Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Post Script

Here is some more of my farmhouse Christmas decor this year.

The (real) tree. We got s short one; about 6 feet.



Burlap was my thing this year... I cut it into strips and used it as ribbon on some of my gifts. I even made bows with it.





I went with a all white (and no red) theme in my dining room mantle decor this year. I also used bird-y things.






I think I am going to stick with this white theme in there... it's clean, fresh, and perfectly wintery.

See you next year, Christmas!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

After Christmas

- I did not take one photo over the Christmas weekend. Not one. Wow.

- I always have to mess up at least one recipe for every holiday, so in keeping this this tradition, I made a chocolate Kahlua bundt cake - turns out, you really canNOT trust PAM. From now on I will always take a minute to butter and flour my bundt pan.

- I got all three of the first Star Wars flims on DVD from my sister; and from my other sister, "Th Help" DVD. Yay!

- My momma bought me a steam cleaner so I can clean my vintage coats and gowns at home. Awesome!

- I did not bake a single sugar cookie this Christmas. Not one. On the other hand, I did make about 10 pounds of fudge, butter toffee, peppermint bark, and peanut butter buckeyes. Mmmmm

- I've been working on my resolutions for 2012. The list looks something like this: Waste less. Stay organized. Manage time better. Save more money. Eat out less. Do some strength training......... more to come probably.

- I had my first International blog feature - on this Spanish blog, featuring red lingerie! Wearing red lingerie for the New Year is good luck in Spain - I never knew that.

I have an unexpected 2 additional days off - yesterday I rode with my husband for his job, today I've been catching up on laundry, dishes, kitchen cleaning, refrigerator cleaning and organizing, pantry sorting, list making, and putting away of all the stuff that piles up everywhere.... later, I am off to town to buy some plastic totes for my Christmas decorations. I think it is time they had a plastic tote home, instead of a cruddy old cardboard box home. Plus I want to stock up on Holiday decor clearance sales - woot, woot!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas holiday and I want to thank you all for reading my ramblings on this blog this last year.

onwards to 2012!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Crochet Lace Snowflakes

This year, I made rag ball ornaments, burlap ornaments, and crochet snowflakes to my "homespun", old-fashioned themed Christmas tree.

I showed how to make the rag ball ornaments in this post. The ones I made for the tree, however, I made with the 3 inch styrofoam balls instead of the 4 inch size. Plus I did them in a dark red and tan small check fabric.


The crochet lace snowflakes look like this:

(Cruddy photo; sorry.)

I cut approx. 5 inch lengths of 2 inch wide ecru colored crochet lace trim....


.... and sewed the ends together using a whip stitch to secure all the little ends. Then I made loose, wide stitches (about 1/2 inch) all around the bottom part of the lace, and gave it a gentle pull to gather it up into a round shape, knotting off the thread to hold it in place. I added a vintage shell shank button and a loop of cotton thread for hanging. They take less than 5 minutes each. And they look great on my tree; I love them!


I haven't gotten any pics of the burlap ornaments and how I made those yet; sorry.

I love the way the textiles look on the tree - burlap, lace, and rag strips alongside my rustic, nature-themed ornaments.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmastime At My House

I am one of those people that put away all my regular decor at Christmas time and re-do everything in the house Christmas-ey.

The hutch in my "back porch"


I decided to forgo the traditional wreath in favor of a simple fur branch with a burlap bow. I am irritated, though, because the wreath hanger rubbed the paint off my door.... grrrrr

In the kitchen





Pics of my tree, mantle decor, gift wrap, and this year's home made ornaments. Hint: I'm into burlap this year. :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Recent Buys I Love


Looks vintage, but it's not. I don't know when it was made; but it was sometime within the last few years. It's got very clear 60s styling; made from black cotton "embroidered-lace effect" fabric. In this photo I am wearing a little crinoline slip to give it some 60s fullness.

Dress: Goodwill
Shoes(From this post): Goodwill
Glass beaded bracelet: Etsy
Belt on dress: Thrifted from somewhere - I can't remember.



I also picked up this cute red petticoat last week. Vintage of course. I think it was for a dancing outfit, because of it's shorter length. It has piles and piles of ruffles.
I have no idea where I will ever wear it - besides a Halloween costume party - but it is so much fun!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Shabby Chic Rag Ball Ornaments

I've been busy making little home decor accessories in my spare time; which is abundant of late.




The white ones are made from a vintage infant gown that was too tattered to save.
All may be purchased at my Etsy Shop; and as usual, a portion of all sales from my Etsy shop go to help save young women and girls in Napal and India from human trafficking via L*PIDA and the Napali Rescue Project.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Shop My Vintage - Inspired Stash

I've been going through my stuff and tossing. I buy stuff and then I just never wear it; or I buy it without thinking about fit - and then get it home and it doesn't fit. These things are not vintage; but vintage-inspired; and therefore I cannot and will not sell it on Etsy. But as with all my items, vintage or not, a portion of the sale goes to help stop human (sex) trafficking via L*PIDA and the Nepali Rescue Project.



50s - 60s style red plaid cotton/spandex blend jacket, with cap sleeves, peter pan collar, two big button closure, in brand-new condition. Tag: "At Last" size Medium. (US 8-10) Price: $13.50 (Includes shipping to US)




I love this top. Alas, I have too much.... um.... chest.... for it. I thought it had a cute "Jane Austen" vibe. It is 100% linen with a pink and green plaid print. It is fully lined. Scoop neck, buttons up, short sleeves also have buttons on them, full hips. Size Small; though the tag inside says Medium. Bust: 32-34 inches Waist: 30 inches. 12 inches from the waist to hem. 12 1/2 inches across the shoulder seams in back. In Brand new Condition. Price: $19.00, includes shipping to the USA

(If you're outside the US I can still ship to you, because I always ship all over the world. I can send you a Pay Pal invoice for extra $ for shipping to you. Or you can contact me and I can get a quote from the USPS first)

Encounters at the Thrift Shop

As you probably know by now, I frequently - very frequently, like three or four days out of the week - shop at my favorite area thrift/charity shops; one or two per day, depending on where I am and my work schedule.

Because of my frequent visits, I have had some interesting encounters at these shops; with the employees who have kind of gotten to know me, and with some interesting fellow customers.

There are several categories of folks I have "met" at Thrift Shops;Unwanted Shopping Buddies, Shopping Moms, Stalkers and Braggers.

First of all let me just say that I like to shop alone. I do not shop to be social, unless I am out with friends, or my Mom, or my sisters. I do not go to shops to make new friends; although I have made buddies of some shop employees. Which can help me out sometimes. (Wink, wink.) I prefer to just be alone in my own little vintage treasure hunting world as I shop in the thrift.

The Unwanted Shopping Buddy is most common thrift shop encounter, for me. It's other people - ladies, mostly - who just start talking to me as we shop near each other. And I mean talking to me like they're my sister or something; and I have never seen them before in my life. "What's the 'tag color' of the day?" one lady asked me this week. (This shop has different colored tags on everything and on any given day, they pick a color, and everything tagged in that color is only one dollar.) "I have no idea," I said to her, keeping my eyes fixed on the rack of skirts in front of me. "I will go find out, okay?" she offered. Off she goes. Then she comes back. "It's yellow. So everything with a yellow tag is a dollar! Look at this. This is gorgeous. But it's a blue tag; darn it...." and on and on and on.... I politely smiled and nodded and drifted off to the housewares dept. I have people ask me "What is that?" when I have an unusual item in my cart; especially the older stuff people don't see anymore. And I even had a woman "rent" my shopping bag for $2. One store has special fabric shopping bags printed with their logo. You buy the bag for $3 and on the special sale day, you can cram anything you want in the bag and get it all for $5. So there was this woman who was staring at the sale sign when my Mom and I walked in. "Pardon me, what is this all a bout? What red bag do I have to buy?" she asked. So we explained the concept of the "bag sale" to her. But the store was out of the red fabric bags; so she came over to Mom and me and asked to "rent" my bag. Which I let her do. her daughter filled it up, they took their stuff to their car, and then she brought my bag back to me, with $2. So with her $2 and only $3 of my own cash, I got a whopper of a bag full that day.

I've also had people admire items in my cart, and advise me as to how I can use certain items; or what would look good with this or that. That is more what I call a Shopping Mom. They're the advice givers, and seem to want to take younger shoppers under their wing and give them fashion advice.
Just yesterday I was at the Goodwill "superstore" in the city and I scored an awesome, full, wonderfully ruffled, RED, vintage petticoat. I dropped it in my cart and headed to the rack of skirts when a older lady walked right up to the front of my cart as I was pushing it along - I had to stop before I ran over her. She started fingering my petticoat and admiring it; how pretty it was. Then she advised me to get a certain kind of white blouse to wear with it; it would be gorgeous; she said. I didn't bother to try and explain that it was meant for wearing under skirts, not as a skirt. I just smiled and nodded and high-tailed it to another rack, before this Shopping Mom became my Unwanted Shopping Buddy.

Employees of the stores get used to seeing me on a regular basis now; and we greet each other like friends. Some of them have figured out my agenda. One time I was checking out with a pile of stuff... all vintage.
"This is old," the girl said, holding up a vintage, fur collared coat. She handed it to the other girl who was bagging.
"Yep, that is old, my Grandma had one like that," the other girl said, stuffing it into a plastic bad as I cringed.
"This is old," the first girl said, holding up a hat. Into the bag it went with the coat.
"And this is old!" she laughed, holding up a china platter with a floral pattern on it.
"Aaaaand these are old, too," she said as she rang up some screw-back earrings. "All them screw back things is old."
Then she looks at me and says "You like old stuff, don't you? You bought some old stuff last time you was in here."
I never tell anyone what I do with it. I feel guilty telling about how I may buy it for $10 and sell it for $50.... so when I find myself in these kinds of conversations, I just smile and say "Yes, I do love old stuff. I collect it."

I encountered a Bragger last week; in a Goodwill in a neighboring city. I was buying some hats and things. The woman in front of me was wearing a full length fur coat and fur hat. As the cashier rang up her items, she announced to the girl:
"I paid $5,000 for this coat."
The cashier made some admiring remark, with raised eyebrows of disbelief. The woman in the fur opened the coat and pointed to the inner lapel and said:
"See? That's my name right there, I had it stamped in gold right there; in case it ever got stolen."
Then it was my turn; but the fur lady just stood there, looking at all the items I pulled from my cart: black velvet flats, two vintage hats, a circle skirt, and a couple glass housewares.
"Do you wear hats?" She asked me, suspiciously. Like she didn't believe I was going to wear them.
"Yes, I wear them sometimes," I said. "But mostly, I just look at them."
"You look at them?"
"Yes - I put them around on hat stands, and hand them on the wall in my bedroom, and look at them." (Which is true.)
She thought about that for a second as I swiped my debit card. Then she rubbed her hand over her fur hat.
"I paid so much for this hat, I left the price tag in it," she said to everyone in the line.
Then she went out ahead of me. I thought to myself, "If all this is true, she has got to be driving a Jaguar; or at least a BMW...."
But she drove out of the parking lot in a 90's model van with "Val's Medical Transport" hand lettered on the side. (It didn't really say Val's; I just said that to protect their privacy.)
Hmmmmmmm. That was one of the strangest things ever.

And Stalkers - yep, the stalkers. They creep me out. Last week a guy walked by me and then turned around and said:
"I saw you here last week, didn't I? I did. And I saw you at the Goodwill, too. Yep, I see you at these places all the time. Isn't that funny?"
Well he thought it was funny but I did not. I did not remember seeing him but he remembered me and that totally gave me the heebee jeebees.
I was in a junk shop back in the summer and it was one of these dark, murky eerie places; they had a fish bait farm in the same building and so everything smelled like worms and fish and nasty slimy things.
I was being trailed by a guy who kept whistling some tune under his breath, and making lame comments to try and make conversation.
I picked up a blue glass insulator.
"A-HA!" He said. "You must be an antique insulator collector!"
"Not really," I said.
"Oh, all the little cluttery things..... all the junk you just can't live without...." and he kept going on and on.
Then I was looking at a tool box.
"Oh, look at that," he said. "You can't have too many of those, can you. You can put all kinds of goodies in there."
I decided I needed to insert the fact that I had a husband into this conversation.
"My husband likes these," I said.
"Oh, the hubbs. Does the hubbs collect too?"
"Yes, he collects things," I said. "But he collects things like guns, and tractors and things like that," I said.
"John Deere Tractors?"
"Nope, International Harvester and Farmall tractors," I said.
Then he started going on about a collectible International Harvester truck he owned.
"If your husband wants a International truck to haul around his International tractors, you tell him to give me a call," he boasted. I paid for my antique insulator and got out of there as fast as I could.

I have a category for myself, too: I call it the "Smile and Nod" shopper. Cause that's what I do; just smile and nod. Then get out as fast as you can before somebody figures out that you're buying things to sell on line. Ha, ha!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Dream Bathroom

I want this bathroom in my farmhouse. It is so perfectly rustic and romantic. And shabby. I love shabby.


I love the chippy white painted punched-tin ceiling.

I love the shabby old clawfoot bathtub (We almost bought one just like it on our last trip to Michigan but the re-porcelain job would have cost a fortune so we're holding out for one in better condition, closer by...)

I love the large, un-curtained window (I despise thick and busy window treatments. Bleh. Windows are for light and for seeing out of! Why cover them up?!)

I love the vintage pendant light fixture. Perfect for reading in the tub - one of my favorite things to do.

I love the wide board walls and the stencil on them.

I love the painted floor.

I love the shelf under the window/over the tub.

I just want to go in there and have a soak right now!

Ideally, this would be attached to an equally as dreamy bedroom; and it would be like living in a quaint country bed and breakfast every single day of my life.

*Blissful sigh*

Monday, December 12, 2011

Little Black Dress - Vintage Edition

This black velvet dress was passed down to me from my mom who got it from some family member whose mother was the original owner. It is a late 40s - 50s black velvet number. I wore it for my parent's 25th wedding anniversary party this past weekend.


My sister is wearing a vintage-inspired dress with a great 60's Mad Men vibe. It is stunning on her.

Me with my sisters Noelle and Naomi.

Dress: Vintage family hand-me-down
Necklace: Rhinestone choker (50s), estate sale
Earrings: Rhinestone (50s), estate sale
Bracelet: 30s; thrifted
Shoes: Gold satin covered in black lace with velvet bows; Pay Less. :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Antique Jelly Mold Votive Holders

I love to use stuff I collect in my Christmas decor. Using these old Jell-O molds as votive holders is perfectly "shabby chic" and most certainly farm-housey. I only have two, but will be on the lookout for more.



Monday, December 5, 2011

Vintage Sewing Basket

I picked this up recently at some thrift shop. Judging from the fabric, I am assuming it is from the 60s. It is in really great condition; except for it was covered in thick dust and I had to scrub it all off with a damp tooth brush.




I guess I collect them now, as this makes about four or five of these for me. They're one of those things that I can't not buy. Funny thing is I actually use them... I will stash embroidery projects in them; one embroidery project per basket...

Friday, December 2, 2011

New Shoes.

Every time I find shoes like this, that fit me, it's like a little miracle; and this little chorus of angels in my head sings the Hallelujah Chorus. Especially when I get them at the thrift shop, leather, and not in ratty condition, for less than five bucks.



Shoes: Damita K.
Thrifted from Goodwill.

Praise the Lord.

(Dang. Look at the scars on my ankles...geez)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Exciting Announcement

Nope. I am not pregnant.

Starting last month, my Etsy shop Carolina Roses became a financial sponsor of L*PIDA, which is an organization devoted to equipping women in Nepal who have been the victim of human (sex) trafficking with the means to support themselves through sewing and crafting. Starting in November, a portion of every purchase from my shop will go to help stop human trafficking in Nepal.

I woke up at about 4:30 on Thanksgiving morning with this strong feeling that this was what I was supposed to do. I was wide awake with this thought so I got out of bed and wrote down some questions for my sister Noelle, who is very involved in the project, as well as other fund raising ideas as the inspiration flowed. (More on those other ideas later.)

I had heard about the project through my sister Noelle; but it wasn't till that morning that I thought of sponsoring them. I had such a strong feeling about it, I got out of bed and wrote down some things down as the ideas and inspiration flowed.

This is a very serious issue and I have caught a vision to help and be involved in helping these poor girls and women. If you care about the plight of sex trafficked girls and women, please.... please....please give this a read.

The following is a "blogger-view" I did with my sister, Noelle.

Tell about yourself.

I’m a senior at Regent University I am majoring in government with a concentration in international relations and foreign policy. I’m very interested in issues of poverty and injustice. I am involved in several campus organizations that deal with human trafficking and homelessness. I have also gone on two urban outreach trips to New York City and L.A. I love to read novels and non-fiction — probably my favorite pass-time.

Tell us more about L*PIDA.

L*PIDA (L*PIDA is a wordplay on "elpida", the Greek phonetic pronunciation of “hope”)is an organization that was started by Kim Denerstein—a fellow student—as a marketing project for one of her classes. It grew into a project under the Regent University chapter of Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE). Our mission: “L*PIDA is a global endeavor striving to bring hope to the poor by enabling international artisans to gain access to new markets thereby encouraging economic growth”. Our first project is working in partnership with the Nepali Rescue Project.


Explain how the money raised by L*PIDA will be utilized by the women.

L*PIDA raises money to disperse micro-loans to women that have been rescued from human trafficking. The organization we work with, K.I.N. rescues women who are about to be taken across the border into India—mostly to be sold into brothels. K.I.N takes these women through a transition program that includes a skills training segment. Some of the women are trained as seamstresses. At this point, we use much of our funds to help some of these women set up sewing shops. We are also
moving into another phase where we are providing an online market for the products that these women create.


How did you become involved with L*PIDA?

When I was in L.A. for an urban outreach program this past spring break, I met Hannah Mathew. We started talking about the issue of human trafficking and she told me about L*PIDA and the Nepali Rescue Project. I practically begged her to set me up with Kim for a meeting.

How much of a problem is human/sex trafficking on an international level?

Human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world; it is currently the third largest organized crime ($32 billion per year)—behind drugs and firearms. Approximately 27 million men, women, and children are modern day slaves. Of these 27 million, 2 million children are trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. In other words, there are more slaves in the world today than ever before. Human trafficking is one of the biggest injustices we face today.


Is there human (sex) trafficking in the U.S. also?

Of those who are aware of human trafficking, many see it as a problem in “other countries”. However, there is a great deal of human trafficking right here is America. Anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000 underage girls are being sold for sex in America. 50,000 women and children are trafficked into the U.S. every year, and of these, the vast majority is sold into the sex industry.

What ways can I follow/support L*PIDA?

You can “like” us on Facebook and follow us on twitter. Also, check out our blog.We will also have a website and products coming very soon! As always, you can support us financially. You can send us a check to the following address:

Regent University

1000 Regent University Drive

Virginia Beach VA, 23464

Write the check out to Regent University and attach a note that says “Nepali Rescue Project”.

And of course, a purchase from Carolina Roses on Etsy supports us as well.


This video by the Nepali Rescue Project sheds a lot of light into the human trafficking situation in Nepal and India.

If this information has touched your heart, please share it among your friends on Facebook, blogs, Twitter, Church and civic groups, etc.

Also, please stay tuned for a fun giveaway to help kick off the effort, just in time for Christmas!