Friday, August 21, 2009

Pretty Pictures

South Central PA has been experiencing some particularly stormy weather this summer so I thought I would post these atmospheric pictures of a storm that I took ---for some reason they remind me of the Civil War photos taken by Matthew Brady. When I look out the back towards the farm lane and the Bald Hills I sometimes daydream about what it was like here at our 1812 home during that time. Gettysburg is only 20 miles from us. I wonder if they could hear the sound of the cannons?

Collectors Corner: Victorian Beaded Baskets

From time to time I am going to post about a favorite collectible that myself, Debbie or Kim are quite passionate about.

I am starting off with one of mine: late 19th c early 20th c beaded baskets and other miniature items. There is not much information out there about these items but they are indicative of the kind of handwork that was popular at the time. I have found some limited history suggesting that they may have been made by Native Americans as well as at schools for the blind. They are constructed of tiny glass seed beads strung on wire.

Besides baskets I have found them in other forms such as: cups, pitchers, chairs, tables, watch pockets and mats. The sizes range from a tiny chair that is 1 inch high to a fancy basket with dangling flowers all around that is 8 inches in diameter. Ornately beaded items have been around since medieval times and the French are well known for their intricate beaded flowers and Immortels---beaded wire wreaths placed on the graves in cemeteries. Instruction and patterns for these beaded items could be found in the ladies magazines of the day such as Godey's. They are an early pre-curser to the safetypin bead baskets popular in the 50's and 60's but are much more delicate and intricate.

I have paid anywhere from 99 cents to $50 for them and on one occasion I was in an Ebay bidding war for a tiny beaded chair that soared to $90! Fortunately I came to my senses and bowed out before the end of the auction and less then a month later I found a similar tiny chair in even better condition for 99 cents. It just goes to show that sometimes it's wise to be prudent when the collecting fever starts to take over!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thank You!!!

A BIG ThankYou to everyone who came out to see us at the DC Big Flea in Chantilly Virginia this past weekend. Despite the economy business was booming for us and we had a great time. To me the best part is seeing old friends-and new ones and chatting about sewing, antiques, and all those things that we all seem to love.
Thanks also to Miss Mickey Mackey for hosting us at her "Hotel" --I slept like a baby!