From Virgin White to Glorious Colour : the birth of a Frida Jacket


Creating something special for the extraordinary artist , Miz Thang

What a fortunate woman I am at the minute. I have recently been commissioned by the extraordinary American Folk artist, Miz Thang  to create something wonderful from a vintage white tux tailcoat. The theme was Frida Kahlo which made me very happy as Frida is very close to my heart.

It was pretty daunting to make the first painty marks on this pure white garment that had been flown all the way to me from across the Atlantic Ocean. But I stuck my courage to the sticking place ( sorry Lady Macbeth) and gave it a go.

It’s currently flying it’s way back to Miz Thang on an aeroplane. It’s a well travelled tux. Here is it’s story in pictures.

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I can’t wait to see pictures of the marvellous Miz Thang wearing her new arty tux. It is such a joy to help people become walking art pieces, especially when they are already fabulous artists!

I’m currently working on the most amazing cape for her, featuring her very own , delightfully bonkers paintings of circus freaks. This one is worth waiting for… I can’t wait to show you!

Beautiful handmade Bangles by a creative genius.


Wearable art is the future of fashion

Today I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with my dear friend Scorpio. He is a tall, striking man , stylish and gregarious, who is so talented, it is slightly intimidating. He’s also very humble , which is a very endearing quality.

Scorpio makes textile based artwork, sewing , appliqueing  and embroidering his pieces. He’s very inspired by the punk aesthetic , having worked alongside Vivianne Westwood for a period of time, but he also has a strong tribal and folk art streak. He makes gorgeous one off pieces of wearable art , be they clothing or accessories that are fastidiously and beautifully hand crafted. Scorpio and Hannah                  Here is Scorpio with the lovely Hana, Sue Kreitzman’s PA.

Today I bought this scrumptious piece of jewelry, a one off piece that is absolutely stunning. IMAG1348 IMAG1349_1 IMAG1351_1More of a cuff than a bangle, this is a large statement piece of jewelry, hand embroidered , hand beaded and mirrored and lined with rich blue velvet, it not only looks beautiful on my wrist but feels really cosy. This piece is mine. You can’t have it. But here are some other pieces he has made:

IMAG1337 IMAG1339 IMAG1341 IMAG1343 IMAG1345Each bangle is meticulously hand made with patchwork and beading, lined with velvet and edged with beads or cord for a beautiful finish. Each of these delightful pieces of wearable art are totally unique. If you’d like to purchase your own piece of wearable art, the larger bangles are £60 and the smaller, £40.

If you are interested, please email Scorpio directly at scorpiotheartist@gmail.com to arrange purchase.

Opening up to the world and receiving it’s ( very colourful) blessings


Art , Fashion and the power of the muse

Sue and SueHere’s Sue Kreitzman and Sue Bourne the producer behind Fabulous Fashionistas. Sue K is wearing a coat I made for her inspired by the African Goddess Mami Wata.

I was recently at the opening night of Sue Kreitzman‘s solo exhibition Sue Kreitzman World at Cult Mountain in Shoreditch. ( I’m afraid it’s now over…it’s taken me far too long to get round to blogging. ) It was a great night, full of colourful characters scorpio at sue's                     ( My lovely and very talented and stylish  friend Scorpio the artist)

and even I dressed up for the occasion. me at Sue's exhib     (Forgive the cheesy grin) Hair flowers by the  incredible Bink of Pearls and Swine

The evening passed quickly , Sue was a great hit and a true star. Her work looked splendid in a gallery setting. It was great to see her colourful creations up close. One of the main highlights of the exhibition was a painting by the talented Ella Guru Artist of Sue and her close friend and artist, Anne Sophie Cochevelou in Sue’s incredible home. Sue in front of paintingIt was such a privilege to have my own work exhibited alongside Sue’s as part of her world. What a lucky woman I am! 2014-03-13 20.07.12As the night drew to a close, a vision of loveliness walked past my table. I knew I had to get to know her. I smiled and she smiled back. I couldn’t help myself as I stuttered: ” You are beautiful”. You can see why … Brit and Lolo(Lolo on the left with gallery owner, Brit)

When a muse walks into your life, there is no room for being shy, so I contacted this shy and sweet natured woman on Facebook and asked her if I could make her an item of clothing to wear, inspired by her. To my great delight, she was very excited by the offer.

Lolo Moniasse  an extraordinary human being. She has an incredible spirit and a unique look, her unique scarification making her a walking work of art. Dariusz Adamek Lolo                                            (photo by Dariusz Adamek)konfral                                           ( photo by konfral.com)

I had had the idea to make capes. It seemed to come out of nowhere. A gift from the Universe, you might say. But the more I thought about it, the more sense it made. I am a very committed feminist and I wanted to celebrate women in my work. What better way to celebrate the everyday hero that is woman than by putting women in capes? And not just any old cape, but a cape that is a wearable piece of art.

So I set about making a cape for Lolo. First I sought inspiration from her images. I found an image by a photographer called Simon Fairclough of a tribal shoot that he had done with Lolo. One of the pictures in particular caught my eye. I thought about the chat I had had with Lolo about her back scarification and how it symbolised the elements. So I decided to base the cape on the theme of the four elements..

IMAG1260_1Here is the image of Lolo as Earth. Painted and embroidered. Based on Simon Fairclough’s photo. This went on the front of the cape.

I used two different but complimenting African batik fabrics to make the basic cape . On top of that I appliqued images that I hand painted and machine embroidered and I used contrasting fabrics to applique luminous orange flames around the bottom of the cape, and silver fabric to applique fish. White cotton fabric was appliqued to create feathers. ( Earth, fire , water and air).

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The back of the cape featured a portrait of Lolo showing her back scarification which I embroidered to enhance the 3D quality of the scars. IMAG1267_1 (1) IMAG1266_1Lolo was depicted as an Elemental Goddess, with four arms, each arm holding a symbol of each element.  Appliqued leaves scattered about in green.

It was wonderful to see Lolo wearing her cape. She is going to shoot it properly with Simon who inspired the front image with his beautiful photo. I can’t wait to see the result of those images.

But for now, here are my humble photos of a very happy Lolo in her elements cape. IMAG1304 IMAG1302

If you like what you see and fancy a cape of your own, I’m open for orders . They cost £150 for the short cape or £200 for a longer thigh length cape. The capes are fully lined and each one is a one off , unique piece. The theme /images are entirely up to you. I’m currently working on a few orders, so there is a one month waiting time. Good things come to those that wait.

www.iheartcart.com

www.facebook.com/c.Artbags

Making Fabulous Fashion for a Fabulous Fashionista


My oh my , how I’ve been busy! I’ve barely had time to breathe since I started on this path of making wearable art for the wonderful woman  and Fabulous Fashionista , Sue Kreitzman. Sue Mami Wata

Since I wrote my last blog post, I’ve made so many more pieces , I think I shall just post pictures and let them do the talking.

Since my last blog post, I’m terribly sad to report that the purple coat that I customised for Sue with her portrait on the back

purple Sue2 purple Sue has been stolen by two men coat thief 2 coat thief1

( pictured on cctv cameras in the gallery)

when it was on exhibition at the quirky and exciting gallery/cafe Cult Mountain in Shoreditch.  If you recognise these men please contact the police as the theft has been reported. Who knows what prompted someone to steal such an identifiable piece. Who would wear a coat with the person’s portrait on the back that you stole it from? It makes no sense.

Sigh.

I suppose I can say that a piece of my art has achieved notoriety. I’m going to make another portrait coat for Sue  and try to make it even better. Frida shirt front h& H2 h&H1 h&H3 Sue Frida 4 Sue Frida 5 Sue frida shirt 1 Sue Mami Wata Back of jacket IMAG1047_1 purple Sue Sue's frida back Sue's Frida detail Sue's Frida pocket 2 Sue's Frida pocket1 Sue's Frida shirt back Sue's new jacket Sues frida Mami Wata in sunSo there you have it, pictures of the work I’ve been doing, making wearable art for fabulous people.

 

There’s still more to come.

 

To view a full collection of what I’ve made thus far , do head over to my Facebook page : www.facebook.com/c.Artbags

My website , if you fancy having a look is www.iheartcart.com

I love my life.

 

The Fish are Angry


We can’t fail to notice that the weather has gone a little crazy, just lately. Worldwide we are being subject to severe weather, from heatwaves, floods and freezes, gale force winds and earthquakes and tidal waves.

Global warming cannot be ignored. It is here.

Some might say that the fish are angry. I have a really good friend called Mervyn Syna who is a very wonderful talented artist and poet, part of a wonderful East London Poetry and Spoken Word Group, Red Army Fiction. He has been telling everyone for some time now that the fish are angry. I think we are starting to understand what he means.

We have disturbed the equilibrium of  our planet and now we are feeling the consequences.

I had these thoughts in the front of my head when I received the next lot of images from  Fabulous Fashionista and outsider artist Sue KreitzmanSue for her next customised garment: a kimono. One of them resonated deeply with the fish theme: here was a wonderful image of a mermaid with a happy fish on her head , with the words ‘Return the fish to the sea’ written around the image. kimono2 kimono3 kimono4It was as if the fish had come to me personally to deliver another message.

The other paintings were of a woman holding on to a heart with the legend ” Choose Love” .kimono1 kimono6 kimono7 Most fitting that the garment was finished on the most romantic day of the year, Valentines Day.

The last painting was of a woman with two clocks, one on her head with the legend ” Time quickly passes” around the clock face, and another clock on her abdomen. Could this be a reference to a woman’s biological clock? kimono5

Putting all these paintings into one garment had the effect of creating a very strong message. Choose love ( for the planet) Return the fish to the sea ( stop polluting their home!) and do it now, we’re running out of time ( time quickly passes) . kimono7

The images were painted on to the kimono and the black fabric was embellished with subtle but sparkly black glitter to create a stunning statement piece. kimono4

I can’t wait to see Sue wearing it .

I’m sure the fish will be very satisfied their message is getting through. They chose artists to be their messengers. Clever fish.

If you are interested in commissioning your own piece of wearable art, drop me a line on thebabyfairyfifi@hotmail.com and we shall chat.

Blogging, what’s that?


It’s been so long, so long since I’ve blogged, I don’t even know where to begin.

A lot has happened in my making world: crochet came and went ( it will be back, it’s just on the back burner for now) , a new brand has been started c.Art which is a fashion line ( initially hand painted bags but has now expanded to encompass all forms of wearable art , some of which can be found for sale on my Big Cartel website .

There are political ( feminist mainly) hand printed tshirts,

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there are upcycled items of clothing that are themed around strong female icons Frida bw dress frida jacket Frida lace2 Frida naked jumper Fridaskirt purple frida dress Red jacket redrose3

 

( Frida Kahlo/ Medusa/ Marilyn Monroe ) and I shall be adding to the range as time goes on.

There are also jackets bearing the ” This is Not” legend which is exclusive to the c.Art brand. One of my favourites is a dark take on Disney monopolising childhood, ” This is Not… Childhood” featuring Snow White wearing Mickey Mouse ears and a printed and embroidered Dead Bambi’s mother scene.

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So yes, I’ve been busy at work creating a range of what I call Radical Street wear for the young and not so young, but for people looking for something completely unique with a little bit of an edge. So far the range is proving popular with fellow creatives and artists. sparkly medusa yellow frida

One very inspiring and creative person I’ve recently met is one of Channel 4′s Fabulous Fashionistas , the amazing Sue Kreitzman. Sue bought one of my early c.Art bags that had a hand painted Caravaggio’s Medusa on it, as she is very inspired by the gorgon with the snake hair. CIMG4197 CIMG4201 CIMG4203

We met again at her birthday party where she invited me to perform with my puppets for a childlike birthday party fitting for a woman who doesn’t take life too seriously. At that party, Sue asked me if I could paint on an old raincoat she had picked up from a flea market in New York. It had really big shoulders and she wanted me to do something to it to distract from them.

So I did this: coat 3 coat4 Sue's coat

 

Sue was so thrilled with the result that I’m now in the enviable position of being Sue’s primary wardrobe creator. Isn’t that just incredible? What more perfect a person to represent c.Art ( wearable art) than someone who is known as living art.

I’ve since made two more jackets for Sue: a purple self referential coat with a portrait of Sue on the back and various pieces of her work on the front. purple Suepurple Sue2Here’s Sue working it! Sue and I 2 Sue and Scorpio Sue in purple

 

Sue’s home is a veritable Aladdin’s cave of assemblages and paintings, things picked up from flea markets and other ethnic treasures. It is quite something to behold.

Here’s another jacket that I’ve painted with images from Sue’s fabulously vibrant ‘Matissesque ‘ paintings. Catncoffee1 Catncoffee2 Catncoffee3 Catncoffee4And here’s Sue wrapped in her own painted mythology, what a wonderful sight to behold! Sue latestSue has become not only a dear friend but a total inspiration. I don’t know where it will lead, but I do know that Sue is promising to keep me really busy with her garments.

I’m excited to show you.

This time, I promise not to stay away for so long…

 

 

I am an Artist


Facing my reflection

Today I had what I think they call a Damascus moment. I’m no spring chicken, next year I turn 50, half a blimmin century and I think I’m going to have a Croning ceremony as I embrace my status as an older  Feminist woman in our society. But this post isn’t about that. Although it does have something to do with my Feminist stance.

Let me explain…

I grew up believing my  ultimate goal as a woman was to grow up and get married. Some day my prince will come… I used to go to sleep as a young girl of 6 or 7 with my hair spread out beautifully on my pillow just in case my prince came in the door at night.

I did grow up and get married, not before having a stint in art school and discovering that I had a talent for drawing and painting. My tutors and colleagues really believed in me. It was a pity that I somehow never shared their belief.

Why didn’t I believe?

I think it was because my mum repeatedly told me that I was not an artist and never would be because I could only copy.

Those words would burn deep into my psyche and end up echoing round my head as an adolescent, then right throughout my adulthood. Until now.

But I’m running before I’ve learned to walk. So I got married and had two beautiful daughters who have now grown up to be wonderful young women, one of whom has a daughter of her own. I’m now a proud grandma.

I’m no longer married. Nobody told me that the Disney princess prophesy ended like this.

But I moved on and I grew. I now don’t believe in marriage. My goals in life have changed. When I grow up I want to be an artist instead.

Well, today I think I grew up.

After spending a day with my eldest artistic daughter at the BP Portrait Awards at the National Portrait Gallery it suddenly struck me. I should have my work on the walls. There was no reason why I couldn’t be amongst this fabulous display of diverse portraiture. What was I waiting for? I had already painted a portrait of a street drinker friend I had made about 10 years ago that I think would be worthy of submission. Jimmy1 Jimmy2 Jimmy3 Jimmy4For over ten years this painting had been rolled up in a corner, hiding. Today I took it out and looked at it with new eyes.  The word started to bubble up.

ARTIST.

I was waiting to embrace the word. The word that for almost 40 years had felt far too big for me to handle. ARTIST.

It was hard to say. ARTIST. ( You’re not an artist, you can only copy) Shut up mum.

ARTIST. ( You’re not an artist … )

ARTIST. I AM AN ARTIST.

I went around my flat with my little camera, taking photos of myself , not smiling. Not posing. Just being me. Being serious. Taking myself seriously.  Just being me, the artist. Not the woman, not the mother, not the children’s entertainer, just me. THE ARTIST.

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Then I started to feel like including myself and my work. My flat is full of my work. From painting and drawing to soft sculpture. It is a veritable private temple of my creativity. It’s time to go public and stop being afraid of showing the real me.

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So  Mum. Now what do you think?

I’m a mother fucking artist.

Yes I am. Oh yes I am.

And today is the beginning of my artist journey as an artist. Not an apologist.

Unlike the adolescent me who had the ability but nothing to say with it, I’ve got so much to say now , it is hard to know where to start.

I’m starting tomorrow. Tomorrow I paint.

I am a woman and I am an artist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Framed prints of my Diva Dollies


I’ve had so much interest in my dollies recently and had so many people ask me if I have anything for sale in my Etsy shop that I decided I had to do something about it.

I have been doing paintings of my dollies and making frames to go with them as my last post explains, but I soon realised that I love making the frames as much as I love painting.

So I made a few more frames and used them to frame up some tiny prints I have of my dollies. I think they came out really well.

Don’t take my word for it, have a look:

print2 print3 print5 print6 print7 print8 print9 print10 print11 print12 print13They’re small, almost miniature ,(7×9 inches framed) but they would make a splendid conversation piece on any wall.

The frames are all unique, all made to compliment the image.

So if you are looking for something special for that friend who is into Steampunk, Mexican Day of the Dead, Zombies, Creepy Horror stuff, Vampires or Poison Ivy or the splendid Marnie Scarlet, ( who isn’t, she’s just magnificent) then here’s a gift idea for you.

The print in the handmade frame sells for £25 plus p+p and they are all ready to hang.

Head over to my Etsy shop to have a look for yourself.

DivaDollyKittyPuppy on Etsy

Art squared: Portraits of sculpture


After making my crochet dollies, I’ve been left with a feeling of ” somethings not quite finished”.

So I embarked on painting portraits of my crochet curiosities.

After making these mini paintings, I knew I needed to create frames to suit. A regular wooden frame just wouldn’t fit. So I raided my studio for materials and created original frames from mixed materials to compliment the painting and match the quirkiness .

So, here’s what I made earlier:

paint3 paint7] paint13 paint17 paint24 paint31 paint37I’m really enjoying the process.

There will be more.

Some of the paintings will be exhibited soon at the Little Summer Benefits exhibition at the wonderful Vyner Street Gallery.

So, what do you think?

 

 

Creepy crochet oddities


I’ve made crochet dollies, even creepy crochet dollies and I’ve made cats and dogs from crochet. Now of course , in an obvious step, I’ve combined the two.

Now I’m making Crochet animal /human mix ups; crochet anthropomorphism if you will.

But why use words, when a picture tells the story far better?pugwoman12 pugwoman13 pugwoman16 box1 box6 bun9 kit6 kit16 kit18 kit24 Rooster Rooster2 Rooster3 Rooster5 Rooster7So  far there has been Pugwoman, a very worried looking lady with a few extra nipples with a very classical air.

Then there’s Bunny Girl, a very seductive creature indeed.

Then Kit E Kat , a pussy cat with a pvc mini skirt and black feather neckpiece.

Finally, probably the strangest of all so far is Cock a Doodle Dude. He’s pretty self explanatory.

I’m going to eventually set these dollies in environments to create art pieces  in their own right. ( Apart from Bunny Girl and Kit E Kat who are for sale in the wonderful alternative space that is the Brighton Arts Club. )

 

There will be others. My imagination is teeming with them , all woofing, miaaowing and mooing to get out.

Need more time…