Saturday, November 29, 2008

Captured Figments : The Wax Creations of Petah Coyne

While recently visiting the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, I was stunned by a breathtaking piece in their collection ... Not an oil by Picasso or a Cassatt canvas-- Rather, a three dimensional wax sculpture by contemporary artist Petah Coyne.
With materials including both real and artificial fowl, feathers, silk flowers, hatpins, and willow branches, Coyne's work is an eclectic mixed media artist's dream. Like walking figments of imagination, these creations are 19th century mourning art meets Tim Burton.
If you have a free afternoon, I encourage you to visit Nasher. Coyne's neo-gothic work is a jewel among many in the museum's crown.

Also, check out Amazon for a copy of Coyne's vermilion fog - I just purchased one for myself!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Style: Episode 4 "Color Me Happy"

Thinking about how I like to add interest and light to a room made me examine the color wheel ... And how to both use it & ignore it. For inspiration, let's look at a master painting or a lovely vintage scarf . How are the colors combined?

Consider the pairings designers are most praised for - Is it the typical complimentary tones? Or is it bold, inventive choices that strike us as original? Pink and Brown, Red and Orange, Yellow and Green - Hues that pop when placed side by side. Like Andy Warhol's magic Marilyns, it's when we step outside the norm that we create truly stimulating results.Now, for our homes, we want to take an approach that is more "please and thank you" rather than "shock and awe". So, rather than hot pink and red walls, how about a nice red pillow and a vase of pink roses? Or a bowl of fresh lemons placed strategically near a pleasantly green linen?

So, your project for this week is to combine 2 colors in a fresh & appealing manner... Let me know what you come up with!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Vintage Bits Trunk Show November 29th

I'm so excited about my upcoming "Vintage Tidbits" trunk show at Ornamentea in downtown Raleigh, N.C! From 9 until 6 on Saturday, November 29th, I'll be showing a wonderful selection of artist materials for a myriad of projects, including jewelry, collages, scrap booking, and shadow boxes.I only have a few of these awesome German belt buckles. What wonderful necklace centerpieces these would make. I have a several colors including brown, green, and orange.
Various treasures from my stash include old skeleton keys, Art Deco buttons, Victorian beadwork, and early 20th c. ephemera. I also stock rhinestone strands, vintage textiles, early sheet music, feathers, c. 1940s doll parts, & c. 1950s farm magazines (a verifiable steal at $1 ea.)!
Old photographs will also be available. Think of these images as instant ancestors, ready to be used in all your mixed media projects! I do have a few spools of old store stock ribbon available for purchase (hurry- these delicacies won't last for long & they're quite difficult to come by!)...My favorite objects for this particular show are a horde of 1920s metal and enamel buckles. Ranging in size from 1/2" to 1", these beauties could be used in so many ways - Earrings, clasps, even as "locks" for altered books! The possibilities are endless... Colors include black, brown, orange, pink, white, red, and green.

Mention my blog when you swing by on Saturday and you'll receive a free gift at my booth ...

Check out Cynthia's blog Shiny Little Things for additional info, including directions and other activities!

Also, be sure to comment between now and Nov. 30th for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate for my Rubylane Shop Flotsam & Jetsam. A winner will be chosen November 30th. All comments will be counted in the drawing.

Vintage trunk show photographs courtesy of Ornamentea/Panopolie.
Marie Antoinette Shadow Box from Jan/Feb 2008 Somerset Studio, created by Lisa Kaus
Wire Lampshades from Somerset Home, 2007.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Style: Episode 3 - The New Eighteenth-Century Style

Filled with wonderful Old World style images, The New Eighteenth-Century Style is an antique decor lovers dream. Combining a traditional French approach with modern twists, this manual explores what it means to be an antiquer in the 21st century.The vignettes include items that will take most of us a lifetime to collect. Old mannequins and santos, ancient corals and other sumptuous smalls create an atmosphere of true vintage living.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys creating an interesting and unique home environment. Much can be gleaned from its stunning photographs of intricate displays and settings. Whether your style is minimalist or wunderkammer, The New Eighteenth Century Style is a must have textbook for decor.
The New Eighteenth-Century Style: Rediscovering a French Decor
Text by Michele Lalande; Photographs by Gilles Trillard
Abrams, New York 2006

That Special Time of Year ...

Hi All- Sorry for the lack of posts this week (and the brevity of this one!)... I promise to highlight a new book soon, perhaps even tonight. For now, let's contemplate the beauty of this season and the wonderful aspect of spending time with family and friends. With Thanksgiving arriving in one short week, I know we are all busy making preparations and plans. Let's remember to take sometime for ourselves and remember what this time of year is all about - Love & Family ... Two things I certainly could not live without. Blessings until next time!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Style: Episode 2 ..."Picture This"

Many of us are intimated by placing the tiniest of objects in our home - nails. They just seem so permanent, so decisive. Well, let go of that fear ladies & gentleman! I'm here to tell you that your walls are a blank canvas & YOU are the artist ...
Paintings and other artwork bring color and light into a space in the same way that a rug can do wonders for a room. And don't add just one puny little picture or wall object - Make groupings, collages, and collections of them! The more the merrier!
Think outside of the box ... Empty frames, objects, clothing- If it can be nailed or tacked, it's fair game! One of my favorite walls is decorated with an ever growing collection of vintage children's clothes - These textiles add dimension and interest to a blank space in a way that flat images never could! For example, check out the fabulous yellow dress from the last post - The tone and texture bring the space to life and make a "fierce" display!

So, your assignment is to look in your closet and consider your clothes as art. That little christening gown - The perfect thing for a Shabby Chic bathroom. Your old prom dress - A great addition to your little girls' play area!

Don't forget to leave comments for my $50 Flotsam & Jetsam giveaway ... I'll be randomly selecting the winner on November 30th!

Top image: I'm not sure! Please forgive me - I think it's a recent article from Interior Design.
Middle image: Domino Magazine, October 2008
Bottom image: Interior Design, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Style: Episode One

Flotsam & Jetsam has been rolling around in my head for several years. Antiques have been central to my aesthetic since high school when I began to develop my own sense of style. I went to college and worked freshman year at an antiques mall in town - From there, I worked at historic homes giving tours. Then I went to grad school for Museum Studies. While attending, I was employed by a super fabulous French antique store (more on that later).

So - Fast forward to graduation and interviews ... Three years of them. For each job, I was either over qualified or under qualified - Let's just call it the Goldilocks Syndrome. Well, I prayed for something that would bring me the joy curating did - Voila- the creation of Flotsam & Jetsam. Since I'd been selling other people's antiques for years, I decided to sell my own! This September, F & J celebrated its one year anniversary - And I'm not planning on slowing down anytime soon!

So, now you know the story ... F & J is more than my job - It's my life, an integral part of my being. With my work comes a definite need to understand interior design and what works well. For me, anything goes as long as its old! My biggest influences are books and random images, especially paintings and historic designs.

Interior design books are a passion of mine... I devour them regularly and gleam tiny tidbits from their lush pages. Bazaar Style is one of my top 10 books for inspiration, and I love the color it introduces into interiors. Hot pink, yellow, orange, green- Anything goes! Patterns are embraced in this look - Mix and match to the limit ...

As the title implies, Bazaar Style takes those wonderful finds from the flea market, antique shop, and your Grandmom's attic and teaches you how to combine them in an interesting, unique way. Selina Lake incorporates old and new world styles to fashion a fresh environment free from clutter yet still warm and inviting.

With a look that makes you feel as if you're in an antiquarian techni-color wonderland, Bazaar Style is a definite read for anyone who has a love for bright hues, antiques, and unusual finds.

Bazaar Style:Decorating with market and vintage finds
by Selina Lake with words by Joanna Simmons and photography by Debi Treloar
Published by Ryland Peters & Small 2008
Photos here found on Cover, Frontispiece, page 58, and page 59 respectively

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

An Old World Christmas ...

I was planning on doing a book review for my first installment of "Flotsam & Jetsam" style; however, Blogger is giving me issues and is not downloading my scanned images. So, I decided to show some photographs from my Gresham Lake booth. I'm so excited about the new look there... I'm doing an Old World Christmas theme - I'll have to introduce you to the elfin Santa Clause soon (unless he sells!)...
Recent purchases include the wonderful crushed velvet opera coat and fabulous feathers ... Also, all of the hats came from a Massachusetts estate. Simply divine!As you can see, smalls are a definite weakness of mine. I also adore vintage mannequin forms and anything French ... Notice the Asian lady poster in the background? It's an advertisement from the 1920's for cigarettes. That beauty was bought many years ago from a large D.C. estate sale. Now at just $65, I'd say that's a definite bargain!

Isn't the hosiery case intriguing? It's a wonderful display piece that originally served as a general store fixture. I think it's perfect for displaying my antique keys.

I'll share more pictures of the booths soon- I've decorated for Christmas at both locations. Gresham's look is Old World with brown & gold, and SuzAnna's is Very Vintage VaVoom using aqua, silver, and gold. With Open House coming up quickly at the shops, Christmas decor is a wonderful way to bring light, color, and imagination into the displays. Think of your own Christmas decorations - What can you do to bring a little holiday "hooshing" to your home?

*Hooshing is a term borrowed from Interior Alchemy: Secrets to Creating Expressive Ambience*
Stay tuned for a review of this fabulous book!

An Oddity ...

This unusual little piece is something I should have posted about over Halloween; however, Kimberlee over at Edgar & Edgar asked if I had any unusual objects. I don't think it can get any more unusual than this! A miniature coffin measuring 5.25" long, 2" wide and 2.25" high. I found this little ditty at the Baltimore Antique Show this year (Mr. Goat was purchased from the same dealer). I believe this treasure was a souvenir container from the 19th century perhaps for a miniature mummy or crusader.

I'm working on my series concerning Flotsam and Jetsam style- I promise you won't be disappointed!

Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered into the contest for a $50 gift certificate to my online Rubylane boutique.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Decisions, Decisions...

Right now, my husband and I considering new "sitting" furniture for our den. We have decided on a cushy leather couch but are still contemplating what kind of accent chairs to purchase. I want something different and rather vavoom but it also has to work with what I currently have ... I love the purple crushed velvet and think that might be a good look with our Oriental rugs. What do you think?

Don't you just love this wonderfully creative upholstered chair? ... I never thought about using complimentary, yet different, textiles. I think this particular photograph came out of a Country Living article from 2007. What I especially like about this example is the portrait!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

"The Eclectic System"

While collecting my thoughts for the series "Flotsam & Jetsam Style", I decided to scan some pages of this wonderful penmanship book from the late 19th century. I found this lovely treasure in Sanford, at the antique mall located in their historic district... I thought the name "Eclectic System" fit my upcoming posts... So, enjoy these images and check back soon!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

She's Got the Look ...

That's right ladies and gentleman- Baby's got a new pair of shoes ... In fact, she's wearing a ballgown with those heels! Darcy at Graphically Designing did a wonderful job creating a web design that truly reflects my aesthetic ... One that mixes glitter and lace with eccentricity and funk! This juxtaposition defines the Flotsam and Jetsam look.

Over the next month, I'm going to do a series of posts on my ideas concerning interior decorating. Using literary sources, design gurus, and material culture, I'd like to help show Bloglandia what truly makes a home interesting and unique. I'll also chat a little bit about how I became an independent antiques dealer and how I actually make money at it - I hope you will stay tuned over the course of November to see what Flotsam and Jetsam is all about!

*photo purchased from Miss Mary's Gazette...

*Don't forget to about the $50 gift certificate to Flotsam & Jetsam. Leave a comment(s) between now and November 30th to be entered into the drawing. All comments will be counted.

Fresh Faces ...

For the past week I've been working with Darcy at Graphically Designing to create a new "face" for my blog. I plan on unveiling it soon, and I'm so very excited!

In honor of this special occasion, I'm going to do a fabulous giveaway ... A $50 gift certificate to my online Rubylane shop! The winner can choose to use the credit any time between November 30th and March 1st, 2009. To enter, simply leave a comment on a post; each separate comment will be entered - So, if you leave 5 comments then you'll be entered five times. I will count comments from this post forward for the drawing.

Please spread the word among your blogging friends ...The winner will be chosen on November 30th. With Christmas coming just around the corner, we all need a little "credit"!

***Isn't the little carte de vista wonderful? The dogs are faux - What a hoot!***

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Joyeux Anniversaire Marie Antoinette!

Happy Birthday to the Illustrious 18th Century Queen of France ...

In honor of Marie Antoinette's Birthday, Cupid's Charm is hosting a little fete with over 70 invitees... How splendid!

The Flotsam & Jetsam Blog primarily focuses on antiques and collectibles; therefore, I thought it appropriate to show some of the objects the famous Dauphine cherished.

The sitting hen pictured above was one of the Queen's many lacquer boxes housed in a specially designed cabinet of curiosities ... Maria Theresa of Austria bequeathed a lacquer collection to her thus inspiring Marie to continue a family tradition. This piece now resides in the French National Collection at Versailles.

A truly stunning 6 carat heart shaped, blue gray diamond was a gem Marie Antoinette brought from her Austrian home. She loved pearls and diamonds, so much so that much of the Royal collection was altered to fit her tastes. I believe this ring is currently privately owned.
Retaining its original upholstery and finish, this stunning bergere belonged to Marie Antoinette and was used at the Petit Trianon in the Queen's bedroom. The wheat and berry motifs reiterate her penchant for nature; the lack of gilding further expresses this idea. This armchair, along with its sister pieces, are held in the collection of the Chateau de Versailles.

A piece of Marie Antoinette lives on in the Americas at the National Museum of Natural History. Her husband, King Louis XVI, is believed to have given his dear bride these large, clear pear shaped diamonds. These earrings are thought to have been a favorite of the Queen. Weighing in at 14.25 and 20.34 carats, these spectacular gems have a fascinating history. Reportedly taken from Marie while attempting to flee France during the Revolution, the diamonds wound up a century and a half later in the hands of Russian nobility. From there, Cartier purchased them in 1928 and then sold them to Marjorie Merriweather Post. The Post family donated the earrings, along with their original silver settings, to the Smithsonian in 1964.

I hope you have enjoyed this little "tour" of the material culture of the Glorious Queen of France,
Maria Antonia