After posting about my last failed attempt at altering a fabric vintage photo, of course, I stewed about how to fix it, how to start again, what to do differently – that’s what I do sometimes when I’m staring at my computer at work. Some people day dream about exotic vacations, or what they’re reading, or what to make for dinner, or what to wear tomorrow, I fixate on how to fix my projects, or starting a new project, or what kind of a mess am I going to make this weekend. I may have resting bitch face, but underneath, I’m all about paints, and stitches, and pretty things.
So, here’s how I tried to pretty my failure up:
Again, here’s the big fail:
Time to start over!
Back to the original. What first attracted me to this photo is the window, and the cuffs on her clothes. I envisioned hanging flower baskets and french knots on the cuffs. Why I strayed from my original idea I don’t know, but above is what you get when you don’t trust your instincts.
So, the french knots on the cuffs:
And, kind of weird sort of turkey work on the belt –
And, finally, the daydreamed about plants in the window:
And here she is, in a broken Ikea frame (have to do something about that!) –
I’m so much happier with how she turned out. If I were to do it over again, I probably wouldn’t curve the stitching on the bottom of her dress – I was going for a look that suggested movement, but instead she just looks bloated, and strangely shaped. Instead of using a bright paint in the windows, I used a subtle, chalk pastel. The pink chalk pastel on her dress completely rubbed off, but that’s ok. I thought out doing some bullion stitches on the back of the chair, to add some texture, but I decided that would be too much. So, I’m basically good with it. I love how the plants turned out, and I was right about the french knots. Inspired, I whipped up another one:
Some embroidered silk roses, and a few fabric embellishments, and voila!
On Instagram, someone asked me why the hat? And I think the better question is really why the wings? Whenever you download collage sheets, or look at others’ vintage photo alterations, typical embellishments are wings, hats, stripes on socks, lollipops, balloons, etc. I added the wings, because well, everyone adds wings. Not such a good reason. I added the hat, however, because after I embroidered the silk flowers, she really looked like she was wearing one of those oldtime plastic flowered bathing caps. It wasn’t a good look for her. The hat changed that look, and also, kind of goes with the rebel theme – that the rebel would wear a crooked hat. Anyway, in the future, I’m going to try to tell my own story with my altered photos, instead of copying trends, like wings and such. Of course the hat is from a collage sheet download, and a staple of vintage photo alts, but to me, it works with this photo more than the wings, which really don’t say much at all to me, other than to give it some whimsy. So, that’s my thought process.
And the polka dots, by the way – to cover up some sloppy slops on the white border – oopsy!