Not only has my blog moved, I also re-named it. You can view it here: Mitzi's Miscellany
I hope to see you there!
Not only has my blog moved, I also re-named it. You can view it here: Mitzi's Miscellany
I hope to see you there!
Recently I found two framed paintings at an estate sale that needed some love. It was obvious someone had spent put a lot of effort into the paintings, and was proud enough of them to frame them.
The problem was, I just didn't care for them. They looked a little too amateur-ish, and the colors were a bit garish. The frames were very nice, though, and that's why I bought them.
Once home, I tried to decide what to do with my new acquisitions. The frames had no glass, so I wanted to use them as they were, without adding the additional expense of having glass cut. So I flipped the canvas boards over and created a collage of torn paper with beautiful handwriting and yellowed book pages for a nice background. Mod Podge in the matte version was essential for this step, using basic decoupage technique.
After I created a background, I cut two pieces of upholstery webbing at an angle to resemble flower pots. This is very easy, because the webbing has stripes on it that you can use as a guide.
I glued the little flowerpots on the collaged background, then gathered bits of lace, buttons, some paper bits and millinery leaves and flowers. Using my hot glue gun, I made a floral arrangement by gluing the bits in a pleasing arrangement.
I decided to add a little pink paint to one of the frames to give it a little more color.
If you want to try something similar, I don't think a tutorial is necessary. Just take a close look at the layers of paper, felt, and embellishments:
That's pretty much it. Now whoever owns this in the future has two options: they can enjoy my mixed-media collage or flip it over and have themselves a brightly colored acrylic painting! After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it's nice to have options, don't you think?
I'm participating in the favecrafts Blog Hop for August, 2011:
Today I have three items to show you, two of which I'm sure you can identify:
The little red painted tin cup has "My Boy" stenciled on it, and that captured my imagination. I wanted to show it to you, although it's long gone. It sold quickly from the antique mall after I took it in. Can you picture a crafty mom, years ago, carefully stenciling "My Boy" on her child's cup?
The implement in the foreground (above) is an old curling iron, with which you create your Marcelle hairdo. But you knew that already, didn't you?
But what's that little cobalt blue glass vessel? Is it a salt dip? That's an intelligent guess, but no. It's known as an eye cup, eye bath, or eye wash cup. Here are more more examples in various types of glass:
When you cruise eBay frequently like I do, you can learn a lot. I found a milk glass Eye Bath for sale with its original box, something I had never seen before:
Why would a person need an eye cup? Because years ago, before plastic squeeze bottles of Visine and pipettes/eye droppers with rubber ends became readily available, people used to "bathe" their eyes by filling the eye bath with water, popping it over an eye, and blinking madly, I suppose (I've never tried it).
I've seen eye cups that have the names of pharmaceutical companies, such as "Wyeth", in relief on the glass, and some that are glazed porcelain with various embellishments. One of them said "Mother" on it. Charming, no?
I hope you learned a little something today!
It's been several weeks since I put out a request for readers to submit pictures of their collections, favorite finds, or family heirlooms, and I was tickled pink with the wonderful responses I received!
The first submission, and the inspiration for this post, was my friend Victoria's collection of bisque dollies:
Most of these little bisque beauties were made in the 1920's. Note the "Marcelle" hairdo, which was so popular during the flapper era:
If anyone wants to know what to get Victoria for her birthday, this should give you a pretty good idea!
Faithful blog follower Colleen submitted her pictures of Enid Collins purses from the 1960's. She also gives us some helpful background information on them:
"My special collection is Enid Collins purses. If you're not familiar with Enid, she was an artist from the San Antonio area who sold these purses at Neiman Marcus and exclusive boutiques, mostly in the southwest. My fabulously glamorous aunt from Houston had one of the wooden box purses when I was little, and people are quite crazy for them now. Some of them go for hundreds on eBay."
I found this link on eBay that will give you additional information on Enid's purses.
I think her purses are fantastic! Keep your eyes peeled when you are out thrifting. One could slip by a family making donations of grandma's things to the thrift shop, or even show up at a garage sale. One can hope, right?
Colleen also collects vintage patterns, including these patterns for doll clothes:
And with all of those patterns, Colleen keeps busy sewing clothes for her collection of vintage My Miss Revlon dolls, shown with a few of her childhood faves:
Colleen has also collected many hundreds of other clothing patterns, women's magazines from WWII, and old linen postcards, especially those from Florida and California.
When reader and fellow blogger Deb submitted her pictures of powder-puff music boxes, I couldn't believe my eyes!
But wait, there's more....lots more:
Deb explains: "It all started because my mom had one when I was a kid. I'm not sure exactly how many I have, over 300. Some of my most unusual are the cigarette holder, the lamp, the santa and trees. I've decided to just collect those odd ones, and the ones with knobs on top, especially. the bakelite".
Here's a cigarette holder box from the same era. I thought it was a set of curlers, but thankfully Deb corrected me. It just goes to show you that in the huge field of antiques and collectibles, nobody knows everything!
I was wondering why I rarely see these for sale anywhere. Now I know.....Deb has them all!
Deb must favor the metallic finish used on the music boxes, and also seen on the lamp below:
My mom Lucile has a nice collection of antique custard ware, which she displays on a vintage wicker tea cart:
She only collects the pieces with handpainted flowers, preferably roses:
My mom and I both collect colorful majolica pottery, and the pitcher below was acquired at an auction we attended in July. I just love the little nest full of baby birds:
Naples resident Jeanne has one of the best family heirlooms imaginable: A portrait of her mother, painted by her artist aunt back in 1927. It graces her beautiful living room. Aren't the colors magnificent?
I'd like to thank the readers who sent in the wonderful pictures. I had so much fun putting this post together!
If you would like to submit a picture of your own prized family heirloom, favorite vintage find or collection, please consider sending it to me at the following e-mail address: email@example.com. I'd love to create another post with your special treasure spotlighted!
Technorati Tags: bakelite, bisque dolls, custard ware, doll clothes, dolls, eBay, Enid Collins, family heirlooms, flapper-era, hand painted flowers, majolica, Marcelle, Marcelle hairdo, My Miss Revlon, Naples, Neiman Marcus, portrait, powder-puff music boxes, reader collections, roses, tea cart, vintage curlers, vintage sewing patterns, white wicker
During the recent heat wave, Newton's Beach on Crystal Lake was all booked up, but this weekend I might be able to squeeze you in, if you can manage the complexities of time travel. You see, my grandparents owned Newton's Beach on Crystal Lake, Michigan. Their little resort included several cottages, a trailer park, bath house, boat rental, and refreshment stand. So get yourself back to the 1950's and have some good old-timey fun at Newton's Beach!
First of all, you need to decide the cottage in which you would like to stay. We have the Octagon Cottage, my personal favorite:
The Cement Cottage:
Or maybe the Stone Cottage. Although I don't have any interior shots, let me assure you the cottages are clean as a whistle and decorated with colorful bark-cloth curtains and rustic cottage furniture:
Here's the cottage where my grandparents live. They stay nearby to make sure the needs of their guests are met at all times!
There's plenty of parking for your DeSoto, Studebaker, or Bel Air:
Once you settle in, you can rent a bathing suit and an inner tube and head for the lake. Or, if fishing is more your style, you can rent a little boat and buy some worms from my uncle Clare and aunt Hazel, who have their own worm farm, and do some fishing on adjacent Mud Lake.
Can't you just feel the cooler air along the water?
After water activities, my grandma will make you a great lunch. She's had plenty of experience cooking. She and my grandpa used to run the College Cafeteria at Central Michigan College, Newton's Dining House and the Harmony Restaurant. With the Newtons in charge, nobody will be going hungry!
But don't forget, you have to wait an hour after you eat a meal before you can swim, or you'll get a cramp and drown!
Later in the day you can take the kids for a Sno Cone and the carousel on Crystal Lake for a ride or two. In the evening, there's a band shell on the lake so and the adults can listen to big band music and do some dancing under the stars. Now doesn't that sound like the perfect day?
Hope to see you there,
Technorati Tags: bark cloth, Bel Air, carousel, cottage, cottages, Crystal Lake, Crystal Lake Michigan, DeSoto, fishing, Michigan, Mud Lake, Newton's beach, Newton's Dining House, Sno Cone, Studebaker, swimming, The College Cafeteria, The Harmony
I have to share another grouping of pics from my recent visit to Naples, during which my mom and I toured three homes that were for sale, one of which included a guest cottage. Throughout the tour I kept wishing I had a better camera, a problem which I promptly addressed when I got home. I found a Canon Rebel on Craig's List that is now mine. But first let's look at those pics from Naples!
To enter an enchanted cottage, you simply must have a gate like this:
The first home has a pleasant beachy feel:
Walking across the courtyard, there's a pool between the first home and another two-story, more formal abode:
Here's the dining area of the second home, with a sparkling chandelier and slipcovered chairs:
MacKenzie-Childs pendants and a white painted beadboard ceiling make the second home light and fresh.
Marble countertops and a charming porcelain sink:
The tiles on the fireplace surround are a rose-chintz print and may be the work of MacKenzie-Childs as well:
I loved the fabulous spring green and pink rose wallpaper in this powder room:
I've never cared for ceiling fans in general, but this one appeals to me. It's on a balcony:
The beach-shabby guest room:
MacKenzie-Childs surely must be responsible for this wash basin. Isn't it wonderful? You could decorate the whole room around it.
My mom inside the guest cottage:
Next we have Pink Pearl Cottage:
The dining room has pink walls and a fantastic vintage rug:
Slipcovered furniture and lampshades punctuate the living areas:
The pink and white kitchen. Love the beadboard-covered dishwasher!
An outdoor sitting area between Pink Pearl Cottage and its guest cottage. Perfect for a nap, no?
A closer view:
No corner was left un-shabbied:
As you leave Pink Pearl Cottage, don't forget these words of wisdom:
And remember, these homes are for sale! We were touring them as part of a realtor open house, and they were kind enough to allow me to take all of these pictures. Contact a Naples realtor if you are interested in purchasing your own little historic Old Naples cottage!
l recently returned from a much needed nine-day vacation in Naples, Florida, where I spent time with my parents, relaxed, and hunted down some antiques (of course!).
One of my first stops this time was Chesterdales' Home and Garden, a multi-dealer antique and home furnishings shop owned by Ron Ellis and Jim Herbst. Although they allow some new items in the shop, it's all high quality, and the entire shop has the feel of a decorator showroom.
For starters, how do you create a welcoming entrance in a strip mall? How about adding some smart looking black and white striped curtains, garden fixtures, and some potted plants:
Joan Stewart is a prolific rug maker who gives lessons at Chesterdales. I was lucky enough to learn rag rug making from her while I was there, but I'll reserve details for another blog post. Here is her cheerful booth:
An ornate porcelain urn with metal mounts in a showcase:
I loved these two French blue velvet chairs:
Two decorative porkers that made me smile:
There's lots of white wicker and rattan to be found in Florida:
The popularity of burlap sacks as upholstery material keeps growing:
The same garden booth from another angle:
This vase is stunning, with its etched design and gold embellishment:
The dealer below knows how to create shell masterpieces the classy way. I'm not sure what the secret is, but he or she has it!
I love the mix of jewels and shells:
Just look at how many beautiful shells were used on this mirror:
More eye candy:
I think you'll agree the mix of old and new at Chesterdales' Home and Garden is very pleasing. If you travel to Naples, be sure to stop by this lovely shop. It's located at 4910 Tamiami Trail.
For quite some time now I've wanted to start a recurring feature post, but I couldn't think of something unique for my blog. Miss Mustard Seed has her Furniture Feature Friday, which is fabulous, and the Graphics Fairy has Brag Monday. Those are link parties, I realize, which I'm not quite ready for, but I finally did think of something I could do on a regular basis....
I've really been giving this some thought!
One of my goals for this blog is to sneak in a little education about antiques in an "easy-to-digest" format. My blog isn't just for me to show off my stuff. I hope to inspire others to get away from Target, Home Goods, and Bed, Bath and Beyond and buy things with a past, that will increase in value over time. Armed with some knowledge, it's easier to make wise purchases. So I'm planning to spotlight a curiosity from the past every other Wednesday, something that might not be readily recognizable, and supply a little information about it.
Do you know what this is? It's not a lighter. It's over 110 years old, which qualifies it as "Victorian-era".
It's silver-plate, and opens up at the top with a handy hinge so you won't lose the lid. This example has a faintly engraved monogram on the cartouche, worn down by handling over time, indicating it was something special to the owner.
This is a "match safe". It was required many years ago to carry around to keep one's matches dry. Most versions will have a ridged area on the bottom for striking the match (see left end). Often there is a ring attached to the side so it could be worn on a lady's chatelaine (a belt that held handy instruments like scissors & such). Men would keep them in their pockets.
A silverplate match safe such as the one pictured in this post would sell at my antique mall for about $80 to $90. Obviously, if it was sterling silver, it would be worth much more, and you would probably pay more on the East and West coasts. Michigan has been mired in the economic doldrums for such a long time, you can really get some good deals here!
So now you know what a match safe is. If you find one of these at a garage sale or in a box lot at an auction, it's OK with me if you don't say anything when someone else says it's a lighter missing the insides.....
Here we have a grouping of brass oil lamps that I bought at a garage sale. They didn't have glass chimneys, and I got tired of waiting around to get some, so I decided to do something different with them.
I had a handyman saw off the burners so they were much shorter:
Then I took some pillar candles, sofftened them a bit in the sun, and then carefully twisted them down onto the brass bases.
I used a couple books to provide a nice display on my coffee table for my new candle holders:
I think this is an example of up-cycling at its best. Taking something old and adapting it for today's modern lifestyle. Perhaps this will get your mind ticking. Can you think of anything else that would make a good candle holder?
I've received enough reader comments to know that a little education about antiques is appreciated, at least in small doses. That's why I'm introducing a series, titled "Expand Your Vintage Vocbulary", in which I'll showcase a special "vintage" term and define it for you. I know you could just go to Wikipedia to learn such things, but I'll try to showcase terms that will be useful to people like us and show you an example from my own antiques business so you can relate to it more readily.
Today's term is "Art Nouveau", which is a French term meaning "New Art". The peak years for this style were 1890 to 1905. Art Nouveau is characterized by stylized natural motifs and flowing, curvilinear forms. Artist Alphonse Mucha's art is instantly recognizeable and is the epitome of Art Nouvea style:
You can easily own something with Art Nouveau style. These jewelry caskets are easy to find at just about any antique store. I sold this one recently in my Etsy shop:
Another wonderful poster, this one from a 1902 exhibition:
This graceful candle holder typifies Art Nouveau style. It's for sale in my booth at the Antiques Market of Williamston, Michigan:
This doorway in Prague shows some wonderful Nouveau style:
Flowing lines are rather hard to achieve in large buildings, but the Casa Batllo in Barcelona, Spain, has managed to do it:
The Barceloneans call the hotel "Casas dels Ossos" (House of Bones).
Another small jewelry casket, also recently sold in my Etsy shop:
Art Nouveau style was actually more popular in Europe and Great Britain than in the U.S., but I think it's appreciated equally everywhere now. Just for contrast, let's compare Art Nouveau to Art Deco, a style that would appear a decade or two later. In the painting below, by Tamara De Lempicka, notice how the hair, the girl's neck, and the ruffles of the dress are rendered in such a chunky, geometric manner. Not at all like the flowing Art Nouveau style:
Did that mini-lesson help define Art Nouveau for you? I hope you can feel a bit more confident when you are "out in the field". You'll be surprised what your eyes will be drawn to once you have learned something new (or should I say nouveau?)