Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Good To Be Home Again

I love going on our annual Mother-Daughter shopping trips to the States.

But I also love getting home again...

This year we took a six day jaunt to Fargo, Moorhead, Maple Grove, Buffalo and finally Minneapolis. On our way we hit three Antique Malls, a whole slew of Antique shops in numerous towns, the Mall of America (natch), the Minneapolis Zoo and discovered some new restaurants to nosh at.

We both found some fantastic deals on wonderful treasures to bring home to Canada. Good thing the weather had cooled (and that we had comfy shoes) - we walked until we dropped every day.

Buffalo Nickel Antique Mall, Buffalo Minn.
Of course I picked up some antiques for my Studio: a great small printers tray, a square Mason jar for an upcoming Christmas crafting project, a still-full matchbox and metal stamp pad both with awesome graphics and daughter found that sweet metal soap container for me! I have seen so many antique wall-mounted matchbox holders over the years; but never had I found one that was cast iron and perfectly matching my Victorian wall clip, hook and wall pocket... until now. I'm so glad I waited to find this one! 

(As always, click to biggify the photos)

Antique Studio Stuff
I always try to bring home a reindeer on every trip away from home... so when I spied this vintage fella in a glass case, I knew he had to come up North with us. The honeycomb Halloween picks are too cute, and I couldn't believe I found a paper mache Easter Bunny... I have been wanting him since I saw one in a local antique shop, but there was no way I was laying out $75 bucks - even if he was from the 1930s. This pink beauty is in better condition and was only $20! Later the same day, in another town, we found one more - this time marked $50! So I was very happy this one hopped into my arms.

Vintage Holiday Stuff
Of course I love anything rusty or crusty... these three relics are now decorating my living room. The oil can was a mere $5 and has a paper label with Minneapolis on it. The wheel and pulley were $15 each:

Rusty Stuff
And large spools for the Studio were on my shopping list - they will soon have lace wrapped around them. So pleased to find these for a few bucks each:

Spool Stuff
My largest purchase was this:

Card File Stuff!
You must know by now I love my wooden cabinets and drawers - this beauty was one-third the price of the ones here (they took my first offer!) The gold writing on the top says "Shaw Walker" and when researching it online, this oak dovetail jointed library card cabinet dates from the 1930s. I just couldn't resist... it's in remarkable condition. I still have to organize it and label the drawers, but I already know what it's going to hold.

Yep, I love to travel with daughter; we have so much fun together... but after 1800 km of driving, it's also fun to get back home and "play" with all the new treasures we discovered.

Sharing with:

Angie at Knick of Time Tuesdays

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Matchbook Cabinet

Phew! What a week! Thank you to everyone who left such kind comments to my "Where Bloggers Create" post... I am overwhelmed at the response! I am also about half-way through the list of participants over at Karen's My Desert Cottage site... so if I haven't visited you yet, be assured I will! Oh and if you haven't seen my post yet, there is still lots of time to enter my giveaway!

One of the best things about Karen's "Where Bloggers Create" party is finding new blogs to visit and new ideas to discover. Last year, one such fellow party-goer was Laura at Artfully Musing, a talented lady who has done numerous YouTube crafting tutorials. I recently came across her Matchbook Chest project and planned to make one myself... but instead of her pretty Shabby Chic style,

Laura's beautiful Matchbook Cabinets

I wanted to create one that fit more into the decor of my Victorian Studio.

I watched her two-part video and realized the only thing I had to buy was the set of 10 matchbook boxes; a whole dollar investment. The rest of the supplies and tools I had on hand.

You may be wondering what the heck those gold thingys are in the center of the photo above. Well, a long time ago, I purchased a "Fastenator" - a tool for wide decorative staples. I looked at the staples and thought I could make brass pulls out of them for my version of a wooden card-file type cabinet (a teenie-tiny version of the ones I adore in my own Studio!)

I snapped the staples apart, folded in the prongs on 10 and cut another 5 in half to create the pull and the method by which I could attach them to my little drawers.

Using E-6000, I created my little drawer handles. I can slide in itsy-bitsy labels, but I like the brass showing, so I shall leave them empty for now.

A combination of Ranger's "Vintage Photo" Distress ink and E29 Copic marker coloured each drawer; I left the inside bare as I would be papering them anyway.

Here's how those prongs came in handy; they were perfect to run right through the front of the drawer (I pierced two holes first) and then folded them back (one up, one down) to secure. I also used E6000 behind the face plates to ensure they would hold, as matchbook drawers tend to be a tight fit.

To make the drawers slide in and out easier,  I also trimmed the sides of each drawer before colouring, and bent down the back as seen below.

Then I had to find paper to line the drawers. I needed something with a very small pattern, to stay in proportion with the dresser size. I found the perfect solution in Tim Holtz' paper stack, and used the smallest versions of 10 different patterns, cut to size and laid in each drawer (no glue necessary!)

I love the way they look like each drawer has paints, stamps, stamp pads, old newspaper liners, maps...

Next up was gluing each box together to make two columns of  five drawers. Then after they dried, I wrapped the top, back and bottom with a strip of brown cardstock (a step Laura doesn't do) so my chipboard would have something to adhere to on the back. I also began by applying the back chipboard panel first. She starts with the  sides, but I didn't want the edge at the back to show. So here's the back panel attached (I inked the edges first):

Then the sides and top. As I added each piece, I used my Copic marker to colour them in, creating what I hoped look like wood grain:

The bottom was attached last. I took a piece of dense foam, carved it at an angle with a breadknife, painted it and glued the cabinet on it's new base.

Done! Here's the finished cabinet with a penny added to the photo for scale:

It's the teeniest-tiniest set of file drawers I have ever owned.

Thank you Laura, for your great tutorial and inspiration!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Where Bloggers Create & Giveaway

Welcome everyone visiting from Karen at My Desert Cottage's "Where Bloggers Create 2013" party! (And, of course, welcome also to those of you who regularly visit!!!) Karen, you are so wonderful to once again host the event of the year; thank you so much for all your hard work putting this together and for your awesome inspiration throughout the year.

This is the second time I have participated in Karen's annual event - last year I was still in my basement studio. Since then I have moved upstairs to an 8 x 10 room; not the largest space, but more than enough for me to create, blog and surf my favorite websites. In keeping with my Victorian Studio theme, you'll find old wood, tarnished silver and regal-inspired trinkets here.

Be warned; there are lots (a ridiculous amount, really) of photos - but to thank you for getting through them all, you'll discover a very special giveaway at the bottom of the post. As always, click the photos to biggify to nearly twice the size you see here. So grab a cup of your favorite beverage, sit back and enjoy the tour of Where This Blogger Creates:

Main Desk  - This is where I create cards, sculpt, paint, sketch,
draw digi stamps and blog on my laptop.

I like having everything at hand, but organized too.
Ribbon is on a 6' curtain rod, wooden stamps in printer's trays,
at the far left is an antique paper cutter that holds paper towels.
My OCD is obvious in that everything goes back to it's place
when I am done each day.  I know... it's a sickness ;)

Antique bridge lamp provides extra light in a charming fashion.
Behind it is a cherished "Joy" ornament from Dawn at The Feathered Nest.

Top of watchmaker's cabinet.
A Victorian celluloid-topped rubber band container is center stage.
An awesome find since I didn't even KNOW rubber bands were invented yet!
[They were. In 1845. There... you learned something too.]

Most-used supplies kept close at hand in watchmaker's cabinet
and desktop file drawers from the Diem Wing & Paper Co. Cincinnati.
(inscribed on front).

Victorian cast iron wall pocket, clip and hook -
found separately, but go nicely together.

A Victorian photo album, cast iron string holder, vintage clipboard
and a few favorite items in a silver tray.

My bunny watches over me and smiles.

Copics in my homemade organizer, tools in silver creamer and goblet,
glass pen tray, miscellaneous bits and bobs in an old muffin tin.
The lion head drawer pull is a single, so he sits here atop another drawer set.

I guess you've figured out by now I like small wooden drawers.
Well, I am sorry for you'd be mistaken...
I LOVE them!

Stamps, tools, brushes, pencils and markers in old silver.
Silver tape dispenser, gold stapler (yes, real gold), Achilles stamp stand
and Victorian note spike.
Antique postcards in an 1888 cast iron wire rack.
Peeking in the right side is my wall-mounted Victorian cast iron string dispenser.
Oh, and a candy tray always full, natch -
current offering du jour are sour jelly beans. (yum)

Old keys and tags on vintage regal key hooks.

Shelves over desk. They're too hard to easily reach
so I put decorative items up there rather than art / crafting supplies.

First shelf - a trio of Edison antiques.

Vintage products - love the old graphics and typefaces!

Trinkets in a printer's tray.

Old clocks and fan.
Ha! Just realized that each clock displays a different time...
now my OCD wants to fix that.

Second shelf - thrifted crystal decanters, transferware plate
and a plant in a rusty bird cage that obviously wasn't made to hold a bird
- at least not for long, that is.

Silverware, plate, birdcages and insulators.
Antique mouse plate - inscribed on back
"To Mrs Bell Merry Xmas From Flossie 1905"

Bulletin board made from an old frame
with vintage postcards, cameos, keys and a calendar from 1895.

Under desk storage - wicker picnic baskets store a variety of "stuff".
Because I'd probably forget what "stuff" I put in there, I labelled each one too.
Oh yeah, and that's an antique rusty metal creamer at the back that holds
a bunch of old yardsticks, rolls of paper and a Ranger craft sheet.

Chair-thief Dakotah.
A Master at assuming control the nano-second I get up to do something.
I swear she meows "Mine!" in victory... until I move her butt off it once again.

Stamping desk under window - Distress inks in thrifted cassette tray.
An easy find, since cassettes have gone the way of the dinosaur.
Metal "steampunk-ish" sculpture I made from old clock parts.

A peek in the drawers.
Notice I said "the" drawers. Not "my" drawers.
At least that's how I had to re-type it so as not to confuse...

Why I put a shelf under the window ;)

Watches and watch / clock parts awaiting re-purposing.

My reminder chalkboard - with MY memory, it's used a lot!
That crown frame used to be a mirror, but since the glass was marked,
I painted it with chalkboard paint.

Storage under the stamping desk.
Crown masons in front inside an antique oil tray.
Burlap, brown paper, twine and big rusty shears in old twig basket.
Because EVERY crafter needs big rusty shears in an old twig basket. Right?

Sheba - guaranteed to appear immediately upon the consuming of food. 
ANY food.
Perfectionist of the sad "I'm starving" look (which she never is, BTW).

My $45 Re-Store chandelier. A perfect addition to the room.
Reminds me of something off the Titanic
sans barnacles ;)

My dress form stands at attention for the antique Union Jack behind her.
Yep, that's my 33 year old wedding dress! (The hat's new though...)

Old glass and old glasses.

Glitter is too pretty to be hidden away.
Speaking of Titanic, that creamer and sugar at the top
are First Class reproductions I bought from the Titanic Exhibition in 2012.

Candlestick phone and bell box, bread box holds cards, oak cabinet underneath.

Did I mention I have a touch of OCD? Um. Yeah.

Tawnee blends in well with all the browns, no?
Here she is plotting to somehow replace Dakotah at the prime sleeping spot
AKA: "The Shelf Under The Window".
Meanwhile, Sheba, oblivious to the scheme, is still waiting for some snacks to fall...

Silver trays and doorknobs under glass.
I have old game piece magnets on one, the other I made into a chalkboard.
Errr...on the silver trays, that is.
Not the doorknobs.

Shelf below clock displays a Bobbie helmet bell, Royal commemorative plate,
old postcards, frames, cast iron bird and a cat weather vane.
Which is useless if you want to know which direction your cat is going.

Besides the antics of my three feline family members, I share my studio with two feathered friends; my daughter's two birds (since she couldn't bring them to her apartment). Yep, I am never lonely!

Zazu the talkative Budgie - chatters with real words....
freaks me out sometimes, I will admit.

Meeka the goofy Lovebird -
she tries to get my attention by hanging upside down and squawking.
It works.

Old dresser with drawers removed, stripped, stained and shelves installed.
Perfect fit for a lot of supply storage!
Did I mention I have a lot of supplies?
I do. But don't tell my husband that.

Each one of these drawers has four sections making organizing even easier.

Two Singers - one regular and one toy that really works!
Vintage needle books, wooden spools, pins.

My favorite pin cushion - actually it's my ONLY pin cushion.
But who needs more when you have one with an uber-adorable metal squirrel on it?
Not me.

My homemade "Antiques & Bygones" sign and
railroad memorabilia (I used to work on that train in 1975).
My daughter believes I worked on it in 1875...yeah, she's hilarious.

Vintage scale weighing old books and bird,
old sheep dug out of a dusty corner in the basement of a rural antique store
and knick knacks in a small printer's tray, all atop my 12 x 12 paper rack

Inside the closet with the door and hanger rod removed.
Vintage holidays at top, punches, Cricut, binders of unmounted stamps and info.
An Ouija board? Well the Victorians were really into the occult;
and the graphics looked good back there.
Even though the game used to Freak.Me.Out.
I refuse to put the pointer device thingy anywhere near it.

Vintage picnic basket and suitcase used for storage too.
Raw real sheep wool in a wooden tray behind with my new carders from
sweet Dawn at The Feathered Nest!
(awaiting a project I will get to.... one day).

When this room was my daughter's, she had a collection of Beanie babies that we displayed on shelves up high near the ceiling... here's what is on those thin shelves now:

Bunnies hippity - hop over the door

Vintage egg cups - most, if not all, made in Japan

Silver and rusty vintage cow bells, tag, oil cans, sprinkler head and knob.

More silver, vintage cookie tin and chippy wood columns.

Reindeer. A lot of reindeer. Actually, a ridiculous amount of reindeer.
I had to get that vintage reindeer handkerchief,
as the cuteness totally sucked me right in.

See? Told you.
Even more reindeer.

Whew! Congratulations! You did it (you must be blurry-eyed by now).  I really hope you enjoyed my Grand Tour... and to thank you for your incredible endurance, patience and determination (or that perhaps you had nothing better to do for the last twenty minutes), here's my giveaway to one lucky reader:

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 1ST: CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNER OF THIS SET - Sharon from Cape Town, South Africa!  I will be emailing you for your address today!

Six pieces of beautiful gold-trimmed embossed china from the Polish maker Walbrzych /Wawel. The teacup and saucer are in their "Rosebud" pattern and the creamer and sugar bowl with lid is from their "Vienna Garlandia" line.

Hold on.... your chances of winning just doubled, as I have TWO giveaways! 

I will also draw a name to receive the following lovely 7.5" wide gold-trimmed oval dish marked Lichte Fine China, GDR (German Democratic Republic - Former East Germany):

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 1ST: CONGRATULATIONS TO Doni from Texas, the winner of this oval dish! I will also be emailing you privately for your address!

If you'd like to enter to win one of these gifts, simply leave me a comment and become a Follower either through Bloglovin' or Google Friend Connect! Since there are so many blogs in the party and a lot of participants to visit, I will give everyone lots of time to stop by before the deadline of midnight, Central time on Saturday, August 31st. The winner will be announced here on Victorian Studio on Sunday, September 1st and be contacted via email... so make sure I have a way to contact you!

Good luck and thank you again for spending time in my Victorian Studio.

I can't wait to return the trip and come by each and every blog in Karen's Where Blogger's Create party!

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