Sunday, February 24, 2013

Needlepoint and Vintage Market Haul

On this Vintage View Sunday, I'm sharing my collection of antique needlepoint purses and accessories--one purse and one frame that I found today at the Topanga Vintage Market, along with a game, beautiful old clothespins to use as lace or ribbon holders, and two heavy brass furniture embellishments, called "ormolu"-- that I just couldn't pass up.  So $35.00 later (what a deal), I came home with this:

  Made in Austria, the purse is in perfect condition, and I think would date around 1920 or 30. 
I was happy to find it at a price I could afford, since I had to pass them up in when 
I visited there due to the very high cost. The black needlepoint in the round frame is Victorian. 
I arranged some of my new finds along with my other needlepoint on a marble-topped table in my entry:

 The largest purse is probably from the 50s and has a medium size needlepoint.  
The next two purses snuggled up to it are Victorian, and are stitched with 
very fine petit point.  The opened case in the front has even smaller stitches. 
 I was told that it was "meta point."  I have never again seen 
needlepoint so small.  It looks like dots with the tip of a fine pen.

 Below you can compare the stitch size:

The meta point case actual size:

One interesting little piece is this match box with a bit of 
petit point in the center. I believe it is Victorian.

All-in-all, a very nice day, although cold and windy. 
 Now I just need to get back to cleaning, cooking, and crafting!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hot Knife Tutorial for Mounting Unmounted Stamps

I promised Debra at Common Ground that I would put together a tutorial on how to mount unmounted stamps. When I found the "With Love" stamp sheet in my mailbox this afternoon--my first design project of the year from Oxford Impressions--I decided that now was the time!  This stamp collection really rocks!  The script looks like it was written with a nibbed pen in Jane Austen style.  There's a sentiment for all the occasions you need.  And the large images mean you can make a quick stamped card at the last minute.  The small images are so versatile for envelopes, charms, collaging, ATCs--the ideas are endless.  Okay, ad is over... I'm just sooooo excited about this collection... :-)  On to the tutorial!

Oxford Impressions stamps come on as 8.5" x 11" sheet of thick red rubber.  You get LOADS of images, which gives you so much to work with at a fraction of the cost of already mounted stamps.

"With Love" Stamp Collection
Red rubber sheet of uncut stamps

To use them, you need to cut them out individually and mount on cling foam, which has a sticky side where you put the stamp, and a cling side for attaching and removing from acrylic blocks.  I mount my stamps a bit differently from the videos I've seen on YouTube. I learned the technique from a master stamper at a show.
Tools required:

Step 1: Cut the rubber. 

I like to cut my stamps very close to the image to avoid ink lines that are not part of the stamp getting on my stamped piece.  I've ruined too many cards!  It's a little scary to make your first cut--you might be afraid you are going to cut the image--but it gets more comfortable as you go. For difficult to reach areas, I cut in one direction, turn the stamp and cut in the other. It's easier to cut straight lines. You will soon figure out what works best for you.  

Trimming around a stamp
Trimming closely with straight cuts.

Step 2: Let the hot knife tool heat up while you continue to cut out all the rubber.

Step 3: Place your cut stamps on the sticky side of a cling foam sheet. I try to arrange them very tightly to economize on my use of the cling foam. 

Step 4: Adhere the cling side to your glass cutting board.  (I have put mine away and coudn't find it, so I am using a small piece of thin glass--I don't advise that!)

Foam on glass, cling side down.
Making the first cut. Keeping fingers out of the way.  The knife tip is very hot.

Step 5: To trim the foam, you might want to go into a well-ventilated area. When the knife tool is properly heated, the foam will cut like butter. Be careful not to touch the tip. Wipe any goo that forms on the knife tip on the wet sponge to prevent smoking and minimize the fumes. It is possible to cut without having the foam melt on the tip--just cut more quickly and don't linger in the same area too long.  You will get the hang of it.

Step 6: Once the stamps are all trimmed, mount on a cling-mount storage board.

Oxford Impressions Bon Bon Collection

Step 7:  When the stamps are all cut, you're ready to ink them up and start creating!  I love Stampin' Up's clear acrylic blocks--the very best out there, and I've tried most of what's available. (If you want to order them, drop me a comment and I'll get back with you.)
Complete set of Stampin' Up Blocks
Cling side on block (view from behind)

stamp on block (rubber side)

Inking the stamp

I usually tap the pad onto the stamp, but couldn't manage this for the camera.

A stamped image.  So worth the work!
Leave me a comment if you have any questions, and I'll be happy to answer.  :-)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Vintage View Sunday - Antique Sampler

Hi friends, I feel so bad that I haven't posted and even missed my own blog party last week!  
Sometimes life just gets too busy with work and friends and family 
and students and crafting and migraines!
But I hope you will enjoy today's post, my first Vintage View Sunday blog post!

Party-goer, Jann Olsen, from "A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson" will be the featured blog.  
Her post is super sweet and features her absolutely adorable little granddaughter, Saydee,
"working" with vintage household toys, which got me thinking about how hard children 
had to work long ago.  Whether they worked on farms gathering eggs, planting crops, 
helping with the baking, watching siblings, or in factories during the industrial 
revolution, they were integral in the work that was necessary to survival.  
Life was serious business, without much time for the kinds of activities today's children enjoy.  
And death was an all-too present specter, which made their thoughts of sin and heaven
ever present, as illustrated by my oldest antique, the sampler below, 
stitched in 1792 by Mary Smith, "aged 11 years."

This must have been the epitome of young Mary's skill as the variety of stitches and colors attest.

The seriousness of life is captured in her verse (notice
 the letter S looks like an uncrossed letter f, common in the 1700s).

"Lord thou hast searched and seen me through,
"Thine eye commands with piercing view,
"My rising and my resting hours,
"My heart and flesh with all their powers.

"O may these thoughts possess my breast,
Where'er I rove, where'er I rest,
Nor let my weaker passions dare,
"Consent to sin for God is there."

Her name and date appear at the bottom in light blue, pretty difficult to read:

While we shouldn't forget our nature to sin, and we should keep our eyes on heaven, 
I'm so glad that life today isn't as difficult for any of us as it was then--something 
I try not to take for granted and try to be thankful for every day, 
even when I am overwhelmed with housework after a long day at the office, 
or the water heater floods the garage, or the car begins to leak oil--you know the kind of things. 
Our work still is so much easier and can actually be delightful, as little Saydee shows us with her household chores on her Grandma's blog, A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson:

Using a variety of vintage toys, Saydee shows us how serious her household "work" can be:

Hop on over to Jann's blog and read this sweet post full of vintage toys and 
the cleverest writing.  You will smile with delight, I promise!

Please join the next Vintage View Sunday Party! 
 I'd love to see your vintage treasures!