Sunday, May 30, 2010

We're Having a Giveaway!

Journals in detail.

What's this mosaic, you ask? Why, it's a group of detail shots of the three handmade journals we're giving away!

Please leave a comment telling us your favorite item in our etsy shop or on our website.

ENTRY DEADLINE IS MIDNIGHT THURSDAY, JUNE 3, 2010 (Pacific Time) The three winners will be randomly chosen and notified on Friday, June 4th (be sure to leave a way for us to contact you if you win.) Please note that you must live in the USA to win.

The first journal up for grabs.

No two journals are alike. Each measures 9 3/4" x 7 1/2" with 100 sheets of wide ruled white paper made from 80% sugarcane pulp.

The second journal features pretty flower girls.

We created these journals using supplies offered in our etsy shop and on our website, which include authentic gilded Florentine paper from Italy, paper scraps from Germany and England and gold foil Dresden paper trims.

The third journal has an extra large pair of angels.

The inside covers are all lined with c. 1930s sheet music and the inside front covers each have a unique scrap or dresden as well.

A peek inside.

Hope you're all having a wonderful holiday weekend! And be sure to visit Mary at Little Red House for more mosaics.

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Touch of Glamour

Posting has been light this week because we've been on the road busily sourcing new supplies. An adventure to the north yielded a car load and included these glamorous finds...

Above we have velvet animal print ribbon. Soft and supple, this trim will add a wild yet refined twist to scrapbooking, card making, costumes, and so much more. I might have to make Thomas a collar with it so he can get in touch with his inner wild cat.

Above we have a couple of vintage velvet appliques, clear Czech rhinestones by the yard and a spray of reflector flowers in red. I can't get enough of these reflector flowers and had to show them to you in some other colors (we also found some in clear).

Wishing you all a wonderful start to summer! Anybody have any big plans for the holiday weekend? We're expecting warm sunshine so I'll hopefully be down on the beach!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

White Wednesday: Sheep & Flowers

It's easy to find ways to use my favorite cake stand even when I'm not baking. This one, from France, used to be my mom's. At Easter time I like to use it as a stand for an egg display. The rest of the year, I change it up for the seasons.

Here an old cast iron child's toy sheep stands next to a Victorian glass rose bowl filled with paper flowers. Below is a close up of the pretty white flowers from the painting in the background.

Be sure to stop by Faded Charm for more pretties in white.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Making a Sailor's Valentine

Making sailor's valentines was a common craft in the early 19th century, practiced mainly by men on sailing ships at sea for months on end, as gifts for their sweethearts or mothers and sisters back home. You can continue the tradition with just a few readily available supplies and the design can be as simple or detailed as you choose to make it.

You'll need: a sturdy box (cigar, wooden, papier mache), scissors, seashells and glue. Foil paper trims and lace are optional. We're using a papier mache heart shaped box from Germany. We don't use glue guns, but prefer a quick drying glue like Alene's.

Keep your design simple and don't worry about perfection - no two shells are exactly alike and that makes them even more beautiful. When placing the shells, we work out from the center.

We've glued vintage lace to the base and trimmed it close to the box edge.

A band of paper Dresden foil trim finishes that edge. We've also added a band of paper foil inside the box, to continue the design from outside.

A vintage brass stamping of an angel finishes the top.

This box works well for small jewelry and other treasured pieces.

Keep in mind that you can paint your box or work directly on the original surface; Dresden trims come in a large variety of widths and colors; you can find a huge selection of seashells, both natural and colored, in our etsy shop.

Be sure to visit Mary over at Little Red House for more mosaics!

Friday, May 21, 2010

From My Garden to Yours: Pelican & Flamingo Bird Templates

This flamingo keeps watch over an ornamental garlic and group of impatiens.

The weather has been so lovely lately and absolutely perfect for gardening. With blue skies and gentle breezes, I haven't been able to resist getting out there and know I'll be glad I did when the heat of summer arrives.

This guy belonged to my great-grandmother. She gave it to my mom and my mom let me have him.

Apart from my great-grandmother's garden gnome, my absolute favorite garden accessories are several vintage wooden flamingos on stakes and one lone pelican. Over the years they've weathered beautifully to where you can see the grain of the wood. Neat patches of moss have replaced old paint, and the flamingos have faded from their original pink color.

I love how the wood grain is exposed.

Just in case you need a flamingo or pelican of your own, I've included a template below for you to download. Just click for the larger version and drag it into your desktop. You can enlarge or reduce as needed.

This pelican came off his stake, but sits quite nicely at the base of a newly planted king palm.

If you want to put one on a stake, simply drill a hole near the bottom. Using needle nose pliers bend a thick wire through the hole and squeeze it tight. You can always use one of the stake legs from a tomato cage if you're hard pressed for a thick enough wire.

A close up of how the stake is attached.
Here's the template:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

White Wednesday: Treasures at Home

Seashells, wooden boxes, millinery flowers and embroidered runners - all mementos and projects that feather my nest and stir happy memories of days gone by...

I've filled this seashell box with old fashioned flocked paper forget me not millinery flowers.

At Christmas, the flowers will be replaced with greenery, berries and tinsel spikes with beads - an easy way to fit everyday items into the holiday decorating.

This is the time of year when we gear up for the next four months to get all of our ornaments made and ready by September. It's all glitter all the time around here!

I'm linking up with White Wednesday over at Faded Charm. Be sure to stop by to see more pretty ways to use white.

Just Arrived From Germany: Traditional Advent Calendars

Yes, yes, we know, Christmas is still quite some time off. But around here we're always thinking ahead and are SO excited about these new styles of advent calendars that we just had to tell you about them! Above is my mom's favorite called Santa's Sleigh. I love how the artist captured the warm light spilling from the windows.

Above we have Winter White House, a gorgeous Victorian style rendition of the White House at Christmastime. Below is my personal favorite, Christmas Village. The architecture in the square is so quintessentially Europe and I can't resist the tree with children gathered around.

We stock over 50 different styles of advent calendars on our website and add new favorites each year. All are made in Germany by a company making advents since 1946.

So, do you have a favorite?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Flowers Inside and Out

Is there any such thing as too many flowers? Not around here! From an antique pitcher of my great grandma's with cabbage roses and lilies of the valley to a yard long picture with white daisies inside, and hanging baskets of fuchsias and pots of foxgloves and columbines on the patio, we welcome flowers in all their forms and colors.

Be sure to visit Mary over at Little Red House for more mosaics.

Friday, May 14, 2010

More New Shop Additions: Wired Tinsel, Old Store Stock Lucite Buckles, Venise Lace Trims

Here are a few more things we've added to the shop this week. Above we have wired tinsel in fuchsia. This is wonderful for making ornaments, garlands and embellishing gifts and packages. We're also stocking it in turquoise, gold and silver.

Next we have new styles of venise lace rose bud trims in 4 styles and color ways. I love the pink and red one in the middle below.

Also in the mix are old store stock lucite buckles in 5 colors with glitter. These are just plain awesome! I think I'd use one on the handle of a purse as an unexpected accent piece. What would you do with one?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

New Shop Additions: Paper Flowers

This week we're adding a vast selection of new paper flower styles to our etsy shop. Each bud, blossom, pip and leaf is handmade with careful attention to detail. Here's a small sampling:

Above are country roses in ivory, pink mix and red. They have two-tone leaves and gorgeous curly petals.

Next we have two shades of old fashioned roses and a bouquet of forget me nots in all ivory.

Above are beautiful lilies in navy blue and a pink/white mix. We stock these in several other colors. On the right is an extra large rose in ivory, also available in six other colors.

And last but not least, we're very excited about these ruffled pom poms. The orange and yellow ones remind me of marigolds. We're stocking eleven different shades of these.

Be sure to keep an eye to the shop, as we'll be adding even more over the next few days.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Handmade Milllinery Flowers

I've always loved paper and velvet millinery flowers and, happily, they're not just for hats. Their appeal lies partly in that each blossom, bud and leaf is handmade and no two are exactly alike.

Here's a few groups of them I like to display in vintage silver baby cups. They come in so many shades of white!

They also make gorgeous embellishments for festive napkin rings, everlasting headbands for flower girls and attendants in weddings, corsages for proms and are the perfect size for dolls and teddy bears. How would you use them?

I'm linking up with White Wednesday over at Faded Charm. Be sure to stop by to see more pretty ways to use white.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My Mom's Favorite Collection

For as long as I can remember my mom has been drawn to Vienna Art plates. With colorful borders, art nouveau styling and beautiful portraits, they fit in seamlessly with her other Victorian pieces and serve as wonderful inspiration for color combos as we design our ornaments.

Produced around the turn of the century, these metal plates were America's answer to the expensive hand painted German and Austrian portrait plates and were used as advertising and promotional items. Can you imagine spending enough at the general store to earn a gorgeous plate?

Be sure to visit Mary over at Little Red House for more pretty mosaics. And Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day, Mom! I love working with you!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Survival of the Fittest

These plants have opted to grow in unlikely, hard-to-make-it places but are thriving nonetheless. The impatiens above are from an errant seed that burst out of a hanging basket and fell into a crack where the house, patio tiles and a cement walkway meet. Despite getting knocked into as the hose is drug past, they're growing just as well as the potted impatiens near by.

This little nasturtium above makes me smile every time I see him. He's popped up in a seam of the driveway near where I park and, being right outside my door, is in plain sight as I go in and out and always catches my eye. That's his first blossom so far and you can see there are several more buds getting ready to bloom.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

New Shop Additions: Paper Scraps from Germany & England

It's no secret: we LOVE scraps! And we've just added new styles to both our website and etsy shop. Here's a peek at some of my favorites. Above we have a sheet from England of horses in various poses.

Above are three sheets of bright blossoms. I especially like the urn with roses in the middle.

Last but not least are three more new styles with a Christmas theme. It's hard to pick a favorite here, they're all so beautiful! The gnomes in the middle are unlike any other scraps we carry and have such a wonderful bright colors while the Victorian Santa and girls scraps are perfect for making Christmas cards.

To see all of our scraps click here or here.