Monday, July 7, 2014

Beautiful Things...

Hello friends,

First let me say that I got to spend the day handling beautiful things which is always a pleasure.  But why am I so tired???  I don't know about you, but photographing and editing and measuring and listing just take it out of me.  Maybe I'm just getting soft in my old age!  Anyway, after looking at all of the beautiful photos I had just taken for items due to land in my Etsy shop The French Laundry, I decided I'd love to make a beautiful collage since I like making those and haven't done so in a while.  THEN, lucky you, I decided to share with you as I do a drive by post (my nickname for a quickie-definitely NOT done while driving though).  Some of these treasures are already in the shop and some will get there this week, but even if you don't stop by the shop, you can get some eye candy right from your armchair.  YOU'RE WELCOME... LOL!

I've also been busy listing some pieces from one of my favorite artists/designers, Robin Brown who created the Magnolia Pearl line of romantic wear.  These can be found on eBay if you're interested.  If not, do feel free to feel the love right here anyway.

These beautiful pieces can be seen for auction here.

Gotta run...those things won't list themselves!

Until next time,
Pin It!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Lightening Up...Weight Loss and French Laundry's Virtual Tag Sale

Hello Bloggie Friends,

I have certainly missed you all. We've been busy as usual and now that the weather is finally nice, I've been trying to spend more time outside getting fresh air and exercise to hopefully get in better shape and also to naturally lower my pre-hypertensive blood pressure and high cholesterol.  I'm enjoying it, but like everything else, it takes time.  I downloaded a cool free app on my phone called "My Fitness Pal" which helps me to count calories and also to enter my exercise.  There may be other similar or even better apps out there, but this one had very high reviews, was free, and my coworker had it too so we could commiserate.  I just downloaded it Wednesday, so we'll see how it goes but it really is a good wake up call when you have to be accountable (even if only to an app on your phone) for every single thing you put in your mouth. It has a bar code scanner that you can use to enter your foods and drinks which makes it super simple. Also, it keeps track of your carbs, protein, and fats as well as your vitamins and minerals. Anyway, I'll let you know how I make out in a few weeks when I either loose a few pounds or don't and my cholesterol and blood pressure either go down or they don't.  :-)

Besides trying to get my body in shape, I'm trying to get my house in shape.  Part of that entails getting a handle on my stuff.  It seems to have gotten out of control or maybe is just STILL out of control, but the point is, I need to lighten my load.  I've got a couple of Etsy shops which will get the majority of the things, but I thought I'd try something else which sounded fun...a virtual tag sale on my blog.  It gives me an excuse to visit with my cyberfriends (that's you) as well as thin the herd.  I'm going to list a couple of things tonight that I have available and then add to the lot as time allows.  I can't offer you a lemonade stand, but I can give you the opportunity to purchase some cool stuff at what I hope you will think are some cool prices without having to go out in the heat and pound the pavement.  Shipping is available outside the U.S., but there will be more postage, so just contact me and I can let you know what the extra shipping will be if you are interested. Payments are by Paypal.

First up are some dichroic glass pendants made by Kathy King, owner of Etsy shop Kathy's Glass Galore. She really has a talent for making these beautiful pendants.  We worked together for years before she retired and moved to another state so I had lots of opportunities to purchase the fruits of her labors and I did.  Over and over...time to thin out the collection since I only have the one neck! These are  pendants can add them to your favorite chain or put them on a simple ribbon,etc.  They make wonderful gifts although these are so pretty, you may not be able to part with them. Bails are gold or silver in color. Small pendants are $7, large are $10.

Sizes as follows:
1. 1 5/8 inches to top of silver bail by almost 1/2 inch.
3. 1 7/8 inches to top of silver bail by 1 inch.
4. 1 3/4 inches to top of gold bail by 1 1/8 inch.
5. 1 1/4 inch to top of gold bail by 3/4 inch.

Next is a darling little hanging what not from the talented Debrina Pratt and her Land of Enchantment. Debrina sells her artwork exclusively (I think) on the Earth Angels Studios website.  This piece measures 7 1/4 inches by 7 1/4 inches and is signed and dated by the artist. In excellent condition.


This pretty little box is, I think, meant to be a pill box, but I just used it for display on my dresser.  It has a pretty little photo in the center and sparkly stones on either side.  It is in excellent shape.  Measures a touch over 2 1/4 inches by 1 1/4 inches and stands 1/2 inch high.


I will try to add more items tomorrow evening.  If this beauties don't speak your name, maybe something else will.

Until next time,
Pin It!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Grain Sacks, and Powder Boxes, and Mosaics, Oh My!

Hello Bloggie Friends,

I've really been M.I.A. lately I know.  This full time job stuff keeps you busy.  PLUS, I've been indulging my creative side by doing a few projects.  I have had this awesome utilitarian stool in my stash for a good long while, waiting for me to "GETAROUNDTOIT" to recover it.  I took a scrap from one of my favorite herringbone weave antique German grain sacks and I stenciled it with a very cool design; it looks a whole lot like my grain sacks that have the original tar stencils on them.  I finished it off with some black belt webbing which, to my eye, made the whole thing just pop.  It is good and sturdy as well as beautiful.  I'm hoping to get it listed in my Etsy shop, Elegant Farmhouse, this afternoon, but my husband keeps eyeballing it.  I told him if he had the money, he could have it, but he didn't bite! I'm really proud of the way it turned out.

I also made one more powder box using the last of the small amount of antique blue silk fabric that I had. I also dolled up the puff that came with the old French powder box used as a base.  This one was a really nice size and it did make it to the other Etsy shop, The French Laundry, and it sold recently.   It was a hard one to let go of, but I keep reminding myself that this is how I can continue do this little sideline-move stuff in, move stuff out, make it, sell it.  True that...

Finally, the biggest reason I have been out of touch lately:  I finished a mosaic self-portrait which I started 3 1/2 years ago and never finished.  I took a class from the amazing mosaic artist, Carol Shelkin, and after 2 1/2 days, I had finished only the eyes and part of the nose.  Coming off the high of the class, I went home and worked a while longer (several hours) and got the rest of the nose and the mouth done.  Then, I lost my momentum and there she sat for years, mocking me every time I walked by.  Reminding me that she had been abandoned mid-work.  I got a little boost after the first of the year by getting some cleaning and organizing done at my house in the month of January, so I felt good about that and decided that it was time to commit myself to making a stab at finishing the self portrait.  I worked on it a little every day after work and some weekends for about 3 weeks.  It went faster than I anticipated since I think hair and clothes and backgrounds aren't nearly as intense as facial features and by golly, here is the finished product.  I am very pleased with it and would actually like to do more mosaic portraits.  Up until now, I have never done anything realistic.  I didn't think I could do it, but I guess maybe I can if I'm willing to develop my craft and take the time to practice.  We'll see...

This is shown with the photo I used to create the mosaic.  Not bad, if I do say so.  I'm not sure I like the light grout in the hair area-it needed grout to fill in the gaps as I wasn't able to work as tight as I perhaps should have.  I may go back with some darker grout before all is said and done.

Okay, so that's what I've been up to besides blogging.  How about you?  Do you have any unfinished projects that have been gnawing at you that you've finally put to rest?   I have WAY too many, so I hope to make some progress on that front this year and hopefully report back.

Until next time,
Pin It!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Scoop on Antique Ribbon Work Powder Boxes

Hello Friends in Blogland,

When I first started my blog back in 2008 I believe it was, I had the intention of doing more "show and tell" of the collections I have and of things that I like.  I've done a  FEW of those types of posts, but not many.  I decided that this week,  it was time that I dedicated a post to a subset of one of my favorite THINGS in the world, antique ribbon work.  Today, I want to share my collection of powder and rouge boxes.  No fabulous ribbon work pieces are easy to find, but these little treasures do seem to be around a bit more often than others, presumably because they were small and easy to display on a vanity table for a little dose of pretty and they were also useful as they held cosmetics.  For these reasons, I presume, we do occasionally come across some of these lovelies.  Never enough, but some. (SMILE)  The piece at the top of the post is actually a glass powder box that has been covered in fabric and metallic lace as well as a beautiful seated porcelain figure.  These glass bases are a bit more rare and this is the only one like it that I have.  She is a bit tatty, but considering her age, she is still pretty darn fine. 

More commonly, these boxes are cardboard that has been covered in fabric and metallic net and then the beautiful silk ribbon flowers which in all but the tiny one at the bottom in the picture above were little lengths of rosettes that were purchased by the yard just like you would have purchased lace or other embellishments. I have know people who have managed to find cards of this rosette trim which was never used.  I have turned appropriately green with envy and then purchased a yard or two from them for much money.  This no doubt made us both happy. This little quintet of boxes are all small with the large one in the middle being just about 1 3/4 inches in diameter.  The marquis shaped one is a very unusual size and I am not sure what it was used for but the others are rouge boxes (we call it "blush" or "blusher" these days) with the exception of the largest one-it is a small powder box.  I know this because when open, it has a mirror in the lid and a cake of face powder is still in it.  The one on the left has a cake of red rouge and a well used puff. 

I have a couple of powder boxes done in this fashion.  Still cardboard underneath, but a short box, sometimes only tall enough for a puff.  In the case of the one above and the one below, the puff is attached to the lid. Neither one has the metallic trim, but they make generous use of silk or rayon ribbon to create the ruffles. I love the heavily eyelashed face on the bottom one!

Below are three which I would consider large pieces.  The one at the top stands a good 3 inches tall.  Each has a powder puff inside made of swansdown.  These pieces are difficult to find and when you do, you will pay a handsome sum for them but if these are your THING, you will find a way to make them yours, just as I did because there is something about them that just makes your heart sing.

Below is piece that is rare as hen's teeth.  It is a triple powder box which sort of reminds me of a wedding cake.  The top section holds a powder cake and a puff, the center a rouge cake, and in the bottom, and large powder puff.  It is an exceptional piece and will, as they say, have to be pried from my cold dead hands.  Hopefully not anytime soon!

These are a few more of the powder boxes in the middle size range.  They are really pretty, especially the one closest to the camera as it has a bouquet of little silk flowers on the top rather than just the rosette trim.

In the more unusual category are these double powder boxes below.  The one on the left has a little strap.  Could have been carried by milady or perhaps just hung on the wall by the vanity.  Again, these are far more rare and the ribbon work on the tops is particularly lovely.

These each have a mirror in the top and their little powder puffs-one for rouge, one for face powder.

This larger beauty may have been for talcum powder.  It is still super full of loose powder which I keep saying I'm going to toss every time I open it and get a nose full of 90 year old powder, but the fact that it has survived this long has kept me from doing so thus far.  This one is special because its condition is excellent and due to the fact that it is topped with a very lovely piece of French Normandy lace which is not the norm. 

Finally, I wanted to share with you my own take on fancy powder boxes.  These 3 have been lovingly created by me from vintage powder boxes and all antique materials.  I sold one very similar to the one on the left in my Etsy shop The French Laundry this last year and just recently made one for myself.  The blue one was originally for sale, but when she got taken for a test drive in my bedroom with the other girls...well, let's just say she begged to stay, at least for a little while.  As I have stated before, it is an occupational hazard when you deal in and create things that you love.  Sometimes, they just don't make it to the shop. The last one did though.  She's a beautiful oval shape (very unusual for a powder box).

If you love antique ribbon work, I highly recommend the book "The Artful Ribbon" by Candace Kling. She not only shares techniques on how to create your own flowers from ribbon, but it has lots of great historical information as well as pictures from private collections that are utterly breathtaking. In the meantime, I hope you have enjoyed your little visit to my part of Blogland and I hope to see you again sometime.

P.S.  I have some price reductions in my shop, so you might want to take a peek when you have a chance.

Sharing with :
Shabbilicious Friday 
Feathered Nest Friday

Until next time,
Pin It!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Happy Birthday to The French Laundry

Hello Blogger Friends,

I can't believe that a year has gone by since I first opened my Etsy shop, The French Laundry, but as of January 6, it will be a full year.  It was a great 2013 and I am looking forward to bringing you more beautiful treasures in 2014.  I'm still trying to find my way around balancing shopkeeping and working full time, but it is getting a bit easier.  I'm challenging myself to get more organized and stop hoarding (well, maybe just cut back on the hoarding :-) I am, after all, a collector myself ).  I also have a few small home projects/purchases to do this year, so the income from the shop becomes even more important.  With all of that in mind, I'd like to offer a little "Happy Birthday" gift to you in honor of my first year in business.  Just stop by The French Laundry from now until midnight tomorrow (1/6/14) and enter HAPPYBIRTHDAY20 at checkout to receive 20% off on all purchases over $20.  Now that Christmas is over, it is a good time for you to pick up that special something you've been wanting for yourself at a special price.

Until next time,

Pin It!