Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Super Easy Flag Tutorial...just in time for July 4th!

A few days ago I was decorating for Independence Day when I realized just how little I had to work with. Short on decorations, short on time, but not short on determination... I went to work making this pretty flag garland in just minutes! And now I'd like to share this really easy recipe with you. :)

All you need is a sheet of paper and a printer, a length of ribbon or string, scissors and glue.

- Print the flags above by clicking on them. A new page with nice big flags will open up (it may take a minute...they're high quality so they won't print fuzzy). You can print them straight from that page.

- Using your scissors, cut out the flags.

- Decide where you'd like to hang your garland and measure and cut ribbon or string to your desired length.

- Fold your flags in half, coat one half with glue, then place ribbon or string in the crease and press two flag halves together.

- Continue until you've got enough flags for your garland. You can measure the distance between flags for consistent placement or let them stagger.

- Hang over windows, around a patriotic tree, over a mirror, or over a doorway (like I did). Enjoy! :)

This project is so simple and makes a nice patriotic impact!

Friday, June 19, 2009

My very first Official Estate Sale!

This morning I dared to venture out and attempt to combat the fierce competitive game that is the "estate sale". Well...maybe I'm being a little dramatic, but I was intimidated. I don't know proper estate sale etiquette and was fearful of offending someone or perhaps not being swift enough to capture the vintage prizes I was after.

Well...it wasn't so hard after all, although it's still a bit intimidating! When you go, they hand out numbers (first come first serve) and let you in based on your number once the sale starts. This is to avoid a crazed mob entering and practically looting the house. Piles of people gather at the door anxiously awaiting and complaining how it wasn't fair that they didn't get a lower number. I arrived plenty early because I really wasn't sure what to expect. I was number 3 so I got in right away (yippee!), although I think everyone got in right away. I made a bee line to basement where they had advertised Christmas ornaments, praying they were vintage and good quality. It didn't take me long to spot them...and they were vintage! I sifted through three big boxes and quickly filled the bag I had with me. A man came over and started looking through the box too. I felt my animal instincts kick in. I was afraid he would grab some amazing thing that was right at my finger tips. I wanted to snarl and bite his arm...but I refrained. Luckily the lot didn't interest him and he left. So silly I know...but it's part of the fun of the hunt I guess!

I have to say that I was inspired to go to a REAL estate sale (not the second day ones on Saturday that are basically a picked over indoor garage sale) by Laurie from Magpie Ethel. She is the estate sale queen and she displays all of her fabulous finds on her blog. Thanks Laurie for the encouragement! :)

Well...to the good part. Here's what I found:

Vintage dolls all dressed up, an old steiff looking spotted lion, an aque blue alarm clock and matching hand vase (with broken and poorly glued back on finger), little butter pats with pond lily transfers, a vintage flower sifter, tiny birds nest with chicks and mom, scarf, two neat belts, a leather camel with rider, a pretty handmade pot holder, funky double ended bud vase, several rhinestone brooches and a stack of little towels that match my logo!

The Christmas items where fabulous too! TONS of blue bead garlands, old wax head angels, tiny flocked deer, elves galore, a good supply of long skinny blue glass ornaments, and more!

I paid a little more than I wanted...and this was after I talked down the price, but it was well worth the time, effort and moola! :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Getting ready for a wedding...

I love my Dad so much. He's always been such a great father to me and my siblings and his numerous quirks continuously crack me up. My mom shook her head when she saw how he aired out his seldom worn suit.

I went home to New York for my cousin's wedding on the farm last weekend. On Saturday morning I went to the farm with my Dad and little sister to help with chores and last minute details for the wedding (including giving a cow a bath and a haircut). I spent my wonderful childhood there and it's always so good to go back.

Before I left Boston I did a portrait to give my cousin for her wedding. As you can see, Magic helped.

Here's the finished product. I have a good collection of old frames and I thought this one suited McKenzie and her new hubby.

Voila! Wrapped up and ready to go!

I think they liked it!

And I'll leave you with a crazy photo of my sister and I dancing with Dad in his seldom worn suit. :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Come Visit me and Boston Handmade at the South End Open Market this Sunday

This Sunday, June 14th, I'll be offering my goodies along with my Boston Handmade friends from 10am–4pm, 540 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA. There will be jewelry, clothing, baby items, pottery, antiques, farm fresh produce, live music and lots more! I think the forecast is looking good thus far so it should be a real good time. I'm going to finish up as many patriotic themed figures and ornaments as I can before the show. Can't wait!

These photos were snapped last week at a little show in Jamaica Plain, "JP First Thursdays".

See you there! :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Treasures from up North and Green Window Washing

This past Sunday I ventured up North a ways to visit a flea market several people have told me about. It's a little farther than I normally like to travel for a single destination, but I just had to see what the fuss was all about. A friend of mine advised me to go early. This was easier said than done, seeing that a comfy bed and me getting up before 8:00 on a weekend are an unlikely combination. On Sunday I forced myself up at 7:30 and was out of the house by 8. I arrived at the flea market by 9:00 and thought I had plenty of time to shop (9 is early, right?). Well...low and behold...my buddy meant EARLY. The market opens at 5 and vendors started packing up their wares before 11! I did manage to nab a few neat things before they were tucked away into uhauls and truck beds.

I found 4 beautiful millinery hats from two separate ladies...3 of them are covered in mint condition millinery flowers...gorgeous! I always buy them thinking I'll pull the flowers off to use elsewhere, but I can never bring myself to ruin a perfectly good, granted long out of style, hat. You may find these in my Vintage from Crystal etsy store for a really good price...

I also found an old chippy paint squeegee. It was only a quarter and has inspired me to clean the windows in my house (something I don't do nearly enough!). I don't like using harmful chemicals like windex, which has ammonia in it, so I looked online and found a wonderful and easy window washing solution that works great without the nasty chemicals: 1/2 cup white vinegar + 1 tbsp liquid dish soap (like dawn or joy). Swish it around in a spray bottle (I used an old windex bottle I had from forever ago). Spray on windows and rub around with a wash cloth then wipe clean with another wash cloth (I used an old towel for the multiple windows and of course my squeegee...which was fun, but probably not necessary). It worked like a charm! Almost no streaks! And best of all...not harmful to me or the little spiders in my window boxes!

Back to the vintage goodies...I also picked up a cute little cubby unit with a drawer in a beautiful mint color along with a little vintage deer and a snail candle holder...I love them displayed just how they are in the photo! The little tiny baby is a gift for my mom when I see her this weekend. I loved sifting through boxes and boxes of vintage jewelry...look at the brooches I found for a song! I'm wearing the leafy one with the green beads as we speak! I'm also excited about the pair of vintage camping forks I found. They are long with wooden handles and metal prongs...perfect for veggie dogs and marshmellows over the fire this summer! And there were two...one for me and one for Ben. Can't wait to use them!

I also picked up an entire tin bucket filled with vintage glass knobs and drawer pulls for only 10 bucks! The repros I always fawn over at Antropologie are $6 a piece! This was definately the best find of the day. At the last minute I also found this not too terribly old piggie pitcher. He's very sophisticated...don't you think? He'll be great for iced tea this summer.

Thanks for looking and listening...I always love sharing my finds with you all! What fab treasures have you found recently? I'd love to hear about them! :)

Monday, June 1, 2009

New pieces up on Etsy now!

Back by popular demand are the owls and elephants! These owls are so much fun to make and they are all so different. Check them out on Etsy.

These pretty elephants are ready to party! The girl was so cute in pink but I thought she'd like a brother in blue. These are also great for baby showers...light pink for girls and baby blue for boys. :)

And who doesn't love a garden of flower girls! These sweeties really perk up the studio.

And some more reptiles. Mr. Grouchy Alligator is one of my favorites but he's hard to get a good photo of!

This giraffe and snail duo make a funny pair! The snail is slowly crawling on a tiny box and I used some of this fabulous velvety grass like trim I found on my last trip to NYC.

And of course I can't resist making some playful kitties!

These cuties are for sale now in my Etsy shop. :)