Thursday, September 29, 2011

New Wreaths In The Shop!

I've added three new wreaths to the shop, I just can't seem to get it filled up, but I'm trying to get some more selection in every day {plus start Christmas}. It has been a great Etsy week, if you've bought a wreath from me thank you!!

I am adding a new style of wreath and I'm kind of excited about it. I'm calling it a cornucopia wreath and the concept that I've come up with is sort of a '4 season' wreath. A wreath that can be hung no matter the season. It's full of all sorts of things pomegranates, pinecones, berries, evergreen, etc. I just love it. And of course I had to use some plaid ribbon on it! :) Hope you like it, I hope to do more versions {if I can catch up!!}

Cornucopia Wreath

This next one is pretty muted compared to some of the wreaths I do, still in the fall tones, just not screaming orange...plaid ribbon, gotta love it. I am actually digging pretty deep in my ribbon collection....there has been hardly any ribbon on the market I like this year! I usually like to stock up, but looks like this year, I'm outta luck.

Fall Wreath

This is the only ribbon that I have bought this year, and it is bright!! I put pinecones in nearly every wreath I do....I had some painted green pinecones that I had been wanting to use and once I found this ribbon, I was finally able to use them.
Can you tell how much I love fall ??

Here is a sneak peak of a project I've been working on, can't wait to show you!
Can you tell what it is?

Since we are talking business, I am now booking for Holiday Decorating. If you live in the four state area (Southwest MO, Northeast OK, Northwest AK, or Southeast KS) please contact me! Christmas is right around the corner!

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My First Auction and Found Treasures

Since having my booth for exactly 28 days, I must say I love it. It's not an entire store {which I dream of doing in the future} but it is something I get to take care of, buy for and make pretty. I love being a buyer and having the discretion of what to buy (or not) and what I think is a great find and then the thrill of when someone else thinks it's a great find too.

I was able to do some buying this weekend and I went to my very first auction ever!! I was nervous, of course, I am always am, doing new things, but my trusty sidekick aka my Mother in law was with me. She had been to a couple of auctions before and sorta knew the ropes, so we selected a local auction to go to and arrived right as it was getting started.

{Found Treasure: Crystal and brass Chandy, real crystals, not acrylic. Happy! I haven't cleaned it yet.}
{Brass and glass candle lamp (above) and nesting birds from Italy (Below)}

I had no idea what to expect so I thought of this as my 'learning' auction. I watched what other people were doing, learned what 'choice' was real quick, learned to speak up if I wanted to get heard, and dealt with the disappointment of losing out on something I wanted.

I bought boxes of books. Some of them will be donated, because I didn't get to pick and choose what was in the boxes, but among the books I found some hymnals which I think is pretty cool.

If you know me in real life...I'm a little introverted, quiet, and crowds? No way. This weekend was not only a learning experience, but I stretched out of my shell a little too.
While the bidding was happening on things like guns, deep freezers, and national geographic magazines, I used that time to scope out what I wanted in the next rows of stuff.

I spied a huge wooden box and went over to investigate. It was closed and when I opened it and found out what was in it, I immediately wanted it. A huge set of brassware with beautiful wooden handles, three trays of this and the lid was full. I tried to stay very calm. It was hard. I slowly closed the lid and hoped no one would see them.

I haven't done the research on them yet, but just by looking at the set, I knew it was pretty special. They have this exotic, traveled feeling about them, and I love them.

A close up of the handles.

{Found treasure: Heisey "Will O' the Wisp" tall sherbet cup}

I quickly learned that you don't want to speak very loud, or huddle over a certain area too've got to have, well a poker face, is how I would describe it. If you get too excited about something, it draws attention and then all of a sudden, people are wanting to know what you are looking at!

{Found treasure: 4 Crystal goblets, I haven't been able to track down the pattern...If you recognize it, let me know)

I started liking the auctioneer, with his grey hair, pot belly and microphone. He was very experienced and had a sense of humor and sort of reminded me of my father, some of the 'one-liners' he used through out the day....oh yes, it's an all day affair. I thought we would be there a few hours, oh no. Several hours. After I scoped out what I wanted, I was thinking he'd get to it pretty quick and then I would be out.

It never failed, they would do all the crappy stuff first and then my stuff. :) Of course it dawned on me later that's how you get the people to stay through the whole auction.

I was amazed at some of the stuff that people were bidding on, like bobble-heads, plastic duck decoys, and happy meal toys (no kidding). I had my eye on a few pieces. A silver vase, a huge set of brass and wood utensils (above), Mexican folk art pottery, an aluminum desk chair, brass charger plates, an old metal tool box and a red wagon. I missed out on the chair to a lady that had three pairs of reading glasses on her head, the brass chargers to a man I was sure I could take out in the parking lot, and the wagon got away too. It got pretty close on the utensil set, but I won. I was thrilled that I got the Mexican pottery. It was in a dilapidated box and had at least an inch of dust on it...they caught my eye and luckily no one else's. Later, after doing some research, I found out that the nesting bowls are "Tlaquepaque Mexican folk art" and highly collectible. Hand made and painted, I think they are one of a kind and fantastic.

{ Found Treasure: Green and gold pitcher, sugar dish and 3 cup set. I love the orchid pattern. 2 leaf plates and a pair of nesting birds, so cute!}

I quickly learned which 'numbers' to watch out for, number 72 bought nearly anything and everything and didn't display any sort of pattern in his he made me a little on edge that he might get what I wanted! But in the end, I won some and lost some...que sera sera.
It was a great day and I can't wait to go to another auction!

So tell me, have you ever been to an auction? Got any tips for me?

*EDITED* Well, I've done the research on the tableware set...Turns out the set is not brass, but bronze with teak handles. Sets like these were popular in the Vietnam Era. American Soldiers routinely sent sets like this home or brought them back when their tour ended. Because they say 'Thailand' and not 'Siam' (Siam was changed to Thailand in 1949) that puts the date to around the early 1960's. Insert Romanticisms like from ' The King and I ' here....:) Cool! I love finding out the history on things, don't you?

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Fall Living Room 2011

With the weather cooling down nicely, I always get that nesting feeling, you know it's kinda like that loving feeling except it's with your house.....anyway I've started the fall festooning and while there are a couple of more projects that I have in mind, I thought I'd show you some changes I've made.....

No matter the time of year, I change specific things to reflect the season and the gallery wall is one of them. I change a couple pictures around, add in the fall trees, and a leaf picture (taken by my good friend Judy). The printer's block art that I made stays and my favorite owl plate looks especially good for fall!

The coffee table gets it's fair share of display too. An apothecary jar full of hydrangea blooms, white ceramic bowl with pine cones, and berries....I robbed the little brass owl out of my bedroom and put him on a decorative rosewood box and plopped a cloche over him. Under that is a salvaged pitch fork and old book. To finish off the look, two taper candle holders.

The mantle is another area that gets gussied up for the season. I stayed symmetrical again like last year, but overall, it's a simplified look. I found a big heavy plaster container that was narrow enough to fit on the mantle and it really dictated what I did.
After deciding to do an arrangement, it needed to stay pretty simple after that....I used candle holders of various sizes with cream and white candles, some black and white pottery and added a dried gourd.

I changed the curtains to a nice plaid, I've had these panels for several years.

I wanted a collected/cornucopia/bounty look for the mantle, using fall leaves, berries, gourds, pine cones, pomegranates, and bittersweet. The branches are real that I saved from spring pruning, which left my husband shaking his head and walking away.
It ended up being pretty big. It looks a little more dense than it is, but the mirror is reflecting all of the branches (which I didn't anticipate, duh), it's really quite airy. It ended up looking fairly formal, which is OK, I'm down with that.
I'm so old school. There is a reason why I got a C in creative writing.

I decided to use the black and white pottery that I found at Hobby Lobby (earlier this year, remember?) to tie back into the black in the mirror.
And have you noticed the increasing amount of brass that you're seeing around here? I don't know why or how, but I'm beginning to sorta kinda like it a teeny tiny bit. Not that fake shiny crappy brassy stuff, but the old real tarnished stuff. And I like it mixed with silver/nickel, I'm feeling fearless on the mixing of metals front.

I've gotten my small collection of camp blankets out, although it's not quite that cold yet. I laid them across the arm of the tufted chair (that is still on the reupholster list)...Daisy (the beagle) didn't mind the extra layers at all. The little folding chair is what Logan likes to sit in.

Pillows change as well (yes, I'm a pillow hound), mostly to brown and a rusty red, the ikat pillow works just fine for fall and I love a bit of blue for fall.

The sofa never looks like this, I just want to bask in the neatness of it for now, right up until any male member of the family arrives. The poofy pillow angels are singing right now, I can hear them (one of them is off key).

I'm standing in the kitchen taking this next picture, I'm working on adding some touches in the kitchen too, but I'll show you that later. *Please note Daisy's bed that she's not in :)

In this shot, I'm standing in the entry, you can see how the front door opens right into the living room. I tried to create a small entry with a sofa table, but it's still not 100% what I want. For now, I laid some chevron fabric over the table and it has helped....I love the rusty color, you can find chevron in nearly every color now.
I'm thinking I might want to make something out of it...maybe. I do like the idea of plaid and chevron though.....

More singing.

I don't mind the driftwood lamp for fall, and added an art glass bowl with tiger lilies in it. I was shopping for hardware for my chain link dresser (which I didn't find) and ended up coming home with these beautiful blue glass knobs for my dresser in the living room...I wasn't even shopping for this dresser, but I love the added detail! Of course know one notices these things but me. :)

SO that is what I've done so far, I hope you can draw some inspiration and get your creative juices flowing!
A couple of things that I want to bring in:
Logs in the firebox instead of candles (I've always loved that stacked log look)
Antlers, if I can sweet talk my FIL out of some ;) I want to hang a mounted set above the round mirror and put some in a bowl some where....
I might go shopping for some different colored taper candles for the mantle, I'm not sure yet.

If you would like to see a ton more pictures (because I don't know when to stop...) please check out my photo stream HERE. This is just an inkling of them....:)

Hooked On Houses

The Lettered Cottage

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Autumn Pomanders

By now, you must know that I will stick nearly anything into a Styrofoam ball. I mean, why not!? For very little money and a three inch Styrofoam ball, pretty things could happen.
I have shown you how to do flower balls before....I used red carnations, check it out HERE, but since we are going into Fall, I thought I'd show you how to do it with fall flowers.
All of these flower balls are on a three inch ball, they just appear bigger, because the flowers are bigger. The bigger the flower, the bigger the finished product and vice versa, you get the picture.

I have my favorites, so I'll show you how I did one of them. I used hydrangea, big sunflowers, little sunflowers, spider mums and cosmos. My favorite ended up being the spider mums. When selecting your artificial flowers, they can be anything, just make sure the heads pop off and it stays together.
As well as flowers, you'll need paint, a 3" Styrofoam ball and a glue pan or gun and a paint brush.

Paint your Styrofoam ball with paint, I chose burnt umber, but any color will do, you can even match the flowers, I just had burnt umber out at the time. You are painting the ball just so white foam isn't peeking out from underneath the petals, (so I wouldn't pick a crazy color like blue either) This doesn't have to be full coverage, just get a good coat on and let it dry.

Pop all of the heads off of the flowers, I used approx. 20 heads of this medium size flower. Get more than you think you'll need, I'm amazed at just how many it takes. Start with the first flower, dap some glue on and press into foam.

Next, repeat on the opposite side of the ball, sort of in a north, south , east, west fashion....

Then start filling in all over the ball....

.....Until it is nice and full. Isn't it just happy looking?

Here's the cosmos ball (this one turned out really cute too)

The spider mum (with a few brown eyed susans thrown in)

The hydrangea one was the most painstaking, I will not be doing a second one of those, but these bigger flowers went very fast.

They could be a wonderful centerpiece, bowl filler, or could even be hung! I think it would be great to get even bigger foam balls and do ginormous ones for an autumn wedding or Thanksgiving! That would be fun!

At any rate, they have high impact and low cost. My kind of project. Have fun!



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Saturday, September 17, 2011

New Fall Wreaths for My Etsy

Happy Saturday everyone! Hope your weekend is going good It is a cold rainy mess here in MO, but we really needed the rain so I am happy to stay indoors.

I've been making some wreaths for fall and will be starting Christmas very soon. I listed these last night and this morning, but with the new 'relavancy' method Etsy has put into place, I thought I would share them here on the blog as well. Here are some wreaths that you can find in my Etsy shop right now (click below pictures to take you to the listing):


Fall Wreath with Fruit and Gourds

Fall Wreath with Sunflowers

Fall Wreath with Red Sunflowers

Thanks for stopping by! And thank you for your patronage! If you have any questions ask them here or shoot me an email.

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