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Great Finds

5 Dec 2007

I love snowmen, particularly ones who get into the spirit of the holidays, and this one's complete with his very own party hat!


Isn't he cute? Sue Pelletier, a local Massachusetts artist dropped him off at Quilting Arts last week as a gift. Sue outfitted this little guy with a vintage tin pastry tip (the kind that decorates cakes) for his hat. His body consists of a glass jar lightly dusted with glitter spray and filled with baubles, his neck adorned with vintage letters (CPS) and a lei made of tinsel. We found out about Sue when she emailed us a submission earlier this fall for whimsical houses assemblages (which will be featured in the January/February issue of Cloth Paper Scissors––a peak at her opening spread is below). Sue is what we call in editorial land, a Great Find.


Speaking of great finds, I purchased something a couple of weeks ago on eBay for my renovated studio and I needed to pick the item up personally––near New York City. Since I had to make the three-hour trek to NYC, why not make a night of it? (As they say, when in Rome...)


First stop was Rockefeller Plaza to see the improved, eco-friendly Christmas tree.

Where we took a geeky picture...


And then I left John at the ESPN Zone to watch the B.C./ Virginia Tech game so I could hightail it to... you guessed it...Tinsel Trading.


Oh my Gosh...


I mean...oh my Gosh!


Card catalogs filled with buttons and beads in every drawer, towering walls jammed with trims, cords, fringes, and velvet leaves, every nook and cranny adorned with trinkets of art, tea-dyed tags, packages of vintage metallic threads from France, among other finds. I had less than 45 minutes before closing time, and with a racing pulse, I tried to make sensible purchases, but it was tough going. (I can't imagine what would have happened if I actually had an entire afternoon to explore this place.)

Later, we strolled through the Holiday Shops at Bryant Park, where handmade gifts from around the world were on display. (Being this was Bryant Park I had my eyes peeled for a Tim Gunn sighting, but no such luck.) The place was packed with mosaic glass furniture, hand-dyed silk scarves, knitted gloves of alpaca fibers, blown glass and soldered jewelry, hand-stitched leather name it.



This was what I went to New York for in the first place:


I can't wait to get her all dolled up for my studio. Speaking of which, I'm in pitching mode and have a number of fabrics and books I'll be giving away. If interested in a holiday treat, check back soon as I'll be running a little holiday contest on the blog. (Hint: I'll be interested in seeing any handmade gifts you've been making this season.)



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Sandy Jandik wrote
on 6 Dec 2007 12:12 PM
I would certainly be on overload in NYC. Haven't been back since I was 7(born there). The dress form is great. A friend dresses hers in vintage outfits that she changes often. The snowman is cute.
Barb G wrote
on 6 Dec 2007 2:38 PM
We gave our sixteen-year-old daughter an antique dressform from Craigslist last year. She loves it! She named her, and now Doris is an important resident in her bedroom. Last night, she was desiging a dress made from recycled tee-shirts, with help from Doris. I'm sure you will love yours, too.
Patricia Bolton wrote
on 6 Dec 2007 6:24 PM
Sandy-- That's a great idea to dress it with different outfits. Right now I'm on the hunt for vintage aprons. Funny thing is I never played with dolls as a kid (hated them). I think I'm finally finding the appeal. (Either that or I'm regressing.) Barb, I love that she named her dress form! You've inspired me to think of a clever name for mine. The one I got is much smaller than I expected when I saw the picture on eBay, (size 000 if there is such a thing). It's what I consider "Tweenie" size, but the spot I've got for her in the studio is rather small, so it all works out.
Natalya wrote
on 7 Dec 2007 10:46 AM
I hope you also stopped by M&J Trimming, I think they have 3 stores in a row now.. very tempting place. I have a dress form from 1938 that I have been planning to decorate, maybe it's time to start on that project...
Nathalie wrote
on 7 Dec 2007 11:41 AM
Thanks for the pix of my hometown (yes, for me NYC is a town, crazy, huh???) This is one of the times I miss it most, the tree at Rockefeller Plaza used to be lit around my birthday (dec 8th) and has always had a special appeal to me!!!! I like the dress form, do they come to fit your size???? First I shall learn to sew clothes, for some reason although I can do lots of creative things with a needle and thread and fabric, for some reason clothes just don't work!!!!! Have a great holiday. Oh by the way, I love the first gifts special issue that came out, as well as the latest Quilting Arts, I just love them!!!! Nathalie from France
Laura wrote
on 8 Dec 2007 9:42 AM
I love Tinsel Trading Company...I had 20 minutes before it closed one night after a business meeting in NY. It was the best 20 minutes EVER. I also tried to make sensible choices when buying things there, so hard, so many great things. Thanks for sharing the pictures. It makes me want to go back. Laura
Missy Sue Hanson wrote
on 19 Dec 2007 12:47 AM
O, goodness......I am so jealous! I've wanted a dressmaker's mannequin for so long!!! Being in Missouri, they're hard to come by!!!
Mary Lou Weidman wrote
on 29 Dec 2007 11:08 PM
Tinsel Trading isn't only Mrtha's favorite shop but all around there if you are willing to walk are shops and treats or all kinds for anyone who loves to create and has money to spend. The garment district and button and bead shops in NY has gotten alot of my cash over the years. That is why I work I guess. Keep up the good work this coming year. I love the inspiration you share. Mary Lou