So my latest idea for scenty things was born out of a love of crafty repurposing, the need to fix up the unfortunate way too plunged neckline of almost perfect dresses that the trend industry has inflicted upon us 30-somethings, and of course the insatiable need to turn it into something that pleases at least 3 of the five senses. Best of all you can easily do this for under R7 or $1.
The project mainly started off like this. I have 2 dresses that are super cute, a cute little purple floral mini-dress that I love and a fuller skirt length floral dress. They really are cute and I love wearing them, because they are cut perfectly to my exact body shape. The only problem with them is that they have wide plunged necklines so low, that if it got any lower you would see my belly button.
Now I am quite firmly of the opinion when you hit a certain stage of your life , and your body is starting to not look like your 16 year old self – you should have enough sense to not try to dress like a Hip-hop video girl! Needless to say that I think Hip Hop video girls usually are not the classiest women to begin with. So yes, even though I consider myself a decent enough feminist – I have to say that there are some looks – that you just must not attempt past 18!
Anyway, I digress – back to my story. I had these dresses and I wanted to fix them up, and I didnt want to do the dated camisole look either, and neither did I want to do the sweater-over thing either – the dresses were so pretty that they needed to be unhidden. I got to thinking and I thought – ha – I should make a pinbrooch to fill in the absence of decorum of the pretty but borderline hooker wannabe dresses. Now I’m not talking about like a cameo pinbrooch with Queen E’s profile, I wanted it to be something more like the Bohemian/grunge while trying to seem business like look I tend to favour. After all, I belong to the Nirvana-Pearl Jam-Metallica-Foofighting - generation of the early 90’s!
So that’s what I did. I have mentioned my love of PEP Home stores before, and my weekly pilgrimages to it– and so I trundled myself off there again and found a two headed bunch of kitsch silk roses, for R2,99 I think. You know the kind – overtly plastic stems and leaves, usually part of the decor in restrooms at petrol stations, or in the decor-style of those living-rooms where one is likely to see prints of Elvis and possibly a Pope, next to Britney Spears opposite of which - a string of neon coloured rosary beads hang on an equally distrubingly gaudy cross, underneath of which one of those pictures of Christ with a radiating heart stands balanced on a stack of empty beercans. Yep those kind of roses. I got sort of funny looks from the cashier, but I didnt care – I had big plans for ‘em trailer-trash roses.
I brought them home into my studio and proceeded to take the heads of he stems and pull the flower apart. Then I used a self-blended concotion of ultramarine and maroon Dala Sun Colour dye and I proceeded to dye the die-cut petals to tone in with the colour of my purply maroon dress. Once that was all dyed and dried, I layered the disassembled flower in a less “obviously-rose-ordered” pattern that I liked. Then came the most frustrating part of the project and that was glueing and stitching all the layers together so that it stayed in exactly that pattern. Once that was done I got a matching button out of my random button collection, stitched through it to secure it to the centre of the flower and voila fleur de Candice.
Then to get it to attach to the garment, I took an ordinary large safety pin and sewed that onto the back of the flower (no serious sewing – I pretty much used the frontier button sewing technique through out the project), and finished it off by sticking a little teeny strip of velveteen over where I had attached the safety pin to the flower. To stick with that grungy theme I wanted – I took a little brush and dipped into some metallic craft paint and sort of randomly brushed over the petals and the button to make it look a little distressed and grungy like. I ended up with a radically cool grungy pinbrooch and I am loving it – so then I went back out and bought a whole bunch of different plastic flowers (daisies, chrysanthemums, lotus??) to turn into more pieces of grunged jewelery – I mean who wouldn’t like to wear big distressed blossomy grunge earrings right??? I’m also thinking wrist corsage type watch.
Now about the scenty bit – here comes the genius part. I noticed a while back, when I pulled a sweater out of the closet that I could smell the perfume that I had put on, on the day that I last wore that sweater. Then I started thinking about my brother, who has really sensitive skin and cant wear any cologne etc. That catalysed my brainwave idea – what about scented accessories – you could scent the item and smell like, well …roses without it even having to be on your skin? And I started asking around, whether peope wore perfume regularly and whether they changed their perfume often or stuck to one kind. I’m thinking layering here? You know when you soap up with Grunge Passion soap, then you grease yourself with Grunge Passion moisturising body lotion and then you spritz with Grunge Passion body mist – except those people whose skin cannot tolerate strong perfume concentrations – in that case you would just wear a scented accessory! So there you have it - another one of my great ideas for the week that I will probably never ever market. That’s the finished piece up on the left.