Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New to me....

I sat down to lunch today with my new issue of Vogue Living and saw an article about artist Nathalie Lete partnering up with Anthropologie. As you all know, I'm a big fan of Anthropologie and am always interested in what they're up to. So I did a google search on Nathalie and her web site came up first with lots of fun information about this Parisian craft artist. Her work really intriques me. I have an affinity for folk art mixed with vintage treasures. Her web site says...

Nathalie lete was born in 1964. She lives and works in paris. She works in many ways, mixing different techniques and mediums, illustration, ceramics, textile and painting… She is inspired by her travels, but also by the mixing of vintage toys and old engravings of flowers and animals. Her work is colourful, naive and poetic, sometimes strange, to the point of tending towards art brut. Her world is nurtured by popular and folk art. She produces children’s and graphic’s books, knitted and stuffed toys, glass pictures, patterned dishes, but also postcards,ceramic sculptures, silkscreen printed t-shirts, rugs and jewels in limited edition… both for herself and for commissions.

This photo of her vintage toys that are the "heroes" of her work is wonderful!

Of course I'm always interested in seeing photos of artists workshops.

I love her quirky style. This is a "boucherie" of meats made of ceramic or stuffed painted fabric.

All photos from
Half way down my search results page I find that decor 8 blog covered her just yesterday. There are several photos of the New York exhibition of her work there. Can't wait to see her work at Anthropologie!!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hop to it...

I thought I would share a few of my favorite things right now. Just got this book after seeing a sneak peek (with tons of pictures) on Decor 8 blog. There is also an interview with the stylist of the book Selina Lake here. The book is filled with fun pictures that will delight and inspire. I guess there actually is a name for my style, filled with family heirlooms, estate sale finds and handmade goods. Love it all! My favorite picture in the book.
Fun stuff: Issue #4 of Design for Mankind's inspiration e-zine is now out. Love what Erin pulls together. Also have you seen her roadmaps series on pursing a creative indpendent life? Great advice!
Be sure and enter this collage-o-thon contest hosted by Black Eiffel for a Anthropologie gift certificate. Who wouldn't love that!?

Donna is one of my favorite go-to girls for vintage wallpaper. She has an amazing collection and luckily she is willing to share by selling them in her etsy shop. Here are some bundles of goodness I received from her.

I have a little treat for you. Just put this in my etsy shop. Hope to make more of these seed planters full of supplies. This will be my only one with these trims and a red and white theme. It's ripe for the picking! SOLD- I will make more soon!

Finally, Chel posted a preview of my workshop on her blog today!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Edible supplies and party hats...

THANK YOU for your wonderful comments on my House of Inspiration. Registration is now open for the event in Pleasonton, CA where I'll be teaching the class. Classes will be chosen mid-May. After the event in August, I will try to put together some kits and sell them in my etsy shop. I'll let you know when that happens. It is wonderful to hear your praise and sparks of inspiration. That means the world to me! Thanks.Ok, they are not actually edible, but does anyone else out there like to display their craft supplies almost as if they are food? Maybe it's because my studio is our dining room. I love to use retro kitchen supplies to house my crafting treasures. The print above to the left is from Everyday is a Holiday. I guess that's the approach I take in decorating, as if every day is a holiday! I found these party horns at a garage sale last week.

Love housing smaller supplies in vintage egg cartons. So many options with strainers and bowls.
Also came across a box of these vintage crepe paper party hats at a garage sale. Does anyone know anything about these? I just love them, but can't seem to dig up any information on them.

Hope you had a nice weekend!

Friday, April 25, 2008

House of Inspiration..

I'm excited to show you the finished project I've been hinting at for awhile now. When Chel asked me to teach at the ZNE Conference: Mixed Media Artists Connected this August, I was beside myself giddy and said yes!! I then realized that she would need pictures of the project I was going to teach ASAP. So I revved my creativity with some estate sale shopping to inspire and tried to wrap my head around a project that was do-able in 6 hours during class, that had some fun new techniques, was fresh, exciting and most of all, people would love their finished product! With some brainstorming with my husband on how to actually construct the piece (thanks, Joe!), I began the process of putting it together."Bare bones" it looks like this. Students will fully construct, paint, distess and embellish this house shaped inspiration/mood board. We will then create the background of the board, the banner and "door".Then is the fun part of adding all kinds of personal touches that can be removed on a whim. We will make secret compartments, pockets and all sorts of fun doo dads. Here is my finished class example. The exciting part is I know that everyone's will look very different, depending on what palette they choose and how they embellish.
I think (hope) this project will be fun and help us all to think outside the box (literally, in this case) and share our stories about what inspires us.
I would love any feedback you have on this project and if you would take a class like this? I would also be thrilled to hear and see YOUR inspiration/mood boards and get a peek inside your creative process. Please share in the comments, if you feel so inclined.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A few gems...

I guess I jinxed myself by showing off what great sales we have here in Minnesota. hehe! I was just telling my hubby, after coming off of last weeks best sale ever... it may be awhile until I catch another great one. However, it certainly was a fun little diversion on a very grey, rainy Thursday morning. I ran into Sandy again. It's becoming a familiar group of us standing outside someone's house on a Thursday morning with hopes of finding some goodies inside.I found this old children's picture dictionary in the attic. I've always loved the graphics of these with the fun text. Also bought my first "head vase" for maybe it's a knock off. It's definitley old and I like her sitting in the kitchen window sill, so I'm happy:) This artsy fabric tablecloth is just too cool. Do you see the people and the cars on the bottom? Love the painted effect.

Found some fun trims. Love the wide green velvet ribbon already tied into a bow. Also picked up some supplies for my class. More on that soon!
This super thick two sided (other side is dark green) vintage crepe paper is like elastic. It is beyond stretchy and has such a neat label. Also found a fun Dennison party book for ideas and some vintage party wrap. So I found a few gems in the rough. It's only Thursday, there's always more this weekend!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Be-lated Earth Day...

Hope you did something yesterday to honor the Earth on the 38th Anniversay of Earth Day. We cleaned out the garage with the kids. Believe me, this is quite a feat with the amount of boxes that I accumulate from swaps, etsy, etc. We then took all the cardboard to the recycling facility with the kids so they could see what it was all about. I try to do my own part in re-using by using vintage "treasures" for my crafts that otherwise may be thrown away. I see it as a good thing...for everyone:)
Romantic Homes magazine this month has a beautiful article about Lily of the Valley flowers. These little gems are such a welcome sight in the spring woods. I found a little bundle of vintage Lilies of the Valley from the estate sale last weekend and thought they made a pretty display.

Speaking of which, here are the two sales I will be going to tomorrow morning. Don't they sound wonderful?! Anyone need a personal shopper? hehe.

....We’re literally unpacking Grandmas attic. A wonderful mix of everything collectible: Vint cloz & access, wonderful kids bks/toys/games/ dolls. Legal bkcase, pr Mission Oak side cupbrds w/ connect bench, gl & china collects. Rumrill nude vase, Franciscan Pastel dinner srvc, Cedar chest, lots pict frms, some oils. 100s bks, mags, tons paper items, recs. Stemwr, Silver pcs. Quilts, Chenille sprds. Old golf clubs, hand/ grdn tools. Elec dart mach. Lovest, occ tbls. Vint port bar, upright piano, JC Higgins bike. Holiday items, boxes of misc


.... 19+orig works by listed artists & Brown & Bigelow Illus, James B. Deneen + 7 early works by John Berkey. Pin up art & calendars by Elv- green, Buell + others. Lobby cards & Hollywood photos, Mpls Moline calendars, much misc paper. Tons artist supplies incl Hughes 4800 easel, brushes, paint, canvases, comps, etc. Ornate frms/mirrors. 5 pc Danish mod king BR set, Ebony & Oak DR set + hutch. Bowflex. ‘98 Chev Silv 1500 4x4 w/ topper 86M. RW wtr cooler. 100s bks. 4 fur coats+ vint cloz. Dep gl, China. Vint art, 100s 1960s mags, Vogue, Life, Mademoiselle. Contax cam, Xmas.

I'll let you know what I find:)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Spring renewal...

Happy Monday! I know that I show pictures of this space (my studio/dining room) a lot, but it's such a focal point for me for my everyday life. I literally pass it as I go to any other room of the house. It changes on a daily basis. Today it is showcasing my estate sale treasures. Yes, that entire wooden bowl in front (and the shallow bowl to the left) is all vintage millinery from the sale this past weekend. I steamed them and they look amazing!! The shadow boxes that are now in my etsy shop are currently on my wall. Look at the tag I found on one of the white roses. How cool!

I've been working on my class project for this event where I'll be teaching in late August. More peeks soon. Jennifer Murphy just joined the lineup of instructors. So exciting!

We had wonderful weather here this weekend, and it continuing today. Sunny and near 70...gorgeous! Perfect for doing yard work and playing outside. The kids started seeds last week and they really perked up once they got outside with the nice sunshine. Don't we all:) Have a great day!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Shadowbox collections..

You all know that there is no way I could go to the best sale of my life and not share some of my treasures with all of you. As I've been pouring over bits of this and that I accumulated over the last few days (yes, I went back again!), I realized that some of vintage birthday goodies went well with others that I have collected. I also have been looking for a reason to use some of the beautiful shadow boxes that I have. So I started to artfully arrange things and quickly came up with a half dozen creations. The first three are all vintage birthday themed and are all in my etsy shop now! They all come in a scalloped shadowbox frame and all items are vintage (except the frame itself).

I also have been incredibly inspired by the amazing creations that I am seeing over in the flickr pool for the Vintage Party Swap. Definitely worth taking a peek. Wow...incredible!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

One of the best ever....

After dropping the kids off at pre-school this morning I thought I'd hit an estate sale that sounded pretty good in the paper. The ad mentioned vintage this and that, buttons, etc. Enough to entice me. Boy I had no idea what I was in store for! One man came out and said it was "junky" so I knew it must be good:)My first hint that it was turning into an extradordinary morning is when I was waiting outside to get inside the house with the sale, I recognized Sandy Stone from her feature article in Country Living magazine a few months back. She is a local artist that makes extraordinary mixed media pieces with vintage materials. Check out her fun goods here. I didn't get a chance to talk to her outside, but did say hello as we were both giddy with excitement over the treasures we were finding inside.
So here are some of the amazing gems I found. Boxes of vintage millinery and fun little holiday corsages. *I would love any advice on steaming the large flowers to poof them a bit.*
I gasped when I saw these vintage wooden mushrooms picks made in Sweden.
Then there were paper dolls of varying sizes that were adorable. The dresses above are about 15" tall each and perfectly aged.

This little lady is quite large as well and each dress is a good foot tall.
The old books and cards were gorgeous.
More paper dolls. These were regular size and came in thier own little "environments" with siblings, a bedroom and clothing galore.
French flash cards....
Junky.....I think not!!!!! You be the judge. hehe!