Thursday, October 13, 2011

A right royal potholder

I've been playing with my hook and scraps of yarn. Those "Keep Calm and Carry On" posters and branded goods may have been around for awhile but they still catch my eye. Being a mama with my crew, I'm thankful for the reminder those little posters bring.
When the royal wedding happened earlier this year, I realised how much I admire the Queen. I enjoyed watching William and Sophie's wedding with my best friend and my family, marae-styles as we waited to see the dress, hear their vows and see that kiss. It was a rather grand occasion wasn't it? A bit of welcome fun and good news.

I have a small stash of cups and plates with HRH Queen Elizabeth the II on them. Collected while thrifting. Of course, I'd love more because she really is the bees knees but they are becoming more scarce and more expensive. She's so very gracious and regal. Impossible to imagine just how much she must has to deal with.
My love for vintage lovelies has only increased since I've given over to my love for homewares from the 60's-80's. The kind of stuff my grandmother made. She was an avid maker.
She used to bring home handknitted jerseys from the op shop (thrift store), wash them and unravel them. I don't ever recall her purchasing new yarn. She had a large basket of yarn by her armchair and she'd spend her evenings happily winding balls of wool, all reclaimed from other peoples disgarded garments. She crocheted giant circular bedspreads for us all. I wish I still had mine. My mother managed to save me a small circle that covered an armchair arm rest.
Recently it sunk in why I am attracted to bright patterned circles. Doh! I was raised in a house full of them. The tea cosy, the sugar covers, the bedspreads, the hems on dresses and table cloths. All crocheted and all in bright colours. It also explains my love for kitsch/retro styles as well. Her kitchen was brown, orange and yellow.
A couple of years back I spotted this image by Mieke Willems. I didn't realise then why but I started to collect vintage potholders, as well as make my own.

And I hid these weird objects because I wasn't really sure what I was going to do with them all except to maybe create a similar installation one day. I mean, one can only really justify having a couple of them for actual pot holding. To have multitudes of them didn't quite make sense.
Recently I joined Pinterest. I enjoy having a place to record images that catch my eye when I'm online. I love it and daily click away saving images that inspire me. As my collection has grown on my pinboards, a cohesiveness in what I select has emerged. I do see a rhythm of patterns, colour, texture, form, line in my collections.

I've realised I wasn't so random collecting all the secondhand stuff that I hoarded over the years. True vintage style long before it was popular. Vintage wallpaper, linens and housewares. I've even got a steady growing collection of vintage dresses now. In fact, I had so much stuff that earlier this year, I sold some of it in a little trial market. It netted me a good return and made me aware I wasn't the only one with an appreciation for preloved vintage homewares and linens. I've seen a growing interest in vintage things over the past five years in New Zealand home and design magazines as well.
These images are of my vintage inspired potholders that I made this past weekend. Of course I am no domestic goddess. I wanted to bring a touch of royalty to my home. I found that tea pot on our recent trip to Napier. Its so retro cool and only cost me $6 at the Salvation Army store there. A big draughty place but I was so happy when I found it. It warmed the cockles of my little thrifty self! I know right.
A happy domestic scene. Totally staged. ;)
Keep calm and carry on. I find that a soothing thought.
The sink looks so cheerful. I don't recognise it! Haha. Usually it is covered in the detritus that washes ashore this boy-laden home. Earlier I recruited my son who is on school holidays to do the dishes for playstation time. I know, I'm so manipulative.
I had thought about submitting this idea for a class to Handmade 2012 but seeing as how I just organically crochet, making it up by feel as I go, I don't have a pattern. And I'm not confident I could teach crochet in a couple of hours. I did submit a few other ideas though so I'm hoping that at least one will be accepted. I enjoyed attending this year and enjoyed meeting Melissa of Tiny Happy.
The boys room. The handknitted bunting is by dear friend and avid knitting guru Betty-Ann. The painting is by my mum.
100% handstitched. I love low tech methods. Meaning use what you have, hand stitching, eye balling and cutting without measuring and fussing. Sometimes work can get tight and fussy. Mine will often look a bit more rugged but I personally like to see handmade goods that look handmade. So you can see the hand of the maker in it.

For the applique side, I used an old felted blue jersey, strips of a red dyed blanket I had, a bit of black ribbon and some leftover felt I had. I have a small collection of felted jerseys. Its nice to use things that have had a life before.
Freehand hooked and designed by me with yarn that I've collected along the way. That's the beauty of potholders. One can use leftover yarn and they are such a quick and simple project. Perhaps I can get a pattern together. I shall look into it.
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ArtPropelled said...

I enjoyed your potholder post, Rachelle. Love the handstitched ones in particular.

Montreat Designs said...

The Union Jack is my favorite! How fabulous!!

Shaik said...

great designs! Looking so cute, i am really enjoyed to read your blog post! Looks promising am also try this one.

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imba said...

Can't wait to see your table at Craft 2.0. Make sure you take lots of photos... it's going to be awesome!

melissa said...

wow- i love your crochet-work. don't suppose you'd consider selling me one of your potholders? (if you have any spare that is..)