Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Stuff I like

I have a fun job. Going around, looking for fun things for you to use in your art projects, taking photos, updating the site. Lots of little things flow in and out of my life and it's nice to be their owner for little while and then pass them on to a new home. I do like some little bits more than others, and here are some examples.

Vintage redemption stamps, redeemable for fabulous prizes...

The current cool colors I have in the sari fabrics.

I love big heaps of postage stamps. These are waiting to make up the misc. postage stamps packs.

I adore these vintage matchbox labels. Each one is different and better than the last.

I am down to my last bottles of German glass glitter. I bought out my supplier's remaining stock so get it now to add sparkle to your holiday crafts!

Real pennies with little hearts cut out. These would be great for Valentine's Day art.

As a devoted follower of all things small, these watch part vials really fit the bill. Maybe I was a watch repair person in a former life?

These vintage liquor labels have such fun, bright colors.

Dixie reluctantly models the small plastic dog figures.

Stella unknowingly models the doghouse charms.

So that's the end of that.

But before I go, two announcements!

One, Manto Fev now offers a free gift with any $25 purchase. There are several options to choose from and I will add new options now and again when I come up with them.

Second, Manto Fev will be moving to a new location sometime around the beginning of November. You can expect great things after this if the move doesn't kill us all.

Hope all is well in your land. Toodle-loo.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Souvenir Bathroom

Another one of my collections...

Souvenir items.

I have a bathroom on the first level of our house- it was yellow when we moved in, and the color looked great with my collection of green and white pottery. I was also happy to finally have a place to display my souvenir plates. Most of these are places I have lived in or at least visited.

I also have metal souvenir ashtrays lined up along the chair rail, that little ledgey thing.

The green and white pottery with some yellow thrown in. I guess seashells and stuff are also a theme here....

The sea glass in the following picture was collected in Ireland.

I have only two of these old souvenir cups, but I'd like to get more. Also a small pottery bird that fits into the color scheme nicely.

Hope everyone had a nice Labor Day.


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Tiny Dressers

Well, shoot. The weekend is over. Drat! I'll try to merge gracefully into the week with a new post about another one of my favorite collections.

I guess these are supposed to be jewelry boxes? I call them tiny Asian dressers. The name isn't that creative but it does describe them well. I have 7 of them right now.

For example:

The one on the left isn't Asian, I guess, but it is a tiny dresser and it was only $1 so I got it.

I love their little doors, drawers and handles. The one on the right above has sliding doors that open and close. This one also has a lot of nice inlaid work.

A little mirror in the door on the right.

This is my latest one and it came with all of these fun little things inside. Dollies, old celluloid charms, a tiny woven basket from Japan.

I don't think I've paid more than $10 for any of them. I think they look so cute all together.

And pacified by the cute, I'm ready to start work again. Have a good week, everyone.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Some new products.

I've been behind on adding new products this month, but I did get some added today. I always make a list of new products, with links, on this page.

Here are a few of my new favorite things!

I love these vintage Italian letters. They have cool stamps and handwriting. I also have Swedish letters posted on that same page. I have French and Czech letters to add soon, too!

Nifty vintage watch rings. Some of these are even in foreign languages!

These are my new favorite things! Vintage Japanese name stamps. They look so cool stacked up in a little row, and I love the dark characters against the pale plastic or wood of the stamp.

I also updated the Flea Market section with all kinds of fun one-of-a-kind goodies.

I hope all is well out there. Have good days.


Friday, June 12, 2009

It's Friday, time to finish up work, but I'd rather walk around my work room and show you some things. Not the messy things, though.

Bulletin board above my work table. Tumors do suck, don't you agree?

I have several vintage slide storage boxes that I use to hold inventory. They are very handy.

Four huge jars of buttons I just got and need to sort out.

I love these vintage glass watch vials.

It is raining right now, so Stella is scared. She's following me around, shivering in anticipation of thunder. Poor baby.

Old magazines and a very old clothespin holder. I don't have a clothesline, maybe I need to build one so I can have a use for these.

I have a thing for paisley. It's unnatural.

Storage room floor- I collect small throw rugs and cobble them together to cover the almost 100-year old brick floor. Stella likes to ball them up and lie on them so I'm always straightening them.

Anyone need a vintage razor? Why do I have so many of these, you ask? Well... who knows.

Cute vintage flowers from a recent estate sale, someday soon to be sold on the site.

Here is Dixie, our newest dog. We got her in March and she's a sweetie. She's 1 year old and still a floppy puppy for the most part.

It's very nearly the weekend. And for this, I am glad. Enjoy it.


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Flea Market Extravaganza

I went to a flea market a couple of weekends ago. This is a larger, outdoor flea that is held twice a year. I generally go to flea markets to look for stuff for the website, but I did find a few things for me, including two items that are now, unfortunately, part of a new collection. I say unfortunately because I need a new collection like I need a kick in the face. That is to say... I don't need a new collection. So let's see if the new collection meets approval...

On the left, we have what is possibly a Steiff elephant. I found several others like it on Ebay, and it does appear to have a tiny hole in the right ear where a Steiff tag may have been. Either way, it's a cute little mohair elephant stuffie.

The wee horses are the new collection. I unknowingly had two of these already, and after buying these new little friends, discovered that they all have the same little tag, and are made by Kunstlerschutz of West Germany. Upon doing a little research, this company makes all kinds of funny little flocked animals although I do think the horses/zebra are the cutest.

How could I resist these little smiles? These little friends and the elephant where in a box with some other dollhouse-type stuff. I started pawing through it (after telling my friend to BACK OFF, THIS BOX IS MINE! in a nice way, of course) (one reason why you should maybe not go to the flea with people who like the same things you do) (Hi, Toni!)... Anyway, the owner of the booth sauntered by and said "Everything in that box is a quarter...." I had already grabbed the little elephant and the horses and for that price... well... I was pretty pleased.

Here is the new little horse/zebra family. The two I had are attached to little foil stars for some reason. I think I got those two in a bag of Christmas ornaments from the thrift store.

So that's the new collection, tiny flocked West German horses. Thumbs up or down??

A few other things I got for myself. Two silver cuff bracelets, a Made in Japan ashtray from Washington DC (for my souvenir bathroom, and since we are going there this week), a pencil tie clip (the pencil works!), a lovely necklace and earrings from Bali, and a German Bible from 1884; that was a dollar. I don't collect Bibles, but I collect old books and this one fits the bill, and the price was right. Oh, I also found an awesome micro-mosaic ring from Italy, that was my best find and it's not even in the photo. So much for my in-depth report.

My next update will hopefully be a report of my visit to a Washington DC flea market! Yay, Manto Fev gets a vacation this week!


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mini Books

Time for installation #2 in the lengthy series of my own collections!

This one is my mini book collection. It combines my love of books with my love for all things small. Most of these shown are about 2-3 inches high. I keep them in a vintage printer's typecase so that may give you an idea of scale.

Here is a general overview. I get these mostly at flea markets. I try to find them on eBay but there are so many books on there to wade through, it's hard to find good ones.

A lot of them are religious- small Bibles or prayer books. There are also small dictionaries (English and foreign) and some little notebooks, some even have their own tiny pencil attached!

Here is a tiny date book from 1928.

Tiny dictionary! I have two of these, they are leather bound even. These are super duper cute because they are about as fat as they are high.

If I was keeping track, this one would probably be the most valuable. I got it at an estate sale for a few dollars. I had it appraised by the Book Guys from NPR and they said it was worth about $75.00! It is an old French prayer book for kids, the pages are lined in red-- really cool!

I also collect little small things that look like books. I have a few little lockets, a tiny button shell button that looks like a book, a matchbox that looks like a book!

Happy Sunday to all.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Even ribbons enjoy a good rack.

Busy, busy, busy.

A few months ago, my dad and I made a ribbon rack to hold my growing stock of ribbons and trims. I was getting tired of keeping them organized in boxes and we designed this nice rack. I got all the trims put on it, but it was only about half full. What to do? Well ... buy more trims, of course! Ha!

So I bought these a few weeks ago and just got them posted today. Eleven new, old stock* vintage trims. I have a weakness for these; I love the colors and patterns.

Don't they look so nice in a little pile? But I can't wait to put them all on the ribbon rack! It's the little things that keep us going, right? :)


*Manto Fev vocab! New old stock (or NOS) means vintage items that were never used or sold. Most often they come in original wrappings or boxes.

Little things

It's the little things that can make someone's day.

Our weekend paper delivery person must have seen our dogs outside, and left this for us this past Saturday (also one on Sunday).

It made me so happy, such a little thing.

A new Manto Fev goal will be to try and do little things like this... to spread the happiness around.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I know how she feels.

Ha! This picture cracks me up. One sister looks very neat. Braided hair, folded hands, somewhat bored expression.

The other sister? Watch out! She's a pistol. Messy hair, mischievous grin, dress askew.

Now that I think about, Neat Sister looks more exasperated than bored. She's the good one and Messy Sister is always stealing the show. She's sick of it.

Vintage photos are such fun! This one will be for sale shortly in my flea market section. My flea market changes almost every day; you never know what you are going to find!


Thursday, March 12, 2009


"Dear Cousin George.
I got your postal and was glad to get it. I hope you will get to come out here. Will look for an answer soon. your cousin Emma."
(Aug 2, 1910)

The front says:

Chrysanthemum.. The hope of love
"Don't worry about the future,
The present is all thou hast;
The future will soon be present,
And the present will soon be past."

I thought this was pretty and a nice sentiment to keep in mind. Click on the image for a larger version, and then you can right click to save to your computer!


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

First in a series: If you have more than one, it's a collection

Let's face it. Collecting things is fun. Finding something that you are drawn to... and then finding another one, and another one... well, you see where this is headed. Basically, it's a riot. And when you put those like things together, it's SUPER fun. So. In the spirit of fun, we begin the first in a long series documenting some of my collections.

First off, I've already broken the only rule this blog was to have, namely that everything is for sale. Then I made an amendment saying it was for sale if I could find it. Now I'm recanting the whole story and saying that not everything is for sale. My collections are not, certainly, until sometime in the future when I decide that they are. Who knows when that day will come, so in the meantime... not everything is for sale.

I should not make rules since I cannot even follow them myself. I won't make any more.

But let's get back to the fun. #1 in our new series is:

The Fur Seal Army.
This is a weird collection. I admit it. When I was about 12, my grandparents went on a cruise to Alaska and brought me back a little seal. I liked it well enough but didn't think about it too much. But within the past few years, I found a few more like it at estate sales (the first one I bought, I did so because I was told it would go to the "seal orphanage" if I didn't) and then discovered that, like every other thing ever known to man, they are sold on eBay on occasion. So, I have accumulated a few. How many? Well..... 38. Is that a few? That does not include 4 that are technically walruses (they have tusks) and one that is upstairs in the seal hospital (aka the art desk) awaiting reattachment of a flipper.

The polar bear (top left of the picture) is a recent acquisition, and I think it adds a little bit of drama to the otherwise mundane seal family picnic.

Seal Stats: Sizes range from 2 inches to 10.5 inches. One is red? 4 are walruses. One is injured. Yes, they are made from seal fur. This creeps me out, actually. So not only is this my favorite collection, but it is also the one that causes me a little bit of guilt. I assume they are made from the fur of elderly seals who lived long and polar bear-free lives until their deaths from natural causes. Beyond that I try not to think about it.

The seal on the right of this picture is the original seal acquired through grand-parental means. It is still my favorite and probably the cutest one of the bunch.

So there we have it. The first collection in this series and also the one that will probably make some people think I am loco. But seriously, they are so cute. Each one is different. One looks more like a swan than a seal. A few have very pretty spots. A couple have seal mange. One is bright red which I think must be a seal dye job. The job of that one is to keep watch over the polar bear. The other seals aren't so sure he's one of them so he stays with the polar bear.

So we love what we love. I love my fur seal army. If you want to blame someone, blame Ralph and Joann, not me.