This morning's hike near the Flatirons in Boulder, CO. The grasses are shoulder high and so pretty after recent rains. Sunflowers, galardia, asters, gayflower, Indian paintbrush - so many fall flowers in bloom!
Its Labor Day Weekend and I feel like I have one foot in summer and the other in autumn. While I love the fall colors in Colorado I'd love a few weeks of heat and maybe a road trip or two before the good weather ends.
A dreamy way to travel would be to go glamping in the Rocky mountains with a refurbished Airstream trailer in tow. Here's an example of one that I'd love to take for a spin:
This trailer belongs to Jaala, a jewelry artist who showed her work at the 2011 Handmade Gypsy Market here in Boulder. That market morphed into the Firefly Handmade Market after the organizers sold it and no longer hosts the trailers. But I can still dream of owning an Airstream playhouse via my photos from that day.
Look, there's cupcakes! How cute is this trailer?
Luckily there are ways to get a little bit of the camper experience without the expense and trouble of fixing up one yourself. You can rent one through a camper dealership or make the Shady Dell in Bisbee, Arizona a destination on a road trip. At the Shady Dell you can pick from a bevy of retro campers and enjoy a night or two of vintage charm. Click through to see photos of them, inside and out.
Are you focused on fall or longing for a little more summer? I hope your weekend is wonderful wherever you end up.
I have been having a Jane Austen August, or more specifically I've been wallowing in Jane Austen story derivatives. It started out innocently, with me watching the romantic comedy farce Austenland. Soon afterwards I found myself seeking out several chick-lit books and movies at the library to round out my "Jane" experience.
This is not the first time I've been obsessed with Jane Austen. The paper doll you see here was a project I created for Somerset Studio's Mar/April 2009 paper doll issue. I had just watched the charming movie "Emma" with Gwyenth Paltrow which lead to my creation of a fictional Regency lady, Miss Charlotte Finch.
The dress shop was created with stiff papers adhered to a collapsible box I found at World Market. The front "wall" opens to reveal the shop with two dress mannequins. I drew a series of dresses for my paper doll who can wear them all, thanks to a bit of velcro on the bodice of the paper doll, dresses and dress forms.
At the time I researched Regency dress and under garments in order to more accurately depict the era. Follow this link to a wonderful website devoted to all things Jane Austen, including an interesting gift shop page full of Regency costumes you can purchase if you are so inclined :) The bonnet pattern intrigues me for my housekeeping fairy toys, adjusting for size of course.
If you'd like to play with my original "Charlotte" paper doll you can download her here: Download JaneAustenPaperDoll Cut her out, glue her stand to the backside and dress her up as you please. Note: for personal use only, please.
While I can't recommend every book and movie that uses Austen's plots, there are a few that I really enjoyed. My preference is for pretty and/or funny and these fit my criteria:
There are also zombie and monster versions of Jane's books which can be funny sometimes but are mostly gross-out books for me. The YouTube trailers for these books are pretty amusing though (see this one).
An invented postcard - this is actually a photo of Filoli in California.
While there will always be a debate over who's played the best Darcy (Colin Firth? Matthew McFayden?) there are also backlash articles questioning why we women are constantly falling in love with this fictional character. Personally I think we like the idea that smart and sassy women can win over even the most hardened male heart. Either that or we just like looking at men in artfully tied cravats and knee breeches.
One of my favorite items to collect is vintage tablecloths from the 50's and 60's. These cheerful cloths add so much charm to a country table when used for serving on or as display. They are inexpensive if you stay away from rare patterns, and fairly easy to find at flea markets and sometimes thrift stores. Most of mine are small, 45" square, and cost $5 to $15 each.
I particularly love floral tablecloths but there are many different patterns to choose from. You might prefer a playing card theme, Christmas designs, kitchen implements or patterns of fruits and vegetables. Designers such as Vera are famous for their table linens, and you can find many of those patterns on Ebay and Etsy.com.
When shopping for vintage cloths look for bright colors and no holes, patches or stains. Sometimes I will see a cloth with faint yellowed stains, something that's set in over time. It might be worth buying if it is $5 or under if you like the border design. You can cut it up and use the border fabric for napkins or pillow covers.
Sellers at flea markets usually have already cleaned and pressed these cotton cloths for sale. If you find a wrinkled one they are easy to refresh. Put them in your washer on the delicate cycle and use a fine garment detergent such as Woolite or Ivory. Dry on medium heat. When dry, press with a hot iron and use spray starch for a smooth finish that lasts.
I enjoy using these cloths for lunch and tea when I have girlfriends over. They remind me of my grandmother who used them at her weekly card parties with her friends. If the ones you find are too small to cover your table layer them over a larger single color tablecloth for a dramatic look. Vintage cloths are great for adding seasonal color to the table.
For an idea of what's available, search Etsy.com or Ebay.com for "tablecloths, vintage". More information about cleaning vintage linens can be found on Good Housekeeping's website.
Alice has a new fairy friend and housekeeping helper: Beatrice.
Beatrice specializes in cleaning sticky surfaces and has a fondness for the scent of lemon oil polish. Your granny's china cabinet is safe in her capable hands. She likes pets and toddlers, can remove crayon marks from walls and makes the laundry disappear in a jiffy.
Beatrice has quilted wings held in place with a purple button, lots of flirty bows and a magic dust wand that clears the air with a swish of her wrist. If you are having a bad day, Beatrice will fix you a tasty peanut butter and ginger marmalade sandwich.
Beatrice is 12” tall. Her romper and wings are made from Heather Ross’s "Far, Far Away" fabric line. Her apron fabric, body material and faux fur are thrift store finds. I found a swath of plum faux fur ages ago and have been waiting for just the right moment to use it. It adds a delightful pop of purple and is Beatrice's favorite color.
Dirt doesn't stand a chance with this team in the house!
As a treat for designing over 15 different toys this year, I visited Fabricate!, a contemporary fabric shop here in Boulder. I've been making softies for seven months now. My favorite way to inspire new toys is to seek out interesting fabrics. I enjoy using vintage fabric when I find it but there are many modern fabrics that I also find exciting.
Fabricate! carries cotton fabrics by many contemporary designers such as Heather Ross, Amy Butler, Oliver and S, Riley Blake and many others. They also stock silks, fine linens, Japanese cottons and Liberty of London prints. So many gorgeous fabrics to choose from!
I spent a happy half hour looking at their fabric bolts which are arranged by type and color to make it easy to coordinate projects. An affordable way to start a modern fabric habit is by purchasing fat quarters from Fabricate's extensive collection. I bought several along with ribbon and was quite tempted by their artful piles of remnants.
Fabricate! also has an eclectic array of books, patterns and notions for those needing fresh inspiration before buying fabric. If you're hesitating because you lack sewing skills, Fabricate! offers a continual rotation of classes in two sunny workrooms for sewers at every level, including kids.
Seeing the class samples hanging on the walls, I'm most tempted by their quilting classes. I'm sure I'd pick up techniques much faster with the help of an experienced teacher.
If you live in the Denver area or are a sewer visiting Boulder, I highly recommend a visit to Fabricate!. The staff is knowledgeable and helpful, willing to let you wander and dream on your own but ready to answer questions if you need help. You'll leave inspired and most likely carrying a yard or two of lovely fabric.
My picks from their fat quarter piles, currently being used to create another fairy housekeeper :)
Fabricate! 2023 17th Street (just off Pearl Street, east of the pedestrian mall) Boulder, CO 303-997-8245
Owners: Linda and Corey. Extra thanks to Sara for showing me around!
Check out the Fabricate! blog for free tutorials and to see what's going on in the shop.
This is Alice. She is a housekeeping fairy and as such she is always on the lookout for stray cobwebs and dust bunnies. With a shake of her apron and flick of her dust wand your chores will be finished before you can say "teatime".
Her wings give her loft for out-of-reach jobs such as dusting the bookshelves and chandelier.
She wears floral bloomers and plenty of bows so she always looks ladylike.
She's happy to help pick up children's toys but only if she's allowed to do it her way: playing out a little scene with them first.
Alice is 12" tall. She is made of cotton and linen stuffed with hypoallergenic Polyfil. Her hair is made from a Lyon brand yarn that I found at JoAnn's. Her dust wand is faux fur and bamboo, and her wings are attached with a cherry red button. Her gingham apron is removable. Snaps on her hands allow her to hold her wand in her arms, but she's always willing to spread them wide for a hug.
I dreamed up Alice while dusting my house, wishing I had a housekeeping fairy so I could make toys instead of cleaning!
English painter and surface pattern designer Claire Leggett invited me to be part of the Creative Blog Hop going on currently in the blogging arts community. In this event artists share what they're working on and their art process and then pass on the questions to other artists worldwide. Since you can hop in any direction, don't forget to visit Claire's blog and see what she's working on this summer.
Hi, I'm Sharon Rohloff. I'm an artist living in Boulder, CO. This is my visual journal of crafts, recipes and photo excursions. I hope you enjoy it - leave a comment if you do!
You can also email me at theteacupincident (at) outlook (dot) com.
About the blog name
The Teacup Incident refers to a broken teacup that was the catalyst for writing this blog. You can read about in this post: Tempest In A Teacup
Unless stated otherwise, all photographs on the teacup incident are copyrighted by me and may not be used without my permission. Feel free to blog my photos but please link back to this page. Thank you!