Signs and Wonders

When that clever north wind blows autumn into town, mysteries of the universe appear and disappear, other dimensions unfold before your eyes, and astral planes collide in mid-air.  If you have the good fortune to be in Stillwater between now and Oct. 18, you’ll see some spooky manifestations going on in our store window.  As you probably know, our store window has always been a vortex of the weird and wonderful.

While most of the items in the window will be available for you to purchase on Monday, Oct. 19, at 10 am, we regret to inform you about one item that is not for sale.  The large crystal ball which is the prototype of Madame Rosealba’s high tech iBall Collection and the only one of its kind in the entire multiverse.  But Madame Rosealba will reveal all…including how to make your own crystal ball. Most of the materials appear as if by magic right here at Elite Repeat!  Scroll past the photos for her instructions.  Follow them to the letter and you will soon be holding your own iBall.

Madame Rosealba speaks. Scroll down for DYI crystal ball instructions.

Madame Rosealba speaks. Scroll down for DIY crystal ball instructions.


A sign from beyond the void: Art Deco picture frames are beautiful voices from the past.

A sign from beyond the void: Art Deco picture frames are beautiful voices from the past.


Got balls?

To make your own iBall, start by taking a selfie.  Edit the photo as desired, but remember, less is more when it comes to ghostly images.  Print the photo onto a transparency.

Now you’ll need a piece of glassware.  A sphere is the traditional choice, but you can use a jar, a fish bowl, a flower vase, etc.  Just be sure the glassware is stable when turned upside down and placed on a flat surface.  The iBall in our display was a terrarium in its previous incarnation.

Trim the transparency so that it is is roughly the same shape and size as the interior of your glassware.  Roll up the transparency or bend it gently to fit through the opening of your glassware, but be sure not to fold it or you will have unwanted marks haunting your image.  Insert it head first (upside down) into the glassware.  Adjust the transparency so it is centered in the jar and the photo is not against the glass.  The image needs to “float” in the center of the space.  Then turn the glassware upside down so that the photo is right side up.

Madame Rosealba had to use a bit of tape at the top of the photo to hold herself in place, so to cover up the tape, she draped ancient, amber jewels from the fabled cave of Ali Baba over the top of the crystal ball.  She found these jewels for sale among the bobeches at Elite Repeat.

Your iBall requires no special care, but you may like to select an elegant stand or pedestal on which to display it.  A silk scarf wrapped around the base of your glassware can also enhance display of your iBall.

Among other treasures in our window are a ghost ship, the Sword of Truth (with Certificate of Authenticity), a seeing-eye plant named Iris, the astonishing Sphere of Steampunk, and other equally mind-boggling Treasures for the Witching Season.



Creature Comforts

Everyone should have a place of one’s own–a place to read, write and ponder.  The mouse who lives in this house is especially creative.  Look closely.  Everything in the house, even the orange crate that it’s made of, was originally used for something else.  Mice have to use the materials at hand (or paw, as the case may be), and this mouse house is a perfect example of recycling, repurposing and reusing cast-offs.  It’s as comfy-cozy as they come, from the glowing coals in the fireplace to the abundance of fancy foods in the kitchen.  Two mice babies snooze in a walnut shell near the wood stove and the exterior of the house features a Celtic mosaic chimney.

Created by one of Elite Repeat’s artists-in-residence, all the materials that went into making this lovely, little house were either found or donated to our shop in bits and pieces then carefully, imaginatively assembled into this fairy tale cottage.  It’s on display this week in our storefront window.  Do come by for a look!  It will be available on Monday, Dec. 5, at 10 am for $125.

Pricing Update:  As of May 1, 2012, this miniature mouse house is still available.  It’s been marked down to $100.  It’s waiting for you to take it home!

A writing desk in the upstairs living room of the mouse house.

Upstairs, downstairs...the elegant, relaxed atmosphere of this bookish mouse's living room contrasts with the busy, work-a-day kitchen.

Who else would you expect in a mouse's garden but a meditative St. Francis! The back of the house is decorated with a tall stone chimney and a bit of landscaping.

Once Upon a Zebra

Too good to pass up!  So many times we are given furniture that needs some tender, loving care in order to give it new life.  Sandy, one of our Elite Repeat artists, recognized the potential in this chair which had seen better days.  She made repairs and gave it a make-over.  In the process, she turned it into a treasure…again!  Sandy also created the first art chair we posted on this blog, which is now sold.

SOLD - Restoration complete!

Art Chair

Talent runs rampant among Elite Repeat’s volunteers, and this chair is an excellent example.  One of our gifted artists took an old chair and gave it new life.  It’s the only one of its kind, and it’s waiting for you–the accent piece you’ve been looking for.

SOLD - Hand-painted, reupholstered and voila! Transformation!

Art Parts

We have art parts beyond the ordinary. 

There are loads of stores that sell found art–that is, original artwork created with things the artist just happened to stumble upon.  And there are a great many stores that sell art supplies.  We are one of only a very few stores in the known universe that sells found art supplies.

Most resale stores don’t deal with ephemera, found objects, dinged-up vintagey bobbles or other marvelous tidbits that can be used to create original artwork.  Ephemera, by the way, are bits and pieces, things that have outlived their purpose but retain a certain appeal because they’re interesting, pretty, memorable or nostalgic.  Ephemera can be printed or written, paper or pot metal or any number of materials that are not intended to be long-lived.

Bottle caps, match books, glass glitter, frozen Charlottes, slightly used tubes of paint, tinsel, beads, old lace, fur trim, buttons, mannequins, photographs, bits of string, rusty things, shiny things and the occasional stuffed peacock–at Elite Repeat, we consider this good junk, and we save it up for artists like you!  (Because, let’s face it, who else would know what to do with it?)

SOLD - Ephemera at Elite Repeat: This is a detail of a photograph of a painting entitled Land of Nod by the British illustrator Susan Beatrice Pearse. We don't know where the original painting is, but in 1927 it was reproduced as a black and white lithograph by the Curtis Publishing Co., courtsey of the Edward Gross Co. of NYC, as an illustration for a children's story. This photo is printed on Kodak Royal Paper and measures 14" x 11".