Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday Sideline

It was great to see lots of friends at Gaye's studio sale on Saturday. I tried so hard to not bring home a lot of stuff that I have to find a place for, but I really get in trouble with books. I have good intentions when I get them... either to use the cool covers or to use the pages in projects. But when I do get them home, I don't want to tear them up, so I just keep adding to the stack!

Anyway... I don't have a lot of pictures of shoppers and the basement where the activity was. My job was to play doorman, letting people in, giving them a shopping bag, and directing them downstairs. During lulls, I spent my time taking pictures of anything nearby that had a face on it. I can't stress enough how cool Gaye's house is. First-time sale-goers always want a tour. Actually, that goes for second-timers, third-timers, etc...

I have been in Gaye's house many, many, many times, and even I keep seeing things I've never noticed before.

So what kind of house is this that intrigues people so much? It's the kind of house where you stare at a lovely woman in a red dress with shiny black boots, only to realize it's actually an umbrella.

It's the kind of house that has a whimsical doorstop, two bathing beauties under an umbrella.

It's the kind of place where you will find interesting smoking stands. (And before you start to gasp at my political un-correctness in talking about smoking, think about how rare a smoking stand is these days, or even an ashtray. They have gone the way of wooden dominoes, wooden rulers, and things that have mostly been replaced by plastic, only smoking stands are not being replaced by anything. So her interesting finds are sure to be even more unique because of their scarcity.)
Here's one with a very interesting woman's head and face. The other one is a little guy whose hat lifts up to reveal the ashtray part.

Her house is also the kind of house where old mixes with new in every corner. I don't like to think I covet other people's things, but these books...oh, they are soooo beautiful. If I thought I could get away with stealing them, I would. But she knows where I live!

Her house is also the kind of place where you might even find a surprise in the refrigerator. Her motto is that you should find something that makes you happy no matter where you look. So it is not at all unusual to find a fresh flower in a vase when you open the refrigerator door.

Or, on the shelf above it, something to just make you laugh!

That's the report from the land of Gaye Joy.... She has cleared out lots of things so she can concentrate on her "new focus", which many people asked about. I think she is going to start raising chickens and selling eggs on the side or something. But you didn't hear it from me.
Back to your regularly scheduled program!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

More Goodies

I think I might be the only person who goes to a yard sale and takes things with me to leave there.... I decided to follow Gaye's example and get rid of a couple of things. These are still very cool items that I love, but I got them from her at her past sales (at least 2 or 3 years ago), and since I still haven't used them they must be donated back. I'll miss them, but that's my plan and I'm sticking to it.

This is an old, er, I mean vintage wooden art case. I like it, even if it is bright orange. It's nice and big and sturdy. But I never used it, and never repainted it like I planned, so back it goes...

This is the cutest little "letter box". It has old fashioned graphics and has a latching closure. It's just waiting for someone to store some secret stuff in it. I was going to store all my love letters in it, but as you can see, it's empty (hee hee)....

Two down, and one .... to ....go...oooooh, I'm getting weak. Maybe I'll just hang onto this little metal box for a little longer. It would be great for putting tools in to take to a workshop. strong......

Here are some more things to tease you. Gaye took these - looks like she has been working very hard....

Her loss... your gain!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

All Things Letters

The Kentucky State Fair is going on right now. Although I have not had a chance to go see the exhibits, I did check the website to see who won the calligraphy categories. Congratulations to Myriam Coppens for first in framed calligraphy and Connie Newbanks for calligraphy books! I have seen the works of both of these ladies in the past, and they both work magic on paper! You can check out multi-talented Connie's work here. The state fair web site only lists the first place winners in each category, so I don't know who to congratulate for second and third place.

Speaking of great calligraphy, one of my favorite things is the yearly Graceful Envelope Contest. The theme this year was Address the Environment. You can see winning entries here. Absolutely stunning calligraphy/envelope/stamp combinations. And if you have some extra time, go back and look at past years' winners. Very inspiring.

Write on!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Number nine...number nine...

I'm thinking ahead for a change. I've been pondering what kind of monthly divider to use for my journal for September. What on earth could I use this time. What do I have nine of to spell out September? Nine things for the ninth month? Then, as so often happens, I got distracted and wondered if any of the other months had the same number of letters in their name that corresponded to the number of month (September is the 9th month and has 9 letters). Oh, okay, I admit it... I was once a math major a long time ago. Numbers just fascinate me. And FYI, September is the only month that fits that criteria. I guess it is special. And now it has me also thinking ahead to 09-09-09, which will be the date in a couple of weeks!

Anyway........ (are you still there?)..... What nine things did I come up with for the September divider?

None. I came up with One thing instead - a stencil of the number 9. I stenciled the 9 on both sides of a folded piece of canvas. Then I used watercolor crayons to color it (and also used a piece of plastic grid underneath on both the paper and the canvas). I brushed with a wet brush and let it all dry. After the paper dried, I stamped a swirl pattern, then sewed the number 9 to the page on the sewing machine. Done.

Below is a better look at the true colors....

I think Gaye was thinking that my picture of the mystery box was not a very good picture. It's all in perspective... in MY mind, I was thinking it would intrigue the viewer, making them wonder what else is in that box. Much like this picture below might make one wonder what else is in that bag....

Perspective, perspective..... (either way, there are goodies to be found!!)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Mystery Boxes

psssst....This is for the "locals".... Have you been wishing and hoping that Gaye will go through another one of her crazy wild phases, where she is overwhelmed with all the accumulated stuff and she starts sorting and boxing things up for another Big Sale?? You might want to be checking you emails closely in the coming days. I'm just saying.....

Monday, August 17, 2009

I See a Pattern Here

"Check out the groovy bell bottoms on that chick!"

"Oh, I love your leisure suit.. does it come in lime green?"

I get in trouble going to yard sales. I'll buy just any old junk. I don't have that discerning eye that Gaye does. So, when I went to an estate sale two doors down, I brought home a big box of old patterns among other things. Iwill share some and use some. I've seen people using pattern pieces in collage and also to cover things, sealed with beeswax. I've seen them in altered books. I can see the pattern envelopes used in a dozen ways. The pattern sheets can even be used as gift wrap, like tissue paper.

These patterns remind me of my college days... bell bottoms and leisure suits. For some reason, it also reminded me that back in college, dashiki shirts were the thing. I volunteered (for reasons that escape me now) to make shirts for a couple of my guy friends. We went to the fabric store together, got a pattern, picked out the fabric and picked out trim to go around the neck. I actually did make the two shirts and they wore them frequently. I think they paid me, but I'm sure it wasn't much. So..... I did a google search to see if I was spelling dashiki right. Holy cow, I think I found the actual pattern I used (see below). It sold for ebay for $5. What? people are paying $5 for old patterns? hmmmm. Anyway, I made the shirts from earthy tones, I think it was a muslin fabric with a brown trim. It was more like the man's shirt on the right, but shirt length, not caftan length (caftan--that's another word I have not heard since the 70's!)

Seems like a hundred years ago.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Book Happy

Before I get to my book happiness, I found more numbers that I got at the longest yard sale. I'm not sure what the original purpose of these might be. They are on stiff cardstock, and the number of times the number appears on the card seems to have nothing to do with the number itself. I stuck the cards in the side pocket of my tote bag to keep them from getting bent, and promptly forgot I had them!

And just to wrap up Stampaway a little more, I forgot to mention how great it is every year to see old friends... the Knoxville bunch...Mike and Chris from Coffee Break... the Missouri bunch... and the "local" friends that I never see until I go out of town (how weird is that!?). Pam Sussman was just back from her world travels and is now posting great stuff about her trip (thank goodness, as we readers of her blog know quite enough about steel now, and are ready to move on!) We always stalk each other at the convention so that neither of us miss any great buys!

--- One of the fun things at the Friday Night Preview is seeing the vendors and customers who dress up. The theme this year was "Wear Your Art". I think just about the funniest thing I ever saw was this foursome dressed as daubers, with their inked up sponge heads and t-shirts that read on the back "Da Daubers". I stole this picture from the Marco's blog, so go there to see more about Stampaway, with lots of pictures and also pictures of past years' costumes.

Now to my state of book happiness.... Mike Meador gave me this journal of recycled found paper. Not only is it a cool book, but I think I worked off five pounds just trying to get it out of its cellophane envelope! And I'm sure it's just a coincidence that it has pages in it for mental health evaluation notes. Yes, I'm sure it's just a coincidence...

---And then I have these two new journals. I had a gift certificate from Rag & Bone Bindery. I have always heard how great their blank journals are, so I carefully picked out two fabric designs for the covers and waited to receive my books. Oh, my, they do not disappoint. I don't think the right adjectives exist to describe them. They are very well made, with deckle-edge paper that just begs for all kinds of media, and they just smell good too. I can't describe the smell, something similar to new textbook and/or glue smell and/or fresh fabric. I know, none of that helps at all!!! The design for the darker one is Midnight Garden, and the more whimsical one is Dizzy Birds. Each book is made to order by hand once the fabric cover is picked out. Very yummy.

--- Then there is this little book. I mentioned back in June that I had bought the book "Re-Bound". I got it out again to look at it, and only then did I realize that the book in the cover photo was made from gift cards. I'm a sucker for little books, and I had to make one right away. The instructions are well written, and in no time I had a text block sewn to ribbons. I planned to use a couple of fake Discover cards for the covers (fake cards that came in the mail as a promotion to get me to apply for a Discover card.) I liked them because you can see through them, and I planned my design so that the checkerboard pages on the first and last sections of the book would show through the translucent covers. Well, as usual, I should have taken my time and read through the instructions first. There is another step where you glue cardstock to the inside of the covers, and that would defeat the purpose of using translucent covers. So I put it aside while I think about it. The more I think, the more I'm inclined to skip that step and just go ahead with attaching the ribbons to the cover. I'll post the final book when I'm finished with it.

---These pictures show the text block sewn to the ribbons, and the lower one shows the potential covers not yet attached.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Goods

I've been uploading more pictures of all the fun stuff Gaye and I found. These are from the Covington yard sales....

A box of metal letters that we split...these were fairly weighty letters, some were about one and a half inches tall and some were about two inches tall.

A scoop of metal butterflies (or possibly angel wings???)

We bought two sets of "tumbler jackets"--you know, those things to keep your glass from sweating. These had very cool metal numbers on them. We later discovered the numbers have prongs on the back, so they were easy to remove and will be easy to attach to something else.

Gaye bought this lovely lady. I suspect her face is a painted gourd or possibly another type of rind-ish fruit. I do know (because I grew up playing in cotton fields down south) that her colored hair ends are cotton bolls (the seed pod part of the cotton plant, where the fluffy white cotton grows).

Gaye bought these at a sidewalk sale at one of the businesses. She already has several of these at home, and got four more for a dollar to add to her collection. I guess the tattoo/biker shop felt they were worth 25 cents each, but we know better!!

Before we even hit the sales on Saturday, I realized I had left my hat at home. And the heat and humidity returned with a vengence on Saturday. We were in a church parking lot sale (envision hot, hot blacktop parking lot) and I decided I would buy the next hat I came across. So, that is how I ended up with this hat (from a missionary group).

Check this out... this is one of Gaye's wonderful finds along the way. This was a whole board full of these ticket type thingies.

The best part is, when you pulled them off and unwrapped them, more numbers inside....

And speaking of numbers, when I got home and spread out my purchases from Stampaway, I discovered that I mostly got numbers... number stencils, metal number tabs, numbers on mounted stamps, a numbered embossing plate, unmounted numbers.... Can you say Obsession?

This is the rest of my yard sale finds. More rulers (long ruler, short ruler, folding ruler, wooden ruler, metal ruler).....

....and a hodgepodge of other stuff (old wood stamps, small frames, old glasses, metal phone number dial, and odd 'n ends for book projects some day.)

Again, we did not really travel that far on Hwy 127 (unless you count backtracking in search of a gas station when we almost ran out of gas), but we did find some great items in the short distance we did travel. It's a pretty area too, with lots of black and white fences along the way (it is horse country, you know).

Until next year.....

Sunday, August 9, 2009

It Starts Here

Gaye and I had a great trip to Cincinnati and Stampaway once again. Thursday started very early, but we got to Cincinnati in plenty of time for her first two classes that day. She taught only one class on Friday, and it was over at 10 a.m., which meant we could drive down to Covington, Ky, and take in the sales on 6th Street.

-- Okay, the sign says it "ends here", but for us, it Starts here. And now that they have added a whole section of Ohio to the Hwy 127 yard sale, I guess this sign is wrong in that it no longer ends in Covington. Nevertheless, the weather was very nice and breezy with no humidity (very unusual for August).
--You never know what you will see at all the booths, and the variety is endless. I saw a lot of things to take pictures of, but most of the time didn't want the hassle of getting the camera out. I did take a picture of this sad iron. I had never heard of a sad iron, but there is a lot of information online about them. They are flat and very heavy. I don't iron a lot, but it sure makes me appreciate a modern iron that I don't have to heat in the fireplace!

I also took a picture of this very old cloth doll's head. The seller had a higher price on it than we were willing to pay, but taking pictures is free!!

This just cracked me up (no pun intended). This framed poster was nestled among some Christmas decorations. In the interest of modesty, someone had place a piece of blue painter's tape in the center of the picture. I guess it didn't help to sell it though!

Covington is full of history and interesting old buildings. I particularly like the Goose Girl fountain on 6th Street.

---The buildings above were across the street from where we had lunch at La Cherie Bakery and Bistro. There were a lot of places to eat, each with wonderful smells to entice hungry shoppers. At this one, we were lured in by their grilled cheese sandwich on homemade bread with a fresh fruit side dish. It was yummy, and they also had lots of fresh baked cupcakes and brownies that looked like they would melt in your mouth, but we didn't try any of those. We had more shopping to do!

---Here is something we kept seeing, and it is driving me crazy trying to figure it out. This was just off Interstate 75 near our exit. In the distance there was a water tower. Sometimes it had what looked like a cloth covering over it, and other times, the covering was gone and a large frame structure is visible at the top of the tower, kind of like a gigantic shower curtain frame! If anyone knows what that might be, I'd sure like to know! It didn't look like it was being painted, but I can't figure out why there would be a cover over a water tower! (Sorry for the poor quality pictures... they were obviously taken "on the go"!) The top picture shows the tower with the frame, and the second picture shows it with the cover.

I'm not sure which day it was (I think it was Thursday evening)--we enjoyed a tiny fish sandwich at the place with the giant boy. (Big Boy now has mini-sandwiches... perfect for when you are hungry, but don't want a big meal.)

I'll be posting more later, with pictures of some of our yard sale finds.