Monday, January 25, 2010

A Big Smile from a Warm Heart

I know I have said this before, but sometimes you come across someone online/fellow artists/in blogland who touches you.... you feel as though if you had met in real life, you would be soulmates! They seem to know your thoughts, and feelings, and you in turn understand things they might be going through, thoughts they may have, problems they might encounter. I have met some amazingly warm and talented people in this art endeavor of mine, and one of them is Marie Marshall of SantAngeloDesigns. We met in the Vintage Style Mixed Media/Collage/assemblage thread at the forum of Etsy (please, if anyone is interested in joining such a warm, casual, inspirational small group of like minded artists, I urge you to inquire for more info). Over the course of a year or so, we have confided in , shared with, compared about, complained to and in general gotten to know each other through our many many things in common. Life has thrown each of us, as it has everyone, stress, drama, heartache, disappointments and pressures but this group of women has been there for each other through thick and thin, celebrate each others accomplishments and to pick each other up when one is down. Marie, out of the goodness of her heart put together this amazing package, and secretively sent it to me. Today when I opened the mailbox, imagine my surprise and confusion when I started inspecting layer upon layer of vintage treasures! She is a sneak, for sure.... and it is one of the most thoughtful things someone has done for me in quite a while. Marie, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.....

                                  The package before I began to unpeel layer after layer of goods

This little linen bag of lavender scented up the whole package.  I knew before I even opened it that there was lavender inside!

This is the prettiest old doily.... Marie, how did you know I love old lace doilies?

She also knows I love old bottles....

Marie lives in Florida, so she wanted to send the ocean to me...

The most adorable little tin sign letters.  I can't wait to use these at my art shows!

Wonderful old portrait frames

This book..... wow, I love old books, and this one will have a special display spot.

All in all, I couldn't have asked for a better surprise, or a better art friend than Marie.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

~~I Love a Great Bargain!~~

I can usually go months between finding good deals and steals.  Nothing inspires me more than finding just what I was looking for, at an exceptional price.  Or even better yet, finding something I WASN"T looking for but knew I had to have anyway.  This past week I went to an estate sale and found this length of the prettiest old lace fabric.  There must be around 17  or more feet of this, scalloped on the edges and fringe on the ends.  It would make a perfect shawl if I doubled it, or a swag over a large window.  For now I think I will put it with all of my other vintage white lace I use for displays at my art shows.  

A few days after the estate sale, I went to my favorite neighborhood antique store and found this old typewriter for only $20. I have been wanting one like this for years, but couldn't bring myself to pay the $75 or so they are going for. Too many are being torn apart for use of just the keys. But this one will stay just as it is, and sit on my desk in my "dog room".

Also at the same antique shop was this adroable (and heavy) metal dog figure. He looks perfect on my shelf in the dog room, which I wrote about just below. What great deals, and I had to share!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

~~For my Love of Dogs, Something I Had to Share~~

Recently I sold an item to a fellow blogger, JVW Home .. it was an altered journal in a vintage dog theme. We struck up a conversataion through e-mails and she told me she is doing a guest room all in a dog theme, and purchased the journal from me for that room. I was shocked, as just a couple of years ago I completed a guest/sitting room in a vintage dog theme, too! We agreed to blog about our finds and prizes, and this is what I'd like to share. I had so much fun hunting antique shops Ebay, garage sales, etc. all for that perfect dog to complete the look.  My family continues to remember this room when they are in search of a gift for me.  Here is the room, and some of my favorite canine friends!

                                 A vintage cast iron doorstop, given to me by a very good friend.

This shows a vintage desk and chair,  and a shelf above which holds many dog treasures

This chippy miniature armoir stands about 15 inches tall, and houses many of my vintage pewter figurines

Vintage tankard, cabinet card, bisque dog smoking a pipe, and a photo of my "Bella" when she was 6 months old.

Another miniature shelf that hangs on the wall, chippy and distressed which holds old postcards, photos, celluloid dogs,  cast iron and bisque figurines, and  a photo of my dog Shag-Rag from when I was a child.

Up close of some of the mentioned above treasures. One of my favorites is the little cast iron bad leader, wearing a red shirt and holding a baton.

The large concrete dog  who greets all who enter.

The sitting area.

This old armoire not only hides the TV, but gives me even more space to hold dog treasures.

An old lithograph by one of my very favorite artists, Sir Edwin Landseer. I love this old Adirondack frame.

The cutest little vintage dog book my husband gave me as a gift years ago. He hand twisted the little wire book easel, too.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

~~Latest Creation for Spring~~

One good thing about getting ready for a show is being forced to look ahead, and think about possibilities for the upcoming season.  Although we just put Christmas decorations away, my mind has been racing with Spring-like ideas for a show I am doing the end of January.  Spring will just be around the corner (or at least in my mind it will be!) and I want to have some things at the show which will encourage people to get through this long, cold, snowy winter.  These little stretched canvas collages with wire stands are just the thing, I think.  They shout of both Spring and Easter. I will have more in my Etsy shop a bit later, but for now, these will be tucked away ready for the show.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

~~Signs of Spring~~

As I sit here composing this, it is snowing..... just the start of what is to be a 5 inch snowfall by morning, and I am writing about, of all things, SPRING!  Creating things for Etsy and for art shows always has me "thinking ahead".  I want to be prepared for my next show coming up the end of January, and I know fellow Michiganders always think ahead to Spring by this time every Winter.  I have been creating several Spring-like items for this show, and for Etsy. The one thing I am addicted to creating right now, are these adorable paper-clay birds I learned how to make, courtesy of Dawn Edmonson of TheFeatheredNest .  Her easy to follow tutorial can be found here, along with a few of her other  amazing creations.   I am experimenting with soft pastel colors, variations of white and off-white, clear glitter, pastel glittler, vintage look tinsel, buttons, flowers, you name it.... all perfect for embellishing these adorable little birds. Here is just a sampling of some I have made.  When I complete a project I have in mind for myself, I will be showing that off, as well! 

I am also anxious to use this wonderful little nest my 18 year old son brought home to me.  He had found it in some shrubs while walking through them on his way ice fishing. How durable some nests are made, to withstand not only last years little occupants, but also storms, winds, winter snows and sleet. The bottom is completely encrusted in old berries, and leaves.  Perhaps a cardinal's nest? It will make a perfect Spring decoration!  By the way, it is snowing even harder as I finish this post!!