Tuesday, December 30, 2008

After the Christmas Decor is put away ...

Well, Christmas is over and the Christmas decorations are packed away ... now there is more room for my collections :-) I recently found a fabulous 1920s Wilton carpet for my living room and I love love love it!
The colors are perfect for me! And the deco take on the persian design is so fun!

My parian statue of Flora is glancing over at the bare breasted lady in the photo ...

And a recently acquired relic from Theresa at Time Worn Interiors - fun!

A little display by my front door ...

I added an Aesthetic velvet fabric piece for my possum and laughing baby statue to sit on ...

A few old photos of pugs next to the couch ...
And a beautiful silverplate frame for my dresser with a picture of Mary Miles Minter in it.

I love to surround myself with old things!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fantasy Art for the Holidays

Are you looking for the perfect whimsical holiday gift? How about a lovely original watercolor by my favorite artist - my dad David Irvine!

I love to tuck these paintings in among my collections where they can shine with their jewel-like watercolor washes.

My favorite one in this group is his mermaid with baby sea otter!

Add one to your collection of beautiful things, or to give as the perfect gift.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Working on my Path

Well, there was a change in plans on my mosaic pathway. I had to take out several feet of the design due to a low spot. Gone are the mirror swirls! But not to worry, we decided to put some flagstone in to raise the level and then I'm mosaicing in between the bigger cracks in the stones and I'm liking how it is coming out. I will tie the flagstones into the mosaic path on our next flagstone-laying session. Ah, the never-ending project!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fairy Soap Box for Sale!

I'm listing a few of my antiques on ebay. If you like magical antiques, be sure to check out my latest listing - a wonderful antique Fairbanks Fairy Soap Box - the Christmas edition.

I just love the litho of the fairy - the colors are beautiful and the gold accents are stunning. I particularly like how the water stains give it an even better antique patina. You can click on the photo (below) to see it bigger.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pretty Little Things

Here are a few vingettes of some of my collections.
Ladies of the Art Nouveau era are a favorite of mine.

Lately I have been searching out beautiful antique frames and pairing them with photos of turn-of-the-century ladies, usually showgirls or other languid beauties.

I especially love antique frames with a nature motif. My sister Barbara gave me this one and it is my favorite! I found a beautiful picture of Evelyn Nesbit to put in it. Evelyn was the original Gibson Girl, but in this photo she looks like a woodland nymph.

Somehow the Victorian taxidermied birds fit in really well ...
And in my lavender bedroom, more of my favorite things.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Magnolia Pearl Style

Wow - I'm so excited! My favorite designer, Robin Brown of Magnolia Pearl fame, came out with her first book - and it's a beauty! I have been carrying this book with me back and forth to work all of last week so I can look at the gorgeous interiors whenever I get a chance. If you are a fan of lush Victorian style interiors with a funky psychedelic edge, this book is for you! I love Robin's description of her unique style - What you would get "if Queen Victoria had partied with Janis Joplin and Alice in Wonderland ..." Fun!

I have been gleaning bits of decorating advice from my new favorite book and one thing Robin recommends is buying or salvaging objects that really speak to you with their beauty. I found just such an object recently at Gothic Rose Antiques. A gorgeous pier mirror with a lovely plume design at the top. My sister Barb is bringing it down from the wilds of Northern CA this weekend and I will see it in person tomorrow!
Another great idea from Robin's book is to take clippings of vines and drape them around your rooms. My husband trimmed back the old elm tree today, so I brought some branches inside and put them over the curtain rod in the living room and voila! Instant nature indoors!

So if Bohemian Luxe, Victorian Hippy is your style, run, don't walk to your nearest bookstore and get Robin's book (or just click over to amazon.com like I did : - ) you will not be disappointed!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Little Progress

I've gotten a little farther down the pathway, but it is taking longer than I thought. Lots of little bits and pieces and they take time. Also, I've been kinda lazy :-)

Oh well, I should still finish this soon (I hope!).

Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday's Mosaics

More progress on the neverending mosaic pathway. The last two days have been slow going, with lots of little fiddly bits to deal with. But I think it will be easier going tomorrow because I have some open areas where I can slap down some big pieces of tile.

My dad said that now I know how the guy that built the Watts Towers feels! He's right!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

More Madness!

More mosaic madness for my August vacation! I still have quite a ways to go on this project, but I am optomistic that I can get it done during my week off next week.
I have morphed the rivers of mirror into swirls. I wanted to have a bit of a design at the last part by the front steps, but I didn't want it to deviate too far from the impressionistic feel of the rest of the pathway.

I'll do a bit of grouting tomorrow morning and then I'll keep working my way to the front door.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Yalaha

My Yalaha from Lagniappe Mosaics arrived! This gorgeous creation by Andree LeBlanc has added major magic mojo to my front yard :-) My husband insists on calling it a wind chime, but when you're a Yalaha, you are much more than a wind chime!
Andree is an amazing artist and she excels not only with her design, but her quality of work. Every garden should have one of these!

The Yalaha dances in the wind and the mirror parts catch the light - casting firefly bits of reflected light all around the garden!

Meanwhile, I am still working on my mosaic walkway. I made a little more progress this weekend in spite of a sore knee. And my husband helped with a big grouting fest on Saturday morning.

Stay tuned for the finale in late August!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Since Miss Havisham Came to Stay

Miss Havisham is a very creepy life-size creation made by an artist friend of mine, Greg Harris. Better known for his wonderful impressionist paintings, he was inspired to create Miss Havisham after seeing Great Expectations as a teenager. Well, when Greg found out that I like to collect strange and creepy things, he decided that he would give Miss Havisham to me. She had been standing in a dark and dusty corner of his mom's house for many years - I guess his mom has nerves of steel!

Greg brought Miss Havisham over to my parent's house so I could pick her up there and that's when the fun began :-) Having quite a disturbing presence, my mom and dad looked for a place to put her where she wouldn't give them the willies so they stood her up in their guest room. They found it was just the thing when someone stopped by to visit to send them back to the guest room on the pretense of looking for something they needed, only to be frightened out of their wits by Miss Havisham standing there glancing sidelong at them. I understand my nephew Mark had this particular trick played on him quite effectively :-)

Eventually I got a call from my parents and they said I better come by and pick her up SOON. So Miss Havisham came to stay and my husband took quite a liking to her - calling her Miss Have-a-shoe for some strange reason. We had her standing in the living room at first, but even with my love for all things strange and scary, she was a bit too much for me, so I relocated her to the guest room (now the storage room of old house parts). Well, after a big garage sale and much moving around of old odds and ends from the old house parts room, she ended up in the living room in a chair, positioned somehow to be staring her dreadful stare right at my seat on the couch. I see my husband's hand in this ...

OK - I could take it - I love this stuff right? Well, it was all good, but then the husband decided to go shooting in the desert with the guys and left me home with Miss Havisham alone all night. I made the mistake of renting that scary movie The Orphange. So about halfway through this creepy thriller, I had had all of Miss Havisham's stare that I could take. I took off for my bedroom, locking the bedroom door behind me and escaped into reading Renovating Old Houses - a book recommended by Old House Slave, John of The Devil Queen blog fame. Luckily, reading about remedies for sagging foundations and rotten sill plates took my mind off our houseguest in the living room and I was able to get a good night's sleep.

This morning, I moved Miss Havisham back to the old house parts room where she is currently presiding over the various ghosts of several old houses and a few spiders - and I have reclaimed the living room for the living :-)

Friday, July 18, 2008

El Chupacabra


The story of its origin is shrouded in almost as much mystery as the creature itself. A real-life vampire, or a figment of the overactive imaginations of superstitious people? You be the judge:

This artifact is said to be the genuine mummified foot of "El Chupacabra." The unidentified animal that it came from was killed by a native who was hunting in a remote region of Puerto Rico's Yunque rainforest in 1994. Several years later the native traded his trophy foot to a local farmer, who in turn sold it to a team of naturalists on assignment in the area. This is the only tangible piece of evidence produced to this date and scientists have yet to match the DNA to any existing species in their databank.

Purportedly first spotted in Puerto Rico in the mid 1990’s, The Chupacabra has been leaving fear in its wake for many years now. Named in Spanish for the way it sucks the blood from its victims, “El Chupacabra” translates to "the goat sucker." Although it was named for its apparent preference for goat-blood, the Chupacabra has reportedly mutilated and fed on the blood of a wide variety of domestic animals. Because of its distinct feeding technique, Chuppa attacks are unmistakable from attacks by other wild animals. Victims are found with puncture wounds on their necks with their blood completely siphoned from their bodies. Often the victim's organs, such as the liver, are missing even though the only wound is a small hole in the animal's neck. These methodical attacks are executed with such absolute efficiency that often there is not even of drop of blood spilled on the ground around the victim. There have also been strange reports of laser-like cuts on the victims. Although some people claim they have seen the footprints of the elusive Chuppa, in many of the attacks, there are no tracks around the victim. As of yet, there are no documented assaults on humans, but many feel a human fatality is merely a matter of time...

Theories of its origin are greatly varied. Taxonomists postulate that it may be a new species related to panthers. Cryptozoologists say it’s a prehistoric reptile. Other eccentrics insist it’s an extraterrestrial. A related theory suggests that an alien spacecraft containing Chupacabras ( kept as pets, or science specimens ) crashed, thus accidentally releasing them. Originally thought to only be menacing Puerto Rico and South America, the Chupacabra has since been spotted in many locations around the globe, including the United States. Proponents of the crashed spcaecraft theory also suggest that an unstable portal from another dimension is temporarily allowing them to materialize in random locations throughout the world. Regardless of their origin, one thing is for certain, they are a formative predator, hunting down their prey and killing with virulent cunning. In either case, supernatural or of a cryptozoological nature, El Chupacabra remains a mystery for the time being. Whichever theory you believe, none of the theorists have yet to provide definitive proof that the Chupacabra actually exists, but the sightings and mutilations prove something's out there. Whether a cryptoid or space alien, its actual identity has been left to speculation."– Dr. Rod J. Schvelding ©2008

I recently added this amazing specimen to my weird artifacts collection - the foot of a Chupacabra!