Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Much Needed Break.

Today I took a much needed break and pulled out some supplies to just "Play". I have been wanting to enter the altered jewelry design challenge over at Vintage Flair and just have not had the time or energy to get something together. Today I finally got around to making something to enter into this contest. The contest rules stated that the jewelry piece must be vintage inspired and must also be made out of re purposed materials....right up my alley eh? So I chose to make one of my vintage inspired, up cycled bangle bracelets and this time I added a pair of earrings to the mix.

The bracelet base was the chipboard core from a roll of packing tape.
The earrings were made from a couple of old plumbing washers.

After adhering the paper to the bases, I added several layers of Royal Coat decoupage medium to each of the pieces. I then painted the perimeters with a creamy beige paint and another coat of royal coat before finally adding a 2 part crackle glaze medium. For the finishing touch all pieces were given a generous dusting of Perfect Pearls in gold.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Happy Pink Saturday!

Happy pink Saturday to everyone! This week finds me absolutely exhausted and needing to take a break. I did however, manage to get my Etsy shop up and running this week. To see a few of the items I have listed you can check out the side bar. This week's pink Saturday photo showcases some adorable vintage pink drawer pulls that I have listed for sale in the shop.

Also pictured are some of my most favorite of the 40+ roses I have growing in my backyard. They are called "Heaven On Earth" and they are from Jackson and Perkins. Last year I planted three of these "bare root" beauties. I prefer planting roses bare root because you certainly get more bang for your buck as far as I am concerned.

The thing that makes them so beautiful is that they first start out this pretty coral pink after blooming. Then as the days progress they turn into a buttery yellow until finally they turn a light and delicate shade of pink. They are the only rose that I have ever seen do this. They are a "floribunda" rose which means that each stem will produce a spray of at least 4 roses and sometimes more. This means that with one cutting you can get an entire vase full of flowers. They are definitely worth the extra work involved in planting bare root but if you have the chance I suggest you give them a try. Even just one single plant will reward you with many beautiful arrangements for years to come.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Vintage Vignette Presents....Pages In Time.

This beautiful couple were my Paternal Grandparents, Herbert and Lillian Green. They met at church and married at the tender young age of 16! They started their lives together in Orangeburg South Carolina. As you can see by the photograph, Herbert was a handsome young man with plenty of girls chasing after him. He was however, drawn to young Lillian's sweet and mild disposition along with her beauty and therefore the two of them were married.

Lillian, born in 1919, was a sweet and polite young lady who always made herself available to help out anyone in need. Herbert on the other hand, was quite the man about town. Born in 1915 he left home at the age of 14 and struck out on his own for the glitz and glam of Chicago. He held some pretty interesting occupations in Chicago during that time. He was employed as a "Lookout" for a local brothel where he would alert the ladies if an officer was approaching. Being a 14 year old kid, no one would have ever suspected his involvement is such a seedy operation. A few years later he found himself employed by none other than the infamous gangster "Al Capone" running liquor during the prohibition! He was given several cars with hidden compartments to contain the libations as he drove through town to make his run. On several occasions he was shot at by the same people who were subsequently gunned down during the "St. Valentines Day Massacre" (Caution! graphic photo in link!). After escaping death on more than one occasion he finally decided he'd had enough and gave up on his illegal shenanigans.

Now I know that many of you may have doubts as to the authenticity of this story but I remember sitting there with him and listening to his stories rich with detail for many, many years without so much as a minute change in detail! There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that these things really did occur. Although I do not agree with his early lifestyle choices, I do however, find it a very interesting piece of family history that deserves to be shared.

Herbert and Lillian went on to have 11 children together including my father Phillip. They made their home and a life together in Gary Indiana and eventually moved and built a home in San Bernardino California. They lived in area called "the valley" where many of the same families still reside to this day. There they raised lots of babies including my dad who is third to the youngest of them.

Look at that great old "Woody" car!

*My Dad Is first from the left with his hand in his pocket.

The boys as "Gunslingers"

While raising their family in California, Lillian honed her homemaking skills and Herbert worked in the steel mill at Kaiser Steel. Lillian became a master cook and I can still taste her clover leaf biscuits as I write this! She would care for neighbors and family members who took sick and always searched out ways to be of assistance to others. Herbert worked hard at the mill and took the family on many fun fishing trips. They were always generous with their time and resources.

I have many fond memories of them but especially when I was in my early twenties. Grandpa was generous to a fault. He was known to "Peel Off" $100 dollar bills to all of his grandkids as they came through the front door! I finally insisted that he not do this EVERY time I visited or he would have gone broke! Their house was on my way home from work when I would get off the overnight shift so I would stop by often to have breakfast, visit and watch "The price is right" with them. I have many fond memories of watching boxing with my grandfather and sitting at the table and having tea with grandma while discussing her life. Sometimes she would forget that she had told me the same story many times before but I would never say anything because I loved to hear them as many times as she wanted to share them with me.

Herbert and Lillian or "Lilly Mae" as he used to call her were married over 60 years before he passed away in 1997 and she in 2000. They were not perfect people and they made many grave mistakes in their lives but they were genuine individuals who weathered the storms of life and remained together for a lifetime. When I think about them I make it a point not to think about the mistakes that they may have made but I always remember the love and care they showed me personally. I always knew they loved me and felt they always made me feel that I was important enough to make time for in their busy lives. It is those memories of moments spent with them that continues to fuel my love for these very special people.

My husband and I stopped just the other day to visit their grave site and to remember them. As I sat and viewed their final resting place all the happy memories of times spent with them flooded my mind and I was filled with feelings of happiness and peace. It is for this reason that I wanted to do a pages in time post featuring the two of them. I will always remember Herbert and Lillian always remembered by me as Very Special And Loving Grandparents.

*The digital collages of them in both younger and later years were created using the Creating Keepsakes SBD digital software with original photos being imported into the program for editing and embellishing.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Petal Porcelain.

Today I discovered a great new crafting product called Petal Porcelain. I'm sure that many of you may have already heard of this product before but I had never heard of or seen it before. I found it in the glue and adhesive section of my Michael's arts and crafts store. It might also be found in the decoupage area of other stores. For those of you that have never before seen this product either, Petal Porcelain is an adhesive "setting agent". This means that it stiffens whatever it is applied to giving it a look very similar to porcelain.

After purchasing my bottle and bringing it home I wondered what in the world I could do with it. I searched the Internet and was unable to find any projects listed for this product, not even on the company website! I then asked myself what it was that I would like to see given a porcelain finish and I instantly thought of silk flowers. I dug through my stash and plucked a few hydrangea sprigs for dipping.

So basically the process is that you pour a small bowl full of this stuff and just start dipping! It has a consistency of something like pancake batter. A little on the thick side, I decided to take a paintbrush and make sure to coat in between each petal with the slimy and sticky stuff. After letting it dry overnight I checked the flowers out and sure enough they were stiff as a board! The petal porcelain however, did not give the flowers a porcelain color much to my surprise. I whipped out some white acrylic paint and coated the entire piece. Next, I added some light pink paint and a coating of stickles glue before adding pearls to the flower centers. Once I finished the project and stepped back to examine it, I was amazed at how "porcelain" it really did look!

All in all, I would recommend this product for stepping up your floral crafts a notch or two. Wouldn't it be great in wedding bouquets or fancy tablescapes? I'm sure with a little thought you could come up with lots of ideas for this very unique product.

A little acrylic paint, stickles glue and
pearls really dressed up the flower.
Hydrangea flower sprig before being coated with the
Petal Porcelain.
Although the finished piece was extremely stiff
it did maintain some flexability allowing me to mold
and shape the flowers to the desired form.
What would you do with Petal Porcelain?

I Just Love Margot Potter!

If you have never heard of Margot Potter also known as "The Impatient Crafter" you are in for a real treat when you watch her hilarious video below. Margot creates many unique mixed media art and jewelry pieces that showcase her signature style. She has an eclectic flair for the unusual and a very entertaining personality to match. I love how each of her videos introduces and features a new product that her viewers might find interesting. I plan to showcase a new Margot Potter video each week so check back often. So without further ado...enjoy the video.

*Don't forget to pause The Vintage Vignette Radio below before watching the video.

OOPS! And almost forgot.....Happy Pink Saturday!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What Would You Use These For?

Think of all the adorable projects that you could make using these sweet vintage babies! I plan to use them on cards and even reduce the size and make gift tags for baby shower gifts.
*To save them for yourselves simply click on the image and download.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Really Interesting Collage Technique.

Here is a really interesting collage technique by Greg also know as "Brdle" on Youtube. He is a mixed media collage artist who does some very interesting work that features a lot of 3D elements in each piece. I was so very impressed with his extensive use of recycled materials in his artwork. His technique can be a great way to use up those old photo frames that might be cluttering up your closets. As you watch the video take special notice of how he positions each element to achieve a very detailed and deep image.

*Don't forget to scroll down and pause the Vintage Vignette Radio before watching the video.

*Update! I just found out this morning that Etsy Cottage Style Blog is hosting a really great challenge using guess what? Frames! You can use any sort of frame to enter this contest and wouldn't this technique be awesome to enter? I can't wait to go to the dollar store to pick up a frame and enter this contest!

Monday, May 18, 2009

It's Cooky Tuesday Ladies!

Here is your question:
What was the craziest purchase
you ever tried to hide from
your husband?
Let's hear those comments Ladies!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Introducing Happy Halle!

It is my pleasure to introduce you all to the newest blogger in my family...Miss Happy Halle of the great new children's blog "The Life Of A Seven Year Old." Her blog can be found at
This cute little blog features the antics, fun and shenanigans of this adorable little girl that I am so privileged to call my niece. She is witty, inquisitive and insightful and all at such a tender young age.

What will Halle be blogging about? She will update you, your children and grandchildren on her recent trips, favorite books, and school activities. We are so proud of her for starting her own blog all by herself. Of course mom and auntie will help with the technical aspects but the design, ideas, and inspirations are all originated by this special little girl.

So if you have the time, I would highly recommend you visiting often with your children, grand kids, nieces or nephews or any other little person you hold dear.
Feel free to add comments and questions as she is just waiting to interact with her readers. Halle would love it as well if you signed in as a regular follower of her lovely blog.

According to her mom, my sister, she is checking in everyday after school to see if anyone has a question or if anyone new has joined so she can say hello and welcome to them. It is so nice when our littlest family members take the initiative to learn something new and then reach out to share it with others. It is mine and her mom's hope that you and yours enjoy interacting with our very special little person!

*As a side note, I would like to put any concerns over Halle's safety in regards to her use of the Internet at ease. Halle's blog is a family project that is closely monitored by both of her parents. At no time is she allowed to interact or even access the Internet without the presence of a parent. All her post's are submitted to her mom in writing for approval and checked for content and safety before posting. In regards to the interaction with commenting, Halle is only exposed to the questions that have been pre-screened for content, safety, and age appropriateness. Her family has gone above and beyond to make sure that her blogging experience remains a fun and safe growing experience. :)

Vintage Jewelry Haul!

Boy oh Boy did I hit the jackpot this weekend! Saturday afternoon found me cruising the Internet for new Etsy shops and vintage jewelry suppliers when I came across a store called A Rolling Stone Beads and Gifts. This quaint little shop was an actual brick and mortar store that just had an information only website which is almost always the case for me and almost never anything close by. After looking at a few of their designs my jaw just about hit the floor when I saw the address! This little shop was in the same county as me and just a quick 15 minute drive away! I couldn't believe it. How had I lived here all this time and never come across this shop before. I was so excited that I grabbed my keys and was out the door in a flash and on my way. When I got to the shop, the owner, the coolest (self-professed of course) ex-hippie I have ever met greeted me at the door. I talked with her for awhile about how I found her shop and she told me they have been in this location for years. She gave me a quick tour and then set me loose with my basket in hand. As I cruised the aisles I could not believe the quality of the pieces on display. There were brooches, barrettes, necklace, earrings and pretty much everything vintage you could think of.

A Rolling Stone specializes in hard to find gems, stones, beads and vintage jewelry. I was very impressed with the quality and condition of the vintage jewelry pieces. She explained to me that she buys boxes full of vintage pieces from estate sales and auctions in "lots" and she only sells what she can clean, polish and repair well enough to sell. The pieces were just gorgeous and I set about the store filling my basket with treasures. What impressed me most were the prices of the vintage jewelry. This woman was a woman who truly loves what she does and sees no need to overcharge her customers. As we talked she expressed how irritated she was that other stores were pricing their vintage pieces as if they were brand new and that she felt this was unfair. I bought many pieces to wear, give as gifts and use in my artwork.

This gorgeous set was unbelievably priced. The necklace was a meager five dollars and the earrings 2 dollars. The boxed necklace cost 8 dollars. The prices for similar items in antique stores would be double if not triple the price than this lovely woman was charging.

Her shop carried lots of vintage brooches, pins, and hair accessories. She also sold vintage and new beads. I fell in love with the cloisonne bead on the left. She had large, small and all sizes in between. In talking with her I found out that there is an extensive class schedule and party hosting.

I found tons of broken pieces that could be dismantled to create with. the bezel's alone were worth the effort on many of these pieces. They also carried many unique gift items like antique teapots, goblets, and dishes that had been drilled to hold wind chimes dangling from them. There were hand decorated purses and other decorative accessories as well.

If you are going to be in the Redlands California area (just 45 minutes outside of Los Angeles) anytime soon you will want to make a trip out to A Rolling Stone beads and gifts. They are located at 320 E. Citrus Ave in the historic downtown Redlands district. You can also reach them at (909) 798-2282 for hours and information.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Happy Pink Saturday Everyone!

Happy Pink Saturday To everyone. Beverly's Pink Saturday was created as a way for bloggers to showcase their latest pink creations, inspirations and decor. I had originally planned to do an art piece featuring pink embellishments but alas..I ran out of time. So instead I gathered a few of my favorite pink items laying around the house to share with all the pink ladies out there. Enjoy.

This is a pink baby dress I bought for my niece
before she was born. When she
outgrew it my sister gave it back to me to incorporate
into my home decor.

This stack of hat boxes houses all of my spring
bulbs when they are ready to be stored after the seasons bloom.

This candle and rose set was purchased at a lovely
little shop called Mozart's.

A collection of glass votive vases, a vintage tea light lamp and
a decorative frog jar vase and pill box.

A bowl of gorgeous pink nobs that I am going
to add to a chest of drawers when it is finished.

So there you have it. Sorry for the dark and sub-standard photo quality. I have so much to learn about photography and proper lighting. I did however, get a light box to use as soon as I can find the time to set it up, so there IS hope for me yet. Happy Pink Saturday to you all.

I Just Love Creating Homemade Gifts...

I love it because it affords me an opportunity to sort and take stock of my supplies and then see what I can create. De-stashing has never been my strong point. I hate throwing out or even giving away my goodies. As selfish as this may sound, my reasons are innocent enough. I hate it because I always feel like there must be SOMETHING that I can make with these excess goodies.

That something came recently when I needed a gift for my niece and sister-in-law. We don't get to see each other as often as we would like so I always make it a point to send them and my brother a card from time to time and in between visits. As I dug through my stash I found an old book of heritage papers from Hot Off The Press that had been donated by them for a scrap booking party I had a few years back. It had sat on the shelf collecting dust until I came across it the other day. I had also made some pendant necklaces for my niece and sister-in-law using blank pendants and paper, embellishments and diamond glaze. They turned out nicely and I wanted to make a card that matched the vintage style of the necklaces as well.

I printed out several vintage ballerina images from my Flikr pool and adhered them to the card bases I had made from the Hot Off The Press papers. Since the cards turned out so lovely I didn't want to have to package the necklaces separately in another container but I wondered how I could put them together in the cards. Then I remembered how the last necklace that I had purchased for myself came on a card with 2 holes and ascending slits to hold the chain. So I created similar cards and fed the necklaces through the holes and taped the backs. The finished result to my surprise, turned out quite professional looking and I was very pleased. I can't wait to pop the completed cards into a bubble mailer and send them on their merry way.

Flikr Images...
And Cut Doily...
The necklace cards were so easy to make once I thought about the template for a moment.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

And The Winner Is!!

Bree Hayhoe of Bellvue Nebraska is our winner of The Vintage Vingette's very first design challenge! We received many fabulous entries from all over the country and the judge sure had a hard time picking just one for the grand prize!

The contest entries were compiled and sent to Pam Brown, the founder of Planet Gift Baskets who also generously donated our prize. After considering each entry she made a few notes about the things that stood out to her with each design. She ultimately chose this design, she said, "because the history of the piece was very interesting and well represented." She also noted the intricate placement of the swirls and die-cut words. She also expressed her thoughts about the well designed application of the required elements of the piece, namely the vintage couple. Pam felt that it represented beautifully the beginning of a new life together and spoke of our theme "Vintage Romance".

Bree included a lovely narrative to go along with her winning piece:

"The couple in this layout are my parents. They were married in at the end of the second world war after my father had finished serving in the Army. There was still a lot of shortages in England at the time so there was no white wedding gowns available but my mother said she never minded. My father was French, my mother English and they had five children together. In 1960 they moved to Australia which is why I grew up. Then in 1999 I met my future husband, we married in 2001 and I came to live here in the USA. Love has - in one way or another, taken me all all around the world" :)

Bree will receive a lovely spa gift basket from Planet Gift Baskets featuring many great products for relaxing and rejuvenating. We hope she enjoys it to the full! Thank you to all who took the time to create and submit such lovely pieces to the design challenge. With such great participation and inspiring creations I just can't wait to get started with the next challenge!

Also, as an added bonus, Planet Gift Baskets has extended a PERMANENT 10% discount to all of The Vintage Vignette's followers on future purchases with them! This means that whether you are shopping for a gourmet foods, spa, or baby gift basket all you will need to do is mention that you are a follower of The Vintage Vignette blog in the comments section and you will receive an automatic ten percent discount! So pop over to the site soon and check out their great selection and remember, they ship worldwide.

I will be considering several new ideas for the next design challenge in the next few days so if you have a suggestion or great idea you would like to submit just pop me over a quick email and I will consider it for the next challenge. Thanks again to everyone for making this challenge so very much fun for me.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Welcome Blog Party Gals!

How are all you blog party animals! No one is dancing on tables or wearing lampshades on their heads yet are they? Well, for those of you who have absolutely NO idea what I am talking about, I'll fill ya in. The fabulous Marcella over at Etsy Cottage Style Blog is hosting an all day blog party today! Sounds like great fun Eh? I think it's gonna be a blast to see what everyone puts up.

The party question Is "What makes your heart skip a beat?" For me the answer to that question is many things but coming in at number one would easily have to be (worth 50 bonus hubby points!) my sweet hubby of 10 years.

With that being said the next thing that makes my heart skip a beat would be dishes! Dishes of all shapes, sizes and styles as long as they are vintage, cottage or victorian in design. I have run out of cupboard space for all the teapots, server ware, and place settings to go. I put them in hutches, I put them is sideboards and china cabinets...Heck I even hang em on the walls! When I walk into a thrift or antique store I am instantly drawn to the dishes, they call me, beckoning to be picked up and admired. When I visit your home for the first time don't be offended if you should find me rifling through your cupboards to see "whatcha got". Platters, trays, teacups and spoon rests dance through my dreams at night weaving perfect little tapestries of hostessing skills galore! My... I think I might be drooling a little. So while I regain my composure please enjoy some of what makes my heart truly skip a dishes.

P.S. *I would love it if all of you ladies signed in to follow my blog as well. I can't wait to visit yours and see what makes your hearts skip a beat.

It's Cooky Tuesday Ladies!

Ok ladies now here is your question:
If You Had To Be
A Box Of Cereal
What Kind Would You Be
And Why?
Let's hear those comments!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Just A Little While Longer!

I would like to thank all the creative gals who participated in The Vintage Vingette's very first design challenge! It was very inspiring to see the creative talents of you lovely ladies. Some of the entries were touching and some were down right funny!
With so many wonderful submissions I am very relieved that I will NOT be the judge who has to do the picking! Tomorrow, Tuesday May 12, the founder of Planet Gift Baskets will view all the submissions and choose our winner. I will then announce the winner on Friday May 15th. The winner will have their submission published along with a any comments they would like to have included. Planet Gift Baskets will then ship the grand prize to the winner on Monday May 18th. The winner will be notified prior to this. Once again, thank you to all who participated in the challenge. It was great fun for all!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Going Bananas!

Wow! I guess spring has officially arrived at my house. My garden is going absolutely banana cakes! Roses are busting out all over and I can't get them cut fast enough! All the critters have started to show up too. In just the last week I have seen a possum, frogs, goldfinches, mockingbirds and more bees than I can count. I have been getting up early to sit in the garden, have coffee and "commune with nature" as my mom always says.
Speaking of my mom, just last week she called in a panic and said that a possum was in her garden laying upside down on her back and giving birth! I could hear my dad in the background mildly freaking out and instructing my mom to "tell her this" or "tell her that!" You see I have become somewhat of an animal expert in my family simply because I read so much. But back to the story, so mom is trying to figure out if everything is alright with the possum because she is lying on her back. I explained to her that opossums or possums as they are more commonly called, are north America's only marsupial. Meaning they are in the same family as the kangaroo and koala bear. She was laying on her back because as she gives birth her babies instinctively climb onto her stomach and find their way into her pouch where her nipples are. This process can take several hours depending on how many babies she has.
Once inside, the babies will continue to grow and nurse for some time before they are ready to leave the pouch. Finally, when they are old enough they climb out of the pouch and onto mom's back until they are ready to go off on their own. I could hear the relief in their voice once they realized that the possum had things under control and would not be needing any help. My parents are however, taking their self-assigned duty of watching over this little gal possum in the interim. They throw cut apples into the yard where she is nesting snugly inside an old tire. You just gotta love nature!
Toad/Frog pond complete with
overturned half-log homes.
Fred is one the pond's more permanent
I grow over 40 different varieties of roses
in my garden.

These are one of my favorites. David Austin English rose
named Abraham Darby.
Another English called Crown Princess Margherita.
Here is a situation I am not too thrilled about! I fill up
4 humingbird feeders a day because the bees drain them as
fast as I put them up.
This rose is powerfully scented with antique french fragrance.
The sprays are a bouquet in themselves when cut.
Just look at all those buds!

The brightly colored Mardi Gras rose.
Birds and butterflies visit the fountain
all day long.
Windermere is another David Austin rose.
Probably my favorite English rose of all is
Golden Celebration. Just one flower can
scent an entire room!
I enjoy the garden early in the morning
before it gets to be too hot.