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!"
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!
Posted by Rose Altom at 11:01 AM
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