Sunday, January 29, 2012

Weekend Update:

I'm going over my lists quickly tonight. I only have Sunday off this week and had two unexpected social engagements to attend.

Last Week:
1. Get rid of the old desk. Craigslist has been such a bust, but I'm going to give it one more go.
2. Put up new shelf over the stove in the kitchen, rearrange items as needed. Not done, not even close.
3. Video presentation for American Buffalo done and emailed to the Director.
4. Sort and file paperwork from the desk clean out. Start prepping for taxes. I've at least gathered the papers into a bag.
5. Get fabrics for next Top Secret Quilting Project.  I ended up purchasing vintage fabrics from Etsy and eBay since I have no time to get out and shop.
6. Get the damn cable fixed. (I'm betting this won't happen, hence it's #6.) I was right. Still. Not. Fixed.

I'm not too bummed about the state of affairs considering 2 of the items on this list require outside sources to finish them off.

Next Week:
1. Get rid of the old desk.
2. Sort and file paperwork. Start prepping for taxes.
3. Get the damn cable fixed or find and alternative service provider.
4. Work on my pile of clothing alterations
5. Do more Costume research for American Buffalo.
6. Put up new shelf over the stove in the kitchen, rearrange items as needed.

As for Thing A Week #4: I was surprised to discover a few days ago via the Book of the Face that there was a Dr. Sketchy in New Haven this weekend. What is Dr. Sketchy? It is life drawing with  performers as models. It is a whole lot of fun and very helpful for costume designers, or anyone who wants to draw people in clothing. I leave you with photos of my drawings from the night.

5 minute pose.

15 minute pose
20 minute pose
Linking up with Thriftcore's Weekly Goals

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Thrifts of Terror: Tragedy Tomorrow, Comedy Tonight

Tragic that this VELVET PAINT BY NUMBERS hasn't been finished.

Comic that there is probably a matching tragedy mask out there somewhere.

Seen at the Orange, CT Savers.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Everything's Coming Up Spring Blossom

I am long overdue with updates to the Spring Blossom collection.

The Vinyl Whores gave me the gravy boat for my birthday:

Mom sent me these pointed top salt and pepper shakers for Christmas:

And the boys bought me some of the Spring Blossom Corelle Compatible dinnerware. I am keeping this at work since the students (and the cleaning lady) are prone to breaking things. I keep dishes and silverware in the sink area of my office since there are days when I eat most, if not all of my meals at work. And I like to class it up by eating my frozen Trader Joe's off a real plate. 

Finally for the pièce de résistance whilst out shopping with the Vinyl Whores over New Years Weekend, I found glassware.

7 small glasses and 6 medium for $1 each at the Waterbury Goodwill.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Thrift Share Monday: The Real Thing

After the last three weeks of intense Thrift Shares, I thought I'd have nothing to post about this week.  A quick stop at the Milford Goodwill tonight rewarded me with a beautiful mid-century watercolor painting for $8. (I will post daylight pictures as soon as I can.)

It came in this hideous frame. On the right hand side there you can see where it got a little wet on the way home forcing me to bust the painting out of the frame so it wouldn't get damaged. Thank God it's a watercolor.

It does have quite a bit of nicotine yellowing since it was so poorly framed. (Some of the yellow is the photo, but not all of it.) The browning gave me pause in purchasing it, but I just kept thinking about the painting as I browsed. That is usually a sign that I will regret leaving it behind. It is signed by a B. Vassilieff, who turns out to be Barbara Vassilieff. 

There isn't a hell of a lot of info on Google about her. Apparently she must have been something in mid-century New York painting circles because there is a Barbara Vassilieff Memorial Award. Though I cannot find out who gives it out or why.There is also a possible reference to her being connected to the Art Students League of New York. Though that information comes from Wikipedia, a dubious source. However there are two auctions of her work out there. One ended with an estimated price of $300-$600 and one with an asking bid of $2500. Both originate at an auction house in Queens, NY which is the area where this piece was originally framed.

The painting is of the Place du Chatelet in Paris, and seems to be a quickie study with ink and watercolor. 

Here is a modern photo of the same angle. Granted, there is construction sheeting over the Theatre  back there, but you get the idea. Funny how the modern car is so similar in shape to the Mid Century car.

And here is another Mid Century painting, this one by Antoine Blanchard.

Which is very similar to my windmill painting. Which the Place du Chatelet will be hanging next to. Just as soon as I get it properly framed. This will definitely be a job for a pro.

Do I think this is worth anything? Maybe. If the other two pieces linked up above are any indication. Do I think it's worth $2500? I don't think so, maybe $150 with the nicotine damage. What I would like, is to know more about Barbara Vassilieff and her work. Maybe I'll see if someone in the Art History Department at Yale could be any help.

Linking up with Thrift Share Monday at Apron Thrift Girl even though it's drifting into Tuesday. I think you can agree, it was worth the wait.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Weekend Update

Every so often at work we have an extended break between shows. In this limbo I often find myself working 10-6 in our Costume Shop, doing alterations and helping out in whatever way I can. The downside is my personal schedule gets totally out of whack and my productivity usually is limited to getting up, going to work, and going to sleep.  Anyway, for the first time I finally figured out how to make the 10-6 work for me. I went to the gym, I got some things done, I stood in line at Comcast for hours. Let's check in with our list from last week, shall we?

1. A new knitting project on the needles. Truthfully I'm revisiting a half done project. Jared Flood's Grove Mittens
2. Outline blog posts for the rest of January.
3. Create a video presentation for my next design project. I at least figured out how to do this, what program to use, research, music etc.
4. Start gathering fabrics for the next Top Secret Quilting Project. And by this I mean, go visit Carol at the English Market. Now that I think about it, how was I getting this one done? I was working 10-6 and the shop is open 10-5. 
5. Get the living room furniture sorted out.   As you may have seen in last weeks Thrift Share Monday, I recently acquired an amazing Lane credenza. So it became the bar, the vanity that has been the bar became the desk, and the old desk cabinet went up on Craigslist. Everything is now (mostly) reorganized and put away.

So considering my schedule and my time with Comcast, I'm fine with what got done. For next week I'm adapting my goal list for the week with an old productivity tool: The 6 Most Important Things List. Click the link for more info, but the gist is: you make a list of 6 things in order of importance, you cross them off in order, whatever is left over rolls to the top of the next list. Apparently this is what the American Steel and Mary Kay empires were built on. Fine with me.

This Week:
1. Get rid of the old desk. (Easier said than done with the Flaky McFlakersons on Craigslist.)
2. Put up new shelf over the stove in the kitchen, rearrange items as needed.
3. Video presentation for American Buffalo done and emailed to the Director.
4. Sort and file paperwork from the desk clean out. Start prepping for taxes.
5. Get fabrics for next Top Secret Quilting Project.
6. Get the damn cable fixed. (I'm betting this won't happen, hence it's #6.)

And for this weeks Thing A Week Project:

A new Pinboard on Pinterest full of amazing research for my latest Design project: American Buffalo for Elm Shakespeare.  Not only am I doing the Costumes, but I'm designing the set as well! The play is set in a Resale Shop in early 1970's Chicago. Hmmm, I think I can handle that, in fact most of it will come from my basement. I started out studying Set Design back in the day, so it's exciting to revisit that artistic endeavor. Stay tuned, I will write another series of Thrifty Theater Design Posts like I did for Measure for Measure. Watch a fake Resale Shop unfold before your very eyes!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Thrifts of Terror: Damn Dirty Hippies

Nothing quite sums up my feelings about Hippies as this blog post from my friend Jessica about Burning Man does:

"I turn into Conservative Grandpa when I’m around them. Get a job! Put on pants! Shave your pits, you stink! You cannot substitute patchouli for a shower! Dreadlocks have no place on a white person! Here’s a hard candy!”

I don't do patchouli, or drum circles, and I don't like this....thing. So many things wrong. The colors, the paint job, the springy things. The fact that there are seven letters and only three photo holders.

Why a counterculture needs to be marketed to the PB Teen crowd is beyond me. What's next G O T H in black, white, and silver?

Seen at the Londonderry, NH Goodwill.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Thrift Share Monday: 2012 Part 3 What Were You Doing New Years Eve?

Well the Vinyl Whores and I went thrifting. What else would we do? 

Stop 1: The Barn Sale
Closed. Old ladies will not have any thrifters in over the Holiday weekend, Thanks.

Stop 2: Hamden Goodwill
The Goodwill is before The Barn Sale on a one way street. Because we tried the Barn Sale first, we had to go around in a circle to reach the Goodwill. When we got to the Goodwill, the lot was full and a huge Goodwill box truck was coming in the "Out" driveway. We drove back to the Barn Sale and walked back to the Goodwill. It was like a scene from National Lampoon's European Vacation: "Look, kids. Barn Sale. Goodwill."

Oh and there was nothing at the Hamden Goodwill but a rude woman who demanded the staff help her take a table out to her car. And by table, I mean one of those glass end tables from the 80's made of brass tubing. I mean, to each their own, but it was definitely not heavy. The impression we got from the staff was this kind of thing happens all the time with her.

Stop 3: The Goodwill Outlet
While the Boys had a good dig through The Bins, I hit up the furniture section. I was rewarded with this credenza which was marked down to $5.

It's Lane. It's beautiful and is now residing in my living room like so:

The room has really opened up. You can see a before photo in my last living room post. I'll have a more thorough before and after post later in the week. We had a hell of a time getting it in the back of Scooter. I had to tie the hatchback shut and Garth had to cram himself between the credenza and the door whilst sitting on the folded down seat. We drove home and unloaded the credenza and all of the Boys treasures, had a bite to eat and got back on the road.

Stop 4: Helping Hands
Sadly, nothing other than some good Thrifts of Terror. And I passed up a room divider like this one, because I had just bought a credenza. And, it doesn't break down. And, the doors were off the hinges. At $60 bucks it's fairly reasonable, but at this point there is no room for it. 

Photo cribbed from Mr. Modtomic

Stop 5: New Haven Goodwill on Foxon Rd.
Our last stop had this really fabulous alpine needlepoint for $2. It will be part of my plans for my upcoming bedroom redecorating.

I also found 3 Pyrex plates in this gold filigree design for $1 each.

So that is the last of the New Years Weekend Thrifting Extravaganza! If you missed the last two posts, you can check them out here:

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Weekend Update: New Year, New Thing Each Week

Myself and the Vinyl Whores
on New Years Eve.
First let me say I know a few people who had a really, really great 2011. I am happy for them, I really am. Proportionally, I know more people who didn't. For me things were fine until about midway through and then it all started to slide downhill ever so slowly. And what happens when things start to go downhill slowly? They pick up speed. Which is what happened around the beginning of November and crap just barreled on through to the end of December from there.

The problems? Number one, my Allergies. The easiest way to describe it is that I am allergic to Outside = most trees, all grass, various pollens, etc. and Inside = dust mites and the cats. Essentially, I am allergic to the World. The allergies always get ramped up in the summer because I spend 3 months working outdoors. The last two summers, though have come with some very unpleasant vertigo, which makes me feel like Lucille Two. (Which is to say some days I am very like Liza Minnelli: wheezy, incoherent, and surrounded by gay men.) Then I had the pleasure of working on our production of The Three Sisters which had 10-15 birch trees on the set. When I say I am allergic to trees, I don't mean the pollen. I mean the WHOLE tree. The leaves, the bark, the wood itself. The birches bridged the allergy gap from summer into fall, which went on for-ev-er, delaying the time when all the leaves have actually fallen and I can get on with my life.  As for the dust and cat hair, I can wrap my bed in as many allergy proof covers as I can afford, but it doesn't change the fact that I work in the filthiest buildings at Yale. So in summation I spent the last 6 months feeling like crap and being horribly depressed because of it.

The good news is, I'm finally on allergy shots again, after a 15 year hiatus. They are helping, though it is slow going. It took about a month to get them set up and there has been a slight delay in consistently getting the shots every week because of the Holidays. Hopefully, the slow roll will pick up speed soon. 

My other issue has been a real lack of creative output. At my core I am an artist, not a business woman. I realized that I have time for putting energy into creative ventures or I have time for ReSelling, I don't have time for both. The happiest creative moments I've had in the last 6 months were working on Measure for Measure, making this quilt for a friend's baby, and making another quilt for a Christmas gift. (That blog post will come later.) So, in summation, I am kicking the ReSelling idea to the curb. I am going to focus my energy, and little spare time, on making art. If that leads to monetary gain, terrific. Fortunately, I have an upcoming design project that as luck would have it, will easily use up the excess inventory around the house, but I'll speak more on that later this month.

So do I have any goals for the New Year? You betcha.  I am going to continue blogging a couple times per week, so fear not Constant Reader, I'll be back in my routine soon. I am trying to kick start the creative juices by taking a page out of the book of the amazing Jonathan Coulton and producing one creative "Thing a Week". The Things may be fantastic or awful, they may be made of tape and string, they may merely be a new board on Pinterest,  but they will be out of my system, which is all that really needs to happen. You may follow the progress in the Weekend Updates on Sundays* which I'll link up over on Thrift Core. So let's get to it...

Previous Thing a Week Items:

Week 1: Bad Art Night #1

Materials: catalog, scissors, scotch tape.
What is Bad Art Night? Check the link here,
and give it a try, you wont regret it.

Materials: Noro Kureyon Sock # S184
alternated every two rows with  
Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift in Rosewood.

Projects to Begin This Week:

1. A new knitting project on the needles. Probably another one of the strickmich scarf patterns. 
2. Outline blog posts for the rest of January.
3. Create a video presentation for my next design project. The director of our next show at Yale, Tina Landau, shared a video she created of research and musical inspiration. I found this so much more evocative than holding up a piece of research and saying "So... here's a picture of a shop. And here's another one..." 
4. Start gathering fabrics for the next Top Secret Quilting Project. And by this I mean, go visit Carol at the English Market.
5. Get the living room furniture sorted out. Check in tomorrow for Thrift Share Monday for further clarification on this item. (Don't get excited, there is still no couch. A fact I have seriously lamented the last few months that I have felt ill.)

If I were to declare a resolution for 2012 it would be this:

“You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute.”
― Tina FeyBossypants

See you tomorrow, Nerds!

*Thrifts of Terror will be moving to Saturdays starting Jan 21.

Thrifts of Terror: All the Kings Horses...

...and all the King's Men,
Couldn't figure out, 
what the 'ef this Humpty Dumpty thing is.

It is solid, though. I can tell you that.
Seen at the Red, White and Blue Store in Waterbury, CT.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Thrift Share Monday 2012 Part 2

We continue my New Year's weekend thrifting extravaganza with the Vinyl Whores. For Friday we decided to head up to Waterbury, where I had a very successful venture last Presidents Day.

Stop 1: The elusive St. Vincent De Paul in Derby.
Well, I finally found the building, but they were closed for the entire last two weeks of December. It still eludes me.

Stop 2: Books by the Falls
Fortunately there was a used bookstore a few buildings away. The owner was having a sale, anything priced under $10 was $1.  There Dan and I dug through the cook and craft books. I came up with another Peg Bracken book:

And a book on painting trays. Though it's more about stencils than Toleware, it's still interesting. 

Stop 3: The Waterbury St. Vincent De Paul
I had hoped to find a couch here, but no luck. The only thing I went away with was this vintage black Mod dress for $1. I plan on shortening it a couple inches to an above the knee length.

Stop 4: The Waterbury Red White and Blue Store.
I found this vintage purse for $1.50. It's in perfect condition and still has a little mirror from Saks 5th Avenue.

Stop 4: Waterbury Goodwill
And here we find Pyrex. Specifically, Spring Blossom Glasses! 13 of them at $1 each.  The boys found themselves the Butterfly Gold D-handled mugs for .50 each.

Stop 5: Waterbury Savers
I decided this year to winter coat shop at the thrifts. I had hoped to find a really great vintage coat. I think this one from J Crew will do for $25. It's wool and cashmere. I think that it also has a Thinsulate lining, because I wore it last week when it was  20 degrees and I was fine.

Stop 5: Meriden Savers
I particularly like this Savers because of it's size, the clothing section is huge. But for all of that I only bought this green bandanna.

Next week I'll share Saturdays haul, which includes a lovely piece of Lane furniture. (No it's not a couch.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Thursday Tray Update

Garth of the Vinyl Whores has this tradition with his Christmas gifts. The "from" on the gift tag always is from some random person other than him and that name always gives him a clue as to what the present is. It's a tradition he adapted from his mother, Muffy.  So when he handed me a flat, square box to open on Christmas that said "From Jack and Wendy Torrance," I got very excited thinking it might be...


(The Stephen King reference gave it away.)
I always hope to emulate his funny gift tags, but I am usually wrapping presents Christmas Eve morning in a rush to get out the door. Maybe next year. Maybe that's a good resolution for 2012, then I won't have to think about it until December! Ha!

Dan also got me a tray for Christmas. His home State of Minnesota:


I didn't get it on Christmas, but the next week when the boys came to visit. Dan ordered the tray on Etsy on the 8th of December. Plenty of time to have it in the mail and here for Christmas, right? Wrong! Not if you don't check your email attached to your Etsy account. Apparently the seller doesn't suffer from the same OCD problems as some of us. ("Did I sell anything yet? Anything?! Now?!! Anything NOW?!!!) After three or four emails beginning with pleasantries and quickly spiraling down into YOU ARE RUINING CHRISTMAS!!! The seller finally contacted him and sent it priority mail and it arrived...after Christmas.  She has also graciously offered another item from her shop to make up for the  delay. 

Now I need to get to Joann Fabrics for more plate hangers and start figuring out how I am going to move beyond hanging trays in the kitchen.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Thrift Share Monday 2012

In what is becoming an annual tradition, the Vinyl Whores came up from New York for New Years weekend for an extravaganza of thrifting. On Thursday I drove to Norwalk and met them at the train station, then we hit all the thrifts between Norwalk and my house. 

Stop 1: Norwalk Goodwill
Teal Fiesta mug $1

Note that there were a couple new trench coats in the coat section from Target that still had their tags on. Goodwill price tag: $24.99. Target Clearance price: $12.95 WTF!!!

Stop 2: Westport Goodwill
A bust, yet again. Westport Goodwill, you were once my favorite. What happened to you?

Stop 3: Furniture on Consignment II (Next door to the Westport Goodwill.)
Nothing for us on this trip, but reasonably priced with some good stuff.

Stop 4: Bridgeport Salvation Army
I make an exception to my no acrylic sweater rule for this black Vintage Jonathan Logan dragon sweater for $3.99. 

Stop 5: Bridgeport Goodwill
Tangerine Fiesta mug $1

A First Edition copy of one of my favorite books by my favorite author. Different Seasons $2. (If you haven't read Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, you are missing out.)

Stop 6: Orange Savers
Find Vintage beaded cardigan in grey: $9.99

And Vintage cashmere sweater in cream: $2.99. Further proof that thrift store pricing is outrageously erratic and I should just get over it.

Stop 7: Orange Goodwill (20 minutes before closing.) 
Spot this cutting board under a pile of hats in the men's section. Buy it for $1.99.

use this side and save my face
Dan explains to us the trend of leaving all of the sales tags on your clothes, after seeing a gentleman in the restaurant sporting just such a look. To which I say take those tags off and wash your damn pants people.

Next Monday: Day 2 in which we travel to points North.
Later This Week: More Christmas gifts, including more trays and Pyrex.