Wednesday, April 27, 2011

More of the Studio

Here is another little peek into the studio. I am currently working on many, many projects for a big antique market sale next weekend. As a result, my studio is very messy and there is not much I can show you that is not untidy, to say the least. But here are two happy items. One is a grand old typewriter that I use to make labels and captions for the greeting cards I make. I have a stash of vintage typing paper as well, so what I type looks authentically aged. There is something about the rat-a-tat-tat of typewriter keys striking the paper that is so soothing. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want to type out a term paper on it, but it makes small projects so much more satisfying.

The next thing to show you is this fun old lamp from the 50's.  The shade is metal so light does not shine out, but rather down in a warm circular glow.  It is perfect for shedding light right where I need it on my projects as I work at the table.  Around the base of the lamp are a few of my "frogs."  These vintage metal items were put in the bottom of vases or bowls to support flower stems when making a flower arrangement.  Today, they serve two purposes besides being interesting to look at.  First,  they are great for holding pencils, scissors, etc. at my work space.  Second, years ago my grandma introduced me to the acronym of "FROG."  F for 'fully,' R for 'rely,' O for 'on,' and G for 'God.'  So my flower 'frogs' serve as a reminder of where to keep both my heart and my head and to not get to caught up in the 'stuff" of my studio.

If you look close on the back left, you'll see the original rubber "frog"
my grandma sent me many years ago.
The lamp and frogs are sitting on the base of what I think is a lap desk from the early 1900's. It is painted black and was meant to be used as a chalkboard.  Behind the lamp is an upright part of the desk, with little racks to hold supplies and a roll of 'important things for children to learn.'  I currently have it displaying the alphabet in cursive and print.  It's a fun piece of history given to me by a dear friend for my last birthday.

I look forward to being able to show you the main studio, but will have to wait until after the mess is tidy.  Another day!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Our Family Vacation in Maui

Well, last week was spring break for Massachusetts schools and we took an overdue, well deserved family vacation to .............MAUI!!!!!  It was great!  More travel time than we'd like, but well worth it.

We stayed at a resort right on a beach.  They had fabulous gardens, water features, a fun network of swimming pools complete with tasteful water slides, the only water elevator in the world and a rope swing, a wonderful restaurant, great beach, great service and a spacious, lovely room with a lanai with cozy seating overlooking gardens and ocean.

One view of the resort paths, gardens and buildings.
Adults only outdoor lounging area with both pool and beach access.

The resort buildings are open to the outside gardens and accessible by paths and stone steps.

This is a view of the beach associated with the resort.
 We spent some of our time on the island exploring other beaches.  one was a black sand beach.  The cliff next to the beach showed 1000's of years of erosion, revealing the black lava stone underneath that was responsible for the black sand.

Black sand beach.
This was a beach called "Big Beach."  Indeed the beach was big in length, but the biggest thing that impressed us was the 5-10 foot high waves breaking on the shore.  We did not venture in, but enjoyed watching them crash and splash as well as watching the crazy surfers who were mostly wiping out, but all seemed to be having fun.
Sunset at Big Beach.

As you can imagine with any tropical paradise, the island flora and fauna is breathtaking.  I love the flowers that bloom profusely everywhere.  Here is a very small sampling of those I captured on film.

It was a great visit enjoyed by all four of us.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

I hope you all had a lovely Easter.  We had a lazy day here.  Our church has gotten large enough that they held two services Saturday evening and two Sunday morning.  Heidi and I volunteered to watch toddlers at the earlier Saturday service and then met the whole family for the later service.  That enabled us to sleep in a bit on Sunday and enjoy a leisurely brunch and a nice dinner later.  We used sweet vintage dishes, glasses, silver, and linens.  It was lovley and special. 

The message shared by our pastor at the Saturday evening service was very powerful and will stick with me for a long time.  Essentially, he spoke of the dismay we all feel when things don't work out how we expected - the prime example being how dismayed and heart sick the believers and followers of Christ must have been when He was taken from them through crucifiction.  However, His promise to come back was fulfilled three days later when He rose from the dead.  God was not finished when the crucifiction happened, just as He is never finished in our lives.  We can be sure that the sad and bad things that happen in our lives are not the end.  God is still working.  He never abandons us.  That's the very simple summary.  If you are interested to hear the whole sermon, our church records them and they are available to hear on the website (usually by the Thursday following the day of the sermon).  You can find it at  Click the 'church family' box, and on a sidebar there will be a link to sermons.

Anyhow, enough from me - hope your day was relaxing and full of hope for the future.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Tiny Peek at my Studio

It was a long time in the making, my studio that is. When we moved into our home 14+ years ago, it had a large unfinished basement. One of our early improvement projects was to divide it into three spaces: a storage room, a finished space where the windows and walkout are and a wood working/utility shop. Initially the finished space was a den of sorts with love seat, computer desk and kid toys. Two twin beds in the closet could be hauled out for company. Next the computer moved into a built in and the love seat and twin beds gave way to a guest room set up with a queen bed. Around the corner was a small space for my sewing and crafts. Finally and most recently the space has been entirely transformed into my studio with plenty of space for sewing, multimedia crafting and supporting my small antique business. It is a very happy space, one I appreciate and enjoy every day. Thought you might enjoy a little peek. Over the coming weeks, I'll show it all to you. For now, I hope you enjoy what you see.

This is a vintage dental office cabinet that I refurbished by removing lots of rust and repainting with a green and black theme that went well wit the black counter top piece that was in great shape. Each drawer is brimming with goodies I've collected over the years to use in projects. It's so nice to open a drawer to find what I need rather than searching through boxes on a basement shelf!

The drawers have so many happy treasures inside. This one is full of vintage cards from children's card games, lotto games, etc. I love the graphics on them.

These vintage goodie organizers were once used for displaying candy (the one on the left) and drill bits (the larger one on the right). They were perfect for holding some of my small treasures that are so easy to misplace. Now, I can find what I want at a glance. Well, that's your peek for now. More later!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Time to Put Out the SIgns

Now that spring is here and snow won't be settling on things and ice won't be freezing , I can put some of my signs around the yard. The top sign resides by the front door and happily, come summer will be overflowing with pink impatients. The lower sign is by Myrlte's door. For those of you who don't know, Myrtle is my vintage 1960 Fan trailer. (I'll share pictures at a later date). Unfortunately, I can't seem to find my favorite sign. I know I've seen it a bunch of times this winter in storage, but now that I am ready to put it out, of course I can't find it. It's a sign I made from lisence plate letters that says "FARM GIRL" and hangs in my garden. When I do find it, I'll share a picture. Have a happy day.

Monday, April 18, 2011

It's Really Spring!!

Hey, it really and truly is spring!
Look at these lovelies that seemed to
spring up and blossom almost overnight.
My garden is so happy, and so am I!
Seeing tiny miracles like this always serve to reaffirm my faith.
What a gift God gives us. A seemingly lifeless orb gets put in
the ground during the cold fall days and sits dormant in the freeze
of winter, yet springs forth life when the spring warmth comes
again. And not just green shoots, but mini masterpieces of color,
light, scent and intricate design. All I can say is, "Awesome,"
and "Thank you, Lord for surrounding us with such richness, even in
the smallest of surprise packages!". HAPPY SPRING Friends!!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

New For The Cooperage

I had a very productive day on Thursday this past week.  I put together lots of happy little items to sell.  It felt so good to operate without a schedule or deadline and just put some ideas together.
These are bundles of French-like ribbon (not old).  I bundle 5 yards, secure it around the center with a vintage zipper, and label it using a vintage french vocabulary card that I embossed with a business seal for the 1950's and typed on "5 yards ribbon".  I took in 9 bundles.  I  took in 6 two weeks ago and they sold quickly.  Hopefully these will be appreciated as well.

I wrapped 12 old clothespins with 18 yards each of red and white bakers twine.  The price tag is a vintage  cardboard anagram letter attached with string through a tiny hole punched in the corner.

Bags of vintage sewing notions have been a huge hit for me.  I sell them as quick as I put them on the shelf.  Fortunately, the last estate sale produced some new notions, cause I was all out.  This time, I had fun adding the anagram letters to spell "sew".  They are full of old spools, trims, buttons, tiny sewing scissors, thimbles, zippers, pins, measuring tapes, snap and hook cards and more!  All vintage.

I had fun putting together bundles of vintage cookbooks and cooking leaflets.  I made six bundles.  Each one has between 6 and 9 items inside.  The fun part was that I put them together according to color theme. 

 It was a fun, productive day, and everything looks so nice at the Cooperage.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Estate Sale Part 2

Well, happily there was another good estate sale on Friday, which I had time to attend.  I picked up some great finds.  This home is still owner occupied.  My understanding is that in order to redecorate they were liquidating lots of stuff.  They must have either been collectors or antique dealers, since,for the age of the home and occupants, there was lots of good old stuff.  The prices were significantly higher than Thursday's sale, but still reasonable.  Due to cost, I had to be very selective.  Some items never made it into my pile, as the condition did not justify the price.  I am very content with the overall outcome.
The tally is: two vintage fans (have to check if they work or not);a bunch of little American flags; several great vintage games including pin-the-tale-on-the-donkey, United States bingo, and a WWI airplane game; some vintage grade school books; two great collections of wooden anagram letters; a big box of old wooden thread spools and vintage sewing supplies (only a tiny portion is shown here on the table); a table that will have its top transformed with a covering of yardsticks (I'll be sure to post that result); a great vintage green hamper; a few vintage kitchen utensils; a couple vintage office supplies; a vintage dress-up makeup box for children; an idea and activity book for girls from the 30's; and a sweet little oak, curved back chair (the damaged cane work will get removed and a cushy cushion will take its place).

I've had two very rewarding mornings, enough so that despite looking forward to the opening day of our great local flea market, I think I'm actually going to skip it and sleep a little extra instead.  I've got enough to work with for now.

On another note, besides all the snow being gone from my yard, spring has definitely sprung!  I have crocuses in full bloom, daffodils and tulip shoots coming up and bought my first big pot of pansies to have on the front porch.  I have been craving this time and am soooo glad it is finally here to stay.

The pot on the crate is mine, the others two are gifts.

 Check out the beautiful petals on the flowers.  They are ruffled.  I've not seen this before in a pansy.  So pretty!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Please be a Follower

Hello there cyber friends!  I am sure enjoying this blog world.  It is such a fun way to communicate with all of you.  I hope you enjoy what you see and read.  I see by my view counter that I am on the radar of more than the four readers who have become followers. I'd like to encourage my other readers to sign up as a follower as well.  Once I have 10 registered followers, I'll be raffling off a happy vintage gift to one of them.  I'll be posting a picture of it soon.  Also, in the works, once I figure out more computer navigation, will be a small section on the side of the page, showing a weekly idea or project.  I also hope to have another small sidebar updated regularly to show featured items or new items in my space at the Cooperage for any of you local shoppers.  I can't promise it will be anytime super soon, as I don't want to stress, but keep your eye out and thanks for blogging with me.    Tera

More of Heidi's New Room

Thought you might like to see more of Heidi's room project.  She is very content with the outcome of her redo.   And thankfully, also very patient, as I am still tying up the loose ends.

This custom, mommy-made, bulletin board spans one wall of her room.
Each of the three panels is made of homeosote board covered with
homespun fabric and anchored to the wall with mouldings.  The "NO PARKING"
sign came from a flea market expedition last fall.

A close up of one section of board.  She's my little collector.
Here you see some of her keys, stopwatch and ruler collection,
as well as her favorite number, made of two pieces of old licence plates.

The desk cubby you've seen, but I finally added the side curtain
to disguise part of the door frame.
Here is the answer to a nightstand/bookcase.  Three vintage fruit
crates (labels intact on the sides) serve her well, especially after
she so creatively arranged them.

Estate Sale Part 1

Two red, white and blue chairs (one a chaise) for children.  What a great
display they'll make in July.  Also a great collection of vintage games
and records.  Four simple, but nice colored bath towels and a sweet sun umbrella tops it off.
On another happy note, as you can see in the next picture, spring has sprung in my
yard and the snow is all melted, revealing my garden beds.  I'm itching to get growing!
So.....yesterday, I finally had the chance to go to a good estate sale.  It has been a long time since there has been a good one, and one that I can attend.  It felt to good to go and have a little fun.  Estate sales can be tricky.  They can easily morph into stress, wanting things that someone else picked up first, people being angry and pushy, and people trying to take stuff out of your pile, despite marking it sold.  I've worked very hard with myself and continually remind myself that it is all just stuff.  It wasn't mine to begin with and if I leave without it, my life will not be any the worse for.  Also, these homes we go into, belonged to someone else, usually an elderly person who has died or can't live alone any more.  They laughed and loved and lived and struggled and cried in these homes, and we need to act with the same respect for their home and belongings as we would if they were there greeting us and asking us to come in.  I like to ask the sale facilitator for the person's name and whether they are still alive or deceased.  It is then my great honor to lift that person and their life in prayer to God, and with thankfulness that their life can still be a blessing to others.  This has always helped me to have a less stressful experience and  to keep things in perspective.  It,is easy to get sucked in, but I remind myself constantly and feel pretty good about it.

Some funky, but fun vintage bedspreads that will make fun tote bags. 
A vintage breadbox and cookbook.
Some great old records.
A stool, table, a bowl of black and white photos and a thick
scrapbook from the 50's, full of vintage valentines and greeting cards.

My Space at the Cooperage

Here's a peek at my spot at the Cooperage in Townsend, MA.  I used to have just the space with the white cupboard, but as of April 1, I now have double the space.  (Still small, but just right for this girl.)  I plan to hang up some fabric on the wall behind my space to warm it up.  I'm also going to hang  a window frame on the wall to be able to display curtains for sale.  Had hoped to do it this week, but being under the weather with a bug of some sort, kept me taking too many naps to get it done.  I'm in no hurry though.  If I rush it, then it becomes stressful, and that is not my aim here.  I want to have fun with this, not stress.  I'll show you some new pictures when I get the area spruced up. Until then, I still think it is a very happy space! And so far, it looks like it must be happy for the shoppers as well. I've met or exceeded my sales goal each month. My goals are not set very high, just high enough to keep me going. In celebration of my continuing success, I made the decision last month to tythe 10% of my monthly check from sales to my church. They fund so many wonderful programs here and abroad. My contribution is rather small, but I feel so blessed to be able to contribute some money on my own, not just what we contribute as a family.
This shows my original space, although it was about a foot less on the left.

This is the new addition to my space.

A peek into a happy cupboard.  Notice the little journals
on the bottom shelf.  Those are the ones I blogged
about last week.  I also made the little shadow box
with the bird and nest on the second shelf.

Some vintage Easter.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Spur of the Moment Inspiration

My happy new paper stash.
Yesterday, I bought some fun new paper at a local art shoppe.  I was putting them away in my studio this morning when I happened to come across a stash of mini marbled composition notebooks I have.  They are about the size of an index card and would fit so nicely in a pocketbook or by the phone.

I bought them some time ago with the intention of collaging them.  One of those projects that got set aside. When I saw them this morning, I had a sudden inspiration of what I wanted to do with them.  Since it's Saturday, and there is nothing I have to do, I set to work right away.  I got so engrossed that an hour had gone by before I knew it and my fingers were frozen.  (To save on polluting oil consumption, we leave the heat in the basement studio turned way down and I was too engrossed to remember to turn it on!)  The happy result of my hour's work was four little journals.

I used my Xyron adhesive machine from Michael's to adhere vintage sheet music to the front and back of each mini journal.  I then used book binder's tape to finish the left bound edge.  I then sponged a little black ink all around the other three edges, front and back.  I color copied (on my printer) and reduced four vintage newspaper fashion pattern ads from the 50's and applied adhesive to them as well.  I cut up four vintage envelopes, saving the cancelled stamp and postmark and applied adhesive to them.  Each journal received a stamp with cancellation wave, postmark and a fashion advertisement.

For the back, I stamped a vintage Dennison gummed label with my "Vintage Whispers Correspondence by Grandma's Girl Collections" (yup, that's me) logo, applied adhesive (the old gum surface just doesn't stick on its own anymore) and applied it to the back of the journal.

I plan on selling these at the Cooperage in Townsend, MA and hopefully, after I make a bunch more, on the Etsy site I hope to get up and running by the end of the month.  Each journal will be sold tied with a piece of vintage ric-rac around it.  Any feedback from you all on a fair asking price?  I'd love your thoughts.

Friday, April 1, 2011

SImple Joys

Well, the last week has been a busy one.  My sister and her family came to Massachusetts from Wisconsin for a 6 day visit.  They were last here a little over 5 years ago with only one baby in tow.  This happy visit brought them all:  my sister, her husband and their three little ones ages 6, 5 and almost 2.  My little house was bursting at the seams with happy, busy activity.  Erin and her husband took off for three days to enjoy some long overdue couple time in Boston, while the little ones stayed here for lots of lovin and fun.  Of all the things we did: museum, parks, trip to see the cows at the dairy (where the girls decided cow poop really smells!), visiting turtles at the flower green houses, etc., etc., I think some of the sweetest times were the simplest.  Seeing the joy on 5 year old Addy's face when she got to walk one of our dogs all by herself, was priceless.  Both girls walked a dog on leash all on their own for four walks.  There is just something so special seeing a dog and child bond and spend time together walking down the road talking to each other.

The other simple joy was Hunter. At almost two, he is so expressive.  Joy is so joyful (just as grumpy is so grumpy), but the joy was around almost all of the time.  He is a picky eater, but LOVED his yogurt every day.  We would ask him if it was yummy and he would flash a brilliant smile and give a resounding "Yesh!"  As you can see here, there is no doubt he was having a happy lunch of yogurt.

Its now quiet again in my house.  April fools day has brought us a snowstorm (although thankfully, nothing as strong as the blizzard we had this time 14 years ago when Heidi was born) and I am feeling a little down that spring has been put temporarily on hold with a new and late snow cover.  I am also missing Erin and her little ones.  It was busy and noisy and my house was disheveled, but it was great and all the warm memories of our time this past week will bring the warmth of spring into my heart and soul.  And just as I know the snow will melt again soon, I also can look forward to visiting my sister and her family at their home, hopefully this summer.