Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ring My Bell

Sorry I've been a bit MIA. I recently got offered a job, and needless to say the last few weeks have been  a bit of a whirlwind.

It got me thinking if I wanted to continue on with my Etsy shop. I originally joined Etsy as a creative outlet. Something I could do on my days off to keep me entertained. I didn't realize how time consuming it would be.  I am still figuring out Etsy, and how to be an effective seller - there certainly is a huge learning curve.  From shipping to taking the right picture, it has been quite the process:

(Interested? Click Here)

(Interested? Click Here)

Notice a slight improvement? I am trying to add character into my pictures now.  Not only is it more creative, but provides me with an opportunity to cross-promote my items. In this one picture I have 4 items available in my shop. It certainly will be a work in progress, but I am going to take new pics of each of my items and re-list them.

Moving on... literally - because of this job I will have to move out! SUCCESS!!! Goal numero deux is practically complete. I won't be able to move out till April however, which gives me plenty of time to think about decorating ideas. This is going to be my first "grown-up" apartment. And I feel as if I should decorate it as such. This lead me to the conclusion that I should continue on with my Etsy shop. Sitting in my paypal account is a sum of money that I am quite happy with, but there certainly could be more. I have decided that Etsy is going to fund my decor budget!  

I have already started determining a colour scheme (on the cooler side with whites, blues and greys) as well as collecting miscellaneous objects. 

Here are some things that I have my eye on from Etsy:

(Interested? Click Here)

I love this doll's house-esque mirror. One of the items I'm going to have in my bedroom is a vanity using a re purposed vintage desk.  This mirror is invokes the perfect image of what I want to create.  

I am keeping my eyes open for a similarly ornate desk. If it requires a fresh coat of paint, all the better - that way I can add my own personal touch. 

I am a huge fan of milkglass. I realize it is tacky, and overused - but for whatever reason, I think it is charming. This is probably because I am tacky...and overused (take whatever meaning from that you want). 

 (Interested? Click Here)

Milkglass comes in a variety of shapes and patterns. Usually it is found as vases and decorative bowls.  As mentioned above, my colour scheme for the apartment will be blue (aquas - think Martha Stewart's traditional colour...without the dose of biotch), whites/creams and greys.  I think punches of reds and yellows will be perfect for the space. I particularly like the floral used for this image, and hydrangeas happen to be my favourite flower (if those are hydrangeas - i have a beyond black thumb so any flowers in my house will be polyester).

What I love most about Etsy is that you can get some quite unique pieces, that when well placed in a space are a lovely surprise for your eyes (that's a rhyme). 

(Interested? Click Here)

I have a serious issue with animal decoration. Last week, when I was on a local thrifting trip, I picked up not one, not two, but 4 elephant figurines.  I have visions of me pleading with the counselor on Hoarders about how they need me. This particular piece would be absolutely perfect for my collection. Not only is it vintage, but it has a smidgen of light blue. Plus I totally adore it's eye makeup!

Interested? (Please don't) Click Here

I'm in lurve. I want this. I ache for this piece. It would be such a statement piece to just have on a shelf. I couldn't care less if it works or not. It's too much fun! Obviously if in my travels I see one that isn't as lovely as this, I may pick it up...but this, this I want. I would kind of love it if it did work. I can't imagine what a wondrous bell this phone would have. I'll let you ring my bell all night long, even if the neighbours complain (oohh...inappropriate innuendo!)

I think I am going to go hunting tomorrow. Today was my day off, but there was a mayjah blizzard where I live (Canada - who knew?).  Before work I may pop into a few places to see what's new and hopefully you will see some new pieces in my shop soon!

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Sneaky Plan of Attack

Tomorrow I go on the hunt.

Instead of doing my traditional "pick up whatever catches your eye" grab, I am going to be a bit more strategic. I'm doing my research tonight to find out what are some of the trends for this season.

Scoping out various blogs, websites and etsy (of course), I have come up with a list of "ideas" that I will be looking for tomorrow. The first place to start is the Etsy Merchandising "Desk". This is where Etsy lists some of the trends they see for each month.

Here's what they see in their re-purposed fish "crystal" bowl:
  • Valentines day
  • Vintage boots
  • Teacups, teapots
  • (this is my particular favourite grouping) Fortune cookies, wishbones, fortune tellers and honey bees (how the hells did "honey bees" get tied in with the mystics?)
  • Vintage brass and cast iron animals
     Vintage Black Leather lace up Oxfords Heels Low Cut Ankle Booties
    (Interested? Click here)

    Vintage - Tea for 2 - Tea Pot & 2 Cups
    (Interested? Click Here)

    Vintage 1960's Pair of Brass Love Birds
    (Interested? Click Here)

    Vintage Brass Apple Trinket Box
    (Interested? Click Here)

    I personally love going to blogs for inspiration. In an earlier post I mentioned how when out on an impromptu hunt, my boyfriend and I came across a set of glasses. I decided to turn them down, because I myself do not like "Souvenir" items. Turns out they actually are sellers on Etsy. Boo on me. It made me realize that perhaps my focus was a bit to narrow when hunting. Shockingly, not everyone likes the same things I like. Shocking indeed. 

    This is why Blogs are fantastic. It gives me lots to look at, study and a perspective on what's on trend. Here are some slim pickings:
    I also like wasting time on Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters. I'm just in love with their apartment items. Did you know that my virtual apartment is entirely decorated from their stores?

    Urban Outfitter's and Anthropologie give great inspiration to what I actually look for when out on a hunt. I always take it a step further though, and do my research on Etsy. Taking a browse through the various items there can be a great tell-tale as to what's sell-able, and what isn't.

    Here are some things that have caught my eye while on Etsy:

    Vintage Silverplate Cake Pedestal
    (Interested? Click Here)

    Having recently just perfected the best ever vegan chocolate cake (self-acclaimed title), I would love a decorative, and traditional way of presenting it. There is something classic and elegant about serving cake on a pedestal. It certainly is a step above our tradition of serving it straight from the pan it was cooked in. 

    American Bisque Yellow Parakeet with Blossom Planter
    (Interested? Click Here)

    This is a charming trinket holder. I couldn't think of a better way to hold some spare pennies, or a treats than in this planter. I realize that planters should perhaps hold plants, but I kill plants, ergo - pennies it is!

     Purple Shabby Chic Vanity
    (Interested? Click Here)

    Next to Tiffany Blue shades of purple has to be my favourite colour. I love what this designer has done to this vanity. Check out this shop indeed! There is a great assortment of vintage home decor that have been given a modern feel with a coat of artistically and deliberately applied paint. These are fantastic items that make me want to rush to the nearest hardware store and pick up a can of paint. I stop when I realize I can't draw stick figures. 

    As a recap here is what I'm going to be looking for tomorrow when out on my "hunt":
    1. Items from Etsy's Merchandising list
    2. Wall Decor (Hooks, sconces, hangers)
    3. Clothing (for my own personal wardrobe)
    4. Brass items
    5. Frames
    Upcoming Blog Posts:

    • How to build a vintage (thrift store) wardrobe
    • Repurposing DIY
    • "What I Like Now" Series

    Wednesday, January 5, 2011

    What I'm Liking Right Now: Robin's Egg Blue

    My favourite accent colour right now is the muted, robin's egg blue. This has nothing to do with the fact that it is the signature colour of Tiffany's. Nothing at all. I swear. Noth... ok. maybe something.

    It simply isn't economical to redecorate your house, or even a room every time an HGTV interior decorator announces the newest, hottest colour trends. If you pay attention, every episode there is a "new" colour trend that requires you drop some major bucks at Pottery Barn or Crate&Barrel. 

    When a colour palette comes along that appeals to you, jump on it! I'm in love with robin's egg blue. I have always gravitated towards the cooler end of the spectrum with aquas and teals. This particular shade I'm enjoying because of it's vintage-esque quality (surprise surprise). There is something retro, yet modern about this muted, light blue. I figure that if Tiffany's can be so successful with having it as it's signature colour, you can't really go wrong. Plus if you do decide to accent or decorate with this colour, it gives perfect reasoning to expect lots and lots of items in those little (or big) boxes. 

    Here are some great items found on Etsy that inspired me to redecorate my virtual apartment in robin's egg (ahem Tiffany's) blue. 

    Fleur de lis Hanger in Robins Egg Blue
    (Interested? Click Here)

    This is quite adorable, and the perfect place to hang your chapeau (get it? Fleur de lis is french...chapeau - french for hat! tres awesome). An even better idea would be to hang up some great necklaces or jewelry. 

    White Rose on Robins Egg Blue Pillow
    (Interested? Click Here)

    When you don't have extreme $s to spend on redecorating your already gorgeous pad, a quick and cost effective way to redecorate is through pillows. You can find them in a variety of colours, patterns and shapes. This is a great one, because not only does it feature the colour of my choice, but it is paired with a very pretty flower applique that offers great dimension.

     Bird Ceramic Lidded Vessel with Bird in Robin's Egg Blue with White Bird
    (Interested? Click Here)

    Where do robin's eggs come from? Birds of course! The pairing of this dish could not be more perfect. I love the palette of white and blue (the above flower was another great example of this).  Since it is food safe why not class up the traditional pot luck dinner and bring your favourite casserole over to a friends house in this dish? Just remember to get it back!

     Smith Corona Sterling Blue Typewriter
    (Interested? Click Here)

    I think this is a great conversation piece! Again, since I am virtually decorating my non-existing apartment, I can visualize this piece on a book shelf (surrounded by books of course).  My mother has her grandmother's antique typewriter beautifully displayed on a shelf. Not only did is it a great installation piece, but it was the perfect toy when I was younger (much to my mother's displeasure).

    MCM Retro Blue Salt and Pepper Shakers 
    (Interested? Click Here)

    If you do have a particular colour palette in mind for decorating a room, make sure to check out some great finds on Etsy. Not only can you get some amazing vintage items, but there are some beautiful, hand crafted pieces that can be customized for your own vision. 

    For more Robin's Egg Blue inspiration check out my treasury here.

    Monday, January 3, 2011

    A Venture into Vintage

    When you choose to shop at local thrift or vintage shops, that's pretty much as good as it gets when choosing to live a repurposed life. Not all stores are created equal however. I’ll admit it. I’m not the hugest fan of Valu-Village. This is for a few reasons:
    1. I feel like I have to drench my self in a purel bath after I am done.
    2. I don't like how all the profit doesn't go back to the community. These products are all donated, and only a small percentage of their profits goes back to specific charities. 
    3. I know that people benefit from the low prices for clothing - but are their prices really that low? Jeans are priced at $10...I think you are better off going to a Goodwill, Amity or Salvation Army or your local thrift store. The local thrift store in my community often has $6 clothing bag sales. It's where you pay only $6 for a bag stuffed full of clothes. $6. $6 for usually over 6 pieces of clothes. $6 Valu-Village...
    What is different however are vintage boutiques. Yes their prices are significantly more money than your local thrift store, but there are a number of reasons why I think they are your better choice.
    1. You can get some unique pieces that are quality made. Let's face it, the quality of clothing at FOREVER21 isn't exactly going to hold up to the test of time, let alone next month. The pieces found at Vintage clothing stores, by dint of the fact that they are still here and in good shape proves that they must be of good quality.
    2. The store owner has already done the messy work for you. They have already sifted through the 1997 Britney Spears-esque crop tops to find some real gems
    3. If the clothes aren't in the best condition, it gets fixed before it goes into their store front. Usually a Vintage Clothier knows their way around a sewing machine. Any minor imperfections, such as a broken zipper or missing buttons can be easily fixed, and usually improve the garment.  
    Etsy is a great place for finding vintage clothing. Take note however to really read the measurements that are given (or ask for them if they are not supplied). What was a medium back in the 1980s is not what a medium is today. 

     60's Saks Fifth Avenue Mod Striped Mini Dress XS S
    (Interested? Click Here

    Garden Floral Garden Strapless Dress
    (Interested? Click Here)

    Before you head out to Forever21, check out a vintage shop. This dress is the perfect example of how everything old is new again. I am pretty sure I have seen this similar style and print in store...for about the same amount and most likely poorer quality. 
    Great 1970s Vintage Animal Print Disco Blouse
    (Interested? Click Here)

    I think this is just a slice of awesomeness. I realize it's a bit adam lambert glam - but that's why I love it. Pair it with a pair of stir-up black jeggins, and some great boots, and you'll be a deliberate hot mess! LOVES IT!

    Graphic Print Dolman Sleeve Dress VTG
    (Interested? Click Here)

    My best advice? Find a shop that takes pictures and stylizes their items in wearable ways. It helps to visualize the way it will look on you (because there are no virtual dressing rooms on etsy), and if it is something you like, chances are the shop owner has similar taste. 

    My next post will be about how I actually go out and shop for vintage clothing to fill a wardrobe.

    Saturday, January 1, 2011

    An Homage to my Father

    My dad has had the same mustache since he was 16.

    He is not allowed to shave it off because I think we would all experience separation anxiety...from the mustache.

    It's obvious that the mustache is huge right now, and when you simply browse the vast selection in Etsy, you can find many items that will satisfy this trend:

     Happy Valentine Pink and Red Mustache Mug Set of 2
    (Interested? Click Here)

    Girls can enjoy the stache as well. What's cuter than having a pink mustache adorned to your coffee mug? 

    I Moustache You Hard Candy Lollipops - 6 pc
    (Interested? Click Here)

    With the ability to choose your own colour and flavour, the possibilities are endless. Consider getting these for the man in your life who simply can't seem to upgrade his teenage stubble stash to a Magnum P.I. monster.

     mustache ring 
    (Interested? Click Here)

    Are there times when you wished you could go incognito? Simply place this ring on your finger, and any time you need to go unrecognized simply assume the position (finger under nose that is).  It also happens to be a unique fashion piece.  Plus it saves you from getting a tattoo of a mustache on your finger, which let's face it - in about five minutes from now you'll exclaim WTF? (or maybe not. Hopefully abbreviations will be phased out too). 

     As seen on HGTV 2 Mustache Rocks Glasses
    (Interested? Click Here)

    What don't I like about these glasses?  Firstly, I love the idea of being able to have a mustache that has nothing to do with milk every time I raise this glass to my mouth. Secondly, the story behind these glasses is fantastic. They are sandblasted in their own studio, and have been featured on HGTV (next to the FOOD network, it's my favourite). Thirdly, I'm in love with the mustache twirl.

    While I may never be able to grow my own mustache (at least not without the help of extensive hormone therapy), I can certainly enjoy this current trend.  As I noted in my post about vintage kitchen ware, it seems to me that our generation's recent trends are reflecting upon comforting things of the past. Every time I see an item decorated with a stache, it reminds me of my dear old dad.