Remember the "good old days" when I used to shop for a few hours on Fridays mornings and do a Friday evening or Saturday posts about all the good stuff I found?
(You might not remember it that way, or remember it at all- but that's how I fondly think of it!)
It seems like those big haul Fridays are farther and farther apart. This post is some pictures that I've posted on Instagram of favorite finds this summer.
Like this group of vintage watch faces in the first picture. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them, I just know I like them. Maybe because they are a throwback to when we didn't check the time by looking at a digital read out on our phone or computer. When you look at clock hands or watch hands, you can see time moving, and you can see the time you're waiting for.
These pieces came from a big auction box lot of linens. A lot of the linens were cloth napkins and tablecloths, and I got them for a song because it seems like people just don't entertain formally at home anymore. The floral pieces are pretty, but I thought the black and white towel was interesting because of the technique was used to get that black basket weave.
A big ole stack of vintage cigar boxes. I love the graphics on these, and love to use them for craft supply storage.
This hand stitched quilt with its feed sack flowers and sweet shades of pink is a little ratty around the edges. I bought it to use in crafts, but I'm just not sure if I have the heart to take a scissors to it.
This little collection of vintage purses has to be one of my favorite finds ever. I bought them at the estate sale of a woman who collected purses. Each one had number. Some were labeled with red bordered Dennison labels. Some had a shipping tag or note inside that told where the purse had come from like "Aunt Harriet, Lindsborg, 1935".
I'm guessing that somewhere, sometime there was a master list of a hundred or more purses, all with a little description and provenance. These aren't the nicest or most interesting purses I've ever seen, but I love the idea that a person loved their collection so much that they catalogued it. That's a person after my own heart.
I really don't like blog posts that start with "Sorry I been away from my blog" or "Gee, it's been a long time since I've posted"...but both are true statements for me, so I'm easing back into blogging with a simple post.
Just some random phone pictures from restocking visits to my antique booth so far this summer.
One of my favorite large washbowl style pitchers. An aesthetic design in shades of pink. It sold quickly. On the other hand, the pink planter in the background has been in my booth for over a year.
A display of blue and brown.
Something I always like to see...anywhere...a big bowl of lace full of texture and colors. I'm not sure about paper mache apples.
A bowl of swirly burlap trim, with a sweet little book tucked in the back.
At estate sales, I'm always on the look out for sets of books. Besides being beautiful like this good trimmed set from Thackeray, you can stack them to add some height and variety to displays.
I've had the set of three circa 2000 books by Dickens at my booth forever. I know they aren't as pretty as good trimmed hardcovers, but doesn't anyone read the classics anymore? Oh well, I guess they're good for displaying bookends.
Simple vignette. My favorite things- the marbled paper background harvested from some books that were falling apart and those little white berries in the creamer.
I love flowers- doesn't everyone? And I love embroidering flowers. I've wanted to do a free-style stitched piece for awhile, but I really only know how to draw one kind of flower and it's the same flower I've been drawing since fifth grade.
Then I found this book, Draw 500 Fabulous Flowers by Lisa Congdon. I picked out a bouquet of flowers from the pages of the book and traced them onto a man's handkerchief.
This probably isn't a recommended method for transferring images, but my stitching will cover any pencil marks.
Over Memorial Day weekend, I was digging through a closet and found a bag full of different patterned knitted squares in shades of white. I first mentioned these in a post way back in Feb 2009. I was inspired to knit them by a throw I saw at Anthropologie. I stitched them together last week. It probably would look a little more pristine if I had blocked the squares first, but sometimes I just go my own way. There is hope for UFOs (Un Finished Objects)!
In May I went back to the big red barn in Nebraska for Handmade U. Our hostess, Rachel, showed us how to make these darling "quilt-adoris". A quilt-a-dori is a take off on the Midori refillable notebook. Our notebook covers are leather, covered in a piece of quilt top fabric.
The notebook is refillable by just slipping a new set of pages under the elastic band that also keeps it closed.
We made four filler notebooks. I decorated mine with roses to match the pinks on my quilt-adori cover. (The rose in the upper right hand is a copy of a painting by Karla).
This is the back of the quilt a dori- you can see how the elastic bank wraps around the whole cover.
The other class at Handmade U was taught by Mindy Lacefield. Mindy paints darling little girls on abstract random backgrounds. For our class, we painted on a board book. This was something completely different for me- I'm not a painter or a drawer. I was even a little freaked out by the supply list- oil pastel crayons? What are those?
The class turned out to be fun- just experimenting with new supplies and trying new things...
...like this page, where I used the flowers from the paper towels as part of my collage.
One thing this class made me realize is that I really don't like to get my hands dirty with paint and glue.
Another thing it made me realize that it's HARD to draw faces.
It seems to me that all my girls look a little bit crabby. ..
I don't think I've found my new niche, but I'm glad I took the class. And I'm not showing you my crabby girls because I think they are inspiring or my best work. I'm showing them because like I've said before- for me, creating is about the process, not the end product. It's about playing and trying new things.
And sometimes in between playing and experimenting, you do get a finished afghan that's been waiting for you for seven years.
Other than pages from one journal, I haven't shown a crafting update on my blog this year....and I have been crafting. I craft in some way or other every day. Sometimes just a bit of knitting or stitching or doodling, but I have my Ikea crafting cart on wheels next to the couch, so I always have something at hand to work on. (and my living room always looks like a craft room).
This mini quilt is a patchwork of tiny pieces of feedsack layered on the back of a piece cut from a hand quilted vintage quilt.
Except for the beaded purse in the first picture, everything I'm showing has part of an old tattered turkey red and white quilt in it. I bought the quilt at an estate sale a couple of years ago and it's made a great backing for small projects.
More of the same, but in a different color palette.
This ticking apron with a denim pocket was at an estate sale, just begging to be embellished. I used some more of the vintage quilt, a piece cut from some Tim Holtz fabric and lace to pretty it up.
I love finding something already made that speaks to me just asking to be stitched, sewn or decorated into something just a little more special.
I've talked before about "saving old quilts" especially crazy quilts with velvets. It can be hard to take apart the old quilts, lots of seam ripping and snipping with little scissors, lots of thread and tiny fabric fuzz covering me and the floor; but it's rewarding when you can free a beautiful piece of old velvet from its bad rundown neighbors (shredded silk).
These are pieces I've "relocated". I haven't decided on how to make them into a finished piece, so I'll just play and stitch until I get an idea.
That's how a lot of my craft projects start (and end). I play with materials I enjoy, and sometimes I get a finished project, and sometimes I get crap- but I try and remember it's all about the process.