Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What's Bigger than a Pinata? or Reinventing Paper Mache'

This is a close up of a project I just finished.  I had a lot of fun making this mannequin, though I have to admit it was very, very time intensive.  Let me tell you about the process.
I started out by doing about 8 paper mache layers on a plastic commercial mannequin that I own, and use for displaying clothing at Treasures Antique Mall, where I work.

It took me almost 2 weeks to complete the paper mache process, then I slit the side and shoulders of the mannequin. (Which also scored the plastic mannequin, so one should probably not borrow a mannequin for this purpose.)  My husband cut a wood base and interior waist for our girl, then attached the base of a reproduction wood plantstand that I found at a garage sale last week for $4.

He then cut another circle for the neck opening, and I screwed in the finial for a curtain rod.  He ran screws through the paper mache into the three wood disks essentially pulling her back together.  Next I did a plain paper layer of paper mache, to cover the screws and opening from our girl's reconstruction.

Next I paper mached diamond shapes cut from a French book.

I later varnished and then using furniture stain, I 'antiqued' the finish. Then I used a black enamel paint to paint the wood parts of the mannequin.  Last of all I added an antique collar and cameo, as well as a satin ribbon and bow at the waist. 
And this is a picture of the completed mannequin.  I was very, very happy with her, and have already started her slighter younger sister!!  She is now for sale at the Walter Larsen Antique Show in Salt Lake City at the Expo Center at 9575 S. State St, this week from March 31, to April 2.  Hours on Thursday and Friday are 11:00 A.M. to 8 P.M., Saturday is 11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Come and see me!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Ever Amazing LaVern Reinvents!!

Since I made you all suffer through another 'my life' post, I have decided to treat you all this morning with some eye candy provided by yet another very talented friend.  The doll below is just one of many of LaVern's recreations.  LaVern favors dolls from the 30's through the 50's.  She loves composition dolls made during this period, such as the sweet blond below. 
One interesting thing about this doll is that LaVern not only dressed her, she made her wig.  The wig is made of mohair, a common material used in doll hair of that period. She had to sew the mohair onto the backing, but it was the setting of it that was very, very time consuming, with each row of curls having to be complete before the next row was begun.  Isn't it beautiful?
When one sees the faces of dolls from this period its not surprising that LaVern loves them.

This is the doll's complete outfit.

This doll is one that LaVern found at the garage sale of a fellow doll collector.  She too is Composition and cost less than $5.  When LaVern dressed this pretty little girl she thought she would look good with red shoes.  Being a fan of red myself, I totally agree.  The problem is that LaVern didn't have any vintage red shoes, though she did have some that fit, so she flattened them out and figured out the basic pattern and then made these shoes from a fairly stiffed back velvet.  When I saw them I asked if they were vintage or new, I had no idea that she had made them!!

Here is a close up of the shoes.

Composition Nancy Ann Story Book dolls are a common interes of ours, in fact we have done a bit of trading back and forth.   I love this dolls outfit, another that LaVern made, because of the adorable apron, which LaVern fashioned from an old hanky. 

These little plastic dolls are made by Knickerbocker.  They are of a similar vintage as the Compo dolls LaVern favors, overlapping during the 50's when the final compo dolls were being produced, they are made of early plastic.  Lavern crochets outfits for them, by themes, such as holidays, nursery rhymes and children's stories.  I am always on the lookout for them for her and have contributed a fair number to populating her displays.

These two are birthday partiers!

This is the Queen of Hearts, from Alice in Wonderland, hobnobbing with Humpty Dumpty!

Now we can take a look at some of the design elements that LaVern has used in her family room.  She loves vintage, and like so many of us, has decided on an accent wall in 50's green.  (which color I might mention was also popular in the 30's and even in the 1890's)

The vintage pastel colored vintage pots add some fun to the room, playing off the great green color of the accent wall.

Last of all is the inspiration for LaVern's room.  It is a block from a quilt made by her grandmother, that never actually became a part of the a quilt.  This quilt block ties her to her predecessors and makes it the perfect background for a focus on the most important thing in LaVern's life, family.  She is the mother of 11 children, the youngest of whom is now 12, and runs her own, very creative, pre-school.  This woman has more energy than any other three women combined, as you can see. Thanks LaVern for allowing me to share your talents!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

All Austen All the Time!!

Yep, its turning into a bonafide Austen week!! (Thursday to Thursday anyway)  It started last Thursday night at book club when I mentioned that this year is the 200th anniversary of the publishing of Jane Austen's first book, Sense and Sensibility.  The other ladies then decided to move some books around and slide it into our reading list for the year!!  Yeah, happy me!!
Then on Friday night we attended the performance of Pride and Prejudice at a Lone Peak, a local high school.  Good friends of ours have kids that attend there and some how 'just knew' I would be interested in seeing the play.  It was an original musical and was the 'world premiere' written  by Laura Bedore and Kathy Skidmore.  Above I am shown with two of the Bennett sisters.[

Here I am with the young woman who played Aunt Catherine, she did an amazing job, and I told her it was nice to be in a picture with someone who has more wrinkles than I do!! :-)The play probably had a few more songs, than it needed, in my opinion, but the dialogue was tight, and managed to keep all the best bits.  The authors combined events and added dialogue to scenes in a manner that was pretty seamless, as in others, who don't know most of the dialogue by heart, would find that the plot flows nicely.  A job well done ladies!!

Here is my husband Scott, on the left, with our play going friends, Jeff, Robin, Ryan, Barb, Bettilou and Randy.  Barb and Randy's daughter Krista also came along, but disappeared as soon as the play was over. ... I did find her later though and the picture below is of Krista with Mr. Darcy!! Luckeeee!

My favorite quote from an article in the school Newspaper was by the young man who played Wickham, "It's going to be a really good show," said Christian Jolley  "It is going to be a classic!".   I am still laughing about that one. (Note made on December 19, 2011 - Evidently Christian was misquoted, and is also a great Austen fan, see his comment, the 3rd, below)
So now, for the rest of my Austen intense week.  On Saturday my husband decided to listen to the final half hour of Pride and Prejudice on his Ipod fed through the car radio after our date.  Today I am blogging about Austen, tomorrow I am going to see the Play Persuasion at BYU with my granddaughter Kim, my Friend Jennifer and her daughter Bronwyn.  Wednesday will be pretty much Austen Free, unless I find time during setting up for the Walter Larsen Antique show to start into my annual re-reading of Pride and Prejudice.  On Thursday I am attending my first meeting of the Utah Chapter of JASNA. (The Jane Austen Society of North America) ... we will be attending and discussing the play .... Persuasion!!  at BYU. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Kuddos to Ashley!!

I just wanted to show you all the adorable cake that my third daughter, Ashley make.  If you remember seeing the bedroom that I redid in a 'frenchy' style for my granddaughter Kim in an earlier blog, you should know that Ashley is Kim's talented mother.

I love this 'Easter Basket' cake, and think it is so fun to have such an artistic daughter.  But, the thing that I am the most proud of is that she made this cake and others, for a fund raiser for a friend of hers whose husband  (or was it father?) is in need of a lung transplant.  This is the second set of cakes she has made and donated for this cause.
Ashley used to be a cake decorator for a local bakery, and it shows!! 

A special thanks to Ashley for sending me these pictures and more thanks to my smart daughter Becca who fixed my smart phone (which in my hands is often a dumb phone) so that I can email pictures with it now, which allowed me to access these pics for my blog!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Re-invintage as Refashioning!

When your children are small you spend hours and hours teaching them things, then one day they are grown and return the favor.  My daughter Becca increased my vocabulary this week when she sent me an address for a friends blog, who had spent the day refashioning with her sisters.  It looked like fun, so I googled 'refashion' and found lots of fun sites showing off what clever girls had made from clothing that had issues.

Becca wanted to play too, so we made a date to get together and refashion.  She came stocked with items she had picked up on Dollar Monday at the local thrift store, along with a few items of clothing that she loved something or other about, but each had an issue that kept her from wearing it.  These pictures are the result of our first foray into refashioning.  Some successes. and some boo boos, but we will tell all!!
This rosette is made from part of a dress that was a favorite of Becca's.  Her husband had picked it out for her, but it was just a bit too short for her to be comfortable wearing it.  It's a silky jersey print, that flows nicely and feels delightful.  This is what we did.

The wrap top made it a bit tricky, but we cut it about 6 inches about the dresses 'waist' line and hemmed it.  This meant hemming two thicknesses of the stretchy fabric in the front, which was a little tricky, but

the resulting skirt, with a hippy tie, has all the pop and flow of the dress and falls about 6 inches longer. 

The tie across the hips is still suggestive of the wrap style, and the rosette made of left over fabric ties the neutral black t-shirt into the outfit.

In this instance, Becca loved the dots and border print of this cute red and white top, but being somewhat busty, she disliked the emphasis on the bust line, and the way it made her feel that 'things were going to fall out'.  Using the red T she had worn under it in the past, we made

a simplified top that kept the things she loved about it's predecessor, and even allowed her to go from long sleeves to three quarter sleeves on the top.  Then with the left over sleeves and bottom portion of the red t she was able to embellish

this fun black and white print t, adding some personality.  The idea was great, but when we added the ruffles straight down the front we did not think about the stretching across the bust that would occur.  See, we learned something that will be useful in the future.   We did like using the bottom portion of the red t sleeves to make the other t sleeves longer and give them a layered look, as the shorty sleeves had been cut in such a way that they made the upper arms look fuller than they actually are.

So that is our foray into refashioning.  Go out and google some sights that share people successes.  It's very fun.  One interesting thing is realizing that no idea is really new.  I remember as a child the most clever mothers who remade old coats and dresses for their children.  The difference with refashioning is that it is quicker, than completely taking an item apart and cutting smaller pattern pieces from it and then essentially starting from scratch.  The focus in refasioning is on using seams that are in place, when possible and adding or taking away elements.  Definitely a creativity builder and a fun mommy daughter date!!  Lets do it again! (And guess who has asked for a sewing machine for Mother's day?)

Monday, March 21, 2011

To Auction to auction to buy a fat pig ... then home again, home again ...

So its auction day in the small central Utah town of Payson.  Brad Silcox is our only remaining auctioneer, and he holds at least a monthly auction at the old Peteeneet school, which was built ten years after my historic home here in Payson, but was designed by the same architect! 
If you are wondering what an auction has to do with Reinventing things, then you can consider this picture a 'before' picture.  I found this fainting couch, which actually looks better in this picture than it does in person, at the auction for a mere $30!  My pleasant surprise of the day. After I 'reinvent' it, you won't recognize it.  It has great bones, but needs to be literally striped down to 'said' bones before it will be ready for it's new life!! 

Since the couch was a surprise, I wasn't prepared to take it home, and we all know transporting your finds at an auction is a must.  Luckily for me, my neighbor, seen here on the other end of the fainting couch, Dana, was on hand with his truck to be the white knight of the day.  Thanks Dana!!

Of course seeing auction and antiqueing friends, and in my case neighbors at an auction is one of the attractions for me.  This is Noel and Tom, both of whom are dealers at Treasures Antiques with me.  I actually sat between them for the first half of the auction, on the front row.  Its easy to get a good look at items you hadn't noticed in the preview, and the auction helpers will actually hand smaller items to you, while they are being auctioned, for a quick check over!!

These folks are good customers at the antique mall that we have come to appreciate over their years of patronage.  Its always fun to see them, and they are also good customers at the flea market I have been running for about 8 years now!!

This is my friend Marva (and distant relative, if you remember her from one of my baby shower blogs) and a friend of hers, all ready to put up their cards at the most opportune moment!!

This is my good friend and neighbor Brandy, with her next door neighbor Bev.  One great thing about going to a local auction, is seeing neighbors whom I adore, but despite the fact they live three blocks away, I rarely see.  I love these girls!!

And here is the crew.  Brad Silcox is the man in the hat.  He's been the very entertaining auctioneer here in town since before I moved here in 99.  His daughter is filling in as the clerk on the right.  Her name is Ashley and she is actually also a member of my congregation!!  The little guy, I believe, is one of Brad's Grandsons.  I took my foreign exchange student, Rui to the auction with me and she was delighted to see Ashley, who is a leader in our teen group at church!!  I am also sure she found Brad's quick quips to be very entertaining as well. 

A lot of people go to these auctions just for the laughs, its a fun and energetic way to spend the afternoon!  If you are interested in attending any Silcox Auctions this is the site.

This was probably the funniest moment for me.  This little guy grabs this devise to be auctioned, he holds it up and turns to his grandpa, the auctioneer and asks him what it is.  Everyone laughed.  What 8 year old boy doesn't know what a pogo stick is?  Well, as it happens I took my own 8 year old, over the top energizer bunny type, grandson to a second hand store last fall where he found a hopped up modern version of a pogo stick, and he was fascinated with the 'brand new' idea for a toy!!  I hope he is still enjoying it!!   :-) Where else can a grandma buy a kid something for $5 that he loves and that makes his eyes light up like that?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pretty in Pink - Back at Stacy's

Well folks, its time to revisit Stacy's office, since she has been busy doing a bit of 're-inventing' herself.  I stopped by to get some help adding bells and whistles to my blog.  Please note my list of favorite sites to the left.  Of course http://stacysshabbyshoppe is right on top!!
This charming over sized glitter plaque is a favorite of mine.  Stacy purchased it at Dear Lizzie, a charming boutique with antique accents in Highland, Utah.  Dear Lizzie's is a magical place and the owner is a customer of ours at Treasures Antiques in Springville, though she mainly buys display pieces these days.  Another dealer at the mall told me that she had purchased the grand piano 'shell' that was in our bone yard, and had made it into a startling Halloween display.  Very, very talented lady!!  If you have a chance check out her shop, you will NOT regret it!

So back to Stacy's office.  This fabulously shabby shelf contains all those little bits and pieces that remind Stacy of things that she loves.  Note the French influences and the rose embellished china pieces.  There is even a book on the making of the Marie Antoinette movie with Kirsten Dunst, which Stacy and I both adored! .  (Did I ever mention that I was once alone in a tiny room with Kirsten Dunst?)

Its fun to see how Stacy softens the presentation of office necessaries like her scale, with charming things like an overflowing vase of lush flowers which draw your eye away from the work elements.

Of course shelving full of stock for Stacy's online store are pretty easy on the eye.  If you see anything that charms your socks off take a look at Http:// and you could become its new owner!

...  of course being the vain little girl that I am I had to show you a close up of my name on my shelf, since I consign with Stacy.  And if you do not believe that I am a vain little girl just ask my sister Julia, whose 20 year old self once caught my 6 year old self staring into a mirror and said "You are so vain!" to which I reportedly replied, "I am NOT vain!" .... she later heard me ask my mother what vain meant. :-)

This shot is the best for showing the pretty pink color that Stacy chose for her soothing office.  If you would care to see more shots, you may go to Stacy's site and click on her blog, especially since I missed taking any pictures of her cool new wood floor altogether!!  Thanks for the tour Stacy, and especially thanks for sharing your finely honed computer expertise!!

Round Top for St. Patricks, or A Day Late and A Few Miles Short!

So since I never made it to Brimfield, Mass for their famous Flea Market, my new goal is to go to the amazing Flea Market in Round Top Texas ... I mean it IS closer and now I have relatives in Texas, right?
Sadly Roundtoft Dr. above the Capitol Building in Salt Lake City, Utah is probably as close as I will get
 this year, which accounts for  the 'few miles short' part.  

 As for being a day late, hitting this great estate sale high on the hill above the Capitol  actually happened the day after St. Patrick's day, but there was art work left by leprechauns AND the sale was being run by none other than .... 

"Saintly" Patrick of A-1 Estates, one of my favorite of the Estate Sale companies in the Salt Lake area.
As always attending estate sales regularly leads to a whole new group of friends.  Many of them are dealers with whom I have been in various malls, or with whom I have done antique shows.  Others are just good customers of the mall, or regular estate sale shoppers, and I often run into Tom who is the grandfather to some of my grandchildren.  Since this was the only estate sale held that day, there was a line of about 30 people when I arrived.  Fortunately my friend Cathy C. was already waiting and that gave us a chance to catch up for a half an hour while we waited for it to open!

So yes, it was not Round Top, but there were vintage and antique goodies to add to my collections and store stock, and best of all, there was great companionship, which is not too bad for being a day late and a few miles short, now is it?