Sunday, November 29, 2009

With It

Because I work from home with no set hours or specific days off, from time to time I've been known to be a bit 'unclear' as to exactly which day of the week we're on.

At least I hope it's because I work from home.

Mix in a mid-week holiday combined with a lot of cooking & baking, friends coming and going and more fun than the average Thursday around here and I find I'm s-l-o-w (reluctant?) to get back on track. Maybe when the rest of the world returns to its normal schedule on Monday, I'll feel more 'with it' too.

Meanwhile, while I'm waiting to get 'with it', I've been filling my etsy shop with 'handmade from vintage' stocking stuffers, pillow covers, Christmas stockings and little gifty things.


Later this week, I'll be having a giveaway here at Into Vintage so I hope you'll stop back by. If you're into vintage, I think you'll like this. Happy Cyber Monday.

P.S. Almost forgot to mention I'm offering free worldwide shipping for purchases made on Monday, November 30. 

Friday, November 20, 2009

Phase Two

Toward the end of summer I went to one of the best yard sales ever with all kinds of ridiculously great stuff for dirt cheap. It was so good I still occasionally drive by, hoping they might be holding Phase Two. It hasn't happened yet but I'm sure my drive-bys will pay off one of these days. Unless they think I'm some kind of yard sale stalker.

One of the thrilling finds that day included a plastic baggie filled with twenty vintage crystal chandelier teardrops. Looking back, I'm not even sure why that was thrilling since I don't collect these and had no immediate plans for them but there were twenty! of them in perfect condition. For a dollar.

I think that was the thrilling part. I can get worked up over just about anything when it's only a dollar.

Since then, I've been hanging on to these crystals, waiting for inspiration and it finally came to me when I was fiddling around with the rhinestones I bought at a holiday bazaar. 

Here's what I made. Twenty sparkling Christmas ornaments with vintage rayon seam binding bows and vintage rhinestone embellishments.


I bought the seam binding on etsy from FiniRibbon and mattiecakes.

I plan on selling these at the show I'm doing this Sunday, the 22nd, in Hood River, OR at the Best Western Hood River Inn.  Then it's back to the doily factory for a thorough and much needed clean-up & organizing extravaganza (and maybe a nap) so I can begin work on my new ideas for 2010.


Hope you have a thrilling weekend.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Snail Mail

As much as I love you, Internet, I'm still a little old school and therefore a big believer in handwritten thank you notes, love letters and cards. This year my 'good intentions' are to get started on Christmas cards early so I don't begin 2010 with a stack of blank envelopes and unlicked stamps staring at me.

I'm not sure yet if I'll purchase handmade cards or make my own (or maybe both) but while I'm mulling it over, here's a few of my favorites found on etsy.

Clever little yo-yo-yo card from needletraditions.

Curb appeal brought to us by macaroniandglue.

Perfect for vintage DIY Christmas cards. Thanks psitsinthedetails


Just because I think they're funny. From ReDefinedDesigns.

Schoolbook illustrations reincarnated as Christmas cards from StoriesDivinations.

Who can resist the man in the red suit? Handmade by luckybeepress

I think I might need one of those sponge-tipped-envelope-moistener things.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What I'm Doing When I Should Be Working

A glimpse of some of the faces hanging around in the doily factory these days...

Meet the Lederhosens. Nice couple but not much for housekeeping.  But with all the dancing and their jobs keeping them on call every hour, on the hour, who has the time?

Some local wildlife. I call him 'Dusty'.


Whoa, Santa! Pace yourself. We've got a little way to go before Christmas.

"Hey, look at me, I'm almost a pillow!"

I like a man with a goatee. Or a pine cone with a goatee.

I can't confirm it but I suspect these two have been hitting the hot toddies.

I don't think I'm OCD but I do like the screw heads lined up
just so.


That's no lady! That's the Pied Piper of Hamlin who's lent his image to this vintage shoebox of 'distinguished juvenile footwear.'

Thanks for indulging me.  Hope you enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Day of A Billion Photos

Maybe only half a billion. I lost count.

This post went from being about new items in my etsy shop to now being about the fact I was able to make this photo mosaic with a minimum of cursing and whining. I imagine technical skills come easily for a great many of you and this project may seem as complex as a load of laundry but technology is not always 'intuitive' to me so I consider this be a somewhat 'advanced' personal achievement. Who knows what the future holds? Tomorrow I may learn to use the camera on my phone. Or how to text message. (do I really need to know this?) The doors are opening -- will she walk through them? Stay tuned. Anyhoo -- everything you see in the mosaic will be in my etsy shop by 10 a.m. PST on Thursday, November 12th. (aka tomorrow)

Meanwhile, while on one of my weekly trips to the vet*, I buzzed into the only local thrift shop, a tiny place but one that always seems to have a treasure waiting for me. I didn't find anything I had to keep for myself but did come across a few things for my other etsy shop, PeppermintBark.

Pretty sterling silver candleholders and a red-handled, collapsible egg basket.

I don't know about you but my taste in vintage is constantly changing -- for a while it's all about this and then I'm over this and into that. I've been thinking about this year's Christmas decorations for my house and although the vintage Christmas ornaments passed on to me by my mother will always be a constant, this year I want to mix in different things too. A little vintage sparkle combined with the quieter side of Christmas. I know. What in the world does that mean, right? I'm not exactly sure myself but I have an idea in my head that involves a few more trips to thrift stores (oh darn) for vintage books and if it works out the way I envision, you'll be the first to know.

I'm finishing up my *dream scenario* of a custom order from someone who will have lots of festive vintage Christmas additions to her home this year. She sent me a box FULL of her vintage Christmas cutters with these instructions: "Please make pillows." Woo-hoo! The pink Santa is a peek of one of her pillows-in-progress. I can't help but wonder what else is in her stash!


Here's one more work-in-progess for the upcoming show I'm doing on Nov. 22 in Hood River, OR. Little lavender-filled stocking sachets made from vintage tablecloths. 
And it's like forever until the 22nd, right?

*Vintage Cat requires special cat food amongst other things. Another story for another day.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hanging Out With Ethel

Magpie Ethel, that is. We were both selling our handmade vintage crafts at a show in Portland this past weekend, situated across the aisle from each other. I took a few photos before the doors opened which was a good thing because after that, all I saw of Laurie (aka Ethel) and her amazing spread of vintage Christmas eye candy were the backs of all the customers crowded around her.

Here's a peek at some of the items from my doily factory that were for sale.

And here's a mere fraction of what Ethel had for sale:


Of course, another important part of being at a show is what I bought. I tried very hard to control myself and ended up with a tiny, shiny pile of vintage rhinestone jewelry (perhaps not the best indication of my 'self control' since I don't collect rhinestones although I guess I do now but they were pretty & sparkling and only $2), some vintage greeting card boxes* and a cutesie vintage paper tablecloth.

I also came home with two incredible vintage Christmas items from Laurie but I think I'll share those another time once I get the holiday decor in order at the doily factory. I promise they're worth the wait.

While in Portland, I stayed with my friend Charlie the Greyhound and his family.


I'll be updating my etsy shop later this week so I hope you'll stop in and look around.
Now it's time to do a little unpacking. 

*see 'self control' and 'things I don't collect'

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

An Abundance of Horizontal Surface

This afternoon I had the news on long enough to hear the weather forecaster say "...bringing us wave after wave of cold, damp..."   Um, no thank you? I haven't fully adjusted to the fact it's becoming dark at 4 pm which also means (when combined with wave after wave of cold, damp) there's a very limited window of opportunity to take photos in daylight. Not to mention I'm hungry for dinner entirely too early. I can only wonder how long I'll be asking "Is that clock right?"

Please fasten your seat belts as we begin our initial approach into winter.

The doily factory has added a second shift this week since my first show of the season is this Saturday. I've also expanded the factory's shipping and receiving operations into the dining room where there's an abundance of horizontal surface. At least there used to be.

These tea towels are my newest favorite-thing-to-make. I have an alarming amount of vintage crocheted and tatted pieces that have been patiently waiting for me to 'do something' with them. I got the idea for these towels from those little tatted circles - they look just like flowers to me. I hand-dyed those and most of the other bits and pieces on these tea towels and 'drew' the stems with my sewing machine.

I like them because they're a little whimsical and kind of quirky.  And yet, still vintage. I call them Not Your Granny's Tea Towels (but that might be your granny's doily).

And now a word from the Random Information Dept.
If you're an etsy seller who's curious to know if your items have ever appeared on etsy's front page, check out this website. Click 'Search For Member' and then type in your shop name and it'll tell you if, when and which item made the front page. Is this important to know? Probably not but I like internet gizmos.

Time to start the second shift. This evening's projects include handmade business cards and fabric covered notebooks.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tall Lady, Come Back!

While my doily factory has definitely been in overdrive as of late, I did manage to shut down operations for a bit on Saturday so I could get some 'fresh air' and 'recharge'.  I headed straight to some thrift stores and estate sales.

Found lots of great stuff and this little piece is one of my favorites. I think it's destined to become a pillow at some point.

After I was done shopping for the day I spotted an estate sale sign on my way to the post office and as Barbara at Oodles and oodles once said, "It seemed silly not to stop."

This was Day 2 of the sale but there were still several treasures to be had and at rock bottom prices including a garage full of furniture I had to pretend wasn't there because I don't have room for any more furniture. At least that's what I keep telling myself.

My first job out of art school was as a designer for a company that made needlecraft kits so I'm always drawn to vintage embroidery and needlepoint. Snow and cottage scenes are my favorites therefore a snow-covered cottage is the mother lode. Love that little curl of smoke from the chimney. Someone wrote 'Sept. 1940' on the back of these.

I paid for these Montana glasses and then promptly neglected to take them home with me (hands too full of other good stuff). I'd forgotten all about them until my neighbor came over, excited to show me what she bought at the estate sale right before it closed ... 'my' Montana glasses!

She too saw them at the sale, was told they'd been sold to a 'tall lady with brown hair' and they were giving Tall Lady a few minutes to return before selling them to anyone else. Fortunately, my alert neighbor assumed I was Tall Lady and re-purchased the glasses for me! 

I just remembered I owe her a quarter. Thanks Neighbor!