Sunday, June 26, 2011

Beach Day

I need a beach gone June Gloom!  With only the weekend off from work in LA(working is good)it's not right that the sun doesn't show it's glowing face until mid afternoon. I guess I should count my self lucky (and I do, I do ) that I get to live by the ocean and soak it up.  

So while waiting for the sun to peek out this morning,  I put together a treasury on Etsy of beautiful seashells...that makes me happy.  Click on the link below and check out some of the many  wonderful things made with seashell's by craftsman on Etsy.

Hope your enjoying your summer !

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tammis Keefe..vintage textile designer

Once I got into collecting vintage hankies (really collecting), I discovered Tammis Keefe and fell in her designs. They were so different from the usual floral hankies, whimsical and fun, her designs really stood apart.  Since then I search her out, though her hankies and textiles are coveted by more collectors than just me...and are very pricey.  I feel so lucky when I can snatch one up at a reasonable price and add it to one of my pillow fronts. Here are a few that have made my front cover so far... 

Born Margaret Thomas Keefe on December 27, 1913 in Los Angeles, her father, Thomas Keefe, had passed away the week before she was born.  Her family called her Peg, a common nickname for Margaret. Tammis (gaelic for Thomas) grew up in Los Angeles where she lived with her mother, aunts and grandparents.


 The blonde and blue-eyed Keefe initially studied higher mathematics at Los Angeles Community College, but decided to change her career focus after visiting Chicago’s Art Institute while on a trip to see the 1933-34 World’s Fair.  She attended the Chouinard Art School in Los Angeles (now the California Institute of the Arts) to study painting. 


 She began designing handkerchiefs for Kimbal scarves in the late 1940s or early 1950s.  Her designs are typically 1950s - full of whimsy with those great 1950s colors: pink, turquoise, gold and black.



Keefe's work also shows a love of nature and animals. Her dog and cat hankies are true 1950s classics.  Other designs to look for are her antique furniture and motifs, holidays including Christmas and Valentine's Day, and the special designs she made for the famous 21 Club in New York.


Handkerchiefs, linen kitchen towels and scarves are what Tammis Keefe is known for today because of their availability.  However, she designed for home furnishing fabrics (Goodall Industries and Golding Decorative Fabrics), wallpaper, all manner of kitchen linens in addition to towels including tablecloths, placemats with matching napkin sets and cocktail napkins (Fallani & Cohn, Falfax All Linen and Goodall).  She also designed sportswear shirts for men and women (Marlboro Shirt Company), Christmas cards (Irene Dash Greeting Card Co.), playing cards (Random Thoughts  Publications Co.), glassware, dishware and product advertising and packaging. 
 Bio from Making It Fun


My Vintage Hanky Pillows are available from my Etsy store or Leaping Lotus, my spot in Solana Beach, CA.  Until the end of July I'm offering a free shipping promo at my Etsy store.

Here is a Tammis Keefe Treasury I pulled together from other Etsy sellers & Tammis on the link below and enjoy !
Etsy  Tammis Keefe Treasury

 Thanks for sticking with me while I go on and on about my Tammis Keefe...
as always...if you have something to add or share...DO IT !!!

Make it a wonderful day !

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Chalk Paint

I was in a painting workshop all day yesterday learning about this wonderful Chalk Paint developed by world renowned decorative painter Annie Sloan...FABULOUS !  I loved every minute of it, as did all the other decorative painters who were in the workshop...we soaked it up and didn't want the day to end !!!

The workshop was hosted by Melanie Royal at her Royal Design Studios in Chula Vista.  Melanie is an internationally known stencil and decorative paint artist with and amazing selection of stencil designs and ideas in her studios...I could have spent the day just looking at and being inspired by all the painted walls, floors and ceilings there and called it a productive day! The class was taught by Kari Saupstad and Anne Skougard who made it fun while encouraging us to play with this paint and make it our own.  The two of them did a wonderful job of putting this class together and making it a much worthwhile day.

Royal Design Studios

Chalk Paint
We did eight different finishes that we all know and are familiar with, though it was a whole new experience with Chalk Paint & Waxes.  I cannot believe how wonderful this paint is and how much fun and workablility it offers...can't wait to share it with my clients !

Chateau Wall Finish

Stencil Over Waxed Finish

Crackled Wax Finish

Two Colored Paint and Colored Wax

Rustic Waxed

Clouded Stipple

Lime Wash Over Oak

Color Over Dark Wood & Dark Wax

Two Colors Exposed & Wax

It's so easy to get comfy in what your doing...though you can forget to learn new things. Yesterday was not only a great class and learning experience...but it reminded me to keep it fresh, explore new things, do it different, mix it up...
that may have been the real lesson !

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Leaping Lotus

As some of you already know...I'm wild about vintage hankies...wild I tell you!  I love these little pieces of fabric art, even more when I can get my hands on one of the collectible textile designers of the day...Tammis Keefe, Faith Austin, Kati just to name a few from the 30's, 40's & 50's.  What do I do with all these hankies that are piling up ( I actually store them plain white pizza boxes that I can stack & label)...I make decorative pillows, lavender sachets...even an iPad cover.

Leaping Lotus
While I've had an online store at since 2010, I felt I needed to get these little hanky pillows out in the public eye, where they can be touched and squeezed...up close and personal.  So... I found a retail space to test the waters and see if anyone else was as crazy about hankies as me...I'm hoping they are, as I have so much fun designing and making these vintage creations.  Leaping Lotus is the place I chose and I've actually shopped there for years, it's a really unique shopping experience in the Design District of Solana Beach, California.

 This was the 3'x5' space as it was before I took it over

 We painted the walls and added a painted stencil pattern to the floor 

 Bought some old pieces of furniture to paint and use for fixtures (also for sale)
Mid-century bar for cabinet space

Added a few hanky pillows, 23 to be exact

 White Magnolia
 Gingham & Linen
 Dusty Rose & Linen
 Tammis Keefe Feathered Friends
 Swirling Roses
Small double sided yellow pillow

Hand made cards for each pillow with information about the hanky that adorns that pillow...with matching fabric and buttons on the front

And here it is...opened and ready for business...June 1, 2011
 Two chairs, a mid century bar, several picture frames, framed hankies, loose hankies in the open drawers...and 23 TearDropHanky pillows...all in 15 sq. ft. !
 Faith Austin butterfly hanky pillows with linen
 Hanging chair for extra space
 Finished chair after sanding & doing an aged finish on it
Mid Century cool...too bad it's hidden by all the pillows!  Though the drawers came in handy for hankies.

My Grandmother was the one who gave me my first small collection of hankies that I had for years, tucked away in a drawer.  One day last year I took them out to organize and clean (as I did every so often) and it hit me...these bring me joy and warm memories of my family...what can I do with them to get them out in the light for others to share...TearDropHankys was born.
I have many more pillows and pillow groups to add, though space is limiting, though I keep blissfully sewing away.  If your in the area, please stop by and shop this wonderful store...and maybe leave with a hanky pillow for yourself or a friend.

As always...I am so open to comments and ideas...I hope you'll share yours with me.  We are all here creating and doing life, and it's wonderful when we can connect and share ideas with each other.