Gathering inspiration… and a little Valentine

(This being my first blog post of 2015, it would be downright neglectful of me to not wish you a very Happy New Year! Oh dear… and I think I should add “Merry Christmas to that too. I really am a bit behind! Lets pretend for a moment that we’re not a good 6 and a bit weeks into the year already… ok?)
Spending some time rummaging in thrift shops and antique stores is one of my favourite things to do on a “me day”.
I usually hunt for handmade items, vintage sewing tools and haberdashery, linen, bottles, childrens’ books and postcards. I tend to also gather inspiration… not really intentionally. It just happens. I find old book spines, picture and mirror frames, linen and postcards, sheet music, jewelry design full of inspiration… just about everywhere you look there is a shape, flourish, colour combination, illustration or style that triggers something creative. Little discoveries like these fill me up with renewed motivation… and bring a wonderful assortment of new ideas for projects. And lets face it… the hunt and eventual discovery just make me happy!
Look at the cover of this sheet music! So many little elements are just begging to be embroidered, don’t you think? (I’m sure store owners must wonder why I look at covers so closely… and for so very long!)

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I love the shape of this banner too. It feels a bit Christmassy to me… I have a project in mind already!

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The font used on this book cover caught my eye… as did the wonderful flower spikes. I can imagine them in a combination of applique and embroidery. The frame shape around the lettering is great too. There is so much inspiration here!

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I don’t always find something to bring home, but I was lucky today.
I found a small table topper embroidered with a very simple “chicken scratch” design, a sweet vintage postcard with a Mabel Lucie Atwell illustration and a glass jar that once held lemon butter. None of the “had to come home with me” items have terribly much to do with design this time, but they speak to me just the same.

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Although very simple in design, I think the red and white “chicken scratch” cloth will be wonderful as a prop for project photography. Its a little primitive, pretty, country, girly and vintage in style… all at the same time.

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I never can resist anything illustrated by Mabel Lucie Atwell, but this treasure is especially sweet. The card is from the Valentine’s Atwell Series, which is especially appropriate to discover today. Just in time for Valentine’s day tomorrow.
As you can see, little Alice must be feeling a little forgotten by her beloved uncle… the labeling she has added to the front says it all. Either auntie and uncle have had a baby which is distracting them terribly, or auntie is doting on uncle a little too much for Alice’s liking. What a giggle! Poor auntie isn’t even mentioned in Alice’s note.

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Finding something vintage and produced by a Melbourne company is extra special to me… my home town. I’m looking forward to doing a little research tonight. Hopefully I can find an approximate date of production. The shape of the jar is beautiful too. A little art deco in style maybe… I wonder.

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What are you drawn to when thrifting or hunting for treasure? I’d love to know.

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