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TEXT & TONIC - Y and Z July 07 2020, 0 Comments

The last two letters in my Text & Tonic design series are interesting because they represent nothingness, singularity and duality.

 

 Say yes and you'll figure it out afterward. Tina Fey

 

   

Galactic Yin Yang                          Tina

Yin and Yang is the concept of dualism, of cosmic duality, and the pattern I've created here using the symbol is a reminder that all things exist as inseparable and contradictory opposites.

Tina Fey's quotation suggests that we should respond spontaneously to the situation at hand. Later we can guide the results of our actions in a logical way. Two very different processes...same brain. Some might call it reckless but there's an undeniable strength and truth to it.

 

 

Zero is supposed to be nothing, but works wonders if on the right side. Anonymous

 

   

Zaha Hadid architecture                     Frankenstein  
The eye-catching zig zag pattern always gets attention. When used as an architectural style element, it's exciting; on roads it focuses attention; on furniture it adds modernity, in hair styles it speaks of confidence. This is a lively pattern.

 

The author of the quotation for the Z pattern is Anonymous. There's a long list of writers with that name, from ancient Mesopotamian works to present day. Anonymity is used when content is political, controversial or when privacy is required. But words must be said. Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein was created when she was a teenager and published anonymously in 1818 when she was twenty years old. How many people would have taken a twenty year old author seriously? Her name appeared on the book cover in the 1821 edition.

 

 

It's a wrap! I hope you've enjoyed reading about the history of patterns in my Text & Tonic design series. All of the wonderful women quoted in this series are strong, intelligent, often funny. They've inspired me to be creative. I enjoyed doing the research. You can see them all in the Text & Tonic collections.

My next design series concerns matters of the heart. I'll keep you informed.

Until then.....

Hasta luego amigos.

Val

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


TEXT & TONIC - V W X June 30 2020, 0 Comments

The three letters V, W and X have a geometric design component. But there's nothing geometric about the three women in this blog who pursued freedom of expression, each in their own way.

 

   

 Vodka is  kind of hobby.  Betty White

 

 
Parrotfish                                                                   Betty White pin-up girl

 

The Latin origin of the word vermicular means little worm, but I found the vermicular pattern on a fish, on ancient Roman mosaics, Parisian architecture and on bird feathers. And I found a rare bird. 

Everbody loves Betty White.  She embodies adaptability, change and courage. Freeedom is the key to Betty's personality. She is a multi-talented actress, animal rights activist, author, and television personality. I look to Betty when I need creative inspiration and encouragement in uncertain times.

 

 

   

You were wild once. Don't let them tame you.  Isadora Duncan

 

   

 Nepture's Horses                                                Isadora Duncan

The wave pattern expresses itself in many ways. There's always a sense of movement, freedom, beauty, and the beyond. The wave pattern is everywhere, seen and unseen: sound waves, wave motifs, finger waves, even square waves.

Isadora Duncan was an American dance pioneer whose influence shaped modern dance: free dance form. She rejected the social norms of the 19th and 20th century and the restrictive views placed on womanhood. A free spirit and a traveller, Isadora is one if the most enduring influences on contemporary culture. A brave and exciting individual who danced ahead of the pageant.

  

 

There is no such thing as expecting too much.  Susan Cheever

 

  

No go                                                      Drinking in America 

The symbol X has a fascinating history. Depending on context, the meaning of the letter X symbolizes good or evil, genetics, sex, spirituality, size, and algerbra.

Susan Cheever began her career as a journalist and later turned to fiction and biography. Her novels explore the moral dilemmas of contemporary women, the effects of alcohol on American history, and her complicated family dynamics. When her writing changed focus from journalism to self explorations, her expectations changed, and she continues to meet them.

 

I've created items in my Text & Tonic collections with interesting quotations on interesting patterns. They remind me that there are fabulous and unique women who offer their wisdom to those who will listen. Take a look.

   

 

I have one last blog in my Text & Tonic design series. Hope you'll take a look next week. Until then.....

Hasta luego amigos,

Val


TEXT & TONIC - S T U June 23 2020, 0 Comments

The letters S, T, and U are are the focus of my latest blog. I've matched these letters with stripe, trellis, and undirectional patterns. Follow me and read about these patterns, and read the words of wisdom of three interesting women.


  

Brevity is the soul of lingerie. Dorothy Parker


     

      The Devil's Cloth                                    Dorothy Parker's Daring Wit

Stripes have always made a bold statement. Associated with the devil in the Middle Ages in Europe, stripes also came to symbolize freedom and unity after the American Revolution. They've become a mainstay in contemporary fashion.

Dorothy Parker was a legendary American literary figure, a poet, writer, critic, satirist. Known for her biting wit, she was one of the few female members of the Algonquin Round Table.  Dorothy, labeled the wittiest woman in America, was also a committed civil rights supporter.  She twisted Shakespeare's adage "Brevity is the soul of wit" to create her own wry aphorism. Now, that's a confident woman!

 

To travel is worth any cost or sacrifice. Elizabeth Gilbert

 

French India trellis arcade                 Eat Pray Love India

The trellis structure appears in botanical landscapes throughout history. Originally used to support vines, it has become a creative design opportunity in and beyond our gardens.

The American author Elizabeth Gilbert is best known for her memoir of self-discovery during her around-the-world journey. Eat, Pray, Love became a best seller and was turned into a popular film. Elizabeth has participated in fund raising for refugees and aid for childrens' schools in Nepal. Her philanthropic ventures have helped to support and guide many children to grow into a productive and positive futures.



Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.
Margaret Mead

   

night sky                                                                   Coming of Age in Samoa

I've chosen an undirectional pattern as an exuberant example of free-form graphic expression. Large and unknowable, this non-conforming explosion belongs to all of us at any time. When the fences are down, there's an invitation to explore.

The cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead was a writer and exlporer. Margaret was a fearless individual whose discoveries and conclusions provoked controversy. She knew that discoveries were not made travelling along the beaten path. Margaret Mead explored the unknown and brought her discoveries to the world.  

 

These three home decor items, along with many others, are now available in the collections section of my website. I hope you see something that you like for your home.

 

 

 
I'll see you at the next blog: Text & Tonic V, W, X.

Until then, hasta luego mi 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



       





      TEXT & TONIC - A B C May 12 2020, 0 Comments

       
      As mentioned in my previous blog, I'd like to introduce you to TEXT & TONIC, a series of graphic designs I've created using three elements:  pattern, alphabet, and quotations.  Let's begin at the beginning...


       
      "I’m a woman of very few words, but lots of action." Mae West

      I've placed Mae West’s quote about action on a version of the argyle pattern. This pattern became popular in the 1920's when it showed up on the Duke of Windsor’s sports outfits.  I wonder what Mae would say about that.

      Mae was a woman of action and courage, with a genius for comedy. Over her seventy year career, Mae understood that she had to challenge the customs of the day, take risks, and at times, live outside the law in order to be successful. She landed in jail briefly in the twenties, saved Paramount from bankruptcy in the thirties, and was at one time the highest paid woman in the USA. In 1935 Mae's lips even inspired Salvador Dali to design a sofa.  

      Mae West knew how to make enemies and she understood how to turn enemies into friends. From her, I've learned that disobedience, wit, action, and charm, can take us far. Later, we can relax on a red sofa.  




      "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." Eleanor Roosevelt

      I’ve put Eleanor Roosevelt's quote on a stylized version of the basket weave pattern. Images of woven baskets were found over 20,000 years ago in ancient Egypt. Woven baskets are seen still in markets all around the world. Some things will always enure.

      Eleanor Roosevelt's legacy has been woven into our history. In her quote, she encourages us to believe in the beauty of our dreams knowing that dreams lead us into the future.

      If You Ask Me

      This remarkable woman turned many of her dreams into reality. We've reaped the rewards of here actions, including her contribution to the drafting and adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I’m reminded  by Eleanor Roosevelt to believe in my dreams....and to dream big. 



       
       When you have confidence, you feel like you’re much younger. Maye Musk

      The striking chevron pattern is the background for a quote from Maye Musk. This pattern shows up in Ancient Greece, in Byzantine architecture, European heraldry, and in contemporary decor.

        

      a queen's headress        Maye Musk photo

      Maye Musk is the epitome of self confidence. She tells me that confidence and decades of hard work can lead to success. With the right amount of confidence, I feel that I could fly to the moon...I'm working on it.

      I’m reminded that there are many extraordinary women who have made their mark in history by thinking outside the box and asking questions. Women like: Émilie du Châtelet, who was a scientist and intellectual in the 1800s; the Countess of Lovelace who was the world’s first computer programmer in the mid-1800s; and Rosalind Miles who wanted to know Who Cooked The Last Supper? 

      I like to think about all these wonderful women when I'm taking a walking. They're good companions and good for my confidence.

                  

      Here are just three of the many new items available on my website. These patterns and strong quotes are the foundation of this new design series. You're sure to find something there to brighten your home.

      Stay tuned for D, E, and F next week.

      Hasta luego,

      Val