Mystic Lake

Did you ever design an Art Gown for the birds, in particular Ducks, Swans & Pigeons?

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Probably not, but if so, then you might know Ceramic Artist Belén Soto from Arcilla y Fuego.  Mystic Lake is dedicated to her.

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You see, I bought an adorable Black Drake from Belén . As he is lonely & looking for a wife, Belén & I started a Marriage Agency for Ducks. I’m hoping we will expand to Swans & Pigeons in the near future.

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Already Belén has designed 2 beautiful candidates, Lúa and Mar. Soon a wedding gown will be needed. I am hoping the duck bride to be & all future swan & pigeon brides will love this gown.

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Depending on the natural light, Mystic Lake magically changes from grey to blue. The best blue tones were captured at daybreak on a sunny day. Grey was exposed best on sunny afternoons.

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Well, Art Gowns don’t hatch from eggs, so let’s get “down” to the making of Mystic Lake.

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White satin was draped over a strapless long-line corset bra that opens in the back. As a real model will eventually wear her, I had to be practical.

swan-b10 swan-b7The next item I needed was feathers.

Yet, I am a vegetarian, so I decided to make feathers out of Swiss dotted net & cotton muslin.

The fabrics were hand sewn together, the cotton being larger than the net.

Then the cotton was sliced into sectionsswan-b5 & frayed by hand.swan-b6

Finally, a strip of feather perfection was added to the décolletage.

The skirt, with a velcro closure lined up under the corset’s opening, was added to the bodice.swan-b10

swan-b11The tail feathers were now needed.

I made a waistband. It closes in the back w/Velcro. I sewed bars across the center back of the band, so the tails could hook on.

First came a major white tail.

Then there was a grey voile tail, with fake feather bustle that hooked onto the white tail.

 

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Finally, a decorative black & grey tail piece topped off he tail feathers quite nicely.

Lastly, wings of grey voile were attached to her sides.

It took days to fray the feathers for the wings.

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When the back looks as above, the front looks as below.

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OUTTAKES

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Mystic Lake made a special beauty shot for the photographer who is coming in a week to view her. Looks like she could be the first Art Gown to be worn by a beautiful model.

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As we know, Art Gowns refuse to do housework. They especially hate the smell of the cleaning products. So, Mystic & the Art Gowns are all going shopping, while I clean the bathroom.

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Mystic Lake Designed by Resa MCconaghy – Summer – 2016

Photographed by Resa McConaghy – September – 2016

© All Rights Reserved ©

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Again, special thanks to my dear friend, Belén. I am very excited to see the next Duck Bride Candidate. Be sure to watch for it on her blog, Arcilla y Fuego

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Visit Belén‘s online shop Tienda de Ceramica.

⭐ MORE THANK YOU’S⭐

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I also thank Marina Kanavaki – Art Towards A Happy Day for sending me a gift of art & music.

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“Atom Flowers” © Artist Marina Kanavaki – 2016

It was  inspiring to listen to MK-O while I created. Hear them on http://www.mk-o.com/

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“Black Drake” © Artist Belén Soto – 2015

Finally, a sweet thank you to Le Drake Noir. It was Belen’s post Pájaro Negro / Drake Noir that started this whole crazy happening.

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Goddess Mnemosyne

Have you ever felt the breath of Zeus down your back?

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No! Then you’ve never created a gown for the Goddess Mnemosyne.

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So, now you want to know about Mnemosyne. Well, you’re in luck because Aquileana has posted Mnemosyne: https://aquileana.wordpress.com/2016/02/11/%E2%96%BAgreek-mythology-mnemosyne-collaboration-with-resa-mcconaghy-and-christy-birmingham-%F0%9F%92%AB/

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Big Bonus: Christy Birmingham of Poetic Parfait  penned a poem about Mnemosyne for Aquileana’s article. Art Gown Mnemosyne is there, too!

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Intrigued by Greek Mythology since I began reading La Audacia de Aquiles, I thank Aquileana for all the heady gown ideas.

MoMne #1MoMne #2My first inspiration was the classic white draping associated with ancient Greece.

I found yards & yards of natural white curtain sheers in a sell off bin for $2.00/yd. At that price it must have been around since the 1970’s!

MoNme #3Judy is off white and I got a fret on that the fabric wouldn’t show.MoMne #4

I consulted with Aquileana & she said red or blue could work.

So, I styled a fine red silk jacquard under dress for Mnemosyne.

Art Gowns refuse to iron, so I spent many days at the ironing board preparing the white sheers: hand stitching & pressing.

On the right: Mnemosyne inspects & critiques my fussy & diligent work.

It was worth the effort. Mnemosyne is a true classic beauty.

Christy’s  poetry is super meaningful, & is making this Art Gown even more special. Thank you so much dear Christy!

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Here are some out takes.

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Mnemosyne allowed me to experiment with a slight re-drape.

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I wanted to show off all the gorgeous vintage golden brass pieces a friend gave me to help me express Mnemosyne. To me, these represent Zeus.

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Together with the red silk they are the Muses.

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Mnemosyne is the mother of the 9 Muses. Zeus is the father.

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Mnemosyne & all the Art Gowns welcome you into the Art Gowns’ home for a celebration! Dionysis is bringing the wine, so it’s got to be good.

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I will be preparing the meal, as Art Gowns don’t go into the kitchen, ever.

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Art Gown Mnemosyne designed by Resa McConaghy – January, 2016

Mnemosyne Photos taken by Resa McConaghy – January 19 – 30, 2016

All rights reserved © Resa McConaghy

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Above: Mnemosyne w/ Mini-me. Below, a Queen of Goddess.

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Wild Rose

Could you ever fall in love with a wild rose bush, as it languishes in sun?

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Then you’d want to take it home, but soon realize there’s not enough top soil in your apartment.

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My solution? Make an Art Gown, and dedicate it to someone who has the earthy requirements!

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Wendy Ellen Thomas is perfect! Visit her blog Chez Chloé & see what I mean.

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Wild Rose is a simple concept. Black is the earth.

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Pink is the wild roses.

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As a veggie, I will never wear a leather dress I inherited from work, but I can do it justice.

WRose #002WRose #001Originally, it was a mini with tank style bodice & nasty zippers up the front.

With much glee, I cut away and restyled.

I spent less than $30.00 on a delicate pink lace with rose pattern.

Wild Rose #10WRose #6I used the lace for the corset insert & the skirt.

To decorate the bodice I began cutting flowers from the lace.

That was about 3 dozen delicately flowing petals I cut out.

Once I’d decided to use a swath of black voile for the tail, I began cutting out 200 more roses.

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Each wild rose was hand sewn onto the voile.

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Wild Rose outakes

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Wild Rose settles into her new home’s “Art Gowns” Room.

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She bathes her tail in the warm sunshine.

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Wild Rose is a romantic …

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… and pines for a lover.

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Wild Rose says, “Let’s invite Wendy Ellen Thomas over for dinner!” She can really cook up a storm & Resa will do the dishes!”

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Wild Rose designed, made & written by Resa McConaghy – October, 2015

Photos © Resa McConaghy – taken November 4 – 2015

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Shaping It Up

I designed #TheShape, drafted a pattern, made 2 mini coats & want to know what you think!

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Using my Judy to fit them on, I did one out of a stiff cotton Spanish drapery fabric.

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The other was made out of a thin, crisp shirt weight Italian velvet flocked cotton.

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Next up was a model. I wanted a mature woman,  40 years +. I couldn’t find one I could afford, except me. So, oh well!

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The flocked velvet coat was finished first, so I started there. Here I paired it with leggings from Marina Kanavaki’s S6 Shop & a ceramic Green Leaf Pin designed by Belén Soto.

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The print on the leggings is from an original work of art by Marina, Paths of Color [Turquoise, Blue And Green] The purse is a sustainable fashion piece made from cork bought at Chartreuse Style in Toronto.

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The curtain coat was finished in time to go out for a dinner.

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Dressier than the last outfit, I put the coat together with a little black dress & heavy black tights. It was accessorized with a hand-made black rubber & copper wire necklace.

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#TheShape is flattering, & can be cut longer. It can be made from all types of fabrics. Sleeves & collars can change, & the front closure become buttons. A solid front with zip in the back turns it into a dress. The sky’s the limit!

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What do you think of #TheShape?

OR

Should I call it #TheResa?

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All photos of Resa © Norman Orenstien – September 19 & 27, 2015

Coats designed & made by Resa – August – September, 2015

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Cecilia Lionheart

Was your heart ever broken enough to switch Art Gowns in mid creation?

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Then outrage has compelled you to do a Tribute to Cecil The Lion, #CecilTheLion.

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With  tail  thrown under her neck & crisscross armor to protect her, Marina Kanavaki,  must be who this Art Gown is dedicated to.

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 Take a look at Marina’s blog Art Towards A Happy Day and be convinced. She is vegan, & a champion for all animals both wild and domestic.

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Cecilia #8Being a last minute creation, I was in an absolute uproar about what to make the gown out of.

Then I realized I owned about 500 men’s ties, mostly dated. I figured why not?

I deconstructed about 80 ties. A step ladder was used as an organizer.

I opted for regal colors red, gold & purple. Solids, paisley & medallions became the chosen patterns.

Old purple curtain lining was fashioned into a skirt on Judy. Ties became points, trims, bows & braids.Cecilia #9

Contrary to regular established procedure, I made the tail first.

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 The bits on the back of the ties, that you pass the skinny part under, were fashioned into Cecilia’s dangling choker.

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MORE CECILIA BEAUTY SHOTS

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Of course the Art Gown I had originally started will be back next post, but I just had to break rhythm and design this tribute.

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Marina & I are sick about what happened to Cecil The Lion. So, we’ve signed petitions & are doing what we can. You’re welcome to join in, if you already haven’t!

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Cecila Lionheart designed by Resa McConaghy 2015

Photos taken by & © Resa McConaghy – Aug 1 & 2 -2015

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Autumn Orchid

Did you ever have to “make-over” an internet shawl contestant into an “Art Gown”?

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If you have, you know it’s not as painful as standing in the shadows of love,

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…but still, you spent a lot of time looking out the window wondering how!

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Between the challenges of life, the window of opportunity and the shadows of love, lies hope. I dedicate “Autumn Orchid” to Cindy Knoke, and I hope she just loves it!

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Cindy’s Blog is filled with color, nature, joy and adventure. It is a most positive place to visit, and as beautiful as any “Art Gown”

Cindy MOS #1This gown started, as a shawl.

 The shawl took over 40 hours.

Due to paint drying times, this was over a three week period.

I chose yardage of a 90″ wide piece of floral patterned curtain lace.

This ensured that there would be no seams in the shawl, that it would be 1 piece unto itself.

Cutting deep into the lace around the flowers, a unique bordeur was created.

Cindy MOS #2After mixing metallic copper acrylic paint with fabric medium, I painted the bordeur.

Both sides of the lace were painted.

When finished and dry, the paint was meticulously heat set with a hot iron.

Using finishing scissors, I cut off all micro bits of painted fray.

This made a very smooth edge.

The shawl was entered in a very fabulous talent contest.

It was so exciting!

The slideshow features some of my fave shots of the  finished shawl.

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Oh…. boohoo! My shawl didn’t win. I moodily wandered around the “Art Gown” room for awhile.

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Then, I thought of Cindy, & remembered the old saying “If  life gives you a lemon shawl, make “Art Gown” lemonade!”

MOG #4MOG #5I halved the remaining lace.

One piece went into a pail with copper acrylic paint and water.

The other half was hand painted with copper, cobalt turquoise & a blend of the two.

I cut around the lace pattern to form a bodice.

For the skirt, the shawl was folded diagonally, as you saw in the slideshow, then fastened around  Judy’s waist with the opening in the back. The pail soaked lace was inserted into the back opening.

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MOG #1MOG #2Flowers were cut out from the rest of the lace. In back, they were ruched onto the insert. In front, they were used like flat puzzle pieces.

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Voilà, more “Autumn Orchid”

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One last nostalgic look.

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P.S. I did find a fabulous turquoise orchid online. It is a rights reserved image, so I can’t show you.

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“Art Gown” Autumn Orchid designed by Resa McConaghy – November, 2014

All photos taken by Resa McConaghy – November, 2014