Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hello Etsy!

I'm finally on Etsy! It wasn't that hard (as you "already on Etsy" people know). The hard part for me is finding the time, and taking the photos. I'm not the best photographer and my photog (twin sis Sue) just went out of town for 2 weeks. But I couldn't delay anymore, so I snapped a few photos and here I am.

I have only listed my newest creations: the Scarlett Apron. The name's inspiration comes from Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone with the Wind". Remember the infamous "curtain dress"? Julie Andrews did the same thing for children's wear in "Sound of Music". Use what you have. While those two innovative ladies used curtains for their apparel, I've used vintage bed linens (mostly sheets, and some duvet covers).

The result: luscious, soft and flirty tiered ruffled aprons that wash well, wear well, and make a statement all their own. The above apron is perfect for the bride who wants to bake her own wedding cake and get married -- all on the same day. Or if you're already married, just wear it to make dinner. Gotta be good lookin' while you're cookin'.

So check out my Etsy shop. I will be adding more items to it daily. Just wanted to get it up and running with the Scarlett aprons.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Group Project -- Dance Tunes!

There's a line in the movie "Working Girl" by Joan Cusack. She tells Melanie Griffith: "Sometimes I sing and dance around the house in my underwear. Doesn't make me Madonna, never will."

Madonna or not, sometimes you just gotta dance. I asked some friends what song(s) get them on the dance floor. All I know is there are some girls out there ready to boogie -- so hey Mr. DJ, just put a record on!

A lot of us gals "grew up" in the 80's, when Madonna was a staple. So let's let the Material Girl start off the list:
  • "Everybody" by Madonna
  • Classic Madonna
  • "Holiday" by Madonna
  • "Dancing Queen" by ABBA got 5 votes!
  • "Love Shack" by the B52's got 2 votes
  • "Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC got 2 votes
  • Anything by Talking Heads
  • Anything by Vampire Weekend or MGMT
  • Anything by Van Morrision
  • "Just Dance" by Lady Gaga
  • "Runaround Sue"
  • "It Had to be You"
  • "Brick House" by the Commodores
  • "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond (fun to sing along to, too -- thanks Leslie :)
  • "Nasty" by Janet Jackson
  • "Been Around the World" by Lisa Stansfield
  • 80's music
  • "We Are Family"
  • "YMCA", "Macho Man" or "San Francisco" by The Village People
  • Anything by KC and the Sunshine Band

My top 5 :

  1. "Best of My Love" by the Emotions
  2. "Don't Stop til You Get Enough" by Michael Jackson
  3. "I Need to Know" by Marc Anthony (if only I could tango...)
  4. "Jackie Wilson Said" by Van Morrison
  5. "Beggin" by Madcon

And when the music starts, I never wanna stop, it's gonna drive me crazy... Thanks Madge. And thanks to all those who gave their "two cents" :Dawn, Lisa, Sue, Mary, Stacy, Stephanie, Linda, Lizzie, Teri, Wendy B., Leslie, Tina, Jamie, Mary Rose, Sandi, and Kelly O!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sweet William Market this Saturday

Have a seat... or two.

I'll be back at my usual post at the best outdoor market in Denver. Come see me at the Sweet William Market this Saturday, July 25th 9-2. I'll have some furniture available at the "Best Place to Shop For Home Accessories" according to 5280 Magazine. You can pick up the chair pictured above, and its twin! Plus other great pieces.

Here is a link to their website, and their latest ad. Tell a friend, and take a friend with you, and you can win $$$! Click on the ad below for details.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Domestic Goddess: La Dolce Vita

A couple of posts ago I asked some friends what is at the top of their list for desired destinations. I believe the beautiful Mediterranean country of Italy received six votes! Make that seven. Top of my bucket list: 1. Visit Italy. 2. Learn a second language.

I have always wanted to speak a second language. I lived in Canada for my first two years of high school, and although Ontario is an English-speaking province, French was a required subject for all. The only problem: I was waaaaay too far behind to even attempt French with my fellow grade-niners. So I took Latin instead. Great language. Dead language, but great for figuring out some of those difficult Trivial Pursuit questions.

I have a dear friend, Mary Rose, who will be going to Italy in a couple of weeks. This is not just another vacation. This is a trip back home to family. Both of MR's parents hail from Palermo, Sicily, and while MR was born in Chicago, she did not speak English until she attended Kindergarten. I asked MR what a couple of key words or phases one should know in Italian. In her words:

"Here’s a couple of words/phrases that are important to know in Italian:

Ciao – hi/bye bye
Grazie – Thank You
Ti Amo (also the name of an Italian song that is one of my all-time favorites) – I Love You
Come si dice _____ in italiano – How do you say _____ in Italian
Mi scusi – Excuse me

La dolce vita – the sweet life. (this phrase represents the ideal Italian way of life, which is the good life and a life filled with pleasure and indulgence)"

Ciao Mary Rose! Take lots of pictures!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Book Report

I've been in the same Book Club for 8 years now. Some members have come and gone. There are four original members still left (Amy, Wendy, Lisa, and me) and seven that have joined and stayed throughout these years (Sue, Lisa B., Kirsten, Sandi, Brooke, Deb and Cheli -- who despite having moved to Houston, still joins us on occasion for Book Club, and always reads along in Texas).

Amy started it all back in the summer of '01. It's amazing to look back and see how many things we've all experienced throughout these eight years: babies, divorces, moves and home renovations, marital strife, depression, vacations, law suits, new jobs... Along with the countless day-to-day issues: kids, husbands, diets and exercise, school, kids' sports and extracurriculars, growing older, religion, politics... And of course the laughter over things the kids said, what husbands did, too many cocktails at a party, old memories, embarrasing stories, and gossip -- either personal or Hollywood. Oftentimes our book club discussed the most recent issue of People Magazine more than the actual book.

Above is our pick for our 71st book club. In the beginning we were by-the-book monthly Book Club readers. Schedules get busier and getting 11 moms together can be tough. So now we've relaxed things a little and meet anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks. Someone always hosts at their house and what started as a few snacks (and no alcohol!) is now full-blown dinner and variety of adult beverages -- including the signature wine cooler.

Full attendance can be rare, but the majority of us usually make it. Some come late (after their kids' sporting event, or even their own tennis match) and some miss some months because of vacations, or other goings on. I'm pretty much a regular, as I soooo look forward to a night out of great food and drink, fun conversation and sweet friends.

We just discussed "Sarah's Key" by Tatiana De Rosnay this past Sunday night -- and Cheli was actually in town for her 40th birthday! I asked the girls what their favorite read was over these past eight years. Of course everyone's tastes differ, but there were a few classics -- that when mentioned -- got the "Oh, that WAS a great book! I liked that one too!" So in no particular order, here is a list of our favorites that we read, shared and enjoyed:

  • When the Elephants Dance

  • The Red Tent
  • Life of Pi

  • Bel Canto

  • Memoirs of a Geisha

  • Middlesex

  • We Need to Talk About Kevin

  • Post Birthday World

  • The Glass Castle

  • The DaVinci Code

  • and my personal fave: Atonement, though I might be the only one to say so :)
What's your favorite book? We may have to try it at one of our future Book Clubs.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Domestic Goddess: Paper Princess

My older sister Linda is the original "crafter" in our family. She can do anything: sew, paint, draw -- but her favorite medium these days is paper. It's amazing what she can do with paper: tags, bags, wrap, scrap... One of my favorite creations is her journals (above).

As someone who likes to write -- and NEEDS to write -- a pretty journal makes it an even more inviting daily event. Her journals are embellished in the most beautiful papers, and she covers all covers: front, back and insides. Sometimes they seem almost too pretty to write in. I have yet to break this one in. But once I get going, they really make journalling a joy.

And even if you're not a "Dear Diary" kind of gal, her journals are perfect for list-making, doodling -- even homework! Look for Linda's lovely journals alongside my creations at my indoor shows (Gifts for Yule and Spring Fling). Or let me know if you would like one sooner. She's more than happy to do custom orders.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Etsy, Ebay and Vintage Aprons

I love Etsy. It's like going to a 24-hour a day artisan fair, and shopping from thousands of creative artists for one-of-a-kind items you can't find in just any 'ol store. I hope to soon have my creations up on Etsy for anyone and everyone to purchase. :) I'll keep you posted...

But I must confess, before there was Etsy, there was Ebay. Ebay was my first love, and I still remain loyal to Ebay. Ebay, much like Etsy, is a 24-hour shopping haven. But it's more like going to a huge garage sale and treasure hunting. It's where the Etsy sellers go to get some of their goods -- their supplies.

The auction aspect of Ebay really makes it exciting too: putting things on your watch list, seeing what other kind of bids are being placed, and then swooping in at the last minute to snag your prized possession at your perfect price.

I also enjoy buying things by the "lot". If you've ever won an auction on Ebay for a "lot" of something, getting the package in the mail is like Christmas morning. You are just so excited to see what's in the box.

My most recent Ebay treasure was a "lot of vintage aprons". Some sellers put several photos in their ad, displaying every detail of their items, and sharing every flaw and wrinkle. Not this listing. See photo below. That's all I had to go on.

I had to rely on my initial gut instinct that I was getting a good deal. And without revealing the final price -- still in single digits -- I have to say that I did alright. Out of the 15 aprons, five were beyond repair. I "rehabilitated" the remaining ten with some ric rac, fringe, flower buttons and pom poms. What was once an indistinguishable pile, is now ten adorable child's aprons (see photos at top of post). Side note: people must have been a lot smaller in the "olden days", because these aprons are pretty tiny.

You don't always get so lucky with Ebay, but you have to know your limits and what you're willing to work with. And if you're still reluctant to take a chance on the riskier Ebay, you can always go to Etsy and buy the finished "rehabilitated vintage apron" for only five dollars each. I'll let you know as soon as I have the listing up. If you really want and need one now -- let me know! I'll be happy to get one to you.

Friday, July 10, 2009

French Nest Market

My last post was all about far off and exotic places. Fort Collins, Colorado is a little like that for me this weekend. I am breaking away from routine and doing a new outdoor market.

The French Nest Open-Air Market (see above) is where I will be all day Saturday (tomorrow), July 11th. I've been entrenched in the Denver market for a couple of years now and have been wanting to add a new local destination for selling my wares.

Fort Collins is about an hour north (and I live on the North end of the Denver Metro area), so it will be a bit of a drive, but I'm so looking forward to this market. Fort Collins is a great city and is often ranked in the "Top 10 Places to Live in America".

Wish me luck at The French Nest Open-Air Market, and I'll let you know how it goes! And of course I'll be back in my usual spot at The Sweet William Market at Stapleton in two weeks.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Group Project -- Desired Destinations

For some, summer means vacation. I tend to take my vacation at the end of April/early May -- when I really need it. "Spring" is a misnomer in Colorado. We can have snow up until June. So by the time Easter is over, Florida is looking pretty good. And come summer, the mountain towns (Vail, Aspen) of Colorado are a great place to go.

I polled some friends to find out the places they have at the top of their list to visit -- be it a maiden voyage, or a return trip. Some were quick and to the point. Others expanded on their reasons for their desired visit. And for others: the means of transportation was most important. One thing's for sure: Italy is a very popular place. We start off our list with six votes for the Mediterranean country.
  • Italy
  • Italy
  • Italy
  • Italy
  • Venice, Italy (first photo above)
  • Amalfi Coast Italy (second photo above)
  • S. Africa
  • Marin County California
  • Alaska
  • Australia
  • Greece
  • London
  • Paris
  • Maine
  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Morocco
  • Upstate NY: Hudson Valley, Roosevelt Home, Museums!
  • Casis, France: eat yummy food and enjoy the beach
  • India: see textile mills
  • Bora Bora (actually a return visit!)
  • New York City
  • Maui

My friend Wendy's vote was for the "Chiron" -- her sister's yacht (above). In her words:

I have to say hands down, there is absolutely no other place like being on the Chiron. It doesn't matter where it is...usually in Newport, Cabo, or Puerta Vallarta. It is pure Heaven, and I'm so in love with that boat! It's waking up on the ocean & being surrounded by nature. It's being in awe of the beauty & luxury of the boat, and realizing I'm on it and sharing it with my family or friends. It's sitting on the couch looking out and seeing Orca whales, dolphins, squid, whale name it. Of course, then there is always the guys who are cooking for you, cleaning up after you, and making sure your every need is met.

We are STILL trying to convince Wendy to do a neighborhood "girls" trip on the Chiron.

Please leave me a comment on your desired destination!

Friday, July 3, 2009

4th of July

The Fourth of July is such a festive and important holiday in the States. For some it marks the "start of summer", for others it makes us realize how fast summer is slipping by, and that September is not so far away.
I'm using this weekend to cherish the last weeks of lazy mornings, later nights, trips to the pool, the smell of sunscreen, grilled dinners outdoors, icy cold Coronas with lime, sandals, s'mores, ponytails, popsicles, thunderstorms and all the things that seem summer. Enjoy your holiday!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Just Hanging Around...

They say there's no such thing as an "original" idea anymore -- that someone else has come up with it already -- you might just have a different version of it.

Same could be said for these lovely little vases/votives. Being new to bloggerville, I got sucked into the "labyrinth" of looking at other blogs. You know the drill... you click onto one, look at one their favorites, click onto that one, and so the cycle goes.

That being said I saw this adorable idea on a blog, including a link to further instructions on how to make them. I just can't remember which one now.

But I'll tell you "my version":
  1. Take your basic Mason jar (small jam size works best)
  2. Wrap wire around rim and create a handle (I used picture hanging wire)
  3. Swaddle the jar with a vintage handkerchief. These came from my grandmother-in-law and I've been trying to figure out what I could use them for -- voila!
  4. Secure hankie with rubber band
  5. Tie a beautiful ribbon around rubber band to mask it.
  6. Fill with water and your favorite flowers OR a small votive candle and hang!

I was so excited to be able to recycle the handkerchiefs and put them to a good re-use. I will have these vases/votives "hanging around" at my next show, and they can be yours for only eight dollars each. Put a little pretty in your life!