Saturday, June 16, 2012

Duck Girl

Jade Drakes in her St James shop, Duck Girl
I've known Jade for a long time - since we were teenagers.  But it had been easily 15 years since last I'd seen her, when she popped in at the sale of a friend of ours.  She looked much the same - dressed quirkily, wearing a very interesting ring she'd made.  It was a clove of garlic, she'd said.  Something for her mum.  She also said she'd just come home to Trinidad after many years rambling around the world, learning to make things.  She'd opened on shop in St James and I should come by.

I did - a couple of weeks ago.  And it was enchanting.  Jade is the kind of person who really should have been born during the 19th Century!  She's a collector and maker of things.  Her shop, which is called Duck Girl, is a little gem of a place - full of things she loves and has made.  I was thrilled to find it.

Jade recently started making aprons, using lace she has collected from all over the world.  She showed me an gorgeous antique apron, made of satin with embroidered flowers.  She has pieces of furniture and light fixtures that she's found about the place; tiny rings and earrings that she's made with beads she's been collecting, and little objects for sale which she thinks are beautiful and interesting.

Going into Jade's shop is a bit of a Looking Glass experience.  I was carried into her world of beautiful things, lovingly and carefully created, and it was a delight.

Some of Jade's aprons

Plants and containers

A collection of buttons and rolls of antique ribbons
You can find Duck Girl on the Western Main Road, on the corner opposite George Cabral Street.

Feeling Crafty!

A few months ago, I was given a hand-me-down couch.  I was thrilled!  I've been wanting a couch for a couple of years now, but buying a new one seemed prohibitively expensive and then too, I needed a two-seater as my living room is small, and I couldn't really find anything I liked.  The trouble with the couch was the upholstery!  A huge plaid pattern printed on a very synthetic fabric!  And it was coming apart at the seams.

I knew I had to recover the couch - but again, I didn't want to go to a professional upholsterer as that would have been expensive.  So I searched online for several days, trying to find a decent how-to guide for making my own slip cover.  I couldn't really find one that made it look anything but very difficult and time-consuming.  So, I ditched the internet searches, went to the fabric shop and bought five yards of cloth, 90 inches wide.  In truth, having decided to make my own slip cover, I figured I could go a little more expensive on the fabric, so I what I ended up buying was TT$80/ yard.

I brought the fabric home, took it out of the bag, and started pinning it to the couch.  And really, that's how I was able to make the cover: pinning the fabric in place, lining up the woven stripe, cutting, sewing and pinning again.  I felt as though I were draping fabric on a mannequin and constantly adjusting.  It came together over a couple of days, and I can't tell you how happy I am with the results!  Oh, an added benefit - the lighter coloured fabric has helped to deal with a dreadful mosquito problem at our apartment!

Here are my before, during and after photos!