The art of Sue Griffiths at MessieJessie
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Art Dress Assemblage – A Stolen Moment (3)

“The moon is an arrant thief,
And her pale fire she snatches from the sun”

Art Dress Assemblage – A Stolen Moment

A favourite quote from a Shakespeare play which makes me think of moonlight streaming through windows, illuminating scenes not intended for you and I, an instance frozen in time in which only dust motes can betray the stillness, what happens when no one is there? “A Stolen Moment” is a theme which runs through several of my pieces and a title I feel will always recur.

Art Dress Assemblage – A Stolen Moment

I was given the material used here by a very good friend, she is very aware of my love of material and magpie hoarding instincts. It’s a beautiful pale peachy salmon and I spent some time looking forward to making something with it. I wanted to
keep this piece simple with the background reminiscent of a time gone by, the stunning colour of the dress taking centre stage, glowing in the moonlight which floods in through a window. For me the scene conjures up imaginary memories of when the dress was last worn, who wore it and where did she go.

A Stolen Moment (3)

If you would like to purchase this dress, please visit Our Etsy Shop for further details.

The pieces I make are frequently influenced by the materials I have to hand; their texture, pattern, weave and colour really do guide me. Looking back on some of my pieces this is quite clear to me, “The Princes and the Pea” being a good example. I had ideas about how I wanted her to look but, the material I had at the time did not fit, that’s why it took me so long get her finished.

I’ve been looking in my scraps of late with “Rapunzel” at the back of my mind. I think I may have spotted something, an idea is forming and it maybe that I get her started this weekend.

July 13, 2012   No Comments

Assemblage Brooch

OK, I’m a little late with this post; it should have been put up last night.  I’m trying to keep to a schedule (well Tom is, he’s so orderly 😉 he thinks I’m chaotic, blaming the artist in me 😆 ) posting Monday, Wednesday & Friday with the addition of posts whenever I list something new on Etsy. So Tom, is this a late Friday post or an additional post for a new Etsy listing?

Assemblage Brooch

Bought at a local boot sale, I deliberately chose the suspender and vintage charm but had no idea at the time I would bring them together to make this brooch.  I’ve added to them some small squares of fabric and mother of pearl buttons which I had to hand; I am a hoarder when it comes to bits and bobs. Tom has already christened it the Magpie brooch; he thinks it’s typically what you might find in a magpie’s nest.

Assemblage Brooch (detail)

It’s a quirky fun little piece made to brighten up any outfit. Well, maybe not any outfit, it might not be appropriate on your favourite dress on an evening out with your nearest and dearest. But, on a jacket when going out with the girls or down the mall, it could be a splash of colour or a conversation piece 😉

Assemblage Brooch (reverse)

A quirky assemblage which makes for an interesting brooch, made up from a pink suspender. It is 11.5 cm long and 5 cm wide. Sewn to it is a small textile piece using cottons and cashmere, it is backed with white vintage cotton. Adorning the piece is a vintage charm of a deer’s head which is full of detail and character and along side this are three mother of pearl buttons.

Assemblage Brooch (front)


June 16, 2012   No Comments

Art Dress Assemblage – What Katy Did

Now we’re in March I can see that spring has arrived; the delicate but hardy snowdrop has had its time, the bright yellow of our daffodils alluding to the spray of colours yet to come.

Daffodils mark the end of winter

This put me in mind of a poem by Sarah Chauncey Woolsey – Time To Go, the opening verse which reads:

They know the time to go!
The fairy clocks strike their inaudible hour
In field and woodland, and each punctual flower
Bows at the signal an obedient head
And hastes to bed.

So who was Sarah Chauncey Woolsey? We know her better for her novels rather than her poetry; to me her most well known novel was What Katy Did.  Have you worked out who she is yet? Of course, it’s Susan M. Coolidge.

what katy did

Art Dress Assemblage - What Katy Did

Born January 29, 1835, Sarah Chauncey Woolsey worked as a nurse during the American Civil War (1861–1865), after which she started to write. What Katy Did, was published in 1872 under her pseudonym Susan M. Coolidge.

what katy did

Art Dress Assemblage - What Katy Did

So far I’ve looked to classic English novels for the inspiration for my art dress assemblages. Perhaps now is the time to balance the books some, what better inspiration than What Katy Did – a novel about a 12 year old girl forever getting into scrapes but wishing to be beautiful and beloved.

To findout more about the author – Susan M. Coolidge and the novel, try these Wikipedia pages – the author or the novel .  If you would like to read the novel, it is avilable free and in several different formats, here at the wonderful Project Gutenberg.  If you’ve lost your copy of the novel and would like to buy it again, then you can always try Amazon  What Katy Did (Wordsworth Children’s Classics)

As usual the dress is available in my Etsy Store.  If you like the bunting used in the photographs, it was made by my daughter and is also available on Etsy.


March 12, 2012   2 Comments

Marianne (Marianne Dashwood Sense & Sensibility) – Assemblage

Marianne Dashwod

Sense & Sensibility is a novel by Jane Austen, first published in 1811. A work of romantic fiction, Sense and Sensibility is set in southwest England in 1792 through 1797, and portrays the life and loves of the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne, daughters of their father Henry’s second wife, Mrs. Dashwood. The sisters are starkly different from each other; Elinor is the epitome of prudence and self-control while Marianne embodies emotion and enthusiasm. Elinor, Marianne, and their younger sister, Margaret, are left in reduced circumstances when their father dies and his estate is passed onto their half-brother, John. The novel follows the young ladies to their new home, a meager cottage on a distant relative’s property, where they experience love, romance and heartbreak.

Marianne Dashwood

To findout more about the author – Jane Austen and the novel, try these Wikipedia pages – the author or the novel .  If you would like to read the novel, it is avilable free and in several different formats, here at the wonderful Project Gutenberg.

Marianne (Sense & Sensiility)

November 20, 2011   No Comments

Assemblage – Alice (Drink Me)

The assemblage as a closed book

I was given a tiny old 1930’s encyclopedia and loved the size of it.  So, I just thought of Alice in Wonderland, where she enters a minature world.

The assemblage opened

When I took the photos for our online shop and Etsy store the sun was out and I managed to get some good photos in the natural light.  Here are some of the extra photos I took but have not been used on Etsy.

Alice (Drink Me)

November 2, 2011   No Comments

Assemblage Art Dress Made From Paper and Fabric – Alice

Assemblage Art Dress Made From Paper and Fabric - Alice

I seem to make this size of assemblage dress quite regularlly.  This is the latest and, as with the others I’ve made recently, the theme is the Mad Hatter’s tea party – a tea party dress.

Assemblage Art Dress Made From Paper and Fabric - Alice

A full description can be found at our Etsy store or online shop.


October 16, 2011   No Comments