It seems like forever since we've seen the sun and the days seem very very short.
My husband has been working out of town, so I've inherited dog walking duties. If we don't get our walk in right after I get home from work, I feel like we should be wearing reflective collars so we can be seen in the dusk.
After taking this picture, I realized my dogs are cuter from the front than the back. But they do love their walks, so this is my view a lot of the time.
Of course, no matter what the weather, or what else is going on, I have to do some kind of crafting. I'm convinced if I was ever on Survivor, I'd probably try to knit something using bamboo sticks and vines.
I made these sparkly vintage style Christmas ornaments at a wonderful craft day at Tami's craft day.
This is something I'm crocheting with a BIG wooden hook. It goes really fast. It's just a rectangle that eventually I'll fold down and tack the edges to make armholes and it should be a shrug. But if it isn't, it won't be the first time I'm had a yarn fail. It really is about the process.
My December 2013 Reverb Journal is getting a redo, too. The idea of the Dec reverb journal is to work with daily prompts and questions during Dec, kind of reviewing the year. Questions like: "What do you remember most about the year?" "What was something that surprised you this year?" "What did you plan to do in 2013 that you didn't do?".
Like Ferris Bueller said "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
I don't have any specific plans for 2015 but I'm practicing moving my head up and down to say "Yes", instead of back and forth to say "No".
Once again Karla showed she is the hostess with the mostess at her Romantic Cottage Christmas workshop. Her house is decorated in darling vignettes and themed trees and displays. This one of little deer was one of my favorites.
Lunch was yummy with individial chicken pot pies and mixed greens salad.
The house and studio were full of Christmas greenery.
Karla had three different projects for us to make, and a full table of other supplies to craft with "free-style" as Karla called it. Supplies to make cards, paper mache ornaments, felted ornaments- all great vintage stuff, and enough to make a whole tree full or ornaments.
Instead of making three different ornaments, I made three of the same ornament for my niece Melissa's three little girls. Baby Sadie was born in August and is pretty lucky to have two big sisters to help take care of her.
(If you'd like a stocking kit, Karla has them for sale here.)
I personalized the stockings with the girls' names by cross stitching on perforated paper and using a scallop punch to make tags.
A fun way and a fun day to get the holidays rolling.
I was digging around in my craft room and found an old blank book that was one of my first attempts at journaling. I don't think I called it journaling. This was just a book that contained a little doodling, jottings of ideas and clips from magazines, mostly Victoria Magazine from the 1990s.
For me, the 1990's was the "golden age" of inspirational magazines. Country Home, Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion and Victoria were all magazines I spent hours looking at and couldn't throw away.
(MEHC was so sacred, I could not cut from it, I've just kept all the issues.)
As many people before me have said, the internet really changed how and where I go for inspiration.
What surprised me about the clips I'd put in my journal was that I still like the same things.
Buttons, for example.
(Note my vintage journal tricks: fancy cutout around the bow of the box and the bold move of placing a picture at an angle.)
Oh, wouldn't you love to make this button tree?
This picture of bookshelves has so many things to love. The gold spines on the books, the framed botanical specimans, the compotes.
I wonder if that magazine picture was somewhere in the back of mind when I put together this display in my booth at the antique mall a few years ago.
The colors of the textures of this bedroom are so cozy. I was surprised to see this picture that I clipped at least ten years ago and compare to my actual bedroom.
For quite a while my story about my bedroom has been that I've left it "undecorated" because the rest of my house is so busy and full of stuff. That's partially the truth, some of my undecorated bedroom is just laziness.
Here's another page where I added a little doodle, turning this picture into the top of a cupboard.
And here's a shelf from my actual kitchen cupboard.
I love all the inspiration and resources the internet has brought us, but I do miss reading a magazine in a bubble bath or snuggling up with a magazine in my four poster, covered in pillows, get the dog out of the way, damask draped bed.
Having had booths in antique malls for fifteen years and doing shows for almost that long, I've noticed some practices, both good and bad, of dealers that add to a successful and happy selling experience. These are just some random observations and opinions.
(Image from here.)
(Image from here)
This can be a little tricky. You do need to make sure that anything you're relocating wasn't intentionally placed the way you found it.
Once upon a time I had a couple of garden urns for sale. They were on a table as the centerpiece of a display. One was sitting upright, and the other was "artistically displayed" on its side, with vintage seed packets spilling from it. A gentleman who was a dealer and also worked at the antique mall kept turning the urn upright and putting the seed packs back in it. He just didn't understand why you'd try to sell an urn that was lying down.
(image from here)
Those are some "do's". These are some "don'ts".
What I don't like is when another dealer wants to dicker on prices, rejects my discount offer and keeps asking for a lower price. I don't like to haggle, and I don't like to "reward" someone who's being obnoxious with a lower price.
On occasion, it happens and I give in. And when I give in, that's on me, it was my choice to lower my price to get someone to stop bothering me. But what's even more irritating is when I see that the dealer has the item in their booth in the same mall that I'm in and has priced the item they bought from me at ten times what they paid me.
If a dealer wants to buy something at full price and is able to resell at that kind of mark-up, more power to them. That's really good business.
But it's bad karma to make money at another dealer's expense, especially on shared turf.
When a dealer is setting up for a show, or bringing new merchandise to their booth, and they're surrounded by boxes and tubs of what might be wonderful treasures, it's tempting to want to dive in and get first "dibs".
I'm happy to sell my inventory right off the cart, but I don't appreciate other dealers or customers digging through yet to be unpacked boxes. They don't know what delicate items are wrapped in the newspapers in the boxes, or what boxes are packed with jewelry that's been carefully sorted so it won't tangle.
Along the same lines, be considerate of a dealer's personal space when they are setting up and rearranging their booth. I welcome company and conversation when I'm working in my booth, but I need a little space to move around.
Once when I was setting up for a show, the dealer couple next to me hung out in my booth for about half the time I was unpacking. I had to keep saying "excuse me", or "could I just reach over so I can put this on this shelf", but they were either oblivious or just didn't care. As I got toward the end, where I had everything unpacked, but I still needed to put out about 100 small items. I tried to arrange around them, but it just wasn't working. I tried not to show my exasperation and in my nicest voice said "I've got just a little bit of set up left, could you step out for a few moments while I finish?" They took the few trinkets they had in their hands that they were planning on buying, threw them on the table in front of me, stormed out of the booth and didn't talk to me for the rest of the show. I felt bad at the time, but looking back, it was probably just as well that they didn't have the chance to "hang out" in my booth for the rest of the show.
So when are you trendy and when are you copying?
Imagine I bring in a collection of vintage 1950s TV trays or 1970s crewel floral pictures (or anything I don't normally sell in my booth), and they sell like crazy. If my neighbor at the antique mall brings in a similiar collection, they aren't copying me, that's just good business.
(Image from here)
If someone decides to display their jewelry in bowls of rice, and the next week their neighbor at the antique mall does the same thing, is it copying? Is it wrong? No doubt it's copying, but I don't know that I'd get too upset about it. It isn't going to hurt my sales and I think I'd look at it as flattery that someone liked my idea.
If a dealer takes a piece of vintage ephemera to Kinko's and has it copied on poster size paper and sells the posters, and then another dealer does the same thing with a very similar image, it's definitely copying. Is it wrong? I think so, because it could negatively affect the sales of the original dealer.
This list certainly isn't all inclusive, it's just little bits and pieces of my observations. I don't mean for this post to scare anyone. If you see me in my booth, please feel free to stop by, stay hi, shop, buy all the new (old) things I'm bringing in. You know this post isn't referring to YOU.
The title of this post is suppose to be read the way Lawrence Welk introduces songs "and a-one and a-two and a-three". I was thinking about Lawrence because my mom emailed me to say she watching re-runs of his show, but her spell check insisted on calling him Lawrence Walk.
I've been wrist deep in thread, fabric, yarn and lace lately.
These bags don't look like my usual color palette. The one on the right is a patchwork of stitching and bits of feedsack fabric that I got from Deborah last year at Christmas.
The yarn for the bag on the left came in a grab bag of sewing stuff from an estate sale. I bought the bag because of some really nice button cards. I assumed the yarn was some that nasty pilly acrylic stuff, but it turned out it has a texture closer to fabric or twine. I still didn't plan on using the yarn, but it kept calling to me.
Do your craft supplies ever call to you? You're in the middle of doing something else, even another craft project, but you just have to accept the challenge of an unexpected supply or idea. That's what happened with this yarn.
I knew I wanted to do something besides stripes, and after experimenting for about three hours, I finally got out Knitting for Dummies book and realized that what I wanted to do was a slip stitch pattern with changing colors. Really easy once you look it up.
I tried a little tea dying- with a fruit tea- for a different look.
What do you think? Pinky, purple wine color or natural?
Some little stitched wool ornaments. I think they have kind of a Scandinavian look.
The gold thread is a little tricky to work with, but a little bit of it adds a nice sparkle.
More wool stitching- a heart sampler that I'm making up as I go and a little house that looks like it has gingerbread trim. I should probably make some more houses so I have a whole little neighborhood instead of one lonely cottage.
And what am I going to do with all of this? I don't know - maybe my Etsy shop? Right now I'm just having fun sewing and stitching.
Way back in 2011, I told you about a round robin I was making pages for called Her Life in Stitches. The round robin made a detour to the warehouses of Somerset magazines, and some pages are still MIA, but for the most part have made their way home.
made by Sandra Blanks
I know I've shared some of these pages before, but they are so pretty and detailed, I'm guessing you'll enjoy looking at them again as much as I did.
back of the first page by Sandra
made by Karla Nathan
made by Lisa McIlvain
back of Lisa's page
made by Lisa
back of Lisa's page
This is the cover and page I made for my own book. The next step for me would be to make all these pages into a book except...
...the cover and pages I made are so much smaller than the pages everyone else made. But with the help of some glue, nails, staples, and maybe a sewing machine, I think I can bind this into one big book.
A couple of months ago I got an email from someone who was looking for a stitched sampler in my Etsy Shop. I didn't have any in my shop, but I said I could try to make something to order.
I started with a little cross stitch sampler in the corner, part of a pink napkin and a couple of flannel-ish pieces that I think used to be part of a baby trousseau and some flowers cut from vintage fabric.
(Obviously I didn't spend much time ironing while I was stitching.)
The next step was to add some freehand embroidery stitches on the left side and and middle, and add some lace by the ticking heart.
The sampler was almost done full, but it didn't seem "done". After staring at it for awhile, I decided the bottom right side was too "light". It was too pastel, and kind of out of whack with the bright bold colors on the rest of sampler.
I dug through my fabric stash and found a great piece of barkcloth that would have more impact.
It can be hard to go back and "fix" something you've already spent time on, but in the long run, I'm better off investing the time. As my mother says "If it bothers you now, it will bother you later."
It was fun to collaborate long distance with someone else on the sampler, and have "in progress" pictures.
I'm not sure I would have been bold enough to add so many bright beautiful blossoms to the sampler without the encouragement of my customer.
After spending a lot of enjoyable hours working on the sampler, I didn't want to just shove it in an envelope and drop it in the mail.
So, I stitched up a wallpaper envelope with a seam binding tie and a little bunch of posies and sent it on it's way to its new home.
I'm taking my blog where it's never been before, sports. I'm a fair weather sports fan. If a local team is doing well, I get on the bandwagon and start following along.
The Kansas City Royals are in the World Series playing the San Francisco Giants. Of course, I'm cheering for the Royals, but what I've been enjoying about the games is the humor surrounding a Giant's player named Hunter Pence.
Fans have been making signs about him that are kind of benign insults like:
Why is Hunter Pence a target? According to Salon Magazine:
His throwing motion is weird, his swing is awkward, his tongue hangs out when he chases flyballs. Whatever he’s doing, wide-eyed Hunter Pence often looks out of whack.
These signs were seen in Kansas City:
FYI: Oklahoma Joe's makes some of the best barbeque in Kansas City, probably the world, so ordering salad is just not done.
A few more that made me giggle.
Apparently, Pence is all on board and has a great sense of humor as seen in this video:
And why wouldn't he laugh? He has a 5 year, $90 million contract!
NOTE: We'll return to our regular crafting and antiquing posts after the World Series.