Words of late artist Frank Howell...I totally relate!


"There are few days off and no retirement from this entanglement of knowledge, passion and vision that will be molded and converted into creative expression. There are no guarantees of acceptance, understanding or reward, but...the noise inside the mind never ceases. I will paint today, tonight and for as many tomorrows as I am given..." Words of the late artist Frank Howell...

Friday, October 31, 2014

Thrift Store Treasures & Weird Visual Merchandising

I stop by our local thrift store every time I'm in town- have for years now.  Most days, I don't find anything of interest to me- but the thing is, you just never know.  On rare occasions, there's a treasure waiting for me to take home.

Last week, I found this purse.  It's leather (suede), and I'm pretty sure it was never used at all.  The inside looks new and there is no wear on the bottom.  Perfect condition, and the best part was....it was $3!!!  






I have to laugh at their strange looking displays.  

Dress shown on man mannequin...

Dress #2 on man mannequin...
 
This has to be my favorite...Dress #3.
Yes, they are pretty, feminine dresses, shown on man mannequins.  They have been using these same "men" for years now.   I don't think they fully understand the whole marketing thing... It's totally NOT doing anything to help sell the dresses.  Okay, I understand that maybe these are the only mannequins they have...and it being a thrift store and all, I don't expect them to have Victoria's Secret top quality mannequins or models, but wouldn't a simple hanger at the end of the rack with a dress on it would be so much more attractive than this? Please weigh in on this one.  I'm curious about what you think.  At least I leave the thrift store with a smile on my face...but I'm also shaking my head and wondering, "Why?"....

Now, this piano has been hanging out in there for a couple of months now.  I wish I had room at home for it.  What would I do with it you ask?  What Angie did!  She made a great desk...  Link here.  By the way, I love her blog.  Angie is always (and frequently) posting great projects...Go visit Knick of Time! You can follow her by email if you like what you see. Back to the piano.,,  It's a really decorative one, and it's priced at $125.  Just between us, I'm sure you could get it for less.  They probably would like to move it on out of there.


Well, that's my trip to the thrift store for this week.  If I find any more treasures, I'll be sure to share them.

I love to hear from you, so please drop me a line- especially about those man mannequins!

Judy

If you like what you see here, I would love to have you follow along.  To make sure that you don't miss anything, you can follow by e-mail.  Simply scroll down to the bottom of the page and put it in the space  provided, or you can enter it at the top of the sidebar.  I never share your  addresses  with anyone, so  you  can  feel at ease by sharing it with me.  Also, your first mail from me will most likely end up in  your spam folder, so you will need to go look for that one, then click on my e-mail address and save it to your address book.  That will assure that all future e-mails will go  to your e-mail folder so that you can   actually  see them.  I would be honored to have you follow along as I play!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

My Silversmithing Adventure - An Update

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was attempting to learn silversmithing.  See that post here.  I thought I would share an update on my new adventure since I have a few classes behind me now.

It has been a lot of fun, but that torch is still a little intimidating...The instructor, Shelley Ingersoll, has done my "torching" (soldering is what I'm supposed to call it!) up to this point...maybe I'll  try that part soon.  I have been trying to focus on techniques such as cutting (without breaking too many blades!), filing, punching, hammering and polishing. There are so many different kinds of tools that all have their specific uses, so it takes a little while to just learn what each piece does and how it's used.  I like to watch the others in the room as they work- it's a good way to learn.  Did I mention that I'm making new friends? That's always a good thing.  And now, my friend Nancy is taking the class too, so we get to visit in the car on the way there and back.  It's been a good experience and I expect it to only get better!

My first project was a free form shaped pendant, with a sodalite cabochon (a gemstone that has been cut and polished with a domed top).  I'm not real proud of that piece, so I'm not going to share it...Sorry!  I just really didn't plan it out very well, and I was learning how to cut...I didn't do a real pretty job on it.  I did learn from it though,  so it was good in that respect.

My second piece is a different story.  I love it.  I actually thought about and planned this one, since I now knew a little bit more about the process and how I wanted it to look.  It's still simple, but interesting.  I learned a couple of new techniques- using steel stamps to punch and dapping for shape to give him some dimension.  Then I polished him and he was ready to go.  This piece was so easy and fun, and now I have a fabulous new piece to wear.





He looks like my two cats, Sunshine and Moonbeam, except for the fact that Moonbeam has the bobbed tail...I went with the long tail for my necklace kitty.  

Sunshine

Moonbeam

I'll update and share as I complete new things...and, who knows, maybe some new sterling silver pieces will end up in my Etsy shop if I get good enough!

Thanks for sharing part of your day with me.  I appreciate it.


Judy

Edited later in the day...I just found out that today is National Cat Day!  Here's a fun link to the website.  

If you like what you see here, I would love to have you follow along.  To make sure that you don't miss anything, you can follow by e-mail.  Simply scroll down to the bottom of the page and put it in the space  provided, or you can enter it at the top of the sidebar.  I never share your  addresses  with anyone, so  you  can  feel at ease by sharing it with me.  Also, your first mail from me will most likely end up in  your spam folder, so you will need to go look for that one, then click on my e-mail address and save it to your address book.  That will assure that all future e-mails will go  to your e-mail folder so that you can   actually  see them.  I would be honored to have you follow along as I play!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

We're Going To The Chapel...

...and we're gonna get married...Don't you just love that song? 

Well, hubby and I made that trip down the aisle 28 years ago, and we celebrated our anniversary Saturday by taking a day trip to the Chapel Market in Pike Hill Road.  I had wanted to go as soon as Linda from Coastal Charm mentioned it several months ago. What a special and fun day it was hanging out with my favorite man and meeting Linda and Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed!

The alarm went off at a very early 4:30.  I had heard about the long line that forms at the door, which was supposed to open at 9:00.  I figured if we got there around 8:00, we should be okay...and anyway, I wasn't real keen on getting up any earlier than 4:30! After breakfast on the road in Atmore, we made good time and arrived just about when I figured.

We parked in the parking lot where we were directed, and went to the table to pay our entry fee, which was just $3 per person.  They stamped our hand and told us to put a pin in the map on the board just inside the door as soon as we entered, so that they would know where everyone had come from.  So we walked across the street toward the pretty little chapel up on the hill, up the sidewalk and through the open door where others were entering. Hubby made a beeline to the map so that he could put in our pin, as directed, and I was just looking around. Something didn't feel quite right, but I couldn't put my finger on it.  It just didn't feel like everyone was ready to open.  They were still working on setting up booths, and there was Miss Mustard Seed, down on her knees taking pictures of her perfectly set booth full of goodies.  People were running around us like busy bees, and all of a sudden I looked up through the windows in the doors at the end of the building and saw the line of people!!!  Oh no...we had illegally entered the show!!! Never follow a man that looks like he knows what he is doing...Yep, I was just following hubby. The funny thing is, nobody said anything to us! It reminded me of that movie, Catch Me If You Can, where the character played by Leonardo DiCaprio acts like someone he's not, and he just blended in because it looked like he knew what he was doing and was supposed to be there...I guess everyone thought we were there helping someone else. Anyway, when I figured out that we were on the wrong side of the doors, I grabbed hubby and said, "Come with me!  We have to get outside and in line before we get arrested!"  We made our way back out, around to the other side of the building and took our place at the end of the line.  I think next year they should put up a "Vendors Only" sign at that side door so that they don't have any other newbies illegally entering! Once you've attended, you know where the line forms, but you've gotta watch out for the new folks!

Standing in line...

It was a beautiful day!  Bright sunshine in a gorgeous blue sky, no humidity or anything wet falling, and the temperature was glorious.  It was the kind of day you pray for, for an event like this.  


The view behind us as we stood in line at the chapel...

Eventually, they did open the doors.  You could tell without even looking up because squeals of delight could be heard!  The line moved quickly with everyone stopping briefly to put their pin on the map...(everyone except us, that is, cause hubby had already taken care of that!)  We were able to move on ahead quickly to Miss Mustard Seed's booth.  

In the days leading up to the event, MMS had been sharing sneak peaks at what she was bringing, and had shared how she was setting up in her studio just like it would be at the market.  I had already decided that I wanted a small white cabinet with a mirrored door.  I don't have room for any more furniture, so I seek out small things at this point.  This would be perfect.  It really screams, "Miss Mustard Seed" and it would be an easy piece to place in the house.  So I grabbed it, along with the little boxwood wreath that she had hung on the mirrored door, and checked out.  Her booth was crazy crowded by this time and it was hard to get back out of it.  She was very graciously taking pics with fans and signing books, so I had hubby snap this pic of us with my purchase.

Proudly showing my Miss Mustard Seed treasure with Marian.

Next, I wanted to go find Linda, the creative genius behind Coastal Charm Interiors...
We headed out to the tent, which was packed full of a wonderful variety of charming and pretty things!  

Vendors with their goods inside the tent...

Gorgeous rolling hills...outside the tent.

And, then I spotted Linda, who was wearing a very funky top that I could have just purchased right off of her!  She was also graciously spending time with each person who entered her booth space, and since she's one of my favorite bloggers, I wanted to get a pic with her, too!  I feel a special bond with Linda since we both live in Baldwin County (in Alabama), and she has helped me learn my way around the blogging world...  I look forward to spending more time with her in the future.


Linda and I posed for a pic during our chat.

I remembered Linda mentioning some vintage Christmas ornaments that she was bringing along...She showed me what she had and I fell in love with the little clip-on candle holders! They will be great for Christmas 2014 and many years thereafter.  They are vintage tin. Perfect.




I also spotted these "biscuit paddles" in Linda's booth.  I had never heard of a biscuit paddle, but I love the look and can imagine it being used in many different ways...



At this point, it was only around 10:00, and we decided to head on over to Montgomery to an antique mall...

Miss Mustard Seed was scheduled to do a painting demo at 2:00, and we had intentions of going back for that, but my tired old bones were feeling the effects of the long day after walking all three floors of that antique mall. I know it was great, and I'm sorry I missed it, but it felt so good to get home and fall into my bed...I slept until 10:30 today!  

Here are some more pics of the treasures that I purchased.





I'm thinking this would make a great spice cabinet...

I'm already looking forward to next year!  Thank you Linda for telling me about this great little show!

Judy

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If you like what you see here, I would love to have you follow along.  To make sure that you don't miss anything, you can follow by e-mail.  Simply scroll down to the bottom of the page and put it in the space  provided, or you can enter it at the top of the sidebar.  I never share your  addresses  with anyone, so  you  can  feel at ease by sharing it with me.  Also, your first mail from me will most likely end up in  your spam folder, so you will need to go look for that one, then click on my e-mail address and save it to your address book.  That will assure that all future e-mails will go  to your e-mail folder so that you can   actually  see them.  I would be honored to have you follow along as I play!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

3 Very Simple Homemaking Ideas

People are busy!  I know the frustrations of having a job outside of the home, and wanting to add pretty little touches to your home to make it special, too, but there's just not enough time to go around.  Today I'm sharing three simple ideas to make your home special without much effort...You can take the basic idea shown here and embellish to fit your decor.  A little touch is all you need...

Idea #1

Use a reclaimed slab of marble for a cake plate.  It's much more interesting than the regular plate that you normally grab.  Use the glass dome, just like always, and tie a coordinating ribbon or raffia around the knob on top.  You could also use a wood cutting board.  Just make sure that there are no gaps around the edge of the dome so that air gets inside- Dried out cake is not a good thing!



Idea #2

Put out a simple covered bowl or candy dish with seasonal candies.  Simply place it on a pretty book and it makes it seem more special.  I've used a pumpkin shaped dish here with chocolate covered almonds. You could just as well use a plain dish and put out seasonal candies such as candy corn or peppermint candies.  Check out your local library for old books...Our library sells books for $1.  I've purchased many library books just for the colors and pretty covers to use like this.




Idea #3

This one is so easy.  Just purchase a large candle and put it on a pretty vintage plate.  Then just add a simple, single silk flower or small branch of leaves.  You can never go wrong with candles- they're pretty and most are scented, so they provide yet another layer to warm the atmosphere in your home.  This candle has a nice fall spice scent.  




I would love to hear your ideas for simple ways to make a home more special.  We can all learn from one another!

Judy

If you like what you see here, I would love to have you follow along.  To make sure that you don't miss anything, you can follow by e-mail.  Simply scroll down to the bottom of the page and put it in the space  provided, or you can enter it at the top of the sidebar.  I never share your  addresses  with anyone, so  you  can  feel at ease by sharing it with me.  Also, your first mail from me will most likely end up in  your spam folder, so you will need to go look for that one, then click on my e-mail address and save it to your address book.  That will assure that all future e-mails will go  to your e-mail folder so that you can   actually  see them.  I would be honored to have you follow along as I play!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Vintage Christmas Ornaments- 2014 Christmas Decor

I went out shopping yesterday after my silversmithing class and ended up at one of my favorite antique malls- not really looking for anything in particular- just enjoying browsing around while waiting for the traffic to thin out some so that I could head back home.

Yes, just leisurely strolling around, and then I saw the vintage Christmas ornaments!  I have been somewhat enamored with vintage ornaments lately.  (See my Pinterest board "Old Fashioned Christmas" here.)  I stopped to take a closer look, and I realized that they would be perfect for my decor this year.  Since I recently painted my dining room chairs blue, I was looking for something that would work well with the new colors...I'm thinking these will work. And they have wonderful discoloration and tarnish!  Just beautiful.







I do something completely different each year, so as you can imagine, I have such a huge collection of ornaments now.  Thankfully, each year I'm able to pull bits and pieces from years past once I determine my "look" and colors.  I think this year the color scheme has been determined with these vintage ornaments.  With these blues and greens, I think I'll use white ironstone, old fashioned silver tinsel, various blue & silver glitters, and green moss. 

More about Christmas as I pull it all together...

I know, it's not even November, but I like to be prepared!

Judy 





Sunday, October 19, 2014

Chairish.com Rug Challenge

I was challenged by the folks over at Chairish.com to choose my favorite vintage rug from a selection provided by them (see more of their rugs here), and to design a styleboard for a room around that rug...

I quickly narrowed it down to four, but "favorite" implies only one, soooo...those of you who know me well will probably know at first glance which one I picked-  








......It's #4!  Doesn't it just scream FUN?

It is called "Swirl" by Paul Smith, and the price is $9000, but they do say to make an offer. It is a large rug at 108" x 144" or 9 ft. x 12 ft., and it's a plush 1" thick.  Now, I'll show you what I did with it.



I totally saw a room with an industrial warehouse feel, but with an eclectic vibe, and if you are not fortunate enough to have the genuine exposed brick wall like the one in this loft space, it is easy to duplicate with the veneers that are readily available today.  It doesn't even have to be brick- rock would work equally well.  It just needs that texture.  I've shown color options for the other walls in the space- If you would like a warmer feel, then you would go with the green, for a cooler feel, the lavender grey would be a good choice.  The floors under the fabulous rug are dark stained reclaimed wood- also easy to duplicate at many different price points.  You could go with the real thing or a laminate that has the same look at a fraction of the cost.  Almost all of the furnishings that I've used here are currently available through online retailers; sources listed below.  The only exception is the original art piece by Suzan Grissett Buckner, Birdhouse...I own that one.  Suzan has other wonderful fun artwork available through her website, which will also be shared in the sources. Did you notice the sentiment shared on the other art piece?  LIFE BEGINS AT THE END OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE.  How cool is that?  Totally fitting for this room.

If you're not familiar with Chairish.com, go check them out.  They are an online source for discriminating design lovers who love high end vintage furnishings. Gently used treasures are bought and sold daily ... You will want to visit them often.  Oh, and it would be fun to follow their blog...click here. They now appear on my blogroll!

I have provided links to all furnishings that are available.  Unfortunately, some items are one-of-a-kind, and sell before I can actually publish my project.  I have checked each one prior to publishing, and if they were no longer available, the link provided is to the retailer, and not for the individual item.  They should have similar items to substitute, and don't forget to check with Chairish.com for similar options, too!

Sources:

My Two Designers- Cabrero Consoles (2)- $1276 each 
Wayfair- Dane Apartment Sofa in Calvin Wheatgrass-$2599
Hayneedle- Uttermost Leisa Arm Chair- Alabaster White- $877.80
Zinc Door- Hammered Brass Cocktail Table-$1748
Hayneedle- Adesso Bonnet Floor Lamp- Satin Steel- $130.99
Hayneedle- Uttermost Kumberlin Round Table- $261.80
Posh Tots- Billie Pillow in Burnt Orange- $40
Crate & Barrel- Albyn Standard Pillow Sham- $26.95
Layla Grayce- Picnic Squares Turquoise Teal Throw Pillow- $225
CB2- Leisure Sprout 23 Pillow with Feather Down Insert- $39.95
One Kings Lane- Riley Nail-head 20 x 20 pillow- Orange- $37
CB2- (Pillow on chair) Pony Up Red 12" x 18" pillow with down alternative insert-$89.95
Lamps Plus- Arteriors Home Treva Terracotta Moss Green Table Lamp- $216
Art.com- LIFE BEGINS...$14.99  Now available at Target...
CB2- Schroeder (Black & white) Vase- $39.95
One Kings Lane- Orange Glazed Terracotta Vase- $85
Interior paint 1- Benjamin Moore- Violet Sparkle
Interior paint 2- Home Depot/ Behr- Pear Green
Original Art by Suzan Grissett Buckner available at SuzanBuckner.com

This has been a fun challenge!  I think I'm going to do rooms with some of the other rugs too, just for some more fun...

Thanks for dropping in for a visit with me today.  I always love having you.  

Judy
If you like what you see here, I would love to have you follow along.  To make sure that you don't miss anything, you can follow by e-mail.  Simply scroll down to the bottom of the page and put it in the space  provided, or you can enter it at the top of the sidebar.  I never share your  addresses  with anyone, so  you  can  feel at ease by sharing it with me.  Also, your first mail from me will most likely end up in  your spam folder, so you will need to go look for that one, then click on my e-mail address and save it to your address book.  That will assure that all future e-mails will go  to your e-mail folder so that you can   actually  see them.  I would be honored to have you follow along as I play!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mama Smith's Chifferobe

Last week, I received an inheritance that was totally unexpected.  Don't you just love sudden happy surprises?  Here's a picture...


It's my grandmother's chifferobe.  I had no idea that I was supposed to get it, but as my dad explained, my mother's only sister acquired it and thought that Mama should get it.   Mama enjoyed it in their home for years, up until her death a few years ago.  My dad just recently asked me if I wanted it to be brought down from Birmingham to my house so that I could use it now...He said that I was supposed to inherit it, simply because I was the oldest...Although I'm not deserving, I am very grateful, and it's providing a lasting and meaningful connection to my grandmother, Mama Smith.



My grandmother didn't have a lot of worldly possessions, as I remember.  She was a very simple, practical lady with the sweetest heart.  While working as a telephone operator, this was one of the first things she bought for herself; it was a necessity. She had moved in with an aunt in the city so that she could be close to work, and this is where she kept her things. That idea alone is so thought provoking for me, standing here looking at the size of the piece.  Who among us today can fit all of our personal clothing into something this size? 


Photo "borrowed" from my sweet cousin, Sue's facebook pics.
Charlie and Irene Smith at the entrance to a mine in the
Bessemer, AL area in the early twenties.

Look at this great dress she is wearing in the photograph above.  It probably hung in this very chifferobe...I never saw her wearing anything this fancy...

After she met and married my grandfather (the one with the pistol pointed at her in the pic above- I'm sure (I hope!) it was a toy- he was always such a jokester!), this piece of furniture somehow ended up back at her family home with her mother where it stayed for decades. This is the reason the piece is still here today, because my grandparents lost their house to a fire in the early sixties.  It was a total loss, but this wasn't in the house, so it survived. Even after my grandparents rebuilt, it still remained in my great-grandmother's house. Knowing my grandmother, she probably thought her mother needed it more, or she didn't want to ask her to take her things out of it, so she let her continue to use it.  I think it ended up going to a great aunt's house when my great-grandmother passed away and her house was sold...and, eventually my aunt (Mama's sister) got it back to our family.  


I'm using it to hold my accessories...the things that I use frequently.  Purses, scarves, hats, wraps and costume jewelry.  In that bottom space under the drawers, I have a silver-plated bowl that holds things that will eventually go in my purse; and to the right, my bottles of cologne and perfume.


I've decorated the top with some of my things and it's just so pretty in my room.


I like to imagine that she's looking down on me and shaking her head with a slight little smile...wondering about that crazy hat.  (Yes, I actually wear it.)  If she were here and I were showing her what I had done with her chifferobe, she would be looking at it saying , "Uh- hum" (with mouth closed and sort of like a song that goes up at the end), because that's how she always responded when I showed her things.  Even if she didn't like something, she would never tell you, it was just "uh-hum."  I could never really tell whether she liked something or not...She was a lady of few words, and the closest thing to angel that ever lived here on earth.  

I will treasure this piece for the rest of my life.  It reminds me of Mama Smith every time I look at it, and I love that.

Judy

If you like what you see here, I would love to have you follow along.  To make sure that you don't miss anything, you can follow by e-mail.  Simply scroll down to the bottom of the page and put it in the space  provided, or you can enter it at the top of the sidebar.  I never share your  addresses  with anyone, so  you  can  feel at ease by sharing it with me.  Also, your first mail from me will most likely end up in  your spam folder, so you will need to go look for that one, then click on my e-mail address and save it to your address book.  That will assure that all future e-mails will go  to your e-mail folder so that you can   actually  see them.  I would be honored to have you follow along as I play!

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