Saturday, April 9, 2011

Some Things That Inspire Me

I'm gearing up to check out two new flea markets this weekend, I love Spring because it means flea markets and tag sales. Oh, and magnolia blossoms!

I am trying to go to the fleas/tag sales with specific things in mind to cut down on on-the-spot impulse purchases that I end up not using or even loving. I can love a useless thing, but if it's useless and I don't love it, I don't need to part with the green for it.

I am looking for jewelry, of course, always. I am also looking for old magazines I can use in my decoupage, old cookbooks, vintage Christmas ornaments, anything Danbury Fair or carnival related, anything "old New York". and of course, beat up old guitars.  I also have my vintage obsessions: textiles - particularly kitchen things, Pyrex, cake stands, religious kitsch, old beauty tools, Pfaltzgraff pottery (particularly Nordic Green which was discontinued in 1971 and given to me by my grandmother - except hers didn't have the flower, so I look for the plain), and many other things which I love or hoard and use in my crafting.

I love Coney Island, and the aura of decay it has around it's bright carnival colors. I know that they're re-vamping it, which breaks my heart just a little bit. Kind of like when they cleaned up Times Square.  I guess I'm a little demented and like things just a little bit seedy.  Developers want to turn Coney Island into a year-round destination with new hotels and possibly a casino.  Big changes!

One thing I hope never changes is the amazing Mermaid Parade held every year right around the end of June. A DIY-parade full of handmade costumes and floats. (all sea-themed). One year I took my family down there to see the fun, we missed the actual parade, but saw a lot of participants on the beach. I love the colors in this woman's costume:

She was with a large group of people painted and clothed in similar ways:

And here is some of that fabulous decayed carnival color I love:

I want to incorporate some of this feeling in a piece without it looking too "tropical" - because it's the decay along with the bright colors that thrills me.

One of my favorite restaurants in the world is Milon on 2nd Avenue between 5th and 6th Street in Manhattan.

 The Bangladeshi cuisine is delicious, and because the restaurant is located right around the corner from "Indian Row" the prices are very low in order to stay competitive. Being a starving artist in NYC is easy if you eat at Milon often. Like I did. Every time I go there, they add even more insanity to the ceilings and the walls. I am only 5' 3" and I even need to duck sometimes under strings of Christmas lights and chili pepper lights and sometimes hanging beach balls. This photo doesn't do it justice. It's bright, colorful, chaotic, and it totally works. I really like the deep jewel tones of the seat covers and how they play off the burgundy walls and the reflective wallpaper. If you are in the neighborhood, I recommend the chicken tikka mussalam and get the shrimp poori as an appetizer, it's amazing.

I also have to give a shout-out to the Elephant's Trunk, my hometown's local amazing flea market. Every Sunday from 7-2 (open early at 5 for a $20 cover, but I'm too cheap and sleepy for that).

Last week I picked up some howlite and ceramic beads, a few vintage postcards, and some foreign coins for my friend's six year old son, Buster.

These pictures are from last summer, but these give a good overview of what catches my eye when I'm wandering up and down seemingly endless aisles.  I never know when I'll find treasure, and I admit it, half the thrill is the hunt!
I am so in love with this lampshade! It reminded me of pom-pom trim and how much I love it.

I added red pom-pom trim to my monkey guitar, and to my kitchen curtains.

Isn't this a delicious jumble? I love to dig in there for possible pendants or connectors or even old glass beads I can re-use.

I love the crosses and of course, Hello Kitty.

I look forward to what I might find tomorrow.

Today I'm working on cleaning up this insane house and hope to get at least an hour in the studio tonight before going out with some old friends.  I've been making lots of earrings lately.  I'm also working on finding ways of using that green-dyed howlite that I bought last weekend without it being too bulky or overload, I like it mixed with hematite.

If anybody is out this weekend in search of treasure - happy hunting! 


  1. Hi there
    I enjoyed your post as I love treasure hunting as well! You mentioned old I picked up on in an antiques mall about fondue! It's an original from the 70's so I'm sure there are some great recipes inside!
    Have a great weekend! :-)

  2. Oooh! I bet it has great illustrations/photos! And how can you go wrong with fondue? Nice find!

  3. Oh you'd go spaz for some of the stuff I found this weekend! Cook books, facetted glass beads, pyrex and jewellery are just a few. I'll be showing some of it on my blog soon. Love the New York info, It'll be a while before I can afford to go back so it's a treat for me to dream from afar.xx.


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