Friday, July 30, 2010

Altered Art Party

The French Cupboard is hosting an altered art party today.  I wanted to join the party but unfortunately I wasn't able to complete a new altered project this week to share.

So I hope you don't mind if I cheat and repost some pictures of some altered cabinet cards I made last year for Christmas.  These cards were a lot of fun to make and generated a lot of conversation last year as we decided which altered card best represented each of us.

Santa's Helper wants to know.....
Have you been naughty.......
Or nice.......


Be sure and head over to the French Cupboard to view some beautiful altered art projects.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Jane

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Bargain Barn

On my lunch hour today I shopped at a "Bargain Barn", a store full of closeouts and overstocks.  The store had a HUGE supply of hardware.  Most of the nuts and bolts type of hardware was sold by the pound.  It was really interesting to look through the pieces and think about how they could be utilized.

After browsing the aisles for almost an hour I came home with a few unusual hardware pieces that I thought I could use in various projects.

These pieces were marked "Bearings".  I loved the silver and black finish and the raised design on these.  They measure 2" in diameter.

I thought the bearing was very pretty on it's own so I took one and simply hung it on a black ribbon.  A super simple jewelry creation.
I took a second bearing and glued a button in the center.  I then glued a pin on the back and I can now wear it as a brooch or pin it to the center of a rosette.

I have several old bubble glass magnifying paperweights that I have purchased at thrift stores and flea markets over the past year just waiting for a redo.  I took one of the paperweights, a bearing and one of the keys I purchased in London for a third project.
After layering the bearing and the key on a copy of a vintage London map (I ended up not using the dictionary paper for this project but the vintage London map instead), the map was cut to fit the bottom of the paperweight and then glued in place.  I love how this paperweight showcases one of my thrifty London finds.


 These pieces I found were marked Leg Inserts.  They are about the size of a quarter.
The shape reminded me of a flower so that's what I turned them into.  I took some wire and wrapped it around the top of the insert and then twisted the wire to create a stem.  I added a button in the center of the "flower" and then grouped three "flowers" in an old wood spool I decorated with some black paint and scrapbook paper.  I then tied the three "flowers" together with a piece of vintage lace.  The bouquet now sits on one of the shelves in my studio.

I found and bought more interesting hardware items today but I'll wait and share those later.

I'll be away the rest of the week for a business meeting.  I hope you are enjoying your week.

Jane

Friday, July 23, 2010

Repurposed Muffler Clamp

I shopped at one of my local thrift stores this week and came across this heavy duty muffler clamp for $1.00.
I don't have a clue how this clamps a muffler but I had another idea on how I could use the clamp.
See the nuts at the bottom of the clamp. 
I unscrewed these until they were level with the bottom of the screw so the clamp would stand upright
Next I slid a postcard in between the clamp ring and the base.
And I had an instant photo/postcard holder for a reproduction vintage postcard that I purchased during our trip to Paris.
 This project took less than a minute to create and I love the results.  I think I might have to hit the automotive store on my next shopping trip.

Of course I'm going to use this opportunity to show you some of the pictures I took of the Eiffel Tower on my vacation.  I think I came home with a few dozen pictures of the Eiffel Tower from every conceivable angle.  I'm only going to bore you with a few.





Have a wonderful weekend.

Jane

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My First Blog Anniversary and White Wednesday.

A year ago today I started my blog.  My first post was short and sweet and didn't include any photos (at the time I didn't know how to add photos).  Here's what I had to say a year ago:
After months of viewing and following a number of wonderful blogs, I decided to take the plunge and create my own blog. Welcome to my first posting. My goals are not too lofty. I hope to share some of my ideas and projects and connect with others who share the same passion for creating with vintage objects, photos and ephemera.
Thanks for stopping by.......more to come later!

After reading that first post again today I realized that, with your support, I achieved the goals that I established for myself last year.  The comments, support and encouragement that you all have given me this past year built my confidence to share my ideas and projects.  I have met so many wonderful people through my blog and have definitely connected with many of you because of our shared love of all things vintage. 

So thank you for your visits to my blog.  I don't think my goals for my 2nd year of blogging are going to change.  More projects to share and new bloggers to meet!

Before I sign off I wanted to share a few pictures of the London Eye for White Wednesday. 

The London Eye is the UK’s most popular paid for visitor attraction, visited by over 3.5 million people a year.  There are 32 capsules on the London Eye and it can carry 800 passengers per revolution.  Each revolution of the Eye takes about 30 minutes, meaning a capsule travels at a speed of .6 miles per hour, allowing passengers to step on and off without the wheel having to stop.
 
We were fortunate to get to ride the London Eye on our recent visit to London. 
The views from the ride were amazing.  It was a beautiful day and we could see for miles.

 My husband and son enjoying the ride.
Thanks for stopping by.  Please head over to Kathleen @ Faded Charm for her White Wednesday party.  There are always so many beautiful shades of white to be found.

Jane

Monday, July 19, 2010

Nifty Thrifty Tuesday - Vacation Finds

We enjoyed 10 fun-filled days in Europe on our vacation.  Four were spent in and around London and Cambridge, three in Paris and three in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Luckily my friend Paula and I found some time in that schedule to travel to London to shop on Portobello Road.  
(Portobello road has been a market since the 1800's but became famous for its antiques in the 1950's. On weekends you can find the street lined with stalls offering everything from antiques to clothes, jewelry, ceramics, music and food.) 

After a 45 minute train ride from Cambridge to London and two subway transfers from the train station to our destination, Paula and I arrived at our stop for a full day of shopping.
It didn't take long to figure out where we were going once we got off the subway.....we just followed the HUGE crowds!  The crowds on the street on a Saturday during the height of tourist season are not for the faint of heart.  It was very hot and very busy but that didn't dampen our enthusiasm for hunting for some nifty, thrifty treasures to bring home.  Since I did have some luggage constraints to consider, I had to be selective about my purchases.  No big pieces to try and stuff into my suitcase! 
One of the first places we stopped was at this table of costume jewelry.  Piles of rhinestones! 
I came home with these two pieces.  I'm not exactly sure how I will use them but I think they'll be incorporated into a couple of new jewelry pieces. 
I fell in love with this store, Alice's.  They had some wonderful items inside but they did not allow photography. 
Inside Alice's I found this old apothecary bottle and knew it would be a great addition to my collection.  At the cost of 5 pounds I thought it was a good price so it came home with me.  
                         
I found an outside vendor selling silver pieces.  In one box he had several pieces priced at 2 pounds apiece.  I picked out these five.  I've got some projects in mind for these that I'll post about later.
There were lots of vendors selling scarves.  The vendor where I bought this scarf had a sign that read "Vintage lace scarves".  Nice try with the "Made in China" label but I thought the scarf was pretty and I loved the flower detail so this made it's way home too. 
I have been wanting a cross for my silver chain and I found this lacy, silver cross that I was told was made in the 1930's.  There's no way of really knowing but I thought it was a pretty piece for the price of 10 pounds. 
I love old keys so I was very happy to find a gentleman selling old clock keys.  He was very sweet and told me how he cleaned all the keys before he brought them to market.  I got these for 1 pound apiece. 
As many of you know, I collect a lot of things.  I was very excited to find these two vintage hand mirrors to add to my growing collection.  They are going to be hung in my guest bathroom with the other 15 I own. 
I couldn't pass on these neat old Lexicon cards.  The lettered cards will be fun to use in art projects.  I think I'm going to frame the "E" card and add it to my wall of "E"s (another collection of mine). 
And last but not least....a fun, pink vintage clock to add to my clock collection.  I already have this on the shelf with all of my other vintage clocks. 
Wow.....I didn't think I bought that much until I wrote this post!  It was a fun day of shopping for my own kind of London souvenirs.

I'm linking with Linda @ Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday.  Head over to Linda's blog to check out all of the thrifty finds.

Jane

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Friendship

My family and I returned home from our vacation on Wednesday and we had a wonderful time.  We were able to hear Big Ben in London and ride the London Eye, to view the Eiffel Tower and all the major sites in Paris and to tour the gorgeous Edinburgh Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland.  We came home with a lot of pictures and a lot of wonderful memories.

This trip wasn't without it's challenges.  Back in January I shared in my blog that my husband had been diagnosed with ALS, often referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Over the last six months there has been some progression of the disease, most notably in my husband's ability to walk.  Walking short distances around the house or from a car to a building is possible with a cane, but any longer distance than that tires him out too easily. This trip required the use of a wheelchair and it was a big hurdle for all of us, both emotionally and physically.

But this post isn't about the downside of maneuvering a wheelchair on planes, trains, subways and busy streets.  This post is about friendship and support.  This trip could not have been possible without our friends, Paula and Jerry.   They were our neighbors when we lived in California (1998-2001) and they remain best friends today.  Paula and Jerry currently live in Cambridge, England and we have been looking forward to visiting them since they moved there last year.  Their unselfish support the two weeks we were visiting will be the one clear memory that stands out from this trip.

So, Paula and Jerry, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your friendship, love and support.  We look forward to visiting again!

I'm looking forward to sharing a few pictures (I promise, not too many) and a few of my European finds on upcoming posts.  Right now I'm still trying to get caught up on work, laundry and mail.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Jane

Thursday, July 1, 2010

See You Soon

I'll be taking some time off from blogging for a couple of weeks as my family and I enjoy a long awaited vacation.

Our bags are packed.
Our passports are ready.
Our cute little dog is in good hands with my brother and sister-in-law (thanks guys!).

And I've been practicing my French.
We'll be spending some time in France, England and Scotland with friends who are currently living in the UK.  Hope our trip goes better than the Griswald's European vacation!

I hope everyone enjoys a wonderful, safe 4th of July weekend.

Jane