Jul 29, 2008

A Shop - and Wilbur - Update!

Well ladies, I'm about as happy as my window boxes right now. Don't they look happy? ...

I don't know HOW this happened, or should I say, didn't happen but Wilbur did not explode! Not even a little bit! Now I know most of you have dogs that can probably handle a few smoked sausages with no problem, but Wilbur has such an extremely sensitive stomach that literally anything besides his treats or dog food will set him off. And it ain't pretty! Well, we braced ourselves all weekend long, but nothing really bad came of it. As I say,
"Crisis averted!".

I've got some new goodies getting ready to go into the shop. We went to a large flea market in Quebec today and hubby actually dragged all of us out of bed at 6:00 a.m. this morning so we could get there early. There is something about 6:00 a.m. that I just don't like. (and I'm pretty sure 6:00 a.m. feels the same way about me) Ugh. Anyway, I picked up this fabulous old lock. It's a large one - the largest I've ever come across and the colors on it are amazing. I literally did not touch this except for the stamp and the key.

I also picked up three of these old heater grates. They can stand alone and I love to stick old photos or postcards in them...magnets stick well on them too. (p.s. that photo is of hubby and his sister when they were young!)

I guess the cream colored items were following me home today...I scored two of these old French street signs....

And finally, old apothecary bottles. These are so sweet and would be perfect in the bath!

All of these items will be going in the shop tonight/tomorrow(ish). I can't believe I'm not keeping any of them! Well, like Wilbur, I can show great restraint when I need to...


Jul 25, 2008

Big Trouble Ahead - BIG!

I made the BIG mistake (I'll know exactly how big later) of leaving out a bag of smoked sausages where Wilbur could apparently reach them. And when I say a bag, I mean 10 smoked sausages that were each approx 12" in length. Please have mercy on my soul. (Although he doesn't know it, Wilbur has a rather sensitive stomach)

Thanks everyone for your kind words on the new look of my site! It's a little easier to navigate and I was able to use all of my own photographs throughout. I have added a few more items today including another 'Place in Time' clock. This one is very art deco in style and very heavy due to the solid lucite frame....

I just love these old metal clips - they make great bookmarks!

I made up another 'Dinner Party Bottled Fortunes' set - this one out of the sweetest mis-matched antique bottles...

Well, I guess I'm on poop patrol for the rest of the weekend.
What fun!

Jul 23, 2008

A Fab Score and a New Look!

My little girl Elle and I were about to head home after running a few errands yesterday when I asked her if we should pop into Value Village. Being the easy going girl she is she happily agreed so in we went. At our Value Village, the back wall is lined with plastic bags that contain mismatched job lots - all the 'smalls' they they don't want crowding the shelves. You have to be in a good mood to peruse these babies because

a) most are filled with junk - bad junk
b) there are hundreds of them

One caught my eye. I couldn't believe it, it contained a cut glass stopper (which I collect) and it just happened to be a fleur de lis. (which I love) The rest of the bag was filled with junk (big surprise) including two other stoppers which had plastic sleeves on the stopper part. Ugh. I have learned not to drag this kind of stuff home so what I do is go to the cash, take the desired item out of the bag, pay for it - a whopping $2.99 - and then hand them back the bag with the rejects and say "Here, I'd like to donate this back!"

I could see there was some kind of a marking on the bottom of the stopper but my eyes are not as good as they once were. My detective work would have to wait til I got home. There were also etched numbers on it and I thought that was a good sign.

Feeling like I had just robbed the store, I wanted to tun screaming "Start the car! Start the car!" like that crazy lady from Ikea.

Upon closer inspection at home I discovered that the marking said "Baccarat, France."
Oh Value Village, I love you so.

It's a triple threat:

A cut glass/crystal stopper - in a fleur de lis design - made in France by Baccarat.


As my husband would say, "It doesn't take much to make you happy, does it?"


O.k. Here's my exciting news...I have been collaborating with the uber-talented Cathy from Avalon Rose for a new look for my website. It was spur of the moment and rather serendipitous actually. The Hope Jar will make it's new debut today at 3 p.m. eastern! Because my shop has become more than just The Hope Jar, I wanted to change the look and feel of the site. Hope you will stop by and let me know what you think of it!

Jul 22, 2008

Shades of Inspiration

This week, all that glitters is


My sister in law gave me this pretty alarm clock for my "Place in Time" line. I took one look at it and said "It's too pretty, I can't dismantle it." She still let me keep it. :)

These are old die cuts I had hanging around. I have no idea where they came from...my memory is good - but it's short!

This is an old clock that I did alter into a "Place in Time". The base is lucite and very heavy....

And finally, an old bottle top...chippy and full of character...

Hope you enjoyed the photos....

I've got something really exciting in the works - I'll be able to show you very soon. It involves ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!

Jul 20, 2008

Show and Tell Sunday

Sweet Cerri from Little Pink Studio is hosting another fab Show and Tell Sunday - this one featuring ephemera. Here are some of the stashes that I have around the house....

These old dye packets are classic cream and black. It's a wonder they never got tossed to the trash over the years...

These are the old ledger checks that I carry on my site. I love the font on the them...

And antique labels that I sell too...

This is a collage that I made with my all time fav piece of ephemera. I color photocopied it and then tore it into pieces to make a collage. (this is currently for sale on my site too)

I actually used some of my old doctor's prescriptions in it too...the hand writing is to die for!

I also love to collect and display old black and white souvenir postcards. Their simplicity is divine...

Another love of mine - old seed packets - the graphics are crisp and clean on these babies!

And price tags. They make me feel like a kid in a candy store!

This is a page from an old children's book. I can't remember where I got it, I just wish I had the whole book!

Ahhhh, old die cuts. So many uses, so little time...

This is where I love to stash most of my ephemera. I love to say 'most' because really, I'm not that organized. I read a funny quote once - "People who are organized are just too lazy to look for things." That would be me. Life would just be too easy that way! lol

Have a great Sunday everyone!

Jul 18, 2008

To Paris, With Love

Junk. It loves me. I love it. So much so that it moves me. I was just sitting here at my (messy) desk listening to "When I Ruled the World" from Coldplay for maybe the, umm, 7th time in a row. My camera was beside me and I started moving some of the items on my desk. The lighting is poor because it's raining cats dogs and cows here but these items were directing me what to do...

The small brown non-descript book I picked up at a yard sale for 25 cents a while back. It has been patiently sitting beside my fax machine, feeling out of place. Published in 1864 I couldn't leave it there. Plus, I felt sorry for the yard sale lady. Her 87 year old father had just moved in with her and let's just say things were off to a rocky start. (that start including her selling off all of his old things!)

A stack of old postcards sat to my right. Fresh from an ebay auction win, I hadn't even really looked through them. My right hand grabbed the stack and the Eiffel Tower jumped out.

The 'art deco' metal X and O also came from ebay (ebay, can you cut me a deal here?) Hundreds of these metal letters are sitting in an old box beside my computer monitor. Inspiration hasn't hit me yet for these. The X and the O wanted to come out though.

Finally, an old tape measure that sits on my desk (to measure my patience level) wanted in on the action.


A photograph was born.

When junk calls, I listen. Let your junk guide you! You just never know where it will take you...

Jul 17, 2008

Perfection is Over Rated

The beautiful and talented
Linda from Restyled Home had this brilliant idea of hosting a "Perfectly Imperfect Week"... a chance for bloggers to show off our imperfect finds and what we do with them. Well, I am all over that one girls! ...

Imperfection is my middle name!

Take for instance these old costume pearls strands. I bought a whole lot of these at the flea market last summer. I sold some on my site but resisted selling any more because they were losing their lustre and were slightly imperfect. But imperfection = charm to me so I decided to display them on this old rack. I have to say they always get comments from visitors - some think I'm crazy and some think it's neat.

I couldn't resist transforming this old clock into "A Place in Time." Like I said before, each clock is different and presents its' own difficulties when taken apart. This one was nasty! As you can see, the frame would not sit back into the face so I whacked it with a hammer a couple of times. Imperfection indeed.

After a cleaning jag in my kitchen yesterday I pulled these old silver forks out of hiding. I hesitate using them because they are tarnished and I don't think they can be revived. I sure do love the look of them though...their imperfections only add to their character.

Remember this beauty I picked up at Sally Ann a few months ago? I did nothing to it. I hung it as-is and feel very protective of it. I just love that it wasn't thrown to the trash and even with it's perfections can go on to give pleasure.

Yard sale finds from last summer...everything in this box was slightly imperfect but after I arranged them all, I thought how lovely it all 'jived' together. The juxtaposition somehow worked.

There are so many woman out there who are making their own brand of antiques now. Not content to go into an antique store and spends oodles of money, they are re-purposing old cast-offs and relics and in doing so, creating a new antique - a 're-tique' if you will. The beauty of this woman is the fact that she can see past the imperfection and turn that over-looked cast-off into a treasured heirloom.

Now, that's my idea of perfection!

Jul 14, 2008

Pink & Green

This week's color for Shades of Inspiration on Flickr is Pink & Green....

This was a fabulous find at the flea market a few weeks ago. I believe it's a trivet and it was made in Germany. The roses are divine...it will be added to my site this week.

Thanks to a friend on Flickr I finally found out what this plant in my garden is - 'astilbe'. It is HUGE and I swear every year I think it is a weed because it grows very tall and has no blooms. I almost dug it out this year. A few days ago it sprouted these beautiful cotton-candy pink blooms. I just hope my early onset Alzheimer's doesn't kick in next year and I forget once again! Where did I put my mind?...

I have lots of these old porcelain roses with chips in them. I think the chips give them character. Kind of like the wrinkles on an older woman's face - if you don't see any, you get suspicious!

Here's a shot of the echinacea by my waterfall....this plant is so tall, it reaches my chin!

And finally, my absolute fav wallpaper of all time from a swap I did with sweet Holly of Holly Doodle Designs. It's only a piece but really, I covet it like no Christian woman should!

O.K., Monday is almost over and I have to say I am glad for it! I'm thinkin' take-out - how 'bout you? ...

Jul 13, 2008

I am the Mother of a Teenager!

Time sure does fly...

Saturday marked a milestone for my son Jack - he turned 13! We had a lovely warm, sunny day and he celebrated with some friends. Hubby provided the entertainment by letting them jump out of his construction lift into the pool. They loved it! (me, notsomuch)

Speaking of hubby, he had to unload the concrete clam shell out of the back of his truck so he just stick it into our front flower bed. I want it moved but have a feeling that in 5 years it will still be in this exact place!

Made some more of my 'Place in Time' clocks....I just love the unique design of this old metal one...

This one features a photograph of the 'Great Hall' in Warrick Castle - a very British Colonial look...

And finally another Champs Elysees photo with the Arch de Triomphe in the background.

It's funny because each clock is so different. Some can be easy to transform, others can be a nightmare! I always trying to leave the inner workings inside because I like the weight they provide and sometimes they will still 'tick' which I think is neat.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend!