Tombstone Atelier Makeover…

Big changes for No. 11 coming soon, now that we have that fancy-schmancy shed in the back finished, that is painted to match our new exterior colors…so now you know the house will be leaf green, darker green, butter gold, and plum. I told you I’m not afraid of strong colors, and Victorians weren’t, either! These shades are all matched to original 1880s ones from original vendors, just in case you thought that in the olden days everything was sepia-toned…you know, like old photography. 🤪

I’ll be back in town next week again, with a load of furniture and pack up the last of the back rooms so the construction can begin. Excited. Bringing more sewing machines, too!

Our silk velvet Eastlake set that was so beautifully restored by Mike R. Benjamin of Miner Mike’s Upholstery is the reason why the main room’s walls are NOT plum! I decided to go with deep ocean colors, just to set them off.


It’s not an apartment, it’s a shed! I’m also bringing out my old vintage wicker furniture from LA for this front porch.Its so cute, and now we can begin on deciding what we’ll do with the back yard. Um, eventually. The house comes first!

Back From Tombstone…

And we’re back! After braving the horrible traffic coming back from Arizona, we’re happy to have arrived back in LA and ready to move on with some new projects. Overall, Tombstone was a good experience although we were rapidly reminded why we gave up selling at outdoor events ( tents and high winds are no fun). For this event, we brought out our pavilion tent and we were able to set up quite nicely, along with some friends of ours who were also selling various items. Here are a few views of our set-up:

We brought out a selection from our Day Lily line along with corsets, hats, and umbrellas/parasols.

And, of course, we couldn’t leave Angus out of the action and he enjoyed all the new smells and meeting lots of people.

Angus wants to know when we’re heading home…

In spite of the challenges from the elements, we had a good time and we met a lot of nice people. Even better was finally being able to meet people in person who have been following us on social media. 🙂 We hope to do this again in the future but in the meantime, if you see a Day Lily dress or something else that you’re interested in, do not hesitate to contact us. See you down the trail! 🙂

A Trip To The Tate Gallery & John Singer Sargeant

John Singer Sargent was noted for his portraiture and we’ve always found it to be a source of inspiration for our designs. Recently, we had the opportunity to visit the Tate Britain (aka Tate Gallery) in London where we  viewed the Portrait of Mrs. Robert Harrison:

Unfortunately this picture was hung up so high that I was unable to get a good view of the Portrait of Mrs. Robert Harrison, by John Singer Sargent.

Because of the height that the picture was displayed, we almost missed it…Here’s a better view of the work, courtesy of the Tate:

John Singer Sargent, Portrait of Mrs. Robert Harrison, 1886 (Tate Gallery)

When we entered the gallery where this picture is displayed, we found that it was very difficult to view because it was hung high up on the wall. The only way to get a full view without neck strain would have been to stand on the other side of the gallery, something that’s impossible with the constant crowds. Not the most optimal viewing experience, to be sure.

Turning to the portrait itself, the one thing that caught our eye was red portions of the dress, or rather, what appears to be a red surcoat or coat worn over a fairly conventional white day dress. It’s definitely a style we haven’t encountered before, especially for the 1880s. For a little insight, below are some comments from the Tate Britain website:

The Portrait of Mrs Robert Harrison was begun in 1886, shortly after Sargent had returned from a summer in France. Ormond has suggested that this painting is a bridge between the two dominant styles of late nineteenth-century French painting, Realism and Impressionism. The details of the head and hands are precise, yet the colouring of the portrait shows a move away from the old masterly emphasis of Sargent’s style, inspired by his friendship with Monet and the work of the Impressionist artists he had seen in France.

As for the dress, the Tate notes the following:

Following the exhibition of this portrait at the Royal Academy in 1886, The Athenaeum reported that ‘An exercise in white, red and grey; is, so far as this goes, excellent, although it is decidedly unpleasant as a household companion, and, for the owner’s sake, we hope unjust to the lady’. Her unusual dress was also commented upon. The columnist for the Evesham Journal and Four Shires Advertiser exclaimed that she had never seen Mrs Harrison ‘wearing such red wing-like appendages to her costume, which look as though about to expand and convey her to the regions of Mephistopheles’

Not  particularly positive. Of course, Sargent could have simply added them in, artistic license and all, but then again, perhaps it was some simple affectation by Mrs. Robinson herself.  Either way, the pops of red definitely catch the eye and makes this portrait more interesting striking, elevating it out of the conventional. Sometimes one finds the most interesting details in painting when it’s least expected. 🙂