Thursday, July 24, 2014

Happy Mail!

 Back in April I jumped in on a blog swap and was delighted when I received a package in the mail from Cathy at ma vie trouvee today.  This gorgeous collage is an original piece, made by Cathy. I am so honored she would gift me with it and will display it proudly.  She currently lives in Singapore and embraces every culture she encounters.  She was worried I wouldn't like the Asian vibe but I simply adore it!
 She included a handmade card that is also her own artwork, I don't know what the pony is called but the red part is elegant red flocking.  Everything was packaged up in a decorated envelope.  But what is that on the right side...
Well, buttons, of course!  She knows me well.  She purchased them in a city in Indonesia called Yogyakaita (I hope I got that right!).  Before I add them to my collection I plan to string them together with a tag stating where they came from.  They are all different than anything I already have and so fun to have buttons from another country.  Thank you SO much Cathy!
My own swaps are still inside my head but, lucky for me, we have until the end of the year and it might take me that long at the rate I'm going!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

In Case You Were Wondering...

 ... what I've been up to.  No blog-worthy junk this weekend as I was enjoying the company of a good friend yesterday and today was all about some much-needed catching up in the yard.  The Stargazers are perfume at both the front door and the back door right now and I cut one to bring inside last night.  Some love the fragrance and some hate the fragrance.  I love it!
And what's in my kitchen sink at the moment?  Some pretty soon-to-be-white-again white lace.  Golly I hope I don't have to iron it.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Rest of Those Buttons

 When we returned from vacation last weekend I finished cleaning and sorting that huge tin of buttons.  I already showed you the plastics in this post.  These are the rest of the "keepers".  The buttons above are all glass.  The little ducky is my favorite!
 LOTS of MOP in that tin!  On the far left are the dyed ones, or the far right are the abalone shell and the apothecary jar full is already listed in my Etsy.
 These are the ones I kept for myself.
 China buttons.
 Bone buttons. I don't know why I'm so stupid on those silly things.  I think I just like the resourcefulness of using what was on hand.
 On the far left there are some unusual leather and metal ones. The round ones at the bottom are wood.  The rest are wafers and tight tops.
 Most of the metal buttons were in pretty bad shape but I did save a few.  I am especially fond of the copper in the upper left.
 Vegetable ivory and a few uniform buttons.
These two little Cub Scout buttons are my favorite from the uniforms.
This was a HUGE lot and I've gotten my buttons fix for a while!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Where Blogger Create 2014 Edition

 Welcome friends, new and old, to another edition of Where Bloggers Create!  In years past I have done a 360 degree tour around the place I call my art room but I decided to switch things up this year and just showcase some of the things I love to surround myself with.  If you want to see the previous tours you can click here:  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010.  WOW, I can't believe it has been five years!
 I am a dyed in the wool junker and love to hunt the thrift stores and estate sales.  Nothing pleases me more than a poke sack or a good "digger" sale.  I am especially fond of old buttons, sewing patterns, lace and sewing notions, birdies, paper ephemera, sparkly things, rusty things, vintage vanity boxes, jewelry boxes  and satin bags, oh dear....!  I can't keep it all so I also run an Etsy store called StrangeNotions to hold the clutter at bay. My younger son built this little cabinet to hold my collection of satin vanity boxes.  I use them to hold the vintage notions, trims and flowers I use in the inspiration kits I make for my Etsy.
 I collect vintage bird figurines, feed the birds in my backyard and just adore birdies.  This old birdcage is a recent find and houses my accumulation of faux feathered friends.
 I store most of my buttons in glass jars so I can see and enjoy them.  I consider myself an "accumulator" and not a collector because I don't collect anything specific and I don't mount them on cards.  I just love the way they look all jumbled up together.

 This is Mona.  She was a gift from my mother-in-law, Lisa. Mona has two little girls, Calliope and Harmony, but they weren't properly attired for the party so will have to join us another time.  Oh, wallpaper boxes, now that's another soft spot in my heart.
 The shelf above the closet hold my accumulation of salt and pepper shakers, among other things.  I painted the pictures many years ago when I was in folk art period.
 I don't like dolls.  You may find that surprising because you are going to see a few around my room.  I like their heads, especially if they have "wonky" eyes, and the creepy ones.
 All manner of sewing notions find their way into my room and some evolve in to collections.  There are also cloth tape measures and thimbles, just to name a couple. Don't even get me started on pins and needles.
 Shelves inside the closet hold a lot of my collection of vintage jewelry boxes.  They hold sparkly things that I use in my inspiration kits.  The vintage hamper holds packing material for my Etsy shop.
 This little cabinet holds most of the bits and pieces that are not buttons and not sparkly things.  I bought it at a great little shop in my neighborhood called Division Street Antiques.  I covered the fronts of the drawers with my wallpapers but you could do the same thing with scrapbook paper. This one purchase solved a LOT of the clutter in my room.
 The top of the cabinet holds curiosities.  I like things that a little odd and unique. On the far right is a talisman doll I made a couple of years ago. She definitely qualifies as odd!
 More jars of buttons and some of my vintage satin lingerie bags.
 A huge basket of buttons that don't make the cut for the apothecary jars.  Yes, that little doll in the back has a blindfold on.  I thought it might be humiliating for her to sit in a basket of buttons so I covered her eyes so she wouldn't know.  Don't judge.
 This is my personal collection of my favorite vintage laces, stored in an old suitcase.  Oh yes, suitcases, another one of my soft spots!  I use the large ones to store family keepsakes.
 More creepy dolls.  I'm sorry about the fuzzy picture.  They are sitting in the tray from a vintage trunk that I re-purposed as a shelf and it is hung in a corner where it is really hard to get a good picture.
 This is what is sitting on top of my printer because no flat surface stays empty for long around here!  I made the salt box shrine several years ago and it houses one of my little birdie friends.  Most are displayed in the somewhat-normal part of my house.
 A shelf above my desk.  Things that I need and things I just want to look at....
 More treasures above my desk.I don't know how I got four elephants.  I don't collect elephants,  It was an accident.  At least I know where they are in case I ever need one.
 Buttons and buttons...
 and more buttons.
 Wooden spools.  Yes, you CAN have too many wooden spools.  Trust me on that.
 And more buttons.  I sort them by plastic, colored glass, transparent glass, vegetable ivory, two piece tight-tops, plastic rhinestones, glass rhinestones, shoe buttons, bone buttons, china buttons, mother of pearl buttons, metal buttons, military buttons and yes, even vintage underwear buttons.  It is an addition, I tell you.
 Satin lingerie bags from a more elegant time.
 A beautiful old blouse with light shining through it from the window and a sweet crazy-quilt bag.
 I store ribbon on rods above both the closet and the window and the overflow lands in this hanging basket.
 I am actually TRYING to collect Infant of Prague figurines but they are few and far between around here.
 Vintage needle cards.  I resisted this collection for years and finally gave in.  I adore the graphics on them.
 Oh!  Here is that shelf in the closet again.  I do keep buttons in some of the jewelry boxes but most of them are vintage jewelry bits and pieces.  I am especially fond of the sparkly stuff!  That canister on the left is full of cards of rick-rack.  The jar is where I put trim scraps.  When it gets too full I put together a scrap-pack for Etsy and send them on to inspire someone else.
A jar filled with trinkets waiting to be something.  I love making shadow boxes so I am always on the look-out for interesting little bits and pieces. Everything should get a chance to be something.
Thank you so much for stopping by for the tour today!
Many thanks to Karen at My Desert Cottage for once again hosting this amazing annual event that we all look forward to so much!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Whole Lotta Soakin' Goin' On!

 This is the first of the treasure from the latest button score - the plastics.  That is all I have finished cleaning to show so far.  You can click the picture bigger. This was a huge tin and it took me several days and some very sore fingers, to get them sorted and the strings picked out.
This was a real button tin in as-found condition so it included all those odd things that make their way in to button tins.  No bullets or baby teeth this time but lots of dry beans and corn.  Weird! I don't know what happened to these buttons but I suspect they were spilled out on a cellar floor and swept back up and plunked back in the tin.  Nobody know the trouble they have seen but there are happier days ahead for them!
 Holly at Damita's Pretty Wrap and I were joking the other day about what a great theme "what's in your kitchen sink" would be for us junking aficionados!
Nothing to do with junk but must share a few garden pictures.  My hydrangeas are back to their full blue glory this year.  The last couple years they have been a mix of blue, lavender and pink, like an impressionist painting.
 There are a still a few renegade pink blooms but mostly blue this year and I'm loving it.
The water lilies are also putting on a show this year.  Yesterday there were four blooms.  I need to put on my water socks and take a little walk in there.  The lily pads are about a foot across and some are extended above the water - a sure sign they are pot bound.
I hope you are all enjoying the holiday weekend.  The Husband and I are celebrating 39 years today.