Sunday, February 26, 2012

Dressed in Jewels

Here's my favorite yard sale find from last weekend after her minor makeover.  She still doesn't have any clothes, so her only assignment this week was to model a few necklaces fresh off the assembly line.

She also wanted to show off the rhinestone belt I found at a yard sale on Friday.  Her feet and pole were painted black, but I missed getting a full body picture.

Her neck is now firmly glued in place, so no more mishaps.  I painted it with Duck Egg Chalk Paint and then added some lace and a vintage rhinestone button.  

  A mini tart tin was my inspiration here.  A faux pearl earring, watch parts, and rhinestones were added for flavor.

A watch face, pink rhinestones and a cherub from an old bracelet were a perfect fit inside the bottom half of this vintage cold cream tin.  I attached part of vintage earring to the bottom of the tin.

Not too shabby from the back side.

More watch faces, buttons, and rhinestones.  Now I need to get busy on two other trays full of bits and pieces.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Double Duty Loaf Pans

I finally had a chance to try out my new Silhouette Cameo that I got for Christmas. My idea was to start with something quick and simple, but there was nothing quick about this first attempt. I'm sure a seasoned user would be able to whip up this project in 15 minutes, but for me it was a four hour trial and error adventure.
The four hours included familiarizing myself with the basics by quickly reading over the directions.  I spent a lot of time playing with the software, sizing the fonts, and then trying to figure out why it wouldn't load the black adhesive vinyl.  Oops, I missed the part about locking the rollers back in place.

I have so many ideas floating around in my head, but will stick to the smaller projects until I get the hang of this.  So much fun!

We all need a little extra space for storing junk.

These rusty loaf pans I bought at a flea market a
couple of weeks ago were perfect candidates for my first project.

They're still rusty, but now they have a little more character.

My buttons are happy.

I haven't decided if I'll keep them or sell them, but for now I like them right where they are.  Hopefully my next little project will only take two hours.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

She's a Keeper

Would you double park in the middle of the street for her?  I'm not ashamed to say I did just that.  I spotted her on the lawn just as I was driving up to a yard sale on Saturday.  Cars were parked up and down both sides of the street and I just couldn't risk her being carried away in the time it took me to find a legal parking spot.

After a quick chat with her owner, I learned that she's a younger gal estimated to be in her mid 30's.

I'm thinking her blond legs and neck will look much better with a little color, and of course she needs some jewelry and something to wear.  Her asking price was much less than my mental estimate, so with these two cooper pots the deal was sealed.

Love the patina.

Oh no, not a broken neck.
I picked her up by the waist after our photo shoot and this is where my foot stopped her neck.  (I couldn't resist one more picture).  A few more inches and it would have rolled into the deep end of the pool.  Fortunately, a little glue will take care of this minor problem.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Vintage Hair Brush Makeover

When I purchased this vintage brush and mirror set at a flea market recently, I knew the broken brush had some life left in it.  The mirror is still in good shape and I love the patina on both pieces, but the poor brush has seen better days.

You can see where the wood part of the handle is missing.  I was lucky to be able to push the slightly twisted silver handle back into shape without breaking it.

I pried out the remainder of the brush which didn't come out without a fight; the old glue had turned black and was breaking off like glass.  I grabbed a bottle of tacky glue, a piece of vintage lace, and an antique tintype photograph.  I already had the tintype and have been waiting for an opportunity to use it in a repurposing project.

I spread some tacky glue inside the handle and started pressing the lace into place.  It didn't have to be perfect, just enough to hide the raw edges of the lace and cover the inside.

Then I got a little carried away and didn't pick up my camera until it was finished.....

After gluing the photograph to the lace I filled in around the edges with an old necklace, watch face, rhinestone, filigree, and a flower brooch.

Much better.

I thought it would look better if I could hang it up, so I punched a couple of small holes in the top and added a short chain.

I think she looks real comfortable and right at home inside the brush. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I purchased a few dozen vintage Valentines at an estate sale in 2010 and this one was my favorite.  I love vintage typewriters, so I knew she'd be a keeper.

 She's been sitting on my work desk since the beginning of February.  When a package arrived all the way from the Philippines a few days ago, I knew she'd be the perfect way to say "thank you."

I was the giveaway winner of this pretty bag from the very talented writer Diane at Diane Writes.  
The colors are perfect for Valentine's Day.
Thank you Diane!


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Flea Market Junking Fix

My month-long junking dry spell came to an end last weekend.  I didn't get a good junking fix while I was on vacation a few weeks ago, so it felt mighty fine to get out there and push my cart around....squeaky wheel and all.  The first Saturday of every month is the DeAnza College Flea Market in Cupertino, so off I went with high hopes and a promise to myself to leave all the big stuff behind.

It was a silver kind of day.  
I love the patina on this vintage brush and mirror set, but....
I don't love the broken brush.  I had a rough idea of how I could repurpose it and the dealer was more than happy to accept my "it's broken" offer.

Rhinestones and pieces of broken earrings.  Aren't those fish cute?

It's a good thing keys don't take up much room because I'll never have enough.

The frame was a great deal along with the rusty tins, salt shaker, and silver vase.

Yummy detail.

Switching gears here.....
A vintage pull down school map in great shape.
Marked, Weber Costello Chicago Illinois.
I couldn't find a date on it, but it's probably from the late 50's or early 60's, before zip codes and after Alaska and Hawaii.

I made my way around the entire flea market a couple of times just to get some exercise make sure I didn't miss anything.  It wasn't easy leaving some very interesting large items behind, but it was nice to have everything fit in just one cart load.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Decked Out for the Dress Form Ball

My gals are all decked out in jewelry and ready to party over at The Polka Dot Closet for Carol's Dress Form Ball.  These ladies aren't shy; they're more likely to be seen wearing nothing but jewelry.

These four partygoers were brought to life with the use of patterns and a vintage linen table runner.  I first introduced them in a Mod Podge post in September 2010.

I used the thicker directions from a vintage pattern to dress up this plain plastic flea market find.  I never wanted to sell her until someone came along and made me an offer I couldn't refuse. Seller's remorse set in soon after that; I wish I still had her.

This is Emerald.  She stands about 15" tall and is always seen wearing her green velvet jumpsuit.  She's actually very heavy for her size, although you wouldn't know it with that skinny little waist.  Her jumpsuit can be unzipped in back and removed if she ever needs a change of clothes.

This paper mache lady (no name) is only 16" tall, but she does a good job displaying necklaces.  

Ms. Adjust-O-Matic is one of my favorites even though she has some issues.
 Don't we all.
I keep her in my studio wearing nothing more than a vintage lace collar and a simple belt.  She's 30" tall and about 5' tall with her collapsible stand.

I don't usually use her stand when she's working at an antique show because the slightest breeze will knock her right over.
She's seen here wearing a vintage yo-yo quilt skirt.  Can you see her skinny legs sticking out at the bottom?

Meet Nana.  
Nana is the most versatile of all my mannequins because she has a Styrofoam-like core.  I found her at a garage sale about five years ago and I'm never letting her go.  She's 22" tall and about 32" tall with her removable stand.
She's wearing her stand in this picture because it allows me to display more necklaces.

Nana is learning to be a bit more modest.  She now wears a vintage lace dresser scarf over her shoulders along with a lace belt with a rhinestone buckle.

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Is it legal in Blogland to post about something I did so many years ago?  It was 1990 when I first picked up a stenciling brush and attacked my living room walls.  By the end of the year, every room in my house had been stenciled.  When I ran out of walls, my obsession turned to stenciling furniture, lots of furniture.  I was a crazy woman with a brush as my weapon and realized I needed another outlet for my addiction.  I joined a stenciling club, participated in stenciling conventions, started making my own stencils, designed stencils that were sold in stencil shops, and finally decided to start my own custom stenciling business and charge for what I loved to do.

Meet Wally.  I designed Wally for a client who wanted a little something extra peeking through her indoor window box.  Wally was stenciled several times in different colors and sometimes with little kitty footprints up the wall.  

There's a simple explanation for why I took a trip back in time. It was all brought on by the new toy I received for Christmas and just took out of the box a couple of days ago.  It's been staring at me and driving me crazy because I haven't had any time to start playing with it.  I finally got some supplies ordered with the Silhouette gift card, but now I'm afraid I'll never be seen or heard from again once I start using it. 
My new Silhouette Cameo prompted me to dig out my old portfolio and revisit some of the stencils I used to make.  All the pictures from my portfolio were taken with a good old point and shoot film camera.  

This was my youngest son's room when he got his first big boy bed.  I think he was about two years old at the time; now he's twenty two.
What a labor of love this desk project was.  I remember buying the little school desk at a garage sale for $3.00; such a deal even though it was bright pink.  I have no idea why I went through all the trouble to strip it and then paint it red with oil based enamel paint. I'd just spray paint it if I had to do it all over again.  I removed the wood top and seat, painted them white and made a stencil to match the geometric designs on his bedspread.  

I was hired to stencil this train three or four times, but the stencil was always one of my best sellers at The Stencil House.  

Pay no attention to the lovely mauve bed linens.  Circa 1992.
Another outlet for my obsession was to teach stenciling classes.  In the early 90's I taught at House of Fabrics and used this picture in my advertisement.  In one of my classes, the ladies told me that they signed up because they wanted to learn how to stencil this flower arrangement.  They were real surprised when I told them that the flowers were real and the headboard was stenciled.  It's hard to see any of the detail in this old picture, but the white rails and posts were shadowed to make it look three-dimensional.  What a lot of work, but I sure had fun with this design.  This one was designed for a queen size bed....I never got around to adjusting it for a larger or smaller bed.  

I still have a roll of Mylar around here somewhere along with the full size samples from my portfolio.  I came across the electric stencil cutter a few months ago and decided to keep it just in case. The stencil cutter always reminded me of one of those wood burning tools most of us had as a child.  

Stencils have come a long, long way in the last few years.  I love all the designs that can be used over an entire wall for a wallpapered look, all the interesting motifs, and especially the fun use of letters and numbers.    I'm excited about getting to know my Silhouette but concerned that the obsession will repeat itself.  Everything in moderation, right?  

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