Earlier this month I had the great fortune to participate in a lovely paper dress swap hosted by Heather of Jeweled Elegance. I was fortunate once again, when Heather matched me with my partner Jen Seals, a talented fine artist who works in the fashion/home décor industry as a graphic designer. One visit to Jen’s blogand I knew I was in for a real treat. Her package did not let me down!!
As you can see from the pictures our dresses are completely different! I experienced a real infusion of creative energy designing something expressly for another artist. And it was a joy to have another artist make something just for me! My dresses were created from many of the materials and fine papers I use for invitation making. I used a smoky blue and storm gray colored flocked paper from India for the dress on the left. I trimmed it with ribbon and lace and added a paper corsage pinned elegantly with a gray brad.
The swap required that at least one dress was designed around an autumn or halloween theme. I instantly thought of the gorgeous japanese paper I had lying around my studio. Depicting fiery Fall leaves amidst black branches and trimmed with shimmering gold, I knew this paper would provide the perfect inspiration for my themed dress. I love the maroon vellum bodice, cinched with a chocolate ribbon “belt” and autumn leaf “buckle.”
Jen’s dresses were incredible!!! Rather than use paper prints and patterns to texturize her dresses, Jen hand painted her dresses from scratch! As a watercolorist myself, I really loved her technique and in her lovely note to me she took the time to explain how she created each one of her gowns. Using velvet ribbon, superfine sparkles, metallic trim, Jen created two dresses fit for a princess! Indeed my own little two year old princess has already claimed them for herself. In fact, we recently took a trip to the art store to buy all the fixins’ needed to frame Jen’s dresses so that they can hang in my daughter’s room. I think you’ve got a new fan Jen!
The highlight of Jen’s artsitry are the handpainted rosettes that she then cut out and adorned the dresses with. I know I had so much fun during this swap that I kept going and even made a few extra frocks to send to the swap’s hostess, Heather. I’ll save those for my next entry. These may not be invitations, but participating in this sort of activity was a wonderful experience. It gave me lots of ideas for new techniques to use with my stationery products, I met other wonderful and creative women, and I got to read lots of informative blogs about their varied businesses and crafts. Here’s to more swapping when I get the chance!