I found a wonderful little surprise buried among the Victorian paper ephemera I bought at an estate sale recently. An itty bitty painting!
I've tucked this relic into the corner of one my cottages above the desk in my studio. Here's a closer look.
Beautifully rendered, this tiny treasure depicts a tall ship called Hope. Most likely dating back to the late 1800s, it measures just three inches high.
I can't help but wonder who the artist was. Perhaps it was a young boy who was into ships; or maybe a girl at the turn of the last century who loved to draw. Isn't it precious?
Last weekend, my daughter experienced a couple of classic Spanish pastimes. She went to a Real Madrid soccer game. And then the next day, Hannah and her friends headed to the bull fights. (She enjoyed the soccer game immensely. The bull fight was another matter.)
Outside the Plaza de Toros in Madrid is a relief sculpture of, not surprisingly, bulls. But what was surprising is that, for some reason, Hannah felt compelled to jump up and hang onto the horns of one of them. So wacky! That's my daughter!
Lately, I've been busy adding more items than I've ever had to my sweet little Etsy shop. I'm getting ready for what I hope will be the holiday rush, although who knows if there will be one in this economy. Here are a few of my newest listings . . .
This set of eight cheerful napkins has a colorful poppy flower and bud appliqued in the corner.
They are beautifully hand sewn and some of the flowers are tinted. So pretty! Can't you just picture them tucked next to vibrant dishes like Fiesta or Harlequin dinnerware?
This book, called Petite Suzanne, just sold. It is a wholesome family story about a lively little French Canadian girl and her picturesque life on the Gaspe Coast in Quebec.
It was written and illustrated by Marguerite deAngeli, an American author and illustrator who wrote 30 children's books during the course of her career.
This oversized publication for the jazz enthusiast was published in 1946 by Esquire Magazine. It is filled with articles, some of which were wrritten by Frank Sinatra, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, and Nat "King" Cole. There is also a wonderful pictorial spread of jazz drummers of the day and it's loaded with photographs of many Jazz greats, including Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, and Dinah Shore.
I am still working on listing this beautiful lot of Victorian paper ephemera, below.
Such wonderful images! Once they make it into my shop, I hope they'll be discovered by someone who'll use them for scrap booking or other crafty projects.
And lastly, I listed this exceptional tinted and embroidered dresser scarf. Do you remember when I wrote about it back in February?
I love the soft, ethereal quality of the pastel tinting on this runner. From the 1920s, it's in pristine condition.
I still have a few more fun items to list over the next few weeks. I do hope you'll stop by my shop and have a look sometime.
Here they are! My latest creations . . .
As you may know, I'm always looking for ways to use my large vintage button collection. So I chose five pretty salt shakers from the lot I just acquired and made dainty little button bouquets for each of them. Aren't they darling?
The windmill shaker now holds a bouquet of nine button blossoms in pinks, blues and purples.
I love the colors of the shaker with the tree motif below. So I made its bouquet using bolder colored buttons to match.
The birds painted on this luster ware salt shaker are so charming. Its bouquet is in shades of blue, cream, black and orange.
Pink painted flowers grace the front of the Nippon shaker below. It now holds a sweet nine-blossom bouquet in matching hues.
This last salt shaker has a tiny cottage scene. I created a whimsical bouquet to go with it in an array of colors. Isn't it the cutest thing?
Tiny salt and pepper shakers like these are perfect "vases" for my button bouquets. And it was fun sifting through my vast collection to find the right buttons for each.
These new little somethings are now available for purchase in my Etsy shop. I sure hope they sell because I can't wait to make more!
I've done it again . . . I've curated another Etsy Treasury. These terrific items from inspiring Etsians celebrate one of my favorite colors -- aqua.
Such fun. I think curating treasuries might be habit forming! For a closer look, click here. I hope my new Treasury has brightened your Monday,
I finally found the time to get my camera out today. As promised, here's a glimpse of the newly acquired collection I told you about.
It's a large lot of vintage salt and pepper shakers! Made in Japan, these tiny porcelain shakers are beautifully hand painted. Here is a closer look . . .
These have cute little cottages nestled in the countryside painted on them. I think they are so sweet, like itty bitty works of art.
Here are several that have a tree motif . . .
And these have birds or flowers on them. There is even one with a windmill. None of them are matching, but all of them are pretty.
I bet you're wondering what I am going to do with these. Well, here's a hint: they won't be used for salt or pepper. Have I peaked your curiosity? Sorry, you'll have to wait a few more days. But once a few of these shakers are done being upcycled, I'll be sure to share their transformation with you.
Have a nice weekend!
Aren't these the coolest vintage photographs? I found them at an estate sale today.
Shot in the 1940s, they are pictures of store windows at B. Altman and Company, a New York City department store founded in 1865 by Benjamin Altman.
Aren't these photos oozing with vintage style? I love the hats!
There is even a photograph of kid-size mannequins wearing children's clothes. Now don't they look dapper?
Window shopping is one of my favorite pastimes when I go into New York. How fun to get this little glimpse of what it would have been like to window shop in the 1940s.
I'm always on the lookout for interesting items to add to my Etsy shop. Here are a few things I acquired over the last few days . . .
This metal globe was made in 1952 by Replogle. It's their highly collectible 8-inch magnetic "Air Race Globe."
This globe was also a game. See the spinner at the bottom? I've sold several of these globes in the past, but this is the first time I found one that still has it's original magnetic metal airplane. I suppose as you played the game, you'd move the airplane around the globe. Pretty neat.
I found this kitschy paint-by-number piece at a local thrift shop. I'm a sucker for anything with roses.
When I happened to be driving past a neighborhood tag sale last Friday, I pulled over when I saw this cute red shelf. The gentleman who was having the sale told me it was handmade by his brother over 40 years ago.
I love shelves like this. They are perfect for displaying a small collection on a tabletop, dresser or desk. And this one is sturdy enough to corral books or studio supplies.
I didn't find this next item, it found me! Today, I got a call from someone after he discovered my website. We chatted on the phone and then he stopped by with this black suitcase.
It holds a variety of items for eating on the go, like vintage enamelware plates and silver cups made by a company called Landers Frary Clark.
Inside the large metal box is a set of vintage flatware with really nice black bakelite handles.
The item above dates back to 1918. After some research on Google, I learned that it is a bacon tin that would have been used by troops during WWI to carry their food rations. Now that's cool.
Lastly, I have a fun vintage collection that I bought. Once I have a moment to photograph it, I'll share it with you. So stay tuned for more of my lastest finds . . .
As I'm sure you know, it is Breast Cancer Awareness month. All over the country, there are events, lectures, fund raising walks, and loads of products on grocery store shelves sporting pink labels.
About 200,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer this year. Right now, there are approximately 2 million women living in the United States who have been treated for the disease. What are you doing for the cause?
My niece, Hilary, is partaking in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer this year. In New York City next weekend, she'll be walking 26 miles over a two day period. Hilary has been training for this walk for several months and I am so proud of her for embracing the challenge and raising money for this cause.
My friend and fellow survivor, Meredith Gray, has produced a compelling documentary, called NAKED, that is appearing on Lifetime-on-Demand throughout the month. Meredith bravely chronicled her battle with breast cancer on film. She states “I wanted to expose my personal ordeal with breast cancer before the cameras to help call attention to the plight of the hundred of thousands of women that have faced, are facing or will face this hideous disease. Knowing I share this epidemic with women of every race and nationality only makes me more determined not to allow self-pity, sadness or the “why me” syndrome to enter my life. I have a story to tell, a voice to be heard and a mission to accomplish. Cancer will not win this battle – I will.”
Tomorrow, I'll be attending a fashion show at a local mall where ten inspiring breast cancer survivors will strut their stuff on the runway. Not only will they model the lastest fashions, they will also share their compelling stories about living with and surviving cancer. Elizabeth April Fritz, one of the participants summed it up like this, "What a wonderful way to celebrate survivorship and show the world we can and do live life to the fullest."
Are you doing anything for the cause? If you simply plan to buy products that are donning pink, please make sure you Think Before You Pink. Beware of "pink washing," where companies give to the cause through products that may be linked to breast cancer. It may be better to donate directly to foundations that support survivors and breast cancer research. You can find a list of worthy organizations to donate to here.
Here's a look at an Etsy Treasury that I curated yesterday.
Did you know that "Treasury" is Etsy's ever-changing, member-curated shopping gallery? Any Etsy member can do one. This was my first time and I had a blast searching for items to include in mine. It's fun to play curator. And there are so many amazing Etsy sellers. Very inspiring!
If you like the yummy collection of orange items I've put together, please let me know by leaving a comment on Etsy. Simply go directly to my Treasury here and scroll down to the very bottom. I'd love to hear from you!
Enjoy your Friday,
Remember my sweet little antiques shop and tea room? The one that was located in a charming 1890 farmhouse?
To refresh your memory, my brick and mortar shop closed a little over two years ago. When its five year lease was up, I hoped to move the business to a new location because the landlord had plans to demolish the building to make way for a new, larger structure. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a suitable and affordable new location. Then several months after my business closed, the economy took a nose dive.
And guess what? The building still stands! Here's what it looks like today . . .
And it has this sign posted outside of it . . .
Apparently the landlord would like to get tenants in place for a building that hasn't even been built yet. That's a tall order when the economy is in the shape it's in. (Right now, the space houses the landlord's daughter-in-law's art gallery.)
I had the opportunity to stop by my old stomping ground last week. I needed to retrieve the packing box that I forgot up in the building's attic in order to recycle and send off an old T-Party computer. It felt really weird walking through the place.
Unfortunately, the building has been neglected and is looking extra shabby. So sad! Take a look at the front porch now . . .
If this was my building, I'd restore it instead of tearing it down. The structure is sound and the place has good bones. And I'll just bet the original clapboards are lurking under the dingy vinyl siding. Oh well, I guess we'll just have to wait and see what the future holds for this little farmhouse.
Here's a peek at some of the colorful tea towels that I'll be listing in my Etsy shop this week.
Embellished with vibrant fruit and flower patterns that are sure to add vintage charm to any kitchen, these dish towels are from the 1940s and are in near mint condition.
Aren't they wonderful? And what's great about tea towels is that they don't have to only be used to dry the dishes. They make nice table runners. Or they can be transformed into charming and cheerful pillows. Plus, with the addition of rod clips, tea towels can become instant no-sew café curtains.
Easy peasy . . . and pretty, too!
We've had a couple days of wild weather --- lots and lots of rain and wind. I rarely miss my morning walk, but when I tried to give it a go yesterday, I had to turn back. My supposedly waterproof raincoat was soaked through in minutes and even my Gore-Tex sneakers couldn't keep out the rain.
Luckily, I shot the photos below on Wednesday. It was a serene morning, the "calm before the storm" so to speak. At sunrise, the sky and the reflections on the water were breathtaking. It felt like I was walking through a watercolor painting.
So beautiful! It's mornings like that when I feel fortunate to live in such a scenic area on Long Island Sound.
This last photo is of a cottage that sits directly across from the water. You even can see a bit of the sunrise reflected in the windows. Wouldn't you love to relax and take in the view from one of those Adirondack chairs? Me, too!
Have a great weekend,