Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Past, Present & Future

"Where Are You Christmas?"
Where are you Christmas?
Why can't I find you?
Why have you gone away?
Where is the laughter
You used to bring me?
Why can't I hear music play?
My world is changing
I'm rearranging
Does that mean Christmas changes too?
Where are you Christmas?
Do you remember
The one you used to know?
I'm not the same one
See what the time's done
Is that why you have let me go?
Christmas is here
Everywhere, oh
Christmas is here
If you care, oh
If there is love in your heart and your mind
You will feel like Christmas all the time
I feel you Christmas!
I know I've found you
You never fade away
The joy of Christmas
Stays here inside us
Fills each and every heart with love.
Where are you Christmas?
Fill your heart with love.
Lyrics by Mariah Carey, James Horner and Will Jennings

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Ephemera for You!

It's almost Christmas! Joy to the World! Here Comes Santa Claus! Jingle Bells!
I love the Christmas season! Many people have a set image of their Christmas: maybe you prefer colored lights on your tree and bright, multi-color ornaments. Or maybe you like white lights and loads of tinsel. Or maybe your ornament collection represents travels or important events in your life like "Our First Christmas" or "Baby's First Christmas."
I have both of those on my tree! My Mother was a Christmas fanatic. Truthfully, I haven't had as much Christmas spirit since she passed away, but Darby and I are working on some new traditions and I feel happier this Christmas!
I have so much Christmas stuff (and still buying), that my tree looks different every year. This year I chose white lights and used only ornaments that were silver, gold, white and / or glittery or crystal. I threw in a few colorful ornamets that are covered in glitter for some punch and of course, included the little handmade Angel that Darby made when he was a child. (awwwe). I am very pleased with how the tree looks this year and plan to post an image soon! For now, here is some ephemera for those of you that collect images and / or craft. Please credit my blog if you use these images on your blog or on shutterfly, etc...thanks in advance. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mary, Jesus and John the Baptist

During this Holy season, it only seems appropriate to do an entry featuring a religious piece of vintage jewelry. I absolutely adore this locket / pendant. It is so beautiful and has such a beautiful theme. This petite circular pendant pictures Mary, Jesus, and John the Baptist on the front in relief; meaning they are not flat. With metalwork this is sometimes called repousse - if this were in stone or shell it would be called a cameo. It is marked "RR Sterling"; unfortunately, this maker's mark has me stumped. I see a lot of religious jewelry pieces deaturing Jesus and Mary; but not so many with the addition of John. John the Baptist is referred to in one of the Gospels as Jesus' cousin. John preached faithfulness and honesty in one's duties, and the humble confession of one's sins. John baptized his listeners in the Jordan; this became such a large part of his ministry that he was given the surname "the Baptist." John even baptized Jesus. I suppose that's a little background on Baptism, though it wasn't meant to be! Hope you are having a wonderful and cheerful Christmas season! Incidentally, this piece will be on Ruby Lane shortly; condition is very good; expected patina (you can the difference in patina on the back where someone had a price sticker) and 1 tiny, tiny "ding" on the reverse.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Just For Fun....

The night was dark and stormy. Eve shivered as she crept out the cellar door. The temperature had plummented over the past few hours; in part due to a cold front coming in from the mid-west, and perhaps, due to the fear and adrenaline coursing through her veins. Her moment was upon her. How long, she wondered, had she planned for this moment? Dreamt of the result? Painstakingly rehearsed every move, every minute detail down to the precise hour of her venture? Weeks? Months? She shrugged. The time for planning was past. The time for action was now. No regrets...only opportunity. The door swung closed behind her with the barest of squeaks. Eve paused and took in the maelstrom of the storm and marveled at how adaptive nature could be. The mighty Southern Pine with its deep, penetrating roots meant to withstand the tests of time had been conditioned to hold its ground when faced with adversity - learned to bend instead of break. But, oh how the sky was angry this night. The fury of the wind whipped at the pines, sending needles flying to the ground and creating a slight howl thru the trees that matched Eve's mood perfectly. Turning her face up towards the sky, Eve felt the cleansing rush of raindrops course through her hair and down her face, watched the lightning illuminate the dark sky with new possibilities and felt the wind blowing her thoughts forward. She turned, her long dark coat trailing behind her, and took a step.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Little Treasures

The Holiday Season is upon us! With the rain, I have had to go to the malls to walk this week and the holiday decor is up...including fabulous Santa villages! Can't wait to take Cameron for his first Santa visit. I wonder if he will cry? After an entire weekend spent antiquing: Friday night auction until midnight, Flea Market started back Saturday morning and it was SMOKING HOT for treasures...I haven't bought that much stuff out there in a very long time, and then another auction Saturday night till midnight again! Needless to say, I will be spending most of this coming weekend pricing new items for the booth and then re-arranging and sprucing it up. I purchased over 1000 books last weekend...a couple go back to the 1700's!! - and several from the 1800's. Obviously, I will be adding a lot of books. ANYWAY, thought I would share a few photos of items I am currently working with; either for the booth or on Ruby Lane.
Enjoy and have a wonderful day!
Finally decided to sell it out of my personal collection.

I liked this image because of the dog. :)

Roaring Tiger Pin by Erwin Pearl
Perfect for the Holidays! Desirable red with gold glitter
thermoset plastic bracelet. Yum!
White Gold, Amethyst and Diamonds. Don't you need
an elegant but flashy cocktail ring for parties?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Happy Halloween, Superman!

The Orcutt's - October 2009

This year, Halloween seemed to last for the entire month - which was fun! Cameron, Darby and I headed out one Saturday to the Vintage Village to visit our antique family: Tracy at the Little Shabby Shed, Suzie and Jenny at SuzAnna's Antiques, and Sam...with his fabulous pumpkin patch, mini haunted house, fall mums and gourds galore. We let Cameron choose his pumpkin - it was so cute - he chose a Cameron sized pumpkin!

Cameron with his small pumpkin.

Then, of course, he tried to eat a rock (!!!), so it was time to leave the ground and go experience Cameron's first haunted house!!!! OOOOoooooooo.....scary!

Darby and Cameron and a creepy ghoul!

Cameron was more intrigued than scared, which was good - we didn't want him to be afraid and we took some fun photos. Later that week Cameron went to another pumpkin patch; this time at the NC Farmer's Market to help his E-Paw pick out his pumpkin!

Cameron and E-Paw conferring on a pumpkin.

Then we all went and had a seafood lunch. Thanks E-Paw!
The week of Halloween, the Library where we go for story time had special Halloween story times that you had to register for, so we chose to go Thursday evening so Darby could participate. Darby's mother was in town and got to attend as well! Cameron was Superman this year, and he looked precious.
Cameron flies into the library!

His costume was actually a pajama set, except the blue pants were too long so we substituted red shorts. Cameron had a blast meeting the other kids that night, doing some trick-or-treating and meeting the Chick-Fil-A cow!
Cameron meets the Chick-Fil-A Cow! At least I think its the Chick-Fil-A cow....

He was so excited the entire evening, and -OH- by the way - he is walking! (he began walking right in the middle of his first Birthday party - 9/26/09).

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's....Cameron walking!

The next day, Friday, one of his buddies turned 1 so we went to celebrate with Collin...and the kids got to wear their costumes! Another Superman evening! Cameron had a blast and discovered a toy wheelbarrow. (hopefully, his interest in yard work will stick around so he can help us out...haha).

Cameron discovers Yard Work...HOORAY!

FINALLY, it was Oct. 31. All Hallow's Eve. We went to E-Paw's to trick-or-treat and take pictures with cousin Reese - cute ladybug!
Cameron and E-Paw

Reese, E-Paw and Cameron

Then, Mommy and Daddy had to scurry home to finalize preparations for their small get-together with friends! What a fun evening! Our friends Mary, Martin, Alan and Hope came over in costume: Mary as the Spiderwife, Martin as the carrot-top clown face hero shirt person, Alan as Spiderman and Hope as the Ace Reporter. I attempted to dress as Dorothy this year because my hair is SO long - thought I could mimic her hairdo and Kearney could be my Toto.

Kearney and Laura imitate Dorothy and Toto.

Not so much on the "look like Dorothy attempt" but I had fun trying. Darby was a devil and Cameron was...drumroll...Superman! Of course! I made a dirt cake and was so proud of it!

Worms, anyone?

Cameron entertained everyone by dancing to disco music, which got us all up dancing,

Ace Reporter, Spiderwife, Carrot-top Clown Face and Spiderman....can you guess which disco song was playing?

and finally little Cams had had enough and it was bedtime. We played a game called "Encore"; it is a singing game and had a great time. This crowd knows how to laugh! I think we have all decided to team up and go caroling in a few weeks. But not dressed up!

The Orcutt's - October 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

Victorian Lingerie Pins.....Hide Those Straps, Girl!

Pair of enamelled lingerie pins; C-Clasp.

The Victorian Era, named after Queen Victoria, produced a bounty of jewelry - in part due to Queen Victoria's love of jewelry. During this time, ladies had many, many different articles of clothing to put on in order to assemble their outfit for the day. One of these many items was lingerie...and with it came the ever present problem of how to hide those darn lingerie straps and keep them from falling out? In that sense, times haven't changed much. There are scads of infomercials advertising the latest in gadgets guaranteed (or your money back!) to keep that bra HIDDEN. The main difference is the reason why.

10K Gold and White Enamel; safety clasp.

Victorian women were very proper, and to reveal ones underclothing would likely cause a scandal...at the very least the other ladies at your afteroon tea might swoon. These days, we hide our bras and pin them together in the middle of our back so that they don't ruin the effect of our halter top sundresses.

Mother of Pearl; C-Clasp.

Admittedly, bra straps falling out IS embarrasing, but I daresay the sight of one wouldn't cause a scandal. "Oh ye gads! A BRA STRAP! EEEEEEEKKK!"(there are many cases in which I think a more scandalous event occurs when ladies need to put one ON!) ANYWAY....these diminuitive pins were introduced as a pretty and feminine way to hold your "lingerie straps" in place. What a wonderful idea! They were made in numerous ways; some in 10 or 14K gold, some gold filled, or enamelled, and some with creamy iridescent mother of pearl.

Pair of 14K Gold Pins; Safety Clasp

To be certain, a proper Victorian lady would want something "jewel-like" securing her underthings.

Unmarked; likely gold-filled; C-Clasp.

I myself have used a paper clip, a safety pin (large ones work well to pull the straps in between your shoulder blades), as well as teeny safety pins discreetly pinned from the inside out. Certainly these dainty Victorian pins are more attractive than a paper clip! Incidentally, all of the picured lingerie pins are for sale in our Ruby Lane shop.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday Cameron!

To our sweet, joyful, happy and much-loved son, Cameron Thomas: may you always have happiness, health, love, success and a blessed life full of all you can dream. Your presence in our lives has been such a blessing. You are always full of joy and so very eager to learn about the world around you. As your parents, we have loved experiencing the excitement all of the things that are brand new to you - for us, it is the opportuity to be "young again." Thank you for showing us that the best part about life, and all the things in it, is sometimes just being there to witness it.

You are much loved - always.

Love, Mommy & Daddy 9/25/09 on the occasion of your 1st birthday.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fast Forward

As a child, we so often are heard saying "I can't wait to be 16!" Our big moment seems to be being able to step into a car and zoom away without our parents. Then, of course we say "I can't wait to be 18!" That brief moment in time when your entire life is ahead of you. Perhaps you packed your bags and went off to college. Or moved to a small apartment and got your first job. Regardless, at 18, you were, legally, an adult...BUT...yet...there was one more big one. Oh, yeah. Next, we cry "I can't wait to be 21!" Legally able to consume an alcoholic beverage. That seems to be a rite of passage for so many young people. Funny though. I don't recall saying "I can't wait to be 25!". I'm quite certain I never shouted "I can't wait to be 30!". And I sure as heck never said "I can't wait to be 35!". Which beings me up to today. (yes, for all you who are paying attention, I just announced my age. Ahem.) Have you ever looked around and wondered what happened to your life? Not in a bad or dissatisfied way, but more like a "Wait a minute...I just finished high school yesterday and all of a sudden I am 35 and the years are just flying by" kind of a way? It is a little disconcerting to say the least. I have a wonderful life...so many things to be
thankful for!
But I am a little down right now. Cameron turns 1 on Friday and while I am overjoyed, part of me is wondering where the time went? How did he get to be 1 so quickly? And if what my friends say is true, time is only going to seem to get faster. I don't like that. I want to put on the brakes. Slow it down. Stop and smell the roses. (bring on the Neil Diamond.) Maybe that's why I took 5 billion pictures this past year that I haven't put into an album - though I did buy some scrapbooking supplies so I could get started on said album. I guess that is life. But I would like to slow it down...a lot. I am spending the rest of the week gearing up for for Cameron's 1st Birthday. Darby and plan to take him to Liberty, NC for a big antique festival (assuming the rain holds out) on his actual birthday - Friday the 25th. What a birthday present! Just what every kid wants! We are having a small party at the house on Saturday - puppy dog theme - so that should be much fun! May you all have a good - and slow - week.
*Pictures taken in the Virginia mountains*

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

All That Glitters and a Frog

I am busy photographing jewelry - which I must say isn't the easiest thing in the world. In fact, my Facebook update about an hour ago went something along the lines of: "Laura is about tired of photographing jewelry. Zoom in, zoom out; snap, snap. Repeat a gazillion times!" However, it is very important to me for my online clientele to be able to see the jewelry they are contemplating in great detail. So I try to make sure I take clear, up-close pictures. I want them to have the sense of having handled the piece themselves. And sometimes the photography is relaxing. Last week I sure had some fun...see my post entitled "On Wings of Fancy." Here are a few things I am currently working on...they are all for sale in our Ruby Lane store!
Pictured above is a precious little frog by Robert Mandle - his company was founded in New York in 1956. Next we have a simply stunning demi-parure by Weiss. The "Weiss" company was founded in 1942 by Albert Weiss and ceased operations in 1971. The company is well known for their use of high quality Austrian rhinestones. These stones are an icy blue coated in aurora borealis. Depending on the light, they shimmer from blue to grey. Totally fabulous.
The next brooch is by "Judy Lee" and features faux pearls and green and clear rhinestones. The Judy Lee mark was used from 1949-1980; the jewelry was marketed through home parties. This brooch is circa 1960.

This next picture features a necklace by the "Selini" / "Selro" company whose jewelry was designed and manufactured by Paul Selenger. This particular piece is known as the "Warrior / Devil / Asian" man necklace; is circa 1960 and is extremely sought after. I was mightly pleased to track it down.
The purple and red brooch is by "Kramer of New York" and is totally amazing with its special-effect colored stones. Kramer of New York was founded by Louis Kramer in 1943 and went out of business around 1980. They were well known for their use of specialty stones such as those seen in this piece. I would date this particular piece to the late 1950's.
This next brooch is signed "Swarovski" and combines a beautiful color assortment of pink, dark purple, light purple, green and clear crystals to make a flower.
And this last piece is by the renowned fashion house of "Christian Dior". It features black enamel and clear rhinestones. Totally classy and understated elegance; circa 1980's.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

On Wings of Fancy

The sale of our main display case in our antique booth prompted me to do a "re-think" about the space that it was in. I don't have another display case to go in its place, and to be honest, after re-arranging the pieces that came out of the locked case, I realized that my remaining 2 cases, one locked, one unlocked, looked a lot better a bit crowded; with lots of little pretties gathered together. Soooo....for the time being I am going to put a white shelf in that has different size shelves and spaces and I am going to try a different look for a while. That being said, while I was pricing some of these items, I decided to take some pictures to share with you all. In this main photo at the top I would like to point out the fabulous butterfly painting in the gilt frame...I fell in love with this piece and knew it would be a focal point of a display in my booth. Actually, when I bought it, I thought I might keep it, but, such is the purchasing life of a dealer...Here we see a card of green glass buttons, some beautiful creamy mother of pearl buttons and a bling bling rhinestone button nestled in beside a wonderful Victorian bible we found late last year. We believe it to be true jet or gutta percha; unfortunately, I am not an expert in either material and the tests to determine them involove hot needles which I do NOT perform and will not purchase from any dealer who uses these tests either. However, it is a lovely little item and the back is etched with a ladies name; presumably the owners. And I just love the bulldog in the background! Look at his scrunched up face! He is so cute and Italian! Mi Amore!This picture shows a wonderful enameled mesh bag in beautiful teal, gold tone and creamy white. It is circa 1940 and is draped beside a modern Lenox crystal decanter...drape the bag over your arm and pour some scotch....ahhh...luxury....of course, you will also need the faux pearl, crystal and art glass necklace dangling around the neck of the decanter and spread out over the rose ball to complete your ensemble; but wait...the fabulous blue glass brooch by vintage designer BSK is definitely needed to complement the purse. There is also a cute little cigarette holder with a wonderful pink rhinestone capped lighter. I bet this could be re-purposed...a cell phone bag perhaps? Leave the lighter...the rhinestone is fabulous! Scattered throughout these pics are several small photos of people. I found a nice little stash of small photos and thought they would be fun to stick here and there in my vignettes. These brooches date to the turn of the century. They are made of mother of pearl and look so lovely in this old jewelry box. I have a friend who collects these old boxes with a passion...they are pretty cool, I must say - and I love the photo of the two guys peering out over the jewelry. Here is a close up of a resin-type bust of a woman done in Victorian style. Her bodice is - uh- rather on the low side. Perhaps she was on the make for a gentleman? I love the calling card pictured on the right..."Mrs. Dr. Whelpley". "Mrs. Dr".....how fabulous! I may have to see what Emily Post has to say about that. The white and black glass beads resting on the geode crystals are very pretty in their simplicity...the symbolism in black and white has always been a favorite of mine. This purse is a Dresden mesh by the renowned Whiting and Davis company. The lady in the photo would have been mighty proud to have carried it around I am sure. The colors in this Dresden have stayed vibrant except for a few areas near the frame. Dresden's are commonly thought of as impressionistic as many of them have flowers or trees in them. They often appear as washes of color. This last photo shows off several of the small pictures as well as a set of old red glass cuff links that I find very appealing and a wonderful black glass faceted dress clip. All these items are displayed on a fox fur collar. I cannot wait to get into the booth and set up some of these vignettes and see what they will look like for real. The pictures look great, but sometimes making it work in a booth is a little different! Hope everyone is enjoying the cooler weather!