Royals - in the PINK

I'm feeling like a kid in a candy shop .. . .
well, perhaps a more accurate description would be
a kid with a new toy.

The new toy would be a little piece of softwear which lets me
put frames and mats on my photos or ( my fav!) vintage photos.
As with most new toys, I started out rather timidly ... . . just
adding subtle colors and details to some of those wonderful
vintage postcards. Last night I decided to have some fun with
this Very Formal / Very Staid portrait of the British Royal Family.
That little girl in the center would be Queen Elizabeth II.
I photographed this portrait in the gallery at Holyrood House Palace
in Edinburgh, Scotland a couple of years ago.

Perhaps my Royal Pink inspiration started out with this regal bed
draped and crowned in pink velvet.

Having read so much about Mary Queen of Scots and her
adventures while in residence here , I was anxious to see her
bedroom. As we strolled into this glorious confection I just
knew I'd found her own personal place in this ancient castle.

This was King James V bedroom !

Mary was a no nonsense kind of girl whose room was quite somber,
and downright masculine, in tones of grey / gold / green.

Hmmm .. . .. must do some reading about James V.
One must wonder what else he liked ... . .

[altered photo: copyright Judith Thibaut]


Como DreamCards::Sailing Away

This week I've been contemplating the concept
of ... . . The Lazy Days of Summer:
especially since summer days in todays world are a lot
like winter / spring / fall days - only warmer.

The realities of life have a way of intruding.
Such was this past week in my world.

Consumed by realities , instead of Lazy Dreamy Days.
With a stack of DreamCards waiting for completion ... .
I'm finding myself drawn to several with images of boats.

Note to Self:
Make time to sail away ... . . .

[Mixed Media assemblage: stitched & layered with image of vintage postcard - copyright Judith Thibaut]


Swingers :: Circa 1910

I am TOTALLY enchanted by this image ... .

1 - The girls in their high neck shirts - topped off with bow ties

2 - The skirt with the appliqued contrast stripe ( and petticoat
peeking from beneath )

3 - The Hats ( of course)

4 - The striped canvas beach chairs as swings !!

(do click on image to view large and see more details)

More Dreamy Fun at Lake Como ... . ..

You Go Girls!


original image from vintage postcard:
mixed media - copyright Judith Thibaut


Dreams of Another Place::Another Time ... Lake Como

It was a dreamy weekend.
While last week was spent in a world of sepia photographs of
of the divine Miss St. Denis ... . . I stumbled upon another stack of
photos: postcards from the world of Lake Como, circa 1899-1915.

There began the dreams ... .

I relished each image, each canceled stamp, and especially the notes written
in a language unknown to me. I was peeking at personal relics of
the Golden Age of Travel, as technology opened up train travel
to augment the early cruises on steam powered ships.
Did you know that the engineering to dig tunnels through the
Alps was one of the major events that opened travel to the masses?

How remarkable to be able to venture out in the world ... .
and equally remarkable to send photographs on little cards to ones' friends.
These travelers didn't need lavish activities to amuse and entertain ... . ... .
simply sitting on a park bench beneath a parasol and gazing at the Alps
plunging into the cool waters of the Lake was quite enough. Then, perhaps a stroll
down the promenade - before returning to the hotel for an afternoon
tea dance.
As some of you may remember, I've been dreaming of Lake Como since much
earlier this year. See my posts here and here , to renew those dreams of my
longing for a place by this lake. My wishes were pretty simple: a lush garden
and privacy for lounging and gazing at the magical view.

This weekends' dreams acknowledged that I not only longed for the place ... .
I also dreamed of going back to another time.

It used to be enough to change our location for a moment, in order to refresh
our view. Todays' world has become almost universally harsh ... ..lacking grace and
elegance. We love our internet connected world , but it also brings much
of that harshness and unpleasantness to our doorstep.

Where to find Grace and Elegance ??

Hence : the longing to escape to Another Place AND Another Time.

This weekend I acknowledged that I probably won't be traveling to that
dream villa by the shores of Lake Como this summer.
No sending postcards to friends and family ... . wish you were here
and all that.

But wait .. . . I can create cards from my dream journey and send
them to YOU, my cherished internet friends - - --
and we can all travel to that dreamy place and time together!
These photos are the first cards I created to share ... . . to randomly
drop in the mail. Each one includes a photo of one of the vintage
Como cards, which I've embellished with my own mixed media layers
of stitched fabric/paper & golden paints.

I just need to know where to send them ... . . so, send me an email
with your mailing address , and I'll surprise you with
one of my Dream Cards . It may come next week or next month,
that's part of the fun - going to your mailbox and having something
lovely & surprising waiting , not just more bills and junk mail.

We can all travel to another place and another time
this summer ... . . or at least share a few dreams of
grace and elegance.

[mixed media art & photos: copyright Judith Thibaut]

[click on each photo to view LARGE & see the details]


Ruth St. Dennis :: Parasol Girl . . and Much MORE

Our Mystery Girl had a life every bit as exotic as that first photo I found
so compelling. Ruth St. Denis (1878-1968) traveled the world as a
pioneer in the world of experimental Modern Dance.
With her dance partner , and very gay husband, she founded
the Denishawn School (1915), one of the first Modern dance schools
in the United States -- - whose students featured many well known dancers,
including Martha Graham.
Her dancers were taught classical ballet basics, which she merged with
Javanese hand movements and elements of other religious / spiritual based
traditions, including yoga.

Many of the best known choreographed pieces of this dance pioneer
explored diverse cultural and spiritual traditions.

Really love these costumes!
There's a fascinating website devoted to her work, which has a multi media
biography including a series of radio interviews done with her in the 1960's.
Go here to see more images and listen to this remarkable woman.

She remained active and influential in the dance world throughout her life.
I love this photo of Ruth St. Denis demonstrating a shoulder stand ... .
when she was in her 80's !

Proof positive that FLEXIBILITY ... . . in all forms ... .
is the key to a long and vital life.

Pardon me - -- while I reach for my yoga mat.

vintage photos : modified by Judith Thibaut
copyright Judith Thibaut


Parasol Ponderings

It would be an understatement to say
"They just don't make 'em like that any more."

I stumbled upon this image and have fallen under its spell.
Who is she? Where was she when this photo was taken?
Where did her path take her ?

I only know that the photo is circa 1920.

Know that I've donned my Sherlock Holmes hat and
have a large magnifying glass securely in hand.

This is my weekend project.
(If you can answer any of the above questions -- -
don't hesitate to jump in!)


Regal Inspiration

Never (ever, ever!) underestimate the power of I N S P I R A T I O N
and the influence of everything we gaze upon.

This little mixed media sculpture ( assemblage .. . whatever )
is a testament to a composite of images that I've enjoyed over
the past 24 hours. After checking out Tristan's charming crown
collection at Enchanted Revelry , which then led me to Anita's crown
collection at Castles Crowns and Cottages ... . . it would
come as no surprise that I had CROWNS on the brain.

What was surprising, to me, was that I just didn't feel this guy
was complete until I gathered a bunch of lacy tulle around his
neck and secured it with a black ribbon.

Only after photographing him did I realize where that inspiration
came from ... . . the marvelous lace in the previous post!

Clearly, he looks nothing like any of the above visual inspirations.
Somehow they all filtered through me and prompted me
to sit down and rip cardboard and tie it up with ribbon & tulle.

somehow ... . .. . I find that fascinating.

photo / art copyright Judith Thibaut


Lace & Leather Runway World

In my Fantasy World ... . . I dress like this.

I wish I could say, in my Real World I dress like the previous post -
in Chanel. Alas ... . . that's simply another Fantasy World.

I suppose this is a real giggle for many, simply because
no one dresses like this!
This is the Runway World .. . . which is , of course,
All Fantasy / All The Time.
This is the current Runway World of Commes des Garcons, 4oth
anniversary edition, to be shown in a series of guerrilla-style stores.
I've always loved Rei Kawakubo's designs and these were of particular
interest because I find these images to be such a delightful mix:
the epitome of Contrast & Contradiction.
Who could resist Tulle Tutus with Black Leather
and Powdered Wigs???!
Certainly not .. .. . moi.

Some days I prefer my Fantasy World.
In it, I don't have to confront those inconvenient realities -
my budget and my body.
... . to say nothing of all those people at the grocery store,
who would roll their eyes and mutter: Elle est folle.
(she's crazy)

photos: New York Times


Karl & Coco

Once upon a time there were two Parisian Legends. Though they lived in different
times, their lives were joined by an address: 31 rue Cambon.
This is the story of a vision conceived by Coco and completed by Karl.

Coco started a small fashion atelier in 1913 ... . . and soon revolutionized
the way women dressed.

After the interruption of World War I , new life came to Paris in the
form of numerous exiled White Russians .

Impressed by their elegance ( in spite of their recently reduced
circumstances), Coco declared:

Alas, it was not to happen until many year later, when Karl had become the
head of the house at 31 rue Cambon .... .. . which we all know as simply -
C H A N E L .
Russia was much changed by then ( 2008 -2009). The extreme opulence of the
days of the last Czar had been reborn on the streets of Moscow. Gone were the
bread lines of the Communists - in were the deep pockets of the Oligarchs.
Karl reached back to the Czarist court costumes : the traditional headdresses
dripping with pearls, the heavy embroidery and enameled jewels.

Photo shoots were scheduled at the Russian Embassy in Paris.

Over 70 years after the seed had been planted .. . .
the House of Chanel debuted
the Paris - Moscow Collection.

Karl took the long awaited bow.

A Footnote to the Fairytale ... .... . . ....
Yes, that would be Karl behind the camera after the show. One might think that
being a legendary fashion icon and bringing the House of Chanel into the
21st Century would quite enough. Not for Karl Lagerfeld.

In his spare time , he is quite the accomplished photographer and
filmmaker. The above black and white stills are taken from The Short Film .. .
a beautifully stylized film, by Karl Lagerfeld, done in the manner of an
old silent film. It sets forth
the history of Coco Chanels' inspiration as "recalled" through his camera.

Do stop by the Chanel website HERE , to see the complete film,
as well as more of these glorious photographs.

All photos from Chanel.com


Treasures from Trash

I'm thinking - beach ... . ocean .. . . coral . . . shells.
Not such unusual thoughts to wander through ones' mind
at the beginning of summer.

But, these beachy shells & coral & creatures are just about
as unusual as you will ever see.
It must take a V E R Y talented and creative mind to sit down
and knit & crochet intricate coral formations and shells.
Not your usual grandmothers afghan .. . .

The brilliant talent behind these beauties is Helle Jorgenson of Sydney, Australia.
Really, REALLY, love her work.

Oh -- - that part about making Treasures from "Trash" .... .

Anyone with a creative streak as deep as Helle isn't going to just
run to her local yarn store and pick up a skein of wool:
she often makes her own "yarn " from paper and plastic bags!

Inclined to give it a try? Just go here and she'll teach you how.

[photos courtesy of Helle Jorgenson / Gooseflesh]