Sunday, 19 October 2014

The Bat.....

  Twinkle, twinkle, little bat
  How I wonder what you’re at!
  Up above the world you fly
  Like a tea-tray in the sky
  Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!
  How I wonder what you're at!

  Lewis Carroll

Little Maude. Pumpkin coloured curls, Liberty print blouse, witch hat and pet bat - Batty

   Pip x

Thursday, 2 October 2014

A Sad Little Siren and Batgirl...

  I'm also creating a vampish batgirl (a creation I have long wanted to create) with Autumnal pin curls, a face like Theda Bara, and a waspish figure. I have created her costume and wings with vintage black lace and given her bat wings a thin metal frame. Here's a few snaps of the working progress. There are still a few more hours work to be done but she's almost there.

Even without her wings she's managed to climb to the hights of my bookshelves!

Batgirl has a vintage black lace costume and wings supported by a metal frame

Theda Bara face

Initial designs

  Pip x

Friday, 29 August 2014

'The Sewists' by Josephine Perry....

  A few weeks ago I received my very own copy of Josephine Perry's 'The Sewists'....

   I'm very proud to announce that today 29th August 2014 is publication day for this incredibly neat and well styled little book. Each chapter is dedicated to 20 different DIY projects from designer/makers, including myself, Abigail Brown, The Felt Mistress and Hand-Printed textile designer Jessica Hayes Gill - to name just a few.

  I was so thrilled when first approached about the book that I set to work on creating a very simple little Pip doll pattern, which can easily be duplicated into lots of little characters to form a mobile circus decoration! It was also a joy to spend a delightful 'interview' afternoon with author, designer/maker and sewing workshop tutor Josephine Perry. Thankyou Missy for popping me amongst the pages of this fabulous publication! x

  'The Sewists' is out now! Published by Laurence King  available on amazon and in all good bookshops.

The original of this design (which was such fun to make) has been hanging in my little boy's bedroom for over a year. I think he's well and truly claimed it.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Myrna Knows Hats........

  I've always had a tremendous obsession with hats (especially vintage hats) my grandma was to blame, she never left the house without a hat, even in her early eighties, health sadly failing, if she went out it was always with a hat. There's something about a hat that pulls an outfit together (especially if you've teamed it with suitably matching gloves, bag and shoes)

  My favourite gal Myrna Loy certainly had a head for hats!

  Several months ago I started working on a little set of illustrations inspired by Myrna Loy. Despite trying to concentrate on other work I keep coming back to this delightful little project and adding more ideas and scenes. I always strikes me how marvellous she looked, whether it be in a 1930's jaunty beret or a 1940's turban...'Myrna knows Hats!!'

Myrna Loy inspired illustrations

'Did you say something about scrambled eggs?' I love the way Asta appears just at the very end..

  I never get tired of reading about Myrna and her incredible life and career. I just adore watching her movies no matter how many times I've seen them. I was so thrilled last week when I discovered two movie gems - that I not seen before- hidden in the depths of the Internet - 'When Ladies Meet' 1933 and 'Topaze' also 1933. I'll admit they're not as snappy and 'Ms Loy' focused as her hugely popular future vehicles, but these movies were made just before she 'hit the big time' in The Thin Man 1934. As usual Myrna looks so smart and stylish, you can't take you eyes off her when she's on the screen, she shines, she stands out and it's easy to see that her already amazing career is about to get even more exciting. In 'Topaze' she wears two very cute hats that captured my attention and prompted me to rework my 'Myrna knows Hats' illustration. It's not that I wasn't happy with my first one I just felt the urge to illustrate hats that were recognisable from particular movies.

When Ladies Meet 1933

Here are the hats I've featured in my illustration...

Clockwise from top left:  Topaze 1933, Thirteen Women 1932, Shadow of the Thin Man 1941, The Thin Man 1934, Test Pilot 1938, Lucky Night 1939

The Prizefighter and the Lady 1933

Stamboul Quest 1934

Clockwise from top left: Publicity shot for Whipsaw 1935, Shadow of the Thin Man, publicity shot, The Thin Man 1934, Whipsaw 1935 and The Prizefighter and the Lady 1933

A head full of olives! The Martini Hat in 'Third Finger Left Hand' 1940


Friday, 11 July 2014

Latest Work....

Having a gossip with Myrna Loy

  I do post a lot of images on Instagram - working progress, things that inspire me, books, movie pics and vintage clothes etc... so here's a few images lifted from my IG account of my latest work. As you will see I have started to illustrate some little portraits of the all female cast of The Women 1939  I could go on and on about the beauty of this movie from the characters and the witty one liners to the amazing costumes designed by the one and only Adrian I will bring you a nice big 'The Women' post next week hopefully with some shots of my inspired pieces of work. I'm hopefully going to try and squeeze in a few dolls inspired by the movie too (which I'm so glad I own on DVD as I can watch it endlessly) they may take me all Summer as I'll have less time, but I don't think I'll be able to hold back on making a glamorous and sassy character in a 1940's hooded dress! I so want a dress like the hooded beauty Paulette Goddard wears in her first scene. I am constantly on the look out for one!

Lets all have a little drinky!  The Women 1939 Paulette Goddard as Miriam, Mary Boland as the Countess De Lave and Norma Shearer as Mary Haines

Friday, 27 June 2014

Myrna Illustrations.....

 I'm still jumping for joy over the fact that I won 'Best Artist' at the National Vintage Awards! I've had possibly the best week ever in terms of new followers, lovely emails, commission requests and hits on my blog and website. Thankyou, thankyou it means the world to me to have my work recognised and celebrated.

So lovely to bring home the trophy!

  Since my 'Snippets of Jean' postcard sets and prints have been so successful, I just can't help but turn my creative attentions back to my favourite actress Myrna Loy. Myrna Loy has already received the Pip treatment in terms of several dolls and other little paintings, but I thought I'd start work on a whole new set of illustrations highlighting the Queen of Hollywood's effortless style, confidence and wit. 

Pip x

Friday, 13 June 2014

Lola the Beautiful Cabaret Artist and Knife Thrower's Assistant....

  The designing, sketching, stitching and sewing of this mysterious Miss left me yearning for the dazzling romance of an old travelling circus...

Lola started off in a grey star studded costume but I ended up adding a bright red jacket inspired by the 1930's one I bought for myself on a recent holiday.

I have designed Lola's body a little differently... She has a wire framed movable head and a longer swan like neck. Her cloche is made with an original piece of 1920's haberdashery.

  Many images inspired the creation of Lola, including Myrna Loy's image in her very early vamp years. Myrna Loy featured in several movies in the 1920's sporting a short blonde wig that came to little curls on her forehead. In 'What Price Beauty' released in 1928 - which is sadly now a piece of lost footage, she played 'the intellectual vampire' and wore a red velvet pajama outfit designed by Adrian, a costume in which Myrna described in her autobiography as 'very,very snaky'

  Images of a very young vampy Myrna Loy at the beginning of her long career.

Movable head in action!

Ta Da!! Wired legs too!

Working progress........Little circus slippers..

  Other visuals which contributed to my inspiration included Vanessa Paradis in the sensual, arty and oh so beautiful 'La Fille Sur Le Pont' (Girl on the Bridge 1999) and dear little Jodie Foster as Tallulah in 'Bugsy Malone' 1976

Vanessa Paradis in Girl on the Bridge

Jodie Foster

Hanging around, waiting for another shoe and a few beads and buttons here and there.

   Pip xx

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Jean Harlow Postcard Sets.......

  My Jean Harlow postcard sets are now available to buy in my Etsy Shop

  Each set contains 6 different scenes based on snippets of research into the life of Jean Harlow - I hope they capture her sense of fun and happy go lucky side. The postcards are professionally printed on sturdy matte card and A6 in size.

  They would look beautiful individually framed, sent as a gift or kept as a keep sake.

  I have been a Jean Harlow fan for well over 20 years now and have subconsciously lapped up lots of facts and wonderful stories about her short yet happy life. If you follow my social network sites you will know I created 3-4 more illustrations which didn't make it to the postcard set but will be sold as prints in the very near future.

  They come carefully packaged in brown paper and ribbon.

  Hope you're all having a lovely weekend! x