Monday, February 4, 2008

some new treasures in my room ...

Ok, I love my op-shopping tendencies. Even if I was wealthy, I would still love the thrill of the hunt for a bargain. I swear that as I drove up to Trash Palace today, my heartbeat accelerated and I had a genuine rush of adrenaline. Mmmm, I took some photos there too for you, so you could see what that place has but first ... some new additions to my room.

(The painted blue box with flowers is one of my mothers pieces she made and gave me on one of my last trips to Brisbane. It's gold on the interior. I don't like many folk art things but this one is quite beautiful.)
See my wonderful crotchet wool lampshade, along with 8 pottery cups, milk jug and sugar bowl; and a plastic retro crystal vase; all this came to a grand total of $7. Can you believe it. I was stoked. I love the way the light throws shadows around the room. Poor theMan, this one is on the desk on his side of the bed, but I think he's coming around to my love for retro things.
I LOVE THIS PICTURE. Can you believe she was only $5!!! In her original cream and gold frame, a few wear marks but nothing major, she is my favourite thing. I cannot stop looking at her. She makes me feel so good. There's something nostalgic and poignant about her, and when she came at such an amazing price, well ... I must admit, I was holding my breath when I took her up to the counter and when the lady said 'Um, $5?', it was all I could do not to whoop and do a wee kanikani (dance). Absolutely stoked!!!

Crusty old acrylic table cloth, stained and a few rips but hung cleverly, now hides my wardrobe that bugs me. No door so all my clothes were screaming at me when I lay in bed. Wouldn't be so bad if I loved my clothes but this year hope to be doing some clothing design of sorts at art school and one of my new year decisions was to try and create a wardrobe full of handmade clothes I could love. Well, I'll give it a go. So far I am halfway through making a jacket out of a vintage green bedspread and an old orange felt scarf. It's only about 4 months old (note the sarcasm). A lovely wee vintage print of a robin, bird that is. We don't have robins in New Zealand, but someone I know in the States has a son called Robin, so maybe when she visits here, she may like to take him home. If not he can remain happily on my wall. Something very cool and simple about birds, don't ya think?

There's this cool secondhand shop in Newtown, in Wellington that sells stuff and raises money to help animals. I found this amazing 'carved hand vessel' for $3. The plastic vase was part of the deal with the crochet lamp and pottery, I think $1, Can you believe it? And the little brass container was $2 at Birthright secondhand shop in Paraparaumu, found when I skived away for the morning to do some R&R. Bit naughty, everyone else was busy dyeing and I was drawn away to seek out my little bargains.
This vintage jewellery box was a gift to me from my mother. I love that I am now studying textiles, funny, I always loved things like this object but now I know why. I love textures and patterns, and the hand work that goes into creating things like this. Not everyone gets it but those that do DO!
So here is my little installation on top of a set of drawers. I am trying to do this more now, set things up so they are more visually appealing. It is getting exciting because I am almost at the stage where I can start to display some of my own art work. In the meantime, because I do love to collect lovely objects, I will not put them away. Instead put them out for daily pleasure. All my little bargains. The carved drawers in the background, also a gift from Mum. Yup, she is incredibly generous PLUS she's an artist so she has great taste most of the time. She's really come around the to fact that I love grungy things. I was always hippie, tomboy, and not very girly girl, so now she knows that if she thinks 'yuck', then chances are I will love it.
Ok, so the lamp on my side of the bed looked sad and left out after the big sister one got the star treatment with a new shade. To compensate, I rummaged through my doily collection (yes, I have a doily collection, button collection, and vintage fabric collection), and pinned it on with this cute brooch made for me by Jilly, a lovely lady I met through workshops. I love Jilly's style, she is decorative and embellishes everything. OTT but still tasteful. Just like Klimt and Hundertwasser, it works. Notice the doily also on the bedside table - um, I promise no more lacy stuff. Well, unless it's a bargain. The pink patch cushion was one of about THIRTY my mother packed into a bag and brought with her last time she came to visit. Unfortunately, because they are made from reclaimed Indian sari silks (frail as!), they deteriorated very quickly in my home with boisterous sons. I only have about ten left. Reluctant to throw out my gift from my mum, I found a new use for these tattered cushions...
See the black bundle of thread hanging on the shelf theMan put up for me a couple of weeks ago. It is cotton and silk handspun thread using shredded silk and cotton pieces. I actually manually twined this, no equipment used (wouldn't know how to do that anyhow), except my own self. Thanks to India who taught us this technique. Only works with natural fibres and a great way to use up all those bits left over from sewing. It hangs prettily and the photos don't do it justice cause it shines with the metallic and bright colours of all those sari pieces. This piece probably took me about 15 hours to twine but I felt good to be able to put these tiny worn fragments of silk into a new context. They had so much history, colour and appeal, and now this skein of silk/cotton handmade thread awaits it's new life in a work to come. Anyone read 500 Baskets? Some amazing 3D textile vessels in there. One of my goals this year is some sculpture using textiles, especially reclaimed ones from secondhand clothing. I don't think sleep is going to be a priority this year somehow. So there you have it, some more finds and even a work in the making. For now it just sits prettily to be admired.

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