Friday, June 29, 2012

Meet the Artist Giveaway: Daria Lvovsky

It's time for another Meet the Artist giveaway, and it is my pleasure to introduce you the amazingly talented fiber artist, Daria Lvovsky

Daria Lvovsky at Serendipity Handmade blog

Her beautiful needle-felted creations are truly a wonder to behold.  Daria shared some interesting facts about herself and her artistic inspirations in the interview that follows.
Collette:  Please tell us a little about yourself.

Daria:  I'm forty years old and mom to three of the sweetest girls aged  three, five, and eight years old:

Dari's lovely girls

I was born in Minsk, Belorussia and I spent a large part of my life there.  I went to the University of Minsk and studied biology, and before I became a fiber artist my first profession I taught and did research in biology and ecology.

I later moved to a new country in which I decided to build my nest. During my first visit to Israel I fell in love with the country, people, colors, and the special energy of the place.

Flowers Fairy by Daria Lvovsky at Serendipity Handmade blog
A bit later I fell in love with my tour guide, Sasha, who became my husband. I was pretty sure that I would keep working in science field but when I gave birth to my eldest everything changed.

While trying to find the best kindergarten for my child I encountered the Waldorf philosophy of education. When I began doing research about Waldorf it very soon became a self-analysis as though I were looking in a mirror.  Looking at my reflection I had a dialogue with myself and I suddenly realized that I was not a scientist, but an artist. I realized then that all my life I was really an artist but only now am I breaking out the shell of my former life.

Collette: How did you become a fiber artist?

Daria:  Before I changed my life direction I worked a bit in ceramics and clay sculpture, not as a professional but as an amateur.  In an attempt to find the most expressive materials I have tried wood, ceramics, and even metal.  The clay fascinated me, but the moment in which I felt wool in my hands it was like being reborn!

Daria Lvovsky in her studio

I first started making dolls for my daughters’ kindergarten, and continued by making characters for nature scenes, and finally began making animals to replace the stuffed and mounted taxidermy animals in so-called “natural” exhibitions.

Koalas by Daria Lvovsky at Serendipity Handmade blog
Lion by Daria Lvovsky at Serendipity Handmade blog

Collette:  Your animal figures are particularly beautiful as well as truly lifelike.  Do you have a favorite piece or pieces? What inspires your work?

Daria:  I love all of my creations and I realize that they’ve been growing with me.  I'm not sure that I have favorites, just like any mother who hardly can say whom among all her children she loves most!

Goose Girl by Daria Lvovsky at Serendipity Handmade blog

As for inspiration, sometimes my Etsy customers supply wonderful ideas when they ask me to create custom items like dolls and tapestries that have never been done before.

Climbing Gnome by Daria Lvovsky at Serendipity Handmade blog

I have a very strong feeling that this kind of art has no limits and is kind of endless, like the ocean. I'm grateful to my faith which has opened this wide ocean in front of me.

Nativity by Daria Lvovsky at Serendipity Handmade blog

Isn't Daria's work incredible?  I feel so blessed to have met her via her shop, Art of Felting.  I now have a lovely Nativity set just like the one pictured above.


As a special treat for Serendipity Handmade readers Daria has generously offered a beautiful one-of-a-kind needle-felted Shepherd, initialed by the artist, as a giveaway prize:

When the lucky winner receives his or her prize, won't it be a little bit like Christmas in July?!

This giveaway is open worldwide and ends on July 10th, 11:59 PM EST.  I'll announce the winner on July 11th.  I'm using Rafflecopter to manage entries for the first time so entering the giveaway should be easy for everyone -- all you need is an email address!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Madison Avenue Monday: Inexpensive Little Dressmaker

It's wedding season!  In Summer 1972 Singer's Golden Touch & Sew could be counted on to help make the dress for that special day, but only the bride could be held accountable for a lapse in fashion judgement.

A pink gingham dress, a white cotton pinafore, and a formal pill-box hat veil?  No no no.

From McCalls Pattern Fashions, Summer 1972.

Friday, June 22, 2012

When It Rains It Pours


The current state of my life!  Just a little update:

My sister is in the hospital, which is bad enough, but my husband is currently suffering from a nasty fall that seems to have bruised or broken a rib.  Needless to say I've been pulled in many different directions these past couple of weeks.

Today I'm going to try to work on a fun post for tomorrow but if I'm not able to do it I hope you'll wait a little longer.  Thanks for your understanding dear readers. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Madison Avenue Monday: Mod Color-Blocking

Finally had a moment to post today's MAM:  fabulous color-block dresses from a Summer 1970 layout in McCall's Pattern Fashions.  The yokes and white accents are made of Irish linen, and the color blocks are of rayon.  Note the color-block bracelet accents;  I'd love to have one of those myself!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Finally Finished: Simplicity 2936

This afternoon I finally finished sewing the buttons on the "Strawberry Fields" blouse.  I'm short on time today so I quickly pinned it to Esme.  You'll have to forgive the fact that I am not as wasp-waisted as she is and the silhouette isn't quite accurate:

I wish my waist were this small....

I really love this pattern now that it has been fitted relatively well to accommodate my quirky figure. Simplicity 2936 is rapidly becoming my first TNT pattern (tried-and-true) as Carolyn calls them.

It's made with vintage "faux-let" -- my name for fake eyelet. (Remember that I mentioned how the eyes are stamped on the fabric, so it's not real eyelet). It should be a light and cool blouse for the rest of the summer. I will pair it with blue capri jeans and perhaps debut it on July 4th for a touch of patriotic red, white, and blue.

Blogging might continue to be spotty over the next week as I have a seriously ill family member in the hospital again, but I will do my best as I have some specific plans for the upcoming week (stay tuned!). The only bright side is that my dad is in town and I get to spend Father's Day with him tomorrow.

I hope that everyone is having a bit of a crafty weekend and if you are celebrating, a wonderful Father's Day with your loved ones.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Soap Tart Giveaway Winner

Just a quick post to announce the Soap Tart giveaway winner:

Commenter #9, Mary Preston!

Congratulations Mary!  And thank you to everyone who entered.
I'll be back with another post later in the week...thanks for waiting for this one!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Fortunate Finds: 1947 Glide-Tex Pressing Cloth Brochure

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I found an unused vintage pressing cloth from 1947 at an estate sale:

I thought that you would like to see the totally cute "How to Press with Glide-Tex" instruction booklet included with the cloth.  Page three includes good basic instructions about how to press-as-you-go for home sewers and dressmakers.

Of course, I still couldn't bring myself to break out my iron and try the actual cloth out considering that it is probably 65 years old and chemically processed in some mysterious way.

The last page is basically an ad for other sewing and pressing-related products that the David Traum Company made.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Madison Avenue Monday: Water Babies '69

Ah, it's nearly's time for swimsuits.  Enjoy this beach-ready photo spread excerpt from McCall's Pattern Fashions, Summer 1969.  Aren't the gold belly chains (a.k.a. "bikini belts") by costume jewelry maker Monet incredibly sexy?

Water Babies photo spread, Summer 1969, Serendipity Handmade blog

Water Babies photo spread, Summer 1969, Serendipity Handmade blog

Water Babies photo spread, Summer 1969, Serendipity Handmade blog
My favorite!  LOVE this flower-garden fabric by Loomskill.

Water Babies photo spread, Summer 1969, Serendipity Handmade blog
Just what could she be looking at?