Friday, February 26, 2010

I Love Old Books

I love old antiques and vintage things.  One of the reasons I love them is because someone else loved them, too.  Someone else whom I may never know.  Someone else who led a completely different life, totally separate from mine, and with one object our worlds are suddenly thrust together, tied to one another.  I may never know anything about their life... but it was there, they lived it, and I'm living mine.  It just so happens that something from their life, their world, popped its head into mine and gave me the chance to love it, cherish it, and give it new life.

Books are especially wonderful ... because sometimes there are even more mementos from the many different owners' lives that can be found.  Sometimes it's a scribble, a name, even a date.  A note in the front, or something written on the pages inside.

There are many things a person can do with old books ... right now, I have a stack of them right on my fireplace mantle, next to the bean balls I made, and below the beautiful clock that my father made my husband and me for our wedding.

Old Books

Check out this one - it's called "Useful Information For Business Men; Mechanics and Engineers."  Its copyright is from 1942, and at the time it cost only $1.  I love the information its owner put in the front pages - Nick Mamula, started with Jones and Laughlin Steel in 1936 and was eligible to receive a pension in 1978.

The back page has written "Christian 639,000,000 .34.8 Non-Christian 1,189,000,000 .65.2"  I have no idea what that means, but I like that it's there.

Old BooksOld Books

Then there's my favorite... this tiny hymnal, it stands maybe 5 inches tall.  It's dated 1875.  This is probably the oldest thing I own.  The covers aren't attached anymore, but I don't love it any less.  It was made for the Protestant Episcopal Church, and is full of 532 hymns.  I can't help but wonder how many people held this precious tiny hymn book in their hands, singing praises to our Almighty God.

Old BooksOld Books

Sometimes, though I feel horrible doing it, I'll take pages out of a book and frame them for the wall.  We found this book full of pictures of old cars at a close-out sale at a local bookstore.  It wasn't really much of a book, it was newer, not too old, but we liked the pictures of the cars inside... so we decided to cut them up and frame them on the wall above our computer desk.

Old Books

I wonder how many other people feel the same way I do about antiques or vintage finds, whether books or other.   I'd love to hear from you - do you collect anything special?  Do you feel nostalgic every time you look at your antique dishes?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sweet Caroline

Sweet Caroline 1

Sweet Caroline 2

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pink Birdie Purse

Today I'm showing off the pink birdie bag.  This is a takeoff on my popular tree pillow that came out last year.

Perfect for teachers or students, this tote bag is just the right size for carrying books, magazines, papers, or anything else your heart desires! I designed this bag based on the popular tree applique pillow formerly featured in my shop, but with a twist for spring. I've appliqued each felt piece onto the denim bag, and attached a vintage bead for the eye.

The entire bag is lined with a home-decor weight pink paisley fabric that coordinates nicely with the pink bird and thread. The bag measures 15.5 inches high and 13.5 inches wide. The straps are 27" long. The inside features a Creek Bed Threads suede tag.

Questions? Please don't hesitate to contact me! 

Birdie Purse

Click Here to find out more, and to buy this item at Etsy!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

TWest Thursday

Shown below are some of my favorite treasuries found in TWest!

TWest - Treasury West (Different from the Main Treasury, less crowded, and more hidden)
Treasury - A collection of Etsy items shown together, and curated by other Etsy members
Etsy - Awesome website for handmade items

*Warning* Many of these treasuries are expiring today, so after today clicking on the image will no longer take you to a valid URL, so you will just have to enjoy the prettiness from here!


Why I love it: I love the colors. The colors are beautiful, and the white offsets the green very nicely. The suitcase at the bottom is my favorite :)


Why I love it: First, I grabbed it because of the overall feel, it's very different from the typical treasury, in my opinion. It's bright and cheery without being annoying. It ties together very well for how many different colors are in it. Then I noticed the location... Pittsburgh, PA. Even better!

And lastly:

Why I love this: I noticed the title right away - "Stay for awhile" - I love it. It does invite you in and make you want to poke around in every nook and cranny! I love the colors, the items, it all flows very well together.

That's it for today, but I've enjoyed featuring these treasuries and may try to do this again!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Exciting News

The last few days have been a whirlwind of excitement for me in Etsy-land!

It started yesterday... a treasury I was in was featured on the front page (for all you non-Etsians, that's the home page that everyone sees when going to the site). I got around 1000 views that day! My friend Dionne 
was the one who curated the treasury, so that made it even more special, thanks Dionne!


Then, today, a treasury that I had curated was on the front page. Out of the 12 items that were featured, SIX of them sold during the hour it was featured - I was so incredibly pleased that six people got sales today because of it. The items that were featured were the ones I talked about in my post here, and are shown below as a refresher :-)

As a side note to those who understand FPs and Treasuries, I discovered today that if you have an item of your own as an alternate, even if so many items from the treasury sell that they run out of alternates to use, they will not put your own item up, they will revert to items from the previous FP!  I thought it was pretty interesting, I was curious to see what they would do!

But the excitement was not over yet! I found out that I was also extremely blessed enough to be featured in another blog - the decor8blog.  Her blog is really beautiful, and you should definitely take a hop over to check it out.  I was extremely impressed with it, and very very honored to be featured!  Below is a screenshot from her blog, with the blurb she wrote:


So that's all from here, sorry for so much Etsy and feature related stuffs but I just couldn't resist sharing!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Free Banner and Avi Set for Etsy

I've really enjoyed getting some practice at making banners recently, so I thought I'd give you a free download of a banner and avi, to anyone who wants it!

All you need to do to add your shop information is the following:
  • Click on one of the images below
  • This will take you to where you can click "download" to save the image to your computer
  • Go to picnik and upload your file
  • Click the tab that says "create" at the top of the picnik page
  • Click "text"
  • Type your text, choose your font, and play around with the sizing and color.  I'd suggest a white or light colored font for the images below!
  • Click the "save and share" tab
  • Click "save photo", choose a spot you'll remember, and you're almost done!
Now all you have to do is go into your etsy, click on Appearance on the left side menu, and navigate to the location on your computer where you saved your banner.  To update your avatar, go to "Public Profile" on the left menu.  Voila, a new banner and avatar!

Looking for more options? Check out sets 2 and 3 here!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bean Ball Tutorial

I've been on this decorative ball kick lately, after all, I have all these great pieces such as wooden bowls, creamy white urns or glass jars, and I have nothing to put in them!  As I was browsing some shops on Etsy a few months ago looking for decorative balls, I came across this awesome shop called makalewakan.  I absolutely loved her bean ball decorations.  The idea of bean balls has been festering in the back of my mind (getting a bit dusty, really) since then, and finally a few weeks ago I decided to take action.  I thought, hey, I could make those.  So I tried it.

Disclaimer: I do not have any knowledge of the actual process that makalewakan uses, I simply made up my own process using her shop as inspiration.  Also, these bean balls can in no way be mass produced for commercial use - the design right resides with makalewakan.  This is for personal use only.

Ok, now onto the good stuff.  You should only proceed if the idea of burnt fingers, strands of glue stretched like a spider web across your dining room table, tedious work, and wasting perfectly good food does not bother you. If any of the above bother you, head to makalewakan and buy one already made :)

First, here is what you need:

Some cheap beans, plain and simple. They don't have to be navy beans, any type of dry bean will do!

A Styrofoam ball, really any size will do. Bigger beans probably should go on a bigger ball, but smaller balls go faster! This one is 2.5" and took me about an hour.

A trusty hot glue gun... and some extra glue sticks.

Pour some beans in a bowl so that they are readily accessible. Plug that glue gun in and get it heated up!

You'll want to start gluing the beans in a ring around the center of the ball. Some Styrofoam balls have a line around the middle already, mine didn't so I had to guess. Lay a line of glue across the middle of the ball; you'll want to work in about 1 inch increments so your glue doesn't get too hard. Taking one bean at a time, press the small end into to the glue so that the bean is standing on end. Continue doing this all along the glue line... and repeat! Continue working your way around, and continue to make successive rings around the ball.

Halfway done... if you look closely you can see all of the pesky glue strings :( You just need to pick those off after you're all done!


Now, I also left a small blank area at the bottom of this one... I plan on going out in the woods (just as soon as the snow is gone, really...) and grabbing a stick, putting the bean ball on top, and putting a couple of them in a white urn.

Here is another, slightly bigger one I made out of pinto beans:

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial! Now who wants some beans for dinner?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Favorite Farmhouse Chic Picks

I've recently been very inspired by the farmhouse chic movement that seems to be taking over, and was totally enamored by the most recent catalog by Pottery Barn.  I really need to get my house in order, I am slacking in the decorating department!

So, tonight I am bringing you my favorite farmhouse chic items that I found browsing Etsy.

Green Electrical Box by Hindsvik, $34
...I think this would be perfect for holding some decorative balls, or as a planter!

Canvas Numbered Tote... by faded prairie, $30
...I just love this little tote, the number is perfectly faded and gives it a modern edge.

Vintage Paperwhite Garden in Antique Metal Mold by birdie1, $29
...Perfect exactly the way it is, this would look lovely on a rustic kitchen or side table.

European enamel ware bowl by gypsyfishstudio, $9.50
...I love enamel! This is especially great because it fits well with the white color scheme I love.

bowled over beautiful turned wooden bowl by cottagefarm, $15
...If you do not visit any other link here, please visit this shop. I had such a hard time picking out what to feature from this shop, but these striking colors in the photo got me. A wooden bowl is such a versatile thing to have in your home, whether it's for serving or decoration.

Three Button Homespun Pillow Cover by CreekBedThreads, $20
...I couldn't resist, I was so inspired by the Pottery Barn catalog that I ran off and made my own version of their cute pillows.

These are just a few of the items from a larger collection that I put together of my favorite items, seen below:

I hope you've enjoyed my farmhouse chic picks and are inspired to dig around and see what you can pull out of the closet and repurpose into a beautiful decoration for your home!

That's it for now, goodnight everyone :)
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