Sunday, June 22, 2008

What's Under the Cloche? (2)

Now that June is racing toward July, I decided it was time to get a summer vignette under the cloche. I based this display around a little souvenir booklet I purchased on our recent trip to Minnesota. I am always drawn to personal papers that have fallen out of the family line, but I think this one really struck a chord with me because my oldest son had just graduated from high school the week before and were were traveling to register him for college. This little booklet celebrates the end of the school year with a number of poems with one comparing education to a ship and another that's just plain honest: "My pupils 'tis the close of school, Vacation days have come. And you're released from task and rule, And lessons' weary hum." The inner pages are all professionally printed, with one reading "with best wishes from your teacher 1908". Another lists the location as Elm Dale Township, Morrison County, Minnesota; the teacher as Nellie Sullivan (is that her picture pasted to the cover?); and a listing of students including five Nelsons, five Johnsons and eight Andersons--fifty-three students in all. To back the souvenir booklet, a 25 cent thrift store flag took a quick tea bath to knock down the new look a bit and then was anchored in a vintage pin frog. Some antique store stars cluster around it, repeating the stars and stripes theme and perhaps suggesting star pupils. A swirl of vintage rick rack adds a festive touch. To make the bottom of the cloche more interesting, I photocopied and cut a circle from a page in a beautiful old book I own that was copyrighted in the late 1800's and is titled Real Penwork Self Instructor in Penmanship. So, what's under your cloche this summer?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tea and Creativity

On Monday, I visited my retirement home thrift store and found these two apothecary jars for $2.25 for the pair. (The tall one holds little bits of shell that I thought might be interesting for mosaic. I know--they're tiny and I'm crazy!) On Tuesday, I attended a blogger tea party at Karla's and met Shawn and Marilyn who live nearby and Becca from Ohio who was passing through on a trip to Colorado. It was a beautiful afternoon and we had a good time chatting out on the patio and touring Karla's studio. (I think it's fascinating to get a peek into another person's creative space.) The sweet little bottle in the middle of the photo was a party favor Karla made for all of us. The colored pearls I bought in Des Moines immediately found a home there. On Wednesday, I met up with Beth at an auction. Although I didn't come home with anything this time it was fun to peek over Beth's shoulder and see what her box lots contained. You don't have to live around here to have the same experience--she has a very entertaining two-part box lot "reveal" on her blog, so head on over there next. I did play around with the colored pearls and the pincushion. Originally, I thought I'd do a variety of flower designs using all of the colors but I ended up with a swag and just the blue and creamy white pearls (my colorways are so predictable). I'm not sure this design will be the end result and I can't decide if I should keep the stained, vintage fabric, or if I should cover it over with something cleaner. For the time being, it does look pretty on the old Singer.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Bliss at Blake Antiques

I found my bliss behind these green doors at Blake Antiques in Hopkins, Minnesota. This is a unique and wonderful antique store. The selection of merchandise was outstanding, and all of the booths and cases were beautifully arranged. There wasn't a Beanie Baby in sight and there was smooth jazz playing instead of that oldies soundtrack that so many antique malls seem compelled to play. In a lower area, there was a large inventory of vintage wedding dresses and accessories and a library of reference books. There were at least a dozen things I wanted, including a beautiful old chatelaine that was over $1,000, but this pretty blue sewing basket won my heart and was affordable. There were some very nice vintage sewing tools that came with it, too. I also couldn't walk away without this paper doll who is lovely in soft green. Just look at all of the beautiful ribbonwork in her basket of posies. And her blonde waves and rosebud red lips are too cute! I found this celluloid pincushion basket and the pearls in a Des Moines antique mall. I plan to make an arrangement of pearl flowers on top of the pincushion. I'll show you the results if it works out. The rusty miniature tools-- not old, just charming-- were $1.99 at a Goodwill in Minnesota and I thought they'd be fun for a Spring vignette. I also purchased the orphaned blue lustreware teapcup for 49 cents. I'll pass along a few bargain finds, too. If you have a Big Lots in your area, they are getting some nice things in their scrapbooking aisle. I love the vintage letter shapes of K & Company's Twinkle Type and at $4 it's cheaper there than where I work using my employee discount. The Inkadinkado Stamps were another find there at $4. I've noticed their selection does vary by store, but isn't that always the way with bargain shopping? And finally, if you're a fan of cloches or Anna Griffin stamps and punches, a number of them have been put on clearance at Michael's. Happy summer shopping--wherever it takes you!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Birds and Bonnets Arrive!

My panels from Karla and Beth's Birds & Bonnets Vintage Workshop Swap arrived this weekend and aren't they wonderful! The collage artists who created the panels I received are: Cindy Mayfield, Nancy Burns, Karen Otto and Chris Peden (from left to right in the first photo and from right to left in the second photo.) Karla and Beth did a great job of putting the panels together and offered lots of nice prizes. I was so lucky to get this wonderful tag made by Karla. I've admired the way she puts pleated flourishes made from vintage paper on some of her tags and now I have one with that detail! My photos just don't do justice to the beautiful detail everyone lavished on all of these pieces. (You can click on them for a better view. For some reason, it usually takes me two tries to get the enlarged photo.) I would like to offer a heartfelt thanks to Cindy, Nancy, Karen and Chris for sharing their artwork with me; to Beth and Karla for thinking all of this up and organizing it; and to Amy at The Vintage Workshop for providing us with great images.