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Hot Junk to Get
Well, you can go get glasses at the local Lenscrafters, OR you can hunt down some spectacular vintage hand cut frames at your local antique shop and have them fitted with your prescription lenses. Or maybe---do both. I have some very normal, "don'-t-cause trouble" frames, and some "in-your-face" frames I like to wear when I am feeling "con cohones" and have had a drink or two.
Better to buy "new old stock", if you are going to invest much in the lenses. It is not good to throw money into old frames in bad shape that will fall off your head or lose an arm and need that proverbial piece of masking tape to keep them together.
Unless that is the look you crave--the look of half the boys in my nerdy seventh grade class circa 1965. If so, I have an old briefcase and a pocket pen holder I would like to sell you. I'll throw in the slide rule.
Lawn art and ashtrays
Back when guys stayed home more, listened to the radio and do other things at the same time, they probably labored over homemade lawn art, standing ashtray holders, and door stops. Usually they were made out of plywood, then painted. Look for slightly crackled paint. Many of the best of these were old comic strip characters like Jiggs and Maggie, or the ocasional Disney character. Black cats are plentiful. Also Butlers. You do not have to smoke to appreciate them.
Many of these come from the 20's and 30's. You can often guess the age of the piece by the dress of the person whose portrait it is. Hung together on a wall, they have a wonderful impact.
Old cookbooks by local groups: i.e. Grange cookbooks, church cookbooks, college cookbooks, etc.
Every year I build a tree for the holiday season using birch branches. I cannot really remember when I started doing this, except I was looking for something to evoke a feeling of a winter setting-almost as though it had been flash frozen annd then decorated somewhere in the wild. And so, my tree building began.
At some point, howvere, it became clear I had to expedite the process, because the tree was always on the verge of falling apart and coming crashing down on everyone. It was that precarious and, well, building a tree out of branches is just not as stable as using a grown tree to begin with. Here is an early tree built entirely out of, well, almost air. We used to have to wire it to the wall to keep it sturdy.
Here is a blog post from 2009. This was the year that I started by using a display tree I purchased on sale in ABC Carpet and Home in NY, in January when it was marked waaaay down. I also had to create a holder as a base. You can see how it all began in the post.
And then, last year, I actually built addtional branches on to the tree. So here are shots from this year's tree. BTW, it is one of many entered into the Country Living Christmass Tree contest on Pinterest. Please go over and have a look aat all the gorgeous trees decorated by people from all over. One is more beautiful than the next. Mine is pretty funky by comparison, but it works in our house, which is totally funky anyway!
Happiest of Holidays to everyone! Be happy, healthy, and creative in the coming year!
Since there is so much going on in our kitchen as artist Rich Dunbrack works his magic in the room formally known as our kitchen, I decided it would be fun to create a special blog just for that installation! So mosey on over to ART. KITCHEN. KARMA. Where did the name come from? From my firm belief that when you live surrounded by art, you have good Karma--especially if it's in the kitchen! If you want to read about how one regular kitchen becomes something special thanks to one artist's vision, come along for the journey.
So, while grazing on the net for wonderful vintage stuff, which I tend to do much more than I ought to, I came across a blog by someone who seems to love the exact same kind of decor I do. The blog is T-Party and this is the author, Susan's, website, T Party Antiques.
"Whoa," I said to myself. "Here is a person who likes almost the exact same stuff that I like. Like, exact!" And I continued to check out her blog pictures. And then I came to the photo above.To say that I did a double take, is to put it mildly.
Why? Do you see that little homemade, folksy dog in the blue cupboard? Yes, that one. Well, I had that EXACT DOG in my Etsy cart about a week ago, and then took it out, because, well, because I was buying too much stuff already.
So I left a comment on her blog, because I thought it was so wonderfully bizarre that I just accidentally came across the person who bought the same dog that I almost bought. And look how cute it looks in its new home, to boot. What are the chances of that happening? Well, as it turns out, almost nil, since this was not the new owner of said dog. This was the person who had the dog for sale in her Etsy shop! The dog I almost bought.
Want a closer look? Here is is:
And here is the link for the listing in the shop.I give this to you now, knowing that you might actually run over and buy the dog. I am thinking that because of the way this has all come down, it must be Karma, and that I was truly meant to buy that dog. So, if you want it badly enough, you should beat me to it. Now.
On the other hand, I could take this all as a sign that I am spending waaaay too much time collecting stuff to decorate my house and studio with.That would be the better cosmic way to view this, would it not?
I am taking a few short moments to hope that everyone takes a moment to hug their loved ones and enjoy Valentine's Day! I have nothing but fond memories of this day from my Elementary School days, when the class would decorate a big box in red and pink and hearts and doilies and we would each "mail" valentine's to each other.
The gal above is from my "Magic Garden Girls" collection, and she is just one of the many Garden Gals I have created an entire world for. She has picked a bunch of hugs from her garden!
I am also happy to be participating in a Valentine's Day Blog Hop with some wonderfully talented people from around the globe, so please take a moment and visit their blogs and see what wonderful and loved-inspired art thay have for you!
Thank you to all the nice people who have stopped by and left kind words!
If you have not left a comment yet, feel free to do so today for the post below. If you have, please email me so I have contact info for you. You can email me at barbara at johansennewman dot com. I'll announce the winner tomorrow morning.
In any event, thanks to all for visiting, comments or not, and have a great Thanksgiving! Personally, I am thankful for so much, and some of it is the opportunity to "meet" new friends like you all who enjoy the process of being creative and who find pleasure in making homes places of warmth and enjoyment!