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...

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Some Interesting and Unusual Finds

You just never know what kinds of surprises you will find when out pickin'....

Here are some of my most interesting finds from last week:

Dark blue and white clogs (better known as wooden shoes) from Holland.  

How would you use these in home decor?

Wouldn't they look neat mounted on the wall and used as a pocket to hold pens and pencils?  Well, I "Googled" that, and look what I found!

Via Pinterest--Funky Junk

...or holding a small plant or some flowers?

Image by sergey-galyonkin 

...or as a funky Santa mobile?  I LOVE this!

Image Via Pinterest-Original pinner not identified.

They are now in the shop, hanging out in that white basket just waiting to go to a home that loves blue and white.


Next interesting find:

A Russian hand-painted lacquered box.  And it opens in two different places!

The paintings tell of Russian traditions, legends, stories and fairy tales.  This box has artwork on the top and all four sides to include the back.  It is signed on the front.  I believe this box to have been painted in the "Palekh" style.  Read more about the style of painting from this village below.

Favored themes for lacquer boxes and miniatures from Palekh are the Russian fairy tales. Especially popular is the image of Ivan attempting to capture the mythical Firebird. Also popular are scenes of the famous Russian troika (three horse sleigh), and scenes of traditional peasant life in the countryside.

Some distinguishing characteristics of Palekh art include: elongated, graceful figures; pure, vibrant colors applied in layers; elaborate gold and/or silver ornamentation applied in fine lines throughout the painting; intricate decorative borders; and a black background known as plein aire which provides contrast to the pure colors. Palekh lacquer boxes are usually signed with gold in the margin between painting and border. The artist's name, village name, and year of production are standard marks on the box.

It is in pristine condition, which is also unusual--to find anything in lacquer that is not scratched in the thrift store.  I must have found it just as it was put out on the shelf.

Here's a link to a similar one (the painting) that I found online, except this one is tiny--2" x 2" x 1 1/4".  It's listed at $110.  Mine is about 6" wide x 5" tall x 4" deep.  

I have a Russian painted egg that we purchased in Chicago from a Russian guy, and I have a set of nesting dolls from a relative who lived in Russia for a couple of years.  I also have another egg that is sort of the same style...What I'm trying to say is that it looks like I've started a collection.  So I'll keep this one for now.


And, interesting find number three...

It's not unusual to find ironstone, but this piece is soooo old and the discoloration and crazing...Oh my goodness.  Just look...


It's going into the shop, probably on Friday.  Someone is going to recognize the beauty in this perfectly imperfect piece...I know I'm not alone in seeing it.  I wonder how many Sunday dinners have been served on this very plate...


  1. Very unusual finds Judy! I especially love the clog repurposed into a sleigh for St. Nick!

    1. I do too, Jenna. It's impossible to look at that and not smile...I love things like that.

  2. Fun finds! Those wooden shoes bring back memories of my grandma. She had a pair that we would wear around her house. Not very comfy...better for a plant ;)

    1. Hey Laurel! We had a pair in our house when I was little, too. My daddy brought them back from a tour in Europe with the Air Force. Just like you, I remember how uncomfortable they were, but yet, we still tried to wear them. That's what popped into my mind when I found them at the thrift store. Good memories...glad it brought back some nice memories for you.

  3. Those shoes are adorable. I would have never thought of hanging them on the wall!


    Happy Saturday friend!