Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Old Linens

I love old linens. For me, they bring up images of ladies from another generation who embroidered,  crocheted and knitted. Luckily, I live in an area known to have the oldest population in the U.S. and am generally able to find any number of discarded lovelies. I picked up a few at the thrift store today, which  I'll sort through and post pics of tomorrow.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share some on offer in  my SumpnSassyOldStuff shop and some which I've already sold. They all came either from thrift stores, yard sales or auction, my fave places to noodle around in.

A lovely embroidered rick-rack-trimmed set of three. These are definitely dish towels and I love their bright colors. I used to keep a towel hanger with one of these on it beside my kitchen sink.

These are handkerchief-weight linen with embroidered silhouettes and tatted lace. They'd be lovely in a guest bath.

Can you imagine the work that went into crocheting the edging on these gorgeous pillowcases? I remember that my mother could do work like this in no more light than that cast by the tiny television screen.

The following are pieces I've already sold, but which are still lovely examples of things I've found.

This is a lovely embroidered pink linen. I'm in awe of the skill that so many of this generation seemed to think unremarkable.

These were pristine, never used. The maker had drawn a line for her crochet design and then didn't follow it. The line was still there, showing what was meant. For me, it made them even lovelier, demonstrating how whimsy can take one unintended places.

This was a beautifully made gingham apron with cross stitch embroidery and pleated waist. I could imagine a '50s housewife wearing it on a Sunday. It was clearly only for special days.

This was a real find! Fifty beautifully crocheted matching linen napkins: again, for anyone who crochets, the amount of work involved is staggering to imagine.

Another of my lovely hand towel treasures, this one yellow linen with a gorgeous lace accent.

And yet another, with scrumptious cutwork embroidery.

Still more--As you can tell, I have a passion for hand towels!

This green was gorgeous!

And the cupid design on this one was quite special.

I'm lucky to have a thrift shop nearby that treats finds such as these so beautifully. They're always carefully laundered and pressed. If I find a stain, as sometimes I do since they are vintage items, it's quite easy to remove the stain with the Biz and Dawn method. 

What do you look for at your favorite places? Would love to have your comments!

Monday, April 28, 2014

More Whimsy

When I start a tassel, I have a picture in my mind of what it'll look like when done. Rarely ever does reality match imagination. I'd like to say this new one met or exceeded my hopes, but I'd be lying if I did. I'm still not sure I love it...but I like it. Does that count?

For this one, my inspiration was a skein of Fair Trade gold ombre sari silk yarn. (I like buying Fair Trade products. It's little enough to do.) The idea of the yarn gave me the nudge to go with gold for the bit in the middle of the top and black and white is sorta my tassel signature. From there I kinda went wild. I mean, why not turquoise and purple?

By the time I was done with the head, it was not what I had in mind for the gold so I put that aside and moved on to a bit of sari silk I picked up several years ago. (Also Fair Trade)

The skirt looks much different than the above photo, but, I promise, it was made from this skein.

The misshapen top on the tassel head is a vintage ceramic bead. I like the contrast of its free form  against the symmetry of the painted wooden pieces.

The turquoise balls are felted, the cord on the hanging beads twisted from embroidery thread and the hang cord twisted from crochet thread.

The diversity of the tassel is that it looks different from every side because of the variance in the yarn. 

What do you think of my color choices? Do you think the skirt is too long? (I'm still contemplating that last question.) I appreciate any and all comments! Thanks for visiting.

(BTW I'm working on my blog layout. I hope soon to have my wider format synced up with the background without overlapping. Until then, bear with me please.)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Little Bit of Whimsy

Webster's defines whimsy as a fanciful device, object, or artistic creation. (The paraphrasing's mine.)

I like whimsical things. Left alone, I probably would have much more of it in my home, but I still manage to squeeze in a bit. Since I'm currently working on some whimsical tassels,  I thought I'd share a little of the whimsy in my home.

This is the top of my pantry cupboard. Not a whole lot of whimsy except for the rooster. Him I love, though I never was on the rooster wagon.

I'm not sure which of the Poultry in Motion figurines mine is, but it appears to be out of production. IMO, the one above isn't as whimsical as mine but it gives an idea of it.

This is the top of the entertainment cabinet in the living room. I guess the parrot is the most whimsical on top, but the Catitudes figurine on the top shelf knocks it out of the park! He too is out of production. 

 Again, this isn't the same as mine, but similar. Love the attitude in these figurines!

A shot of the top portion of the entertainment cabinet.

And a closer, fuzzier, view of the top shelf.

The lawyer's bookcase in the living room--the green vase I picked up at a thrift store. I added the feet and the strip along the top. What is it about black and white that amps up whimsy?

Another thrift store find. I have no idea where this came from originally but am assuming it was something to do with a cemetery or burial plot. I like the sentiment, though I rarely need to be commanded to rest!

Doncha love cats with attitude? This guy may be holding a tray but he certainly doesn't look servile. He reminds me of something Egyptian, a sort of Bastet without adornment.

The lawyer's bookcase in my entry: Okay, not much whimsy here, at least as I define it, but, living in Texas, the quilted lone star appealed to me.

And my mud room. The painted fish came from Mexico, a gift from a friend many years ago. At the time, we had a lake house at Texoma and this hung on the beam between the living room and kitchen.

For one last bit of whimsy, this is a shelf of the lawyer's bookcase in the living room. (It's not hard to see that I'm a cat lover, is it?) The palm tree was a yard sale find. It captures perfectly the look I'm trying to achieve in my tassels, more of which to come.

So are you a fan of whimsy? Does your definition of whimsical equal mine? Love to hear your comments!