Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Bookishly Fab~Books To Check Out

I love books, I collect books, I hoard books....
If your a booker check out these below. 

For the crafter:

I do not own these books........YET.  But I will.  If your a fan of the BUST magazine you will love Bust's DIY guide to life.  I scanned through it and liked what I saw.  It has everything from beauty, health, fashion, food, entertaining, finance, travel, sex....on and on.  If you like BUST magazine you will also like BITCH magazine.  Check them both out here:



Weekend Handmade by Kelly Wilkinson has about 40 projects that you can do in a weekend.  I am all for anything that can nourish my creative wild side!

I belong to a wonderful book club.  The girls are so fun and being in this group I read books I would not normally read or give a second thought.  It is always, always good to get involved in groups, clubs, throw little social parties etc.  Get Out And LIVE!  Step outside your comfort zone and learn something new and explore the life around you.  You will be amazed at how you grow.

Anyway.....the latest books some of us gals read were:

I have not read The Night Circus yet, but it seems interesting.  I am actually going to pick it up today from my library.  They just called me today telling me it is now my turn to check it out!  Read below the book description I copied off of Amazon:

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night. As far as for Maine, I just finished it and LUV'D it.  Read below the book description I copied off Amazon. 

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

In her best-selling debut, Commencement, J. Courtney Sullivan explored the complicated and contradictory landscape of female friendship. Now, in her highly anticipated second novel, Sullivan takes us into even richer territory, introducing four unforgettable women who have nothing in common but the fact that, like it or not, they’re family.

For the Kellehers, Maine is a place where children run in packs, showers are taken outdoors, and old Irish songs are sung around a piano. Their beachfront property, won on a barroom bet after the war, sits on three acres of sand and pine nestled between stretches of rocky coast, with one tree bearing the initials “A.H.” At the cottage, built by Kelleher hands, cocktail hour follows morning mass, nosy grandchildren snoop in drawers, and decades-old grudges simmer beneath the surface.

As three generations of Kelleher women descend on the property one summer, each brings her own hopes and fears. Maggie is thirty-two and pregnant, waiting for the perfect moment to tell her imperfect boyfriend the news; Ann Marie, a Kelleher by marriage, is channeling her domestic frustration into a dollhouse obsession and an ill-advised crush; Kathleen, the black sheep, never wanted to set foot in the cottage again; and Alice, the matriarch at the center of it all, would trade every floorboard for a chance to undo the events of one night, long ago.

By turns wickedly funny and achingly sad, Maine unveils the sibling rivalry, alcoholism, social climbing, and Catholic guilt at the center of one family, along with the abiding, often irrational love that keeps them coming back, every summer, to Maine and to each other.
For me, I liked reading about how this family acts, re-acts and moves along in life. It was a good read.
I will post more book selections to check out.  Most of my book choices come from my book club and other people who inspire me.  If I can in turn expand your world...then life is good ;)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Life Gets Busy

I have been busy with the holidays!  Trying to get all the shopping done in between my son's wrestling tournaments.  I am proud to say he placed 1st last weekend AND won most outstanding wrestler!  YEAH!

The other day I took the time to finish a necklace that I will soon place in my Etsy shop.  My poor Etsy shop has been neglected with every day life.  My new years resolution is to sit down a few days a week and make a piece.  I also have another Etsy shop for vintage goods.  I need to get my ass in gear and get them both filled up!!

This necklace is amazing!  It is black and white glass beads and I added a small skeleton key for that little touch of mystery.   The beads don't always lay perfectly flat, which gives it such an amazing look.  You can wear it with a classy dress or it can even be worn with your everyday jeans and sweater to add a rich look!  LUV IT!!  I showed a lot of people this, as I always do with my pieces and they fell in love with how unique it is.  I think it will sell fast!

I have recently went to NJ and visited local boutiques.  I love local shops, vintage shops and thrift stores!  Look at what I found.  I really love to look through them and find treasures and unique things from the past.  A few of my favorites back home on the PA side are Salvage Goods, Phyllis's Boutique, Underwire and Mercantile.  Support your local shops!

This is a Sarah Coventry necklace.  Love the pirate ship.  It is so different.  Can you find this in your brick and mortar store?  Nope.

This vintage pendant grabbed my eye!  LUV IT!!  I don't know to much about it, if you do let me know.  It is amazing!!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Skull Necklace

I love skulls!  I think they are cute!  I bought the colored skulls at a local bead shop.  I knew they were perfect for something.  I think I hung onto them for about a year before I figured out what to do with them.

The other day I came across a design that inspired me to make the skull necklace.  They are wire wrapped on a chain and each skull has beads hanging from them. 

I have a few left and I will soon be making a skull and rose necklace! 

Sometimes inspiration can come from any place!!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Lucite Flower Necklace

I was at my local bead shop and saw a basket full of lucite lily flowers.  I wanted to buy the whole basket, but since they were a littly pricey I selected a few to make a necklace,  I love the powder blue with the yellow.  I think I may go back and get a few of the smaller flowers and make dangley earrings on the same silver chain. 


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Things I Love

I come across so many things that make me happy on a daily basis I figured I create a post about them.  Sometimes I think people take things for granted.  I think that we all are looking for the bigger and better "thing" that we forget it is OK to appreciate the everyday joys.

Here is what made me happy:

Finding a Seth Godin Book at the used book store.
My eBay purchase of vintage clogs!!!!

The thrill of going back to school for design and writing classes.

American Horror Story being on tonight!!

The nice fall weather today.

Yogi Tea.

Oprah's Life Class

Stumbling upon various websites today that fueled my creativity.

Coming across this quote on one of the sites:


Monday, October 17, 2011

Cherry Blossoms & A Thrifted Piece


I love this pendant.  I found it at one of my friends bead shop.  I was not sure how to come up with a necklace design.........but I love red and black and I had red chipped beads that really look great against this.  I added some black round beads and piece complete.  I finished it last night at our monthly bead meeting.

It is different.  That is what I love about designing jewelry.  You can create your own pieces to go with whatever mood, outfit, occasion you need.  The joys of being creative!

I am attending a city Art Association tomorrow.  They saw some of my pieces last month and this month I get to find out if I am voted in!  Fingers crossed!

Besides my many craft groups, I belong to a book club, and a local Art Museum.  I read something the other day......."Consume experiences, not things"  I really thought about that one, because at this state in my life that is what I am doing.  There is more important things in life than buying the over priced latest fad or being duped by the many advertising traps out there to make you think you NEED the next IPhone or whatever is current these days.  As I get older, this becomes abundantly clearer to me.

A friend of mine saw a 1950's bangle bracelet at a thrift store over the weekend.  This bracelet is awesome!  Matches my outfit today!  The cost was less than a $1.  I was so appreciative of my friend who gave it to me first thing Monday morning (what a boost for a Monday) and  it looks great.  This is what life is about, good friends, good thoughts........and a good glass of wine!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Weekend Estate Sale

It was a rainy weekend.  I did not do much. Just tinkered around the house, cleaned etc.  All the normal things that go on on rainy days.  The rain did not stop me from checking out a local estate sale!!

This vintage purse is a gift for my step mother in law........maybe.  I LOVE it and may keep it if I do not find anything else to get her.  I love vintage purses!!!

I love jewelry.  I make my own, but I cannot pass up estate sale jewelry.  I just love things that have a history.  I much rather wear something that belonged to someone else.....like to keep their memory alive.  In my family, I am the keeper of the memories.  I have all the old pictures from the 70's, certain things from the past that no one really wants...trinkets etc.  I keep it, because I feel the memory of the dead is alive in the living. 

The palm tree bracelet is sterling silver.  It was $18 but today everything was half off!! I got it because I am going to Florida and this is the perfect bracelet!!  The broach speaks for itself for me!!  The necklace, I love it.  Two pearls and the clasp has details with dangles...that is what I do to my clasps, add dangles or charms.

OMG, I kept walking by the bathroom and saw the waste basket and toilet holder.  It is soooo retro 60's/70's.  I don't think it was for sale, but she tagged it for me...$5.  LOVE IT!!!

Now I am having wine and watching Cash and Cari!!  I can never get enough!!  LOL!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Happy List

The other day I got lost in blog world.  I came across so many interesting blogs about vintage, thrifting etc.  I just couldn't even stand it!  Vintage Vixen had a list of top 10 UK blogs that were FAB!  Congrats to her for being on that list!! 

Going through those blogs and other faves, a lot of people always refer to "Happy Lists".  You write in a journal a list of things that you appreciate or what made you happy that day.  It is a good exercise, because if you always focus on what you DON'T have you will always come from a place of lacking.  If you focus on the things you DO have, or what makes you happy you will always feel fulfilled.  It is good to do a list when you are having a bad day or you are around people who aggravate you........kinda like people who suck your good energies right out of you or are to negative....eeewww!

Seems a no-brainer, but it is one of those things that are easy to talk about doing, but never do. 

So today I start one...and will continue to do weekly and even daily!  You can have fun with these lists, they don't have to be soooooooooo lengthy, or stuffed in a journal.  If you see an inspiring picture on the web print it out and jot 1 or 2 things on it, and hang it up to look at it for random bursts of happiness. Print a picture of your favorite flower, celebrity, food etc. Possibilities are endless...........

1. My upcoming trip to Florida!!  (I already printed out a list of local thrift shops to visit)!

2. Wine.

3. Twisted Sisters cupcakes.

4. New found favorite Vintage Blogs.

5. New inspiration from those blogs.

6. Local estate sale that I will be going to tomorrow!!!

7. The smell of coffee.

8. Family & Friends.

I feel good already!!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Coupon Craze

Every time I turn around I am into something new. Coupons are nothing new, however I really never used them. I would cut them out, organize them and then forget about them. By the time I went to use them they were expired. They were not really worth my time anyway since I bought mostly generic.

One of the food stores I go to are now starting to double coupons up to a dollar and doubling dollar coupons on Wednesdays! That is a savings! I figured I would go try this out. I gather a few coupons on items I wanted and headed out. When I got to the register my total was $23 and then I gave her my coupons and the total dropped below $17. Not bad for a few things right?

I learned today from my fellow friends and co-workers that you can stack coupons! Meaning if I have 5 coupons (store/manufacture) for a $1 off of lets say Gain detergent I can use all 5 of them on one bottle. If that product is on sale combined with the 3 coupons.....wow!! What a savings. If I go on a Wednesday armed with all this, since they double dollar coupons.........holy crap!!! Lets say the price of Gain is $12. I have 5 coupons so that is $5 off. Gain is now $7. Now if I use these on a Wednesday with the coupons being doubled ($10 instead of $5 off) it really costs me $2 for the detergent!

The more I educated myself on this the more excited I got! I started realizing how much money can be saved doing this. My goal is to save save save and put the money I saved from food shopping away for my jewelry creating, big estate, thrifting days!


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cancer Awareness

I think we all know someone who has cancer. It is a disease that too many people have. As a gift to one of my co-worker's mother, I made her a bracelet. She was recently diagnosed with cancer. I believe they caught it early enough. I am sure she is a little racked by all this so I made her a surprise gift.

I hope every time she looks at it it gives her positive energy and the strength she needs to deal with everything she will be facing. The best thing you can do when life throws you curve balls, is embrace it. Be positive. It will only make you stronger.

It is harder to do than you think, but it can be done. It is a mind set. When you feel like you have a bad day and all is loss, it isn't.

If you think it is, click on the below picture here:

I came across this blog yesterday and I was so impressed and touched with his attitude and outlook on life. It changed mine.

Love your life.

Focus on what you have instead of what you don't.

Don't be caught up with labels and worrying about what people are saying.

Anyone saying anything negative is not worth having around you.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wear Your Hardware

Once in a while my husband goes through the mundane task of cleaning out the garage. Trying to make room for his bikes and bar stool racers. As he was building his trash pile, I saw old slatted doors in the pile. The hardware caught my eye.

I have a big love for skeleton keys, key plates, old keys of all shapes and sizes. Maybe it's the allure of stories of past lives the key holds.

I knew I could come up with some sort of design. It did not take me long. I just grabbed a few beads and wire and whipped something up.

I am wearing this piece today and as I was out and about I got a lot of compliments on it. I have been meaning to make another one to put in my Etsy shop.

What ever it is you design, YOU are your biggest advertiser. Wear your stuff. People will gravitate to you and ask you about your pieces. Have business cards on hand to pass out!

I did not do anything to the finish of the key hole. On my next one I may....not sure yet.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Calm before the storm

Yesterday the east coast had a 5.8 earthquake. Some areas felt it more than others. I thought someone dropped something heavy on the second floor of the building. Overall no big deal and no one was hurt that I know of. I guess we are getting hit with a hurricane this weekend. Maybe that is why we are having such calm and pretty weather right now.

The weather was beautiful last night. It was breezy and in the 80's. A nice break from the 90+ heat and humidity. After work my husband and I sat outside by our firepit having a few beers.

He made this fire pit by hand, scrolled the legs and everything! The stone is left over tile from our backsplash in our kitchen. We broke it up and put it on top! This patio is off of our original patio area and sits on top of hudge granite slabs. I LOVE IT here. You can take any space in your back yard or porch area and make it unique and beautiful. A far away retreat in your own back yard.

What I usually do every summer is hang skrim off my main patio. Skrim is a gauzy material that is great to hang outdoors. It dries fast and you can see through it. This plant below was not this big in the beginning of the summer. It had a few stems hanging down and now look at it. I almost goes around the whole top area!

The skrim gives the patio area a tropical feeling, perfect for summer nights. It looks great with candles and tiki torches lit at night. I keep it like this well into the fall! :)

Nice to sit outside and have vino as well.......my fave drink!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Estate Sale

I found an estate sale the other weekend close to home! We were getting ready to head to the beaches in NC, but I managed the time to go check this sale out. It was in a very ritzy, artsy area and I could not miss it!

Oil lamps! Love them. I have a handful of them. These two were the ones that stood out to me the most. The one lady next to me had a green one that I really wanted. I hoped that she would of changed her mind and put it back on the table, but no luck. We were saying how they do not make these anymore and lamps like these are precious! I use them as decoration and outdoor light on the patio. I may resell these two.

I love dishes and pill boxes. I like to display them randomly throughout the house.

This is an omelet cooker I guess. I grabbed it because it was different. This was rarely used. The one lady said she has one and LOVES it. She uses it all the time. It will go in my vintage camper!!!

I am not a smoker, but I love old ash trays. I use this to hold random beads and jewelry. I love the flowers! I hope to find one of those ashtray stands. Remember them?

They had a great piece of furniture. A green old dresser. I wish I had the space for it. I really need to have a big barn to house all my findings. I also found an old floor lamp, and a unique fish/knife scaler. I have a lot of fun going to these sales. You can find many unique things that you can display around your house and add flair!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wanderlust........and Gypsies

The other day I read a post on Misfits Vintage's blog about wanderlust. We all have it. We want to travel and see the world and meet fascinating people. I get like that, specially when I watch Anthony Bourdain. I just want to travel and hob nob with the finest people and talk about life over a good glass of wine.

But I can't travel the world, not at this point anyway. But you can satisfy your own wanderlust on a smaller scale. You learn so much about life and yourself when you go out and meet people, join groups, scower blogs. You can travel so far away right in the comfort of your own living room. This past month I have come across some pretty cool blogs from other parts of the world. These people have inspired me, reminded me of things, and given me a boost in an area of my life that needed a jump start. We all

After reading Misfits Vintage blog, her wanderlust reminded me of gypsies and how I like them and how I like Gypsy Rose Lee.

My mother use to call me Gypsy Rose Lee when I was little. I used to walk around with a bunch of jewelry on...all "gussied" up. Gypsy Rose Lee was one of the most famous strippers. During a raid at Minsky's Burlesque house she told the police that she was not naked, she was completely covered by a blue spotlight. Strong and witty! My kind of chic. She was also an actress and author.

I would love to pick up and travel on a whim. I envy the people who do. I do my share of traveling however. Weekends here and there with friends. I've had a busy summer this year......yeah!

Make sure you settle your own wanderlust....whenever it hits you. Don't forget to travel. It does not have to be to a far away country, it can be in your own town!! Take time for yourself, get to know yourself through others. I think sometimes we get caught up in mundane things in our life and forget to live uninhibited. We forget about our own desires. We sometimes let peoples negative energy squash our positive energies.

Don't let that be you......don't get caught in a slump.

Go......let your hair down, wear something outrageous DO something and GO SOMEWHERE!!!


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Sunday

Winding down from my weekend. I had a good weekend. My husband went out of town and I went yard-sailing! LUV'd it. I got some cool clothes and I spotted a vintage couch that I LOVE! It would look so good in my kitchen. I have a huge enough kitchen where one of those small vintage love seat couches would do well......but I have to move my washer and dryer into another room before that can happen. It is quite convenient to have one in the kitchen, specially if it is not noticeable. I'd much rather have the vintage couch!!! I can cook and have people sit on it......it would be such the entertainment spot! I went back today, just to visit it but do to rain they cancelled the yard sale.

I keep thinking about it and I have a huge extra room I could store it it. I believe they will have the yard sale next weekend, but if not I will go knock on the door! I have to have it!! Wish me luck!!!

I have just put a tray of Lasagna in the oven and having a glass of Nero D' Avlo. I am watching Criminal Minds.... Love that show.

I watched Cupcake Girls on WE last night. I love this show. I love these girls. Check them out:

Their shop is in Vancouver and I believe they just started this business blindly.....and succeeded. I love stories like that. Who says you have to have 20 degrees and come from influence. You can achieve anything as long as you have drive and desire!! Remember this!!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Vintage Style Glasses

I am totally obsessed with vintage style cat's eye glasses! I just recently purchased glasses at the local optometry. It was disappointing to say the least of all the mundane, everyday styles that were around. I managed to find a pair that stood out from the rest until I find what I really want.

I just lost a bid on a 1950's pair of eye glasses! I am so sad, but can't let it stop me from searching! This is the pair I lost the bid on:

However, I did win this pair!!

When I first saw them, I wasn't to sure about them, but how often do you see this style?!?! I cannot wait to get my lenses put in them. Everybody I showed them too LUV'd them!! Once I get this baby ready to wear I will post many pictures!! These will be so fun to wear!

I love accessories and I love wearing pieces that will make any outfit pop and stand out! I think these glasses are just the item to do it. I am never afraid to wear anything. If you like it and it makes you happy.....GO FOR IT!


American Restoration

American Restoration is a show on the History channel that takes old rusty, beat up items that have been discarded for whatever crazy reason and restores them to their original state. LUV the show! I love seeing beautiful vintage pieces get new life breathed back into them.

The show features Rick Dale and his crew of fun guys including his son located in Las Vegas, Nevada. They can restore anything from a giant gas pump from the 1940s or a vintage Harley the 1950s.

One of the things that was brought to the guys was an old US Mailbox. I had actually forgotten that they used to be red and blue! WOW, it is funny how seeing things from yester-year....it brings back memories.

I hope I am lucky enough to find more great treasures...I am stepping up my thrifting game this weekend scouring the city for lost treasures.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Vintage Room

I have not blogged in so long! I have lost interest and desire until I came across a FABULOUS blog Vintage Vixen It is a great blog about vintage, car jumbles and it is just packed full of awesomeness!

Inspiration and encouragement is everywhere. You just have to be open to it.

I have a spare bedroom that is used as a guest room/craft room. I love vintage pins. I collect them! I have some displayed on a fabric picture board (also a thrift store find). This is not a real good picture, but for some reason my camera would not cooperate! I have many black and white photos of 1950's - 1960's women my uncle use to take back in the day. He was an avid photographer of just everday life. I am glad I have them. I have some of them displayed around this room. It just adds to the vintage feel!

I recently re-vamped this room! It was to cluttered. I scored a amour that has about 8 drawers on the inside and above the drawers is a space where you can put a TV. I use that as a workspace. This room also holds my vintage dressing table! I LOVE them!! This room doubles as and a great place for guests to stay and a place for me to create jewelry pieces. The amour helps store all my tools, beads, metal etc. I also have a vintage day bed on the other side!! I will post more pics soon!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Skeleton Keys & Things I love

I started working on a skeleton key necklace. I used black and gray beads I had laying around and made a necklace. I love it. I never get rid of beads. Even if I think I never will use them, because you never know when creativity will strike and you could come up with a fan-dam-taskic design with beads you never thought you would use again. OH, and the blob of fur around me? A black and gray 60's style vest I bought on sale for a steal....$10...marked down from $58...SCORE!

I am not sure what it is about skeleton keys that I love so much, but I do. I love the vintage look of them, the idea of that back in the day they opened many doors in old style houses or farm houses....that I would love to own one day. Who owned them? What story lies behind those old doors? I am going to create a line of key necklaces and add them to my Etsy shop.. I should have some up in a few weeks.

Nicole Atkins..............

LOVE her! Not only is she from Jersey, like me....grew up in a Sicilian family like me! Her music ROCKS!! The first song I heard from her was a song called Neptune City, homage to her hometown in NJ. The video is awesome. She is on the boardwalk in a pink vintage dress and the back ground is gray scale...very nostalgia.

I just bought her latest cd, Mondo Amore. Her sound is different; she has a bluesy, soulful....just fabulous sound. If you like artists like Neko Case you will love Nicole Atkins.

As for this picture.......

I saw this on the internet as someone's background. When I first looked at it, I liked it....the colors the dress...then when I really looked at it I was like WOW, she is shooting herself. Kind of morbid........The more I looked at it the more I liked it. I guess it is called "butterfly suicide" It is different....I like different.

On other notes, I decided to go back to school. I want to take a few art classes, psychology, graphic design and English/writing classes. I am not going for a particular degree...I just want to take these classes. I want to continue my education and keep my mind active. I consider myself an ongoing student of life, but it is fun and beneficial to be in a classroom. The hard part is deciding what I want to take first.

I think ongoing education is very important, I think what is also very important is having a skill; such as welding, mechanics, contracting etc.. You never know when you need to be self-sufficient. It never hurts to be able to fall back on an old fashion skill. I don't believe you should rely the corporate 9-5 gig. Drive, ambition and the key to wanting to learn is the best desire you can have.

Have a fabulous week!!


I am taking over the webs design for our bead society. I am real syked about that. I can't wait to get back into that. I will be designing our new page!I am also scouring the world for vintage items to fill my other Etsy shop I will be opening soon. I am also trying to work on a facial scrub and candle line.....and learning Italian on my own. Yes, my plate is full and I love it!!