Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Finger Food

Now I know what to carve the turkey with!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Madoula's thimble

This is one of my favorite thimbles. It is silver with niello enamelling. I am told that the thimble says, in Arabic, Madoula on one side, and lady of the house on the other. I don't know when it was made; it had belonged to the previous owner's grandmother. I know, every "antique" thimble always belonged to the owner's grandmother, but I really believe this particular person, who was just happy to pass it along to someone who would love it. And I do. I just wish I could get a better photo of it.

I have seen many other niello-enamelled thimbles, but none like this. There are lovely Marsh Arab thimbles made as souvenirs around the time of the first world war depicting scenes from the marsh areas along the Tigris in what is now Iraq. There also silver niello souvenir thimbles from the Caucasus (Kavkaz) region in Russia/Central Asia. These usually have "Kavkaz" written in Cyrillic and various stylized motifs in black enamel, as shown below. There are more recent examples coming out of Greece and Turkey but they do not have the detail that the older ones have. And none are so lovely as Madoula's.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Blindspotjewelry Thimble

I found this extremely cool sterling thimble from blindspot jewelry at Etsy.
It's $180.00. Ouch!
Cool, but ouch!

I don't know who the actual artisan who created the thimble is, but I will update when I find out.

Friday, September 26, 2008

What the. . .? Fortune Cookie Thimbles??

OK. Apparently these are little thimble cookies one uses to dip into and taste yummy substances like Nutella (I would personally go for a more chocolatey concoction, but I digress . . .). I don't know what they're called or where one would acquire them. They look as though they would taste like fortune cookies, but, again, I dunno. More investigation is required.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fit the Eighth (Hunting of the Snark)

The Vanishing

They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
They pursued it with forks and hope;
They threatened its life with a railway-share;
They charmed it with smiles and soap.
They shuddered to think that the chase might fail,
And the Beaver, excited at last,
Went bounding along on the tip of its tail,
For the daylight was nearly past.

"There is Thingumbob shouting!" the Bellman said.
"He is shouting like mad, only hark!
He is waving his hands, he is wagging his head,
He has certainly found a Snark!"

They gazed in delight, while the Butcher exclaimed
"He was always a desperate wag!"
They beheld him--their Baker--their hero unnamed--
On the top of a neighbouring crag,

Erect and sublime, for one moment of time,
In the next, that wild figure they saw
(As if stung by a spasm) plunge into a chasm,
While they waited and listened in awe.

"It's a Snark!" was the sound that first came to their ears,
And seemed almost too good to be true.
Then followed a torrent of laughter and cheers:
Then the ominous words "It's a Boo--"

Then, silence. Some fancied they heard in the air
A weary and wandering sigh
That sounded like "--jum!" but the others declare
It was only a breeze that went by.

They hunted till darkness came on, but they found
Not a button, or feather, or mark,
By which they could tell that they stood on the ground
Where the Baker had met with the Snark.

In the midst of the word he was trying to say
In the midst of his laughter and glee,
He had softly and suddenly vanished away--
For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.

--Lewis Carroll

Thursday, September 11, 2008

In Memoriam: Darren Bohan

Darren Christopher Bohan
29 September 1966 - 11 September 2001

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Beautiful Place, Ugly Thimble

I think Zion National Park is one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
This thimble, however, is kinda ugly.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Dependence and Independence

Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR),
24 August 1888, page 3, issue 8709, col. G.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Tambour Thimble

Illustrations from: Encyclopedia of Needlework
by Thérèse de Dillmont

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Sew in some thoughts of love for me.

The Daily (Chicago, IL) Inter Ocean,
24 November 1895; Issue 245; col C.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Rigolette trying to distact herself. . .

Rigolette cherchant à se distraire en l'absence de Germain
(Rigolette trying to distract herself during Germain's absence) Joseph Désiré Court.
Oil on canvas. Musée des Beaux Arts, Rouen, France.

Monday, April 28, 2008

3rd Rock From The Sun: Green Eyed Dick

This is the episode with the thimble, or '"Turkish nipple armor." It's divided into three clips, which I've embedded here indivually. The thimble is at the beginning of the second part. There must be a more efficient way to put the videos into this blog than to have all three separately, but I'm a thimble geek not a computer geek, so I dunno. Anyway, for the whole episode, watch all three in sequence, top to bottom; for just the thimble part, see the first couple minutes of the second clip.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Tonto Natural Bridge thimble

This little thimble is available through the Arizona State Parks Gift Catalog website in either gold- or copper-tone for only $4.00 plus S/H. The web-weary can call them at either 1-888-498-0036 (from inside Arizona) or 1-888-498-0037 (from outside Arizona). They also have a similar thimble available for Yuma Territorial Prison. I like the idea of thimbles featuring prisons. It could be a collecting specialty. I already have one from Alcatraz. Are there any for Reading Gaol? Gitmo? Hmmmm. . .

Monday, February 18, 2008

Jane Chantler

The beautiful thimbles shown at left were all designed and wrought by specialist silversmith Jane Chantler of Jane Chantler Ltd, Clifford House, Brough, Cumbria, UK. They are but four of 25 thimbles featured on her website, all of which are made from heavy, hallmarked Sterling Silver and are priced from £56.50 to £71.00 (about US$111.00 to US$140.00). Each thimble featured on the website is also available in gold or platinum, as are her custom-designed thimbles or jewelry pieces.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Nonsense Thimble

From: Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany, and Alphabets,
"Nonsense Alphabet No. 3," by Edward Lear.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Hooray, José!

From: The People (London), 20 Jan 2008:
STAR HOARDS: Which celebrities collect old tennis balls, typewriters, butterflies, pigs, thimbles, comics, coat hangers... and pigeon skeletons? A ROUND-UP OF THE ODD ITEMS IN A-LIST LOFTS. . .
YOU wouldn't guess he has a weird hobby, but Hollywood superstar Tom Hanks is an obsessive collector of vintage TYPEWRITERS. The Forest Gump star revealed his secret passion on the Jonathan Ross show last week. He scours the internet for rare examples and chats to other collectors on typewriter web sites. But he's not the only star who hoards odd items. RACHAEL BLETCHLY unearthed some strange celebrity passions...
SPANISH opera giant Jose has a huge collection of rare thimbles - which cost a lot more than three tenners.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Recipe: Hot Ditalini Salad

1 c. ditalini pasta (thimble-sized tubes)
1 15-oz. can white kidney beans, rinse and drain.
½ c. chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 Tblsp. olive oil
2 c. tomatoes, chopped up in chunks
12 oz. cooked chicken, pulled into bite-size chunks
¼ c. fresh flat-leaf parsley, torn or snipped
Salt and pepper to taste
Don't go nuts about exact measurements.
  • Cook pasta (follow directions on package); drain; set aside.
  • In blender, purée 3/4 cup of the white kidney beans with the chicken broth. Put purée into pan and bring to boiling. Add set-aside pasta.
  • In a large skillet, sauté garlic in olive oil for 1 minute. Add tomatoes; cook an additional minute. Add rest of beans , chicken, parsley, salt and pepper. Heat through, but don't mash up.
  • Add the garlic/tomato mixture to hot pasta; toss to coat. Makes about four servings.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Steal this Book!

Text not available

I found this while noodling around in Google Books on another project and thought I'd try the little link-jobby-thingy to see how it works. I guess the link works OK, but I had to shrink down the image a little (twice!): at first it took up so much space that it knocked my sidebar stuff to the bottom of the page.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Why thimble sellers should learn about thimbles.

OK. I'm not writing about the eBay thimble sellers who specialize in thimbles and other sewing collectibles. They know what's up. I am referring to the regular Joe Schmoes selling their grandma's 80,000 treasured knickknacks, and to the irregular "Antique" dealers trying to unload somebody-else's grandma's assorted junk as "Estate" pieces.
My petulant little points:

1. This is not "vintage." Nor unmarked silver. Nor tarnished from age. It's a current, modern, buy-it-at-today-at-WalMart silver-tone metal thimble. With a smidge of rust. So, actually, not even as valuable as any thimble one can buy in any fabric/craft/notions/drug store on Main Street, USA, for 99 cents. Not worth $85.00. Sorry.

2. This is not "antique." It is not Victorian. Not European. Not a rare archaeological find from some unspecified Middle Eastern nomadic people. It is from Mexico, almost certainly from Taxco, which is an honorable enough lineage, but they are not rare in the United States and are readily and reasonably available internationally through eBay. A fair price would be $8.00-15.oo. Not $49.95.

3. Thimbles do not come with holes in them. Thimbles are not designed with holes to ventillate thimbles. A thimble has a hole because the owner pushed a needle all the way through the thimble and made a hole. Do not feed me any other story about it. DO NOT. And if you're selling me this thimble through eBay or any other online website: tell me if there are any holes. A hole de-values a thimble more than any other type of damage. I may still want the thimble with the hole, but I want to know about the hole. And a thimble with a hole that's been "repaired" (see left, click to enlarge)--even repaired fairly well--is a thimble with a repaired hole, not a thimble without a hole. And while I'm at it (whew!), don't tell me it's just a small hole. Of course it's small: it's on a thimble. But it's still a hole.

What the . . .?

Pictured above are what are called Pigeon Racing Thimbles.
First: Hooray for anything referencing thimbles. Sincerely. Genuinely. YAY!!
Second: I have been trying to figure out what they do with these thimbles in pigeon racing. I've read the Wikipedia article and apparently they have something to do with timing the dear, little birdies, which have some sort of numbered bands put around their legs from when they're pretty much fresh from the egg. I think that when the pigeon arrives at its little pigeon-home-nest-place, pooped from the long flight, its owner (human pigeon-companion, if you will) removes the band and pops it into the thimble-thingy which goes into the pigeon racing clock. Again, I think that's what happens, but I could be entirely wrong (it's happened before). This must be so intuitively obvious to fans of this. . . uh. . . sport. . . that they feel no need to explain it, but I'm dipped if I'm clear on the concept. Seems like one could cheat.
Oh! There are Pigeon Clock Collectors groups and societies! YAY!
I wonder if they have to hear, "You collect what?," all the time too.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Three thimble lots at Bonhams.

Art & Antiques
Sale 16278
Knowle, England
15 January 2008

Lot 36: A Royal Worcester porcelain thimbles (2).
The blush ivory ground painted with a robin amid flowers over a gilt rim, 2.6 cm., and another painted with scattered flowers, (cracked and s.d.), 1.9 cm.
Update: Sold for £20 (about US$39.61) plus Premium and tax.

Lot 402: Two eastern ring thimbles (2).
One with decorated thimble, each attached to a finger ring with stone.
Update: Sold for £85 (about US$168.33) plus Premium and tax.

Lot 403: Four Thimbles (4).
Comprising: two Indian ivory examples, a Dutch silver ribbed finger guard, with duty mark, 4 cm., and a thimble on chain to a ring decorated with stones.
The listing title references FIVE thimbles, but the body of the text and the photo indicate 4 thimbles.

Update: Sold for £60 (about US$118.82) plus Premium and tax.