Category Archives: Metal

Going Mobile – Found On A Friday

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Mobile Venice Wave Kinetic Hanging Sculpture for Baby or Adult by Carolyn Weir, Skysetter Designs on Etsy. $199.00 USD.

Most people only think about buying a “mobile” when they are planning their baby nursery decor. You know, those animals tied to strings that hover over the crib and rotate slowly in tune to a wind-up lullaby. You can find them in just about any character, style and color. We buy them, use them to entertain our little ones, and then put them away when the kiddo move up the the “big boy” or “big girl” bed. When it comes to having a mobile in the house, it is such a shame that we only think of them as a nursery decor element.  They can be so much more in the hands of a talented artist.

Rustic Rain Kinetic Sculpture – Hanging Mobile Art – Calder Style by Carolyn Weir, Skysetter Designs on Etsy. $125.00 USD.

Today’s “Friday Finds” are a sampler of amazing Kinetic Art Mobiles from four great Etsy creators.  The above two images are creations of Carolyn Weir, an incredibly talented artist from Natchez, Mississippi. Her work is perfection, so full of visual impact and aesthetic appeal.  Carolyn creates her mobiles from her own original watercolor paintings.  In her Etsy shop, Skysetter Designs, she has a lovely selection of lightweight aluminum mobiles, with stunning aluminum adhered elements created from her colorful painted works.  This would be stunning in an office setting or home, and it would be lovely in a child’s room as well. They are by nature one-of-a-kind [OOAK], As a former kite-maker, Carolyn understands how the smallest movement in the air can make magic happen. Her mobiles are available in a lovely assortment of colours and shapes.

Pink Cherry Blossom Mobile Medium by Sara Lawrence, Flutter And Twirl on Etsy. $45.00 USD.
Changing Color Leaves Mobile Medium by Sara Lawrence, Flutter And Twirl on Etsy. $38.00 USD.

The next mobile artist I want to share is the proprietor of Flutter And Twirl on Etsy. Sara Lawrence is the creator of the two mobiles above, featuring a stunning Cherry Blossom ‘Branch’, and a whirl of ‘Changing Color Leaves’.  Sara’s work is beautiful in it’s apparent simplicity, and the organic shapes that comprise the body of her work are not only attractive to the eye, but calming to the soul.  Her custom designs come in a variety of sizes and would work beautifully in a nature retreat or spa, or even as a calming element in a bedroom setting.  Mobiles featuring translucent paper and other feather light elements cast lovely shadows and move with the slightest breeze.

Colorful Mobius Mobile – Best Baby Mobile Design 2010 by Julie Frith, FRITHMOBILES on Etsy. $150.00 USD.
Eliptusmobius Small – Best Baby Mobile 2010 by Julie Frith, FRITHMOBILES on Etsy. $135.00 USD.

Julie Frith’s Modern Art Mobiles are a visual treat. These really are amazing suspended sculptures you can bring into your home. At FRITHMOBILES on Etsy, you can find a bounty of brilliantly colored ceiling suspension and table-top mobiles. With over 40 years of experience making mobiles, you can see her skill in every piece.  Colour combinations are masterful, and the polished plastic elements really have an amazing retro appeal.  Julie is willing to create custom colored creations with her clients, and can create a handmade work of stainless steel suspension for your home or office. Her mobiles would make a wonderful housewarming or wedding gift, and would perk up any doctor’s office. I can only imagine how calming it would be to lie back at the Dentist’s office and have one of her lovely creations gently moving above me. 

Modern Art Mobile – The Milky Way, in Spectrum by Rachel, The Wonderland Studio on Etsy. $104.00 USD.

The final Mobile Artist I want to highlight today is Rachel of Newburyport, Massachusetts. At The Wonderland Studio Rachel creates her Made To Order masterpieces that feature a plethora of circular and curvilinear elements.  These brightly colored mobiles would be the perfect addition to any children’s playroom, nursery school, or classroom.  Exposing children to art at an early age is so important, and these carefully balanced sculptures not only catch the eye, but the imagination as well.  Made of bright aluminum wire and foam, Rachel’s mobiles feature a light structure that whirls and floats to stunning effect with a light wind or the gentle gusts of your own breath. 

The Mobile – The Constellation, Large, in Wildflower by Rachel, The Wonderland Studio on Etsy. $96.00 USD.

Clearly, mobiles aren’t just for children anymore. When your walls are covered with bookshelves and artwork, or maybe a big flat-screen TV, it’s time to start thinking about other ways to personalize your space.  Hanging high overhead, these amazingly modern and organic appearing sculptures are a safe and lovely way to add a special touch to any room.  The science of balance involved in these Kinetic wonders is not lost on me, and it speaks to hours of studio time on the part of these creators as they work to achieve the desired effects. It’s time to start thinking about Going Mobile.

A Trip Down Grocery Lane – Time Travel Thursdays

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Groceries ART BLOCKS – Set of 21 Ephemera Art BLOCKS 1950’s Magazine Advertisements by Suzanna Scott, Sushipot Parts on Etsy. $145.00 USD.

I was born in the early seventies, that means the big 4-O is coming soon, but even I remember a time before grocery stores became giant tributes to mass consumption of over produced and over packaged goods. Most people dread the “weekly” trip to the grocery store, some people go out less than weekly. Our food has become so laden with preservatives that shopping carts are now immense, ready to hold all those giant boxes and bags that can shelf sit for decades.  Many of my friends and family have turned to shopping on-line, with a standard order delivered right to their doors at great expense, but it is a busy family’s savior in a time pressured world.  We now have so much waste, so much to recycle, that taking out the garbage can be more labor intensive than cooking up dinner.

Vintage 1946 Grocery Shopping Advertisement – Mother Daughter at French Frou Frou Antiques on Etsy. 10″x13″. $12.95 USD.
Vintage 1950 Mother Daughter Grocery Advertisement at French Frou Frou Antiques on Etsy. 10″x13″. $12.95 USD.

So when did it all go so horribly wrong? I am by no means the best at being ‘green’, I am not a vegetarian, and I am not someone who is the most socially aware, but I would have to be blind not to see that we have gone in a direction that is going to be very hard to change.  The old Corner Grocery Store is almost extinct, and that is a shame.

Corner Drug Store Vintage Photo of A Woman Standing In Front of a Drug Store at Romance Writer on Etsy. 3 3/8″x3 3/8″. $2.50 USD.
Girl Buys French Bread & Spaghetti from Retail Market Shop in Snow – Antique Photograph at Snaposaurus on Etsy. 3.5″x2.5″. $4.25 USD.

 In Canada [where I hail from] and the United States, the mega-sized grocery and drug store combo is a dominant feature on the landscape of most suburban shopping centers.  We don’t really even question it when yet another Big-Box shop opens around the corner. However, there was a time when small corner grocers were essential to a neighborhood, and many shopped for fresh goods on a daily basis.

Large Vintage Wire Shopping Basket with Handles – Old Country Store at Antique Beans on Etsy. SOLD.
Vintage Light Blue Grocery Store Shopping Basket at Planet Alissa on Etsy. Estimated 1970-1980. 16″x10 1/2″x9″. $20.00 USD.
Old Vintage Metal Store Display Tag for Fruit Flavor Certs Candy Breath Mints at Leora’s Magic Carpetbag on Etsy. 2 1/4″ Across. $9.99 USD.
Old Vintage Metal Store Display Tag for Dentyne Spearmint Gum at Leora’s Magic Carpetbag on Etsy. 5 3/4″ Across. $12.99 USD.

We drank out of glass bottles, which we returned. Dry goods were sold in paper boxes lined with wax paper, or tins that would be re-used.  Ice cream came in a paper box. Bread, produce, and meats were wrapped in paper and tied with a string. Your home ice-box didn’t hold as much, and things did ‘spoil’ as you would expect fresh food to do.

Vintage Sky Flakes Cracker Tin – Add To A Collection or Use To Store Special Items at Artsy Gemini on Etsy. 7″x4 3/4″. $4.50 USD.
Vintage Spice Tins & Extract Bottle – Lot 2 at UnAbashed DeStash on Etsy. 5 Spice Tins/Boxes, 1 Bottle. 1940s. 50s. 60s. $30.00 USD.
Vintage Spice Tins – Lot 1 at UnAbashed DeStash on Etsy. 7 Spice Tins/Boxes. 1940s. 50s. 60s. $35.00 USD.

So what, you may ask, is my point? Well, sometimes we need to take a look back in time to remember that most families had all their needs met by their corner store, and that the more we package and preserve, the more wasteful we have become.  For many, a look at vintage grocery ads, items, and containers in a wonderful way to remember the days of their childhood. For others, a reminder that for all our “progress”, we have taken a huge backwards leap in taking care of Mother Nature.

Set of 10 Sample Size Grocery Products Rare Collectibles at Antigua on Etsy. Boxes and Talcum Powder Tin Contain Product. Circa 1960s. $100.00 USD.
6 Vintage Jack And Jill Strawberry Gelatin Dessert Boxes at Antionettes Vanilla & Vintage Finds on Etsy. 3.5″x3″x1″. New Old Stock, Never Used. $8.95 USD.
Vintage Chocolate and Food Extracts for Vintage Snacks at Violet’s Steamer Trunk on Etsy. Original Price Tags On Some Items. Range in Size. $11.00 USD.

My family is rather unique in that I come from a ‘Grocery Ancestry’ of sorts. On my father’s side, his parents owned a corner grocery store on St. Clair Avenue in part of Toronto’s most well known early residential areas. He grew up working the store, and as he tells it, bribing the delivery drivers to let him drive their trucks long before he was of age.  On my mother’s side, her father and his partner had a ‘pop’ bottling plant in Thunder Bay, Ontario where they bottled such favorites as Nu-Grape and Sun Crest.  My maternal grandmother also had her time working in a butcher shop as a young woman before she married my grandfather.  You could say my love of the corner grocery store is almost a genetic trait.

Vintage Coca-Cola Bottles, Set of Coke Bottles in Original Carry Carton at Kona Boutique on Etsy. Holiday Style Cardboard Holder Included. $19.99 USD.
Vintage 7up Green Glass Soda Bottle at Antoinette’s Vanilla & Vintage Finds on Etsy. Circa 1950s. 7 oz. Bottle. 8″ Tall. $6.95 USD.
TWO VINTAGE Sun Crest Soda Bottles at Dee’s Attic Treasures on Etsy. 10 oz. & 7 oz. Bottles. Bottles From Atlanta, GA. $18.00 USD.

 Most people, I imagine, have had some connection to a corner store at some point in their family tree, there were just that many small shops serving the community.  Today I want you to remember those days, before the mega-ginormous food outlets, and remember all the families that relied on the small corner stores for their livelihoods and as a main food source for nourishing their families.  The stunning art blocks at the top of the post are the perfect way to honor that heritage in a new and eye-catching way. If you collect old photographs or glass bottles, you can find some of the best on Etsy. Vintage packaging and ephemera remind us of a simpler time and are great photo props or serve as inspirations for decor and artwork projects.  An old soda crate can become a great way to organize your craft room or studio.  This Time Travel Thursday, I ask you to think outside the “Big Box” grocery stores.

Vintage Wood Divided Soda Crate A-Treat Supplies Storage Primitive Industrial Box at Vintage Jane on Etsy. 17 3/4″ Long, 12 1/2″ Wide, 5 1/4″ Tall. $36.00 USD.
Coca-Cola Crate at Cottage On Cactus Lane on Etsy. Vintage Original. 18″ Long, 12″ Wide, 4.5″ Deep. Perfect for Storage, Decor, or Shelf. $25.00 USD.
Vintage Land O’Lakes Wooden Cheese Box at Uknow Uneed Another on Etsy. 11 3/4″ Length, 3 3/4″ Height, 4 1/4″ Wide. Bottom Opening Hinged. $25.00 USD.

For The Love Of Bundt Cake – Time Travel Thursdays

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Are you a fan of a good Bundt? Cake that is, Bundt Cake, that fancy looking tea-time cake that takes the shape of it’s ringed baking pan. According to the good old Wikipedia, the tern “Bundt” [pronounced as -bunt] seems to derive from the German word Bundkuchen, a ring-shaped cake. The adapted spelling as ‘bundt’ appears in print as early as 1901. So why, you may ask, am I going on about a cake pan? Well, it is Thursday after all, and that means a step back in time to take a look at things too good to be forgotten. The Bundt Pan is a beautiful item in and of itself, with new versions resembling Gothic Architecture, but I am still a fan of the classic style, the one my mother, and grandmother used.

Silver Bundt Pan by The Little Green Vintage Shop.

The cake pan shape itself makes any regular pound cake look so very lovely, and a sprinkling of powdered sugar on top really highlights the pattern of any particular pan. One of my favorite tricks from my Culinary School days makes any cake pan stick-proof, so cakes come out perfectly. Simply take a pat of room temperature real butter [or margarine if you prefer a vegan option] and coat the inside of the pan lightly, use a scrap of tin foil, clean paper bag, wax, parchment, or any kitchen paper to spread it easily. My mother saves the wrappers the sticks of butter come in for this purpose, which is totally brilliant of her. She keeps them in the fridge until she needs to grease up a pan. The next step is taking a small amount of flour, maybe a tablespoon or two, and then dumping it into the greased pan, do this over the sink to cut down on mess. Turn the pan slowly in your hands and let the flour ‘stick’ to the butter on the pan base. Make sure all edges are covered, then dump any excess flour out. Instant non-stick pan, especially useful for the vintage Bundt Pan. With all the concerns about new fangled non-stick coatings and health issues, it really is a way to go back to basics, literally.

Vintage Bundt Pan by The Rhubarb Studio.

Of course, you could go out and buy a brand spanking new Bundt Pan at any local Department Store, but why not rescue one with some lovely retro charm and vintage credentials. Not only do they make lovely cakes, but the shape is so iconic, people often hang them on walls, use them as planters, or up-cycle them into light fixtures and other amazing do-dads. The ones I have featured on this page are vintage finds from Etsy. These and others are priced so reasonably, often less than a new one, and have that rustic charm built in.

Vintage Stoneware Pfaltzgraff Bundt Pan by The Vintage Heiress.

You didn’t think I would just show a pile of cake pans without sharing my favorite recipe did you? This one is a family favorite, and despite a year of formal Culinary education, I would pick this cake over some of the most fancy schmancy pastries out there. This ones pulls me back in time to the 1970s, when my mother would whip them up regularly if we were getting unexpected guests at the cottage or if she wanted to fill out a large party buffet. This is what I refer to as “back-of-the-box” cooking. You know, those recipes most of us ignore on the packages of food we buy? Well I suspect this one was actually on the Jell-O Pudding box at one time, and I can just picture my mother in 1978, with four children under the age of five, trying to find fast and easy crowd pleasing fare. This is one of those recipes.

Yes, it is exactly that easy. It may not be vegetarian or gourmet, but it is delicious and inexpensive. It also bakes with a beautiful golden brown colour outside, but when sliced you can see a slightly green tinted moist and light cake. You can bump up the green with a little food colouring, just a few drops of green [if you are so inclined], to make the perfect St. Patrick’s Day dessert.

This cake has a story behind it in my family. It was a loved recipe, that somehow time forgot by the 80s, when the required Pistachio Jell-O Pudding mix seemed to vanish from the grocery shelf. When we rediscovered it in the 90s, the recipe was long lost and no longer on the package. This was before the great big “World Wide Web” and search engines, and we were sure it was lost forever. Then on a family trip to the ‘States’, we happened upon an old bookstore, and my mother and I were browsing cookbooks. My roaming hands fell upon a Jell-O recipe collection book, and I remembered that cake… and wouldn’t you know it, the recipe was in there! We (now quite guiltily) remember scribbling the recipe down on a piece of scrap paper, and hooray we had it again. Now you have it too.

Your New Collection. Vintage Bundt Pans. by Funretro.

Beyond the obviously Fab vintage Bundt Pans that can be found, there are a lot of lovely items other than cake, that are inspired by that great pan shape. Here are just a few adorable finds. Lovely artwork and miniatures, even jewelry. with the availability of the “Mini” Bundt Pan, people are using it for all sorts of things too, like some fabulous hand-made soaps. Any of these would make lovely gifts, but the gift of a home-baked cake for your family may just be the best thing this Valentine’s Day.

Persimmon Bundt Cake And Espresso- Open Edition Print by Janet Hill, http://www.etsy.com/shop/janethillstudio?ref=pr_shop_more on Etsy.

Original Painting -Red Velvet Bundt Cake at Bookclub 9×12 inch by S. Kim Graber, LaurenFaythe on Etsy.

Dollhouse Miniature Food Raspberry Bundt Cake Slice by Fairchildart.

Strawberry Bundt Cake Pendant by Christina Cainan, Mini Mia Accessories on Etsy.

Bundt Cake Pan Pendant Lamp by Spoken Stitch on Etsy.

Set of 3 Handcrafted Goatmilk Soaps Applejack & Peel Bundt Cake Soaps by Marcia, Adirondacks Soaps on Etsy.

White Truffle Raspberry Bundt Cake Candle..Made with all natural soy wax by Danielle, Pookaberrys Candle Bakery on Etsy.

Teeny Tiny Tuesdays – Itty Bitty Memories

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As children, we have access to some of the smallest items we will ever hold. Dollhouse miniatures, little LEGO bits, that tiny stuff that popped out of gumball machines, even the little toys in our Cracker Jacks or Pink Elephant Popcorn. Tiny doll accessories, those little cars and trucks, and small beads and stickers that we manage to collect along the way. This is the stuff that we hold on to for a long time past childhood, often only tossing it when we have to move or we run out of drawer space. I had a drawer full of it, some items were stashed into my jewelry box, others sadly moved on to the trash bin. Those were the days before recycling, and also, I might note, the days before we became so hyper-aware of choking hazards.

Sometimes, just the sight of those tiny toys can send us hurtling back through memory lane, and holding them is even more powerful. But where can we find those things long lost and often forgot. Well, some of them are actually available in limited quantities and though they themselves may not be unique or handmade creations [the focus of this blog], they can be used to create more permanent and lasting items that are far more practical. Whether they are turned into jewelry, sculpture, art dolls, or something more is up to the artist, but finding those things no longer an impossible dream. Tiny Things Are Cute is a self described “emporium of little lovelies & wily whatnots”.

Some items are vintage, others new, and still others reproductions, but it is a great site to spend a little time looking around. It’s amazing how many time you will say, “Oh-Em-Gee, I had one of those!”. I am almost certain you will see something you forgot you once treasured, and it may be just the thing you need to re-charge your creative juices, no matter what type of crafty person you are. Here are a sampling of some of my favorite tiny things from the Online Shop, and this is a “Tiny” sampling in every sense of the word. Enjoy.

Items on Tiny Things Are Cute can be found in a variety of materials, including various metals, glass, and plastic. There is also a selection of vintage paper ephemera and toys. Items are divided into categories such as charms, one-of-a-kind, and seasonal finds. If you are a jewelry maker, you can also pick up some great “findings” and parts to help with your creations.

Item availability and quantities available vary depending on the item, particularly for vintage items. Please check Tiny Things Are Cute Website for current stock list and availability.

Perhaps the best deal of all, the “Jar O’Loot. A full 16 oz. grab bag of charms, beads, miniatures, toys, stickers, cabochons, findings, and more – most of which is vintage. Content is similar in each jar but each jar will be different. The surprise factor alone is pretty fabulous! Thank goodness for Teeny Tiny Tuesdays!


  1. Creepy Critters Vintage Gumball Toys (24 for $1.95 USD) Measures about 1″ to 1-1/2″. Made in Hong Kong.
  2. Flicker Watch Vintage Ring (1 for $1.50 USD) Super cute vintage rings that look like miniature watches, flicker face. Measure about 3″ in length.
  3. Hot Dog Plastic Charms (8 for $1.50 USD) Measures about 1″.
  4. Cigar Bands (20 for $1.25 USD) Packets have 20 different cigar bands. Packets may also vary in content. Sizes vary from about 2 – 2.5″ in length.
  5. Chompers Vintage Plastic Charm (1 for $1.25 USD) Mmeasure about 5/8″ x 3/4″ (15x17mm).
  6. Soda Pop Can Plastic Charms (8 for $2.85 USD) Get An Assortment (Pepsi, 7up, Dr. Pepper). Measures a little less than 1″x.5″(24x12mm).
  7. Anthropomorphic Fruit & Veggie Vintage Charms. (6 for $2.85 USD) Measures roughly 1-1/2″ tall. Made in Hong Kong.
  8. Strip Poker Pin-up Vintage Playing Card (1 for $0.75 USD)Playing card with an image of a sexy cowgirl playing what looks like strip poker. These are standard sized playing cards, sold individually, in your choice of Red (left) or Yellow (right).
  9. Wiggle Turtle Vintage Plastic “Mechanical” Charms (6 for $2.95 USD)Charms are randomly chosen and may vary from the colors shown. Measures about 1 1/8″ x .75″(27x19mm). Made in Hong Kong.
  10. Glass Jar and Lid Miniature. (1 for $2.75 USD) Measures 1″ tall including the lid.
  11. Double Heart Vintage Plastic Picks (12 for $3.95 USD) You get a pack of 12 clever picks featuring two hearts with an arrow through them, 3 of each neon color shown. Measures about 6-1/4″ in length. Limited stock!
  12. Plastic Jeweltone Animals (12 for $2.50 USD) Reproductions of vintage toys.For size reference, the alligator measures about 3-1/2″ x 11/16″. May Include dog, seal, elephant, camel, alligator, kangaroo, horse, giraffe, hippo, pelican, rhino, monkey, cow, bear, squirrel, donkey.
  13. Jar O’Loot. 16oz. Assorted Odds & Ends. (As Described Above, $16.00 USD/Jar)