Sunday, July 13, 2014

NaBloPoMo July Day 13: Knick Knacks and Kitsch

I've always been a treasure box and knick knack kind of girl.  Figurine and porcelain box collections started by my mother grew as I got older, especially after I fell in love with Russian lacquerware and icons, lidded glass candy dishes, and received fun friendship tokens and mementos from kindred spirits and family.

If you read through my post from yesterday, you saw several of these items, my latest finds from thrifting and antiquing with two of my special friends, Suzanne and Ronie.  Creative souls themselves, it's fun to be on the hunt with them, especially during those times when we're not actually looking for any item in particular.  Isn't that always how you stumble across the best stuff?

Alaska kitsch was ~never~ my style when I was actually LIVING in Alaska.  Plates, pennants, buttons, or salt and pepper shakers were always items bought by tourists.  A decade away from The Last Frontier, and I now find the items charming, especially when I find them collecting dust so far from home.  Being half Inupiaq Eskimo, the "Eskimo Pie" was the perfect purchase for me.  I haven't decided if s/he will remain in my crafty nook on a chair or spend the year in my classroom come August.

I now have two sets of matryoshka dolls that keep me company while I craft.  This second set was a recent purchase, and can you blame me?  Though untraditional, I LOVE the vivid colors and glitter paint (oh yes, GLITTER PAINT!) that were used by the artist: 

See the second set of nesting dolls on top of the wooden tote?  I love their snowy winter scene.

Some treasure hunts end up being jackpot days:

Russian style tole on metal, and then more lacquerware on wood... the small shots went into my china cabinet upstairs, but the trays were hung on the wall in my crafty nook, while the small boxes I'm sure will eventually hold tiny treasures.

What do you collect, and how do you display your treasures?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Where Bloggers Create 2014: My Crafty Nook

Where Bloggers Create

Hello, and welcome to Twigs and Tulle!

My name is Michaele Sommerville, and I am thrilled to once again be participating in this online tour of creative spaces and inspiration!  Many thanks to Karen at My Desert Cottage for hosting this fabulous event.  Won't you come on in and have a look around?

Over the years my crafting space has grown and changed significantly.  Once relegated to a single basket full of yarn and crochet hooks tucked near the corner of a couch, I began to give myself additional space over time as my family and I relocated to and from military posts in New Mexico, Kansas and Texas, finally landing permanently in Oz.  Once my husband retired from the Army and we found our "forever home," he insisted that I have an entire room devoted to my crafts.

The doorway has some convenient hooks and an apron waiting for me, and is what catches my grosgrain ribbon once cut, keeping it organized.

Here's the view as soon as you're all the way into my crafty nook.  So many crafters and artisans refer to their space as a "studio," but I haven't been able to shake the nickname I used when I first carved out a little corner for myself and my crafting supplies years ago.  "Nook."  Of course my husband thinks "Mom Cave" is a more appropriate reference (see the pillow on my chair?).  

Speaking of chairs, if you visited last year, you'll remember the green beauty.  I'm happy to report that I found a friend for it:

My cubby storage is full of fabric bins, and those are stuffed-to-overflowing with crafty items such as tinsel, holiday garland, styrofoam forms, bottle brush trees, ephemera, tulle, adhesives and photographs.  The top row of cubbies is open so that I can tuck glass jars, bottles, and repurposed candy dishes in them.  Once housed along the window ledge, our new cat, Buck, demonstrated how ~fun~ it was to push them out of the way onto the floor several times, spilling ribbon, buttons, and spangles.  I'm still missing a glass jar and cork stopper from his last attempt at reorganizing my space...

Lighting, knick knacks, artwork and additional storage can be found on top of the cubbies:

A tiered cupcake holder with tea cups and candle votives caches a lot of goodies like beads and buttons.

This past year I taught myself how to solder, and have made many charms and ornaments for the holidays.  I like to keep some of them displayed in a shadow box near the door:

Here's the view from my green chairs.  I adopted a paper rack when a craft store went out of business, and it fits perfectly between my bunting bars (want to see what's in the closet?):

My card catalog stores my ribbon, keeping it neatly organized by color:


My desk is where I do most of my blogging, and I added a mini dress form to it when I began making charms:

Nooks, cubbies, and more storage.

My file cabinet has been turned sideways, and I covered its blah exterior with wrapping paper (of all things), prettying up the magnetic display.

Little boxes and drawers appear safer on the ledge than my glass bottles and dishes were.  Buck-the-Cat hasn't shown any interest in getting into them... yet.

But I am surprised that he hasn't attempted to dig through the contents of the bins:

Finally, a narrow yet tall bookshelf helps to keep all of my favorite crafting magazines, inspiration books and journals safe:

Thank you for visiting!  I hope you've found something that inspires you to give yourself the gift of a creative space, be it a desktop, corner nook, portion of the den, or entire room!  


Friday, July 11, 2014

NoBloPoMo July Day 11: Treasure Hunting

Living in Fairbanks (Alaska) for so many years, my treasure hunting was limited to summertime yard sales, a wintertime craft show, limited antiquing outlets (usually requiring a trip to Anchorage), a fabulous local shop called Bayberry's (no longer open, from what I hear), and shopping online.  Ten years ago, Uncle Sam made the call that my husband, children and I would relocate to the first of several military posts, and a whole new world of artistry, repurposing, and nostalgia opened up before me.

Flea markets, vintage/thrift shops, and antique malls have become my new favorite haunts since moving to Oz.  A day-long excursion can easily encompass several shopping districts or even towns along the highway, and most vendors will share fliers with you that list other shops worth visiting.

Armed with not only my wallet but my camera as well, I hunt for Marcrest Daisy Dot dishes, craft items, glassware, Alaska kitsch, and Russian laquer.  I photograph vignettes (that I've shared here before) so I'll remember decor ideas or furniture options for future purchases, and to be honest, because much of it is just so ~pretty~.

Here are some photos from my latest excursion with a creative friend (who is also a teaching colleague!):

(Ooooh look, burlap bunting!)

Oversized, rusty metal letters...

Tomorrow my post for Where Bloggers Create 2014 will run, and if you visit, you'll get to see some of the treasures I've purchased that have found a new home in my crafty nook.

Where Bloggers Create