Saturday, January 24, 2015

New Girl in Town

Last Thursday I went to an estate sale where I asked the sales clerk if it would be possible to just transport an entire room to my house. The homeowner had been a seamstress, and there were bins and bins of mostly vintage lace (not antique, but 60s to 80s vintage) patterns, notions, buttons, and two dress forms. I wanted both dress forms, but didn't need them and didn't really have room for them. I decided to leave them, even though the prices were reasonable. 

On Saturday - half price day - the pull of vintage trim was too great, so back I went. Both dress forms were still there, and I just couldn't leave without the better one. 
She doesn't have a name yet. Her foam is showing a bit at the bottom but I plan to put a fun dress or skirt on her so that won't matter. I like that her proportions are more generous than my mannequin. Apparently the previous owner had to add a bit of padding to her tummy and hips at some point - I can totally relate. I thought about removing the extra but decided to leave her be as she seems comfortable with her size. 
She's been making herself useful, displaying some of my lovely necklaces. Her tattoo is a bit distracting, but I like it.
I may put her to work displaying items for my Etsy shop. We'll see. The lack of a head could be a problem.

Just FYI, Stewartform applied for a patent for this style of dress form in 1963. I only found one other online so they may not have been overly popular (don't tell her!)

I'll show some of the lace from this sale and another in my next post.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Attire for the New Year

When I first bought my mannequin I dressed her in a pretty vintage aqua jacquard dress. I loved it and loved the color in my studio - it was so much prettier than it looks here - but the dress was too small for her and had to be left open in the back. No one saw, but still...

So, I sold the aqua dress and tarted her up in a "girls just want to have fun" red party dress with gold sequins.

This one was much too big and had to be clipped in the back. Plus, I don't love red. It stood out like a sore thumb in a room full of neutrals with touches of aqua and pink. The dress was fun, but it annoyed me every time I walked into the room.  

So...I've been on the lookout. A few weeks ago there was an estate sale at the former home of a local antique dealer. I found lots of pretty things, but my favorite was this vintage dress.

It's a bit stained and has a large tear in the skirt but it's on a seam and can be mended. The entire dress is rows of lace stitched together. The ribbon is black velvet. There are no labels, so I'm guessing it was home sewn but don't know for sure.

I think this dress is pretty amazing. It fits my mannequin perfectly, and the price was so low I gasped when they told me.

I'm thrilled with it, and now I smile every time I walk into the room and see my Southern Belle mannequin.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Etsy Stats

This post may not interest anyone at all, but for those who hate statistics I've included photos of a few of my favorite Etsy sales from the past year to add some fun.

Vintage Beaded Sweater

My Etsy shop is something I started after I retired as a way to possibly make a bit of extra cash for art supplies and classes and as a way to spread the wealth - so to speak - from the estate sale shopping I love so much. I do make some effort to promote my shop but not in a big way and haven't paid a lot of attention to demographics (bad shop owner!)

Vintage Nightgowns
I truly DO appreciate all my customers, and while I was doing some year-end paperwork I decided to really look at where they're from. I already knew that California is by far my best source for customers in the US (89 orders since I opened my shop) and that Australia is my best international market (9 orders.) I hoped that I'd had customers in every state, but not quite - vintage lovers in Connecticut, Vermont and Wyoming haven't found me yet. Ditto for DC.

Vintage Ribbon with Metal Dispenser

Florida and Washington each represent 21 orders, and there have been 20 from Texas, 19 from Michigan, 17 from New York and 16 from Illinois.

Vintage Millinery

There have been 13 orders each from Ohio and Pennsylvania, and 12 from Oregon. I've had 12 on-line sales in Oklahoma, but many more at the two Glitter Markets here in Oklahoma City last year and a few at a two-day antique and vintage show in 2013. 

Vintage Pendleton 49er

I've had five orders from Canada, four from the UK, and one each from Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Japan and Italy. I don't usually list international shipping rates in my shop, so I'm thrilled when people like my items enough to contact me for international shipping.

Vintage Glass Ornaments

I won't list all the states where I've had fewer than twelve customers, although they're certainly as important to me as all the others. 

If you've been a customer, thank you very much. And if you've made it this far, I appreciate your indulging my statistical curiosity and thank you for taking the time to read my blog. 

Last, but certainly one of my best sellers - vintage lace!
I'll be showing off my mannequin's new attire in my next post. She's gone from "girls just want to have fun" to Southern Belle.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Year in Review

2014 seems to have been the Year of the Book for me. I made books for gifts and book pages for swaps and started on a handmade journal.

I made pink fabric books - one in February for Laurie

and another in September for Terry.

In August at a craft day with friends, we made little books from 12x12 paper. I've made a couple more since then. They're fun and easy.

In September I made pages for Karla Nathan's Nature's Blessings Journal Swap.

In December I finally got around to posting photos of the Nature's Blessings journal I received. There were so many lovely pages, and it took two posts to show them all. You can find them here and here.

In November I joined in on the Button Floozies White Christmas Button Book swap, which I posted about in December. I loved the book I made...

as well as the one I received.

I participated in a December journal swap... 

and made another December journal for a family gift exchange.

In addition I started on my first handmade journal, using Mary Ann Moss's Full Tilt Boogie online class as a guide. I've yet to finish it but hope to soon. I'm also trying to finish a journal I started in 2010 after attending Silver Bella. More on those in 2015!

Vintage lace is one of my favorite things, and I found lots of it in 2014.

Cindy Winter at Paper Crown invited me to be a vendor for their Spring and Fall Glitter Markets. This was a great opportunity for me as both markets were truly enjoyable and I was very pleased with my sales.

In February Paper Crown hosted a Valentine Soiree - lots of fun and a beautiful project.

Another highlight of the year was attending Karla Nathan's Birdsong 4 event in June. I did several Birdsong posts in June and one in July. Click here to see the class projects.

In addition to journal swaps, Laurie hosted a heart-themed 3-Inchie swap that I joined. Mine is in the lower right corner. I love them all and need to make them into a little book or banner - another project for the new year.

There were also swaps at Birdsong, including a banner swap and altered bottle swap. Here's one piece of the banner I made, but if you haven't seen it, you'll want to click here to see the beautiful banner Tami made for me.

Then there was the Vintage Darling's Snippet Roll swap hosted by Heidi of Sugah Beez.  Click here to see what I made, and here to see the wonderful snippet roll I received from Tabitha.

Laurie and I swapped vintage Christmas goodness in October. She sent me mountains of wonderful things that you can see here, and see what I sent to her on her blog here.

That pretty much wraps up my 2014. Hope yours was wonderful, and I wish you a very creative and enjoyable New Year!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

December Journal Swap

My lovely friend Kerry hosted her first-ever swap last month - a December journal swap. Eight of us made pages and Kerry made the covers, put the books together, and packaged them in cute striped boxes.

I love how she combined the elements for the front cover - so cute! It's a bright shiny red that looks much better in actuality than it does in this photo. For some reason all the photos I took make it look like there's a haze on the upper right corner.

There's a handy calendar on the inside front cover.

This is the front of the page I made. The sweet Santa came from a vintage Christmas card. That wonderful diagonal stripe vintage crepe paper came from a pre-Christmas swap with Laurie (I posted about the swap here .)

And the back of my page. I used a bell image clipped from another vintage Christmas card and added vintage ribbon. My use of the Wish ticket was inspired by one Laurie used on a snippet roll she made for me. 

This cute page was made by Teresa. I haven't added my favorite Christmas recipe yet, but plan to do that.

Teresa left lots of room on the back of her page to add photos or other items. I love this green polka dot paper and the holly sticker.

Leann made this lovely page. She's one of those people who can take anything and make something amazing from it in no time at all. 

And the back of Leann's page. So pretty!

Lisa made this precious page above and below. I love her style! There's a pocket and a tag to pull out for journaling, photos or ephemera.

Lisa also left room on the back for photos or other items. 

Chris used several techniques on her awesome page. Embossing, stencils and embellishments - and there's space under the flap for journaling. That blue is one my favorite shades.

She used chartreuse - another of my favorite colors - on the back of her page. There's a card tucked in for photos, etc.

Jeanne used a vintage Christmas card as a pocket for two tags.  I love this pretty scene and the poinsettias.

The back of Jeanne's page is ready for photos or memorabilia.

Tammy's page has lots of pretty papers, layers, and techniques. There are two other flaps besides the one shown above - lots of spaces for photos, etc.

The back of her page has a pocket with "The Real Meaning of The Twelve Days of Christmas, plus two tags.

Jeanne was in creative mode and made an extra page.  This one has a cute red/white chevron sack with a tag and a chenille candy cane.

The back of Jeanne's second page has lots of room, highlighted by the metallic starburst - love that!

Sheryl's page includes lots of layering, pom poms, and a photo of her adorable grandbaby - something to make us all smile!

The back of Sheryl's page is plaid - one of my holiday favorites - with a cute banner and snowman.

Kerry used a chalkboard tag, flower and doily to embellish the inside back cover. I added the cute tags from the box.

And the back cover - as cute as the front!

Thanks, Kerry, for organizing this fun swap, and thank you to the other participants. I just love having these sweet books of art from others.

Click on any of the photos to see a larger view.