Just discovered Annie Montgomery, Textile Wall Hangings, Animals and Figures and what a discovery! This lovely young artist from Dorset, in the UK, creates the most magnificent, original and utterly quirky and curious creatures from recycled materials. The way she merges dolls with the animals gives them this half human kind of personality. And the clothes she makes are really detailed and wonderful. These characters are something I would expect to step out of a Beatrix Potter book. I’m a huge fan!
She uses muslin, 100% wool felt, ‘up-cycled’ wool garments, velvet, leather, cotton, moleskin and blankets for her animal trophy heads, wall hangings and figures. She then stitches on curious little found objects such as vintage buttons, charms and jewellery.
We went to Jane’s Carousel, in Dumbo, Brooklyn yesterday. I’m really fascinated by carousels and we make it a point to visit every carousel we can. Here is the last one we went to. This one is a beauty. The detail is incredibly ornate and every horse and chariot is a piece of art.
Here is the story of this wonder:
It originally was in Idora Park in Youngstown, Ohio which officially closed its doors after 85 years in 1984, after a firedevastated much of the park, including its famed 1929 wooden coaster, The Wild Cat. The carousel, scorched but intact, sold at auction that year. Each of its 48 horses and 2 chariots were sold individually, but at the end of the auction all the bids were tallied up and a single buyer was offered the opportunity to take the entire carousel for the combined sum. New York real estate developer David Walentas and his wife Jane bought Philadelphia Toboggan Company for $385,000.
They were in the market because Walentas was developing a waterfront shopping complex in this Brooklyn neighborhood, DUMBO (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass). They hired a specialized company to dismantle and ship the whole lot to Brooklyn, where Jane, who has a master’s degree in fine art, began researching carousel restoration.
Instead of outsourcing, Jane took on the massive restoration herself. It’s an incredible story of obsession and dedication. First she documented everything, taking pictures and samples and notes on the main pieces of the carousel. The original paint was unsalvageable so she sent the parts to a chemical stripper who removed dozens of layers of paint. Jane had a carpenter repair the parts, prime them and then set them aside in storage to focus on the stars of the show, the horses and chariots.
Said Jane: “I spent years, mostly alone, scraping the many layers of park paint to reveal the original palette and beautiful carvings. I had hoped to be able to keep the horses in their factory paint, but was eventually convinced that it was not possible. Much of the paint was fragile and the surface of most of the horses was rough and needed too much repair to have been left as they were. Once again, I did precise matches of the factory colors, and traced, drew and photographed everything I uncovered. I worked scraping paint off the horses, sporadically over the course of about 16 years.”
In June of 2004, after decades of work, she moved into a new studio, hired more help and set about doing all the repairs to the individual horses. Once repaired, they were repainted with painstaking fidelity to the original look, and then Jane took it a step further and gilded all the horses’ metallic fittings and decoration, originally aluminum leaf or aluminum leaf with a gold wash, in palladium and 24 carat gold, no less!! She also hired a car customizer from Mercedes-Benz to do all the hand pin striping work on the horse bridles.
In 2006, the carousel was ready to be put back together and on display. Over the years the shopping center project had been scrapped to be replaced with a Empire Fulton Ferry Park, so the Walentas set up the carousel, now renamed “Jane’s Carousel” in honor of its new mother, in another of their properties, a converted spice warehouse in the DUMBO neighborhood where people could see it among the art galleries but not ride it.
After struggling with various committees, the Walentas got permission to install the carousel on the waterfront in front of the Civil War-era Tobacco Warehouse. They hired French architect Jean Nouvel to design a pavilion to house it and he created the $9 million transparent acrylic jewel box that showcases the beauty of the carousel during the day, shows the riders a most spectacular view and that would at night be lit so that the horses cast huge shadows on the white floor-to-ceiling window shades. They also donated $3.45 million to the park for landscaping and nighttime lighting that allows the park to stay open until 1:00 AM.
And they donated this 1922 Philadelphia Toboggan Company carousel with palladium and 24 carat gold fittings! And we thank you for it. We’ll be coming across the river more often.
Jane’s Carousel is open from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., every day except Tuesday. A ride costs $2, children under three ride for free.
Here’s munchkin in some really cute dresses from the EGG by Susan Lazar Summer 2016 Collection! I love this silver sequined aqua dress. It falls so beautifully with the gathering from the scooped up princess line. And the little zipper down the back is a nice touch.
And the pink slubbed Babydoll dress is so versatile for summer. It can dress up or down and be worn every single day.
Check out the rest of the girl’s range and the super boy’s range here on the Egg website. The great news is they are having a big sale right now, so you can snap these up for a song.
Dollisimo – Fabric Dress up Dolls are what I would have loved as a little girl! These sweet dolls satisfy so much fantasy and detail that little girls crave. And clearly, their moms! These dolls come with several clothing items – skirts, shirts, sweaters, bags, and there are accompanying teddy bears for the dolls to have playdates with. The fab thing is everything is mix and match, which is a relief because it all works and there is no putting the right thing on the right doll or having it be orderly in any way. As the girls love it.
The mother with baby below is so, so sweet. What a dream!
The clothes are made with new, vintage and recycled fabric and the prices are extremely affordable, especially as they are hand made.
Take a look at the all the loveliness right here at Dollissimo!
Anne Kurris Summer 2016 is yet another fabulous season, as are all of the Anne Kurris seasons! This summer it’s bright and floral with the ubiquitous birds and animals we are so used to seeing. Just a very lovely and soft collection with her wonderful idiosyncrasies as a designer shining through. Particularly interesting this season, is the colored-in effect in the boys’ shirts (see below), which has a very graphic design look (which makes sense as Anne teaches graphic design at the famous Fashion Department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp and Sint-Lucas Antwerp).
Shot by the virtuoso photographer, Achim Lippoth, who has photographed some of her other seasons, of course brings out the best in her personal style.
Wow. I just discovered the Twitter feed of the Miniature World Tatsuya Tanaka.
The Kagoshima-based art director posts daily images of his “miniature calendar,” featuring HO-scale model train figurines with real world objects like cookies, cups, staples and all sorts of fruits and veg.
“Everyone must have had similar thoughts at least once,” Tanaka writes on his website. “Broccoli and parsley might sometimes look like a forest, or the tree leaves floating on the surface of the water might sometimes look like little boats.”
What a wonderful imaginary world for kids to be inspired by and spark their imaginations.
And here is his Miniature Calendar website with all of the incredible images. I warn you, you won’t be able to pull yourself away.
This completely adorable Little Lark Sachet Craft is the next on our list of art projects. The girls are going crazy over all this cuteness.
You don’t need much to make these critters: just felt, fabric, stuffing, lavender and a lot of love and patience. Oh, and very neat hand stitching!
The great news is that you can download the pattern from Gingermelon Dolls as well as very detailed and easy-to-follow instructions. What better way to have nice smelling drawers or just fragrant toys!
LOVE kidswear, Summer 2016 continues this fairly new collection of stylish casual children’s clothing for boys and girls between the ages of 0 and 12 years. Established in Munich in 2015, by fashion designer Franziska Bergmiller, LOVE kidswear is unique, modern clothing made from sustainable materials using ethical labor practices.
I’m liking the high quality cottons, desaturated colors and crisp, fresh styles.
Franziska formerly worked at Vivienne Westwood in London designing several “Red Label” collections for the Japanese market. Becoming a mother inspired her to create clothing that allows kids the freedom to move and parents a selection of well-designed quality clothing for their little ones.
LOVE kidswear is made in Germany and all T-shirts and onesies are made from certified Organic cotton. All prints are hand-made with non-toxic, fade-resistant and washable dyes. Each piece of LOVE kidswear is unique and made-to-order.
You can purchase them right from the LOVE website!