Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Recent Junk

 I took last Monday off so I had a long weekend but lots of catching up to do around the homestead so just a quick stop at the VOA had to suffice for a junking fix.  The glove box and the hankie under the figurine are  actually from the recent trip to California.  There wasn't much junking there since we were in the tourist-y area and things were priced accordingly.  Fun to look, though!  The shelf in the upper left corner is for my imaginary antique mall booth, as is the SWEET green napkin and place mat set. It is an awkward shape to ship.  Do you other Etsy shop owners run in to that issue and what do you do??  The two candle stands are part of the styrofoam head project that I will show in a future post.
 I think this little stepped shelf thing was for nail polish in it's previous life.  It cleaned right up and is now holding my assortment of glues in the art room.  The BIG bag of drawers pulls just had to come home with me.  Since WBC I have made a few changes on my desk and switched out a vintage Lucite drawer unit that held my pens for a wooden one that used to be on my dresser.  I'm thinking I will change out the wooden knobs for some of these but the screws don't fit so a trip to the hardware store in in order.
 I bet Betsy would know exactly what to do with these!
 This sweet little plastic girlie is marked Hong Kong on the bottom.  I have already have a similar one so...
 I think this is the start of a collection.  I don't know what they are but I call them Hong Kong Hummels.
 It has been HOT here, by Portland standards, and the Clematis put on quite a show this year and lasted longer than normal, go figure!
The purple is so bright it is almost fluorescent!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling, Keep The Blog Tour Rolling....

Several weeks ago one of my blogging buddies, Betsy at My Salvaged Treasures, invited me to come along on a blog tour.  What a fun opportunity to visit old friends and make some new ones along the way!
Betsy is the Queen of re-purposing!  She has a fort and a magic garage where junk goes in and treasure comes out.  She has so many great ideas I don't even know how she finds time to sleep!  If you are not familiar with her blog I recommend you pop on over and check it out.  You can also learn about her creative process and meet some new friends on her blog tour post.
Now down to the business of the blog tour....I am supposed to answer 4 questions.
#1:  What am I working on?
A Spring junking excursion netted me three Styrofoam wig heads.  I didn't know what I would do with them at the time, which is often the case.  I have learned to pay attention to the little tickle in the back of brain that tells me that if I buy it, the inspiration will come.  They are still a work in progress but I have already found stands for two of them.  Check back in a week or so to see the finished project.
#2:  How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I don't really know that it does!  The thing about altered art or mixed media or whatever name you give it, is that no matter where the inspiration starts, it always ends somewhere that is uniquely your own.  By using found objects and vintage treasures, your work is never exactly the same as something made by someone else.
#3:  Why do I write/create what I do?
This one is easy, I have no choice!  A creative co-worker described it perfectly just a few days ago.  Life's obligations have been getting in her way and she said her head is so filled with ideas and she just has to get them OUT before she bursts.  I have no unique talents, just an insatiable need to make things.  If I had nothing to work with except sticks and mud, I would still make something.
#4:  How does your writing/creating process work?
I wish I could tell you I have a magic spell that gets the muse to come out and play any time you want, but I don't.  She is a fickle friend and I find I have to play according to her schedule or she takes her magic and goes home.  When she comes calling I do my best to take the queue from her and follow her lead.

Next, I am pleased to introduce you to a couple of blogging buddies I invited along on the tour.  They each have different and distinctive styles that are equally charming and inspiring to me.
Maureen at Victorian Studio is an aficionado of everything Tim Holtz and shares my love of steampunk. She makes amazing videos about her creations!
I am Maureen from the blog "Victorian Studio" - a Canuck with a penchant for all things old English, Steampunk and rustic. I love to create in my studio (in the company of at least one of my three felines) learning new artistic techniques along the way. I enjoy sharing my creations online and discovering other bloggers from around the world who share similar preoccupations with antiques, vintage and crafting.
Laure at Indulge Your Shelf shares my passion for lace and buttons.  She loves all things Audrey, vintage Vera and robin's egg blue.  I adore her lace books!
Laurie lives on the Colorado plains with her husband of 23 years and her son, who will be a high school Senior this Fall.  She has a full time clerical job but would rather be writing, treasure hunting in thrift shops, and making art.  She makes journals, collages and textile art from her stash of wonderful old stuff, and dabbles in jewelry, painting and anything else that strikes her fancy.
A big thank you to Betsy for inviting me along on the tour PLUS she inspired me to finally dip my toe in PicMonkey and try making photo collages.  I am one lucky girl to have found this inspiring tribe of women!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Happy Mail!

 Back in April I jumped in on a blog swap and was delighted when I received a package in the mail from Cathy at ma vie trouvee today.  This gorgeous collage is an original piece, made by Cathy. I am so honored she would gift me with it and will display it proudly.  She currently lives in Singapore and embraces every culture she encounters.  She was worried I wouldn't like the Asian vibe but I simply adore it!
 She included a handmade card that is also her own artwork, I don't know what the pony is called but the red part is elegant red flocking.  Everything was packaged up in a decorated envelope.  But what is that on the right side...
Well, buttons, of course!  She knows me well.  She purchased them in a city in Indonesia called Yogyakaita (I hope I got that right!).  Before I add them to my collection I plan to string them together with a tag stating where they came from.  They are all different than anything I already have and so fun to have buttons from another country.  Thank you SO much Cathy!
My own swaps are still inside my head but, lucky for me, we have until the end of the year and it might take me that long at the rate I'm going!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

In Case You Were Wondering...

 ... what I've been up to.  No blog-worthy junk this weekend as I was enjoying the company of a good friend yesterday and today was all about some much-needed catching up in the yard.  The Stargazers are perfume at both the front door and the back door right now and I cut one to bring inside last night.  Some love the fragrance and some hate the fragrance.  I love it!
And what's in my kitchen sink at the moment?  Some pretty soon-to-be-white-again white lace.  Golly I hope I don't have to iron it.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Rest of Those Buttons

 When we returned from vacation last weekend I finished cleaning and sorting that huge tin of buttons.  I already showed you the plastics in this post.  These are the rest of the "keepers".  The buttons above are all glass.  The little ducky is my favorite!
 LOTS of MOP in that tin!  On the far left are the dyed ones, or the far right are the abalone shell and the apothecary jar full is already listed in my Etsy.
 These are the ones I kept for myself.
 China buttons.
 Bone buttons. I don't know why I'm so stupid on those silly things.  I think I just like the resourcefulness of using what was on hand.
 On the far left there are some unusual leather and metal ones. The round ones at the bottom are wood.  The rest are wafers and tight tops.
 Most of the metal buttons were in pretty bad shape but I did save a few.  I am especially fond of the copper in the upper left.
 Vegetable ivory and a few uniform buttons.
These two little Cub Scout buttons are my favorite from the uniforms.
This was a HUGE lot and I've gotten my buttons fix for a while!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Where Blogger Create 2014 Edition

 Welcome friends, new and old, to another edition of Where Bloggers Create!  In years past I have done a 360 degree tour around the place I call my art room but I decided to switch things up this year and just showcase some of the things I love to surround myself with.  If you want to see the previous tours you can click here:  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010.  WOW, I can't believe it has been five years!
 I am a dyed in the wool junker and love to hunt the thrift stores and estate sales.  Nothing pleases me more than a poke sack or a good "digger" sale.  I am especially fond of old buttons, sewing patterns, lace and sewing notions, birdies, paper ephemera, sparkly things, rusty things, vintage vanity boxes, jewelry boxes  and satin bags, oh dear....!  I can't keep it all so I also run an Etsy store called StrangeNotions to hold the clutter at bay. My younger son built this little cabinet to hold my collection of satin vanity boxes.  I use them to hold the vintage notions, trims and flowers I use in the inspiration kits I make for my Etsy.
 I collect vintage bird figurines, feed the birds in my backyard and just adore birdies.  This old birdcage is a recent find and houses my accumulation of faux feathered friends.
 I store most of my buttons in glass jars so I can see and enjoy them.  I consider myself an "accumulator" and not a collector because I don't collect anything specific and I don't mount them on cards.  I just love the way they look all jumbled up together.

 This is Mona.  She was a gift from my mother-in-law, Lisa. Mona has two little girls, Calliope and Harmony, but they weren't properly attired for the party so will have to join us another time.  Oh, wallpaper boxes, now that's another soft spot in my heart.
 The shelf above the closet hold my accumulation of salt and pepper shakers, among other things.  I painted the pictures many years ago when I was in folk art period.
 I don't like dolls.  You may find that surprising because you are going to see a few around my room.  I like their heads, especially if they have "wonky" eyes, and the creepy ones.
 All manner of sewing notions find their way into my room and some evolve in to collections.  There are also cloth tape measures and thimbles, just to name a couple. Don't even get me started on pins and needles.
 Shelves inside the closet hold a lot of my collection of vintage jewelry boxes.  They hold sparkly things that I use in my inspiration kits.  The vintage hamper holds packing material for my Etsy shop.
 This little cabinet holds most of the bits and pieces that are not buttons and not sparkly things.  I bought it at a great little shop in my neighborhood called Division Street Antiques.  I covered the fronts of the drawers with my wallpapers but you could do the same thing with scrapbook paper. This one purchase solved a LOT of the clutter in my room.
 The top of the cabinet holds curiosities.  I like things that a little odd and unique. On the far right is a talisman doll I made a couple of years ago. She definitely qualifies as odd!
 More jars of buttons and some of my vintage satin lingerie bags.
 A huge basket of buttons that don't make the cut for the apothecary jars.  Yes, that little doll in the back has a blindfold on.  I thought it might be humiliating for her to sit in a basket of buttons so I covered her eyes so she wouldn't know.  Don't judge.
 This is my personal collection of my favorite vintage laces, stored in an old suitcase.  Oh yes, suitcases, another one of my soft spots!  I use the large ones to store family keepsakes.
 More creepy dolls.  I'm sorry about the fuzzy picture.  They are sitting in the tray from a vintage trunk that I re-purposed as a shelf and it is hung in a corner where it is really hard to get a good picture.
 This is what is sitting on top of my printer because no flat surface stays empty for long around here!  I made the salt box shrine several years ago and it houses one of my little birdie friends.  Most are displayed in the somewhat-normal part of my house.
 A shelf above my desk.  Things that I need and things I just want to look at....
 More treasures above my desk.I don't know how I got four elephants.  I don't collect elephants,  It was an accident.  At least I know where they are in case I ever need one.
 Buttons and buttons...
 and more buttons.
 Wooden spools.  Yes, you CAN have too many wooden spools.  Trust me on that.
 And more buttons.  I sort them by plastic, colored glass, transparent glass, vegetable ivory, two piece tight-tops, plastic rhinestones, glass rhinestones, shoe buttons, bone buttons, china buttons, mother of pearl buttons, metal buttons, military buttons and yes, even vintage underwear buttons.  It is an addition, I tell you.
 Satin lingerie bags from a more elegant time.
 A beautiful old blouse with light shining through it from the window and a sweet crazy-quilt bag.
 I store ribbon on rods above both the closet and the window and the overflow lands in this hanging basket.
 I am actually TRYING to collect Infant of Prague figurines but they are few and far between around here.
 Vintage needle cards.  I resisted this collection for years and finally gave in.  I adore the graphics on them.
 Oh!  Here is that shelf in the closet again.  I do keep buttons in some of the jewelry boxes but most of them are vintage jewelry bits and pieces.  I am especially fond of the sparkly stuff!  That canister on the left is full of cards of rick-rack.  The jar is where I put trim scraps.  When it gets too full I put together a scrap-pack for Etsy and send them on to inspire someone else.
A jar filled with trinkets waiting to be something.  I love making shadow boxes so I am always on the look-out for interesting little bits and pieces. Everything should get a chance to be something.
Thank you so much for stopping by for the tour today!
Many thanks to Karen at My Desert Cottage for once again hosting this amazing annual event that we all look forward to so much!