If you have followed my last couple of posts you will know that I am making lots of journals for the shows I am doing later this year. I had made a stack of hand-bound journals using coffee stained papers. It just so happened that I had a stack of the papers left over that were not the right size for the bound journals. See the stack with the holes in it?
What to do? What to do? Well it so happened that the holes all lined up perfectly so really all I needed was to find a cover that fit and some book rings. I found an old book called, “Asylum For The Queen”. I never read it but I loved the title. Here is the finished journal.
I had to add pretty ribbons and charms, including a crown as the title dictated.
On some of the pages I stamped images that remind me of old royalty.
This journal has blank pages, except for the few stamps, to allow for lots of journaling or space for smashing other ephemera.
I’m so happy I was able to use every last piece of the papers I had stained from that project!
We’ve all heard the saying, “When one door closes, another opens.” This has been so true for my shop Mossy Cottage.
As business expanded at my William Street location I was able to get a second smaller space upstairs. I called this space Mossy Cottage Too and it had more retro and industrial merchandise. For the last couple years, however, sales upstairs have not been so great, mostly because only about 1/4 of the people who come into the mall actually go upstairs.
To boost sales I started an Etsy shop several years ago but really didn’t put much effort into it. Earlier this year I decided to work harder at my Etsy shop and run it like the real business it is. Well, once I started to put some time and effort into it, my Etsy shop finally took off. I love that I can list items and run the shop
in my pajamas from home.
That being said, I decided to give up my Mossy Cottage Too space upstairs at the mall, and concentrate on my larger downstairs space and my Etsy shop.
Here are some
blurry quick pictures of my new business plan. Please notice that if I had one more item to squeeze into my booth downstairs I literally would have needed a shoe horn!
So there is a quick tour of Mossy Cottage as it is now. I love having the retro mixed with the shabby chic mixed with the industrial. It all can coexist nicely.
I feel a sense of peace having just one booth again. Having an active Etsy shop helps with the sales, but doesn’t require another rent nor schlepping anything upstairs (which gives my knees a sense of peace)! If you would like to visit my Etsy shop here is the link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MossyCottage
I tend to be a really tidy person and like to keep my work surfaces somewhat clean. However, I seem to have a problem throwing out the little bits and pieces left over from my projects. I think I must have a
crow, hoarder, good steward gene that keeps me from wasting even the tiniest scraps.
As June is on the horizon, I have to get everything ready to start making my items for the Fall. A quick tidy up was called for. When most of my work table was cleared off, however, I was left with this….
I am a professional at making something out of nothing, however, even this pile did not have enough in it to make any decent projects. So I went to my trusty suitcase of scrap paper to supplement “the pile”.
I used these papers to cover the writing on the tags and provide a nice solid background.
Even though the background scraps didn’t fit perfectly, I was able to hide them with pictures cut from a calendar and the bits and bobs from my scrap pile.
I had fun decoupaging. cutting. gluing and snipping for an hour. And at the end of it all, my scrap pile had shrunk down to this…
Now this little pile can just be thrown away, right? Maybe if you are sane. I, however, have squirreled this little pile into a bowl on my desk in hopes to use it another day!
If anybody would like me to send them the little tags I made, I would be more than happy to pop them in the mail. The first person who lets me know they want them, by leaving a comment ON MY BLOG PAGE, can have them. See, I am able to get rid of some things after all!!!!
As many of you know, I love to up-cycle, recycle and alter things. I have altered bottles, jars, boxes, books and all the usual things. I just finished altering something I never gave much thought to before.
You see, a lovely client of mine from New York asked me to make four May Baskets for her and some of her friends. I looked on Pinterest (any excuse Helen!) to get some ideas since I had never made a May Basket before. A lot of them were made from cones and some were more like paper boxes. I told my client, after she had mentioned cones, that I would prefer to make something a little sturdier that would last a long time. She said she trusted whatever I wanted to do, so off to Dollar Tree I went. After considering every container the store had, and some things that weren’t even containers but could be modified, I came across these….
I know what you are thinking, “Yeah, those four elegant ladies from New York are going to love those!” (insert eyeball roll here) But not to worry. There will be no circus themed May Baskets this year. After more than a week of decoupaging, inking, lacing (as in adding lace), flowering, making charms and, of course, glittering, this is the end result…..
Is that a transformation or what? I must say, I really love the way they turned out and I can’t wait to see what my clients think. And being that I used a plastic they can actually fill them candies, baked goodies or flowers if they want. Here are some close-ups so you can see the details.
So the next time you want to challenge yourself to try something new, look out for unusual items to alter. I guarantee you will get unusually good results!
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….
Do you remember this hideously messy box of lace from one of my recent posts?
Some of the lace was wound on vintage clothes pegs and stored in a jar so I can see it.
Bigger laces were wound on old spools neatly so they can be found quickly.
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!)
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.
Now that disaster has been made into 11 junk journals that I will be selling at the Vintage Home Market in Richmond.
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.
Here’s a close up of some of my bling.
Some more bling and some laces.
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?
So they all got covered with old book pages.
Then they got dressed up with some pretty rosy die cuts.
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!
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.
First I got two very large jars.
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?!
I got out some of my vintage clothes pegs.
And the pieces of lace I saved from my Etsy listings.
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…..
This is my HUGE box of jumbled up laces. So all I can say now is….let is snow!!!
Yesterday was a totally fun yet freezing day. My friends Barb and Juliana went flea marketing with me in Richmond. To an outdoor flea market. Did I mention it was freezing? But you know what? When you start digging through boxes of treasures and looking at all the goodies you kind of forget your pain, right? No, but you plug on anyway.
Here is what I got at the flea market and the antique mall we stopped at on the way back.
Just look at all those flea market treasures! I need to break it all down for you so you can wallow in all the vintage goodness.
I got these four chalk boards that were made in Portugal. Who knew the Portuguese are expert chalkboard makers? Not me! And I got the prim little wooden shelf because, well it’s a shelf and who doesn’t need another shelf? The tomato pin cushion is filled with stick pins I can up-cycle for journal and mini-album covers.
There was a really nice lady who was selling all kinds of crafting stuff for 25 cents a package but since I already have enough crafting stuff I just walked away. NOT!!! I did refrain from buying the whole bag for $10.00 though and I thought that was pretty good of me. But I did dig through the bag picking out some things I could use. I stopped picking when I could no longer feel my fingers because they were frozen. Getting my money out of my bag was a comedy of errors and I had to dash after a stack of $5.00 bills the wind took out of my numb hands. For an old lady I can still move pretty quickly, especially when I’m chasing flying money!!!
Well, after I recovered my flying money and my dignity, I noticed a stack of books on the same lady’s table. She said all the books were just 50 cents each. Hello! I got some beautiful books that looked brand new like the Pooh Treasury book and a Beatrice Potter book. I also got a book called Miss Spider’s Tea Party. This book was $1.00 because it is MASSIVE. I have never seen such a big book. Although the book is in great condition I bought it with destruction in mind. I want to take the pages with graphics out and hang them in my laundry room. No kidding, the pictures are poster size. Look!
Now how cute is that? Look at it. Just look at it! I’m sorry, you could not stay in a bad mood after looking at a picture like this unless your heart is made of stone. So the nice lady got more of my money and I walked away with a big smile on my face and an even bigger book. What I was really looking for though were linens and lace. I did end up finding a few linens throughout the day.
My favorite linen buy is the bright 1960’s table runner on the bottom. It will add a lot of color to my Spring shop displays. I didn’t find a single piece of lace at the flea market so I was kind of bummed about that. But when we went to the antique mall I found this!
I know, don’t hyper-ventilate like I did when I saw these. Juliana actually found this box first and she bought two of the paper rolls of trim first. And some of the trims are actually no more than shoe laces but for 75 cents a roll who could resist. I had to ask the vendor twice that they were only 75 cents a whole roll and not by trim type. I heard angels singing when she said it was indeed only 75 cents per paper tubey thingy. After selecting my three tubey thingies I found the two pieces of lace with the little roses on it. They are by far, no doubt about it, hands down my absolute favorite find of the day!!! I LOVE them. When I asked the vendor how much they were she said I could just HAVE them. Juliana and Barb almost had to do CPR on me. I told the lady I could not just “HAVE” them because they are so awesome. I told her I must give her something for the happiness she was providing me. I told her I would give her another 75 cents, the same price as her tubey thingies, for these two precious pieces of eye candy. She laughed at me. Some people just don’t understand people with LOD (lace obsession disorder).
I swore I would not buy anymore Christmas stuff this year because the shop is full of it and I really don’t want to have to store the leftovers until next year. So here is the Christmas stuff I ended up buying. I have no words for this lot. Not one word.
And last but not least, here are the things that really don’t fall into any other category of stuff I bought. Yes, there is a big box of PINK Q-tips. I don’t think I really need to explain why I bought those. I bought a beautiful vintage Austrian crystal brooch from a dealer who obviously doesn’t know the value of good old costume jewelry! I’m just saying. The little Italian lacquer box is a stocking stuffer for my mother-in-law because it is an old souvenir from Austria. Yes, she is Austrian and no, I didn’t spoil the surprise because she doesn’t read my blog. The box of chalk is for my Sunday School room because we write our prayer requests on the board each week. The last piece of chalk we have is so small it’s hard to hold never mind write with!
Now, the plastic fruit (grapes or raspberries?) are in this category because I thought they were your run-of-the-mill plastic fruit lights that had been put in the wrong box (pictured above the lights). But no! I plugged them in to see if they work and my breath was just taken away. You see, not only do they alternately flash on and off, but they play “Jingle Bells” at the speed of sound!!! I was actually confused at all the noise and action when I plugged them in. Could somebody please explain to me what flashing fruit (grapes or raspberries?) have to do with jingle bells. I know I can be dense sometimes but I’m just not making the connection here.
Now you can see from all these great purchases that the
early frozen bird gets the worm! So don’t let the bitter, cold and damp weather deter you from flea marketing because you may miss the opportunity to buy a set of “Jingle Bells” flashing fruit lights of your own!
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!
It’s a big bag of crafty embellishment type of thingies.
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.
So I decided to look at the contents with you.
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!!!
First, some fairly flat ribbons and flowers. These are great for putting on journal and album covers.
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?
Strings of pearls, pearl sprays and pearl beads. There are at least 1000 uses for these!
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.
Lace trims, cord and seam binding tape. Again, all white and ready to be colored.
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 youtu be crafting videos make something fabulous!
I am sorry I have not been blogging as regularly as usual, however I have an excuse (don’t I always?). This little elf has been really busy buying, making, cleaning, ironing, pricing and packing for the Christmas season. Today I finished setting up the shop for this weekend’s Christmas Open House. Then I have two shows, back to back, November 21-24 (see upcoming events menu on top of this page). I may be adding another local show at the beginning of December. Why do I do all this? Because I love it! I absolutely delight in making Christmas crafts and gift items. So to get all of you
normal people non-shop owners ready for the Christmas season, I am giving you a little sneak peek at some goodies I have made for my shows. Keep in mind that this is just a sampling, as a lot of stuff was already packed up before I decided to give you a peek.
Little decorated tart tin ornaments with retro pictures, figurines and foliage (a 10 cent word for plastic flowers and ivy).
Decorated tin star ornaments with all kinds of layered goodness.
My own design of cross-body bags. Some are covered with pieced together vintage lace and some are made from vintage Christmas linens. I still have a couple more of these to make.
Here is just a close-up of the front of one of the bags. I really loved how these turned out.
Tons of old yardstick and charm necklaces. I even made some fancier ones with beaded necklaces. These are super fun to make and no two are alike!
And here are some “good intention” cones. I had good intentions of finishing them today. Oh well, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen does it?
And here are some “good intention” altered bottles. They still need a lot of embellishment and I need a lot of
motivation time to finish them.
Well, there you have it. My excuse for not blogging as faithfully as I wanted. I really hope some of you dear readers will be able to come to “Ladies Night Out” in Bowling Green on the evening of November 21rst or to the Vintage Home Market in Richmond on November 23-24th. I would love to see my old friends and I always have time to make new ones!
Okay, I’m at it again. Playing tag that is. I know I’ve already blogged about making tags, but this one is different. These tags are loaded with layers and embellishments. I made these tags after
wasting spending hours on Pinterest. My name is Helen and I’m addicted to Pinterest. I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again. Anyway, you can check out my Pinterest board titled “Tags” or just do a general search at the top of the Pinterest page for tags and you will see some really beautiful and inspiring examples. So this is how I got started.
First I cut some heavy cardboard into a tag shape. You can make them rectangular if you don’t have a tag template. The color of the cardboard won’t matter as they will get covered on both sides.
I covered mine with sheet music on both sides and inked up the edges with distress ink. You could use brown or black paint if that’s all you have.
I put some corrugated cardboard, dry brushed cream, and two rows of lace down next. Holes were punched for hanging with eyelets added for strength.
I tinted some pieces of cheese cloth with Smooch brand glimmer spray, just to add some color to the next layer. You could use white cheese cloth or any color tulle just as easily.
Next I added an image and a feather just for fun.
This last layer is the most fun. I added text, flowers, a metal butterfly and lots of glitter. I definitely let my “girly” self show in these tags.
You can theme your tags to your own tastes whether that be chickens, bees, vintage pictures or cars. Just break out the cardboard and anything you can use as embellishments.Because unlike the game of Tag, these tags have no rules to be right!