Vintage Wax Flower Crown

Wax flowers & diamante


Bond Street Summer Windows


Joana Vasconcelos at Haunch of Venison

I recently made a special trip to Haunch of Venison on Bond Street to see Joana Vasconcelos‘s new exhibition there. Following on from her exhibition at Versailles (of which I posted photos here) the display at Haunch of Venison is much smaller but just as dramatic.

Full Steam Ahead (Red #1) at Haunch of Venison

In terms of both the size of her pieces and the setting in which they were displayed, the Vasconcelos exhibition at Versailles had definite leanings towards the epic, whereas the Haunch of Venison show is much more intimate. In one room, you have to step over an invasion of textile tendrils to get close to the artworks and, in another, you can stand inside a giant hanging Valkyrie and be surrounded by a myriad of textile contrasts.

Haunch of Venision was where I first discovered Vasconcelos back in 2010, where I fell in love with her crochet covered objects. Although none of these were on display this time, I still wasn’t lost for things to admire.

Tetris 17th Century
replicas of original 17th century Portuguese tiles on Tetris 17th Century
Tetris Keil
Tetris Waves, with its wave patterned tiles is a reference to both Great Britain and Portugal’s special relationship with the sea.
Tetris Keil, a tribute to the late Portuguese artist Maria Keil (1914-2012) who was known for the use of decorative tiles in her work.
Luso Tetris, in many ways this was the most feminine piece, it was the one I liked best and the one I spent the most time looking at.

Luso Tetris tiles
embroidery and appliqué detail from Luso Tetris
incorporation of traditional cross stitch on Luso Tetris.

I particularly liked the juxtapositions of fabrics, colours and techniques in the works. Nothing is the same, nothing is repeated and everywhere you look the materials are worked in different ways and in different combinations. Even if the result is not necessarily to your taste, there is a wealth of inspiration in the method.

Valkyrie Crown, a celebration of monarchy and in particular the British Monarchy in and Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee
cascading pom-poms

sequins on Valkyrie Crown. This was perhaps my favourite detail: they appeared to be clear, oversized, sequins which had been stitched down and then printed over, it looked like snakeskin.
looped ribbons on Valkyrie Crown
escaping tendril from Valkyrie Crown

The exhibition is on until 17th November, and its definitely worth a visit. Its free, its fun, its challenging and its inspiring. And the longer you spend there, the more you’ll start to see.

Knitted tentacle end: I loved this for the colour transitions but ultimately found it both beautiful and disquieting.

If you can’t catch the exhibition, there are more pictures from my visit here.


Craftacular at York Hall in Bethnal Green
Organised by Bust magazine – an magazine from New York. Very busy, very styled. The jewellery stalls were the most popular, crowds of young girls around them.
The best tables were those that had lots of different things, all of which looked like they could be unique, and where the people selling were styled themselves. Then you really felt like you were getting a prize, buying into something cool. £8 – £10 was the best price entry point. It was all about crafting, hand made things, getting out there and doing it yourself.
I had tea-for-one and a deliciously gooey chocolate chip cookie at the 1940s table in the Lady Luck Pop-Up tea shoppe.

I’d like to try to have a stall at the Craftacular Christmas fair.

Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood

Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood

I went to the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood today, its my new favourite museum. So many old things there, old things that were once so everyday.

Almost everything is in cabinets, but I really liked the idea of what might go on in there at night, after the museum doors close and everybody has gone home: carousels coming to life, battles between toy soldiers continuing, dolls dancing and laughing, motor-cars motoring….
Its a very good resource for costume, both clothes and hats. There’s lots of inspiration for trimmings too, in the detailing on some of the clothes, bonnets and baskets.
The children’s clothes were beautiful, I’d wear some of the dresses now!
From a millinery perspective, it was interesting to look at the hats on the dolls. There was as much workmanship and craftsmanship in the dolls hats as in human hats. The hats would be a good reference for historical costume.
There were lots of dolls and doll houses. The doll houses were all set up, little scenes in little rooms – taking tea, sleeping, looking after baby.
I loved the doll’s house scenes. I think because they were so old, it was as if they were frozen in time.
The doll’s houses reminded me of Tottie…..
There was one doll in the Killer House whose head-dress I particularly liked. It was net little bronze-coloured beads, and leaves.
I could see it being made up for a real human head….