Sunday, 4 September 2016

Run Away with the Circus!......


Working progress of  Olga the aerial performer extraordinaire!



  Earlier in the year I was asked to contribute to a very exciting dream project. I was asked to join a group of artists for an exciting exhibition with the working title 'Circus Acts' Imagine my absolute delight when the brief informed me that all should be inspired by the circus days of old and that if I could get my hands on a copy of the epic Taschen book "The Circus 1870's - 1950's then do some research and draw inspiration from its hundreds and hundreds of breathtaking photos...

   The mammoth book in question has luckily been on my shelf for a number of years and is regularly poured over for inspiration along with my own fascination with its history.






  I decided to create two dolls for the show, and have been working on them both over the last few months alongside other projects. I started by making lots of sketches (which is what I always do when creating new characters) thinking about the colours of the circus and the era I wanted my dolls to look like they'd stepped from. 










Having choose the late 1920's for my showgirls I decided to dress their hair in little plaited buns - very similar to the boudoir dolls of the era. I also watched and took inspiration from two of director Tod Brownings classics movies - silent thriller "The Show" 1927 and his controversial cult classic "Freaks" 1932


Neptuna! Queen of the mermaids "The Show" 1927

Leila Hyams and Daisy Earles in "Freaks" 1932
Olga Baclanova's opening shot as the "Peacock of the Air" in "Freaks"

The whole dazzling spectacle will include work from printmakers, textile artists, photographers and jewellery designers. For added drama, the exhibition curator Kate Hickson will be turning her Herefordshire home into a magical big top grotto for the whole colourful two day event taking place on the weekend of September the 10th and 11th in Ledbury.


Textile Art, Sideshow Mermaid.



Textile Art, Olga the Aerial Performer.



If you happen to be in the area I shall be there on Sunday and would love you come and say hi! 

Please see here for more details


Olga Baclanova and Harry Earles in "Freaks" 1932

Pip x

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Pip Pin Ups, Purses and Other Things...

..I have been a busy bee creating the Pip Pin Up Dolls and Summer Purses over the last few months. It seems time passes a whole lot quicker than I can gather my thoughts and blog about blog them.

I had to be super speedy to get these ladies out into the sunshine for their photo shoot - British weather is so unpredictable.

  We had Pin Up Paulette (again based on Paulette Goddard)


I have created a typical 1940's beach ensemble with a matching three piece top, skirt and shorts combo. I have also created a sun hat which I have made from raffia, cord and fabric. She also carries the cutest little hand bag made from muslin and embroidery silk. 


In my garden



With Betty


  Pin Up Lucille (based on Lucille Ball of course)


Again this cute doll has a 1940's three piece outfit skirt, shorts and top. I have made her coolie hat from cord, fabric and embroidery silk.  I have also made her a bag from muslin , beads and embroidery silk.

  And Pin Up Betty (the one and only Betty Grable)


Sweet little Betty in her 1940's dress, huge sun hat and muslin suitcase. 


Still had a little bit of work to do on her when this shot was taken but never-the-less she was looking very glamorous even then.


  Then there were my Summer Purses!

These purses are perfect for a Summer BBQ or cocktail party. I was inspired by the raffia bags of the 1940's and 50's which were generally bought on Summer holidays as colourful souvenirs. I have taken a plain high street bag and embellished it with a Pip applique!


Frida Kahlo, Carmen Miranda and Renee Perle

My favourite!




  It seems that a lot of what I do these days develops very quickly and and is up and sold before I have much time to showcase. It's certainly not intentional but the power of social media is a tool you have to take full advantage of as an artist/designer/maker. Technology moves so fast it's very hard to keep up!

Happy Holidays!

Pip x

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Paulette Prints in the Shop.....

  It really fascinates me to picture behind the scenes scenarios of some of my favourite old movies. Apparently there were just as many cat fights off screen as there were on, in the fabulous 1939 comedy- drama "The Women"

  I have taken one of my favourite actresses Paulette Goddard (who plays sharp witted chorus girl Miriam Aarons) and created these two sweet behind the camera scenes.... 

Both A5 prints (sold as a set) are now listed in my Etsy Shop They also have addition gold and silver touches added to the print by hand.


Wardrobe Test........Gouache

Paulette Runs her Lines.......Gouache




  The incredible MGM costume designer Gilbert Adrian designed some totally draw dropping costumes, and Paulette Goddard managed to nab 2 of my 3 favourite outfits!


Favourite Outfit number 1
That hooded dress makes my heart sing!


Favourite Outfit number 2

Paulette's sparkly and rather risque little number


Favourite Outfit number 3
Rosalind Russel as Sylvia Fowler wearing The Seeing Eye dress

So if, like me, you're smitten with this gem of a movie, love Paulette Goddard, and enjoy my work, I'm hoping you'll find sweet delight in my whimsy illustrations. I had such fun painting them, I'm thinking that I might have to make a few more to join the set? Maybe featuring Joan Crawford and Norma Shearer throwing dagger eyes at each other or Rosalind Russell taking tea with the fabulous Mary Boland

Have a great weekend!
Pip x



Saturday, 2 July 2016

Paper Dolls in Fabric Outfits.......


Various Stages
For a little while now I have been pondering a Pip creation that's a little more affordable for my followers than one of my dolls. These little paper dolls fall somewhere between the price of a print and a doll face.

Made with doubled up card - so quite sturdy, they have a little ribbon attached to their backs so you can hang them on the wall. Perfect for small spaces like an office or studio.

Each one is individually made and hand painted by me - so they're not just prints! Each little lady will therefore have very slightly different expressions. 



I'm just going to keep going with this idea and see where it takes me. These first 5 Persephone dolls in 1930's beach pajamas and raffia sun hats flew from my shop but there are going to be lots more in the coming months, including Circus Showgirls and Nora Charles paper dolls in the run up to Christmas. What could be cuter!

If you missed Persephone keep your eyes peeled for Brigitte!



Pip x

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Paulette Goddard and the Power of the Hood....




...Let us not forget ladies and gents the very fabulous 1940's hood dress. 

  During this era the 'hood' become a fashion statement not only for coats and capes, but for afternoon dresses and evening gowns.

  Here we have little Paulette sporting her bell sleeved blouse with matching hood, 100% felt wool skirt and delicately embellished handbag featuring her initials P.G

  This attractive little creation is indeed based on one of my favourite actresses of the 1940's Paulette Goddard








Stylish Paulette Goddard as Miriam Aarons in The Women 1939


  And such an eye-catching collection of 1940's patterns for the girl who wanted to rock the hood. My favourite is the red, yellow, blue and white striped dress bottom middle.


   

  Pip x

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Aquatic Mermaids, Esther Williams and a Sea Goddess.....

   Mermaids and all things aquatic have been going on at Pip HQ over the last few weeks..

  Esther Williams stole my heart once again (she does that every once in a while) and it resulted in me creating one of her best ever water ballet costumes - the 50,000 gold sequin body suit worn in Million Dollar Mermaid 1952


I didn't stitch 50,000 sequins on to this costume but it was rather tricky to make. I have made her crown with cute gold beads and vintage pearl beads

  Those of you who are old film fanatics like me and devour old movie star autobiographies will know that this very costume was almost the demise of our favourite Hollywood mermaid. As the cameras rolled Esther took her 50 foot dive into the pool, but as the gold aluminium crown hit the surface of the water it resulted in Esther breaking three vertebrae in the back of her neck and she had to spend the next 7 months in a body cast. So shocking! I guess it makes me love this creation all the more for it. I wish she was still with us. I'd love to know what she'd make of my creation. All the footage I've ever seen of her interviewed in later years she seems so sweet, liberal and great fun.

















  I've also been creating the Sequin Cap Esther Doll Face Decorations/Pins.. and the (yet to be listed) Sea Goddess Decorations.











  Hope you've enjoyed all my watery creations and illustrations,and if you didn't manage to snap up one of my Esther doll faces I will be listing more pre order slots soon.



Mermaids on sticks!


  Pip xx

Monday, 1 February 2016

Circus Showgirls on Sticks.....

  I find myself posting bits of work here and bits of work there, and never does it come together in one neat little blog post quite as often as I'd like these days. I sometimes post on Twitter, a whole lot on Instagram and a little bit on Facebook  I hope I still have my regular followers catching up with my work in some form of social media- even if we don't meet up quite so often here on my blog.

  I've been so busy since Christmas it's sometimes hard to showcase everything I make. But those of you who catch up on my working progress and daily Instagram snaps will know I've been having yet another romantic dalliance with the history and tradition of the circus....

  There is something so magical about tarnished golden sequins against the backdrop of a distant, magical, red and white 'Big Top' Each time I fall in love, I fall deeper and deeper...

  So much so, I have created these glamorous little stick showgirls which are inspired by Circus souvenirs of the 40's, 50's and 60's (when kewpie dolls were dressed in sequins and feathers and sold on long sticks alongside the popcorn and candyfloss) I am hoping to sell all three this week but will be making them to order after half term. I will limit the pre orders to 2-3 a week, because as much as I love playing with tulle and sequins, I only have one pair of hands and I hate to fall behind.







SOLD

  If you don't manage to get hold of this powder blue haired beauty, there's also a scarlett lady and a peachy haired miss to be listed this week. Keep you eyes on my Etsy shop.




   ..... And finally this last photo gives you an idea where my heart is leading next.....Pip xx


100% wool felt tails