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Monday, January 31, 2011

All you need is Love.....

All you need is love...all you need is love, love... I have always loved Valentine's Day. I love heart shapes and girly, lacey pink things, and chocolate so it is a great day for me! I remember being in grade school and making and decorating Valentine boxes and bags to hold our Valentines from our classmates. I loved making my own Valentines complete with paper doily lace and glitter. I am not sure my classmates thought they were cool, but I did! I also remember using store bought ones and agonizing over which ones to send didn't want to send a mushy one to a boy..unless he was your crush... then you sent him a mushy one and agonized over your decision to do so! Today I am posting some pics of looooove.. the first is a pic from my Etsy shop for some Scrabble tiles I am selling on there. Why Scrabble tiles you ask? Because talented Etsians turn them into cool pendants by collage-ing mini pictures onto them. I have thought about giving it a whirl , but there are so many selling them I may just make some for me!

This is a pic of some antique wooden letterpress print blocks I sell. I have always liked the look of type and different fonts. I like to use pages of text repurposed in my pieces. I love books and the written Kindle for me yet! I even love the library and how books and magazines smell. I am a magazine junkie and the first thing I always do is inhale!

This last pic is of a leaf my daughter brought me this fall. She knows I love hearts! She used to pick me flowers and draw me pictures when she was a little girl (she's 19 now!) and she still likes to surprise me from time to time! Love is all you need!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Altered Bottles

This is what I have been working on lately. These are altered antique and vintage apothecary bottles. These were probably dug and are shabby. This is the after pic...
This is the before pic. The lavender ones used to be clear, but time and sun exposure has purpled them to pretty lilac!

I added vintage ribbon, vintage earring bits from singles I had, vintage velvet millinery flowers that I added bead centers to (vintage beads of course! ) and reproduced antique French perfume labels (thanks Graphics Fairy) some of which I also changed up a bit.

I like how they turned out..tres chic oui? Hope you have a tres chic day! Julia

Monday, January 24, 2011

Jadeite Morning

I've been playing with jadeite husband and I bought a large collection of it that I have been selling on Etsy and Ebay. I collect a bit of it so it is sort of hard to let some of it go buutttt...

So I am playing with it as it passes through my home! Jadeite or jadite is actually the color of the glass. There was a lot made by Fire King Anchor Hocking and McKee and Jeanette glass. There are jadeite Fenton glass pieces also as well as other makers. Fire King has been a favorite of mine. It used to be cheap..a coffee mug or a dollar or 2..until Martha Stewart started pointing out its lovely qualities by filling her tv set with it..then prices skyrocketed! Not as fun for cheap old me anymore but it is still lovely. I liked it because my gramma used to have it. She passed when I was a child but I am seeing her more and more often every time I look in the mirror! This cup and saucer is Fire King Shell pattern. May your day be filled with loveliness! Julia

Friday, January 21, 2011

Let them eat cupcakes!

Let them eat cake!

Boy I bet Marie regretted THAT phrase!

Hi! I have been in a Marie Antionette mood lately and whipped this up. My daughter Alexa refers to this as the "$50 dollar cupcake" as it took me forever to make it. I had a lot of time spent sitting and staring at it and making design choices. The next ones won't take me as long (hopefully!) This has a top of a hand tinted copy of an antique fashion plate. The base is hand pleated pink crepe paper with vintage French text from book, scrap paper, glitter, antique lace from my stash and pink rhinestones. This is totally a faux cake..nothing edible about it! The faux frosting is decorated with glass beads and "jimmies" and vintage faux ( I hope) pearls. She is now on my Etsy site and I have more in the works! This is the size of those huge muffins you see in the know the ones you don't even want to know the calorie and fat content of..5 bazillion grams of carbs. When my daughter was expecting we were in the grocery store and bought one of those to split. She couldn't even wait for the check out. She broke me off a 1"x1" piece and when I finshed paying I turned around and she was standing there with an empty muffin liner and a guilty look on her face! As I have learned to say in the South, Bless her heart! Here's hoping your day is all pink cupcakes with sprinkles! Julia

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pietro Yantorny Shoes are yummy

A trunk of Pietro Yantorny shoes..shoe lovers equivalant of a pirate's treasure chest!

I was cruising the internet the other night and wandered into the Met Muesum. Of course being me, I somehow ended up in the "shoe department". All I can say is WOW. If you like shoes and costume history, it is a great site. I went to the Costume area and typed in shoes and ...(insert Sponge Bob narrators voice here) 2 hours later... I noticed the shoes that were really catching my eye were the work of a shoemaker (actually shoe artist would be more fitting) named Pietro Yantorny. I looked him up and he was born in Italy in 1874 to Russian parents. He was illiterate but apprenticed and learned the shoemakers art. He moved to Paris and set up shop, placing a sign in the window "Most Expensive Shoemaker in the World". Pretty gutsy but self- fulfilling! The uppercrust clientele poured in. Depending on the intricacy, he could command up to $5370 per pair for his shoes which in the first quarter of the 1900's was an enormous ammount of money. He expected his new clients to buy at least 10 pairs of his shoes, plus handcarved mahogany shoe trees, plus stockings and of course, a shoe trunk. If you look at his shoes you can see he was influenced by the past as well as the couture fashion of his day. I love the perfect curves they have! One of his best clients was NY socialite Rita De Acosta Lydig. I am guessing quiet a few of the Met's shoes are hers. There are also yummy Dior and more shoes at the Met which I may pic later. This first pair is green velvet w/ lace overlay.

Cream silk with lace...

Rose red brocade with paste buckles..

Black silkwith sequins...

Black and gold brocade with velvet bows and paste buckles..

A silver metallic embroidered Moraccan style slipper ...

These look like embossed leather but I think they are embroiddered silk...

Annnd one of my fav pairs, a pink and rose 2 tone velvet with lace and paste buckles..*sigh* I will be dreaming of shoes for a week!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snow Day part Four..

This pic of the couple in the snowball fight is actually of my husband's grandparents. I never met Grandpa George (except through my husband's DNA) but I was lucky enough to have Grandma Minnie in my life for about 15 years. She was a lovely, sweet woman and I was glad to call her Gramma too! Despite Grandma's long dress, this was probably taken in the 1940's..Grandpa is stooping a bit. Grandma lived to be 103. This picture was taken on their South Dakota farm. I blew this pic up and altered it for my sister in law and brother in law. I added an icy blue floral scrap paper sky and touches of glitter to the snow. I colorized parts with watercolor pencils and added part of a Longfellow poem in paper text "tiles". "Out of the bosom of the air, out of the cloud-folds of her garment shaken, Over the woodlands brown and bare, over the harvest-fields forsaken, silent and soft and slow, descends the snow.." I framed it in a vintage wooden frame I painted creamy white with a grey-blue glaze and they got it for Christmas. It was cool (if I do say) I have to make us one!

This was the huge icicle hanging off my back gutter..sooo pretty! I caught the drips in motion.

This was the view out of my bedroom window this morning..jazzed up a smidge of course. I love icicles..we don't see them a whole lot in Tennessee. That is part of my flower arbor in the corner. It is much taller than it appears, this was taken from the second floor. I saw a cardinal flitting about but he wouldn't pose for the paparazzi today! After last night's trip in the ditch, I was happy to stay home!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow day part Deux

What I did last night....
This is the pair I made ME a pair of.. The aqua blue ones...
Pretty in pink..I love using vintage beads. The chandelier prisms are antique and they are all wonderfully sparkly. I have been in a total Marie Antoinette groove lately! Annd still have my pix on here all willy-nilly! I am determined to get this figured out!

Snow Day part 3

Hello all! I am on day 3 of no school snow days..fine with me but the natives are getting restless. Today I found myself sailing down the snowy hillside in a blue plastic wading pool! East TN is not used to much snow so we have no proper sled! Sledding is still fun..cold ears and wet pants..not so much! I spent an hour of tonight getting stuck on the icy road trying to go pick up my daughter from work. They do not clear the side roads down here at all and there is at least an inch of packed snow and ice on it and I didn't make it up a hill (but did manage to slide back down the hill into a ditch. All's well now knight in shining armour came and rescued me. We couldn't get the cars back up our driveway though..too slippery!I hate being the woman who needs rescuing but it was nice! I spent the morning photographing vintage Turquoise Fire King to list on Ebay. I couldn't resist taking a couple pretty ones for here! I also made earrings last night for my Etsy shop. They are made of antique chandelier crystals and vintage glass beads and pearlies. I don't usually make jewelry but I did spend 2 years in dental lab tech school ..part of it learning to bend wires for retainers. Surprise surprise..bending wire for earrings is the same as bending wire for retainers! So here are a couple pics of those also..of course I had to keep a pair for me! Until next time, here's hoping you have a knight in shining armour too..or no need of one!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Morning pretties

This is my current studio..also known as my dining room! You can see some of my dolls in the corner of this one..This manniquin is waiting for me to zhjuzz it up..sorry Carson Kressley..I don't know how to spell zhjuzz!

I've been working with my pretties this morning...I made a Marie Antoinette inspired necklace from antique crystal chandelier parts, vintage pink and white glass beads, and vintage pink taffetta ribbon..I really liked how it turned out! I also made some beaded velvet violets from vintage millinery flowers and beads..still have to figure out a final project for those to be a part of. The last pic is just of my paper rosettes and some of my bling..they really look different in the morning light as opposed to the ones I took last night!

My pics are all over the place..I am still trying to figure this blogging thing out! LOL

Saturday, January 8, 2011

What I am doing tonight..

Here's a pic of what I am working on tonight. I make these roses out of hand dyed fingertips are pink! They will eventually end up in a shabby Marie Antoinette style project. I have some larger ones in my Etsy shop, but these are a smaller new design. I am thinking of some altered shoes or maybe an altered bottle or neck or headpiece is where these will end up..hmmmm. I am always working on about 15 things at once!

Friday, January 7, 2011

A view in my backyard today

I have a wandering herd of male peacocks that actually belong to the neighbor down the road that spend most days at my house. It is always just the males..the hens stay home. There used to be 3 but now there are 3 teenagers who get to come along and one slightly older albino male. The original 3 didn't like the albino at first but when the other 3 came along this spring he got to come along too!I have learned it takes a couple years for the males to get all their color and longer to get their first pretty tail feathers. This guy was showing off in the back yard today and I had to be quite cagey to get a frontal view! They generally spend the day stealing the cats' food and preening about. Come dusk they are off home to roost!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Annnnd last but not least for the day is one of the glass type. These are more common, but this is a large-ish one with some vintage 48 star small flags.. Have a great day!

This is an unusual domed metal one..I've only seen a couple of these..
This is an unusual 3 section one. You can take it apart and rearrange it into a square and a circle or 2 half circles.
These are oval style..the pics are from my stash..not family but they just hang out with me! I refer to the couple pic on the bottom as the guy with the Jude Law eyes!

The pin style some in several shapes and sizes and can be green or silver painted or usually are just patina-ed metal. These are some round ones...
This one is cage style..this has thin bands of metal, but sometimes these are wire.

This is a coil or spring style..these are a bit harder to find but fun because they are usually odd and wonderful!

I was trying to think what to post today and was going through my pics and ran across some of flower frogs. For those who aren't acquainted with these wonderful vintage gems, flower frogs are what people used to stabilize and arrange flowers in vases and containers before the advent of floral foam. They are a fab collectible..there are soooo many styles! They were made in glass of various hues (including clear, black, depression pink and green, carnival glass and probably more!) metal, wire, glazed pottery and included a myriad of styles. The glass are usually flattish disks or "hockey pucks" with holes to hold the stems. They range in size from a few holes to 16+ holes. I've even seen embossed ones. The metal come in cage styles, springy and coiled wonders, spikey "pin style" and more. There are also glazed pottery ones that were put out by the pottery houses of the day..Weller, Rookwood, Van Briggle and Roseville examples can set you back a pretty penny. What I like about them besides that there are so many different ones and the almost architectural/sculptural quality that they posess is the fact that most are inexpensive! Yes..that's right..I'm cheap! Also, besides using them for their original purpose, they can be repurposed. The "holey" and cage styles can hold your pens, pencils and paint brushes..I have also seen them holding small flags and lollypops on a table! The pin style are great to hold photos, notes, placecards, table numbers, business cards, small signs, etc. I am adding some photos from examples I have sold on Etsy and Ebay..most of these are now gracing someone else's home. For me and my husband though, the joy comes in just finding them to sell! (That man is a flower frog magnet!) I hope you enjoy the info and the pix! Julia

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I am adding some of my fav photos I have on hand. This one has a story. Our first baby was born with a bad heart defect and passed away during open heart surgery. I have a soft spot for heart shaped items. I always look for heart shaped rocks, etc. I feel like it is his way of saying to me, "I'm ok!" This summer when we were coming back home from our annual visit to my family in the Midwest, we were sitting at a rest stop playground letting our 8 year old and our 2 year old grandson (do THAT math!) stretch their legs. My daughter reached down in the mulch and picked up this beautiful handmade heart bead and handed it to me saying, "I think this is for you!" I took the pic in one of my collected abandoned nests with some wooden eggs I painted. I use these in my personal art so please don't use them in things you sell!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

I need to add the disclaimer here that I am not a photographer..I don't even know what all the buttons on there are for! I am generally satisfied that I haven't shaken the camera or gotten my finger in the shot. I have learned to enjoy taking pics more since I started my Etsy shops and see things in a different way now..I need to carry my camera more often to capture , like today, the bluest sky ever!

This is the cupola off my great grandfather's barn that I rescued from the trash pile. It now covers my well spigot. I never met my great grandpa but this is keeping him close. There are even a couple bulletholes in it from my grandpa or great uncles..maybe great gramma!
A snowscape at the foot of my garden.
Ice-cycle. An old bike that was left under the downspout.

This is my snow angel..
Hello to the wide world! I am living up to my new year's resolution to actually post on my blog! (Warning..I will be using LOTS of exclamtion points..I'm easily excited!) To kick this baby off I will be sharing some pics of our Snowy Tennessee day ( a novelty here) and later, some pics of my studio in progress and some of my other projects. Off to figure out how to load a photo!