There's a new girl in town. She keeps me company during the day and her special assignment is to adorn my jewelry display table at vendor events.
She's agreed to wear at least one piece of my jewelry, along with her crown.
And, she wears it so well! Speaking of her crown, it came all the way from Uncommon Objects, especially to ornament her lovely head.
She's quite the impressive muse and I'm deeply in love with her. Lucky me to find such a heavenly creature in my treasure hunts!
It truly is quite spectacular and she had been sorely missing it.
I knew it was hers as the color and style perfectly fit her.
I'm not sure how the lady became separated from her pretty box but they're back together now.
I'm so enjoying a very rainy, stormy...cool (yes! cool!) day, here in Houston. I just returned from the local big box shop where I picked up some super cushy slippers for my feet and a roasted chicken for dinner, and when I got home and checked my mail, this lovely thing was there. It came from Jean VanBrederode, one of my students. As you can see, Jean has a talent for enamel. I love her style...not finicky or fussy but still with lots of attention to detail. I adore the two blues in this, one of her "nesting instincts" pieces. I just realized, I haven't posted any photos of the pieces I did in Richard's class, in Portland. That will have to wait for another day...
I don't know who to credit for this quote but it seems so fitting for this photo. I really should be getting ready to vend at the Houston Bead Society Show but, I couldn't resist playing around a little more with what I shot at Glenwood cemetery, with DJ. By our estimates, we shot almost 1000 photos...each. Thank goodness for digital!
DJ showed me a few a few photoshop tricks...hardly any, of which, I remember. So, it's pretty much hit or miss with me, for now. But, it's still lots of fun and I'm getting some good results, despite myself.
This bronze was a favorite of mine. Right away, when I spotted her, I thought she looked amazingly like Misty. Does anyone see a resemblance? Of course, Misty doesn't have big, gorgeous wings but she does have the same delicate, pretty look.
My friend Susan, and her friend Chrysti, have started a bi-weekly photo prompt called "Echo." Actually, this will be much more than a bi-weekly prompt...it will be an inspirational, artistic journey and my partner in creativity will be DJ Pettitt. Take a look at her lovely interpretation here.
Every two weeks DJ and I will be posting photos based on the prompt that Susan and Chrysti provide. They're both such wonderful photographers, as is DJ...it's sure to be exciting! Chrysti has a list of other participants here and you can check out Susan's entry here.
It was hard to fit everything into my last post about my Oregon treasure hunt so here's the rest of it. These are some of my very best finds from the trip.
Somehow, I've developed a fetish for vintage velvet evening coats. Don't ask me how it happened but I don't think it's my fault. They keep falling into my lap!
Two years ago, when I visited my favorite, by-appointment-only, shop in Oregon, I found this lovely, vintage, velvet evening coat for a terrific price. It's some sort of designer piece...made in Canada.
The weather being what it is in Houston, I don't have that much opportunity to wear it but, during the theater season I wear it once or twice.
This year, at the same shop, I found this fantastic vintage feather boa. I've never seen one like it.
It's absolute fabulousness was more than I could stand and it came home in my carry-on luggage. This will have to be a special occasion accessory as well!
At a different shop, I found this full length, vintage, crushed velvet, princess coat. This is how these things happen: I was buying two pair of huge, old scissors and, right by the check out counter, I spotted this pile of fabric. The pile turned out to be this gorgeous coat.
Sure enough, when I slipped it on, it fit just about perfectly (poor Betty...these coats don't quite fit her so we just had to make-do for the photos.) I was enchanted by the gathered empire waist and ruffled cuffs. And, it's full length. Did I mention, it's full length? Very pretty!
When you wear this, you really do feel like Cinderella, dressed for the ball.
The inside is lined with a smooth buttery yellow satin. It turns out, this coat was quite hoity-toity in it's day.
It was designed especially for Bonwit Teller...a name I vaguely remember. Bonwit Teller, incorporated in 1907, specialized in high-end ladies apparel and was eventually located on Fifth Avenue in New York. I'm not sure of the year this coat would have been created in but it's definitely a vintage piece. All of that and the price was only $35. It was screaming for me to bring it home so...stuff...into my luggage it went. Now, it's off to the dry cleaners.
This "head on a stick" was a slightly odd purchase. Well, not really! It's an old head mannequin for displaying hats or wigs. A clamp on the bottom enables it to be clamped onto the side of a table and spun round. It's in near perfect shape and I had visions of it on my jewelry display table or in my studio. Again, into the luggage.
Must haves for dressing: mirrors. I got these two beauties for $15 and $20 each. I thought they would look great on my jewelry display table for vendor events.
I adore the detail of these two pieces.
Turns out, my vendor table has given me a handy excuse to pick up all kinds of wonderful and unique goods.
But, after all, a girl's got to make sure the wares are displayed properly!
Now that I'm finally unpacked from Art & Soul and settled in enough to enjoy the autumn, I have time to share some of the treasures my mom and I uncovered in Oregon.
My mom has always been one of my very best friends and we've spent many a blissful hour scouring the antique and junk shops of Oregon and Texas. She's loves to hunt and collect worn, discarded things as much as I do and we have very similar tastes in treasures. We never have to worry about fighting over anything, though...after all, she's my mom and it's my honor to make sure that what mom wants, mom gets!
Besides, I've been hunting for small, jewelry related items for a long time now and, since she's not so interested in that stuff, she helps me in my quest.
One of my absolute favorite shops is one that you typically have to make an appointment to visit. I lucked out when the owner let me dig through a pile of broken jewelry and bits. In it, was this gorgeous strand of worn and mellowed, mother of pearl beads.
The red glass rosary beads were from the discard pile...
...as was this sweet, silver, Victorian pencil case.
I found several fobs this time around. Believe it or not, the tiny one was only four dollars! Don't you love a good deal?
I found two of these darling, little watch keys that were not a good deal but I took them anyway because I haven't seen many with numbers on them.
Love these lockets and dark mother-of-pearl buttons. The dark ones are a little more scarce than the white and these have a great glow.
Isn't she pretty?
It is the tiniest one like this that I've seen. Of course, it will eventually grace a pendant or necklace. Mija had a terrific booth at vendor night stocked with things from her store, Mecca. By the way, Mija has a brand new blog called "Loose Muse"...very exciting! I'm sure she would love for you to drop by and leave a comment.
Jean VanBrederode gifted me, during class at Art & Soul, with this incredible rosary case.
My sweet room mate and friend, Crystal, insisted on giving me this magnificent holy water font. Crystal has a large collection of the best stuff. I had a good time digging through her wares at A&S vendor night. Check her Etsy site.
I haven't come across many, if any, round cabinet cards so I had to snatch this one up. Unfortunately, the dealer had put the price tag right on the front, at the top, and it didn't remove well. Still, a treasure!
These two medals were the find-of-the-day at a buck each.
Of course, crosses are high on the list of things I look for when hunting. These mop crosses are gorgeous...
...and this reliquary crucifix has a tiny screw at the bottom which, when unwound, releases the cross to open. Inside is a space for sacred reliquary items. They were missing this time but I'll fill it with scriptures.
Silly, I know, but this tiny, plastic ballerina is one of my best finds. Not because the dealer threw her in for free (thank you!) but because she's just so dad-gum pretty! Are you tired of looking yet? Because now we must take a trip to the circus...
Are they not just the sweetest?
Many of these items were made in Japan.
I think I first got hooked on spun cotton, years ago, when my mom gave me this little spun cotton, skiing snowman that had belonged to my Grandmother.
...and this itty bittiest, darling angel. Believe it or not, I haven't shown you a few of my most favorite things. I'll have to do that in another post.
Reflecting on my trip to Oregon, I see what a strange trip it was...a bird in the engine of our plane, another plane that was declared "no good," an episode with my bad back, an extremely intense migraine on the first day of my class, a bad reaction to pain medication, being locked out of my room, a brass pole falling on my head...let's see, is there anything else?
As bad as some of it was, I never really felt like it was that bad. There was so much good. Spending time with my family, a great visit with my brother, nearly perfect flights (nearly!), a full class at Art & Soul, fantastic students, an awesome assistant, an equally awesome room mate, terrific classes with one of my favorites-Richard Salley, wonderful greek food with Susan, Jane and Sheri, time spent with new and old friends, beautiful weather and, oh yeah...terrific treasures! It would have been easy to focus on the negative but so many small, wonderful things outweighed the bad. So many blessings...it was quite a trip.
My parents jetted back home to Oregon and I bawled like a big baby. Fortunately, I had a lovely surprise to take away the sting of their leaving...my dear friend DJ was in town for the International Quilt Festival and I was blessed to have her stay at my home for a few days. As you can see, DJ was very impressed with little Miss Maggie.
DJ likes to take photos as much as I do so we spent a lot of time in one of my favorite haunts, Glenwood Cemetery.
We speculated that the babies may have been triplets. It seems the daddy died quite young...and the mama lived to about 71. That's a lot of life without your darlings.
These feet came from another favorite of mine...a very weathered, patinated bronze sculpture of a young woman with an armful of roses.
We even did a little cleaning here and there. I don't like creepy crawlies too much, and we have an abundance of them here in Houston, so this little whisk came in very handy. I took over sweeper duty, except for the very worst ones which DJ was kind enough to take...brave girl!
This gorgeous, white Mary is another fave. She's very photogenic...
...and has lovely feet. She is standing on the earth as the Queen of Heaven and crushing the serpent, who mislead her in the garden, under her feet.
We even found a few markers that I hadn't seen before like this one with my initials.
Of course, we just had to spend some time doing something artsy. DJ is very good in Photoshop and graciously showed me a few tricks. This photo actually came out of the camera with it's own special effects. I just bumped up the color and contrast a bit.
If you're familiar with DJ's work, you know it's spectacular. She's an extremely generous and giving teacher with her time, talents and materials. She's only teaching a few times next year, at "An Artful Journey" in Los Gatos, California. It looks to be an incredible setting and I think DJ's February class is already filled but sign-ups start soon for the July session. I highly recommend you check it out!
Interested in winning some great stuff from Susan Lenart Kazmer's Objects and Elements online store? There's a new Reader Challenge up at the O&E design team blog: "Put me in a bezel!" Send Jen (ObjectsandElements@yahoo.com) a photo of the wild and wonderful things you've put into bezels, any things, any bezels, and you'll have a chance to win some O&E goodie love from the store and have your design posted on the O&E blog. So far, there are very few entrants so chances are excellent for you to win. The deadline is Oct. 20. Good luck!
My dear friends, Kelly Snelling and Ruth Rae, are in the process of auctioning off some of the incredible pieces of jewelry from the book they authored, A Charming Exchange. As many of you know, sweet Kelly's life has been affected by breast cancer. So many of our friends and family have battled this disease. The artists of "A Charming Exchange" long ago agreed to auction the jewelry and donate 100% of the auction proceeds to Susan G. Komen For The Cure...to fight breast cancer. The pieces are gorgeous and inventive and will go fast. Click here to see them and check back frequently because Kelly will be adding new pieces.