Thursday, 16 April 2015

Chinoiserie (kind of ...)

A few days ago Emma Kate at Paint and Style wrote a post about how inspiring she had found the new Disney film Cinderella.

Being (as she says) a frustrated set designer the thing that had Emma Kate most exited were the beautifully hand painted sets.

They are STUNNING and worth going to see the film for alone!

I haven't been to see it (yet) but Emma Kate's post inspired me too as they often do.  They also make me have dangerous thoughts.  Mostly in the style of, 'I could do that!'

Whether I could or not is up for debate as I rarely finish anything but I DO have good intentions!!

Anyway, Emma Kate's post includes a video on Chinoiserie if you want to take a look and I'm including the Wiki description of Chinoiserie here to save my probably very poor explanation of it:

Chinoiserie (pronounced [ʃinwazʁi]French for "Chinese-esque") is a recurring theme in European artistic styles since the seventeenth century, which reflectChinese artistic influences.[1] It is characterized by the use of fanciful imagery of an imaginary China, by asymmetry in format and whimsical contrasts of scale, and by the attempts to imitate Chinese porcelain and the use of lacquerlike materials and decoration.
Chinoiserie in a broader scope refers to a mixture of Eastern and Western stylistic elements for both the decoration and shape.[2] The style held particular favour during the Rococo period and the court of Louis XV,[3] with which its fanciful, ornate and idyllic imagery is commonly associated.

Chinoiserie however can also be used on walls and this is what had caught Emma Kate's (and subsequently my) eye.

Of course I thought I could do it!

I've even drawn up a few designs for painting some on the pale grey tongue and groove in my bathroom (when I finish it ...).

Meanwhile I was doing some gardening yesterday.  Digging up weeds - bloody dandelions are the bane of my life. Sweeping the decking. Scraping the moss from the path and finally tackling a shrub that had died and I want to replace.

First of all I cut all the branches off ready to dig it up.

As I laid them on the table I was struck by how they reminded me of the Chinoiserie trees in the tutorial and I though, why not have my OWN take on it.

I gathered together a few things from my crafting supplies:

I had a real find at Dunelm a few weeks ago and those heart were down to 25p each and the tear drop bead garlands were 50p - so I bought them all!

The bead garland was on very thin silver wire so I untwisted the beads and removed them and kept the wire to re-use.

The hearts were a combination of pearl beads and fabric roses which I removed.

I then used the silver wire from the tear drop garland to attach the pearl beads, the roses and some of the tear drops to the dead branch.

And then put the branch in a bubble glass vase that I'd picked up in a Charity shop for 99p a few weeks ago (I LOVE bubble glass!):

It may not be Chinoiserie in the true sense of the word but I think it has the same kind of feel to it and it makes me happy.

The whole thing took about half an hour to put together and cost probably less than £2.

I wish the photo's were better, it would probably have worked better on a darker background but in real life I liked the rustic look with the fence behind it.


Feisty Cat said...

Good grief, woman, is there nothing you can't do?

Emma Kate at Paint and Style said...

Ah, how lovely! A chinoiserie 3D collage. If you can do that, you can certainly chinoisify your bathroom. I got some wallpaper on ebay I plan to trace onto the walls. I'm not brave enough to draw it freehand! xx

Sarah said...

Ha ha, where do I start FC? Can't knit around corners, can't say no to cake, can't bend over in most of my dresses ;-) - thank you though lovely for the vote of confidence xx

I'm going to be brave Emma Kate but only in chalk - I THINK I can do it but who knows, maybe I'll post a couple of my designs and see what you think xx

Holly Hollyson said...

I think the photos are great! I love the fence in the background. I want to arrange something like this for our house. I think the cats would destroy it though.

Karen @Baking In A Tornado said...

Wow, it's beautiful. Whenever I try something new I end up crying.

Sarah said...

Mines gone in the bedroom Holly and that cats aren't allowed in there :-)

Thanks Karen, it's always a bit hit and miss for me when I get an idea in my head but this one worked out pretty well I think.