Friday, October 30, 2009

friday favorites.

Half handmade and half vintage to start off the holiday weekend! Have fun, but be safe. Eat candy until your stomach hurts. Don't smash any pumpkins. (That's just mean.)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

coffee made special.

Even though I can't imagine taking the time to decorate your coffee each and every morning, something about these coffee stencils makes me smile. Wouldn't you like waking up to a special cup of coffee with "I Love You" on top?

If you're up for the challenge, you can buy your stencils here for $10 each.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

affordable treats.

Another week of fun finds that won't hurt your pocketbook, inspired by Fall which seems to be in full swing by now!

$5 and Under

$10 and Under

$20 and Under

1. EverythingLovely; 2. satisfactory; 3. roundabout; 4. madebyhank

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

wish list!

Most years I have no problem coming up with a wish list for my December birthday / Christmas. Truth be told, I love stuff. This year has been much different. I certainly don't need much, and there isn't even much I want.

My mom and boyfriend have been asking for a wish list so I sat down and forced myself to come up with a few ideas. I didn't come up with much, but everything on the list is something I could use and would really enjoy.

Typewriter Serviced
I found a vintage teal typewriter similar to the one above at an estate sale this summer. It is in excellent condition, but needs the space bar fixed and maybe a new ribbon. I haven't gotten around to finding a place to have it serviced, so this is a perfect addition to my wish list!

Vintage Mugs & Starbucks Gift Cards
Now that chilly mornings have arrived, I crave coffee each and every day. I would love a collection of special vintage mugs for coffee at home, and Starbucks gift cards for coffee on the go. My current favorite vintage mug says, "He Who Hoots with the Owls at Night Cannot Soar with the Eagles in the Morning." Love it!

Personalized Jewelry
I don't wear a lot of jewelry, but love simple pieces with a special touch. AlvinaAbramova has a lot of neat initial necklaces, and these stack rings from bddesigns are some of my favorites.

Hand Mixer
You know you are officially an adult when you start putting kitchen gadgets on your wish list. My limited cooking skills don't require much, but I could use a decent hand mixer for baking cupcakes and muffins.

Izze Sparkling Juice
Yup, there is also food (or drinks, rather) on my wish list. I am a big fan of Izze Sparkling Juice (blackberry and clementine in particular!), but don't buy them too often. It is more of a special treat. A stocking full of juice sounds good to me!

Warm Socks and Slippers
Warm, cozy socks and slippers are winter essentials that I like to replace each year. I don't have any specific ones picked out, but can usually count on Target and Urban Outfitters for good socks. This pair of slippers from Target has great reviews with an even better price tag. I might have to ask for them specifically.

That's about it right now. Have you put together a wish list yet? If so, share what's on it! I could use a few extra additions to mine!

Monday, October 26, 2009

new week, new shop - Sky Parlor.

Welcome to the last week of October! Another month that came and went in record time.

With the return of the "new week, new shop" series this week, I'm excited to introduce you all to Sky Parlor - a vintage shop on Etsy run by the most fun and interesting couple! Sit back and enjoy the interview with Ranessa and Jason, including a whole bunch of photos. Once you're done reading, check out everything that is available in their shop right here.

#1 - Who is behind skyparlor? Please introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about your vintage Etsy shop.
The dust bodies behind Sky Parlor are lovers Ranessa Allen (29) & Jason Moore (24). Sky Parlor was sprung into birth due to our mutual love of treasure junking whether it be thrift stores, salvage yards, estate sales, or antique shops. It is quite strange though, because neither of us like our home environment to be cluttered-we try and keep a minimalist yet eclectic look-so rather than continue to purchase things for our own keeping(which believe you me, is quite difficult) we decided to open up Sky Parlor to let our obsession run rampant without having to live in a perpetual treasure junk land. We chose the name Sky Parlor because of its 1940s origin- sky parlor is a jalopy way of referring to an “attic”. We found it appropriate.

#2 - What catches your eye as a good addition for the shop while shopping? Are you drawn to certain colors / certain eras / certain type of goods?
Well, we would have to say it depends on our mood. If we wake up feeling nautical, we are going to go on a determined venture to find some driftwood, or a seafaring captain's hat. There are days that are golden , where we find lovely peculiars at random- but it seems as though there is always a common thread that unites our purchases for a day, whether it be color, decade, or sheer oddity. We also like to ensure that everything we choose is mutually selected. There is a split of “okay, you pick your 5 treasures, and I pick mine”. we have never left empty handed! I couldn't bare to trudge home with a desire unfulfilled. I suppose ultimately you can say that we find ourselves resuscitating things that may be on their last breath so that others can enjoy them with an eye of renewed beauty.

#3 - Do you collect anything for yourself - something we won't find in your shop because you're keeping it?
The question we would have answered even if it hadn't of been asked! You have no idea how difficult it is to part with our findings. Know this: everything that we purchase for Sky Parlor is something that we want for ourselves! Our style code is so multi-dimensional that we feel that we will be able to net up people on all points of the spectrum. When we return from a shopping venture, we find a place for each item in our home. When guests come over, it is literally as if everything in our home is for sale! We find that if we are able to display the items, we are in some way allowed to revel in our quasi-ownership of them. It also aides us in not having to scramble to find an item once it is sold-it is simply right there-whether it be atop the mantle, or residing on the wall. We do, however, have a trunk for an over accumulation of junk-things that just won't fit in with our decor-as I mentioned before, we try to maintain a spacious environment that flows.

#4 - Many customers praise your packaging in your feedback. Would you be willing to share some secrets to your packaging? What makes it stand out in the minds of your customers?

Well, we attempt to treat each package as one would an overly doted upon child-we spoil it. We also draw up our own version of a letter of authenticity-much like you would receive at an auction. We tie in bits of truth with fantastical fiction and abracadabra!-the customer has a lovely backstory for their newly found friend. We feel that this might be what our patrons delight in the most. It is all so very personalized.

#5 - Skyparlor has gained significant success in the short time since it opened. [Congrats!] Any tips or advice for others who would like to start up their own Etsy shop?
Well, we know from our own standpoint that passion is essential. When someone has a fiery passion, they want an outlet for it. When one has a desire to paint, you need canvas. When one has a desire to make music, one needs a voice, an instrument. We have a strong desire to build a junk empire-and Etsy has been our canvas, our instrument to do so.

Special thanks to Ranessa and Jason for giving us a glimpse into Sky Parlor! If you are now a fan of their shop or enjoyed peaking into their home, be sure to leave a quick comment for Ranessa and Jason.

Friday, October 23, 2009

friday favorites.

1. modernradar; 2. roundabout; 3. meplusmolly; 4. Hettle; 5. CatherineMarissa

I couldn't narrow it down to just four, so there is an extra one for you this week! I have been asked by a couple of people for a birthday / Christmas wish list, so I think I'll spend part of the weekend picking and choosing fun things I'd love to receive. What is on your personal wish list? Any shops / items you think I should check out? I'd love to see what everyone else is asking for this year. Please share!

scrap pack challenge projects, part two!

This second set of projects comes from April. She can be found all over Etsy - with a handmade, photography, and vintage shop! Add in two kids and a dog and it becomes clear she is a very busy woman!

Mini Journal and Matchbook Notepad
> adorable stocking stuffer for doodlers and list makers
> would be fun to make inside pages from mixed papers / ticket stubs / mini photos

Square Thank You Cards
> perfect to slip in with orders if you sell on Etsy
> change up the greeting to match your needs

Vintage Paper Collages
> has plans to turn into Thank You notes for her vintage shop
> can frame for affordable and one of a kind art

Halloween Gift Tag
> attach with a clothespin to a brown lunch sack filled with candy
> secretly sneak in your child's lunch for a surprise Halloween greeting

Many thanks to April for her super cute projects! To learn more about April and her shops, check out her blog.

I was really excited when I came up with the idea of the Scrap Pack Challenge, but think I enjoyed it even more than I expected. If you feel the same, let me know and I'll put together another challenge. Perhaps a Game Pack Challenge or Found Paper Pack Challenge?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

scrap pack challenge projects!

Do you remember the Scrap Pack Challenge? About two weeks I sent Scrap Packs to two readers. The only thing I asked in return was for each to play around with the paper and send me pictures of their projects. It's time to see what each of them made!

This first set of projects comes from Kellie of every jot & tittle. Her projects make me want to drag out my box of scraps right away.

Paper Leaves
> perfect for a garland or to fill a pretty bowl
> add a string and use as a gift tag

Pencil Wrapped Pencils
> sweet gift for coworkers (tied with a strip of pretty fabric)
> tutorial here

Mini Notecards with Envelopes
> write encouraging notes for your children and tuck in their lunch
> scribble a sweet message and leave around for your loved one to find

Leaf Bowl with Pendant
> necklace made with strips of paper and Mod Podge
> bowl tutorial here

Cupcake Flags
> attach cute little flags with toothpicks
> makes a sweet treat even sweeter

Paper Bow
> personal favorite!
> tutorial here

Paper Topped Jar Lid
> lovely way to give a little collection of fun things as a gift
> tutorial here

Pretty amazing, huh? Special thank you to Kellie for taking on the Scrap Pack Challenge! If you aren't already a major fan of her Etsy shop, check it out here and her blog here.

Check back tomorrow for more projects from April!

If you are inspired and want a Scrap Pack of your very own, look no further than right here!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

affordable treats.

I started my Christmas shopping this week! Have you? I love having most of my gifts purchased by early December, so I can spend the rest of the holiday season picking up extra little things here and there but with no stress. I plan on doing most of my shopping on Etsy this year - no need to leave the house, plenty of unique things you won't find at the mall, and really great values.

Convinced to start your own Christmas shopping on Etsy yet? If so, start with these budget friendly finds!

$5 and Under

$10 and Under

$20 and Under

1. jenn3star; 2. KristinaMarie; 3. madevisual; 4. roundrabbit

Monday, October 19, 2009

up, up, and away.


Sadly my adventures in California have come to an end. I am currently on an all-day long flight back to Connecticut! Shipping for the shop and blog posts will return to normal as of tomorrow.

P.S. - The "new week, new shop" feature will return next week with one of my favorites! Be sure to check back in.

Friday, October 16, 2009

friday favorites.

1. emilymaysparks; 2. WoolyBison; 3. PunkyJane; 4. jenscloset

Hope you had a wonderful week! I had plenty of fun visiting my parents and brother in Northern California this week, and headed down to Southern California tomorrow morning. I went to college in San Diego and looking forward to hitting up some old favorites. Hope you are all able to visit a favorite bookstore or coffee shop this weekend!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

affordable treats.

Normally I might complain a little about coming to California in hopes of a warm and sunny trip, and ending up with the season's first storm with lots of rain and plenty of wind. However, I've seen the pictures of snow already starting in other parts of the country so I'll keep my mouth shut.

Despite the wet weather, I have been enjoying many meals of Mexican food, mornings spent with coffee and antique fairs, and quality time with the family. A few other good things:

$5 and Under

$10 and Under

$20 and Under

1. MiaBeads; 2. BROOKLYNrehab; 3. PinkSaguaro; 4. thebrickkiln

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

telegram stop.

It should be no surprise that I am a big advocate for handwritten cards and letters. However, these vintage inspired telegrams are on a completely different level. For $4.70 you can type in whatever message you wish and your receipt will receive a telegram that looks like the one above. You also receive an emailed copy of the telegram that was sent to your lucky friend or family member. I am embarrassed to admit I almost want to send one to myself! They're that neat.

If you send two or more of the same telegram you can take advantage of their bulk discounted rate of $3.75. Wouldn't these serve as perfect invites for a special birthday party or wedding?

Want to send your own? Check out the website here.

Monday, October 12, 2009

new week, new shop - darling savage.

If you are like me, you are probably obsessed with little bags and pouches to hold your make up / loose change / random junk that accumulates in your purse. Darling Savage has put together a line of bags, purses, wallets, and clutches made from beautiful fabrics with special little touches, such as a perfectly placed button or coordinating liner pattern.

The creativity behind this up and coming Etsy shop comes from Havilah. She describes the style of Darling Savage as eclectic, feminine, and eco-conscious. She once used all new materials for her work, but recently switched over to primarily reclaimed and vintage fabrics. Now your little bag is not only helping you, but helping out the environment!

Havilah is another self taught sewer, like Amy of PonderandStitch. She learned a few basics from her mother and picked up some good tips from her grandmother, but honed her skills mostly by making mistakes and then learning from them. She acknowledges that while this method of learning takes some patience, it is the most rewarding. A lot of Havliah's work is done on the sewing machine you see below - a model purchased by her grandmother in 1958 which she inherited and is still going strong!

Havilah runs her shop from Portland, Oregon - a mecca for crafty talent. She has managed to carve out a space for her craft and business within the one bedroom apartment she shares with her boyfriend. Despite what these photos of her work space show, Havliah admits to being quite the mess maker. Thankfully she has an understanding boyfriend who is willing to overlook the piles of fabric scraps and other causalities of her crafting.

If you are in the market for a little bag and want to check out Darling Savage, head on over to here:


Don't forget to please take a minute and leave an encouraging comment for Havilah!