Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"Thoreauly Antiques" in Concord, MA...

Good morning to all! I hope that you're having a great week!

As promised, I wanted to share with you some of the sweet little finds from the other place that I love to visit when we go to Concord, MA, namely, Thoreauly (a play on names for Henry David Thoreau) Antiques. It is a great shop composed of various vendors, many of which cater to the mixed media artist.

A sweet little book...

...with bible verses...

...and beautiful illustrations...

Some illustrations from an old children's book...

...with the added bonus of more pretty pictures on the
reverse of the pages...

Some beautiful old button cards...

Another flapper photo, this one with a horse.
This was a reproduction, but I couldn't
resist buying it anyway...

This cute little girl in black.
I have a Halloween vision for this
little darling...

And the sweetest old ballet shoes.
Lately I have been collecting old ballerina photos,
so I couldn't resist these...

One of these years maybe I'll even get to use these lovelies in some art!

I hope that you're having a creative day. Thanks for visiting me.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The death of a friend...

This week I was saddened to learn from my daughter of the passing of an old friend.
We lived in the same apartment building years ago.
I hadn't seen him since before I left Florida.
As with many friendships, people move on, they move away, and life changes.
Our children still keep in touch, and my daughter will be at his funeral this week.
I'm glad for that.

Two weeks ago I saw this beautiful butterfly on my Tiger Lily.
I ran inside to grab my camera.
 I barely snapped this one picture before the butterfly flew away.
I guess it doesn't matter that I only managed to get part of the butterfly in the picture.
After all, sometimes life is fleeting in itself.

I hope that Dale sees a lot of butterflies and beautiful flowers in his new life.

Monday, July 29, 2013

A visit to "Nesting" in Concord, MA...

Good morning to all. I hope that you had a great weekend.

As promised, I wanted to share a little about a great store that I visit each summer when we go up to New England. It is in Concord, MA, and I love to go there because it is a lovely and historical town. (One of its most prominent citizens was Ralph Waldo Emerson. Other notable residents and/or natives were Louisa May Alcott, Henry David Thoreau, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Maybe I would become a better writer if I moved there!)

In any case, one of my stores of choice is Nesting. Up until recently, it was called Nesting on Main, but the name changed after a slight change in ownership. I first visited this store a couple of years ago after seeing it featured in one of the Somerset issues (I think it was Somerset Life). If you are ever up that way, do stop in as you won't want to miss it. The owner is wonderful and allowed me to snap these pictures, which will pretty much say it all about this fine shop!

I bought this wonderful framed beach
flapper photo...

...and this beautiful bottle with a
gorgeous crystal bird stopper...

And here is a close-up of the top...

Doesn't this store just make your heart sing? On my next post I will share with you the other store in Concord that I like to visit.

I hope you have a great day! Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Chippy headboards and a touch of French Blue...

Good morning and greetings from The Perch! We returned from New England on Saturday, and were busy all day yesterday, so I thought I'd drop you a line today. We had a great time up north, but it's good to be home again. Actually, we had a great time even coming home!

When we go up there, we try to avoid the aggravating Richmond and D.C. areas at all costs, so we stay off of I-95 (the shortest route if you don't get caught in hours of traffic outside those areas!). Instead, we make it a two-day trip and opt for the scenic route up through the gorgeous Shenandoah Valley area of Virginia, and the beautiful farm country of Pennsylvania. On our way home, we try to stop in Danville, VA, which is right at the NC border. We try to grab lunch at a great sandwich shop that is there, and take a few minutes to browse through Lou's, a GREAT antique store, with three stories of anything and everything you could hope to find. Something for everyone!

So picture this, we had already eaten lunch up in Lynchburg, VA, but stopped at Lou's anyway. We were in our smaller SUV, loaded to the gills with all the stuff from our trip. And what do we find in Lou's, but some large items that would have been too big to fit in the car if it had been empty, never mind full. So, like any other antique-loving nutcases would do, we put a deposit on the items and asked Lou to hold them till we could get back there. And when we asked if he could do better on the prices, he knocked off so much that it was basically like getting one of the pieces for free. So...we drove back up there yesterday (about two hours' ride each way) had lunch in our sandwich shop, and picked up our stash. Here they are!!!

An old chippy iron full-sized headboard and footboard.
Exactly what we I was looking for to put in the master
bedroom at Birdsong Cottage...

I love how this set is so delicate looking.
You can see how tall the headboard is next to our foundation
and the railing on the porch...

And if that wasn't enough, we found exactly what we I was hoping
to find for the guestroom, which is very small.
A single-sized headboard...

And there were two!!
My vision for this tiny room is to have a single bed up
against the wall lengthwise, loaded with pillows against the wall,
so it almost looks like a daybed...

Would you believe these two beauties actually even came with the side rails? I can't wait to pretty them up and get them up to The Cottage.

OK, so if that wasn't good enough, when we went back there yesterday there was this gorgeous old stained glass window that was all clear glass, with just a touch of color, and that touch was mostly the prettiest shade of French Blue. I had secretly eyed this on Friday, but was afraid to mention it. (I didn't want to push things further than the beds!) But in the sandwich shop I got Mr. Perch drunk on unsweetened iced tea, and it didn't take much to get him to take a peek at the stained glass.

You guessed it! Mr. Lou gave us a great price on this too...

A close-up of the beautiful color...

And if that wasn't enough,
there were two of these too!
These will also likely be used at Birdsong...

While I was taking the above three pictures,
I couldn't resist taking some photos of our Limelight Hydrangea,
which is about the only worthwhile thing blooming in our garden
right now...

You can see how big it is compared to the
pergola that is over our deck!

Well, thanks for stopping by! In my next post, I will share some photos of a great shop that we went to on our trip! Have a wonderful Sunday!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I will be away again!

Greetings from The Perch! I was thinking about you and just wanted you to know that I will be away part of this week and next, so I will not be able to post. Please see my sidebar if you want to sign up for getting an email when I post the next time.

We are going to visit family in New England, so hopefully, when I get back, I will have some photos to share with you of any day trips that we take. There are always great shops up there!

I haven't had much time for crafting these days, but I did start an afgan before we left last week. I love to crochet in the car as the pattern that I use for these is simple and doesn't require much concentration. I can still look out the window and navigate for my husband when necessary. I will continue working on it in the car next week.

Below are some photos...

Hopefully there will be more time for fun next week than there was last week!
A fun old photo for your art...

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time!

Monday, July 15, 2013

First glimpse of Birdsong Cottage makeover...

Good morning friends! First of all, I want to thank you for your comments on my studio. We were away the week that "Where Bloggers Create 2013" opened. I had no internet access at Birdsong, other than what I could do with my iPad, and didn't have much time for even looking at that, so wasn't able to look at many of the other studios that were posted. I intend to do that soon!

As you know, we were in the mountains this past week, beginning our work on Birdsong. We hit a few snags that we did not anticipate. For one, the refrigerator, which seemed to work when we bought it, did not chill down the food at all. It constantly ran, to no effect, so we ended up having to waste time shopping for a new one and waiting for its delivery. The second snag was that when my husband started ripping out all of the carpeting and padding, it became painfully obvious that the musty smell of the place was not caused only by the old carpet, but also by the moldy sub-flooring underneath it in the bedrooms and living room. This was caused by old leaks on several LARGE areas of the sub-flooring which had never been repaired, and then just carpeted over. The leaks in the master bedroom and its closet were caused by the toilet that leaked in earlier years. Shucks! Now we know why all of the windows, the roof, and the toilet had been recently replaced!! Since it had been our intent to replace all the carpeting with laminate flooring in the first place, my husband, who is the supreme perfectionist, decided to rip out all the areas of bad sub-flooring and replace it. That took away from our painting time, so all I got done were the outsides and some of the insides of the kitchen cabinets, along with the walls in the kitchen and most of the living room. Since I had to work around Hubby, I had to jump around a little.

In spite of all, we did get a lot accomplished in the four days that we were up there, considering the fact that we were five hours from home with only the tools that my husband had the foresight to bring. Plus, we weren't all that familiar yet with the locations of the stores that we had to shop at.

Below are a few of the photos that I took so that you can see what we were up against.

These photos are of the master bedroom.
Rotted flooring under window on right...

...and another in front of closet, shown on left.
This old leak also rotted out the flooring inside
the closet.
My husband replaced all of this rotten mess.

I can't believe that the clowns who previously owned this home would have carpeted over this rot.

Below is the section that Hubby replaced in the living room,
which was almost the whose length of the room.
You can see at the bottom left corner where someone
replaced a small section, but not the rest.
The seller told our neighbor that they only replaced it
because their rocking chair made the floor squeak.

And below we have packed up the car with as much old carpet
and padding that would fit.
Boy, did it ever stink!
To the dump it goes.
On the next trip we hauled out all the carpet stripping, staples,
nails, and sections of rotted flooring.
It didn't smell much better!

And below is our charming screened porch,
shown in all its glory with the remainder of the new
wood used for the rest of the sub-flooring
that Hubby completed...

Below is a picture that shows you the wall paint color.
We are getting rid of the ugly gold,
and replacing it with a greige-tone that you see on the
right of the hook board. 
It contrasts beautifully with the white cabinets.
The color is "Mineral", by Behr, but we had it mixed
in Glidden to save some money...

And below is the kitchen with the newly-painted
white cabinets, and the new wall color.
I can't wait to see the cabinets with the new hardware.
We know what we will get, but haven't bought it yet.
Initially I though that I would want to rip out the
rick-racky trim above the middle window,
but we'll live with it awhile as I think it lends to
the cottage flair...

And if there was any beauty to be found at this place
this week, it was in the wild daylilies that grow next to
the porch, shown here after a rain storm...

So, after those days of sleeping on an uncomfortable sleeper sofa left by the sellers, waking up at 5:00 each day, working all day except for meals and frequent runs to Home Depot, Lowe's and Ace Hardware, going to bed at 9:00 because there was no TV and we were too tired to do anything anyway, we started to make a dent in the process. Though we had our moments last week, we do remain positive that Birdsong will soon become what we want it to be. Soon will come the fun part of installing the new flooring and completing the painting. Oh, and did I mention that the previous owners left a bunch of junk behind, such as old toilet bowl cleaners, plungers, dirty mops, and so forth? I guess they thought they were doing us a favor and that we would use them. Again I say, really?? To the dump they went.

Have a wonderful day, and thanks for putting up with me!


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Where Bloggers Create 2013

Hello, and thanks for stopping by! My name is Sue and I love mixed media art, particularly any venue that uses vintage photos, lace, fabrics, buttons, ribbons, papers, and well, you name it! I enjoy using any kind of timeworn materials and giving them a new life in my art.

Welcome to my creative space! This is a first for me, so most of all, many thanks to Karen Valentine at My Desert Cottage for putting this together for all of us. You can click on the "Where Bloggers Create 2013" button near the top of my sidebar to reach all of the other bloggers who are participating in this event.

Come on in...

My space is in one of our attic bedrooms.
I am very fortunate to have a space that is about 700 square feet.
It is here that I get away with displaying my chippy paint belongings,
which would likely not fly with my husband in the rest of the house!
This room also doubles as a third guest room when we need it.

Though this room has two windows, there are a lot
of trees outside, so I don't get much light.
I try to use accent lighting wherever I can.
My husband also installed track lighting over
the work table, which you will see later.

This is an old dressing table and mirror,
repurposed as my sewing table...

The dormer window houses my computer, desk, and printer.
Sorry for the bad lighting...

In the dormer space I also keep my inspiration board
that displays recent finds in the way of vintage photos...

Meet Miss Grace.
She bears that name for two reasons.
She is named after my mother, 
and the name suits a lady wearing a collection
of vintage rosary beads. 
To her right are a couple of bins
that store scrapbook paper... 

I have a lot of shelving in this room. It is mostly composed of
those cheap little two-shelf units that you can get in WalMart
or any office supply store, and they have been added to over time.
In some areas I stacked them upon each other,
and in some areas I did not... 

This section of shelving below is backed with shelving
of the same size, and it divides the right side
of the room in half to maximize storage space,
and make the room a little cozier.
I have a lot of art stamps stored
in large plastic box frames.
They are grouped and labeled by category.
Books and magazines are stored on each shelf
next to the trays of stamps.
I also collect old books that have interesting
pages. You see some of them on the floor,
here used for pressing flowers!
The covered photo boxes on the floor to the left
house part of my collection of vintage photos,
grouped by subject, such as girls, women,
babies, families, etc.
The tin boxes on the top of the shelves
house unmounted stamps...

Below is the reverse side of the shelving you saw above.
I'm sorry to say that this is the junk that you see when you
enter the room. Here I store everything from fabric collage books
to gardening and computer books.
You can also see my little Janome sewing machine,
which I sometimes take when I am away from home...

Below are a couple more photos of the other side of
this shelving...

To the far right of this section are yet more boxes of vintage photos.
I guess we all have our weak points!

Below are some freestanding stock cabinets.
If you can believe that I have even more "stuff" than you have
already seen, here is where it is hidden in all of its messy glory!
Inside of the larger cabinets I store painting materials,
and larger gadget-type stuff.
I once attempted to get rid of all plastic storage,
but it never happened.
The little drawers on top house ink pads,
card stock, pens, markers, and glitters...

The drawers in the above cabinets hold fibers...

...various embellishments...

...and other things that I can never seem to find a
real home for...

To the side of the entrance to the room
is this old hutch, used to store ribbons, fabrics,
lace hankies, and other pretties.
One of these days I will add the rest of the glass
handles that I bought many moons ago!
On the left side are a couple of round hat boxes
 that hold my vintage glove and millinery collections.
Gertrude, or what's left of her,
reclines on top alongside a
vintage sewing machine.

Here is some more plastic drawer storage,
in which I keep glues, stencils,
and envelopes in various sizes...

Another view of my small sewing machine
and photo storage boxes.
Also some old dishes for "future" art

A close-up of the photo storage...

On the trunk at the foot of the bed, seen earlier, are two covered
boxes (the kind that you can pick up at Michael's for a song).
In the first are more vintage photos, but organized in zip lock bags
by subject so that I can pull them all together easily if I want to
do a themed project. The ones below are part of my collection
of patriotic photos...

...and the box below it stores my vintage lace...

And below, my friends, is the junkiest part of
this space. It stands between a pine hutch,
and the white cabinets you saw earlier.
It is stacks of plastic boxes that store
ribbons, beeswax materials, and a lot
of old jewelry pieces that I bought for
a song on eBay and have not yet had a
chance to use.
You will also see two rolling carts from
the laundry department of WalMart.
Sometimes I roll them over the the work
table for easy access to frequently used
items. This room has no closet, so one of
these days I am going to hang a rod from the
hutch to the sloped wall above the cabinets
and cover this mess with a curtain!

What would a studio be without some of our favorite collections?
Whether we use them in projects, or just stare at them and love them,
we all need them. Here are a few of mine.

Baby shoes...

Chippy stuff and salvage,
stored in a large old wire basket
recently named "The Salvage Saloon",
just waiting to be used in assemblage projects...

Old books...

Old millinery...

Vintage gloves...

Victorian photo albums...

Inspiration for assemblage...

Beautiful papers...

Lovely old buttons...

Vintage wedding photos and
gorgeous old sheet music...

Who doesn't love ballerinas?...

I try to keep some inspiration on the work table...

And things gathered together to take on the next trip...

...along with stuff already packed in bags...

I like to keep frequently-used materials easily
reachable on the work table...

And if you've made it this far,
here is the big picture!...

I can't thank you enough for spending this time with me. I hope that I can visit your work space soon! Have a creative day!