I have collected children's tea sets since I was a little girl, and was delighted to find this set at Three Frogs in Selmer, TN. So tiny with all of the lids intact, made of porcelain with a tiny floral decal on each one. I found the cloissone tray separately for only $1! It was a real prize, with such beautiful enamel work flowers, and the wonderful lime green. What a treasure!
Friday, August 30, 2013
I have been using Blue Willow dinnerware since I first started collecting. Back in the 1980's, you could buy plates and bowls at a garage sale for $2 a piece. Cheaper than any set I could find at the store, so I bought dozens of pieces. The children were always dropping and breaking them, so it became a habit to keep an eye out for individual pieces. Come to find out many years later, I had collected dishes from the 1800's, 1940's, 1960's and 1970's...they never stop making this pattern!
Today I ran across a tiny little pitcher to add to my ongoing collection. I took a picture of it next to a 5" saucer to show you how tiny it is. Sweet!
Thursday, August 29, 2013
I love boxes in all shapes and forms. I ran across this 8 inch container the other day and had to have it! The seller assured me that it is from the late 1800's to early 1900's (in other words, he didn't have a clue) and that it was used to store knitting 'things'...I told him knitting needles were a little long for this particular case, but maybe he meant crochet hooks? What do you think? What is it?
Posted by Rose Altom at 6:20 PM
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Well, it has been awhile since I have been out and about to do my treasure hunting. It has been hot and humid here in Tennessee! I just sit about in the air conditioning whining about the whole thing, and try to think up mischief! Anyway, our trip to the local flea market netted me the silliest thing...a Snail Sundial! It isn't old, or antique. Probably made last week, but it caught my fancy. Funniest of all? The seller made sure to let us know that it really worked....without batteries!!! What a hoot! We couldn't pass up his salesmanship, and I have a fun piece for my ocean-themed rock garden.
It sits alongside the copper fish, and the brass mermaid that I found this year!
Posted by Rose Altom at 6:15 PM
Thursday, August 8, 2013
|I found a new place to shop this weekend...|
|They had spraypainted chalklines of bodies on the floor...|
|There was a creepy figure in the window...|
|There were interesting things for sale...|
|The rules for check-out were pretty stiff...|
This place was located out on Highway 22 S, outside of Michie, TN. Despite it's rather intimidating appearance (with a police car and a hearse parked out front for effect), it was owned by a lovely lady, assisted by an enthusiastic teenager. It carried a lot of everyday items, as well as a few interesting ones. The creepie tailless fish was only a dollar, and there was a lot of clothing items as well. Don't be afraid to stop and check out some thrift stores off the beaten path...you might find a real deal there!
Saturday, June 15, 2013
I found this wonderful plant stand, made of plaster, and embossed with figures! Plant stands have really gone out of style, especially in these days of boistrous pets and kids. They are so easy to knock over!
I love all of the 'friezes' molded into it, and it is a nice piece to put in a cozy corner, and highlight something special. I cycle things out...sometimes I want to highlight a few books, sometimes I put a small brass sculpture on it. I like the little pop of surprise when you come around the corner and see a favorite piece on it.
Posted by Rose Altom at 6:37 PM
Thursday, June 13, 2013
I found a vintage Creepy Crawlers mold at the flea this week! I have no idea what I am going to do with it, but what a find for a quarter! I am sure that I can mold polymer clay in it, and make something wonderfully icky for my grandson...or I can emboss handmade paper with it...Lots of fun, and brings back memories of my little brother trying to scare me with the rubbery spiders he made from his long ago kit.
Monday, June 3, 2013
Flea market goodie time again...I bought this 12"x6"x4" contraption a few weeks ago. My brother thinks it is an old nitroglycerin carrier, as they used to suspend the volatile liquid in blown glass vials, capped with corks in the late 1800's. I am more of the mind that it is a recent make of triple vases, just big enough to put a posy in each vial. Probably Pier One, as I couldn't get lucky enough to find something that old at our local flea. Either way, I am loving the apothecary look to it, and hubby is way into the Oddity show, and the old Victorian Curiosity Cabinets. I just LOVE treasure hunting!...now I have to throw out something to make room for it...
Posted by Rose Altom at 3:07 PM
Saturday, June 1, 2013
I know, I know...these are cheap resin casts that you can get at a garage sale for a dime...But I loved the subjects! They were all, yes, ALL a weird beige from being in the sun over time, worn out paint and not well done, even new. I decided to repaint them for my garden, using really bright and cheerful colors, and make them my own. The robin became a Scarlet Tanager, and the mushroom house became a bright red Gnome hut. The turtle I chose to paint like a red ear slider, though from this angle you can't see the red paint that I dotted along his cheek. I had hubby spray them liberally with polyurethane, and they are now scattered about my garden. I am keeping an eye out for more of these figurines...such fun to bring them to life again!
Posted by Rose Altom at 2:56 PM
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
I love orbs, round things. I have collected them obsessively for years. I guess I just like the feel of them. Round edges are soothing, and earthy. Here is a variety of my favorites, in a big wire bowl on my coffee table. I love natural stone orbs, and have several in marble, granite, and agate. The red one on top is an ancient rubber ball found by one of my children when we were living in historic housing on a fort in Wyoming. It dates back to about the 30's. The pale grey orb is especially precious to me, as my son fashioned it out of masonry grout, rolling it for hours and hours to get it shiny and smooth. I have blown glass orbs, done by local artists as well. I am especially fond of diacroic glass, with hints of the metalic in the color. I have hand carved balls from the early '20's as well, and even a funny brass ball that came out of an old septic system. You can collect pretty much anything, I guess. When you put them all together, they become a beautiful grouping of art. Just collect things you love, because people will continue to give you their own version for years! I had an aunt who collected a few tiny elephants, and it became an unmanagable collection of hundreds by the time she passed away at age 80...I am sure her final words were "I hate elephants!"
Posted by Rose Altom at 1:07 PM
Monday, May 27, 2013
A friend of mine had this wonderful owl sitting in her garden for many years. It is concrete, and as time will do, it eroded, it corroded, and it started to crumble. Rather than throwing it away, I begged her for the opportunity to see what I could do with it. I am very happy with the results! I used a lot of gesso initially, to build the concrete back up a bit, then used several layers of acrylic hard body paint to fill in, build up and color the owl. Then I used several layers of acrylic sealant on the owl, with the intentions of resealing it on a yearly basis, as it is still an outdoor decoration. I am very fond of him, and have named him Othello!
Posted by Rose Altom at 12:53 PM
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Friday, May 24, 2013
And now for something completely different...I had started a few gourd creations last year, and did some wood burning on this particular one, with a bit of paint and leather dye. I knew that it needed something special to finish of the top edge, and when I found a long needle pine tree, felt that was the route to go. Keep in mind, I have not done a lot of pine needle weaving (or any), so my edges aren't the most perfect! I used waxed twine and a beading needle to work the edging. I think it came out beautiful, especially with my constant sneezing throughout the process! Well worth it. I plan on doubling up my allergy meds and doing some more of this!
Posted by Rose Altom at 12:44 PM
I recently inherited several figurines from both my mother and my mother in law. Some are 'occupied Japan', and some are a bit later, but all are sweet and whimsical, and playful. I love the draped lady in the back row, a tiny vase that I put my wildflower bouquets into. The flower in front is only an inch high! The tiny Dutch boy and girl are salt and pepper shakers, and the accordian players are happy little figures that I shuffle around the house in surprise placements. My favorite? The sleepy little duckling!
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
I am an artist by trade, and after running out of room to hang my work in all the traditional places in the house, I started hanging my still lifes in the kitchen. I enjoy the paintings so much more in the right room! Why didn't I think of this before? Most homes these days don't have a formal dining room any more. Tradition is what you make of it, I guess.
Posted by Rose Altom at 10:51 AM
Saturday, May 4, 2013
I found these funny little pottery houses at a yard sale last week for a quarter. There is a bit of a chip at the top of the stairs, but they are so sweet I couldn't resist them. They are made in England, and have a bit of the cottage feel to them.
This little pottery barn is also from England. I love tiny buildings. It is like setting up little diaramas in the house. Both of these are in my guest bath, along with lots of glass bowls of seashells that I have collected over the years. They go together well, I think. It puts me in mind of the children's books I used to read about mysteries discovered while vacationing by the sea in Briton. Good memories...Well worth decorating around the home, with places and spaces that make you smile!
Posted by Rose Altom at 6:10 PM
Friday, May 3, 2013
I spent a lovely afternoon browsing in the Henderson Antique Mall (in Henderson, TN). They have set up lovely 'room' vignettes to display their antiques. I fell in love with a lot of the worn country wood furniture that they had, but my home is moving further away from the Country Style of decor, and more into the eclectic and oddity types. My hubby loves to rock hunt, fossil hunt, and metal detect, so we end up with the most bizarre items! My treasure for the day was a lava rock carved fertility doll...I know! Nuts! I will put a photo of it on later, along with the very few odd little dolls that I have collected over the years. Meanwhile, I am in the mood to listen to some 40's music and watch old movies!
Posted by Rose Altom at 6:01 PM
Thursday, May 2, 2013
My grandmother collected a few salt and pepper shakers. My mother added to the collection when it was passed down to her. When I received some of the shakers, I was struck with the idea of getting enough sets to have one for 12 place settings...all in nature related theme! I am a bird lover, so I started building on the tiny Japanese birds on the left, that Grandma Mary gave me, and the German Ducks front and center that Grandma Rosey gave me. I added a set of quail, the mushrooms, and Mom's strawberry shakers. Collecting is so much fun! I have only found 1 pickle, though...maybe I will put Garlic Salt in it!
Posted by Rose Altom at 5:53 PM
I made these notecards this year. I am a hopeless romantic, and still believe that a hand written note is so much more loving and personal than email. A handmade one is even better! For this one, I got some card stock, sliced an apple in half, poured 3 colors of craft paint into a paper plate, and started stamping. There were blank spots where the seeds were, and I just drew in the seeds with a black pen. I cut them out when dry, and edged them with a bit of green paint. Separately, I used a basic printing program on my computer, and arranged the words...various types of apples...for a 4x5 card. Using card stock, I printed out several and cut them to the right size. I found a nice scrapbooking checked print paper and cut rectangles of them out, edged the papers with green ink, and glued them onto the printed cardstock. Finally, I glued the cut out apples on. I am pleased with the results, and excited that each one is a little bit different. Can't wait to try some green pepper prints next!
Posted by Rose Altom at 2:49 PM
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
I discovered this pretty wire sculpture in an antique shoppe in North Dakota. I thought it was beautiful, and wonderful to hang on my kitchen wall. Then I found out it was useful, too! It opens up into a basket (this one is 8x8x6) to hold apples, onions, Christmas ornaments, eggs, anything you have handy! I have since gone on to find these wire baskets in a variety of decorative designs and sizes, and have several hanging on the backsplash of my kitchen counters, ready to use. After a bit of research, they really are egg baskets. Back 80 years ago, they used to keep them handy to toss some hay or straw into, then gather the eggs. When not in use, they folded up out of the way. Smart!
Posted by Rose Altom at 2:39 PM
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
I love to bring the outdoors in, and enjoy nature year 'round in my home. My hubby, who is a sculptor in marble, wood, etc. made these coasters for me. They are Italian marble tiles (4x4) that can be found in most lumber and hardware stores. He used a Drumel power carver and free handed in the leaves. I then added a bit of paint and added some cork to the backs. They have been very useable pieces of art in our home, and super easy to make!
Posted by Rose Altom at 2:32 PM
Monday, April 29, 2013
I know this is a bit odd, but I don't have enough drawers in my kitchen for everything, and I needed a place to put my dish towels that was convenient. I found this cast iron wine rack at a garage sale for 2 dollars, and decided to put it to use holding my towels right on my counter next to the kitchen sink. I am still working out how best to fold the towels so that they stay folded nicely...I am thinking that it is almost too big for the kitchen towels, and might work better for bath towels, but it is certainly convenient for me until I can find another solution! Have you got something that works better for you? If so, leave a comment and share! Would love to hear from you.
Posted by Rose Altom at 2:27 PM
Sunday, April 21, 2013
I was driving through a small historic town one day, and ran across this scene. A group of industrious remodelers were refurbishing this old Victorian 'Painted Lady', and they were getting loads of help from their dog! I loved the enthusiasm of all concerned...
Posted by Rose Altom at 8:42 AM
Saturday, April 20, 2013
I found the most wonderful old bronze deer at an estate sale! Isn't she beautiful? She is about 22 inches tall, mounted on a crappy piece of concrete that works perfectly in my rock garden. I am especially happy with how my rock garden is shaping up. I am creating it to look like a stream bed, with a rocky bank. So far, I have found a funky 10 inch fish made of copper, a bronze mermaid, and I have set up several 'dinosaur egg' agates to look like a turtle nest. I have been given several lizards over the years, and they are being scattered about the rocks, and nestled in among the hen and chicks that I have nurtured all winter long. Now to find some more live plants that don't require too much work (I am not blessed with a green thumb) and my rocky stream bed will be complete!
Posted by Rose Altom at 8:29 AM
Friday, April 19, 2013
I picked this candelabra up at a garage sale last week for 25 cents! Now what do I do with it??? I have seen lots of Halloween makeovers with things like this, ways to make it look creepy and cool, but I want to use it year round...I seldom light tapers anymore, since I have visions of the cats getting up on the table and setting their tails on fire!! I did see the most interesting remake, however...where they epoxied antique tea cups onto the candle cups, and made it into a useful and beautiful place to put flowers, or candy, or even veggies for a party. Maybe that is what I will do. More on this later!
Posted by Rose Altom at 8:38 AM
Thursday, April 18, 2013
A friend of mine gave me this neat tea gadget. From Teavana, it is an infuser. You place it on the counter, add loose tea leaves, and fill it with hot water. Infuse for the proper amount of time, then set in directly on your teacup. It drains the perfectly infused tea into the cup! It is especially nice for those Teavana herbal concoctions that look like trail mix. Gives the fruit and berries plenty of room to expand. There is nothing like a perfectly brewed cup of tea!
Posted by Rose Altom at 11:14 AM
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
I was digging through old photos the other day, and ran across this one from last summer. This is my home, set in the woods of West Tennessee. It was the height of the season, and my zinnias had run amock in the front garden. You can't see it due to the flowers, but there is a sidewalk leading up to the front door. I had put an interesting basket up on the door, filled with silk flowers. Unfortunately, we have a real problem with red wasps, who made a habit of building nests in the basket, scaring off potential visitors. I am certainly going to have to figure out something different for the front this year! It was a jungle!
Monday, April 15, 2013
Hubby and I are collecting odd whatsit pieces with gears and odd movements. We plan on building a sculpture together that is kinetic in nature, and fun to play with! The collecting is fun. Last year we found an intriguing piece that turned out to be a manual darner from the early 1900's. This piece above is an antique Victorian door crank. Missing its metal dome, of course, and a real bargain at 50 cents!
Posted by Rose Altom at 11:08 AM
Sunday, April 14, 2013
Aren't these the sweetest acorns? My mom and I gathered acorn caps (1" ones) and cleaned them up. We then cut circles of fabric, ran a basting circle around the edges, tucked a scented cotton ball in the center and pulled the thread tight to make a puffy ball. Last, we hot glued the ball into the acorn cap and gathered them into a small wooden bowl. They make a corner of the house fragrant, and look pretty too! I do have to chase them about occasionally,though. The cat has discovered them!
Posted by Rose Altom at 10:53 AM
Monday, April 8, 2013
Saturday, April 6, 2013
The Saturday before Easter, hubby and I went to Corinth, MS and stopped at Tina's Treasures...a wonderful consignment flea market. They are so organized and clean in there, and have the most diverse group of consigners! I found this lovely embroidered fabric egg on a stand for only $3.00...now I know it isn't old, isn't worth lots, but it was perfect for my home. I fell in love with the shiny fabric, the gold embroidery, and the luxurious feeling it gave to a little corner in my home. And it wasn't breakable! That is a good thing, as we are thinking of moving again...
Posted by Rose Altom at 10:41 AM
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Every year the University of Tennessee Agricultural Department puts together the most wonderful displays of plants and succulents in Jackson, TN. This past year they had added an old frame to their garden, and it just captured my imagination! I did notice in a recent Birds and Blooms magazine that they had taken an old frame and nailed it to a large tree, framing a hand made bird feeder in their own 'work of art'. Where else can we put frames? I will be looking for those unexpected places!
Posted by Rose Altom at 6:55 PM
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
I discovered this tiny, tiny cuckoo clock in a box of pencils at the flea market this year. If you push a little lever in the back, the bird comes popping out to greet you! The 2 weights wiggle about as well. It is only 2 inches high, and takes me back to my days as a child, discovering the miniature world of the Borrowers in the lovely books by Mary Norton. A world to escape to ...
Posted by Rose Altom at 6:48 PM
Sunday, March 31, 2013
I have an old shadow box that I have hung up in my guest room that I just love. I have put little 'windows' of nature in them. I go on nature hikes often and love to pick up bits and pieces of the woods. I have found several types of fungi, and dried them for my windows. As I collect antique animal salt and pepper shakers, I thought this was the perfect place to display them. The green frog is one of my favorites, and the wolf howling at the moon just HAS to make you smile!
Posted by Rose Altom at 6:22 PM
Saturday, March 30, 2013
I was so delighted to travel north to my Mother's home for a few days this week. We always get together and enjoy crafting at least 4 times a year! This week we decided to make birds' nests for the Easter season. We bought some air dry clay (We used Crayola brand for this project) and rolled out some eggs. As you can see, I used about an inch of clay, and just rolled it between my palms. I set them out to air dry...however, as you can see in the finished and painted eggs in the top photo, they are cracked. This is because we got overly eager to paint them, and dried them in a 200 degree oven. The clay cracked because of this. We should have let them air dry at least 24 hours. However, we loved that the eggs were cracking, just like a chick was starting to hatch!!! The nest was super simple to make. We bought some party shredded craft paper, and in a plastic bowl, added some half and half white glue and water. We tossed it like a salad, and draped it entire mess over plastic wrap encased custard bowls. We let dry over night and just took them off of the bowls and flipped them over to hold our painted (with acrylic craft paints) eggs. So much fun, and a great time...Thanks, Mom!!!
Posted by Rose Altom at 6:40 PM