Friday, June 20, 2014

Family Adventures - Fuller Lake

Despite the fact that we've taken vacations to the ocean every year of his life and been to this very same lake a few times, Oscar says he's never been to a beach.  The nearest ocean is quite a few hours away, so we hit up Fuller Lake instead.  It's close by and the drive there is really nice and scenic.  The water was super cold and full of splashing kids and the beach was pretty crowded, but we still had a great time!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

New Girls

Here are a few of the most recent girls I've added to the shop.  I'm still not completely sold on the hair on that first one, but she's growing on me.  I am quite smitten with the rest, especially the sweet gal with her eyes closed!  Those faces are my current favorite and I have been meaning to make a circus themed girl to keep for myself, like the one I have listed here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


If you follow me on Instagram or have ever had a conversation with me about vintage cookware and kitchen items, you probably know that above all others, I love the Cathrineholm lotus pattern.  Sure there are lots of great vintage patterns out there, but something about this pattern has always appealed to me.  Unfortunately, it must appeal to a lot of you, because the prices for lotus pieces are usually pretty damn high for my cheap tastes!  Years ago I saw a pair of pots for $40 and I passed on them.  I'm definitely kicking myself in the ass for that now, because I'm lucky to find a tiny plate for that much!  Instagram shops have been great at enabling, um I mean helping, me to add to my small collection and I am forever hopeful that I will find some at a thrift shop one day.  Oh I feel like it's necessary to tell you readers that Cathrineholm is not a person.  That was the name of the factory that made these lovely pieces!  You can find out more on Cathrineholm Fan and find some great reproductions here.  Of course, you can always find pieces on Etsy and eBay and I'd be happy to email you my address for gifts.  Hehe!  This is my small, but much loved collection-

 The red pot is actually a Dansk, but that's an obsession for another time!
I recently got super excited about finding two lotus bowls at a local antique shop, but that quickly faded when I saw the price tag.  I got this little beauty from my favorite Instagram seller for a much more reasonable price!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Recent Finds

Our local thrift shops have been so picked over and sad lately.  A few have seriously raised their prices on anything they deem to be antique or collectible too.  The antique shops in the area have actually been a much better source for cute and affordable vintage items.  Here are few goodies I've found lately-

 I have a thing for animals with carts and wheelbarrows.  They're just somehow cuter than empty-handed animals!
 I like to think that this deer is a bit snobby and is turning her nose up at whatever I choose to put in this cute planter.  I can appreciate a little snootiness.
 See what I mean?!  He's a million times cuter than just a regular old bear!
 I rarely leave behind fun vintage cookbooks, especially when they are three for a dollar!
 I wonder if this pig would be cuter if he had a cart.  Just kidding, he's freaking adorable!
I know I recently sold about forty vintage rubber toys, but this one was a keeper!  He's front and center in my little display of vintage circus items, like an adorable furry ringmaster!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Lake Tobias

I know it's Monday and I always post music, but I'm posting something else this week!  This is my blog, so I did make that rule.  I'm allowed to break it!  Sunday was Father's Day, but it was also my husband's birthday, so we spent the weekend celebrating.  Donnie's only real wish was to go to a zoo, because although he's a little awkward with humans, he quite loves animals.  I love that about him!  Seriously, he sends me photos of random cute animals almost daily and always ask if we can have them as pets.  The first time I ever saw him cry was when our pet hedgehog, Pixie, died.  You get it- the guy really loves animals!  So anyway, he requested that we go to a zoo.  I suggested we try someplace new and after hearing good things from a coworker, we chose Lake Tobias Wildlife Park.  Go to the website to read about this place's history.  It's a neat story about a man who essentially just decided to start this whole thing himself.  His family still lives on the property and helps with the running of the park.  I'm really glad we chose it over one of the large major zoos, because it turned out to be so lovely!
There were baby animals galore!  Do you see that tiny wallaby?!  And don't even get me started on the baby goats in the petting zoo!  That's right, a petting zoo full of adorable baby animals to pet and hug and giggle over as they run by.  Maybe that was just me.  I am seriously fond of baby goats!  There were also guinea pigs, the fattest pig I've ever seen, some sheep, and a random lemur in the midst of it all!  You couldn't pet him, though, sadly.
Lake Tobias offers a neat safari in old buses that are missing the tops.  You are able to feed the animals, so they are quite used to the buses full of people and came right up to us!  It's gorgeous scenery, even without all the beautiful animals, but it's especially cool to look back and see a herd of deer or cattle trailing behind the bus.
We loved how accessible a lot of the animals were there!  That adorable little pig is Hamilton and when we first saw him, he was in an enclosure with some emus!  Then we met him again while he was on a walk.  There was also a baby camel out for a walk at one point, lots of chickens and some peacocks just walking about freely, and a snake and baby alligator to touch in the reptile and amphibian area.  There are tons of areas for picnics and playing and even a little walking trail that sort of goes along the rear of the safari area.  It looks like they were adding a few things, so I can't wait to go back and see what's new!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Shop Crush - Made By White

Made By White is a Australian company started by two friends who design and make great laser cut jewelry.   I've been a fan for some time, but have yet to actually own any of their lovely pieces.  Their colorful shop just popped into my head recently, though, and now I'm hooked again!  Besides their own designs, the shop also carries some pieces designed by other great like Lauren Carney and Mel Stringer.  

You can find these great pieces of jewelry and more in the Made By White shop!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Collections - Vintage Baby Rattles

This is a pretty new collection, so it's still quite small, but it's also quite cute!  The clothes pin rattle was actually still in its original packaging, but it wasn't in great shape.  You can bet I will be looking to add to this collection!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Shop Girl

Have you guys seen the movie that shares the title with this post?!  It's one of my favorites and made me seriously crush on Steve Martin!  This post isn't about movies, though, but I am pretty easily distracted!  A sweet friend of mine has recently been feeling discouraged by lack of sales in her online shop , so I want to share how I stay positive and keep it fun!  I know I'm still fairly new to the whole online and Instagram shop scenes, but I have managed to stay really excited about it all.  Now it's also just a hobby for me, so I don't feel much pressure, but I would like to have some amount of success.  Here are some of my tips, if you are thinking of opening up shop-
  • Sell what you love.  I don't think I've sold a single thing that I didn't like and it helps me to be excited about my items.  And because I'm selling what I love, I'm familiar with all my items and am able to easily answer questions and provide more information. 
  • Take your time, if you are making items.  Quality over quantity, duh!  I know it looks like I just glue a bunch of shit to other shit, but I really do lay everything out and put some thought into my items before pulling out the glue.  And I even go back with tweezers to clean up any messy glue spots or stray doll hairs!
  • Promote the hell out of yourself!  If you have an Instagram account or blog, share what you're working on and share when you update your shop.  Ask friends for help too.  I'm lucky to have friends with blogs who have linked to my shop, but I've also asked people to share photos on Instagram.  An Instagram giveaway is a great way to spread the word about your shop!
  • Get cute packing supplies!  That sounds a little silly, but I think it's much more fun to pack orders when you have fun supplies.  I found Tiffany blue boxes fairly cheap on eBay for my jewelry, had stickers made on Moo, and use patterned washi tape and colorful tissue paper.  I try to include candy or stickers too and always a handwritten note.  Besides making what could be a chore into something totally bearable, I think customers appreciate those extra steps and are likely to order again.
  •  Make sure to communicate with customers and ask for their feedback.  I'm not always able to ship things out immediately, but I always let people know if there will be a delay and why.  Storeenvy is great, because it allows you to email customers when you have shipped their order and include a tracking number.  You can do that with PayPal too.  With my Instagram shop, I actually had a few items arrive in pieces, but I always kept the communication open with those customers and did what I could to make it up to them.  You have to keep people happy, if you want them to keep buying from you!
  • Don't take on more than you can handle!  There's a reason I turn almost always turn down requests for custom items.  I work full time and have two busy boys to care for.  I'd surely end up pissing everyone off with the amount of time it would take me to complete requests and custom orders.
  • Ask for help!  I've sent messages to the owners of Instagram shops asking for their suggestions and bother my friends pretty regularly.  I also frequently have my husband help me pack orders and run to the post office.  Sometimes you just can't do it alone!
  • Finally, be patient!  There's no overnight success; You have to work for that shit!  There are going to be weeks, maybe even months, where you get zero orders.  I can see that it could be discouraging, but you have to just keep doing the above things! 
I'm by no means an expert, but I have a way of staying hopeful and positive.  It's not always easy and it sometimes involves tears and pep talks with family or friends, but I love working at it!  I've set some goals for myself, including doing an actual craft show eventually, and I think that helps me stay positive and focused too.  Good luck to all my fellow shop girls and guys!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Cake Toppers

On a recent adventure, Heidi and I seriously hit the jackpot and came home with an amazing haul of old stock cake decorations and toppers.  I already had a small collection of cake toppers, but I use them for my crafts and am always looking for more.  You can see some more of our adventure here and here, over at Heidi's blog.  I've already made a bunny topper into a pendant and have a bunch of ideas for some of the others that I can't wait to share!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Musical Monday

I sort of love Radiohead and watching Thom Yorke dance makes me love them even more.  He's definitely an odd little man, but he's got some serious moves.  Happy Monday!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Local Legend - Jacob's Church

There are quite a few local legends and ghost tales in the areas surrounding the town in which we live and one involves a church and cemetery on a back road.  I can recall hearing stories growing up of a hearse chasing people from the site, a body that can be seen hanging from an old oak tree, and the standard bump in the night sort of sounds and happenings.  A quick Google search of Jacob's Church or Miller's Church Road, Hagerstown brings up quite a few sites with the stories we all heard.  I remember riding by the site one night in one of my friend's little convertibles, a car full of giggly teenage girls acting silly and scared.  There were no hearses that night or bodies that I could see and I don't remember hearing anything at all.  I've never stopped at the site and I don't even recall driving past it as an adult, so I wanted to go check it out and see if it really was this spooky place.  I went during the day, of course, and I took Oscar with me, because he likes exploring! 

 The church no longer stands, after years of decay and vandalism, but there are still the remains of the cemetery.  It was sad to see many of the markers have been broken, defaced, and worn over the years.  It was quite the opposite of spooky and still lovely, despite the state of many of the markers.  There do seem to be some volunteers who maintain the grounds and have located and marked most of the burial sites.  I was disappointed that the church is gone, but I did find this site with a very old photo and the history of the church.  You can also view a list of the people buried there here.  I hope to do lots more local exploring this summer and maybe we will even return to this pretty little site.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


So Oscar is always suggesting hiking in the woods as a family activity.  I have nothing against hiking, but have you ever tried it with a clingy soon to be three year old and an extra cautious four year old?  I prefer to stick to places with paths and mostly smooth terrain and, luckily, that seems to be okay for Oscar too.  We recently headed to nearby Williamsport, MD to walk along the C&O Canal and, although the mosquitoes were out in full force, it was a really lovely "hike"! 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Monday Playlist

Can you believe it's June already?  The days sometimes just seem to fly by, but I try to manage a pace that's still slow enough to enjoy life.  I've been thinking about summer activities and lots of adventures that come with the warmer weather and longer days.  Anyone have exciting summer plans?  Mine is just to have lots of fun with my family and friends and craft, craft, craft!