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Showing posts with label dolls. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dolls. Show all posts

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Cool Finds at the Antique Festival

Last weekend, I attended the NWA Antique Festival of the Ozarks with my daughter-in-law and a friend.  Believe it or not, with all of the different festivals I have attended, this is the first time I have ever been to an antique festival- but it certainly won't be my last.

I was pleasantly surprised at some of the wares offered by the vendors.  There was no junk; much of what was being sold was quality items that I usually dig for when I hit the local antique shops in my area.  There were some great deals to be found, as well.  I picked up several items that I will repurpose and use in my projects, namely jewelry, quilts and hankie dolls.

Here's a sampling of some of the goodies which were available for sale:

A vast collection of spice tins.

Jadeite dishes of all kinds.

A mini Fiestaware play set for little girls.

Gorgeous plates from long ago.

German pottery and mini chocolate molds.

Matryoshka dolls galore.

Beautiful Victorian jewelry.

Bakelite jewelry.

More Bakelite jewelry.

A handmade, embroidered mirror cover from 1916.

Brass stampings/jewelry embellishments.

Bakelite dominoes.

Lots of half dolls.

A gorgeous Grandmother's Garden quilt.

A flower seed packet from the 1940's which was used as a promotional item by an insurance company.

I ended up purchasing some of the chocolate molds, broken rhinestone jewelry pieces and brass stampings which will be used in some future jewelry designs (among other things) as shown below.

All in all, I had a great time and I'm happy with all of the little treasures I was able to pick up at the show.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mini Felt Matryoshka Dolls and Mom's Hospitalization

The last several months have been pretty worrisome for me.  My mother - who lives in Arizona - has been ill with serious cardiovascular and diabetes-related issues.  I flew out to Arizona to offer support to both of my parents during this difficult time.  My mom ended up having several surgical procedures over the past few weeks, the latest being a leg amputation.  Thankfully, she is in positive spirits and I believe this will help her to recover so she can go back to living a fulfilling and productive life.  And, even though I don't normally plug businesses here on my blog as a regular activity, I've got to say a huge "thank you" to the nurses, doctors and staff at Boswell Hospital in Sun City for being so loving, caring and professional to my mother during her hospitalizations.  I spent upwards of 12 hours each day in the hospital at my mother's bedside and witnessed much love and compassion from the staff there.  I've never experienced anything quite like this in a medical environment before and it was wonderful to see.  I wish I could clone these people - no kidding.

True to form, I had to bring a craft project with me to work on in the hospital.  I always have to have something to do when I sit; it's just a part of who I am.  I ended up bringing a little canvas bag filled with scissors, needles, embroidery floss, felt and a steno pad with me on my trip.  The steno pad came in handy for sketching out patterns and designs.  I ended up making several mini matryoshka dolls out of felt during my stay.  I challenged myself by making each doll unique in color and design.  Each doll measures 4-5" and a stack of unstuffed dolls can easily fit into a sandwich baggie, making them easy to transport.  I stuffed them with fiberfill after I returned home.  Here are some of my little creations:

I will eventually put these up for sale in my Retro Eclectica store on Etsy, possibly over the weekend.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Week of Quilting, Flea Markets and Craft Fairs - Part II

I've got to tell you - taking a week off work while the craft fairs were in town was an excellent idea.  I had a wonderful time strolling through the different fairs and flea markets around town.   There were some really awesome projects at the fairs, including:

Vintage-style Halloween decor:

Paper mache snowmen and Santa dolls made from vintage quilts:

Aprons made from old flour sacks and pillow case dresses made from vintage linens:

A large wall cross made from old license plates:

There was even a woman spinning yarn at one of the fairs:

To make it even better, I finally met one of my blog friends, Thespa from Vintiquities Workshop. I met Thespa while blogging about two years ago and we've been internet friends ever since. To make a long story short, we found out that we live in the SAME neighborhood! Can you believe it? It really is a small world! Anyway, Thespa and I FINALLY got to meet in person. We spent a full day wandering around the craft fairs together and a new friendship has formed. This is the first of many get-togethers we are going to have - and believe me, many of those will involve creating art. By the way, Thespa is also a published artist (and a very talented one, at that.) Her work currently graces the cover of Sew Somerset magazine, shown here:

How cool is that??? Be sure to stop by her blog for some wonderful mixed media inspiration.

Last, but certainly not least, I want to show you some awesome finds I found at the local flea markets and antique stores:

A vintage Coke bottle opener.  It is screaming to be made into a mixed media necklace, so I just had to get it:

These adorable vintage bisque penny dolls which measure about an inch and a half tall.  Aren't they sweet? 

More adorable vintage bisque dolls:

And this lovely 1930's feedsack quilt top. (Shhh... don't tell my husband.  He already thinks I have way too many goodies like these in my collection.  What can I say?  I couldn't resist...)

It was a really wonderful week.  Now, I need a vacation to recover from my vacation!  :)

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Halloween Mixed Media Block Doll Giveaway

I don't know about you, but I can't believe we are already into the month of October. I'm not complaining, though. I absolutely LOVE the fall season - it's my favorite time of year. The cool and comfortable weather plus the changing of the leaves....It doesn't get any better than this.

To celebrate the changing of the seasons, I'm giving away TWO mixed media block dolls to TWO lucky winners. I made both dolls out of vintage images, wood, paper, colored chalk and fabric. To win, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. Please make sure that I will be able to contact you if you win. Two winners will be selected on October 16 using a random number generator.

Best of luck to all!

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Happy New Year - Back in Action!

Happy New Year, Everyone!

I know I have been away from my blog for a long time. I promise to try to stay on track and keep regular posts coming.

One of my major resolutions this year is to be more disciplined in some areas. I have some definite goals in mind and God willing - I will stick to them.

In regards to the arts and crafts world, I would like to get back into making art quilts and dolls. Quilting has always been one of my favorite things to do. I got so caught up in making jewelry for my customers, boutiques and the like that it took up all of my creative time. Don't get me wrong - I'll still make and sell jewelry as long as there is still a demand for it, however, I'd like to get back to doing what I really enjoy.

For years, I have hoarded vintage quilts, chenille blankets, linens, hankies and doilies with the intent that I would make them into something new. I did make some awesome hankie quilts, hankie angel dolls and teddy bears made from chenille blankets and cutter quilts a few years ago. Please keep an eye out for my new creations which I will sell on EBay and Etsy. This is going to be an interesting year!

Speaking of hoarding, I have collected vintage brooches, earrings and broken jewelry pieces for years. I have also been experimenting with creating these into repurposed assemblage necklaces. These are a nice change in design for me and quite refreshing.

As I mentioned on an earlier post, I wanted to start selling vintage items on Etsy and even had a contest to name the store. What I didn't realize is the store name I selected was already in use, so I have had to select another name. I expect to be opening that store in the next few days. Stay tuned for details...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I've Crafted Ever Since I Can Remember

I often get asked how I got into crafting. It's really crazy-- I can't pinpoint what exactly peaked my interest, but I know I've loved it ever since I can remember.

My earliest memories of crafting are from kindergarten class in Chicago when I was 5 years old back in the early 70's. I still remember making beautiful Valentine cards from paper doilies, glitter and stickers of brightly colored Cupids with my classmates. And let's not forget my first "altered art" experience which consisted of gluing pretty buttons all over a glass soda bottle and making it into a lovely vase for my mom for Mother's Day. Of course, the gift would not have been complete if it wasn't for the big fluffy tissue paper flower I made to accompany it. My mom displayed my artwork for many years. I was so proud! (By the way, that little photo to the right is of me in 1969, just before I took the leap into the crafting world.)

Fast forward to the 6th grade, still in the 70's. We had moved to Phoenix by that time. One day, while rummaging through boxes in our storage shed, I came across a box filled with all sorts of crafting goodies and kits. Apparently, my mother had belonged to a crafting club that would send her complete craft kits for $1.00 each. There were all sorts of interesting projects to be found that day. I especially remember being enchanted with a Christmas ornament kit. It featured plastic cylinder tubes, fake snow, cotton batting, mini snowmen, reindeer, trees and other figures so you could make your own little winter scene inside the tube. (Kind of like an earlier version of the captured jar fairies that are popular now.) Each night, when I was suppossed to be in bed, I'd sit up under my covers with a flashlight making my newfound creations. There was no doubt about it--I was hooked! That year, everyone in my family got a handmade gift from me for Christmas. The "OOH's" and "AAH's" I received from everyone was definite shot in the arm for me. I was onto something.

In 1979, I graduated from the 8th grade. In my home economics class, I learned to sew. I was determined that I would make my own dress to wear for the last day of school that last week. Although I started making it in class, I was unable to finish it. At the time, I did not own a sewing machine, but I had my heart set on wearing that dress. My dear mom (bless her heart) and I stayed up all hours of the night sewing that dress by hand. It was a sun dress, complete with pretty ruffled ribbon trim. Sun dresses were all the rage back then. Everyone wore them. I did get to wear my dress for the last day of school and was so proud of my efforts. And, thank goodness for my mom who gave up a full night's sleep to help me realize my dream. I don't know what I would have done without her! It sounds silly now, but it was important to me at the time.

By the mid-80's, I was married and had my first two children, Joey and Anthony. As is the case with many young families, money was tight for us. We always had enough to pay our bills and provide the necessities for the household, but that was about it. In order to help pay for the "extras" for Christmas one year, I crafted little wooden jewelry pieces at my kitchen table and sold them to my co-workers at the office. The first day I brought them to work, I sold everything. I made $375.00 from my little creations that day. That was a lot of money back then, not to mention the fact that my jewelry was selling for just $2.00-$3.00 each piece at the time. To add to my the excitement, my co-workers couldn't get enough. They wanted more of my little jewelry creations so they could give them to their loved ones for Christmas. Needless to say, that was a very busy crafting year for me. And, believe me, I was thankful. :)

In the summer of 1995, my daughter, Brianna turned 2 years old. I was a single parent by that time, as my ex-husband and I had recently divorced. I wanted to make her something special that year - something she could remember me by for years to come. I had just purchased my first sewing machine. I made her an adorable little frilly dress, along with a big stuffed doll that had the same matching outfit. It was the first time in years that I made anything on a sewing machine. I told my friend at work about my latest creations. At her request, I brought the doll into work and I got slammed with requests for special orders. It was amazing. That year, after I put the kids to bed, I stayed up late each night making doll after doll according to each person's special request. It was a very busy time for me, and I made hundreds of those dolls right up through the Christmas season.
That was definitely the year where I made crafting a regular part of my life. I am always working on something. I find that I am antsy when I am empty-handed. I always have to be doing something so I can relax. When we take family vacations which require long drives, my husband, Michael, usually does the driving. To help pass the time for long car rides, I busily work on piecing a grandmother's garden quilt. (That quilt was started about 8 years ago. One of these days, I will get it finished...it's just a matter of time.) Even on the few occasions that I am able to sit and watch television with my family, I always work on a craft project.

Crafts have definitely become a huge part of my life and I love every minute of it.

(Pictured above - Me and my little dollie creations (left to right)- sculptured baby doll, one version of hundreds of rag dolls made in 1995, and my favorite little dollie, my daughter, Brianna. Circa 1996.)

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