Fun Vintage Finds on Etsy

Some people live for the Black Friday sales at the malls. I am not one of them. I hate crowds & so have enjoyed browsing this weekend's sales at Etsy. While I am addicted to art, I also like trolling the vintage section. Here are a few fun vintage finds that also have free shipping through Cyber Monday.

I used to manage a ginormous antiques shop many years ago. My eccentric boss drove me batty, but he loved to shop and used to bring in the coolest stuff. On the weekends he'd buy an entire estate in order to get the 1 piece that caught his eye.

Super Shiney 1972 Airstream Sovreign Land Yacht from CallMeChula
(this 1 doesn't have free shipping but it made me smile so here it is)

Then my co-workers & I would have to sort through it all. The operation was quite large. There was a repairs annex for all sorts of damaged stuff. The main shop was larger that many antique malls I've been to. It was filled with 25 years worth of "treasures".

When there were no customers, I would open swollen drawers & dusty cabinets and find all sorts of things.

1916 Tatting Booklet from SewVintageLadies

Sometimes I still dream at night that I'm exploring the shop. When business was slow, I'd crank up one of the victrolas, pick up a turn of the century newspaper and sink into the restored barrel back chair I coveted (I almost cried the day it sold, silly I know).

Natural Sine WW1 Military Compass by tntartglass

But enough tripping down memory lane - I'm off to bed. If you have some time on your hands, go see what you can find. If you are unfamiliar with Etsy, click through the link & then use the drop down bar to find vintage.

If you are searching for something specific, you may want to try several descriptive words as the search can be a bit wonky (& at times overwhelming). But just have fun! Who knows, maybe you'll find the perfect thing you didn't even know you needed.

Early 1900s Sterling Mesh Miniature Finger Purse by PheobeDelia

For those seeking a Saturday Studio Tour, please come back next week - I'll be showcasing a new creative space. There was a last minute cancellation this week. Sorry - I should have had a backup plan. sigh. Next time.

Have you entered the random drawings I'll be hosting on 12/3? If not, just leave a comment on this blog before then to enter. 2 winners will each get a $10 gift certificate (+ free shipping) to my etsy shops CLICK HERE for details & shop links.

If you'd rather not try your luck, I am offering Free Shipping World Wide through 11/30 in those same shops. CLICK HERE for sale details & links


Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey there. Hope you've all had a great day. I'm on a borrowed computer for a couple days & haven't mastered the screenshot yet (I know, pathetic). I will be back with the eye-candy this weekend at some point.

In the meantime, here is a selection of pieces by some Etsy Melange Team Members. Many thanks to Glenda of TwoCoolTexans for putting together another great slide show.

If you are shopping this weekend for something unique, think Etsy. For links to Melange member's shops, CLICK HERE.

Many Etsy Shops are participating in a Black Friday - Cyber Monday free shipping sale. Click here to go to ETSY. From there,you can search for your item. If you add either "etsyfreeshipping" or just "free shipping" to your search, you can save yourself a few bucks. Never know, you might find just the perfect art supply, jewelry or home decor item.

I'm offering Free Shipping Worldwide in all my shops thru the Nov 30th. Click Here for sale details & links to the shops

By the way, there is no Thursday Giveaway this week. Next week (12/3) I'm picking 2 random winners - each will receive a $10 gift certificate to use in my Etsy shops. (plus free shipping).To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment before 1 a.m. on Dec 3. For giveaway details Click Here.

Again, hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Cheers!


Free Shipping Sale Starts Tomorrow

I'm starting my Etsy sale a bit early.

From 11/26 to 11/30 I'm offering

in my Etsy shops.

Just check out as usual & I'll refund your shipping via PayPal.

for art, jewelry & home decor

for art & craft supplies


for vintage & assemblage supplies

If I don't have what you're looking for, take a look around Etsy. Many sellers are running sales from Black Friday through Cyber Monday.

Wishing you all a great day tomorrow & a Very Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate!


RTT - From New Blue to Old Booze

Hey there.

Sorry I've been scarce. Haven't had much time for blogging or art lately. Another week of running around & things should be back to normal. Luckily it is Random Thoughts Tuesday so there's no need for normal today....


Click the purple button to visit The Un Mom, High Priestess of Random, and see what kind of trouble she's getting into today. While you are there, grab your own button & give your brain a flush!

Today's coolest news: Chemists have accidentally invented a New Blue. Click the pic (from the NY Times) to read the article in today's science section. (If the NYT link is acting fussy, you can also read about it HERE)

A few days ago, 1 of my favorite bloggers,Choklit Chanteuse, featured 1 of my favorite puppet masters, Crankbunny. Click Here for Choklit's post. Be sure to watch Crankbunny's short video explaining "Why I make handmade goods".

I bought this fun book, Paper Puppet Palooza, a year ago. Crankbunny (a.k.a. Norma V. Toraya) has put together a great selection of instructions, templates & even a fun gallery of other artists' pieces. If you have an interest in less traditional paper dolls or just a love of whimsy, you need to check out this book.

I know I've raved about LittleRobot before (& I am sure I will again). Lindsey Carr, the talent that is Little Robot, is now selling prints & posting her work over at Society6. I gave into my art addiction & ordered a copy of her gorgeous painting The Fox Confessor.

You can see more of Little Robot's wonderful artwork & catch her blog over at littlerobot.org.uk/.

If you like art & have some time to browse, Society6 has a lot going on. There is a fabulous variety of art being shown & sold. I'm having a grand time looking around over there. Check out this fun illo from Harry Nesbitt:

Fools Rush In by Harry Nesbitt

I've started a page over there too (though there's not much on it yet) - www.society6.com/ArtSnark.

For some reason I am fascinated by the excavation of Shackelton's whiskey. As a kid I was really into the race for the South Pole. Or maybe I just watched Carpenter's version of The Thing too many times.

In fact I may just need to pour a whiskey & watch it again - it's one of those movies that always seems to be on late at night. There's a version that was cleaned up for USA or one of those channels in the 80s, so all the curses have been dubbed over with something silly. Just adds to the fun...

Well, all right, I'm outa here - hope you all have a wonderful week! By the way, if you haven't entered the 12/3 random drawing for a $10 gift certificate to my etsy shops, just leave a comment & you're in. Click Here for prize details & shop links. There will be 2 winners.


Weekend Studio Tour #14 - Christine Burgess of Memories in Mosiacs

Ready for a trip to sunny Florida?

Today we are visiting with Christine Burgess of Mosaic Memories on Etsy. I met Christine through the DesignStyleGuide Etsy team and DesignStyleGuide.net, an online resource for both interior designers & regular folks looking for unique items. Christine creates some really fun mosaic pieces which incorporate a variety of items, from plates & tiles to jewelry & mirrors.

Throughout this visit, click on any of the photos and links for more information. Now I'm going to step aside & let Christine lead you through her creative space:

CB: I first started working with the "pique assiette" (french for "stolen from plate") style of mosaics a little over a year ago so I am amazed at the transformation of our spare room. I have always done some kind of craft but my work area was designed solely for the purpose of my mosaic business.

CB: This photo of my work area was built by my husband and I just love it. I found 2 nightstands at Target and thought they would make a great base for my table top, which is an 8’ piece of finished laminate from Home Depot. My husband also created a small shelf that sits on top of the table at the back to hold all my glass gems. I feel it is easier to have them in easy reach when I am working on a new mosaic. I rarely plan what I am going to create so having the visuals helps me considerably.

CB: I needed somewhere to house all the hand cut dishes, focal tiles and other miscellaneous supplies that I have so we put up 2 black bookcases. I use canning jars mostly to hold the various colors of dishes as well as my ceramic shapes because they are clear and I can tell at a glance what I have. The different glass tiles are kept in plastic box-like containers for easy reach. Of course there is the overflow which I have in separate plastic bags in a box because I can’t seem to stop buying things.

CB: As you can see I have lots of personal memorabilia around my room from my “I Love Lucy” and “Gone with the Wind” collections to crafts and drawings from my kids when they were little. I also keep my drawing of “Eeyore” from the original “Winnie the Pooh” film cells (because he is my favorite character) and a cute little stuffed duck my mother made me years ago. I just like the atmosphere of my personal effects.

CB: This is the table that sits directly behind my work area. I needed a separate place for ongoing pieces and to house my mailing boxes. For the most part, my husband cuts my bases from plywood but I do like to mosaic other things as well and they are kept in the stackable plastic bins next to the table. I have anything from small wooden crosses to large silver platters hidden away in there.

CB: My next project is to make a large cork board to keep my ideas and any custom orders I may be working on in plain sight. I plan to hang it directly above this table.

CB: The closet holds a stack of steel shelves (which are really two shelves made into one) to keep my mosaics when they are completed. I wanted some kind of storage that wouldn’t waste space so we bought 2 of the steel shelving units that came with 4 shelves each and just put the other 4 shelves into the first one, giving me a total of 8 shelves.

CB: My mosaics don’t usually stay there very long as I sell in a store here in Florida as well as on Etsy, so this gets used for other things too. You can see the huge tray where I keep all my costume jewelry that I use in my creations. Jewelry has become my signature and I am always on the lookout for a special buy. There are also small tubs of rhinestones, vintage pieces and various do-dads that I have on hand.

CB: This last photo is of my computer area that sits off the kitchen. I have my bulletin board and calendar out there as well so I can keep track of different online events. If you ever see me in the forums you’ll know this is where I am sitting. I didn’t have room in my work area and since I do use it for things other than online selling, it’s nice to have it out in the open where it’s handy to get to.

CB: I have an online shop on Etsy at www.memoriesinmosaics.etsy.com . I also sell in a store called the Village Gingerbread House in Cocoa Village, Florida. My blog is www.cbcrafter.blogspot.com . I post about many different things; vacations, family events, personal observations, inexpensive decorating projects as well as my mosaics.

Shabby Chic Mosaic Tray by Christine Burgess

Thanks so much for the tour Christine! If you'd like to see more of Christine's work, be sure to check out her shop & blog. Her blog has some great work-in-progress posts, including a tutorial on Grouting a mosaic and a series called Mosaic Journey which walks you through the creation of the Flamingo Mosaic Mirror (shown at the top of this post).

By the way, thanks for stopping by, everyone. While I absolutely love visiting studios, it is great to know that you do too. If there is any style of artist or studio you'd like to see, please let me know. I am scheduling early 2010 tours now and will be sure to take your interests into consideration.

Also, anyone who comments on this blog before 12/3 will be entered into a random drawing for a gift certificate to my etsy shops. Click Here for contest details.

Thanks again for popping by. Come back next weekend for a new studio tour


Who won Diary 2010?

Thanks to everyone who entered to win a copy of Diary 2010! However there can be only one and according to random.org the winner is....
(the Lisa who left comment on 11/17)

Congrats, Lisa! I'll email you today for your info.

Not Lisa? You can still get a copy of this unique diary/day planner from Fantazya, the mastermind behind of this collaborative project.

They are sold at the Diary 2010 Project site (just click through) where can also find a list of contributing artists.

You can also find them at Etsy.Fantazya.com. In the etsy shop, they are available with either blank or decorated covers.

Want to know more about designer Lucy Baribeau from Fantazya and this fun collaborative project? CLICK HERE for last week's interview.

Again, thanks for leaving your comments. Please check back later today to sign up for the new Giveaway prize. Hope you have a wonderful day!


My New Favorite Chinese Take-Out Place

yes, this really came out of my fortune cookie tonight


RTT - Random Tag Tuesday

Some sweet folks have passed along a couple of blog awards this week. This happens from time to time - I always say I'll go along & then I usually forget. But since it's Random Tuesday & I haven't played tag in a while, here we go.....

Many thanks to Felicia Kramer for sharing her Kreativ Blogger award. Please stop by & visit her when you get a chance. She has this cool Month of Thankfulness theme going & is sharing lots of great links. Of course, these things come with rules so:

1) Copy the award and post it on your blog.
2) Thank the person that gave it to you and link to their blog.
3) Write 7 things about yourself we don't know.
4) Choose 7 other bloggers to pass the award to.
5) Link to those 7 other bloggers.
6) Notify your 7 bloggers.

4) The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" quotation marks

5) Spielberg's Jaws - if it is playing, I am compelled to plant myself on the sofa. Inevitably the husband walks & shaking his head with a "You're watching it again?!"

6) Airships

7) Blog Surfing - You all ready guessed that one I bet...

Now some places you should go...... I'm sure many of these folks are way too busy or no-tag-zones, but I think their blogs are a must, so here they are:

Choklit Chanteuse
Art freebies
Cephalopod Tea Party
Glimmering Prize
Lisa Falzon's Micro-fiction
Voyages Extraordinaires
& of course
The Unmom

Ready to share some random of your own? If so Grab a button & play along.


Need more chaos in your day? Click through & see what wacky stuff everyone else is up to.

By the way:

Have you entered the random drawing for a copy of Diary 2010? No? Click Here for details

Into steampunk or studios? Click here to see SteamSmith's art & workshop


Weekend Studio Tour #13 - SteamSmith Studios

Fasten your seatbelts!

We're off to an alternative universe for this week's tour

Today, we're going Steampunk. To paraphrase my favorite explanation of steampunk (I forget who said it): Are you familiar with 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea or The Time Machine? Now, imagine a world where those books would be Non-fiction and you've got the gist of steampunk.

This week's tour director is one of my fellow Etsy SteamTeam members, Mark Elliot Schwabe of SteamSmith Studios.

I am just crazy about Mark's airships and other wonderous pieces. Please note, you can click on the images or links for even more info. Now I'm going to get out of the way & let you visit with one of my favorite steampunk artists:

Airship Pin by SteamSmith

I love making this stuff!

I often fantasize about winning the lottery - so I could have more time to make stuff!

Below are pictures are my studio work shop - aka, home. It is a bit of a mess, but there is a tool for almost every job, and I know where everything is (sort’a). The work bench is “grand central” ... where everything happens. The rest of the space, the drawing table, the power tools, the drawers and drawers of storage, they all exist to support what goes on at the bench. It all began with my father. Dad (James Schwabe) had a high end gold jewelry business. The “factory” was in the basement of our house. At the tender age of 14 I began to learn his trade. Eventually I left the family business to peruse a career as a sculptor.

Along the way I learned steel welding and bronze casting techniques and picked up two graduate degrees (MA State U of NY at Albany and MFA at State U of NY at New Paltz). I had some success as a sculptor. Selling about half of the pieces that I made. I made a profit, but never a living.

Some of my Steel & Copper and Bronze sculptures are available at the Moose Walk Galleries/Studio.

After working a couple of soulless jobs making other peoples stuff I became a freelance sculptor/model maker for the jewelry and giftware industries in RI. This is when I started making Dragons - my own designs, some of which were purchased by Rawcliffe Pewter which was a big pewter giftware manufacturer at the time.

Look for dragon designs new and old at my newest Etsy store: http://www.DragonSmith.Etsy.com coming soon.

I had a long and productive relationship with Rawcliffe. During that time I made the original sculptings for most of their Star Trek licensed ships, and almost all of their Star Wars licensed ships.

Star Trek Pheonix by SteamSmith
This got me totally involved in making sculptures of machines and required me to make many specialized tools. Both the experience of making Star Trek & Star Wars ships, and the fact that I still have the tools on my bench, have a lot to do with why I have now completely embraced the SteamPunk style.

Star Trek DS9 Station by SteamSmith

I still have some production copies and prototypes of the Star Trek and Star Wars sculpting that are available for sale. If interested, contact me at: SteamSmith@MarkieMoose.com

Star Wars XWing by SteamSmith
However, before I discovered SteamPunk, I made lots of other stuff. For many years I had wanted to move to Vermont. No way I could properly serve the jewelry & giftware markets in RI if I lived hundreds of miles away. Solution: create & market my own line. I knew that there was a market for Moose product in Northern New England ... result ... Markie Moose! In many ways he is my alter ego.

He excels at all sorts of activities that I do, and wish I did (and a few others too). Markie Moose product continues to be the main source of my livelihood today.

A big part of the line today are Lottery Ticket Scratchers, which make GREAT stocking stuffers!

Inspired by the mountains and winter sports here in the northcountry (and building upon some earlier figure work) my next group of sculptures were Mountain Muse.

Mountain Muse Spring Skiing Sculpture by SteamSmith

She is an extraordinary woman - I am sure that you will agree!

These limited edition sculptures are available at
www.Markie Moose.Etsy .com

Which brings me to where I am today.

It has been a long road, but the destination has been worth the travel. Thanks to stumbling across the work of Winona Cookie on Etsy,
I discovered the SteamPunk Style. The idea of making SteamPunk jewelry (and eventually sculpture) is too exciting for words. In the last few months I have tried a little of this and a little of that within the SteamPunk genre, but it is the Airships that have really grabbed me.

Both the ships themselves and the society around them that I imagine must exist! The Airship Service Corps, the Aironots Club, the Airship Officers Guild, NewIndustries Ltd, Edmonton Enterprises, Elite Marine Engineering Ltd, the Marine Militia of the Central Cost region and their arch enemies, the Pirates of the Central Cost region, Professor Maurice Jenkins, his nieces the Fitzgerald sisters, Adlie Jackman and all of the rest.

This is the world in which SteamSmith lives and works; a world that challenges description and defies understanding by peoples of the 21st century Earth. It is a world in which creative people work with their hands and their heads; it is a world in which machines and industries are built with parts that move, and parts that don't. Land and sea are traveled in wondrous machines, often made by hand. And the sky is filled with airships of amazing construction. Time is understood in a way that 21st century people cannot fathom. The taverns are filled with ladies of style, wisdom and sass, and with strong-handed men with nimble brains. It is a place that you should visit.

Not only have I visited, but I am moving in!

SteamSmith Studio - I need a new chair

Drawing Table

Other side of the studio: Pewter & brass flatstock. The small boxes are pieces and parts left over - ready for reuse. Most jar lids are projects that are in the works.

Lots of homemade tools. There are more in a box - somewhere

Even the tray is full of tools

Some items on my workbench include: Bits/burrs for flex shaft machine, bits of pewter, grayers, little files, punches etc., pliers, big files, very well used bench pin, tweezers & a new necklace (almost finished).

Many thanks, Mark, for showing us around your studio space! And thanks for your patience with my delayed post this weekend!!

Anyone tuning in: I hope that you've enjoyed visiting Mark's world. I know I have - though I now have a case of tool envy!! Please take the time to visit SteamSmith's various links. You'll be glad you did.

SteamPunk jewelry on Etsy http://www.etsy.com/shop/steamsmithworks
SteamPunk jewelry on 1000 Markets http://www.1000markets.com/users/steamsmith
lottery ticket scratchers, moose jewelry, more http://www.markiemoose.com/
pewter figures, moose jewelry, sea stuff jewelry, more http://www.etsy.com/shop/MarkieMoose
large metal sculpture http://www.moosewalkstudios.com
SteamSmith blog

And don't forget to pop back next weekend to visit the next studio on the tour schedule!