WHERE is Spring???

Ready for Spring!

I am SO ready for spring sunshine!  We had a couple of sunny ‘teaser days’ in January, and a gorgeous sunny and warm weekend last weekend . . . . the rest of the time . . .  rain . . . and MORE rain!  sigh.  Spring.  Spring.  Where art thou?

Although we haven’t had much in the way of spring weather thus far, I have been diligently working on new spring inventory; for my booth at Stars and the upcoming “Every Husband’s Nightmare Bazaar” in April.

Here’s a sneak peek at what I’ve been working on.

I’m really liking neutral tones this year.  And big jars of stuff.  Dried hydrangea, dried white pepper berries, assorted dried botanicals and assorted shells.

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Jars of spools and balls of yarns and BIG vintage spools of neutral color yarns.

And nests with eggs . . . . this set of three eggs with wood base and cloche top will be sold as a set.

Natural moss, bark and twigs (from my yard!) in a vintage apothecary jar with a little nest.

Big mercantile jar with lid and three nests; being sold as a set.

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It’s hard to tell from the pictures, but this jar also has three nests in it, each facing a different direction in the jar; moss on top of all the nests.

Small vintage bell jars with moss, nests, eggs and twigs.

Another ‘beach scape’ jar.  This jar is an old fish bowl.  This lid was from a big 2 gallon glass jar that I BROKE at my last show.  I decided to hang on to the lid, ‘just in case’ I came across another such jar when I’m out thrifting that was missing a lid.  Turned out, it fit this fish bowl perfectly.  The little sand castle was just a white plaster one that I covered with sand.

Just nests.  To give them a little ‘oomph’, I glued them to a big piece of bark.  Tied a little ‘nest’ tag onto some of them; added feathers to some.

More ‘just nests’.  These with super tiny speckled eggs.   See the comparison photo with the nest on bark for egg size.

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Assorted vintage containers with various eggs and nests.  The eggs in the tallest jar are ‘chicken egg’ size.

More of what I call the ‘mercantile’ jars; this time with bigger nests and ‘chicken’ size eggs in them; ‘nest’ tags and vintage keys tied to the lids.

Finally ran out of nests and had to start just using the assorted mosses and excelsior that I had on hand for fluff.

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Assorted vintage jars with moss and eggs.  I GLUED the eggs to the moss to prevent then from ‘disappearing’.

Using up whatever containers I happen to have on hand for the eggs and nests.  These metal candle stands were perfect ‘little nest’ size!  The darker nest is a ‘purchased pre-made’ nest; the other, a hand-made moss one.

I don’t remember where I got these cute little canning style jars, but they were perfect for a tuft of moss and three little eggs.

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LOVE these little apothecary style jars.  They are TINY.   Barely big enough for 2 of the tiny eggs.

I don’t even know what the original use for these metal tins is?!?!  I used to always use them for grubby primitive candles and ‘fixins’.  had a few leftover from my primitive days and decided to put nests in them.  These pictures show a good size comparison of the small vs. chicken size eggs.

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For those whom already have containers or cloches and just want to buy the nest, I did a few even without the added bark.  The larger white eggs in this picture are plastic eggs that came in the nests when i bought them.  The other eggs are ‘styrofoamish’ stuff that I hand painted.   All eggs are glued in place.

Close-ups of eggs.

I had a LOT of eggs to use up!  I had saved these glass baby food jars from buying baby food meat to make dog biscuits for my grand-puppy.  Spray painted the lids and printed up little ‘specimen #’ tags to glue onto the jars.  Placed one tiny egg and a pinch of moss in each one.

Will be taking some of this to Stars tomorrow.  MORE to Stars next week . . .  along with a BIG SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT.  And the rest to the spring show April 23rd.

 

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New inventory in my booth at Stars

All of a sudden there’s been a flurry of furniture selling in my booth at Stars Antique Mall, which means ‘room for NEW inventory’!  I was caught a little off guard this time and the only furniture items I had ready to deliver were shabby white.  I will usually stock darker furniture this time of year, but . . . oh well!  Here’s what’s new:

LOVE this vintage vanity bench!  The existing paint consisted of a very pale aqua/sage green undercoat, topped with pink and topped with a creamy white.  The varnish on top of all that paint was very splotchy, drippy and yellowing, so I gave it a good ‘once over’ with the orbital sander . . . .and here it is!

This simple little three-legged half-table is super light weight and worked perfectly to stack atop another table to create some height in my booth display.  I mostly left it as I found it, and only distressed the top a tad bit more.

Another little white table, pretty basic design and was originally stained a light pine color.  I think it might have been part of a set of nesting tables, but little tables like this are convenient for so many different uses.  I sanded it, painted it white and distressed it.  (sorry about the one blurry photo!  I’ll try to remember to replace it.)

I actually have THREE of these little three legged stools; and even painted them all white!  I only have one stocked in my booth for now though.  They look like milking stools, but they don’t have the handle on the side.  I thought they would make nice stands for a dessert display.

A vintage slat wood picnic basket, and this time I left it ‘as found’ instead of painting it as I’m typically inclined to do with the picnic baskets I procure.  I almost passed this one up because it had one of those ugly plastic liners inside.  I actually had put it back on the shelf and was ready to walk away, when I decided to take another look and see how difficult it would be to remove the liner.   Turns out, the liner was not attached at all and pulled right out!  So into my shopping basket it went.  One feature of this basket that I especially like is that the lid is hinged about 3/4 of the way on the top.  Usually the WHOLE lid is hinged on the outside rim, and those hinges break easily.  So I’m thinking this one will be much sturdier and hold up a lot longer.

I stacked the newly added unpainted basket with a previously stocked and painted white basket that I stenciled “EAT” to the top of.  Little wood stained step stool is kind of ‘fancy’ with a beveled edge.  Old apple basket dry brush painted white and filled with apothecary jars.

Grubby little step ladder.  You can NEVER have too many of these!  They are awesome for displaying stuff on, but they usually sell super fast.  Most of the time I will just lean them in my booth so the shopper doesn’t have to unload it to buy the ladder.  But I was in need of more display space this time, so I loaded it up with Halloween decor.

LOTS of vintage milk glass vases.

For some reason ‘beach decor’ season totally slipped my mind!!  I usually stock the beach stuff right after Easter . . . better late than never, I guess!

Vintage white wire garden fencing candle chandelier.  The candle lanterns easily lift off for easy transport.  Just add your own battery or regular tea lights.

Assorted vintage treasures.  Those vintage ‘dirty joke’ cocktail napkins are HILARIOUS!

PLEASE don’t let the construction on the block next door scare you away!!  Dealers are stocking new items daily, and the parking is NOT as bad as you might be thinking!  

P.S. Stars sale coming REAL soon!!

 

Re-visiting burlap wreath making

It’s wreath making time for me again.  Yes, I am STILL trying to use up the supplies that I have on hand; and I’ve been putting off making the wreaths because they are so labor intensive!  Here is my previous post on wreath making.  I’ve come up with a BETTER way to make them this year though!

First, we have the wire wreath forms.  The ones on the left I got at a garage sale eons ago.  The one on the right with four rungs, I bought at Dollar Tree, but you can get them at any craft store if you prefer to pay a lot more for them!

The first few I started with were made using plastic mesh.  Again, I got mine at DT, but you can pay more at any craft store.  AND you can get wider sizes at craft stores.  this size worked just fine for me though.

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(Pardon the puppy paw at the top of the photo.  I had Willow for the weekend and she wanted to help!)  The bigger white mesh wreath was made using a bigger 2-rung form that I had with the batch from the garage sale.  And the picture above shows my new method for making the wreaths: twist your chenille stems onto your entire piece of wreath material (whether it be mesh, burlap or ribbon) FIRST.  Previously I had added the chenille ‘as I went along’, which gets very tedious!

I cut up my chenille stems ahead of time, before starting on the wreath.  That way, I have them all ready to go and can get into a better rhythm when tufting my ribbon.

By doing it this way it’s easier to take breaks if you need them (which I do with my carpal tunnel!) between strips of material and attaching them to your wreath.  Also, the actual construction of the wreath goes by much faster this way.  Overall, it probably takes the same amount of time, from start to finish to make one; but this new way it feels less laborious.

And then it’s time for embellishing.  I actually made ALL the wreaths and left them plain for a bit; then went back and added the embellishments to all of them at the same time.  I just lined them all up and started sampling the different add-ons that I had on hand.  For the sale of continuity though, I will show each wreath, start to finish.

I went super simple on the 2-rung aqua mesh wreath, and just added a simple gold glitter ‘Believe’ ornament.  On wreathe like this, where I am adding minimal adornments, I do not permanently attach the added decor.   I note on the price tag that the ‘Believe’ is removable; and this adds to the value of the piece because it can be used  without the added piece after the holidays.

Next is the fluffier 4-rung aqua mesh wreath.  On this one, as well as the big white mesh wreath, where I am using a lot of smaller adornments, I glue them on with tacky glue.

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That’s it for the mesh wreaths.  I wish I had written down how much mesh I used on each wreath, because I really do not remember.  I ‘think’ the big white one took 7 of the 5 yard spools.  The fluffy aqua one, 6 spools; and the smaller aqua, 4 spools.  When in doubt while purchasing supplies, buy MORE than you think you will need.  No harm in having extra left over.  But if you don’t buy enough . . . you might not be able to find more of the same when you go back!  Especially at Dollar Tree.  If you don’t buy ALL you want of think you will need at the onset, it’s VERY likely that you will never find more of it again.  And yes, I learned that lesson the HARD way!

On this one, I DO remember exactly how much yardage I used.  This is one of the 4-rung wreath forms, and I used a full 50 yard spool of Costco burlap ‘looking’ wired ribbon, and five yards of the ‘Merry Christmas’ ribbon.  The 4-rung wire forms pretty much take twice as much yardage as the 2-rungs.

This one is made from actual 5″ burlap on a 2-rung form.  Bigger, fluffier folds using 10 yards.

The printed burlap banner is just attached with safety pins on the back, so it is removable; allowing the wreath to be used year round.

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Size comparisons of various wreaths.

Another wired ribbon wreath, on a 2-rung form.  This one took about 40 yards in total.  For the two colors, I first added the print ribbon spaced out; then filled in with the red ribbon.

This one was a real challenge!!  I only had 10 yards of the ribbon to work with, and no coordinating colors to fill in with if needed!!  Fortunately this printed burlap ribbon was wired AND very stiff, so I could really fluff up each tuft and space them out more than with the soft ribbon.  I have to very carefully position each tuft ‘just so’ to hide all the attachment wires, and they will shift a bit with handling; but once hung in place is will be fine.

The turquoise burlap ribbon came from DT, the cream colored from the craft store, and the little big of green in the smaller starfish wreath came from who knows where??!  It was just in my supply box awaiting use.  I did both of these on 2-rung forms; and glued on the starfish.  I thought about making the starfish removable, but couldn’t figure out a way to do that without tying them on; and I didn’t like how that would look.  These took about 20 yards each to make.

2-rung form with 10 yards of the printed ribbon and about 6 yards of the red.  The printed was very STIFF (like the music notes ribbon) so I was able to spread it out a lot more than the solid red ribbon.  The red glitter ‘Believe’ ornament is just attached with chenille stems, so it’s easily removable; making the wreath usable other that just for the holidays.

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In the picture, this one LOOK like it’s all one color.  In fact it is two different shades of gold, because I didn’t have enough of either to finish it.   But I thought I had enough, so I didn’t plan ahead to intermix the two colors as I have on other bi-color wreaths.

The two different colors are just barely discernible, but you CAN see the difference in the picture on the left.  The ‘Joy to the World’ ornament is just tied on to one of the ribbon loops.

This one took 8 yards of the striped ribbon, and about 4 yards of the red.  Again, I didn’t have enough ribbon to complete the wreath and had to get creative.  I used some burlap ticking fabric to make a BIG bow at the top to cover up the area that I didn’t have enough ribbon to cover.

I’ve made a pretty good dent in my wreath making supplies!!  I still need to make a few more, but need to give my fingers a rest.  My right thumb is nearly raw from twisting chenille stems.

Adding just a little color

Pair of pretty shell prints in monochromatic color scheme.  Initially I had looked at these ‘just for the frames’; but the frames were not removable.  I really liked the pictures, and usually I’m all about monochrome colors.  These were just TOO bland for me.

I have always liked this kind of ‘text book’ drawing; so I decided to buy them and see how difficult it would be to repaint the frames with NOT being able to remove them.

The hardest part of this quick make-over was taping the paper over the glass to protect it while I painted the frames.

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A couple of quick coats of paint; then some sanding (sand BEFORE you removed the paper covering the glass!).  Just a touch of color; the distressing brings out the original frame color to coordinate with the pictures.

Which do you like better?  Original color or the aqua?

Upcycled beach treasure box

Just a simple, almost ugly, little wood box.

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With a very BAD paint job I might add.  The paint was kind of ‘curdled’.  Bleck!

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Not sure WHAT the deal is with the partially painted innards, or the raised parts on the sides???  But it IS ‘clean’ inside and paint will easily cover all of that.

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It took a LOT of paint to cover that bright red; so instead of a THIRD coat on the inside, I added some pretty scrapbook paper.

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And a white fingerling starfish on the top.  I HAD to leave this one ‘un-distressed’ due to the first coat being red.  I COULD have sanded off all that red paint, then repainted AND distressed.  But on a small project like this you need to be sure you aren’t spending more time than you can recoup in your selling price.

This one has sold already too!

Beach cottage decor in my etsy shop

It’s been a while since I blogged about my etsy shop; so here you go!  A post about the great beach cottage decor items in my blog.

LOTS of Framed white fingerling starfish.

Great hung alone, or in a group.

OR hang a sea glass wreath with a couple of framed starfish.

 This is the very LAST of the sea glass wreaths that I will EVER be making.  I had stumbled upon a ‘once in a lifetime’ AMAZING buy on the glass to make these; and I’ve finally used it all up.

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For as ‘simple’ as they appear to be; they are EXTREMELY time consuming to make also.  There is NO way I could actually charge for the amount of time I put into them. Lesson learned.   Even though they were so labor intensive that they can’t be make ‘profitably’; they really are beautiful in person.

When I first got the sea glass and was sorting through it, I had set aside a few ‘extra pretty’ pieces.  Some uniquely shaped; perfectly round or square or like gumdrops.  they were just too special to mix in with all the other pieces on the wreaths.  So, I put together some little ‘treasure’ boxes for them.

I custom blended this glitter for these mermaid crowns.

And of course, beach cottage SIGNS in my etsy shop!

Beach cottage decor just stocked at Stars

I usually stock my ‘beachy’ stuff at the beginning of summer.  A bit late this year with my move and all.

P1210669Better late than never. I guess!

P1210645I filled this glass conservatory with assorted glass bottles topped with shells and starfish; and placed a sea-glass wreath over the top.

P1210646I made several of these wreaths in various colors a few years ago when I found a great buy on the sea-glass.  The BIG ones like this are $35.00; take about a week to make.

P1210647Closer look at the bottles in the conservatory.

P1210648There is a specific name for this kind of ‘shell collage’ that I made on a candle pedestal, but it’s escaping me right now.  The little three section frame, I added turquoise paper and glued shells and starfish on.

P1210650I filled the big birdcage with shell topped bottles and some shells and starfish on tall candlesticks.

P1210651Closer look at the shells in the cage.

P1210649Some small apothecary jars filled with shells too.

P1210652The smaller sea-glass wreaths are $13.00 – $19.00

P1210666Vintage ceramic clam shell bowls.

P1210681These framed shells are on a sand paper backing.

P1210682A small framed shell and a photo of a shell.

P1210680Upcycled beach lantern.

P1210683Another sand paper backed shell collage; shell topped cloches, shell filled and topped jar and a jute wrapped candle jar with starfish.

P1210685Old rope and starfish wreath.

P1210686Starfish and grapevine wreath.

P1210687Burlap and jute wrapped wreath with shells.

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Vintage spool corner shelf

Spool style corner shelves always seem to sell well for me, so I grab them whenever I find them at a good price.

P1190766Even though many of them are the inexpensive ‘kit shelves’, they are quick and easy to make over.

P1190767This one had a little ‘bonus’ feature; keyhole hangers on the top shelf for hanging it on the wall!

P1190768It does take a bit more time to paint the spindles than the flat surfaces, but it’s still pretty quick.

P1190787I try to paint 2-3 small projects at a time.  Paint the first coat on this corner shelf . . . .then work on a second piece while that paint dries.

P1190791Flip the corner shelf upside down and paint the undersides of the shelves and second coat on the spindles.  Work on second project while that dries.

P1190789For the second coat, and to expedite the process a bit, I apply the second coat to the underside BEFORE flipping it back over.  Since I’ve already got two coats on the spindles, they are done; so I can handle them to flip it back over, and while adding the second coat to the topside!  (that is the method to my madness!)

P1190792The spindles have to be ‘distressed by hand’ (with sand paper!)  The shelf surfaces and edges can be done with an orbital sander.  I always use a power sander when possible, since I have such a bad back and hand sanding is hard on my back.

P1190790You can see that I did not distress the underside of the shelves.  All in all, I probably spent a total of one hour painting and distressing this shelf.

P1190859As I already mentioned at the start of this post, this type of corner shelf always sell well for me.  And this one has already sold in my booth at Stars.

Framed starfish

Will be putting these items in my etsy shop in the next day or so, in the newly added ‘BEACH COTTAGE DECOR’ section.

P1200144Set of two ‘floating’ white fingerling starfish, mounted on 8.5″ x 7″ (outside edge measurement) distressed aqua frames.  $37.95 + shipping.

P1200145These are REAL dried starfish; 7-9″ across.

P1200146Either frame can be hung either horizontally or vertically.

P1200148This second pair of frames is slightly deeper and larger, measuring 9.25″ x 7.25″.

P1200149The deeper aqua frames are distressed.

P1200150This set will also be $37.95 + shipping.

P1200152Single distressed turquoise frame is 7.5″ x 9.5″ and 1.75″ deep.

P1200151This one is $21.95 + shipping.

P1200153Unique 10.5″ round wood distressed aqua frame; $24.95.

P1200156I have three of these 9.5″ x 11.5″ distressed oval white frames with mounted starfish.

P1200155These are individually priced at $27.95 ea + shipping.

NEW! Beach cottage decor ~ in my etsy shop

P1200044Some large and small starfish plaques.

P1190995The large ones are 11″ across; have a sawtooth hanger on the back and are sold individually.

P1190949These smaller ones are 5″ frames; sold in set of three, as shown.

P1190952These small one have a sawtooth hanger for hanging on the wall and a removable wood peg for sitting them on a flat surface.

P1190977And I finally used up the last of my beach glass on these wreaths.

P1190964This one is light green and white.   These wreaths take take several days each to make.  Each tiny piece of glass has to be carefully hand selected to fit together just right, and is then glues in place. Once one layer is full, I have to let the glue dry for 12 hours before building the next layer on top of it.  There are approx 12 layers of glass on each wreath.

P1190968I make my sea glass wreaths on FLAT wreath forms instead of the tubular looking styro wreath forms.  But they are NOT flat once I’ve built up all the layers of glass.   I just think this way they are a bit more ‘organic’ looking.  Although it does take a LOT more glass this way!  The one made using the styrofoam wreath forms just look to ‘perfect’ to me.

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Once I’ve added all the layers of glass, these beach glass wreaths are VERY big and full.  I even partially cover the back with glass so no bare spots will be visible when they are hung.P1190971This one is a brighter green with bits of aqua.

P1190969This is the back.  Not as completely covered as the front, but enough that you don’t see any bare spots on the back when it’s hung on the wall.  (and yes, the ARE very heavy!)

P1190970Looking at the side angel you can see how deep they are, and why that little bit of extra glass on the back is important.

P1190974Darker blues and aquas.

P1190976Such pretty colors!!

P1190980All these items are available to purchase in my etsy shop.