Tuesday, August 15, 2017

History of Pencils


I don't know about you but I've never given a second thought to where pencils come from. Who really cares, right?  I'm finding as I grow older (becoming a bit of history myself) that    history is becoming more interesting with each passing day and I'm starting to care... who'd of thunk!

The oldest known pencil in the world, from the early 17th century, on display at the Faber-Castell castle near Nuremberg, Germany.  History of the Pencil

We have a great group of dealers here at #TheFrog but one of my favorites (I know, favorites are bad) is a gentleman with cases who comes in every couple weeks to change things around and add new goodies.  He's 90 years young and always has interesting items with lots of History to share.  It's thru this dealer that my love affair with pencils... well, pencil boxes really, began.

Trying to find anything on pencil boxes has been a nightmare, all I could find out is that older ones (1800's) were made of precious metals or ivory and were for the affluent, to hold their expensive pencils of course.  Many were not rectangular as we've come to see but rounded in shape.

Boxes like what you see here were first patented in 1946 and have become the zippered pencil cases you see today.

Here's a peek at a few styles of pencil boxes we've got in the shop today:

Single Hinged Pencil Case

Top swings out from one side to reveal storage underneath.


Roll top... can't believe any of these have survived.  If this was mine as a kid it wouldn't have lasted very long.


Double Layer Slide Top Pencil Case

The top slides open revealing a space for an eraser and slots for pencils.

The top swings outward on a hinge of some sort to reveal a second layer of storage.

Extra Wide Single Layer Slide top Box

Well used....

Single Hinged Top with Lock
Lock no longer works.

Love the pencil storage.  The "eraser" pops off.

Don't see a business name on this one but a town.  Cute


There were a couple triple deckers but they sold fairly quickly.  Still kicking myself for not scooping one of them up.

Here's a few articles with some interesting history about pencils and other items you'd find in a pencil box:

Vintage Pencils
What's In My Pencil Box?
How The Humble Pencil Conquered The World

Any pencil collectors out there?


Monday, May 22, 2017

10 Unique and Frugal Ways to Decorate Your Home for Less

I don't know about you but I am completely in love with thrift shops and antique malls.  So many bargains and such amazing variety, its unbelievable.  I thought today I'd share with you some of my favorite finds and some ideas for what you should be looking for and how you can incorporate these items into your home.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

14 Unique Repurposed Kitchen Item Ideas

I'm always on the lookout for interesting ways to repurpose vintage items.  Kitchenware is an excellent resource with so many fun things that can be recycled and reinvented in a variety of cute ways.... for minimal costs I might add. 

Here's just a few of my favorite examples.

Every antique mall I've ever been in has a variety of beautifully decorated serving utensils.  This is such a great repurpose idea.  Drawer pulls would work great wouldn't they?

Find yourself some wonderful teacups and make a towel rack for the kitchen.  So many possibilities....
Teacup and Saucer Cuteness
Wowser, these are fabulous!


Rolling pins can be found at every shop you'll ever encounter.  I love this idea for a coat rack.  Adorable.
45+ Creative Kitchen Repurpose Ideas
I love this idea.  It'd look great as a type of "frame" to hang children's artwork too.  So cute!
sadieseasongoods.com


I'm completely in love with this silverware light fixture.  So inspiring!


What a great repurpose!

More great silverware repurpose ideas.  So many beautiful patterns to choose from.  Don't think they're only good to eat with, so many great ways to use them in unique ways.

You'll find graters all over the place too.  Lots of great repurpose ideas but this has got to be the cutest one I've found.

Wonderful strainer ideas....

Love this idea too.... I've bought some spring pans for the purpose of decorating them up in some way for wall art (I ended up using them for concrete planters).  When walking through your local antique mall keep in mind creative, interesting ways you could use the pieces you're seeing.  So many creative uses for everyday items.
Not in English but a "picture is worth 1,000 words".  You'll get the idea, be inspired.

Great idea.  Rolling pins make a great middle support and circular pie pans work great too. 
45 Ways to Repurposeys to Repurpose Kitchen Stuff

Another great idea for a grater.
Repurposed Kitchen Tools @Knickoftime.net

Great idea for silverware.... What other words would be fitting for a kitchen?


Have you done anything interesting and creative with kitchen items?  Would love to see your handiwork.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

My Mother's Day Gift Art Project

 My mother's day gift for my momma is still underway, nothing like waiting till the last minute.  This year I found a cute project on Pinterest that inspired me....  here's what I came up with.

First, I pulled a variety of pages out of a magazine.  I had an idea in my head so every page I grabbed worked together by color, leaning towards blues and greens (imagine that!). 

I grabbed some all-purpose glue and began cutting my pages into pieces filling in an 11x14 canvas in a "fan" type shape, leaving the center open (it'll get covered in the next phase of the project).



Phase 2..... Using www.canva.com I created a list of things I love about mom and printed it off using a variety of fonts.

I then cut them out and attached them onto my canvas, with a heart paper doily in the center.

I decided I didn't like the heart being so stark so I tried my hand at shaving cream marbling.  If you've not tried it, you should.  Such a fun little side project.  I gathered my supplies; shaving cream, food coloring, something to spread out the shaving cream on and with and a scraper of some sort. 


Here's my shaving cream.  I used a box lid and spread it out with the wooden paint stick you see above.  I added food coloring drop by drop haphazardly and spread it out again.

 This is what you'll have.  You can make all kinds of cool patterns if you have the patience for it.  My design didn't require it so I didn't bother. 

My paper doily went face down into the shaving cream.  I used my fingers to press it into the mixture and yes, they were blue for a while.

I carefully pulled it out, remember its wet paper, and used a tin lid to scrape any excess off then laid it aside to dry.

Really love how it turned out. 

I ended up layering three doily's.... white, a blue one that tore on me when I was getting it out of the concoction and a good one on top.  I frayed the bottom two in an effort to add some depth and movement to the piece.

Buttons were applied to the middle of the heart. 

Nearly done....  I want to apply a few more buttons to accentuate the shape of the heart and add some decorative ribbon around the outer edge of the canvas.  I've chosen a couple but have yet to get it done. 

Are you making something this year for your momma?  Would love to see your handiwork.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Tidbits of Information about Historical Photos

I love my job!  I get to go to work nearly every day and meet interesting people from all over who collect and treasure a variety of different items, giving me the opportunity to learn about new and intriguing things every single day.

Today for instance.... we had a customer looking through old photo albums.  My mom likes the albums themselves but to this particular customer the albums meant nothing without the photographs. You see, she's a professional genealogist and as a hobby collects old photos where names have been written, researches the family and gets the photographs back into their hands. What a great hobby!

While talking to her I got a short history lesson as well.  Very inspiring, makes me want to do a little research and learn a little more about photography in those days.  Here's a peek at the interior of the album:



This is the back of the above picture, this is called a "cabinet card" (didn't know that) and is how the photographers in those days advertised.  This particular photographer was out of St. Louis.  Many of the pictures in this album are local to the area (Hillsboro and Litchfield to name a few).


The photo on the left is a tin-type, that usually ages it older than the photo on the right.  One of the interesting things I learned today was that even though a tin-type is technically older, if you're from the country, where technology usually plays catch-up to the big cities, it could actually be later (amazing how nothing really ever changes isn't it?).  Tin-types were still in use until nearly 1920 in the country settings.

Another interesting tidbit, the oval shape of the photograph on the right dates it somewhere in the 1860's-70's.  That's when I asked her how she knew all this and learned she was a professional genealogist.  Favorite part of this job, so many interesting people chock full of information and if you're willing to listen you can learn an awful lot.



Litchfield, Ills.  That's just a hop, skip and a jump from here.  Tried to find out when Illinois was abbreviated Ills. but couldn't find anything.  As early as 1831 Illinois was abbreviated Il.  (You can find information on the History of State Abbreviations here:  peacockdata.com
 
This is just one great example of how much information can be gleaned from spending a little time listening about the many things customers collect. 

Another of my favorites was a gentleman who collects "figural lightbulbs".  I had no idea what the heck he was talking about and then he showed me pictures and educated me a little, fascinating stuff!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...