An Etsy artist spotlight

It was the Celtic lads and lasses
that originally caught my eye, 
then I started to look through the Etsy shop
of artist Karen Anne Brady, aka IrelandBrady.

This retired Gramma of 10 grandchildren
is now doing what she always wanted to do
-- ARTWORK! And doing it well.

She should get into book illustrating.
Those impish faces are so endearing.
Digging deeper, I discovered her blog and
read about the process she follows when drawing,

I bought multiple prints of both images above
and have plans for making gifts from them
for our bagpiping family and friends.
They are too cute not to share.


Noticing the details

As an artist do you find you notice things other people don't?

One spring/summer during college, I worked two job
that required a half-hour drive between the two.

I mentioned to my boss how beautiful the mountains were
with the trees all different shades of pale green.
And as time passed, the colors got darker and deeper.

He had never noticed it before,
even though he drove the same route every day.

Most of the people who have been in our downtown park
recently have noticed the blooming cherry blossoms,
but do you think they looked closely at the maple tree
"helicopters?" Some were tinged pink too.

I'm glad the weather is going to clear up so I can bring
my camera back to capture the details I see.


More goodies from the 1800s

Here are some other items that came with the Victorian jewelry.
I have so much to learn! If you have any info, please share it.

Post-Civil War Reconstruction period carpet bag.

Victorian lace collars, all sewn on to paper.

Stack of white kitchen linens with staining.

Hand-crocheted yoke pieces.

Souvenir from Memorial Hall Art Gallery,
Centennial 1778-1876

Heavy brown trim and a black beaded pocket.

A Victorian dressing gown with ornate yoke.


Definitely not junk jewelry

Last summer,  a friend passed on a big bag
full of older items she wanted my help with.

Included in it was a little nondescript cardboard jewelry box.
There were bits of broken black plastic in it,
so I thought they were damaged pieces of junk.

Everything sat in a plastic bin under my work table
until I got to it just this week. Upon closer inspection,
and with a some research, this jewelry is anything but junk.

These two plain, faceted pieces are "mourning brooches,"
popular after Queen Victorian lost her beloved Prince Albert
in 1861 and subsequently wore all-black attire for decades.

The next two, much more ornate brooches would be newer --
Art Deco period but before 1940 based on their C-clasp closures.
Beautifully detailed jet black pieces with rhinestones.

I hope to learn more about all of the brooches
after I talk to a jeweler about them. Stay tuned....
If you have anything to share, please do!


How about giving ties for Mother's Day?

This week I got three different sewing jobs in just a few days --
sewing on Brownie patches, embroidering the name
on a culinary student's chef whites and
making scarves from a late father's neckties.
Good to be busy!

From the dozen or so neckties I was given,
these three combinations are by far my favorites.
I will share the results when I am done
but for now here are other double necktie scarves
that I just listed in my Etsy shop.
Maybe a gift for Mother's Day instead of for Dad?


The traveling thrifter

How nice it is to travel to a larger metropolitan area
with many thrift stores that are huge AND open Sundays.
I've about exhausted thepossibilities at smaller local ones
with nearly weekly trips. Want to see what I found?

How hard is it to find kitchenware that matches?
There is enough here for me to keep some and sell some.

The Glasbake milk glass with green daisies matches my kitchen.
Loads of mixing/casserole bowls, a pie pan,
covered dish and two divided vegetable dishes.

I have a thing for diner mugs but usually only find singles.
Two more sets that match my kitchen, lol.
The lighter-weight ones on the left aren't marked.
The heavy ones have a buffalo logo and "China USA."

My mom is going to have to teach me how to make
her homemade baked beans when she gets back from Florida.
This bean pot says"Mar-Crest Oven-Proof Stoneware, U.S.A."
It is the daisy and dot pattern and in mint condition.

Aluminum cupcake/muffin pans are good sellers
Along with aluminum ice cube trays,
They make for great kitschy storage.
The silverplate cream and sugar set will
probably become more shabby pincushions.

Two more vintage knitting booklets for my sister -- 
fancy sock, mitten and glove patterns from the 1950s,
plus 4 skeins of Aunt Lydia's gray rug yarn,
3 super soft pastels and light brown alpaca!


Drum majors lead the way

This was my husband's weekend with the boys.
He doesn't go out carousing or playing something like golf.

He participated in a drum major seminar with the world's best,
Billy Jordan and others from Scotland.

Compare it to getting basketball tips from Michael Jordan.
(Oh, it really isn't just for the boys. Women attend too.)
Drum majors are a tight-knit community of very nice people.
Fun to meet up with them on their home turf too.

A tradition on Saturday night is to go on a pub crawl.
We had the kids with us so were only planning on dinner
at the first stop -- Anna Liffey's in New Haven, CT.

As we went to leave, the participants who had brought
their bagpipes or drums started warming up.
Instead of heading to the car, we decided to follow
them to their next destination a few short blocks away.

What a scene going down the streets near Yale University.
A young couple even joined in asking what was going on,
and if there were other musical themes on other nights.

Christy's was the second destination.
I don't know if the patrons or employees
knew what was going on as we all paraded in.

What seemed to be a quiet neighborhood pub,
suddenly became very crowded -- and loud.

I can't wait until next year.
Could be funny to see how the evening progresses
with more beer in everyone.