Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Storage Utopia of the European Antique Variety

Hello all,

Hoping that you're heading into a wonderful fall season and that you've avoided the crazy weather that seemed to be just about everywhere over the summer.  The kids are now returning to school, the nights are getting cooler and the days shorter.  Autumn seems to be a good time for reevaluating schedules and activities.   Now that things will be cooling down a bit here in Texas, I'm hoping to schedule more time for soldering, etching, using the rolling mill and lapidary machine out in the garage.   Of course we all know how best laid plans seem to go.  You'll see if I'm successful in the next few posts.

I have so much to share with you this time.  Too much!  I have two, count em, two- DIY projects to share with you, but decided that they'll have to wait till another time.  I know I know, it's feast or famine around here, eh?  Trust me, your eyes are going to be filled with objects of beauty (and desire) when you see what I have to show you.  You'll be glad the DIY took a back seat to these goodies.  Well, that's if you share my taste for old industrial, old chippy and just plain old storage pieces.  Finally, I tore myself away from the bench and we went on an adventure.

I've been hearing and reading about Fredericksburg Texas for years.  Long before I ever thought I'd be living in Texas a few hours away from there.  We recently had a long weekend available and went for it.  It's a charming, historic town.  Great old houses and architecture, a beautiful area, lots of shops and restaurants.  And more shops and more shops and more shops.
I had assumed it would be a sleepy little town oozing charm and serenity.  It did ooze charm.  I had no idea it was a big tourist destination!   Well, yeah, I should have guessed that, but I wasn't prepared for the sheer magnitude of people and endless gift shops.  Which I am sure were filled with cool things.  I'm not a tourist destination kind of gal so I didn't go into a single gift shop.  I know I probably missed out on lots of exciting Fredericksburg souvenirs.  And that's ok.  Mr. Wonderful and I did a bit of research before we went and both had places we wanted to explore.  Just not the same places.  He went to the Nimitz Museum and I wanted to see what the local Antiquities store had to offer.  Neither of us were disappointed.

If you ever find yourself in Fredericksburg, and you like antiques that show their age and have loads of personality, you might want to check out CarolHicksBolten Antiquities Laboratoire De Design.  Their specialty is European Antiques.  14,000 feet of European antiques!

Enough said.  Feast your eyes......

A large case of taxidermy greets you when you enter

Not your usual taxidermy...

While I'm not a huge fan, they did have some really interesting displays.

ok, now feast your eyes...

in no particular order....

Just think of the necklaces and bracelets you could showcase on here.


A painted canvas backdrop!

Now that's a Bakers Rack!

The faded color of this headboard was so dreamy.
Here it just looks shabby and not particularly chic,
but in person it was 
wonderful and rich.

Why yes, the label does say
"French Jewelers Cabinet"

This vignette alone, would have made this store worth the trip.

I somehow managed to use all my 
powers of self control.
I wanted so many things.
However, being the completely responsible adult we all know me to be-
I bought only a couple of very small display items.
Two of these paint rollers, in fact.
To make into bracelet displays.
And 3 antique French documents
for photo props.
And ribbon.
Again for photo props.
Which you'll see later in some of my jewelry pictures.
You did come here to see pictures of jewelry, if
I remember correctly, right?
Sure you did, since the adventures have been few and far between
and you certainly can't count on pictures of that!

But I digress.  

If this artists case could talk!
Wouldn't you love to know the places it had been carried for
En Plein air.

An old copper gate.

So many mannequins

What a great storage item, eh?
You could be organized and have everything visible
at the same time.

Don't think I've seen a trunk with this shape before.

Wonderful little anvil from France.
You're beginning to be impressed with my
self control now, aren't you?

Yes, that's a cool chest of staggered drawers
but it's that thing on top that intrigues me.
For invoices, orders, etc.

Drawers and more drawers.

Great painted wooden lamp!
And paint brushes below.

Can you imagine this filled with jewelry on beautiful displays?

Not just storage and display items in this shop.
Oh no.
French Eyeglass Molds too!

Here's one that wasn't in a case,
a bit easier to see...

Oh the beads, rocks and vintage goodies you could store in this!

I was thinking what a fantastic necklace display the piece
on the left would make.
So I inquired about it.
I was told about the provenance of it
and the price.
Sorry, don't remember the details.
Just that the price was reflective of the age and story behind it.

Note to self,
find local architectural salvage.
From the early 1900's not 1600's.

More rollers.
These are wood though, not rubber.

Exquisite carving on this exquisite harp.

Not just painted backdrops but costumes too!
Intriguing treatment on the sleeve decoration.

I realize this seems like a lot of photos,
but I was using great restraint.
This is a mere fraction of the fantastic
things in this place.
Just enough to whet your appetite.

I stopped by another antique store.

And saw some more interesting things...

You know you're in Texas when you see a plethora of fancy spurs.
This pair has swans.
The metalwork was impressive.

Wonderful decay.

Beautiful columns.

There were a couple of anvils available at this place.

These old pieces with history are right up my alley.
It was a great trip just for the eye candy alone.

And yet, there's more...

I took this shot from our dinner table the first night we were in town...

The restaurant was in the basement of this shop...
Apologies, I don't remember the name.

Beautiful atmosphere and delicious food!

Driving around we saw charming old houses

From the most humble of abodes...

To the magnificent.

Mr. Wonderful was interested in seeing "the bats".
For those of you who aren't familiar with this phenomenom,
there are a couple of places in Texas where
thousands of bats live in caves, tunnels, etc.
Each evening at dusk they all fly out of their abodes en masse.

Here is where we went to watch the bats fly out from an abandoned railroad tunnel at dusk.
 Too dark to get a picture of the bats by the time they flew, but it was
amazing from the sheer numbers.
We could see a swath of color change but not actually make out that they were bats.
They flew out from the right of that light tree in the center of the picture.
It was the odor that was most unexpected.
All of the sudden, the air smelled overwhelmingly of corn
once the bats were out of the tunnel.

How's that for stuff you never knew you never wanted to know.
Huh? Huh?

Been there, done that.

Texas is famous for its BBQ.
I don't consider myself a BBQ connoisseur by any means,
but I've been less than impressed with what I've had since moving here three years ago.
Until this...

Hands down, THE best BBQ in Texas.

This picture and the one directly below were taken from our car.
While the car was in the middle of the road.
Which, as you can see in both directions, was surrounded and in portions,
inundated with the stream.
Dry stream beds fill up quick here when it rains.

Yes, it was an actual road, even if it was quite out of the way.
A very scenic and wet roadway.

So those are the highlights from our little getaway.
Hope you enjoyed seeing them.

Now for a few views from the bench......

Simple sterling, anticlastic hoops with semi-rolled edges.

Asymmetrical sterling hoops
featuring some of Petra's (Scorched Earth on Etsy) amazing Raku drops
 and hammered sterling dangles.

The Melody
Featuring a vintage brass violin matchsafe, carved mother of pearl,
phantom quartz, amazonite, carved bone roses, hammer faceted fluorite nugget,
polished faceted fluorite,
vintage enameled chain, faceted green quartz, sterling.

The Mourning Doves
Porcelain doves by Petra, vintage MOP,
brass stampings and rhinestones

Tea With The Empress
Vintage enameled teapot, red faceted tiger eye, matte golden tiger eye,
agate with drusy windows, phrenite, chrysocolla, pyrite,
faceted agate, verdigris on brass stamping, and a ceramic clasp by Petra.

Cottage Garden
Upcycled vintage tin, ceramic roses by LysaCreationDesign,
Petra's ceramic drops in cobalt, fabric, rhinestones
and torch fired enamel headpins.

Night Stars
From My Ancient Hoard Series (so named because of the unusual metal treatment) 
and ceramic drops by Petra with 
sparkling grey glaze.

Cobalt, The Ancient Hoard Series

Spikes, The Ancient Hoard Series

Blooms, The Ancient Hoard Series

Assemblage Bracelet
Vintage Buckle, vintage Art Nouveau buckle,
vintage rhinestone button and fancy woven chain.

The Dancers
Vintage buckle, vintage coin, vintage bracelet link,
brass filigree and fancy woven chain.

M'Lady's Rose Garden
Vintage belt link, ceramic rose by Lisa Peters, 
enameled bird bead by Blue Antiquities,
white drusy, verdigris brass filigree stamping, rhinestones, glass leaves 
and a carved coral blossom.

Scroll, The Ancient Hoard Series
Rainbow moonstone onion briolettes and oxidized teardrop hoops.

Fossils, The Ancient Hoard Series
Blastoid fossils, torch fired enamel headpins,
raku lampwork headpins by HavanaBeads and ceramic disc beads.

Venetian Splendor
Ceramic pods by Havana Beads with my Faux Raku treatment,
tassels, rhinestones and ceramic and glass beads.

The Night Garden
Lampwork glass beads by Naos Glass, ceramic beads
and solder stamped brass focals.

Daggers, The Ancient Hoard Series
Lampwork beads by Naos Glass 
and torch fired enamel headpins.

Urns, The Ancient Hoard Series
Upcycled Matisse Rembrandt enameled urns,
filigree and glass beads.

Mixed Metal Shields
 textured brass, textured aluminum, brass stampings and wee glass beads.

Desert Embers
Ceramic bead caps by AtHomeInTaos, 
crusty black ceramic drops by Petra,
and natural mica.

Adorn The Ancients
Roman glass, lampwork beads by NuminosityBeads,
textured aluminum sheet and brass.

Elegant Pods
Pods by StillPointWorks, roller imprinted aluminum
and Sterling Silver.

Natural mica with roller imprinted aluminum sheet.

Venetian Dreams
Vintage aide de memorie-chatelaine notebook,
vintage buckle, book chain,
amazonite, mother of pearl
and brass.

The pages of the beautiful notebook appear to be intact, 
the end papers in this notebook are metallic silver and
the original pen is included.
Most of the pages are blank with only two having writing.
The date appears to be 1912, making this notebook 103 years old.

I have featured the back side of the notebook.
The front features a thistle pattern, shown above.

Earth From Space
The focal of this necklace is an azurite stone with a crystal cavern, 
prong set on a verdigris patinated textured brass metal backplate,
the necklace consists of three strands of faceted chrome diopside beads,
chrome diopside nuggets, polished blue kyanite and glass beads.

The Fluorite Cave
Fluorite specimen prong set on a verdigris patinated brass backplate, 
phrenite, stone beads, mop and bead caps by AtHomeInTaos.

Desert At Midnight
Lampwork headpins by GlassByLeese,
matte onyx, soldered copper hoops, lava beads
and bead caps by AtHomeInTaos.

Gothic Romance
Tektites, vintage carved mop buttons,
lampwork beads and headpins by HavanaBeads.

Blossoms In The Moon Garden
Lustrous keishi pearls, faceted aquamarine and sterling silver.

Wise Ancient Owl
Roman glass, roller imprinted sheet aluminum
and wee glass beads.

Boho Assemblage
Mixed metals; pierced "Barry" metal, textured copper,
brass and agate teardrops.

Island Romance
Larimar, herkimer diamonds, glass pearls
and sterling silver.

Sterling and copper

Sandy Shore
Ceramic discs by Petra, 
roller imprinted sheet aluminum
and soldered brass.

French Blue
Twisty porcelain drops by Petra, wee glass beads
and roller imprinted sheet aluminum.

Notice the beautiful paper and ribbon?
My getaway souvenirs.

Falling Leaves
Baroque ceramic connectors by Petra,
mop leaves, brass stampings, rhinestones, torch fired enamel headpins
and faceted tourmaline.

Boho Romance
More Baroque connectors by Petra,
pyrite sun fans from TheRavenAndPearl, cloisonné cones,
vintage shoe buttons and vintage teardrop beads.

Upcycled vintage belt panel and brass.

These are a custom order similar to Desert Embers.
All of the materials are the same
except that these very cool ceramic pods were made by Andrea of Josephine Beads.

Petra's ceramic spikes with textured brass.

The Age Of Fossils
Agatized fossil beads, cloisonné cones, fossil blastoids
and ceramic disc beads.

Ceramic swirl beads by Petra, 
bumpy lampwork beads by HavanaBeads and textured brass.

Midnight Darkness
Metal castings by Inviciti, matte cone beads and mop.

Desert Sun
Pseudomorph after Marcasite, citrine, jasper
and a variety of glass beads.

Key To My Heart
Chatelaine assemblage necklace.
Baroque chatelaine connector by Petra of ScorchedEarth, 
ceramic clasp, heart and key also by Petra,
ceramic with text by Andrea of Josephine Beads,
Lampwork headpin by GlassByLeese, torch fired enamel headpin,
phantom quartz and steel ring chainmaille.

Summer Delight
Ceramics by Petra and vintage glass teardrops.

Natural mica, textured aluminum, shells,
ceramic beads by Nadia Terra and
lampwork headpins by EmeraldFlameCrafts.

Imagine Love
Vintage French ephemera encased between sheets of natural mica,
torch fired enamel jump rings and headpins, pyrite,
brass filigree and stampings.

Imagine Love in progress.
Riveting the wee tiny rivets with my Ken Bova chopstick hammer.

I absolutely adore these hammers!
It's been a couple of years since I first blogged about them and that I've been using them.
They are wonderful, have held up remarkably well and yes, I still highly recommend them.

Assemblage necklace with faceted rubies,
a vintage steel shoe buckle, vintage tintype photo, pearls, rhinestones
and a cast metal hummingbird skull with red glass eyes.
This skull was cast using the technique in my 
"The Easiest Metal Casting You'll Ever Do" tutorial.
This necklace isn't brand new but the photos have been recently redone
using this antique photo album page.
I really like how it frames my jewelry.
So, because you haven't looked at enough pictures already,
I'm making you look at the necklace again.
You're welcome.

I just listed some more glass eyes
and these sets of steel embossed metal banding in my
Attic shop
Perfect for jewelry making or assemblage art.

Well that's all of the adventure, jewelry making and supply pictures this time.

oh wait....
I thought I was done but turns out there are
two more interesting things to share with you...

Awhile back,
I was contacted by Karen Leonardo, the Editor of a new online magazine titled

Looks like a well written, interesting
 and very informative magazine from the two issues
 I've had the pleasure to read so far.
She asked if I would be interested in having a pair of my earrings featured
in an upcoming article about asymmetrical earrings.
Why yes-thank you, Karen!
The offer was especially appealing
as I didn't need to write a full blown technique article to be included.
Which I just wouldn't have been able to fit into my schedule at that time.
Within hours of my posting this blog,
I received notice that the issue was available.
So I'm updating this post with a link where you can purchase this publication.
This is the September issue.
Though my contribution to this issue is small,
I'm delighted to be featured.
This particular issue has many excellent articles.
All of them detailed with numerous step by step photos.
One is a great article on using decals with torch fired enamels,
which is something I've been wanting to try.
It should be almost foolproof, following these in depth instructions,
without my usual trial and error.

Here's the link to the magazine...



Also, have you all seen pipnmolly's new tutorial on making
Artisan Headpins?
Detailed photos and instructions for making numerous styles of headpins
just like the fabulous ones she sells in her shop.
She always throws in extra tips and helpful info.
Tracy puts together a truly beautiful tutorial.
You won't be disappointed.

Thank you all for stopping by!

Before you go,
I thought you might like to see the critters that have 
popped up around here lately.

How cute is that?
I'm assuming this is a mom and baby.

This pair of birds built their nest right outside the front door.
We were hoping to watch the babies as they grew.
We don't know what happened,
but something (a lizard perhaps)
got into their nest, 
and after traumatizing the parent birds, 
they subsequently abandoned the nest.

This little guy blends in pretty well.
He was about an inch long
and adorable.

As was this mantis baby!
The year of green babies in our garden.

And last but not least,
we thought this moths furry looking legs were interesting.

And Lucie, just for you,
I'm not going to load the scary spider pictures I have.
Because they are just as big and frightening as the spiders from last year.
We've all seen enough of that, eh?!
I know I sure have.

Hoping that you all have a wonderful time
and that life is good to you until
next time.

Thanks for stopping by!

Au Revoir


  1. Always good to see a blog post from you! It feels like a bit of catch-up and I love your photos.
    Those Venetian Splendor earrings popped my eyes right out of their sockets...bravo Other Janet!

    1. Many thanks other Janet! Very kind of you to attribute your eye popping to my earrings. I appreciate the lovely compliment. Though, I suspect it might have been all of the unusual goodies in that store that popped your eyes out. Mine were full to bursting with all that old, glorious wonderment.

  2. Thanks for sharing your trip...you found some great stuff! And your 'makiing' has been in overdrive! I really like those anticlastic hoops! Oh yes I do. Great post.

  3. PLUS, I *know* "making" only has one i. ;)

    1. hahahahha, you cracked me up, Lela! It's those annoying sticking keys on the keyboard that do that! Thank you for stopping in and for your nice comment. Much appreciated! Hopefully when you're on one of your trips down this direction, you can check out that store. Well worth it. I need to go see what new things you've been working on lately. I really like the rings you've got listed. Beautiful!

  4. Antiques!! waaaaa we don't have any antique shops here unless you count the tip shop at the local waste disposal dump.
    Not only do I have to cope with all the antiquiness but then I have to cope with amazing texture from a rolling mill *sob*, sterling silver, roman glass, giant crystals, rust and crust - oh it's all just too much! (Retreats under the table and sucks thumb)

    1. Awww Greer, I'm sorry. If anyone deserves access to antique goodies it would be you with your mad assemblage skills. Those necklaces you've been making with all the yummy components THAT YOU MADE YOURSELF are fabulous. Talk about retreating under a table......

  5. So many eye candies, I agree with Greer, it's almost too much! thoses antique copper gates are splendid! and your earrings! Pure awesomeness! I must say I love the Ancient Hoard Series, and the Venetian Dreams with this cute little ball notebook!
    I truly appreciate your special attention for me not showing your scary spiders, I've enough to cope with in my little garden, at this time of years, they are everywhere and creep in the house! Congrats for hte feature, I'm going to have a look. XXX

    1. I thought of you with all of those fascinating French finds in that shop. And wondered if the things we think are so extraordinary are the types of things you see frequently and that might be commonplace to you when you go to the local flea markets. Yes-why is it that the spiders insist on coming inside? Ugh! So glad you liked the Ancient Hoard Series. I'm having fun with that technique.

  6. Ok so first, you do realize this is like a years worth of blog content here, right? It's too much! I can't even…
    But who knew I needed a painted canvas backdrop, or antique stamp rollers, but apparently I do.
    Also all your making! Your furious energy is evident in each one of your pieces and having none myself lately, I'm super jealous. I see you've gotten into mica lately... I'm gonna have to go back and re-examine this whole post cuz it's too much to say anything worthy of this post. Your earrings are very structural lately though, I can say that. Almost architectural! Amazing. And those Venetian splendor earrings are stunning and look Chinese almost. And all the soldering and rolling and color!
    You leave me babbling.

    1. Awww shucks fanci. You're too kind. Thank you thank you! And yes, you do need a painted antique backdrop! I didn't know
      I needed one either till I saw it, but yup- I definitely do NEED one! Jealous?! Ha! What for? Just had a peek at your leather feather and lace earrings-which are scrumptious!

  7. Ahhhhh, such a sumptuous feast!!! Those drawers -bibble bibble - what I wouldn't give?!!! Ohh, and the textured rollers - gimme gimme!!! Wow, and what a busy janet you've been - incredible! Beautiful lampworks, ancient hoardings - and as always, a huge thanks for making my tiddlers look sooo good. Oh boy, natural mica - that just sets my heart racing. Wildly impressive sterling workings - AND - no spiders! Whoop! Fabulous blogging!!

    1. I know! You've had your eye out for a great set of drawers for so long. Wish there was a way for you to come and have your pick amongst this selection. Storage utopia is no exaggeration. Hmmm who knew the lack of spiders would be such a big hit? Hahahaha. Thank you much, Petra! But again, it's your tiddlers that make my work look good. Always delightful working with such lovely handmade components as yours. Thank YOU!

  8. you are for me a daily inspiration. thank you for the beauty you make, world needs beauty. "beauty is ruth and the truth is beauty" (cit,)

    1. Thank you very much, Alessandra and welcome! Your thoughtful words mean alot. I appreciate you taking the time to share your kind words. Very nice of you!

  9. Hi AA - I must say there were so many pieces in that 'shop' that I would not have been able to resist - a lot of bits would have been coming home with me. I love how you combine outings with so much creation - you have done so much work. Thanks for the reference - though it is not needed. Love the simple curved silver earrings - you have such variety. Continue to enjoy creating and hopefully selling. Go well - peace. B

  10. Hello Barry and thanks for your always encouraging thoughts. I'm already planning another trip down to that store, with a moving truck! So that no self control will be necessary. Lol.

  11. So happy to see this post. I worry when I see and hear nothing. Lots of great stuff here, yours and the antiques. But I gotta say: I LOVE SPIDERS. Without them, the earth could not exist. Snakes and bats too. love, your dear fiend, h

    1. Hi there my favorite fiend! Yes, your fondness for creepy crawlers has always fascinated me. I like them too- but only from afar. Like in pictures! Hahahah. Thanks so much for stopping by. Always delighted when you pop in. Hugs to you and the most interesting man in the world. Xxx

  12. ok... someone needs to pick my jaw up from the floor! What a visual feast! I wouldn't have been able to leave that place, i'll probably sleep there. And I really hate coming here to see all the beautiful stuff you've been up to ... makes me feel ... inadequate LOL!! Dang girl ... you never cease to amaze me with your work!

    1. Thank you Luthien! Yes, it was the most amazing place. I'm so glad the proprietors allowed me to take pictures. No way could I have remembered all that fantastic stuff without the photos. Glad you enjoyed them. Well now, that's how I feel about your work. So intricate and you capture the mystery of the ages in all of your pieces. Your beautiful jewelry delights, amazes and makes me want to swoon.


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