The Pearly Story Behind "Dusting in Pearls"

I always feel like a walking paradox. I can get out in the garden with my shovel and sledgehammer and love every dusty dirty minute I'm out there. I spend the majority of my life dressed in my "grubbies". Yet there's a part of me deep down inside that still likes "the frillies", "the pearlies", and "the sparklies"--all the pretty things. Maybe it's all the great classic Hollywood movies I watched as a kid. I don't know. All I know is that I can be dirty and sweaty and still want to put on heels when it isn't practical; buy the prettiest apron even if it will get dirty; and don pearls when all I'm going to be doing is dusting and vacuuming the house. It doesn't make sense. It doesn't have to. I've decided to claim it, celebrate it, and have fun with it... and create some "pearly" goodness along the way.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Club Shangri-la

While going through an old family photo album to scan in the photos, I came across a vintage souvenir photo folder from "Club Shangri-la" in Oakland. My grandmother had saved it as a momento of a glamorous evening out. I made a digital print of the high-res scan of this folder and it is the foundation of this new collage art painting.

The dancing couple is an original watercolor painting based on the illustrations of that time period. The couple IS NOT a reproduction, but is the original watercolor sealed onto the canvas with a water-resistant protective glaze. The woman's ball gown is hand-embellished with silver paint sparkles that glimmer as if the ballroom lights are glinting off silver sequins. Her belt is adorned with black German glass glitter.

The hand-embellished giclee canvas has been painted with warm red, gold and brown tones. Gold and silver metallic elements have been added, as well as a light dusting of a fine ruby glitter that makes it shimmer.

To give the "Club Shangri-la" the look of a marquee, a string of small iridescent ruby beads have been attached to the edges.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Cupcake Baker Extraordinaire

I've been wanting to venture into creating original art canvases for quite some time, but I've had a hard time finding the inspiration for what I wanted to create. Then last week, I was going through my "vintage graphics" file where I put any piece of vintage paper ephemera I come across that intrigues me. In it, I found that I had stashed some wonderful travel and hospitality brochures from the 1950s. I finally had my inspiration!

I painted and inked the baker and his yummy treats, his baking table, and his baking flour. The painted illustrations became a part of a collage along with a harlequin design that I created for the canvas and some reproductions of recipes I found in my Grammy's recipe box (couldn't use the original family heirlooms!). I hand-wrapped the canvas "gallery style" so there are no visible staples and made it ready-to-hang with a gorgeous milk chocolate colored satin hanging ribbon.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Angela Harris

I recently started following a new blog by Angela Harris. Angela's sub-title for her blog simply states "Enjoying the pleasures of the heart & intellect". Angela's artistic sensibilities show through on her blog and in her Etsy boutique wares embodying that sentiment perfectly.

Angela's work is inspiring because most of her work is intended for the buyer to take it and use it to enhance their own creative activities. Here's what I mean...

For those that sell at boutiques, craft fairs, and antique malls, Angela has a wonderful array of very affordable sets of tags. But you don't have to be a seller to enjoy them. You could use these as gift tags or as embellishments for scrapbooks.

Angel Crown Border tags

For scrapbook and collage artist, Angela has a lovely array of coffee stained trim tags filled with lace, trim, and recycled fabrics. Each trim tag comes adorned with a beautiful adornment so you can even leave the tag intact and enjoy it as a piece of art (Angela suggests that they look beautiful framed).

Giant Lavender Floral Trim tags

And if all these goodies aren't enough, Angela also has some lovely home decor and vintage pieces that are scrumptiously elegant like this wonderful feather fan with a vintage millinery rose.

A special honor

I am so excited! Dusting in Pearls is currently the "Featured Seller" on the LolliShops home page. If you haven't been to LolliShops, then you've GOT to take a peek! If you follow the link below and scroll to the bottom of the page, you'll see the Dusting in Pearls feature!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

NEW Antique Orange Blossom postcards SPECIAL INTRO PRICE

I am happy to introduce the latest addition to the Dusting in Pearls stationery line...

And only for a limited time, this set of 6 postcards is available 
for only 99 cents (plus shipping/handling)!  
Offer expires 5/31/09. 

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Treasures From Hawaii

Anybody who knows me knows that I lived a brief 3 1/2 months in Hawai'i way-back-when. And those same individuals have probably all heard my warning--if you go to Hawai'i you will never be the same. You will bring a piece of Hawai'i back with you in your heart, but you will also leave a piece of your heart in Hawai'i. Those pieces will call to one another for the rest of your life, and you will always yearn to reunite them back in the islands.

If you are one of the souls that faces this "plight" (as I am), than Dara Shepherd's Etsy store, Treasures From Hawaii, may be just the remedy you need.

Hailing from the lovely beaches of Kauai, Dara offers the Hawaiian Beach-in-a-Bottle. Each unique container is lovingly hand-filled with sea glass, crushed coral, sand, shells, coral pieces, and other beach finds. Dara also offers these elegant treasures in large quantities for wedding or party favors.

If you yearn for the vivid flora of the islands, Dara's Pink Hawaiian Hibiscus print may be just what you need for your office or home. Available in two sizes, the price is right to chase the Hawai'i blues away.

And whether you buy one of her prints or need a special mat for a print of one of your own treasured snapshots, Dara's Sea Glass Photo Mat is a great way to have a bit of Hawai'i with you always. Covered with hand-collected sea glass from the beaches of Kauai, this mat can be framed or displayed on an easel with your special photo showcased within it.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Silk delights from bstudio

I've got a soft spot in my creative heart for silk flower embroidery. So of course when I discovered Brenda's work at her Etsy store bstudio, I was instantly smitten. Brenda's interior design background shows through in her work, which is probably another reason why I've been drawn to it for quite some time now.

I think my favorite piece that she has available in her store right now has to be the Circle of Roses Pillow. Made in a lovely blush pink silk dupioni adorned with hand-embroidered roses, this pillow is the essence of "pearly"!

I also love the whimsical elegance of Brenda's Multi-Colored Dots Pillow. The rows of hand-embroidered silk ribbon dots against the silver silk dupioni remind me of "confetti cake" made with angel food cake and candy sprinkles.

As the daughter of a quilter, the Pink Patchwork Butterfly Pillow catches my eye too. The blush colored silk dupioni looks so elegant paired with the patchwork sections.

Brenda's work also includes hand-dyed silk flower hair ornaments, brooches, napkin rings, and MUCH more.

IMPORTANT "PEARLY" NOTE: If you are using Internet Explorer, you aren't having the most beautiful "pearly" experience that you could have if you were viewing this site with Mozilla Firefox for the PC or Firefox for the Mac which is available for FREE download at the above links.