Saturday, February 28, 2009

Updated Pictures of my Studio

First, the warning:  This is still a hard-hat working area.  Things may fall and avalanches may occur without advanced warnings.  
 This area above my main sewing area hasn't changed much.  I have been good about keeping the bulk of my ribbons and trims displayed on old bobbins.  Now that they're out of boxes and drawers, I can see them and have been using them because I now know what I have in stock.
Some of the area hasn't changed much sense your last visit here.  Do you recognize any of the repurposed cans I've been making? 
Oh, wait - sorry!  Most of them are over here, above the work table to my right:  
And this, um, is under the work table to my right:
Oh, hush! I never said I was finished!  Next to this area is the door to my studio closet.  The back of the closet is looking much better:   and the middle of the closet has improved (it's a long, narrow closet):  But I'm not ready to show you the front of the closet yet.  Nope.  No way!
Working your way around the room (moving carefully, very carefully, in small baby steps) to the right, you'll see a large red shelf that I'm not showing you, either.  However, next to that large red shelf is my Hoosier cabinet:   No, I don't call this organized.  I call this "much better than it was".
  The Hoosier has a very small work surface.  I just finished this little fairy-guarding-eggs nest and will be listing it on my Etsy  The eggs are a light blue, by the way.  I have no idea why in the world the camera decided to make them all royal blue.
Okay, continuing on to the right, past the door where you came in and on the wall abutting the door is my largest fabric stash.  This little shelf, holding some supplies and a few finished bottles, is first:  Right next to it is my fabric stash:    Oh, stop that screaming!  It's not that scary, is it?  Okay, I guess it is pretty bad...
      I still have my library card file under it.  You've already seen it.  It's boring.  Okay, so it's a little frightening, too.  (I can hear Deb whispering to herself, "Sher, your work areas still look worse than mine...")  Make a sharp right again and you're at my second sewing station, located to the left of my main sewing area. 
      No, I'm not showing you that table, either.  You can see the sewing machine cover to the right of the yellow phone, above.  Stop bellowing.  You're not seeing it right now.  No way, no how.  However, I will show you this shelf that is on the edge of both tables (they sit side by side), against the wall.
   Okay, now it's your turn.  Are you woman enough to show your work area before it's totally cleaned and organized? 

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Peek at What I've Been Up To and Etsy

A few short days ago before temperatures dropped to freezing and snow covered the ground and when it was looking like Spring outside, I pulled this out of my garden.
 It's the side of an old baby bed.  I had been using it alongside one of the paths in my largest flower garden.  It made a great little half fence.  Past tense - made.  Now, I needed something for the shop that could be used to display linens.   It first needed a good cleaning as well as a good wipe-down with a wire brush.  I made knobs by "marrying" old wooden spools with wooden wheels, gave it a wash of pink paint and:  voila!  Mission accomplished!  (This shot was taken in my kitchen.  It's now hanging in the shop, proudly holding table cloths, napkins and doilies.)
Do you remember me telling you that I had hoards of picture frames?  If I didn't, I meant to.  Some are old, some are new, some are in good condition and some are just plain junky looking.
You know me, I hate to throw out anything that can somehow still be used.  I showed you the little bird-in-the-cup frame project a few days ago.  Here's what I did with a frame that needed some love.    I decoupaged it, which not only covered its imperfections, but strengthened its joints.  I froo-frooed it by adding half an old doily (at this point, I have no idea what happened to the other half), some florals and pipberries (they're so fun to work with) and some old buttons.  The picture that is in the frame is of our summer bedroom.  Oh, how I wish.  It's actually a page I tore out of a magazine and popped into the frame for display. 
   While I was working in my studio, I dug this old wine glass out of a box that I had marked to be sent out for auction.  Long story short, I remembered having a little collection of glass tops and wondered if any of them might possibly fit over the wine glass.  What luck!  One fit!  I gathered up some pieces of colored glass that I had tucked away in an old cigar box and now it's a studio display.  Well, until I decide to use that colored glass for something. 
  Wait a minute - I just remembered that I forgot to tell you that I have a new goal of getting my supplies out of boxes and containers that can't be seen through and into clear, pretty containers or pretty containers that will hold things like pens, paintbrushes, etc. that will allow the contents to still be identified.  Thus, my sudden obsession with turning tin cans into useful pieces of art.  I've been storing stemmed florals and the like in repurposed cans like the one above.
Deb, you'll be proud of me.  It's taking a long time (okay, over a year.  Maybe over a couple years.) but I really am making some headway at getting my studio organized.
And, finally, I've jumped on the Etsy bandwagon!  I joined a few years ago but stubbornly held onto my relationship with Ebay.  My feedback probably looks strange because I've belonged to Etsy for so long but have a big goose egg for transactions.  But my feedback with Ebay is 100% positive.  Does that count???
Anyway, I've added the link in the upper right margin of this blog and tonight I added another altered bottle:   
  It's an old Purex bottle.  Remember when bleach used to be packaged in glass bottles?  Me, neither.  I just remember people talking about such a thing.  Okay, so you caught me in a fib!  I admit, I remember.  But, when you get a chance, visit my shop.  I hope you also add it to the shops you "heart".  Right now, I have only five people who heart me.  Sob.

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Look at Radford and FRIDAY FLEA MARKET

Here are just a few of the sights we noted while we were in Radford, Virginia; most were taken after we found out that our treasures wouldn't make us filthy rich.   I have a thing for old houses; I love 'em!  This one looks like it could have been a bed and breakfast at one time.  Take a look at the upper left windows; I'm thinking that, maybe, this was a turret at one time and that the rounded window glass may have been replaced.
Although we thought the town was sweet and chocked full of old time charm, we did see some hints that let us know HGTV landscapers failed to make an impression in certain places. However, I have to admit this tire fence accented with painted bottles on sticks is one way to keep that rubber and glass out of the landfills.
Hubby got quite a kick out of this pedestrian sign; someone had exercised his/her artistic license, changing it into a pedestrian-walking-with-hula-hoop sign.  And this billboard ad for Macado's Restaurant was one that he just liked.  
Here's a home I'd love to tour when the work is finished:  
Today is FRIDAY!    You know what that means - a bunch of us bloggers (thanks to Polly at Counting Your Blessings) have various FLEA MARKET items that we're listing.  I'm including a cotton daisy chain trim among my items today.  It's only $1.75 for two yards, plus shipping.  Click HERE or on the picture to view my items and be sure to click the red polka-dotted logo.  It will take you to the list of participating shops and bloggers!  

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Our Day with Ken Farmer (Antiques Roadshow)

What an exciting day we knew this would be!  Hubby and I had been planning this little trip for awhile; it would be a day trip but it would be time spent together, alone, and we would get to meet KEN FARMER! He gives free appraisals between the hours of 1:00 and 4:00 on the third Wednesday of each month.   We had seen him many times on Antiques Roadshow and knew he would give us fair appraisals on some of our valuables.  He's located in Radford, Virginia - only about two hours from our home!
Although it rained the entire way there, stopped for a few minutes when we were in town and stormed the entire way back, the trip was still enjoyable.  This, I can say because I slept at least half the way there and half the way back.
Once inside, we signed in, found some seats and wandered around the place to see what others had brought and take a look at some of the things that he would be selling in an upcoming auction.
Want to see what we brought?  
He asks that you restrict your items to "two to three per person".  So, we decided to go with artwork and this ephemera:   Some of these items date back to the late 1800's.  Can you read the notes for monies received for land purchase?  (I've started a special album for you to download, if you want to use any of them for artwork, etc.  I'll be adding individual advertisements, etc.)  I knew these history records would be worth at least a couple hundred dollars.
   Hubby saw a similar airlines poster advertisement on the Antiques Roadshow just a couple days ago.  That one was worth about $2200.  Ours is a copy, but he figured it, too, would have surprising value.  
We've had this original watercolor in our collection.  The artist's name is Carolyn McTighe.  I googled her name and found someone with that name who writes children's books but couldn't find any info about her watercolors.  This is signed in pencil. 
Remember our zebra picture?  The early work by David Shepherd?  This piece is encased in a special frame and we didn't want to do anything to devalue this original.  His prints are selling in London's Christies for over $30,000.  And, that's for more recent works done in the '80's and
'90s.  This one is signed and dated 1967.  It was important that we know how much to insure it for.  
Finally, we have this mounted original Samoan tapa cloth.  It's hand done and is another piece we've had for several years.
So, were we surprised at the huge values of our items?  I'll say!!!!
First, the ephemera:  It's valuable only to a collector of such local items.  The amount they would pay would probably be minimal.  In other words, don't take the time to tuck it into a safe deposit box and rely on it to pay for education of my grandchildren.
The airlines poster?  A recent copy, but someone might shell out $15 or $20 for it.
The appraisers did some research on the Carolyn McTighe watercolor.  It was agreed that it was an attractive piece.  She hasn't shown in any of the major art museums.  Not yet, anyway.  The value was approximated at $400 - $450.  
The tapa cloth is worth about $300; however, it is difficult to find anyone who knows what it is in this area (per the fine arts appraiser).  In other words, it's a very nice piece, it has some value, but good luck finding someone who has an appreciation for tapa cloth.  Someone besides me, that is.
Finally, our David Shepherd masterpiece.  Our one investment that would enable us to take a wonderful cruise around the world:  Well, it isn't an original piece, as we thought it would be.  (It sure looks original...)  Rather, it's a copy of a print.  More than that, it's a blown-up copy of a print.  The frame is worth about $75 - $80.
And, as they say at the end of the Roadshow, "We had lots of fun!"

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Repurposing Trash to Treasure and a Time to Help

It's been awhile since I've shown you one of my new Trash to Treasure projects and decided that now is just as good a time as any.
Almost everyone we know around here - Hubby's coworkers, our neighbors, family members - know that we deal in antiques and also enjoy repurposing old items.  As a result, people will often call us after they clean their garages, basements, etc. to ask if we can use their discards before they take it to the dump.  And, of course, we scream:  "The dump??? What about our environment??"
Okay, so maybe we don't say that out loud.  But, believe me, we have an abundance of "stuff" that people have decided to let us sift through.  We routinely haul box loads of old clothing, useable kitchen utensils and the like to the Salvation Army, Goodwill, homeless shelters.  But, we still have LOTS of things that most people wouldn't want.  It's just that, well, we're not like most people.  (I kind of like the word "eccentric".)
Of course, I'm getting off track.  Take another look at the picture at the top of this post.   Look closely and you'll see an old frame that was broken, a cup that has strayed from its family, a strip of lace and some old millinery flowers from arrangements that had been tossed out.  Put them together, add a cute little mushroom bird and leftover craft beads and you have a sweet wall or door decoration.
I stapled the lace that holds the cup to each upper corner of the frame.  You don't want to trust glue to hold something that is not only heavy, but breakable.  You can hide the staples with flowers, buttons, or even bows.
You've seen some of my altered bottles before and have probably surfed into many others as you travel from blog to blog, Etsy site to Etsy site - here's a couple more of mine.  I used corks from old wine bottles and attached ribbon, yarn, lace, bits of pretty fabric - whatever I had available - around the corks.  This one has a glass pebble thing glued to the top (I painted the top of the cork to disguise the ugly cork color) and decorated the bottle itself with ephemera and a sprig of pipberries.  The little green bottle below it was given a similar treatment.  I'll be adding these bottles to my FFM (Friday Flea Market) page soon if you're interested in buying one.
The can pictured below is/was a CoffeeMate container.  It was fun to play with.  I coated it with gesso, added pieces of pages from old books and magazines that (trust me) had neither monetary nor literary value, painted over those layers, then sanded through spots of that, added wax and tied an old flower, affixed some "bling" and am now using it to hold pieces of pipberries.
The other day I drove a person that I know who is on a fixed income to a church that was helping needy people with high utility bills.  Here's a shot of part of the parking lot and the street in front of the church.  
The church was on a corner.  All parking lots were full and street parking was difficult to find.
If you know someone who is struggling to pay utility bills, please have them call their utility companies to inquire about assistance.  There is help available.
We've all been affected by this recession.  Let's try to remember that this isn't just in our hometown, and it isn't just the state that we happen to be living in.  It's not even just our country.  This is worldwide.  Each of us can do something and nothing is too small to matter.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day and it's time: Friday Flea Market

Yes, I know it's tomorrow but I certainly didn't want to wish you Happy Friday the 13th!
Wherever you are tomorrow, whatever you're doing, remember you always have at least one person who loves you - ME!
The floral above, by the way, is/was in the Corner Nest (Elizabethton, TN) the last time I was there.  Isn't it gorgeous?  
And, today is Friday - FLEA MARKET time!  
For you prim lovers, I have this wonderful piece of folk art - carved soap stone!  I don't know when this was done or who the artist was...
Also, a cute set of three scented, waxed outhouse hangtags...
And finally, this altered bottle:
Click on any of the sale item pictures or click HERE to take you to my Flea Market Page!
Please be sure to visit the others who are participating by simply clicking our red logo:  
One of us surely has something that you can't live without!