Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Packable Parcel From Junk Bonanza

When I finally set aside my camera, I reached for my wallet and started shopping!  As you know, I flew in to this event so everything that I purchased
needed to be packed into my suitcase.  And I had to be mindful of weight. 
Just so you know, there is an area where you can take your things to be 
shipped home but I didn't want to do that this time.  Frugal me!  

So, sit back and see what few items tickled my fancy!

I didn't go overboard but carefully selected items to use in mixed media.
Always photos.... always old books for their paper and text ... pieces of 
vintage fabric .... rusted tins (I especially loved these!  Graphics will be
placed on them finding label images from Graphics Fairy and using water
slides) ... love the old stamp whose rubber is still in good working 
condition .... and I guess my favorite is the four torn covers from books
dating from the late 1800's.  Still with their original book plates on them.
I quickly snatched these up and asked the vendor what she was asking for them.  Quizzically, she looked at me and came up with a number.  Obviously,
for her, they were there just to lend ambiance to her booth.  But for me,
they were a simple pleasure.  I was delighted to have them in my possession!

I also want to show you this!  This beautifully painted and distressed blanket chest!

I have this very one in a storage unit, not having known what to do with it.  It has always been ingrained in my head that you never change an original finish as that would ruin its value.  But the truth of the matter is, it's not doing a bit of good being locked away and not enjoyed! 

So, with some Annie Sloan paint and lots of elbow grease I will retrieve it
and create some magic!  I can't wait!  And, as a lovely woman (whom I shared
a table with when taking a much needed break from the morning rush) said~ "Im here to get ideas. There is so much to take in and utilize when I get back home."  Truer words could not have been said!!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Junk Bonanza (Part II).. Eye Candy

Sound the horns!  The doors have opened and we are in for a treat of a lifetime!! Hmmm.... do I head for the left side of the building or do I go right?
I chose to go right and had my camera ready to show you what delights were
in store for you!!  With that said, I am just going to let the photos do the 
talking for me.  Just sit back and enjoy the views!!!

Did someone say there was a party going on?
This rooster had flown the coup by the time I went around the second time
I heard their sweet, angelic voices calling me even over the roar of the crowd
The over-turned tart tin used as a cake stand... the baseball leather cuff with bling accent
I didn't notice the satchel until I saw this photo!  Hmm.. wonder what they were asking for it?
Is that altar not just breathtaking? Great display!
Love silver pieces... think of its use at Christmastime!
For all of you who have a mannequin, try making a skirt from book pages
Here's a closer view.. love the mass of pearls around the neck.  She's my kind of girl!
Calling all doll head aficionados 
More religious items
To die for!
Charming little slips embellished with vintage linens
Raise your hand if you prefer a steers head mounted on your wall rather than a mundane deer head!
By now I have only had mini donuts to eat.... my eyes had scanned every 
nook and cranny .... and my head was spinning around and around! Time
to take a break and get one of those Bloody Mary's the announcer had 
mentioned over the speakers!  Next year?  I most definitely will take advantage
of staying another day.  Or maybe three!  Hey.... do you want to join me???

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Junk Bonanza.... One Heck Of A Great Time!

Usually, when I go on trips, I try to cram in as many activities as possible.. as 
many 'things to do" as time will allow.  Not this time!  I purposely flew in to
Minneapolis for Junk Bonanza.  I was a girl on a mission!!  Not for any particular item/items, but to experience AGAIN the excitement of this show.  
To perhaps have the opportunity to meet Ki Nauser....

.. which I did!  Horrible shot of me but I am willing to share with you for the
sake of this post {tee,hee}.  Some women look great in the morning, like Ki,
and some of us need a little more time to perk up.  And to realize to look at the camera!!  I digress!  One cannot say enough good things about Ki.
Such a genuine, down-to-earth person with a soul for repurposing "junk". 
Supporting others who heed the same call.  Her creativity and heart have no limits and it was truly a pleasure having the opportunity to say "hello"!

At 7:20 in the morning, this was the line in front of me..........

and by 7:45, this was the line behind me.  We all had Early Bird tickets!

A congenial group, patiently waiting, knowing that treasures were soon to be within our grasp!  Knowing that we would not be disappointed in the least. Willing to be "early" Early Bird ticket holders! And just in case there might be some impatience (of a good nature), people who were part of the event walked
down the line with mini treats.  Presents!  And we haven't even gotten in
the buildings!!! 

This adorable young woman (prime example of someone who can wake up
looking gorgeous!) was handing out sample size packages of Vintage Textile
Soak. Note the cute way to display this.  Excelsior in a vintage metal basin.

And look at that platter of yummy mini donuts... freshly made, warm and dusted with fine,granulated sugar!  It wouldn't be Junk Bonanza without 

these little bites of heaven presented on a silver platter!

                 Oops! 8:00 a.m. 
        Let the merriment begin!!                   

Part II will be up shortly......... come on back to see what was INSIDE!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sunday's Simple Pleasures

My morning routine is walking Annie at a forest preserve.  It wasn't until she
became blind that I was able to do this.  Prior to losing her sight, she would
incessantly bark at other dogs passing by ... soooo embarrassing! She would constantly be pulling to get into the brush, being driven by some scent that wafted in her direction.  So I gave up. Now?  Once she gets going, these walks lift her spirits and it's a pleasure to be her exercise partner! 

As we walk down the trail, I witness the beginnings of fall.

The foliage is alive with plants that bloom at this time of year.  And as my eyes dart from side to side, I see one particular plant that reminds me of the story my mother told me long ago.

Mother was a recent newlywed, married to the boy she met in college.  
Once he was released from active duty, after WWII, they settled down in
their first home... a small New England Cape Cod.  My dad would head off
to the new business he had started and mother would be left at home to
make her own life.  She had met a few neighbors and decided the best 
way to develop deeper friendships was to invite them over to her home for 
lunch.  This particular day she invited her neighbor, Bunny.

In the morning, mother busied herself in the kitchen preparing their noonday meal.

As was the time back then, I'm sure she made either a tomato aspic or some sort of jello mold to go along with the rest of the meal.

She set the dining room table with her wedding china .... dinner plate, salad
plate... cut glass water goblet, and of course, a coffee cup and saucer.

Her sterling silver and linen napkins were the finishing touches to an elegant
setting, fitting for special company!  One thing was missing, though.  She 
needed a centerpiece!  As money was tight, she couldn't afford to rush out
to the florist to have them create something.  There had to be another 
solution.  Pondering her dilemma, she gazed out the kitchen window and there
it was!  Quickly, she gathered a bouquet of bright colored flowers, arranged them in a vase, and set them on the table.  She beamed with pride!

The doorbell rings, and it's Bunny!  They quickly get to chatting back
and forth, tickled at getting to know one another.  However, it soon becomes
apparent that Bunny is not feeling well.  She starts to sneeze.  Her eyes 
start to water.  She apologizes as this seemed to have come on suddenly.
And for no apparent reason.  It wasn't until mother walks her into the dining
room that it all becomes crystal clear as to what has created Bunny's symptoms.

"That's the problem!", exclaims Bunny.  "I'm allergic to Golden Rod!"
Mother looked from the bouquet.. to Bunny.. and back to the bouquet. 
She was left speechless.  She had no idea that the pretty,yellow flowers were
Golden Rod, nor that it could cause allergic reactions for some people. (I now
see that my being a Garden Club dropout should not surprise me!).
Just as mother starts to apologize for her faux pas, she looks to see that 
Bunny's tearing was now coming from fits of laughter!  No need to be 
embarrassed.. for her, it was just down right funny!  The bouquet was 
tossed out and Bunny and mother ended up spending the afternoon enjoying,
not only a fabulous lunch, but, more importantly, each other's company!  

Decades may change, but the way women make friendships hasn't.  I'm
reminded of that each fall when the Golden Rod blooms.  And mother's 
story is one that makes me smile each and every time! 

Friday, September 14, 2012

"Mom... Who ARE These People?"

Those are the exact words my son said to me when I returned home from a
flea market junket! With a scrunched up face and a bit of uneasiness, he
then uttered, "They're kinda creepy.  Why do you get these?" 

Why wouldn't I?  After all, look at their character.. their expressions.. their clothing from a different era.. the antiquity.. the mystery!   It never occurred to me that anyone would see it differently than I do but apparently I was wrong.  I tried to explain as best as I could but we were having a bit of a disconnect.  Just as I don't understand the need for 5 snowboards, when only one is necessary to get down a mountain, he doesn't understand the need to amass vintage photos of people I have not had the pleasure of knowing.

So, who are my new friends whose photos I bought at the flea market? Besides the seven tintypes, I found this couple...

..who obviously had some drama at their wedding.  Makes you wonder why it was cut out like that.  But that's what I love about it! A torn memory!
Such mystery!

A tiny photo with children whose eyes are so dark and piercing.  The ruffled lace collar with matching jabot.  Somber expressions! Immediately, I think of using them for a Halloween collage.

This last one was a gift.  Seriously!  I asked the vendor what he would ask for it as it was just thrown in a box of photos.  It's a glass negative with cream paper, smudged with time, wrapped around the edges.  So charming!  The vendor takes it from me, scrutinizing it carefully while conjuring up what it was worth to him. You know that stern face they can give you!  Still thinking, he runs his finger over the glass and that's when I see it... a diagonal crack in the glass!  When I point that out to him his face relaxes and a smile breaks out.  "Here.  You can just take it!"  Seriously?  Yes... it was mine!  Free!  For him, the crack meant no good but to me it only added more charm!  Now that's a good day at the flea!

Same photo, just the opposite side... love this!!

Everyone is safely back home with me.  Everyone is accounted for!  Now what do I do with them you ask?  I use them on mixed media canvases like this...

                         (I will do another post about this class)

....or I use them to create little vignettes around the house.  For instance, to display the wedding photo, I chose elements that would relate to a wedding.
Rosaries, flowers, vintage lace. And I always seem to gravitate towards books for support, height or the text.

With the glass negative photo, I used a worn toddler's shoe stuffed with vintage ecru lace to mimic a sock.

I prefer the simple look but you could even add antique wooden blocks to create more of a story.

Well, I need to get busy as I have another mixed media piece in the works!  I hope this gives you some ideas of how to play with these photos.  Until next time....

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday's Simple Pleasures

"Sunday's Simple Pleasures". I decided that perhaps this would make for a great weekly posting!  After all, this day of the week seems to hold a uniqueness that the others do not seem to possess, don't you think?  Whether it's attending church services to get a weekly dose of inspiration and guidance from Someone greater than ourselves.  Whether it's knowing that within a few hours of rising you can almost taste those pancakes or smell the aroma of coffee served at your favorite breakfast place.  Or whether it's an early start, heading out to a flea market with anticipation of finding treasures as the thrill of the hunt just tickles you!  There are so many reasons why Sundays bring such satisfaction.  It opens our eyes to the minute details of the day!

My simple pleasure this Sunday???

*The stillness of the house as I quietly got dressed before anyone else stirred.

*The fact that my loved ones, though sleeping, are close at hand and I, alone,   
  can see the shadows of their presence from the previous day.

*The day in its waking moments with the light changing from the grey of dawn
 to a clear and crisp brightness. Shooting random "spotlights" here and there
 leaving me awestruck at the contrast between light and dark.

Today, I got to cherish those moments as I needed to get an early start. I was heading off to the  flea market! Gingerly, I tip-toed down the stairs making sure I didn't land on  the spots that creaked.  Just as I neared the bottom, my eyes darted across the living room.  What I saw was absolutely breathtaking!  A bold stream of light, coming from an easterly window, shining brightly... and I mean, BRIGHTLY!... on the tabletop vignette. Everything else was cast in shadows except for the photo of my middle son when he was two and two old photos of my aunt and uncle.  

 See how the light made my uncle's photo look like a negative?  There was no retouching of this.  That was what I was privy to see while the rest of the world was just starting to stir.  What a blessing to have witnessed nature's light show!

This might seem trite. This might even seem silly.  But for me, these are the 
unexpected moments I love!  How about you?  Did you take time to savour 
the details of your day?  I would love to hear about it!