Thursday, April 29, 2010

ShabbyNChic Featured in Treasuries

Recently items from my shop have been featured in several treasuries on Etsy.  I always find it such a compliment!  Here are 3 of them...

My Upcycled Pedestal Dish is in this Go Green for Earth! treasury by luniquejewellery.
These are all "Green" items from Etsyveg team members in celebration of Earth Day.

My Green and White Paper Gift Boxes are included in this Soft Breeze with Etsy in Spanish Team treasury by deepindigo.

Finally, my Vintage Boy and Girl Plates are in this Once Upon a Time treasury by GlimmeringGems.

I hope you enjoy the wonderful collections these Etsians have put together!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Spring in Full Bloom!

Spring is my favorite season! Here in Oregon we get a full view of each season, but those flowers blooming and leaves back on the trees that appeared dead for months are glorious year after year.

The other day I went around our yard and took pictures of all of the beautiful blooming flowers I could find.  We have tulips, lilacs, and even a Cherry Blossom tree which is one of the newest additions to our yard.  I can only imagine what it will look like when it is 15 feet tall!

After 3 years growing in our backyard, this is the first time we have seen flowers on our lilacs which is also quite exciting.

I don't know what this bright gold-yellow floral bush is called, but I was told it is native to Oregon and to always keep it.  I don't have to be convinced.  It is the center of attention from our back window as it is in full, bright bloom like this for several weeks and one of our first blooms for the season.

 While wandering around the yard, looking at flowers, of course I ran into a bee...well not literally.  I found it in this small, bright bunch of bright purple flowers.  Can you spot it?

Of course I love tulips! Who doesn't?  There are so many colors and varieties.  Right now we have a deep purple, red, and this pale yellow that has a touch of pink to it.  I am hoping to add more to our yard this year in the areas that lack early Spring color.

  I am now looking forward to a flourishing vegetable garden and late Spring and Summer blooms which are already starting: Azaleas, Delphinium (my favorite), and roses.  Happy gardening!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

40th Annual Earth Day

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” - A Native American proverb that I love.  To think of the earth as something we need to care for rather than something we are entitled to, creates a sense of responsibility that we all need.  I also love that it reminds us that we are all here on this planet together; we are all sharing one planet and we all contribute to it’s life – good or bad.

I love vintage and antique pieces – not only are they “green”, they have a history that something new does not.  But for this post, I am focusing on upcycled and repurposed pieces which I also love.


I have some in my shop and admire many in other Etsy shops. People are so creative and I wish I could buy all of these ingenious creations.

 What is upcycled? A term coined by William McDonaugh and Michael Braungart, it is the process of converting a material into something of similar or greater value, in its second life. (Sustainability Dictionary)

What is repurposing? It means taking one thing and using it for something else before it goes through any breakdown and reformation (or recycling). (Evan Carmichael)

These amazing "green" items from incredibly resourceful and creative people show us that we can have beautiful things and feel good about it!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Etsy Feature - One of my Favorite Sellers!

I am excited to feature one of my personal favorites on Etsy - Sara of vintagebysaraliz.  I love antiques and vintage finds and so does Sara.  She has an amazing talent for putting pieces together to make something that is absolutely beautiful.  I hope you enjoy her work as much as I do and enjoy getting to know her a little.

How did you get started with your craft?

I had always loved vintage things and antiques, and had started collecting vintage buttons. I was using the vintage buttons in my scrapbooking, but always wished I could do more with them. One day I was looking through a magazine that featured women designers, and I saw the most fantastic vintage necklace designs made with vintage jewelry parts and buttons. I immediately knew I wanted to try it! I have been making jewelry and home decor for over a year now and I don't plan to stop!

 How do you get your inspiration for the pieces you make?

 My favorite part is digging through thrift stores, garage sales, and antique stores for inspiring objects and beautiful or unusual jewelry. If it grabs my attention, AND is a good price, I will buy it. When I sit down to work, I sort through items and group items together that compliment each other. I can't describe how it happens. I just experiment until something cool happens!

 What is your favorite project/thing to make and why?

I'd have to say my favorite projects are collage frames. I love creating a theme or story with the background and elements used.

 Tell me about your work with charity.

I chose to support "String of Pearls" when I was so moved by a story about a little baby, Stellan. Stellan's mom is a popular mom blogger who was told her unborn child would die of a heart condition. I've followed Stellan's story, and now he is an active toddler, completely healed of his condition! String of Pearls is an organization that MckMama (Stellan's mom) mentioned on her blog. It is a nonprofit organization that assists families with a fatal diagnosis of their unborn child.
I also support my church wherever I can. Being involved in ministry is very important to me. I have taken opportunities to speak in front of women's groups about their self worth in Christ, and hope to continue on this path of ministry.

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

I am a musician and composer. Writing music is a real passion of mine, and one way I sort through my thoughts. I treasure those times at the piano.

She is not only an amazing artist, but a generous and caring person. I am so happy to share her wonderful work.  If you would like to visit Sara's shop, you can find it here:

Friday, April 9, 2010

Custom Orders with a One-of-a-Kind Shop

I have accepted custom orders in my shop since I opened.  Because almost all of my items are one-of-a-kind that poses some challenges, but it is possible!  Here are a couple of shelves I did as a custom order for a wonderful customer who wanted multiple white shelves.

Most of my items are also upcycled, so I have to work with what I have on-hand or can get quickly.  So for the shelf order, she wanted white wood shelves with a shabby chic look.  I had 1 in my shop, but she needed 2 more.  She liked one shelf I had in my shop, but it was yellow.  I was able to repaint it for her in white and send pictures of 2 other shelves I had yet to paint.  She picked the one she liked and I painted it white and lightly distressed it as requested.

Another return customer wanted spice racks and I happened to have 2 on-hand.  I sent her the pictures below and they fit what she wanted. 

She wanted the smaller one painted light purple and the larger one black and both distressed.  I did not have light purple paint, but what a great opportunity for me to grow in terms of colors.  So I bought the paint and everyone was happy!

I really enjoy custom order even though sometimes I am unable to accomodate.  I quickly get back to people so that they know what I can do and can't and if we work together, and sometimes compromise, it works wonderfully for everyone.  If it won't work, they know what I can do in the future, but can move on to find what they are looking for.

Offering one-of-a-kind pieces is very special and important to me, but for it to be exactly what the customer would visualize is even better!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Spring Break at the Oregon Coast

If you follow me on Twitter, then you may have seen some of the pictures from our recent trip to the Oregon Coast for Spring break.  What an amazing time.  We went to Newport Oregon which is considered part of Oregon's Central Coast.  There is so much to do there and we took full advantage of that!

On our 3 day trip we enjoyed the food, antique shops, museums, beaches, lighthouse, state parks, and more!

The priority was for our young children to play on the beach and go to the variety of museums available there.  Upon arriving, we ate at Mo's World Famous Restaurant - famous for their clam chowder.  That is a requirement for my husband everytime we go to the coast.  The restaurant in Lincoln City (just North of Newport) sits right on the beach, so we were able to go onto the beach so the kids could have some fun digging in the sand.

It was cold and windy, which the Oregon coast is known for, but that doesn't seem to stop kids.  Later they both said that was one of their favorite parts of the trip.

Upon arriving at the hotel condo where we would be staying, we were more than pleased with the beautiful view of the bridge that connects both parts of Newport.  It was an amazing view in the morning when the sun was coming up and again at night with the sun setting behind the bridge.

We finished the day roasting marshmallows at Beverly Beach with family who was at the coast that night as well.  The kids were out quick that night, so we were able to get an early start the next morning for all of the museums we had planned to visit.

We started the morning by beachcombing for shells and agates, then it was off to Hatfield Marine Science Center which is a research museum and visitors are allowed to touch many sea creatures.  We saw: sea stars, an octopus, jelly fish, sea urchin, sea anemone, and of course all kinds of fish!

Then it was down to the docks which is a major tourist attraction in Newport.  My favorite is the sea lions.  There is a spot where they can always be seen and the crowd is always there to enjoy their barks.  I'm pretty sure this one was posing for me.

Down on the waterfront we went to: Ripley's Believe It or Not, Wax Works museum, and Underwater Sea Gardens.  I believe the latter was my kids' favorite since they were scared of the other two.  We finished the day eating ice cream cones, listening to a woman playing guitar and singing on the boardwalk.

Over our few days at the beach, the weather got better and better. Determined to make the most of our time there, we had a filled last day.  The morning started with my favorite - antique shopping!  We probably visited 6 different antique shops and I found a lot of great items - some I bought, some I just admired.

Our final stop before heading home was the Yaquina Head Lighthouse - the tallest lighthouse in Oregon and a major attraction in the area.  I came away with a lot of great pictures and hope you enjoy all of them.

The lighthouse is on a sort of jetty, so there are great potential shots of the Oregon's rocky ocean edge, the lighthouse, and the very popular tide pools.  The tide pools are hit or miss and it was definitely a "hit" on the day we were there!

We saw sea stars, sea urchins, small fish and tons of mussels! 

That is definitely a must-visit upon taking a trip to this area of the Oregon coast.  Even when my husband fell in one of the pools, it didn't dampen the experience.

Overall a great trip and we are planning another for this summer so that we can re-visit our favorite spots and visit the ones we missed.  I hope you enjoy the sights I was able to capture from our trip to the Oregon coast!