Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Creative license

I had to giggle at this vanity plate the other day:

I guess that's why they call them "vanity plates."  She just had to make sure we know she's an ex-beauty queen, if I'm reading it correctly!

And then I saw this one yesterday:

It really got me wondering.  Is she a seamstress?  Quilter?  Sewing implement salesperson?

It reminded me of a shop I used to visit in Burlingame, CA, called The Status Thimble.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Unearthing beauty

Thank you, everyone, for your kind words about Kyra.  Someday soon I think things will feel back to normal -- but never the same.

After much hard work, the front of our house is put together again.  I got rid of a ton of stuff so now it feels less cluttered.  (I don't think I'll ever be able to describe anywhere I live as uncluttered!)

I love the look of the floors.  I also like the openness of having the desk instead of the computer armoire.  This is the living room.  Since we're always in the family room, and have no need for a formal living room, we use the space more like a second family room.

I still haven't decided on artwork, so for the time being I've installed my husband's favorite print, Raphael's The School of Athens, over the desk.

None of this, nor the great weather, has left much time for blogging or writing of any kind.  I guess that's just the way of summer!

I have managed to do some estate sale-ing lately with my neighbor, who has become a new friend.  Connie blogs here, about her creative crazy quilting.  We met almost two years ago when I placed an ad on the bulletin board at my gym, asking if anyone could use the broken china pieces I had leftover from my mosaic-ing craze.

Connie answered the ad, and we had a good laugh when we discovered that she lived just down the street from me.  (We've since learned we have mutual friends, too.)  The first thing she noticed when she came by to pick up the mosaic pieces was the crazy quilt I have hanging over our staircase.

She was actually on her way that morning to crazy quilt with some friends of hers, and she showed me her work-in-progress -- which was gorgeous!  Connie's what I call a "real" quilter.  And you should see her stash -- wow!  Crazy quilters always seem to have the best stuff!

Anyway, we've gone to a couple of estate sales together and have unearthed some really fun finds:
I adore that tiny banded bowl on the left; I bought it to sell but now I have to keep it!  I will end up selling the chintz teapot, though.  Aren't the green accents on it sweet?

It's English and old.

I couldn't pass up this red transferware piece.  You hardly ever seem to find them undamaged anymore...

It's also English, of course!

Something else that was recently unearthed -- but I had nothing to do with it:

This little cactus popped out of our landscape rock last year, and my husband's been babying it.  A couple of days ago, it bloomed!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Someone's missing

 Rest in Peace, Kyra

We did what is so hard for pet owners to do, this past Wednesday.  Kyra's chasing butterflies in kitty heaven now.  Ben was away at Camp when it happened -- this was either easier, or harder, depending upon how you look at it.  She was one sweet cat.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Yes, penguins.

The first thing I ever started to collect as an adult was penguins.  Yes, penguins.

It started when I was 20 and worked in a large office.  For some reason we were having an office party and one of the games we played was to answer a bunch of questions about ourselves, such as our favorite animal.  I answered, "penguins, because they always look like they're dressed up."  Everyone in the office thought it was a hoot, I don't know why.  After that day, I began finding penguins on my desk.  Penguin candy.  Penguin book marks.  Penguin coffee cups.  A collection was born.

I finally stopped buying penguins about 10 years ago.  I gave a whole bunch away before we moved to Colorado, and brought only my favorites with me.

And now, I'm getting rid of all but a dozen or so of them.

These are the ones I'm keeping:

The card in the back and the box with the penguins on the beach are special to me because they were painted by my  husband's aunt.  She passed away some years ago; the box was her wedding shower gift to me because she knew how I loved penguins.  The large paper penguin was hand made by my nephew Jayce when he was about 4 years old.  The little egg with mother and baby was something Dennis bought me from a gift shop in Lake Tahoe, NV when we were dating.  The penguin parents and baby is a music box that plays, You Are My Sunshine, also a gift from Dennis when Ben was little.  It makes me smile.

The framed picture at the back is a print by the daughter of one of the "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" guys -- if you remember that show, you're about my age!  I bought if from her at an art and wine festival in CA.  The large "animalito" penguin is something I found in Oaxaca, Mexico, and it's probably my very favorite of all my penguins.  Hand-carved, hand  painted, colorful and very hard to find!

Next to it is a Lenox penguin; the short, squat penguin next to it is made from sail canvas and I bought it in Maine; next to that is a set of nesting penguins.  The tiny ones in front are: an antique plastic molded penguin, a tiny purple Hagen Renaker penguin, and one in black in white which is special to me because I used to have it glued to the dashboard of my first car; and then the newest: a tiny blown glass millefiori one that I bought at Disney World a few years ago.

These are among my oldest: the pink bowtied penguins are salt & pepper shakers, then comes a lone penguin that's also antique; the top hatted fellows next to him are also salt & pepper shakers -- I love them because they look like they're drunk and holding each other up!  The blue accented one next to them is very unique, because he's a liquor container, still full (you can kind of see the cork in his hat.)  It's from Italy in the late '50's.  In front is another penguin I bought on another trip to Mexico.

Okay -- so maybe that's more than a dozen that I'm keeping.  But: look at all the ones I'm getting rid of:

I've scheduled these on eBay beginning Sunday morning, June 26, so if you know any penguin collectors, please spread the word!  The starting price for the lot of 65 of them comes out to less than 25 cents per penguin!  The one in the last photo is a rare Taylor & Ng cookie jar in perfect condition -- he's being sold separately, also Sunday morning.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I left my heart...

Now that our floor is finished...

we are moving furniture in.  I sold our big computer armoire and replaced it with a simple desk.  Now I have this lovely large wall space over the desk and I'm looking for something rather modern to fill it with.  The rest of the living space has more traditional touches -- especially that dining room with all the antique china.

Here are some pieces I liked on Etsy this morning:

the san francisco experiment--original oil painting--traciebrownart

SF streets canvas - the artist,  Stephen Fowler, said he could do it for me with an aubergine background

Coffee in the City by Linda Woods

I still dream of San Francisco down at the waterfront by Gina Louise

What do you think of any/all of these?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New Old Stuff in the Shop!

I've restocked the shelves at Indulge Your Shelf; here's a peek at some of what's new:

Christmas Lights (the box is the real prize, though!)

I may give eBay a try again with some of my collectibles.  I'm close to 500 feedback, and would like to get that new star on my eBay profile; plus, it's always good to keep your seller account current and I don't think I've sold anything on there in 6 months or more.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

46 Squares and other bits and pieces

All creative endeavors in my house have been at a standstill for the last week because, as you know, we're having floors installed.  It's hard enough anyway in the summer, isn't it?  There are so many outdoor things calling our names.

Ben helping with another Scout's Eagle Service Project yesterday; the Scout's installing a flagpole at a church.

So...while I have nothing new to tell you about, I do have some odds and ends to show you:

This is a little desk that I seriously almost bought from a thrift store. 

I finally decided it was too expensive, though, for the work it needed.  Plus, I'm not real competent in wood refinishing.

It sure was cute, though -- look at those legs!

This was another one, right next to it.  Not quite as adorable, but still tempting!

I found another one of those little sewing boxes -- this one has kitties on the front!

And since these were half price, I had to have them -- vintage linen cocktail napkins with an English Pub theme!
I envision a pillow with four panels.  But, I think they are going to go in my Etsy shop for someone else to actually put it together!

A beautiful Homer bowl.  I just love the sweet birds!

And a few more squares:

Life is just a bowl of...oranges.  Or, now that I look at it...sherbert?

This is Maggie, our yellow Lab.

A tomato pin cushion.

I have some fun stuff to show you that's going into my Etsy shop in the next day or two.

I'm also seriously hoping to have more time at the computer next week, when the floors are in and I need to procrastinate a break from putting all the furniture and cabinets and shelves back together in those three rooms!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The unpredictable

This weekend I grabbed a friend and went up the highway an hour or so to see the newest summer antique event, Towne & Country Market.  Being right across the street from one of my favorite stores, The Barn, I knew we couldn't go wrong.  Mother Nature had another idea, though.  I felt very sympathetic towards the brave artisans who shivered in their lovely booth areas during the unseasonably cold, rainy Saturday.

As we strolled past the booths, I noticed some beautiful things that looked very familiar.  Sure enough, it was a display by a favorite blogger of mine -- Jeanne at A Bushel and a Peck!

I was jazzed to be able to pick up one of her handmade journals:

Look at those huge rings!  I can fill it with some thick and bulky pretty things.

Here are some of my favorite pages from inside.

Best of all, I had a chance to meet Jeanne and we even took a photo together:

See...I'm holding one of her pretty ruffled bags.  Don't mind my rain-drenched hairdo.  Jeanne was very gracious and sweet in person -- just like she is on her blog!

Our shopping trip was cut short, though, by a phone call from my son; in fact, my friend's phone and mine both rang simultaneously, with our sons on the other end saying they needed a ride home.

Their camp out was canceled by the same dreary weather.  So we rushed home.  -Sigh-  And, all I'd managed to get from The Barn was this ephemera pack:

Doesn't it look like fun, though?  I haven't opened it yet -- I'm saving it for when I have time to savor each little surprise.

Here are a couple of other goodies I've picked up here and there this past week:

Pretty bark cloth fabric and a couple of old tape measures from a garage sale...

and, from the same garage sale...a tiny Cinderella carriage pin!

And, from an antique store that I'd run into to pick up fliers:  these little plastic flower pot covers!  I am very inspired by them.  (They were only 25cents each!)

Other than that, I haven't been up to much else except working on the floors and attending Scouting activities.  The carpet was a cinch to get up and out of here (and it was even more damaged than I'd thought!)  But the linoleum in the entryway was another story!  Ugh.

It's all out now, though, and tomorrow I'll start tidying up the rest of the downstairs, which is a disaster area.  (The floors won't be installed until Friday.)

Here's Ben in his new Scout uniform, for Jamboree -- which is now only 42 days away!  You wouldn't believe how long it took me to sew all those patches on.  And I have to do it again, because he has to bring two shirts.

My week ahead is full of doctor appointments, more Scout activities, the aforementioned cleaning...and, hopefully, some crafty things as well.  Summer is so...unpredictable, isn't it?