Monday, August 17, 2009

One Tangent, Four Coasters



Before I get down to the point of things, this summer, come hell or high water, I’m drinking my first mint julep. It’s a long while since I studied The Great Gatsby in my final year of high school, but by jolly I was smitten. Such is the influence of this book, (despite the tragic stuff – including the bit about a character called Myrtle meeting an unfortunate end), that every summer I frequently, fleetingly yearn for decadence, parties and Gatsby-esque frivolity: everything a mint julep delivers. While I haven’t an inkling what such a drink would taste like, although I am aware it involves whiskey and presumably mint and hopefully not Creme de Menthe, I have conviction that a mint julep really, really would deliver because:

1. F. Scott Fitzgerald tells me so for a whole book except for the end bit when it’s all gone whiskey sour;

2. because I am a basket case after half a glass of anything.

The Point of Things
I finished those coasters I was going on about last Thursday. Aside from an extended and irritating sewing machine conniption, they were a fun make. Problem is, the fun-est bit was the sketching and the thinking of ideas (anything drink related with a fabric detail and a simple outline I could half feasibly navigate a sewing machine around).

The bit involving the actual stichery was fraught with tension issues (mine and machine) and all my spontaneous energy gave way to pulling the machine apart to see if a dust and polish would solve stuff. It did, as it happens, but at a cost. To me, things look a smidge too considered and that one, top right in the pic below, looks a convincing bikini but doubtful ice cubes.



I also reckon they could do with an extra bit of pizzazz(?). Not that the frail winter/spring sun does ’em any favours. I have no doubt they’d look divine, shot on a sultry, summery late afternoon with a background tinkling of pre-party laughter, long shadows, the smell of the sea and after only half a glass of mint julep...

The whole coaster notion was inspired by Tiel Seivl-Keevers, and her lovely versions in the Meet Me At Mikes book...

38 comments:

Nikki Cardigan said...

Hey, if you're game, I'm game. I'll happily sit beside you at the bar this summer and enjoy the frivolity the mint julep will bring!

I love how you have incorporated your sketching into the designs. I've said it before but I'll say it again... you're a clever one!

modernemotive said...

Ooh, they are lovely. I love the addition of the dotted fabric an the stitch lines.

Btw, I just found your blog this weekend and it's pretty awesome.

I'm just about to get back into sewing and was on the hunt for some inspiration. Glad I found you. :)

Adele

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Great coasters . Very clever !
Don't think the top one looks like a bikini so much as two googly eyes , someone maybe having had a mint julep over the odds ?

Madeline said...

Those look quite perfectly destined to cushion a mint julep!

Amanda said...

Those are beautiful...And how cool that you put your doodles to such good use :)...Very inspirational

kleinzonnetje said...

I really like those! I can see what you mean about the 'bikini look' though - but wouldn't have spotted it on my own!! They really are lovely.

Tinniegirl said...

I think they're gorgeous. Now, off to search the cocktail book to find out just what a mint julep is exactly.

One Flew Over said...

Fantastic! Too nice to have mint julep dripped on them...don't you think? I especially love the vino glass...and the ice cubes...again reminded me of breasts?!? ;)

beck said...

Save me a spot at the bar xo

Kylie said...

Oh wow Tania!!! I LOVE them!! Best best best idea, you clever thing. I've been biting my nails worrying over what to make for xmas pressies this year... I might try out my own version of these, if you don't mind? Just so fabulous :) K

CurlyPops said...

Oooh love 'em!
Mentioning Creme de Menthe reminds me of my teenage days.... the coasters make me want to head down the coast for a lovely summer holiday (only in my dreams I'm afraid).

Mel said...

Tania they are FABULOUS! And yes I am SHOUTING that at you! I love love love the teapot - she's so rotund! Just the way a good teapot should be. I have never had a mint julip either but reading all these northern hemisphere blogs over winter has made me realise I pretty much moaned all through last summer. This time I have decided I shall embrace it. And I'm thinking the embracing could be a whole lot easier with a drink in my hand :)

Gina said...

I love the idea of 'drawing' with my sewing machine more than the actual doing of it too... but I think these have turned out beautifully. Perhaps the only problem is that you decided to design them first, in your head then on paper! You see, if you just go the random stichery option without previous design (like I've done in the past and am planning to do for the quilt project, maybe...) you just can't be judgemental about the results! Even if they suck!

Sandra @ Pepperberry & Co. said...

Woman. Seriously. You NEED to start an Etsy shop. I'll be your first customer, as I already have a custom order I'd like. Please please please sell your gorgeous things! Otherwise you're just a tease ;-)

P.S. I have NOOO idea what a julep is... but the word itself doesn't conjure up pretty things.

Fran-lovelylittlesweetpeas said...

Once again you have blown me away with your creativity - thanks for sharing. As for pizazz I think their beauty is in their simplicity!

Loz and Dinny said...

This is so luscious on three levels 1. The Great Gatsby is one of my fave books ever (inspired by love for Year 12 Lit Teacher) 2. we are planning a Gatsby-esque party this summer and whilst we were thinking mojitos - I think the mint julep just sounds so much more southern exotic 3. the coasters are just ace. All too good!!

Cass said...

I love your coasters

joanie said...

Thanks for the encouraging words about my first quilt.
These coasters are beeeeaa-uuu-ti-fulllll - I've got to use that free motion foot more often!

And mint juleps, they're sneaky drinks that taste all friendly, fun and harmless but they pack a mean punch. If you have that Great Gatsby-esque party, invite me!

FWOG. A blog. By Fi and Wendy. said...

T
Probably best to NOT discover what is in a mint julep. Keep the romance...

Having a few magnolia trees (said with southern accent) we did do the mint julep thing. After an 'ack, ack, pluuuut' we now have icy ginger beer (with mint) or french bubbles as drinks of choice.

Y'all can come over any time for some of those.
W

M* (Melanie) said...

Wow! Tania these coasters are stunning. I love visiting your blog. I really enjoy your creative cleverness.

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

Fab coasters Tania!! Love the cocktail theme and the sweet polka dots.

PottyMouthMama said...

Mint julep does always sound so exotic. I'm with you on the Creme de Menthe though!

Love your coasters, they are beautiful. Crack them out at the first opportunity!

Sandrine said...

Not sure what Mint julep is... but it surely inspired you!Your coasters are fabulous, Bravo! I like the bikini ice cubes too ;)

pennygj said...

I think the coasters are lovely, and I love your blog which I have just discovered. I know exactly what you mean about the 'TalkingToABrickWallSyndrome'. As a new blogger I was thrilled when I got my first regular corespondent!

nevin said...

Ohhh.. they are beautiful. I just love it.

Cute as Buttons said...

I do like seeing how your ideas begin and end. I think they have a stylishly understated pizazz. I'd like a teapot/cup series...wouldn't have mentioned the bikini in a glass unless you had first brought it up. I did look twice at that one and it took me a minute to work out how it tied in with the drink theme! Lisa.

craftschmaft said...

mmmm... mint julep. I always love a few doubtful icecubes in my coasters. But seriously - these look amazing Tania.

Faith Hope and a whole lotta Love said...

Those coasters are really great!! I can imagine they would have a few stories to tell after a Summer of fun!!

Peta @ Pippiwillow said...

Hi there clever crafter - Love your coasters, what a great idea. The designs are great, i especially like the 'bikini ice cube's but not ice cubes in my bikini (not that I'll be wearing one any time soon). Cheers. Peta

Nikki said...

AH... a summer breeze and a machine embroidered coaster.... what better way to enjoy a mint julep?

I'm with Gina - if you free-form it you can squiggle around an make it into something unexpected... rather than feeling it wasn't what you planned.

I love them anyway. It's just that bloody Melbourne weather at the moment - nothing photographs well!

PS. Fast foot, slow hand with machine embroidery. And a darning foot is great too.

Colleen MacDonald said...

I think your coasters are perfection. They are free and loose; capturing perfectly the essence of a sketch, and also perfect for a summer party with juleps. I LOVE them!

Kirsty said...

Love these.

Christina Lowry said...

Oh Gatsby, I love you too. I read you over and over again. One mint julep for me too please and the bikini/ ice cube coaster for it. Cheers!

FWOG. A blog. By Fi and Wendy. said...

Fi here ... I'm going for the teapot... love it!

I'm also thinking I should really grab "The Great Gatsby".

I was perusing the aisles of Borders and saw a Penguin Classics version and nearly bought it. But didn't. Then I went home and saw that W had sent me an email about her recent reading of it. Now I read your email about TGG.

I think I'm being told by the great big wotsit out there to get my eyes into it. I'll make sure to have a mint julep with it. Sounds yum. A pommie version of a mojito perhaps?

Haitian-American Family of Three said...

These are awesome!!! I just found your blog and am very inspired.

Linda said...

these are stunning, so gorgeous indeed

Marina said...

I was equally inspired by those coasters of Tiel's and tried some myself. Unfortunately they are nowhere near as fab as yours (not at all blog-worthy I'm afraid). Well done and happy drinking!

Elizabeth said...

I just stumbled on your lovely blog. Hello! The coasters are so cute (the teapot is my favorite).