About Joyatri

Avid thrifter and vintage clothes wearer. Love 1960s and early 1970s styles. Partial to Art Nouveau, Pre-Raphaelite, Victorian, Renaissance and Medieval art. Former art historian. Current packrat. On a continual quest for good-looking, comfortable vegan shoes. Bhangra dancer since 2002. Fascinated by all things Indian. Vegan and animal advocate. 

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Words I like:

"She was dressed, as usual, in an odd assortment of clothes, most of which had belonged to other people." 

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym (1913-1980)

 

 

“I said "Somebody should do something about that." Then I realized I am somebody.”

 Lily Tomlin

 

 

 

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Entries in Liberty & Co. (3)

Wednesday
May292013

Liberty's re-visited

Back in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, I visited London several times a year, mostly for my job. For the first few years, I didn’t really know anyone in the city and, in my free time, spent hours and hours just walking around, visiting museums, bookstores, tearooms, and vegetarian cafes.

Liberty & Co. was always on my list. I could while away hours in there, looking at fabrics, rugs, Indian furniture, Arts & Crafts decorative arts, and books. There was a cafeteria-style tearoom on the basement level where learned to take milk in my tea and discovered millionaire’s shortbread (before I became vegan). I couldn’t afford much at Liberty’s, but the dollar was strong enough back then that I was able to buy some of their signature-print items as gifts.

I've popped into Liberty's in recent years and have seen many changes since I used to haunt its floors decades ago. The bookshop is gone, the lower level tearoom is gone, and there’s pretty much nothing in the store that I can afford these days. I decided to spend a little more time there today, on the 3rd and 4th floors which house fabric and ethnic and Arts & Crafts furnishings.

I love that there is still a department that sells ribbon, buttons, and sewing notions in addition to its famous printed fabrics.

The annual Arts & Crafts exhibition was on and prices have risen since the days when I used to source furniture, metalwork and ceramics from this period for a museum.

I own a couple ceramic tiles like those above. They were designed by J. Moyr Smith and depict scenes from Shakespeare’s plays. My U.K. trips provided opportunities to add to my collection of Victorian tiles, however I rarely paid more than $5 and never more than $15-20. These at Liberty were priced at £125 each.

You can view more pieces in the exhibition here.

Long-sleeve t-shirt, thrifted, Goodwill. 1960s woven belt, thrifted, Goodwill. Cotton patchwork wrap skirt sold by a non-profit that trained former sex workers to sew, bought at a fair trade bazaar ages ago for $15. Necklace made by my mother. Bangles from India. Clogs painted by me, thrifted, Goodwill. By coincidence I was wearing a belt and skirt that looked right at home in Liberty’s rugs and carpet department!

* I believe the name is just "Liberty London" now, but since I'm stuck in the 19th century, I still think of it as "Liberty & Co."

Wednesday
Oct032012

All I need is a small aubergine

I hate buying anything new (for environmental and financial reasons), so I use trash free things, or stuff I have (and I have a lot because I rarely throw anything out). This means that I do need to take the time to make things usefu, hence, lots of 'projects.'

In my last post, I was bemoaning the lack of time to work on projects. I agree with those who commented that having a blog does help motivate. So I decided to tackle a bunch of little projects over the weekend. My little projects are nothing amazing and since I’m linking to Faith, Hope and Charity Shopping’s Ta-Dah! Tuesday, I’ll call these Ta-Dahlets. 

No, not these.

Ta-Dahlet #1 – Patched my ‘work’ jeans

I fell down and ripped the knee of the jeans I use for messy chores. Not having suitable scraps of heavy- duty fabric, I made a patch out of a 1950s tablecloth, stenciling it first. Since I couldn’t just throw out the paint I mixed, I made a moon patch for when I rip the other knee. Oh, and stenciled a t-shirt.

Jeans thrifted many years ago. Water cup - empty soy yogurt container/trash. Paint cup - fruit cup (taken out of a friend’s recycling bin). Paint stirrer - plastic stick from an Edible Arrangement/trash. Stencil – free premium sent with invite to subscribe to Martha Stewart’s magazine (about 10 years ago). Foam rubber – trash. Vinyl used under my stenciled fabric - old photo sleeves/trash. Rag – friend’s discarded t-shirt/trash. Drop cloth - cut-off from too long shower curtain/trash. Patch – from tablecloth. Paint was purchased new.

Ta-Dahlet #2 - Stenciled work t-shirt

T-shirt thrifted many, many years ago.Ta-Dahlet #3 – Mended thrifted 1970s top

Someone had chopped off the sleeves of this slinky shirt right above the elbow and left them un-hemmed. I shortened and hemmed them and repaired a hole in the front (covered by the belt). And wore this out today.

1970s Alex Coleman of California shirt. 1970s red bag and olive corduroy skirt I’ve had for decades, Mexican woven belt purchased at Cultural Survival bazaar. Vintage Liberty of London scarf thrifted last week. Silver bracelets made by me in 1979.

Ta-Dahlet #4 – Datebook salvage

Some dubious charity sent me this datebook with a donation appeal (I don’t want to promote that charity, so I’ve blurred the name and logo). Using handmade paper from a pile of scraps I found, I cut one and glued it to the front of the datebook.

Ta-Dahlet #5 – Making pressed powder

Loose face powder that I got for free proved too messy to use. I mixed it up with some rubbing alcohol and put it into an empty compact.
So what's with the 'small aubergine' reference? My boyfriend says that I'm like the Indian mother from the BBC comedy series "Good Gracious Me." I couldn't find a video of that episode but her schtick was that she complains about making purchases, saying that she can make whatever it is at home "for nothing." All she needs is a small aubergine.

Tuesday
Jul102012

Exhibitions to see, things to unpack

To follow up on the Biba theme of the last two posts, I found out that the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery in the U.K. will be hosting the exhibition, “Biba and Beyond: Barbara Hulanicki” running from 22 September 2012 to 14 April 2013.

I also can’t wait to see the Tate Britain’s exhibition, “Pre-Raphaelites – Victorian Avant-Garde,” opening on 12 September this year and the new, renovated William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, opening in August. 

Until then I have a lot of unpacking to do.

I just moved 54 boxes and assorted small pieces of furniture out of storage and back into my apartment. Packed away for 5 years, it is like thrift-store shopping -- where everything is a treasure -- as I open each box. Most of the boxes contain art and design books, but there is a good amount of other stuff to be re-discovered.

What is in this antique medical-supply trunk?

Fabric! 1950s fabric, Arts & Crafts reproduction fabric purchased at Liberty & Co., and hand-loomed raw silk -- and that's just the top layer. This is going to be fun.

Have you re-discovered anything lately?