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Squirrels & Acorns at FOUND

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There’s been one fat squirrel busy in the Bradford Pear tree beside my driveway every morning this week when I walked out the door. And the acorns are dropping like crazy. A sign of a harsh winter to come?  I’m going to just enjoy these magnificent autumn days and let the squirrels worry about that.

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Nutty Distraction Topic: Sometimes I try to find a 10 minute “distraction topic” to think about to give my mind a little break from working. It’s sort of a silly refocusing alternative to slow, deep breathing.

Last week squirrels were a distraction topic for me. Except for their silly scolding sounds, squirrels mind their own business and just scurry around looking very busy and cute. I wish they knew better than to run into the street though – road kill is not cute. I’ll admit it, sometimes I think about strange things – like how I’m grateful I am that squirrels never try to get into the house or even my garage. We grew up singing  “grey squirrel, grey squirrel, swish your bushy tail… grey squirrel, grey squirrel, swish your bushy tail…” but I never see grey squirrels around here. Brown squirrels live in my trees. After that little musical ditty looped around in my head for awhile, I was definitely ready to get the song out of my head and refocus on the important tasks of my day. It was back to my book keeping with a clear focus again.

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Meanwhile, back at FOUND, you’ll find these adorable felted squirrels. They are made in Michigan at the AuGres Sheep Factory up in the thumb area. Burlap acorns go with these sweet faced squirrels for easy autumn decorating.

 

 

posted by Mary at FOUND in Home & Garden and have No Comments
Dreamy Mixed Media Boats

 

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Lovely little boats by mixed media artist Kathleen Koopman are floating in the window at FOUND on a dreamy voyage. The sailboats have dainty handkerchiefs or recycled fabrics as sails and float through the air like something out of  a bedtime story.

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Others tell a story of companionship. Birds join in the journey.

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We asked Kathleen to share her inspiration for these dreamy boats:

I’m part collector, part archivist, part archaeologist, and part researcher. I find things, arrange them, organize them, and display them.

My work for the past several years has focused on the assemblage of found objects, scraps, photographs, fiber, and paper, to create a narrative with memories and dreams intertwined.

I draw from a collection of artifacts, found: junk stores, the street, the landscape, the pathways of life: items cast off and abandoned, waiting for the opportunity tell their stories, effected by time and memory.

Constructing boats rose out of that process, out of these materials, as an extension of the assemblage process, and the inspiration grew fueled by the metaphors: voyages, sailing, hulls, rigging, sails, navigation driven by the vagaries of wind and water: discovery, travel, wandering.

Bon Voyage!

Kathleen Koopman.  July 2014.

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posted by Mary at FOUND in Home & Garden,Uncategorized and have Comments (5)
Made in Michigan. Ceramics by Darcy Bowden.

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During Ann Arbor Art Fair week, Darcy Bowden will be our featured artist, bringing over one HUNDRED of her ceramic works to the shop!  We’re clearing out the center section to make room for this fun made in michigan show and sale.  Her quirky, modern pieces often have whimsical POPS of color and sensitively drawn lines in the design. Other groups have a mid century feel with chunky sculptural shapes.

Ceramic Art & Printmaking Show with Darcy Bowden 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014.  Opening Reception Party. 4-8 pm.

July 16,17,18. Meet the artist 3-7 pm daily at FOUND.

Sat. July 19.  11 am – 2 pm.  Clay Demo by Darcy!  Hand forming & decorating simple, modernist bowls using ancient paddling techniques.

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The group above is just out of the kiln over at Yourist Studios where Darcy does her magic.  Notice the bowl shapes.  The clay is formed by paddling it over a specially selected stone – a very old method with a modern twist.  At the Saturday demo (7/19 from 11-2 at FOUND) Darcy will show us how it’s done.  The vessels below are an entirely different group she does.  All these are coming to the show!

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Darcy is a long time FOUND friend and inspiration!  Many Ann Arborites will recognize Darcy from her days as an art teacher at Huron High School.  I almost forgot to mention that printmaking is another of her passions and she’ll also bring prints, cards and other fun things to the show. Hope to see you during Art Fair Week 2014!

 

 

 

posted by Mary at FOUND in Eco-funky,Uncategorized and have Comments Off
Vintage Bottles & Jars

FOUND is overflowing with vintage bottles and jars this week!  Perfect for a little bouquet of flowers – Donna plopped these colorful blooms from the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market into one at the shop.

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When I picked my latest batches of bottles and jars at the antique show, weddings were on my mind.  Old  jars and vintage bottles can be casually elegant when decorating for events at party barns or outdoor venues.  Canning jars are sweet as vases, but the  jars with metal bail handles are also great to hang from branches, trellis’ or trees with a tiny votive candle nestled inside each one.  For safety, you might use the small battery candles or even tiny rice lights which have the effect of fireflies twinkling in the jars.  The more the better for a summertime celebration!

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Antique “cures” bottles look lovely with a simple, single stem in each bottle.  Try tying them together with a wrapping of twine or ribbon in groups of three bottles of varying heights for a unique table decoration.

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Jars can be filled with many things, including wishes.  Here’s a link to our artist friend Lynn Whipple’s video on painting messages on bottles.  She makes everything easy and FuN!

We also have old milk bottles by the dozens right now.  Almost a hundred vintage canning jars.  Large brown bottles.  And tiny little watch part vials.  If you like old bottles and jars, this July is a good time to visit FOUND!

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Web friend Bonus: Stop by FOUND and  let us know you read this post and what you think about Lynn’s video, and we’ll give you a FREE milk bottle like those pictured above or a clear bailed pint canning jar – while supplies last.   

Here’s one final picture.  Don’t you just love the way blue and aqua bottles and canning jars look with light shining through them?

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posted by Mary at FOUND in Home & Garden,Vintage Finds! and have Comments Off
Made to last

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100 years ago things were made to last. And functional items were designed to look good.  While I love chippy old paint and rust, when I find a beautiful old scale or other industrial age piece in great condition, I marvel at how beautiful a well made machine can be.  And it still works.

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posted by Mary at FOUND in Vintage Finds! and have Comments Off
Vintage Summertime Projects

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DIY is definitely not a new thing.  Case in point – I found some vintage HOMECRAFT magazines from the late 1930’s through the 1950’s at an estate sale last week.  I bought the whole stack and took them to FOUND.  It’s fascinating what this home workshop magazine includes in the “build it yourself” category.  I didn’t have a chance to read them all yet, but focusing on summertime this Memorial Day weekend, there are water fun and camping projects galore.   Along with tame plans to build a cobblers bench and instructions on how to install linoleum, one issue also gives complete instructions to build a trailer to tow your speed boat!

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In another issue, you can learn how to build a honeymoon house trailer.  The complete cost in 1939 was $60.  It’s big enough to hold a standard mattress and be towed behind a car.  It would sure be fun to see one of these in the campground this summer!

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And speaking of summer fun, another issue shows the steps to make your own water skis.  And still another has plans for a sailboat.

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For the less adventurous home workshop builder, projects like globe stands and planter lamps are included. I’d rather have a sailing kayak or some homemade water skis. Now that I think of it, the old water skis I learned on may have been made by someone who subscribed to this magazine.  Right now, we  have about 3 dozen different  issues of HomeCraft at the shop.   Pick some up and build something great this summer!

 

 

Craft

posted by Mary at FOUND in Vintage Finds! and have Comments Off
Cow Skull

Normally, I’m not drawn to taxidermy or antlers or skulls.  But then I saw this cow skull covered with cobwebs on the hayrack at a farm auction.  Georgia O’Keeffe came to mind. I bid.

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Now it’s hanging a FOUND.

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It reminds me of something you’d see at Anthropology on an indigo blue wall.  At the home decor shows, I’ve seen resin reproductions.  This is the real deal – choppers and all…

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So there’s another item in the category of you-never-know-what-you’ll-find-at-found!

 

posted by Mary at FOUND in Eco-funky,Home & Garden and have Comments (2)
Bottelabra: ReUse those Wine Bottles!

Have you ever purchased a bottle of wine based on the label artwork?  Me, too. One of my recent favorites is called Educated Guess and the front is covered with scientific formulas.  The back describes how choosing a wine is an educated guess, as is making great wine.

I bought it from a little wine shop is in our building – everyday wines – where the owner and staff are terrific.  Here’s how good they are.  Not long ago, with salt & pepper potato chips and a turkey wrap from Sparrow Market in one hand, and a bottle of Merlot in the other, I asked whether that wine would go well with turkey and chips.  I was joking.  Sort of.  Without missing a beat, a different variety that would be a better pairing was recommended.  And a pleasant evening of restocking FOUND followed.

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I bought my first bottle of Educated Guess  for the label.  The second because it’s a really nice Cabernet.  It seemed a shame to toss the empty bottle into the recycling bin.  I’ve heard of people who soak the labels off and save them in an album or frame them, but that’s not for me.  Too much work.   Here’s an easy and fun way to reuse your favorite bottles:

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Turn it into a candle holder!  The Bottelabra (as in candelabra in a bottle) is a more refined version of the old college stick-a-drippy-candle-in-a-bottle method.  They are probably a little safer, too.  Two rubber rings around the base hold it securely in the bottle.  For outdoor use, you might want to fill the bottle with some water or pebbles for added stability.

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Elegant enough for wedding receptions, and casual enough for the patio.  At just $12.50 each, they are great to give as a gift with a special bottle of wine.  They also work in antique bottles with similar size openings.  Bottelabras are in stock at FOUND.  If you’d like one shipped, call the shop at 734-302-3060 during business hours and we’d be happy to make that happen.  But you’ll have to provide your own bottle of wine!

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posted by Mary at FOUND in Home & Garden and have Comments Off
Touches of Spring at FOUND

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Hope you’re staying cozy during this winter that seems to never end.  This week we decided to bring Springtime to FOUND whether the weather cooperates or not.  It doesn’t take a lot to bring some springtime into your home.  As we wait for the first crocus to pop out of the ground and the robins to return from southern climes, little touches go a long way.  Perhaps some colorful candles or a new bird or wreath with polka dot flowers…

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Pretty blue eggs and vintage soft aqua blue bottles.

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New items are arriving daily.  Stop by while there is still snow on the ground and you can enter to win a $50 gift card and springtime goodie bag!  Just  guess what date the last of the snow will melt from Kerrytown and the Farmers  Market.   In case of tie, we’ll do a random drawing of all the entries that guess the correct date.  (We’re hoping to do a drawing later this month, but April snow is not unheard of in these parts, so watch email, blog or Facebook for contest winner).

Join our email list for coupons and info about specials throughout the year.

 

posted by Mary at FOUND in Home & Garden and have Comments Off
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Counting on a great year of fun finds!

billiards

In the midst of the frigid blast of cold and snow that hit us earlier this month, we were busy counting  inventory and tidying up the shop after a very busy holiday season.  Though it’s obvious that I love filling the store with wonderful Christmas merchandise, I’m always relieved to clear it out and start fresh.  As the store empties out, there’s room to think about new displays.  Mixing things up is fun.  I love that being a “finder” is a big part of my job. Last weekend, I found these great old billiard scoring beads at an estate sale. Today, I’ll be searching  for Valentines and other vintage treasures, then off to the trade shows later this week to see what fun new things I can find.

In retail, the slow pace of January is a perfect transition time.  It’s a month to look back over the past year, get everything in order and plan for a fresh new year.  Here’s to a 2014 filled with pleasant surprises!

posted by Mary at FOUND in Uncategorized and have Comments Off