Inspiration– Molas #2

Last year, in a fit of organizing, I matted and framed a pile of my molas. They are from my mother’s collection and I’ve come to love and admire their meticulous and bold designs. A while ago, I wrote a post about other molas in my collection here. The black framed molas are now crowding the walls of our downstairs powder room. With no windows and damaging sunlight, it’s a good place to hang textiles. There isn’t a tub or shower, so humidity isn’t a problem, either.

Right now, the walls of the “Mola” room are white, but I plan on painting them a richer color to better compliment the frames. I could go wild, with borders and patterns, but right now I don’t have the time. It just feels good to have them all displayed together.

charming

I found these charm bracelets while cleaning and organizing my studio. Some are passed down from my mother and grandmother and one is from my own childhood.

My idea of dressing up, was to wear a charm bracelet. For my 5th birthday party, I also wore turtles-in-a-row barretts.

I remember picking out these charms on our family’s trip to Europe in the summer of 1965. At ten years old, I was just old enough for our travels to make a lasting impression.  We went to Greece, France and Switzerland.

 The charms help me remember what we saw in Italy…

and Austria and Germany, too. Although my siblings and I spent hours in the back seat, cutting paper dolls from Archie comics, I remember the sights and experiences of this trip clearly.  I think that I began to wake up to the world outside of my little village. I am thankful that my parents were willing to take us to Europe and caravan with another family for over a month. It made a difference in all of our lives.

fabric memories

I’ve been cleaning up and organizing my fabric stash, which includes some old familiar prints. My mother made a jumper out of this folksy blue fabric that my sister and I both wore.

 

I remember wearing a dress out of this red pattern in about 3rd grade. It was in the days when girls had to wear dresses to school. We would put shorts on underneath, so that we could climb the jungle jim!

This black fabric was a skirt.

We used a lot of Marimekko fabric in the 60′s. The memories are strong. It’s hard to choose what to keep and what to part with.

Favorites: Mimi’s ceramic ornaments

Decorating our Christmas tree is a trip down memory lane. We have some really old decorations and ornaments that I showed last year (here), but some of my favorites are ones we’ve added more recently, like 27 years ago, when I bought these ceramic ornaments by Mimi Kirchner.

I got this baby one in 1983, the year my son Peter was born. Mimi and I met each other about 30 years ago, when we were both members of the Christmas Store coop (now Sign of the Dove).

At this time, Mimi worked in ceramics, making wonderful hand painted bowls, dishes and ornaments. Years later, after her studio was destroyed by fire, she changed mediums and started making her distinctive dolls. I can see her style carrying through to her present work, which you see on her blog here. Also, see her Tiny World pin cushions on an earlier post here.

Favorites (Edward Lear)

This alphabet book by the prince of nonsense verse, Edward Lear (1812-1888), seems timely, considering my broken arm, which is much improved, by the way. This 1944 edition was on a book shelf  in my parents’ house. Here’s the title page and some pages from the book, which was illustrated by G. S. Sherwood. Note the unsentimental ending, with the zinc-lined coffin! This was a different age of children’s literature. Read more about Lear here.

Favorites (big Golden books)

I saved these 2 books from the ” Big Golden Book” series from our childhood collection. My mother was a fan of Alice and Martin Povenson and we had many of their books. I even met Alice about 20 years ago and told her how influential her and her husband’s work was.  The Color Kittens was my first introduction to color theory and Funny Bunny is another early example of their work. In my opinion, they were the best at stylizing animals for children’s books, bringing an elegant sophistication that was lacking in other “cartoony” illustration. You can see more of the Provensen’s work here.  

“The Color Kittens” illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen, 1950′s

illustration from "The Color Kittens"

"Funny Bunny" illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen, 1950's

illustration from "Funny Bunny"

end papers from "Funny Bunny"

Favorites (sewing notions)

This collection of sewing memorabilia has come my way via grandmothers and great aunts. Inside the Queen Marie needle book are several packs of gold and silver eyed sharps. Don’t you just love the idolized cover scene of 3 generations sewing together? I’ve used some of this rick rack and these hooks & eyes make hinges and door handles in my artwork. And, call me old-fashioned, but I always wear a thimble.  

Queen Marie needle book

a selection of hook and eyes

 

buttons purchased at Gladding's for 10 cents

rick rack braid

 

family thimbles

Favorites (Christmas)

From time to time, I’ll be posting a group of photographs of my favorite things. These Christmas decorations are from my husband’s family in Pennsylvania. My mother-in-law would set up scenes on the mantle piece and window sills around the house. I love the way one of the Santas has a kid leather beard, instead of the traditional cotton.

There are seven metal reindeer left in the set, some with bells and some so lame that they need help standing.

These glass ornaments are so delicate and are still stored in what looks to be their original box. 

This wooden angel candle holder is about 3″ tall.  I love her little head wreath.

And there’s a flock of sweet sheep and lambs, with their wooden legs worn and exposed.