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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Picture Perfect

There is such an allure to the past for me. I’m drawn to items that give a glimpse into the lives of those who lived long ago, and nothing does that better than pictures. Today we’re going back even farther than pictures though, to portrait miniatures. 

 These tiny pictures offer a way to hold the image of a loved one. They were usually executed in watercolor on enamel. Miniatures began to flourish in the 16th century and continued through the 17th and 18th century.

 In the beginning they were used to introduce people to each other over distances. For example, a nobleman proposing the marriage of his daughter might send a courier with her portrait to visit potential suitors.


 In more modern times soldiers and sailors carried miniatures of their loved ones while traveling, or a wife might keep one of her husband while he was away.


 Collecting them is a little like eating chips, you can’t stop at just one! This was my very first one; I just couldn’t resist the rich vibrant colors and that gorgeous hat!


 They stopped painting on stretched vellum by the 18th century and started to use thin sheets of ivory. Even the frames are unique and beautiful.


 Some of these personal mementos were even made into pins or brooches. I can’t help but wonder about the stories behind those smoldering eyes.


Portraits are as varied as the people they portray. Some people collect a specific time period, portraits of men, or children… I love the pretty and elegant ladies of the 18th century. I hope you enjoyed seeing them too.
Hugs,
Patti
And thank you all for participating in our
 "What's It Wednesday"  linky party!
Don't forget to grab a feature button.
Ivy and Elephants 

Here are this week's features:
French Bleu Vintage
Shabby Sweet Cottage
For the Love of White
Cottage and Broome

Blessed Serendipity

Gail's Decorative Touch

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Darn It!

Sorry to use such strong language, but I have no choice, because this… is a darning egg. A practical sewing implement that was used to repair holes in socks, stockings, gloves, silks, wools… everything! A darning egg was placed beneath the fabric and a matching shade of thread or yarn was used to finely stitch the frayed material back together. It was less visible and a much better match than a patch.
This darning egg is wood with a silver handle from the late 1800s. Sewing was a key pastime ands a practical skill that all young ladies were required to have. That said, you can find sewing implements that are quite ornately carved or embossed and made from precious materials such as ivory, silver, gold, or jade. Sewing scissor holders, thimbles, needle cases and other chatelaines were monogrammed and given as gifts.
This sweet darner is for darning gloves, hence the long shaft with double ends of different sizes. Darling!
This black wooden darner has a gorgeous silver inlay piece. This would add a bit of style without the price of a full silver handle.
I found this fun and novel darner (and the cool box!) when I was on vacation in Kansas City. A figural darning egg of a lady made of porcelain with the message “Darn It” at the bottom. Aren’t the little blue feet precious? The box with the verse was just so fun I has to have it too!
This darner is made from blown glass. I’ve not run across another yet. I thought one in every color would make a nice bouquet in a glass vase, right?
Darn it, I hope you found something of interest in this post that might cause you to “darn it” too. Hmm… like a milk glass bowl of them displayed in your sewing or crafts room perhaps? Just saying!
Hugs,
Patti

And thank you all for participating in our
 "What's It Wednesday"  linky party!
Don't forget to grab a feature button.

Ivy and Elephants

Here are this week's features:



Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Éirinn Go Brách!

In honor of St. Patrick and the great country of Ireland, I want to share my few pieces of Belleek porcelain.

It is produced in the town of Belleek, County Fermanagh, in Northern Ireland. The porcelain is characterized by its thinness (almost translucent!) and slight iridescence.

Although originally producers of pottery, Belleck began producing the Parian porcelain, for which it’s still famous, in 1863.

Many of the patterns are of natural elements like this delicate little shell vase from the sea collection.

Bellek’s marking system makes it fairly easy to date pieces. The first three marks were black lasting to 1946, the next three are green lasting until 1980, followed by the gold stamp that is used today.

Belleck porcelain is widely collected and highly sought after. Many of the older pieces are beautifully intricate in design and quite pricey. Thanks for taking a little trip to Ireland with me.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Hugs,
Patti

And thank you all for participating in our
 "What's It Wednesday"  linky party!
Don't forget to grab a feature button.

Ivy and Elephants


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

An Easy Pill to Swallow

This is my latest acquisition, a cute little pill box covered in Swarovski crystals. I must confess it is not my first. Let me tell you how it all started…

This is the collection of my friend Debbie. She started me on this road of antiquing and collecting. We’ve spent many a wonderful Saturday at flea markets and antique shows.

 She uses all of her pill boxes and chooses a different one to carry in her purse each day. I noticed that she had different ones, but when I saw them en masse, I was hooked.

  
And it began.
 
The little pearl one started innocent enough. I just couldn’t resist this one with all the sparkle and the little pearls. The first one needed a friend. But when I spied this one with the micro mosaic top… I was a goner!

 So as my passion grew, so did my collection.

 
 I try to find unusual ones made from different mediums, tortoise shell, petit point, porcelains, and cloisonné. 

 The beauty of collecting pill boxes is the variety, range of price, and their small size. They allow you to follow your heart and buy what you love! They are so plentiful and inexpensive. So pick a material, a color, or design. You’ll find that these boxes are an easy pill to swallow.
Hugs,

 Patti
And thank you all for participating in our
 "What's It Wednesday"  linky party!
Don't forget to grab a feature button.

Ivy and Elephants

Here are this week's features:
Daphne Nicole - Lynda Cade
See this fabulous purse, can you believe I won it in a give-away? They make the most amazing creations! 
Thanks Daphne

Chickadee Home Nest
The Fairfield House
Sullivan and Murphy
Miss Gracie's House
Freddy & Petunia

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Gratitude is the Memory of the Heart ~ French Proverb ~ We are so grateful that you stopped by ~ Please visit again soon! ~ Much Love, Patricia and Paula