Saturday, January 31, 2015

February releases at JBS Mercantile . . .

coming tonight at midnight central time!  If you didn't know it was February, you sure would by looking at these photos.  Can you sense a theme??

Our Magpie Box this month is like a candy box for the creative soul!  And if you don't have a Valentine this year, I'm sending you one so no worries (along with an antique calling card, the most beautiful swirled glass hat pins, custom shield red-rimmed labels from my very talented friend Kara at McMaster and Storm and lots more) . . .

The Crafted Kit this month will keep you busy creating lovely gold trimmed, fringe-y, crepe paper hearts and honeycomb garland.  Take a trip to the forest and find a great branch for display . . .

And of course our Flea Market will be stocked with romantic goodies (and otherwise!) such as these book style vintage Valentines (and 7 other lots of vintage Valentines) . . . 

These beautiful gilded cigar box labels (new old stock). . .

 A lovely dovetailed, divided box full of celluloid pricing signs. . .

 An adorable moving eye lids doll with a felt heart sew into her dress . . .

Some mid-century foil heart trim . . .

An antique Prairie Farmer ledger (and several others as well). . .

A truly amazing hardback Sears Catalog with almost 1000 pages of color, sepia and black and white images. . .

Vintage steel hardware with art deco styling (we think they make great mini frames) . . .

A glass vial full of tiny vintage glass buttons in cream and white (you will also find vintage glass heart charms and pink rhinestone buttons). . .

Our hearts are full - and so are our cyber shelves!  Come by and take a peek . . .

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Friday, January 30, 2015

Vintage Valentine Decor with Tracie Claiborne of ScrapGals

Hello fellow vintage lovers! I'm here today to share with you one of my favorite vintage Valentines. I am blessed to have two fireplace mantels in my home which I enjoy decorating for every holiday. Second only to Christmas, my favorite is displaying my vintage Valentines. I adore illustrations from the first half of the 20th century so I collect Valentines from that era. Most of mine seem to date around the 1950's which I can tell based on the names written on the back! Patti, Paul, Edward, Violet, etc. are common names on Valentines I own. 


When displaying collections, I believe in grouping items closely together. The more you have of something, the more impact the collection makes. This year, I doubled my ribbons, using a felt heart garland I found in the $1 bin at Michael's years ago and a plain red grosgrain from my ribbon bin. I always use tiny clothespins to hang the Valentines and I save the cards that open to stand up on the mantel. 

About 1/3 of my Valentines do open and stand on their own. This card is very thin but it will stand open. By the way, I would love to meet Edward Reed and ask him how old he was when he gave this Valentine away, most likely to a girl in his elementary school. I miss these wonderful images which have now been replaced by the pop icon or kiddie character of the moment. When I was in school in the 1970's, we still had Valentines very much like this. I think the trend changed in the 1980's. 

This is one of my says, "I'd like to paint it on a sign that I'd like you for my Valentine." It is not signed but most of mine are. Some people might want unused Valentines but not me...I love to see the signatures on the back and wonder about the person who wrote their name so carefully. 

In my family, we always say to each other at Valentines, "I choo-choo-choose YOU to be my Valentine." so this card is especially sweet to me. I also like to say "Hi Toots!" I mean, really, who doesn't? :) 

It's amazing to me how many Valentines from this era open and have interactive elements. The illustrations, sayings and design were carefully thought out back then. I love that!

Some of them are so comical, can you imagine someone designing this card nowadays? It looks as though the child were about to be electrocuted! Plus, back then it was okay to say things like, "Yippee!" 

My collection is larger than the space of one mantel so when I was done decorating it, I still had a handful of lovelies to display somewhere and I remembered this shallow milk glass bowl in my den. Perfect! 

I love vintage ephemera and preserving these fragile pieces of the past! In fact, getting these out this year gives me the bug to buy more! I hope you enjoying seeing my collection. I co-host "The Scrap Gals Podcast" and this month we did a show all about documenting your collections. You can find a link to that plus more scrappy inspiration by visiting me at
 If you're looking to add to your own vintage Valentine collection, be sure to head over to JBS Mercantile.  We've got a few listed at the moment (see below) and Jenni has quite an assortment of new sweet finds that will be in the shop on our next Flea Market day, this Sunday, 2/1.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Repurposing: "Between the Acts" Vintage Cigar Tins

We have a supply of "Between the Acts Little Cigar Tins" in the Mercantile.  These were originally smoked between the acts of a play.  Today, these tins can be repurposed to hold small supplies,  notes, and photos.  With such an endearing title on the front of the tin, you can use them to highlight an event such as a play, dance, or other performance.

I used the title on the tin as inspiration to hold photos of my niece's recital.  Most of the photo were taken between the acts!

This was done quite simply by adhering my photos onto a folded piece of cardstock that was cut to fit.

Why not be inspired by your own Between the Acts Vintage Tins?  You can find them at the JBS Mercantile here: Vintage Between the Acts Little Cigar Tins

- betsy
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Monday, January 26, 2015

The Things I Keep Monday. . .

What is it about Numbers??  I know it's not just me -there are thousands of people on Pinterest with boards devoted to the subject.  And while I do sometimes pick numbers for specific reasons (I am always looking out for "4"'s since there are 4 in my family), I rarely pass up any number - in any form.  And the smaller the better as always with me.  I'm not sure they can get much smaller than this.  These are tiny push-pin numbered markers for windows.  I'm not sure why numbers needed to be marked once upon a time (maybe someone can tell me?) but I'm sure glad they did.  While I have sold many of these over the years, this little set has stayed with me.  Imperfectly perfect with patina and remnants of paint, they sit and wait in my studio for the appropriate project.

Happy Monday!
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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Repurposing: Vintage Thread Cones

Have you seen the vintage thread cones new to our Flea Market?

These cones were used in factories to wind thread around. They can be repurposed today using supplies you already have in your stash into decorated cones or tussie mussies. A wire, string, or ribbon is attached to the wide part of the cone so the tussie mussie can be hung on display.  The cone can be filled with flowers, candy, or small gifts.

Jenni created these tussie mussies for Easter one year, decorating a thread cone with patterned paper and sheet music and further embellishing with labels and German foil rabbits.  Aren't these a wonderful vintage spin on the usual Easter basket?

With Valentine's Day also just around the corner, the thread cones would look beautiful dressed up in pink, red, and white.  We found these pieces of inspiration from two of our creative friends:

{from Briana Johnson}

{from Keisha Campbell}

Want to create your own lovely tussie mussies? You can find the thread cones to repurpose right here in our Flea Market!

- betsy
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