Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Earl paints a collie

This painting was an estate sale purchase that I planned to resell but my inner voice (one of them) kept telling me to wait. I hung the painting in the corner of a room where I could walk past it often while I mulled it over. 

The house where I purchased this was long and narrow and built into a hill so the basement felt as though it went on for miles -- back and back and back until it ended in a man cave filled with lots of table saws & wood, tools and the usual jars of nails and screws. In one corner there was a stack of old picture frames and the very old supplies of someone who was a painter.

Which is where this painting comes in. Covered in dust and signed & dated 'Earl Martin 1945.' 

I can't get the picture out of my head of Earl Martin at home, in the basement, maybe listening to the radio for news about WWII and loving his dog so much he painted this portrait.  And then knowing that painting sat in Earl's man cave for 65 years...

I guess I can tell the inner voice to shush. I'm keeping it.

Who's a good boy?!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What I was doing when I should have been at the grocery store shopping for Thanksgiving dinner

While taking some etsy photos in order to further delay my trip to the grocery store on the day before Thanksgiving, I realized this poor soul was just too rough around the edges to be sold in my etsy shop. 
I mentally reviewed the description I would have to write which would say something like 'dirty, stained, blotchy and missing one eye' and realized whoever is searching the internet for that is probably looking for something else altogether. 

  I selflessly set aside my yam shopping and rolled up my sleeves for an emergency makeover. 

Glue bath. Hold still. Close good eye.

Bedhead with glitter.
Waiting area for glittered parts to dry so un-glittered parts can be glittered. Attempts to disguise unattractive aluminum pie pan with vintage ornament camouflage not effective. 

Admires setting sun and snow-covered hills while contemplating upcoming post about a very vintage Christmas giveaway. 
But first, this.

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Pita* Factor

Do you buy or sell on etsy.com?  I do both, especially at this time of year. In fact, I just bought some vegan lip tint from an etsy seller. My first handmade cosmetics purchase.

Not a vegan, btw.

For selling, I have two separate shops, one for things I make and one for things I find

When I'm out thrifting and yard sale-ing for vintage items to resell online, one of my biggest considerations is "What's the pita* factor for shipping this thing?"

I tend to choose things that aren't too bulky, too breakable or too heavy for me to ship although one recent exception was this metal vintage Christmas tree stand. Iron or steel? Don't know. I do know it's really heavy and sturdy and practically indestructible.

I love its industrial / forgotten-in-a-barn look and its rusty patina -- it weighs 27 pounds which doesn't sound like all that much until the day comes when it sells and I have to lift it onto the post office counter to ship it. Assuming I can get it out of the car first.

I've also done a bit of vintage Christmas sewing recently ... here's a peek.

 { click to enlarge }

These pillows and stocking sachets were just listed in my things-I-make etsy shop, VintageHome

And I'd like to send a big thank you to everyone who's been so kind to email and ask about my vintage Christmas items, sewn and otherwise. 

Hope everyone's holiday planning is going smoothly! 

{ *pita = pain in the a**  }

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Blue Christmas

So far we have established that of the many types of vintage in the land, vintage Christmas is one of my absolute favorites. Depending on the time of year, it almost always occupies the #1 or #2 spot on the list, switching back and forth with vintage fabric.

I become especially weak in the knees around vintage ornaments which is how this group came home with me. They were really filthy after spending an eternity in someone's barn but they washed up quite nicely. 

And upon further inspection, I wondered if they might be hand-blown because they're very irregular in shape. Some are almost lopsided. And their tiny, tiny metal caps say JAPAN in even tinier letters. Pre-WWII, possibly?

See how oddly shaped the one on the left is compared to the Shiny Brite on the right?

BTW -- I do not recommend washing your Shiny Brites.


When I'm not busy washing/ruining vintage Christmas ornaments, I'm adding vintage Christmas loot to my etsy shop, PeppermintBark.

{ click to enlarge }

And there's lots more to come. Hope you're having a wonderful day -- *beautiful* blue skies here today!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Kind of Sketchy

Well hello, November. What are you doing here already -- would you please wait outside?

I've probably mentioned this before but I am a huge scribbler and doodler -- ideas come to me whenever they feel like it (mid-conversation, while asleep/reading/making pancakes/eating pancakes) so I always like to jot them down in my sketchbook before the thought evaporates completely.

Occasionally they even turn into something.  From this...

To this.


This (fascinating, I'm sure) process has run off the road a bit since I filled the final page of my sketchbook some time ago. Now I'm in the habit of firing off ideas onto whatever happens to be in my path like an old grocery list (usually written on the back of an envelope) or a random post-it note.

Or this.

 I have a growing stack of these bits and pieces fluttering around so I finally took a moment to look on etsy for a new sketchbook. And of course, I'm kind of picky. Has to be a certain size, wirebound only please because I'm a lefty and of course, interesting to look at.

Here's what I ended up with.*

Repurposed from an old book with some of the original pages left intact and then filled with recycled sketchbook pages. Love. It. 

Also looks nice against my $2.50 vintage feedsack quilt top. Love it too.

*from Portland, OR-based etsy seller sparrowtracks