Wednesday, April 30, 2008

It's Possible...

Creation for me is always so unpredictable. I can go down to the hallowed grounds of my studio (room that looks like Hobby Lobby and Cracker Barrel just threw up....or yet another apt description being, a vision of fundraising capabilities for any youth organization yearning to pitch a tent and advertise "tag sale") and cut...glue...paint...paste....and everything created is quite mediocre, if not somewhat boring...then, some days, the magical winds of creative goodness are no doubt blowing through. I just finished four quirky pieces that you unfortunately will be privy to over the next few days. You decide its merit.

Many years ago I would ping pong back and forth over its qualities...that being good vs. bad....appealing vs. harmful to vision...creative vs. typical...I now ask one question of myself..."Would you hang it in your house, Alexa?" My definitive response is generally this..."It's possible."

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Obviously...It Was Today!

It all began like this.......

In my typical ADD-esque style...I started cleaning...found some things that needed to be put away...put them away and found a doo-dad I haven't seen in two years....pulled it out and attempted to display it somewhere...only to find that I needed to dust....which adds to the fur balls on the, I got the vacuum out and began this process, and plunged the rolling bristles under the bed when I heard a horrible whaling sound, and the scent of burning dust began to permeate the air...only to find my vacuum was attempting to suck up my ancient book of quotes I had forgotten was tucked under the bed so I could find it easily when needed some day.
This particular quote was screaming my needed to find a permanent home, thus this tiny little piece of art, only 5"x4" in size...yet, packed with much reality for me.
Domestic chores can be incredibly boring...yet, create massive discoveries. The ancient book of quotes was calling me. I had neglected to call upon it for wisdom in quite a while. The poor book had been buried with the fur balls and dust bunnies. By a series of unfortunate events, it needed to be re-discovered...obviously, it was today!

Monday, April 28, 2008


When everything seems a little wacky....out of control....and somewhat unexplainable...there is always the unconditional love of the family pet.

"Love reasons without reason."

Friday, April 25, 2008

Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover...

"Books should to one of these four ends conduce,
for wisdom, piety, delight or use."

Once again it's a day of re-purposing art. At the rate I slap paint around, a second job just to maintain my canvas buying habit is in order. So, to avoid losing my "slap paint around" must find alternative resources. These book covers were in the free bin at my local used book store. Beautiful old worn linen covers in rich aged colors. They were a perfect substitution for canvas!

This is actually the inside cover of the book. It was a beautiful lake..cabin...type scene. The perfect place to see two retired codgers chit chatting about life...solving world peace...and telling embellished fish stories.

I always have a soft spot for boys playing Cowboys and Indians. This is somewhat a dinosaur in the "Let's Go Play ______" arena for kids today. Would it now be "Let's Go Play Power Rangers and Nimbots.....or Transformers....or Sub-Human Fighting Metamorphic Tetrazantaques"? I don't know....I just feel certain it's not Cowboys and Indians.

I will always love a small child out exercising her capitalistic right to create revenue. This may not be visible in the background....but, the sign behind the little girl says, "Fish Worms .25 Per 100". Quite a lot of digging and counting for the value of what would now equate to one spin in a gumball machine.
Books or should we say, book covers, have a new, don't judge a book by its might just be an outstanding new canvas!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


This is a recent that is filled with oodles of nostalgia. The cityscape is made up of all kinds of quirky...old...interesting...really old...ephemera. Look into each building and see what you find.

"Mystery is at the heart of creativity. That, and surprise."
-Julia Cameron


Monday, April 21, 2008

The Beauty of Value Added...

'Beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder'...heard that before? I just read an article debating the beauty of businesses offering "value added" to their retail products. For instance, cosmetic companies bonus you a lipstick if you purchase so much insurance company agrees to add one car to your current policy if you already have two listed for a minimal discount...etc....this is now a very common practice for consumers to filter through during the buying process.
I saw this sign recently and felt this was very straight forward and certainly made a buying impact to their clientele. But, very often as we walk our typical errands...transfer our children from place to place...we are surrounded by "value added" beautiful, visual eye candy...but, do we see it? We all seem to be so focused on the destination we neglect to see what is in between point "a" and point "b".

These photos represent just a few snapshots of "value added beauty" that easily could slip buy if you don't re-set the mind and eyes to not filter so much out as we go through the day.

"Never lose an opportunity of seeing
anything that is beautiful;
for beauty is God's handwriting,
a wayside sacrement.
Welcome it in every fair face,
in every fair sky, in every fair flower,
and thank God for it as a cup of blessing."

Friday, April 18, 2008

Prepare For New Technology...

My postings up to this point have generally been about love for collecting vintage stuff...and personal viewpoints on various things...but, today, I felt the need to share a recent form of grooming I discovered while traveling. Because, I feel someday this little piece of machinery will surface at a flea market and a similar conversation will occur.

A recent trip and meal to a restaurant led me to be excused to the ladies room. With much astonishment, I saw a "hair flattening vending machine" mounted ever so beautifully on the wall just to the right of the paper towel dispenser, and to the left of the bathroom stalls. There is no doubt restrooms and vending machines open the door for interesting technology, but this one certainly hit me by surprise. There smack in front of my face was a black mechanical device hung head high on the wall. It was covered with two pictures...a beautiful woman with long flowing curls and the same woman pictured with stick straight hair. This machine promised with the simple release of one pound into its tummy it would provide me with two minutes of sterile, incredibly hot plates to either curl or straighten my hair. With minimal words it confirmed this was just the beautification pick me up I needed.

I stood there and read the instructions...held the wand in my hand...and wondered if women really do this? I can only speak for myself...but, the thoughts of using such a tool, just as many may have before me...seemed somewhat odd. I was torn between appreciating such clever technology....or wondering how far we will go to insure a "beautification pick me up". I'm not quite sure, but it did make me want to invent something.

Light Bulb Begins To Flicker: After I've just eaten, I often want to brush my teeth. Do you think a universal electric toothbrush adorned with pictures of bright sparkly teeth, and simple warnings of gingivitis and plaque, laying in a container of antiseptic would warrant a money changer?

Prepare for new technology.....

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Did you ever have to make a diorama? As defined by Webster, a diorama is: a scene, often in miniature, reproduced in three dimensions by placing objects, figures, etc., in front of a painted background.
As interpreted by me: it's like your own little stage in which you are the scene and set designer, the writer of the story, and the creator of the characters, without having to deal with the egos and idiosyncrasies of thespians. What more could you ask for in living out your dream to hold the next Oscar?

This creative process was always fun for me as a child. I think I remember doing it with houses and dolls on a shoe box level early on in life. Designing little rooms and make-shift furniture out of everyday items was a meaningful way to extend my ideas of re-purposing and reusing far before it was fashionable and needed as a gift to the globe. Building little vignettes was out right a childhood enjoyment.

A recent visit back to my old room at my Mom's house revived this idea, and my 2008 Diorama was born. I titled this little vignette "Be"...because I think it reflects all the quirky, odd, vintage...stuff I like. As always, there is a lot going on in this make believe world. One 'drive by' look at this and you will certainly miss something. In each little box or area are lots of great finds...including some great words for thought. Five dioramas in a diorama...all representing a person and how they (once again my belief in "more" is always better with "more"). Upon asking the family for their husband thinks the little wifey may be slipping something into her morning coffee, and my lovely offspring thinks I've slipped to the 'other side'....I would agree 'slipping' is involved, but let's just let

Monday, April 14, 2008

It's Gaudy Gorgeous!

My Dad had a phrase he used all the time...."It's Gaudy Gorgeous!" When I was younger, I didn't get it. Everything he termed 'gaudy gorgeous' was hideous to me. I could find no beauty in his highly ornamented, colorful, sparkly, 'larger than life' taste. He was a product of the depression era, and I'm sure that somewhat influenced the material things he liked. As with most everyone, your tastes change as you get older. Things that once seemed hideous, now may look appealing. Where I once would have walked by quickly...I now may stop and look.

A recent trip to an antique mall led me to a booth filled with all forms of decadent lighting. My taste generally lends more to a simpleton style...but, the collection of chandeliers and lamps were a vision for the eyes. I stopped and gazed, and quickly tried to describe what was in my sight...and the only two words retrievable were...GAUDY GORGEOUS! Yes, this booth was a rainbow of refraction...a depository of glass prisms...a conglomeration of crystal opulence. I stood there about 15 minutes trying to consume it all. The vision was spectacular!

Very possibly the abundance of product made the display; yet, there is no doubt should anyone have purchased something from this booth...they had a flair for the elaborate. All this being said, the process of seeing the booth and reminding me of my Dad in such a fond way was certainly worth the process.

This booth and vision directly correlated to my Dad... he was a bit sparkly himself. Obviously, he taught me the correct use and definition for "Gaudy Gorgeous".

Friday, April 11, 2008


"Architecture is a handmaid of devotion.
A beautiful church is a sermon in stone,
and its spire a finger pointing to heaven."

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Open The Door To Observation

"God enters by a private door into every individual."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sometimes the most mundane object can be the most telling about an individual. I recently had an experience to see housing in a different way. They didn't have front porches...yards...landscape...interesting yard ornaments...the only personal entree into their world was the front door. This was their stamp of individuality. Often I look all around the front door to make an opinion of what the person might be inside...for, the front door was only one piece of the me. But, this little mini epiphany on my part opened my eyes to see how a door style...color...ornamentation all reflect upon the owners personality. Stop for a moment as you enter a neighborhood...block out everything around the door, just see what happens to your opinion of what might be inside.
Open the door to observation...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Filling...But Not Food!

Are you one of those people who has a tote filled with the necessary stuff for whatever task that needs to be done if waiting in the a ball game/swim meet...for your husband...etc.? Because of the location of my home, many family activities do not allow for a quick run home to re-organize and assemble the needed items to basically "kill" time. So, for years, I had a tote for every such occasion. One for paying household bills tote, crafts tote, games, magazines and books for me and my daughter tote, the technology tote (filled with IPODS, Gameboy, DVD player) and the car tote. I have actually cleaned the interior of my car while I waited for a ballgame to end. My trunk was a sea of canvas bags all filled with the necessities of my day.
The only tote that seemed to need refining was the "Crafts Tote". The canvas tote method was not working. The scissors would poke through...the paint would leak...I broke the glass jar, filled with buttons, slinging the tote on to the ground. Plus, I had to have a workspace to lay out all my supplies to make it usable. In other words...the tote stunk. So, the "Mother of Invention" in me decided to work on this crafting malfunction. What is the most carried, usable container universally used across the nation....THE LUNCHBOX!! I just happened to have an old vintage aluminum one and thought it to be just the thing.

Below is the empty version...and this is everything that it holds. Quite amazing don't you think? Now, this little creative box of goodness follows me everywhere. It's very similar in what it holds...maybe not the yummies of a filling meal, but it is the yummies needed to fill your day.

Friday, April 4, 2008


I thought today we should revive some art again. This piece is very cleverly titled, "Houses". It is quite simple in its idea, but completely filled with past paper remembrances. Each house is unique and requires much observation to see the variety of past papers we all will be familiar. Once again, it goes along with my theory of "more is more...and then add four things".

"My precept to all who build, is ,
that the owner should be an
ornament to the house,
and not the house to the owner."

My personal counterpoint to the above quote...

"My precept to all who build, is,
the owner should be an
ornament to the house,
and this ornamentation
should be reflected in the home."
--Alexa Lett
What do you think?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Transcending The Pond!

It's one more check mark in my book of "Things To Do Before I Die"...yes, I have attended a "Car-Boot" sale in Scotland. This may be considered the epicenter of great and fabulous Scottish junk. Nestled ever so picturesque in the rolling hills of beautiful landscape, every Sunday morning is a Car-Boot American equivalent for flea market.
The universal mantra of veteran junkers is the same in all lands. Neither brisk wind...rainy weather...or what I call, out right cold temperatures will stop the need to pilfer through the former used goods of another. In Scotland they back into their designated space...raise the hatch a fold able display table at the bumper...and let the trading begin.

These photos are some of the many things I purchased for virtually nothing. If I had only had seven miles of bubble wrap, a shipping container and one small boat I could have had a whole lot more. At times I was breathless. The stunning glass bead necklace and rhinestone brooches were one of my favorites.

This beautiful platter was only one pound in Scottish currency...which means it cost $2. Yippee!! The ancient Ensign camera was outstanding. And there is nothing better than layered antique dominoes!

Yes, Scotland and America have their differences...yet, when it comes to the art of makes no difference what country in which you stand.
Isn't it nice to know some things transcend no matter how big the pond in-between?