Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Vintage Letter Stamps and Carving Tools

OK, this is a few days later than I had planned, but oh well! This last week of summer before the kids start school is crazy...

Here are some pics of the BOXES of OLD letter stamps that I purchased recently at an estate sale. Some of the sets are complete, and some are just missing a few letters. I think that they are so gorgeous, and I love thinking about how they were used. The family owned a portrait studio (I also have old glass negatives!) in Downtown Detroit in the '30's and '40's, plus another retail business. Whoever was into using these stamps accumulated a lot of them.

He or She was very interested in any kind of printing, as I also found 2 boxes full of woodblock-mounted metal stamps, some copper. Some were made from photos, others look like they were ads. I don't think they had a newspaper, but who knows. The sale also had lots of hand-carved block-stamps, but they were a bit pricey for me. Worth every penny, I'm sure, as a dealer bought all of them at once, but too much for me. I think I've used my estate sale budget for the year on this sale!!

I put a light layer of babypowder on the blocked stamps, so you could see the images. They would be so gorgeous on display, or just think of all of the creative ways you could alter them!

Lastly, here's beautiful set of antique carving tools. Most were made by Ezra Bowman and Co., Lancaster, PA, patented March 12, 1889. I haven't decided if I'm going to try to clean them up or let whoever buys them give it a try. I haven't carved any kind of block since college, but I couldn't leave them!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Vintage and Retro Gumball Charms

I love old plastic gumball charms. I collect them, sort them, play with them, and even sometimes even make things with them. I recently acquired a huge bag of metallic-colored plastic gumball charms that I think are from the 60's, but made from much older molds. I separated my favorites and made some necklaces, bracelets, and lots of earrings. The Buddha Baby necklace in my etsy store is my most viewed item. I have one that is similar that I wear, and I always get a lot of comments. Here are some earrings that I will list tomorrow after a good night's sleep. (Maybe the photo glitches on Etsy will be fixed by then, too)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Little Altered Shadowbox Collage Pendants

I made these little 3-D shadowbox necklaces, and I am so happy how they turned out! I started with little metal flip-top frames (which I will be listing as supplies soon), then layered a milagro between a transparency and another image. There is a piece of glass on the front protecting the pieces, and the backs of most of them have a mirror, but a couple have a piece of antique sheet music behind glass. They are hung from a length of faux suede.

Please check them out in my etsy store, along with more.

This is one of those vintage things I just HAD to have when I found it. It is chunky and heavy, but the chain is lightweight. The pendant is about 4" long, and the letters and the top detail are actually set into the metal, not sitting on top or printed. I couldn't resist. Now I have to decide if I am going to keep it or sell it!
I promise that tomorrow I'll get some pics of the cool printing and engraving goodies from that estate sale. I think I'll also get some shots of my studio.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I Am Estate Sale Crazy

OK, now that I have spent a crazy amount of time changing the template, etc, it's time to get to work.

Today's topic- Estate Sales. Wow. Even saying (or writing) the words gives me goose-bumps. I am crazy for all that stuff that people apparently store in their basements, totally forgotten, until I come along. I went to the best sale about 2 weeks ago in Warren! I could not believe how much was in that tiny little house. I swear, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.

Now that I have realized that I cannot keep everything I bought, I am going through it all listing very fun things on my etsy store. On the left is just a bit of what I have listed. I joined etsy with every intention of making more altered art myself, but I get so excited when I find things that I know other creative souls will love, too.

Does anyone else actually get a huge rush from digging through someone else's garage or basement? What's the most unusual thing you have found?

Give me a few minutes, and I'll post some pics of the treasures from that sale that I have to sort and decide what to add to my giant stash.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ok, Here We Go

Whoo hooo! My first blog... I guess I am a bit behind, showing my intimidation of all things electronic. Artists now have to be computer savvy, too, so here we go.

MLou Is Pink what I call my altered art business. I used to be a milliner (hat-maker) and M'Lou was my label. Then I had a store called M'Lou Millinery that was pink, so that's where the name came from. I don't have the store anymore, but I still have the name. I either believe in consistency or am too lazy to change it.

I have always been crazy about books and paper, and I love to make books. I used to want to be a writer, but then I realized that I actually wanted to make the books. I make other things with paper, too, but I will always love books. One of the first altered books that I submitted to Somerset Studio Magazine was published in one of their Gallery issues, accompanied by a how-to article that I wrote. (Hey! I am a writer after all!) That was over a year ago, and one of my goals is to consistently submit for publication. That was a goal suggested to me by a friend of mine, Melanie, who makes these amazing ceramic beads that you can see at . That should put some structure in my creativity! I sure need some... I am always getting distracted by a new idea.

Anyway, I sell lots and lots of goodies and trinkets and ephemera for others who are interested in altered art, so checkout , and maybe you'll also find some things that I've actually made, too.