Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Vinspiration - Mae West

Salvador Dali's Mae West Lips Sofa (1937)

Mae West (1893-1980)  was a comedienne, actress and writer who was at the extreme end of controversial for her time.  Salvador Dali named one of his sofa creations after her lips, she must have been just as unconventional as him in her own way. Here is a poem that she wrote aged 15 called Cave Girl found a couple of months ago.  She realised how awesome animals are, how friendly...

I got my smile from the sunshine.
I got my tears from the rain.
I learned to dance when I saw a tiger prance.
And a peacock taught me to be vain.
A little owl in a tree so high,
He taught me how to wink my eye.
I learned to bill and coo from a turtle dove.
And a grizzly bear taught me how to hug.
But the guy who lived two caves from me,
He taught me how to love.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Copious Carnage - Luisa Casati

Luisa Marchesa Casati (1881-1957) was an eccentric Italian muse and patroness of the arts who was a living work of art herself.  She once went to the ballet with live snakes wrapped around her neck and leashed cheetahs at her side.  Imagine how much of an outrageous spectacle that must have been! 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Crabby Cats for Kicks

Taxidermy for Tuesday

Martha Maxwell, Taxidermist Pioneer 

One of the founders of the taxidermy movement was an American woman named Martha Maxwell.  In a strange and exciting twist which will make animal rights activists pleasantly surprised, she was a vegetarian!
Victorian kangaroo taxidermy ready for the boxing ring Pow

The Ones That Got Away

As someone who purchases things from the internet, and if you do too, over the years a lengthy list accumulates of the one that got away items right? The ones which are on the wish list then on the wish it was won/bought but some way, some how it was missed out on.  All of the ones on my list tend to be from the Victorian era, 20's, 30's 40's or 50's so are pretty much one offs unfortunately.  I hope the girls who have these love them to bits! Or if they don't,  that they sell them again! Here is a list in images of some of the ones which got away...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Detail of the Past - Battenburg Lace

I was perusing the interweb last week, and came across this entirely handmade Victorian battenburg lace bodice.  Battenburg is a tape lace. Loops of even-width, woven tape are formed, and then decorative filling stitches called bars or brides are used to join the tape edges, filling the gaps. 

Battenburg lace was first created when Queen Victoria of England named her son-in-law as the first Duke of Battenburg in the late 1800s. Every English Duke had his own lace pattern, how special is that?  This is supposed to be one of the easier laces as its open weave makes it less technical, but this is most certainly a bodice which looks anything but simple!

History of the Hawke II

Not as long ago as hawking has been practiced but still a lengthy enough time, a lovely Hawk has roamed the skies of New Zealand, and after his passing soared permanently in schools, garages and abodes. May I present to you the bird who started the idea of the name of my store, taxidermed hawke with an e named Herbie...

Herbie in a previous life was used at a school for display, then hung for years in a garage! The person I bought him from was very sad to see Herbie go, but knew he needed to be appreciated for all his detail and brilliance. He now resides above my wardrobe with his beautiful wings outstretched.