Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Supply Spotlight: Brick House Fabrics

I'm always on the look out for amazing fabrics that I can hoard away until that illustrious day in the future when I'm good enough at using a sewing machine that I can sew my own clothes (Fun fact! Bonnets pretty much can only be hand sewn! With the exception of a few details I sew all of my bonnets by hand) So I was very pleased to stumbled across Brick House Fabrics on Etsy. While the prices are a bit high, around $20 a yard, and you're probably going to need about 3 yards if you plan on making a dress or a JSK in the Lolita style, making the material costs a lot higher than normal, the fabric choices are all wonderful and the shop is filled with prints I have never seen before! These are certainly all fabrics that would make even the simplest design something truly unique and elegant. The best part about these fabrics is that nearly all of them are large, ornate designs, not all over tiny calico prints like so many interesting themes seem to come in.

This is a fabric so unique I don't think I've ever seen anything like it! It's such a Victorian idea as well, exotic wild life combined with beautiful familiar roses.

Here's something that's a little bit Dolly Kei, the tassels on this print make it perfect for something that could work with both Dolly and Lolita.

This beautiful seashell print is like the Classic Lolita's answer to all of those mermaid theme prints that have popped up in Sweet Lolita over the years.

This print is just lovely because it's a unique take on an old familiar print. The big, delicately detailed pottery makes a lovely, but a bit boring, background print really unique.

If there is one thing I am a sucker for, that is wide vertical stripes. This print features lovely muted colors and a medieval styled print of deer and elephants.

Quite possibly my favorite fabric on in the shop! This is just gorgeous in a very over the top and opulent way. It is also a bit reminiscent of a cherub print I mentioned that I would love to see in this post on F Yeah Lolita.

Adorable animals are often a staple of Sweet Lolita prints, but put them on something like this and you have something instantly Classic and elegant.

There are a ton more beautiful and unique fabrics on the shop page, 4 pages worth! I've definitely got my eye on a number of these for when it comes time to commission my next dress. I seriously am in love with big, bold, Victorian-esque prints like these!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What I Bought At The Antique Market

I returned from this weekend's antique market with a whole lot of great stuff. For really cheap too! Nothing cost more than $18 dollars, most of it I picked up for a dollar or two. Of course, most of this stuff is worth about a dollar XD But I needed some nik-naks of questionable taste to scatter about.

The only one of these that both cost more than a dollar and is actually worth more than a dollar is the 1960's nun vase. As I said in the previous post, I had always seen these head vases around but never really gave them much thought until I picked up this particular one. I think I'm hooked now! She definitely needs some equally fabulous friends.

Check out the fake eyelashes on this nun! And her complete lack of eyebrows for some reason. This nun vase was in a booth full of head shaped vases from the 50's and 60's and as I was walking past it this one particular one struck my eye as being extra fabulous. I really can't resist myself when I come across a piece of kitsch like this. While googling a bit to find some more info about this piece I came across this page dedicated to Catholic themed vases like this. I think I know what I'm going to be collecting next!

As well as tacky ceramic ware I picked up a few vintage gloves, check out the fishnet ones, a vintage velvet hat, and a miniature Polish bible with some great illustrations.

The final thing I have pictures of is this. It's a stereoscope, which is like a Victorian 3D picture viewer. It's missing the piece that held the cards on (from some googling I am thinking something slid over the long part sticking out in front, instead of having a fixed bar across it like most do) and I don't actually have any cards to view on it because I have never picked them up when I found them since I didn't have anything to view them on, but I can easily find some later. I've been looking for one of these for so long, and when I do come across them they are usually $50-$70. This one, on the other hand, only cost me $15. Which is awesooome. I can't wait to experience turn of the century 3D technology with this baby.

The only thing not pictured that I picked up, sadly, is a little tiny vintage siamese kitten figurine. When I say tiny I mean tiny, it was about an inch big and so cute and chubby. Sadly, I managed to loose it! I had it in the car and cannot remember where I put it after I was admiring it's cuteness. I really hope it didn't end up in in one of the bags with balled up newspaper and then got thrown away. It would be such a shame if it got lost, it really was cute! I'm hoping it turns up somewhere soon!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Back From Brimfield's Massive Antique Market!

Yesterday I woke up at the crack of dawn to get ready to go to a massive, thrice-yearly antique market in Brimfield Massachusetts. When I say massive, I mean massive. I was there for 4 hours and only got about a third of a way through. There are hundreds and hundreds of booths, tents, carpets, and backs of vans in some cases at this event that's touted as the "largest, seasonal outdoor event of it's kind in North America." People come from all over the country to spend their money there.

I've been going ever since I was about 8 years old, at least once, usually twice, and a couple times three times a year. Of course, when I was little I hated it. The walking, the heat, the general boringness of following my parents around and not being able to look at the few things there I was interested in at the time. As I got older, as was allowed to wander this massive event on my own I grew to love it and look forward to it, especially if I had some spare cash and a fully charged camera to bring!

These pictures really don't capture just how huge the market is, but it captures a few of my favorite finds there.

I loved the pink tent! Everything in it was really cheap too, nearly everything was $5. I couldn't stay in it too long though because the sun shining through the neon pink tent made everything inside it ultra pink and glowy!

This print is supposed to be a woman delighted with her boudoir dolls, but it looks more like a woman shrieking at tiny dead people.

The three pictures above are all from the same tent, a tent that seemed to be completely filled with medical dummies and erotic books from the '70s. I'm not going to lie, I thought it was the most awesome tent at the antique market.

I loved this tent as well, as I'm sure you can tell by all the pictures I took of it. All of the dummies of various sizes wearing antique clothes was so striking. I didn't notice those boater hats until I was resizing the pictures! I wish I did notice them while I was actually taking the picture because I probably would have claimed one for myself.

Every year there is an area set up with dozens of statues and fountains, it looks so cool! This was only a small part of that area.

The two above pictures are from another tent that I like to browse every year, it's a tent specializing in religious art, icons, and antique relics. I can never stay too long in there though because the prices, as you can imagine, are incredibly high. That little blue box in the middle, yeah, there were more than two zero's in the price.

The three pictures above are from another great tent, it's so pink and girly and French. It's also set up like a fabulous pink boudoir.

Cute little girl figurines. I didn't even notice the nurse in the middle until I was resizing! I can't believe I didn't see that either when I was staring right at it.

These are probably going to give me nightmares for a while.

I was on the lookout for an antique bonnet and found this one, but it's a small child's bonnet so I decided I didn't need it. Until, of course, I was resizing the image and noticed the price tag said it was only 14.95! Of course I would have bought it if I knew it was that cheap!

Oh look another boater hat I didn't even notice until I was resizing! I was too intrigued by the sassy lady-head planter to notice, an object I have always just skimmed over in the past but was completely enamored with this year.

What did I buy this year? I'll save that for tomorrow's post! Here's a hint though: A whole lot of useless stuff! Some years I come home with nothing but a couple antique photos, this year I found a ton of really good deals and neat things, so stay tuned for that post.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Etsy Spotlight: Silent Cheesecake Designs

It's no secret, I really love Etsy. I love it for the hand crafted pretty things, for the unique vintage pieces, and most of all, I love it for the incredible craft supplies. So I'm going to be occasionally spotlighting an Etsy shop that caught my eye on one or another of my many window shopping trips through Etsy. I will mostly be focusing on hand crafted shops, but the occasional vintage or supply shop will also be featured.

The first shop to be featured is Silent Cheesecake Designs, a shop combining a few of my favorite things into unique and strange jewelry. Specimen vials, Victorian curio, and real organic materials combine to create beautiful jewelry.

Silent Cheesecake's signature pieces are glass vials filled with a variety of specimens suspended in beautifully clear wax. The specimens are all real and range from leaves to flowers to insects to bones to small sea life. The wax is beautifully clear and relatively free of bubbles or distracting debris as I have seen in some embedded object jewelry.

Another frequent theme in Silent Cheesecakes's shop is beetle wings. Beetle wings are an infrequently used jewelry material, but I find that whenever they are used the result is stunning. Real beetle wings have an incredible luster and texture that just can't be faked.

If you are looking for something a little more subtle than a mouse skull floating in clear wax, you can pick up a small pendant featuring either real butterfly wings or a mini print with pressed flowers on the back.

Something else that Silent Cheesecake carries, and something I'm always on the lookout for, is beautifully detailed bird cage necklaces. She uses small rusty birdcages and decorates them with unique beads and animal vertebrate. The end result is stunning and unique and almost like a contained curio cabinet you can carry with you!

Silent Cheesecake carries a wide assortment of pieces, and has a rather full shop of around 6 pages. The prices are very reasonable for such unique pieces and range from very affordable $10 earrings to more expensive and much larger pendants. If you admire the look, but are a bit squeamish about wearing real specimens around your neck there are a variety of pieces with the same aesthetic that use no organic materials or only pressed flowers, so you can still wear an equally beautiful piece without having to go all out and wear something you might not feel comfortable wearing around your neck. Personally, I love the organic pieces and have my eye set on one of her vial necklaces with real octopus tentacles in it!