Saturday, February 26, 2011

Artful Measuring

Recently, I was admiring my little clock collection......the ones I've found treasure-hunting that I refuse to sell. While I appreciate the gifts of technology, as evidenced by my use of digital photography and the internet, some digital inventions just won't do. Specifically, clocks and watches. I have a radar for a beautiful old timepiece, and my heart skips a beat every time I spy an under-priced one in my junking jaunts. Although their aesthetic appeal is what grabs my attention first, it's the soothing sound of their sweet ticking that lulls me to sleep at night, especially several at once. Makes me feel as though I'm in a clockmaker's atelier in the Old World.

But as I pondered about my timepiece fixation, it occurred to me that my quest is much broader than for just clocks and watches. I realized I have an affection for antique measuring devices in general. Scales, rulers, tape meaures, barometers, etc. I even like compasses, but that's probably just because they look like clocks.

I suspect if I took the time for more introspection, I'd uncover the root of  my jonesin' for all things that measure, but for now, I'll just say it's because it rhymes with treasure. :)   

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, snow has always been a hit and miss kinda thing. Some years we've had a foot, and others, maybe an inch, if we're lucky. Portland is only an hour from Mt Hood, but if you aren't active in snow sports, your only option is an Indian snow dance and crossing your fingers, especially when you're only sitting at about 250 ft above sea level. This winter we were really neglected in the snow department, so any trace of it makes someone like me giddy when it floats down and actually sticks, even if it's only an inch or 2 deep. Well, today was proof that it's never too late for snow, as the tail end of February is a hint late for us, here in the Willamette Valley. Oregon is blessed with massive amounts of foliage and diverse terrain, even within Portland's city limits, so the combination of crisp green, texture, and the beautiful white stuff is especially magical and striking. And even as I write this, all the snow has already melted, so I'm glad I snapped these quickly this morning.

I've endured many years of heckling from transplants of other states, like Minnesota, etc, who have lived in much harsher winters. But I'm sure an Alaskan would heckle anyone in the lower 48, so it's all relative. Truth is, Portland winters are relatively mild, so the irregularity of snow keeps residents rather out of practice when it comes to driving in it. It also doesn't justify Portland owning a large fleet of snow equipment, so any amount of snow or ice can easily shut us down. We're a pretty hilly city, along with a slew of bridges, so accidents are almost a guarantee. Some of us have no problem driving in snow, but I personally refrain, in an effort to avoid those drivers who are either reckless, or clueless, about how to maneuver in a slick spot. I'd rather look like a wimp and stay off the road, than watch helplessly as another car barrels into mine. No thank you......... 

But for every person who panics when it snows, there is another one who is delighted to see it. So I'm going to go start another snow dance, in the hopes of conjuring up some more, before Winter officially leaves......... 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Flashy Eye Candy

The list is long, of the antique treasures my heart skips a beat for, and ephemera is one of them. As an artist, rich and finely-detailed graphics rank high on my list. Over the years of treasure-hunting, I've stumbled upon a publisher that really delivered in artistic excellence, and have since acquired a few of their lovelies. Platt and Munk items are major eye candy for me. I was fortunate to rescue this collection of giant alphabet flash cards, each measuring 9-1/2" x 13-3/4". Although it is an incomplete set (I think I'm missing 7 letters), it was a miracle I rescued as many as I did, as they were being tossed around in a Goodwill bin full of books, getting bent and soiled. Gag me, I really hate that. No respect for vintage......

I considered copying and shrinking my favorites to use as gift tags and decoupage projects, and they would look fabulous framed as is. But to use one of Sue of Vintage Rescue Squad's favorite words, "alleged", I think these would shine if I suspended them, with clothespins from a string, to create a banner for my "alleged" antique booth someday......... (Nothin' but love for ya Sue.)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

For the love of Books

My friends can attest to the fact that I am not an avid book reader. I can count on two hands the number of novels I've read in my adult life. My creative mind gets easily distracted, always with a plethora of ideas and projects I could be tackling. Despite my lack of interest in heavy reading, however, I am paradoxically in love with books. Old old books. The older, the better. Case in point.........this sublime collection of Mark Twain limp leather books from 1917. Twenty-six of them to be exact. An abfab estate sale find. The look and smell of old leather books is Nirvana to me, and there's something about being wrapped in a room full of them that inspires my creativity. Go figure.......

P.S. Perhaps if I'd actually read each of these books, I would've noticed the copyright dates range from 1897 to 1918, which I assume means the reader waited, with great anticipation, for each title's printing.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I Heart Treasuries

Two more Treasuries I was featured in today. It never gets old....

Oriental Tin

Very very old Prayer books

Saturday, February 12, 2011

More Etsy Amour

My sublime melamine Aqua tray was featured in an Etsy Treasury today. I do love that tray........

Preservation and the 4th Reward

Sometimes when I talk about my treasure-hunting to people, I get a polite smile and a blank stare, because they cannot remotely comprehend my passion. I might go on about how I scored an old typewriter. Perhaps I rescued some precious WWII yearbook that should be cherished by a historian or a veteran, rather than being tossed around in a Goodwill bin. And "what are you going to do with a bunch of old black and white photos of people you don't even know?" they ask. Well, I think all treasure-hunters can agree on the rewards of our passion, namely the Hunt, the Research, and the Profit. And when we are really fortunate, we receive that precious 4th reward. Sometimes it's the satisfaction of rescuing a rare or collectible item, that would otherwise perish in the landfill. Maybe it's just the satisfaction of not adding more to the landfill. But perhaps my favorite of all, is when it involves receiving a message from my customer, telling me why they purchased it, and those stories tend to be very heart-warming. Today was one of those days.  

I recently sold this tiny basket in my Etsy store. It was very well made, with a wooden base, and braided woven bands, leading me to believe it was a child's basket purse or a salesman's sample. It is only a little over 6" long x 4" wide. My customer wanted me to know how much her daughter loves her basket. She bought it for her to carry her Beanie Baby dog in whenever they go shopping. How can you not smile when you picture that image? This basket did indeed find a special home, and is creating a new childhood memory. Yes, the 4th Reward is definitely a good thing. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Etsy Treasury Love

I'm always thrilled and flattered when anyone features an item of mine in a Treasury or Blog. Today I was featured twice. Yay! Thank you fellow Etsians!

Happy Birthday Teacup

Salt & Pepper Trio

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Today's Treasure

Sweet little find that I'm going to list in my Etsy store. I picture this as a mini gift basket, filled with chocolates or bite-size cookies. Wrapped up in designer cellophane or tulle, and tied off with French ribbon and velvet or paper flowers. When the treats are gone, it can be fashioned into a pin cushion. Too cute!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Well, after much vacillating I am officially blogging. I've been a lurker for several years, reading many artistically-inspiring blogs, and now I hope to contribute my own ideas to the inspiration pool.

I will be sharing my adventures in treasure-hunting, decorating, crafting, transformations of trash into treasure, and anything noteworthy (to me) that day. :) Hello World!
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