Sunday, September 26, 2010

Circus Clowns....

I haven't been to a circus since I was a kid, but recently I acquired a set of victorian die cuts for our etsy shop, allen and patty, that brought back so many memories.  It makes me happy just looking at it and thinking of my trip to the circus when I was 10 years old!  After that visit, my dad made me a trapeze suspended from the clothesline pole in the backyard and I spent hours practicing for a life in the circus as a trapeze artist!  Mmmm....I hadn't thought about that in years until I saw these die cuts...

My flea market finds...

Today was the first flea market of spring and my favorite seller was there.  I LOVE her stall!  She's the only seller at the market that actually takes the time to put a little vintage label on her item and write a little message about the history of it.  She puts so much effort into making everything look inviting.

I wasn't disappointed today with what she had on offer.  I came home with a great old potato masher with a faded blue handle (my new grocery store one is now going back in the drawer never to be used again), a very French looking green and cream colored jardiniere full of a gorgeous home grown bouquet of pink flowers from her garden (smile), a small hardback edition of Michael Ondaatje's "The English Patient" (I love finding little books I can pop in my bag for reading on my daily train commute), a 1950's turquoise and white large gingham check round poof pillow that is now residing in the chair where I'm sitting, and a 1950's souvenir headscarf from Balmoral Castle.  I have a small collection of these scarfs and just love wearing them in springtime.

I try not to buy anything at the market until I reach her stall because I know I won't be able to resist what she has for sale.  Luckily, today, her stall led me to another gorgeous find!  The woman next to her had a basket full of linens and right on top was a vintage white linen tea tablecloth with a beautiful crocheted border and a little French laundry monogram stitched in red on the back side.  It is in exquisite vintage condition--no spots, no holes.  And, the best part is that the price was an absolute STEAL!

So, I had my French straw basket bulging at the seams as I walked back to my car ...oh, what a glorious day!  Lots to smile about...

Combining Two of My Favorite Things...Travel & Food, of course...

If you love to travel and eat beautiful food (who doesn't???), there are a couple of websites I found that offer sustenance for your soul and your body.

Check out The Travel Editor to "rediscover your world".   You'll be inspired to put on your travelling shoes and head out to destinations you might not have thought of before.  This website is chock-a-block (a good Australian term)  of useful information and it offers independent travel reviews from experts that have "been there, done that".   Nice photos, too!

I've just been reading Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (yes, I'm a little behind as everyone else on the planet has already read it), and I have become enamored with learning to speak Italian and visit places in Italy that she mentions.  I want to go back to Rome for a second visit after reading the book--I obviously missed some of the finer points of the city after spending eight days there and coming away with a love/hate relationship!  

This was one of my favorite photos from the whole eight days.  It was coming up on Halloween and we found this bakery somewhere on our travels in the city.  Cool, huh?  This was one of my "loves" of Rome...

But, nothing compares to Venice for me.   In her book, Elizabeth Gilbert describes the city  by saying, "Venice is beautiful, but like a Bergman movie is beautiful, you can admire it, but you don't really want to live in it".  That's probably true.  I think there is something to be said, however, for the city on a cold November morning just as it is bustling to life.  Venice is a photographer's heaven--there's a photo opportunity around every corner!

Okay, I could natter on about Venice, but on to my other favorite website, Poetry of Food, which is a combination of beautiful travel photographs, recipes, and food stories.  Can you think of anything better than that???  

When you sign up to their complimentary magazine, you get a postcard every week sent to you in your inbox.  This week's postcard features Aigues-Mortes in France, where sea salt is harvested on the Camargue.  An interesting place I've never been to, but almost did.  Luckily, I came to my senses and decided that travelling down the Canal du Midi and Rhone River in a boat with just my husband and myself to get us through zillions of locks was probably not one of my best ideas!  Especially since neither one of us has ever driven a boat--unless you count a small ski boat on a lake about a thousand years ago.  

At any rate, the website has some lovely photos, and wonderful recipes that will make you want to rush to the kitchen and get cooking!

Now I'm off to one of my favorite other things in life...a flea market to search for treasures.  Till next time.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

There's just something about pink that makes me smile....

I thought I would cheer myself up today by posting something about the color pink.  I just finished reading a lovely little book called, Designer Scrapbooks with Dena, by Dena Fishbein and thought I'd share a few of the pretty photos.  

Wouldn't these be delightful swaying in the breeze on a beautiful June evening?  You could hang them on your verandah and ponder the world while you sip your PINK lemonade!

I absolutely adored the paper ballerina tutu in one of my recent posts, and I found these little tabletop decorations to be equally amazing!  If only I had the patience to whip some of these up....

And if you're going to have dresses on your table, how about making an invitation that looks like this...

If you had this colorful little workspace, you could close it all up at the end of the day waiting for morning when you could start all over again.

This book is a visual really does make a grey, cloudy day seem alot brighter.    

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Allen and Patty Made It Into ANOTHER Etsy Treasury...

Our thanks to  fellow Etsian, ViolaBlush, for including TWO of our shop items in her latest Etsy Treasury, "French Emphemera".

We appreciate being included along with all the other beautiful French items. 


I just wanted to share with all you crafty folks a book I have added to my collection.  If you LOVE books as much as I do, you'll go nuts over this one!  The full title of the book is "Playing with Books--The Art of Upcycling, Deconstructing, and Reimagining the Book" and that pretty much says it all.  Jason Thompson, the author, has produced an absolutely gorgeous soft cover reference book that will send you scurrying to the used book store or flea market....

I know, if you're like me, you hate the thought of destroying a book because, let's face it, someone worked hard to come up with all those words!  But, if you can't save a book, then you can at least turn it into something else and give it a new life.

The book is divided into three sections:

1.  Getting Started:  Fold, Mutilate, Staple and Spindle (Now that's a section that will send shivers down any good book's spine....)

2.  Projects to Play with:  Novel Ideas for Artists and Bibliophiles (This is the real "meat" of the book)

3.  Gallery:  Reimaging the Book (You just won't believe how talented someone can be upcycling a book!)

I especially love the laminated tote bag--what a perfect way to carry your books with you as you search through dusty old bookstores for that one perfect little treasure....
So, here's just a few photos of the book that might inspire you to get busy looking for old books.  The ballerina tutu on the front cover just absolutely amazes me:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Not One but TWO Treasuries.....

Allen and Patty, the etsy shop that my son and I just opened was included in not ONE, but TWO etsy treasuries today....and to top it off, we had our FIRST sale.

My thanks to  Artful Vintage for including one of our French postcards in her gorgeous treasury called, "Steely Blue Gray".   Drop in her shop and check out all her vintage goodies--you won't be able to resist her lovely shop!

And, our thanks to Cindy from cindycolumbia1958 for including the May 1957 British Vogue magazine we have for sale in our shop.  Cindy is a very talented mixed media folk art painter who has some really lovely items for sale in her shop.  Stop by and check it out!

Merci beaucoup!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Allen and Patty.....

Sorry that I have been away so long, but I've been working on a new project that has kept me busy.   I've just gone into business with my youngest son, Allen, to set up a new Etsy shop, allenandpatty, to sell digital collage sheets based on ephemera he sources from his home in France, and from what I find in my searches here in Australia.  We both love scouring antique shops and flea markets in search of vintage paper items, so this should be a fun adventure for us.

Please stop by for a visit as I will be adding new items every day.  It's been a slow start getting the scans made and images cleaned up, but I should be listing regularly from now on.  Here's a sample of what we've been finding for all you arts and crafts friends out there.  These are just a few of the vintage French flower seed labels dating from 1920 which I have started listing in the shop:


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