Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Brutal Summer

Someone told me the older I get the less I will like summer. (Usually, summer is my favorite time of year.) Maybe that is true, because this hot hot weather is taking a toll on my brain.

Thus, being MIA from this blog.

A quick recap of what keeps me away from blogging these days -

- My bird raising has been unsuccessful. I raised them to 5 weeks, then one by one they weakened and died. I have no idea what happened. I am so depressed about it.  I an now working under a licensed wildlife rehabber, and I am going to get my own permit shortly. We'll be the only 2 rehabbers with licenses in three counties. I can't say I am too thrilled about this, after my failed Chimney Swift attempt. I'm terrified anything I get now is going to die. :/

- I am a college student now. I am enrolled in a class - on line - dealing with search engines and using them to your full advantage (for business traffic, in my case). I am really interested in digital art and design, web design, e-commerce, and things of that nature; but they weren't offering those classes this semester. So ... next time.  I find the class really interesting, and so far have made 100s on all my quizzes. *pats self on back*

- I am working on a whole load of new pretties for the shop, hitting sometime in the next few months in time for Holiday shopping. I am excited about it. Although, getting photos has been a chore. For several reasons... namely, inadequate camera and inadequate space for a "studio" shot.

- I am also working on designs for Christmas and Holiday items. Crafting! Yay!

- I got a new kitty cat. We went outside at 11:30 one evening to coax in our other young cat and heard pitiful crying from another street..... we went looking and found this:

We inquired all over the neighborhood to see if anyone had lost him, and I even put an advert in the paper and Craigslist to see if anyone was missing a cat - as he was wearing a collar. In the end, it seems like someone dumped him on the street and left. So he is now OURS. We're calling him "Gator" - but once in a while I let "Goober" slip. Teehee.

- I gather tomatoes by the bucket full. I have been canning tomatoes practically every day and eating them for every meal; and still they overflow....

- I finally got my pool back from the summer campers at my horse barn. *sigh*

- Practice has commenced for the "Extreme Cowboy Competition"  coming up in September.  I am working on getting my horse to stand next to the gate very still so that I can work the latch with my foot; thereby improving my time, so that I might have a shot at winning it this year. HAHA! Everything else they require of you, she does perfectly.

- I don't know about anyone else, but I am totally looking forward to the London Olympics!!! I especially love watching the gymnastics - but most of all, the equestrian sports. Namely, Three Day Eventing.  Speaking of the Olympics and Three Day Eventing, have I ever told you readers that I once met, and spent the day hanging around with, Olympians and medal winners David and Karen O'Connor? I audited a riding camp they were doing in Lexington on CX day. What a blast. They're such "real" people. Even if they have won every prize there is to win in the equestrian world and then some.
I hope everyone's summer (or winter, depending on what side of the equator you're living on) is going great. 

Cherrio! (In the spirit of the London Olympics.......)


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pinterest Inspired Necklace Display

I confess, this was not my original, clever idea.

I saw it on Pinterest, and stole the idea.

It's an old, rusty  garden rake head. On Pinterest, the rake was hung directly on the wall; but I hung mine on my vintage shutter on the wall next to my desk. This way I can see the jewelry, it's pretty, it's inspiring, and I don't have to dig it out from a box when I need to pack it to ship it someplace.

I actually have collected about four or five old rake heads..... Hummm.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Vintage Button Charm Bracelets

Two more designs featuring vintage and antique buttons. The top bracelet is gold tone, mother or pearl and brown themed; the bottom bracelet is black, white, mother of pearl and gold tone themed.
I will be running out of buttons at the rate I am going.

PS - the postcard I have been featuring in my photographs of my jewelry is from 1917. I found a whole box of old postcards in the house when I moved in; many earlier than that. The box also contained lots of old letters and Christmas cards postmarked from the mid nineteens through the 50s. I love looking through them; and keep them in a drawer in my Great Grandmother's secretary desk for easy access.
#1 is available here
#2 is available here

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Peach Iced Tea and Kitty Cats

So....... it's peach season. Mmmmmmm. We went up to the local market - "Country Boys" - and bought a half bushel basket of the succulent Southern fruits.

They were for canning, of course, but not before I  bit into two or three - over the sink, because of the juices running down my face and arms. I also made up a glass of peach iced tea... the nectar of the gods. Peach tea is hands down my favorite beverage, period, end of story.

To make this, I simply slice a peach into a glass of sweet tea, add ice cubes, and give it the ol' swirly with an iced tea spoon. Heavenly.

My senior  kitty, Brutus. He's 15 this year, and the vet says he is doing awesome. Although, sometimes I think he has moments of senility. Haha. 

I guess I have not mentioned here, that I am raising three orphan wild birds. I discovered them in the cold woodstove where I work, having fallen down the chimney. They were hatchlings then, with no feathers and their eyes still closed. There was no way to return them to the mother two stories above; so I took them  home to raise them. 

They're doing very well; better then expected. Here is how they looked the first couple of days I had them:

 And last week, they opened their eyes and enjoyed sitting in my hand and looking around them:

They eat softened cat kibble, and chopped boiled eggs. I've also fed them watermelon, tomatoes, freeze dried meal worms, and tinned cat food. Their favorite is the egg. (Ironic, isn't it?)

I know it is crazy to try to raise birdies with a family of five cats living here; but everyone is getting along great. The cats lost interest in them and actually get annoyed and leave when they start yammering for me to feed them - usually in a shrill, piercing sheik!

I am planning on returning them to the wild as soon as they are self-feeding.... I am hoping they're not too imprinted on me. If so I have three new pets, I suppose.  I have no idea what kind of birds they are; if anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear what you think!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Vintage Button Necklaces

Continuing in my vintage button jewelry inspiration, I made up these necklaces.

#1 - 3D floral button and bead on a silver tone chain.  Buy here

#2 - A rustic key - one of a box of old keys found in a closet in the house when we moved in - and two antique button charms on a 24 inch antiqued brass textured chain. Buy here

#3 - A large gold tone button stacked with a red shank button in the middle and hung on a 24 inch antiqued brass textured chain. Buy here

Next, I am going to try my hand at some charm bracelets. So far my little vintage button adventure into jewelry making has not been very financially lucrative; in fact I have spent a lot of money on supplies and have sold nothing - but I figure if no one buys them I will give it all away as Christmas gifts. Besides, I've enjoyed it. I love trying my hand at new things.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Vintage Button Earrings: Something New and Different

So a few weekends ago the Hubbs and I moseyed on over to the local Flea Market and I spotted, and bought, a tin of buttons.

This is not the first tin of buttons I have bought. I have a stash of several other tins of buttons. I have a "thing" for old buttons. Always have. I remember one of my favorite things to do was look through the tin of buttons belonging to my great grandmother. Loved it.

Anyhoo....... I decided I needed to do something with my collection of buttons besides sit there and sort through them like some kind of greedy Queen counting her coins in her coffers buried in a dungeon somewhere.

So I went out to the craft store and I bought some things that looked like they might work for putting together some simple jewelry and I came up with this.

I also have some necklaces and charm bracelets in the works but I am waiting on some other components I ordered on line to arrive to finish them up.

I have pretty much zero jewelry making experience. And jewelry is probably the hardest item to sell on Etsy. But I figured it was worth an attempt, anyway.

They're available here.

What do you think? I'd love some feedback. :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

My Etsy Favorites: Kitty Edition

I've decided to start a new "feature" on this blog, one highlighting my Etsy Favorites, cool Etsy finds, and awesome Etsy deals from awesome Etsy shops. I do a lotalotalot of looking around on Etsy, partly because of my research, and partly from boredom at work, and partly because I just like shopping on the site because there are so many cool shops! I also do buy frequently from other sellers.

So for my first "Etsy Faves" post, I decided to feature my favorite kitty items. Because I  have a terrible weakness for kittens and cats and all things feline. :)

Note: All photos are used with permission. I don't steal photos; and neither should anyone else!

I adore this shirt! This is on my Christmas gift list for my husband. Well, the guy's version of it. From RCTEES. For every "Real Men Love Cats" tee shirt sale this month, RCTEES is donating $2.00 to  Much Love Animal Rescue. Awesome!

This necklace is "purrfect"!! From Life Is Rosy. I'd love to find this one in my stocking on Christmas morning!

How cute is this necklace?! Too cute, I say! From Melissa Poe.

This photograph is just precious. And like the tee shirt above, a portion of all sales from this go to a cat rescue facility. From Sandra Lynn's on Etsy.

Thanks to all the sellers featured here who gave me permission to use their images for this post.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Shop Update: Hurrah for Red, White and Blue!!

I have kind of been MIA this past week..... with temps in the lower 100s here in the Eastern USA, I kind of had no desire to do anything except veg in front of the TV watching movies (when I am not working) and veg out in the pool. That, and trying non stop during the day to keep my critters cooled off and watered, and keeping my plants and gardens watered.

Today we Americans celebrate our Independence and the birth of our nation! I will be dressing up in my historical outfit and representing the 1860s era in my historical hometown's Independence Day celebrations. I always have fun dressing in my historical garb!

So in the spirit of 1776 and the Stars and Stripes, here are a few new listings and some not so new listings that are Patriotic. :)

1.-  Rustic Burlap Bunting Banner "USA"  
2. - Red canvas wedges (70s) - these remind me of a pair of TOMS wedges I saw recently!
3. -  White felt hat with feathers
4. - Blue and white gingham post earrings
5. - Red white and blue plaid 60s day dress and belt

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Outfit: Summer Daze

Skort: A K Mart brand. (I like it because it has built in britches; so it wears without worry) Several years old; I 'm sure I thrifted it somewhere for a few dollars like everything else in my wardrobe. :)

Top: Hunt Club. I love this top. I love the pretty print and the lace and the fitted waist and the whole nine yards. Thrifted last year. I do not remember what I paid but it wasn't much

Shoes: Vintage. Love them. I don't get a chance to wear them much because - well - they're blue. And, not exactly comfortable. It is one of the few pairs of vintage shoes I have ever found that fit me. 

Silver locket necklace: (Holds a photo of my dear (late) Grandmother) Thrifted a long time ago

Silver spoon cuff bracelet: Etsy. One of my recent purchases. I am going to have it engraved with my initials as soon as I can get myself into the jewelry store. You can find a similar one here.

It has been so HOT here in the Southeast! You may have heard about the terrible storms we had come through and knock out power to areas of Ohio, Virginia, Maryland, and other places as well last Friday. We were without power for about 24 miserable hours; as it got up to 103 + F that day. Luckily we have a generator so we were able to keep our refigerator(s) and freezer running, and our well, to water the animals. It was still hot as all get out though. And it stayed miserably hot for days. Now we're back in the  upper 90s and it feels cool!

My hair has been so yukky from the pool chemicals (we've been spending a lot of time in the pool) and repeated washings. I did manage to have it cut shorter for the summer, however. It makes it so much more manageable - no fussing with it before work or anything. Kevin is encouraging me to have it lightened up a shade or two for the summer; and I think I will give in and have it done. I have never dyed my hair before so I am a bit apprehensive about it; but my hair stylist says it's not dying all my hair; just highlighting the top layers, and it will fade away by the end of the summer.

I can't wear a single bit of make up with it as hot as it is; so no make up in these pics. 

Looking forward to fireworks and yummy food tomorrow for the 4th! 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Christmas in July!

Shameless shop promotion time!

Hee hee.

My Etsy shop is participating in the 5th annual "Christmas in July" sale; which is site wide. Many shops will be having similar sales this month.

I am having a sale because I need to clean out my inventory before my "new" line up in the Fall.

Here is what you can look for in the shop:

Buy any handbag or purse and get a pair of shoes 1/2 price! There are a couple pair of shoes I had to exclude, though. To take advantage of this offer, just purchase the bag and shoes you want, then I will refund the 50% off the shoes to your Pay Pal acct. I will also refund any combined shipping savings with your order. If you have any questions, please email or Etsy convo me! :) Many other items throughout each section of the shop are on sale or come with free N. American shipping. (Sorry, I can't afford to offer free international shipping at this time. :( )

This is a recent addition to my handbag selection - a white beaded clutch.

Brown Mary Janes. Usually $18, with the purchase of a purse, they're only $9.00!!

 Here is a new addition to the shop in this summer's very popular mint green. 25% off ! Many other clothing items in the shop are also on sale.

New enamel flower earrings in the shop. Many jewelry items in the shop are on sale as well as being offered with free shipping.

All burlap banners ship free to North American buyers. 

So, Merry Christmas in July!! I know it is difficult to imagine Christmas in the summer - especially here in the east where temps are in the low 100s - but the actual Christmas is about 6 months away. I don't know about anyone else, but I have already bought a few gifts from Etsy sellers and other retailers and I have officially started Christmas shopping for my family in the back of my mind whenever I am out and about in town. I am odd like that. I like to be prepared and not spend a fortune all at once in the weeks ahead of Christmas. :)