Vintage finds and retro handmade--a sweet mix I know you'll love.

This is my blog. To visit my stores, click the Etsy or Artfire links above, or the product images on the right column of the screen.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Another Look at Miniaturization

I've always been a little obsessed with miniaturization, ever since I found a drawer for a doll bureau in my garage when I was small. Apparently, it had been left behind by the previous occupants of the house. However, I liked to imagine that it belonged to a mouse, or perhaps the Borrowers (if you're familiar with that book).

A couple of days ago, I explored the miniatures selection on Artfire and found some impressive things. There is literally everything from miniature food, to dolls for your dolls, to a working light fixture!  I made a collection, which I'm sharing here.

If you want to try your hand at making doll house miniatures, I have two kits that will get you started.  One is a bureau with a working drawer, and the other makes a pair of chairs. They both have finely detailed instructions, and just require a time commitment. I also have two classic books that detail how to go about making your own miniatures.  I've linked them here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Little Off-Color Humor Here...Don't Mind Me

As we get older, we may not be able to keep our looks or our health, but we can at least keep our sense of humor, right? On that note, welcome to Extreme Vintage Hunting--Potty Humor Edition!

I have had this little ceramic cup with one handle on it, sitting on my bookshelf for a couple of years, now. I had hesitated to make it available for sale, because something about it told me that it was a joke, and possibly a crude one.  I just didn't know what the story was.

Well, it turns out that I was right!

This happens to be a Victorian miniature chamber pot.  Yes, you read that right. It's a bit of subversive potty humor, probably meant for a baby doll.  The outside reads "Morning Exercise" (are we talking about "eat more fiber" or the exercise servants got when carrying it out of the room?). The inside of the chamber pot has a little off-center stamped emblem that depicts a "Goo-goo" eye. I think it's a target to hit.

So...yeah.  Who said Victorians were all the prudish type?  That person was obviously very, very wrong.

My research has uncovered that these were made in Germany in the late 1800s.  The date really does make sense, since the chamber pot was eventually forgotten with the advent of the indoor water closet.  Little girls like to have a miniature version of their house, so I'm sure as the chamber pot was left behind (oops, I made a pun!), so was the market for these doll potties in turn-of-the-century Germany.

However, if you want a genuine collectible for your Victorian doll collection (or just like a nice, subversive dose of potty humor every now and then to keep life interesting), here you go!  It's actually in pretty nice shape, considering the age.  I guess it wasn't used much. Okay, I think I hope it wasn't used at all!  As one of my friends put it (he just couldn't resist), you never know what fun little "nuggets" you'll find when you buy vintage.

P.S. While we're on the subject of old potty humor, I thought I'd mention my vintage cedar outhouse salt and pepper shakers. You can find them here, although eventually I may move them over to Etsy to keep the chamber pot company.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Southwestern Winds

I tried to blog here about a week ago, concerning the Olympics, but I had some issues with the graphics and ended up giving up on that idea.

Anyway, a week has passed, the Olympics are coming to an end, and I'm now blogging here again, this time about a different topic.  I recently took a road trip to the US desert.  July, in New Mexico, to be specific. I stopped and took pictures of some abandoned buildings that used to be part of the town of Cuervo, New Mexico. Here is one of them!

It occurred to me that the Southwestern desert is becoming a big trend in fashion and design this year.  In any case, it seems the desert influence is best used in subtle touches for maximum effect.  For instance, touches of stamped silver, turquoise, aged wood, sandy colored rope textures, leather, adobe, and Indian blanket motifs are very popular in clothing this year.

I decided to make a collection over on Artfire today to celebrate the Southwest.  Unfortunately, I can only link to it here, instead of showing the pictures, because it, too, is affected by a graphics issue. Not all of the pictures show when I try to display it here. I hope you'll get curious enough to follow the link and congratulate the sellers featured there. They have worked hard and deserve some support.

Southwestern Brown Scarf
I have a few Southwestern things over in my Etsy store, but only a few, and they are going fast.  I've not been able to keep anything with these motifs very long over there!  I have made the captions on these images clickable, in case you would like to learn more about these items.

The scarves, like this one, are perennial best sellers.  This one happens to be washable (for those who think vintage always means dry cleaning), and it's in the long, rectangular shape that is so popular these days.

I also found these interesting cups or mugs while hunting for vintage treasures.  I was intrigued by their unusual shapes, particularly the handles.  I did some research on the maple leaf mark on the bottom, and figured out they were actually cups from the "Mojave" pattern from Maple Leaf Pottery of Illinois (a division of Western Stoneware out of Monmouth, Illinois).  These cups date to the mid to late 60s, just judging by the mark and what I could learn of the pattern.  Very cool, huh?

Mojave Pattern Cups

Have you ever been to the Southwest?  What is your favorite part of the setting?  I think my favorite desert landscape includes mesas and a sunset.