Tin Can Dollhouse Chair, March GiveAway

Our Trinket GiveAway at Estate Trinkets & Treasures is a monthly deal.

White, tin can dollhouse chair
Retro, white, tin can dollhouse or miniature chair – March GiveAway

Each month we giveaway a vintage or antique trinket or treasure at our companion website, Estate Trinkets & treasures.

In January we gave away an antique half doll from Germany. In February, we gave away a figurine in the Hummel style, Made in Japan, and known as Banjo Betty. Our March GiveAway is a miniature tin can chair.

April 1 update: March Trinket GiveAway winner is Melissa in California – congratulations!

Gallery of Monthly, GiveAway Trinkets

Gallery of the current and upcoming monthly GiveAway Trinkets.

Click to visit Estate Trinkets & Treasures
Visit Estate Trinkets & Treasures, our companion website on antiques.

Tin Can Miniature Chair, Perfect for a Doll House or Collector’s Shelf

White, tin can dollhouse chair
Retro, white, tin can dollhouse or miniature chair – March GiveAway
White, tin can doll house chair
Retro, white, tin can doll house chair

Enter our March Trinket GiveAway! for a tin can chair, a retro collectible, made by hand.

Made by a creative craftsman of the past, this tin can chair miniature features a woven back and curlicue arms and chair lets. A perfect addition to your collector’s shelf or doll house.

Banjo Betty Trinket GiveAway, Made in Japan

Our Adventure to Giveaway Vintage and Antique Trinkets from our Collection

 Banjo Betty, Made in Japan, a copycat of Joyful, a Hummel and the February Trinket Giveaway
“Angel with Lute,” a Hummel candle holder in the “Joyful” design

In 2016, we sponsored a monthly giveaway drawing for antique and vintage keepsakes at our companion website, Estate Trinkets & Treasures.

We chose to give away Banjo Betty in February during our Trinket GiveAway.

Banjo Betty is a copycat of an early Hummel by W. Goebel, from the art of Sister Innocentia Hummel titled Joyful (number 53).

When I first discovered Banjo Betty in our estate items,  I was curious. Who made this piece of porcelain, and what is it worth? … need-to-know info to determine its value. I searched through my books  on antique, porcelain companies to identify the manufacturer’s mark.

Our library is filled with books and magazines on antiques

My search was fruitless. The smudged manufacturer’s mark on the bottom of my mystery figurine was nowhere to be found. And even though the figurine itself had the appearance of a Hummel, I knew the mark was not one of the famous Bee marks.

Skier Hummel figurine number 59
“Skier’ Hummel by W. Goebel: TMK-2/Full Bee

We have a Hummel collection, and the markings are all quite legible, such as on Skier.

Charts abound in books and online to help collectors date a Hummel. Thanks to Hummel’s fine catalog system, the date, place of origin, and name of the Hummel can be determined by the marks on the bottom of a figurine – whether it’s Bee, Full Bee, etc.

Skier Hummel with Full Bee trademark on bottom of figurine
Hummel Full Bee trademark of W. Goebel

My famous process-of-elimination theory led me to error

Unable to find a porcelain maker identified with the figurine’s mark,  I defaulted to Beswick because not all early Beswick was marked by the manufacturer.

Convinced the figurine was pristine, English Beswick porcelain, I posted it for sale on eBay as $valuable AND antique.

Within days, a Hummel collector e-mailed to say the figurine was NEITHER Beswick NOR antique but rather a copycat Hummel by Japanese importer Akiyama, and dates from the 50s. (Reference: Hummel Copycats; Author, Lawrence L. Wonsch, pg. 43; 1987).

I should have known the figurine was porcelain from Japan as they are master craftsmen at creating copycat products of popular items in trade.
Continue reading Banjo Betty Trinket GiveAway, Made in Japan

Happy Valentine’s Day

I Made a Pretty Valentine for You

Victorian Bonnet Girl Valentine
Victorian Bonnet Girl

Card verse –
Dear little friend,
I send you here
With heart sincere,
A loving line;
And it will be
A joy to me,
To get from you
A Valentine
Be My Valentine!

A Victorian Valentine’s Day card  inspired my Bonnet Girl art. Thanks to the iPad, I no longer feel like a couch potato because I can draw and paint with my apps, anywhere. I completed this illustration on the sofa with the inkPad app, watching the Iowa Caucus [Feb. 1, 2016].

This card’s sentimental verse celebrates the beloved tradition of giving and receiving a valentine.

If you like vintage postcards, see a collection on my companion website Estate Trinkets & Treasures. Click the thumbnail, and it opens to a larger image with details about the card.

Pull out your scissors, colored paper, and glue and mail someone you love a valentine! Put a stamp on it!

Love Poetry for Mom

Inspired by the classic verse,  “Roses are Red, Violets are Blue …”  grandson Eric made a Valentine’s Day card for his mom during his frogs and snails stage, inscribed:

Roses are red, violets are blue. If you were a flower, I would pick you! -Love, Eric

Continue reading Happy Valentine’s Day

Which came first, the duck or the egg?

Birds of a feather, Swim Yellow Duck and Estate Trinkets & Treasures

We have two companion websites: (1) Estate Trinkets & Treasures, where we catalog and showcase antiques, and (2) Swim Yellow Duck, a website to celebrate the art of antiques.

First came Estate  Trinkets & Treasures – next came its feathered friend,  Swim Yellow Duck!

Estate Trinkets & Treasures dot com

montage of antiques from Estate Trinkets and Treasures
Antiques on Estate Trinkets & Treasures

Estates is an online reference guide for antiques and collectibles. The website came about because we wanted to post our research and photos of antiques. After years of selling online, we had a boatload of photos and a ton of sticky notes, all about the thingamabobs we were selling.

Darrell came up with the snappy name for the website, Estate Trinkets And Treasures, thinking it was descriptive. Although, we cannot boast about the name name being memorable or easy to type in a search bar.

Swim Yellow Duck dot com

Blonde china head doll
Blonde china head doll

To begin selling antiques on eBay, I needed to register a unique User ID to identify me from the other millions of Buyers and Sellers already on eBay.

I typed in every combination of letters and numbers I wanted for my User ID, but they were all taken. Finally, in desperation, SwimYellowDuck popped into mind. I typed it  in- success. No one else was using it. Gleefully, I registered SwimYellowDuck for my Selling and Buying name on eBay.

I found after being SwimYellowDuck online for years, I wanted to connect with collectors I had met selling on eBay to share the information I had gained about antiques and antique dolls, thus Estate Trinkets and Treasures.

Further, I fell in love with the art of the antiques and the hand-painting that embellished china and porcelain, the gloss and matte glazes on pottery, the art of blown and molded glass and especially, antique dolls. So it followed that I added the  SwimYellowDuck, website and blog, inspired by the art of antiques we were selling on eBay and Etsy.

Darrell’s natural-light photography of our antiques elevate our antiques to art status. When I paint and create digital doodles on my iPad, I am inspired by his  photographs. I publish his photos and my art of antiques on my  SwimYellowDuck website and blog. Continue reading Which came first, the duck or the egg?

Antique Half-Doll Giveaway

First-ever Trinket Giveaway at Estates Trinkets & Treasures

January Giveaway half doll or dresser doll from Germany
January Giveaway

The deadline to enter the January Trinket Giveaway for a porcelain half doll ends January 31, 2016. Enter at Estate Trinkets & Treasures. This half doll is a petite, 2-1/4″ tall. It’s finely painted, glazed, and incised, “Germany.”

Half-doll description: lady in a pompadour hair style looking in a mirror. The paint palette is red, purple and gray.

Note: The porcelain half-doll Trinket Giveaway ended January 31, 2016. The half-doll was mailed to the lucky winner, who lives in Virginia.

Each month: a new Trinket Giveaway

The trinkets will be vintage or antique and will be varied in subject, from toy to porcelain to paper ephemera to mechanical (Trinket Giveaway Gallery).

Because we have a stash of trinkets and treasures from estates and our personal collections, we decided to giveaway  a vintage [antique]  trinket to collectors who frequent our websites, each month in 2016.

The skinny on the registration process

Register at  Estate Trinkets & Treasures. Read all the details and enter upcoming Trinket Giveaways.

The registration form includes a space for a name and address for mailing purposes. The e-mail and mailing addresses are not archived. Each month is a new drawing and a new registration. Continue reading Antique Half-Doll Giveaway

New Year 2016 Wish

Grandpa’s wish for the merriest, happiest year

Darrell signed a Christmas card for our granddaughter Zlata with a wish for a “Merriest Happiest Year” to celebrate her first Christmas and the beginning of a New Year. She is about to crawl, so things will get merry, fast.

We haven’t hand-inscribed Christmas cards for friends and family for years. However, this year we bought some Charlie Brown stamps, sat down with our list, and started writing.

I was charmed when Darrell signed our granddaughter’s note wishing her a “merriest, happiest year,” and thought it a perfect sentiment for all as we begin a New Year.

Darrell gets a little wild when he signs cards. To share the full effect of his signature with you, I scanned it.  Then traced his ink letters in Illustrator, and added a frame with some embossing in Photoshop.

Chipping sparrow decked out for the New Year
“Chip” sparrow on a snowy day in festive attire

A new year of bird watching

Continue reading New Year 2016 Wish

Rufus the Red Nose Mule

Rudolph’s Distant Cousin

Rufus and his Family Tree

“Rufus” insists on wearing his favorite Christmas ornaments for you. As far as lineage is concerned, Rufus, the mule, is a distant cousin to “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.”

Rufus is not your traditional mule. He’s from the Ozarks. He’s a powerhouse and a trend setter who prefers argyle sweaters to bib overalls and a life of eating sorghum to pulling the treading pole of the sorghum press.

Birth of Rufus

Santa Claus original by Peter Engler of Santa with bird, bunny, and tree
St. Nicholas, Santa Claus, original by Peter Engler

Rufus was born in an art studio. Darrell’s [Wiskur] imagination was in Christmas mode as he sketched and carved patterns and characters with Peter Engler,  a famous wood-carver and friend.

Peter designed Santa carvings after the style of St. Nicholas or Father Christmas. His Santa’s were coveted by tourists to his woodcarving shop in Branson, Mo. He was always carving, but no Santa of his ever sat on the shelf with a For Sale tag. Rather, they were sold by special requests from a long waiting list of tourists who became friends and collectors of his delightful characters.

The mule is noble in Missouri, so Darrell whittled twigs for antlers and added a bulbous nose and a Santa hat. It wasn’t long before Rufus the mule  emerged as Rufus the red nose reindeer!

Rufus carving
Rufus in his furry Santa hat to wish all a Merry Christmas!

Home in the Ozarks

Twinkling lights (over four million at Silver Dollar City, Mo., alone) outnumber neon lights in the Ozarks during the holidays.  Here, deer wander into our yards and nibble on shrubs and rose bushes; buffalo graze on ridges at our premier golf course (Buffalo Ridge, Branson, Mo.); and mules hold a place of distinction on  farms and at theme parks, pulling plows and grinding sorghum. It’s a perfect home for Rufus.

It’s Christmas Eve, and I saw Rufus peeking out the barn window, hoping to catch a glimpse of cousin Rudolph at the head of Santa’s sleigh.

Merry Christmas and the happiest of newest New Year’s!

 

Trump and Jeb and donaldjtrump.bz

Merriment with Trump and Jeb

‘Tis the season to be merry and bright and ordinary events seem sprinkled with glitter. Which is where I found myself when I walked into the kitchen and heard Darrell laughing hilariously, sending me on an Internet sleigh ride to donaldjtrump.bz.

Darrell was double tasking, dipping catfish in cornmeal and listening to Fox News in the background when he heard the news bit about Donald Trump buying the jebbush.com domain so that when someone types jebbush.com into the browser, it redirects them to donaldjtrump.com.

Darrell thought that was hilarious. I thought it was curious. I typed in jebbush.com and sure enough, up popped Donald J. Trump.

To visit Jeb’s Website, go to Jeb2016.com.

I don’t know the back story. Why did Jeb and his team not register his own, unique, famous name, jebbush.com, for a dot com domain? I figure it was to pretend he wasn’t a Bush. Still, it’s mind boggling.

Lesson learned. Register your own name as a domain if available. It will cost you about $12. You don’t have to put up a website, but protect your name so no one else can put up a website with your name.

Website developers will buy variations of a name, and not put up a website but rather re-direct the url to a live Website so that when, hypothetically, someone would have typed jebbush.com, it would have automatically gone to jeb2016.

For some reason Jeb’s team didn’t register jebbush, and the golden apple was left for the picking by The Donald.

Redirecting a domain

Continue reading Trump and Jeb and donaldjtrump.bz

Merry Moosmas & the Flying Moose

A Wish for a Merry Moosmas!

Red criss cross ornamentMy flying moose began as a sketch by Darrell over a year ago. I think he was still laughing when he got out his paper and pencil.
While watching a promo for Warbirds and the Men Who Flew Them, he heard the moderator refer to photographer Moose Peterson as the “Flying Moose,” a nickname the  pilots gave him for his many flights to photograph the noble planes.
So, visions of a flying moose leaped into Darrell’s head and onto paper. Darrell added runaway sleigh bells to the sketch for me because I was in a Christmas state of mind.

I copied the sketch to my iPad and used it as my layout in Inkpad to wish you a Merry Moosmas!

A flying moose is better than a goose! -D. Wiskur

A Fireplace, a Hallmark Movie, and an iPad

Snowman ornamentI binged on Hallmark Christmas movies while on vacation. It was the day after Thanksgiving, and I was feeling rather festive.
I don’t know how the Hallmark Channel has eluded me all these years, but it was perfect for my holiday, particularly since it rained the first three days of vacation.

Watching Christmas movies in front of a fireplace, overlooking the lake, at Big Cedar’s five star woodland resort, with my husband, is hard to beat.

gingerbread tree cookie
Gingerbread tree

When you check into your room at Big Cedar, you are welcomed with freshly-baked cookies, waiting on your night stand. Each evening during your stay, cookies magically appear to your room, thanks to the Cookie Lady. So, I ate cookies and drew cookies.

Angel cookie covered in frosting with stars on her wings
Frosted Angel Cookie

I worked the hardest on the angel cookie because I wanted it to look like it had piles of fluffy icing on top.

Of course, I made snowmen and stars and bells and a row of penguin cookies, each a little different from the other.

Continue reading Merry Moosmas & the Flying Moose

The Art of China Dolls

Hi, doll face!

Blonde China head with defined shoulders, brown eyebrows, ears showing
Blonde China head with defined shoulders, brown eyebrows, ears showing

A china head is art on a doll. With or without a body, these remarkable china heads tell a story from the 1800s about a doll industry of artisans who created beautiful art for a child’s toy.

cloth doll body for a china head doll
Cloth doll body, with leather, stitched hands and large feet

China heads are made into dolls by attaching the head to a body of fabric, leather or wood,  either by threading  lengths of twill fabric through sew holes in the shoulder plate, gluing the head to a leather body, or fitting it onto a peg, wood body.

Civil War china head on a kid leather body
Civil War china head on a kid leather body, dressed in a lavish gown

In dolldom, a china head alone, without a body, is classified as a partial doll. It’s valued at 65% of its book price. And if the doll head was damaged any time within its 100 or so years of play, with or without restoration, its value is diminished to 50% from that of a pristine head. [Source: 200 Years of Dolls, Dawn Herlocher, ©2005]

By contrast, a collector can add to a doll’s value by (1) dressing the doll in spectacular or “appropriate” clothing or (2) providing the provenance of the doll and its unique history. Continue reading The Art of China Dolls

Ozark tourist at heart! Travel to the Ozarks

How to be an Ozark Tourist

My son on mule at Silver Dollar City, an Ozark visitor from 1970
Fun trip to Silver Dollar City, 1970 – nothing like a mule ride!

I am an Ozark tourist every day. It’s one of the perks of living in Harrison, a burgeoning city in the Ozarks.

Because I have lived in the Ozarks for over 30 years, I officially attribute “hillbilly” to my nomenclature.

Travelers flock to the Ozarks because  (1) it is an amazing place for family vacations  and (2) it is within a day’s drive from the big cities of St. Louis, Chicago, Kansas City, Dallas, Oklahoma City, etc.

For instance, over 71 million tourists have passed through the gates of  Silver Dollar City, alone,  since it opened in 1960.

Shoe Essentials for an Ozark Tourist

Eric caught a trout on the White River
Trout, caught in the White River

Campers and RVs roll into Branson, filled with fishermen and show goers. When the tourist season rolls around, I become a tourist, too — I throw on my flip flops and sun glasses and off I go. That’s the beauty of living in a tourist region.

Further, in a mountainous terrain filled with lakes and rivers means countless occasions for entertainment. Suggested shoe wear: cowboy boots, wading boots, hiking boots … flip-flops, boating shoes, water shoes, sandals, tennis shoes, loafers, golf shoes, pumps, slippers, and heels. Continue reading Ozark tourist at heart! Travel to the Ozarks

Re-Designing Websites

china head doll headsI’ve felt rather empty-headed ever since I decided to re-design my FIVE websites.

Designing my first website came easily nearly 11 years ago after watching a Macromedia Dreamweaver video by a whiz kid from Great Britain. However, today that website design is archaic. Technology and coding have changed drastically. XHTML has come and gone – tossed that book. And it’s time for me to change.

antique shoulder head doll with a bisque head
Antique AIM Shoulder Head

Therefore, it’s not surprising that when I made my New Year’s Resolutions 2015, I resolved to (1) re-design my websites and (2) simplify my life. Funny I didn’t see the dichotomy of those two goals at the time.

Well, it’s week one of March, and I’ve made some progress on my website. I have narrowed my page content to include entries on  Art & Journal, Antique Dolls, the Ozark Mountains (where I live), and UFDC Doll Club Memorabilia & Artist Dolls. Also, I’ve chosen a color palette for the design based on a photo my husband took of a  favorite antique doll.

color palette for swim yellow duck website
Six main colors in doll image

Using Adobe Color CC, I picked six top-level colors for my palette from a photo of an antique doll.  I was pleasantly surprised by the colors that emerged from the photo with the color picker. They were exactly what I wanted because I was aiming for a color palette unlike what I normally choose and one that leaned towards the Bohemian side, quite unlike me.

Continue reading Re-Designing Websites