Monthly Archives: January 2013

5 Great Sites for Free Vintage Ephemera and Downloadable Images

vintage-valentine-image-collage

If the search for good quality vintage decorative collectibles and other items is difficult,   it can be just as or even  more difficult to find high quality, free vintage ephemera images to use for your digital scrapbooking or DIY craft projects.   You can find yourself spending hours searching on Google, Flickr or Bing, just to find a good quality image and then to find out that the terms of use (TOU) limits you solely to your own personal  DIY crafts or the image can not be used for commercial purposes at all which includes, using the image online or on your web page or blog designs.

To some degree, I can understand the blog owner’s restrictions, too often unscrupulous blog visitors will download images and then repackage them as downloadable images, post them for resale on CDs, on their own websites, or sell them as digital collage sheets sold on Etsy or other online sites.  This is the dark side of having access to free authentic , vintage downloadable images.  For the most part, what these visitors fail to understand is that there are copyright laws that protect blog site owners and their  scanned photos or images.  On the bright side though, most vintage ephemera blog site owner’s  usually provide generous terms of use to their readers  because they know it improves web traffic and increased visits to their sites.  So there usually is a generous, kind community that develops around these blogs and sites. Continue reading 5 Great Sites for Free Vintage Ephemera and Downloadable Images

How to Use PicMonkey to Kickstart Your Photo Editing Skills

PicMonkey-Main-Page

If you were disappointed when Piknik the free online photo editing site went offline and closed up shop in early spring of last year, you needn’t despair because one of the best free online photo editing sites has found a new life as PicMonkey. ( On their website, PicMonkey claims that former staff workers for Piknik moved to  PicMonkey and the others were absorbed into Google staff when they were  bought out by Google+.) Continue reading How to Use PicMonkey to Kickstart Your Photo Editing Skills

Vintage Circus Collectibles – Collectibles Worthy of A Smile

vintage french clown

Clown figurines  and other vintage circus collectibles are a popular collecting area for many antique and vintage collectors.  Here’s a little history on the origin of clowns…Clowns have always been a part of many cultures, and the art of clowning has existed for many centuries.  Although clowns in the past, were usually found in the courts of kings and queens ( I imagine everybody needed a laugh from the important matters of state that were part of daily court life) clowns can be traced as far back as the courts of Pharoah.  A pygmy clown performed as a jester in the court of Pharaoh Dadkeri-Assi during Egypt’s Fifth Dynasty about 2500 B.C.  and court jesters have performed in China since 1818 B.C.

Continue reading Vintage Circus Collectibles – Collectibles Worthy of A Smile

How to Use Pinterest to Find Vintage Items or DIY Craft Ideas

Pinterest Main Website

Basic Questions about Pinterest

What is Pinterest ? It’s a massive online virtual bulletin board to bookmark images you love from around the web. In Pinterest terms, these bookmarks or images are called “pins” very similar to the items you might pin on a physical bulletin board.  Your “pins” are visible to other Pinterest users and you can see the boards of others as well, unless of course you use their new “secret boards”  available for your own private use and viewing.

How does Pinterest work? Here’s the basics: (1) Surf the internet. (2) See an image/video you like of some DIY craft ideas that you are interested in using. (3) “Pin” that image/video to one of your Pinterest boards ( i.e. Wedding Plans, Dream Vacation, DIY Craft Ideas, are basic board names but your boards can be named whatever you want) to keep track of your pin and to share it with others.

Continue reading How to Use Pinterest to Find Vintage Items or DIY Craft Ideas

Cleaning Tips for Your Porcelain Figurines or Dinnerware

vintage,  porcelain figurines

Vintage porcelain china and vintage porcelain figurines are beautiful and delicate decorative items and are a pleasure to own; but,  they do require delicate care and protection from harsh sunlight and the potential of being chipped, cracked or broken.

One of your first concerns after you acquire a few pieces of porcelain is where you are going to store all these pretty items.  Usually, you want to show off or display your porcelain figurines; however, you’ll need to find an area where little children (don’t you just love them) or pets can’t topple over your lovely collectibles.

Storing Your Porcelain

The best storage area for porcelain china or similar porcelain figurines is often referred to as a china cabinet.  This is usually a cabinet with interior shelves and glass panes so you can display your fine collectibles.  Some of these china cabinets are made with wooden details that provide small wood rails or guards that will prevent the slippage of the porcelain figurine or dinnerware.  When it comes to  porcelain collectibles, you should make an effort to keep these figurines or china out of direct sunlight. The exposure to direct sunlight over an extended period of time can fade the coloring or design details of the figurine or dinner plates.

Cleaning Your Porcelain

As for a porcelain figurine, keep it dusted with a soft bristled (preferably natural hair) paintbrush which can remove the dust and grit from crevices in the figurine that you would not be able to reach with another tool.  Another good trick is to use a can of compressed air to blow away the dust and grit.  Hobby shops have triangular shaped q-tips that are also good for this use, they are also available on Ebay.  Try to avoid over handling the porcelain figurine so that you can reduce the risk of chipping or breaking it.

If the figurine has any spot or stain, make sure you use a soft cloth that has been submerged into a mild detergent and warm water, and dab at the stain or spot rather than using a scrubbing motion.  If you are trying to clean the stain within a teacup or saucer, I have heard that the product Efferdent (the product used to clean false teeth) will do a good job of lifting any stains within the teacup or saucer without any scrubbing action.  And it’s not surprising, since industrial porcelain is used by dentists to make false teeth.  Make sure you follow the package directions for the exact amounts you should use.

As mentioned earlier, it’s usually a good idea to keep your porcelain collectibles or china stored behind glass, this way you won’t have to dust them as often and handling them less will reduce the potential of chips or breakage on the actual figurine.

porcelain figurine, girl

Try to avoid submerging your porcelain figurine in water.  However, if you have a stain that can only be removed by placing the figurine in water, make sure that you don’t submerge it for more than a few seconds.  This works well for porcelain that has a high gloss finish, but you must be even more cautious with porcelain that has a matte finish such as bisque porcelain.  A common example of bisque porcelain figurines, are the Precious Moments figurines made by Enesco.

Of course if you are washing porcelain china, now that’s a different matter, you will have to submerge the china dinnerware in soapy water.  And hand washing is especially advisable if your porcelain china dinnerware has any delicate painted gold or silver details. In order to preserve the lovely finish, avoid harsh detergents and scratchy scrubbers for your porcelain china dishware.  Be sure that you place rubber mats in the sink or soft towels nearby to prevent any jolting movement or sudden drop of a teacup or plate and thus potential chips or knicks to your china.

Keeping these tips in mind, should give you years of enjoying fine porcelain china dinnerware or your beautiful and decorative porcelain figurines. These will be treasured porcelain items that you can pass down as a family heirloom to be loved and used by future generations.

Wishing You A Happy New Year for 2013

Vintage-New-Year

Wishing you a Happy New Year and hopefully a very prosperous one!

The vintage postcard above reminds me of family pictures of my grandmother during the Roaring 20s. I made a few adjustments to the original as the New Year greetings were in another language.  Just wanted to take some time to wish you all a Happy New Year with vintage flair.

I’ve included the vid tut below because I thought it was a good one to create a lattice front type of card.  Perhaps it can be mixed with vintage photo postcards like the one above?  Just some inspiration to get you started on all your vintage projects for 2013.

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Photo credit: Flickr – gill4kleuren