Sunday, August 10, 2014

Estate sale finds

It's been a little while since I showed you my latest thrifty finds, hasn't it?
These are all estate sale finds from a few weeks ago.
I can count the estate sales I've been to this summer on one hand -- but this was a very good one!
These shoe stretchers were just 50 cents/bunch and I love the colors!  When I was paying for them the lady asked me what I was planning to do with them.
Do with them?  I think they just look pretty in a pile!
I told her I do a lot of paper art and that I thought they'd make cute "hangers" for that; I auditioned it above -- can you see tying paper collage pages on the hanger?  Maybe?
What do you use them for?
I also found this adorable flower ring with two birds on top.
They are so sweet!
 I really LOVE this tablecloth -- it's one my my favorite  combinations, with large crochet lace...
 sewn on to linen.
I need to wash it and then I'll photograph it on my dining room table for you.
Small linen bird placemats, signed Lois Long
I loved the "fall" feel they have.
Interestingly, when I was paying the lady said, "Oh, you can just HAVE those."  She was obviously not a fan of mid century graphics like I am!
 It's never too early to talk about vintage Christmas, is it?
 One of my favorites from the bunch, in Tiffany blue glass.
 I'm addicted.
 Rolls of burlap in different colors.
A delicate Vera scarf, hand painted.  I think this one came actually came from a short stop at a thrift store.
 On the right, such a pretty bottle!  It is modern and I believe once held bath salts.
 I love the size, the shape, the colors...
and the motif.
The Time of Roses, and some instant ancestors.
 This batch was my favorite (below): a pretty baby,
 and a woman drinking from a stone jug, next to a log cabin!
 Now that is something you don't see every day!
 So pretty.
 What a pumpkin!
 The look on this little boy's face is priceless!
I'll bet it had something to do with that collar.
Shirley Temple wannabe.
It's a stormy day and I've been working on my craft room/studio/hoarder mess!
I never tire of  being elbow deep in my vintage things.
Although, if my husband was here he'd say it's more like knee deep these days!

All month you have the chance to enter my giveaway of beautiful BonnieAngela jewelry -- and coupon codes! Here are the details.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Selfies

Me with a funny vintage hat at work.
You can tell I got a big kick out of it!
It's listed here.
I've heard that some people feel very annoyed by "selfies"...
I'm sorry to hear that!
I obviously don't feel that way!
Here's one I snapped at the antique mall the other day.
And here's one from when an old friend, Karen, visited me last week!
She was in Denver on business and came over for dinner -- 'hadn't seen her for more than 10 years.
But of course it felt like we'd been together yesterday.
So, it's August and Ben's back to school after his summer of fun and adventure.  It is his senior year.
It will be quite a year.
 I wish I could say I'd had a fabulous summer, but it was less than that.
My whole new-and better/healthier-diet plan flew out the window just as I started it, last month!
Within hours, and I do mean hours, of stocking my refrigerator with whole foods, my serious GI issues returned; so, the rest of the month was all about antibiotics and bland foods, and pain and rest.
This month will be all about tests, scans, doctor appointments and an almost-liquid diet.
Soon we will get to the bottom of it and make a plan for my return to health.
I just have to believe there are better days ahead!
Tell me what you are up to in August.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Blog hoppin'

I was invited to a blog hop by my friend Kathy who blogs over at Klueless.  Which does not seem to me to be the most accurate title, as Kathy is full of wisdom on so many subjects!
When you visit Kathy's blog you get to drool over her finds, like this post from earlier this year.
It's a Junk-A-Rama...and there's even a part two in which Kathy returns to the estate sale and finds more delightful junque!
A lot of what she finds she uses in her art; check out this collage.  It's so easy to see why I feel like Kathy and I are members of the same tribe.
I'm very inspired by the way Kathy diligently works to fill up her art journals.
You can and must visit her Etsy shop, too, Strangenotions.  One of my favorite things she offers besides vintage bounty and her own beautiful art is inspiration kits -- so you can make something of your own.
And did I tell you she was into buttons, too?  Her blog template even features button flowers -- a girl after my own heart.
She is definitely a Button Floozie -- and she finds some real winners!
One of the things I really admire about Kathy is that she holds down a real (full time, professional) job and somehow finds time to do so much more: create art, hunt treasures, raise a garden.
 Some of Kathy's blooms.
I have hydrangea envy.
I want to be just like her when I grow up!
So...
to be in this blog hop I have four "getting-to-know-you" kinds of questions to answer:
1.  What am I working on?
I earned my BA in Creative Writing in 2009 and it was dream-come-true. 
This year, I wanted to write 50 works of creative writing: stories, poems -- even journal entries.  I'm far from my goal but I'm happy that having the goal helped me to work on three (just three, but so much better than none!) works, so far.
My next "big" project is to expand a short story based upon my grandparents' immigration to the US.
I would also like to try writing some for-fun, short e-Books; I've already contributed to several written by others and I think I have gotten the hang of it!
I'm more prolific in my fabric and paper art life; if you read my blog then you know that last weekend I finished a curtain topper made from vintage handkerchiefs.
I always have an embroidery project going, and I jump at the chance to create using ephemera.
I have just taken a video course, My Weekend Fabric Book, by one of my creative heroes, Nellie Wortman, so my very next mixed media project will be to create some books using her method!
Below is a page of the most recent (non-Nellie) fabric book I've begun to work on.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I think that my artwork is maybe different for a few reasons; one is that I'm happiest when working with old things -- vintage and antique paper, fabric, lace.  As pretty and abundant as all the new fabrics and papers are, to me nothing can compare to the feel and look of truly old things.  I want my work to tell a story, and nothing speaks louder than the wrinkles and imperfections of the timeworn.
Another way my work is different is that my subjects are things other than the customary popular motifs -- I don't create a lot with antique photos of pretty children or women, or fairies or other magical creatures, and I don't like to use scary or dark themes.  My raw materials are whatever speaks to me, which usually is not a doll, a butterfly, or a witch.  It's more likely to be a color, or an era, or a phrase from a song I like, or a line from something I've just read and loved.

 3. Why do I write/create what I do?
I  create what I do because it makes me happy.
Seriously happy.
It brings me peace and great satisfaction.  Creating lets me forget about all the broken places, and build something new.  It very much helps me to express things inside of me.  It can be healing.
And I love to share what I do, and how I did it, to inspire other people.  Because I've been so inspired by others over the last decade or so by the work of artists I admire.
4. How does your writing/creating process work?
When I'm writing, it's often because I feel strongly about something and I want to explore it.  For instance, the second (unpublished) novel I wrote was inspired by a news article I'd read about another blogger who was challenging the 1st Amendment freedom of speech.
I kept thinking about him, and wondering what in the world would make a guy write what he writes?  From there I created a character, imagined a situation -- and then wrote his story to see what he would do and how it would end.
In creating art I will usually begin with an inspiration -- something I've seen that spoke to me that I wanted to feature or highlight.  Often it's some thing ironic, or something that makes me laugh.
The other way I work is by learning -- I take a class or get together with a friend to try a new technique or project, and if I liked it I will make more and more of the same, and refine the technique or make it my own.
Often inspiration comes when I see something I know a friend would love.  I really enjoy giving my art away as gifts.  Sometimes I sell things.
I won't get any gold stars for this blog hop, alas; I invited some blogging friends to play along but wasn't able to stir up any interest in joining in.  I think it has something to do with the time of year --the Dog Days --and also that I didn't ask soon enough -- but I'm not discouraged.
I hope you will visit Kathy and all the other bloggers she hopped with, and in this way keep the fun going!

Oh -- and while you're here, I hope you'll go back and read this blog post and comment for your chance to win LOTS of beautiful artisan jewelry!