wrapped up in books and paints and treasures…

February 8, 2009 | Filed Under etsy, paintings in progress, process journal, tights, vintage, vintage jewelry | by Sarah Blank | 17 Comments

???PAINTS???

I have been slowly but surely painting away. Here’s some work in progress from a painting from weeks ago. Getting all the details down…work in progress still.

I added some golden harp-inspired embroidery on her hat.

And remember the feathers that my father found from this post? Initially, I thought that they were from the American Goldfinch (which has such a pretty song!) so I added them to the painting (birds still need to be tweaked, but have a peek).

It turns out (with the help of my awesome readers) that the feathers are from, almost definitely, the Northern Yellow Shafted Flicker.

So the story is slowly unfolding in paint. I hope to finish this tonight, and as soon as it is dry it will be offered as a print in my shop.

???TREASURES???

I was quite sick the last couple of weeks, but I managed to find some amazing treasures. Attempting to de-clutter has put most thrifting efforts to a halt, but sometimes it’s a real mood-lifter.

Vintage maryjanes, broaches, a silver locket on a chain (for me this time), little hair combs and white gloves with red polka dotted trim, and a sweet embroidered bag perfect for springtime.

Of all my treasures from last week, the most inspiring was a bag of faded, multicolored, wide silk ribbons, all hand embroidered with women’s names. We can’t figure out what they were used for. The embroidery also includes their home town and state after their name. Here’s one, which I pressed and put on display. I’ll show the others later.

???BOOKS???

I love the cover of this book, from 1905, which is a real treasure too!

More books…I have a giant, deckle-edged watercolor album that has been capturing my treasures as of late. I make these pages for myself to use as reference, for inspiration, to record my findings, and as a catch-all for all the little things I find. Otherwise, the boxes and baggies pile up and are impossible to sift through! So I guess it’s a process journal of sorts. I watercolor-wash it’s pages with subtle color and glue in little fragments of things I find on my travels and treasure-hunts. I don’t put too much care into the pages…I love to keep them loose and free as I don’t want to attempt to make this an an end product. Just a journey, recorded. The only rule I have for myself is everything has to be genuine and found either on the ground or in a thrift or antique shop, given to me, etc. Today was so nice and sunny I decided to snap a few pictures and share (along with my personal collection of vintgagey necklaces). Private inspiring things…why not?

The little chick-a-dee necklace above is from Found and Made.

Absolutely in love with this lace collar. I have two. Sometimes it’s hard to paste things down so it helps when there are duplicates.

I found a roll of old wallpaper on a rainy day walk. Thank goodness for my umbrella! I just love the pale yellow roses on the grey polka-dotted background.

Little notes on pretty blue scraps.

And finally, has anyone read this book? I have been meaning to read it for a long time. I read “The Lady and the Unicorn” by the same author which was interesting. Anything Historical fiction floats my boat. Last week I found a copy in the thrift shop and I couldn’t resist. I didn’t see the movie due to the fact that I wanted to read the book first:)

Thanks to all who entered the giveaway! There’s still time! It ends Monday at 8:00 pm eastern time.

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17 Comments »

Comment by Lisa Falzon
2009-02-09 00:43:23

Beautiful progress on the painting.. eager to see it all done now!
:)
I’ve read ‘Girl with a Pearl earring’ and I ? it, though I didn’t like ‘the lady and the unicorn’ quite as much. Also, I dearly wished I hadn’t watched the film before I read the book! It’s a good film but it ends interestingly, and having watched the film, I knew what to expect…

I loved that it made me feel the claustrophobia and helpessness of the main character (Griet).

I have a big penchant for historic novels.. I read the first one when I was around 13, I read ‘We Speak No Treason’ which was about Richard III… very racy lit, looking back, for a 13-year old hehe, but I loved it then! I recently read ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ and ‘The Boleyn Inheritance’ and loved those too!
Trying to think what other Historical novels I could reccommend hmmm… You might enjoy the play ‘the crucible’ it has a lot of puritans in it! They look like your faraway girls and their seascapes. It’s about the Salem Witchhunt and there’s a film of it too, with Winona Rider, and it’s real faithful to the play and so very interesting :)

Comment by Sarah Blank
2009-02-16 04:20:16

I am hoping to like the book better than “Lady and the Unicorn” though I haven’t started it yet! I really wish I had time to read more than I do. Thanks for the suggestions! I remember seeing “The Crucible” with Winona in the theater years ago. We visit Salem often so it really strikes a chord.
Have a good week Lisa!

 
 
Comment by Britt
2009-02-09 02:32:11

I came across your blog through another blog and spent all evening clicking and scrolling through your lovely work.
Visually, your blog is such a treat. Your paintings are breathtaking. And I have to say you have renewed my love for all things vintage.

Thank you!

Britt xx

Comment by Sarah Blank
2009-02-16 04:22:22

Thank you Britt. Vintage soothes my desire to want, search and buy… but is a lot gentler on the planet. It brings me lots of inspiration too.

 
 
2009-02-09 13:11:35

Oooh ! These are precious treasures indeed !
I love love love the mother of pearl “shooting star” comb !
And the ribbons … They look like old some “Election of Miss (…)” prizes …
And the embroidered bag, too !

Love the new painting as well. The evolution is impressive ! The golden Harp detail is darling …
All the best,
x x x
___mathyld___

Comment by Sarah Blank
2009-02-16 04:24:49

The comb is a prize! I think it might be plastic though. I don’t care, any vintage hair accessory make me swoon.
Thanks so much for your sweet comments here Mathyld.

 
 
Comment by Christina J.
2009-02-09 16:30:54

Beautiful painting. You found some really great items, too!

I’ve read that book. I have The Lady and the Unicorn, but haven’t read it yet. I enjoyed Girl with a Pearl Earring. I read the book before I saw the movie and am glad I did.

Comment by Sarah Blank
2009-02-16 04:25:38

I am inspired to get reading now Christina.

Thank you!

 
 
Comment by Ulla
2009-02-09 16:43:54

Your painting is stunning! Love how you tell a story as it goes… And your found treasures are dreamy and so romantic… Those ribbons are wonderful – what will you do with them? You have such a sure eye for beauty! Happy monday…

Comment by Sarah Blank
2009-02-16 04:27:29

Thanks Ulla!
Right now the ribbons are sadly crumbled up in a ball! They need a good pressing. I think I might make a pillow with them, an idea I got from another commenter here.
Happy belated Valentines!

 
 
Comment by ~Heather~
2009-02-09 18:55:54

Oh, the painting is so beautiful! Love the finches you added….they are truly such sweet little birds. It is always so sweet to see them, they seem so exotic in the winter grayness.

You made such lovely finds! Those sashes may have been part of a pageant of some sort, it would make sense if it had their name and town on it.

And yes, I tried to read Girl with the Pearl Earring….I am odd, I didnt really get into it for some reason. I think the whole “housemaid and master” thing sort of icked me out ;) I couldn’t get through her other novel “The Virgin Blue” either. Some of the best vintagey/spooky books I’ve read have been “The Thirteenth Tale”, “The Time Traveler’s Wife” and “The Lace Reader.” All of these books have remained with me long after reading…gorgeous and riveting. I highly suggest them!~

Comment by Sarah Blank
2009-02-16 04:29:50

Wish I could see more finches! You are very lucky to spot them. Their bright yellows must light up the prarie.
Thanks for your suggested readings Heather!

 
 
Comment by sarah
2009-02-11 00:27:05

Your painted lady is lovely and romantic, as is her pretty yellow companion. She looks like she is waiting for her lover to come home…she seems winsome and sad.

I do wish that I could go thrifting with you – you always seem to find the most magical treasures. Perhaps the embroidered sashes are from a women’s league convention? Either that or, as someone else said, a beauty pageant. Either way, they are lovely and special.

I have not yet read Girl with the Pearl Earring, but it is on my list of to-reads. I do have the film, and it is beautiful. Do let us know how the book is! I love historical fiction as well. And I adore Vermeer, so the idea of the book intrigues me.

Comment by Sarah Blank
2009-02-16 04:32:28

Thanks Sarah! I just scooted over to your etsy, you have such pretty vintage goods.

 
 
Comment by susanna
2009-02-13 14:04:54

Congratulations Noreen!

 
Comment by susanna
2009-02-13 14:13:09

Woah! So many great finds and creations – where to start?! I like how you’ve taken all these little elements, including the feathers that your father found, and incorporated them into a gorgeous painting. Your dad must get a little kick out of seeing that his contribution has been reinterpreted as birds in his daughter’s artwork.

Now where are you antiquing???? These are all amazing finds! Those mary janes are cool and those sashes with the names embroidered on them are…well, they are just an awesome find. I can see them displayed together on a wall or if the fabric is soft enough, maybe sewn onto fabric for a large pillow or quilt?

And your sketchbook pages are so pretty! Very feminine. One thing of many that I like about your blog is that you show your creative process. It’s fascinating to see.

 
Comment by Muriel
2009-02-22 10:12:04

I love the book you found, “Daughters of the Puritans”…What a nice cover!

 
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