Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Discoveries

Stuff, a fabulous store in Brookside, Missouri, is crammed full of wondrous original works of art by local, national and international artists. They're clearing out the old to make room for the new and I'm excited about doing a complete refresh on my inventory. I'll start out with some Valentine hearts.

I got the great figurine yesterday at Westport on Broadway Antiques for less than a buck.

And another twist on the same phrase. My Etsy friend, Becky, from Wisconsin sent me the pink plastic dancers awhile ago. Look closely, there are two in the plaque below. These will go to Stuff tomorrow and I've glued another heart I'll grout tomorrow. Although exciting, it will be a challenge to build my inventory - so many projects, so little time.

And a big thanks to my fabulous husband, Jason Aaron, comic book creator extraordinaire, and keeper of many things, including my ipod. Although there's nothing wrong with my old favorites like The Smiths and the Cocteau Twins, if I was ever going to move past Billy Bragg and out of 1986, I needed some help. My new favorite bands are The Do (pronounced doe), and The XX. Jason checked out some "best of" lists and took cues from Robert Moore of Sonic Spectrum to purchase new music that is left of the dial, just like me. Thanks, babe.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Out and About in Midtown

I took the boys to Luyben Music in midtown Kansas City today. Brendan needed a new book; he's going to start playing the blues (guitar). When we got out of the car, Dash said, "What place is this?!" This is midtown, sugar! This was a vacant vet's office next door that was a grand home at one time, I am sure. Check out the wonderful tiles.

I thought we'd stop off at the Broadway Cafe, but when I parked the car and looked up, there was Westport on Broadway Antiques. I had never been and was anxious to check it out.

I found this great antique gas heater for only $9.95!

I thought about putting it outside, but with my barren (nonexistent) landscaping, it would probably come off as more Sanford and Son than cottage chic.

I could barely get this weird doll out of the case fast enough. Not only does it have a very unusual face . . .

It has these fat legs and short, stubby "arms".

This one was pretty cool, too.

The poodle picture is a mosaic made of crushed egg shells. I remember seeing one of these at the Glore last month.

I have a thing for kewpies.

The phone was hard to resist.

This lamp was a furry, faded material. Back in 1995, I had a really cool apartment furnished with nothing but funky thrift store finds and this would have been perfect.

Cool art deco lamp.

It's hard to find space on Brendan's social calendar, but he has a curious nature and will tag along with me for an adventure every now and then, especially if that adventure includes midtown.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ringing in the New

After finishing some more "funny Valentines", I whipped up a few mosaics this week. I did this frame for a friend who is starting out on some new adventures in 2010. I was itchin' to use my busted up chalk figurine I dug up from the basement and this was just the place.

And a couple more Valentine magnets . . .

The mantra below are words to live by.

I have been torn lately about the look of things. I used to lacquer all of my mosaic pieces, but have been transforming into a look that works better old and matte than all glitter and shine.

But I wasn't sure about this heart; it seemed to be missing some spark.

Not literally -- I found this old lighter at an estate sale about a year ago. Sometimes it takes awhile for me to find just the right spot.

Below, with the lacquer, the heart came to life a little. Not too much; I don't like shiny grout. Just enough to make the words pop. I've decided I don't need to box myself in. Some pieces will need to shine and others will not.

I got some great news this week that Barb at Sisters Garden and Bloom near Iowa City is interested in giving my mosaics a go at her shop! My friend Dawn and I visited Sisters back in November on our Iowa road trip and it was love at first sight for me. All that is gorgeously rusty, tarnished, bent, and chippy. In other words, nirvana. Ahhhh . . . I have high hopes that my mosaics will be a nice fit and maybe some garden flowers, too, will find their way up to Iowa.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My Funny Valentine

I spent some time this week making Valentines for my yard. Too bad that the snow from Christmas Eve still has not melted. I have some candy cane garden stakes out there somewhere . . .

I love cutting simple shapes out of sheet metal with tin snips, spray painting them, and staking them in my yard. Strange, but true.

I got this figurine at a thrift store a couple years ago and thought he would go into a mosaic. I think he looks pretty cool in the middle of this black heart. I don't usually name my pieces because there is no way I could name every switch plate and frame I make, but I do call this one Ziggy. It reminded me of David Bowie circa 1970 and one of my favorite lyrics of all time, "The kids were just crass, he was the nazz with god given ass."

I made this Valentine chain a few years back.

These little reindeer figurines are cute. I will start putting this one outside when the temp rises above 5 degrees so they won't break.

I made this one for my mom's birthday. The drawer pull is from a childhood dresser that belonged to one of us, not sure if it was me or my sister.

This heart features a cream colored vitage farm animal.

I never know the extent to which the spray paint is going to create this effect. It's not a crackle spray paint, it just acts strange with the sheet metal. Works for me.

Next week I need to fill a custom garden flower order and get back to making mosaics for both The Asylum in Iowa and Stuff. I am also going to start my weight loss program. Wish me luck because I will need it!

A Curious Trip

The Curious Sofa gift certificate that Jas got me for Christmas was burning a hole in my pocket.

Don't forget to check out the bathrooms on your next trip.

I love the antiquing technique and have asked the owner if she has someone on her staff who could do this in my home. I'd like to paper part of the living room soon. The aged look of the paper will be the perfect balance with the fresh plantation shutters.

As always, great eye candy with plenty of tarnished silver.

I posted a pic of this old stove around the holidays. I bet I'd be the only one on my block with one of these in my living room.

I had been looking at a great velvet-covered light blue settee, and my heart sank when I saw the "sold" sign hanging from it. I guess it was not meant to be. I am itching for a trip to Old School Flea in Alma, KS, so I hope to find something similar for the living room soon. It takes a long time to furnish the house considering I came from such a small space. One step at a time, I suppose.