Saturday, June 30, 2012

Making Hay While The Sun Shines

Or, to be more accurate, snapping a picture during one of those crumbs of Summer.  My first Oriental Lily opened this week and my color-confused Hydrangea, too. 
I don't want to jinx things by speaking too soon, but the crumbs seem to be coming a little closer together.  I am taking a long weekend so looking forward to 5 days off with time and opportunity for junking and gardening, BOTH!
UPDATE!  I just read the news and my heart goes out to you readers who are suffering through the high temperatures with your power out and no AC.  I will stop whining about our PNW lack of Summer right NOW.
Take good care and do what you need to to keep cool!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tangle Background

I made a "tangle" as a background for a page in the altered quote book.  Yes, me and the Zentangle are on a first name basis now.  I still haven't done a square one - the right way - but I'm sure that will be coming soon.  I think I probably showed the right side page before but now the page on the left is done, as well.  I also used some washi tape on this one, something new for me. 
I finished this page last night and had a whole new project planed for tonight but got unexpected and very welcome company tonight so that will be for another day.  I had a lovely evening and feel very proud of myself for setting the self-imposed to-do list aside and embracing the social time.  Seeking the balance!
UPDATE...  The blog-land consensus seems to be that the wreath in this post is genuine Victorian hair art.  I would love to know the story behind and how it came to be at a thrift store but I am honored to be it's new care-taker and will treasure it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Juneuary in Portland

 We can't seem to get more than crumbs of the warm, sunny weather much of our country is having.  Just a little snip here and there for Juneuary in Portland.  When it cleared off for a few minutes on Saturday I ran right out to photograph the very first Dahlia bloom of the season.  They call this type a "novelty" dahlia.  No explanation needed for that!
 Naturally, I had to fool around with those scene features on the big-girl camera.  This is set to yellow only.  I love the way it turned the red parts almost silver.
 This is set to red only.  I probably didn't need to say that - har har!
And this setting turned it into a Zentangle!  I like the way the bud on the left side looks kind of like a little fairie hovering by in a balloon.
Let's have a swap!  I will send you a box of rain and you can send me a box of sunshine.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Favorite Find Of The Weekend

 This is my favorite find of the weekend - possibly one of my favorite finds ever!  I apologize for so many pictures of one item but I'm trying to figure this out and hoping some of you know something about it and can educate me.  The bell jar is clearly fairly modern but there are no markings on it.
 The bouquet is made of very intricate, handmade millinery flowers.  Some of them are very unusual.  The stems are wrapped with something that looks like gauze, not floral tape.
 There is some wheat and another dried something in the top.  The unknown grain has some glitter on it, although it isn't any kind of glitter I am familiar with.
 The ring around the bottom looks a lot like the Victorian post-mortem hair jewelry.  There is a closer picture below.
 The little fabric base is pleated and machine stitched with very close, tiny stitches.  It is hand-gathered and sewn around the top.  The sewing needle is still inserted on the edge.  Is there some significance to it being left there??
 Click this picture bigger for a closer look.  The clerk at the thrift store was convinced it was the real thing but I think that is unlikely since there is wire wrapping.  I Googled about it and it says hair jewelry is not reproduced because it is too time consuming to make.  So what is it then?
The holder looks like bisque.  The bouquet is not permanently attached to it.  The stems are wrapped in muslin and there are little wads of paper stuffed in around it to keep it in place.  The bouquet stands about 10" tall.
When I first spotted it I grabbed it because the price was very right and I wanted the bell jar.  I figured I could take the bouquet apart and use the flowers for something else.  I know it isn't dignified to talk about what you paid for something but I'm into breaking rules lately so I will just say it.  I paid $2.99.
So here is my quandary.  I have become enamoured with it and it is staying just the way it is and right here with me.  It is kind of wobbly inside the bell jar so unless you tell me I am doing unspeakable and irreversible harm to a great thing, I am going to hot glue in into the bell jar so it doesn't slide around.  What do you think?

Saturday, June 23, 2012


 Last Thursday I had plans to meet a friend after work.  She works a little later than I do so I decided to burn some time wandering around Michael's until it was time to meet her.  This caught my eye.  Reduce Stress (yes!), Improve Focus (please!), Better Concentration (I can only hope!) so I picked it up.  Zentangle.  ZEN-tangle.  Clever, huh.
When I got home I hurried through my chores and headed out to the art room to reduce my stress and improve my focus.  Rule breaker that I am, instead of reading the book I just looked at the pictures and jumped right in the middle.  I was supposed to use a square piece of paper but a leftover Strathmore postcard from the postcard swap was still sitting on my desk so I just grabbed that and made my first Zentangle. 
My altered book project is something I do for relaxation, but you still need an idea.  There really is no idea with Zentangle.  You draw these "strings" to divide the paper into sections to get started, then just doodle.  They have a website at where you can learn more.
I have a bad wrist so I'm not so sure how it will hold up to holding the pen for so long but nobody says you have to finish it in a day, right!  I'm looking forward to trying some of the patterns in the book.  Maybe a little sampler.  Maybe a very slow sampler!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I Looked Up And I Saw Lace

 No kidding!  I looked up and instead of my eyes reading jet stream, they read lace.  Lace in the sky.
Lucy in the sky with diamonds, er, lace.  I need to get out more.

Monday, June 18, 2012

What I was Doing When I Was Supposed To Be Cleaning The House

 Yes, I broke my rule again.  And I didn't even clean the house on Friday night to earn the privilege.  What's next... white shoes after labor day... going to bed without brushing my teeth...  just the other day I was walking around in sandals with unpainted toenails.  A regular Wild Thang.
 This sale didn't pay off like the last time I broke the rules, but I came home with a nice little pile of loot from a sale that advertises itself as "priced right".  J and N, love you guys!
Creamy ivory colored beads, rhinestone bling plus two sweet little Gurley deer and a box of those Angle Chime candles I was searching for last Christmas. 
 The leather bound travel journal is from 1944 and belonged to Carolyn Lazenby.  It chronicles a train trip across the United States.  She didn't really write very many entries but it is still fun to read.  It will find it's way to my Etsy because I'm sure someone will have fun journaling it it or making an altered book.
 I don't think the glasses are real.  I think they are the "craft" kind, but they may work out for a project that is still percolating.
 I know I said I wasn't buying anymore doilies but... but...  Wild Thang.  Rule Breaker.
 Most of them will make their way to Etsy sooner or later.
But these, well these will stay with me and become part of this collection. 
Now one last thing.  I read a blog called Forgotten Bookmarks.  He is a rare and vintage bookseller and he blogs about the things he finds inside the books.  He also offers incredible weekly give-aways.  If you have a twisted sense of humor, like mine, then this is a must read.  Cracked me up!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

History and Heartstrings

I don't usually say much about my Etsy store.  I have the link on my sidebar, of course, but my blog is more about connecting with the like-minded folks who "get it" and feel compelled to rescue the little pieces of the past and respect them and move them forward.  I listed this 1947 pattern in my Etsy a couple of days ago and it still has me wondering, like things do.
I slipped my hand inside the envelope and pulled out the pattern pieces to count and my heart beat just a little bit faster.  The last person to likely touched those pattern pieces was another creative and it was 65 years ago.  Somehow, I felt honored.  She was making a little dress for her DD who, if she still lives, is approaching 70 years of age.  She was a Baby Boomer. Was her Mama a "Rosie"?  Did she grow up to be a hippie?  You know I wonder about things... 
Did she make the little dress from sack cloth or could she afford to pick the perfect fabric from a local store?  Was it a labor of love or did she sew from the necessity of the times and the expected skills of a homemaker in that era?  The pieces were carefully folded and inserted back into the envelope.  Was there a little sister following behind and she knew she would use it again?  I wonder about things...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Altered Quote Book Catch-Up Post

 I finished the two above last night.  As I was taking the picture it occurred to me there were some pages I don't think I ever put on my blog.  A little catch-up post tonight.
 No clue who that guy is but I sure hope he didn't mind me putting a clown collar on him!
 The one on the right was made a very long time ago.  That guy doing his best James Dean is my Great Uncle.  I think the picture was taken in the 30s.
 A cheater where I just captioned someone else's photo on the left. Some people may not agree but my feeling is that as long as I am just making it for myself and not for profit, it doesn't do any harm.  Copyright law according to Kathy. Hmm.  Maybe that is why I didn't show these before. Feel free to give me a talking to.  The one on the right was one of the first ones in the altered book.
 Again, the one on the right is much older than the one on the left.  The right side seems easier to work on so I guess they get used first.
Same thing here.  The quote on the right is a very long one but one that is especially appropriate to my big girl job and I read it often.
Since I work randomly in the book it is kind of interesting to see the changes in my way of doing things and the different things I have tried.  Trust me, there have been a few do-overs for just that reason. 
I think I may rename this "The Never Ending Altered Book" project since I keep thinking I'm getting close to finished and then I'm not!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Just A Few Little Treasures

Just a very few!  I hit two estate sales on Saturday morning but the pickings were slim.  My favorite find was a wonderful sewing pattern from 1959.  It says it is a square dance costume but I think it looks more bohemian or south of the border.  I guess even square dance styles change. 
Thank you, Renee, for turning me on to those little plastic rain bonnet "purses".  This is the first one of an honest to gosh, planned collection - LOL!  It looks so cute with those dresses.
I now have THREE old plastic cutlery trays.  I didn't plan that.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A New Somerset Article

I finally got a copy of the Somerset Studio Gallery Summer 2012 issue today so I could see my latest article in print.  I am very pleased with the way this one turned out!  This isn't the first time I was published but each time is as exciting as the first.  I have "imposter's syndrome" and always think that any day everyone is going to figure out I don't have a clue (kluless!) what I'm doing and throw me out like yesterday's news.  When I get published it makes me feel like Sally Field - "you like me, you really like me"!  Thank you Somerset!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Just For Me

I took Monday off and used the day to catch up on some errands.  My reward was a leisurely stroll through the Monticello Antique Marketplace. Going to an antique mall isn't like my typical junking where I have my eye out for hidden treasures and stock for my Etsy store.  In there, like minded junkers have already curated the best stuff and displayed it to inspiring perfection.  I brought home two little treasures - just for me.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

All In A Days Work

 I finished my mail art cards for the International Mixed Media Postcard Swap v.2.   Check.
All of them the same but each one a little different.  Four are going to international addresses and 6 to domestic addresses, including one to the North Pole, AK - how fun!
 A quick stroll through the VOA yielded a pack of wrapping paper that included several sweet vintage sheets plus I was able to pick up some sparkly rhinestone bling.  Check.
 This vintage Christmas wrap is pretty faded but still love the little elves!
 Blue rhinestones on a sheet of vintage wedding shower paper.
 I have pierced ears but these earrings are so pretty I might even try wearing them.
 While I was occupying myself with those pastimes The Husband was brewing beer.  He made my recipe today - the finest light beer in the land!  Check.
 A walk around the backyard to "survey the plantation".  Check.
The Dinosaur Food is high as an elephant's eye now.  It seriously grows several inches every day.
 The ferns are gorgeous at this time of year and the Foxglove and Cranesbill are coming on .
I bees are wild about the Cranesbill so I guess I should plant some next to the tomatoes.  Hey you guys, would you mind moving over there for a while...

Friday, June 1, 2012

Here We Go Again!

In case you haven't heard, Karen at My Desert Cottage is hosting Where Bloggers Create for a fourth year.  It is SO much fun to meet the other bloggers out there and have the chance to see where they create.  I have added the button to my side bar as well.  Just click to visit her blog and enter.  You don't want to miss this party! Thank You Karen!