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TEXT & TONIC - M N O June 09 2020, 0 Comments


My latest blog introduces you to three exceptional women, artists who overcame obstacles, adversity, and discrimination, then became famous, and shared their abundance.

 

 

Where there is a woman, there is magic.  Ntozake Shange 

     

                  Ntozake Shange                                         That’s a Moiré 

I find the moire pattern interesting because there's always an impression of motion. Sometimes it appears suddenly, but it's always fun to play with.

Ntozake Shange was an amazing black feminist, American,  playwright and poet, whose work focused on race and black power. She was a pioneer in theatre arts, blending poetry, music, dance and drama. The 'choreopoem' shook the theatre world and challenged the traditional three-act structure.

 

I wasn't really naked. I simply didn't have any clothes on.  Josephine Baker

      

Josephine Baker                                    Mosquito net suit

The net pattern is seen in many different places: fishing nets, mosquito nets, and in the medical profession. But it's in fashion that the net pattern reveals itself at its most flamboyant.

In 1926, the 20 year old Josephine Baker  left America and landed in Paris, where she fascinated the French with her outrageous dancing style and was celebrated by artists and intellectuals of the era. She was awarded the Croix de Guerre, was a fearless civil rights activist, and created her own Rainbow Tribe family of adopted children. And she showed the French a few things about dressing in style.

 

 

There are no mistakes, only opportunities.  Tina Fey

    

St Basil's Cathedral, Moscow                        Tina Fey

The ogee pattern first appeared in the middle east and by the 14th century Europe it was used in Venetian Gothic and Gothic Revival architectural styles. This old world pattern has travelled through history and now decorates our contemporary homes.

Tina Fey is an award winning actress, comedian, writer, producer, and playwright. For her enormous contribution to the entertainment industry, she has been voted the Entertainer of the year and won the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Tina is known for her commitment to charity works and global development projects. 

 

The three inspirational quotations in this blog appear on a variety of home decor products in the Text & Tonic design series. They're available on my website. May they always inspire you.

               

 

I'm looking forward to writing my next blog about three more fascinating women and their words of wisdom.

Until then, hasta luego amigos.

Val

 

 

 


TEXT & TONIC - D E F May 19 2020, 0 Comments

    I think you'll enjoy this blog because I'm going to focus on three unique women and three wonderful patterns. We can follow history if we follow the patterns.

     

       

      "If you're not making mistakes, then you're not making decisions." Catherine Cookson

         

      English fabric 1710             painting Siena 14th century    Catherine Cookson Collection

      The damask pattern originated in China around 300 B.C. and travelled along the ancient silk road to Europe, and endures in today's contemporary design.

      Author Catherine Cookson's quote is on the historically luxurious damask pattern. Catherine overcame many difficulties, made decisions, and went on to write almost 100 books, which sold more than 123 million copies. Catherine's decisions and her commitment to endure and succeed encourages me to press on when I find myself in seemingly unsolvable situations. Especially when I'm standing alone.

       


      "Elegance is the only beauty that never fades." Audrey Hepburn

      Artists have been drawing electric lightning bolts wrong for centuries. When this stylized jagged graphic pattern became an essential design element of Art Deco, it couldn’t go wrong. 

          
      Kunisada 1786-1864 print                  Art Deco Coquette 1930-32                          Audrey's Star

      Audrey Hepburn was a humanitarian who knew that beauty resides in compassion and empathy. She left Hollywood and became a UNICEF representative to help raise public awareness about the organization's initiatives. With an elegant style, Audrey made a difference. I look to Audrey's style when I feel that there are different ways to solve problems, and I decide to do it with style.

       


      "In difficult times, fashion is always outrageous." Elsa Schiaparelli

      The fleur-de-lis has been used as a symbol of power and identification in Europe since the 12th century. But after a revolution or two, this French symbol came down to the street. Recently I found a pair of high-top canvas sneakers with a fleur-de-lis pattern.

       

              
             Gloves 1936                                                 Collar 1937                                 Hat 1937

      Here is a woman after my own heart. A brave and unique individual who created her own path. The non-conformist fashion visionary Elsa Schiaparelli fearlessly challenged the status quo during the last century. She found inspiration from the work of many artists. Her designs continue to inspire many of today’s designers. Elsa’s bravery encourages me to go my own way, and to hell with 'em. I'm going shopping.

       

                 

      Here are a few of the many fun items now available in my new collection, Text & Tonic, on my website. I hope you'll find something there to add colour and style to your home.

      Stay tuned for G,  H and I next week.

      Hasta luego,

      Val



       





      TIN HEARTS FROM A WARM CLIMATE February 21 2019, 0 Comments

      I’m going down to Mexico City soon, with side trips to Zacatecas and Puebla. I’m looking forward to seeing again the fabulous art and architecture, ancient and modern, the food of course, and the music.

      One of Mexico’s most appealing expressions of its culture is its folk art.

               

      Although I love all Mexican folk art, my favourite is the hojalata (in English tin), the colourful charming tin art. Mexico celebrates Day of the Dead  and  Christmas with tin folk art.

      In Mexico, the hojalata goes back to the 16th century to Spanish colonial times. Today, in Mexico, many people have tin folk art displayed in their homes, while other places such as cathedrals have symbolic religious tin art displayed.

      Sheets of tin are cut, shaped and embossed with a pattern, then bright lacquer and enamel paint is applied. All tin folk art is handmade by Mexican artisans and craftsmen and craftswomen, who create with a sense of humour and imagination.

       

      The mirrored tin heart is my favourite. Here are some hearts I brought back when I last visited Mexico.

      I'll be wandering through mercados looking for more tin hearts. They'll soon be available on my website for your enjoyment and purchase. They are joyful things.

       

      Hasta luego,

      Val

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       


      Amo México - Inspired by Mexican Tin Hearts June 28 2018, 0 Comments

      Something that has always been personal to me is the symbol of the heart. It represents, love, life, and faith. It's the symbol for February 14th, Valentine's Day, which is my birthday. Whenever I see the heart symbol, it reminds me of love lost and found, and of trips to the hospital with heart complications. On my many visits to Mexico City, I'm overjoyed when I see the beautiful tin hearts in the mercados.

      For these reason, I want to share some joy with you. I've been collecting original tin hearts for some time, and I've created some designs based on them.  They are now available online, in different materials and objects for you to enjoy in your home.

       

      Head over to my profile on  Society6.com to see my tin heart designs. For now, here are a few things you can buy.

       

      Hope you enjoy these. More to come.

      Hasta luego,

      Val

       

       


      A Message To My Readers September 20 2017, 0 Comments

       

       Welcome to my corner of the internet. I've been designing cards for a few years and look forward to sharing regular new creations with you, whether you are someone looking for a card for a special occasion, another card designer, or someone looking to sell my cards in your shop. I hope you'll find something here for you, or someone you love and care about.

      Future posts will include updates on card offerings, some behind the scenes peaks at my process and what influences me.  I will share inspiring quotes and thoughtful words of great minds of poets, writers, musicians, philosophers, and artists. But there's more…

      I'm going to offer you, my reader, regular tips on writing meaningful messages for celebration, condolence, and appreciation. We all love to buy and give cards, but sometimes we lack the words to say, ' I love you', 'I appreciate you', or 'I am sorry'.  I will help you with that. 

      I always welcome reader feedback, so if you have something to share on a topic, a question, or want to suggest a future post or card, feel free to leave suggestions in the comments section or send me an email.

      Hasta luego!

      Val