Category: Every Dayness

Don’t Miss It!

This is just going to be another quickie post as I am in the middle of a big two-day craft show in Fredericksburg. I just wanted to point out something interesting that happens at Christmas because I don’t want you to miss it. 

Besides the black Friday madness, cyber Monday and “special” sales every day there is a phenomenon that I love. Do you know what it is? Packaging gets really cute. Even everyday items get packaged with a special Christmas flare. Here are some examples I found this past week.

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These are ordinary berry flavored fruit chews but look at the Christmas box! I bought them because they are apparently endorsed not only by Rudolph, but the Bumble too!

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This box front is already in my 2014 December Daily. I mean really? Sugar cookies riding in a teapot sleigh pulled by cookie reindeer. Need I say more. As you can see by the journal remark above the box, I got to tea for 99 cents because I had a coupon, but I would have bought the empty box for 99 cents because it’s so cute.

cuteness2This box is not so great but I bought it because I wanted to get Adam a Christmas treat for his bag lunches. Well I looked on the back of the box and there were these…

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Eeeeek! Cute little Christmas tags you can cut out.

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Just look at him! Needless to say I ran to get my scissors, trims and of course glitter!

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Now we’re talking!

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These are  not packaging, but they are also darn cute.

So if you want some Christmas cuteness, take a moment and really look at the things that are passing through your life this holiday. And please don’t forget the real reason we celebrate Christmas!

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Does It Work? Part 1

Wow! It’s been 17 days since I last posted a blog. I am super busy getting ready for my biggest ever vintage show in Virginia Beach. I have been making lots of stuff from vintage finds and have also been beefing up my Etsy store. I don’t have sneak peek pictures for the show yet so this post is going to be a little different.

My family buys a lot of stuff over the internet and we base most of our buying decisions on the feedback previous consumers have left. From time to time (or whenever I can’t think of something else to blog about) I am going to give you feedback on products you may not be aware of. So here is my first “feedback” post.

A couple of weeks ago I was on the Vitacost website looking for some other products when I came across this…

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That’s right people, I was captivated by powdered peanut butter. But wait, check out what is says in the brown box on the right. I love real peanut butter. I don’t love tight-fitting pants. 85% fewer calories that traditional peanut butter is worth a try in my book. Besides, it’s all natural and is made with none GMO peanuts.

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The ingredients look okay although I wish they had left the sugar out. Unlike Jif and Skippy, which are not peanut butter but peanut butter spread, there is no high fructose corn syrup, added oils and ingredients I can’t pronounce.

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First I tried it in my favorite peanut butter and banana smoothie with flax seeds. I can honestly say I tasted no difference between PB Slim and Smucker’s All Natural peanut butter in my smoothie. It was delicious as always. So how did it rate after being re-hydrated and spread on toast?

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This was 1 tablespoon of powder mixed with water until the right peanut buttery texture was achieved. Note: the serving size is actually 2 tablespoons of powder mixed with water, however, that was too much for one slice of toast.

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Goodnight Helen! When are you going to remember you have to watch the toast in your ancient toaster oven? Oh well, the birds got a treat today.

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Here it is spread on my second attempt at toast. It does not melt on toast like real peanut butter (again I’m not talking about Jif or Skippy) because most of the oil has been removed. The texture was creamy though. How did it taste? I loved it. Again my only complaint is the added sugar, because I’m used to peanut butter without it,  but all in all I give it “two thumbs up”!

So for 2 tablespoons of PB Slim with only 45 calories versus 2 tablespoons of Smucker’s All Natural peanut butter with 200 calories I think I’ll be reaching for the PB Slim more often. Good stuff!

 

 

STUFFED!

A little over a year ago on May 27th, I posted a blog about smash books. I even showed one I made  myself. Smash books and junk  journals are what I call, ” Scrapbooking for the rest of us”. I haven’t gotten into proper scrapbooking yet, although I’ve seen some awesome mixed-media type layouts. Most of my photos are still lingering on my computer’s memory.The ones I have actually printed out are lingering away in photo boxes. “One day,” I tell myself. “One day!”

But what about the ticket stubs, playbills, receipts, candy wrappers, maps, postcards and other ephemera you want to hold onto?  All of life’s little papers hold memories that deserve to be remembered. That is what junk journals and smash books are for. And the best part of junk journals is that there is absolutely no talent required to fill one. You can tape, glue or staple your papers in. No particular order is required. Then you can add doodles, stickers, sentiments or nothing. It’s entirely up to you.

I have filled up the junk journal I made a year ago and there is absolutely no empty spaces for anything else. IT IS STUFFED. So here are some random pictures from my stuffed junk journal.

 

In my next blog post I will show pictures of the awesome new junk journal that I got from my friend Camilla in a swap. And if you’d like to make a junk journal for yourself, see my post from May 27, 2013. If you’re not inclined to make  your own journal, but still want one to fill, please visit my Etsy shop at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MossyCottage?ref=si_shop where I have many to choose from. Once you start “smashing” things into a journal you’ll see why it’s become so popular!

 

 

 

 

So Ready to Get Out!

I don’t say I’m tired of the snow anymore because everyone is tired of the snow this winter. This has been the winter that just won’t end. The kids have missed over 2 weeks of school so far and even Martin has had a couple of days off work due to the weather. Don’t get me wrong, there are good things about snow days such as sleeping in, spending time with the family, hot chocolate, etc.

A week and a half ago I hurt my back pretty badly and it has kept me home bound most of this time. Now I am ready to get out! I have slept way too much, I have eaten way to much, I have watched YouTube way too much and I have finished the projects that were bugging me the most. This is what I got done during my snow days and back recovery days….

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Do you remember this hideously messy box of lace from one of my recent posts?

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Some of the lace was wound on vintage clothes pegs and stored in a jar so I can see it.

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Bigger laces were wound on old spools neatly so they can be found quickly.

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And the largest lace pieces were folded or wrapped nicely and placed back in the box. (Just a hint, you can look for projects with lace coming from Mossy Cottage soon!)

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This table was supposed to  be my over flow table for mixed media projects that are drying. Instead it became a heinous stack of paper and old books.

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Now that disaster has been made into 11 junk journals that I will be selling at the Vintage Home Market in Richmond.

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This cabinet got a complete makeover, inside and out. The inside shelves were organized by holiday. The display shelf now holds a lot of my vintage jewelry, small lace spools, buttons, embellishments and other assorted bling. I put them out like this so I will use them instead of just hoarding them.

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Here’s a close up of some of my bling.

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Some more bling and some laces.

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Here are the cans I use to hold my supplies on my desk. Yeah, you would think someone who loves to craft could do better than this right?

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So they all got covered with old book pages.

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Then they got dressed up with some pretty rosy die cuts.

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And now they sit on my newly organized desk.

So you see, there are benefits to being forced to stay home. Lots of projects got finished. I had time with my boys. I drank hot chocolate.  But I still have to admit that now that my back is feeling better, and the snow has melted, I am SO READY TO GET OUT!

A Snow Day Project

If you live in any of the central or northern United States you have probably had a snow day ,or 5, this past week. Snow days are great because we can sleep in and lounge in pj’s longer than on regular days (unless you shop at Walmart). You don’t have to wear make-up or fix up your hair. You can make soup, chili and homemade bread. You can watch TV and look at Pinterest for hours on end. These are things I love to do on a snow day. But when a snow day turns into 3 or 4 days I start to get antsy. And when I get antsy I usually start tidying things.

If any of you look on my Etsy shop, Mossy Cottage, you will notice I have posted quite a few laces and trims this last week. Some of them are so beautiful I just had to keep some for myself. Yeah, like I need more trim. Combine pieces of lace, boredom, and a need to use glitter and this is the project I started.

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First I got two very large jars.

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I painted the lids and then covered them with Delta Ceramcoat Sparkle Glaze. It is a protective coating that has glitter in it. When it is dry, the glitter is sealed in and won’t come off. I LOVE THIS STUFF! Aren’t these lids adorable?!

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I got out some of my vintage clothes pegs.

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And the pieces of lace I saved from my Etsy listings.

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I wound the lace around the clothes pegs, secured the ends with pins, and popped them into one of the jars. The other jar is still full of clothes pegs ready to tackle this…..

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This is my HUGE box of jumbled up laces. So all I can say now is….let is snow!!!

 

 

It Pays to Renovate

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This house is a diamond in the rough. It sits right next door to our church and went up for sale last year. The congregation decided to buy the house and use it for a multi-purpose mentoring, teaching, coffee sipping, and Pastor’s new office type of building. In the fall a group of us started scraping the paint on the outside. Then it got cold. Real cold. So enough of the outside work, we moved to the inside.

After a couple of days working on the house, most of the downstairs wall board came down (don’t worry, that was planned). This past weekend a huge skiff was brought on sight and I was there to help get the broken wallboard out of the house and into the skiff.  I noticed as I was hauling chunks of wallboard out  that there was beautiful vintage wallpaper still attached to the pieces. I rummaged around the piles and found several pieces of loose wallpaper among the rubble. PAYDAY! Look what I came home with.

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To some of you, I know it looks like garbage. But my vintage-loving kindred spirits understand my delight. I know some of you are asking, “What can you do with it?”. So, I will show you.

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I took an old cigar box and painted and distressed all the edges.

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Then I cut out pieces of one of the wallpapers to fit the sides of the box.

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I inked up the edges of the papers to add a really distressed feel.

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I adhered the paper to the box really well.

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I added some embellishments and viola, a beautiful trinket box.

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Here’s an up close look at the top.

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See the key dangling from the ribbon?

I love the way this box turned out. Not bad for a cheap cigar box and some free vintage wallpaper. So the next time someone asks you to help them renovate, say, “Yes”, as fast as you can. You never know what those old houses have to offer!

 

 

Remember December

Wow! I know it’s been a while since I last posted a blog but this lady has been very busy making, taking and selling. I had a great show in Richmond and now that the dust has settled I am ready to make some great Christmas memories. The problem is, I won’t remember all the great stuff I did even a year from now, never mind 20 years from now. So I found a wonderful and easy way to keep my memories for each December. I will have to add this to my “day late and a dollar short” list of paper crafts because apparently this specific type of journal has been around for many years. I’m talking about a December Daily which has a page, or space, to write a little bit about what you did for each day in December.

Most of the December Daily journals I’ve seen on Pinterest and Youtube use nice new paper lines with all the coordinating embellishments. If you know me, however, you know that is not my style. I decided to create my December Daily in the Junk Journal style using only stuff I already had on hand. I won’t bore you with a page by page description because it would be January before I got it all written down. Instead I will just let you look at the pictures “gallery” style. 

Before you look, however, I just wanted to mention a few things. First, the cover is made from the top of an old ornament box that I layered over some vintage wrapping paper. Second, there are envelopes, manila file folders, a piece from a box of cards, a manila mailing folder, a brown paper bag, a little white paper bag, old Christmas cards, a coin envelope, old book pages and tons of embellishments in this journal. 

I had a lot of fun making it and plan to add more embellishments and doodles each day I write in it. Even though you won’t be able to make your own December Daily for this year, I encourage you to grab a notebook and write down the highlights of each day this December so you can remember all the good, bad and ugly times you may have. I guarantee you will be glad you did in the years to come! 

My $2.99 Craft Supply Haul

Okay it’s confession time. I promised myself I would not buy ANY MORE craft supplies until I made a BIG dent in the ones I already have. I mean really. My office/studio is a total disaster because there is so much stuff that I don’t have enough storage space for it all. I am a neat freak and it is really starting to get on my nerves. So that is why I made an iron clad promise to myself that I would use up what I have, not only to make some space, but to save some money as well. It was all going so well until I went to the Goodwill today and found this!

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It’s a big bag of crafty embellishment type of thingies.

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For about 3 pounds of goodies, the price was right. Goodwill had taped the bag shut with packing tape and I couldn’t really see what was in the middle. I took a gamble and laid down my $2.99 anyway.

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So I decided to look at the contents with you.

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Wow! That’s a lot of embellishments. Let me sort them out a little and we’ll see what we’ve got here. Some of the items didn’t make “the cut” and will be for sale at my next yard sale!!!

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First, some fairly flat ribbons and flowers. These are great for putting on journal and album covers.

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These frosty little bells are on wires so they will be perfect to use in next year’s Christmas corsages. Side note, I had intended to make some corsages this year, however, I completely ran out of time. Could it be because I was  thrift shopping?

 

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Strings of pearls, pearl sprays and pearl beads. There are at least 1000 uses for these!

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Packages and packages of flat white embellishments made from lace and satin. The fact that they are all white is okay with me as I can always spray them with glimmer mists to add color.

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Lace trims, cord and seam binding tape. Again, all white and ready to be colored.

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Last but not least some other items. There are two bags of naked babies which will be fun to use on Spring crafts. Two blue and white cameo type cabochons. A package of pink epoxy stickers (need I say more)? Some hook and eye closures for a future sewing project, one of which I already had in mind. And last but not least, a tiny little metal clothes hanger! How cute is that? 

Well I have to say that even though I’m disappointed with myself for breaking my “no more buying craft supplies” rule, I am happy that I spotted such a great buy. So now that I’ve added to my big mess, I must go watch youtube crafting videos make something fabulous!

 

 

Autumn Vignettes My Way

It seems to me that we have been thrown into autumn this year. It is getting darker much earlier this October and the mornings are freezing, kind of like winter. Anyway, according to the calendar it is still autumn so I decided to show you some fall vignettes from around our house.

fall1Here is the only normal autumn vignette in our house. The candle has a nice fall spice scent and the little owl book houses a big stack of post-it notes. Both of these lovely gifts were from my dear sister-friend Judy. Thank you Judy!

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This is one of two bowls of green tomatoes Martin had to rescue from the garden due to the freezing nights.

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Here is a scary vignette. It is on the small table in my studio. It’s a mix of finished, half-finished and not even close to being finished Christmas items.

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And below that table sits these two lovely plastic totes filled with Christmas crafting supplies. And as you can see, those items that don’t fit in the totes I have carefully just thrown on the totes or on the floor somewhere close to the totes.

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Even the elves in Santa’s workshop could not make a mess vignette like this. Really Helen?

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Here’s a little vignette in the laundry room of stuff I just purchased last week and am too lazy  too busy to get to. I guess there is no way Better Homes and Gardens Magazine would want to do a Fall layout of our house. But I have a valid excuse.  I have to stock my shop and have several Christmas shows all in November. This means lots of crafting, sorting, packing and messes. But for those of you who get to come to my shop and shows you will see it is all worth it.

And last but not least, I am saving the best Autumn display for last. Drum roll please……..

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YES! It is Holly and Louie snuggled up together to stay warm on a cold afternoon. This is the only vignette in our house that I cannot claim any responsibility for!

 

International Craft Haul

I don’t usually order items from over seas due to the high shipping costs, however, I recently made an exception to that rule. I saw a craft haul video on Pinterest and the lady had purchased stuff from a company called Yozo Craft. I liked the look of the stuff she had purchased so I checked out their website at http://www.yozocraft.com.

 Hours later I clicked the finalize purchase button. I think I looked at practically everything on their website which is considerable as they sell washi tapes, papers, stamps, figural paper clips, Kawaii stationary, stickers, Hello Kitty items, fabrics and lots of other stuff!

I knew I would have to wait about three weeks to get my order and the wait almost killed me (a little exaggeration there)!  And then this….

It arrived!

It arrived!

 

I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to look at my stuff. Well, half an hour later, no exaggeration there, I was able to open the packages. First thing I can say about Yozo Craft is that they package extremely well.

A half hour later!

A half hour later!

 

Let’s take a quick look at what I got.

4 rolls of tape

4 rolls of tape

 

I bought 4 rolls of specialty tape. The top two are decorative packing tape with lace designs. The rosy tape is a fabric tape and the bottom roll is a pink lace washi tape.

Stickers!

Stickers!

 

I bought five packages of lacy stickers. Some are borders and others are figural.

Metal charms

Metal charms

I got several metal charms. It took me a long time to pick these out because the variety they offer is extensive. I adore the little ruler piece ones. These charms are top quality. They are nice and heavy and finished well. There are no rough corners to snag clothing.

For me

For me

 

I splurged and spent $1.50 on a cute mouse pad. Yes, that’s right I still use a mouse. It’s the Victorian in me!

Papers

Papers

 

Several kinds of paper.

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More papers.

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And yet more papers. Again, it took me quite a while to choose these papers because the selection is so great. These papers are not small either, they measure approximately 21″ x 29″.

Big papers

Big papers

 

These papers are ALL really nice and thick. Some are waterproof and are almost like thin plastic. The descriptions on the website say which are waterproof.

I cannot tell you how pleased I am with everything I got from Yozo Craft. The quality is outstanding and the prices can’t be beat. If the shipping deters you, get some friends to order with you and split the mailing cost. My shipping cost $18.00 for the two packages. My only warning about Yozo Craft is that you will spend hours on their website drooling over all the goodies!