Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pocket change

I picked up this glass globe at the flea market last weekend, for the regal sum of 75 cents.  I've popped it onto the overhead light in my workroom, and i'm absurdly pleased with it - i love the combination of the clear and frosted glass, and i'm  sucker for that swag-and-tassel design.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mystery du jour

More or less on a whim (and with the vague recollection of similar pieces in old ladies' china cabinets), i scooped up a little lusterware teapot last week.  It's marked, and i've found the mark identified in a couple catalogues, so i know the manufacturer is Porzellanmanufaktur Rudolf W├Ąchter... but i haven't been able to pin down when the company was using that particular version of the mark.  It seems they began using it around 1927, but vexingly, no one seems to give an end date - so other than the fact that the company folded in 1974, i don't have much to help narrow it down.

Cute little thing though, isn't it?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

By the book

Because we are geeks, a wander through a used book store places high on the list of date-night activities.  Trophies from the pillaging will then be waved at the other party while waiting for dinner to arrive (but generally carefully tucked away once there's food on the scene).  On one recent instance, this 1928 sewing textbook was my prize:

It's not as lavishly illustrated as some contemporary sewing books (like this one i've got), but the text and the explanations are pleasingly clear.  It's got more on working with machines (including what look to be some good bits on attachments) and less on working with commercial patterns - perhaps because this one wasn't published by one of the pattern companies...

There's a nice, clear diagram of sewing machine parts - useful for troubleshooting (and for generally making sure you don't sound like a fool in explaining what you're doing).  Also, of course, there are the obligatory bits on handstitching, and a charming photo of a "convenient, well-equipped sewing laboratory."

 From there, it proceeds to details of simple sewing projects and fine tailoring...

Daunted by all those strange-looking bits of metal in the box of attachments?  See, the binder's not so scary:

Friday, November 11, 2011

Peer pressure

My sister paints these swell boxes.  They've been appearing as holiday and birthday gifts for several years now.  She keeps muttering about making them for sale, and in fact sold a few through a friend's craft collective.  She talked about sending some down here for one of the shops where i consign prints, and they were interested in having them.  So i'm hoping to nudge her again, because i think they'd do really well if she wanted to put them out there...

The little square box was the first one i got, and i think it's still my favorite.  (And in case you're wondering, yes, there are four-and-twenty of them.)

What do you think? Maybe we can convince her.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Down the shore

I like autumn best in the mountains where i live now (though spring's no slouch), but at the shore, summer reigns.  My grandmother's family had a shore house when she was a girl, and she made certain she had one when i was small.  From the time i was about four years old, i spent large chunks of my summers with her - the parents would stay a few days, then head back south, while i (and later, my sister, too) stayed on.

We spent days investigating the beach and the shallows of the bay, learning how to handle a boat, making pilgrimages to the boardwalk, to Barnegat Light, or across the bay to Clearwater and then across the little barrier island to the ocean.  We ate from the bay - clams, crabs, flounder - and from the land around - beans, peppers, tomatoes, asparagus from the garden, blueberries from the farm up the road, corn and melons from the roadside stands.  Rules were plain - and unyielding - but few.

In light of all those sun-drenched days i remember, this is one of my favorite pictures from the albums i took from Grandma's place - Jewel and Paul, probably very late '30s or early '40s, just where they were usually to be found - in a boat:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

That kind of day

1. Hunt for photo corners to mount print to mat.
2. Knock down pile of vintage patterns waiting to be listed. Swear.
3. Pick up patterns.
4. Look for photo corners, discover potential stock for new vintage shop.
5. Bag vintage goodies (so they can all be lost together), watch picture hanging hardware and neckties reserved for a sewing project slide from basket to floor. Swear again.
6. Re-fold ties, return to basket.
7. Discover missing remote for CD player (okay, it's not all bad).
8. Discover box of photo corners (things are definitely looking up...).
9. Knock down patterns again. Swear profusely.
10. Find box. Put patterns in box.
11. Pull out frames and mats to pick a good combo, discover that black frame - just purchased - has a ding.  Swear.
12. Reach for Sharpie for quick-and-dirty touch-up.
13. Sharpie is missing.  Mutter.  Hunt for Sharpie.
14. Give up in disgust, decide to use brown frame instead.
15. Put away black frame.
16. Pick up papers to pull out a different mat. Find Sharpie. Swear.