Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summer is here...

With Ben's school year ending last Friday, we are in summer mode!
The lilacs have already come and gone, but the state flower, the Columbine, is in full bloom.  I have them in many colors in my garden; with the hot, dry weather we have here it's best to try to be satisfied with what is native, I've found.
As I spent most of the Spring sick in bed, I never got around to my usual spring cleaning so over the last few days, as my son sleeps until noon, I've been trying to work on that; I began with clearing off my crowded, side kitchen counter.
I also did some re-arranging on the shelves which show off some of my favorite red-themed stuff...at the top of the above photo, my fun new greeting card from Julia, which I have mounted like a print; it proclaims, Her Royal Highness Queen Mum, which is a name I will answer to!
I also got busy putting up my seasonal artwork, including this assemblage of the art collages I made at Birdsong Two.
I started with this kitschy black light painting that I'd found at a thrift store sometime last year (or so...)  I bought it because I thought the frame was so pretty.
I found the little note on the back very endearing, too.  (But I guess Jennie didn't love the picture as much as grandpa and grandma hoped she would.)
I took the picture out of the frame and wrapped it with some beautiful old wallpaper -- not an easy task as paper like this is VERY brittle!  It took a couple of tries.  Then, I attached the three collages to the paper using Glue Dots; for the one in the middle, I used fabric corners.
Here's how it looks arranged on my wall; sorry for the fuzzy photo -- the light in my family room is never very good for photos.  But you get the idea; I arranged it with that lovely bird purse I bought from Lisa, and the wonderful woven pouch we made at Birdsong last year -- also taught by Lisa.
And, how is this for irony: the day I was working on putting up the natural, bird-y decor inside my house, I discovered some birds building a nest on the back of my wreath which was hanging on the front door!  It breaks my heart, but I had to take it down.  We have had birds try to nest in the front door wreath many times before, and it always ends in heartbreak.
But the good news is that I caught the nest-builders early and they relocated their efforts to the birdhouse in our backyard!  They are the second nesting couple in that house so far this season!  (The above photo is from the first set, a couple of weeks ago.)
The birdhouse outside is similar to this inside one I keep for decoration; both were made and painted by the dear friend I lost last year to cancer, Michelle.  The one above was something we worked on together:

she brought over the weathered bird house that she had kept on her front porch, and we experimented with putting some of my broken china mosaic pieces over it.
I love the collaboration, and its sweet memories of my friend.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Thrifty goodness, part 3

More of the fun finds from the last couple of weeks' worth of thrift stores, estate sales, garage sales and antique store bargains (also check out part 1 and part 2):
This little metal container, the size of a hotel bar of soap, with a sweet floral etching on the front.
An ostrich feather fan -- you don't see these too often!
These are fun and useful (and, well used!) -- a set of drawing scales rulers...
in just a great old box with label.
This is a fancy desk Social Secretary; it has a leather-like cover with great embossing (and love the color!)
 It came in its original box, and had plenty of paper left inside to use!
I also found this cute red leather-bound traveling chess set.  It's clever, really, with tiny slots to hold its thick paper chess pieces!
I was very attracted to the old leather coin purses I found at an estate sale; they were so well-used and have so much character...
and great metal closures.  I also found a pretty, soft leather collar box:
I think it makes a dainty purse!  It's currently in my Etsy shop.
A great dresser-top box, with red detailing that I think might be Bakelite!
Some sweet children's tea party dishes, and some tin items to use in crafts.
I found the transfers on the plates just irresistible!
More pretty china and glassware -- these from our annual community garage sale (above); the painted milk glass pitcher is unlike anything I normally buy, but I thought it was charming and the garage sale was for charity.  The tiny sugar-bowl-shaped salt is turning purple.
But, this was my favorite find, for $2, at a garage sale.  It's a covered dish, for cheese or butter, in green transfer-ware with wonderful crazing!
I collect pottery from this era, and thought this diamond-shaped planter was lovely and unusual.
I always love dishes like this one, with the embossed edges.  It's not real old, and I think it might be either a change bowl or a wine coaster.  At least, that's what I'll be using it for!
I bought this kitschy hanging bar lamp at a garage sale -- it is in remarkable condition!  It's also now in my shop...
as is this wonderful Georges Briard-designed, 3 piece covered casserole dish!  I love the bird and leaf/flower motif, in gold and teal!
Now I'm off to look at what everyone else has found at Her Library Adventures!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Altered ancestors CDV swap

I received my tiny cartes de viste (CDV) album in the mail!  It was put together by swap hostess JoAnne:
Enjoy the fun photos!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thrifty goodness part 2: textiles

Even though this linen towel had some stains, it is the kind of thing that makes me so happy!
I just love the key motif, especially; I also love the combination of avocado green and the pinks!
I got all of these from that gal whose booth is now closing at an antique store -- this flower, and the linen, and...
this beautiful red rose hankie -- old but brand new -- and these wonderful Lucite buttons!
Aren't they sparkly?
At an estate sale, I had to come home with this beautifully embellished hankie (above); isn't it swirly?
It must have been a 'blue' day that day, because I found this really fun souvenir pillow cover with old-time views of Colorado Springs landmarks; its silky ruffle and bow are in remarkable condition for its age!  My master bedroom is blue and white so I'm always attracted to that color combination.
On the left, a thrift store find of feedsack fabric; on the left, blue burlap from the '70s I found at a garage sale!
You know how I feel about Vera scarves, right?  This one is so 'mod squad' and paisley and FUN, isn't it?
Another Vera find, now in my Etsy shop -- the bright, sunshine napkins (above, middle); plus a pretty pansy hankie and a really wonderful, long bell pull that has been hand worked in needlepoint with a marvelous bunch of birds.
Here's a pretty finished pillow front that has also gone into my shop.  I love its soft colors, and the contrast with the burlap-like, rough fabric.
What do you think of the crocheted turtle (above)?  I couldn't resist it, or the rest of these hand made laces and doilies, from an estate sale!
The "R" is for Jeanelle, who collects that letter; it's a large (~4") monogram on an old piece of cotton that is about 6' long (but narrow.)  I love shopping for my friends!
Speaking of monograms: what do you think this one is?  I thought maybe a very fancy N, or...?  Maybe two letters -- a T and and N? Whatever it is, it is very pretty -- and very old.  I found it at a thrift store...
along with these two double damask pieces.  I like to buy these for their weight and use them to back pillows I create; lately, I've been using them to make pages of fabric books, too!
At an estate sale I picked up four of these lovely "pocket" shams in the softest white cotton, with beautiful embroidery!
 And this beautiful baby smock...
for a little boy, with blue tatting on the collar and sleeves and sweet blue ribbon ties...sigh!
 A small bag of buttons from that estate sale...
 where the real joy of the purchase is in sorting through it, looking...
for button treasure!  I hope you enjoyed part 2; stay tuned for part 3!