Not Vera Bradley, and not Vera Wang. I've discovered a new Vera today who has completely and unexpectedly inspired me.
Have you ever seen a work of art that made your heart jump? I stumbled across this artist while surfing online for vintage fabric. One page led to another...and another...and another...and before I knew it I was mesmerized. Unique, vibrant, colorful, vintage-y patterns gracing kitchen towels…tablecloths…tea cups…pillowcases…oh, they were gorgeous. Even scarves and dresses. And they were each identified by her scribbled four-lettered name and signature ladybug logo. Who was this woman? Why didn’t I know about her? Apparently I am not the only one, because there are zero bids on the majority of her products on eBay, and most items are under $10!
Bold color inspires me. It's one of the things I loved so much about India. Especially in flowers...glowing red poppies...hydrangeas in every imaginable shade of pink, purple, green, and blue...honey-colored daffodils. I love expressing myself by decorating with color and using neutral tones accented with bright bursts of red, yellow, purple, and green. I was even thrilled when we found out our apartment came with red carpet! I think it lends character.
So when I discovered the world of Vera Neumann online today, I was captivated. Thanks to Google, I was able to quickly learn more about this talented woman and what provided her such inspiration. She started her textile business from her kitchen table in New York City following World War II. Apparently at that time, there was not much use of color in the world of linens and tableware, and her creations brought vibrance to women's humdrum post-war lives. She started out with linen place mats, and it quickly grew into an empire. Country Living Magazine said, "To create her distinctive designs, Neumann found inspiration all around her. Flowers were a favorite theme, and her studio in the Hudson River Valley home she and her husband built in the 1950s overlooked a garden filled with blooms. Traveling was another passion. Windmills on the Spanish island of Ibiza, mosaic-tile sidewalks in Rio de Janeiro, modern sculpture in Finland and calligraphy in China all sparked the designer's imagination."
I’m in love, I tell you. My eye doesn't see these as simply tablecloths or napkins - I see them as entirely unique works of art. Here are some of my favorite Vera designs I’ve seen online today...
For some reason though, this one below is my favorite. Perhaps because of its simplicity...
Though Vera Neumann passed away in 1993 at age 83, she is now my muse! I think she has left a beautiful legacy. My wheels are already turning, trying to figure out how I can start a personal collection from these auctions and also use them as one-of-a-kind gifts for friends. I simply can't imagine why anyone would want to get rid of such rare creations. I'll be joining Vera in the wild blue yonder before they leave my hands!