Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Valentine Central

last week's tag construction, for the tag swap
It has been Valentine Central over here for the last few days!  The Valentine swaps have been pouring in, and my son is green with envy because every package that comes to the door is for me, not him!
I've been working hard to get the swaps back out the door almost as quickly as they came in!  Some of the boxes needed to have their markings covered, so I wrapped them in vintage paper for added fun.
I am so appreciative of the extra goodies included in some of the boxes for me, too!  I can't wait to show you everything, as soon as the swaps are received by the recipients so as not to spoil the surprise!

Friday, January 27, 2012

The rest!

Here are just a few other things I bought at that estate sale that I showed you the other day:
I just cannot resist grab bags of old lace; I have become pretty picky about what I buy, and I could tell that all that was in here was pretty old, and that equals my kind of fun!
There was the crochet-edged fabric that was salvaged from a dress, some really interesting rainbow-colored trim, and machine made, but still fun, handkerchief-edged white lace I liked.
It's hard to see, but there's a dark blue velvet embellishment from someone's old dress at the far right of this photo, and lots of nice lace edging and colorful crochet.
This is just a bit of what I salvaged from a box of sewing stuff; the rest of it is going back to the thrift store, and it was easily 3x as much as this!  But some of this will be sold and I will more than make up for what I paid for all of it at the sale.  That's what I call recycling!
I also enjoy some of the oddities that you always find in sewing stashes, like this hand-written pattern.  It's instructions to make a fabric Christmas tree, probably from the 1970s.
These crochet instructions, in another hand, are fun because they are actually written in fountain pen.  They must be from the turn of the century or thereabouts.
Another very old, "square" plate for my collection; this one shows pretty multi-colored irises, and has a nicely ridged, gilded edge.
Vintage Darning Needles
Some of the other treasures have already been listed in my Etsy shop, with more to come!  Like this set of new old stock needles from England...
Vintage Patriotic Doll
and this patriotic little doll decoration, who looks like she's off to a 4th of July parade...
Palm Loom
and this little PalmLoom, which you use to make penny rugs and blankets -- it's really cool, from the 1950s, and comes complete with directions!

I sure have my work cut out for me in the next day or two, listing all kinds of fun stuff!  What are you up to this weekend?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Estate sale finds

I found some goodies the other day, wanna see?
I know, I know, it's a tacky necklace...but...can you see the possibilities for embellishing it? It's huge!
This basket motif was a brooch; it's very grungy patina'd.
And I adore this one; it's engraved on the back, "Made in Czecho".
A sweet, fat little blue bird, in perfect condition.
A sweet Robin square that Jeanelle found at the sale and got for me.
A hankie...
more hankies...
and a whole bunch more!
This is one of my favorites -- I love the tiny embellishments, all hand done!
I had to grab this whole pile of old wrapping paper for the cute graphics:
 I love the "male" themed paper.
But this one of the kids playing is my favorite of all!
More old paper -- an unused pad to use in ephemera journals.
But this was my favorite find of all:
an old box of stickers!
I'm keeping some of them, and selling the rest.
I don't know why this stuff makes me so giddy!
In the bottom of the little box, some glass pieces that have fallen off of jewelry, an old, very small ring, and a string of wonderful, tiny mother-of-pearls buttons!

I'm linking up with a party full of lots of thrifty finds today:

Friday, January 20, 2012

Etsy 101 is hot off the presses!

I am so excited to tell you guys about a book written by my friend Steve Weber, called Etsy 101: Sell Your Crafts on Etsy, the DIY Marketplace for Handmade, Vintage and Crafting Supplies.
It is just out, and it is an awesome book -- I know this because I had the chance to read the whole thing as well as contribute a bit to it, and I'm even in it as one of the Etsy sellers he profiled!  If you have ever wanted to start an Etsy shop, this book tells you all you need to know, step by step.  But better than that, it explains all the ins and outs of online selling so that it all makes sense.  With this book, you'll be able to start up like a pro.

As you know, I've been selling on Etsy for 3 years and yet I still learned so much by reading Steve's book; plus, it has re-inspired me to do more and different things to be even more successful.  I've been working on improvements to my shops ever since I read it.  I love how this book is great even for those of us who are already Etsians!

BIG NEWS:  Beginning today and for the next five days, you can download the Kindle edition of the book FOR FREE; here's the link: download Etsy 101 by Steve Weber for free
(By downloading the free Kindle Reader app, you can download to your phone, PC, Mac, etc!)

How awesome is that?   Tell all your friends!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hearts and flowers

How is it possible that Valentine's Day is less than a month away now?  January always flies by for me -- why am I surprised?
I'm cutting off entry into my Valentine's Day swap tonight, so here's your last chance to join: read about it here.  Now, normally I don't show what I'm making for a swap before I send it off, but, since I'm hostessing this one I thought I would take a detour from that habit.  That way, participants have a sort of an example; I hope you don't mind.
It took me several days to come up with inspiration this time.  Finally, I decided upon the idea of a garden fence decorated with a heart banner.  I chose fabrics (on the left, felted wool, and then for the fence, plain white muslin), and freehand stitched a fence.
And here's the finished ornament!  Remember, for the swap the maximum size is 3" overall, and this is whole thing is just under that.  So, imagine how itty bitty those hearts on the banner are!  That was the hardest part -- cutting out those tiny hearts!  I stitched the muslin to the front of the heart, making it a sort of pocket into which I tucked a bouquet of mini flowers.
While I'm at it, I wanted to show you this amazing Christmas gift I got from my buddy Rebecca -- it's a vase by Fringe Studio.
I love it like crazy!  Right now I have it out on display empty -- I mean, how can you improve it?  I thought I might fill it with something rather than flowers.  Any ideas for me?
Speaking of Christmas presents: my husband took the hint and bought me this book by Etsian Mincing Mockingbird.  It's an art book of some of his gorgeous original watercolors of, what else, birds!  But what makes the art even more special is their snarky, sarcastic and sometimes inspirational captions!  Take a look:
What I take for granted would bring you to your knees

Here's something I did the other day: an embellished vintage purse.  I've had the nice leather purse for years when, to my dismay, I saw that something had spilled onto it, leaving a stain in the leather.  I thought to myself, Maybe I can cover that up.  So I chose some pretty embellishments and, because I didn't have any leather needles, I glued them on with The Ultimate Glue.  The label on the glue said it worked on leather -- and I was skeptical but very happy to be proven wrong!

Finally: thanks everyone for hanging in with me during yesterday's blackout in protest of the SOPA/PIPA bill.  You know I never talk politics on this blog but this time I just couldn't stay silent.  It's too important.  The blackout was effective!  I heard that 35 Senators now publicly oppose it (compared to 5 the day before), and public awareness has grown exponentially.  Let's keep contacting our Senators (a list of contacts is here) between now and the day of the vote!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Drooling over Downton Abbey

Are you as thrilled as I am over the new season of Downton Abbey?  It's airing on PBS stations this month, on Sunday evenings.
via PBS.org

The acting is wonderful, but the sets!  And the costumes!
via PBS.org

I cannot get enough of the clothing -- especially some of the hats.
via PBS.org
Like this one, which I think is my favorite of all.
via PBS.org
And then there's this one, which, when I was watching the show, was so intriguing that I think I missed the entire scene: it actually looked as if it had a crazy quilt liner! But upon closer inspection, it looks to be more of a plaid, sadly.
via PBS.org
If you love a great British story with amazing acting, you must rent Cranford,  a series which I've recently enjoyed, too.  Don't miss the part about the cat eating the lace!  It's understated-ly hilarious!
via PBS.org

While Cranford doesn't have the stylish clothing and interiors of Downton, it does boast the handsome young actors you'll know from Jane Austen adaptations -- Mr. Bingley and Willoughby!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Fiercely charming...

The fiercely charming winner of my Blogaversary giveaway is:

Beth Leintz
who wrote:
"Fierce Charm"- I'm guessing you watch Project Runway! I'm a follower and have you on my Google reader, so I always know what's going on in your blog, Laurie!
And, I know Beth!  I've met her in person at Birdsong (and you can, too, as she's teaching at Birdsong II!  But you have to be quick because I understand it's filling up quickly!)  This is not the first time that a blog giveaway I've done has gone to a person I have met before!  Which just goes to show that blogging opens doors for so many friendships!

Congratulations, Beth!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Last day of my giveaway!

It's the last day of my Blogaversy Giveaway!
And, the last day for my button giveaway on Button Floozies!
Good luck, everyone!  Winners announced tomorrow!
(Also -- still time to join my Valentine Swap!)