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?

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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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Art Gowns Love

 Thank you all who supported that I had an Award Nomination. I have taken forever (unless you follow GLaM ) to tell you I didn’t win.

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I had the time of my life. I have a new “Art Gown” on Judy. I have a surprise post in between this and the new “Art Gown post”

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In the meantime visit Art Gowns for Charity and and knock some socks off!

Pics © Norman Orenstein – 2015

Message in a Bracelet – DIY

Do you love learning about history? Does it ever inspire you?

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Then think “Suffragettes” and you’ll know why I’ve designed a bracelet in green, white and violet.

Recently, I did a guest post on Christy Burmingham’s  blog WHEN WOMEN INSPIRE. It’s titled #GreenWhiteViolet. It inspired me back!

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I decided the bracelet needed earrings. I wound up making 2 pairs.

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Just in case you want to make a bracelet of your own design:

DIY INSTRUCTIONS


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One of my challenges was that I had to use what I could find at home, or in my kit.

I gathered my green, white and violet beads.I found white pony beads, violet lined glass seed beads, a string of real cut amethysts, and a string of fake pearls.

There were also some solid purple & green glass ponies and a string of agates, several in appropriate tones.

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 I never did use the crystals that you see in my platter’s collection.

You’ll need a needle nose jewelry plier, and a flat nose plier w/cutter.

Find some great chain.

Gather jump rings,  jewelry pins to match the chain (or not to match, depending on your design) and a clasp.

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Now creatively thread the beads onto the jewelry pins.

Try to keep an eye on what your building beforehand by clustering up some beaded pins, and havng a look!

If you’re happy then you can begin attaching your lovelies onto the chain.

INTERMISSION

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Now, on with the DIY instructions!

B'let #5Cut the chain about 3 inches longer than you need.

As you add beads, they and the pins take up space so it will get shorter and shorter.

You also need to snip the jewelry pins to about 1/2 inch from the top bead.

Using the needlenose pliers, bend the end of the pin into an arc.

Hook the arced pin into the chain. 

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Again, using the needle noses, push the open end of the pin toward the piece of pin coming out of the bead.

Tuck the raw pin end inside the bead to finish it.

Keep attaching beaded pins.

Before the bracelet is fully clustered up, check how it’s fitting your wrist.

Add the clasp to one end. You may need to use a jump ring here.

If your chain is not open enough forB'let #8

your clasp to fit through, you will need to add a  jump ring to the appropriate place  at the other end.

If needed snip off excess chain.

TIP: Hold the beaded pin with the flat nose pliers in one hand, while you work with the needle nose in your other.

Click on pics for larger details.

TO MAKE EARRINGS

You will need a pair of  “shepherd’s hooks” or a pair of clips.
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Use all of the same beads and findings. 

Using the same techniques as for the bracelet, design and build your earrings.

Unless they are symmetrical, remember to make a left and a right.

 Slideshows are visual poetry. Here is my prose. However, if you feel like reading a written poem, check out Christy Birmingham’s blog Poetic Parfait

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The past can be a nostalgic allure.

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Until my next post, I wish you all a fond and romantic adieu!
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