Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Adios 2014, Hello Motivation?

Here's that picture of the finished wreath I promised too long ago. It did take much too long to actually get around to making and dying the trees, but I got it put together once the dye dried. I'm satisfied with the results.

I had a surprisingly decent holiday, with only one melt down to speak of. I didn't mention it, but I've been doing a fancy meditation that I learned at a sort of retreat in April through the Isha Foundation. I truly believe that my daily practice is what got me through the challenges of this past year. I've sort of abandoned it the last couple of weeks when holiday prep got down to the wire and I'm feeling it in my sleep.

Backing up to Christmas, the picture above is my vintage bounty! I really can't wait to change my hutch around to display my new pieces. Wait, there's more!

BJ took me to an estate sale the day after Christmas. I saw the Holt Howard cat in a picture and it was still there when we arrived. I also found a Fire King jadeite swirl, a McKee jadeite fridgie sans lid, and a Pyrex 502 lid, which I can always use. Then we went to Arc's and I found a cool vintage bracelet and a neat-o metal table (not shown) which perfectly houses my dead plants. I'm still keeping hope alive that they'll come out of their brown states.

We had planned on attending another Christmas on Saturday, but per usual, there was a snow storm which made the roads icy. It would have turned a 3 hour drive into a 4-5 hour drive and of course the rear breaks just started going out. Thanks, Car. So instead of risking life and limb, we decided to stay home and had a nice brunch almost alone at Pizza Luce. No body wanted to go outside, which meant fast service for us! (Shocking at the Richfield location.) Then we went to Hopkins to check out a few antique stores later in the day. Despite living in the Twin Cities for nearly a decade, I've never actually been inside the city of Hopkins, and what a shame that is! We had a really fun afternoon looking through all the shops and found a bunch of great treasures. We picked up a huge snowflake Pyrex, the Holt Howard candle holders, and the Christmas kitty at Auntie M's which was packed to the gills with amazing stuff. Then we tried our luck at the Minnetonka Goodwill where I found the space saver! It has a pretty big chip on the other side of the dish which I didn't notice until I left the store, but it was cheap and displays nicely from one side, so whatevs. I was just super stoked on seeing a space saver live and in person.

My mom and sister bought some crafts from me and this is what I bought with it, so thanks, Family. I understand that this is an addiction. BJ said that this will be the everlasting fruit salad bowl for next year.

As we wrap up 2014, I have met my goal of reading 52 books this year, and am about to exceed it by one book. This next year, I'm hoping to be more motivated in meeting and exceeding other goals that I set for myself, but I think I'll set them as needed because sometimes setting a lot of big goals at the beginning of the year makes it too hard to fit it all in without feeling overwhelmed. In 2015, I'd just like to be happy and confident wherever life takes me (hopefully to Portland. >_<) Have a happy and safe New Year, everyone!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Around the House

I was planning on making this post sooner, but I have had a pretty craptastic past few weeks, literally and figuratively. We got food poisoning here this past Monday night and my dear little protector, Annabelle, was very worried about us. She pooped on the floor. Just what anyone with nausea needs, right? >_<

Anyway, I had to play a lot of catch-up since I was out of commission for a couple of days. I've been meaning to make a Christmas bag since November and finally got around to finishing it. I always end up doing the inside zippered pocket different. This time I used a tutorial that I would modify to sandwich the zipper between the fabrics instead of having it exposed on the inside of the pocket. I used the same fabric as the outside of the bag to make the pocket and it ended up being upside down and it was too late before I figured it out- oops.

I started getting that Christmasy feeling right after Halloween this year, and tried my hardest to wait until Black Friday. Now everything is up and ish has happened and I've kind of lost the spirit. :( We haven't been sticking to the planned advent activities due to illness or laziness or lack of time. Bleh. In any event, here's a peek into this year's decor. (I realized that I have a lot more Halloween than Christmas. Halloween couldn't even all be packed away this time around... :\ )

This is my Christmas display inside the hutch, all lit up!

I made little snow scenes with some of my deer and cheese domes/cloches for the center of the table.

Here's the other side of the tree with Annabelle underneath eyeing something. I found two of the red and silver curly spinner things at an estate sale this fall. They look so cool when the light hits them!

This is the piggies' old table. The tablecloth is just fantastic!

I got my Santa addiction from my mom, but I don't think I have quite as many as she has yet. I'm still trying to figure out when this deer thing started though...

This is Annabelle's favorite spot, under the coffee table. I bought a tablecloth just for her. It has to be put up every night, though, or else everything on top of the table will be on the floor by morning.

I brought in my cart for the winter and this is where my Christmas softies hang out with some oversized lights.

And finally, my small Disney tree that I wish desperately was an aluminum pom pom tree instead. Hopefully next year! That's all for now!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Putzing Around

This week is the beginning of advent! BJ and I wrote down an activity to do every day until Christmas using a Very Merry Advent by Heidi Kenney and Amanda Krueger. I'm really excited about all the fun things coming up this month- there are a bunch of vegan meet up activities and old Christmas movies at AMC!

To start out the month we decided to finally make some bottle brush trees- I've been dying to try making my own for a couple of months and we kept putting it off for some reason or another. Then I saw the new December issue of Martha Stewart living and knew that this had to be on my crafting list! The author of the how-to article says that vintage putz houses are easy to find and inexpensive. I don't know what world that person lives in, but it certainly is not in Minnesota. I have seen one vintage putz house in person my entire life and it happens to be one of my most cherished ornaments from childhood. These ornaments are probably what sparked my passion for vintage Christmas.

Needless to say, my childhood putz house is not being sacrificed for craft and I don't have any others to make up the wreath. That means I have to make some! I looked online for a while to find some that tickled my fancy, but I couldn't find any that were ornament sized so I went into my printer settings and was happy to find that I could shrink them! (I have a printer that is nearing 10 years old and usually hates me, so this may not be a revelation to most of you, haha!)

I decided on a couple of designs- a Mid Century Modern design from Retro Renovation and the Little Charmer design from Little Glitter Houses. I just printed out the designs to cut out and put them together however I wanted without reading the directions because I don't like following directions, so they look a little different. I used old food boxes that I've been saving for the project and tried to use the folds in the boxes for the folds in the houses when possible. I also used old plastic packaging for the windows instead of using tissue paper or red cellophane, which was my original plan. If you already have it, it's free and saving things from the landfill is always the best option!

I just happened to use mostly Martha Stewart products because I love them- it actually was not planned. So I started by cutting out all the pattern pieces, tracing them onto the cardboard, then cutting them out. Then I painted the pieces, trying to get full coverage over the boxes' designs, which I put on the inside of the houses. Once dry, I cut out little pieces of plastic for the windows and glued into place. If some of the hot glue squishes out, it kind of looks like ice, which only adds to the look, but I cut or pulled off the dried pieces if I didn't like the look of it.

Then I glued the houses into shape and onto the bases. When that's all taken care of, it's time to decorate and make a snowy scene!

I used Sparkle Texture by Martha Stewart as the snow. I found this in the clearance section of my Michaels about a month ago. I've been thinking about making putz houses even before this wreath project and knew that it would be oh so perfect- and it is! I recommend using a palette knife to put it onto the houses. It is really thick and will take a while to dry. Projects that require patience- ugh! At least it is one of the last steps before assembling the wreath. I've got bottle brush making and dying to do before assembly anyway, so I've got something to keep me occupied. If you can seen it in the picture, I also made little icicles out of hot glue. I'm excited to show you the end result in a couple of days!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Santas and Deer and Pyrex, Oh My!

If you can believe this, BJ and I didn't visit Arc's, or anything other thrift, this past week! (BJ caught the collecting bug and said we don't have nearly enough Christmas tableware, >_<!!!) We had to run to Target to pick up some things for dinner and Arc's is on the way home from the Edina location, so of course we stopped by. Boy am I upset we didn't get there a few minutes earlier. People, I'm telling you that I was straight up jonesing when I looked over at this girls cart and saw a 403 Butterprint. BJ brought me a 472 Early American that was in pretty perfect condition and said that was all the Pyrex they had, but I'm not trying to collect that pattern. I was feeling pretty high on these finds when he found me, but this was before Butterprint.

I found a Holt Howard mug which we just so happen to have purchased a set of recently. I also found this Santa pitcher which has no maker's mark and I can't find anything to identify it online. Seriously cute. Like most every other vintage Christmas collector, I'm in love with the Santa head mugs, so I'm always scouring the shelves to find them at a good price. The guy on the right is almost hot pink, he's having a good time.

I picked up a small embroidered vintage table cloth, a couple cute little German ornaments, a deer marked 1968 that is TO DIE FOR, a few unmarked holly printed milkglass plates, an ugly napkin ring, a vintage Donald Duck ornament, and a cute Santa on a stick. I looked over at the glass counter and saw a ceramic tree for only $10 and it is marked made by the residents of Masonic Home Care Center, Minneapolis, MN. There was one with a light in it on one of shelves in the Christmas section that they wanted $25 for, and this one didn't have a light, but it had life. Obvious choice! I can get a light at the dollar store. That's basically where my excitement ended because I spotted the Butterprint. My heart started racing, my hands started shaking, I could hardly breathe. This is addiction. I spent the next very long time trying to work up courage to ask her if she planned on reselling it so that I could buy it off her because that's how bad I have it. I've only found one BP dish at a thrift store and I really feel that it needs to happen to me more often. Well, that didn't happen so I cruised the kitchen section to appease myself and found a Pyrex flameware tea pot. I also found a framed Pyrex ad that is most likely repop, but whatevs, it was a dollar.

We woke up early on this Saturday, a day finally over freezing, to head over to an estate sale in Plymouth where I spotted this Snowflake Pyrex and adorable deer. We were only the third party to line up, so I had my pick of the litter! BJ said some ladies came in later and beelined for the kitchen and then passed him and said, "That's a good one." I guess I didn't get BP, but I did get snowflake, which is kind of just as good. I also picked up an unmarked yellow primary 404 for a buck! It's pretty beat up, but I can't complain for the price. My kitties also got a new-to-them vintage food bowl with cats that look like Gigi from Kiki's Delivery Service!

Also, I saw this game out of the corner of my eye. It has Lucille Ball on it. Died. 

We decided to stop by Arc's just to do something on Saturday afternoon. Blendo. Ohmigod! Good things are happening. We are on a roll! :)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

What's In the Works

I said in my last post that I was expecting some fun things in the mail. I got a phone cover from my last Society6 shop promo. I'm a little disappointed that they seem to have printed it a little wonky, but I'm excited that I finally have a fun cover! In addition to this design, I've been on my grind this week making a ton of other Pyrex designs. Here's a peek of a few of the ones currently for sale in my shop

Any of the bowl designs I can make into Shrinky Dink ornaments. I'll be listing these on Etsy this week. I have already listed the mushroom ornaments I posted about earlier so head on over for some unique decorating and gifts!

I FINALLY got my Spoonflower proofs. I ordered a proof of my Pyrex tea towel design and a fat quarter of my ornament design during the 2 for 1 sale a few weeks ago. I wasn't happy with how light the alternating months were in the calendar so I updated them from blue to pink to make them more visible. Both designs are now for sale here. Keep in mind that it takes a while for them to print and process the fabric designs, so order by Saturday December 6 for Christmas and Friday December 5 for Chanukah for standard shipping to save on shipping costs.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Turkey-Free Thanksgiving

This Sunday, November 23, is the 21st Annual Turkey-Free Thanksgiving Potluck! I'm really excited to be donating my little Cat Treat plush to the silent auction. It should be a really fun time because what vegan doesn't love going somewhere to eat without having to think about ingredients! So if you're in the Minneapolis area and want to help animals, eat food, and be in like-minded company, stop by with a dish to share. I'll be bringing some of my everlasting fruit salad.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Countdown to Christmas?!

Last week BJ and I were on our thriftcation. It was really awesome timing because it started on Halloween (which was seriously the most boring one I've ever had minus Grimm) and included the opening of the Merry Thriftmas shop at our fave thrift store here in the Twin Cities. We traveled down to visit my mom for her birthday, which also happens to be my baby Annabelle's birthday. I can't believe she's 3! Look at her, she used to be a sweet little baby. Now she's a hairy beast! She's kicked her inappropriate eliminating for a little over a month now :D

Anyway, here's a little snapshot of the treasures I uncovered over our week off.

We started the week off by going to an estate sale on Halloween morning and it was freezing! Winter came early here... :/ I got a ton of vintage glass ornaments (which we'll come to later,) a jadeite mixer, a BP 444 that has seen some better days, and a super cute old engraved mirror. I found an old rooster hot plate at an occasional sale on the Minnehaha Mile (as well as a Frost Garland Pyrex that I really hope finds its way to me for Christmas.) November 2 was the grand opening of the Merry Thriftmas shop at Arc's and we were a little late for being early so we weren't the first in line, but not in a bad position either. The thing is that those people are ruthless!

I missed out on most of the vintage stuff. I have no idea how a couple of people got it all so fast because it was packed. I couldn't even get in the aisles so what I found in the top left of the collage was miraculous! I picked up a Tom and Jerry egg nog bowl that came with 7 DWD cups, but the bowl is perfect. I also found two gorgeous table cloths to cover Annabelle's tables (she's spoiled :P,) a couple of cute ornaments, scary Santa shakers, that cereal treat Santa (that's just what I always think of it as anyway, haha,) and a darling little deer. I spotted the plush Santa hiding on a bottom shelf and paid more than I wanted for him, but I just didn't want him going home with a creep. I picked up all the other Santa things on separate trips- it's really hit or miss after the first day.

The highlight of the week was the trip down to SW MN. I hit up my honey hole and it did not disappoint! Last time I found a full set of BP fridgies, this time I found a full set of turquoise!!! (I'm only two 501's away from completing my Gooseberry set ;) ;) We went with my mom and sister and tried to visit all my favorite spots, but my original favorite thrift down there is out of business and the other place in Lake Benton was supposed to be open and wasn't. That isn't a short trip either, so we were disappointed. I bought a vintage turquoise dust pan with long handle from the third store just to make it feel worthwhile. Luckily I started the day with a bang so I wasn't too let down. In addition to the fridgies, I found the dancing Santa, long necked deer, kitty, and small Fire King bowl (.75!) We went to the other thrifty antique store and I found a Gooseberry and a really cool mirrored shelf that I don't have pictured. 

The little deer planter, Bakelite bracelets, and blue Pyrex are from another occasional in Minneapolis. I left a 443 Pink Gooseberry behind because it was too high of a retail price with a smooth chip on the handle :( I believe the blue bowl is the bottom on the Spirograph, so if anyone has the lid...

I also found the vintage version of the Cosco chair my mom gave me!!! It's lighter and so much more awesome. The cats still prefer the new one. I had one of the old ones as a child and it was my favorite chair. One day it disappeared on one of my sisters garage sales and I've been pining after it ever since.

After all of that excitement, I obviously needed to take a break. I was super duper excited to get to work on my ornament wreath that I've been biting at the bit to start since my bulk ornament scores last month.

I made this over the course of two days and boy did my fingers hurt! The picture definitely doesn't do it justice- I have such terrible lighting in the living room. I tried to hang it and about 5 or so of the balls fell off and broke. Luckily none of the really special ones, just plain colored. Remember my new dust pan? I was happy to have it! 

If you'd like to make your own, I used an 18" straw wreath form (you'll want to wear gloves) and wrapped 3 strands of silver tinsel garland around it. I put some wire around for a hook, but mine is a little too small which made it extra difficult to hang without sweating bullets, so be generous with it. I made my own U Hooks out of 22 gauge wire to attach kind of like a staple into the wreath. I didn't want to ruin any of the ornaments by gluing them. The ornaments kept popping off their cap hooks, which wasn't a problem, just an annoyance, while I was placing them on the wreath form. It did become a problem when I went to hang the wreath, though. What I did to remedy the problem was putting a little poster putty around the rim of the ball, then pressing the cap into it. I would have done this from the start, but I didn't realize it was a problem until I was almost done. You could use glue to attach the balls and/or their caps if you'd like, but I just have an aversion to possibly ruining something with so much life.

As usual, I got sick after visiting my mom's house. There is a definite mold problem and I'm sensitive to most airborne allergens, bleh. I've been out of commission trying to get better, but I hate just doing nothing. I held out as long as a could, but with the first snow and the arctic temperatures, I just had to get my holiday hutch in order. I love staring at it in all its twinkling glory! BJ has agreed to setting up the tree this weekend so the kitties have time to get used to it before it gets decorated on Black Friday. This worked fairly well last year and I'm trying to be extra sensitive to Annabelle's sensitivities with change. It's for the cats, you believe me right?! I swear this is all the decorating I will do before Thanksgiving, I have to save a little bit for tradition.

Today I played around with Shrinky Dinks for the first time ever. I wanted to make some Pyrex ornaments with the designs that I painstakingly made to get more milage out of the time spent on it. I'm still working out the kinks on how long and how to make them flat, but I'm happy with the last two that I made. I turned the multi-stacks one into a pin and the rest are ornaments. If anyone is interested in purchasing these, let me know and I can add them to my shop! I've also got some cute mushroom ornaments that I'll be adding soon that I make out of vintage tree candle holders.

I've got some fun things coming in the mail that I'm excited to share, so stay tuned! :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Free Shipping and $5 Off!

FREE worldwide shipping AND $5 off everything in my Society6 shop using this link. Promotion expires November 9, 2014 at Midnight Pacific Time. *Offer excludes Framed Art Prints, Stretched Canvases and Rugs

I just added a new Pyrex design (which I made for the tea towel contest on Spoonflower.com, please vote for me! Voting ends Wednesday.) I'm going to try to get up a new Shiny Brite design today as well. :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Shop Update!!!

Hey, Everyone! I've finally updated my Etsy shop. Ouija board placemats, planchette napkin rings, kitty-mon rolls, and cat donuts are now available. Get them while they last! Just click the link above or my mini-shop on the right hand side of the screen.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Will Craft for Pyrex

I spent last week making felt candy [pine] cones for the 50 swag bags given out to the first to arrive at Maker Fair last Saturday. I really under estimated the time it would take me to cut all the pieces out and assemble. It is a simple enough craft, but each one had 13 different pieces to cut and assemble to create the final product. >_< I was quite pleased with how they turned out and even made 5 more with brown bottoms to give out as additional swag bags to people who spent a certain amount of money at my booth.

I was entirely too positive in general about this show. The forecast was beautiful weather- for Minnesota in October, which I forgot to take into consideration- so I went without a jacket... There was frost on the ground when we arrived and our inside booth actually ended up being colder than many of the outside booths. I got frost bite being inside for 6 hours! On top of that, my booth was a lot smaller than I'm used to and I didn't have room for everything to be arranged the way I wanted. I think I did have one of the best looking booths, though.

I brought Scary Grant along to set up a cute little vignette with many of my products. The kids liked him, the adults thought he was stupid. The crowd was not at all shy with rudeness. I truly believe that "Minnesota Nice" is extinct. Why couldn't we have parted with the long good-bye instead? Maybe we're still trying-ha!

Using my quilt rack was a last minute idea I came up with last week that ended up being a life saver in terms of product display. BJ and I made the baskets out of chicken wire we bought a few years ago to make the balcony cat-friendly. Then we wrapped the sharp edges in ribbon.

Overall, I was happy when the day ended. My hands and feet were buzzing when I finally got warm again. Of course I had to do what any Pyrex addict does when they're feeling feelings- hit up some local junk shops.

The occasional sales in MPLS opened on Wednesday and I picked up these two pieces. Imagine my surprise when I found the 4 little ramekins that complete the hostess set all the way in Ormsby, MN a few days later!

I also finally found an actual red 501 to complete my primary fridgie set. The only turquoise Pyrex I found was this snowflake divided dish, but it is so minty! I also picked up a vintage knee hugger elf, a Radko white cat ornament because I'm obsessed, and a delightfully creepy West Germany diorama ornament with what I'm calling a bearded snow witch inside. The mushroom candle holders were so much cheaper than the ones I passed on last winter at an occasional sale, so they came home with me as well. I just can't believe the lack of awesome vintage Halloween, or even awesome new Halloween for that matter, this year.

I made a Halloween advent calendar, which we have not really been following since we've had so much to do in preparation for the show last Saturday. We have started trying to catch up with it, though, so I'll share our creations soon! Also, I will be adding some of the things that didn't sell to my Etsy shop this week. :)