Monday, June 9, 2014

In celebration of all things Arty

This weekend in Tasmania it was a long weekend in honour of good Queen Lizzy. Here in the North East of Tassie the Rotary Dorset Arts Festival  featured art, working craft, quilting, woodwork, photographic and historical exhibitions at different venues. Yes indeedy, this li'l corner of the world is home to a rich, vibrant arts community and is alive with all things creative.

So of course we (my good husband and li'l ole me) thought we might go and have a bo peep at a few of the exhibitions.

Our first stop was the quilting exhibition, which although small, showcased some lovely handiwork from the Dorset municipality and surrounding districts.

Of course there had to be a hexie somewhere in the building. Though I am not a fan of this hexie...

.......I am a fan of this lovely hexie! This hexie makes my heart sing. This  'lovely' was mostly stitched by a local lady who is now 95 years old in the 1970's, hand pieced from 1960's and 1970's dress fabrics; and just recently finished by another lady. Love it!

A lovely applique quilt. I love all these vibrant colours set against the black background.

A quilt fashioned with Kaffe Fasset fabrics always hits the mark, doesn't this!

Another lovely appliqued quilt filled with floral gorgeousness.

I love these two gorgeous jewel encrusted, three dimensional beauties; reminiscent of the Elizabethan period in England. These two beauties showcase embroidery of the highest standard. Stitch after amazing stitch with the encrustations of pearls, jewels, metallic threads, lace et cetera. Quite simply stunning!

A 1920's flapper....very Great Gatsby-ish.

Then it was off to explore Oakdene 'his' and 'hers' Museum set amid beautiful gardens. Not only is there a museum catering to a female bent, there is also a museum catering to blokes. So everybody is happy. Yes, indeedy, I must say my husband was a happy chappy.

I entered the door of the 'her's museum and started my walk through a delightful cavalcade of the 20th century. Display after display of all things fashion....dresses, swimming costumes, shoes, gloves, under garments, stockings, hats, lingerie et cetera, et cetera. Wherever the eye looked, there was some article representative of the 20th Century.

So many beautiful lace dresses with gorgeous ribbon work details.

Oooh....look at all that lovely lace and those perfect pin tucks....and that divine li'l cream number on the very chic!

I don't suppose one could be considered a wall flower turning up to the Saturday night dance, waltzing the night away in either of these little numbers!

This pretty blue and green dress and cardie could have have quite easily slipped into my handbag.....but me thinks I wouldn't enjoy spending the time in the clink for doing the crime. The penal system is not really  my style!

These are bathers from the 1940's and 1950' the red and white two piece.

Ooh-la-la......pretty shoes. Why oh why did women have such small and dainty feet. I am supposing that in the good ole days, my clodhoppers would have had to get used to being barefoot. I simply cannot imagine squeezing my tootsies into these examples of footwear! My feet would have been a podiatrist's nightmare! I was informed that ladies of bygone eras squeezed into shoes a size or two smaller.....if you had small feet, then you were considered to be refined....quite the lady! Oh dear....don't like my chances of ever having been considered a lady!

I really, really, REALLY need a pair of these boots!! Any pair...or indeed all three!! I would do anything, even risk bunions, blisters, ingrown toenails et cetera to squeeze into these....I might even risk a penal sentence!!

Now these really did make me chuckle. Glory be.....suspenders that 'firmagrip' and brassieres that 'firmalift'!! Hysterical!!

I'm supposing that a lady needed those 'Firmagrip' suspenders to keep these nylons from falling around her skinny li'l ankles. I'm guessing one lived a 'charmed life' whilst stepping out and about town wearing these nylons with the lacy cobweb heel!

Now for the piece-de-resistance. This advertisement really did make me chortle. Indeed, it seems Lycra was/is the miracle invention for containing all those flabby and floppy bits of a lady's personage. Such control, such seems that one wouldn't even notice the compressing of one's innards; the inability for one to breathe.

This advertisement for Lycra really do beat all.....and I quote.....
"Don't just dream dreams - see them take shape in foundations with LYCRA. For LYCRA elastomeric is the fibre with power to do all it promises. Such control. Such lightness. You won't believe it until you wear LYCRA....and wear it and wear it......." REALLY???

Now as some of you know, I don't do Lycra....ooops...excepting of course the Spanx shape wear...but only every now and then, when one is wearing that frock that nothing but pushing your internal organs right through to the back of your ribcage will do....but if the dream of that svelte, whip thin, body is possible always (and I don't have to worry about what I eat or have to run 10ks over the mountain every morning)...then...perhaps I will!!

I must admit this advertisement did cause me to much so that another lady came and enquired as to what was the cause of my merriment. She and me did have a wonderful giggle over this gelastic ad!!

All I can say is thank heavens that the more restrictive fashions of bygone years have sashayed out of the picture, to be replaced with more comfortable clothes and undergarments!! To say that, it must have taken a lot of time and perseverance to be a refined and genteel lady in the early to mid 20th century, is an under statement.

When a sense of decorum and an air of refinement had returned, I continued my stroll through the ages, having a bo peep at handbags, purses, sewing paraphernalia, makeup compacts, gloves, kitchenalia, hankies, embroidered lovelies....the list goes on and much to see, so much to oooh and aahhh over.

Then it was time to find the husband in the blokes museum. Oh dear....I won't show any happy snaps of the gazillion and one farming implements, the hundreds and hundreds of everyday necessities of early rural life and all things historical here in the north east of Tasmania. Though terribly, terribly interesting....(I am deadly serious....I am...really...I am), this post is already a tad too long. I mean, there are oodles and oodles of photos of the 'Her's museum that I have spared you. No 'tis time to say toodlepips.

Let me close by saying, both me and my good husband had the best day getting the low down on all things arty, rural and historical. Yes indeedy, it was an enjoyable, informative kinda day!


  1. What a FUN day you had! I bet "HE" did too. I loved that hexie quilt made by the 95 year old lady. I bet it screams memories for her!!! As to the "his" museum... I actually like old farm tools... but mostly if they are rusty so I can display them in one of my garden areas! Another great post KIM. And NEVER too long...

    1. That hexie is my favourite, Beth; as you say many memories filled with beautiful, vintage fabrics. Oh I love rusty......if you scratch yourself you get tetanus, kinda garden/farm tools as well......perhaps another post, another time! ;)

  2. Sounds to me like it was not only fun, but informative! Quilt displays are always nice to view. I'm glad that you took a 'fun' day with hubby, and truly enjoyed it.

  3. I'm not sure I want to see myself as Lycra sees me! What amazing quilts. Those hexies are just wonderful as is the large diamonds quilt

  4. What a wonderful exhibition. The workmanship in some of those pieces is breathtaking. Just fascinating to see all those textiles through the years. I'm guessing lycra had more appeal to those ladies of old who were used to being stabbed by whalebones and laced up so tight they couldn't leave the house without smelling salts!

  5. What a great day that sounds like! So much eye candy, where is one to start? Love the Storm at Sea quilt in the first photo. You're right, that '70s hexie is wonderful. The dress and blue cardi, yes please! And the shoes, oh my what tiny feet, yes. I would've been forced to go barefoot with my size 12s back in the day!

  6. It must have been a wonderful day for both of you - good to have a his and hers museum. I also am pleased I don't have to comply to all the fashion accessories of days past - not to mention the restriction on comfort and movement.

  7. What wonderful photos of a fabulous exhibition. I adore the hexie quilt (the second one!). I love that it was made by two people, spanning the decades. I bet the kitchenalia was really interesting. I laughed at the Lycra ad - I hate Lycra in its truest form. It's funny to think it can make all my dreams come true!!

  8. What fun this must have been to see all these old things. Those boots look so narrow that I KNOW my foot would not fit. I took note of that appliqued flower quilt and knew for sure why you liked that one. :)