Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ornament Durability Field Test

I have placed two Wise Leaf ornaments and one Cheerful Acorn outside my mom's house to see how they stand up to the weather. Two weeks ago my friend got a leaf and asked if it was safe to put it on his covered porch... and I had to admit I didn't know! They are all sprayed with matte finish but I don't know how much protection that would offer. I'm also curious about how the waxed hemp cords will stand up to the elements.

Sooo, I hung the leaves from the plant hooks under our semi-covered porch and placed the acorn out in the open on a shrub. I feel kinda guilty sacrificing a happy little acorn fellow, particularly since it's pouring and freezing out today, but it's in The Name Of Science! (Hopefully I can fix him up again.) I'll see how they look in a week or two.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Shh! Sleeping Dollies...

I wanted to check on my dolly drawer today here at mom's house... These three Shirley Temple composition dolls are sleeping together in packing paper in my old nightstand drawer. They were my mom's when she was a child-- these dolls are in great shape considering how old they are! Mom says she didn't play with them too much on account of how pretty they were. Here are a few details about the line of dolls from

 "Composition Dolls are made of a 6-piece (strung together with elastic) sawdust-based, wood-pulp material (composition), that was later painted flesh toned. These dolls had hazel eyes with hair upper lashes, and painted eyebrows, lower lashes, lip paint, and nostrils. The wigs were made of mohair and styled in golden curls similar to Shirleys'. The clothes were made to resemble Shirley's own clothes and the outfits of her movies. They were produced between 1934-1939. Most (except for the earliest dolls) were marked SHIRLEY TEMPLE on the back of the head and/or the back of the neck."     

Someday I think I'll make a shadowbox with one or more of these little ladies. Perhaps sometime sooner I'll take them out for a tea party...


The surface cracking effect is called "crazing".

 (I woke her up for just a moment...!)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spooky Bag on etsy!

Wow! This little handmade bag posted on Etsy is constructed from fabric printed with an artist's charmingly spooky illustration on it. The digital painting is called "Pumpkin Harvest Day" and the artist is Lavennz Ooi Sin Yee. The seller, Julia, is from the UK and her shop Uniquely Different is full of unusual and affordable bags! More wonderful paintings by the artist, who is located in Malaysia, can be seen in her personal Etsy shop, where she includes a sweet little story or poem in her picture descriptions.

"Pumpkin Harvest Day: The girl named Anna, wearing black dress and her mood is very down because she was thinking of her parents that had passed away for a few years. Her parents left her a pumpkin field, where they spent lots of wonderful moments there. And today, another pumpkin harvest day. Anna carved the pumpkins, made them into lanterns and stand with these lanterns in a nebulous forest. She believe that the fairy tale of magic pumpkin lanterns can give her a miracle, let her meet her parents again....."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wise Leaf photo shoot

Finally the weather is warming up (hooray!) and I find myself dog sitting for the third time this month. The house has a great little yard and I've got some free time, so I staged a Wise Leaf and Cheerful Acorn photo-shoot on location! The yard is nice and sunny, I may take some more ornament pictures tomorrow.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dog Rescue!!

I just spotted this little fellow listed on Etsy. I LOVE antique dog and cat toys! I wish I could rescue this cute terrier, because the seller is extremely optimistic if she thinks he's going to sell for $175 (even with a neat springy neck and magnetic nose/bone accessory)-- he'll be hanging out for a while. Well I can't afford to adopt him, but I can at least enjoy these photos! The listing can be viewed here.

I ruv mah bone!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

new Victorian Memorial Photography book

Say what you will about the recent horror film "A Haunting In Connecticut", but its got some great featurettes in the special features of them being a documentary about the practice of postmortem memorial photography. The short film features interviews with Stanley B. Burns, MD, curator of The Burns Archive-- his extensive collection of historical medical and postmortem photos. He has published two acclaimed books of photos from his archives titled "Sleeping Beauty: Memorial Photography in America" and "Sleeping Beauty II: Grief, Bereavement in Memorial Photography American and European Traditions". I very much enjoyed the featurette!

I finally remembered to look for "Sleeping Beauty" the other day and was dismayed to find it's out of print, and goes from $400- $800 on Amazon. Well--guess I can't buy that one! Volume II is also fairly pricey. Further web surfing brought me to Dr. Burn's archive blog, which in addition to sharing interesting pieces of the collection has also announced that a third book in the series is now available! "Sleeping Beauty III: Memorial Photography- The Children" "enhances the history of postmortem photography and is intended as a reference for bereavement organizations, photographers, hospital staff and parents engaged in renewing the practice of memorial photography. This compilation of over 125 photographs documents images from photography’s earliest era (1840s) up to the present."

Keeping images of lost family members made perfect sense for the time, it's a pity that ordinary folks couldn't afford more photos while their loved ones were alive... especially their children. It's such an alien concept to us now to have pictures like this on display in our homes.

"Sleeping Beauty III" cover


Dr. Burns appears to offer up these portions of his collection with a good deal of care and respect, and I look forward to reading this book. It's currently available for $29.95 at

Sweet Playful Kittens vintage tape measure

I've grown up seeing this tape measure knocking around the sewing drawer. The tape gets stuck a lot... but the charming kitty graphic makes up for this shortcoming! My mother said she purchased it in the 60's. I'm really glad she ignored it in the drawer for so many decades, because now I use it all the time when I'm measuring my art pieces to post the dimensions on Etsy. A touch of character makes any simple object so much better!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Wise Leaves & Cheerful Acorns

I posted five leaves and three acorns to my Frozen Charlotte Etsy shop today. The photos are not super great, and I'm eagerly looking forward to the warm sunny days ahead for further photo shoots. The Wise Leaves look a little on the cold side, but the Cheerful Acorns are putting up a good front as usual.

Secret Life of a Frosted Light Bulb

One day I was sorting through a pile of spare light bulbs at the antique/lamp repair shop I used to work in and I came across this frosted light bulb. It didn't work anymore and the paint was chipping off the glass, rendering it pretty much useless. Every time I shook it more paint would flake off... for some reason the snowy effect caught my fancy and I decided to press my camera up against it and take a few pics. The little broken filament looks so serene and stoic in the winter landscape.


Last night I got a computer virus, apparently from downloading the pretty Victorian wallpaper that I've used for my blog backdrop! I had to spend an hour on the phone with a very patient friend who walked me through manually removing the hijacker virus using command prompts in Windows "safe mode". I haven't had a computer issue in 7-8 years, what total panic when the virus blocked all my attempts to go online to download some better Antivirus software!!

So part of the deal for downloading the wallpaper was to give the artist credit and post a comment below their piece linking back to my use of it, which regrettably I'm not going to do on account of wanting nothing to do with that website again (which was the popular Sorry, fellow artist, I'm certain the virus wasn't YOUR fault! Thank you for the wallpaper!