Visit our Online Flea Market!

July 31, 2013

We're going to detour off the Straight and Narrow today, take a path
less trodden.  Some might view today's post as unusual, odd, even
uncomfortable.  Why?  Because today we're going to visit cemeteries.

Until the 14th and 15th centuries, sculptures were primarily memorial
works of art intended to be displayed at churches or on monuments.  The
tradition of commissioning sculptors to honor a loved one continues today.

  Located in the Alter Friedhoff cemetery, this is the grave of a young
German girl, Caroline Walter, who died in 1867 of tuberculosis.  Her
sister commissioned a sculptor to create a life-like monument to Caroline,
showing her as if she had fallen asleep while reading a book.

The grave of English boxer Thomas Sayers (1826-1865)
is located in Highgate Cemetery and is marked by a sculpture
of Lion, Sayer's loyal dog.

In 1897, James Melvin commissioned
Daniel French to create a memorial for
his three brothers who died in the Civil
War - Asa, John and Samuel Melvin.

The monument was completed in 1908
and installed in the Sleepy Hollow
Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts.

Guardian angels have always been a timeless, traditional theme. 
The Rose Garland Angel in Inglewood Park Cemetery,
Los Angeles, CA

Kerepesi Cemetery, Budapest, Hungary

The Obedient Angel

Richard Aigner created this Art Nouveau-inspired memorial for Rufina
Cambaceres in 1902.   Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Brazil

Not everyone in the Victorian period chose an angelic marker.
Twins Bennett and Frederick Harding went a more unusual route:

Since I was a young child I've enjoyed visiting historic cemeteries
and viewing beautiful headstones.  As I grew up and became interested
in genealogy my visits to graveyards became an adventure of discovery.
How fascinating to view the stone that forever marks a person's
existence on Earth.

Many people now opt for a less traditional grave marker,
often choosing personal reflections of their life and individuality.

Located in Manor Park, Cemetery, East London, this
is the life-size BMW headstone of Steve Marsh.

For years I asked my husband to purchase burial plots for us in a local, historic cemetery.  When he asked me two years ago what I wanted for Christmas, I replied, "Our cemetery plots."  He finally broke down and purchased them and said, "Please don't tell anyone I gave you a cemetery plot for Christmas."   Okay, but I'm looking at monuments for our anniversary!

July 30, 2013

While learning to master fire, harness the power of the sun, and ward off invading hordes, over the centuries man somehow managed to find time to play games.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art houses some of the most beautiful and valuable treasures ever created.  And, yes, there's even a section devoted to games.

What appears to be an interesting old box and odd shaped rocks actually comprise an ancient Egyptian game called Senet and Twenty Squares.  Dating from ca 1646-1458 BC, the game pieces are comprised of ivory, wood and a copper alloy.

These intricately carved pieces belong to an Egyptian game of
Hounds and Jackals.  Made from ivory and ebony, the game
dates from 1814-1805 BC.

This deck of playing cards is from the Netherlands and dates to
between 1470-1480 AD.  Composed of pasteboard with pen and
ink, games such as this one were often customized for the purchaser.

This exquisite game table was made by German craftsman David Roentgen,
ca 1789.  The materials include oak, walnut, veneered mahogany, maple,
holly, and tooled leather.  Pieces such as this were often made from discarded
wood but the results are beautiful and timeless.

Much closer to present time, these painted pieces are from a deck game called Horse and Jockey which was played aboard ocean liners of the Furness Withy Line, ca 1935. 

One of the most popular games ever produced is Monopoly, invented by Charles Darrow.  In 1935, Parker Brothers bought the rights to Monopoly and the rest is history.   Less than 25,000 copies of the original game were simply stamped 'Trade Mark' and are the most sought after by collectors.

While pre-1970 games are more collectible than ever, condition is the key to
investing.   Make sure all of the pieces are included and the box or packaging is intact.

The Game of Captain Kangaroo was manufactured by Milton Bradley
in 1956 as The Captain Kangaroo Show grew in popularity.  It's
available for sale at several online sites in the $100-$135 range.

Parker Brothers produced the Babes In Toyland board
game for Walt Disney in 1961.  Rather hard to find, this
game can be purchased for under $50 at many online sites.

The 1969 game Oh, Nuts was made by the Ideal Toy Company.  Priced
at $28, it's in mint condition and includes all of the game pieces. 

As with any serious business venture, education and knowledge of the commodity are crucial.  Warman's Antique American Games is an excellent source of information for pricing and the collectibity of antique games and there are innumerable online sites for information and the sale of vintage games.

A Gilligan's Island board game might be worth $600 while a Partridge Family game from the same period might be worth $25-$50.  Board games from the 1970s remain undervalued in today's collector's market so pay sharp attention while shopping yard sales, thrift shops and flea markets.    Amazon

Before rushing out in search of vintage games take the time
to go through your mother's attic.  You might be surprised
at some of the treasures she kept from your childhood!

July 29, 2013

Yawn . . . . stttrrretch . . . . blink, blink . . . . focus . . . . good morning, Monday.

Let's start the week with some ingenious Repurposing!

Made by Isa
A while back I posted a picture of a washing machine drum
that had been repurposed into a fire pit.  This idea is even cuter.

Looking for some inexpensive and unique wall art?

Better After

Need a nifty nautical curtain rod?
Country Living

The next time you pack
a picnic lunch, put it in
a vintage suitcase.  The
suitcase can then be used
as a picnic table.

I'm surprised a wine company hasn't published a
book entitled 1000 Ways to Reuse Wine Corks!

If you have tea cups with missing saucers use them as bird feeders:
The Snyders

Doodle Craft
It's always fun to find new ways to
turn a tea pot and cups into a lamp.

Another charming use of an antique sewing machine base.

Lovely Undergrad
Vintage metal milk crates are still fairly common and
affordable.  And perfect for upcycling into a stool.

Llama's Mama
Clever uses of old car tags are so much fun.

Turning a pair of lockers on their side provides even more
usable storage space and still maintains an Industrial Chic look.

Home Talk
If you're ever looking for wood to make a
sign, consider using a thrift store headboard.

A vintage television that doesn't work can still be
of use.  Makes a dashing liquor cabinet, doesn't it?

What's better than a good repurposing idea?
A Before & After Repurposing:

Better After
Sometimes an antique dresser is just too damaged to salvage.  This one
was in very sad condition but it was transformed into a beautiful bench.

Worried about how much I have to get done this week, I just don't
know where to start.  Think I'll go hang out at Pinterest for a while.

Have a great Monday!

July 26, 2013

Well, it's Friday and you know what that means - time for some
pre-weekend inspiration via a few amazing Before & After projects.

First off I want to introduce you to Michele of Glendora Village,
California.  Michele's company is Knot Too Shabby Furnishings
where she specializes in turning the outdated into the updated:

While most of us live too far away to visit Michele in person, we
can admire her results at Knot Too Shabby Furnishings online.

We've all seen numerous bedside tables at thrift shops and passed
them right by.  They're perfect for a Before & After project - small
sturdy, versatile, and usually inexpensive. 

At first I thought this was an old sewing machine
cabinet but it's actually an antique lady's writing desk:

If you've never visited Beth and Nick at Sawdust & Embryos then you
need to get yourself over there right now.  They're amazing and so
down-to-Earth.  Here are just a few of examples of their many talents:

Click here for a terrific tutorial on how this dramatic effect was created.

I've seen distressed patio benches, like the one below, sitting on
the side of the road and I'm ashamed that I didn't rescue them.
Home Jelly
Beautiful results!

These next few renovations are brought to you by
Better Homes & Gardens:

Who would have thought that a plain commercial table could be
transformed into such a darling kitchen table?  I love the faux carved legs.

Oh, the wonders that can be accomplished
with fabric and an electric stable gun!

Can you believe that this is the same wardrobe?!


Well, this last B&A has blown my mind.  (I hope it's not
a permanent condition 'cause I have to drive from Minnesota back
home to Alabama tomorrow.)   Enjoy your weekend!