Thursday, April 17, 2014

Happy Easter

I found these little fuzz-covered clay peeps at a gift shop and couldn't resist scooping up a few of them!
They fit in perfectly with a few eggs, in my ceramic egg carton.

Wishing you all a very happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ms. American Pie Cookbook

Have you bought your copy of Beth Howard's new book, Ms. American Pie: Buttery Good Recipes and Bold Tales From the American Gothic House, yet?  It officially goes on sale tomorrow.
I've blogged about Beth before here and here and here, but in case you're new to this blog I can tell you that she is a great lady.  She's leading an adventurous life as a pie maker and beautiful story-teller.  And she chose to wear my Retro Revival "American Beauty" apron on the cover of her new book.  I'm so incredibly excited and thankful for this!
Beth is originally from Iowa, and resides now in the famous American Gothic house.  The picture of me in the corn field?  Taken by my BFF while I was visiting Iowa.  Beth and I met at the Great American Pie Festival in Florida a few years ago.  Gotta love meant-to-be connections!
Hope you'll pick up a copy of her book.  And take a minute to visit her Facebook page, called The World Needs More Pie.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spring Decorating Vignettes

I don't think I've ever been so happy that Spring is finally here!  Winter really walloped us time and again, and, get this!  Dropped another couple inches of snow on us last week!  In April.  Crazy.
Dare I say she's finished?  The past several days have been quite warm, the birds are returning to the neighborhood, and the trees are finally beginning to bud ~ yay!
To celebrate Spring's arrival I dug out a few pieces to display throughout our home.  A few decoupaged eggs from Michael's nestle next to my antique, wooden rabbit:
Here on a side table I've placed a fuzzy bunny (a gift from my BFF), one of my a vintage, jadeite vases, and the gorgeous, antique glass and brass bowl my daughter picked up for me while traveling in Japan last year.
The small, pink platter is a vintage piece I picked up years ago while in traveling in southern California.
My favorite vignettes are the ones like these ~ made from special pieces from special people and places!
Hope your day is special!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Men's Shirt Refashion Tutorial {Dress Sewn for $6}

I made this dress in a couple of hours for just $6.

Talk about a lucky score!  I found a stash of enormous men's dress shirts at the Salvation Army for $2 a piece.  I grabbed four of them in this pretty, robin's egg blue color, and another four in a soft, buttery yellow.

I normally repurpose men's shirts into aprons like these (click here for details in a prior blog post):
...But decided to give dress-making a go this time.

I started by taking one shirt and narrowed the sleeves and bodice:

I picked the pocket off of a second shirt...

...Then cut it in half, just below the arms:

I baste stitched along the cut line then pulled the threads to gather it:

Then stitched closed the button placket:

I pinned the gathered shirt to the first shirt and sewed them together.

I topped stitched the waist, where the bodice meets the skirt:
The dress was complete.  Until I tried it on and realized it was way too short (at 5' 10" this is a very common problem for me!).  So, I took a third shirt and cut several inches off the bottom...

...And pinned it underneath the hem of the dress.  Following the hemline of the dress, I top stitched the pieces together and stitched down the button placket of the third shirt.

Dog walking on a sunny spring day was the perfect excuse for donning my new dress.  Notice Twyla's collar corsage?  Click here for the blog post on how I made it.


Oh, and why wear just one pearl necklace when you can pile on 7?!

I love it when I can elicit a big eye roll from Captain Project!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Fervent Fixation with Flatware

I have a thing for flatware.  Heavy pieces trimmed in a gold finish for fancier occasions:

And mismatched pieces for every day use.  I've been adding to our eclectic collection for a couple of years now, picking up a piece here and there at flea markets and thrift stores.
My enthusiasm for silverware has spilled over to the motif on fabric too.  Here's a peek at the Retro Revival aprons I've recently made (available in my Etsy shop).
"A Spoonful of Sugar" has brightly colored spoons in shades of pink orange, blue, green and brown.
"Kitschy Cutlery" features utensils in retro shades of aqua and pumpkin on a buttery yellow background:
The same print but on a soft aqua background:

"Tossed Utensils" has forks, knives and spoons on black with white rick rack trim:

"Delightful Dishes" showcases teeny, tiny forks and knives on plates:

"Diner" with more teeny, tiny forks and knives on this fabric:

The colors on "Retro Utensils" remind me of growing up in the mod 1970s kitchen in my family's home:

And a "Loving Spoonful" ~ creamy white spoons on a soft grey background:

Stick a fork in me.  I'm done for now.

Hope you have a great day!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

6 Easy Steps to Updated Your Etsy About Page

I finally made time to update my Etsy shop.  I'm a little late doing this, since they added the "Check out this shop's about page" a while ago.

I'm still not very confident with this computer stuff ~ I'm easily intimidated by having to make changes, afraid I'll mess up and break a link or something.  I really shouldn't have worried about these changes because they were pretty easy and didn't take much time at all.

Here's how I did it...

1. Under the "Your Shop" link, I clicked on "Listings Manager" (upper right on screen)
2. Next I clicked on "About" under the "Shop Settings" (about mid way down on the left side of the screen)
3. I uploaded a picture of myself as the "Owner" of my shop and clicked the "Edit" option to write a little bit about my shop (this is all under the "Members" tab).  This took about 5 minutes.

4. Then I clicked on the "Story" tab, created a headline, something I think sounds engaging and interesting, and then spent about 15 minutes writing my story.  Initially, I was thinking too hard about what sets my shop apart from thousands and thousands of others.  Then I relaxed and just started writing and the story came naturally.  Duh!  It's MY story.

5. Loading my pictures and adding captions was the next step.  Culling through hundreds of pictures took some time because I wanted to find the right pictures that best illustrate what I do and what I make.

6. Finally, I added links to my Facebook page, this blog and my website.

Since launching Retro Revival, sales of my products have continued to climb on Etsy.  1,162 to date!  From day one when I spent just $.20 and five minutes to list my first shower cap, I've thoroughly enjoyed the process.  It's such a wonderful platform for selling and interacting with buyers!

If you haven't updated your Etsy shop's About page yet, here's a helpful link:

And here's the link to my shop's About page
Have you updated your About page?  Do you have a tip you'd like to share?