Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Mystery Antique

Wsoapp has found this unusual piece and we have decided to make a fun game out of it. Everyone, including members of Wsoapp are invited to join in on the fun. So far, we have had some really great guesses, but no one has hit it right on the mark. Posted below are some of the guesses from our readers and from group members and the answers to those guesses. I have been periodically posting hints on the front page of the blog right beneath the picture of the mystery antique. Good Luck!

1. Is it a door knocker or a money clip?
Lynnie D.

No, it is not either.

2. This is a device to make a wax seal.
Cindy H.

No, sorry it is not that. Great guess though.

3. Hi; it looks like it is a handle and latch to open a trunk? Mona.

No, it is not that either.

4. Is it an official seal? Marcy

Great guess, but nope! It is not a seal.

5. Is it a door latch? Stephanie B.

No, it is not a latch of any type.

6. This is a combination peephole/door knocker used on doors. Danae.

Sorry, it does not go on a door.

7. It's a seal press, used to put seals on documents and envelopes with hot wax or something.....Patrick.

Nope, it does not get used with hot wax. It does have a pressing type action to it though

Clue # 2: Although originally created after the war of the revolution, this handy little item was patented in the late Victorian era. Around 1879 to be exact. A Victorian housewife would have found this item a wonderful luxury to own.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Have you ever gone to the store in search of that perfect garland for your primitive Christmas tree or that perfect bead for a project you are working on, only to find that what is being sold is not quite the style you were searching for? I can attest to the fact that the primitive or shabby chic style is often hard to find. Artist Brenda of Rusty Creek Primitives has offered some easy-breezy steps to helping you achieve your own tarnished, prim or rustic look with the findings already available at craft shops. And what's really great is it is inexpensive to do, often times saving you more money than if you had bought the item already looking the way you wanted it.

How to Make Your Own Antique Looking Silver Beads

Materials Needed:

Cheap silver bead garland

Black acrylic paint

Protective Gloves


Small, old towel

These are so easy! I made these from those cheap silver strands of beads you buy at any discount store for around a $1 a strand.

Put on your protective gloves or you will get paint all over your hands. Lay the towel in your open hand and put a generous amount of black paint into your palm area of the towel. Rub it around into the towel so that it's not so goopy. Next take one end of the strand of beads and lay it into your palm with the paint. Grasp your hand around the beads and work the paint onto the beads all the while pulling the strand through your palm.

Do this back and forth several times until they are nicely coated but not soaked. Set the beads aside for a little bit and let the paint set up but not dry. Put them back into your gloved hand with the towel and work the paint a little bit more. You will rub some of the paint away but leave some. It's all part of the "aging" process. Once you get the "aged look" you want on your beads hang them around the neck of your hanger and let dry.

Photos and tutorial by Brenda Sanker of Rusty Creek Primitives

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Christmas Wrapped Memories

Christmas Wrapped Memories
This was it. The one holiday season I would always remember as perfect, the one that my husband and children would store in the memories of their hearts forever…all thanks to me, wife and mother extraordinaire. It was a Christmas that was going to be better than what Martha Stewart herself could have imagined. I was planning get-togethers, making store lists, and shopping weeks before the big day. I beautifully wrapped each gift after I brought it home. For the first time since I began my career as a mother, my four children were seeing presents under the tree long before Christmas day. I was ahead of the game and proud of myself for it too.
Then came the day I will never forget.
My phone rang. I saw it was a friend of mine and realized I needed to take this call. She and I were decorating for our choir Christmas banquet that was just days away and plans needed to be finalized. I quickly told my ten-year-old son Austin, who wasn’t feeling well and was home from school, to watch my three-year-old. He said he would put a movie on and the two of them could quietly watch it in my bedroom.
My phone conversation went on for much longer than I had originally intended. But that was okay since my children were occupied and staying quiet. After I finally hung up and went to check on my precious angels, I found only one, the older of the two, lying in bed. Looking around, I asked “Where’s Josiah? He’s supposed to be watching a movie with you.”
He looked up, unconcerned and shrugged his shoulders. Casually he said, “He’s been down stairs for a long time.” That’s when I realized how very quiet it was. My heart suddenly skipped a beat then started racing! It had been quiet for a LONG time…too quiet. I walked down my staircase and as I rounded the corner, I saw it…torn, shredded Christmas paper…and lots of it.
It was a horrifying sight! I gasped and yelled, “What have you done?” My son, until the very moment of my appearance, was having the time of his life! He was solving the mystery that had plagued him for weeks. He had finally been able to see what was in those packages that he wasn’t supposed to touch. Hearing the screeching of my voice and sensing my shock and displeasure, he broke down and began to cry. By the time I reached the bottom step, I was able to fully see the Christmas present carnage.
The torn and shredded paper was strewn from my front door all the way to my back door. In slow motion my eyes found their way to the Christmas tree. Sure enough, there was not one present left untouched. He not only unwrapped the presents, but he massacred the boxes to remove the contents inside. Matchbox cars were scattered everywhere from obvious test drives. New shirts were half-pulled out of half-wrapped gift boxes. Evidently, once he saw what was inside, he simply moved on to the next mystery box.
I could not believe my eyes. Then I looked at the clock. It was almost time for my other two children to arrive home from school. I couldn’t get Austin to help. His Christmas presents were exposed everywhere, staring at me, mocking me for wrapping them ahead of their time. “Oh, no! What am I going to do?” I grabbed my bawling son and put him on a bar stool in the kitchen. All he could manage to say in between sobs was, “I I I waaannntt ravviiiooollliii!” I’m in a crisis here and all he can think about is food! I quickly made his ravioli knowing this would bide me some much needed time.
I handed him his spoon, then returned to the scene of the crime. Now there was another perpetrator; my three-month-old Yorkie. He had recognized this paper as a place where was supposed to go to the bathroom; and did he ever! We had not quiet broken him of walking while he did his business and he walked and peed from one room to the next, all in the short amount of time it took to microwave ravioli. After he committed this crime, he proceeded to shred every piece of paper he could get his baby teeth into. When I looked at this sight, one that less than an hour before was a reminder of my perfect Christmas, it was now me who wanted to cry. My perfectly wrapped gifts with their pretty tags were now fully out in the open for man and beast!
Instead of crying, out of pure necessity I quickly kicked it into high gear. I had to get this disastrous scene cleaned up before any of the other children discovered their Christmas heroine in this mess. If I didn’t, their much anticipated Christmas morning would now be this afternoon!
I started making mad dashes from the floor to my dining room, lunging at the table with my reclaimed gifts. I grabbed my scissors, tape, and only roll of wrapping paper. Just as I began to get somewhat organized to re-wrap what I had salvaged so far, my son walked in and looked up at me with red eyes, ravioli smeared face and newly stained shirt. He lisped, “I be right back. I goin’ to wasth face upsthairs.” Being in such a hurry I let him go wash up by himself. My already “too wise for their own good” teenagers could walk in any time.
After each gift was hastily re-wrapped, I took a royal blue Sharpie and scribbled the name of the recipient across the top. I threw all the identically wrapped gifts back under the tree; the tree that, by the way, was now missing most of its lower ornaments.
As I was gathering up another trash bag full of torn wrapping paper, I slowly realized that once again, my
home was way too quiet. This time I dashed upstairs. I was met by a dripping wet, wide-eyed little boy who proudly exclaimed, “Look mommy, I all kween now!” I smelled something funny and bent down to sniff his little half-wet head. “Oh, no!” Could it be? Yes, it was flea shampoo!
Earlier, I had given my dog a bath and left the bath water in the tub because Austin begged to give the dog his version of a bath. Unbeknownst to me, when he finished he never drained the puppy’s bath water.
So there I was, looking at my son who was looking up at me with a big grin, dripping wet with dirty dog water. He had indeed given himself a flea bath while managing to keep every bit of ravioli perfectly in place, untouched, on his beautiful little face.
Years later, when I look back on that holiday season, I realize that it really was perfect after all. Not in the way that I had originally planned, but in a better way. I learned that true perfection is in the creation of memories and that my best memories are the ones that are wrapped around my children, not around the presents under the tree.
Have a perfectly merry, memory-making Christmas !!
Karen of Love You Cherishables

Friday, October 24, 2008

The History Of A Well Loved Icon In Folk Art


Rug hooking started in the United States in the Mid-1800's. It was very popular in in the New England states and the Maritime provinces of Canada. Like many crafts it was started out of sheer necessity. The rugs were used on the floors in the summer and on the beds in the winter. The first rugs were made out of any scrap material that could be found, including worn clothing and old discarded wool blankets. The base of the rug was made from the burlap sacks that the livestock feed came in.

Later, people began selling hand-hooked rugs, and cottage industries eventually sprang up across the continent. By the 1940’s, rug hooking had become a well-established hobby in the United States and Canada. Hand-hooked rugs can be found in art galleries and museums in throughout the world.

Traditional Styles
Fine Hooked Rugs with thinner strips of material and a variety of shading techniques are used. Primitive Hooked Rugs use wider strips of material and generally little shading is involved.
The tools are the same in either of these forms. Here is a list of the basic equipment needed:
1. A hand hook - to form a loop pile on the surface of the backing material
2. A Frame - to hold the base material in place for hooking, there are many different types of frames from very simple needlepoint frames to large floor frames
3. Scissors - These are normally small scissors with a bent handle that allow the "hooker" to cut the material very cleanly
4. Cutter and Blades - Used to make strips of wool (or other material) from larger pieces. The thinner the strip of wool the finer the finished product will be.
5. Rug Pattern - The pattern is drawn on the Backing Material and is used as a guideline for hooking. The backing material is usually either burlap, monk's cloth or Linen.
6. Wool Material - Wool can normally be purchased by the yard of the piece and can be purchased in many different colors. You can also use old wool clothing for this and more experienced "hookers" will often custom dye their wool
for a specific project.

By Donna of Cameo Moon