Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Countdown to Behind the Picket Fence...

So Cute - Real Hummingbird's Nest

Denise and I are having lots of fun this week getting ready for this Saturday's Behind the Picket Fence Show in Huntington Beach.  We're 'Picking' some of our favorites to take: (Photos of these can be found on the left side of our blog) The Fabulous Mannequin Dress Form, The Crown Chair, The Face Table, The Swan Queen, The Sweet pair of Heart Curio Tables as well as new favorites we've been working on. It should be a Fun show and we're excited to be there - hope to see everyone Saturday!

Fun Vintage Outdoor Folding Table and 3 Folding Chairs

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Behind the Picket Fence is just a few days away...

We had a fun Easter morning hiding eggs and a great afternoon out to lunch and now we're back out in the garage getting ready for this Saturday's show in Huntington Beach. We've got grey skies and drizzle out, but in the next day or two I will try to photograph some of the new pieces Denise will be bringing to this show, this will be our first vintage & handmade art show north of San Diego and we're really looking forward to it!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Eclectic, Fun Pieces are going in the Van for Long Beach tomorrow!

I'm up early this morning and as I'm pulling stuff out of the garage I've snapped a few photos of what we'll be taking to the Long Beach Flea Market tomorrow - April 17th.  Sophie will be there with her great hair accessories and I'm bringing a lot things that I've aquired over the years. The Santa is from local doll artist Barbara Chapman and was purchased at one of her home sales about 15 years ago. I hate to part with it, but it's been in storage over the last 8 years and I hope it will find a home where it can be displayed, admired and enjoyed!  The retro lamps are recent finds and they're very cool.  The turn of the century Heywood Eclipse school desk and chair (only the chair is in this pic) are also a recent find, they've been painted, but are in great condition.  Finally there's no rain in the forecast, so it should be a fun day, hope to see some familiar faces there - we're in space H-148. - Ashley

Sophie with her Pink Curls Couture Line at Irvine last month

This all metal lamp is a really fun piece

The attention to detail all around this doll is amazing, for me every Barbara Chapman doll is amazing! 

I love this floor lamp, it has no markings and I couldn't find anything similar to it online, but it's definitly funky and fun

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Design Challenge: Vintage Postage Stamps

About a month ago I came across a couple of bags of circulated vintage postage stamps from all around the world. I originally was going to use these in my own scrapbooking and paper figure projects, however, there were THOUSANDS of stamps in these bags, I had no idea! They were from all over: Russia, England, Austraila, France, Germany, Italy, India and more. Some of the stamps are still adhered to envelopes and some are loose. We are always looking for smaller priced items to sell in our booth at the shows we do, so I decided to divide these up into smaller amounts and sell them for a couple of bucks at our upcoming shows. In an effort to get some help in sorting these I told my girls I had a fun and educational project for them to do, but my enthusiasm for how beautiful every other stamp was wore thin in about 15 minutes.  So sorting solo, three days later, I had bagged up almost 100 little baggies of stamps. 

There's at least 75 stamps in each bag from various countries.  I thought what else, besides a lot of the popular uses of these in mixed media projects, scrapbooking and jewelry making, could you do with them? So I challenged myself.  I selected a bag and asked myself -What are some quick and easy ideas I can do with this bag of stamps. For me these are like miniature works of art, and what better way to showcase art than to frame it.  I found an old frame of Denise's, cut a piece of scrapbooking paper to fit the frame and arranged stamps from my bag onto the paper. The total time for this project was about 10 minutes, it took me 5 min. just to decide on what frame to use. It's an eclectic look and I think it looks great as an accent piece on her bookshelf.
So in continuing on with the framing idea, I framed a 1975 stamp from Cuba in a small white frame from the dollar store.  My favorite framed piece turned out to be with three French stamps I found in my baggie.  I had remembered a vintage French military postcard I had and simply added the stamps along one side of the postcard.
Ok, so in these three projects I've used a total of 25 stamps - only 50 more from my baggie to go!  This post may go on forever, so I decided just one more project for these world travelers and I need look no farther than Denise's garage for inspiration.

Of course - a birdsnest with a vintage egg!  This project took me a little longer than the framing.  I have not decoupaged in years, and there may even be a neater, easier way to do this type of project nowadays, but I just pulled out the old jar of modge podge.  From my remaining stamps I just quickly layed out some on a paper plate that I thought might go well together.  I didn't choose any large stamps, nor ones attached to envelopes, they would be too thick to glue.  The egg was a foam egg that I quickly gave a blue coat of acrylic paint to because I knew some of the egg would show through in between stamps.  This was trial and error - the stamps from India were very thin, so you couldn't go over them with the glue too much and the stamps from Italy were on thick paper and those took some extra smoothing down. 
This was a fun challenge ( I still have half of my bag of stamps left!) and I think I'll keep my little framed French military guy next to my bed.  I learned a lot from my vintage bag of stamps - who knew Cuba made such large, beautiful stamps and that the Queen Mother of England looks good in just about every color?!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Design with Murals for the Moments We Need

The Frescoes of Villa Arianna

Hallways are great spaces to consider for murals that need a punch.  Hallways are sometimes overlooked because they are narrow and do not lend themselves to the better viewing that a wall in a room offers.  But a mural can actually give character, warmth and coziness to a small space.  Perhaps a part of that depends on the subject matter.  Since I love everything Italian, the upstairs hallway was just waiting to be part of the whole mural experience weaving it's way throughout the house.  I had just found some columns at an antique mall, some were half columns, some were whole.  I didn't really want the half columns, but had to buy all as a package.  It turns out that the perfect spot to put three of the half columns was in that hallway and then paint Diana, the huntress (shown below) and Flora, the Spring gathering flowers (seen above).  These were frescoes that were discovered in the Villa Arianna at the site of Stabiae, one of the cities, like Pompeii,  destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.  I found out it is much easier to project the image on the wall to get the right dimensions and the outline before you begin painting the actual mural and all the details. Painting the details is up to the individual artists' abilities.  I figure I am like most other artists, that I begin a project and if it has no deadline, it is a work in progress...but for a YEAR!!!  Actually, Flora is pretty much finished, just some shading, highlighting and a few more delicate flowers.  Diana is 75% complete...her bow & arrow, her facial features and the background color need completion. I guess since they are considered ruins, the condition I have left them in (temporarily) is appropriate.  (smile)   

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall...

Here's an idea for a room with too many mirrors, I guess when you reach a certain age, you don't need a wall of mirrors to keep reminding you of who you are "not"  anymore, plus mirrors are not as necessary as painted walls and ecclectic, colorful surroundings ...this is what I did to a master bathroom that had 4 mirrors with cabinets below...kept two and demolished the other two with plans for a mural in each recess in the wall...I had two cards with Italian landscapes on them, very similiar to the hillsides outside our window, soooooooo, there was the inspiration for the two murals...the results are seen above and below....find that particular wall in your space that calls for a change and consider a mural of any type or size...
Paint what you LOVE and remember...

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
But by the number of moments that take our breath away."

(my favorite quote and why I LIVE with everything I LOVE!)