Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

I just wanted to wish everyone a fantastic Christmas/festive season and New Year. I hope you will be celebrating this time of year with your loved ones, where ever you are!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Artist on Etsy: karenkingart

Etsy is great to find new and exciting artist's and designers. You can find new stores by going to the Etsy home page, and using one of the Explore options (which is found on the bottom left hand side). I found karenkingart in the pounce section.

Waterhole Kill
by karenkingart

Lion of Judah by karenkingart

The above is my favourite in this shop, At Bay by karenkingart
There is so much action happening in this painting, and the lion looks so powerful.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New Fabrics!

The photos included in this post are a few quick shots of new fabrics that I have purchased in the past week. I have only draped them around the dummy- so you can get a feel for the fabric.

The above fabric (the purple, yellow and brown) and the below fabric (emerald green and white) will be used to create kimonos. I can't wait to see the finished product!

The above fabric was purchased from an antique's dealer, along with the vintage tulip fabric. It is a one way print, so I will have to be careful how I use this. I don't want birds and flowers upside down!

This candy stripe is a knit- I love a good candy stripe! This will most likely make some really cute tops.

So much to do, and so little time!

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Flashback: Old School Projects

First things first; if this is the first time you are reading this blog, this is NOT what I do now! The designs in this posting are old school and college projects that I discovered hiding in my garage over the weekend. I thought it would be fun to share with you my weird style I had back then, so we can either laugh, cringe or cry together!

This design is a halter top, made from silk, machine embroidery, sequins and diamante. It is hard to believe I made this design almost 9 years ago, at college. It feels like it was even further back; almost another lifetime ago- I have learnt so much, and my style has completely changed.

The above design was made for the evening wear category. It is made from silk organza, machine embroidery, cording, beads, and diamante. Unfortunately, the beaded tasselling have completely tangled themselves, but otherwise, I still quite like this style.

The fabric was originally plain white silk organza. I then painted four pieces of this fabric, into four different colours- red, bright pink, purple and orange. I then placed them on top of each other, then satin-stitched the rows to form squares.

After this, I randomly cut out layers of organza to display different colours coming through- so some squares had one layer of organza, others had 2 or 3 or 4.

I then applied the pattern shape, moulded each panel to fit the body, the satin stitched over the top of previous lines. (A similar process to how you attach lace around seams). The above photo shows that there are no seams inside of the top. It is just a continuous, moulded piece of fabric.

I then applied the diamante and beaded tasselling. This design took forever! Not as long as my wedding dress, but still- Forever!

The next design was for my high school end of year project. While I look at it now, and wonder what was I thinking?!, I can appreciate the effort involved at least. This dress was made from plain white silk, which I painted.

I think sometimes it is fun to look back at where you have come from, and compare it to what you can do now. I am proud to say that I think I have come a long way!

If you would like to see my current designs, you can take a look at the Penelope Red website, the Penelope Red etsy shop, or previous postings in the Penelope Red blog.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Penelope Red Vintage Tulip Dress: A new style

The Penelope Red Vintage Tulip Dress is a new design... I finished it last week.

The dress is made from two different prints. The print around the bust is a printed cotton- white print on cream background. The print placed around the waist and skirt is a gorgeous vintage screen printed cotton blend, featuring bright and bold large flowers in various colours including orange, yellow, peach, green, and aqua with a navy blue background.

I found the vintage floral fabric in an antiques store, amongst the clutter! I love bold prints, and this print was screaming out to me, "take me home!"

The shape of this dress is the same shape as the Penelope Red Pop Dress, pictured below.

Even though it is from the exact same Penelope Red pattern, it is amazing how the different fabrics create a completely different look. Also, swapping the contrasting waist (as it is in the Pop Dress), to the contrasting bust area makes the waist and legs look longer as well. I still like each dress as much as each other- but it is fun to mix it up and create different looks!

The back has an invisible zip to that starts from around the bra line- down. The back is actually open from the top of your bra and up; it gives you a bit of breeze around your back on those warmer days. A large orange button fastens the back around the neck and another secures the zip.

If you are interested in this style or any other Penelope Red style, please email me at:

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

City Snapshot: Rome. The 1st Visit.

Rome is an amazing city. You really have to see it to believe it! I have been there twice, and I could easily return! All of the photos in this post are from the 1st visit; almost 5 years ago. I was in Rome before I arrived in Paris (you can see the city snapshot of this visit here).

To me, Rome is unforgettable. The minute you start walking through out the city, you are amazed by the old ruins, the Colosseum, the Arc de Constantine, the Piazza Venezia, and the list goes on!

The views were fantastic from the Piazza Venezia.

I would recommend visiting Rome (and for that matter, any large European city) in Winter. Mainly because the crowds are virtually non-existant, and you don't need to line up. When I returned to Rome for the second time, we were constantly in lines because we were there during the Summer.

Also, everywhere has heating, but very few places have air conditioning. So when it is hot, you just need to put up with it.

I was so excited to see in real life buildings and artworks that I had only ever read about or seen in movies and books! My art teacher in high school would always become so excited, trying to explain to us how amazing Europe is, and the art and architecture it holds. I began to discover this when I was there...

This is the very edited version of my photos from Rome. I couldn't put the camera down! Every turn there was something more to take photos of. Thank goodness for digital cameras!

I discovered an amazing fabric shop on one of the main roads in Rome. You wouldn't believe how thrilled I was! The had fabrics from many Italian and French designers. It was fantastic! Considering that I didn't speak a word of Italian, and they barely spoke 2 words of English, we made do. They were very friendly.

Of course, no Roman holiday is complete without a visit to St.Peters Basilica. Even if you are not religious it is well worth it to see the architecture, and art inside.

For me, the inside of the Basilica was amazing. Every artwork is actually not painted- they have made duplicate copies of the paintings from mosaics; only when you see them up close can you tell the difference- it is astounding! The other Church which has had a similar treatment is the Saviour on Spilled Blood Cathedral, situated in St.Petersburg, Russia.

I was lucky enough to get to the top of St.Peters Basilica. It has a great view of the city, and an interesting view of St.Peters Square.

Looking at these photos now, I am reminded of another book I have recently read: Dan Brown's "Angels and Demons". A great book, which is set in Rome and covers all of the sights which I have seen.

Looking at these photos again, makes me want to return to Europe as soon as I can, but also, makes me thankful that I have had the opportunity in the first place!

Etsy Designer: Dominic McCabe

I found Dominic McCabe's store one day, when browsing through etsy. I adore his "Smoky Drops" earrings.

Dominic is a designer, based in Sydney.

The above Smoky Drops earrings, go with the below Smoky Cocktail ring.

I could imagine both of these together with my Black and White Tuxedo Corset!

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Penelope Red Bohemian Kurti

This is the latest style that I have been working on... The Penelope Red Bohemian Kurti. I call it a "Kurti" as part of this style was inspired by the traditional Indian Kurti.

I was mainly inspired by the beautiful braid which has been sewn to the centre front and sleeves- this is a vintage braid which I have had for a number of years, just waiting for the right moment to use it!

As the braid is vintage, it is very hard for me to tell what exactly it is made from. It is metallic, and can be hand washed. I have pre-washed the braid before attaching it to the fabric, to help prevent the dye from running.

The garment shown in these photos is the first I have made of this style, and I love it! I might change the sleeve though... I will keep the width and length of the sleeve the same, but the braid will either be placed on top of the sleeve (rather than at the under seam) so you can see it better, or I will simply attach it all around the hem of the sleeve.

The white fabric is a very soft and light cotton sateen. It has a slight sheen to it; a polished cotton.

You can wear this style with or without a belt. The choice is yours! I am personally more inclined to have a fitted waist on most of my outfits, but for some reason, this style seems to look good either way!

I think this is a great style to wear with jeans to go shopping. You could wear it to the beach with a skirt, or out to a restaurant with an elegant pair of pants. The possibilities are endless!

The below photos were taken at The Rocks Markets, last weekend.

I will be making this style in two sizes. This is the small size- which fits a size 8, 10 or 12- and the large size, which will fit a size 14, 16 and 18.

If you are interested in this style or any other Penelope Red style, please email me at:

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