Wednesday, April 17, 2013

New work!

While Jim has been in Maryland for the week, I decided to stay at the apartment over the store.  I wrote about setting up a workspace in the apartment in a previous post.  If you're coming late to the party, you can read about it here.  

I'm really bearing down on the book projects.  When I awake, the studio is in the next room. So, I bound out of bed, anxious to get started! The convenience encourages me to work later.  I was joking with the kids yesterday that little does their father know that he'll be staying here with me when he returns to St. Pete on Sunday! Ha, ha! 

But, it's nice and cozy.  David is across the hall from me.  When we keep both apartment doors open, we can talk, I can watch the Washington Capitals hockey game while I work on projects.

Here's a photo of my perch this morning.  The weather is beautiful!  I don't feel guilty gloating about it because most of the country should be having good weather by now, after finally putting Old Man Winter to bed!    

At the end of the block, we have an incredibly cute store called "The Iron Pelican."  They specialize in, well,  I don't think they specialize in anything which is what makes the place so friggin' awesome!  Let's just say, they're "purveyors of the unique and incredibly irresistible." But, they always carry a great selection of antique furniture that they've painted in gorgeous colors.  

 I walk in there and I see an old Mediterranean-style dresser that I swear they stole from my teenage bedroom, and now I want the thing!  Color, color, color ...  They have an eye for it! 

So, I have easy access to The Iron Pelican.  It's only a few doors down.  At Christmas, when my family gave me a gift certificate to The Iron Pelican, I nearly cried!  Look at what I spent it on! I know this doesn't look like much ...

But, does this help?  Yes, these are vintage watch crystals.  I have over 1000 of them!  They came in 3.5 rusty cabinets with lots of drawers.  These G-S watch crystals are cast plastic crystals and made for many watches that are no longer in production.  

When I saw the crystals, I thought, "These have to be good for something.  Hmmm..."  Boing!  Remember all of those stamps you got from your husband's aunt?  Aunt Monie worked for diplomat, Charles Ball, who had a career that included serving as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Under Secretary of State in the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations.  He was the one dissenter in the Kennedy Administration who was against the Viet Nam War.  

This comes from Wikipedia, Ball is quoted as saying to Kennedy, "Within five years we'll have 300,000 men in the paddies and jungles and will never find them again."  In response to this prediction, "JFK laughed and replied, 'Well, George, you're supposed to be one of the smartest guys in town, but you're crazier than hell.  That will never happen."

Interesting stuff, huh?  Anyway, back to the stamps.  Here are some of the results.  There was quite a learning curve, but I found a system.  I used Lisa Pavelka's UV resin, which I absolutely love.  I bought the UV lamp, using my Michael's coupon, which cured the resin in 5 to 10 minutes.

Here's a pair of earrings I made with some of the smaller crystals.  I also made a project for the book, but you'll have to wait for that one.  

So now that I've showed you my "booty" from The Iron Pelican, I'd like to introduce you to Hillary and Daniel. Aren't they cute?

They're not only very nice, but generous, too.  Hillary gave Laura and me a big bag of vintage jewelry to pick through for Laura's wedding bouquet.

Here are some of the temptations I face everyday when I walk down the street! 

Couldn't you think of a million ways to use these suitcases?  They were called "suitcases" back then, not luggage! LOL

I swear we had once of these ice chests (not a "cooler") back when I was a kid!  

 They have some cool ... and reasonably-priced ... jewelry!  Hillary and Daniel make it look so inviting!

Don't look at the lady in the mirror ... I dare you not to look ... it's a ghost! 

Too bad this keg isn't full, but it is cool!

Thanks for spending so much time with me today.  Do you have any "special or serendipitous" finds?  I'd love to hear about them! 


Jennifer Cameron said...

Very cool shop. It sounds like you are living an incredible fairy tale...

Courtney said...

I am not sure my wallet could handle being that close to such an amazing place!!! So wonderful.

Loving the resin stamp watch pendants?! Love those.

Cindy said...

What a great post, Barbara. I feel like I virtually spent some time with you down in St. Pete. You know I absolutely love your apt. set up, and how you and your son can be so close, working together like this. I can just picture you two - doors open and talking across the way! You live on Dream Street, you know. ;-) If I had to walk by the Iron Pelican, I'd go in and be lost for hours. I love looking through old stuff. :-) And what a great photo of you in the mirror!
You've made some amazing things with the watch crystals! That is so cool. I'll have to show my son Collin - he collects vintage watches. Thanks for the show 'n tell!

Barbara Lewis said...

Cindy, This is the nicest neighborhood! I know that I have been blessed. It's not to say that we don't have family squabbles, but we recover nicely. :-) It's great that Collin has a collection. I think getting children to appreciate older, vintage things connects us to history, our Americana past. It also helps them to "appreciate" us as we get older! LOL 62 years old tomorrow! Now how did that happen?

TesoriTrovati said...

What fun! I love the watch crystals and how you repurposed them. I love finds like that! I could spend hours in that store and all the furniture is great. I think you need something like that in your little apartment. ;-) So nice to hear that you are happy and enjoying the weather. It is cold and blustery here. And yup. Still snow on the ground with potentially more coming. I want spring! Enjoy the day. Erin

Janet Bocciardi said...

Oh my... I'd be doomed. What a lovely shop and you never what treasure you're going to find! I love what you did with the stamps. My hubby gave me his collection and I'm still musing over what to do with them. They'll appear somewhere in jewelry I'm sure.. maybe some wall art too.

Thanks for sharing a piece of your incredible neighborhood!

Linda Cooke said...

i have been here from when they first opened n i love the store n the people:-) I am also a DIY crafter so I appreciate n loved reading this very nice, I too felt like I was there with you!

Roxanne Mendoza said...

Hi Barbara,
I love what you did with the watch crystals and the old stamps! I collect stamps as well and love how they look in jewelry designs. Can't wait to see more of your designs with the stamps and crystals!

sandi m said...

Ha, We are "sisters" in age! And I remember all those 'antiques' - wish I had some of them now, too. Love what you created with the stamps and crystals. I once had a stamp collection - what I would do to have it today.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane, and Happy Birthday tomorrow!

Johana Nunez said...

Hi Barbara!!

I really enjoyed the post!! I feel that I travel again to St. Pete!! So, hope to have the opportunity to travel again!! My vacations this year are in November :) So, Please!! :) Could you plan some workshops for that month? :))))) I'm sure it will be my best vacation!!

Julie Panusis said...

Fantastic post, Barbara. Kirk and I loved the area that your store is in. You really found a great spot.

What a wonderful idea for those crystals. Your mind is always clicking.


Sharon said...

Thanks for the grand tour, you really have great digs in a great location. Cool stamp work and have a wonderful birthday!

Carol Dee said...

I remember the Pelican! Such great ideas and repurpose. Love the resin watch faces. Just recently found some Russian Stamps my father collected during WWII. . .hmmmmmm!!!

Can't wait for the new book! Carry on, sweet sister!

BlueAntiquities said...

Hey Birthday Girl,
I have my Iron Pelican Tray!
I use it to solder on.
And the little liquor bottle sign Daniel threw in for me,
I outlined it and cut out that shape in copper and of course
I added enamel! I wish I could have loaded up the truck
when we were there but, then I would have had to
leave the kids or the dogs... Love that shop!
I'd be there every week!
Honestly, we would be in trouble! I have some of
those watch crystals that will be laying around
waiting for a book to join them!
Peek through the doorway and say hi to that funny guy,
David from me...Love your post, pretty ghost! Laura

somethingunique said...

Oh how fun...can't wait for the book...loVe the perch too....and omg that store....good grief....your just so what u made....have to say the barrel is my sons name is Jack b day too...xox

Mike Becker said...

How did you drill the watch crystals? I'm guessing it's only possible because of the resin? Very cool! I can't wait for the book. CindyB

Mike Becker said...

How did you drill holes in the watch crystals? I'm guessing it's only possible because of the resin? Beautiful. CindyB

Barbara Lewis said...

Hi Cindy, The watch crystals are cast plastic, so it's not difficult to drill through. :D Barbara

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