Monday, December 16, 2013

Mini Trees for the Mini Me's - DIY

With the leftover branches I had after making our half Christmas tree, I was able to make two mini trees for my mini me and my husband's mini him. They each got to decorate their own trees however they wanted and proudly displayed them in their rooms.

All I did was take two branches and zip tied them together. I used three zip ties on each one; one each for the top, middle and bottom. I happened to have two baskets for the stands. I stood the tree in each one and wrapped old sheets and fabric around the base to secure them in place. Then I fluffed out the little branches.

Here is how they turned out.

Hers

Nightmare Before Christmas Tree

This year my family started the tradition of making a themed Christmas tree every year. This is year one and because we didn't do very much decorating for Halloween we decided to make our first tree a...

Nightmare Before Christmas Tree

click "read more" link to see how it turned out...


Friday, December 13, 2013

Alternative Space Saving Christmas Tree

Almost every year of my life, I've had a real Christmas Tree. Nothing compares to that fresh pine scent wafting through the house. Last year, was probably only the 3rd time in my 30+ years that I had a fake one. We got it for free, so we decided to give it a try. It was ok. It looked pretty after decorating it, but it was so big it nearly didn't fit in our living room. And, of course, it didn't deliver a wonderful fragrance. We were set on buying a real one this year and then we looked over our budget and our space and realized that it wouldn't be practical. We still had the fake tree from last year, so that saves at least thirty bucks on the purchase of a new one. Plus, I had an idea to make the tree fit in our space better.

Alternative, space-saving trees are plastered all over the internet. There is a growing trend of folks living in smaller spaces, so the subject of decorating for christmas without a giant tree has become very popular. There are also some people who just want a unique tree (or something else to take the place of a tree) regardless of space. I think my tree accomplishes both of these goals. It is unique and only takes up half the space of an actual tree.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Late Night Munchies Recipe - Breakfast Nachos

One late December eve, I was struck with a fierce case of the munchies. I skimmed through my fridge and cupboards to see what sort of ingredients I had. One jumbo bag of tortilla chips was screaming at me from it's shelf. I placed it on the counter. My first instinct was to grab some salsa, but to my dismay there was none, anywhere. "What else do I have that would be good on nachos?" I wondered aloud in my empty kitchen.
Cheese. Of course, cheese. I found the half block of cheddar right away and began to grate it. However, I knew that my hunger was too strong to be satisfied by only a measly plate of chips and cheese. I needed more sustenance on these beautiful, golden corn chips. I knew that I had no beef or beans in the kitchen, but I suddenly remembered the 1 pound of breakfast sausage that I had bought the day before and I realized what I must do next. "I must make breakfast nachos." I declared to myself in my empty kitchen. "And so shall it be."
I placed the tube of sausage on the counter along with a large yellow onion. I frantically searched again for some sign of beans that I could warm up, but I came up short. Diced tomatoes would have been great, too, but after a careful inspection, I didn't even have a can of spaghetti sauce, let alone a fresh tomato. With a defeated sigh, I forged ahead. I was determined to make "breakfast nachos" with what I had.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Retirement Community Sale and A Car Load Full of Stuff

I recently had the biggest thrift haul that I've ever had in my life! I think it was the first time that I literally stuffed my car full of yard sale finds all in the matter of a few hours. I'm talking stuffed, too! Every available spot in my car was filled to the brim and I couldn't even see out of my rearview mirror and only had a little peephole to see through my passenger side window. I guess you could say it got a little dangerous in that way.
I couldn't help myself. There is a large retirement community right around the corner from my house and they were having a neighborhood wide yard sale. Let me add, that these usually make for THE BEST yard sales. Not only are they conveniently all located close together, but they always have the oldest (true vintage) and most unique items ever. I hadn't even planned on thrifting that day, but when I saw their community wide sale, I had to go. And I'm so glad I did! Not only did I come away with a car full of great stuff for the shop, but I also met some really nice folks AND came home with a giant ocean painting for free.

-insert ocean painting here-
but i can't because i'm having technical difficulties uploading the photo.
damn.
I'll try again tomorrow.
But, I'll tell you, it's pretty great.
Picture a beautiful, blue and foamy white wave about to break, close to the shore, but no beach.
Just a few rocks in the foreground.
And a calm, blue sky with just a hint of clouds in the background.
Surrounded by a nice, golden stained wood frame.
Trust me, it's nice.
And big.
It's about 2 ft x 4 ft
And it looks nice in my bedroom.

Monday, December 2, 2013

MANIC MONDAY

Use coupon code MONDAY for 15% off of purchases $20 or greater. Offer is good until next Monday, December 9th.
Click the pic below to be directed to the shop.




Also, please enjoy this pic of Amy Poehler in high school, to make your Monday a little brighter.
Love her!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hello!

Just listed some totally rad 80s and 90s phones in the shop!

Watch the videos to hear their ring tones and be whisked away into a nostalgic feeling of wrapping yourself in a phone chord while talking to your junior high school boyfriend and listening to love song mix tapes.


buy it here




buy it here





buy it here


Use CAUTION when making 3-way calls, you could like totally turn your best friend into your worst enemy.




Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Vintage Cookbook - Rumaki Recipe

This is the first post of the vintage cookbook series, where I try recipes from old cookbooks. One of my favorite items to pick for is vintage books and I often find very interesting and sometimes very old cookbooks. I'm doing these posts in an effort to not only provide more interesting content for the blog, but to also force myself to try different recipes for my family. I find that sometimes in the every day grind, I get stuck making the same things over and over. I thought this would be the perfect way to get myself out of that rut and possibly find some new favorite recipes that will become a regular part of our menu.


Friday, November 8, 2013

Ohhhh Snap!

Loads of new snapbacks are in the store! They are coming in, in record number over here. Check back often to get first dibs on the new stock. 

In the meantime, get a super coupon code for available snapbacks and
a sneak peek at what is coming soon.



I can't be the only one who thinks that wolf looks like "Moon Moon."
Buy it here.

This might not be the original meme, but you get the gist.

More wolves.
Buy it here.
More Alaska.
Buy it here.

Nothing like a good corduroy cap.
Buy it here.

coming soon...
leave a comment for FIRST DIBS

coming soon...
leave a comment for FIRST DIBS





Saturday, November 2, 2013

This Old House- Queen Anne Victorian in Galesburg, IL






The first house in this series is one that I had the great fortune of actually viewing in person. It is a gorgeous Queen Anne Victorian from my hometown of Galesburg, Illinois. I drove past this house thousands of times growing up and always admired it's size and beauty. My Grandpa and my husband's Grandpa actually helped to restore it in the early 90s. My Grandpa is a skilled and lifelong carpenter, which might be why I have an affinity for quality woodworking.

When visiting my family in Galesburg this past summer, there was talk of moving back. In fact, a small family emergency and a job opportunity arose that made it almost inevitable that we would be moving back immediately. I quickly became obsessed with searching for available homes in the area and saw that this house was up for sale. This house that I had swooned over, time and time again, was up for grabs. It was too good to be true. And it truly was, because, well, we didn't move back. Things fell through, the timing was off and we didn't buy the house, otherwise I would be posting this as a house tour. However, the plan didn't fall through until after I was able to view the house. I set up a showing immediately.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Home Decor

I truly failed at decorating my house for Halloween this year. It is my absolute favorite holiday and I barely lifted a finger to let my house reflect that. I even failed at pumpkin carving, which is something I thoroughly enjoy. I bought 5 pumpkins to be carved, but they all rotted. I didn't buy them well in advance, which would give them the opportunity to rot before Halloween. I bought them just last week. We discovered that three of them were rotten on the inside when we cut into them. We gutted the other two, but as it got late, we decided to hold off on the carving until the next day. The next day turned into the next day and the insides developed black mold. Epic fail, all around.
I did, however, manage to create one space in my house that has holiday spirit. It is where my decorating began and unfortunately ended. I think it looks awesome and I'm at least happy that I was able to get one thing right this year. I am tempted to leave it like this year round. So, I thought I would get one last post in for the holiday before it is over. I'd like to share the little corner of my house that was lucky enough to receive the Halloween treatment.


I originally had a grotesque-looking, disembodied, plastic finger sticking in the phone dial, but my kids thought it made a better toy than a decoration and now I can't find it. Also, it would have been awesome if I had an Alfred Hitchcock book or movie cover, "Dial M for Murder" to put next to this phone.

My Mom used this picture for Halloween decor when I was a kid.

I've been on the fence about selling these books. I'm glad I haven't yet, because they make for great decorations.



I know that these "decorations" aren't anything spectacular, but it's all I had the time to do this year. I still think it looks pretty cool and it's the first thing you encounter when you walk in my home, so it sets the mood nicely. Hopefully next year I'll have more to show and I can make my house look really spooky. And next year, there will be pumpkins, even if I have to buy a whole pumpkin patch to make it happen!

Right before posting this, I found the finger! 

One redeeming quality about my meager Halloween decorations is that nearly everything shown is vintage! The books, the phone and even the piano are all 20 yrs old or older. The spider and the skull lamp are from the late 90s, so they are almost there too. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Haunted Vintage

Some believe that a spirit or energy can attach itself to objects. I'm sure most of you have heard old ghost stories about this topic. I specifically remember one that my cousin told me about a wiji board that was possessed. She told me that her Mom threw it in the garbage and the next day, it mysteriously ended up back in her room. Her mom threw it in the garbage a few more times all with the same result. Finally, she burned it in a fire pit in the back yard. She thought that solved the problem and they would never see the wiji board again, but it still came back. This story frightened me immensely when I was a kid. I didn't know it at the time, but that was one of those urban legends. But, is it possible that physical items can be possessed by a spirit?
There is a show on syfy, called The Haunted Collector, that explores this subject. A group of people travel around seeking items that are reportedly haunted. Some of these items are then put in The Zaffis Museum of the paranormal. Another widely known case of this type of phenomenon is the story of Annabell the haunted doll. Reportedly, a demonic entity had attached itself to the doll and displayed strange paranormal behavior often negative in nature. Eventually, world renowned demonologists, Ed and Loraine Warren were called in to help the people effected by the doll's activity. Read the full story here. Another paranormal show, Paranormal State, investigated a case that believed an evil spirit invaded their house from a voodoo doll. For someone like me, who frequents estate sales, buying items that belonged to a recently deceased person, the idea of their spirit being attached to said items is frightening.

Annabell the possessed doll

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Domo Arigoto Mr Roboto

While it may be a little too late in the game to order any costumes online, I still wanted to share my robot-costume treasury list. I would like to add that most of the clothes in the treasury list are vintage items and there is still enough time for one to find costumes from the thrift shop. And if I could offer a little bit of advice: don't just stick to the Halloween section of the thrift shops. Keep an open and imaginative mind and scour those shops from the sweater sections to furniture to toy aisles. You might find something extraordinary in a place that you might not initially think to look.

Like I said, I was late in the game making this costume treasury. I wish I would have thought of it sooner, because I am pretty sure I would have ordered some of these things for my costume this year. However, there is always next year and I will still have this treasury to look back on and be inspired by. Hopefully, I'll remember in time. And I hate to admit it, but I kind of hope some of this stuff is still available. I mean, don't get me wrong, I hope these wonderful shop owners get some sales, but if I'm not able to get one of those amazing robot helmets next year, I will be pretty sad.

And without further adieu, I present you with:

ROBOT INVASION


click on the pic to see the full list

Now, the possibility of purchasing these items in time for Halloween may be slim. However, don't be afraid to send a message to the shop owners about faster shipping. Some of them might be able to accommodate, but don't be mad if they can't. 

Would you like to a robot for Halloween, but feel like you don't have time to get the costume together? Never fear! You can whip one up in no time and still impress your friends. Seriously. Just google home made robot costume and search through the images. You will soon see how easy it can be.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

I Promise

I vow, with my whole heart, that I will never ever do an "upcycle" project that will ruin the integrity of a beautiful vintage item. I will never paint wood that should not be painted. I will never destroy a book to make a trendy house decoration. Books should be read. I will never paint a globe, so as to not see the land divisions of that particular time. That is a part of history and history should not be forgotten. Also, I find that shit really interesting. I might chalkboard paint something, because chalkboards have always and will always be cool. However, I will not chalkboard paint a mid century dresser with dove tailed drawers. I won't melt records into bowls... Actually, I have done that, but to be fair, I did listen to the whole thing and it really wasn't anything to brag about on facebook or anything and I was pretty sure that no one else would be yearning to hear that particular record, so.... yea. I might fuck up some records every now and then. Just know that I will make sure to give the record a fair trial before I cut it up and make a purse out of it. I'll never bastardize a designer dress or make a shitty skirt out of a perfectly excellent vintage t-shirt.
I'm giving this vow, because with the power of the internet, idiots are out there blogging about how they re-created a vintage piece, copying another shitty blog who destroyed a perfectly built hutch and painted it into a trendy nightmare, thus ruining the finish and patina that the item was intended to have. It kills me sometimes that people will paint an item to be look "shabby chic" when in reality, if you think an item "needs" to be painted, then it probably already is "shabby chic". Sometimes, re-paints are necessary. And sometimes they stray far from it's original finish and look really cool, but what happens when every skillfully carved victorian dresser is painted silver long after the silver trend is over? Do you strip and re-paint it? Re-store it? Long to have a blonde wooded dresser the way they were made back in the day?
Here is the long and short of it folks. I think the 80s are a good marker for when the manufacturing business changed. True craftsmen of quality goods were pushed aside to make way for a more "economical" business model. Meaning that, manufacturers wanted to save money by using the cheapest materials possible and pay the least amount of money to hire people to make said products. And now we have pressed wood entertainment centers that fall apart after a couple years. Dresser drawers break the minute you put away your sweaters and and hastily sewn seams unravel after minimal wear. This has become the norm. This is what its come to.
When your grandpa says, "Back in my day, people used to care about what they built. They would take pride in it and make it beautiful. A piece of art." He's speaking the truth. Everybody's grandpa has said that, in so many words, at some point in time. Or our dads or uncles... They've all said it and they're all right. "Back in the day", shit was built to last. And last it did. Except for maybe cars. Cars have come a long way in their available safety features. They may not always look as cool as they used to, but I got to give it up for science and research on that one. And big up to engineers who designed my car so that I would have better chances at getting from point a to point b safely. But, in the general sense of the term, these general goods that we use on a daily basis, are being manufactured to fail. The older items, however, were built to last. Grandpa, Uncle, Daddy, Brother was right.
So, when I see some of these bloggers out there posting upcycle projects that destroy genuinely good vintage pieces, I can't help but cringe. Don't get me wrong. I love a good upcycle project, but not when it destroys the integrity of a well-built piece of history. Please, crafters, do your research on things before you chop them up and paint them! Make sure you're not ruining the value of something by changing it. Think about re-storing things to their original grandeur first, before painting it a trendy color that will be out of style next season. By all means, don't stop fixing things up, don't stop upcycling. Don't stop saving things from going into a landfill. Just please make sure you do your research first and consider preserving vintage rather than changing it. They don't make these things like they used to and if too many people jump on the upcycle band wagon without the proper knowledge of the things they are potentially destroying, pretty soon we won't have anything left.


Friday, October 4, 2013

Geeks Don't Like To Be Called Geeks


Recently, I decided to re-watch the tragically short-lived tv series, "Freaks and Geeks," while I edit etsy listings. I can't believe I forgot how incredible the clothes were during that time. A transitional stage in fashion, where the hippy bohemian style was beginning to fade out to make way for the mid and late 80s day glo, ruffles and big hair. BEFORE the day glo and aqua net came, there was a sweet spot of fashion that is often underestimated. That's the pocket of style I'm inspired by right now.
In order to get myself out of a lousy mood the other night, I decided to scour the interwebs and immerse myself in pictures of the fashions of the late 70s and early 80s. I was particularly focused on middle school and high school styles, so I began my google search with class pictures from then. Let me just share what I found.


These sweaters are perfection and tons of knee high socks in various colors are on my wish list.

Check out that sweet yellow suit the girl in front is wearing.

Plaid pants! And those knee highs.

This family makes me smile.
Plaid pants and legit white boy afros.

and speaking of legit afros


Stripes and bell bottoms and long hair don't care.

That sweater!


Of course, let's not forget what got me thinking about this wonderful time in fashion, in the first place.

The geeks are my favorite. Especially Bill.

I've been coming across these velour button up shirts quite a bit lately and I could not be more happy about it.

the stripes

jean jacket. army jacket.


Sport these styles and you will most definitely.....


be cool

Thursday, March 14, 2013

My Threads

I know I said that I would post a pic of my vintage outfits every day, but I have failed in doing so. It's not for a lack of wearing vintage, in fact, I wear at least one vintage piece in nearly every outfit. I just feel so damned narcissistic when I do it.
Alas, I'm met with a conundrum. I feel like it is important for the blog and for the etsy store to show how old items can be made new again and fit into a modern day wardrobe. So, I would like to extend an invitation for anyone to send me pics of their vintage style to post here. Everyone has their own personal style and I would love to see.

Here is my outfit of the day. I find a lot of really beautiful dresses, which I wear quite often. With three kids, I need to be able to move around and often run around, so I usually need to dress my dresses down. For example, I'm wearing Chucks with this dress and I like it. Who says you can't wear tennis shoes with a dress? There are no rules.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My Threads

I like mixing things that you wouldn't expect to be put together.
 For example, this outfit.

The pleated maxi skirt was thrifted and the super hero shirt was bought new a couple years ago.

You don't always have to pair similar things together in your outfits. Play around with your wardrobe. Don't be afraid to try new things. You don't have to wear the same things that all your friends are wearing. You don't have to conform to what is trendy. Wear what you like. Wear what makes you feel good. 
This outfit makes me feel good.

Friday, February 22, 2013

My Threads

I've never been a big fan of bloggers who post selfies of themselves everyday. At times, it seems, this is more an exercise in vanity. However, I am in the business of selling vintage clothes online and to do that, I must have pics. In a perfect world, I would have a beautiful model at my beck and call, but I do not. So, in an effort to show how I style vintage, I will begin posting a pic of my vintage outfit every day.
 Every piece in this outfit is vintage, sans the socks and undergarments. I don't care how many times you can wash them, I will never wear someone else's underwear. gross. 
 I tried to fold the end of the belt up to look like a heart... it turned out okay, i guess.
 Also, my little sidekick here will most likely end up in many of my daily pics. love her.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

BEFORE & AFTER DESK

I recently came into the possession of two very large, wooden desks. My husband's boss was updating their office and decided to give these to us for free. It was perfect timing too, because my old desk was broken and was too small for my needs. The desks are great. They are built with quality construction and made of solid wood. The only problem was, they were kind of ugly. So, I decided all they needed was a little paint.

Originally, I wanted to paint every inch of these bad boys, but my husband said he liked the look of the wood. I think it's a man thing...most guys I know prefer the look of real wood over painted wood. So, I thought of a compromise, so I could still paint these and make them look a lot better, but keeping a little bit of it natural to please my man.

I'm not going to bore you with the how-to of this project. All I did was tape and paint.




These are the before and during shots above.



 And after.
This one is my husband's desk. Mine was already too messy to show.

And there you have it. 
A before and after project that cost ZERO dollars and proves that a little bit of paint can go a long way.


Saturday, February 2, 2013


There is something quite charming and magical about vintage items. They can take you away to a different place and time. They can show you a small slice of history, like, what the standard style of dress was in a certain decade or show you that at one time, telephones were not mobile and were attached to a wall in a home. Back then, when you were “on the phone,” you were almost literally “on” it or wrapped up in it by an immensely long, curly chord. These vintage items tell a story and you get double the story-telling with a vintage book.
When listing reasons why I love old books so much, I absolutely must begin with the smell of them. If you are a true bibliophile, I challenge you to go to a book store and NOT sniff the pages of the books you skim through. Even the new books smell great with that scent of fresh ink on new paper. However, the older books have more distinct and intoxicating smells. It has been proven that smell is a powerful memory trigger. I won’t go into all the scientific details of why, but if you want to learn more about that, click here.  I think that might be why so many people love the smell of books; because those smells remind them of something. Sometimes I smell books that remind me of early school days and other times I’m taken back to my Grandma’s living room. The scents from these pages can trigger so many memories and emotions, that your mind starts to imagine what kind of home the book lived in before it came into your hands and what kind of person sat up late reading it by a bedside lamp (or candle if the book is really old).  Speaking of candles, if someone made an “old book scented” candle, I would probably buy it by the case.

It's true. I do. Nearly every one that I pick up.