Wednesday, April 24, 2013

History of the Bird Cage!

 History of the Bird Cage!

Through the centuries, bird cages have been made out of a variety of materials to display, and keep birds safe.  In 900 to 1340 A.D. the Pre-Columbian Paquime Indians, in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, housed Scarlet Macaws in adobe structures similar to their own pueblo style homes.  The Paquime raised and bred Scarlet Macaws in order to harvest their beautiful features for religious ceremonies.

In the 14th century, it was in vogue with the wealthy nobility in Europe to own beautiful handmade bird cages to hold exotic birds collected from around the world.  Many cages were made of iron or brass wire while some of the more beautiful and expensive examples were made from mahogany and brass, and were fitted with silver or porcelain bowls to hold food and water for their occupants.

By the 17th and 18th centuries it again became popular for wealthy Europeans to collect exotic birds, and house them in elaborate and expensive bird cages. During this collecting craze, French and Dutch artisans were commissioned to make ornate cages to delight their noble clientele. Some of the most spectacular bird cages of this period were made to resemble elaborate architectural structures for their wealthy owners. During the 18th century, Chinese artisans also made elaborate bird cages out of a variety of materials which included bamboo, wicker, wood, rattan and reed.
At the turn of the 20th century, many people throughout the world collected birds and housed them in painted tin cages.  By the 1920’s, these tin bird cages were replaced by beautiful brass cages, which were suspended from matching bird cage stands.

Today, very few antique bird cages survive because many of these structures were made of materials that birds eventually chewed through. Many of the early bird cages also contained lead based materials, which we now know is toxic to their occupants.

Antique bird cages continue to hold the allure of far off places and they add another layer of sophistication to a variety of decors, which continues to make them highly prized by both collectors and decorators alike.    


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

New local artist, Leah Hugon

I would like to introduce you to Leah Hugon our new artist, her work is now available at Thea's.

Leah starts by drawing animal silhouettes and then cuts them out of old maps she has scavenge around Portland. She then attaches the map cuttings to birch wood that she has stained with rich colors like deep turquoise blue or a honey orange.


 Bird  6 x 6

Chihuahua 6 x 6

Artist Bio in her own words:

  Leah Hugon graduated Magna Cum Laude with Bachelor of Science degree in Studio Art from Oral Roberts University in 2003. Her creative and life experience include traveling and volunteering in South America, Africa, The Philippines, Mexico and Scotland.  She has spent much of her creative career as a musician writing and performing music across the country as the lead singer of Pablo’s Dove as well writing, singing, and playing guitar for her own solo projects. She currently resides in Portland Oregon where she paints and works with mixed media and collage out of her studio.  Since moving to Portland in May of 2011 Leah has shown in several group shows, one solo exhibition and volunteered teaching art to youth for a local nonprofit.  In addition to creating paintings she is currently collaborating on and the subject of a local documentary about street musicians in Portland. 

Live Long!
Thea's Vintage Living

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Portland's West End part 1

One day I was thinking a random thought, wouldn't it be great to vacation in Portland! Sounds a little strange considering I live in Portland, 5 minutes from downtown to be exact, but the thought occurred to me earlier this year when I won a gift certificate for The Mark Spencer Hotel. What a wonderful treat (I never win anything!) from my Pearl District Business Association.

 It took a bit to find the right weekend but my husband and I found one in late October. As with all cities, parking was going to be a hassle so we decided to ditch our car near Hawthorne (the Max line will be in our neighborhood soon and then only a short walk) take the street car and then the Max to the West End neighborhood. It was a cold and crisp late afternoon when we arrived at the hotel just on time for a nice happy hour meal and drink somewhere.
We quickly checked in, threw our bags down and picked up a Portland street map for the best local restaurants that serve happy hour.
Chris and I love light food so we found a sushi restaurant that was 2 blocks away from the hotel.

Masu Sushi is tucked away on the second floor, it is very beautifully decorated in a classy modern way and has a pleasant view of WE from the street windows. The staff was very nice and helpful when I couldn't figure out if I wanted a cocktail, sake or beer.
We ordered simple dishes, miso, tempura veggies, salmon, tuna sushi and a variety of non-sushi sushi.  Chris really liked the miso and I loved the tempura veggies, especially the Japanese squash and Japanese eggplant. The sushi was good, very fresh and we were stuffed after washing it down with a cold Sapporo.

 One of my favorite chocolate shops in Portland is Cacao and it is directly below Masu Sushi. I didn't have to say much to peek Chris's interest in buying some chocolate even  though we were so full. We weren't the only ones, Cacao was busy with people from all over the world, several languages were being spoken, different chocolate drinks were being drunk and a lovely selection of chocolate was on display for any taste bud. After drooling over the case with selections from Alma, Sahagun and several other chocolatier's from Oregon and Washington, we selected 2 orange sticks, a toffee bar (all dark chocolate) and a hot dark chocolate drink to share.  I was in a little bit of heaven and Chris couldn't stop saying how good the drink was. A sure sign he likes it a lot. So far, our evening plans were going without a hitch. We needed to walk off some of the calories so we walked around the neighborhood a bit.  We popped in Tanner, a lovely industrial decorated  leather goods store based in Portland. We chatted with the staff and planned a few possible gift ideas before we headed back out. Our next lucky shop was Radish Underground, I had wanted to visit this shop for awhile and we were lucky to find them open for their 4 year birthday party. Co-owner Gina was there so we chatted a bit, Chris bought Cristiano a journal book titled "the procrastinator's guide to whatever...." and we decided to move on.  Most shops were closed by this time so we did some window shopping before we headed back to the hotel to dress up for the rest of the evening.
A little while later, I in my dress and Chris in his jeans, headed over to the Crystal Hotel where in Al's Den there was live music for free.  We found a great spot not to far from the stage ordered drinks and listened to music from Nathan Baumgartner who is in the local band And And And.  Just as his set ended it began to get surprisingly busy in Al's so Chris chatted with someone who was familiar with what was going on and got the scoop about the next act, The Ed Forman Show, a comedy act that incorporates, comedy, music and interviews, it is a little like every other late night show out there. We decided to stick around so we shared our table with the food critic for the Portland Monthly, Allison Jones who was soon to be interviewed by Ed about seasonal foods and a delightful group of young buddies up from Newport out for the evening. Chris and I ordered another drink (don't order cocktails from here, they are weak, stick with the beer) and waited for the show.
So what can I say about Ed Forman? hmmm. it was entertaining but I wouldn't have paid cold cash for it. Not bad for a young comedian that truly looks like he is enjoying what he does. Try it out, he plays every Friday thru Sunday in Al's Den.

                                                                                         photo credit- RandySloan
The weather was still holding out for us so we walked a couple of blocks to Clyde Commons, I had read about their happy hour and since it was 12:30 and the sushi had burned off it was time to eat again. The bar was busy but we were seated at one of their large communal tables and we had it all to ourselves. The menu was great, we ordered a hamburger and their andouille sausage with pickles and mustard. The hamburger knocked Chris's socks off and I would order the andouille sausage again in a heart beat. I ordered their daily punch, I can't remember what it was and I am not sure I would order it again, it was good but a little strange, this is coming from a cosmo or a Black Butte porter girl, I don't experiment on my drinks a lot. It was late now and time for bed, the plan was to get up early, go find a breakfast joint.  A brisk walk back to the The Mark Spencer Hotel was a nice way to end the evening.
Part 2, "The morning" next week.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Steampunk Wells & Verne

The name Wells &Verne pretty perfectly describes the influences owner Chris has had in creating this new steampunk shop in Sellwood. Her new shop is a wonderful start to one of my favorite genres of clothing, art and time machine ideology.
Chris popped in my shop a couple of weeks ago and bought a few props and since she bought one of my favorite Victorian wall brackets for oil lights, I had to ask what she was going to use it for. Chris told me about her new shop and how much she liked my shop and was excited to buy some things from me to add to her new venture. I quickly was intrigued so I stopped by on my day off (which never happens) and luckily she was in!  I took pictures of some of my favorite vignettes, fell in love with the use of peacock feathers and dress forms.

I love the jewelry made from antique hardware embellished with a feminine touch such as cameos and beads.

Peacock feathers and hats, what can be much better?

Chris has a nice selection of accessories and more to come.


When in Sellwood, if you have a love of vintage inspired clothing in the steampunk world,Wells & Verne is a must stop.

We were alone. Where, I could not say, hardly imagine. All was black, and such a dense black that, after some minutes, my eyes had not been able to discern even the faintest glimmer.
Jules Verne

Thea's Interiors

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Vintage Fashion with Psyche's Closet for the March First Thursday!!

Can you believe we are almost in March! We have a very special guest for our March First Thursday in the Pearl District event... Psyche's Closet...has vintage clothing from the 1940s to the 1980s. This will be a first for Thea's so I hope you come out and support us, try on some great vintage clothing, drink wine and eat!

Psyche's Closet is owned by Ry Kahl and Jason Scott. Ry is a good friend and has amazing taste in clothes. Her tag line is "Fashion with Soul" and she knows her fashion.

Ry Kahl offers personal shopping and does wardrobe consultations. This former Saks Fifth Avenue employee has many years experience with the finest of fashion.
Ry believes "loved treasures never die. Their souls lie in wait for someone to give it a new life. That’s what Psyche's Closet is all about; saving the soul of these forgotten treasures so you can own a piece of the past".
That is what I try to convey to my customers with my product, you don't have to inherit something to pass on the history, just love it like it was once loved.

Beauty is on the inside but cute clothes never hurt!

Thea's, vintage living

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Withie's journals featured in Somerset Studio!

Isabella and I love to visit Julie Verburg's beautiful art studio in the Portland area. Her home and studio is full of whimsy, charm and you might even find a fairy tucked away in her lovely garden.  For the last 3 years I have had the great fortune of hand picking from her wonderful creations for Thea's. There is no end to the treasures to choose from when I visit her studio, the layers are amazing.

The Withies journal

In the newest edition of Somerset Studio, The Withies Altered Art Journals have been featured. These treasures have been a favorite for our customers and Julie has just brought in a wonderful selection for Thea's. Each journal is unique with fun embellishments such as key holes, metal fragments, ribbon, buttons, birds and anything else you can image. The wonderful thing about each embellished journal is that they are functional as well as beautiful. The pages are full of blank note paper, glassine envelopes, and vintage finds for you to record your memories and keepsakes.

"Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not

 reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in

 them, and try to follow where they lead." 

Louisa May Alcott

Thea's Interiors

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What we found in Seattle!

Chris and I were itching to get out of town for a weekend so we hopped in the van (hoping we would find a few large treasures) and set off at 5:30 am so we could make it to the Second Saturday Flea market in Seattle by opening time. We arrived a little late so I missed some great items but I scored on a beautiful Victorian satin ball gown. It will be perfect for a window display with maybe a French theme, ballroom theme or maybe a Valentine's Day window, the possibilities are endless, stay tuned!!
I also picked up some great large letters!!  So here is a little sneak peak as some need to be cleaned up before they are brought into the shop. 
We had such a good time finding a few new antique places to go to,  seeing friends like Dawn with Great Findz and visiting Haystack Antiques in Bellevue, Washington.

I did find 2 great antique wood molds from Haystack Antiques. They are going to be great side tables when I find the perfect size glass for the tops.

 We bumped into the always delightful Celeste from Chap's restaurant and bakery (located in Spokane), she always puts a smile on my face, she is full of song! After a full Saturday of shopping and driving, we went to a great Japanese restaurant called Wann with our other good friends from Seattle. I have had a lot of different types of Japanese food but I never had Japanese Nabe before.

 I am adding it to my new favorite foods list.
The snow was crazy on Sunday but after eating a great breakfast with Dawn and Jeff we headed to our last stop. We picked up 2 really cute pieces of furniture and headed out of town before the snow got any worse than it already was. We had to miss a couple of our favorite stops, Susan Wheeler Home and Kirk's but will make a visit next time.
We are already planning 2 more small road trips in the next few months. We will be heading to Alameda in March and Spokane in April. I will also be heading to Las Vegas for my mother's 70th birthday!! Any suggestions on antiques in Vegas??
Sweater tree!
Let's continue the treasure hunt!