B & I work in progress: Blueprints

2008: With the holidays approaching this blueprint of a buffet table setting will come in handy as a tablecloth... Special order here.


Aaron Bohrod
plate: 5 1/8 x 3 7/8 in. (13.1 x 9.8 cm)
Smithsonian American Art Museum Link


1810-1820: " Gold and gilt metal, embossed, cast and chased; bloodstone egg, with enamelled mounts; rock crystal seal. During the 18th century, a fashionable woman wore from her belt a 'chatelaine', or, as it was then known, a 'chain' or 'equipage'. From the chatelaine might hang a range of different objects: a watch, seals, a box for a thimble, or an 'étui' containing sewing, writing or cosmetic implements." Link


1680: "This small book with its matching gold stylus would have fitted into a pocket. It might have been used as a diary or a notebook. The cover is of black shagreen, a type of leather made from shark or fish skin, and decorated with round-headed gold studs. The inside cover is lined with a thick paper painted with leaves in gold on a purple ground. When the book is closed, four bands of engraved gold form a tube into which the stylus fits. The book would originally have held paper, which would have been coated so that the metal stylus would leave a track like that of a pencil on paper." Link

Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis)

1977: "This photograph is a print made in 1995 from the original transparency. This was used as an illustration in Roger Phillips's book, The Wild Flowers of Britain, which was published in London by Pan Books in 1977. Phillips pioneered the use of photography for field guides to plants. His own curiosity about plants inspired him to produce the book. He was frustrated with the standard flora or field guide that catalogues plants by family and assumes that the user has some specialist botanical knowledge.

As a photographer, Phillips set out ‘to make a book in which the visual is paramount’. He organised the contents in a way that was logical and accessible to those without any special knowledge of botany. In fact, he reverts to much earlier models such as the florilegia (decorative flower books) of the 17th century, and arranges the plants by their season of flowering." Link

Lady's Archery Score Kit

1850-1860: "This is a lady's scoring kit for archery. These usually hung from a lady archer's belt together with a quiver, a spare string, and sometimes a purse containing shillings. Three golds (arrows in the centre) entitled a competitor to receive a shilling from each opponent.

The kit has three parts: The acorn-shaped cup or pot contained grease (a mixture of mutton fat and tallow) which help the finger protectors or shooting glove slide more easily off the bowstring.

The pricker is the tubular object with a sharp pointed stiletto used for marking scores onto the card disc which holds a circular replaceable printed paper bulls-eye card with circles in gold, red, white, black and blue. Players scored nine for gold, seven for red, five for blue three for black and one for white." Link

Jessie Newbery

1900: "Newbery believed design the most important element in her work. Despite being highly stylised, her patterns are based on her lifelong interest in botany. Each element was reduced to a geometrical, almost abstract, shorthand which helped evolved the Glasgow style." Link

The History of Plants According to Women, Children and Students

1542/2002: "For this suite of prints Borland selected 10 plates from one of the earliest and most important woodcut herbals, Leonhart Fuchs' 'De Historia Stirpium' (History of Plants), published in 1542, and reworked them as etchings. Fuchs' herbal is one of the earliest books on plants which can properly be called scientific, and it was immensely influential in medicine and botany in succeeding decades. His introduction credits the artist and engravers involved in the production of the images, but those who coloured the plates were unidentified women and children. Hand-colouring was skilled work which required careful copying from master copies or from the original watercolours. Crude, uneven or inaccurate colouring could obscure the finely-printed outlines, or misrepresent the species or variety , and thus undermine the usefulness of the image for purposes of identification. It was common practice for print publishers to employ women for this work, but there contributions were never credited.

Borland's [2002] publication of these prints reversed the usual hierarchy of credits and recognition - though a number of people were involved in the etching and colouring of the plates, only those undertaking the colouring were paid and credited." Link

B & I work in progress: Bed of Roses

2008: Working on a simple 100% cotton unbleached/undyed coverlet with embroidered roses in collaboration with painter Melissa Lessmann. Above is a rose Melissa painted which we will reference for the final embroidered coverlet.

White Squirrel Wars

Brooklyn, NY [Source]

2008: Running through beautiful Prospect Park a white squirrel crossed my path...

"Not one, but five towns use albino squirrels as their claims to fame, and none is particularly happy about the others. Kenton, Tennessee, accommodates about 200 of the furry rodents. Residents insist that the squirrels "have been here the longest" and claim they were left by a "Gypsy caravan" in 1869. Is Kenton, we asked, where the other towns got their white squirrels? "Well, they had to come from somewhere."

Olney, Illinois, is the loudest booster of all albino squirrel towns, titling itself Home of the White Squirrels. It scoffs at the other towns' albinos. "Most of theirs have dark eyes," they told us. The town conducts and promotes an annual white squirrel count, when locals scour the landscape inch by inch to determine population or migration trends. Roadside America." Link

Vegetable Ivory

2008: Digging through the web I've just discovered vegetable ivory and the tagua nut. See links below:
"Tagua, also known as corozo, is a name used for the tagua nut in the South American rainforest. When dried out, it can be carved as an ivory replica." Source
Ecuadorian Tagua Nuts Link
Tagua: The Vegetable Ivory Substitute Link
Is it a poodle? A german shepherd? Link

Knitted Dishcloth

2008: Handknitted exclusively for LABOUR AND WAIT, these 100% cotton dishcloths are very absorbent. Link

Extraordinary Commonplaces

"Commonplace" is a translation of the Latin term locus communis which means "a theme or argument of general application", such as a statement of proverbial wisdom. Scholars have expanded this usage to include any manuscript that collects material along a common theme by an individual. Link

Not a dull or trite book, as the usual sense of ‘commonplace’ would suggest, but a writer's notebook in which interesting ideas and quotations are collected for further reflection and possible future use. Link Whenever they came across a pithy passage, they copied it into a notebook under an appropriate heading, adding observations made in the course of daily life. Link

This is an album of watercolours, sketches and prints by various artists, accompanied by handwritten copies of poems and extracts from letters. Link

Albino Deer

1974: On December 19th of 1974, Emil Tylka spotted something very unusual as he passed along the waterways of the lower Indian Creek area. An albino white tail deer had busted through the ice and died.

Emil then made necessary arrangement to make sure that history and education would be restored, he donated the deer to the Fountain City Rod & Gun Club. Today, the deer can be seen in the Rock Bottom bar within the Monarch Tavern. Link

Pictures of an Albino Whitetail Deer. This buck can be identified as an albino deer and not a piebald by looking closely at its eyes and nose. The pink eye and the pink nose are a dead give-away.

The brown on the head near the base of the antlers might lead you to the conclusion that this isn't an albino buck but the color comes from the buck rubbing his antlers on trees (rubs). Link

Iris Apfel: Rare Bird of Fashion

2008: "Iris Barrel Apfel is one of the most vivacious personalities in the worlds of fashion, textiles, and interior design and has cultivated a personal style that is both witty and exuberantly idiosyncratic. Her originality is typically revealed in her mixing of high and low fashion—Dior haute couture with flea-market finds, Dolce & Gabbana striped leather trousers with a Zuni belt. With remarkable panache and discernment, she combines colors, textures, and patterns without regard to period, provenance, and, ultimately, aesthetic conventions." Link
Amazing collection currently exhibiting here. Exhibition review and interview here.

News: Refinery 29 Pipeline

2008: Refinery 29 included Buttercup and Ivory in "Service With a Smirk: Cheeky Party Supplies" and I could not be happier! Thank you Piera! Link

The Utopianist Guides

2008: An ever-growing source of adventure-filled treatises on taking care of your body and mind while taking care of the planet. Link

B & I collection: Classic Silverware Pouch

2008: Our formal napkins with whitework embroidered numerical folding instructions are just about ready! Illustrated diagram to follow. For now click here for napkin folding instructions.

A New Hive

2008: An art and design installation inspired by the worldwide en masse disappearance of honeybees. Link

Mosaic or Honeycomb Quilt

1870: Quilters follow artistic patterns based on tradition and their own inherent skill. This mosaic or honeycomb quilt was an elegant one made of silk and velvet sewn onto a black background. Link

A Gustavian house

1790: 1:48 scale house. Envisioned it as an imaginary Swedish house of the late 18th century, furnished in the so-called Gustavian style. A well-off widow lives here with a maid to look after the house. In the upper-class homes of the 18th century, the kitchen was often placed in a separate house, in order to reduce the risk of fire, so the little extension would be perfect for a kitchen. Link

Pop Pop

2008: Have a great weekend!

News: The Kitchn

2008: The Kitchn included Buttercup and Ivory in Delicious Links "How to Make Homemade Bitters"! Thank you! Link

News: Design*Sponge

2008: Design*Sponge posted a generous entry on Buttercup and Ivory. Thank you Grace!! Link

Battle at Kruger


1600 - 1625: Ivory silk and linen with a silver stripe. This is a rare example of an informal woman's jacket from the early 17th century. It would have been worn over a petticoat and stays, with a linen or lace collar and cuffs and a decorative coif. Length 66 cm
Width 134.6 cm (including sleeves). Link