Tuesday, December 30, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things...

My mantle used to be one of those always changing vignettes of stuff...fun, but since I started displaying my collection of vintage white matte pottery there, I haven't been inclined to change it much at all. I just love the way the white matte pottery plays off of the stark white paint of the mantle and the old creamy white of the mirrors. All of the different shades of white seem cool in the summer like the cool white of sand dollars and seashells and warm in the winter like a creamy white knit sweater. This little vignette makes me smile every time I come down my stairs and see it. What places do you have in your home that make you smile everytime you look at them? Post a comment and let me know.

Until next time...
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Monday, December 29, 2008

A Year In Review...2008

I know I haven't been blogging long at all, but thought I'd post some pictures anyway and join in the fun of the Year in Review Party hosted by Cindy at My Romantic Home. Just click on any photo to enlarge the mosaic showing some of my past blog photos as well as a few of my favorite things from my home. I hope she'll consider making this an annual event! Enjoy the photos.
Until next time...

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Who says crowns aren't for "everyday"?

One of my great loves of late has become antique crowns and tiaras. I have begun a little collection which I will show you at a later date once I photograph them for posterity, but for now, I'd love to share some of my archived photos with you. It was hard to decide which ones to post because they are all so unique. Most of them are old religious crowns, used on statues of the Madonna, the Infant of Prague, or in religious parades and ceremonies. Some were used in theatrical productions and some, as in the case of the 5th photo down, were actual royal crowns, used by the monarchy of various countries for their special occasions. These yummy photos demonstrate what a wide variety of styles and sizes there are out there. They are pricey, running from a couple of hundred on up to a few thousand (the actual crown jewels, are, I presume, priceless, but I am speaking of the brass and glass variety), but they are so elegant that they are worth it, IMHO. For a less expensive, but certainly beautiful option, vintage rhinestone tiaras are also very collectible and very fun to look for. My new friend Alys (click on the title of this post to be transported to one of her incredible sites) graciously allowed me to post the first 3 photos here that are from her website, Paris Couture Antiques. She was just featured in the January 2009 issue of Romantic Homes Magazine and the layout is a feast for the eyes. If you haven't seen it, you need to. Everyone did an incredible job pulling this prominent article together and even if you've never been enchanted by crowns and tiaras before, I guarantee you will at least have a moment or two of awe when you see Alys's collection showcased in her beautiful home. To read more about this talented businesswoman, go check out her blog at http://www.pariscoutureantiques.blogspot.com/. But first, check out the pretty bling that follows...

Until next time...

P.S. If you've never actually done your housework in a tiara, take my advice...it makes the work much more enjoyable. And if your family gets a kick out of it, they MIGHT just offer to help so that "her majesty" doesn't have to break a sweat. Give it a try!

How beautiful is this?

Probably an antique theatrical crown, but look at the incredible detail!

Antique French religious crown.

Some of the crown jewels of Louis XV

Can't remember where I found this one, but isn't it divine???
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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

And God Bless Us, Every One...

As I sit here with my family, waiting to leave for Christmas Eve services, I would like to wish a beautiful holiday season to all who read this. I hope this has been a good year for you and that, despite the crummy economy and all of the reasons that we have to feel down, that you find hope and beauty all around you. It isn't about the bank balance, its about the love that you feel in your heart. Your home can be beautiful, whether you have a big budget, or none at all. It's about the creativity that resides in all of us. Its about the friends and loved ones that we surround ourselves with. And its about the higher power that resides deep in our soul, no matter what name you call that higher power. From my home to yours, I wish you a season of peace, hope, and joy. Merry Christmas...and God bless us, every one.
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

1920's Girlie Girl Beauty

As you might guess, with three sons around here, two of them
under the age of 10, things are heating up for the big Christmas
extravaganza. Still, I wanted to take time to show you the most
WONDERFUL antique boudoir half doll lamps that my friend Denise, ebay seller winter-garden, has for auction right now. They are so pretty and dainty. If you click on the title of this post ("1920's Girlie Girl Beauty") above, you will be taken right to the auction. Click on the picture and you will be able to see a larger version. Denise is the owner of the website I am featured on, http://www.ourcottagegarden.com and she is very good about listing new treasures weekly. I, on the other hand, am a bit of a slacker, but I do plan on putting a couple of things under the vintage treasures heading in the next day or so, so check it out when you are having a little downtime after your Christmas dinner. Or now, if you are, unlike me, very organized and all done with your shopping, wrapping, and baking. Happy Holidays! ~Judy
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Monday, December 22, 2008

A glimpse into what I do...

Thought you might enjoy seeing a few of the broken china mosaic pieces I have done. The pretty scrolly shelf, titled "French Quarter" is available for sale at www.ourcottagegarden.com under the Garden and Architecture section. The technique of using broken china, tile shards, etc. is called Pique Assiette and it is one of my favorite ways to mosaic although stained glass is pretty darn fun, too. I use old architectural pieces as much as possible for my broken china mosaics since I am an architectural salvage JUNKIE!

This is one of the sparkly belt buckles I made for a local boutique called Envi. They are constructed of TONS of pieces of vintage jewelry. I have loved making and wearing these wonderful repurposed pieces and, fortunately, they've been quite successful for me. People just love a dash of bling to add to their jeans or other attire. Fashion that's really pretty AND really "green"...who knew?

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Shoes as art...

I was looking through some old Ebay auction pictures and came across this one from earlier this year. These divinely decadent vintage beauties were an east coast find. If they'd been my size, I might have kept them! How can you look at them and not smile?

Then, I saw the preview of the Spring 2009 issue of Stampington's Altered Couture and just had to post this photo that is from an article titled, "Fit for a Queen". I've not purchased Altered Couture before, but I just may have to...this is just too fun. I don't know if you've ever had the pleasure of reading the publications by Stampington, but they are ALL phenomenal treats for the senses dealing with everything from stamping to mixed media and paper arts to altered clothing to blogging. If thumbing through one of their many magazines doesn't get your creative juices flowing, I don't know what will! Don't you just want to put on one of these jazzy numbers and go cut the rug with your honey?

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Friday, December 19, 2008

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas...

My friend Melanie makes these phenomenal Santas out of all sort of antique and vintage goods. Everywhere you look, there is something fun to look at and each one is a different theme. She hand crafts each face and the hands so every jolly fellow has a unique expression.

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Something to do in my "spare" time...

Hello there and welcome to my very first blog post. I have recently seen some of the most beautiful blogs online and decided to give it a try myself. I am a microbiologist in my "real" job and a wanna be artist and online shopkeeper the rest of the time (when I'm not being a wife to a great guy and a mom to three incredible boys). I sell beautiful antique items with a feminine flair on Ebay under my seller name french*laundry. I also sell antiques and my one of a kind mosaics on the website Our Cottage Garden. Those pursuits feed my soul and it is in that spirit that I begin this blog. The people I have met in following my passions have been such a treat and I hope to meet some more kindred spirits along the journey of blogging. I hope to share some of my favorite "eye candy" with you and perhaps a little of myself as well.
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