Sunday, July 22, 2012

a tour of my guest room

The guest room is the one place in the house where I can go nuts with the antiques and the grunge and the lace. The one place that doesn't get messed up regularly by actual living, and doesn't need to be practical and easy to clean. It's a display room for all some a small part of the fun stuff I've collected over the years. 

This picture apparently wants to be at the top so badly that I can't convince
Blogger to move it so we'll start with it. This is the far corner as you come into the room.
Dresser to the left, desk and cabinet to the right.
Old family photos in their original frames, lacy side table and doilies all over the lamp.
I'm not showing the bed this time around because I have it stripped down to the
mattress pad so the dog can look out the window and bark at anyone
who has the nerve to use the sidewalk.  

This is the left side of the window, at the foot of the bed.
I bought this oak dresser when I moved out of my mom's house in 1970. I was 17
and still in high school but had a good job and a car. I paid $85 for it, a fortune at the time,
at the antique flea market they used to have in the parking lot out in front of the
Cunningham's drug store I worked at. The mirror tilts and I never had the
silvering repaired, altho I thought about it often enough. That dresser has lived in Michigan,
Illinois and California since I've had it. No telling where all it was before that.
Some old sewing goodies. The large round thing hold several spools of thread
 with a pincushion in the center. I'm a prancing horse in the photo and
my cousin Dea is about to shoot me in the head with her pistol. 

My mother is at front right standing in the washtub with the other neighborhood kids
around 1927. That's her dad in the frame at right. My grandma's little bitty
address book in front of him with her spidery writing. Old leather hair curlers
in front of the kids and a triangle chicken I made at left. 
If I could find a whole set of these dishes, no telling how much I'd be willing
to pay for them, but I've never even spotted another piece at all the
 flea markets and thrift stores I've been to over the years.
Lovely old dresser scarf.

A long shot of the dresser top. I layered 4 or 5 dresser scarves.

A reproduction wall cabinet with various salt and peppers on top.
A large set of made in Japan shakers on the first shelf and
an old pitcher and jar of Leslie's Foot Cream on the second shelf.
Close ups below.

Standing over by the dresser. I put a shelf with pegs above the closet
and hung a garland that my friend Moneka and I made years ago.
Closer shot of the shelf below. Picked up the old wooden ironing board
at a yard sale just the other day.
They said it came with them from Connecticut, but not way to prove it.
That's an old crazy quilt hanging from the cabinet. Close up below.

Part of the crazy quilt and a pin I made years ago.
Chair at right of dresser with pillows I made from old quilts.
The small crazy quilt is one I made during and after a class with
Betty Pillsbury. It was about 100 that day and 14 crazy quilt ladies
were packed into Julie's family room.
That's still one of the top 5 weekends of my life.

The small drop front desk from Steve's side of the family.
His mom entrusted me with a lot of the old family things
because she knew I loved them and would really enjoy having them.
I've had the mirror for years, love the shape of the top edge.
The bed is immediately to the left.
I have so many old doilies that I can't decide which ones to use, so I layer them. 
I bought this old doll at least 30 years ago for a couple bucks.
I know she's quite old but I don't know anything about dolls
and have never had her appraised. I forget if there are any maker's marks.
Another made in Japan shaker. I absolutely adore this one.
The pink and brown, the crazing, the raised work - everything about it.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

peaches, peppers, tomatoes - oh my!

Did a drive-by photo shoot this morning before I ran out the door to garage sale a bit before heading to work. We're having a great time with our garden, walking around it morning and evening, pointing out new developments such as the 5 inches the zucchini grew in the 10 hours we were at work. Zucchini is crazy. So is fennel, we've discovered. Our fennel plant that started out about 6 inches tall is now about four and a half feet. Unreal. I didn't know it could even get that big. Our basil is insane too. I'll post tomorrow about the basil and my first pesto making effort. Meantime, here's this morning's pics.
First up, these are San (somethings) can't remember.  San Marzanos maybe.
They aren't Romas but some other paste tomato that grows long and skinny.
Very cute and quite prolific.
We have high hopes of making spaghetti sauce if enuf of them ripen at once.

Green Early Girls.
I usually don't have much luck with full size tomatoes but these are doing great,
prolly cause it's the first year using the dirt. Tons of green ones on the plant. 

And almost ripe Early Girls.
I'm going to eat tomatoes on everything from eggs to sandwiches to buttered toast.
We made bruschetta the other night and it was amazing. We used to order it at
California Pizza Kitchen as an appetizer and loved it. The batch we made was
every bit as tasty. Ate it on toasted French bread with a slice of mozzarella on top
straight out of the broiler. O.M.G. It was good.
I love fresh backyard tomatoes and altho these may indeed cost the proverbial
$300 each, I don't care. We've gotten a ton of enjoyment from the garden this year

Either banana peppers or Anaheims, not sure.
We have 12 or 14 different types of peppers growing and I just can't
keep them all straight. Always have to look at the little tag.
We've been putting them in scrambled eggs, stuffing them with a variety of things,
sticking them on our lunch sandwiches, just trying lots of things
cause we have so many.

And last but certainly not least - ripening peaches.
Aren't they lovely? I'm so thrilled to have fruit trees after living in CA for 30
and never having any. There are 9 or 10 peaches on the tree
and they all look about like this - hard as a baseball
but starting to look like a real peach.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Lenna's prayer flag swap

Lenna has got a prayer flag swap going and I think there are a few spots left. Altho I'm not a religious person, once I read up on prayer flags, I liked the concept well enough to join. Pretty much the only requirements were a final size of 5" wide x 8" tall with a sleeve at the top for hanging.

I started out with a couple old damask napkins from my stash, no telling when I bought them but for sure they're from a thrift store. I cut them into the proper sizes, then did some stamping on a few of them with an old Tibetan wood block I got from a weird little junk store when I first moved to CA. It didn't print real well, so I lost my oomph for the project and they sat on my work table for a couple weeks.

Then I decided to dye the fabric with various spray inks and distress stains. That was a lot of fun and I got happy with them again. Did some more stamping with a dot-textured roller from my husband's Garage of Gadgets and made some big arcs with the cardboard inner roll from a large roll of packing tape.

Found a scrap of upholstery fabric sample from years ago when my friend Moneka gave me literally boxes of sample books that an upholstery store had put in a dumpster near her house. I've gotten a lot of mileage from those samples. Stamped "confidence" on it in turquoise ink, then cut it into strips. I went thru my drawers of lace and pulled out bits and pieces of trims I'd dyed over the years.

When Julie was here last weekend we went to the Lace Museum in Sunnyvale where they had a 'fill a bag with scraps for free' thing going. Among the things I got was a large piece of quite damaged pale yellow cut-work that was perfect, so I cut a piece for each flag. Stitched everything onto the flag with various aqua and blue plain old floss, then added some beads to hold the lace on. Folded the top over to make a sleeve with a running stitch.

The three shown here are for the swap. My two mail art buds are also in the swap so we're each making two more to swap among ourselves. We'll end up with 5 flags which is a nice number to hang in the back yard or craft room. The ones I made for them are a bit different - don't want to give it away before we swap them in Sept.

A simple enjoyable project made completely from things I had on hand. Doesn't get much better than that. Soon they'll be dispersing confidence vibes into the air. Lenna's swaps get people from all over the world, so no telling where they'll end up.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

freebie 1900 magazine pages

I bought two Home Needlework Magazines as part of a 3-for-$5 deal at the local antique mall. Here are some pages from the back of the January 1900 issue. The crazy low prices just amaze me when you think about what a similar item costs today.

Use however you like, just please don't sell the images as themselves.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

freebie 1912 postcard

Here's a postcard sent to my mom's mother in 1912. She apparently had signed up to sell things for a company to earn prizes, but hadn't kept up her end of the bargain, and they're reminding her to get with the program lol. Despite the lack of any real street address, it made it to her house cause it was in with all my mom's old papers. Fascinating.

Use it however you like, just please don't sell the image as itself.

Friday, July 13, 2012

freebie album pages

I scored an autograph album from 1928 the other day while out thrifting and antiquing with my friend Julie. The 4 days she visits each July are packed with art making (this year was jewelry), thrifting, yakking, checking out each other's blog rolls, catching up on mutual friends, etc. Wonderful break for me from the crazy days of summer at work.

Anyway we were in the local antique mall looking around my favorite vendor booth when the vendor herself showed up. When she found out I was looking for old papers, she grabbed up a couple things and handed them to me with the announcement "I'll mark these down since they've been here a while."  Um... ok. This little album went from $10 to $6 but I would happily have paid $12 LOL. Hope she's not reading this. Anyway, it's in great shape, is just the color green I love and has all sorts of good stuff inside. I cleaned up the cover a bit in photoshop but all the other pages are just as they look in real life with vibrant colors and clean edges. Amazing since it's 84 years old. I'll post some of the autographed pages over the weekend.

All the scans are 300dpi so download away and have fun with them. You're welcome to sell items made using the images, just please don't sell the images themselves.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

freebie wildflower scan & APCs for a swap

My friend Moneka gave me a neat little book - Wild Flowers of America - published in March 1932. I love the soft little paintings of each flower. It's falling apart with ancient scotch tape here and there, so I carefully took it all apart this morning, erasing pencil scribbles left by some bored child. I've scanned 9 of the images plus the front cover, inside cover and front and back of the intro page. Use them however you like, including works to sell. Just please don't sell them as images.

I made gel medium transfers out of a few. This is one of my favorite things to do with almost any image. It gives a softer image and allows the background to show thru. I do mine with a single fairly thin coat of gloss gel medium, and have to be very careful rubbing the paper off cause they tear easily.

Here's the finished APCs for a swap on First layer was a thick coat of gesso with torn pieces of green tissue paper mushed into it. They warped terribly and I thought I'd have to abandon them but a few days under Our Heritage of World Literature (the heaviest book I own and whose only use is sitting on top of things that need smashing), and they flattened out enough to use.

Stamped a text stamp in black, then put down the flower transfers. Stamped a dragonfly onto a regular old white paper napkin, then tore the edges and applied them with gel medium. Added a word from an old book, inked the edges and they're done! Yay. And just a few days ago I had no ideas for these things and was thinking of dropping the swap.

I really like the layered look that gel medium transfers give, with the stamped text showing thru. Try them, if you haven't yet.