A blog about vintage fashion, vintage jewels and art.....

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Giveaway Earrings

I had featured the beautiful handiwork of Diane Costanza in an earlier post and she is presented here today again as she has promised to give away a stunning pair of handmade earrings to a lucky FairyFiligree reader or follower.

They are a pair of retro, 1980s wood earrings that had been left to show the natural beauty of the wood. They measure 1 1/2" wide x 3 1/4" long.

Diane found them on a thrifting expedition and their natural wood tone had herseeing them as a canvas on which to paint. Diane says,

"My design is influenced by the Art Nouveau style, particularly Alphonse Mucha. These two pretty ladies are sisters, similar, but not the same. They can either be worn to be facing each other, or if you prefer, facing away. I chose to update the nouveau look with bright, bold, modern colors."

Here is what you have to do to participate....

1. Start following Fairyfiligree & leave a comment on this post with a link to your blog or your website or your email address. I need this so I can inform you of your win if you are picked out as the winner of these earrings.

2. Check out Diane Costanza's Etsy shop and tell me which item you like best from her shop in your comment.

The lucky winner of these marvellous handmade earrings will be announced on this blog, so keep following to find out who won. The giveaway closes on
August 10.

Good Luck!

Monday, July 26, 2010

LilyLemontree and Bags

Today I am bringing you a guest post from LilyLemontree, a fellow blogger with the most fantastic blog. As we are both vintage fashion lovers we have exchanged posts and whilst I wrote on her blog about vintage scarves (one of my vast collections), she is writing her about vintage bags...... Over to you, LilyLemontree....

"As a big fan of all things vintage, I was extremely honoured when our lovely host here at FairyFiligree asked me to do a guest post. I never need more than a little nudge to start rambling on about my obsession with vintage fashion and in particular, delightful vintage handbags.

Now for most, the mere mention of ‘vintage handbag’ will conjure up glorious images of Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and of course Hermes, but my quest for a unique vintage handbag occasionally leads me down some lesser known and quite frankly, more affordable paths.

Hermes Birkin

Regardless of the brand name, a beautiful vintage handbag, much like a vintage scarf or shoes, can define your style in a most unique way, always keeping you safe from showing up somewhere and seeing the handbag you are sporting on another women. Although many of these vintage handbags can stand alone on aesthetic value, a vast selection of these purses are extremely well made, something not so easily found in this day and age and can last far beyond their years with gentle care. Sturdy handles and materials of fabulous quality can lead productive lives for decades, increasing the desirability of these bags for many of us.

Surprisingly, my first vintage handbag purchase was only a few years ago. I had been invited to a wedding and while I had already chosen an outfit for the occasion, my selection of evening bags just didn’t fit with the frock that I had in mind.

While out shopping around for a new evening bag, I happened upon a little vintage shop and there in the display window, staring me in the face, was the most delightful crimson beaded clutch I had ever laid my eyes on. I quickly ran in and snapped up the little lovely, knowing that this was the perfect accessory for my dress. The frock was a beauty on its own but I must say that as lovely as I looked in it (yes, I am a modest one, aren’t I?), the star of the show was my gorgeous vintage clutch which received more compliments that night then I ever expected. One comment I heard over and over again that evening was ‘I have never seen anything like that before’ and since I love to be as original as I can be, I was hooked!

Since that night, I find myself increasing my vintage handbag collection at every opportunity that presents itself to me. A 1950’s lizard skin tote, a 1930’s satin evening clutch, a 1960’s wicker box bag, all lovely little additions to my much-admired collection which continues to grow every year. Hopefully, I have inspired you to start your own quest for a unique vintage bag to call your own but please be kind and leave a few gems behind for me!"

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A step back in the past

I recently visited Sweden, staying in the city of Goteborg. I had read about the oldest Viking ship being on display at the Goteborg City Museum and went there purposely to see it. It wasn't what I expected - not an entire Viking ship but rather the old wooden planks that once formed the base of this ancient vessel. Still it was impressive to be able to see something so very ancient up close.

I was then happily surprised to arrive just in time to view an exhilarating exhibition of theatre costumes, stage design models, posters, photographs, costume designs. In short this is an exhibition about theatre history in Sweden and I was so excited about the opportunity to photograph some stupendous costumes worn by famous sopranos, actors and actresses in the past. To my knowledge the exhibition is open until the end of August 2010. If you do manage to visit, you may be interested to view one permanent exhibition which was in preparation whilst I visited and which I just missed. This is an exhibition about 18th Century Goteborg which should take visitors thorugh a journey of the city's dynamic changes over time.
Leave a comment on this post and you stand the chance of receiving a beautiful postcard showing 18th Century rare objects from this exhibition. Meanwhile, enjoy some of the theatre costumes and other theatre paraphernalia which attracted my attention.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Handpainted bag lady

Blogging has brought me in touch with oh, so many different talents. One of the latest talented ladies I've come across an artist and creates, amongst others, the most fabulous hand-painted bags. Here is an interview with the lady herself - Diane Costanza, who sells her artwork under Diane Costanza Studio.

What is your main profession?
My day job is that of a Senior Production Manager for a trade magazine in the hotel/hospitality industry. I began as a graphic artist and eventually was promoted to management. Needless to say, I am an avid reader of Etsy's "Quite Your Day Job" series, LOL.

How long have you been doing this kind of art creation?
I have been an artist all of my life, from the first time I held a crayon to earning a degree in fine art in college, but I am still learning, teaching myself new techniques and to appreciate all styles of art.

How did it all start?
As I said, I have always been an artist, but I didn't begin selling my work until 2003, when I put up a website under the name Storybook Miniatures. At that time I was into dollhouse miniatures, fascinated with translating real life into 1/12 scale and eventually began to sell my miniatures on Ebay. While checking out what other Ebay sellers had to offer I came across the art category and its vast range of mediums and styles and I eventually began painting again. That, of course, inevitably lead me to Etsy, which I just love.

What inspires you?
I consider myself a figurative artist. I am most inspired by the human figure, specifically the face. I have spent the last two to three years studying the masters of portraiture to learn how to interpret the lines and planes of the human face.

I am inspired by:

The old masters of art just because of their greatness: Da Vinci, Raphael, Caravaggio.

The Impressionists for their contribution to art that allowed freedom of form and expression not heard of previously: Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir.

The Pre-Raphaelites with their romanticized versions of the female form: Waterhouse, Rosetti, Everett Millais, Holman Hunt.

The Art Nouveau movement inspires me with its influences taken directly from nature, so flowery and yet so modern: Mucha in particular, as well as Beardsley & Klimt

What materials do you use?
I have experimented in many different mediums that encompass clay to metal, but I am mainly a painter.

I have always painted in Watercolor on paper, but have recently branched out into wearable art: handbags, jewelry and shoes. I am considering learning to paint on clothing as well.

Did you train to do this kind of craft/art or is it something you taught yourself?
My parents were great supporters of my talent and allowed me to take private art lessons throughout the years, culminating in a BFA in Advertising and Photgraphy. But I am still learning, teaching myself new techniques and to appreciate all styles of art. My newest genre of wearable art has come through trial and error and alot of online research as to what will work or not as far as tools and materials.

How does vintage fashion inspire you and what kind of art inspires you?
I have always loveed the antique flavor of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. (We recently had our suburban house remodeled into a lovely victorian.) When I opened my handmade art shop on Etsy, I found myself drawn to the vintage shops more than any others and that is what inspired me to begin creating wearable art using vintage items as my canvas. I love the whole idea of re-use, repurpose, recycle. I now haunt the Goodwill and yard sales several times a week looking for objects to paint on, but also to decorate my home in the boho style I most feel comfortable in.

I find it very hard to bring myself to pay retail now when with a little hunting I can find the perfect vintage or retro piece!

What has been your biggest and most important project to date?
My son attends a private Catholic School and every year I donate either a painting or a portrait to the school's largest fundraiser, their Fall Fashion Show. I also create the show's advertising journal, which takes quite some time from start to finish. I believe that we need to give back wherever possible. The school has helped me raise a wonderful, giving child, so the least I can do is help them raise some additional money for the children and the school.

What are you working on at the moment?
Shoes, shoes shoes! I have some fabulous vintage and newer, gently-worn platform shoes that I am currently breathing new life into! I love the idea of someone walking around with art on their feet.

Yes, there are some really great shoes out there right now from famous designers that even I would kill to own, but no one has a pair of hand painted Diane Costanzas.......... yet.

http://www.dianecostanza.blogspot.com/  (art blog)

http://www.ignaziosmom.blogspot.com/  (everything else blog)

http://www.dianecostanza.etsy.com/ (handmade Etsy shop)

http://www.costanzavintagecraft.etys.com/  (vintage Etsy shop)

http://www.dianecostanza.com/  (online portfolio)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Winner and the Sea

My end of June giveaway goes to Johanna of Good Girls Studio. Thanks to all the ladies who participated and who voted Tali's (alias Tush Tush on Etsy) most preferred painting. Whilst there were varied comments - all very positive - in favour of Tali's beautiful art, the painting which got the most votes was this one called The Sea. I thought I'd treat you to a picture of it and meantime thank Tali for her great friendliness and interest in this blog. Johanna will be receiving something in the mail very soon.
Look out for another great giveaway from Fairyfiligree very soon.