fabrics, amazing!
The courtesans Hitomoto and Tagosode

My version, with 4 fabrics, a striped swing coat over a striped jacket.
layered stripes

Or this set, a trench with a cool woven design over a light weight jacket.
layered trench

A detail showing the 3 different kimono silks.
trench over hitoe det

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It’s that time of year!
When everything is exploding with new life.
The air is clean and fresh, it feels like anything is possible.
My favorite cherry tree.
Every year it does its very best to outdo itself.
cherry tree

A beautiful tree peony, it looks like one you might find on a hillside in a remote corner of China.
peony bush

A camellia, so many petals crowded into one flower. Amazing.

Little violets running wild.
I want to dip them in sugar and arrange them on a cake.

All this bursting forth, it’s inspiring!
Little squares laid out and ready to be appliqued.
mog 2

Another jacket, the idea is set, the pieces assembled, I’m ready to go!
spring jacket

New beginnings, refreshed energy, new projects!
It’s Spring!

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New Trench

You know how much I love the classic Japanese designs, yes?
If I find a traditional old kimono that’s ready to be repurposed, I’ll take it apart and rearrange the pieces to make something new.
Japanese trench
I lay them out until I see the designs fitting together in new ways.
Japanese Trench Det
There was the original way, which was one way, and now there’s a new way.
It’s magic!
Japanese Trench bk

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Portland Hill Walk

We had the best weather the last few weeks.
My friend and I celebrated with a hike through the hills of West Portland.
From Laura O. Foster’s wonderful book, “Portland Hill Walks”.
WIth spectacular views of the city and mountains.
pdx hill walk 3:15 2

Past beautiful old homes.
Pdx hill walk 3:15

Daffodils in bloom.
Portland hills walk 3:15

And into the woods along the Marquam Trail.
pdx hill walk 3:15 4

A magic place.
pdx hill walk 3:15 3

Up to the highest point in Portland, Council Crest.
We weren’t the only ones with this idea.
pdx hill walk 3:15 6

A gorgeous view of Oregon’s highest mountain, Mt. Hood.
pdx hill walk 3:15 5

Then back down, through back yard trails.
pdx hill walk 3:15 8

Past sweet dogs longing to play.
pdx hill walk 3:15 7

And a beautiful old wall.
pdx hill walk 3:15 9

We hit the right weekend! This one is soggy and wet.
I’m not complaining! It’s the Portland spring rain that keeps everything so green.

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