Thursday, January 31, 2013

Vintage Inspiration from Living Threads Vintage

I can't get this dress out of my head!  I love it so. 

It is not my size, if it is yours, I wish you would purchase it now.  And sass the damn thing up!

Photograph by Living Threads Vintage

P.S.  Tomorrow, I'm bringing you a modern room inspired by this vintage dress!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Happy New Year from the USPS

I had to do some serious business matters for Etsy tonight. 

Update the cost increase for shipping. 

Makes me think of that toddler song, "eeewww yucky!"

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Experiments in Photography

I've been playing around with the photography for my Etsy shop.  And I can't decide, should I go with natural light or bulb light?  Everyone says to go with natural light.  However in this weather and with my unpredictable schedule, natural light is proving to be very inconvenient.

My good friends over at Living Threads Vintage say to go with the bulb light.  It's what they use and they have consistent and beautiful photography.  So I built a photo box, bought some clamp lights and set it up in a corner of my basement. 

Here is an unedited photo of banana salt and pepper shakers using natural light:

Here is an unedited photo of banana salt and pepper shakers using bulb lighting inside of a photo box:

You can see the edges of the photo box.  Not a big deal, I can edit that out.  But what about the glare? I wish I had posed them the same.  Maybe I just over exposed on the bulb photo?
What do you think?  Natural or bulb? 
P.S.  I am finally using a tripod.  It's about stink'n time!

I Heart The Hour

So many period pieces on TV right now that we can't get enough of...Downton Abbey...The Hour...Game of Thrones...Mad Men...

Image from BBC America

The Hour is perhaps my favorite, it takes place in 1950's London.  The main character, Bel is the woman in charge of a television program called The Hour.  Well, she is mostly in charge.  Which is done so well, because it would have been rare to be someone like her in those days.  I love her character, a total workaholic who seems to break out and be brave at just the right moments.  The Hour is on BBC America.  I heart The Hour.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

My Jewelry Organization

I thought I would share my corner of our bedroom today.  I got all girly with it. 
I finally organized all of my costume jewelry using only vintage decorative accessories.  I love for my jewelry to be out on display.  I realize not everyone does, especially if you own valuable jewelry, in that case, go ahead and tuck it away! Mine is all for fun, and sadly since I became pregnant and started toting around a little guy, I never remember to put it on.  This was making me feel a little blue.  As if the rain, bone chilling cold and current layer of "fog" isn't already helping with that, I had to go and forget to put on my fun accessories. Boo hoo!  

My Solution:  Store colorful bangles in a vintage fabric covered tray, I believe originally used for lingerie.  (Correct me if I am wrong.)  The fabric tray fit quite perfectly on this little gold shelf from the 1950's.  Anytime you see a cute gold shelf, pick it up.  There are a million uses for those guys.
Next, hang chunky necklaces and floppy bracelets on vintage curtain tie backs, hung vertically.  I found these two at a local vintage shop that has a lot of cottage stuff.  They were the sort of thing you see, don't have any idea what you'll do with and buy them anyway.  I have seen similar ones used in entry ways to hold coats. 
Then, add something soft.  The paper fans were decorations at our wedding and I purchased them from BHLDN, Anthropologie's online wedding shop.  Our wedding was almost two years ago , but you can buy these pretty pink paper fans now.

Finish it off with a vintage jewelry box. I was lucky enough to be given this one by my mother-in-law.  I very much like that I can hang my earrings from the top and then close it up easily if I want to. Plus it has this kitschy sort of sixties thing going on with the gold and faux silk interior. And it reminds me of this...
As a little kid I used to visit my great-grandmother and play hours of dress up with her vintage clothes and jewelry. I will never forget that she had this huge white jewelry box.  Every drawer and spot inside had some fun jewelry in it.  I dreamed of owning it one day.  As if owning it meant I had arrived into some sort of status as a real woman.  When the day came to divide up grandma's things I was denied the beautiful white jewelry box and everything in it.   Instead, Grandma Kay gave me her amazing Danish dishes.  In mint condition, they are a rare set of blue and white Danish china.  These do more to remind me of my heritage and my great-grandmother who used to serve me tea and treat me like a lady, than that glorious white box ever would.  And BONUS I have my very own gold box that my cousin's daughter enjoys playing with and that is enough for me.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Dreamy Vintage Finds

These vintage Eero Saarinen Tulip Chairs with black leather seats would look so amazing with my new dining room table.

Chairs and photograph from CathodeBlue on Etsy

What?!! I love these!
Vintage Yellow Trays and Photograph from Lust Found Vintage

Hello Eames Lounge Chair, I mean, sort husband would love you!

Plycraft Lounge Chair and photograph from Gredesign
You would be so fun in Hank's room

Painted Mid-Century Modern Dresser and photograph from The Turquoise Iris
I would love to hang you above our bed and say goodbye to the generic close-to-ceiling "boob" light

Mid-Century Pendant Lamp and photograph from Mid Centry Mobler

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Vintage Cane Back Dining Room Chairs

Before Thanksgiving I was out doing some Sunday vintage shopping when I came across these dining room chairs.  I bought them on an impulse, for the following reasons:
1. I tend to be an impulse buyer.  I actually read some good suggestions today to help me with this.  For instance, walk away and think about it.  But I have to say when you do that with vintage it could be gone.  So my advice is to not walk away too far!
2.  I LOVE them! I admit it, I saw them and thought that was exactly what I had in mind and I had to have them.  I'd been wanting some cane back vintage chairs, painted.  Why?  I can't explain.
3.  The price was right.  It's hard for me to pass up a good deal, especially on something I love.
4.  We needed two more dining chairs.  It was almost Thanksgiving and they were perfect for the occasion.  I had my quirky Formica top table and some painted tall cane back dining room arm chairs were the perfect fit.
Now, I have a new dining room table and they just don't feel right with it.  So I am selling them.  Check out my add on craigslist here.  They could be your fun dining room chairs! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I did it!

I did it! I post two new items on Etsy today and updated the shop with items that had expired.  This is saying a lot that I was able to squeeze it into my day.  I'm so excited that it worked.  Check out my new items in my shop here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Etsy for the New Year

This week will be filled with the usual mom duties but oh what a list I have of additional things I want to get to.  Do you have this same list?  Please say you do! It is chalk full of other things that are important to me and well, my mental health.  One of those things is to write for this blog every day.  Check.  Another thing is to sell on Etsy.  I heart Etsy and I want to love my shop some more this year.  One of my goals is to post new items in my shop once a week.  Sound easy? It hasn't been, so I am speaking it to you!  I have made my commitment now I need to follow through.  Just do it. Get 'er done. Do the thing you think you cannot do.  Be one with the Etsy shop... Enough with the sayings? OK, OK...until tomorrow...Have a wonderful day!  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Instead of a Sunday spent vintage shopping I spent it vintage decorating.  Or as my husband called it, "doing arts and crafts".  Which I think you would have to hear him say out loud to our infant son to get the humor in it. "Hank, mommy is busy doing arts and crafts"  At which point I laugh and realize that I am actually just staring at a wall and moving stuff around, so arts and crafts doesn't sound that bad. Thanks honey. 
In between naps and feedings I played around with an assortment of vintage accessories decorating our bedroom at my parent-in-law's beach house.  Lucky me! But we recently collaborated and choose the paint for the other guest bedroom at the house.  It gave it a whole new look, which is exactly what we were going for.  We want it to have an industrial, rustic feel.   My mom-in-law is doing all of the vintage shopping for it and she has amazing taste.  I'm going to focus on the soft goods and give my approval on the large pieces.  For today, it was a little bit of rearranging and brainstorming.  I'm excited to show it to you when it's finished! 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Photo Wall from A Beautiful Mess

photo from A Beautiful Mess by Elsie Larson

This project is so lovely, so unique and so impressive I just had to share it with you.  It is the work of Elsie Larson from A Beautiful Mess.  I think the most unique part is how she did it.  It is not what it seems.  Go and see how she did it on her blog here.  I love how it feels vintage and looks modern.  Great job Elsie!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Have yourself a happy day today.  Give yourself a hug and do something for YOU today! 

Winter Sunshine

Hank and I went for an afternoon stroll in the winter sunshine today.  It was absolutely frigid, the air made my cheeks feel like they were cracking, but the sun was out and the clouds were gone.  The trees were naked and the perennials just stubs.  There were things I'd never seen before jumping out at me, like hidden benches and secret pathways usually covered in shrubs. 
Hank sat back observing looking almost bored when suddenly, with no warning, he yells out to the trees.  "Ahhhh!"  His voice carried so far that it made him sit up, take notice and bounce from the joy of it.  The rest of the way home Hank bounced and laughed.
That's Hank, finding joy in the smallest of things.  I think I'm gonna bounce and laugh next time I'm feeling bored or blue.  Laugh about nothing because I can.  And bounce.  Because joy is inside of us.  We need only create it.  And bounce.  Bounce, bounce, bounce... 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Vintage Tall Boys Turned Pencil Holder

A few years ago I saw this idea in a magazine, fell in love with it and had so much fun putting it together.  It's such a simple idea, take an old drink glass carrier of your choosing, add vintage glasses and voila! A great place to house all of your pens, pencils, scissors and what not in one easy to grab place. 


I happened across this pink glass carrier with the black ball feet.  I have a crush on pink and black. You know why? Growing up we would go and visit my mom's aunt Joan in San Jose.  She was a thin gangly woman who smoked like a chimney, and had THE best laugh around.   A sort of contagious, infectious laugh.  Her house was an assortment of kitschy 50's, 60's and 70's.  Permanently burned in my brain are her avocado green kitchen cabinets with floral decal stickers and the big bowl of candy that sat out on her kitchen table, all year round.   Fake flowers adorned her lawn and a lava lamp, a young girl on a pillar oil lamp as well as shag carpet resided in her living room.  But the best part was the pink and black bathroom.  Every little detail in that bathroom was pink or it was black.  Pink tub, pink toilet, floral decals in the tub, black shag throw carpets, black and pink accessories that would make any grown-up spontaneously vomit in their mouth.  She had it and it lived in that bathroom.  But I digress.

While that bathroom no longer technically exists, it does in my brain and now in yours. If you are a pencil loving hoarder such as myself I highly recommend this delightful new use of an old drink carrier. You won't be disappointed and neither will any young artist that stops by and wants to draw.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Vintage Made Modern...Shoes

I don't know about you, but I have a two pairs of vintage shoes that I can actually wear.  I was thrilled to find this online shop that sells vintage inspired shoes, called Bait.  I put together a few of my favorites for you to enjoy.  After all, before I knew how to walk, I knew I loved shoes!

tip tap is Selena Black / oh me oh my is Irene Red / twinkle twinkle is Terry Celery
swoon is Dennise Blue  /  razzle dazzle is Jenny Gold  /  la dee da is Sophie Teal

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Oh So Lovely Vintage

Photo from Oh So Lovely Vintage

Today I thought I would share a very fun vintage blog with you.  It's called Oh So Lovely Vintage.  A blog by a pair of good friends that have a vintage shop located in Canada, eh.  I think it's worth a look see. Smiles.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Here's to a Happy Monday

Today was an extremely difficult day and so, I'm glad it has come to an end.  That there is the best part about bad days, they come to an end eventually.  Sometimes they leak into months, even years, but they pass.  And you get to get up and start a new day, called Monday!  I hope we all have a fantastic week.  I'm looking forward to it, what about you? 

Here is an absolutely stunning wall of letters.  Cheered me right up to see it! I'm not sure what the best part is, the use of objects as letters, the placement of the letters or the different scale of letters.  Whatever it is, it works.  A very artistic get together of letters.  Bravo to the artist!  Who I would love to give a shout out to, but I am unable to find the source.  All I can share with you is that I found it on Pinterest. Try not to hate me.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Saturday Surprise

Look at what my mom got for us today!!! Eeeeekkkk!!! So excited! I've been wanting a vintage Eero Saarinen table for so long and we came across this vintage black look-a-like last Sunday. She surprised me today!!! Am I not the luckiest girl in the world?  The answer is YES.

2013 Wall Calendars

One of the suggestions I read recently about planning for your business was to post a calendar for the entire year. This way you can see the year and what is ahead of you. It's something I've never done before and I thought it would be a chance to get pen and paper out and be creative. I will not post photos of what turned out.

So I turned to the creative geniuses on Etsy. The graphic designers and illustrators that are experts at that sort of thing. And I have to say my mind was blown at all of the cool stuff I found. I am bringing you my favorites. Sort of a mod, mid-century and quirky bunch. I literally can't decide which one I want posted on my board. Maybe you could help me are the contenders...
These birds are fantastic! They just make me giggle.  Brought to you by Modern Pop on Etsy.
Find them here.

This abstract calendar by Hello Maupoo on Etsy is so unique.  I quite fancy the use of negative and positive space with bright pink and neon yellow.  Find it here.

This calendar by Simply Paperie is one of the most traditional layouts, but it feels fresh to me.  I like that I can see all the days with spaces to write on.  This way I can make notes, love making notes!  Find this one here.

Simply Paperie made it on my list twice!  I couldn't pass up chevrons.  I know I am a bit behind on this trend, but oh I don't care.  I'm crazy for the chevrons!  This one is great because I can write notes it too.  Find it here.

Inspirational quotes make this one a great idea.  Brought to you by Monkey Mind Design. Buy it here.

Definitely favor this semi-abstract calendar by Dozi.  Find it here.

What's that you say?  It is a luggage tag calendar! So stink'n cute!  Seems a bit small for my needs, but it is so original, colorful and vintage.  Brought to you by Girl In Gear Studio on Etsy.  Find it here.

Totally fun retro!  Made by Draft Horse Design.  Find it here.

This one makes my list because it's simple.  User friendly and right to the point.  No silly illustrations, no fuss.  Designed by LA Shepherd on Etsy.  Find it here.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Colorful Office Organization by Poppin

Loving these new office products by a company called Poppin.  Clean lines, bright colors, tons of organization. Great prices. What's not to love?  Check out Poppin here


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Little Life Lesson

Do what you don't feel like doing.  I wrote this and posted it up on my inspiration board last night.  I was struggling with what to write, criticizing myself and generally not getting anywhere.  I began to think of reasons why I couldn't write.  I thought, I'm too tired and the baby is being challenging tonight.  I told myself I need to go to bed because I haven't gone to bed at a decent hour in weeks.  Then poor me, no one reads this blog anyway.  Sniff. Sniff.  Eventually leading to, I got myself into too big of a challenge with this one thing every day for 365 days. What was I thinking?  But those words, "Do what you don't feel like doing" kept popping into my head.

I remembered one night when Hank was around two months old he wouldn't stop nursing and go to sleep.  Anytime I tried to take it away he would scream and want it back.  I was getting desperate for my own space, for him to fall asleep and for there to be peace in the house.  As I began to cry I thought this same thing, "this is too big, I can't believe I chose to have a child, what was I thinking?"  But just as quickly as I had the thought, it passed, and I realized then I must do the thing I do not feel like doing.  I learned a lot that night about what it means to be a parent.  I also learned that this baby, who, God willing, will become a little boy and then a man is going to teach me a whole lot more than I will teach him. 

So I continue on this journey to write every single day for 365 days even though there will be nights where I don't feel like doing it.  Days when things will be overwhelming and I might not have the time.  I must do the thing I don't feel like doing because the reward that I get from writing and sharing is far greater than the one I get when I am keeping everything inside.  

Organizing with a Modern Tray

Here's another way I use modern trays in my home:  To organize my note pads, pens, tape dispenser, stapler and push pins.  I keep all of these things out in my dining room and it's totally ok because they are neat and contained.  An old blue mason jar holds my pens and scissors. A tiny vintage juice glass holds my push pins and I have the cheap plastic version of a lucite stapler and tape dispenser.  Vintage staplers are hard core, have stood the test of time and throw out lots of style. I could easily go there too.   Also paper, I love to scribble notes on paper, so having that readily available is important. Stacks of it. Come on people.     

Using a small vintage plate in a retro pattern to hold my business cards makes them feel like they are just hanging out ready to be served up. 

This arrangement actually changes all the time. But there it is, for now.  I had two lamps on this piece of furniture, but we let our friends bring their dog over, who chased our cat and now there is one lamp.  I will tell that story soon. It's a good one. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bright Colors, Found Ojects and Favorite Things

Organize a focal wall or entry space with a collection of objects and paint it a bright color.  Think of the design in three pieces. The main piece is the console table, here I used a vintage hairpin leg table. The second piece is the space above the console table, the wall space, which I filled with my growing collection of black and white photos, some are old and some are new.  The third piece is the space underneath the console, ottomans are the best for this space as they are both decorative and useful.  I can pull the ottomans out and use them anywhere around the room. 

 I gathered up similar objects from around my house. Glass, coral and succulents make up the majority of items. I tried for mostly green objects as a contrast to the teal wall, but ended up with one large teal statement piece as well. Black acts as the neutral that brings it all together.     
The middle photos are some of my favorites. They are original photographs of my grandfather posing with models for an eye glass marketing campaign. He was an actual salesman in the company and someone whom I never got to meet.  Since I am using a mix of old and new frames the trick is striking the right balance. The Goodwill or other thrift stores is a great place to get old frames. Look for frames with clean lines and a little texture. Stay away from anything ornate or decorative as that can look messy and be distracting.
There is so much industrial vintage out there. Start mixing it in. I love these old frogs in a rustic green metal. And a stack of design books with a lamp on top, gave me that little bit of height that I needed.
  So take your boring entry way with it's coat racks, key holders and safe wall color and give it a little pizazz.  Steal objects from other parts of your home and combine them in a different way to make them new again.  Think bright colors, found objects and favorite things.  You'll be greeted with something both lovely and functional.  

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunday Vintage Shopping

Sunday vintage shopping is a favorite for my mom and I to do together.  I give her total credit for raising me to love and appreciate vintage.  She would drag me as a kid to the flea markets of LA and various antique shops.  She'd drag, but I'd always end up with something cool.  When we lived in south Florida it was trips to places like Deco Don's where pink flamingos and rattan furniture were a serious business.  We were collecting more than decor, we were collecting things with value.  One of a kind finds with a soul.  So while a lot has changed since the late 80's in South Florida, one thing hasn't and that is our love of Sunday vintage shopping. 

I heard about this new vintage shop in Sellwood called Vintage Design Collective through Emily Henderson on Twitter of all places.  Sellwood is a small neighborhood in Portland that is packed with families and vintage shops.  It's a great place to take a walk on a warm day and an even better place to grab a coffee and browse through some junk on a rainy day.  Please note, I lovingly refer to vintage stuff as junk.  My husband looks at a piece I want to buy and says, "But it has some scratches on it", I say that's because it's vintage.  It's been used and someone else probably thought it was junk and decided to get rid of it.  Now we are going to take it and love it, thereby making it special again. 

The store is located inside of an old theatre.  That's the first thing that's really cool about this place.  Then there are the antique rugs hanging from the ceiling. Number two thing that's really cool.  And finally, they have a variety of good vendors, open space, lots of natural light and a general good vibe.  Please go there and rescue this currently sad looking brass chandelier, spray paint it red and put some round bulbs on it. STATEMENT PIECE!!! By the way, I just sang those last two words.

Are you dying over these teal and green French chairs? Somebody please buy them. I'm crushing on them something awful. 
A little modern handmade in the mix...two thumbs up!

I wanted to tell you about these alabaster pedestal bowls. I keep one in my bathtub with soap in it. It is hands down the most beautiful thing in my bathroom, I feel so fancy when I go to reach for my bar of soap and who doesn't deserve a little fancy in their life?
This vendor was adorable.  From her glasses down to her little red shoes.  She has amazing little treasures and I love her organization.  I ended up buying a little something for my mom-in-law as well as a letter for Hank's letter wall.  
So rush down to the Vintage Design Collective and pick up your treasure. 
You are sure to find one.

What's Inspiring Me Right Now

It's the weekend and for me that means quality time with my husband and son.  It also means more time for relaxing and enjoying things like movies.  I have two recommendations for you to check out.

The first is Jiro Dreams of Sushi.  It's streaming on Netflix right now, and I highly recommend it.  A wonderful documentary about a man in Japan who is famous for making sushi.  Just that. He has a 10 seat, $300 a plate restaurant and the only thing he serves is sushi.  I felt inspired by his devotion to his craft.  A few of my favorite quotes from Jiro:
"Once you decide on your occupation you must immerse yourself in your work.  You have to fall in love with your work.  Never complain about your job.  You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That’s the secret of success.  And the key is to being regarded honorably." 
This sets the tone for the film and I felt such a strong connection to it.  It's easy to give up, but it's not worth it.  The reward for working hard is so much greater.  Success does not come easily.
"Always doing what you are told doesn’t guarantee success."

Jiro as a child behaved very badly, he grew up and changed.  When it came time to tell his two sons how to behave he had a hard time deciding what to tell them.  The quote above was his advice. 

"If I don’t keep working my body will become worthless"
So true! 
And finally, if you want to laugh your ass off go and see Django Unchained...HIL FREAKIN' LARIOUS!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Vintage Lunch Tray Get Together

Let's do a get together of vintage lunch trays from Etsy.  These are a great way to organize small things like paper clips, push pins, pencils and post it notes.  If you were to organize your desk drawer with one,  there could be a slap of color and a pop of wow as you searched for those boring, oh so useful, paperclips.  Better yet, leave it out on your desk, be like my husband, easy to find, easy to grab.  While doing this, you'll be a little bit less stressed and a tiny bit cooler.  Oh you!

Check out these vintage Yellow serving trays from Amelia Bedelia Vintage.

And these incredible red and turquoise trays from Arks Endeavor.

Better yet, go for the industrial look and pick up some aluminum ones over at The Relic Trail.

My new favorite color, a true mid century classic, turquoise.  Brought to you by Lare Furbish

Finally, this structured US Military mess tray is a must have for the truely organized in you. Shop Via Olivia now.