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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Using vintage finds for storage and display

Yesterday you saw vintage metal picnic tins, antique sugar jars and canisters, a vintage red toolbox and a gas station map case used for art supply storage.  Here are more studio pictures with a few more ideas for using non-traditional and vintage items to store and display art supplies and collections.  

Spice racks aren't just for spices.  This one holds a collection of vintage office supplies.  Spice racks can also display paints, rubber stamps or other art tools.

 An old metal feed scoop and a vintage crock holds markers.

A metal grain scoop works well for displaying vintage wooden rulers.

Many artists buy thrift store Scrabble games for the letter tiles; here's another way to use the wooden racks. They're perfect for displaying small collections. (These vintage watercolor tins kept falling off the racks, so I put a dab of BluTac behind the tins to keep everything standing.)  Scrabble boards can be cut down to make cute repurposed journal covers, too.  ALL the contents of a Scrabble box can be used for art projects!

I'd love to hear your non-traditional storage and display ideas -- please share your ideas in the Comments!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Where bloggers create -- a studio tour

Vintage picnic tins and antique drawers in my studio

If you've been following my blog, which shares vintage images, you would guess that I like all kinds of vintage things, and you would be right!  Today I thought I would share with you photos of some of the vintage items in my studio by participating in "Where Bloggers Create," a virtual studio tour sponsored by My Desert Cottage blog.   I just heard about this project today, and it turns out the deadline was July 15 -- so my studio is not on the tour list after all... next year! I hope you will come in and look around anyway.

Above you see part of my collection of vintage picnic tins. These are just to the left of the stairs at the entrance to my studio, which is off our dining room. I just love these colorful tins for display and storage.  I use a shipping tag tied with string to identify the contents of each tin.

The dark oak drawers were originally office filing cabinets, but I was thrilled to discover that the shallow drawers were perfect for holding rubber stamps.  Old drawers are usually quite dirty and hard to clean, so I have lined these drawers first with paper, and then with plastic thrift store picture frames.  The frames are handy because when I am doing a stamping project, I can pull the frame "tray" out and use it at my counter, which keeps like stamps together and makes them easy to put away.

Above the first stacks of picnic tins is a clown game poster from a vintage toys exhibit my husband and I saw in Paris in 1984.  It adds more bright color to my studio and reminds me of a wonderful trip.

The only non-vintage furniture in the studio is kitchen cabinetry pieces purchased from a dismantled showroom. This counter, on the wall nearest the entrance, is where I do all my cutting with my lighted Genesis Paper Trimmer. The exposed brick was once the outside wall of our house before we added my studio. 

To the right of the drawers and stacks of tins are two library card catalog cabinets which store embellishments and office supplies.  I paid $2 for the shabby yellow chair at a thrift store.  It's so sturdy, I can use it to reach high shelves. (I'm only 5'2" so it comes in quite handy!)

On top of the card catalog drawers are my red Smith Corona typewriter and vintage office supplies, which I love to collect. 

Above the card catalog cabinets is a wall cabinet filled with vintage packaging. I love the colors, the images and the promises on vintage product packaging; all of these packages are inspiring to me and sooo much fun to collect.

To the right of the card catalogs, more shallow drawers hold specialty papers. On top of the drawers is my red toolbox and a display of vintage games.

A vintage armoire holds envelopes, more paper and other items that aren't as much fun to look at; then I have utilitarian white shelving that holds wood-mounted rubber stamps and punches. The tall oak office piece, once a postal cabinet according to, has shallow storage space for more rubber stamps on trays.  The postal cabinet has what looks like drawers, but are  actually covers that slide upward and inward to reveal shelves. 

This 42-drawer apothecary cabinet is hard to photograph because there is an island counter in the center of the room in front of it. An old store display case with sliding glass doors holds more rubber stamps, and the vintage jars on top hold game pieces for assemblage projects, plus balls of fibers.

This old gas station maps case was found in the trash -- one of my favorite freebies.

That's about half of my studio -- storage, inspiration and cutting station.   I'll post photos of the remainder another day. Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Friday, July 15, 2011

More lovely ladies on bridge tallies

These lovely ladies are from an undated bridge set published by Charles S. Clark Co.  The larger images are from the diecut covers of bridge score pads, and the small round images are individual bridge tallies. The tallies had decorative fringed ties through the holes -- very fancy!

Text inside the scorepads refers to progressive auction bridge (which was originated in 1904), and mentions that "Some prefer to play by the new laws of progressive auction bridge," which may have changed in 1927 after the creation of the American Contract Bridge League.  (If there are any bridge history experts out there, please correct me if this is not the case!)

I'm just enthralled with the artwork!  I hope you like it, too.

As always, click on any image to enlarge it, then right click on the enlarged image to save it to your computer. 

I'd love to see any projects that use the vintage images shared here. Please send pictures of your work if you've created something with these.

Working on art projects indoors is a good way to keep cool in this heat wave.
Happy creating!