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Archive for June, 2009

Hiatus

I just wanted to put a note up here that I’ll be away from the store until Canada Day. Ann, my mother, will be running things here at the store. (and I’m sure she’ll do just fine, so long as people are patient about her using the cash register) Since I’ve always lived in places that have had great public transit, I have never learned to drive! Shocking, I know. It’s time for that to change so I’m off to class for the next four days and won’t be around to post. We’ll see if mom wants to do some guest entries, but if not, I’ll be back on for Canada Day. Have a great weekend!

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I wanted to cover the rest of the finished garden art pieces!

garden art "The Eagle"

garden art "The Eagle"

This one has a Japanese feel to it (the small print framed in the inner frame is Japanese, so it kind of follows) and it would be best suited to a more spare garden space. At least that’s how I see it.

garden art "Stone Cross"

garden art "Stone Cross"

This one is both more rustic and more directly spiritual. The cross is made from labradorite pieces that are bound together and securely attached to the frame. The crystal drop is also attached. The votive holder (made from vintage salvage), hangs on a hook and can be swapped out for a mini vase. The hook could also be used to attach seasonal decorations of your choice. I wouldn’t suggest leaving it out all winter but it could be hung in a sheltered spot (Like a porch or on a door, for the Christmas season.

garden art "Love is Key"

garden art "Love is Key"

I know I’m not supposed to have favorites but This one is going to be tough to let go. The frame is designed like that and was simply sealed to protect it. The background took a bit of time to make but I love how its layered/distressed paint came out. The keys and lock are vintage. Strangely enough, I can’t draw a symmetrical heart without cheating, but I seem to be able to lay one out in pieces. These are the results of my first foray into exterior art. I have a bunch more ideas swirling around and I’m looking forward to playing more with the concept.

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This is another of the garden art pieces.

Garden art "The Goddess"

Garden art "The Goddess"

It’s very spare and formal but I thought the detail of the frame and the vintage figurehead-like piece didn’t need anything more. The figurehead is metal and I think it may have been made to decorate a clock case. (at least I found it among a bunch of antique clock parts that are being used for some steampunk jewellery-type-things) The overall size is fairly small, 9”x11” to the outside of the frame. I’ve also attached copper tags, with their titles to each of the garden pieces. They can be easily removed or left attached depending on the preference of their new owners.

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It’s funny how working on one thing can lead you to places you never expected. Making the signs got me thinking about how to do things that are safe to go outside. The expansion of that is deliberately making framed art for exterior use. I got to thinking about the logistics of it and looking at some of the great vintage bits and pieces that I’ve collected and had a bit of a creative frenzy. (sometimes it just happens that way!)

Garden Art "Fireheart"

Garden Art "Fireheart"

So far, most of the pieces I’ve done have a slightly formal feel to them. This is the first one finished and I’ve called it “Fireheart”. The image is done by removing the silvering from the back of the mirror. The heart was made by leafing, on the exposed glass from the back, with a variegated red gold leaf. I used the same leaf to accent details on the frame molding. The other parts of the design were done by painting in white and black over the rest of the exposed glass. The back was then sealed and the mirror siliconed into the frame. The entire frame was also sealed, front and back, to make it weather safe. (or much more tolerant) I wouldn’t expect it to do well if left fully exposed over a winter, but it should be fine in a sheltered spot for many summers. It would be a really fun accent for lots of outdoor spaces.

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Multi-coloured peonies?!

I’m not sure what’s going on here.

two peony flowers

two peony flowers

I didn’t think peonies would produce flowers in two different colours but, as you can see, ours is. It’s the one in the east bed. All I can guess is that, what we thought was one large bush, is in fact, two smaller ones that are intermingled. Most of the flowers are the big frilly white ones, (they make me think of petticoats!) but a number of the buds have a pink tinge to them. There is no clear division between the two colours. Clearly, I’m going to have to go do some research…

p.s. The beans are still coming up but it turns out that the biggest threat to them is slugs. *ick* Time to break out the slug/snail bait.

p.s.s. If you forget to put the teapot planters under cover from heavy rains, you can pour off the excess water from the spout. *cough* Not that I would ever do such a thing!

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We had made a decision, due to the building size, not to really get into selling furniture. There are a few pieces, most of which go out on the porch (and are typically chairs). By the same token, I don’t like having things in the store that aren’t for sale. Not that I necessarily want to sell them, but most of the “fixture” pieces can be sold.

burlwood dresser

burlwood dresser

The exceptions are my work table (it’s a family heirloom) and the metal map case that holds artwork. (and I could sell the case, but it would cost you!) The only other thing was the walnut drop-leaf table that was on the left, right beside the door. Dad is very attached to it and the only way I got to use it was with the understanding that it wasn’t to go anywhere. (and I really hate telling people they can see it but not have it) I also though we could make better use of the space. The dresser that is now there lets me show some of the linens we have for sale and still has a similar amount of room on the top. It’s a bit smaller than the table and so I’ve also gained a bit of display space beside it. With a store this size, I’ll take all the room I can find! Overall, I feel much better about the present layout. It is closer to what I want long-term for the store look. I say that now, just you wait, someone will buy it out from under me and then mother will have to find me something else. (I’m actually a bit worried about that since I had some people seriously looking at it today, and it’s only been out for the day.)

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The store is always going to be a work in process but sometimes you get changes sooner than expected. The case between the support posts did the job, but it wasn’t exactly what we wanted. We always thought that it was a short-term solution to both the problem of how to show smaller bits and how to deal with that section of the store. It was a bit small for the space and the top had some wear so it wasn’t all that clear, which were both things I didn’t love about it.

new display case

new display case

I expected that we would have to wait a year or so until we could luck into something better. (we thought the size would be a problem, since we’re limited by the posts) I hadn’t taken into account my mothers amazing ability to find things. She got us this perfect case! (okay, it could have some storage underneath, but I’ve got some ideas about how to make some) The legs have a dark green marble covering them and gold bases. The glass is curved in front, with a flat section on the top and has metal fittings. The doors are also clear glass so it feels very light even though it’s quite roomy. It’s a proper jewellers case and has a slightly Art Deco feel. This one has no markings, but the others in it’s group (that didn’t follow mother home), had inscriptions that said they were from a maker in Chicago. (we’re not sure how old it is but I think it’s less than 30 years) I’ve got green as the lining, for the moment, but I’ll probably do seasonal changes of the fabric. We dropped the other one off to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. There it should find a good home and help out a great cause. (it may even stay there. Apparently it was being measured for installation in their store as soon as it arrived.) The other big change was replacing the drop-leaf table by the door. I’ll fill you in about that tomorrow.

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Garden update

The flowers on the front bed of peonies have opened. They are a deep pink with a ruffled center surrounded by a layer of larger flat petals with a delicate rose-like scent.  I clipped a bunch for the store and filled a bowl with them for mother to have at home. (some visitors today took a few with them as well) I wanted to cut as many of the open ones as possible because I knew we would lose them in the rain. The bowl was perfect because I’m cutting them above new buds so the stems are short. It looks like this one is an ever-flowering variety since it has buds in every stage of development.

"eastern" peony

"eastern" peony

The big peony in the east bed has HUGE buds, they are over 2” round and have this dent in the middle so I think they might have a different shape to the flowers. We’ve filled the rest of that bed with tomato plants. Twelve in total with four of the black cherries and one each of eight other (mostly heirloom) varieties. (the strangest name is “Stump of the World”!)

cherry tomato

cherry tomato

We also picked up two very large “patio” (sweet cherries, one red and one yellow) tomatoes for the balcony of the workshop . They are already over 6′ tall, in their pots and pretty much covered the railing when I let them sprawl. The bird seems to leave larger plants alone and they’ve been fine so far.

I planted some scarlet runner beans along the back fence and a few are starting to poke their heads up, but I’m not sure if they’ll make it. I’ve lost one to ants, there could be bunnies and they won’t get any direct sun until they get a couple of feet up. I’m trying to stay optimistic about them since they tend to be a pretty rough-conditions tolerant plant.

The only other major development is that we have some flowers on the raspberry plants. Mother is keeping an extra close eye on them and the rain should help to move things along.

 

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My personal sense of fashion has always been a bit different. I like making my own accessories and modifying pieces of clothing so they suit me better. Some of the things I wear can be a bit..odd, but since I’m never going to be mistaken for a runway model I figure that I might as well have fun with it.

Butterfly hair clip

Butterfly hair clip

One of my “signature’ items has been the butterfly hair clip. I love them because you can pose it so the butterfly floats above, like it’s hovering around you, or you can have it tight against the head for a splash of colour. Kids love them and wearing something that makes people randomly smile always makes me feel good. I had made up a few extras but often couldn’t bring them to juried art shows so they never found homes of their own. (they do have to be carefully wrapped for transport so it was difficult for me to carry a few, when I wore mine, for when people would stop me in the street to ask about them) Now that I have a store of my own, I thought I’d put them out and see if anyone else wants to join me on the slightly-silly side of style.

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Among the frame samples we have there are a few that stand out. The ones from APF Munn are stunning.

Tabernacle mirror

Tabernacle mirror

They hand-craft their frames and mirrors and the samples I have are historically accurate. They will also customize any of the moldings so you can get exactly what you want. Due to the level of craftsmanship, their pieces are neither cheap nor fast but they are the next best thing to having a, perfect condition, period frame. We also have a few of their (small) mirrors. This one is called a tabernacle style. They make quite a range of styles in mirrors and you can see many them on their website.

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