Friday, 23 December 2016

Happy Christmas to one and all.....

"Season's Greetings from the Thin Man and family"

  Thank you to everyone of you that has supported me and my work this year. I am truly grateful that I can indulge in my passions and call it my job! All your comments, purchases and well wishes fill me with so much joy, I can't wait to share with you all my ideas and carefully thought out characters in 2017.

  Very Best Wishes, whether you celebrate Christmas or not and a Happy New Year to all!

Pip x

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Christmas Cards!

Now, I'll be honest, I'm not a huge fan of Christmas, but the witty repartee of Mr and Mrs Charles (aka Nick and Nora, aka Myrna Loy and William Powell) see me through the festivities with a huge dose of cocktails, glamorous ensembles and er.....sleuthing.

This will be the third year that I have taken my favourite onscreen character, Nora Charles and lent her festive spirit to my yearly Christmas card designs.

4 Festive cards inspired by the sophisticated first two Thin Man movies.

There are six Thin Man movies all in all but it's the first two that have always been my favourite, The Thin Man 1934 (set around Christmas Eve) and After the Thin Man 1936 (set around New Years Eve) Each movie sees our delightful and glamorous married couple solving murder mysteries, swigging lots of cocktails and bantering with one another and their little dog Asta.

I have taken Nora's New Years Eve outfit from After the Thin Man 1936 and added a candy cane party hat.

This year I have added Nick Charles into the mix and also added a bonus New Year card. All the outfits that you see in the illustrations are taken from the two movies and designed to perfection but the legendary Dolly Tree. As we can never be certain of the colours of the costumes due to the movies being in black and white I've always had a strong vision in my mind of what I think the colours were. For example, Nora's stripped cocktail dress has to be red right? and her beautiful Christmas shopping suit has to dark, dark green? These are just the way I have imagined them through the years but I have seen a few colourised images that suggest the candy cane cocktail dress may have been green! (No!)

My absolute favourite lounge pyjamas seen in any 1930s movie

....."Only I've been Christmas shopping"

That famous candy cane cocktail dress!

This years designs are now in my shop. I have also put together a little set featuring illustrations from previous years (PLEASE NOTE these are printed on different paper stock)

Throughout all of my Thin Man designs I always feature the Christmas wreath, lots of cocktails and of course Asta their funny little wire fox terrier.

Merry Christmas
Pip x

Friday, 30 September 2016

Agnes the Witch.....

Agnes the Witch  Dark brown gouache and a sepia pitt pen

  With my absolute favourite time of year just around the corner, I get all excited for dark chilly nights, falling leaves and the smell of bonfires. I've always been Ms Autumn/Winter and relish that  time when the children go back to school after the Summer so I can start working on my Halloween offerings.

  Another batch of Halloween mini prints have now been listed in my shop This is my second batch as yesterdays sets sold out before I had chance to write a post!

Agnes the Witch  mini prints by Curious Pip.

Mini prints backed onto beautiful black heavy paper. Perfect for framing.

Agnes the Witch created in dark brown gouache and sepia pitt pen

   This years Halloween character is inspired by Gale Sondergaad, who was the original choice for the  Wicked Witch of the West in the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz. Sadly she turned the role down when it was decided the witch would be 'ugly' rather than glamourous. I think Ms Sondergaard and her agents felt it would damage her image as she usually played slinky villains! 

Gale Sondergaard in a screen test for the Wizard of Oz 1939

  I have also found inspiration in two old children's classics, The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy and The Little Witch by Anna Elizabeth Bennett. I read both these tales as a child and re reading them again as a adult has given me such pleasure. I absolutely loved both Mildred Hubble and Minikin Snickasnee as a little girl.

  Three wicked sequin doll face decorations where also made - although sadly I'm afraid they flew in the shop and flew straight back out again.

Witchy, witchy! Textile doll face decorations made with 100% wool black felt and hand sewn beads and sequins

"I'll get you my pretty!!!"

Textile Agnes in hand dyed brown velvet and a sequinned cape.

  Have a wonderful October and I promise I won't leave it too long before I post again!

Pip x

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Run Away with the Circus!......

Working progress of  Olga the aerial performer extraordinaire!

  Earlier in the year I was asked to contribute to a very exciting dream project. I was asked to join a group of artists for an exciting exhibition with the working title 'Circus Acts' Imagine my absolute delight when the brief informed me that all should be inspired by the circus days of old and that if I could get my hands on a copy of the epic Taschen book "The Circus 1870's - 1950's then do some research and draw inspiration from its hundreds and hundreds of breathtaking photos...

   The mammoth book in question has luckily been on my shelf for a number of years and is regularly poured over for inspiration along with my own fascination with its history.

  I decided to create two dolls for the show, and have been working on them both over the last few months alongside other projects. I started by making lots of sketches (which is what I always do when creating new characters) thinking about the colours of the circus and the era I wanted my dolls to look like they'd stepped from. 

Having choose the late 1920's for my showgirls I decided to dress their hair in little plaited buns - very similar to the boudoir dolls of the era. I also watched and took inspiration from two of director Tod Brownings classics movies - silent thriller "The Show" 1927 and his controversial cult classic "Freaks" 1932

Neptuna! Queen of the mermaids "The Show" 1927

Leila Hyams and Daisy Earles in "Freaks" 1932
Olga Baclanova's opening shot as the "Peacock of the Air" in "Freaks"

The whole dazzling spectacle will include work from printmakers, textile artists, photographers and jewellery designers. For added drama, the exhibition curator Kate Hickson will be turning her Herefordshire home into a magical big top grotto for the whole colourful two day event taking place on the weekend of September the 10th and 11th in Ledbury.

Textile Art, Sideshow Mermaid.

Textile Art, Olga the Aerial Performer.

If you happen to be in the area I shall be there on Sunday and would love you come and say hi! 

Please see here for more details

Olga Baclanova and Harry Earles in "Freaks" 1932

Pip x

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Pip Pin Ups, Purses and Other Things...

..I have been a busy bee creating the Pip Pin Up Dolls and Summer Purses over the last few months. It seems time passes a whole lot quicker than I can gather my thoughts and blog about blog them.

I had to be super speedy to get these ladies out into the sunshine for their photo shoot - British weather is so unpredictable.

  We had Pin Up Paulette (again based on Paulette Goddard)

I have created a typical 1940's beach ensemble with a matching three piece top, skirt and shorts combo. I have also created a sun hat which I have made from raffia, cord and fabric. She also carries the cutest little hand bag made from muslin and embroidery silk. 

In my garden

With Betty

  Pin Up Lucille (based on Lucille Ball of course)

Again this cute doll has a 1940's three piece outfit skirt, shorts and top. I have made her coolie hat from cord, fabric and embroidery silk.  I have also made her a bag from muslin , beads and embroidery silk.

  And Pin Up Betty (the one and only Betty Grable)

Sweet little Betty in her 1940's dress, huge sun hat and muslin suitcase. 

Still had a little bit of work to do on her when this shot was taken but never-the-less she was looking very glamorous even then.

  Then there were my Summer Purses!

These purses are perfect for a Summer BBQ or cocktail party. I was inspired by the raffia bags of the 1940's and 50's which were generally bought on Summer holidays as colourful souvenirs. I have taken a plain high street bag and embellished it with a Pip applique!

Frida Kahlo, Carmen Miranda and Renee Perle

My favourite!

  It seems that a lot of what I do these days develops very quickly and and is up and sold before I have much time to showcase. It's certainly not intentional but the power of social media is a tool you have to take full advantage of as an artist/designer/maker. Technology moves so fast it's very hard to keep up!

Happy Holidays!

Pip x

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Paper Dolls in Fabric Outfits.......

Various Stages
For a little while now I have been pondering a Pip creation that's a little more affordable for my followers than one of my dolls. These little paper dolls fall somewhere between the price of a print and a doll face.

Made with doubled up card - so quite sturdy, they have a little ribbon attached to their backs so you can hang them on the wall. Perfect for small spaces like an office or studio.

Each one is individually made and hand painted by me - so they're not just prints! Each little lady will therefore have very slightly different expressions. 

I'm just going to keep going with this idea and see where it takes me. These first 5 Persephone dolls in 1930's beach pajamas and raffia sun hats flew from my shop but there are going to be lots more in the coming months, including Circus Showgirls and Nora Charles paper dolls in the run up to Christmas. What could be cuter!

If you missed Persephone keep your eyes peeled for Brigitte!

Pip x

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Paulette Goddard and the Power of the Hood....

...Let us not forget ladies and gents the very fabulous 1940's hood dress. 

  During this era the 'hood' become a fashion statement not only for coats and capes, but for afternoon dresses and evening gowns.

  Here we have little Paulette sporting her bell sleeved blouse with matching hood, 100% felt wool skirt and delicately embellished handbag featuring her initials P.G

  This attractive little creation is indeed based on one of my favourite actresses of the 1940's Paulette Goddard

Stylish Paulette Goddard as Miriam Aarons in The Women 1939

  And such an eye-catching collection of 1940's patterns for the girl who wanted to rock the hood. My favourite is the red, yellow, blue and white striped dress bottom middle.


  Pip x