Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New Website GRAND OPENING ~ Tomorrow May 1st!

Wow! I can't believe it is almost here already. The GRAND OPENING of Bella Rosa Antiques. We've been very busy getting ready. Tomorrow we select a winner of the 15.00 Gift Voucher towards merchandise. There's lots to choose from. Here is just a sample of what you might find:(We've already had some orders which is very exciting! )

Vintage Crown Rhinestone & Pearl Pin

Aqua Rhinestone Pin

"Millefiori" Scarab Type Bracelet
(Millefiori means "a thousand flowers")

Vintage Shoe/Button Hooks

Rose "Y" Necklace
(Adjustable Chain Length)

Vintage Hatpin

Rose Needle Crewelwork Picture

There's still time to enter. Just click on this LINK to take you directly to our site. Sign the guestbook and let us know how to contact you if you win! To be honest, there aren't a whole lot of entries so far ... your chances of winning are very GOOD! Have fun and of course, have a very BELLA day!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Transferware History - How It Was Made

Transferware has made a comeback in home decorating. The beautiful designs and colors blend well into today's looks and styles. There are many to choose from ... do you have a style or color you like?

Here is a little bit of history on how it was made from Eras of

"English transferware" refers to ceramics (china, ironstone, etc.) which has been glazed using a specific decorative treatment, and traditionally produced in Staffordshire, England. Popular manufacturers of transferware include Spode, Ridgway, Adams, Clews, Johnson Brothers, and Wedgwood. The transfer printing process was developed by John Sadler and Guy Green of Liverpool in 1756. The process uses copper plates on which a pattern or design is etched. The copper plate is inked and the pattern "transferred" to a special tissue. The inked tissue is then laid onto a bisque-fired ceramic item, which is then glazed and fired again. Initially, patterns were transferred to the ceramic items after glazing, but the ink often wore off. This "underprinting" is characteristic to transferware; if you look closely at a transferware item, you can often see where the transfer design ends. Often these are the areas where the pattern doesn't quite match.

Transfer printing was originally produced in single-color items only, with the favorite hues in blue, red, black, brown, purple and green. Brown tended to be rather a common and inexpensive color, while blue was the most sought after and expensive color. Later, technology developed to allow double or triple color transfers."

The process of transferring the images onto porcelain and china became popular and obviously much cheaper than handpainting each piece so they sold quickly to middle class families. I'm not sure which color I like the best.
Check out our Bella Rosa Antiques website and click under "Vintage China" for more. While you're there, sign our guestbook, we're having our Grand Opening Giveaway! Win a $15.00 voucher towards merchandise/shipping....we'll select a winner this week on May 1st!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Ephemera ~ What is it? Vintage Postcards, Letters, Calling Cards...PLUS Giveaway Has 1 Week Left!

Everyday we probably use all kinds of paper items that get tossed in the trash. Some people save these printed pieces for either sentimental reasons, or for financial records, or for family history.

How many of you save the greeting cards sent by family and friends? And if you save them, for what purpose? I save Christmas cards for several years and then after awhile, make them into cute and fun gift tags to use on next year's packages. But, this would mean the cards were no longer in their original condition.

So this is what leads me to today's post. Ephemera. That is what this paper stuff is called and the much older pieces are highly collectible today. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, the term ephemera means "the printed matter of passing interest." Or puts it like this: "items designed to be useful or important for only a short time, esp. pamphlets, notices, tickets, etc."

Luckily some people decided to save some of their paper items. Really collectible items are things like a Civil War document, a letter signed by a famous person, or a deed to a famous piece of real estate.

My favorites are vintage postcards, letters, old photos, wedding invitations, marriage certificates, calling cards, etc. Some of the beautiful images are still vibrant and stunning to this day.

We've added an "Ephemera" category to Bella Rosa Antiques with some lovely vintage rose items. We'll be adding more in the future so check back if you love pretty paper things!
There's just ONE WEEK left 'til a winner is chosen in our May 1st GRAND OPENING Giveaway! For more details on how to win a $15.00 voucher towards merchandise/shipping click here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Vintage Celluloid Collar Box - History

One of the things I have always loved about antiques are the mysteries behind them. The more time passes, the more things change for the next generations. Sadly, this leaves behind traditions and customs we don't use anymore and most often are forgotten about. Thank you, this has SOLD!

When I found this collar box to place on my Bella Rosa Antiques website, I mainly bid on it because of the rose decoration. But the more I thought about it ... the more I wondered why they were even made. We certainly don't remove our collars these days. Here is a little bit of history I found on Wikipedia:

"Having a false collar allows the shirt to be washed without the special washing method that a starched collar requires. Although they have fallen out of favour for everyday use, starched collars are often worn when wearing a white tie. Having a false collar ensures that the wings of a winged collar don't droop. Starching of detachable collars involves the dipping of the collar into a solution of starch and water before cooking the starch with a hot iron and curling the stiff collar by slowly drawing the collar between the board and the iron. The result is a pristinely white, smooth, stiff collar that holds its shape until it is washed. Detachable collars are typically kept in a collar box; a small, circular box in which the collars can better keep their shape."

This leads me to wonder about the women who were starching and ironing these collars. I can't even imagine doing this today. I don't even iron my regular clothes. Out of the dryer they go, right onto the hanger, with hopefully little to no wrinkles! Oh how things have changed.

And if you're just dropping by for the first time....the Bella Rosa Antiques GIVEAWAY is still on... please feel free to stop by and sign our GUESTBOOK. We're giving away a $15.00 merchandise voucher to celebrate the GRAND OPENING at the beginning of May. Click HERE for more details. Buona Fortuna! (Good luck!)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Deck is Now Open! ~ Giveaway Still Going ON

Our deck is now open for business. And when I say business, I mean, seriously enjoying the outdoors by eating every meal I can out there. As long as it is warm and not raining, this is what I love to do. We did eat outside this past weekend, but the umbrella wasn't up yet, the deck hadn't been swept and planters hadn't been brought up out of the it wasn't quite the right feel. But now, now we're in business.

Even though it is not summer yet, which is my favorite time of year, this is pretty nice too...I have to admit. The temperature is getting warmer, (almost perfect) things are starting to look green, and the leaves are about to grow on the trees. And as you can see, we have a lot of trees around us. It is very scenic here.

My two little sweeties were out enjoying the sunshine with me today. Miss Minnie and little Sissy. We have a third cat, Love, who waits to go outside and pounce on the first thing that moves... either a field mouse, a mole, or a chipmunk. I enjoy watching the chipmunks but they are slowly I am not letting her out as much! I know, this is terrible of me. I picture them talking to each other in their squeaky little Alvin voices "LOOKOUT! comes that big ol cat again! RUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNNNNN!" And run they need to because she can do this in about the first five minutes she is let outside. They don't stand a chance. So much for her adorable namesake! But hey, she's a cat. That's what they do. Except for Minnie and Sissy. I must have pampered them too much. They just sit and watch.

So when I'm not runing around after the cats, I enjoy reading or writing in my journal...and listening to the birds chirp. And of course a tall, cool beverage. The only thing that would make it better would be the leaves blowing in a cool breeze.

And thoughts of great summer barbecues and picnics we have yet to have! Can't wait.

The Bella Rosa Antiques Giveaway is on... please feel free to stop by and sign our GUESTBOOK. We're giving away a 15.00 merchandise voucher to celebrate the GRAND OPENING at the beginning of May! Click HERE for more details. Buona Fortuna! (Good luck!)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Dan In Real Life ~ GREAT Flick!

If you haven't seen Dan in Real Life yet, you must. I don't normally do movie reviews, but every once in awhile I see a movie I just have to share with you... and I watch movies all the time via Netflix. (I just love how they get sent to the house automatically!) And this movie is right up there with my all time favorites.

With a great supporting cast, a great set of lead actors (Steve Carrell, Juliette Binoche), and a super director in Peter Hedges... this movie has a great feel good story with comedy, romance, and surprises all in one!

My 18 year old step-son even liked it so that says a lot about the wide range of appeal.

If I were to give it a rating I'd give it a 5. . . but five what? Five stars is too boring. I'll give it 5 POPCORNS!

And don't forget I'm having a giveaway to celebrate the Grand Opening of Bella Rosa Antiques. See the post below for more details or click HERE if you have found this post by chance. There's still time to enter...contest ends beginning of May, 2008!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Bella Rosa Antiques ~ A GIVEAWAY!

Oh my! Where do I begin? I am having so much fun setting up the new Bella Rosa Antiques website. Things are coming along nicely and I do hope you enjoy what you find. I'm so excited about it, I've decided to have a giveaway, leading up to the Grand Opening!

Here's how it works:

1. Go to the Bella Rosa Antiques website by clicking on this link.

2. Click on "Guestbook" on the left hand side.

3. Leave me a message in the guestbook and add something like "I was sent here from your blog!" Be sure to leave your email address or blog link so I may contact you if you win.

4. You can only enter once.

5. You'll be entered to win a voucher for $15.00 towards merchandise/shipping on the website!

6. Winner will be announced in about three weeks with a date to be determined for the Grand Opening of Bella Rosa Antiques. More information to follow.

Isn't this beaded bag adorable? I was so excited when I found it it just shouted "I'm so Bella Rosaaaaaaaa" when I saw it. Items are already available for purchase so if you see something you like, you don't have to wait for the "Grand Opening." My purpose for having a Grand Opening is more of a PR and marketing thing...(oh boy, does that ever sound so corporate?) Also, I would love to test out the site and who better to help me out than my blogger gal pals. If you find any snafu's... please email me and let me know so I may make corrections as soon as possible. I'm getting the hang of the website technology but I'm still figuring it out.

I'll be adding more inventory as we go along and to replace sold items, so keep checking back and good luck on the giveaway. Most importantly, thank you for all of your support and kind words. They have been a big help and I really appreciate them.

Have a very BELLA day!

Monday, April 7, 2008

An Award for Miss Jillian

It has been longer than usual for me to post on my blog. Not feeling very inspired lately I guess. Then it hit me I did have something to blog about! My new award from Erin at the Classy Rabbit. How cool is that? Thank you, Erin for including me in the "E" is for Excellent award!
Although I feel my lack of inspiration is not making this blog very excellent today. I have been busy working on the DVD project, which is completed, and was shown yesterday at church. I received many compliments on it which was nice...but as always, the big pay off is to see it play and to watch the reaction of people as they see it. My favorite part!
My next project is to get my "Bella Rosa Antiques" website ready. I have started loading information onto it as well as some inventory. Lots more work to be done and I'm learning lots in the process. There are some graphic issues we are trying to work out but I'm sure that will be cleared up soon. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Six Habits/Quirks I have ~ Tagged Again!

Well, I was tagged by a fellow blogger who hosts the lovely Oliver Rain to list 6 non-important habits or quirks about myself. This seems difficult, but once I get going, I'm sure I will find six things. So, here goes.

1- I don't like mixing different textures in food. Like brownies with nuts, or chocolate pieces in ice cream. I do like chocolate chip cookies, however. See, this is quirky already.

2-My husband gets really frustrated with me because I hardly ever finish whatever beverage is in my glass. I will drink right down to the last inch of liquid and then that's it, I'm done. Drives him nuts. I have no idea why I do it. He thinks it has something to do with my childhood. I just let him wonder. Hey, if he wants the rest of it, he can have it.

3- While most other people hate wrapping gifts, I love it. I also love buying wrapping paper, but I haven't let that get out of hand. My husband thinks I should start a business wrapping gifts for people at Christmas but I figured if I did that, I would suddenly hate wrapping gifts. I love the challenge of wrapping each one in a unique and creative way, adding vintage ribbons or silk flowers. Kids get happy meal toys tied to their birthday packages as gift toppers. Vintage wrapping paper is fun, too.

4- When I was a teenager I had a shopping bag collection. Not just any bag, but fancy expensive store bags from New York, etc. I confess, I still have some of them. I've thrown most away but couldn't part with a few. VERY quirky. I'd probably be a great candidate for that show where they make you put all of your stuff out on the lawn and get rid of three quarters of it, if I were able.

5- I also have trouble throwing my used calendars away. I like to go back years later and read about what I was doing. Again, that organization show would love getting a hold of me.

6- Wow, so I've made it to #6! So far, so good, I guess! Now I'm wondering why I am going to POST these quirky habits of mine for the world to read. So, I've saved the best for last. I think. Whenever I go out to eat and order a hamburger with french fries I ALWAYS put some of the fries on my burger. Mmmmmm. This negates the number one quirk listed here at the top, but hey, no one said it all had to make sense, it just had to be QUIRKY.

So there you go. I am going to tag Mrs. Tuneful over at A Tuneful of Sugar because she needs to get something posted on her blog and I can say this because she is my big Sister. And I'm also going to tag Erin of The Classy Rabbit. Enjoy, ladies! Can't wait to read your list. . . hope you don't mind!

Here are your rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you...if you need help linking, just ask!
2. Post the rules
3. Share 6 non-important habits/quirks about yourself
4. Tag 2 or 3 other people

Have fun!