Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Rockabilly Gingham

So everybody probably knows by now that the Rockabilly look is my favorite "every day" vintage look.  And what is more Rockabilly than gingham?

Here is a classic 60s - 70s era red gingham western shirt,  by Wrangler, now in the shop. Yep, it's a men's shirt, but girls can rock it, too!!

Jeans: Thrifted, Levi's, & too big; so they make me look funny & I am never going to wear them again. 
Cami: Thrifted
Shirt: Carolina Roses Vintage on Etsy!  (Click the link to buy it)
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Vintage red canvas Keds
Sunnies: Thrifted, 1950s - LOVE them
Silver hoop earrings: I don't remember

Monday, August 27, 2012

More Vintage Hats

I've bought more hats for the shop, as well as weeded out more of my personal collection. The Peacock number on the last photo is one from my collection I am kind of sad to let go  - but it's so pretty, someone needs to wear it out so it can be seen. So far it just sits in a hat box in my bedroom with about 40 others that never see the light of day. 

Yep, I am feeling guilty about it. 

View the entire hat selection of my Etsy Shop.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Shop Update: Fall Footwear

I am getting things rounded up for the upcoming change in seasons! I've added several hats -  mostly for fall and winter months; a lot of wool felts and velvet and things like that.

I also added a few new pairs of shoes today, including:

I have gotten really picky about what I buy for shoe inventory these days; as much of the inventory I do have is hard to move. And storage is limited. So I just kind of quit buying  vintage shoes unless they're my size and I can wear them. But these two pair were impossible to pass up. 

I have a lot of new dresses coming up in the next few weeks; I have spent all summer searching high and low for dresses that are vintage and on trend. I am working out a little dealio in the modeling department that I am excited about as well; hopefully the fall (and Spring dresses for you Aussies, as well!) review of dresses will be coming here in a couple of weeks.

And Christmas! Christmas is right around the corner! Cute things for the Christmas department, as well. Cool new things all around. :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Horse Trading in 1916

I found this little book some place. I don't even remember where it came from. Probably some box lot from an auction, or stashed in a box of postcards dug out of the attic when we moved in, or who knows where else I could have gotten it. Today I peeked in it and realized there was this letter stuck in it's front pages and I never knew it. It reads:

Louisa, VA
May 11, 1916

Dear Robert.
I want to thank you for the many nice things you have done for me lately. The box got to Louisa with Gipp all right. She looked so pretty. After Hugh Goodwin knew he would buy at $135 he backed out after I got her here. I think he thought he would get her for $100 but - he didn't. 
Suppose Mr. Covington told you all the Lousia news. J.W. got home yesterday. Tad is also expected soon and Josie comes latter part of the week. Would be glad to have you come to see them any time. 

Very Sincerely,

Mildred -

I figure Gipp was a horse - a pretty mare. So she arrived in a "box" - I figure, a truck with tall sides on it, that they  used to transport horses in before horse trailers; or a box car on a train. Nearest I can figure.
Hugh wanted to buy her, but Mildred wouldn't come off of $135; so Hugh left empty handed. And Mildred sounded pretty proud of herself. Robert had probably advised her not to take anything less than $135 or she'd be a fool.
Or. I thought, maybe Gipp was a dog. A dog could arrive in a "box". But I can't see anyone paying $100 or even $135 for a dog in 1916. That amount of money seems more reasonable for a horse. 
So I am sticking with the horse story.

I just love things like this. I only wish there was a photo to go along with it - so I could see the pretty Gipp and her gutsy owner, Mildred.

Sorry I have been kind of absent from here; I am working like mad to finish up my summer - long front entry hall project! The floor is done, the walls were painted yesterday, the tape came off of everything this afternoon, and the furniture is being moved back in place.

Gotta run and put more books back on the book case! No telling what other neat things I may find in the process.......

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Vintage Lace Doily Lamp Shade

I have been wanting to do this forever. Well, ever since I saw it on Pinterest sometime last year.

I found a old lamp shade and ripped off the old covering, leaving just the wire part.

And I started picking up crochet lace doilies whenever I saw them at yard sales and thrift stores. I also looked on Etsy and eBay for doilies, but they were so expensive! I didn't want to pay three or four dollars for one doily. Plus shipping. I wanted to pay a quarter, of fifty cents. So I bided my time, and paid the fifty cents. I've collected enough to make several lamp shades. This is just my first try.

I used doilies of every shape and shade of white. I clothes pinned the first set onto the top ring of the lamp shade frame, and sewed them all around. Then I pinned others along the bottom to fill in gaps, and sewed them in place as well. It takes a while, because you have to put stitches in just so with crochet lace, but it is a worth it for the lovely end result! I must say, at night time, the light shining through the lace is a romantic effect.

For right now I put this shade over the milk glass shade of my antique floor lamp next to my desk.  My plan is to find the perfect lamp to pair it with. Eventually. Here's a couple angles of it:

Here is something I picked up yesterday:

1920s - 30s. Cons: damage to the veneer on the top, pukey colored paint on the inside of the shelves, cracked front glass, tacky metal knobs, funny little swirly rack thingy attached on to one of the shelves, pretty bad scar  about 8 inches long on the other side in the veneer.
Pros: It was pretty inexpensive. Most of the wood is in pretty good condition. Sturdy as all get out. 

I have two ideas on this piece: 

1. Restore it to a nice condition on t he outside, replace the glass, re paint the inside some other color besides "puke", replace knobs, and sell it. 

2. Paint it, distress it, remove the glass, replace the glass with decorative "chicken" wire, and call it a "pie safe". Oh yeah, and replace the knobs. Then possibly keep it and use it in my kitchen, or maybe sell it.  

Not sure what I want to do. Ideas? Opinions?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Time Is NOW.

Excuse me while I give myself a little pep talk, here....... 

I think I am a natural procrastinator. Or, maybe that's just a cute way to say I am naturally lazy. I like a relaxed lifestyle, with no drama, no pressure, just kind of spontaneously going about my days doing whatever comes to mind, free of expectations and rules.

I've been pretty blessed in this,  because hubbs and I are childless for the foreseeable future; and even though we both have full time jobs, we pretty much do live spontaneously, free of the constraints and restrictions that come with having offspring. This has enabled me in my *ahem* laziness.

I like to put things off, stop in the middle of things, talk about doing stuff and never get it done, or make an excuse like "I am too busy right now to do so and so" or "I am so stressed out with work right now to finish so and so" or "I just don't have the energy to do so and so", and on and on.

Not that I never get anything done; because I do - I mean, just look at the projects I've posted on this blog.

But as I've gotten older, I've gotten more set in my ways, and I find myself putting off things or making excuses for not doing them more and more. A year ago, everything about my life was messy and unorganized. My work schedule, my family activities, my home; even the tack room in the horse barn. I felt like my life was a swirling vortex of disorganized, chaotic messyness.
No, I'm not a hoarder. Yes, I did clean my home. All the time. But I would clean and tidy things, or get a grip on my schedule, and then I'd sit back and let it all go back to the way it was. So my home would be clean and organized one day, and a week later, falling apart around my ears in a swirl of pet hair, dirty clothes, and piles of "stuff" needing to be put away. That couldn't be attended to in a timely manner, because of work. 

Sometime last year I started noticing the cycle and I didn't like it. I decided the only way to change it was to change me, and the only person who can change me is me. Or God; and while He could just change me in a sweeping, life changing miracle, I think in this case, He'd want me to make the changes myself, and be a better person because of it.

So, sometime around the beginning of the year, I resolved to do things - and live life - a little differently.

And I started with my kitchen. Dish towels, my plastic storage containers, and cleaning supplies were jumbled up in the cabinets below my salvaged, vintage, white enamel, double drainboard farmhouse kitchen sink - the kitchen sink we designed out kitchen remodel around. (Our half-completed kitchen remodel, I should confess.)

I sorted, cleaned, and organized everything under the sink, and made a personal vow to keep it that way all year. And I have.

My pretty vintage silverware was in a complete jumble in the drawer. My kitchen gadgets were equally as messy in another drawer. I sorted, cleaned and divided all the items into neat little trays that I thriftily picked up at a Goodwill store. And I vowed to keep it that way all year. And I have.

It seems like such a little thing - and maybe it is to someone who is "OCD" about organization, or someone who stays at home all the time and has endless amounts of time on hand to organize dish towels; but for a woman like me who has a full time job, a small business to run, a farm to do chores on, and 11 horses to train/ride/manage/care for, plus likes to find time to spend with family and friends, not to mention maintain a relationship with My Man, keeping the towels organized is a huge step.

I still have the same amount of time I had before. There are still the same amount of hours in the day. But the difference was in how I personally chose to allot those hours I have at home.
When I folded the dish towels, sitting on the couch in front of the TV watching Gabby Douglas do back flips on a balance beam during the London Olympics, I made the effort to get up in the next commercial break and place the towels in the basket under the sink - instead of my old cop-out: leaving them in a stack on the dining room table for days and days, then getting mad because my cat Brutus took a nap on them and shed out half of his fur on my clean towels.

This may seem like second nature to the "OCD"  housewife, (and I say that lovingly, because I have a sister who is OCD about housekeeping - ) it is a big deal for me, when what I really want to do is leave them on the table for the cat to nap on because I've worked 12 or so hours at a draining job all day, or dealt with nasty customers in my online shop, or handled some kind of family crisis, plus mucked out six horse stalls and schooled two naughty horses, and I just want to vegetate and do nothing for a minute and watch Gabby Douglas fly around the uneven bars like a squirrel. I don't want to be bothered with putting the towels away under the sink, I can just get them halfway there (to the dining table) and get them the rest of the way (to the basket under the sink) tomorrow. Because, after all, tomorrow is another day (said in my best Scarlett O'Hara southern accent).

Yes, it's just towels. or silverware. But it signifies something else entirely; something life-wide. 

That first step in the kitchen really motivated me in other areas of my home and life. I started stripping off the floor paint in the front hall of our old house, like we've talked about for - well - ever since I moved in here with My Man. I stripped off the paint from the staircase and re-did that. Okay, so it's taken me all summer, and I still have just a smidge left to do before it's all the way done; but hey. Self-done home remodels don't happen overnight.

I decided to quit complaining about my naughty, beautiful mare, "Nell"-  and do something about her behavior, including get help from a trainer, and take the time to work her myself in my expensive round pen My Man bought me for Christmas. Okay, so it's taken most of the summer, and she's not 100% fully "broke in" yet, but horse training doesn't happen overnight, either. And, I'll be in the saddle by week's end.

I started getting serious about saving money out of each and every pay check, and really blew myself away with what I saved in two months by cutting spending and really evaluating wants vs. needs. By budgeting only on  less than half of what we collectively earned.  I saved over $3000, in a separate account from our checking. And now we can pay our hefty tax bill, without help from the bank. And still have cash left over. (Ok, a little brag, there. LOL)

I want to nurture the entrepreneur in me, and start another business (besides my Etsy business). I've been taking steps in this direction. The other day I got in my truck to go on a little "business trip" having to do with my  new business idea, and was compelled to say these words aloud as I drove off: "Today, I am taking steps to change the rest of my life." I can't tell you how empowering saying those words aloud to myself was!

 The time to do it - whatever  "it" is -  is now. The time for saving money is now; even if it's just $20 a month. The time to ride horses is now, even if I want to watch the Olympics on TV instead. The time to change the way you eat is now; don't buy those doughnuts (Ahem.... My Man)! The time to organize my time and my home is now. The time to take that college course is now. The time to change my bad habits is now, so I can enjoy the rest of my life and not reach my senior years  regretting the time I spent running around in a frenzy mopping up the results of my laziness and procrastination, weary from a life of disorganization and chaos.

My life goal is to reach the end of my life and be satisfied. Satisfied with the life I lived, the things I was able to accomplish, the relationships I built and maintained. I want to be able to come to the end of my life and be able to say without a doubt that I did everything I ever wanted to do - and then some. That life was full, fun, and without regret. 

The time is now. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Weeding Out The Collection.....

Remember this?

It's time to let some of them go. Sadly. I don't know why, but I am loosing my affinity for piles of things.

I am keeping my 30s Elsa Schiaparelli, some other rarer ones, favorite ones, and gifted ones, of course. But other superfluous hats must find other loving homes. Over 100 hats is just too many for one person, I think. Unless I am going to turn my house into a hat museum. Or unless I am going to wear them. I simply do not wear the hats. Maybe once a year or so, I wear one.  Most of these babies just stay hidden away in hat boxes like this:

Looking back, buying out the entire hat inventory of the closing antiques mall down the road a few years ago was a great idea, except I had trouble actually letting them go. 

These are all new listings; never been listed before now. Click on the links for purchasing information.

#1: Olive Green Straw Fedora
#2: 60s wool felt color block hat with large "statement" father  
#3: Black velvet 50s hat
#4: Black velour 60s hat that looks Edwardian to me, like it came from a Jane Austen movie
#5: Brown velour cloche style hat
#6: Off white pillbox with veil

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Another Junque Transformation

Before: My mom bought this for some miniscule amount of money at a thrift shop, months ago. It had a lot of water damage and the maple veneer was bubbled up on the lower door, on the back, and a little bit on the back of the shelves. But even so, I could see it was a sturdy piece, and under the veneer was nice solid wood.

When purchasing pieces for re-styling, my number one rule is to always get a piece that is sturdy. No amount of paint and cuteseyness is going to be able to cover up a cheaply made, worn out, rickety item of furniture. Then you've wasted good money on paint and supplies. Above, my husband, Kevin, shoots on the paint (Glidden: "frosted pine" in flat) with our trusty paint sprayer in the back yard. I love this paint sprayer. So much better than brushing. Anyway, I did have to rip off all the bubbled veneer, and my handy Husband used a automotive body filler called "Bondo" to fill in the gaps. I was going to use wood putty, but he said in his experience, wood putty shrivels up and falls of, when used over large spaces. (Hubbs used to be a contractor, and has tons of experience with re-doing old homes/wood/barns/etc.) The bondo worked like a charm, even though I had to carve it and try to match the curve and shape of the piece. I think I got it pretty darned close to the original!


I painted the inside back of the shelved with a greenish-white color. It was Kevin's idea to paint the door the same color within the borders of the trim. Then I purchased glass antique repro knobs from Hobby Lobby - at 50% off! $6.00 for all three. Score! They really set off the piece, I think.

I am on a rampage of "back logged" re-style projects I've been putting off. I am on a anti-procrastination kick. Maybe it's the looming end of summer, or maybe it's some of the issues I am dealing with that are job-related.... but I am super motivated these days for getting things done.

I have some other cute stuff coming up.... so stay tuned.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Re-Styled Junque Home Decor

I love turning something shabby into something beautiful and useful. Here's a couple things I've done recently....

Above is a sign I made just yesterday. I found the old chippy board in the barn (The previous owners of this farm didn't throw anything out, leaving me tons of treasure to discover in the barns!) with Kevin tells me was actually a windowsill at one point in the history of the house. I've been "sitting" on it for awhile, trying to decide just what I wanted to do with it; and I finally settled on something. I was going to make this plural but ran out of room for the  "s". After I got done lettering it I put a coat of polyurethane on it to stop the paint from chipping off anymore. Then I slapped her up on one of my walls. The sign is about 26 inches long.

I bought the sofa at a rescue mission thrift shop, after weaseling the guy down from $60 to $40. Months ago. I liked the "lines" of the sofa, and the fact that even though it's pretty faded, it is clean and sturdy.

I bought this Rachel Ashwell "Shabby Chic" cotton slipcover in a lovely natural linen color on eBay for another $60. It's in my office/den right now; a room that is a work in progress. I may change to throw pillows to a green or blue theme, though. 

When I looked at the Pottery Barn catalogs for this spring/summer, there were slip covered sofas like this all throughout. And of course it's very "shabby chic" as well.

Pottery Barn identical slip covered sofa - $100.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Quick Trip

(The house photos above are just of some random, ramshakle house near where Kevin was working in the afternoon that I thought had great character.)

(The pier above was destroyed during one of the last hurricanes - I think it was Irene? - last summer.)

I went on an impromptu trip with my husband this weekend, a little work (for him) and a little play. We headed over to the coast of North Carolina where we stayed at the vacation home of a work colleague of his, on the Albermarle sound, just a short drive to the Outer Banks. The OBX, as they're sometimes referred to, are barrier islands that make up the coast of North Carolina. The Sounds within the barrier islands are like lagoons.
Lucky for us, we live just under 4 hrs. from the OBX, and Kevin goes there, often, for work. We just don't always stay.
I've been to the OBX many times before; straying in Nag's Head mostly. I love and adore the North Carolina Outer Banks, almost as much as I love and adore Florida beaches. 

The wire box in the last photo is a crab tap. You stick bait in the middle and toss it in the water for several hours. The crabs climb in but can't get out. I've gone crabbing before, but never with traps; when I went crabbing it was with family in Louisiana; and we used lines and nets. You bait your hook and line, and toss it in the water; crabs flock to it and you pull them out with the net and toss them in a bucket. Except when I went crabbing, the alligators were vying for the bait along side the crabs. Once you have an alligator jump out of the water and bite off your line that you're holding in your hand, it kinda makes you want to never go crabbing again.

I find the trap method much nicer. And you get to keep your hands. That's a plus.

These are blue softshell crabs, which means these crabs have lost their hard outer shell and are still pretty soft. They're only in season from April - Sept. When I took the photos of the ones above, I was quite a distance off (pretty nice zoom on my camera) and they were eating the algae off the rocks.

A gorgeous storm rolled in across the sound, with stunning clouds. I didn't get enough photos to do it justice....

We got back home today and it's back to the ol' grindstone of working and ... well, working. And working and working.....


PS.... OMG. I Just realized, this is my 501th post on this blog. Wow.