Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Work In Progress

 I promised to show the "project" I picked up when I was out thrifting last Friday.  Well, last year I discovered the joy of vintage Christmas ornaments and began collecting them as you might recall from this post.  The pink ones got me jonesing for a pink tree on the table in the art room.
 I have been on the lookout for a sparse feather or tinsel-style tree.  No luck so far, at least not at a price I was willing to pay.  I spotted this new-in-the-box silver  Christmas card holder at the VOA and the muse snatched it up.  I covered it with vintage pink tinsel garland I found on this trip
 My MIL has been here for Thanksgiving week and she spotted a white pearl pendant I could use to dress up the star so it stood out more.  I covered it with pink Martha glitter and tied with sliver ribbon.
 I didn't have nearly enough pink ornaments to get started so we made a trip to the Montecello Antique Mall on Saturday.  There were WAY more than this newbie-collector was willing to spend in one trip but I got enough to have a good start on my "vision". 
I even got a couple marked Poland that sweet Barbara at Oodles and Oodles was kind enough to educate me about.
I plan to bend the card holder rings in and out so I can create layers.  It's a start and there is room for a LOT more ornaments, which is just fine by me. 8+)

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Surprise In The Mailbox!

 Remember the little book I told you about in this post? Well, Stampington has had it so long I had pretty much given up on it and then, today, I came home from work to find a complementary copy of "Somerset Studio Gallery Winter 2012" in my mailbox. I had no clue but there it was!
These scan aren't very good and they only showed a couple of the pages.  When the real deal comes home I will show the rest of the story.
What a great surprise!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Latest Quote Pages

No, I did not participate in Black Friday.  Yes, I did go thrifting and I didn't get a lot but I did get the beginning of a new project, which I reveal when it is finished.  Just to keep you wondering, it MAY require a few more trips to the thrift shop to complete.  Oh. Darn. 8+)
For now, you get some new pages in the altered quote book.  The quote on the right has special meaning for me.
I don't have a store-bought education.  I have a curious mind and I figure things out as I go along.  When I went back into the workforce 20 years ago I wondered if I could ever get ahead when I was surrounded by young people with fresh minds and sparkly new degrees.  I kept this quote taped in the pencil tray in the top drawer of my desk so I was reminded every time I opened it.  It worked.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you all a sweet Thanksgiving celebration!

Monday, November 21, 2011

HooRAY For Buttons And Picking Karma!

 I was in the right place at the right time this Sunday and look what was waiting for me at the VOA!  A sweet old English tin and a box of Christmas lights from 1956.  The lights aren't really my thang but I have a blog friend who will love this and hopefully I will get a chance to give them to her before the holidays are over.  FOUR, count 'em FOUR bags of buttons. 
 Many, many original cards, plus plenty of the other usual button box, sewing and crafting stuff.
 Lots of loose buttons to poke through and the previous owner had even  bagged some of the matching ones.  There were a LOT of leather buttons so I might have to show that accumulation in one of my next buttons posts.
 Sorting these went pretty quick since there were so many carded ones.  I still plan to thread together the sets.  It is kind of tedious to do but the buttons just look so much prettier that way than in bags.
 Here are a few of my favorites I picked out.  You can click the picture to get a closer look.
These are hands-down my favorites. Oh, I wish the macro setting on my little camera could give you a better look.  They are glass paperweight buttons with gorgeous peach swirls and glittery gold inside.  Extra special buttons to my eyes!
Maybe this was my good picking karma from giving up the poke jar at that other sale!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hope Sachet

 This lovely sachet arrived in the mail yesterday from my friend Annette at So Many Memories.  All of the special little embellishments and handwork are just stunning!  Lace, buttons, beads and embroidery.  As if it could get any better, it is filled with lavender and perfumes the whole room. 
It was wrapped and tied with vintage seam binding plus she included one of her sparkly white Christmas ornaments and a special card.  You can find her lovely handmade treasures for sale in her SoManyMemories Etsy shop.  Thank you Annette, I love it all!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Mother of Pearl Buttons

 Another little accumulation of buttons.  I have a big jar of mother of pearl buttons that I use for crafting but I set aside the ones that look "special" {to my eyes} in this little jewelry box.
 Have I mentioned I cannot resist vintage jewelry boxes - he he! They do come in handy.
 Let's take a peek inside.  I set aside the carved ones, unusual shapes or sizes and dyed ones.
And the especially large ones, sets and ones that seem to be of a better quality.  I'm not really sure if it is correct to call them mother of pearl, shell or abalone.  Maybe all of the above are correct and I have just never taken the time to learn the difference.  You can identify them by rubbing them against your teeth just like real pearls.  They have a gritty feel that plastic doesn't have.  Kind of creepy to sort a tin of dirty old buttons and rub them on your teeth but I do.  My confession for this post!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Velveteen Woman

I'm tired tonight so I've just been goofing around in the art room and finished up this piece that has been partially done for months.  I love this photo.  It is poet Leonie Adams and it was taken by Hans Namuth.  I ran across it in a 1960 copy of Horizon magazine.  The first thing that popped in my head was she looked like a velveteen woman.  You all know the story of the velveteen rabbit, so shabby from love that it became real.  She looks real that way.
It's pretty hard to read the quote at the top.  It says "it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are", by ee cummings. 
This will hang in my art room to remind me of all these things.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Breaking the Rules

 I have this rule.  On Saturday mornings I have to do my housework before I can go out picking.  Yes, this means I am never the early bird who get the worm.  But going picking is my reward for getting my work done and if I didn't bribe myself it might not get done at all!
 Saturday morning there was an estate sale right around the corner from my house.  It was so nearby I figured I could dash over there, get back home, and still get my housework done.  Oh.My.Gosh.
 The woman had been a crafter and especially a quilter and there were three entire bedrooms filled with fabrics and notions.  The buttons were mostly gone by the time I got there but still tons of notions.  The pile of lace and trims was so big I didn't want to take the time to sort through it all so I asked the staff to figure out what they wanted for the whole pile while I ran over to the ATM.
 When I got back they said $75.  Well, holy smoke, that's just a tad rich for my blood so I ended up on the floor picking out the pieces I really wanted after all.  There was a lot of modern lace I wasn't too interested in and that is what they wanted the high price for.  They didn't seem to think much of the older stuff.  Works for me! I wish I knew more about vintage fabrics because there were piles and piles.  They haven't started on the basement yet and will continue the sale in early December.  I plan to be tardy on the housework again.
 There were also three big jars of miscellaneous jewelry and interesting bits an pieces.  Are you ready??  ONE DOLLAR per jar.  I'll buy those all day long just for the chance to poke through them!
Right after I put them in my box another woman dashed into the room and cried, oh no, they are gone!  She said she came back just to get them.  They were a dollar each and she couldn't make up her mind??  Anyway, a woman on the staff said oh, that lady has them and pointed to me.  The gal followed my around for a while and finally begged, please, could I have just one of them?  I felt sorry for her so of course I handed one over.  I know they would have haunted her if I didn't and I was happy to share.  One. 8+)  For once I was the early bird!
When I got home I put the whole pile in the art room and didn't let myself look until I got the housework done.  I did it good enough and we won't have to move away this week.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sparkly Things

 Sharing more button love today with my little collection of glass rhinestone buttons.  I keep them separated from the plastic rhinestone buttons for no good reason other than that is how I do it.
 If you look close you will realize some of them are missing rhinestones.  I save them anyway and repair them as I find rhinestones in the correct size.  I have purchased loose rhinestone assortments on eBay but I also save the random ones I find in the bottom of vintage button boxes.  They just sit in a pretty little tin, patiently waiting to find their soul-mate. You haven't finished sorting a vintage tin of buttons until you have picked up every single piece, one by one, and looked at both sides.  You never know what treasure might be hiding at the bottom with the pins and lint.
 Can you imagine a coat with a row of those big blue ones down the front?  Now that is some BLING!
I promised to continue showing my button collections (and I remembered!) so I am linking up with Cindy's Show And Tell Friday at My Romantic Home again today.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Recent Altered Book Pages

When I really need to relax I turn to my altered book project.  I read a lot about the value of play and how creative types should take time to play.  I never thought I had time to do that, or even knew what doing that looked like.  One day I realized that IS what I am doing when I work in my altered book, not unlike the day I realized I DO journal.  My altered book is my journaled collection of quotes.  What we do might not look like what somebody else is doing but it is the same in the end.  The creative things we do for no other reason than our personal pleasure.  Ha!  Some women take bubble baths.  I make stuff.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I Bought Myself A Whole Bunch Of Washing And Ironing

 Yesterday was mostly work and little play so I made it my business to get out to at least one estate sale today.  This package of vintage wrapping paper cracked me up - "from your friendly Social Counselor"!  I was wondering why your counselor would give you a pack of wrapping paper then I realized it must been some sort of home-party like Tupperware - DOH!  I didn't buy those little chairs today but they matched so perfectly that I had to add them to the picture.
 So why can't I be hopelessly enamoured with something that goes in the dishwasher?  Or at least permanent press?  I was thrilled to find all these hankies and crochet and tatted trims at a reasonable price but oh.my.goodness. the washing and ironing in my future. 
 I did find a new lace-edge milk glass plate to add to my personal collection.  I haven't found one I don't have in several years and then I have found two since Spring.  I actually left it behind because the area where I have them hung up is full.  I drove about 10 blocks down the street and thought how dumb was that.  For $2.50 I can't let it sit around until I find a spot??  Sometimes I'm a dork and this is one that would have haunted me for sure.  I would love to show this collection sometime but haven't figured out a way to photograph them.  They are hung way up near the ceiling in my kitchen.
Lots of vintage hankies.  I start off soaking in regular laundry soap with Oxy added.  I do buy things with stains and attempt to rescue them.  Sometimes I resort to bleach or even Stain Bully.  Better living through chemistry - unless you're a vintage linen.  Once in a while I make an "instant cutter".  What do the rest of you use and where do you buy it?
 I got two sweet little baby jackets and a baby bonnet.  I am NOT going to attempt washing that bonnet.  It is gorgeous and looks just perfect the way it is.  Click the second picture bigger to get a closer look.  So much sweet detail!
 Vintage crochet and tatted trims.  One of my Grandmothers tatted.  I wonder if anyone still does.
A pair of appliques and a closer look at some of the hankies.  They had a LOT to look through and I was there at least an hour.  When I came out I looked at the clock in my car and thought, wow, was I really in there for two hours??  Estate sale time warp.  Then I remembered I haven't set the time back in my car yet.  Have to figure out how to do that.  {sign}

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Vintage Metal Button Collection

 I did get out last weekend for a tiny bit of junk shopping but I got home and put it all away before it occurred to me that I hadn't taken any pictures.  I'm blaming it on the mouth surgery.  That's my story and I'm sticking with it!
Since I don't have any new junk to show and I know that a lot of you share my love of buttons I thought I should start doing a button collection post every now so this the first in a series.  If I can remember.
 This wonderful old plastic jewelry box holds my favorite metal buttons plus some special vegetable ivory buttons.
 Click the pictures bigger so you can get a good look. Doesn't it remind you of a treasure chest?
 Look closely in the upper right compartment and you can see a couple of vegetable ivory whistles.  For those of you who aren't familiar with buttons, a "whistle" has one hole on the front and two holes on the back. There are all sorts of cut steels in the front compartments.  Cut steels are old Victorian buttons.
 The bottom is filled with a variety of larger buttons.  I don't collect according to any specific category or criteria.  I just keep the ones that look unusual to my eyes.
 I can't imagine how many thousands of buttons have passed through my hands in my lifetime, probably millions.  When eBay first launched, in the early 1990s, I was a button seller.  Gosh would I love to have some of THOSE buttons back!  I never hit the Mother Lode by finding something like a Gay 90s or anything like, but I've temporarily owned some pretty cool buttons.
 When I stopped selling them on eBay I started saving the ones I really liked and that has grown into several random collections like this one.  No matter how many times I have seen them, they still delight me every time I open the lid!
I am linking up for Show and Tell Friday over at My Romantic Home.  Cindy throws the best parties so be sure to stop by and mingle a little!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Killer Stuff and Tons of Money

"Killer Stuff and Tons of Money" by Maureen Stanton.  This is the book I mentioned reading in a recent post.  I don't often take time to read real book, the kinds filled with words, but I couldn't put this one down.  What I learned from reading this book is that I am at the bottom of the bottom feeders in the food chain of flea market junkies.  No apologies or regrets.  To borrow a quote from this book...  "I'm going to make a million dollars, one dollar at a time" - LOL!
This book absolutely captures the lure of the flea market and the thrill of the hunt for that next great thing.  If you love junk, you gotta read this.
This book steered me in the direction of "Hidden Treasures" by Leigh and Leslie Keno.  This is not a newly released book but I had somehow missed it.  Probably because it is filled with, well, words.  I gobbled it up nearly as fast as the first one.  They went into a little too much detail about antique furniture for me but it was interesting to read about the way the top of the food chain wheels and deals.  I especially liked the part about their childhood and how their collecting passion began.  Also how one of them {I can't keep them straight} began his professional career working on the loading dock at Sothebys.  No kidding.  I think that's call that paying your dues!
Here's to happy hunting because that next thing you find might just be "the thing"!!