Monday, February 23, 2009

Maine Folk Art: Decorated Works on Paper

Last Fall we were in Maine taking a short vacation in the coastal town of Kennebunkport. At the same time we were there, the Maine Historical Society was presenting the Maine Folk Art Trail, a collaborative effort among 11 museums and historical societies statewide to guide visitors to the best of Maine folk art -- work produced by ordinary people without professional training. Here are some highlights from the exhibit at Bates College, an exhibition of delicate works on paper from 18th and 19th century Maine.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tire-Bouchons à Paris

Corkscrews in Paris! ... Why not?

Our son and daughter-in-law had the wonderful opportunity to spend the Christmas and New Years holidays in Paris! Knowing I had a corkscrew collection, they sent me this message, along with photos of a display of tire-bouchons at a wine bar in Paris

Dad, Yes, Paris was snowing ... very cool and beautiful. Really a great vacation. Ate amazing food ... finally had some escargot and cassoulet, awesome! Now we are back in the Burgh ... I thought of you when we were in a great old school wine bar called Aux Tonnelles des Halles, near where the huge old Les Halles central market used to be. They had a bunch of old corkscrews framed on the walls, so I took these quick pics of them .. SaludosThere are corkscrew collectors around the world. Two of the bigger, or at least best known, are the Canadian Corkscrew Collectors Club (CCCC) and the International Correspondence of Corkscrew Addicts (ICCA). There are also regional clubs of corkscrew collectors. Last year, the ICCA started an online auction dedicated to corkscrews. Collectors of these twisted cork extractors have coined a term to define themselves: Helixophile. To give you an idea of how dedicated some of the collectors are, here is a quote from one of the most avid of the corkscrew addicts: "There are other things in life besides collecting corkscrews ... but not much." Ron MacLean, c.1984.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Anyone for Bridge?

The game of bridge, and its predecessor whist, have engendered all kinds of paraphernalia to decorate tables, count the points, keep tabs on the bidding and more. Tally pads are one of the items that so many creative people have made using their imagination and bits of glue, glitter, felt and ink.

These little ladies were made half a century ago. Someone with lots of talent did these! The faces are painted on little wood discs. The dresses and hats are felt with decorations of feathers, flowers, ribbons & trim, tiny beads and sequins. Inside there is a tally card for progressive bridge. These are classy ladies.Along with tally cards, table decorations would have included table numbers or markers. Here are a couple of sets -- one celluloid and the other hand painted porcelain.
Bridge and whist counters and trump indicators are at the top of the collecting pyramid. These come in many shapes, sizes and materials. Through the years there have been many creative means to count points and indicate trumps. Here is one that we have that is in the shape of a world globe.Click on any of the pictures to get more information about the item (except for the tallies, which are part of our personal collection).

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Norma Dice Jewelry Collection

Introducing the Norma Dice Jewelry Collection. This energetic octogenarian of Capitola, California, makes beautiful wire-wrapped and beaded jewelry. Norma and her late husband spent many years searching for treasures of the earth. They bounced around in their Jeep wagon, traveling all over the West digging for rocks. Norma and Jim shared their finds with the community -- at local fairs and in their back yard. Polished stones, geodes, agate and other precious finds.

When she was in her mid-seventies, Norma taught herself to make jewelry from those treasures. Today at the age of 86, Norma continues to make beautiful jewelry. It is her therapy from missing Jim and a way for her to stay connected with people in the community. To quote her: There is a whole lot of love that goes into each piece of jewelry. I like to look at it for a little while then pass it on. We are proud to offer a nice selection of her pieces in our shop and online.These bracelets are made with great chunky coral and turquoise beads, each individually tied.
Norma uses gold-filled and sterling silver wire on her wire wrapped pendants and earrings.Here is an assortment of both beaded and wire-wrapped dangling earrings.Amber is one of Norma's favorite materials. These have nice interesting inclusions.All of the beaded necklaces and bracelets are hand tied between each bead. Nice attention to detail that you would expect in quality jewelry.
Pea pod pendants, made with abalone shells and freshwater pearls. These are wonderfully realistic and extremely popular. Norma's interpretation is fresh and straightforward.
Norma combines the natural look of keishi pearls and shells with semi-prescious stones to create some unique, one-of-a-kind pendants.The Norma Dice Jewelry Collection is available online at our Trocadero site. Please visit the site, or come into our shop in Los Gatos, where we have an even larger selection available.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Vintage Heart Wall Pocket

This beautiful cardboard & papier-mache heart is a 1930s advertising item from Fall River, Mass. It is made in Czechoslovakia. Lovely and delicate.

Handmade Cards, Tags and Notes

Susan has been busy making these decorated tags and cards. To old music paper, romantic images, glass pendants and doo-dads, she adds ribbon, glitter and her special magic to make these wonderful three-dimensional creations.
Of course, I Love You's are not just for Valentines Day.
If you wish to make your own card or tag, Susan has put together these little do-it-yourself kits. Add you own mementos, photos, stamps, poems, etc. This card is then uniquely yours.
And here is an I Love You card with a very different theme.
If you are interested in any of these cards and tags contact us, we will be happy to help.

Hearts, Valentines and I Love You's

With Valentines Day around the corner, I thought I would highlight some of the romantic gifts we have here at Vintages. I love this little one blowing a kiss.
Crowns, keys and glass hearts are popular all year long.
These handmade glass pendants make wonderful necklaces, bookmarks, bag tags, bottle notes and door hangers. Custom designs are available.
These handmade metal hearts are torch cut from old tin ceiling tiles and decorated with chandelier crystals. The lavender sachets below are marvelous and so are the sentiments.
For more hearts and valentines, check out our Featured Product Page.
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