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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Antique and vintage cameras

Hi guys! I am spending the day listing vintage and antique cameras in my Etsy shop and a couple on EBay. I decided I needed a "blog break!" These first 3 pics are photos of what I have previously done with vintage cameras. The first one I replaced peeling leatherette with vintage maps and added a photo display wire. (This one has sold)
I liked the idea of maps, travel and cameras.I thought they went well together.
This one shows one of my favorite photos I took of my daughter and grandson 2 summers ago. Just add your old photo to the flash holder of a vintage camera. (You may have to add weight to the interior to prevent tippage)
These are a few I was listing or will be listing today. The first couple are box cameras from the 1930's-40's.
I like the old deco style graphics on these! You could also add small frames to the sides of these for unique 3D photo displays. The interior also makes for a cool trinket box and I have also seen these upcycled into junk robot bodies! I also had one I added a handle to and used as a small purse. Vintage camera cases that come with some of these also make great repurposed purses!
I listed some antique cameras too. These old folding cameras are so intriguing to me!
Photography used to be such a "process" ..yes..that was a photography pun..sorry!
This one apparently used film or plates.
Most antique cameras are suprisingly affordable and would make an awesome display with vintage family photos! I felt a bit odd taking pictures of cameras with my digital've come a long way baby! When I picked up my camera, it felt so light I thought I had forgotten to put batteries in it!
My "photography assistant" my 3 yr old grandson Hunter decided we needed to "color" these in editing.
Suprisingly it was fun and cool effects resulted!
I think I may print these first 4 for a Warhol-esque "homage".
I love this one!
Three year olds have great ideas!
This one made me think of using it or other altered photos of mine as backgrounds for further altered mixed media collage pieces..hmmmm... Thanks Hunter! Til next time, here's hoping you find inspiration in unexpected places and may you look at life with the eyes of a child! Julia

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Church Bake Sale or Cake Porn

Hi guys! I spent this weekend running my church's bake sale. Now I didn't exactly WANT to run my church's bake sale, but I am on our church's finance board (which if you knew me is pretty laughable) and at the meeting last month our priest Father William said, "We need a bake sale!" Now being the only woman on the finance board at that meeting, I saw the frosting writing on the wall..I slunk down a bit in my chair but to no avail.. Father William pointed a finger at me and said "YOU! You get the ladies together!" Now I actually ended up on the finance board a few years back when our then priest Father David accosted me after church and said, "We need you on the finance board!" After I finished laughing I told him, "I can't even balance my checkbook!" He said, "Great! You'll be our "common man"! So there I was! I still feel sort of a bit of a dullard at finance meetings, all the accounting pages make my eyes glaze over. I do manage to ask a few semi-intelligent questions and am a voice for the ladies of the church.

Anyhoo..that is how I ended up running the bake sale. We are building a parish hall and need money to help pay for the furnishings so that was the purpose of the bakesale. Our church altar society has been basically disbanded for the last 8 years since we built a new church because the new church did not include a hall or kitchen from which to do "altar society" type things! So regrouping ladies was hard. I got to get up in front of the church a couple times to make announcements and plead for help. It is so weird how I don't mind talking to anyone in my church , but when I get up there behind the pulpit I start to shake and sweat! The joys of public speaking! keep a long story long, the above "cake porn" is a piece of what one of our church ladies brought to sell. She works for a bakery that does cakes and cheesecakes for high end restaurants. She brought a cake and a cheesecake for the Saturday night mass sale that when people saw her open the box, they actually gasped out loud! It was huge and tall..3 layers with inches of buttercream icing and white chocolate curls and raspberry filling between the layers! Oh heavenly days.. they were selling slices for $3 a pop and it was all sold as fast as we could slice it! I did get a piece of her delicious 4 inch thick cheesecake (blueberries, raspberries and pineapple) to take home and share with my husband.
Today she brought this coconut cake and I bought a 1/4. She said their cakes wholesale for $55-$65 dollars! We had one slice after supper which we split into 4 pieces..pure heaven! It had the most delicious frosting I have ever had in my life..both buttercreamy and whipped creamy at the same time. I am sure it was not cholesterol friendly, but somethings in life you just cannot let pass you by!I must say since my cholesterol post some days back (10?) I have been eating only non processed food, cut way back on sugar (except THIS) and cut down on carbs,eat only lean meat and eating more fruits and veggies, only greek yogurt and skim milk, no hydrogenized oils and I lost 4lbs! I was eating MORE food! During Lent I gave up bread and coffee and lost 1/2 a pound in 40 days! Yay! I do hope this continues and that my cholesterol levels stay lowish. I have been reading a lot and taking some other steps also (supplements,flax, oatmeal, a glass of red wine a night) and also exercise..although truthfully my exercise this week has been gardening and yard work. I cannot believe how much better I feel already! I feel like I have so much more energy and I can already feel improvement in my joints..I can get off the couch without a struggle!
So I am continue-ing on my road to healthier eating. I need to go to the library and check out some books..I have to pay my overdue book fines there first (yeah..I am a rebel like that! LOL) Oh yes..the bakesale was a success..we made almost $1300! So here's to healthier, smarter eating and also to being smart enough not to pass up an occasional slice of heaven! (Church cakes have no calories or cholesterol anyways...right?) Hoping you have some sweetness in your life this week! Til next time! Julia

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Misty, Moisty Morning

It is a foggy morning in East Tennessee. I took these pics on the way home from dropping my little boy off at school...some I was just sticking the camera out the window and clicking as I drove by! (Not safe driving I am sure!)
I love foggy, moist mornings..everything looks like it is wrapped in cotton candy. It appears so timeless when you can't see the cell towers and power lines!
I can imagine Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy traipsing across the fields having earnest conversations..
This was my prize for getting out of the car!
This is the foot of my driveway. It feels magical to me because I know what is at the end of it!

Hope your road home is magical too! Until next time! Julia

Monday, April 16, 2012

Rose Red clothespin paper flower wreath

Hi guys! This is my latest clothespin wreath. I had collected some really pretty scrapbook paper in aquas and reds and they sparked the idea for this wreath's theme.
Also, I remember when I was little going to my grandparent's church for a dinner and walking in the kitchen to see Gramma who was in there with a bunch of other ladies..all in dresses and aprons! I must have been young because they were tall. I remember perusing the buffet table with my cousin Greg, deciding what we were going to eat when time came. Two things I remember making an impression were macaroni salad with marshmallows and fruit cocktail and whipped cream in a big white Fire King bowl with red dots and a huge angelfood cake with sticky pale pink marshmallow frosting. I have since collected and been gifted a set (and a couple more) of those Fire King nesting bowls..some of my favorite items! (Thanks again Debbie!)
So here are the red dots and the pale pink!
The red roses I made from cardstock.
The pale pink rosebuds are made from cupcake liners because it was the only pale pink paper I had in the house that day! I like how they turned out.
The rest of the flowers have layers of vintage and antique sheet music (Mozart), vintage French lit pages, vintage French to English dictionary pages, vintage Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice pages (I always read as I snip!) and antique German bible study book pages. The middles are vintage mother of pearl buttons and pearly jewelry beads and bits with touches of pink glitter. I just could not hold back the glitter on this one!
The leaves are aqua paper encrusted with crystal glitter. I have a different one that I am working on flowers for now..different scheme of course. I will share it when it is done.
These are the flowers my daughter's boyfriend picked for her and left in her car while she was at work this weekend. Awwwww! My husband said he needs to tell him he is setting a bad example! I told him that is how it is SUPPOSED to be! LOL. Hope your week is filled with flowers! Til next time! Julia

Thursday, April 12, 2012

My New Cholesterol Journey

Hi guys! I have embarked on a new cholesterol journey. For the last 9 years I have been taking Statin drugs for my high cholesterol. My optometrist told me she saw cholesterol deposits in my irises and told me to get myself checked. I had just had my son Jack and my only Doctor was my gyno so when I had my checkup I badgered him into drawing blood for a cholesterol test. When it came back he was shocked. He said,"It is 303! You need to see a doctor!" I said, "Aren't YOU a doctor?" and he said (I kid you not) "I mean a REAL one!" LOL. His nurse just kept saying, "That can't be right?!" Unfortunately it was. I got a "real" doctor who put me on Statin drugs..first Lipitor for a couple years then Crestor ..then when my insurance company decided Crestor was too expensive, I was back to Lipitor then to generic Lipitor. My cholesterol did drop to around 120 and I went on my merry way eating whatever I pleased. I was taking a very low dose..5mg of Crestor and 10 of Lipitor. The last year or so, things started to creep up on me.
My feet started hurting and snap crackle popping every time I stood up. My energy was loooooow. My memory started slipping..words I KNEW started escaping me. I'd have to ask my family..what is that word I am searching means (and I'd name off 4-5 synonyms). They would just say..Oh you mean the MICROWAVE?(or insert any other incredibly easy word here) The they would shake their heads..crazy old mom!Then my knees started hurting too and I felt stiff..I struggled to get up off the floor and even the couch in a graceful manner. My thumbs and hands started aching and getting stiff..last straw! I work with my hands and NEED them thankyouverymuch! I am 49 and I felt 89! A bell started to go off about Statin drug side effects. My mom has high cholesterol that she controls with diet and exercise..neither of which particularily appealed to me. She was constantly harping on evil Statin drugs (which she was immediately violently allergic to) and I would say, "I am FINE!" OK time to listen to my mother (she was so pleased!) I ran out of Statins and did not refill. I have changed my diet. I read labels (they are horrific if you actually read the ingredients..all sugar and preservatives) I told my husband I am going to try to avoid processed food which he is fine with (why not..tastes better and he doesn't have to cook!) I have started on Niacin and other supplements. I have added oatmeal and flax to my diet. I have also been reading up on "good Cholesterol " foods. I am going lower dairy (greek yogurt and skim milk) lean protein and lots of fruits an veggies. I am trying to cut out white sugar/ high glucose corn syrup..that stuff is in everything! Even a can of kidney beans has sugar added! Green and black tea & coffee are still a more creamer real or hydrogenized fake stuff *sniffle* NO more hydrogenized oils in anything! Dark chocolate (not tons) is good. A glass of red wine a night is good. Walnuts are good. Raw honey if needed.
After my whole 40 days of Lent with no coffee (and tons of creamer) or bread, I jumped on the scale to discover I had lost 1/2 a pound! My daughter said ... well at least you know bread isn't making you fat! Humpf.. My husband on the other hand gave up pop and his candybars for Lent and lost 20 pounds. Oh least he is healthier! I would like to lose about 20 lbs. (Someone told me also that Statin drugs make you gain weight..we'll see how that flies!" I don't want to be skinny..I love myself at 150! I have boobs and if I lose much more I get haggard looking. So off I go on my new way of life. Oh ..did I mention the 30 minutes of sweaty exercise a day? That was actually the most depressing idea to me as I am lazy as hell but I do know as a former exerciser that once you get back on the horse so to speak that it becomes less of a chore. So I will speed walk, ride the bike and lift some weights. I may even add a sit up or 2! I do need to add stretching also because I have lost any inkling of flexibility. *sigh*

On the up side I am going back to baking our own husband is almost giddy about that idea..I may even sneak some flax in on him! I am planning on getting my levels checked in a couple months..I assume they will rise and I wanted to have a good start to argue with my doctor with (he loves pills). He is a Lipitor taker too..maybe HIS knees will be aching and I can get a convert! So off I go on my healthier road..wish me luck! Til next time! Julia

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Upcycled candelabras and new booth items

Hi guys! I just wanted to share some new upcycles and vintage items I took to my antiques booth today.This first one is one of my upcycled candelabras. The base is a vintage glass lamp base that I used faux mercury glass spray paint on. The middle is a vintage wooden piece..probably a table leg part. The top is a brass candle stand that I painted and punched holes and added vintage prisms and a prismy bobeche to.
This one is a pillar candle stand. The top is a vintage silverplate ruffled bowl. I punched holes and added prisms. The middle is a porch post with an added vintage metal keyhole surround. The base is marble from a vintage lamp.
This one is the same as the first with a vintage brass base. I think this was a pillar candlestand. The bobeche just sits on the top. It is irridescent and the prisms are pretty!
I always buy these when I see them at a sale. This is a vintage floral water globe. You stuck your flowers in the rubber base and added water and some white vinegar to the globe, then flip the base w/ flowers upside down and reattach. The lid is quite tight fitting. I have 2 this size and a smaller one. I like them more for display. I have one full of vintage mother of pearl buttons and 2 small ones that I have planted moss in at my house! Also cool for a little a big snow globe without the water.
I also always buy vintage cheese domes. Still useable for their original purpose but imagine this with a nest with faux robin's eggs or old photos and memorabilia! I like to use them more as a cloche.
This one had a cork base that I spray painted and a glass liner which I put some vintage wallpaper beneath. You could put anything under there and even switch it out seasonally! Of course I forgot my camera when I went up to the antique mall..I need to take it and get some new booth pix! Hope you are having a great week! 'Til next time. Julia