Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"I'll Be Home For Christmas"...

..."You Can Count On Me"...

..."Please have snow and mistletoe, and presents under the tree"...

These tattered German carolers have seen better days, but who else to sing a little Christmas tune?? Not this off-key sister, that's for sure. Only in my car. (*smile if you've seen that!) 

I found  a few more similar characters at East State Antique Mall in Rockford, Illinois, but they didn't survive the trip home very well as you can see by their shabby hats.

Party around the Christmas tree!

Quite a few items that aren't up to snuff for my Auntie Sisters booth end up displayed in my home until they can be repurposed, repaired or sent to the happiest of places, Goodwill. This Swedish angel is a survivor from a box of ten that didn't make the cut. The guy behind her just had his squeezebox re-glued. Sounds a little weird, doesn't it?

Aren't they sweet?

Never the less, the tiny bits of Christmas cheer displayed around my home make everything merry and bright!

German smoker with his hat repaired.

The handwork and painted faces are so simplistic and charming, how can I even think of retiring them?

Definitely a little worse for the wear., but I love their expressions.

Speaking of  "retired", the holidays are so much more enjoyable for me now that I'm not under the stress of commuting to work and worrying about deadlines or sales goals. Yippee Skippee! I am able to fill my days with family and crafts, Auntie Sisters, and friends. So that's what I'll be up to for the next few weeks, and celebrating my sixth wedding anniversary with my honey at  Pheasant Run in St. Charles, Illinois. Come on by for a wee bit of champagne and help us ring in the New Year!

Merry Christmas To All! See You in 2013!

Holiday Blessings,

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Psalm 65

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

This Is For Artists and Crafters

It's like being under a spell....

Do you remember the time in your life when you first realized that you had the ability to create something that others admired? Perhaps it was a page that you had colored or some sticks glued together that garnered the "oohs" and the "aahs". Maybe you made some  new clothes for your doll, or a pincushion for Mom. Did you make breakfast for Dad or fashion a bouquet for a neighbor? Write your own song? How about decorating your room or putting together a fashionable frock? If you have a creative bone in your body you most likely remember the path that lead you to an artistic life.

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting a budding young artist named "Phoebe". Some of her creations are greeting cards and she also makes lovely potholders.

Aren't these precious??

Such joy in sharing her art with the world!


What is so special about Phoebe? She has the wide-eyed wonderment and curiosity of a young child and the ability to create with joy and abandonment. She is gifted. I hope that in our friendship I am lucky enough to have some of that wear off on me!

Like most artists, I have a deep admiration for people that are able to use their creative talents to make our world a more colorful and beautiful place in which to live. But how often do we get a chance to thank them personally for sharing their talents?

Do you know someone that knits?

Thank you G-G!!

link to website

How about a builder?

Thank you Seth and Adam of Heritage Beam and Board!!

Link to website

How about a designer?

Thank you Ahndea of Heirblooms!  

link to website

Are you privileged enough to know an artist?

Thank you Deb Loxton!

link to website

To all of the creative, artistic people out there-

Thank you for every stitch, every design, stroke of the paint brush and swing of the hammer! You make our world a better place.

Crafting away,

Friday, November 16, 2012

Christmas Is Coming To My Booth...

...the elves are hard at work.

Can you name them all?

Rumor has it there are some shenanigans happening when we go home...

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree!

Friendships are made...

"Fancy meeting you here."

Or not...

"I was here first!" "No, I was!"

Some disapprove...

"Can't we just hang around?" "Does everyone have to make so much noise??"

Some just observe...

"Oh, dear!"

"Say, does anyone know if those boys are elves or dwarfs?" " One of them is kind of grumpy."

Do you ever wonder who the ringleader is at shindigs like this??

Maybe a jolly old sort? Is he too busy checking his list?

My guess it's the guy in the striped pj's hiding on this tree:

Someone looks suspicious...

I could have sworn that angel was over there yesterday! 

Or is it just my imagination??

'Til next time,

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Readying For The Holidays

The "Season Of Thanks" is almost upon us...

The Pilgrims are dressed for the feast...

The candles are lit...
The out of town guests are ready for travel.

So much to do, so little time.

Oh, no! I'm not ready!!

I know, it's only the first week of November. But have you noticed that holiday decorations and merchandise has been in stores since September?!?! 

My retail booth is in transition between Thanksgiving, Christmas and restocking my regular primitives and kitchen collectibles. In addition to paper ephemera, I also like to feature handmade goodies and one of a kind up-cycled creations. So my craft room, kitchen table, and every available inch of space is in a state of flux, glitter and glue all over the place, projects everywhere.

My ever messy desktop

Ideas becoming real...
It's been snowing glitter on my desktop!
Mini tart tins waiting for the magic to happen...

Will be you be ready for the holidays?

(Does this guy look like Ed Asner, or am I delusional?)

Crafting away,


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Aunt Martha's


I found these transfer pattern packets at a local estate sale and was immediately drawn to their unique graphics and quirky marketing taglines.Aunt Martha's transfers have been around since 1925 according to their parent company  "Colonial Patterns", and are still sold today and used around the world by quilters and crafters alike.

Aren't they precious? I am not a seamstress so I have to wonder why these patterns stamp 'slowly and easily'. It was obviously very important to the consumer! My best guess is that these particular patterns are from the 1950's.  Never the less, they are in great condition and look as if they were never used. I do believe there is a happy home out there waiting for them in all of their cuteness. They'll be at Auntie Sisters in State Street Market in time for our Holiday Open House on November 10th and 11th. We are going to have a 'dancing good time', and hope to see you there.
Until next time,

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Autumn Blessings

Photo credit: heartwarmingvintage.blogspot.com/
The Fall of 2012 has brought so many blessings to our family that my heart swells. Weddings, engagements, new babies on the way, new homes, first steps, diplomas, Grand kids starting school, new jobs, new friends. So much to be thankful for. The fact that I was able to retire from my job last year and can now thoroughly enjoy these wonderful occasions makes them all the more special. I still have to pinch myself sometimes to make sure that I'm not caught up in a daydream. The joy of not having to set an alarm clock and fight my way through the morning rush makes that first cup of coffee in the morning taste like liquid gold. And what better to go with my favorite java? Some old-fashioned baked goodness. My daughter and I made these yummy pumpkin cookies over the weekend, and I wanted to share the recipe with you. I would like to give credit to the original recipe creator, but someone shared it with a co-worker that shared it with my daughter, that shared it with me. Whomever you are recipe creator-we thank you!

Pumpkin Cookies
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees

4 cups flour
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 cups canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
Drop by rounded teaspoon on to a greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Frost while still warm.

Brown Butter Frosting

10 t butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
Boil 3 minutes. Cool.
Add powdered sugar til spreadable
Tip: If you keep it warmer & thinner you can actually dip the cookies to frost. This frosting recipe makes enough to frost a small boat. I cut it in half and found that it was plenty. It's very rich.


Wishing the blessings of fall to one and all,


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Setting The Stage

Setting up shop a.k.a. "Staging"

My larger booth for Auntie Sisters at State Street Market Shops was a labor of love, put together by myself, my step mom, my husband, my daughters, sisters, friends and mother. It kind of goes along with the name, doesn't it? As any shop owner will tell you, you can't turn away extra muscle or creative input when you are starting with a blank slate. Here are some photos of my empty space circa 2010:

Auntie Sisters empty stage
Every wall a blank canvas
 It only took two days to move everything in, arrange and check pricing. My oldest daughter is a magician at pulling together small vignettes and her final touches were just what the space needed. Since most of my wares are primitives and farmhouse chic, they blended right in with the electrical box that has to be accessible, and very little decorating or painting was needed. We built a short wall with vintage wooden crates and an old kitchen cupboard.

Customer ready!
Love that McCoy pottery!
There have been some minor changes over the past few years to accomodate new items. But most importantly, I feel comfortable showcasing my wares and I feel like my booth invites inquisitive shoppers to step inside.
Ever changing booth 2012
I am revving up all of my creative ideas for the upcoming holiday season and looking foorward to sharing the next "stage" with you all!

Until next time,

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Spooky Creations For Halloween

My last post left you with a sneak peek at one of the altered bottles I created for Halloween. Creepy, huh?
Gargoyle altered bottle

I wanted to offer unique, one of a kind spookiness for sale in my Auntie Sisters shop, utilizing the supplies I had on hand and a low budget. Altered bottles, books and charms to scare any decent vampire made the cut. I chose several different types of labels and dimensionals, keeping my theme as sinister as possible without being too gruesome.
Mr. Bones Candle on my desktop
Bewitching Book Of Spells
Winged Charm
I got a lot of satisfaction creating these designs from scratch and love how they set the mood for Halloween.

Whoooo doesn't like a little spookiness???

"Owl" being crafting 'til next time,

Monday, October 22, 2012

Setting Up Shop

I've had my antiques and collectibles booth (aptly named Auntie Sisters) at the State Street Market Shops for a couple of years now and was looking for a way to rearrange and add a fresh look without having to completely re-stage my inventory. My theory was that if certain items are presented in a new light that they might catch the eye of a shopper who had originally passed them by with no interest. My space is only 9'x11' and you have to leave plenty of room for the shoppers to feel comfortable perusing your goods. I have a real eclectic mix of primitives, pottery, and vintage kitchen, paper ephemera and vintage textiles. Here's a little glimpse of "Auntie Sisters".

If you look closely you might even spy Elvis!

When a small 2.5'x10' space became available kiddie corner from me, I decided that this could be a solution  for change without a lot of fuss. Other than the fact that the previous dweller had painted the wall hot pink, it just needed a little freshening up. Next step: engage helpful husband and co-workers.
New space after covering the hot pink wall and before decorating
My industrious friend Catie and her husband were building a pergola in her booth space and somehow she had some extra energy and ambition and not only painted for me, but sewed a lovely curtain as well! I love her like crazy. Until I could gather all of my crazy ideas for the best use of my space, I chose to give it the look of an old laundry room.

Quick set-up and easy way to display vintage aprons and textiles.