Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Just Call Me Poke Sack Kathy

 Last weekend I vowed that I would not buy any more junk until I finished sorting and listing that huge pile of raw junk I told you about in this post.  Well.  I caved in to the siren song of the VOA.  It only took a quick trip and I spotted these three poke sacks and 3 blingy rhinestone broaches.  This time I will try to redeem myself by not leaving you to wonder about the pig pile so here we go...
A few of the carded buttons and sets the sacks yielded.  Can you even believe the brand on those copper buttons??  Oh yes, times have changed and for the better.
 The rhinestone circle is a buckle.  A large plastic with a MOP center.  Two vintage clips and some handmade fabric buttons.
 I have never seen anything quite like these two.  They appear to be hand-beaded over crochet.  The rhinestones are prong-set so I'm not sure how they are attached.  Someone definitely put some work into making them!
 Here are the three rhinestone broaches I bought.  BIG and no missing stones.  The rhinestones in the clear one show some tarnish so it is my favorite.
 These are my favorites from the plastics.  Those gold buttons in the center are interesting.  I think they are supposed to look like gold nuggets.
 This is the back side of the two buttons at the top of the picture.  It is actually more of a frog closure.
 My favorites, the glass buttons, of course!  That little green button is the first glass realistic I have ever found.
 These are extra special.  Not only do they have copper looking sparkle in the glass but they are also whistles!  If you don't know what whistles are, look at the center button.  Whistles have one hole on the front and two on the back.  Love these!
 Okay, if you managed to stick with me all the way to the end then here is my latest thing to wonder about...  Does anyone have an idea what that kind of webbing or those pins are used for??
Now I'm back to sorting and listing that raw junk.  Did I mention I bought 31 vintage sewing patterns?  Good grief.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Honoring Those Who Serve

 This is a day to honor those who served and those who are still serving.  We owe you all a huge debt of gratitude for your service and your sacrifices in the name of freedom.  Thank you!
I love these words...  all of us working hand in hand, we're working to preserve this wonderous land.
Have a safe and happy Memorial Day.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Crafty Little Pincushion Inspiration

 This adorable little pincushion was tucked inside one of those bags of lace I showed you in the last post.  It is so clever I though I would show it because it makes me think of SO many ideas.
 It is tiny and sits right there on your finger like a ring.
 It feels like it is very tightly stuffed with fiberfill, making it so light you hardly notice it is there.
Click this one bigger.  It appears to be made from the plastic screw-on top from a pop bottle.  There are two holes drilled it it to insert the elastic "ring".  I expect it is knotted on the inside and I can see a little ooze of hot glue that is holding everything together.  The lace is glued around the outside.
Can you just picture this made using some an adorable character print or some vintage barkcloth.  And what about rick rack or flat braid or vintage tatting glued around the side.
This little guy just got my ideas popping.  I will keep it on my desk but maybe one of you will pick up the inspiration and run with it!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Raw Junk

 I hit one estate sale this weekend - two times.  This sale was just exactly the kind I dream about.  A house packed with crafty goodness I can rescue and pass along to others who respect the junk!
 And the first day priced like it was the last day - WooHoo!  For you locals, it was a J&N sale and they have now moved to the top of my I-wanna-go list.
 As usual, this is the "raw" version, dumped out on the table in art room and photos taken before the cleaning and sorting began.  I got a total of 31 (THIRTY ONE!) sewing patterns from the 1940s- 1960s.  Yes, that is a bag of buttons.  I got a couple of those.
 Hot iron transfers.
 Two pairs of vintage white leather gloves - one opera length.  This pink millinery flower is attached to the sweetest little tatted baby hat.  That bundle tied with ribbon is a lot of 77 beautiful holy cards.
 Hard to tell in the picture but the white piece is a baby dress with crocheted edge.  Just behind it, a big bag of wooden thread spools.
 And lace.
 And more lace.
 Can you blame me for going back on the second day to see what was left!  I didn't have time to look through the books and magazines the first time and the tall trash can I was using as a shopping basket was full. 
 A big book of Daisy Kingdom hot iron transfers and anther big book of Victorian stencils.  I got several vintage issues of McCall's Needlework magazine and haven't even had a chance to open them yet.
Thimbles, millinery stamens and an aluminum dish to add to my collection.  Those stamens don't look like much all jumbled together in the plastic box but there was some neat stuff in there.
So there you have it, raw junk.  Sorting all of that lace and going through the patterns to make sure they are complete is going to keep me busy for a LONG while!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Blooming Dinosaur Food And A Mail Art Swap

 My Dinosaur Food plant has two "blooms" this Spring!  It is also known as Chilean rhubarb but the real name is Gunnera.  This picture only shows the top of the bloom.  This come-shaped thing is actually about 3 feet in length, maybe a little more.  The plant grows to about 12-15 feet and the leaves reach 4-5 feet in diameter by the end of the season. It is quite spectacular!
This is the second bloom on the other side.   When the first hard frost comes in Autumn it droops to the ground and I have to use the Ginsu knife I received as a wedding gift to saw off the stalks.  At least that knife comes in handy for something - LOL!  The stalks are easily the size of my forearm.  The whole thing dies back to the ground and starts over again in Spring.
The structure of the plant is pretty amazing.  It is a water-hog and the giant leaves collect the rain/dew and channel it down the prickly stem to the roots.  A plant evolved to survive!

I am joining up with a fun swap at Musings On Realities.  Make 10 mail-art postcards to swap with 10 other people around the world.  Sounds like fun!  I tried to add the button to my sidebar but couldn't get it to work.  Follow the link and join the fun!  Do you think I should make 10 the same or 10 different?

Update on steeping the lavender...  Well, I brought it to a boil and then let it steep 24 hours, then strained it.  It smells wonderful but the water is the color of tea.  Definitely NOT something I would spray on laundry.  Any ideas what I could use it for??

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Another Accidental Colletion

 Finding my muse is a struggle tonight.  I spent last night writing the eulogy for someone gone WAY too soon and tonight I feel like I might be coming down with a cold.  Why do they call it a cold, anyway?  Why don't we say we feel like we are coming down with a virus?  Just another one of those things I wonder about.
 Anyway, I was knocking around the art-room tonight, trying to find my mojo, and I found my stack of vintage postcards instead. 
 I am always on the lookout for old postcards I can use in my inspiration kits for my Etsy store.  When I find this type, though, I can never bare to part with them so the result was an accidental collection.  Click the pictures bigger so you can read the captions.
I love the old lithographs but the captions are what really grab me.  These cards are all about 100 years old but it is clear the relationships between men and women are pretty timeless.
Caveman:  Come live with me in my cave and I will provide for you and our children.
Cave woman:  Yes, but can you make a spear and run fast?
Caveman:  Come on over to my cave and I'll show you my spear.
Did I just type that?  I haven't even taken any cold [virus] medicine yet!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Random Ramblings...

 I decided to harvest some of my lavender tonight, thinking I would make lavender water to use for ironing.  Well, I clipped the lavender THEN Googled for a recipe.  Who new you needed lavender oil?  What is the point of using the fresh plant if you are just going to use a bottle of commercial oil for the fragrance??  I don't get that...
 So I decided to just get over it and I painted my toenails green because I could.  I DID have a bottle of that!  Not such a good look but you need to try things or you won't ever know...  you know?
I painted them green to go with the new green purse and wallet I bought tonight.  Yes, I know they don't really match.  So then I tried that setting on the new camera and only "sees" green.  Well, that didn't work at ALL.   My evening just kind of went like that.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Greatest And Most Important Business That Is Done

Instead of flowers and sparkles on this Mother's Day, I am sharing one of my favorite quotes.  These words were spoken by Sojourner Truth, from a lecture given in Iowa in 1872:
"We have many booby men in de land, and they came from weak women, who say, 'I've got all de rights I want'.  I tell you if want great men, you must have great mothers.  Why, children, rising babies is the greatest and most important business that is done.  How can a woman give brains to her baby when she hasn't got em herself."
Today is the day to honor the important business of being a mother.  Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Things I Wonder About

 I was looking at my buttons and got to wondering why the holes are so BIG in old underwear buttons.  Apparently I don't have enough to think about because I spent about an hour surfing around the Internet searching for an answer. 
As near as I can discover, strips of twill tape were sewn on the garment and then threaded through the holes to tie on the buttons so they could be removed for laundering. I guess they didn't hold up well to lye soap and going through the wringer.  That answer still isn't making a lot of sense to me.  I understand not wanting to damage them but if you were going to the trouble of sewing on the twill tape then why wouldn't you just use that to tie the garment shut and not bother with the buttons at all??  Does anyone know or has anyone seen a picture of the button ON a garment?  Sheesh, the things I wonder about!
Yes, I'm still playing in the altered book.  The page on the right was made several years ago and the one on the left was made last night.  I did use some of that pretty new ribbon to make a border around it.  Funny how something as simple as a new spool of ribbon can spark an idea.  I love it when things like that happen!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

More Quote Book Pages

Still working on the quote book.  I love the quote on the left and used to use it as the tag line on my emails.  Ideas are like that for me, I need to act on them right away, before they slip away.
A while back I said I thought I was nearly finished altering this book and ready to move on to the next one - WRONG!  I went through the book, removing pages and gluing pages together and found I actually have 40, count 'em FOURTY, more pages to fill.  If you are thinking of making an altered book, choose one that isn't too thick!  Even with that many pages left I'm still feeling like I'm getting close and kind of motivated to finish it. That is a good thing since play time in the altered book absolutely improves my outlook!
 I made a quick stop at Michael's to pick up some glitter on my way home from work and they had a big rack of pretty ribbons on sale for $1 each.  I had to pick up a few, just because who could resist?  I think some will become borders for some new pages in the quote book.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Can You Smell Spring?

 Ahhhh!  The lilacs are blooming.  The lilac perfume is one of my favorite parts of Spring.  This is a dark purple hybrid called Frank Klaeger.  I think I have blogged about that story before.  Sadly, this bush is covered in moss and leaning severely so I do not think it is long for this backyard.  I am enjoying it while I can.
 This is an old fashioned lavender lilac that seems to be impervious to the afflictions of the hybrids.
I do not know what this plant is called.  It was planted here when we bought the house 35 years ago and the bush is HUGE, about 15 feet across and 5 feet tall.  Every Spring it is covered with cascading white blooms that remind me of a bridge's bouquet.
I hope Spring in in the air where you are!

Friday, May 4, 2012

New Altered Book Pages

Two very different styles on these two pages.  The one on the right was made several years ago and not really "made".  More like just sticking a quote on a page but I liked the less-is-more look of it so left it alone.  The one on the left was last week when I was so tired and needing the play time.  I was going for a sepia tone so I used pattern tissue, stamps, paint and a scrap from Somerset Studio.  I have been buying that magazine for years and have a big stack of the free "art to borrow" that is bound inside. 
I don't look through it very often.  Maybe I'll go do that and indulge in a little more of that play time!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Romper Room? Really?

 I am just going to apologize for my sense of humor in advance and hope I don't offend anyone.  I spotted this cute little book  from 1962 at the Plucky Maidens Junk Fest and started to flip through it.
 In case you can't read it when you click it bigger, it says "Start buzzin' cousin here's your chance everybody's doing the Do Bee dance." 
 If you are of a certain generation you might understand why I busted out laughing.
Mr. Do Bee.  I always wondered (well, not really) where that slang came from.  Maybe. Maybe not. Lest you think I have lost my mind, the book also has a delightful little song I am saving to post for Fourth of July!