One Word Photo Challenge: The Dress

Art Deco

Good morning from a sunny Hastings day.

No, this is not the dress that has done the rounds in cyberspace.  For the record if you looked at the dress from the top down, it was white and gold.  If you looked at it straight on it was blue and gold and if you looked at it from the bottom up it was blue and black.  That is what I found when I looked at it on my laptop.

Anyway onto this challenge hosted by Jennifer.

Here is the finished beaded dress.  No, actually my fingers survived pretty much intact.  There are about 20,000 beads on it and I can safely say I touched every single one of them.  I did a post about the fashion industry a few weeks ago and ranting about the working conditions of the Russian emigres who worked up in the attics of Paris

So, how many hours did I work on it? you ask.  About 300 all up.  Give or take 10 hours or more.  So if I calculate that at minimal wage it cost me about $4500 just in the hours.  Then there was the fabric, which wasn’t too expensive and of course the beads.  I did go through several needles as well as about 300 metres of thread.  What really was the hardest to cope with was the eyestrain.  In the end I really struggled to thread the needle.  Severe double vision – which needle is the real one to thread?  I ended up buying a really good quality thread which was a bit stiffer and using lip gloss.  Why lip gloss? It made the thread glide more easily through the eye. I am already planning my next one, but this time I will leave a lot more time to do it.  I am going to cut up my wedding gown – loads of fabric with the skirt.

Beads, beads, beads

Here is a close up of the beaded fringe.

So now I have a healthy respect for those poor workers back then and of course now.  I bet the workers who hand bead the gowns for the big design houses today wouldn’t get that amount of money for their work.

The original image is a combination of several programmes.  My mother had taken that photo of me but she didn’t know how to use the zoom so the background was very cluttered.  So I used Photoshop to do the PNG image.  Not very good, as I am not so good at using the mouse with the lasso.  Then I used a scrapbooking programme for the actual image – Serif CraftArtist.  And then off to Photoscape for the text before Lightroom for the watermark.  I am still a work in progress with Photoshop.  I was used to my big Mac screen for it and was able to see it more clearly, so the laptop is harder for me to see. Especially after all the beading.

The teal colour is in the beads and the car.


One Word Photo Challenge: Teal

One Word Photo Challenge: Teal

Thanks for visiting.



Cee’s Oddball Challenge: Week 6

IMG_7120 (485x640)

Good morning from a cool Hastings morning.  Today we are predicted to go well into the 30’s celsius.  Crazy, when two days ago it was colder and more bearable.

Anyway for Cee’s challenge this week I am giving an update on my Art Deco petal dress.  I have been madly beading the past week.  As usual I leave it to the last couple of weeks to get things finished.  So far the dress weighs about 1/2 kg – not sure what that is in pounds but I would say about a pound.  What will add the weight is when I bead the fringe. It will be interesting to wear such a heavy dress.  But I think the petals get more defined and drop with the heavy fringe.

I am also keeping an eye on the hours I work on it.  By this I am watching The X Files from the beginning.  No ads so I know each episode is approximately 45 minutes long.  On the weekend alone I worked 8 hours on it.  So up until know I have worked about 50 hours.

I have to look up the timetable for events.  One thing I don’t want to miss taking photos of is the steam train.  As I was driving back from Napier last week my daughter and I were working out good spots to stop on the side of the road by the railroad tracks to take good shots.

That is, if she finds my camera for me. Otherwise it will have to be my cellphone.

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: 2015 Week #6



Travel Theme: The Fashion Industry

Beading Art Deco (471x640)

Good morning from a warm and sunny Hastings day.

I was wondering what to use for Ailsa’s challenge this week:

Travel theme: Industry

I still don’t have access to all my photos where I have loads of photos of industrial machines.  But then there are many different kinds of industry.

As everyone knows I am a huge Art Deco fan.  Next month we have our Art Deco festival.  I have decided to make myself a new dress.  I searched through Pinterest and found a design by Chanel around 1925.  So I have redesigned my own dress with so-called petals.  Each petal will be hand beaded.  What I did was sewed the design on with a decorative stitch to give me the pattern to follow with the beading.  There should be about 3 kgs of beads on it in the end.  It isn’t that hard to do.  All I need is patience.  I started before we moved but obviously had to stop.  Now I am settled in, it is time to finish it.

So why a hand beaded dress for this challenge.  It got me thinking about the fashion industry around the Art Deco era. The majority of the high fashion beaded dresses of that era were made in Paris, France. Many of the dresses were hand beaded by mostly Russian Emigres who had fallen on hard times after the Russian Revolution.  If I am wrong please correct me.  They would have only received a pittance of the actual cost of the dress.

That is still continuing today.  In countries such as Bangladesh there are the sweatshops where workers, mostly women, work long hours for very little money, and are sometimes locked in poorly ventilated rooms with no fire escapes.  There have been some really tragic fires and building collapses with many deaths.  Do we really know the full story of where our clothes come from?

I think that is why I like to make my own clothes.  Firstly, I don’t like the thought of a poor person in a third world country literally dying in the sweatshops earning a pittance making clothes for me to wear.  Secondly,  selfishly, no-one else would have the same clothes as me.

I search for my fabric online – vintage fabrics and then the other day in  a second hand store (consignment) I found a couple of pieces of fabric for $3.  I also find some inspiration from Project Runway and the Great British Sewing Bee.   I learnt to sew with a sewing machine when I was 11 and have made most of  my own clothes ever since.  Even before then I used to hand sew dolls clothes from scraps of fabric left over from my mother’s sewing.

I do realise that these people need these jobs in order to survive.  But the fashion industry needs to wake up and pay them a proper wage and provide better working conditions.   As consumers we can make them start moving in the right direction by being more selective about the clothes we buy and know where they came from.  These people are highly skilled workers and need the recognition for the service they provide.

I didn’t mean for this post to be a rant against this totally inhuman industry but I feel very strongly about it.

Thanks for visiting.


Iphoneography Challenge: Macro.

Iphone 3

Good morning from a cool sunny Hastings.

This week this challenge by Lens and Pens by Sally is macro.  The other posts I have read so far have been all to do with nature.  There are some great photos out there.

So of course, I have decided to be very different.  On another challenge I showed a blanket that I had made with the Tunisian Crochet technique.  Well today I am showing some beadwork and embroidery that I have done.  I made this Punjabi tunic for a friend a few weeks ago.  While I was making it I thought what a great photo opportunity to see what I could do with the macro on the phone.  

The first photo is of the beads at the back.

Iphone 2

This is the single strand at the front.

IPhone 7


I liked the idea of the different colours showing up the details of the beads here.

Iphone 1


Again I used a rainbow affect.

IPhone 8


Dark circles – a bit eerie I think.

Ipnone 4


Here is some of the embroidery close up.  It looks so different to a  normal view.

IPhone 6IPhone 5


Here you can see what the tunic actually looked like.

So here are a couple of other blogs that I loved.

Phoneography Monday Challenge: Macro

Macro Monday and Phoneography Challenge: Macro

Thanks for visiting.



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