Monday, August 30, 2010

Book Cover Art

We've all seen pages from books being utilized for all sorts of wonderful projects but what happens to the book covers after all of the pages have been removed?

If you need some inspiration on how to use the book covers head over to Amy @ Mittens .  Amy is hosting a book cover art party and there will be some great ideas on how to use the book covers in altered art projects.

I found this old book cover, as is, at an antique store for $1.00.  I loved the border on the cover and thought it would be a perfect mat for an old family photo.  The book cover measures 9.5" x 12.5".
While at the store I didn't take the time to turn the cover over.  So I was very pleased when I got home and saw this inscription on the one page that was left attached to the cover.
Wm. Henry Swain
The beautiful handwriting of William's grandmother was as clear today as I imagine it to be on the day she wrote the inscription to her grandson 137 years ago.

I knew right then that my book cover art wouldn't highlight the front of the book cover but would be focused on the inscription page to honor the grandmother that gave the book to her grandson in 1873.

With nothing more to go on then a name and a date I took some liberties with the items I chose to use on my book cover art piece.

I found a tin-type photo in my collection of old photos and thought this woman could represent a grandmother in the 1870's.

I also dug around my stash of supplies and found some vintage lace and old bottles to incorporate into the piece.

Now here's where I admit that the piece isn't finished.  I wanted to join Amy's party but did not have the time to put all the finishing touches on the project.  Here's a picture of the layout I have planned.
I like how the bottle necks frame the inscription and bring some depth to the piece.  But I want to slightly alter the bottles with some vintage paper, lace and buttons before I attach them to the book cover.  I may use the bottles as vases to hold small flowers or possibly solder and age the tops.

I 'm not adding a lot of frills to the piece because the woman in the picture does not look like the frilly type.  To me she represents a strong woman in a simpler time whose love for her grandson still resonates after 137 years.

Please link back to Amy's blog and enjoy all of the book cover art being shared.

I'm also linking this with Linda @ Coastal Charm for her Nifty Thrifty Tuesday  party.  This was a thrifty project to put together with a total cost of no more than $5.00.  Head over to Linda's to view 100's of other thrifty finds.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Little of This, A Little of That

I hope everyone had a nice weekend.

My weekend was filled with a little thrifting, a little creating, a little socializing and a little bit of relaxation.

This weekend when I hit the thrift store I was keeping my eyes open for things I could use for my Fall/Halloween mantel display.  My plan is to decorate this year with a more neutral/natural palette with a little bit of the traditional orange and black mixed in.

I already have some things on hand.....old books, cabinet cards and burlap (I found 4 yards of burlap at the thrift store last week.  I guess the person who donated it doesn't read blogs to know how hot burlap is right now).

Here are some of the things I found this weekend while shopping that will also get incorporated into the mantel:

A wonderful, old, chippy white basket that will be filled with twigs or pine cones.  I think I'll make a banner to hang from handle to handle.

Three large spools.  I'm going to place small pumpkins or gourds on top of each spool to add some height to the display (the larger spool
is going to get repainted black). 
Some vintage bottles.  I need to visit the Graphics Fairy to get some wonderful old Halloween graphics to decorate these.

And an oval frame that I already spray painted black.  I have a wonderful bird silhouette from a 1925 book that will be perfect for the frame.  I'm going to scan the page, clean it up and remove the words before I frame it.  I'll post it once I get the scan finished in case any of you would like to use the silhouette in a project.

So that's what I have so far.  I don't plan on decorating the mantel for a few more weeks but it's nice to have everything ready!

My creative time this weekend yielded 10 more skeleton photo holders (almost finished)
and two small "Key to my Heart" framed pieces I created using vintage frames, crocheted hearts and keys that I have found while thrifting.

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you all have a wonderful week.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

White Wednesday Thrifty Find

It's time once again for White Wednesday hosted by Kathleen @ Faded Charm.  Thanks to Kathleen for hosting this wonderful party.  There are always lots of pretty whites to see so stop by and check out all of the the links.

I got to stop by my favorite thrift store yesterday.  The good news.....50% off day, the bad news....pretty picked over.

But of course I did not leave totally empty handed.  For $1.00 I came home with this box of unpainted (and dirty) Halloween ceramic pieces.

Every October I participate in a fall craft show in my hometown with my mother.  I thought these could be utilized in a project that I could sell at the show.

I took one of the skeletons and gave it a fresh coat of white paint.

I then antiqued it with some watered down black paint. 

I glued the skeleton to a wood block that I papered, painted and distressed and then I added a wire photo holder that was dressed up with a few black beads.

My finished photo holder is now displaying a 1967 Halloween photo of me and my siblings.

I've done several posts about different photo holders I've made with my thrifty finds.  I really like the versatility of the holders as they can also be used for displaying banners, vintage postcards, for place cards at a dinner or to hold a menu card for a buffet. 

Now, back to more painting!

Thanks for stopping by.  I really appreciate your visits.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Letters From Home

August, 1978
I was 18 years old and leaving home for my first year of college.

There were no computers, no facebook accounts, no e-mails, no cell phones.  I didn't even have a phone in my dorm room.  To call home I had to use a pay phone in the dorm lobby.

Back then most of my communication came in the form of a handwritten letter.
And it was a great day when I got a letter from home.

I kept all of the letters I received during my years at college.  They have been stored away in a bin with my other college memorabilia and pretty much forgotten for the past 30 years.

But this morning I went looking for them.


My son leaves for his first year of college tomorrow.  As we packed and prepared for his new adventure I got a little nostalgic for my days at school.

So I dug out the letters and I sat and read them for over an hour this morning.

Letters from my mother filling me in on all the latest happenings around town (one in particular had me smiling as my mother described how she was going to celebrate her big 50th birthday.....since I just celebrated my 50th this summer I really enjoyed reading this one).

Letters from my Grandma writing how she was coping after the death of my Grandpa.

Letters from high school friends who were experiencing college life at different schools around the country.

And letters from my younger sister....most of which were written during school hours when she should have been paying attention to her teachers.  Most of her letters described the latest party she attended, how late she had stayed out and the classes she ditched to go to the Dairy Queen.  I really loved rereading those letters and had to call her today to remind her what a "wild child" she was.

In the technological age we now live in I know most of the communication with my son will be via cell phone, facebook, text or e-mail.

But after holding my letters from home in my hands today and rereading what was going on in my family's life over 30 years ago, I think he just might be receiving some handwritten letters from home from me.

Who knows....maybe he'll be reading them to his kids 30 years from now.

I'm joining Kathleen @ Faded Charm for her popular White Wednesday party.  Please be sure and link back to Kathleen's blog to see what other wonderful whites are being shown today.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Vintage Black Friday

Today is Vintage Black Friday hosted by The French Cupboard

I thought it was about "time" that I joined the party and show you some of my vintage black alarm clocks (corny, I know).

My collection of vintage clocks continues to grow.  I found one today at a thrift store which brings my total count to 31.  Most of the clocks are Westclox and I am amazed that out of the 31 clocks not one is a duplicate.  I've got black clocks, cream clocks, silver clocks, brown clocks and one pink clock.

Here are some of the black clocks that are a perfect fit for Vintage Black Friday:

Happy Vintage Black Friday

Sunday, August 1, 2010

More Picture Holders

Last week I posted about shopping in the hardware department of a Bargain Barn and I pictured a couple of simple projects using pieces I purchased that day.

Today I want to show you how I used another one of the hardware items I picked up last week.

When I saw these small angle brackets (approximately 1" across x 3/4" from the top edge to the bend) I immediately thought about using them for a picture holder.

My thought was to stack one bracket on top of the other leaving a slight gap between the two to accomodate a photo or postcard.  The holes in the brackets made it perfect to join the two pieces together by screwing them into a piece of wood.
Now as luck would have it I found a huge box of wood pieces at a thrift store the same day I found all the hardware (I know it sounds too good to be true but it really happened that way).  Several of the pieces were cut to a 2 1/2" x 1" size....perfect as the base for my photo holder.

I painted the wood black, adhered some scrapbook paper on all sides, distressed and antiqued it and screwed the brackets to the top.  
This is a picture of the back of the photo holder.
And here is the front. The ones I have made so far are Halloween themed.  I participate in a fall craft show in my hometown and I think they will be perfect for my booth.
Here's the holder displaying a 1993 Halloween picture of my son.
And here's a second holder I made displaying a 1992 Halloween photo.
I think I'm going to have fun making more of these.  I have plans to make some to display back to school pictures and some for Christmas photos and cards.  I think they would make great recipe holders too.
Have a great week.