Friday, March 30, 2012

Petite Vintage Spring Jar Swap

My own little bluebird of happiness swooped down on my house via Susan.
I am so lucky to have been partnered with Susan for this swap!  It came wrapped in a piece of cheery vintage fabric, which I unwrapped to find...
a Spring jar creation!
She decorated it completely, front to back...
with flowers spilling over a picket fence, and topped it off with a paper-covered birdhouse.
Then she filled it with all this Springtime goodness...
buttons, beads -- and a necklace of her own creation, strung on seam binding!
Lovely details -- and the sparkly crown is a linen cuff she created!
It was truly a breath of Spring, wrapped and delivered.  Thank you Susan, and Michele, too, for hosting such a fun swap!  As soon as she receives it, I'll show you what I'm sending Susan.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

While I was sleeping

...Spring break has almost passed me by.
Our friends welcomed Ben along on our planned ski trip to Taos, New Mexico when I was too ill to go but couldn't get the room refunded.  At least someone had a good time!  I am so grateful to them.
I have been laying around like a lump for TEN DAYS now.  Ten full days.  First I had a serious infection in my nether regions.  Then a few days later I got a really awful respiratory crud on top of it.  I'm still taking meds for the first infection, and even though it's better it's still not right.
Has anyone seen my sense of humor?  I lost it in January when faced with some altogether different health challenges.  It is sorely missed.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cheery things

I could use some cheering up today, how about you?
Aren't these flowers cheery?  I picked up several of these (tulips? dandelions?) appliqued quilt squares at a thrift shop the other day; I'm keeping some to use in projects and the rest are among some fun new goodies I've just listed in my shop.
A pretty yellow hankie with a lipstick-toned rose; makes me wish I was waving it from a balcony in a tropical locale...
or, taking a ride through the Bois de Boulogne.
I've had my eye on this vintage tablecloth at a local thrift store; it has a gray background and a scatter of yellow roses.
When it hit half price it was mine!  I'll bet you'll see it in the background of many of my photos in days to come.
A gorgeous "moustache" cup with saucer, made in Austria and generously-sized for a fuzzy-faced man.  I loved the moss green cup and the hand painted roses.  It's now in my shop, too.  I saw only one other on Etsy, and it was priced at $175!  So I think mine, at $36, is a bargain (it has a tiny chip.)
It always brightens my day to find a vintage Vera scarf.  I just love this one's cheery yellow trim and tulips galore!  The background is the pale blue of a cloudless sky.  And it has the ladybug!
Speaking of Vera: I was attracted to this vintage needlepoint at a charity shop a few weeks ago, but ended up leaving it behind.  Later, back home I was flipping through my Vera book and saw that she had designed some needlepoint kits in the 70s called Vera Stitch and, sure enough, this was one of them.  Needless to say, I went back a few days later to get it for my own Vera collection.  Nor only was it still there, but it was 50% off that day.  Score!
You know how I am about birds, and about vintage prints...these little weather vanes and curlicued roofs just make me happy!
The piece above in orange, green and bronzes splatters is a great example of mid-century cloth prints.  This one happens to have been made into a diminutive shoe holder, but I will be using it to hold crafty things.
This true piggy bank must make you smile!  (He's in my shop now, too.)
When all else fails, Jane can always lift my spirits.  The iPhone cover above is one I designed with my favorite author in mind on Zazzle.  I call it, Dancing Jane Austen.  It is very nice and substantial -- the picture is actually on a kind of heavy-duty cloth, while the frame is hard plastic.  I love it!
Chiming in late with my cheery finds, but there's still a lot of time to see everyone's junque over at Apron Thrift Girl.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

It's button week!

Tabitha had a blog giveaway the other day: we had to guess the name of her newborn daughter, given the first letter "G".  I guessed right -- Gillian!  So I got my own bundle of joy in the mail!
And by "bundle of joy" I mean vintage loveliness: ephemera, millinery, lace, and BUTTONS!
Speaking of buttons -- go visit Button Floozies for a National Button Week contest hosted by Nina Edwards; you could win one of three copies she's giving away of her new book On the Button!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

St. Patrick's Day "Luck O'the Irish" ATC Swap book

I participated in a St. Patrick's Day ATC swap from the Vintage Dragonfly Altered Matchbox Swap group I belong to, and it was so much fun!
This was my offering...I enjoyed using this scan of a vintage postcard, placed on Irish jig sheet music.  I painted around it in a couple of different colors of green, and then embellished with glitter.  I added some green 'jewels' and a little goldtone four leaf clover in her basket.
12 of'em.  I sent them off to the swap hostess in a little box I'd decorated especially to hold them.
(Here you can see what the postcard looked like before I cut out the little girl.)

And then the finished swap book arrived in the mail!  Hold onto your hats, because it is a beauty:
Isn't it delicious?!   If that doesn't get you in the mood for corned beef and cabbage, I don't know what will!  Thank you to Kim for hosting the swap; she created the beautiful covers and bound it for us!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Vintage jewelry grab bag, and other estate treasures

Last week I had a chance to visit an estate sale; it wasn't the usual estate sale, though.  Instead, it was the sale of a woman who made a living doing estate sales.  She passed away late last year and her family is liquidating her business -- and some of her own beautiful things -- this month.
I have the feeling that the best of the sale items are going out in an invitation-only sale; at least, I overheard references to things being carried out by the armload "last night" although we were there on the first day of the sale.  Still, I found some wonderful things!  Like the rhinestone beauties above.
This was the fun part, though: they had two tables full of costume jewelry and you could fill a plastic bag for just $5!
I wanted this necklace, with its colored fresh water pearls, and that was worth $5 alone, to me.  So, the rest was gravy:
Here are just a few of the pieces; the big green button in the lower right corner was a bonus!  I am not really sure what that oval shaped thing at the top of the photo is, but to me it looked like it could be decorated to look like a bird cage!  I fit two of them into the bag of jewels.
This is probably my favorite piece of those that were in the grab bag.  The reason I like stuff like this is because I've gotten the bug of repurposing it -- making it into charms, and/or combining chains into new creations.  I also use it in my altered art.  And I love to gift pieces of it, too, in swaps.
We visited another storefront estate sale the same day; there I found some other fun things, like that bird tin mold; the little round object marked $2 is a very Mad Men accessory: a pin that you can attach a pen or other little tool to, with a retractable chain that winds up inside the circle. 
A fun stainless "tray/basket" with little ball feet and ends, some decals, and pretty wooden spools of quality thread...
This beautiful long gray Madeira runner that has been the background for some of the jewelry I showed you was just 50 cents, because of that hole in the middle of it.  I love it anyway, hole and all!
Daffodils etched on red glass -- I love it despite a couple of scratches!  It was $1.
They were giving away some fabric remnants for free -- I had to have this steamboat print.  The background of the fabric is pink.
And you must know by now that if it's me at an estate sale, there must be some old dishes!
Sigh...it was a small, but lovely, haul!