Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Marie Antoinette....a custom fabric book

It's taken awhile for me to get these photos up on this blog, but here they are finally! Cathy Scalise contacted me after Silver Bella last year about making here a custom fabric book in a Marie Antoinette theme. She had just opened a new, decadent website which you can enjoy so the theme was on her mind and in her imagination. If you don't know the very sweet Catherine Scalise of Treasured Heirlooms and Elegance and Whimsy, you can find her at her blog here.

To be honest, I was a bit intimidated at first by the idea. I've done a number of these books and my style tends to be a little on the simple, understated side. I saw and adored Sophia Copolla's "Marie Antoinette" film last year and devoured it like so much cake! But the detail, decadence and exquisite, over-the-top elegance, though incredibly appealing, was not the style I naturally create it. So the idea of a "Marie" themed book was exciting...but scary! What if I couldn't pull it off?

But I decided to trust the process that so far has proved to be almost mystical when it comes to creating these custom books; they always seem to take on a life of their own and seemingly create themselves once I dive into the creative process. Who the customer is, what I learn about what she likes, what makes her heart beat faster, etc. seems to get me started. And from there...like I said, the process seems to take on its own life from that point. It's an amazing feeling...

So I got started. I collected elements in the delicious sherbert pastels of Sophia Copolla's vision of Marie. I spent hours and hours looking at all things Marie. I started a box of delicious, decadent fabrics, papers, vintage millinery, jewelry, ribbons and more. Just looking at this box of yummy stuff inspired me. And then one day, I dove in...

The process went as the process always seems to with these books. It seems a muse takes over and my fingers and I are just along for the ride!

The fabric "signatures" came first, then some paper pages, and lastly, the cover. What an experience! Cathy was thrilled with the result, too, which is of course, what really matters.

Here's just SOME of the photos of my favorite pages....please let me know if you are interested in working with me on a custom book of your own!

So without further ado, here's a million gazillion trillion photos of the book!
Fabric "cake" made of ivory lace, vintage tatted lace and dozens of tiny vintage millinery flowers...
Sitting on top is a miniature vintage figurine reminiscent of Marie Antoinette...






Vintage miniature dresden lace figurine that looks like Marie in all of her finery...


Cathy's Little Pink House, as featured in Romantic Homes...
I hand-embroidered this Southern Belle from a vintage embroidery pattern and added a tiny pink house in the background...
Hand-glittered crown from Sugar Sugar...

Pink gown with a paper "bustle" that buttons up into the dress. It can be written on, photos fixed to it or any number of other possibilities. Vintage lace trims the bustle and peeks out from under the dress.
A new technique for me...stamping on muslin.The beautiful Cathy and her husband on their wedding day...


I hand-embroidered this vintage motif on old ivory linen. The pattern was of a "Gibson Girl" but she looks like Marie in her corset and fancy up-do!
Another lovely gown. I added some "grubby" vintage lace to the top, which made the entire dress look old.
One of my favorite pages, this next one is a "corset" made of vintage blue satin fabric and vintage lace. It laces up like a real corset! If you unlace the corset, a paper portion is revealed inside on which to write or fix a photo....





Yummy little velvet bloom from Sugar Sugar...
The many faces of Marie, printed on fabric, become tiny little pockets for keeping sweet treasures...
Another of my favorite pages, this page has a pocket trimmed in the grubbiest and most delightful heavy lace trim. I sewed an image of Marie to the pocket and then used vintage millinery flowers and grubby blue seam binding (ruched by hand) from Memrie Mare on etsy, to frame it.
Piece of lovely vintage wallpaper...

Another hand-glittered crown by Sugar Sugar, layered on top of vintage wallpaper and new scrapbook paper. Gruny tags by Memrie Mare.


One of my favorite paper spreads...French sheet music, lovely images from a Paper Bella collage sheet and yummy blue velvet bow...
Delicate vintage lace....
One of the paper pages I enjoyed making most...torn pink book pages (Memrie Mare), vintage sheet music, new vintage-inspired scrapbook pages and more. Just layered them on! So easy and a beautiful effect.
Another vintage embroider pattern was the starting point for this page. Originally a 1920's lingerie girl, complete with bullet bra, I turned this beauty into Marie by adding long curls and plates full of sweets on the floor beside her....
This next page was fashioned from a vintage Southern Belle pillowcase...a really special one. It was already "shaded" so I simply embroidered outline stitches all over and then made French knot flowers. I cut her out of the pillowcase and then hand-embroidered her to the white lace pocket.
Hope you've enjoyed peeking into this book! If you are interested in ordering a custom-created book for yourself or someone close to you, please contact me at cherylensomdack@gmail.com and we can discuss it. Thanks for looking!!!

Love,
Cheryl

3 comments:

jenngga said...

That's really beautiful Cheryl! So glad to find your new blog.

mother teresa said...

Today is an exciting day! I've just found your blog after reading your post on another blog ("get your own damn blog"). I wasn't expecting to find such lovely art here. I love mixed media and book arts of all kinds. This book is simply exquisite...the true meaning of 'eye candy'. I feel completely indulged! You certainly captured the 'Marie spirit' with this book! I can't wait to read more of your blog.

Ladyluck5210 said...

Just beautiful! I absolutely love it!! I love the Marie Antoinette design idea. I love her!

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