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Sunday, December 29, 2013

December wrap up..

Hey guys! Where did December go? I have been busy with all the usual December activities..setting my personal bars too high as to what I felt I needed to "accomplish"...soaring high in some aspects and failing miserably in others..mostly pulling through in a half-assed "oh well..that is as good as it is getting!" December is always stressful to me as a mom and a self appointed "person in charge of the Christmas wonderfulness for the family". My loving husband tells me I am nuts and ever so logically "Just skip it if it stresses you out or get the kids to help" Ha! Such a "manswer"! Oh well..another Christmas passed and everyone seemed happy and I can get back to business as usual.

We had our last daughter get engaged just before Christmas making this year "The Year of Engagements" at our house as all 3 of our older kids got engaged this year..causing our 11 year old to comment, "They are dropping like flies!"

The new year brings the usual eat exercise more..and mostly for me, "Just DO it" live with take a leap of faith and use my God given talents and see what happens! I remember in my 20's thinking I was too young for anyone to take me seriously and now, in the blink of an eye I am 50 and worrying about being too old! So This year I say screw it. I am going to make art for art's sake and not worry so much about it having a "purpose" or a use. Yes I will still make pillows and totes and whatnot, but I will also make "art"  instead of looking at other people's work and thinking, "I could do that" ..just DO it!

I also plan to be myself more often. Some days I look in the mirror and see glimpses of the "old me", but some days I do not recognize the person I see..Julie has been lost to Mom, Honey and Nina(Gramma). I had a mini "moment" (episode..meltdown..whatever) in Target while Christmas shopping with my husband and daughter and the boys. I saw a pair of red suede high heeled boots with nailhead studs that were totally the old/inner "me'...but I started justifying them to myself..where would I even wear them? I only go to the grocery store, the post office and church! What would I wear them with? I bet they would make my feet hurt..those are for young girls...So after some moments of "What has become of ME? I am old and chubby and now wearing granny panties instead of "fancy pants"because they looked comfy!" I put them back on the shelf. And Christmas Eve night when I opened a gift from my daughter..there they were! So I guess now I will be wearing them even if it IS only to the grocery store, post office or church! I also need to ditch the granny panties if, while they are comfy, they make me feel bad in other ways! (I also got some lovely Amy Butler yardage in 4 patterns that I am going to have to be brave enough to cut into and make something for ME!)

I plan to baby myself a bit more try not to justify every purchase. I plan also to give more to charities because even though we don't have a lot, we are way better off than a lot of people in the world. I plan to work harder at my business and TRY to be a BIT more organized! When you have several irons in the fire, it is hard sometimes to juggle and keep all the balls in the air..I think I mixed metaphors there..

 These photos have been some wonderful vintage Christmas items I have sold this year....

 ..and some of my own pieces. So as the dust settles on 2013, I step bravely into year 2014..

With more courage, less procrastination, more productivity and more ME! I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and Holiday season and wishing you all health and happiness in 2014!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Foggy morning photos

 Hi guys! This morning it was foggy when I was taking my son to school. I took my camera and took a couple photos. I love foggy mornings..they are just so mysterious! The fog blankets out the power lines and the ugly. My pix were quick and not that great , but I did have fun playing with them in Picasa. I like making them "landscape-y". I don't consider myself a photographer..I have no clue about camera settings (which you will painfully see on my next post! lol) I do like to "play" with them though.

 I can make them look even dreamier....

 There was rain dripping off the leaves.

 I like the play of the branches against the foggy background.

 They remind me of silhouettes or scherenschnitte paper cuttings. I like the pinkish sky with the mossy/ mustard greens and chocolate brown here..a possible future color combo on another project!

This shade of grey is inspiring my new living room wall paint color. I have photos of the Small Town Christmas night out that was on Saturday, but they weren't as pretty as this morning! Hope you all are having a great day! 'Til next time! Julia

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving snowfall

 Hi guys! It has been sooo long since I grabbed  my camera and headed outside. I actually snapped these on my way to the van to go grocery shopping this morning. My son Jack was sooo bummed that they had today off school because if they had regular school, it would have been called off for "SNOW". LOL..Yes..this tiny dab of snow is enough to get school called off in TN. I of course have to haul out my "When I was a kid in SD, if you could see 2 feet in front of the bus there was school" stories. (Totally true!)

The holidays tend to make me feel a bit blue.We are 18 hours or more away from our family in the Midwest. We have been here in East TN for 25 years now. We have spent a couple holidays "back" but my husband generally can't get time off in November or December. So while I listen to my sisters "talk" on Facebook saying things like "I'll bring the buns, I'll bring the dessert!" I get to make the whole shebang!

 I do feel blessed though. I have a wonderful husband and kids. When I load my van after grocery shopping, I always say a prayer of thanks that we have money to BUY food and that it is so easily available.

I do love snow in comes and goes quickly! This is an old barn cupola I have over our well head.

                           Fresh snow can make almost anything prettier!

 It even improved the looks of my disastrous wash out of a garden. We got so much rain this year, it got drowned out! My cucumbers yellowed and died  and my tomatoes rotted on the vines. Oh well..maybe next year!

So today I took a moment to see the Good Lord's improvements to my landscape and to give thanks! Hoping you all (or as they say here in TN..y'all) have a great, restful, thankful Thanksgiving! Til next time! Julia

Monday, November 25, 2013

Upcycled Vintage roof tin, antique hardware and chandelier prism hearts Flea Market Hearts

 Hi guys! I have been busy this past week working on more bottle brush trees for my Etsy shop (you can see them now in my Etsy mini in the upper right corner of my blog..when I list more things they may move down the totem pole and disappear from my mini but will be in my shop). I have glitter and mica allll over! People tend to give me a puzzled look in public..I think they are trying to figure out if there is a stripper retirement home around here someplace! LOL. I spent some time Saturday making lemonade out of lemons.

 I got a batch of these old shabby wonderful tin roof tiles in February at an antique auction in frozen Indiana. I had them for sale hoping others would "get" their cool factor and possibilities.

 As my friend Debbie likes to say, "Sometimes you have to draw those dots reeeally close together!" I said the heck with the dots..I'm just going to draw the picture! The tiles are approx. 10" x 14". I cut a pattern that would utilize the most of the tile as possible..2 large hearts tip to tip and 2 small ones squeezed into the sides.

 I added antique brass hardware bits. These are a couple of the 100's we got in SC a couple weekends ago. I am saving the complete ones to sell and I am crafting with the "bits". I may list some of the bits also..I can only use so many..right? (They make me all "hoarde-y")

 I added vintage crystal chandelier prisms from my stash. The tiles have a shabby silvery aluminum paint that reads as pearly white..and of course the wonderful bare metal and rusty bits showing through here and there!

 I gave the small ones vintage keys (brass) that I had verdegris-ed. (Use vinegar and salt solution..spray and sprinkle with more salt)

 I added rusty wire scroll-y handles and dangles of vintage crystal chandelier prism buttons and vintage pearly beads from my stash. I got a spool of wonderful rusty wire at an estate sale this summer. People probably think I am nuts to get all giddy over rusty wire but... I love that these have the rusty/metal/industrial against the pretty/scroll-y/ girly prisms and pearls!

The key to your heart! These are going in my local booth this week. They are having a big Christmas shindig this Saturday. They will probably end up in my handmade Etsy shop. If you see one you want..just let me know and if it is available, I'll make you a special listing. The small ones are $10 and the big ones are $20. Hope you all are having a productive week!  (Oh I forgot to tell you about all the antique aqua apothecary bottles I got this week! I'll post those next time..check back!) 'Til next time! Julia

Monday, November 11, 2013

My weekend finds Antique baby dresses, dolls, wicker perfume bottle and a sock monkey!

 Hi guys! Some new finds from an antique sale this weekend (and a couple things that have been languishing around the house) I love vintage and antique baby dresses. The one above is a sheer circa 1950's sweet! I like these just for decor as I have no small girls anymore.

 This is a vintage or antique silk baby jacket. It is so lightweight and yet has gorgeous details.When we got to the antique sale I was rather unimpressed..I just didn't see much that was for me. I did spy these though and was the high bidder! I did find a few gems mixed in with the stuff I didn't I guess you never know!

 I am a sucker for the fine details..entredeaux and the embroidery.

 It is sheer and super lightweight but lustrous! (Hem detail) The small mother of pearl buttons have chain stitched loops instead of buttonholes.

 This one is my fav. All cotton eyelet lace and pleating..I can't imagine dressing a child in this back in the time of so much mud and soot..and hand washing and sad ironing!

 The details are amazing...

 Sigh....I made a christening gown for my children with all the french seams, entredeaux and mini pleats..but I did mine with a sewing machine!

                        It has an inset in the front skirt and ruffles all around the rest..

                                                        Sweet puffed sleeves...

                                                          The back ties closed.

                               It is signed in ink Pritchard 1879 on the back inside !

                                               This one is a bit newer..more 1890's 1900's.

                                                     Again heavy embroidery.

                 The waist would have had a ribbon inserted in the lace beading.

                                                  Ornate puffed sleeves...

                                                        and sweet!

 I also got this cool primitive Chinese checkers board. I love its folk art style.

  I couldn't pass these up! They are Japan bisque dolls. The spare little arms are going to be listed as jewelry parts. I am itching to use them myself, but I have so much backed up already!

                                       There are 2 in this frozen Charlotte style.

 And this older one marked Nippon (Japan) that needs restringing..pretty face.

                              I believe this tiny one was for the doll house.

                                                                  Just so cute!

 This wicker bottle was a great buy. I bought it because I like wicker covered bottles, but I think it is quite old.

 I found out that Johann Maria Farina is one of the oldest perfumeries (started in 1709) and that this was a cologne bottle. It appears to be a handmade bottle and seems to have a hand scripted label which reads Johann Maria Farina gegenuber dem Markt Platz No. 31 which means "across from the Market Square" (or marketplace). The only thing is that all the bottles I have seen online are marked "gegenuber dem Julichs Platz" which is a different address? I found the Johann Maria Farina museum online and e-mailed them my questions so we shall see what comes of it.

 Sock monkey!! My gramma had one of these in her toybox when I was little. She had 14 children so most of her toys were VERY well played with!

 I got this shabby miss a couple weeks ago. She is composition with a stuffed body and unmarked. She is bald on the back of her head (poor baby). Her dress looks to be old feedsack fabric.

 Her face has a sweet Kathe Kruse look. She had a couple companions that are also lurking waiting to be cleaned up a bit before their photo sessions.

 I got a bunch of Raggedy Ann's this weekend. This is a large Knickerbocker. Most of the rest were handmade ones that are going up to my local booth.

This one was a Playskool still in box..a Christmas one that I thought was too new to list as vintage on Etsy, but when  read her box I figured out she is from 1989.A couple of these items will be going on EBay, but most will be available in my Etsy shop in the next few days. I have a ton more to photograph and list so I guess I know what my week holds! Here's hoping you have a productive week too! Til next time..Julia