Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Random Moments Of Abundant Joy


 Do you ever see or hear something that just fills your heart with so much joy you think you're going to burst?

 I confess I have more moments of irritation, stress and even anger that make me think I am going to burst. Ha.

The other day I was driving home from someplace and I got behind a slow moving school bus.

Instant vexation.

I followed behind for several stops, irritated.

Then it stopped in front of a picturesque house on the 2-lane road deep in the rural farming community; and an adorable little girl jumped off, in her pink coat and princess backpack.
 Her older brother followed, with his blue coat and some super hero backpack.

 As they approached their driveway, a black lab puppy, maybe three months old, came from behind their house and bounded towards them with all the energy and enthusiastic affection of a puppy and the little girl ran to meet her puppy and then there was this priceless moment of puppy hugs and little girl kisses...

 And I practically burst into tears right then and there as my heart joined in their Moment Of Abundant Joy. It was like I was watching a scene from some Hallmark movie or something.

 In the dreary winter time, and the nasty political climate weighing on American's minds right now; plus the pathetic economy and turmoil elsewhere in the world, occasional bright moments of pure joy and carefree, childlike love and affection really mean a lot.

If you keep your eyes and your heart open you never know when you will be blessed with a Random Moment Of Abundant Joy!

(The photo above is from last Spring with my puppy Dodge and nice Alana.)

Don't forget to enter the Cameo Necklace Giveaway; it ends Friday.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Giveaway Extension.....And Other Things

-I am extending the Cameo Necklace giveaway through the end of this week (To Friday Feb. 3). I think I need some more entries to make it evenly "fair"..... so please drop in to this post and add your comment to enter. One way or the other I will post the winner on Sat. Feb 4. I was going to do a second giveaway of some other equally as awesome items but it's not going as well as I had hoped, so I'll hold off on giveaways #2 and #3 until later .......

 - Visit my friend Mary's "Fashionably Yours" blog; she has some great tutorials on there and cleverly put together outfits as well.

- Check out the new website for L*PIDA. The Project Leader is my sister Noelle, and they're raising money to support The Nepali Rescue Project; who then use the  money to rescue and restore women and girls who are victims of human (sex) trafficking. Read more about it here.

 - I have been (finally) reading the "Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" trilogy by Stieg Larsson and loving it. Highly recommend. (But not if you are squeamish, or easily offended by crime/violence/sex/etc.)  They're some of the most brilliantly written novels I have read in a while; I find it hard to put them down.

- I have been drinking hot cocoa made like this ; and I will never drink it any other way again.

- Downton Abbey Season 2 is airing on PBS in the States right now; are you watching? Downton is my new favorite in TV viewing; I have watched the first season about six or eight times through; no kidding. Then I figured out ways to see season 2 before it was released here in the US. However, if you have not seen the first season; don't try jumping into season 2. Too many details you won't understand. (Season 1 is on Netflix.) Also, They'll be doing a 3d season! I am thrilled!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Covered Button Earrings - Cute!

Who says buttons are only for clothing?




 All of these are being offered in my Etsy shop, totally handmade by me - and come gift boxed. Remember, a portion of ALL sales from Carolina Roses goes to support L*PIDA/The Nepali Rescue Project in their efforts to rescue and restore women and girls victimized by human trafficking in Nepal and India.

 Top: blue gingham earrings
Middle:blue and white calico earrings
Bottom: purple calico earrings

Don't forget to enter the giveaway  in the post below to win a cameo necklace and yummy dark chocolate bar shipped to the winner FREE anywhere in the world!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Valentines Day Giveaway

I was going to try to do this at Christmas but never got around to it. But Valentine's day seems just as good an excuse to give away stuff! This will be the first of several giveaways I am planning for the next few weeks, so stay tuned.

This is a fun combo to treat yourself, or give away.




 This giveaway includes a cameo necklace (ruby red plastic with creamy white cameo, measuring 2 inches long an 1 1/2 inches wide, on a silver tone chain) and a dark chocolate bar with a vintage inspired wrapper.

 To enter, just leave a comment on this post. For two entries, become a NEW "follower" of this blog (let me know you've "followed" in your comment, please!) The giveaway will be over on Jan. 28 and I will announce the winner on Jan. 29. Please feel free to invite your friends and blog readers to enter as well.
 The prize will be shipped free of charge to the winner, no matter where you live in the world. :)

In case you're wondering what the necklace looks like on an actual person (me):


Thanks for your participation!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Shop Update in Black

My usual haunts for scoring great vintage for my shop have been really disappointing lately. I've been having to go to cities up to and over an hour away to find inventory - that, and antiques shops. So I have a whole bunch of new stuff to list over the next few weeks - including a whole slew of dresses I have started piling up and just haven't photographed yet. But more on those later.

 60s black patent leather (?) kitten heels

50s era glass beaded choker necklace

 Black rose print 80s Victorian revival blouse with ascot

 Black vinyl patent "leather" 60s handbag

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Inspired by Skeeter

Last summer, I saw "The Help" and was smitten. I immediately bought and read the book, and then this Christmas I received the DVD as a gift from my sister. I fell in love with the (early)60s dresses, and their full skirts and feminine details that work great for people like me with...... curves. Of course, I then devoured every season of "Mad Men" on Netflix, where I just died over almost every single one of Betty Draper's outfits.

And when I saw this dress at a thrift shop today, I knew I had to have it; because it looked just like something the character "Skeeter" in "The Help" would wear! I snagged it for $5.00
(Me, with zero hair done, and only a tinted lip balm for "make up" - sorry for my frumpyness)

The dress is not vintage; but might as well be, for it's classic 60s styling, bright green plaid cotton, button front, full, lined skirt, and tie belt. I'm wearing it here (I put it on as soon as I got home with it) with a 50s cashmere cardigan, since it is January, and a bit chilly out. (The dress is actually sleeveless. It is also about 5 sizes too big for me, but thanks to the tie belt, it cinched right up.) I am going to wear this dress out this Spring and Summer!

I also picked up this awesome tapestry handbag:



Bag for sale here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Getting - and staying - organized.

Getting organized is probably one of the top ten New Year's resolutions in this country, right up there with loosing weight and eating healthy and all that.

Getting organized is not my problem; it's staying that way I have an issue with.

I know just how to get organized, and I do it. But then as the days and weeks go by, the stuff takes over again, and I have the piles of mail, magazines and mess on my desk. I have the freezer burned steak shoved in the back of the freezer behind the bag of frozen broccoli and ice cream. The clothes start piling up on chairs and shoved into drawers. My crafts stuff just stays in a jumble on my dining room table where I do in and dig around till I find what I need for whatever project. If Kevin smashes a digit and needs a bandage, I have to dig through three or four baskets of stuff in the bathroom just to find the box of band aids.

The problem extends even to my barn, where my feed room is piled with dirty horse blankets and empty Purina feed sacks and those annoying plastic bags the stall shavings come in; with baling twine strung everywhere; saddles and pads all jumbled together in the tack room with bridles a tangled mess and peppermint candy wrappers on the floor crunching everywhere I step on the floor in there.

I have come to the conclusion that staying organized does not come naturally to me; so I am going to have to make a special effort to do so.

Which is really hard right now with my complicated work schedule. I am not as home as much so when I get home at night, all I have time to do is make dinner for us, tend to the pets and livestock, and crash in an exhausted, frumpy, irritated heap on the couch for a few hours with Kevin, then go to bed, and get up in the morning and rush right back out the door.
My few hours of time away from work during the week are taken up with family responsibilities, farm responsibilities, errands, shopping for groceries and such, and taking care of business things like getting orders from my website shipped out in a timely manner.

So staying organized is going to be a huge chore for me this year. But I am determined to do it.

Here is what I decided to do so far:

For one thing, I am bringing less stuff into the house. I am simply buying less. I have gotten strict with myself about what I can buy as shop inventory, too - so less storage space is being used.

I went through each room in my house and tossed everything that could be tossed. Even in the fridge and freezers; pantry, and bathroom. If I can keep the stuff down to a manageable amount of things I use and need, then I won't feel buried and overwhelmed by it so much.

I am also trying to de-clutter and put things away daily or at least every other day when I can - when I am at home to do it.

I've realized that it is less about what you do to organize, or how you do it; it is more about taking the time to do it; making the time to do it. That is where my difficulty lies. I can't even make the time; because I don't have the time. It is frustrating but I am trying.

What do you do to get organized and stay that way? I need inspiration.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Pink Shop Update

I am not a huge fan of Valentine's Day but some of my recent Etsy listings seem to be Valentine's Day inspired. And pink. (Click link below each item for sale info.)

Pink Veil Fascinator

Pink Rhinestone Necklace

Pink 1950s Deadstock PJs

Pink sheer babydoll top with matching shorts

Pink 50s coin bank

Ballerinas coaster set

Pink Teacup

Pink angora cardigan

Thoughts on Proper Handling of Vintage Items .....


I bought this cutie at a local antiques shop. It is made from antique quilt pieces. Love it; so cute.

At the same time I had purchased a late 30s - 40s faux pearl necklace with a fancy rhinestone clasp.

When the cashier at the shop was bagging my purchases, she grabbed the paper sticker tag and literally ripped it off the necklace, while I stood there and cringed. She then stuffed it down inside this little bag and I went on my way.

When I got home and lifted the necklace out, it fell apart all over the floor. I spent a long time on my hands and knees hunting down every little bead and the rhinestone clasp; inwardly grumbling at the shop owner's carelessness.

I have encountered mishandling of old, vintage, antique items before at yard sales and thrift shops and the like, but was stunned to find a antique shop owner handling items so roughly. Even if she is new at the business - and perhaps inexperienced.

It happened again this week, at a large, well-known antiques mall in a nearby town run by very experienced antiques dealers that have several mall locations all over the state, with years of experience under their belt.

I purchased some hats in a paper hat box, a delicate embroidered cotton dress from the 1930s, and two pieces of vintage costume jewelry.

One of the owners of the mall checked me out, and as she started to (very sloppily) fold the dress - a very delicate, almost sheer cotton - over the hanger it was on, I must have made a face because she stopped and asked me if I wanted the hanger left on it.

I abruptly said NO - because the dress, flopped over the wire hanger, could get holes and rips from the edges and wire parts of the hanger. Inwardly I thought "DUH" but I didn't say it out loud.

Next the woman stuffed - and I do mean stuffed - the necklaces into tiny ziplock baggies. One is a glass beaded choker; one is a rhinestone necklace. Each could easily be broken when crammed into any space. I was really blown away by all of this and left the place in disbelief.

If I had a shop, delicate vintage jewelery, especially beaded necklaces and chains and the like - would be boxed. Period. The only thing I might stick in a plastic baggie would be earrings or pendants.

And fragile antique dresses and textiles would also be carefully folded and boxed. Period. Or, I might have plastic garment bags.

This just makes sense to me. This is how I ship things all around the world; so far so good.

Has anyone else encountered mishandling of purchases at antiques shops where sellers should know better?

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Last Awesome Find of 2011

I found - and bought - a lot of great stuff in 2011. I also sold a LOT of great stuff, to my wonderful customers.

But on the last day of the year, I really found a doosey.

I loaded up some trash and a bag of give-away items and headed for our "Green Boxes" down the road.

Some of you may remember the "Green Box"..... it is our county's recycling and trash collection site; and it is a very well kept place. Neat, tidy, organized, and there is this lovely little building where you can leave items for giving away, or take items. That way, they don't all end up in the landfills. I have found super cool stuff at the Green Boxes.

So when I took my recycling and my give-away bag on Saturday, I peeped into the give-away building and nearly had a heart attack.

Because there, on the bench inside, was a large cardboard box - overflowing with VINTAGE HATS.


That little chorus of angels in my head that sings when I find awesomeness for next to nothing - or, in this case, nothing at all - started singing not just the Hallelujah chorus, but a rousing Southern Gospel version of it, and the little angels were shouting and dancing and beating on tambourines in a joyous frenzy!

The hats came home with me. There were 15 hats in the box. Felts, velvet, silk flowers, tulle, satin ribbons, intricate straw, feathers, beads...... even my husband's jaw dropped when I took the box out of the car. He loves what I do.

It was the best way to end the year. It kind of made up for the fact that I worked over 24 hours straight into the new year, and rang it in at work instead of partying with my honey bun somewhere.

Happy New Year, everyone!