tgif ....

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Hubby and I are hijacking Kella and Chris's vacation to Asheville, NC -

(I've never been to North Carolina, only through North Carolina)

They kindly invited us down for a long weekend

(ie we begged and pleaded and sent Olive to their house with her sad face)

to a house they rented for the week on a lake (?) - I think a lake - are there lakes in North Carolina? I'm sure totally amazing lakes!

It is going to be a long drive tonight and tomorrow and then straight back on Tuesday, but worth it for 2 days of a mini-vacation.

I hope everyone else's weekend is just as wonderful and that Olive & I survive the car trip (hubby has packed his AC/DC's and Black Sabbath - ugh!)

*lilly in asheville notecard by Jen Obata (I am re-titling it cat in asheville for this weekend Jen, I hope you don't mind!)

xo all

Upcycled Tutorial - Vintage Children's Block Initial Necklace - Xmas Gift Countdown Begins!

I thought I would begin my annual upcycled holiday gift tutorial guide

(whoa say that 3 times, I dare ya')

early this year so I might actually finish it!

Everyone loves personalized gifts with their inital - and this is an easy, peasy one to make!

(the only kind of tutorial I do, because let's face it folks those long, complicated tutorials may look amazing, but are you ever really going to make them?!)

you will need:

vintage blocks (new blocks will just look cheesy- we need some vintage wabi-sabi for this one), chain or necklace cording, washers, eyehooks, slip rings, charms, beads, doodads

you may need a drill for your eyehook starter holes, I didn't, but I do lift a 20 lb terrier/beagle 482 times a day, so have one handy just in case

determine which block letter you want visible for the wearer, measure and mark your center, drill starter hole, add eyehook and washer, tighten with pliers, add chain or cording to top, repeat on bottom andding charm or doodad to the bottom

(note - if your name starts with a V and you get a Christmas present from me, please close your eyes at this point)

I added an amazing and gigantic lobster clasp to this one! My block is approx 1.25" with a 30" chain- smaller block/smaller chain- if you want to make one of these and need a 30" ballchain pop me an email and I will pop one in the mail to you.

To find some amazing vintage blocks to make these gifts check out these Etsy sellers:

1. agentobsolete
2. vintagebyalexkeller
3. brooklynretro

I have another tutorial using a child's block you may want to try HERE

GIVEAWAY Pawtisserie Dog Bakery $25.00 Gift Certificate! CLOSED

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- I hope Kouga and Milele like their goodies!

Pawtisserie Dog Bakery is the amazing shop of  Erin- a Jersey girl (yay!) with a big love of dogs (double yay!).

Her love for baking organic dog treats came about once Erin and her hubby adopted their dog, Ruby. They wanted her to have high quality, human grade ingredients in what she ate. Erin began baking treats for her, then for pets of family and friends, and then poof! Into an online store!

We are so lucky to have a gift certificate to Erin's amazing shop for this week's giveaway!


One lucky winner will receive a $25.00 Gift Certificate at Pawtisserie!


It's easy, peasy - just leave your contact information below!

For additional entries:

(5) Twitter this post
(5) Blog about this contest; linking to this post
(5) Follow my blog
(5) Facebook this post

Let me know if you have done these things so I can give you additional entries. This contest is open to everyone.

Enter by midnight on Sunday 10/9! Good Luck!

maybe we're not lazy, maybe we're not unorganized (well maybe we're a little unorganized) - maybe we're just trying to do too much

a short rant - at a certain point even the master juggler

(that guy in the Guinness World Record Book with the 47 flaming plates on a stick, who may or may not be missing an ear)

piles on one too many plates and finds his maximum juggling capacity

(hopefully before losing that second ear).

And this maximum juggling capacity is a personal thing.

Your maximum and my maximum are probably two different maximums.

(and now that I have just typed the word maximum so many times, the spelling just looks ... wrong - I hate when that happens)

* wastes 2 minutes googling maximum *

And yes, I get that these lessons are all about setting priorities and asking for help and saying no and

... I guess we had better figure it out before those flaming plates hit us over the head.

(there are some kick-ass earrings out there - it would be a sad thing if we never get to wear them ....)

* stacey had big plans print by happytownusa

you can't handle the truth .... or if the lawyers really looked like Matthew McConaughey this would be a whole other thing

... so I just rented out my couch

(not my actual couch, that we sit on and lie on and Olive sheds so much hair on that before we purchased it we asked the guy in the store if we could throw a little dog hair on it so we could visualize it in our actual livingroom ... but a vintage couch that is part of my vintage rental business - did I tell you I started a vintage rental business? no? well, I will just keep you all guessing about what the hell I am talking about then)

and checked my mailbox on the way back in the house and find a little white notice that says (cue the Jaws music here) JURY DUTY ... AGAIN, I thought I got out of it!

Now, I have been called to jury duty many times and the last time - I got on a case, was named foreman forewoman, found the guy guilty in less than 45 minutes and was home in 3 days.

But, I was a little more decisive in those days - things a little more black and white to me when I was younger - now that things are a little more grey it may be harder.

(yes, I like to spell it with an "e", the British way, makes me feel special and a little more refined - I have also stopped cursing .. sort of . .mostly .. sometimes. My brother stopped cursing last year when he started teaching music to children and I thought if he can do it, I can too, but it is a hard habit to unlearn)

When we were kids and my sister and I used bad words

(which we did as fast as we could learn them)

my grandmother would say "stop - say it another way" and make us take the curse word out of the sentence, so my sister's favorite 4th grade zinger would end up something like "your 'rearend' is grass", then my grandmother would nod her approval and go back to watching her stories.

Anyhoo - back to JURY DUTY ...

since I have been making more and more questionable (ie bad) decisions lately. I have begun to doubt myself. I can't even make a decision about where to go to lunch without it turning into the most trying ordeal anyone around me has ever experienced.

If someone asks - "what do you want to go eat?" - I brainfreeze. I will not decide. Hubby, unfortunately, has taken the brunt of this indecisiveness so when I told him I pulled jury duty, he said:

"If you make it on a jury it will end up being a hung jury ... because everyone else will hang themselves while you decide."

This from the ace decision-maker who went to Barnes and Noble before our trip to get magazines for both of us; proceeded to spend an hour picking out such bone-chilling, can't put it down reading material for himself as the Farmer's Almanac 2012 (I'm sure he almost had a coronary when he saw this baby was finally available), Dirtbike Digest, The Small Farmer's Guide to Livestock (Olive did not like the looks of this one) and The Model Car Builder (he wants to get 'back into them' - I do not like the looks of this one) - then grabbed the first thing he could lay his hands on for me - something with pirates on the cover - because

"I know you like pirates"

(I like pirates?!)

"No, I was saying 'talk like a pirate day' is coming up and I am going to give away some pirate jewelry. I didn't say I like pirates."

hubby *crickets*

(lost in article on the best model car glue for 2012)

Anyhoo, will let everyone know what is decided with jury duty - I am going to try again to get it postponed until January when I am slow

(and there is some potential for a snowday)

Also if you follow me on Twitter- watch for my pirate tweets tomorrow to win some pirate jewelry!

Upcycled Tutorial - Hanging Chair Bookrack

Now, I know this isn't really a tutorial, but I haven't posted a tutorial in awhile

(saving the best ones for my annual Xmas countdown series which starts next month)

but thought I would throw up a couple pics of this amazing old chair I bought at a local flea for $5.00.

I hung it on some bicycle hanging hardware from Ikea and now have an adorable mini-bookcase for some of my vintage Trixie Belden books.

I have 3 of these chairs (all different) that I am going to hang in the stairwell (which is pretty high) and will post pics of this when I get a chance to get them up there

(I have to do this when hubby isn't around because he hates the idea - he will love it once it is up though ... as long as - a. he doesn't have to hang it, b. it isn't in "the way" - and c. it doesn't fall on anyone's head - all possibly do-able - of course, I can't really guarantee that last one)

I have seen people make towel racks and things by dismantling this type of chair, but I couldn't bear to make any permanent changes to this one - it is just too perfect!

new work in shops ....

some new work in my Etsy shops recently including Alice cork necklace, when elephants fly ring (even better than a flying pig, I think), anti-social butterfly recycled wine cork corkboard (a sort of rant), a new locket with the amazing Gollybard (lock and key), a new locket with the amazing Lori Portka (the sun shines) and a locket with the amazing Laura Evans of oohprettyshiny (eiffel tower) - have a wonderful weekend all - feels like autumn here this morning!


does this blog make me look fat ....

... sometimes I don't know when to stop ... with blog posts, with guacamole, with the number of times I laugh at the car radio display when I'm listening to the 60's station and the screen isn't big enough for the whole title so it just says "Build Me Up Butt" ...

and I was about to print Bumbershoot pics that made me look

pretty freakin' awful

(notice how I say 'made me look' because obviously my sister, who took these photos, has somehow doctored them, because she is pretty clever and slightly devious in a way that only a little sister can be, somehow adding 10 lbs to me in the photos not to mention 10 years and a slightly yellow cast to my skin, that has me rethinking my liquor intake - maybe this wine-for-cork as tax-write-off diet is not a very good plan for me anymore)

then I stopped myself - wth this is my blog I don't have to print crappy pictures of myself, even when I have nothing else to post ... luckily I have my own little photoshop expert (ie Olive) to take a little action before posting them - trust me it's better this way ...

(my display looked pretty good for all the borrowings I collected on the west coast to fill it although maybe too cluttered now that I look at it in the photos - of course these could be doctored, too ...)

have a nice weekend everyone!   xo

taking action vs. waiting until the path is clear to us ...

Oprah always says when you don't know what to do ... do nothing.

This has always worked for her I guess. But, I suspect Oprah is able to get very clear, very fast and this "do nothing" period doesn't last very long for her.

(for me, I have a strong suspicion that doing nothing until I am clear on what I want to do would result in many many afternoons, weeks and maybe even years of ... well.. doing nothing)

I think it may usually be better to take some kind of action even if we need to change or reverse course later on. There aren't that many decisions that are so final, we can't redecide them to get a happier outcome.

Taking action allows us to focus. It gives our attention an intention. I usually find the best actions are those where I am less attached to the outcome and just seeking the experience - the outcome has a way of working out better for me when I haven't decided exactly what it should be.

Taking action allows us to decide. Deciding creates direction. It breaks our usual patterns of doing the things we think we should be doing or the things we have always done in the ways we have always done them.

Lingering in indecison and inaction can make us depressed - it can make things seem larger and more important than they really are - it can turn our feet into cement combat boots and our brains into mashed potatoes.

(and not the amazing kind with the white cheddar, butter and chives either)

Since 2011 is my year of deciding - I decided to do some shows this summer (mostly wholesale) that I hadn't done before. Shows that involved traveling by plane (this has always made me a little queasy, although I mostly love airports)- often alone and spending money that I would normally be uncomfortable spending since it took me so long to make and the outcome was so unclear.

Yesterday, seeing the kids waiting for the school bus and the leaves beginning to pile up in my front yard (and also noting my bank account balance) I was kind of regretting some of my choices. I feel like I missed the summer and now am headed right into my busiest retail season (I do 60% of my annual sales between Halloween and Christmas) with a head cold/sinus infection thing, exhausted and kind of pissed I never got to wear my awesome gladiator sandals and it's almost time to break out the Uggs (ugh)...

I am still glad I took action though (although my actions will be a bit different next time) and I still think deciding is better than waiting for something to happen or someone to come along and "discover" or "save" us ...

(and I think this is the same lesson for those of us who voted for Obama - and for the people who deny global warming because they are waiting for the rapture - no one is coming along to save us, it is up to us and that this is good news, great news actually ...)

We're all busy but we're not all engaged. Taking action locks us into full on engagement with ourselves. We connect. Maybe not right away when we’re just getting our feet wet - this action stuff doesn't have to be giant steps toward big, huge things. But eventually it brings us closer to ourselves - we learn what we want (or what we don't want) - it brings connection

... and autumn - which is my favorite season actually and as for my gladiator sandals I think I have decided to wear them until Christmas even if I need to wear my new wool socks with them - which I bought at an alpaca farm in Oregon last week with wool supplied by this guy - is this the most amazing face you have ever seen?! and to think I might have missed meeting him ...

* in the waiting room print by broke bot

Giveaway SUMIKOSHOP Handmade Jewelry $30.00 Gift Certificate! CLOSED


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I am amazed! Congrats I am amazed!

The giveaway is back with a bang!

SumikoShop is the gorgeous handmade jewelry shop of the amazingly talented Evelyn - the 29 year old maker and mother of a beautiful boy named Brian.

Evelyn lives and works in a tourist town by the sea in gorgeous Italy.

Many of her items are one of a kind and others are made in limited quantities. Her accessories are mostly female and whimsical. She sometimes mixes vintage with modern materials to create simple everyday pieces that are just magical!

We are so lucky to have your choice of SumikoShop's gorgeous work for this week's giveaway.


One lucky winner will receive a $30.00 Gift Certificate at SumikoShop!


It's easy, peasy - just leave your contact information below!

For additional entries:

(5) Twitter this post
(5) Blog about this contest; linking to this post
(5) Follow my blog
(5) Facebook this post

Let me know if you have done these things so I can give you additional entries. This contest is open to everyone.

Enter by midnight on Sunday 9/25! Good Luck!

10 years ....

I am back from Seattle and Portland - the last of my big travel shows done for the year (thank goodness) - I haven't done a music festival in years

(my thinking was that people do not go there to shop; now this is my 'knowing')

girl at show (pointing at item with price marked) : "how much is this?"

me : "that's twenty four"

girl : "dollars?"

(it was that kind of show)

but it paid for my trip which included a day in Seattle when I wasn't working and 4 days in Portland visiting my sister and her family, so I am definitely not complaining. A great big thank you to Bill from House of Six Cats who loaned me 2 tables and my niece Miranda (locket2you) who loaned me everything else.

Today is back to work for me and a day of remembrance for all of us ..... there are some wonderful tributes here

I have been trying to think of the good things that have come out of 9/11, but have been having trouble with that one ... in the immediate aftermath, before it all became politicized and the people who profit from our fear set to work to capitalize on it, we came together around the world in a wonderful way .. so I am going to keep that feeling in my heart today ... that sense of connection.

xo all
the giveaway will be back tomorrow folks

It's Bumbershoot time!

..setting up at Bumbershoot today in Seattle! If you are coming, stop by and say "hi" - I will be near the fountain!

Have a wonderful holiday weekend all!


Please vote for Kella and Chris HERE Suburban Camping Co - they are competing against established stores (who are offering specials and giveaways to people voting for them- is this legal?) and need our votes!!!