Thursday, May 28, 2009

For Two Local Friends

While going through boxes of photographs this week, I came across this one. It reminds me of the banner of my friend Louise's blog, Whispering Poppies.

Also for Louise, her very own Scarlet Poppy from the Flower Children book:

This is one very vivid and lovely lady!

Meanwhile over at Trout Towers, Susan is offering a tour of local spots. We tried taking our then 3-month old to the Beachcomber, but were turned away because he was underage. Really, no joke!

D'ya think he could even hold a long neck bottle of beer?

On the other hand, maybe it looks like he has had too much!

Years later, when we had moved to this spit of land, his senior class had a party at the 'comah and he had fun telling the story of being refused admittance when he was a babe!

Back to Chez Trout.
I seem to remember talk of topiaries for the garden.
Here are a few that would look right at home in that elegant abode!


Elephant and Giraffe

Hippo and Birdy

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Flower Children

My grandma was an inveterate reader. My dad is too. As a little girl, instead of rounding up the neighbor kids to play school, I gathered up my books and started a library. My set of Winnie the Pooh has a penciled notation in childish handwriting "8 to 10." I must have thought that age would like it!

This book belonged to my grandma. I loved to look at it when I visited her, though I can tell she never made anyone wash their hands before handling it!

As you can see, this book has been lovingly read and used. It was published in 1910, so it's possible my grandma had it as a child. I don't remember if my brother or sister liked it, I just know it was very special to me. I was honored when grandma gave it to me when I had kids.

As a kid I really liked this page, with Jack Frost and a somewhat timid Daffodil.

All the flowers are depicted as children wearing their flower costume. The verses are cute or funny and on some of them grandma crossed out what was printed and added her own lines.

The single most depicted flower in this book is the rose, in its many varieties. When I was looking for an image for my shop and studio, already having the name Rose Brier, I was delighted to find a flower child that fit:

Sweet Briar Rose!

She's the front of my Moo Mini cards. If you don't know about moo cards, check their website out. It's interactive so you can see what your cards will look like. The mini cards are really small (1 1/4" x 2 3/4") and really fun !

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Finding Treasures!

For the past two weeks I have been working on the shop. What with moves and a major house renovation, a lot of my stock was put away in boxes. It has been fun to re-discover all these amazingly cool items.

A family portrait from a box of photographs.
There's a fair bit of damage so it would be fun to alter.
There are lots more photos to put out for sale though.

Isn't she wonderful?
From a whole cache of vintage magazines.
This is from Scribner's Magazine, March 1903.

I put some of the paper into ephemera packets.
I'd love to make journals out of some of this wonderful paper.
I think I have too many ideas and not enough time!

In the center are "Friendship Tea" packages -- consisting of a vintage cup & saucer, linen napkin, demi-tas spoon and tea bag, all tied up in a pretty ribbon. I have seen these at other shops and think they are such a lovely gift for a friend. On the sides are orphan saucers with pretty and fragrant soap also tied up in a pretty ribbon. I'm hoping they will be a hit as hostess gifts.

I love to find vintage embroidered linens -- runners, table cloths, pillow cases -- I can make into covers for special clothes. I'm happiest when they have damage in the parts I don't need, makes it easier to cut up.

I think I have mentioned my love of buttons.
I love loose buttons and I particularly love buttons on cards. The graphics are so wonderful. The center card in this photograph was designed by me to hold sets of loose buttons. I hand colour the card depending on the color of the buttons.

In my work to get the shop orderly, I have made a big mess, but then that's what I always do when cleaning up!
Photos of the shop are going to have to wait.

Thanks for everyone's support.
I feel it every day and appreciate you all so much!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Getting Ready

This is a display I am working on for an upcoming vendor table. It's kind of a 3D inspiration board. Every time I look at it I think of more things I could sell and more things I can make.

My color scheme is soft pastels and whites.

Add to that the beauty of pearls and stardust glamour.

And don't forget the lace, vintage paper and some "friendship tea."

I have cleared off space on my work table.
I have all the pretty inspirational stuff in front of me.
And now on to creating!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Auction Treasurers

I work part, part-time for an appraiser/auctioneer/estate sale producer. The estate sales are maybe 10 times a year and the auctions about twice a year. I won't get rich working for him, but I always have a fun time. On Saturday he had an auction. He is a high end appraiser, so usually his auctions are beautiful old furniture and expensive paintings. When he tells me the sale (estate or auction) is not that great, I know I am going to love it!

Lot 1, Miscellaneous Costume Jewelry.

Under the "junk," were these wonderful rhinestone and sparkly bits!

I have a project that these faux pearls will be perfect.
I even like it that they are really white.

This shelving unit was used in an industrial shop. The casters had years of string wrapped around them, so my sweet husband spent part of his afternoon getting these wheels free and easy to move.

Azubah is standing next to the new shelving piece. It looks like she has some kind of space helmet on, really they are just straw hats, in time for the summer season!

I only had to move a few things around to get this shelving to fit where I wanted it. My DH thinks I should always have measurements for areas I want to add furniture, but the problem is it may fit, but will it look good? I was lucky, I was able to make it fit and I like the look.

I am planning on using this to hold paper bits, like Latin vocab cards in glassine envelopes with a bit of Latin dictionary page behind. Books that would be great cut up (of course the buyer doesn't have to cut the books up) and other things that an altered art/collage artist might like. It will be a nice addition to the porcelain tea cups and vintage linens.

This old ladder used to be where the new shelf is. I'm glad I moved it out, now you can see the pretty monograms on the linens.

All the support from the blogoshere has really made a big difference in getting the shop ready to open. I actually see an opening date on the horizon!

The shop space has some natural alcoves. This made it easy for me to divide it into 5 sections. Each section has a general theme -- babies & kids, lady's sitting room, in the garden, vintage fashions, sewing room -- the themes are helpful guidelines but I'm not being too strict. Sometimes the most fun is finding something unexpected!

I'm about half-way done. Oh I wish I had a friend who loved to price! I love to iron, there has to be someone who loves to determine just the right price, who knows the things I sell and can remember what I paid for them (I can't always)! We could trade! Until she comes along, that is the next thing up for me.

Hope you all had a Happy Mother's Day. My husband took me out to lunch after church. I called my mom and my kids called me, so there is peace in our little universe!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


This is Mehitable. She is wearing clothes co-opted by my daughter.
It's so cool to have a girl who loves vintage clothes!

That same girl who loves vintage clothes is a college junior taking 4 English courses this semester. Since high school she has asked me to read the papers she writes. I feel blessed she cares for my opinion, tho I think the value I provide is in reassuring her that her papers are really good. Oh, I suggest a possible word choice (not always used) and where to put commas. And I am good at catching mistakes in bibliographies. She is such a good writer, what editing I suggest is really minor; my value has never been in re-writing anything she does! In fact I think she has taught me to be a better writer, not the other way around.

It's the last week of the semester, so in between reading papers for my daughter, I have been working over in the shop!

My daughter discovered this sweater which used to belong to my mom. Some of the beads were missing so I sewed vintage faux pearls on to complete the pattern. She wore it to a couple parties. Now I am looking for the same style and size, without the beading, for day wear! It's always easy to spot the vintage ones cuz the buttons are so understated and distinct.

And here is where I make the transition from daughter to buttons;
editing papers to editing collections!

I have been opening boxes and sorting whatever is in them. Last week it was photographs and ephemera. That was easy. This week it is buttons and I am overwhelmed! I really love buttons and have an extensive collection. Sorting them just sidetracks me! Trying to edit what I have is almost impossible.

A pile of the distinct sweater buttons. The smaller ones are probably from the 1940's & 50's.

Most of these glass buttons have pie-crust edges.
I love it when I discover coloured ones.

I would like to get a new camera for close-ups. Standing on a 4 legged stool is a bit precarious, and it still didn't give me the clear shot I wanted.

And now it's time for me to go read the last paper of this semester. I am thoroughly impressed by her stamina. 3 Lit courses and an advanced Poetry Seminar would have done me in!