Sunday, April 20, 2008

Find of the Spring Day

We are finally getting what we deserve--spring weather! After working yesterday morning, I couldn't resist using the sunny afternoon to drive out to an antique mall to look for bits and bobs for Karla and Beth's Birds & Bonnets Vintage Workshop Swap. I am excited about participating in my first swap and my mind is buzzing with ideas. I ran across this box. It has so many motifs that I love. The rose, the berries and the ships. Ships always conjure up such romantic images for me. Cargoes of treasure from distant lands, reunions with loved ones. And this ship has that same look as the ones found on delft--so I can almost see that perennial favorite of mine: blue and white. The dealer had marked it down from $25 to $5, so how could I resist? On the bottom, it's stamped: 2 Pr. Men's 1/2 Hose Size 10. Can you imagine? Such a beautiful box for socks. The lid has some problems, but that's okay because I'd like to display it open like this. Now what should I fill it with? The white buttons have already found a home in their calico top jar. Perhaps the blue and white china shards that I save for mosaics. Or maybe those old clothespins wrapped with my thrift store laces. For me, that's one of the most delicious things about a vintage find--the pondering. What associations does it bring to mind? What should I put with it? Where shall I place it? You know what they say about travel--that sometimes it's not just the destination but the getting there. That's what vignettes are to me--the pretty resting places that result after a creative journey.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Play Days

I forgot to upload this hankie photo for Sunday's show and tell. This little vintage pincushion doll (her dull green skirt was covered over with new fabric several years ago) has such a pinched look in spite of her fancy surroundings. I guess it's just the nature of her job. We finally have some warmth and sunshine and I visited several thrift stores yesterday, but didn't really find much. I'm starting a new work schedule this week with more weekdays off and I'm supposed to be cleaning for out of town guests, but I spent the morning in my craft room straightening and finishing a couple of little projects. Now that I have the jar from the Omaha trip, I decided to give my white buttons a good soaking (ala Cerri's method) so they'd look better on display.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

My History in Hankies

It's time for another Sunday Show and Tell, thanks to our hostesses Cerri and Analise . It's amazing what a woman can do with a simple little square of fabric, isn't it? I think that's one of the things that makes so many hankies appealing--the intricate needlework lavished on them. I don't really collect hankies, but three of them made it out of my childhood with me, and I've been lured by the beauty of a few more along the way. I had such fun this week in my "in-between" moments washing, pressing and posing these pretty little squares. So here it is-- my history in hankies. This is probably my favorite hankie. I think it may have belonged to one of my grandmothers. In dressier days, I wore it much like I've photographed it. I tucked it in the pocket of an ecru linen blazer and accessorized it with a strand of pearls. It was a romantic look that I loved to wear. Here's a detail of the fine embroidery and cutwork. These two hankies were mine when I was a girl. Don't you just love those Little Bo Peep colors? Periwinkle blue was always my favorite crayon. Here's another hankie from my little miss days. I think I got this about the time the movie Mary Poppins came out, and I can see her influence on the little lady. This hankie is so sheer and delicate. The beautiful little tear drop of lace is only found in one corner. I couldn't resist a hankie that had my initial and was in my favorite color combination of blue and white. I've loved blue and white since childhood when a kind neighbor gave me a piece of Blue Willow and told me the sentimental story behind the design. Now you've seen my hankies and you know a bit more about me. I hope you'll leave a comment so I can get to know you, too.

Omaha Score!

Last weekend I drove my son to Omaha to play in some lacrosse games. He scored in the final seconds of a game, and I made the most of the few seconds I had to antique! Actually, it was one and a half hours, but it wasn't nearly enough time for the old Omaha market district. (Thanks to Beth for suggesting this area to me.) I shopped at the Fairmont Antique Mall, which was in the old Fairmont dairy building, and at Second Chance Antiques, which was just as a review in Country Home magazine had promised--absolutely jam-packed and home to two cats. This tin is probably my favorite find. I've never seen one with raised detail like this, and the flower basket is a motif I love. Here is a detail of the side of the tin. The wheat sheaf is the perfect motif for a Kansas resident like me. I thought this chunky little jar would be great for storing buttons or ribbon in my craft room. Of course, I loved the blue and white floral lid. I think someone may have just covered it with contact paper. Feeling the influence of Sugar*Sugar, I scooped up the vintage clothespins. I recently bought two bags of old lace trim for just $1.99 a bag at a Savers and I liked the idea of using the clothespins to store the lace pieces. I probably won't paint them in pastels, but I will paint them, since the acid in the unfinished wood would be bad for the lace. Perhaps a chocolate brown color would set off the lovely old yellowed tones of the lace. I also found a couple of holiday items and some sewing notions, which are a favorite of mine. Because I like the silhouette of the crocheted shoe, I'll just leave it as is. I bought the card of bone rings because I've always wanted to make a ribbon chatelaine. I think these rings may be smaller than the ones usually used and I may not have enough of them, but if that's the case, I'll just tuck the card into my French memo board. I absolutely loved the little crocheted cup-- such detail in such a tiny piece! Now I just have to find the perfect thimble to put in it. The man at the register told me he could tell by a code on the tag that it had been there for 24 years. I'm not sure if that's true, but it was so dirty I thought it might turn out an ecru color after a good soaking in Oxiclean, if I was lucky. Turns out it was a pretty, pale shade of yellow. I love a road trip, no matter what the destination, because I never know what I'm going to see or find along the way.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Sunday Best

For the show and tell suggested by Cerri and Analise, I have but one hat to show. At first it seems like just another straw hat with a pretty pink bow, but that black veil adds a bit of mystery. At one time I had another hat, but I can't find it and I fear I might have given it away. It was a little black number, no brim, with a black veil and and a curved arrow made of copper-colored beads. The arrow seemed to be pointing to the face underneath, reminding me of those old roadside advertising signs meant to attract attention for the place below.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A South of the Border Beauty

One of my favorite thrift stores is a place with limited hours. I'm usually waiting outside along with a couple of antique dealers when the doors open, so it's essential to move fast. One day I headed straight for my favorite area, the linens, and saw this little pincushion senorita sitting on a shelf. With an involuntary gasp of delight (this drives my kids crazy when they shop with me), I pounced. I immediately knew she was old and some chips on the back of her head revealed vintage newspaper underneath. A name and the word Mexico were painted on the bottom. Sticker shock? She was only seventy-five cents! In truth, I think she's a bit homely. The glaze is very heavy-handed and shiny-- so shiny, it's hard to get a good photo of her. Those big eyes should be her stand-out feature, but her nose is much paler than the rest of her face and draws too much attention, but it was love at first sight for me. A couple of weeks later, in one of our nicest antique malls, I was surprised to run into her sister. Her coloring was slightly different, but I recognized her right away. She'd obviously done a little better in life. She was locked in a glass display case and her tag read: Vintage Mexican papier mache pincushion head $65.