Friday, August 31, 2012

Fabric Collage and Old Photos

Hello to all! I hope that you are doing well and are looking forward to the long weekend.

In my first posts I shared my interest in gardening and my love of antiques with you. I thought that today I would show you a little of the fabric collage work that I love to do. It is nothing that you haven't seen before, but I love old photos, lace, buttons and all manner of fabric scraps. I do not use a lot of color in my home decor, but I do love to use it in some of my art (though I do love whites and beige's as well).

Last year I was lucky to have been invited to write an article about some fabric collage pieces that I had sent to Sew Somerset, and the article appeared in the Summer, 2011 issue. It was so exciting to know that this wonderful publication wanted to share my art with others. Previously, some of my other submissions had been published in other publications, but to be able to write a four-page article for the first time was just an incredible experience. Of course any of us that send in submissions to any magazine know that not everything is chosen for publication, and I look at that as a learning experience and try to move forward. Shown below are some pieces that did not get accepted for publication, but I thought that I would share them with you anyway. There is another one in the set which I will share at a later date.

What is it about old photos that intrigues us so? Do we wonder who the people in the pictures were? Do we wonder what became of their lives? Do we wonder why their photos ended up in a dusty box in an antique store? Did future generations of the folks in the pictures inherit the pictures, not know who the the people in them were, and decide to make a few bucks off the deal by selling them? For me, I think part of the intrigue is that before too long there will be no more "old photos". Many of my family pictures taken in the 80's now show faded color, not having worn well at all. Old black and whites from an earlier time seem to have worn better. And the really old ones in sepia seem to have fared the best. I have many old family photos taken 100 years ago that look better than those taken in modern times. Worse yet, what will happen to photos taken with a cell phone? Where will they go and how will they fare? I like to think that I, for one, am the caregiver to my instant ancestors (as well as my real ones) and that they are up there watching down seeing that the time that they had to sit and wait for the photographer to ready his camera and perfect the pose was not for naught.

The picture used in this collage is one of the favorites of
my collection. I think the mom and daughter are beautiful.
I am sharing a scan of the original photo below for you to use 
as you like.

I loved this photo of the lady in the big hat. I am also sharing
this photo below. Note that it is the reverse of what you see on
the collage since I had printed it out on a transparency. It may
need some darkening up.

 Please feel free to use the photos as you wish, as they are very old and out of the realm of copyright laws I would think.

Have an artistic and creative day!


Thursday, August 30, 2012

"Farmhousing" the Kitchen

Hello friends! The other day my husband and I decided to hunt some antiques to put on top of the cabinets in our kitchen. Honestly, I am not one for the cluttered look, so I wanted to find just a few things to create some visual interest. I do love the contemporary farmhouse look, and though I would like to say that we lived in a farmhouse built in 1907, in actuality, we live in a house that was built in 2007. It does have wrap-around porch and a farmhouse look though. I guess it is the best of both worlds as we do not have to do much "fixing up".

Anyway, we went to one of my favorite local haunts, and managed to come back with more than I thought we would find. My goal when we set out was to find a vintage scale, and not only was there one, but there were three!! Of course the one that was the scale of my dreams did not work, but it was the oldest and not very expensive. Who will use it anyway when you have to use a ladder to reach it? Plus, it had a marvelous face whose patina was created by its obvious years of use. I guess that if I want to weigh potatoes I can find a new scale for that, and keep it hidden when not in use.

We also managed to find an antique sifter from the 20's, an old aluminum rolling pin still in its original box (!!), old enamel doorknobs, an old tea kettle that was likely once copper, but now has a beautiful verdigris patina, an old white-painted wire basket with some old black paint showing through, and an old cookbook. They all now happily sit atop our cabinets. Below are some pictures of our finds. Oh, I also found a couple of peely-paint drawer pulls that will be used in a "future art project".

Do pictures speak louder than words? I think so. Have a beautiful vintage day, and thanks for coming over!


Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Sound of Gentle Rain

Rain in Summer

How beautiful is the rain!
After the dust and heat,
In the broad and fiery street,
In the narrow lane,
How beautiful is the rain!

--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This morning I awoke to the sweet sound of gentle rain, which, after our long hot summer here in NC, was certainly welcomed. Though the days have cooled down somewhat, and we are getting more rain, we had record-breaking heat this summer. Often we saw a temperature of 105, accompanied by a heat index of 110. This didn't do much for our garden and lawn, and being allowed to water only twice per week, need I say more!

I am still trying to master the art of blogging, and probably not doing very well at it. I have yet to download a photo of myself, provide my email information, set up buttons and such, but this will come. I guess I would rather dig in dirt than tap on computer keys.

The rain has stopped, but I am hoping that it stays cool and cloudy so that I can re-plant the window boxes on our front porch. I have the plants, but they are still sitting out back in the pots they came in. Yesterday while Hubby mowed the lawn, I trimmed 45 bushes and ran out of energy before I could get the window boxes done. Fancy that!

In the meantime, here are some more pictures from our garden (when it looked good!).

These flamingos are the subject of much ridicule,
but I love them and they are a nod to the many years
that I lived in Florida. The agreement that I made
with Hubby was that they could go beside the garden
shed, but nowhere that someone could see them
from the road!! Also, the daylily in front of them,
though not yet in bloom, is called a Flamingo Fantasy!
When in bloom it matches those critters almost exactly.

This is our shade garden down by the steps to our deck.

I love old garden statuary, and this little guy
resides in a bed of Creeping Jenny, Vinca, and

These are Limelight Hydrangea growing by
our deck. I don't think the hummingbirds can
see the feeder anymore!

This is our back yard, with the garden shed on
right, and the herb garden in the foreground.
Can you see the vintage cat, bird and mouse
garden art in the middle? One of my hunting
and gathering finds.

The newest addition to our
gardens, this tiny gazebo was
a demo at a place that sells
gazebos and sheds. It was painted
brown, so we had it moved here
and refinished it this
past Spring. We are not quite
finished with the landscaping
around it yet.

This is a view of our side yard looking through
the arbor onto the garden shed. This was in Lilac
season, which didn't last long. The roses on the
arbor had not yet started blooming.

And lastly, this is a photo of a Tardiva Hydrangea.
We bought it a few years ago, and it is now gigantic.
I only ever saw it in a nursery that once, and never again.
Well, I hope that these pictures have not put you to sleep by now. Please stop in again when you have a minute!

Have a wonderful weekend,


Friday, August 24, 2012

Hello, and welcome to Miss Phoebe's Perch!

Hello, and welcome to my blog. By way of introduction, my name is Sue, and  I am thankful that you are spending some time with me on The Perch. I am a lover of all things vintage, and I enjoy incorporating old and timeworn things into my home, garden and mixed-media art. I also love to cook. I am starting this blog in the hopes that I can share ideas with you, and even better, that you will share yours with me.

Why "The Perch"? I guess that I think of it as a way of sitting down for a spell and observing what is going on around me. I think of it as a way of enjoying family, friends and nature. And as for "Miss Phoebe", I took this name from a bird. Eastern Phoebes are brown and white songbirds that sit upright on prominent, low perches, typically building their mud and grass nests in protected nooks on bridges, barns and houses. They will often reuse nests in subsequent years, so I guess that they are true "nesters", and I therefore liken them to those of us who feel that "all roads lead to home".

Summer finds me spending most of my time in my garden. Hubby supports me in my endeavor, though he often reminds me that silk flowers stuck in the dirt would be a lot less work! I love Summer, but towards the end of August I start looking forward to Fall, the holidays, and spending more time indoors cooking and crafting.

Since this gardening season is drawing to a close, I would like to share a picture of my personal favorite in our garden when it was looking its best (usually in June in this area). I will share some others at a later date.

Blue Hydrangeas
Enjoy the rest of your day!