Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mr. Peacock's Naughty Napkins

It’s been about 8 years since my friend, Felicity, hosted her bi-weekly Stitch’n’ Bitch parties at her place. She’d invite all of her crafty pals and have loads of Chinese food delivered from our favorite neighborhood restaurant, The Four Seasons (which has since closed). We’d eat, drink, gossip, listen to records, and work on our individual projects, which included: knitting, crocheting, embroidery and general mending. Her apartment was a crafter's dream, with three different sewing machines, huge worktables, and fabrics and yarns spilling out everywhere.

Mr. Peacock wanted a simple project that didn’t consume all of his attention, allowing him to embroider and to chat with everyone at the same time. I decided to embroider a set of 8 naughty cocktail napkins based on Jean Cocteau erotic drawings.

I kept it simple and used white napkins with black embroidery thread. My first napkin wasn’t too provocative, and looked exactly like Mr. Cocteau’s charming original line drawing. Here's a few of the finished cocktail napkins.

As the weeks progressed, my embroidery wavered a bit from Mr. Cocteau’s drawings, becoming a bit looser. Someone commented that the “private parts” kept getting larger and larger on each napkin. I was a bit embarrassed and hadn’t noticed how large I was embroidering the “private parts.” I blamed it on the beer.

I’ve used these Naughty Napkins dozens of times over the years, at cocktail parties at my home, and they're always a great conversation starter.

Mr. Peacock found some wonderful appliquéd and embroidered femme fatale napkins, in the 1990’s, at a shop on upper Madison Avenue that carried Pratesi Linens. I purchased a blond one for myself, and redhead as a gift for a lady with panache I know in Manhattan.
I believe these napkins were imported from Italy.

The blond femme fatale napkin immediately reminded Mr. Peacock of the 1940’s pin-up girl Betty Grable. The napkin is made with delicate appliqué, with embroidery details on her face, nipples, legs and shoes.

I thought these delicate and provocative girls were the cutest things I’ve ever seen embroidered. I now wish I would have purchased an entire set of these pin-up girl napkins.

The details are simple, but sublime. A shear organza fabric nightgown is appliquéd over her body.

I’ve used this naughty girl napkin as a pocket square over the years—with her face seductively peaking out of the top of my pocket. This needle work bombshell always intrigues and enchants people.


Rene Schaller said...

they are so cute, I really like it! it's a pleasure to visit your, can't wait for the next great post!

jason said...

Love it...all!
you've completely inspired me.

The Rural Modernist said...

You stitched these by hand? Once again, you've blown my mind with your creativity and handiness, Mr. P. I love that book, BTW.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your treasure's with us Mr. P. You are simply amazing!

Mr. Bluehaunt said...

Love them! (I own the same book as well)...:)

SkitzoLeezra said...

Craft envy, that's what I got. The only cure? Using your napkins as inspiration.

Mr. Peacock said...

Thanks everyone!!!
Yes, that book, and Jean Cocteau, are amazing!

jezebel said...

That is the tit... I mean wittiest pocket I've ever seen. Kindred spirits: I too would have been so embarrassed to have my sleight of hand pointed out.

Paul Pincus said...

you're brilliant! these are fantastic. an ex of mine has a tattoo of cocteau's dargelos on his shoulder. i convinced him to do it when we were both 18. we no longer speak ; )