Monday, July 30, 2012

Thrifty Enlightenment.....

For many many years now, I have been waxing poetic about my love for antique and vintage treasure-hunting to anyone who will listen. 

Of its many virtues, learning something new is always a great bonus, and sometimes the new knowledge is worth more than the item. 
At least to me it is......

Case in point.......I brought home this deck of cards the other day. I generally scan the decks, but I rarely buy them. The only reason I bought this deck was because I liked the graphics. Thought maybe someone might buy them for art projects on Etsy. After researching the brand, I decided to list them on Ebay, just in case they're worth more than what I would've sold them for on Etsy.

Now while these may not be valuable, I was intrigued about the sticker on the box. It is a tax stamp. I was unaware that playing cards used to be taxed. My research tells me this tax stamp was issued between 1929 and 1940. Sherlock types like me bow to the god that is Google....:)

The other thing I learned is about the company that made them, which is Arrco. (Two R's, so not the petroleum company.)  I would not have even known they were made by Arrco had I not looked at the aces in the deck. Anyway, their unused vintage Tahoe brand decks can sell for up to $200 on Ebay. They are apparently the deck of choice for magicians. I will now spend more time scanning the card decks in the thrift store, as there are usually stacks of them. There are repros out there, so I will have to research the brand further.

The second treasure I brought home was something else I've never seen before. I've seen lots of Pyrex custard cups, but never with etched flowers on them. The etching has some great detail too. I'm sure Pyrex collectors have seen these many times, but they're new to me.

The Google god tells me the pattern number 410 was only produced 
from the late 1920's to the early 30's.

Though their age shows, I still thought they were charming enough 
to bring home.

Linking To:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Don't Run with Scissors!

Remember these giant scissors?

I decided they would be more desirable if they were stripped down to the aluminum.

Oh, paint stripper, I love you so.......
Especially when there's pitting in the aluminum surface,
which makes it harder to remove paint.

These would be just the prop for Lily Tomlin,
sitting in her giant rocking chair.

Yes, that does date me, doesn't it?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Chalk Paint Possibilities.......

You know, I've been playing (and working) with paint since I was a teenager. As much as I've always enjoyed the instant gratification, I've never had as much happy anticipation as I do with chalk paint. I think it's obvious why......little to no prep work required, and fantastic distressability. Good word....Distressability.....

Now whenever I scout the thrift store aisles, I'm even more enthusiastic when I find a paintable object with great potential. (Since I don't have the space to bring home furniture, I have to restrict my acquisitions to smaller items like shelves, curios, etc.)

Found two cute pieces this weekend, just aching for a makeover. Here's the first:

Isn't this adorable? It's definitely homemade,
with painted plywood tiers. 
When I first bought it, I originally thought I'd sell it as is. much as I love red, I think a couple more
chalk paint colors, using the red as a base,
will add some serious nostalgic charm.
I first imagined this for vendor displays at a
flea market, but how adorable would this be
at Christmastime, holding a bazillion
little bottle brush trees. Or how about a bazillion cupcakes........
yeah, cupcakes....
with coconut on top......

Focus, Focus.....
Yeah, yeah. So here's the other treasure....

This is one of those really small, low-sitting footstools.
I think with some new stuffing, fabric, and paint,
she could be a real charmer.

I'm hoping that blogging about them pre-facelift 
will force my follow-through skills to kick in
sooner, rather than later. 

Okay then. On to the paint....

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Treasure-Hunting Soothes the Soul Indeed.......

That has been the motto of my Etsy shop and blog from their inception. That motto could not have been truer than when I picked up this beauty at Goodwill yesterday.

I've found a couple wicker bottles in the past,
but this one truly merits being called a demijohn,

measuring 15" tall and 8" diameter at its widest point.

Upon further inspection, on the bottom,
there was a piece of wood with only a few letters.
Thank the gods for Google, I was able to find a match
for the incomplete words, (H. Heye Hamburg), telling me this gorgeous 
treasure came from Germany.

If I didn't purchase this specifically for selling, 
I would sooo keep it.
Look how fabulous it looks with my other treasures.

I also bought this hand mirror the day before.
All brass, with fantastic raised details, and ruffled edges.
I just couldn't stop taking pictures of this grouping.
So much texture and contrast, that is was difficult
to take a bad picture. I think it needs a place in my banner.

This demijohn is definitely the find of my week, or maybe my month,
and is a perfect example of why treasure-hunting soothes
My soul........
Dear Demijohn, it's not you, it's me. I have financial needs 
that outweigh  my love for you. I'm sure you will find
someone on Ebay who will love you more than money.
Farewell, my German friend.......

Linking To:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

La Vie en Aqua

That pretty much sums it up for me. 
You can't keep me away from the aqua paint for long.......

Here's another little fixer-upper I acquired recently.
A vintage mirrored curio shelf/shadowbox/cabinet.....

She's kinda cute already, but why settle for mediocrity, 
when fabulous is just hours away.

Many hours.......

Ain't she sweet?
I don't know what I spent more time on.....mixing the custom colors,
or the gilding, distressing, and waxing.......

I created a soft marigold orangey color for the base coat, 
then a top coat of aqua for the body and shelves,
and a warm cream for the inside body 
and accents on the outside.
Since I already knew I wasn't going to use the Rub-n-Buff,
this time I added gold pigment powder to a brilliant gold
patio paint I had on hand.
Since it's water-based, it allowed me to do all the gilding
before the distressing and waxing, as the wax would've 
smeared the Rub-n-Buff off.

Now, here's the fun surprise.
I didn't like how plain the boxy back looked as one color,
so I decided to get a little more creative.

I free-handed a simple design that mimicked the frame curves.
I wanted to enhance the sides, without out-doing the frame.
Now I realize the future owner could potentially 
insert it into a whole in the wall (not likely),
but it's a chance I was willing to take.

I've talked a lot about mixing my own "make do" chalk paint,
because it's so much more affordable. (Almost free, actually,
since I mix paints I already have on hand.)
But it needs to be said that while it's cheaper,
using Plaster of Paris makes the painted surface rougher
than Annie Sloan's chalk paint, and requires a light sanding, 
where Annie's does not. So besides having the added step
of waxing and buffing, sanding after painting (with the homemade) 
is also required. I haven't tried Calcium Carbonate yet though, 
so maybe it's smoother.

Of all the pieces I've painted, this may be one I could easily find a place for.

Linking To:
Saturday Nite Special link party via Funky Junk Interiors
shabby creek cottage

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Vive l'Amerique

Photo Courtesy of 123rf

......Well, she is French, after all.......

"I'm proud to be an American, 
where at least I know I'm free."
So many people, in this great big world, 
live with oppression their entire life.
Let's not take our freedom for granted.
Happy 4th of July Everyone!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Gilding the Green Lily

Happy July!

I've been having fun playing with paint. No big shock there.....
Mixed yet another homemade chalk paint color.
Being that I've had a one-track mind in Aqua,
I thought I'd change it up a bit for Summer.
Remember this sad corner shelf with great bones?

Isn't she just a bit divine now?

I was in a French mood the day I was mixing the paint,
so I came up with this fabulous pear tint.
I painted the shelves Cream to add more lines, 
and heavily distressed everything.
And as usual, clear and dark wax.

This is seriously a tricky color to photograph.
Every change in the light morphs it from Spring green
to yellow green. I love chameleon colors. 
Makes the piece more interesting.

Since I was in a Frenchy mood, I thought I'd keep going with gilding. This piece has such gorgeous curves, that I felt a little gold would really accentuate the positive.I didn't have any gold leaf on hand, so I applied some Rub-n-Buff. It didn't produce the brilliance I desired, so I mixed some gold pigment powder with gloss sealer, then brushed it over the gold wax.  Definitely an improvement. The gold is sanded along with everything else, to keep the aged look consistent.   

It's gorgeous enough to keep, 
but into the Etsy shop it shall go!

Linking To:
Saturday Nite Special link party via Funky Junk Interiors

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