Thursday's Unique Pick

Hippity hoppity Easter's on its way!
Next Sunday!
Wow that sure did sneak up on me.

picture of a 1917 Easter postcard from my personal stash of vintage treasures.

The good news is that I had a pretty sweet idea...
Don't put all your Easter eggs in some plastic basket.

image from Oriental Trading.
Although these colorful plastic containers are cost effective and serve a specific purpose, why not think outside the "basket" this year.

Fill a vintage purse with Easter goodies.
A vintage purse may be a bit more usable throughout the year than the plastic Easter basket.

What is better than getting gifts within a gift?
This vintage purse, "A Tisket A Tasket" is available from my shop,The Unique Bird, on etsy.

Here is another vintage handbag you can fill with Easter treats.
This one is called, "Velvet Gold and Mine"and is also available in my shop.

If you do decide to go the more traditional route with the basket, why not fill it with something unique?

Be the most popular guest when attending Easter dinner. Create a beautifully filled basket easily by using these vintage fabric wine bottle wraps from The Unique Bird. Find these wraps and loads more in the "Hostess gets the Mostest" section in my etsy shop.
See, it's easy to give unique, stress free re-usable gifts!

Garage Sale Girly and Lil Sis on Easter Morning 1984

Here are some other great Easter gifts that I love, found from other sublime sellers on etsy.
This fur trimmed figurine appeals to my Vintage Kitsch addiction and is for sale from Isabellablue Studio.

These funny little bunnies are a little more forgiving to the waistline than the traditional Easter favorite, marshmallow Peeps. They are cotton candy scented soaps available from Love, Luca.

And this is my number one favorite etsy Easter find! Hand knitted duckie leg warmers/slippers for your little one. Find these at saint reagan's hollow.

Hoppy Easter to all!
Hope you find something Unique from the Easter Bunny this year!

Thursday's Unique Pick

Greetings all
I am going to try and post a quick blog entry every Thursday. Just a quick blip, maybe a few pictures and links that inspire this girly. Be sure to check in every week for "Thursday's Unique Pick".

Since yesterday was St. Patrick's day I thought I would share a few gorgeous green gems.

We all know that Barbie is a fashion Queen.
Inspired by the image of a 1960's Bubble Cut Barbie in a beautiful green swing coat on this vinyl carry case...
I bought this vintage emerald green swing coat.

It might not be quite right for drinking a pint at the pub but perhaps cocktails.

What do you do when wearing a swing coat? Of course you should swing it around.

If you are looking for your own green dream coat you can pick up this enchanting ensemble from the VivaLaVintage Shoppe on etsy.

Or perchance you would like to make your own coat in another fantastic shade. I found this vintage swing coat pattern from Tokul Vintage , also on etsy.
I Hope you had a great St. Patrick's Day and someday find your own dream coat!

Nothing to Sneeze At

Obsess much girly? Yes.

If you have been keeping up with my recent listings in my etsy shop, The Unique Bird, you may have spotted my new found affinity for vintage handkerchiefs.
It is no secret that I love to combine vintage printed fabrics in quirky ways but the handkerchief angle was a direction I had yet to explore.

It all started one day when I was trying to come up with centerpiece ideas for my little sister's wedding reception.

Photo by Jill Thomas and styled by Amorology Weddings found on Style Me Pretty Blog.

Of course, vintage hankies centered under the flowers on the tables. Each table will have a different one and it will save me from having to sew something for each table, because the edges of the handkerchief will already be finished or have a pretty trim.
So, a few bids on Ebay and I became the proud owner of a lot of lovely hankies.

I couldn't stop there because I knew I was going to need quite a lot...

Who knew vintage handkerchiefs were such a big business. There are loads of lovely ones out there but wow can they get pricey. I have been out bid on so many lots but I have to keep the wedding decor budget in mind.

So I want to know is, who is buying all of these handkerchiefs and what are they using them for?

I know that the obvious use of the handkerchief is to blow you nose or wipe away a tear, wash and reuse. I salute those who still do this but I can't bring myself to
a) shove a piece of fabric back into my pocket that I just got snot all over.
b)I can't bring myself to get snot all over these pretty little pieces of fabric.

Image from JennyDee's etsy shop.

In fact, since I am such a nerd I even looked into the history of the handkerchief.
Their use has been documented as far back as (87-57 BC) according to this article by The Crafty Wench.

But The handkerchief didn't become a lovely fashion accessory until the 16th century.
I also found out, from this online article from Fashion Encyclopedia, that it is rumored that in the 1700's the fashion icon Marie Antoinette was frustrated that this chic accessory was offered in so many shapes: round, oval, rectangular, etc. so she had her husband, King Louis XVI of France, make a law that handkerchiefs were to be made in the shape of a square only.

This is an image of Marie Antoinette and her children from Wikimedia

I guess I have always had romantic visions of the handkerchief. Ladies waving adieu to their loved ones...not sneezing all over them.

Above image is a lithograph from a book that I have from 1928 by the Colgate-Palmolive-Peet Co.

So what could I make these little beauties into so they weren't sitting unused, sad and alone in a drawer somewhere.
(Who knows though, with their current popularity on Ebay, I might be able trade them like currency at the grocery store.)
I came across this group on Ebay. I thought the colors and patterns were fantastic so I bid on them and won.
I knew they weren't quite right for the wedding decor so I am thinking about some little pillows.

When I saw this lot I instantly knew I had to have them. The colors are so spectacular. In the Ebay photo they almost looked like sun faded brights or garment dye, but no, these colors are original and look perfect together.

So the question was, what to do with this great group? They had to stay together to maintain the impact of these colors. I was then inspired by this photo.

How beautiful is this table runner composed of layered various doilies that I also found on the blog Style Me Pretty?

So I thought why not give it a try with my hankies.

I was so happy with the way that it turned out. This is a perfect, one of a kind spring/summer table runner.
Next on the agenda...incorporate the hankies into my design for reusable vintage fabric wine bottle wraps.

They were a perfect fit. This one is called "Easy Being Green"

This one is called "Soft Sophistication".

Each one of the wine bottle wraps using the vintage hankies are also one of a kind handmade creations because you can only make one tie from each handkerchief.
See more of these wraps in my "Hostess Gets The Mostest" section in my etsy shop.

This is another idea that I have been working on. A lovely little clutch, using a hankie.

I added the wrist strap and really think the concept is cute but it still needs some work to make it a little more production friendly.

Last up is this listing, "Okey Dokey"
The concept of framing the hankie is a bit more conventional but I think that this particular piece isn't something you will find just anywhere.

I found this fun little rosette created from vintage printed hankies sold by Daffodildoll on etsy.

And this cute tote using a vintage handkerchief is sold by Gramasattic also on etsy.

So many lovely new ways to use these vintage handkerchiefs, and I am sure there are loads of other great ideas out there too!
In my opinion these great repurposed pieces are nothing to sniff or sneeze at.

Adieu for now!

Connect the la la

During our first snow storm in January I was enticed to drive down to Cincinnati...

Enticed by the hope of all of the treasures that a Cowan's Decor Auction could bring me, I made my way through the snow and slush.
last summer I was able to snatch up these two wood block prints at one of their Discovery Auctions. The prints were unframed when I purchased them.

I framed them up and voila! Unique art for your home.

This one I titled "Chasing Waterfalls"

This one I called "Climb Every Mountain"

Both are currently listed for sale on my website.
Nothing like invoking a little bit of TLC and Richard Rodgers to name these vintage Japanese prints.

Now back to the January auction. The best thing about a Decor auction at Cowan's is that the items they are selling are not specific to one category such as fine and decorative arts or antique furnishings. They offer a wide array of antique and vintage treasures that not only would make unique additions to your home's decor but could potentially be a great looking investment.

That is where I come in. Just a Garage Sale Girly looking for something beautiful and unique for the home and hopefully for a really great price.

The pictures below are courtesy of the Cowan's online catalogue from the Jan 8th sale.
Below are the items that I had set my sights on...

I wanted this lot of sketches...They were even more charming in person

They had a bit of wear but would have been beautiful framed.
Alas it was not meant to be...for me.

Then there was this little occasional table with bright blue enamel finish. The style was a little fancier than what I usually like for my own home, but the color enticed me. I did bid on it but did not win this item. I was sticking to a strict thirty dollar rule that I have for myself.

Garage Sale Girly Rule: If you don't really need it and have nowhere to put it, you can not spend over thirty dollars on it. (Maybe I should embroider that on a sampler)

Maybe I wanted this just because I am originally from the Dayton area or maybe I wanted it because it was an absolutely awesome sketch. I knew I was in trouble when the auctioneer announced that there had been a lot of interest in this item. Yup, the starting bid was a bit too high for The Unique Bird so I had to pass on that one.

Then there was this lot of little Rookwood pottery vases. I loved the colors. I loved that they were very small and I was mentally creating a collection with them for my website. The opening bid was within my reach and I could have even gone a bit higher, but then a phone bid came in and upped the price by two hundred dollars. I guess it wasn't meant to be. Sorry Girly.

But there was this lot...Five works by Modern artists.
I didn't really pay too much attention to it because the estimated sale price was about $700 out of my price range. I did really like one or two of the pieces but thought that there was no chance.

Wow was I wrong. The auction gods smiled upon me that snowy day. I guess the folks at the auction that day weren't really modern artist kind of people so I thought...why not.
So I had bought these five pieces of art but was left scratching my head as to who the artists were and why they were all grouped together.

I needed to connect the la la

(Just like on Pee Wee's Playhouse. Yes I am so cultured)

This tranquil watercolor is by an artist named Edgar C. Reims. I was unable find out that much information on this artist other than he is from Maine, he studied at the Woodstock School of Art, he painted this in 1982 and included his phone number on the back of this painting. I think it is a lovely painting and I should ring him up and let him know.

This piece titled "Indits" is by American artist Marion Greenwood 1909-1970. Through a little bit of research I found out that this piece was a lithograph created by the artist between 1950-1960. Though this work is not really my cup of tea, I was very interested to learn that this artist left high school at the age of fifteen to study painting and print making at the Art Students League of New York, completed her education in Paris, trained in lithography in Woodstock, NY, in her twenties she painted murals in Mexico commissioned by their government, and later went on to become an art professor. These accomplishments only scratch the surface of this talented woman's achievements. I was able to find her work in many galleries across the U.S.

This pencil sketch is...well your guess is as good as mine. Let just say this abstract work of art is by artist Petra Cabot (1907 - 2006). This accomplished woman did it all. She stared out studying painting and fine art and won prizes as a teenager, designed costumes and stage sets, designed murals and was involved with a lively art scene in Woodstock, NY in the 30's and 40's. She was quoted saying," I decided to make the best looking bucket anybody ever saw," which describes her most famous design.

Yes vintage kitsch collectors, this well known designer of the 1952 Hamilton Skotch Cooler was also an accomplished artist! I was able to find one of these fab coolers for sale from another seller on etsy. You might want to pick up one of these coolers so that when I list her abstract artwork on The Unique Bird you can get that too and own two really great pieces of Ms. Cabot's designs.

I really loved this painting titled "Lemon and Glass". It is signed R.Wilson. Not to be confused with the artist Robert Wilson. But it is by a Mrs. R Wilson, AKA Carolyn Haeberlin (1914). At least I think.

I found another example of one of her paintings titled "Sewing Box" signed under the name Haeberlin and thought the style in which it was painted, and the signature, were similar to the one I have.
I really couldn't find a lot of information on this artist except that she is connected with the Woodstock Art Association.
I see you are catching on...

The last piece in this lot is this whimsical watercolor by artist John G. Ernst (1920-1995). This Brazilian born artist was an acrobatic clown and trapeze artist in the late 1930's with The Ringling Bros, Barnum & Bailey Circus. After WWII he studied art at The Art Student's League guessed it, Woodstock, NY.

Since this piece was un-titled I took the liberty of calling it "A Unique Bird".
(I know... where do I come up with these things)

I have mounted this painting and re-framed it and listed it for sale on etsy. I think it looks really sharp paired with all of that milkglass.

So I connected all of the dots and figured out that the common thread between these very different artists and their artworks was The Woodstock Artists Association. It was founded in 1919, as a community of varied artists. This association played an integral role during the great depression through the federally funded Works Progress Administration to create murals, paintings and photography and in the late 40's and 50's the association drew many famous artists and curators to its fundraisers, festivals and conferences.
la la la...

I still can't be sure exactly how each one of these very different pieces of art came to be grouped together besides the Woodstock connection...but it was pretty cool to find what I could.
The more you know.

Dear PBS can I be an honorary History Detective...