Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Vintage Christmas Picking

I usually pass up the Christmas isle at the thrift stores because I already own more than my fair share of Christmas. More of the "stuff" I hold on to because every little thing tells a story. And I am tired of most of it and more and more I find I have a hard time getting enthused about decorating for Christmas. But I have been inspired lately by Into Vintage and Magpie Ethel and oh so many pretty blogs displaying those glittery vintage ornaments. So I got thinking... maybe I could [gasp]... get some different stuff!
Isn't this little 3D Santa just adorable? I have just a few vintage plastic decorations I display under the miniature tree I put on my desk at work and this Santa reminds me of those. I don't even know if there is a name for that stuff! Maybe someone will see this and educate me. This ornament is far to large for the miniature tree but will fit right in on the "big" tree with a few of the old ornaments I still have from my childhood.
I bought the whole box just to get that Santa ornament and I'm not sure what I will do with the rest of them yet. I was kind of thinking of a pink theme, just to change things up, but there are only two pink ones. They are each flocked or glittered with little scenes and sentiments.
And these guys - MAN are they cute! I'm thinking I might glue them on a piece of wood or foam core covered with glitter and maybe add some glitter to the antlers, too. How does this go with a pink theme? I need to get a plan.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Around the World

I got out to the VofA this morning for some junking relaxation. I picked up a couple of neat vintage finds which I will show in another post but I wanted to post this one separately because it is... well... not your typical Christmas decoration.
I found this sack filled with a tangled mess of bright colors. I could recognize the miniature presents and little trees so I thought it must be some kind of Christmas decoration. Nothing I had ever seen before, that's for sure! Little paper umbrellas?? I got it home and spent 2 full hours untangling the giant knot and discovered there were four separate mobiles. They are all similar to the one pictured, with some variation in the colors of the paper umbrellas and trees. They measure about 8"x27". The papers they are made from remind me of a mulberry paper and the little trees have two layers that are stuffed with some kind of padding like little pillows.
I apologize the picture is so poor. It was really hard to photograph because I had to hang it from a hook over the door and it was too high for the tripod. I'm not good and keeping the camera still without the tripod.
I have finally concluded these must be an Asian interpretation of a Christmas ornament. Maybe I would know if I went out for Chinese food for Christmas dinner! If someone knows the real story behind these please let me know. In the meantime, they are sure giving me some inspiration!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sunday Picking and a Little LUX

I haven't had much luck at the VofA over the past several weeks but my luck changed last Sunday. You already know I adore those old satin dresser trays and was lucky enough to find two. I also got a little rayon seam binding and some interesting jewelry, including a rosary.
My favorite find was the two frilly little LUX soap "baskets". They are so pretty and brought back memories I hadn't thought of in years. I think they must have been made in the 1960s or early 1970s. I can remember some of my mother's friends making little "fishies" from the oval LUX soap cakes covered in pastel netting. They gave the bathroom such a lovely fragrance! I wonder if they even sell LUX soap anymore?? These are just adorable and went straight to my Etsy store where they can give someone else an awwwww moment.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cigar Box Collage

There wasn't much play time in the art room (art-ing!) this week but I did play around a little with an inspiration from the very talented Diane over at My Art Journal. She makes some really gorgeous collage cigar boxes.
I think a fair amount of what was called "tramp art" was once made using wooden cigar boxes. I have a few around that I store things in so I decided to spruce one up. Mine is pretty simple stuff since I only took a couple hours to work on it but it put a dozen ideas in my head.
I just glued on some scrapbook paper, did a little rubber stamping, added a few highlights with a white pen and finished it off with a coat of Mod Podge. Also learned you can't put Mod Podge over the top of white Signo ink. In case you were wondering.
I use this one to store some of the pens I shared with you in this post.
This was a lot of fun. Thank you Diane!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Saturday Estate Sales

I ventured out on Saturday instead of Sunday this past weekend and only had time to visit a couple of Estate sales. The first one was so high priced that even if I had the time to go back for half price on Sunday I STILL would have thought it was high.

I always wonder what they think when somebody like me spends an hour looking through all the treasures then walks up to the card table with a tiny little handful of treasures. They probably think I'm casing the joint!
I got everything pictured except for the doilies at that sale. The vintage Victorian calling cards are really pretty neat and I have decided to lean into all those wooden spools. Annette over at So Many Memories pointed out how pretty they look piled in a big bowl and she is right! Thanks for tip Annette!
The doilies were my only find from the second sale. I'm loving those shear nylon ones. This sale was in a planned retirement neighborhood so naturally there are a lot to Estate sales in there. A sad fact of life I'm afraid. I don't usually bother with them since I figure these folks cleaned out most of the "junk" I'm interested in when they downsized to move there. This was the case at this sale and I was regretting bothering with until I found a little stack of lovely doilies. Goes to show I shouldn't make assumptions!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pink Flamingos

Yes, you heard me right. I love pink flamingos and I am not embarrassed to say so! What's not to love? They are birds. They are graceful. They are pink. It's all good.
Since I started showing you my collection of birdies in this post I figured I would continue and show you some of my flamingos this time.
The indoor flamingos make their happy home on the little china hutch in my kitchen. Yes, I have several outdoor flamingos, as well, but none of the traditional "lawn" variety. {{So far}} I have two neon flamingos I like to light up for parties and one metal flamingo watering can that is way too cool looking to actually use so it simply stands guard over the hot tub. The tall one on the far left was the beginning of my collection. It was a gift from my paternal Grandmother. She got it sometime in the 1940s and gifted it to me about 20 years ago. Three of my flamingos are old enough to be considered vintage and the rest are more modern.
Yes, I know the little guy in the front is a swan but he is pink so he thinks he's a flamingo and the rest of the flock indulges him.
Thank you for stopping by today. I am linking up with Show and Tell Friday over at My Romantic Home so be sure and stop over and join in the party!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The End of an Era

Surely there must be a few among you who remember the 1990s. My heart's delight was to decorate my house in dusty blue and mauve. Remember how mauve was the code word so your husband wouldn't know it was pink?? I worked hard to purge out all the leftover 1970s orange and brown and avocado green and replace it with the current style, slowly but surely. BTW, I still swear the avocado green stove and refrigerator were better than what I have now! And I still have the avocado green crock pot and it's still working. Just saying.
My mother volunteered at a place called the Jubilee Store (love that name!) which supported her local food bank. She found this handled amber dish there, for a song, and asked a talented friend of hers to make the silk flower arrangement. She gave it to me for my 40th birthday and it has now been sitting in my office at work for FIFTEEN YEARS. Every now and then I use the canned air to blow out my computer keyboard and I give my 90s flowers a little shot at the same time. It has held up pretty well over the years. Mom has been gone 8 years this month. I finally brought it home yesterday.
My plan was to throw out the old flowers and replace them with something more fashionable. The dish is pretty and the amber color is coming back in style. Lime green and hot yellow maybe? What about bright blue?
Now I am waffling.... My house is filled to the BRIM with things I am tired of and cannot part with because of the sentimental value. Not like a hoarder house or anything, just full and no room for new. Sometimes I feel like I want to get a bulldozer and just push it all out the door so I can get different things my eyes aren't tired of seeing, but it's hard, you know? Does anybody else have this problem? What do you do??

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Little Etsy Excitement!

I got a nice surprise tonight. Mei Gui Designs included one of my listings in this Etsy Treasury.
The theme is Vintage Christmas and this is one of my photos in the listing. This is the first time I have been in one and I am SO flattered. Don't ya just love the Internet??
Oh! I almost forgot. Just a few days ago I mentioned in this post that I was FINALLY getting all those vintage photos off the floor of the closet, next to the water heater. You guessed it - the water heater sprang a leak today. Whew, just in the nick of time!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Grandma's Hankie Box

I said I would show you Grandma's hankie box so here we go! I am hooking this one up with Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home. Lots of great bloggers and beautiful photos over there so be sure and check it out!

Grandma's hankie box is one of my fondest memories from childhood. This box sat on her waterfall dresser and she would let me rummage through it and wrap the hankies around my Barbie dolls like evening gowns. It made me feel very special.
When I became an adult we lived many hundreds of miles apart but she would come "out west" every Summer and spend some time at my house and my Mother and Uncles houses and help out with the canning and keep company. The hankie box was a distant memory but a memory just the same. When she passed away in 1991 I was asked what I would like to have as a memento and the very first thing that came to mind was the hankie box. Over the years I have added many more hankies to the box and (shame on me!) am no longer sure which ones belonged to Grandma but there were a few other things she stored in this box that still remind me it was hers and a place to store her special things. Many of the hankies in these photos are not in pristine condition. That has never been as important to me as the lovely designs and what they represent. They are representative of a slower, more gentle, time and also a time when things weren't so disposable as they are today. I carried a hankie in my purse myself for many years, just because.
How lovely to look into your purse and see something like this!
Thank you for stopping by today and sharing in one of my cherished memories!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Genealogy Anyone?

First I should probably clarify a little about the last post. Several people thought I was dissing on myself about the NEW pillow and offered kind words of encouragement about it. Actually, I was dissing myself about letting OLD pillow get into such a deplorable condition before I finally gave up on it. I just took a class at PSU about communication and apparently didn't learn much. I hope my boss doesn't read this - LOL!
So, on to the next project, or at least the beginning of it. I think I might have mentioned that another one of my hobbies is genealogy. I like to say I collect dead relatives, to which some people reply "you mean like in the cellar?". Well, no. They are on the floor in the closet, which isn't much better! My project for this winter is to get all this stuff sorted, off the floor and out of the closet. Did I just say that? Dang, there goes that communication thing again....
I bought the gorgeous boxes you can see in the background early last spring at Michaels. I finally sorted a portion of the vintage photos into two families and stored them WAY up on top of the very tall desk hutch in my art room. Step one.
My plan is to find (read: thrift store) some sort of armour and move all the boxes and albums and suitcases into the spare bedroom so I can make space in the art room closet for a chest of drawers. To store art crap. Family heirlooms out, crap in, makes perfect sense, right? But the family WILL be nicely archived and in a much safer location that on the floor next to a water heater.
I wish I could show you close-ups of some of these photos. There are some great ones but I don't know how to do the "watermark" and I would feel terrible if my dead relatives turned up on some one's collage sheet. I have used copies of a few of them in my own artwork but somehow that feels like honoring them.
A social studies teacher in Junior High School (big sigh - 40 years ago) got me interested in the hobby and I suspect it has something to do with the reason I am drawn to the mixed media art that is so popular nowadays. I look into the faces in those old photos and I see people and lives and stories.
Along the way I became the keeper of the family archives. The oldsters pass on and the old pictures and photo albums make their way to me. I can't imagine I will ever get it all "finished" in spite of modern technology and the Internet making the research so readily available. I do have one son who respects it and I have asked them both to please not discard it when I'm gone. If they don't want it then just box it all up and ship it all to Utah. That isn't my faith but they are good people and they will take care of it until someone who is interested comes along.
If any of you are interested in genealogy I would love to hear about it. Oh! and be sure and stop back later this week. I'm going to be doing a post about Grandma's hankie box!