Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tag Tuesday: Travel

I grew up in the Tennessee valley of the Appalachian mountains. We are descended from Scots-Irish immigrants, and it is said that we are “mountain, stay-at-home folk.” So traveling was not very common, unless it was to visit my grandparents 90 miles away in Kentucky.  It seemed like such a long trip in the early 70s, with no freeway or interstates, so on this tag I tried to capture what I saw and did as a child on that very long trip.

We played the “state” game, where you try to be the first one to find a license plate from each state, and the ABC game where we vied to be first to find all the letters of the alphabet on billboards and highway signs).  Holiday Inn and Stuckey’s were iconic in the South and the Midwest, as were Shell gas stations, so these signs were very familiar to us. I used Google Images to find the graphics, and I was lucky enough to find this postcard for the base, with words that I probably would have written in my diary:

I copied a variety of images into Libre Office Draw (free, open source software that is like Microsoft Office),  resized, printed, cut, aged, distressed, trimmed, and glazed for the final result.  I made the match book by cutting and folding and popping out the pieces with foam tape. The pin on the tag is just like the pins they would give you at the city pool, the number of which matched the basket where you had put your towel and flipflops. I loved those little pins.

Glad you could take a trip down memory lane with me!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Inspired Sunday and Topanga Vintage Market!

Whew! What a busy, busy week and a fun and busy weekend!  I spent most of the day today baking in the sun at the Topanga Vintage market, about a twenty-five minute drive from my house and about another twenty-five minutes from Los Angeles.

There are all sorts of vintage and antique things to buy and so many different types of people. This area is a gathering place for hippies, artists, and people in all aspects of the entertainment industry - even some famous actors, although I never run into very many. It's a very eclectic place to be. 
View of the market
Tori Spelling on the right

I missed a cabinet even better than this one!
I decided to go alone, because that way I could spend as much time browsing and talking to strangers as I wished. (And I wouldn't have hubby saying, "Do you really need that?" - LOL!) It was a lovely, although sweltering day.  I spent all my "mad" money, and came away with a whole lot more projects that I need to do!!!
YIKES! Looks a lot junkier on the table than it does in my mind!
I had hoped to find a blue Ball or Mason jar for a good price, and I did - $10.00 for this really huge one.  I was also looking for a vintage Rolodex to alter, probably for Artist Trading Card sized pieces, and I found this metal one for $3.00.   The roll of pink cording with a million zillion yards on it made its way into my bag for $2.00!  It helps to have a Southern accent in California!  :-)  I see a lot of pink cording cards for gifts for my friends in the future!  I also found a few buttons and some jewelry to rework into vintage pieces, 

and this surprising box full of old Cashmere Bouquet sample bottles 
and herb boxes from a pharmacy:

The Cashmere Bouquet bottles have a diamond type pattern and the other bottles contain hair tonic--I think the shape will be perfect for dolls!  The vendor wanted to offload them, so he offered me the entire box for 15.00! With all the pieces, it comes out to .30 each - what a deal! I definitely see an altered bottle class coming up for my friends! I love the packaging and will probably scan and make a sheet of tags and labels from the box fronts. Then I'll tie them with ribbon, add flowers, and display in a large apothecary jar. (Got a vintage glass one there, too, for $2.00, but forgot to photograph it!) 

I had a very fun time, but I think I need to stop thrifting for a while.  If I don't, I will soon have to rent space at the market!

Inspired Sunday
I have so enjoyed visiting your blogs--very inspiring!  I hope you are enjoying visiting each other as well.  Everyone seems to love thrifting and repurposing, and I was certain that this is what the theme of the features would be, until I read about "Familiar Acts" from Sherry at the Charm of Home

Thrifting and shopping and this blog are ways I care for myself and fill my own cup, but her short little post reminded me about the "familiar" acts - those little things we do every day for someone else that really mean a lot to them.  I fluff my hubby's pillow each night, and he says that he just can't do it the way I can (smile).  And he usually makes coffee for me each morning - something I so appreciate.  Did her post also make you stop and think a little as it did me?

Not quite a "familiar act" done every day, but an act full of love just the same is the lovely playroom Jann set up for her "grandies." (Oh how I'd love to be one of them!)  Be sure to visit her blog to see the Portugal-inspired playroom she created for them.
Another act of love I saw this week is a mother's sharing of her past with her children, the way Paula from Elephants and Ivy shared her childhood toys with her adorable son and daughter. You will see the delight on their faces and will probably recognize some of the toys as part of your childhood too!
Thank you so much everyone for linking up, visiting, and sharing your lives and loves with me and us all. You really do inspire! Have a beautiful week.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Tag Tuesday: A Fish Tale

Grandpa loved to fish.  He tied his own flies and escaped the tedium of women's work after the farm chores were done by heading down to the stream, his creel in tow. We children loved to listen to his story of the BIG one that got away.  Each time he told the story, the BIG one seemed to get BIGger. By the time I was a teen, and the story had been told for many summers, that fish seemed to have grown as BIG as our house!
For my tag, I used a base of cardboard from a recycled box. I (finally) used a .50 cent frame I purchased from a craft store clearance bin. It required many coats of acrylic paint to get it looking like weathered wood. Grandpa is a Magenta lithograph stamp, with a coat of glaze on top. The BIG one is a rainbow trout from Google Images with a coat of glaze, and the smaller trout are stamped, colored, and hooked with a Tim Holtz pin.  I smashed a bottle cap, a common sight on the road when night fishing with my father, and added an image of a trout stamp (license) coated with glaze.

Dwelllings' Amaze Me Monday
Weekend Showoff Party
Time Travel Thursday
Inspire Me Tuesdays at a Stroll Through Life
Knick of Time Tuesday
You're Gonna Love It
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Show Me What You Got Tuesdays
Primp Your Stuff Wednesday
Wow Us Wednesdays
Share Your Cup Thursdays
Grace at Home

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Inspired Sunday!

Hello everyone. I feel like I'm meeting up with dear friends.  Hope your week has been good. I have had a crazy week full of work, work, work (ending with a terrible migraine!)  To relax I hit Goodwill or The Salvation Army at lunch for about 4 days in a row.  Saturday I went to a yard sale and another thrift shop.  I had some great finds, which I will share another time. One thing I bought was this very pretty, but not-so-high-quality silver tray:
I knew it would be just perfect for a small chalkboard, like the kind that we see all over Pinterest right now.  I protected the trim with blue tape, which you have to tear into small pieces
                                                 to make it curve around the tray:
I added exra tape to cover all the silver so the overspray from the Chalkboard Paint wouldn't reach it.  This Krylon chalkboard paint is my favorite.  It makes such a smooth writing surface and goes on so evenly!
I sprayed one coat, lightly sanded with a fine sanding block, and then sprayed again.  Once it had dried for about 30 minutes, I carefully peeled away the tape, pulling the tape away from the painted area:
I let it dry over night, rubbed a piece of chalk on in it to season it, and then wrote with a chalk pen.  The pen I used was for smaller projects. I will have to go out and get the wider nibbed one! Love the pen though! The chalk ink doesn't smear, but comes off easily with a wet paper towel.  Check out the great pens and videos at chalkink.com.
Our Marker Tips
                                   Here is my finished "chalkboard" on the table in my entry:
I'm really pleased with the result, although I just quickly freehanded the lettering to get a photo.  I will definitely rewrite with care!

Inspired Sunday!
So much inspiration from our party goers this week!  Where to begin?????  We are just really getting into the hottest part of the summer here in California and will be enduring summer through the end of October.  So I chose posts that represent the best parts of summer for me.

Debbie at Debbie Dabble shows us that after a sweltering day of blistering summer heat, there's no calmer or cooler place to be than in a garden at night time. Sometimes I open all the doors, turn off the lights, and burn candles to bring this atmosphere indoors.
Dawn, at We Call It Junkin,' reminded me that sometimes the movie theater is the only cool place to be when the thermometer passes 100 degrees.  If the movie has antiques in it like she shows on her blog, I'm there--even if I don't care what the film is about.  (Perhaps that's why I never remember the plot of a film?  head scratch...) 
Screenshot (1)
Christina at PennyWise wrote a lovely post about the refreshing qualities and uses of lavender. Some summers, I've used lavender bath products exclusively to relax and refresh, but she shows so many other wonderful ways to enjoy this divine plant in recipes, vignettes, and mini indoor gardens!
If you can't stand the heat in your kitchen, ha, you might just decide to take a long trip--OVERSEAS!  Brittany from the Roccoco Roamer is living the life I wish all young marrieds could--living in Germany with her husband of one year and traveling all over.  What wonderful memories she is creating!  (My husband and I traveled for a year all over the East Coast and up to Montreal when we were first married.) Her photos are wonderful and she shares many intimate venues that we wouldn't really see otherwise.  The respect for America's soldiers that she captures in some of her photos is truly inspiring.
Aimee at Refresh and Renew shared my favorite part of summer as a girl--picking wild blackberries and making dessert and jam with them!  This memory is really a fiber of my being!
If you do have A/C (not so common everywhere in Southern California), you might just want to stay indoors and come up with clever ways to document the wonderful times in your life through scrapbooking. Newcomer Laura, from live. love. scrap. came up with the absolute cleverest way to document the adventures of her two young sons!  Her mini-album is brilliant, and put a smile on my face!

Sorry for the long post, but now you see how truly inspired I was by your posts! I had a hard time stopping--chuckle, chuckle!  If you've been featured, please grab my button on the right side bar and put on your blog!  Thank you!
Dwelllings' Amaze Me Monday
Weekend Showoff Party
Time Travel Thursday
Inspire Me Tuesdays at a Stroll Through Life
Knick of Time Tuesday
You're Gonna Love It
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Show Me What You Got Tuesdays
What's It Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants
Primp Your Stuff Wednesday
Wow Us Wednesdays
Share Your Cup Thursdays
Grace at Home
Show and Tell Friday
Sweet and Simple Fridays
Feathered Nest Fridays

Now let's see what everyone has going on this week!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tag Tuesday: The Roaring Twenties

When I was 8 yrs old, my great aunt showed me some of the beaded purses she had carried in her young adult years--which probably would have been the late 1920s. I had always hoped to have one of her little purses, but having been taught not to ask, I never mentioned my desire, and later she probably gave them to a church rummage sale. The fascination for little evening bags has remained with me throughout the years, so it just seemed natural for me to make a flapper purse tag.

I went online and found the perfect bag for a tag--this enameled mesh with metal fringe flappers' purse. I found a piece of cross stitch paper in my stash and drew the design on with markers.  I then heat-set clear, ultra-thick embossing powder to give it an enameled look. Next, I drew lines on with a micron pen to bring out the look of mesh and heated again. I cut and glued chain to the bottom and finished with a brass piece and chain for the top of the purse. I'm pleased with the result--wasn't sure it would work.  Now I just have to go and get all the glue off my fingers!

If you haven't done so already, don't forget to link any of your posts to my Inspired Sunday blog party going on right now.  It's a great way to meet bloggers with common interests and to get more viewers to your blog!  And who knows, you might just make some new friends.  I certainly have!

I'm linking up this post to the following blog parties:

Dwelllings' Amaze Me Monday
Weekend Showoff Party
Time Travel Thursday
Inspire Me Tuesdays at a Stroll Through Life
Knick of Time Tuesday
You're Gonna Love It
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Show Me What You Got Tuesdays
Primp Your Stuff Wednesday
Wow Us Wednesdays
Share Your Cup Thursdays
Grace at Home
Show and Tell Friday
Sweet and Simple Fridays
Feathered Nest Fridays

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Liebster Award Part 2 and Inspired Sunday Blog Party

You may have seen it in my last post that Diane from Vintage Zest gave me the "Liebster Award."  It's a token of recognition that bloggers award to fellow bloggers who they think deserve more recognition. The terminology "Liebster" roughly translates to "Dearest" from German. In my last post I relayed 11 facts about myself. In this post I will answer Diane's 11 questions. Next post, I will list the blogs I am awarding and post my 11 questions!
Here are Diane's 11 questions:
1.  If you could have one super-power, what would it be? 
I wish I could snap my fingers and my whole house would be clean!

2. What is a bad habit of yours that you would like to break?
I don't pick up behind myself. :-0  I tried Fly Lady, I've read the Messies Manual... I guess I would rather make or read something than clean something!

3.  If you were going to compete on any reality show, what would it be?  
I'm not much into TV--esp since my hubby canceled our service-- but it would             probably be BBC's "Bargain Hunt" with David Dickinson. 

4.  What is your best talent?  
Appreciating and bringing out the possibility in things through creativity and               people through encouragement.

5.   What is one skill or talent that you wish you had?  
I wish I could draw. 

6.  Who is your hero? 
This is a hard one. I think everyone has something "heroic" to offer if  encouraged and given opportunity.  I always remember that "God is not a respecter of persons" and that he "crowned man [people] with glory and honor."  We should all be honored for being. That said, I admire Corrie Ten Boom's sacrifice  for the Jewish people during the Holocaust.  I admire the determination of great artists and writers, like Charles Dickens and Luciano Pavarotti who, despite growing up in relative poverty, did odd jobs but  stayed focused on their art and left something of the divine that enriches all   humanity. 

7.  What was the most difficult thing you've ever had to do? 
This one's easy! Raise a child!

8.  If you had to live in any other time period besides now, which one would you       pick? 
The mid to late 1800s--as long as I were wealthy.  I love the beautiful mansions, gardens, clothing, jewelry, furnishings, but the poverty and classism would have saddened me.

9.   What is the one place in the world (or universe) that you'd like to travel to, if                  money wasn't an issue? 
I don't really like to travel. What I would really love to be able to do is live for a year or two in the countryside of Italy, France, Cornwall, Devon, the Cotswolds, or Ireland.
10.  What is your biggest guilty pleasure? 
Standing in the kitchen with spoon in hand tunneling the fudge out of the icecream container--I usually don't leave any for hubby.

11.    What is your favorite (or least favorite) thing about blogging? 
My favorite is getting to know new people and seeing their talents and gifts.  My least favorite is trying to create a post when I'm exhausted and my photos aren't turning out right.

Whew! That's done! Now on to the Inspired Sunday blog party!

A huge thanks to everyone who has been linking up in the past weeks.  This week I decided to feature two newcomers to our intimate party so we could get to know them better.

Michele at Something Special dropped her precious cloche, which shattered into pieces.  I could feel her pain when I read the story! But in the true spirit of creativity, she took a thrift shop vase and set to work making a new table display. Her lovely blog has many wonderful vintage things to see!

Aimee from Refresh and Renew gives a great step-by-step tutorial for making this adorable magnet board for her sweet little girls' room.  She also made the fantastic magnets, which she shows how to make in another post. (I make these magnets myself, and people love receiving them as gifts!)

If you've been featured, please grab my button from my left sidebar and post on your blog. 

If you're linking up, please be sure to put a link to my blog on your blog.  I'd love to have more people join us!  If you follow my blog, I will follow you back. :-)

Now let's see what has inspired everyone this week!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I Received the Liebster Award!

Diane, from Diane's Vintage Zest recently gave me "The Liebster Award."  I was so surprised and happy! 

The Liebster award is a token of recognition that bloggers award to fellow bloggers who they think deserve more recognition. The German word, "Liebster," roughly translates to "Dearest." The guidelines of this award are as follows:
  • Thank the blogger who gave you the award and link back to them in your acceptance post!
  • Share 11 interesting things about yourself.  Don't be shy, and don't worry if they aren't relevant to the topic of your blog.  They aren't supposed to be!
  • Answer the 11 questions that the blogger who awarded you asked in their post.
  • Create your own set of 11 questions for the next recipients of the award.
  • Pass the award to some of your own favorite bloggers!  Each awardee should have less than 200 followers for their blog.
I sent my thanks when Diane first contacted me, but I wanted to be thoughtful with the lists, so it is taking me a long time to respond to everything. So I decided to start with the "interesting" things about myself. I don't know how interesting some of them are, but I probably haven't and won't mention them to anyone again!  :-)

Eleven things about myself:

  1. I played clarinet and piano up through high school, but I only play recorder now--sometimes.
  2. I created some of the sound effects background sequences (a fight scene in a small office, a chase in a casino, a fight in a bar, and a love sequence, uh-huh) for Soul Trapper, an audio-based radio drama for the Iphone, currently available in the Itunes store.
  3. I met my husband after he graduated college at a bar while he was playing in a band. After graduating myself, I went on the road with him and mixed the sound and ran the lighting. We opened for the Pointer Sisters in New York 3 days after we were married!
  4. I have a southern accent--East Tennessee.
  5. I padded and upholstered every surface in my husband's recording studio and control room-ceilings and walls and isolation booth and weird shapes--and I don't ever want that job again!
  6. I have a degree in English with a concentration in creative writing, but I'm a TERRIBLE creative writer! :-0
  7. I have always loved chemistry and that's probably why I know a lot about pharmaceuticals and am fascinated by and enjoy making cold process soap.
  8. The sound of crickets is very relaxing to me.
  9. Autumn is my absolute favorite time of year.
  10. I prefer the mountains and woods over the beach and the ocean.
  11. I LOVE coffee.

So that is I.

Next I have to answer Diane's 11 questions.  After that, I will pass on this award to some of my favorite bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers.  That part will be fun!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Tag Tuesday: Italy

This was probably the most difficult tag of all for me so far. At first all I could think of was olives and wine, and then I remembered - opera!  I LOVE Italian opera. I also love the bold advertisements of tomatoes and other foods that have been reprinted as posters. So, I put on "Nessun Dorma" and set to work.

I wanted to experiment with printing on fabric, so I resized a poster and a playbill from a Donizetti opera (found on Google Images and Pinterest) and printed them on printer fabric in my inkjet printer. I used gel medium to adhere the images to a scrap of cardboard and then varnished them--thought it might resemble a painting. It was quite an uncertain mess from time to time!  I added map strips of Italy, a brass button, and a stamped curtain from Oxford Impressions that I cut out, spritzed with glimmer mist and edged with gold. I made a ruffle of striped ribbon and attached to the bottom. The hanger is repurposed brass ends and a dowel tied with a gold piece of cord. Whew! I was glad to see this one done!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

J. Conning Southern Silver and Inspired Sunday

I finally photographed one of the silver pieces I took to the Antiques Roadshow,  the coin silver christening cup from 1856. I stumbled upon this in an antiques/vintage items shop about 8 or 9 years ago, when I was just beginning to learn about early silver.  I didn't know if this was silver or pewter or tin at the time, but I felt it was good and for $18.00, just the date on the front was worth the price:
Archie Redwood, June 23, 1856

                                 The only marks on the bottom were J. Conning, Mobile:

Ever the consummate researcher, I couldn't wait to get home and see if it was anything special.  It's hard to imagine how much more information is available online now as compared to 9 years ago--do you ever think about that?  Back then, I really couldn't find much, except for an article in Silver magazine that I could only get by purchasing the paper  issue.  I learned that the silversmith, James Conning left New York after 1840 to open a new shop near the waterfront in Mobile, Alabama.  The only port in the state, Mobile was the center of commerce for the cotton brokers, financiers, and plantation owners.  

Once the cotton was sold and the accounts were all settled, the plantation owners would use their profit to buy supplies as well as luxuries that symbolized their wealth and prosperity.  My cup was a christening gift for Archie Redwood. (How I would love to know about that family!)  It was handmade, as you can see from the irregularity in shape:

                                                 and the turning lines on the bottom:

Before 1859 when the Comstock Lode was discovered, silver was scarce in America. Silversmiths made their goods from melted coins or silver bars, which were 90% silver and 10% copper. Silver in this period was termed coin silver.  Later, sterling, which is 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper, would become the standard.

It's crazy to think that this cup was made before the Civil War, which began in 1861.  Once war looked eminent, James Conning changed his business to reflect a pressing need: swords and metal items for soldiers, like cartridge boxes, gilt fringes, and uniform buttons, as you can see in the advertisement on the right.

After the war, the South was broke, but metal- smiths in Mobile fared better than most due to the influx of people to the port.  After 1865, sterling became the standard and most silver was no longer completely handmade.

How fortunate I was to stumble upon this rare and wonderful piece of history! The appraiser at the Roadshow estimated its auction value at $1000.00--it would be half that if it were not "Southern silver." I will have it appraised by a Southern silver expert one of these days, and I might sell it. For right now, it's a thrill just to own and enjoy it.

What inspired you this week?  SO much!  I had a difficult time choosing what to feature as everyone linked such meaningful, interesting, and beautiful posts!  Debbie and Penny found amazing yard sale treasures, and Brittany hit the jackpot on a wonderful hutch.  Jann, Debbie, Susan, and Penny shared beautiful 4th of July decorations.  Denise and Magali were hard at work transforming furniture and a ceiling with paint. Dawn, Sarah, and Amy shared festive food that looks delish, and resourceful Naush created an inventive cupcake stand from repurposed cardboard remnants.  If you haven't visited other blog party attendees this week, you can check them all out here!

I actually thought about featuring everyone, but I didn't have hours to give justice to everyone's loveliness.  So I chose two bloggers that are new to the party.  They both shared vintage paper, and since paper is my medium and vintage is my muse... 

Danielle at Blessed Serendipity found these amazing vintage playing cards at a thrift shop for $1.00!!!!!!  I am GREEN with envy! :-)  I don't think I'll be able to stop looking for some now.

Maureen at Victorian Studio found wonderful vintage Halloween cutouts and decorations made by Beistle--that also make me envious, BTW!  :-)  The cat is my favorite, but she found many different ones mixed in a bag for $2.99. They are worth quite a lot of money. Check out her blog so you can be on the lookout when you are out thrifting!

So there you have it. I wish you a blessed, relaxing, healthy and peaceful Sunday.  I can't wait to see what you link up this week! If you've been featured, please grab my button and put it on your blog. Thanks!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Tag Tuesday: Z is for Zymurgy

I'm fortunate to have quite a few friends who are librarians, one of whom gave me the word, "zymurgy."  My tag says it all, so I will keep you in suspense for the definition.  Here's a hint: I used my current favorite substrate--beer cartons:

I knew I wanted to use the woman from the DoubleTake carton, so I cut her out.  I also chose a few elements from the White Hawk carton. It took a few days to determine how to arrange the elements and what kind of background looked best. Once I decided on a chalkboard, I sprayed a scrap of cardboard with chalkboard paint and free-handed the definition and ornament with a chalk pen.  It took many tries. Here's the result:

Did it cause you to do a Double Take?  :-)