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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Vintage finds turn into vintage keepsake

Good Morning in Blogland!
I couldn't wait to make this post. A few posts back I listed some vintage finds I made at the antique mall. Here's a reminder:

It wasn't completed in time for Valentine's, but that's okay, She's has more of an anniversary/wedding theme or as a birthday Angel. I had to finish embroidering the leaves on the 1940's hankie. I only did one corner. I didn't want to take a chance on the piece shredding. The doll needed a little work too. Her hair needed to be coiffed a little better and her hand-crocheted dress had some.... revealing holes. For almost 70 years old these vintage finds fixed up and came together nicely.

This is an Everlasting Love Angel.
Her 'wings' were created by using a 1930-40 tam of net, silk, and velvet haberdashery flowers and foliage's. The flowers actually create a crown for her hair. The satin and velvet ribbon of the tam makes a nice bustle for the back. For a little surprise she stands atop a 1960's glass amber globe, making her taller so that her skirt flows. A small battery powered votive is placed inside the globe (very low wattage) and she has become a nightlight. Sorry I can't show the glow my flash won't turn off.

This is the close up of her copper and rhinestone heart charm. Her wings have a larger copper filigree heart accenting her wings and bustle.

Here's her close-up. I love the face. I didn't have to touch-up her 'make-up' at all. She's all original. If you look closely she has a necklace of amber Sworovski crystals around her neck.
The bottom of her 'skirt' sports more Sworovski crystals. In this pic you can see how the hand-embroidery gives a little more texture to the hankie.
I just love it when a design comes together.
Oh, remember the 1950's flower hat in the same post back in Jan.,( Susan of Black-eyed Susan's Kitchen reminded me that that hat was very similar to one worn by Mrs. C on Happy Days! ) well I'm almost finished with that angel. I can't wait to show you this one.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It's Time For Spring!!

I don't know about you all, but I am definitely ready for some spring! Since I'm also a Master Floral Designer, I thought it high time I share some of my garden beauties to brighten your day. This is a photo of just everyday French carnations, Peruvuian lilies, Viking mums, chrysanthemums, heather, and liatris, in a little, colorful, french country Mille Fleur design. The butterfly just makes me wish my gardens outside were in full bloom, but no such luck it's still cold and drab outside.

This is really spring. It's our Prairie Basket. We take grapevine and weave amongst the flowers with ivy then add 'wildflowers' with accents of dried blossoms and leaves. The tulips pushing up past the dried leaves really signals spring. A little tidbit of info. Ever wonder why when you get an arrangement with tulips in it and you wake up the next morning and they seem to be out of place from the design, kind of sticking out of line? The first thing you think is the cat or dog have been batting at it. Don't blame them. A fresh tulip will continue to grow once it's been taken from the mother can grow up to an inch longer for a few days, then the bloom will open. If you place an open tulip in the cold...33-38* it'll close back up to reopen again.
There is so much misinformation about flowers out there. A fresh flower--rose, carnations, daisy mum, carnation, and many more varieties--can last for 2 weeks when taken care of properly, but the key word is fresh and proper care.. For example: When we receive tulips from the grower. They aren't showing color, they are green. We place in warm water with a hydrating solution, makes water wetter, it's a chemical thing, anyway, it can take a couple of days before they show color. Then they are ready to use, but they are tight and will take time to fully open. Fresh flowers they should just be breaking open and to do that they have to be processed with hydrating chemicals and preservatives. And, don't get me started on the different grades of flowers. Did you know a rose is not rose, is not a rose. There are at least 8 different grades in roses alone. Enough right now of standing on my 'flower box'
I love being able to come in and open boxes of flowers. The fragrance is delish..pungent carnations, sweet waxflower, aromatic roses...they chase all the winter blue away. I wish we had a smellaputer. The fragrances would just waft through your screen and surround you.
Sorry, but it beats Calgon taking you away any day.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Busy as a Bee

Phew! I have been as busy as a bee getting ready for Valentines Day, completing some unfinished projects and starting some new ones. One of the projects I just completed was 10 glass plates embellished or hand-painted to be sold as part of a fund raiser for a gentleman that was diagnosed with lung and brain cancers. Those snow days were really a Godsend last week or I wouldn't have gotten them done. (Put us way behind at the shop, but we'll catch up..we always do.) I was one of five local artists asked to donate our creativity. They could be done any way we wanted in any medium we chose. Here are mine.

The plate was painted a chocolate brown and I added a square of 1960's plaid wool and frayed the edges. The center is a 1940's hand-crocheted flowers accented with a vintage button stack

I wanted something a little modern so I painted this plate black and added a heart made of 1960's floral rayon and 1960's plaid wool. The center is a new heart button. I placed some batting behind the floral print so it stands away from the plate .

This Plate is all hand-painted . I gave the plate a brown base coat then added a black flecked finish. When it dried I I added a late fall garden scene . It reminds me of a place Hillsboro, Ohio where it's a bird and wildlife wetlands sanctuary with ponds where people can fish. I think Ducks Unlimited has taken it over. It's a quite place just
to sit.

I wanted a plate that was, simplicity. I left the glass clear and added a vintage 1960's round of calico and edged it with a complimentary rickrack. The center is a large daisy button.

This was a fun plate to create. I base coated it with white then added the greens for foliage's and the forget-me-not's. I framed the center with a blue monochromatic hand-crocheted rickrack to make it pop.

I used the reverse painting technique on this plate. I started by applying the lightest colors first and let them dry. I then repeated the process in varying saturations of color. When it all dried I coated the back of the plate in white. I then added a frame of vintage hand-crocheted rickrack to add some texture. The roses look like they're floating on the glass.

This is my Americanna/Monet-esque rendition. I hand-painted the farmhouse scene and accented by framing it with buttons. I didn't realize it until it was all done, but the farmhouse reminds me of my Great-Grandmother's farm, and, the painted gardens could be a picture of my Great-Aunt's carefully tended blooms in her back yard. Hope the people like it..I can smell the roses.

I again added a base coat of brown to the plate with black flecks. I dyed the 1950's doily a litter brown and added a raised medallion covered in natural cotton batting with an applique I created by taking a 1940's hankie and hand-embroidered a sunflower bouquet that was on it and carefully cut it out. This took a while to finish, but I think it was worth it.
This plate is folk art/country. The brown base coat makes the sunset coutryside stand out and the red gingham ruffle adds a little charm.

Now the paint has a to cure a little so it won't chip so easily, and, it's off to the fundraiser later this week. I get so nervous when I do things like this. I can't wait to see what the others did. I think I'll add these to my gallery page of my website. They'll give good examples for customer designs.
As a treat Sunday, since I've been stuck inside working so much, Jim took me on a ride. We went up to Columbus. I'll have some pics late of our excursion and vintage finds.