Thursday, May 31, 2012

Go Visit Avery at Modern Kiddo!

The awesome girls at Modern Kiddo featured Avery today as their "Weekly Kiddo".  Dottie did such a nice write-up of my sweet girl!  If you've never visited them before, go check them out!  They are the queens of retro and vintage kid stuff, with something new and fun almost every day!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Dollhouse Story

Well, as most of you have probably figured out, I got a "new" dollhouse for my birthday last week!  I now have a total of 6 dollhouses in my studio! (How is that even possible?? Hoarder much??)  That's exciting by itself, but it's got a pretty interesting story attached to it as well!

But first I'll give you the grand tour...

 This is the back of the house- as you can tell, it was really meant to be shown only from the front side.  However, I may do some redecorating and pretty this side up.  I could add a "fake" front door, since there isn't one!

 I think this is my favorite room- the bathroom.  How sweet is the furniture and tile in here?

 My other favorite is the nursery.  Just as a side note, the vast majority of the furniture and decor that you're seeing came with the house.  I only added a piece or two that I already had (like the little changing table).

 How fantastic are these wicker chairs and couch??

 A fully outfitted kitchen- there are tons of kitchen items that are not even shown here- enough food to feed six other dollhouse families at least!

 The dining room.  The chairs are a little large in scale for the house, but they appear to be pretty old and are a nice quality.

 The living room- needs a bit more...

 These two rooms didn't come with much, so I'll get to outfit them myself!  However, as you can see, the house came with quite the family of porcelain cats and dogs!

So now onto the story of how all this came about!  As my birthday was approaching, I was surfing around on Ebay, looking for fun things to put on my "birthday list".  I figured that since it was my 40th, I could be a little extravagant and ask for something big- ha ha!  I frequently look at dollhouses there, just for fun, and came across this particular one.  The listing title was "Dollhouse Circa 1906".  I opened it up and fell in love with the photo of that bathroom!  Knowing that dollhouses always say "local pickup only", I thought, "too bad".  But I looked at the location just in case.  It was a town about 20 miles away from where we live!  It was meant to be!  I emailed the link to my husband, figuring that he'd roll his eyes at it and never possibly get me another dollhouse!

Well, obviously he did (it was actually probably a relief for him because it meant he didn't have to come up with a gift for me- ha ha!).  But the whole story doesn't end there.  Apparently he was the only bidder and won the house.  But then the sellers wouldn't respond to his emails.  With only a few days left until my birthday, they finally responded and told him they were relisting it because they had hoped to get more money for it!  What the what???  He responded back, telling then that legally it was now his, and they'd better cooperate!  They relented, and set up a time for him to pick it up.

When he got there, they were very nice (thankfully!), and told him the story of the house.  The house had belonged to the seller's recently deceased wife, who had acquired it from her grandmother, who got it in 1906.  He said his late wife had spent hours working in the dollhouse, even having tea parties with her friends to help decorate it.  He had tears in his eyes as he told the story.  My husband assured him it was going to someone who would love it equally as much, which made the man happy.

On my birthday, my husband wrapped up a box that came with the house.  This is on the outside of the box:

 It's a little hard to understand, but it seems to detail the dollhouse family (the Sanborns) and the several different times they moved during their life. Unfortunately, no actual dolls came with the house, so I guess it will have new occupants!

Inside the box was this deed!  It shows the transfer of the dollhouse between the different members of the family (from grandmother to mother to daughter, if I'm understanding it correctly!).  I guess maybe I should have a new deed made up that shows the transfer to me!

So anyway, there you have the story.  It's so much fun that I know some of the history behind the house.  Although I do plan on making some updates to it, it makes me much more sensitive to keeping all the pieces together, etc.  Several of the items in the house seem to be older, while others are newer, and obviously added by the most recent owner.  I plan on only adding older pieces, so that it preserves the integrity of the house.

My first step is to find some new owners for the house!  I've already been on Ebay, seeing if I can find a family that will take good care of it!

In my next post, I'll show you some of the other fun things I got for my birthday.  This dollhouse would have been enough, but I was so spoiled this year, I got several other fun things as well!!  It's too bad we can't have our own tea party so that I could show everything to you all in person!

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Big 4-0!

As some of you know, Friday was my birthday.  It was a big one- I turned 40- ack!  But it was a great day, and I got so many nice things (more on that below).  

 Every year on my birthday, I do a piece of art.  To see past pieces, follow the links in this post.  Here is my piece for this year.  Since it was a momentous birthday, I wanted to do something that addressed that.  I split the piece into "Things I'm Proud that I've Accomplished in My Life" on the left side and "Things I Still Need to Work On" on the right side.

 The left side basically represents my children.  I've accomplished many things in my life, but I'm most proud of my children.

And the right side represents my marriage and my spiritual journey, both things I still need to work on.  I also added the dotted lines from myself to each child, because I need to work on being the best mother I can be as well.  You can also see the 40 candles I added for my birthday!

I love this piece and am so happy with the way it turned out!

And now onto the gifts I got!  I got so many wonderful things this year from my family!  All which make my vintage-loving heart smile really big!  But I got one big present that I'm still giddy over, and that has a really fun story to go along with it.  However, I still haven't had a chance to shoot photos of everything, so I'm going to be a meanie and just leave you a hint...  

I'm sure some of you will be able to guess what this big present was!  I'll share more soon....!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Lil' Vintage Story Books #30

Welcome again to Lil' Vintage Story Books, where we share our favorite vintage children's books!  As I shared last Friday, this will be our last link-up party for a while.  I'm taking a break for the summer!

But I saved an extra-good book for the last week!  This is one of my very favorites, called "Can You Find the Pup?", written by Louise Rowe, and published in 1945 by The Saalfield Publishing Co.  Most books I only post a few pages, but this book is so wonderful, I'm showing you every page!

 Wouldn't you love this wallpaper in your home?

 This is an early "pop-up" book, so the pages are interactive.  On this page, you pull the string and a lamb comes out of the closet.  I just adore these sweet little kids!

 On this page, you pull down the fence to find...

 ...these sweet little bunnies!

 Again, here you pull a string to find this cute kitty cat!

 Another cute kitty, and two surprises- a wagon that pulls out from under the sofa, and...

 ...a tricky table!

 How much would I love that picture hanging on my wall!

 Look what was hiding on that page!

 Love the bunny wallpaper!!!

 Sweet little birds were hiding behind the blinds and in the birdcage!

 But where is that puppy??

 Love, love, love this page!!!  

Of course you couldn't spank such a cute little puppy!

This book presents a good opportunity to answer a question I got recently from Kimla.  She asked about the vintage illustrations in my artwork:  "Do you use original images or copies?  If copies, a certain kind of paper?"

Below are four pieces of art in which I used illustrations from this week's book.  (I told you it was one of my favorites!)

(This last piece is interesting because it was done before I had Avery or was even pregnant.  The two boys represented my two boys at the time, but the little kitty cat must have represented that little twinkle in my eye that turned out to be Avery!)

But anyway, back to Kimla's question.  My answer is that I use both copies and originals in my work.  In the case of the pieces above, I actually used originals.  I was lucky enough to find two copies of this book, so I used one to cut up.  Looking back on it now, I wish I hadn't done that because it's such a wonderful book, but what's done is done now...  

These days though, I don't tend to cut up vintage storybooks for artwork.  I hate to ruin the whole story by taking out a page!  However, I do cut up vintage dictionaries.  A lot of my work uses illustrations from vintage picture dictionaries, and I don't mind cutting them.  I also will use original illustrations from greeting cards.  I know that a lot of people might be appalled that I use originals, but there really is nothing like the brittle old paper, and I like that surface much better in my artwork.  

In cases where I use copies (such as from a storybook or if I know it's an image I'll want to use again), I'm not terribly picky about the paper.  I use whatever is available, although I wouldn't use a glossy style because of the reflection that would come from it.

I hope that answers your question, Kimla!  And I'll answer your other question in a future post!

Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for participating in Lil' Vintage Story Books for the past few months!  I plan to start back up in the fall if my schedule settles down by then,  and I'll continue doing other blog posts during the summer, so don't be a stranger!  

If you'd like to join in, grab a button to the right and link up below!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Two Things

 First, I'd like to let you all know that I was interviewed by Sanna-Miina "Sansku" on her new blog called "Feelin' Blue".  Her blog is lovely, with lots of inspiring links.  She has always left me the sweetest comments.  Please check it out, and show a new blogger some love!

Second, here is my latest entry for the Paper Mama's photo contest.  This week's theme is eyes, so who else  would I choose as my subject??  She was having fun riding her tricycle while eating a popsicle- I love the melted green juice on her chin!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Vintage Kiddo Clothes!

Guess what?  I've put a bunch of vintage kiddo clothing up in my long-neglected Etsy shop!  Several are pieces you've seen Avery wear in our Little Vintage Style posts, and several are ones you've never seen, but I just couldn't leave at the thrift stores!  I've shown just a few of the many listed here. Go take a look!

Again, if you missed the link, all these and lots more are listed here!