Thursday, March 11, 2010

Well, Isn't That Just Peach-y!

The word I pulled from my "word jar" this week was PEACH.  I am really glad this word popped up as it allowed me to explore the many items currently listed on etsy when I typed it into the search bar.  As usual, I explored both the HANDMADE and the VINTAGE categories.  There was no lack of items to choose from.  My only problem was that I needed to narrow my selections down to four.  So here goes:

My first pick in the VINTAGE category is this beautiful beaded and lace sweater offered by 2 and 2 Together.  I think I had one like this way back when I was in high school - and that is going back a ways!  This great shop has some great vintage items.  However, they seem to specialize in beautifully crafted pillows featuring exotic and interesting graphics.  If you are in the market for a pillow, they are currently running a special of buy one and get one at half price.  Check them out!

I found these stunning handcrafted earrings in Jess Kay Designs glorious shop.  Hey!  These earrings would look great worn with that sweater above!  This shop in filled with some really gorgeous handcrafted jewelry.  It offers necklaces, bracelets and earrings.  All are unique and high quality.  When you are there, be sure to check out the Clearance Section - it is loaded with bargains!

Back over on the VINTAGE side of things, I found this great set of 4 Haviland Dinner Plates being offered by Jen's Closet.  This is a beatiful pattern that features delicate peach & taupe roses.  Whether you need to fill out a set you already have or just need a set of 4 dinner plates for special occassions, these are perfect.  I have a soft spot in my heart for vintage glassware.  If you do, you are sure to find something it this shop that you will fall in love with.  She has china, crystal, Fire King, Pyrex and much more.  She also offers vintage linen, clothing and barware,  Give your eyes a treat and visit this shop!

Anyone who knows me, will not be surprised that I picked this HANDMADE hat by LA Originals.  My family is soon to be blessed with a brand new baby girl so I was naturally drawn to this hat.  But you really need to check out this shop if you are on the hunt for a knit hat for either a boy or a girl!  The variety of hats offered here will blow your mind.  Hats with Fruits and Vegetables, Hats with pom poms, huge flowers and bows.  I spied some really unique little cowls over there too.  You just have to take a look!

So there you go for this week.  I wonder what word I will pull out of my word jar next week?  Can't wait to go exploring on etsy for more great finds!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

etsy BEARS it all...............

I had a little trouble coming up with a theme for this week's etsy blog.  So I wrote down a bunch of words on little pieces of paper and tossed them in a bowl.  I drew one out and it was "bear".  What fun typing the single word "bear" into the seach bar and seeing all the possibilities!

Clickity Clack Collectibles has this most wonderful handmade bear named "Buino"  He is absolutely adorable!  Bruino is 18 inches tall, fully jointed and made from faux fur.  Please check out this shop - it is loaded with bears in many colors.  You will also find wonderful wooden puzzles and toys, purses and dolls.  This shop is well worth a browse!

Maybe VINTAGE bears are more to your liking.  If so, you have to go visit Eclectic Pelican!  This bear is very, very old and has tin eyes and nose.  He is perfect for the collector of old bears or as a display piece (especially at Christmas).  Eclectic Pelican sells a wide range of charming vintage.  The items I found there included drawer pulls, primatives, interesting stuff for the kitchen and clothing.  This is another great etsy find and I think you will have fun looking around this shop.

This one really caught my eye.  It is a beatifully hand knit bear by mKnits1.  This is just one of the many bears available in this shop.  What I really like is that this bear is so functional - it is durable and can be machined washed.  So after a lot of loving - which is bound to include a few drags through the dirt and food spills, he can be washed all brand spaking new and be ready to go!  He is 27 inches tall.   Check out mknits1 and I am sure you will find a cuddly bears that will steel your heart.

Christmas Angel  is offering this great VINTAGE fully jointed teddy bears from the 1940's.  You just have to love that face.  You know it is just saying "Come on!  Give me a hug!"  I really enjoyed my trip through this shop.  I was particularly struck by the wide variety of Paper Ephemera you can find here - postcards, photographs, etc.  If you are a collector of vintage Christmas ornaments - this is the place for you!  Christmas Angel has quite a few and all the prices are very reasonable!

All in all my "bear" search was quite a bit of fun.  Again, narrowing it down to just 4 items was a struggle.  If you are up for a good time, go over to etsy and type in "bears" in the search bar and be prepared for surprises and fun.  Or type in something else - it is an adventure waiting to happen!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Having a Baby - Then and Now

My oldest daughter just had a birthday the other day.  My youngest daughter is having a baby in July.  I guess these two things combined to make me start remembering and thinking about having babies and how different it is today from what was way back in 1969 when my first child was born.

Remember?  They made you stay in the hospital for a minimum for 5 days!  Jeez!  What the heck for???  And it wasn't even any fun!  You did not have your child in the room with you.  Oh No!  The babies were all kept in the nursery behind glass.  You could walk down there and stare through the window at your child - but you could not touch!

The nurse would bring your baby to you at feeding time all wrapped up tightly in a receiving blanket and you got the priviledge of feeding your child during the day.  Not at night!  You needed your rest, you know.  And absolutely NO ONE could be in the room with you when you were feeding your child - not even the father!

Speaking of fathers - these poor guys never even got to touch their child the whole time they were in the hospital!  They only could gaze at them from behind that nasty glass partition.  They were not allowed in the delivery room and they were not allowed to touch their baby until the day you brought it home.  How crazy was that!?

I remember one time when the nurse brought my beautiful little girl in for feeding and I just could not help myself - I unwrapped her from that tightly wrapped blanket.  I wanted to count toes and touch her knees and just behold the wonder of it all.  When the nurse came in and discovered my sin you would have thought that I was dangling her out the window by her feet!  Man, did she scream at me!  Oh the horror of it all.  She snatched that child from me, wrapped her up and stormed out of the room leaving me feeling like the worst mother on the face of the earth!  What have I done!  I UNWRAPPED her!  I have ruined her before I even took her home.  Somebody shoot me!

Lots of other things have floated through my head about the differences between then and now.  Things like no such thing as disposable diapers, plastic pants that got all crinkly and hard in the dryer, sterilizing bottles, tee shirts with snaps (no onsies back then) diaper rash (remember Desitin?), no car seats.  Oh and this one - You absolutely  NEVER put your baby to bed laying in his/her back!  Heaven forbid.  You must ALWAYS put your child to bed on its stomach - to prevent choking.

Yes, lots of changes between then and now.  But one thing that has not and never will change -  The joy of having a child.  The wonder at watching him/her grow.  The miracle of gazing upon a sleeping face and knowing all is good with the world.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Celebrating the Winter Olympics with ETSY

It wasn't difficult for me to come up with a theme for this week's blog about etsy.  I mean, isn't everyone watching at least some of the Winter Olympic events.  So I typed in "winter olympics" as my search keyword and was once again amazed at the number of items I was able to pull up and the variety of things available - both HANDMADE and VINTAGE.  Again, it was hard for me to make my choices - but here they are:

I fell in love with this original oil painting by Janice Trane Jones.  I love the period feel of this painting.  I also love that it highlights one of the Olympic events that does not get a lot of coverage.  This shop is filled with wonderful original oils (more that 50) and watercolors.  The subject matter runs the gambit from country landscapes, sea scapes to flowers.  Go on over and browse through this shop and give yourself a real treat!

On the VINTAGE side of things on etsy, I found this great set of cuff links and tie bar being offered by ReADressedResale.  These are a great Vintage collectible from the 1972 Sapporo Winter Games.  Perfect for the collector or the sports lover.  They can be displayed or worn.  This shop has a very interesting collection of vintage items that range  from more cuff links, Fiesta Ware and clothing.  You will surely enjoy your visit!

Back on the HANDMADE front, I found this great tile pendant celebrating the SPEED SKATER.  This pendent has been upcycled from a scrabble tile by Indy&Cleo.  This is a most interesting shop.  They have all kinds of upcycled tiles that cover a wide range of subject matter.  More speed skaters, flowers and geomatrics to name a few.  They also have some darling Sock Monkey items and other original art.  Give them a browse!

My final selection in the VINTAGE category is this beautiful scarf listed by MADMENVINTAGE.  This is a beauty from the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Games.  Remember that US Hockey Team?  MadMen have an extremely interesting collection of vintage offerings.  Thye seem to specialize in quality vintage clothing, but they do throw in some fun surprises - like globes, bow ties and even a typewriter.  It is a fun step back in time to browse through this shop.  I think you will really enjoy the trip!

Well, that's it for this week.  If you have not visited etsy yet, please take a few minutes to check it out.  Look at the shops I have highlighted here.  Or, be adventurous and type in a keyword - any keyword - in the search box and see what you come up with.  I think you will be surprised and pleased!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Gotta Love the Sun!

Wow!  We have finally had two days in a row where the sun came out.  Now, I don't mean it kind of peeked out  here and there through the cloud cover.  It actually came out and shone down upon me in its' full glory!

It felt soooooooo good!  I think I have a "spring in my step".  I did a blog a few days ago about gardening and sticking my toes in the mud but I have to now admit - that was really wishful thinking and faith.  I mean, it really seemed like maybe warmer weather was just going to take a pass this year.  No sun, no fun - or something dire like that!

But out old Mr. Sun came and now I can close my eyes and feel that warm mud oozing up between my toes!  I can see myself sitting out on the deck, face turned up absorbing the heat, sipping an ice cold lemonade!  Ah!  Bring It On!  Oh yeah, I can also hear myself lamenting the heat and wishing for the cooler weather to come back.  Happens every year.

I guess I am just so darned happy that I live in an area of the country/world where I can enjoy the four seasons, anticpate the coming change and complain!  Complaining about the weather is a favorite pasttime of us midwesterners - and thankfully - our weather patterns are very accommodating and condusive to complaints.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Spring is coming! Really! It is!

OK.  So I am sitting here looking out the window and the snow is piled up to my knees, the thermometer says is a whopping 14 degrees out there and I think I should go put a warmer sweater on.  So why am I thinking about Spring and gardening?  Well, the new seed catelogues are starting to come in the mail, for one reason.  That surely puts one into mind of summer and digging in the dirt and the smell of lilacs wafting through the air - right?

But another reason I have been thinking about spring and planting and toes in the mud is because I have been browsing around in etsy shops that carry all sorts of things for the outdoor garden.  I was amazed once again by the variety of stuff that is on this site.  It seems that no matter what your particular interest is, the talented folks over at etsy have something for you.

My Victory Garden  is the perfect place to start your search for things for your garden.  This is a beautiful shop that specializes in Heirloom seeds - both vegetable and flower.  The lettuce pictured above is called DRUNKEN WOMAN LETTUCE!  You just can't go wrong with that!  Browse through this shop and you will find some hard to find seeds that will really get your juices running to get out there and plant something!  And, this shop also offers gift certificates which is great if you need a gift for a gardener but really don't know for sure what they need or want - they can pick their own!

One of the best things about gardening is that it attracks all kinds of birds and butterflies to your yard.  I really fell in love with this darling birdhouse from Jenny's Tole Shed.  Check it out!  This shop is full of all kinds of handpainted, unique items - not just birdhouse.  It is well worth your time to brownse through.

The Succulent Garden  is a real fun shop to look through.  This shop specializes in homegrown succulent plants.  You will find some great cuttings, rooted plants, air plants and so much more.  I discovered some things there that I had never heard of before.  This shop also offers Gift Certificates for ease in gift giving.  Take some time to check out this most interesting shop!

The last shop I have chosen for this series on etsy is just pure eye candy for me!  True Connection has a wide variety of items made from recyled wood.  They have a motto "Saving Life One Tree At A Time!"  You just have to love that!  The artiistically crafted offerings in this shop includes birdhouses, birdfeeders, a wide variety of benches and tons of other furniture - both indoor and outdoor.  I believe that you can also custom order things if you don't find exactly what you are looking for.  Give this shop a look see and you will be amazed!

I hope that you all are enjoying this series on etsy.  I am determined to hunt through etsy to discover all the wonderful things that are out there.  My goal is to mix it up as much as possible and to find the unexpected.  I also want to mix up the HANDMADE and VINTAGE as much as possible.  I am open to suggestions on themes that you would like to see featured here.  Keep those cards and letters coming, folks!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Flashes of Memory

I recently had an email exchange with one of my cousins in which I had shared a little childhood memory with her.  It was a rather insignifcant memory - just something I used to do once in a while when I was a little girl.

But for some reason recalling this memory from my childhood seems to have opened a floodgate of memories.  Ever since this email exchange, I have been having the most amazing flashes of memories from those days long gone by!  Little vignettes of my childhood flash through my mind in little bits of what is almost like one minute videos of people, places and things that I have not thought about in years. 

There does not seem to be anything special about the memories that come forward - they are totally random.  They are not necessily memories of really important stuff either - just stuff.  For instance, last night as I was falling asleep, I had a flashing memory of myself and a good childhood friend, Margie, running down an old gravel road barefoot!  We were running and laughing and must have been heading somewhere fun!  I mean, I could feel the gravel under my feet!  It was a hot summer day and we were running so fast I was getting one of those stitches in my side.

I have never been one to always be looking back.  Well, I do somethimes think about my childhood and feel lucky to have lived in the time and place that I did.  See this early blog I wrote about my hometown of Winneconne.  Once in a while through the years my kids will ask about life "way back then" and I would tell them about the games we played (Annie Annie Over, Kick the Can) or the things we did that I would NEVER allow them to do - like play in an old abandoned barn, take long, long (and I mean all day) walks just following the railroad tracks just because.

But most of the time, I am content to live in today.  I acknowledge that my past - for better or worse - had a great deal of influence in shaping me into the person I am today.  But otherwise, I just sort of left the past in the past.  But I have to say these flashes of memories are fun!  I rather enjoy laying in the grass again with Janie Gavin and watching the clouds go by and finding shapes in them.  And I always loved swimming in the Wolf River so it was kind of fun to have that great flash of me running down the dock and jumping in and feeling that icy water cool my summer hot skin.

So come on memories - show me some more!