I've found some pretty awesome "Steampunk" items this Summer, and finally got those finds put together.
First I found these beauties. I don't usually buy in antique shops, because I'm a bit of a skinflint... I do like to browse the shops though, and spotted these wonderful old opera glasses. Instant LOVE! They haunted my dreams that night and I was forced to return and purchase them.
My next discovery was this gem. Yup, that's right! It's a vintage Electromagnetic Generator, probably used for demonstration purposes in a science class. It actually works! The faster you crank the handle, the brighter the bulb glows. It also makes an awful metal on metal screeching noise, and will zap you, if you touch it in the wrong place!
This is my most exciting discovery! On my most recent "Girl's Weekend", we stopped at a barn sale. Inside a really cool old barn, stuffed with wonderful old furniture was this awesome Clock Shelf! The clock face was badly damaged, but behind it... beautiful, beautiful brass clock works! It's missing it's pendulum, but the gears move freely and best of all, IT GONGS!!
So here it is... the beginings of my Steampunk Library Corner!
Boy oh boy, have I been a BAD blogger! Working full time has certainly taken we away from blogland, though I do check in regularly to see what other folks are up to.
I had to share my latest acquisition, though...
These beauties just called out to me. I even dreamed about them the night before I made the purchase! Aren't they gorgeous??
I mean, what more could you ask for? Gleaming brass, worn black enamel, and mellow burgundy leather...
...and of course these amazing glass lenses that caught my eye in the first place, peering out from that cluttered shelf in the antique shop, like an eager owl wanting a new home!
The case is pretty beat up, and very fragile, but check out the lovely brass clasp, so detailed and delicate!
I'm pretty sure these are opera glasses, but I could be wrong. The are very sturdy and functional. The focus knob in the center has a crack in it, but they still focus beautifully. I'll probably grab them the next time I feel the need to spy on my hens while they forage in the back yard. In the meantime, they will adorn a shelf in my bedroom, surrounded by antique books and vintage lace.
Have you ever grown sweet potatoes in your veggie garden?
Do you have any idea how wonderfully EASY they are??
My first crop were grown from slips that I ordered from a well known plant company, online. The slips (or starts) I received were pale and spindily, but took off just fine, once thier little roots hit soil. I had a lovely crop of full sized sweet potatoes at the end of the Summer. Sweet potatoes do like to burrow far and deep, so it can be hard to find them all, come harvest time. My solution is to plant them in bins, which confines them to a smaller area, but also tends to reduce your harvest. The thing I like best about sweet potatoes (aside from thier nutrition packed goodness) is that once you have them, you can grow them year after year, without purchasing starts!
See this really ugly thing?
This is my "Mother Potato" this year! She is really big, gnarly and not very appealing, so didn't get baked and eaten like the rest of last years harvest. She was buried in the bottom of my root veggie storage bin and made it nicely through our long Michigan Winter. When I noticed the beginnings of sprouts on her gnarly surface, I plunked her into a large glass of water. Roots developed almost overnight, and the sprouts sprang to life!
Now it is simply a matter of snapping off the starts as they get big enough, and plunking them into a second glass of water, to form roots of thier own. This one ugly sweet potato will continue producing sprouts long after my sweet potato bed is planted, as long as I give her fresh water from time to time.
After only three weeks, I already have over a dozen slips rooting in water. These babies really want to grow! I'm thinking of increasing my number of bins this Summer, to increase my harvest.
Here are a few of the beauties I harvested last Summer. Lovely, aren't they? Delicious, too!
Oh what a glorious day! Sunny and warm here in mid-Michigan. A perfect day for a flea market. It's early for flea markets here, but I did find a small one. Not alot of venders, but it was just what I needed!
I only spent $4, but that's o.k. I wasn't really there to shop. I saw some really cool stuff, like antique medicine bottles that still had pills in them, some lovely McCoy pottery, and lots of rusty metal and weathered wood farm implements. I did bring home a broken alarm clock and a handful of pussywillow twigs!
I just really liked the art deco look of the clock. It doesn't need to tick, just sit on my shelf and look pretty.
And the pussywillows... Who could resist? And why should you, at a mere 20 cents a twig?? Happy Spring!!
Don't you just love this crazing?? To me, this indicates not only age, but use. Lots and lots of use. Somebody depended on this piece of ironstone to provide years of service.
What do you supposed was put in this vessel? Something hot, I would imagine, judging by the discoloration.
I'm betting it was liquid of some sort, based on the spout. Hot chocolate, or mulled cider, maybe?
Check out this handle. It's both attractive and serviceable. It feels wonderful in your hand!
Isn't she gorgeous? I found this wonderful old ironstone pitcher at... Goodwill of course! For my favorite price of 99 cents. They must have figured it wouldn't sell for more, based on the excessive crazing and discoloration. Little did they know that those very things make this lovely pitcher even more attractive to me!
My Thrifting time has been severely hampered by my new job, but, when I do get the chance to go, I now have the funds necessary to bring my treasures home! I still manage to find my way to some of my favorite Thrift stores on a fairly regular basis. These are some of the goodies I gathered in the last two weeks...
I am totally in love with this tall white vase! It has such an elegant shape, and a lovely, perfect matte finish. Just $3.99 at Goodwill!
I found this triple strand of vintage faux pearls at the same Goodwill, on the same day. My 16 year old Daughter likes to wear vintage pearls to school, much to my delight! I find single pieces of the depressionware bridge set quite often, and usually for very little money. I thought this dainty pink heart was a steal for .59 cents!
This lovely vintage table cloth was just $1.99, and the crochet edged dresser scarf a mere .25 cents.
I really needed a planter in this color to round out the collection I have with plants at work. This one will be perfect once I decide what plant to put in it.
I belive this turned wood pedestal was a woodshop project, since it has the name Maxwell scrawled on the bottom in ink. Max did an excellent job, in my opinion. I hope he got an A. What is it with swans, anyway? I can't seem to avoid bringing them home, though I tell myself again and again, "You don't need any more swans!" But they are vintage, and creamy white, and classic...
Don't you just love this little polka dotted squirrel? He is in need of some gentle cleaning but I don't want to scrub off his dots!
And last, but not least is my wonderful green planter that I just filled with miniature daffodils! Even with the potted flowers, I didn't pay more than $25 for this whole lot!! Happy, happy Spring, Everyone!
Today I am showcasing some of my "collection jars". As an avid collector of all things vintage, I find myself with scads of awesome items, and no good way to display it. Too many items on a shelf tends to look cluttered, and collects dust, to boot. I see lots of cloches on these blogs, and I love them, but... I find them very difficult to find, and when I do, they are just too pricey for this skinflint! My solution of choice is to use big vintage jars.
It all started with this lovely covered jar. I needed a place to stash some vintage crocheting thread and various needlework tools. This jar proved to be the perfect solution.
I just love the simple detailing combined with the humble thread, worn wood and vintage graphics.
Speaking of worn wood, I also had quite a few wooden items that needed a home. I just adore old wood that has been shaped to create useful tools. The fact that this simple biscuit jar is lacking it's lid made it perfect to display my longer collectibles.
The possibilites are endless, and our ancestors made full use of wood to make items like these: spoons, pestles, darning eggs, handles on utensils. I even have a wonderful old pipe ashtray that was made of turned wood.
If you are an avid Thrifter like me, then you are aware that there literally tons of old glass vases to be had for very little money in the thrift stores. This particular vase turned out to be the perfect place to display some of my old lace, china, perfume bottles and vintage faux pearls.
I just love that it is so easy to change this display as the spirit moves me. My collection of old handmade lace can be rotated easily now, so they can all be admired in their turn. The possiblities for display items are endless! Vintage jewelery and watches, old buttons, Christmas ornaments, photographs, spools of thread and vintage marbles... Stay tuned for more "collection jars". I just picked up a big, lidded biscuit jar that I have yet to fill...
I know I've neglected my blog this month, but I do have an excuse... I finally got a job! After being unemployed for nearly two years, this is a very good thing. It took a bit of time for this fifty year old body to get accustomed to a forty hour work week. The first couple of weeks really kicked my butt, but it's getting better. I have a pretty long commute, about 40 minutes each way depending on the weather. And I must add, the weather has been horrible for driving...
...frost and snow are pretty on the trees and bushes, but not much fun to drive on, especially when you're the newbie at work, and hyperconscious of being on time! Of course the best part about being employed is finally having the funds to support my favorite occupation. Junking!!
Check out this darling, chippy child's rocker I found! She is very sturdy, and perfectly worn and I snagged her for a mere $3.
I found this lovely vintage pitcher at the Goodwill in the small town I working in, which also happens to have a huge antique district. It has some repaired damage on the bottom edge, but when it's sitting on a high shelf, nobody knows but me... and you, of course!
I found these sweet vintage birds at different thrift stores a couple of weeks apart! They are identical, except for the hue of the glazes colors.
I just love this tiny turquoise vase I found for a dollar. It's clear glass, with the color applied to the inside surface. I think I'll take it to work to use for small posies in the Summertime. I'm feeling very fortunate that my boss ecourages us to decorate our cubicles any way we like. It is a bit of a challenge to incorporate my vintage tastes into the modern tone of an office cubicle, but I'm determined to do it!
You might remember this project I did awhile back? They now live in my cubicle, holding pens and pencils, stapler, notepads, etc... I've also added family photos in vintage frames to the mix, as well as some larger flower shots in barnwood frames on the walls. Once I'm satisfied with the make over, I'll sneak my camera into work and snap a few shots to share.
You just never know what you'll run across when thrifting...
Who wouldn't be thrilled to discover something like this? Well apparently, plenty of folks passed this item by, because I found it at, what I prefer to call the "last chance" Goodwill store. It's actually called the "as is" store, but come on, everything at Goodwill is "as is", isn't it?
It was originally marked $3.99, which I suppose was just too much for such an odd item. But remember, at the "last chance" store, everything is marked way down, so I got it for a mere .79 cents! It is a genuine antique shoe last, after all, embellished with genuine vintage stamps.
Judging by the overall patina, those stamps were added quite a while back. Yes, it is indeed an odd item, with no practical use, but I love it anyway. And did you notice the cute little vintage bow tie I found on the same day? It was right there in the same store, and I got it for a mere .29 cents. You just never know what you'll find, but it is certain that you won't find anything if you don't look!