Archive for vintage

Tokens and Paper Lace Part 2.

Posted in art, jewelry with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 11, 2009 by candlesandghosts

To begin this new piece, I started with the paper lace image

Heart-Token-1 2

and a 3 foot length of 1/4 craft pine that has been sitting in my studio.

Heart-Token-1 1

I roughly cut out the image and traced its shape on to the wood.  I also traced a larger copycat shape which will serve as the piece’s outer frame.  I then cut the piece out using my coping saw.

Heart-Token-1 3

After much trial end error (and one broken but re-glued and repaired frame later), I ended up with the outer shape of the piece which was painted,

Heart-Token-1 5

then gold leafed.

Heart-Token-1 4

Next, on the top surface of the frame, I used a sgrafitto technique which is the process of scratching or stamping through the top layer of a surface to reveal the layer underneath.  You often see this technique used in traditional Christian iconography to highlight the gold leaf.  I will worry about the sides of the frame later.

For the next step, I cut out a solid duplicate of the frame from 1/64″ modeling wood.

Heart-Token-1 6

I then laid the pieces together to get my first look at what the pendant will look like when assembled.

Heart-Token-1 7

Happy with the results, its on to working on the back side of the piece which I will have to begin in the next post.  Right now, I have a 5 month old who is in dire need of a bottle and a nap.



Sneaky Peeky #2

Posted in About My Work, art, jewelry, Randomness with tags , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2009 by candlesandghosts

So, I’m getting close to having most of these pieces finished, but I thought you might like to see another update before they are all wrapped up:


I’ve been waiting on a couple of shipments of antique beads to arrive so that I could finish some of the chains; they came in this week so I’m good to go,


and I’ve also got to get all the custom boxes finished so that each piece has a snazzy place to call home.


I’m hoping to get most everything photographed this weekend so that they can all be up on Etsy by sometime next week.


I was also finally able to purchase some much needed toolery from Ornamentea

I got a jeweler’s saw which will be great for working on some of the tin boxes I’ve recently gotten,


I also got a nice pair of magnifying goggles so that I can actually see what I’m doing,


and I got a good respirator so that I don’t die from the fumes and dust I’ve been creating.  Well the respirator came from Home Depot, but I had to work extra hard to find one with lovely “fuchsia” dust cartridges.



Finally, on a completely unrelated subject-  I stumbled upon this shirt the other day on Etsy and think it must be about the coolest thing ever created- definitely have to have one.


Enjoy your weekend-  M

Can you say score?

Posted in Family, Flea Market Finds, jewelry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2009 by candlesandghosts

You know every now and again, you get lucky.  I’m not talking lottery-type lucky because let’s be honest-  if I were that lucky I could pay somebody to write this post for me -I’m just meaning I’ve come across some really good items as of late, and cannot wait to get started turning them into new pieces.

The first two things I’ve found are these awesome vintage compact cases:


They both are just oozing potential with all their openings and parts that move

Here they are disassembled-


This one is great because it has a piece that rotates a complete 360, and it has a wonderful clasp for closing the compact


This one, however, might just be the coolest shape I have ever found- it measures 2.5″ x 4″ which is perfect for a neck piece, and it has 2 doors that open, plus a nice recessed area in the top


I was also fortunate enough to find some good items this past weekend at the fleamarket:

The keys will make great clasps


And though this piece of antique celluloid would make a great centerpiece on a necklace,  I think I’ll resell it in my shop.


Last but not least, what has to be my biggest stroke of luck of all- to be the Dad of a kid who looks great in striped pajamas.


Until next time-


Where have you been?

Posted in art, Digital Art with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 13, 2009 by candlesandghosts

Well to tell you the truth, I’ve been working on a lot of new art, that’s where.

For example, what do you get when you combine an 1840s daguerreotype image of this lovely lady:


A scan of this 1860s ambrotype mat:


and an image of a big bowl?


Well after a lot of work in Photoshop, I came up with my latest digital piece:

The Star Collector


What’s great is that this piece will be a limited-edition series of prints, but I am also making it into a 3-dimensional illuminated piece as well.  Hopefully I’ll have photos of it up soon.

I’ve also been working on many many new pieces of jewelry; by a quick count I spied 23 pieces that are well on their way to being finished, plus several more in the works.  Maybe if you’re really good, I’ll sneak some “in progress” photos of them on to the blog in the next day or two.  Anyway, back to work!



Posted in Photography, Randomness, Websites I'm Addicted To: with tags , , , , , , on July 4, 2009 by candlesandghosts

As we celebrate our Nation’s birthday, I thought I would share some wonderfully patriotic images from the past.  Both of these date from 1910-20.



Happy 4th!


Watermarks and Illuminations

Posted in About My Work, art, Randomness with tags , , , , , , , on July 3, 2009 by candlesandghosts

I was fortunate enough to pick up some beautiful early 19th century receipts recently, and I was thinking of using them as pieces in my jewelry.


The details and penmanship are truly something to behold.


However, the paper is wonderfully thin, and I think my favorite part of these may actually be the watermarks.


I think I’ll scan them instead of sacrificing them for art, or perhaps I’ll use them in a lightbox.


What is a lightbox you say?  Lightboxes are hand-built illuminated pieces of art that I have been making for about 15 years.  What I love about them is the depth and layering the pieces have, something that isn’t quite the same on a piece on canvas or panel.


You can see a number of pieces I have created over the years here.


One other random thing-


this crow sat out on our windowsill yesterday for about 15 minutes, discussing the world situation with any other birds who would listen… then again, maybe he just liked having his picture taken.


Today’s Fleamarket Finds

Posted in About My Work, art, Flea Market Finds, jewelry with tags , , , , , , , on June 21, 2009 by candlesandghosts

Went to the Raleigh Fleamarket today, and aside from the gianormus amount of heat, I had a pretty good day in terms of finds.


I found a lot of good photos, some nice pieces of vintage brass, some good antique jewelry, and a few other thing that will probably make their way into jewelry.  Most of what you see will end up in my EandO shop later this week.

I only stayed about 45 minutes, and probably could have found more, but it was just to blame hot.  I think it is officially time to hit the pool.

Also, two of the pieces of jewelry are now up on Etsy if you’d like to check them out.

250 Regrets


and The Evening Star


the others should be up tomorrow!