Friday, May 20, 2011

Quick Check-In

This has been a crazy week!  My "day job" has been very busy lately, which is good for the global economy but rough on my personal interests.  I work in exporting for a large corporation that makes packaging material - my department is responsible for the coordination of the shipping of large volumes of our product to our other distribution centers world-wide.  When WE are getting busy it means that manufacturing is on the rise, because world-wide, manufacturing companies use our packaging products to ship THEIR products all over.  Two summers ago we were so slow, it was awful.  Right now we're humming, so maybe things will start picking up everywhere? Let's hope!

I had every intention to photograph the things I picked up at a few tag/estate sales on Saturday, but Saturday night was a multi-year high school reunion in my hometown (half an hour south of where I now live) and a bunch of my old friends were going to be there.  We had such a good time - we ended up comandeering the karaoke machine which meant I was unable to talk on Sunday, but we tore it up and laughed so much.  I stayed out way past my bedtime and was exhausted all day Sunday despite the fact that I didn't drink any alcohol.  I guess I'm too old to be a party monster, but I don't think I'll stop trying every now and then.

I did want to mention the crazy time-capsule house I went to in Trumbull, CT.  Flocked wall paper, mural of Tuscany in the kitchen, at least 8 different patterns of full settings of dishes - she was your prototypical Italian grandma!  Her midcentury furniture was to DIE for.  I wanted to take pictures but the two snippy gentlemen that were running the sale watched us all like a hawk and refused to haggle on anything.

The ONE blurry surreptitious photo taken of the "boys" room - colonial wallpaper,
dark pine built in closets/shelves with wrought iron drawer pulls - mid-century
"Colonial" at it's finest...even the lampshade above was a copy of the
Declaration of Independence!
  I walked out of there with some vintage Christmas ornaments, a few silk/chiffon scarves and a rosary.  I just couldn't see spending $125 on an end table, despite how fabulous it was.  I guess I resent people who have antique store prices at estate sales.  I go to estate sales to eliminate the middle man and there he was, sitting at a card table! Grrrrrr.

Anyhow, photos of my loot to follow later this weekend, probably after the few sales I am heading off to tomorrow.

We are having a belated Mother's Day shindig for my mother since neither of my siblings nor I could get our schedules to jibe together until now.  I look forward to seeing my nieces.  I am giving my niece Lorelei, 8, a pile of orgami paper that I haven't used for jewelry, she's really into folding it into little shirts and purses.  I think we have a 4th generation future crafter on our hands!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


A pile of sorters in front of one of my inspiration boards,
again, piles of stuff hanging around needing to be
photographed individually.
Not a lot going on up in the studio this week, I've been torn between family stuff and out at estate sales, I'm also in a semi-holding pattern because I have a bunch of stuff that needs to be posted, and I need to get my act together to photograph them.

I'm also looking into craft fairs coming up, I almost feel like I have "too much" to post online. 

My plans this weekend is to hit a bunch of sales on Saturday and to devote Sunday to photographing my current stockpile of beauties and posting on Etsy.

I think I need to clean up what is hanging around my table before I can get back to making new things - I'm not feeling very motivated.  Partially it's because I have so much on my mind as far as household projects.  I have closets to clean out, big bags to donate to Goodwill, and I'm planning on painting the living room and building "built in" shelves in there.

Our whole house could use a solid decluttering.  As does my mind...I read somewhere once that there was some kind of symbolic gesture in cleaning out the "old" to make way for the new.  I need to do that not only in my studio but in my "real" life as well. 

In the mean time, once I buy shelving material and paint I can let myself get some serious beadshopping done, I have seen some really cool beads on other people's blogs that have made me catch my breath and want to use them as focals or incorporate them in a cascade.  I can't wait to have that extra cash!  I guess I could tap into my "estate/tag sale - thrift store" stash, but that's a small enough stash to begin with. I think the main reason why I even hope to sell any jewelry is so I can flip that cash to buy MORE BEADS! But hey, isn't that the norm? Ha!

Sad pile of rejects - either air bubbles or just general dislike.  Even the
weird sea angel is sad to hold this bowl of uglies.

Resin drying in pendants - I really love that cricket cage/butterfly paper
and the white/blue flowers on the green background.

A bunch of cascade pendants are hanging
around waiting to be photographed for Etsy

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Gift For My Boyfriend's Niece

Randy's niece Brandi's birthday was this past weekend, she's really into video games so we bought her a gift card to Game Stop, but I hate just giving a gift card and always think it's fun for someone to open a little something something.

Last time I saw her she was wearing a ring with a sparkly pink cubic zirconia, so I made her this necklace.

I liked it so much I almost didn't want to give it up :)

I'm going to have similar designs up in my etsy shop within the next week or so -- I have to take better pictures than the one here. I don't know if my problem is lighting or my camera, but once I figure that out, I will be posting a lot of my newer designs.

Monday, May 9, 2011

"Show Me Your Wares"

My title is what my grandmother always said to my mother, aunt, sister and I after we went shopping, if we went shopping without her...we were supposed to open each bag one at a time and show everybody what we purchased, and everyone would "ooh" and "aah".  My grandmother is no longer with us, and I miss her a lot.  My mother, sister and I and our families have vacationed in Cape Cod at the same time for the last two years and my mother, sister and I will still say, "Show me your wares!" after sight seeing or flea marketing on the Cape and laugh, thinking of Grandma Brenner.

That's what Thrift Share Monday feels like for me, so I love it.  Here are my "wares" from the past weekend of tag/estate/church rummage sales:

Milk glass - I especially love the candy dish - both only $1
Yay! An old tube radio -- Randy LOVES these, this was in great shape
even though only the AM works - $5 at a barn sale.

3 strings of lights and upholstery tassel trim (for future guitar projects) a
pretty tin and a quilted lined lunch bag -- this pile cost me $8.25
Note cards, vintage rick rack & bias tape, very old matchbook and
what I THINK are "BeDazzler" bedazzles, but what I am going to use as
push pins on my inspiration board or hammer them into a guitar

One of several 60's era Life magazines I picked up

Things have not changed, the media are still freaked out about
"subteens" growing up too fast.  Watch out for those FANCY HAIRDOS!
You know you want's FESTIVE.

I'm very excited about this issue which is in EXCELLENT
shape and is FULL of photos that I can use for decoupage
One of my HOLY GRAILS!!! This is a reproduction,
but it was way cheaper than it would have been if I bought
it online, which I have been hemming and hawing about.
I love it, it brightens up my kitchen.

NOT SHOWN:  Art Deco End table for $5 - I need to clean it up and I'll post the before/after shots.  I also picked up what I THOUGHT was a costume jewelry ring for $5 -- silver toned with faux sapphires and diamonds...but today I noticed that it was stamped 14K inside the band. Now I'm wondering if it is in fact, real.  I also picked up some Pyrex but will post that in a different post as it was drying in a dish drainer last night while I photographed the other stuff.

I am linking to Apron Thrift Girl, Thrift Share Monday -- because I want to see everybody's wares.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Lights

One of the places I would like to curl up and live in was this lounge in the Marquee - so SPARKLY!!
Is this over the top? I don't think so, I think there's a
place in the world for ropes of crystals to hang from the
ceiling over pink light bulbs, besides a Las Vegas Lounge.

Randy told me that I could do this in my studio, but not on the main
floor.  Sometimes being the only female in the house can really stink.

Actual gondolier singing opera in the Venetian

View of the Strip from our hotel room

:Love this
The Freemont Street Experience is a strange mix of old and new -- Freemont Street was the original "strip" and it's full of the classic old neon we've all seen in the movies and the old TV Show in the 70's .  I have to say that there's some charm in it but it's also kind of nitty-gritty with a very different crowd than the newer Strip - some people say this is the "Real Vegas".  It's definitely worth checking out but I don't think I'll be hanging out here regularly when I meet up with Mothra out there again -- it's a little TOO real for me, if you catch my drift.
Old neon + LED TV screens 

You can see the roof over Freemont that has a non-stop
LED light show, sometimes it's spectacular, other times
it's basically advertising.  It encloses the light and gives it
an almost surreal experience of daylight under there.

The Pioneer was still operating when I drove through
Las Vegas from California on my way back east to CT,
now it's a gift store that has tables proclaiming "Everything
$0.97 Cents!!"

This place has a seedy romantic vibe to it -- we didn't go inside but I read that they
refurbished the interior.

Looking down Freemont Street from El Cortez

And this is the place where I lost most of the winnings from the night before,
and let me tell you, the place was LOADED with second-hand smoke.  As an
ex-smoker, I feel kind of hypocritical complaining about second-hand smoke, but
there was SO MUCH of it that when I woke up the next morning I felt like I
smoked a pack of Camels - non filtered.
One of my FAVORITE places to go was the Pinball Hall of Fame, where
they had pinball machines from many decades, check out this one, it's
so old the numbers aren't digital - they flip! Yes, I played it and it was awesome!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Viva Las Vegas!! Part Two

My best friend Mothra didn't really "get" my love for poking around flea markets, estate sales, vintage stores, thrift stores, tag sales (how we say garage sales in CT) or antique stores looking at "someone else's unwanted or abandoned old crap."  Mothra likes things new and pristine and never-used.  I knew she was indulging my need to check out the Charleston Antique Mart because we have been best friends for 29 years and she loooooves me.

After poking around with me, she is kind of coming around to the Dark Side, and I'm thrilled, it's fun to talk to someone else about the things that make me throw up some jazz hands and squeal.  Like vintage dish towels and travel souvenirs.  I am almost jealous because where she lives in Lake Havasu City, they put out a weekly paper similar to the Pennysaver which is nothing but listings of garage sales/estate sales and fleas.  I  bet there's a lot of great Hollywood Regency stuff out that way!  She even told me via email today she might go out this weekend to some garage sales.  You go, Mothra!

Mothra said "I can't believe how much character everything has - this is at least INTERESTING."  Perhaps one day she will know the sheer joy of gazing over a pile of boring stuff and zeroing in on that ONE thing, feeling her pulse race and the wash of intense glee when you flip the item over and see it's reasonably priced and you have the cash. 

Back to the Charleston!  I want to show you some of the lamps that set my heart ablaze:

What are these dogs, Afghans with haircuts? Greyhounds
with perms? They and their fiberglass lampshade were awesome.

These lampshades were ALL wrong, but I loved loved loved
the teal bases.
Not the original shades, but I loved the shape of these two!
Hollywood Regency at it's over-the-top finest! The lamp
base lit up (red) -- I also loved the bar-cart, too.  This
dealer also had zebra skin chairs and surf records.
My boyfriend loves old tube radios, I like old clocks, I took a few shots of both:

This radio was in GREAT condition and was playing an "oldies" station
Check out this INCREDIBLE gorgeous stereo cabinet!!! Again, fantastic
condition - turntable and radio

Even a slot for records -- just like the stereo I grew up with (except Mom's
was that mid-century faux-colonial...I like this one much better)

I love the rounded corners on this one

A clock radio AND desk lamp!!!

Old rotary phones, clocks, and a Selectric!!! 
Some other fun things...
Swizzle Sticks!!! Oh, how I long for some classic
Vegas Casino swizzle sticks...but not at $5+  I also loved
the TWA "destination" swizzles.

Randy was so close to sporting the below shirt -- the abstract pattern, not the dice on fire
If only it were an XL...the "L" looked a little small in
the arms.

Holy cats! This is just a small section of the whole shelf.

There was a tremendous amount of vintage clothes here, I looked over a bunch of handbags and hats and even gloves, and managed to control myself.  I really wanted this aqua number even though it's MUCH too small for me:
I can see myself doing some major Brady Bunch choreography in this
bad boy.
I should have picked up a few of these for my decoupage -- just for the articles, of course!!!!:
Naked + go-go boots and big hair = awesome

So many amazing tiki bar accessories -- and how about THAT lamp?? HOT!

I don't know how this happened, but I'm so glad someone took a picture.

I will do one more Vegas post, but concentrating more on the vintage signage and neon out there that I love so much.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Viva Las Vegas!!! Part One

I'm exhausted and broke but had a great time! My best friend, Mothra moved to Lake Havasu City, AZ last year, and thanks to her man's job (he's a pilot) she flies East quite frequently.  I've flown out once to see her in AZ and then this past weekend she drove three hours up to Las Vegas and met me there and we were on the go since the moment I touched down.  Both of us have sworn that next time we'll spend more time doing nothing and less time being crazy.

Our itinerary included walking almost four miles of The Strip, poking in and out of several resort/casinos and window shopping in many of the high end shops that would laugh us out the door if we walked in there.  We had delicious Mexican food at Hussong's which I HIGHLY recommend.  We ended up at the Venetian where I sat at a slot machine for pretty much the first time and ended up winning $100.  Woo! I was pretty excited! 

The next morning we went to the AMAZING Peppermill which is half diner/half insane throwback 70's lounge complete with super low banquettes surrounding pools that are on fire.  Seriously. 

After reading reviews about the "flea market" we realized it was more of a swap meet (new cheap things in a cardboard box on the ground) which isn't what I wanted, so I did a little research and found out about the Charleston Antique Mall. And it was glorious.  16,000 square feet of antique and vintage finds and VERY reasonably priced.  The only thing that stopped me from buying everything I could get my hands on was the fact that I had a small carry-on suitcase.  I wished I had a panel truck!  I will post what I actually purchased (very little, showing remarkable restraint) later, but I did take a ton of pictures, mostly because I had to show Randy all this great stuff. 

First of all, let's talk Pyrex:
Lovely striped mixing bowls in a rustic china cabinet - they were too big
for my suitcase so I didn't even look at the price tag - and how cute
are those pitchers on the second shelf???

Same dealer/cabinet - dots! I loved the paper lanterns, too.

Some Pyrex Wannabes were mixed in

If only I had a bigger suitcase/panel truck!! I would have
finished my Daisy cinderella bowl collection and added
to my Autumn Harvest...and I probably would have nabbed
that chicken, too.

Oh, Green Square Flowers, how I love you...and with a lid.  Had to walk away.
Many of the dealers had Pyrex among many other things, there was some fun Fiestaware and other mid-century stuff.  One of the things I am KICKING myself about leaving behind was a "Hostess Set" in it's original box - salad tongs and two sets of salt and pepper shakers in peach plastic. The wee salt/pepper shakers were ADORABLE. Le Sigh.

I was swooning over this dinette set and all the gorgeous tableware on top of it:
One of my Holy Grails - but I want red vinyl seats.  Or mint green. But with
the nails like these! This set was in great shape!
And this post is getting lengthy, so I'll just add this one more shot:
Another "grail" the metal lawn chairs - and I just LOVED
how this particular dealer styled her space, just lovely.
Stay tuned for more fun stuff from the Charleston Antique Mall!
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