Tuesday, December 4, 2012

decorating ho ho Hum?

It really seems the older the kidlets get, the less interested I am each year with decorating all out for the Holidays.

Last year, I think we got our tree the day before Christmas?  
For shame!

It's not that I don't love the way it looks, and the feeling it gives, because I really do!  I just don't think they really care one way or the other anymore.

Or so I thought.

"Can we PUHLEESE get our tree earlier this year?"
If that doesn't make you snap out of it, nothing will!

Just lugged down 8 giganto rubbermaid bins, 1 extra large box, and one king size pillowcase full of Christmas Cheer from the attic!
(the pillowcase actually works really well for storing garland - the pine type)

Christmas decorations I collect:
Nutcrackers: because Chase used to love them as a kid, it's the only reason.  So now that I have one for each family member I think I'm good on these.  You can usually find one that is themed to suit your particular family's interests.

Tree toppers:  reproductions so they can stand easily.  And because someone is going to bump into the coffee table and break them, newer stings a little less.  I store them inside our super fluffy stockings inside the bins, has worked for 3 seasons thus far!


Vintage Ornaments:  because they're just better than new plastic ones.  And as fragile as these are, you have to nod in respect to someone who managed to not only keep them intact, but with their original box for so many years!   
I just bought a box of 4 little mercury glass Church shaped ornaments.  The box was in near mint condition, as were the ornaments.
Until I dropped them on the step on the way into the house.  Broke 3 of the 4.
SERIOUSLY?!
This woman keeps them unharmed for over 60 years - I have them 1/2 hour and POOF!?



Moravian Stars:  who am I kidding, these are not limited to the holidays for me.
Actually, there is much in the land of Holiday Decor offerings that can be used year round!


These mirrored stars I got at Cost Plus World Market a few years ago.  They were holiday decor, but I didn't think anyone would really know, they've been up since!

Ceramic Christmas trees!  The ones you likely made in ceramics as a kid?
I'm up to 4 in various sizes, Matt doesn't seem to think we need anymore, but I bet you HE spots the next one first!
And they're spaced out nicely.  2 flank my fireplace, one huge one on my dining room table, and one in the window on our staircase landing.  Hardly overkill.





Anyhow, they're going for up to like 2 bills online these days, so keep an eye out at yard sales!
But without a doubt, when you ask the price, I guarantee you the person will say:

"Ohhhh, that belonged to my (insert family member here) and I just LOVE it, I don't even know why I'm selling it"
Swear! This happened to us TWICE!


We had those plastic fake candle lights in our windows growing up, and I loved how it made our bedroom glow!  I am on the hunt!
I've only got 3 and the color of the lights don't match, so they may not make it up this year.  Unless I find a few more sets in the next 2 weeks!



We usually do a Lego Advent calendar, last year Target put them on clearance and I set a reminder in my phone to remind me!  Look whose pretending to be all organized! 

Lighted garland will be hung on the tops of the kitchen cabinets, and beside the occasional Santa or Snowman the kids have made that'll be it.

Of course it's a great excuse to ramp up your candle usage, as sparkle is just added bonus!  With my flowers I'll try to stick with reds and whites, it's probably the only time I even buy red flowers!



I think you have to remove some of your everyday decor to allow for your Holiday items to stand out and take center stage.  Also, this allows you to switch things up when you bring your regulars back out.  I also find that the house always looks so barren once the tree is down and all the fun knick-knacks are packed up again.


Hope you're putting your own Holiday touches around.  I know we all get busy, and NO ONE likes to go in the creepy attic to get them all down - TRUST.

I'm happy I'm getting back into it, all the lights look so pretty at night, and it's a calmer, constant reminder of the holidays.

Next on the agenda- the Christmas trees!!!
Yes, plural.
As in 2!
I can explain...


Merry Holiday Decorating, Shopping, Planning and Visiting!

sparkle & shine,
Amy

Monday, October 29, 2012

141 pieces of golden glam!

So of course I love vintage decor for my own home.  Sometimes the piece or pieces are just too awesome to share!
(like the 6 ft brass lamps)
(or the George Nelson Bubble sconce)
(and some gorgeous sterling silver)
even though I absolutely am "sharing" all 3 of those listed!

Behold all 141 pieces of vintage glam golden goodness...



First of all it is stunning!  The style is sleek and modern while being easily 50 years old.
The best part?
It's a COMPLETE service for 12!

I tested it out this morning, as I was afraid it was plated.  The flatware itself has no markings, but the box does, but only by way of manufacturer and importer.
And it's actually solid!  My question now is solid what?!  I did a little preliminary digging and it is likely nickel bronze, but it looks like brass or gold.  
And a nice white brass - total glam and total luxe!

So I grabbed a few of my plates, and damn if it doesn't go perfectly with every single one?!

This is the vintage Wedgwood Palatia pattern, currently for sale in the shop.
I actually think this may be the very best look of them all.
But then I'd be keeping 2 items that were intended for the shop!
That can't be a good trend for me!


These are from Matt's maternal grandmother, aren't they so feminine?  Bavaria Tirschenreuth (gesundheit!) from Germany.  We don't use this set frequently.

Ahh, the  "Turkey Plates"!  They come out every Thanksgiving, and only Thanksgiving! But many great friends have sat down with these and they've now become tradition, and all the memories that come along with that.  This pattern is Wild Turkey, Windsorware from Johnson Bros, England.  
Funny we see a lot of these at flea markets, but they're not Johnson Bros, and the colors are way off.
I only have dinner plates and one giant platter, would love to add to my service, but again, we only seem to find that wonky knock off.


And they look totally modern and current with our every day plates from Cost Plus/World Market!

It's an incredibly versatile set, and I'm still on the fence.  Of course more research is required,  as I need to find out what metal they actually are.  I know they were made in Thailand but that's about all I know for certain thus far.

The holidays are quickly approaching, and I absolutely love hosting a dinner party.  A lot of the fun is the planning and table decorating for me!  These would certainly get some action this season if I chose to keep them!

Do you mix in your family's heirloom or hand me down pieces with your current wares?  Or do you keep it strictly all new or all vintage?  


I've got a lot of family and friends on the East Coast that are directly inline with the path of Sandy, I'll be thinking of all of you and I hope you are prepared and safe!

sparkle & shine,
Amy


Sunday, October 21, 2012

63 inches!!

I am really lucky in that I come across some truly fantastic items while buying for the shop.

I saw this in a dark corner and about knocked someone over rushing to get to it!

I didn't even care what she was asking for it.

Then she says very quietly, " you know I have another one? "

a PAIR?!?!

Behold 63 inches of vintage brass yumminess!

That is over 6 FEET tall!!!

sigh.  I love them.


She was the original owner, bought them back in the 60s.  She was more distressed over losing the lampshades as she had them made with silk she bought in Thailand.

The lampshades were a bit... intense? so I offered to leave them with her, but she wasn't having it.


Can I just say that since I don't sell the lampshades with the lamps in my shop it looks like "lampshades r us" around here!
I'm guessing they'll be donated soon, because they take up so much badly needed space!

 Seriously, might just be my favorite part of these lamps!  Both the harp and finial are just so unique!





So the dirt, dust, cobwebs and tarnish have been polished and cleaned away on one so far.
I'm about to begin on number 2.
I think I'm going to rewire these as well, as I have to disassemble to polish them anyway.

I know I'd feel a lot better if the wiring was new.

Now I know there is a split down the middle for polish or patina.
I do actually leave some items unpolished, just not many!

I think polishing these was for sure the right decision, as that lamp is just GORGEOUS!

They're very heavy and super sturdy, but they each have 6 brass sections that are threaded, so they dismantle easily which will make them treś easy to ship!
Yay!

Unless I keep them.

Cause I might!

The weather has finally decided to catch up with the fact it's actually Fall and it's perfectly cool and sunny out.  Perfect for working on these lamps in the garage.  I've been sitting on them for well over a month, but just too hot and muggy for this girl.

Hope you're able to throw open the windows, get some fresh air and enjoy this awesome autumn weekend!

Off to the garage and to work on the other one!


sparkle & shine,

Amy







Thursday, October 11, 2012

mini obsession

What is it about things in miniature versions?!

Maybe it's because I have small fingers? ha.

So I love old silver champagne chillers.  So when I started to find them  
 in super tiny size, you know I was all over it.

I had 2, one with a barely surviving succulent in it, and the other holding my makeup brushes on my vanity.  Lordy, I paid enough for those brushes, they should be displayed in a silver champagne bucket!

Turns out the one holding the succulent was actually sterling.  So of course I immediately dumped the plant and started scrubbing!

Kidding - okay not really but I did transplant the little guy.



I just got the one on the far left last week.  The base is solid, and is totally heavy.  So we cleaned it up nice, and we're thinking it isn't plated.  
One way for us to tell for sure is to put it to the buffer.

I only know this because I've ruined a few pieces of silver-plate by thinking I could just buff the tarnish away.

Yeah, or buff all the silver plating away.

So I figured I'd just try it on the base.

omg- no disappearing silver plate!  Actually it's gorgeous now with the super buffy shine it's rocking!
And I love that twisted dot detail, I'm betting it's from Mexico.
It's awesome when you find something you love only to have it get better as you go along!

Found Mr. Cutie-Doorknocker today. I love that it has a liner... so it's perfect for chilling those airplane bottles in style! 

4 makes a collection.  I've decided.  So now I'll be on the hunt for these until I can't find uses for them.
(psst that will never happen)


"I believe in Science" Stephen, Nacho Libre

So I acquired a box of old mini beakers and the like.  I at least didn't get the glass pipettes, although I wanted to.

They too make perfect little vessels for plants, flowers, make up brushes, thumbtacks, random buttons, lip glosses... you get the idea here.


don't judge my dirty window, it's much higher off the ground from the outside I'll have you know.  Oh, and transplant guy is the string of pearls to the left. 


MINI BABY Beaker!!!  
Can you stand it?!

Do you have something that you just can't stop acquiring?
Mini's? friends? tattoos? ball jars? 
Please share so I know I'm not alone!


Intending to post the beakers once I figure out groupings to list them.
Odd numbers are good, right?
I do feel like no matter how I group them, it's going to be a lot of convos about switching them up! ;)


Arc lamp update - so I know I said it would be listed by the end of the week, but since it's dismantled, I need to write instructions for the person who will be assembling it.  Problem is this isn't really my forté - it's my engineer husbands gig- though he just left for a fishing trip to Minnesota.
(do you say that with their accent too when reading it?)

I was good, I documented the process with photos and a sketchy drawing, but I really  want to be sure whoever gets it doesn't have any trouble with it at all.

So I'm pushing for end of next week - seriously.


Off to polish and post!  

sparkle & shine,

Amy


Monday, October 8, 2012

Arc Lamp!



Iconic.  Shiny. Gold.  What more could you ask for?

How about it can ship via regular carrier service?

BAM! Done!


So Matt and I, okay, MATT, disassembled it so we could offer to ship this via FedEx,USPS etc!

I've seen very few of these on Etsy, but of those few, most either want you to pick it up or arrange your own freight.

I understand it, but as a shopper, that doesn't work for me!

I'm going to permit people to coordinate their own delivery, if that's their choice, but I need to offer delivery.  I'd be so disappointed to find something I loved only to have it untouchable.

No question that someone with at least a basic understanding of electrical components is going to be required to put her back together, but I still think it's a much better option than a road trip to Florida!

Actually, a road trip to Florida doesn't sound really bad at all!  

The Arco lamp was designed in the early 60s by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni.
Mine is an 80s reproduction, but it's still pretty damn sweet!


Holy smokes - gorgeous blog sfgirlbybay.com was awesome enough to mention my George Nelson Bubble Lamp in her blog!  Talk about traffic! 
 I've gotten so many views from her blog.  
But what's awesome really is just how gorgeous her blog is!  Go now look - you'll see!

Here's my lamo photo of an AMAZING sconce!
Just the fact that lantern has survived all these years is pretty awesome in itself!

I hope it sells fast, because I do have a horrific habit of destroying, albeit accidental, vintage items that survived years and years before their 24 hours with moi.

More information on George Nelson here!


My lightbox is actually pretty large at approximately 5ft x 5 ft, but it's all soft sided.  I really wanted to show this baby hanging, so how's that 2 by 4 looking?    

So big changes since my last post, I totally outgrew our dining room / office!  
Thankfully we were able to do some shuffling, and I've got a (little) bigger of a room.  The best part is the DOORS!  It's so nice to be able to just close those doors!  And it does keep the entrance to the house looking like we're about to audition for Hoarders.

or should be.

I feel like I spend quite a bit of time looking for shelves on craigslist anymore...




Thanks for getting this far!  Keep your eyes out, that sexy gold arc lamp will be up by the end of this week!


sparkle & shine-
Amy





Tuesday, September 11, 2012

peacock chair...love it or leave it?

You know it, and chances are you really do LOVE it or you honest to goodness HATE it.

Now even being a product of the 70s, I really just didn't get the style, or quite frankly - like it all that much! But if you take a peek at my recent jewelry offerings you'll immediately spot the boho chic connection.  It's creeping in, slowly but surely.  
And hands down winning me over!

I distinctly remember crying my eyes out at the incredulous suggestion from my mother to wear those damn bell bottomed jeans.  I liked Disco, and Jordache 2 toned jeans, circulation stopping Sergio Valente pin stripes and bracelets up my entire arm.
(Still do on a couple of those actually)

But when you have an interest in trends, even just to a degree, you can't help but be bombarded with what's new, now and next.  Not unlike that annoying song on the radio that you surprisingly know every word, and sing along to, they are going to get in your head.

So am I saying the peacock/fan chair is a new trend?  Well, sort of??!
I mean, clearly she trended a few decades ago, and yet here she is again.
Classic?  I don't know, but I do know that you all
 conjured up the same chair in your mind when you saw the heading right?  

Well I bought one last week.  
For the shop, and I figured if shipping was too exorbitant or too much of a pia, I'd just put it in the princess' room.

Wanted to play around with styling it a bit this morning, took a few shots with a couple different accessories.  But I'm just not set up for that type of photography... you'll see.

So afterward, I sat down and flipped through Octobers House Beautiful that arrived yesterday, and lo and behold...

Photo of photo by James Merrell in Oct12 House Beautiful

I actually like that this giant chair really isn't the star here.

Not what I did for my shots, oh, she's the superstar in mine...



Because it certainly isn't my styling today!
No forcing creativity. 
That's a fact Jack.


I actually don't mind this last one so much.

Now of course, if I were going to keep this, it wouldn't look like any of the above! (mostly because the items I styled it with are in the shop!) I'd either buy a rosette type round pillow, or perhaps attempt to make one- ha, and I'd be sure to find some gorgeous Ikat patterned rug, cable knit pouf, and maybe even a sheepskin throw.  Definitely make it super luxe and comfortable.
And declare it "MY SPOT"!
(we actually do that ala Sheldon Cooper already- i can have 2 "spots"dammit)

I'd make sure I don't date the details surrounding it too much, plenty of shine,modern and vibrant color to share the space too.
Oh, and a swag or pendant light would be perfect hovering just off to the side.
And she wouldn't be in a corner.
(And certainly would not remain in THAT room --- noisiest room in the house ---kids tv/game console room)

Not to mention, there would be a strong desire to paint it.  
Again with the love/hate, I'm sure.

It does currently have an extremely dated rose pink pillow, no make that MAUVE pillow, simply because "Rose Pink" sounds pretty, "Mauve" does not.
Definitely an easy fix.

Positively though, I can instantly think of 4 places I could put her, and she'd shine without stealing all the attention.

So what say you?
Love it?
Hate it?

She'll be in the shop within a couple weeks, once I square away shipping details.



Sparkle & Shine,
Amy








Wednesday, September 5, 2012

There's a reason we pay professionals...

I am a HUGE fan of Emily Henderson.  
Love her quirky personality, those high waisted jeans 
and of course - her amazing eye and design talent!  

I often go to her designs for inspiration, and I love her thrifty nature as she finds
THE MOST AMAZING decor while flea marketing etc.

While looking at a recent post on her blog, I saw these beauties...


Super awesome mini twins of the full sized one I had in the shop when I first opened!
(also my FIRST sale, was a good one to start the process)


Believe me, I've been looking and looking, but haven't come across 
another one since!  You'll be the first to know if I do!

This is one item I almost wish I had kept.  I come across so many awesome
items, but unless I want to qualify for Hoarders, I need to keep my collections and rotations in check.

How about you?  Do you find it hard to rotate your decor? 
Give it back to the universe for the next person to love as much as you first did?
Give yourself a fresh change, or do you strive to get it "just right" and hold tight?


EH also finds a lot of upholstered items, and gives them new life by having them professionally redone.
Again with the hefty price tag!!!  But, so worth it overall I'm sure.

I love cane backed chairs, I found a couple random 
vintage cane backed chairs and thought for sure I could put them to good use 
once they were free of their current state of drab-datedness.  
(yes, it is a word)




That last one had so many layers and about 8,962 staples.

They each received a strip down, scrub down, and fresh coat of glossy white!
Okay, like 5 coats of glossy white.

I also figured that since I was only recovering the seat, and there are tutorials aplenty on the net,
it would be a no brainer, right?



They do look so fresh and pretty.  I am still rethinking the white, 
as that mix seems to lend itself pretty quickly to the shabby chic realm.  
Which I'm not knocking, I kind of like it, 
but it's just not my direction at the moment.
These would be so hot if I had chosen a rich orange or or even canary yellow!

You may have also noticed, the one chairs seems to be a bit disheveled.  Well, the one on the left was one of those pop the seat out and recover it types.  The bugger on the right was more of an actual upholstery type project.  And I am struggling with attaching the fabric along the back, as there really is not much room for a human hand.  Yes, I've got some tools, and yes they do assist, but a 3rd and 4th hand is really required - at least at this stage.  Ahhh, that's why you pay more and have things professionally done!

I also played it safe cowardly by choosing a nice simple linen.  Versatility friends!

Oh, and I'm currently selling them on craigslist.  
Indeed, after all that work, money and time invested. (more time than anything else)
Indeed, with one not finished.

Perhaps if they don't get picked up I'll finish and put them in the Shop.  I just worry about the cost of shipping on this size item.  Shipping is the reason there won't often be furniture, or large items in the shop.  Of course, if it's super amazing, like a brass trunk, you'll find it there.

I've been trying to stay true to quality and beauty while stocking up 
the Shop for the holidays.
Hard to say how I'll do, since this will be my first season on Etsy.
I am acquiring a lot more "smalls" in hopes of gift giving, 
pollyanna's and Secret Santas!

In the meantime, my pretty new office is getting a bit cramped.  Like those jeans that fit you perfectly last year, but this year, although they still look "good" - you're not hiding that muffin top from anyone!



Our oldest son recently left the nest, and I've intentions of turning his room
 into a guest room.  But don't think the thought of using it as storage for the shop isn't nagging at me.

I'm excited of revamping his old room.  As a guest bedroom, I feel there is so much more leeway to go a little over the top.  Definitely going try something fun with the direction.  
Please, it's not like I'm not going to change it up in there 10 times anyway!

We stumbled upon a lamp this past weekend that made me giddy.
I so wish it was a pair, but it's just that good that it can and will work with just the one.

Now this, like the brass trunk, is a struggle, because selfishly
 I want to keep it all to myself!

And not to mention, I'm a couple hours into polishing, and no where near done yet!

Sneak peak?



I've got so many new and awesome finds to add to the Shop, so many colors and styles and eras - I'm really excited!  And although my heart belongs to brass at the moment, we all know copper is next!
Plenty of that super pretty hue heading to the shop as well!

Over the past weekend I made my 100th sale in the shop!
Was made sweeter by the item that was lucky 100...


I was absolutely head over heels for this little guy!
I almost kept him, so I'm happy he was the 100th item!
Still makes me smile, and I'm so not a cutie-warmandfuzzy-cutsie decor kind of girl!
It sure doesn't hurt that he is my favorite shade of aqua blue either.

What's so great about what I'm doing, is that you know you will
find something similar in some way, that will make you just as happy
and it's right around the corner!


As always, thanks for reading!

sparkle & shine,
Amy







Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Awesome!

So, obviously I'm a little behind on my blog posts...

But what better motivation to get my ass in gear than to see this today!

My little vintage hair dryer was highlighted in a blog post on design sponge!!


Design Sponge is a daily read for me, so it just makes it all the more exciting!



Admittedly, I was a little naive to start both a blog and an online shop at the same time!   It's been a very cool beginning, but I need to find balance between the two.
I enjoy both, so really don't want to have to choose!


The shop seems to be well received, I've gotten a good start and I've been adding new items daily.



As always, thanks for hanging in!

Now go check out that post so we can squeal like giddy teenagers together!




sparkle & shine,

Amy


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

vintage wares... or how about vintage wears!



Watch out, lots of exclamation points here today friends!

As "into" vintage as I am, I think it's more about classics, timeless pieces moreso than something being of any particular era.  And I've noticed since I've been shopping more frequently for the shop that I've purchased more wearables than ever!

I'm not talking about a head to toe look here, I know there are many who carry it off and look amazing. But that's not my thing, and it's not what I'm talking about here.

I just thought I'd share a few of my latest finds that are indeed vintage buy definitely crossing over into current wearability.  What's old is new again so they say...

Awesome brass oversized bangle!  Loving that hammered detailing.
Layer your bangles; wide, thin, mix the metals up!
I've always been a bracelet girl, and so happy really anything goes right now!


50s BAM!  This would be so perfect as a statement accessory!
psst...there's clip-on earrings to match! 
Who doesn't love aqua and pink together?


I love all things beach, and this mother of pearl and silver cuff is just enough.
I love iridescence this has in person.


This brass woven cuff is so awesome it almost didn't make it to the shop!


How does a cuff go out of style? Um, it doesn't.  Okay, I'll grant you the aqua beads could possibly read a bit 50s-ish, but only if they know about that style.  Otherwise you're just going to get compliments on it!



And how about some bags?

Awesome 80s fabulousness!  Please let me just tell you that not all vintage is used, smelly and scuffed up.  Sure, some of it is, hell, a lot of it can be for sure!  
This clamshell purse doesn't even look like she used it once!
I personally guarantee someone will ask you where you got this!

Okay, so I cannot actually guarantee that will happen, but you know it will most likely will.

Elegant velvet and rhinestone antique evening bag?  The interior has the softest silk lining!
It's more antique than vintage, but it's delicate and perfect for evening wear!


This vintage lucite box purse is so very cool.
It's got 2 stacked, separate compartments, I love the boxiness of it!
Sometimes the colors can be a little off in older pieces, 
at least as far as mixing with current trends.  
But this one is a beautiful ivory and about as neutral as you could get!



This fringe bag is my current bag du jour, and was in perfect condition!  Until I started to use it every single day! And not to mention I saw similar ones all over the mall the last time I was there!


Macrame bag, in beautiful condition, and the real deal!
This one didn't make the shop either!
I promise I'll send it s. - soon!


This straw clutch is classic in shape, and is perfection for summer.
And Target currently has one exactly like this but with sequins all over it.

Which I'm not a fan of at all.
The sequins on the straw, not the sequins.
I love me some sequins.


And how about his amazing crossover bag?
80s IS vintage now people!
sigh


2 things: every single time I look at that bag some song from the Beastie Boy's pops in my head.  And sorry fellas, this is about as masculine as today's post is going to get.

Although, we did buy my husband a beautiful set of Tiffany collar stays for Father's Day, and I bet you can find some vintage ones pretty easily.
And when you accidently leave them in and iron them, they won't melt like the free cheapie ones that come with the shirts!


There's always been parallels in fashion and home decor.  I just like that you can have something really well made, and likely pretty damn unique if you're open to the vintage game.

I personally like having something that isn't seen on every other girl in the place.  That said, I think I always just buy what I love whether it's for the shop or for myself and friends.

Whether it's wares or wears if you love it, it will work.

How about some "decor" since this isn't a fashion blog?

If you'd like a place to store all your pretty vintage bangles...



Perfect, right?

I tried to find the actual proper name for that 3 tiered silver plated tray, but evidently no one selling them on the internet knows either.  

Well at least we're not missing out on anything!


Whoa! Almost forgot! I've now got over 100 items in the shop and I'm trying to add more each day.
But I think for now I'll try to hover around that number.  
Just not sure if more is actually better in this case?

Unless you all head over and purchase something right now!
Could be fun, like watching me walk up a down escalator!



sparkle & shine