Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Button Bonanza

 Just before we left on vacation I was the lucky winner of three button auctions on eBay.  The photos were very poor but I could spot enough interesting buttons that I was able to recognize it was a "real" button box that had been separated into three different tins to make it more saleable.  I contacted the seller and asked if they would omit the tins and combine shipping then I bid ruthlessly to win them.  I shouldn't give away my strategy but I have had good luck bidding on these lots where the seller clearly isn't a button person.  Sorry about the garish red background but this is post-cleaning and I lay them out on a towel to dry.
 A few of the carved MOP buttons I pulled from the pile.  You can click the pictures bigger.
 Clear glass, leather and some china buttons up at the top.
 Wooden buttons, bone underwear buttons and some metal.  I still haven't really figured out why underwear buttons have those big holes.  I know it has something to do with twill tape but don't really understand how they were used.
 Dyed MOP buttons.
 Colorful plastic buckles.
 Interesting plastic buttons.
 Even MORE interesting plastic buttons.

 Uniform buttons and other metals.
 Glass buttons and a sweet little orange china.  The button in the lower right looks like cloth but it is glass.
Vegetable ivory and the two in the lower left corner are a couple of the best Tight Tops I have found.  I probably paid a little much since easily half of them will go into my personal collection and not be resold on Etsy but somebody has to rescue them and appreciate them - right??

Monday, October 29, 2012

Jackson Junking

I speed-picked one shop, Antiques On Main, during our vacation and this is my little haul of goodness.  The metal odds and ends are actually from my MIL's garage but I forgot to put them in the previous post.  I don't know what they will become but it makes me happy to know they are right there in the drawer if I need them.  Tell me you don't do things like that.
 A new needle book for my recently acknowledged collection.
 Another advertising needle book, a patterned hankie for my collection, a couple of glass chandy drops and a sweet, padded Easter card.  Love the ruffles!
 I got quite an assortment of rick-rack that will show up in my Etsy shop at some point and a ball of avocado pearl cotton for my bookmarks.  I didn't have that color.
 A big enamel bowl with roses inside.  I have two now.....
 A nice stack of white hankies that will also head to Etsy.
 I keep the colored ones and share the white ones.
Thank you all for your advice about the doilies in the previous post.  Every single one of you voted to leave them as-is and so it will be!  They are patiently sitting inside the atomic closet organizer waiting for me to bust a move.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

To Cali and Back

 Meet the girls!  We had two extra passengers on our return trip from Cali and I am delighted to welcome them to my art room.  The girl on the left still needs to be attached to the stand and adjusted, assuming the waist will crank to a MIDDLE-age dimension!  The girl on the right (what a hussy!) had to be carefully packed so as to not moon anyone out the side window or send the State Patrol in hot pursuit on the way home . 
She is modeling a beautiful new red cardigan sweater my MIL made and kindly gifted to me, along with "the girls".  The two stands in front of them will be stored away in the attic until my dreams come true and I take on a space at an antique mall.
 This beautiful Sugar Pine stands next to my MIL's deck.  Some of you know we spent this past week visiting her in California's gold country - Amador County. She is preparing to downsize to a smaller property. We checked out the potential new locations and offered encouragement.
 She is retired but has a large home studio filled with her current projects and the remaining inventory from her long career as proprietor of Lisa's Yarn Shop in downtown Jackson, California. If you knit or do needlework be sure to check out the destash in her Etsy shop, MagicWithYarns.
I filled a little pot I had on hand with the very long needles that covered the ground under the Sugar Pine.  I need to buy some Spanish Moss to tuck in around the edges.  The closet box on the right came from her studio.  Who needs California Closets when you can have an "atomic age" closet!
 Warm, handmade, wool vests to keep me warm this winter.
 She grows delicious oranges.  These won't be ripe until January but they are already plump with promise of what is to come.
 This beautiful Firethorn (Pyracantha) grows next to the front gate in her white picket fence.
 Have you ever tasted a Prickly Pear?
 These plants are higher than my head and the fruits are pear-sized, indeed.  The fruit is dark red and delicious, once you get to it.
 She gave me a shoebox filled with dozens of these little crochet pieces.  They were gifted to her by a woman in her 90s who said that her mother made them.  They are more than 100 years old.
 We sorted and admired and concluded they were samples she made as she worked out her crochet patterns.  These need to be used in a very special project.  I am thinking of a fabric sampler book.  Opinions, please...  do you think I should wash them or leave them showing their age?
Leaving this beautiful country home is not an easy decision for her but I feel confident she is making a good choice and what her new home lacks in garden charm will be more than made up for in more time for friends and new adventures!
I did make one quick stop at an antique mall during the visit and I got a big new box of buttons just before we left plus I have nearly finished a project that has been sitting on my desk for months.  Time to get back to my regularly scheduled programming!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Busy Work

 I'm sorry I have been so absent lately.  Busy and work have been my lot this week but I squeezed in some pseudo-creative time tonight.  I like to add a little something extra to my Etsy orders and I have a theory that people will be more likely to keep a bookmark than a business card.  I do use little Moo cards for small packages, like Altoids, but I send along a bookmark any time it fits in the package.  I used to make them myself by having a template I made color-copied and then gluing them together.  I recently found this company where I could have them professionally printed for LESS than the color copies and gluing.
 I have a big stash of colorful balls of pearl cotton that are perfect for making the tassels.  I was out of finished ones and making them one by one as I packed up each order so I sat down tonight and made a pile using every color in my basket.
The bookmarks are the same collage I use for the banner in my Etsy store.  One side is the address and the other side says "Art and Inspiration".
A little mindless busy-work to sooth my soul.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

At Last!

We had a glorious, drenching rain yesterday.  It started mid-morning so I grabbed my umbrella and walked outside my office.  Oh, the fragrance of a long over-due shower.  I am pretty sure I could hear my garden breath a sigh of relief from there!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Autumn Isn't Always Orange And Gold

My Fall Crocus are in bloom.  Autumn doesn't conjure thoughts of lavender but no one told the Fall Crocus.  They are so fleeting but so beautiful while they last.  I have heard that Saffron comes from the stamen of Fall Crocus.  I am certainly not brave enough to try it but can you imagine trying to harvest it?  It is no wonder it is so incredibly expensive!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

One Sale, One Find

 I only had time for one sale this weekend and it was the second day, but you never know.  There was just one treasure to be had but so sweet it made the short drive over there worthwhile.  At first I thought it was a lace hankie and I think the gals in charge of the sale might have thought so, too.  When I got it home and examined it I realized it was a beautiful little Christening cap.
It was nestled on a pretty paper lace doily in its original box.  Those of you who are local will recognize where it came from   Meier and Frank was an iconic Portland department store until just a few years ago when Macy's swooped in and gobbled it up.  Gosh, I miss that store!
I have been outside cutting down crispy ferns this afternoon.  Everything is so desperately dry I figure I don't need to waste water on those guys.  Trust me, someday the ferns will inherit the earth.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Color of Autumn

The wind was blowing yesterday and making the leaves in the parking lot at my office chase each other around and around in circles until they formed drifts of the most beautiful colors.  When I told you about casting the concrete leaves in this post, I mentioned how Roberta paints her cast leaves in the most unusual and stunning colors.  She uses olive and burgundy and chartreuse and purple and gold tones that I thought I would never think of using because I don't picture them in nature.  Wrong!  These leaves are exactly the pallet she uses and will be my inspiration when I paint mine.  A gift from Mother Nature.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I {heart} The Bins

 I took a long weekend and it was one of those long weekends that FEELS really long - I love when that happens!  I even had time for a trip to The Bins.  It is a very good thing that I don't live closer because I could develop a serious addiction to that treasure hunt.
 Tell me you wouldn't have brought her home with you?
 This little Santa looks like he just came down the chimney and, judging by his red cheeks, he seems to be a tad embarrassed about it.  I'll be sending him over to Laurie for some Ethel-izing.
 Wash, rinse and repeat....
 I scored a big pile of interesting patterns and hot-iron transfers.  They were all in one bin so likely the remnants of someones sewing room.  Big sigh.  When I find one old, interesting, item in a bin I thouroughly pick it because I often find more.  It will take a while to go through them all and figure out what is complete and what isn't.
 When I spotted these two patterns I went feet-off-the-floor into the bin and did a little Army crawl. (Dude, do you really need to check the zippers on that backpack right HERE because!)  I am not tall enough to reach all the way across a bin so getting to the stuff on the other side can be a challenge.  Guerilla picking....
A seriously enormous pile of finished granny squares.  These will be headed to Etsy in hopes someone will appreciate the work that went into them and rescue them for a project of their own.
A new record at 25 pounds.