Monday, February 21, 2011

Nature Study

When my sister and I were little girls we had the privilege of living on two acres of land in upstate New York. In the summer there was a huge garden to help care for and heirloom pears to be plucked off a tree and eaten at will.( I loved them when they were a bit underripe and crispy) There were tiny wild strawberries hiding in the woods and brambles of black raspberries growing in the hedge rows.The bees would buzz in the heat and weeds would grow fast in my mother's vegetable garden. My mother taught us the names of wild flowers and pretty little birds. We didn't have a lot of money but we were very creative and we worked hard. In the winter, my sister and I would feel sorry for the bunny rabbits and deer and wild creatures who had a hard time finding food (or so we thought) because the snow was so deep. We would talk my mother into letting us make "food" for the wild creatures. We would mix oatmeal, chopped apples, whatever vegetables were sprouting that my mom didn't want, and stale cereal and combine it all in a big bowl with hot water. We then would take it out to the back yard and make little piles of food for the animals. Then we would wait and check daily to see what footprints might show up in the snow and who came to nibble the delicacies we offered. More often than not, we would find our "animal food" covered with new snow and turned into a block of ice. These little tags that I made remind me of those days. Snipped from one of my favorite Victorian nature books (reproduction), I have added silky fiber strings to attach to your special pkgs or to use as bookmarks.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Dream Fleamarket

I have this recurring dream that I stumble upon a flea market/estate sale/junk market. I find treasures that no one else has seen in dusty old boxes under dark tables. I thought it would be fun to create my Dream FleaMarket from treasures I found on etsy. Wouldn't you just love to find all these sweet things all for yourself? Maybe this treasury that I have created will fill your head with dreamy visions of sweet and shabby treasures. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sentimental Journey

Much of my artwork has evolved and been formed by the inspiration of Rachel Ashwell and Shabby Chic. I just love worn antique laces and linens. I also love romantic feminine roses and creams and whites. My own tastes have definitely evolved over the years to become more "me", but I can say for sure that I love Shabby Chic and always will.
I was just telling my husband the other day, that we needed new dishes. We will have been wed for 25 years this June. (I can't believe it.) My dishes do not match and are getting very sad and tired. They have been collected over the years on my junking jaunts.
I was in Target the other day, doing my usual, back of the store bargain looking, when suddenly my little heart skipped a beat and I sank to my knees to get a closer look at the bottom shelf. If you know me at all, I am a bottom-of-the-shelf  kind of girl! I love finding treasures that are overlooked! The best things are usually not within plain sight.
There in three large boxes I found the most lovely treasures! I saw the Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic logo and I quickly pulled one of the boxes closer to me. DISHES! Shabby Chic Chateau dishes! Three boxes with 4 place settings in each. Ideally, if I were choosing new dishes, I would NEED a service for 12. Ideal! I looked around to make sure no other shopper was going to snatch my treasures from under my nose. I was safe for the moment. Quickly, I loaded two of the three boxes into my cart. If I decided NOT to get them, then I could put them back. Back on my knees, I discovered, that I could stealthily take out some dishes and see if I REALLY liked them. Carefully, I pulled out a plate. They were gorgeous. This was a gift from God. The price was 80% off! I loaded that third box into my cart and went running to show my friends who were shopping with me. They were so excited for my find too! Some days when you find a treasure, it feels like a gift from God that He placed there just for you. Do you ever have that experience? What is the best treasure you have ever found?

I decided to photograph a place setting for you to admire. They look especially lovely with my Grandmother's Silverware that I inherited and I treasure. She purchased them when she got married. I am so sentimental and I miss my Grandmother very much. I am so thankful that I have her silverware. They are used for very special meals in our family. They are a treasure....just as she was! I have also included a photograph of her as a little girl. I just love it. I hope you enjoy my Sentimental Journey.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Story of Lady Bella (as I imagine it)

In 1906 a beautiful raven-haired beauty left the old country and emigrated to New York City. Bella was an expert with a needle and thread. She found a job at a tiny dressmaker shop. The owner was a kind woman who also rented a teeny upstairs flat to Bella. Only 20 years old, she was alone in the world except for a maiden aunt who lived across the city. As Bella would sit in the store-front window and stitch fine garments for wealthy New York socialites, she wistfully wondered if she would spend the rest of her life alone and poor. One day, a registered letter came to her and much to her disbelief, Bella found out that she was really an heiress and an unknown relative had bequeathed his entire estate to her. When her life settled down into a comforting routine, Lady Bella opened her own high-fashion boutique and oversaw all of her employees for the rest of her life. She lived on a large estate and collected butterflies and children with her devoted husband. Lady Bella was often known for her kindnesses to poor immigrants and was loved by all who knew her for her beautiful heart.

This original My Sparrows Nest collage is a one of a kind creation. Approx 8X6 inches. An antique book cover is the foundation of this piece. Antique ephemera carefully chosen from antique books and old envelopes and snippets from vintage pages. A blue heart was cut from the rich blue velvet ribbon from a hat from the turn of the century. Sweet tatting and lingerie laces, tulle and silk scraps and all vintage treasures. I hope you fall in love with Lady Bella.