To Keep from PDX

you know i must have kept few things that were found on the stp (seattle to portland)and back roadtrip, right?!

that up there is a rebekah lodge pendant.  i have a collection of rebekah lodge items but had not ever seen this piece. i love what the order stands for and i am so curious and interested in anything having to do with secret societies, rituals, oath taking, mysteries, conspiracies, etc.  
i was thrilled to discover it!  found at cargo.  and on sale!

this is a beautiful vintage needle case made in germany.  also found at cargo on sale.  you know how i always try to make everything into either a necklace or a hair clip?!  Well i am considering attaching a little loop to the back of this so it can hang on a necklace and be useful to me!  who woulda thunk it?!

ohmygosh i love these gold snake earrings so much!  also found at cargo on sale.  i have been wearing them almost daily and i will show you a wear-n-worn post soon where you can see how i have been wearing them with my fish, beaver, and owl necklaces.  its like a regular nature preserve on my body!  haha!

this wool blanket remnant is being made into a nice big long soft scarf/shawl.  i am loving the colorways and motif!

i got this book because i love the cover that looks like tree bark.  it is already falling apart so i will probably use the front and back covers in an art project.

this is a great piece of asian silk.  right now it's just hanging in the studio to inspire me.

another old falling apart book that i loved the cover of.  will also be used in a project.

another hand/home made rag doll to add to my personal collection.

another piece of opaque white bristol glass to add to my collection.

a blue silk and white dashed scarf.

a ginormous spool of red and white baker's twine.
(for the shop!)

these pictures do not do these justice, whatsoever, but these are two huge barkcloth curtain panels with the most gorgeous flowers and birds on them.  the colors a vibrant, bright and lovely!
they will either end up in my bedroom or over the pantry.
and lastly, another painted fungus!  yahooie!
found the wild cat one on the way to portland.
the one in the background was found at a garage sale a while back.
and i have one painted with wild flowers.
not sure if i will keep on with this particular collection. 
it may end up at Smashing Rubbish.
i just love that its kinda weird and unusual.  of course!

thinking about sewing,


this will pretty much be a photo post of all the loot i was able to bring back from my little road trip down to portland and back.
shopped all along the way.  both ways.  there and back.
lots of treasures!
rusty old match holder
book of poetry
silver wing earrings

old small 6 drawer cubby

alter/curiosity cabinet
sewing basket/purse
silk clutch

vintage bird

needle keeper

vintage paper box

small eastern euro doll

larger eastern euro doll

shell box

vintage mug holder

little silver bird vessel

vintage tin architectural pieces

vintage shell pin cushion

interior wood tray from old steamer trunk with gorgeous vintage paper

black lacquer boxes for display

small galvanized carrier

large tin bird

small tin deer

wind up tin bird (brought back 5!)

skin covered box

gold covered leaf pendant

vintage transfers and patterns

and 2 "helping hand" magnifiers

all this and more, available for your instant gratification!
come take a look and see what might call to you!
we have unusual gifts, lovely jewelry, and fun treasures!

Smashing Rubbish
15922 Main St.
Duvall, WA

Splash Splash!

here is a really old piece of embroidery that i used last year to make a sewing machine cover.  i had been holding on to it for a long time and then figured if i would just finally use it, i would have it out to look at all the time.

and then look what came in the mail last week:

brand new pillows and hand towels in red embroidery from:

Pottery Barn!

who woulda thunk it?!

i still like mine since it is vintage and embroidered with different colors but it does remind me of the new series Portlandia, on IFC, which is gut-busting Hilarious, with a capitol H, and in which there is a "put a bird on it" skit that will make you pee your pants! 
just sayin, "put a bird on it!"


PDX Loot

Found this little "Totoro" at Flora.

Blow up paper balls from Cargo.

Sweet little Hmong baby shoes and raspberry velvet box from Monticello.

Mushrooms and glass glitter bird from Cargo.  Little Doll, Demitasse box and candle holders from Monticello.

This little glass eyed green velvet pixie is my most favorite item from Monticello.

Velvet hangers,
white leather gloves,
and my next favorite thing from Monticello, a canvas newspaper bag for The Journal, Portland, Oregon.  I will deconstruct this and remake it into a bag for myself.
I have a project in the works with a bunch of white leather gloves so i will show you when its underway and happenin'.

Velour vest purchased at Magpie Vintage in Portland.  I also got an awesome blue, what I like to call "70's airline blue," leather mini skirt that will get made into a bag.  I will show it to you when it's being transformed.
These are some of the items I bought in Portland but not at Little Winter.  I keep forgetting to take a photo of the crystal necklace I got from Mossiere.  I did not spend nearly as much time shopping on this trip to pdx as I normally do so I don't have as much to show.  Although all combined, I probably did come close to my normal haul with all the loot from the handmade market as well.  I didn't really buy anything to resell this time, which is OK, since I still have plenty of stuff in the garage and basement to sell. 
I did go to the Monroe Antique Show and Sale at the fairgrounds over this past weekend so I will have photos of loot to show you from there.  I scored on an amazing quilt that I will hang on the wall over my bed.  And Jane sold me 4 vintage clothing pieces that are to die for and were so inexpensive!  And I almost didn't go!  You just never know what little treasures you'll find.

Happy Monday everyone,

Little Winter & The Ace Hotel

We are back from The Little Winter Handmade Market in Portland.

It was a fantastic Market and a fabulous weekend with the Crafty Aunties and Friends!

We stayed at my favorite, The Ace Hotel.  Every room in the Ace is decorated differently.  Chad and I have never stayed in the same room twice.  Above you can see the movie poster that was in our room this time.  Let me see if I got a good picture of Suze and Anna's room:
It's a bit dark but this is a wall in their room.  Tiffany's room had an owl painted on it with some poetry.  It's fun to see all the various decoration and detail.  I wonder what room we'll have next time?

This is the image on all of the wool blankets covering the beds in The Ace.  You can buy a wool blanket in the lobby, along with t-shirts, stickers, and duffel bags.  There is a hip NW vibe that is carried throughout the entire hotel and it helps define The Ace as a boutique hotel.  Stay here if you ever have the chance!

"The Bad Girls"

Our group included the three of us above: Dianah, Me, and Natasha - all there with no children.  And it included a few friends who had their less than one year old nursing babies with them: Suze, Anna and Tiffany.  Some of us had more freedom to roam, explore, and stay up too late watching live music each night so Anna's husband Greg deemed us, "The Bad Girls!"  Next year I think we will all be in the Bad Girls category, but this year it was Dianah, Natasha and I.  Sweet Katie hung out with the mamas and skipped Bad Girls status for this trip!

Two Bad Girls going to get their PDX on!

This is Tony and Shannon playing at The White Eagle.  We saw them Friday night after a little snafoo in arriving at our intended destination on time!  Thankfully we got to see the end of their set and it was super great!  I love seeing friends rock their skills and talents!  It's awesome!

On Saturday night we saw Y La Bamba open for the Yard Dogs Road Show.  Their sound was beautiful and haunting.  Chad and I had got to see them open for Breathe Owl Breathe at The Woods, the last time we were in Portland, so I was happy to get to see them again.

These two pictures are from The Yard Dogs Road Show!  It was super fun!  The Yard Dogs are a combination of circus sideshow, burlesque, cabaret, vaudevillian, awesomeness!  They were so entertaining again this time and I liked it even better than the first time I saw them with Chad at The Doug Fir Lounge

Now for some Little Winter goodness! 
These little wooden house structures with air plants are by My House Party.  Natasha bought a few of these. 

I couldn't resist and had to buy three prints from Kiki & Polly.  I loved every single one of them but had to narrow it down to three since I bought more art from other vendors too.  I have had my eye on The Night Swim for some time now.  And when I saw the girls pulling their bows back to launch arrows at the target, well, I couldn't resist! 

This print is from Amanda Blake.  I would practically kill or die to have one of her original paintings!  It was SO HARD to choose just one print from her.  I am considering commissioning her to paint a portrait of my boys for their birthdays this year.  Her work is magical, fantastic, and whimsical.  I want every single one of her paintings!
These are the Shanna Murray cups I bought for Chad and I.

And these are the illustrated wall and window decals I bought from her.  The cups are a collaboration with Pigeon Toe Ceramics and they are so sweet.  They have ones that say, "optimist" on the outside with a line half way up on the inside that says "half full."   They have others that say Hello Friend and Welcome Home.  I was so happy to meet Shanna in person.  She is a sweetheart and it was hard to pick just two decals.  I will put the fawn in the Fireball and the You Are My Sunshine one in the front door.  Love her work!

These two cards and cut-out animals are from Oh My Cavalier by Julianna Swaney.  Her artwork is wonderful and again, so hard to choose just one print.  So I bought a few smaller items from her since I had already bought the other prints.  If you have a chance to look up her work, you will be happy you did!

So, needless to say, we had a grand time in Portland.  The Little Winter Handmade Market was phenomenal and The Ace, as usual, was glorious to stay at.  I hope they have Little Winter again next year!  I will be there with bells on and a wad of cash in my pocket!

But I have to say, as grand and glorious as it all was, it didn't come close to being as awesome as the time I spent there with my friends!  Lovely markets, swanky hotels, and delicious foodie food aside, the best best part was being with my friends.  I wish I could organize a trip like this once a month!  I adore each and every one of the amazing women who came along on this adventure with me.  I cherish their friendships, find their individual talents amazing, and am honored they choose me to grow roots with.  They took time from their busy lives as mamas and wives to connect, bond and deepen our relationships.  I love you Suze, Natasha, Dianah, Tiffany, Anna and Katie(and Koa, Nev, and Deva!)!!!  I hope this was the first in many many trips we get to take together!  You are all my sunshines!




Hasn't it been so nice out?!
It's November, people!

Just poppin' in to say have a great little weekend!  I am headed down to Portland with the Crafty Aunties and Friends.  Staying at my favorite boutique hotel, The Ace, as usual.  And attending The Little Winter handmade craft market at The Ace's conference space, The Cleaners.
Going to see Tony play Friday night and will get to see The Yard Dogs Road Show in pdx, again, on Saturday night!  Lots of shopping and eating foodie food in between.  I will take lots of pictures and show you around pdx next week!


Clever Nettles

Jasper near the top of our nettle patch!

This post is about Nettles!  The super food kind and the fashionista kind!  I think I finally figured out how to get my photos to load correctly so here it goes!

                                                    Jasper at the nettle patch helping pick!

I have been harvesting, eating and drinking nettles for about 8 years now.  Before I had Jasper I started an herbal apprenticeship at RavenCroft Gardens.  At RavenCroft I was able to study for 3 years and I earned my certificate as a Community Centered Herbalist (CCH). During my time at RavenCroft I learned so much about connecting people, plants and the earth and I have been able to share some of my tiny bit of knowledge with my community.  In my first year at Ravencroft, in the Healing from the Ground Up program, I was able to develop a personal Materia Medica beginning with Nettle, Dandelion, Red Clover, Comfrey, Oatstraw, Burdock, Plantain, Calendula, Kelp and Chickweed.  The majority of our work was based on Susan Weed's book Healing Wise and all of our work was centered on the Wise Woman Tradition.  I cherish my years and time at RavenCroft.  I made such deep connections to women, ideas, theories and practices that changed my life forever.

Nettle Tops

One way that RavenCroft "grew" me was in my learning about Nourishing Herbal infusions and how to wild craft, gather, harvest and use all sorts of weeds, foods, medicines, plants, roots etc.  One of my favorite "weeds" has been Nettle.  I harvest nettle every early spring and hang it by the bunches in my garage to dry.  I used the dry nettle to make nourishing herbal nettle infusion for myself and my family.  Jasper calls it nettle juice and has been drinking it since he was a baby.  I like to drink it cold and especially in the summer when my allergies are acting up.  I use the leftover leaves in soups, quiches, pastas, etc and if I have left over infusion after a few days, I feed it to my plants. 

Nettle bunch hanging to dry.

I make my infusions by weighing out an ounce of dried nettle leaves and stalks and shoving that in a half gallon canning jar.  I fill the jar to the top with hot boiling water and put a plastic cap on it for at least 6 hours.  If I make it at bedtime, I let it sit on the counter all night and put it in the fridge in the morning.  I like to drink it cold so as soon as its good and cold, I just pour the infusion off the top of the nettles and drink away.  Nettles makes my skin, hair and nails so much more healthy and it is LOADED with tons of minerals and vitamins.  No other green vegetable excels nettles in mineral and vitamin content and it is one of the worlds most chlorophyll rich plants.  Recently I have heard nettle lauded as a Super Food and I totally understand why.  There is over 1000mg of calcium in 8oz. of nettle.  Wow!

Close up nettle top.  These are just about to bloom and then Nettle harvest time will be over til next year.

With the fresh nettle I always make a quiche the same night of the first harvest.  This year I made  bacon, shitake and nettle quiches, one with regular pie crust, one with spelt crust.  Jasper ate most of the spelt crust quiche in his lunch the next few days and he loves all things rich and green.  The kid eats seaweed and Nori like its going out of style. 

Close up detail of nettle leaf top.

When we pick nettle, we wear tough gloves so we don't get lots of stings.  We make sure to wear long pants and long sleeves and be mindful of our surroundings.  Jasper has become a pro and can now pick nettle with bare hands without getting stung.  He knows how to pick a leaf, fold and wrap it up, and stick it in his mouth and eat it without a single sting.  Pro! 

Close up detail of nettle leaf bottom.

To me nettle smells peppery.  As a standard brew it is gentle yet powerful.  It nourishes and changes energy.  It is excellent for pregnant and lactating women.  All parts of the plant are useful and both of my boys still make nettle cordage like our northwest native american forebearers did.  No part of nettle is poisonous and you might try locating it under big leaf maples. You would do well to make nettle one of your allys in healing.  I did and its high iron, protein and calcium content have served me so well, especially in my bouts of low blood sugar madness.  I will never be without you nettle.  You are a friend for life!

Bowl full of nettle leaves waiting to be chopped.

Recipe for Nettle, Shitake, Bacon Quiche:
1 premade pie crust ( I buy organic ones at Whole Foods)
4 eggs
1 cup cream or half -n- half
cheese (enough to cover the bottom)
chopped onions, sliced shitake mushrooms, and chopped and cooked bacon
several handfulls (with gloves on!) of fresh nettle leaves chopped
Preheat over to 350.  Line the bottom of your crust with cheese.  This creates an oil barrier layer so the crust shouldn't get too soggy.  Next, fry your onions in olive oil and/or some of the bacon fat. I like to almost carmelize mine and then throw in the mushrooms.  Cook a few minutes and then add in all the chopped nettle.  I did this in a big soup pot that I had cooked the bacon in so with the high sides everything fits before it wilts down.  Meanwhile, whisk the eggs with the cream and set aside.  When nettle, mushrooms and onions are almost done, toss the bacon bits back in and give it a good stir.  Now take all that and pour it in the pie shell, over the cheese.  Then pour the egg/cream mixture over that.  Season and voila!  You are ready to put it on the middle rack in the over and cook for at least 45 minutes.  Watch the crust.  Also, you can place a cooking sheet under the quiche if its very full so the boiled over spills dont get stuck on your oven floor.  Let it cool for ten minutes or so before slicing and then dig in!  Its good cold the next day for lunch too.  Yum!

Please also check out my friends Kimberly and John's website, Learning Herbs, to learn more about herbalism, plants, and how to use them.  Their website is SO FULL of information and I highly recommend it!  You will even see a picture of Jasper and I if you click on Cold and Flu Care!

Anja's spring banner from her awesome blog Clever Nettle.

On a different note, completely, I love fashion!  One of my favorite blogs to visit and scour is Clever Nettle. I almost named my own blog something-something-nettle.  Anja, the blogs proprietress, lives in Portland and I am fairly obsessed with her, on many levels.  Her work is to thrift for awesome vintage and modern-but-cool clothes and she sells them on her Etsy sight, and then she blogs about it.  Dream job.  And she is so cute.  And she very often posts about food in Portland and those of you who know me well do know that I am obsessed with Portland, food, vintage, thrifting, clothes, etc.  Even though I am mostly a t-shirt and jeans kinda gal, I do love fashion and clothes and I have many a packed closet full of cool vintage clothes that I never get to wear around in my daily life.  Sigh. 

Many of the restaurants I have been to in Portland are on Anja's recommendation.  Check out Olympic Provisions, Calderra Public House and Navarre to name a few.

Chad at Olympic Provisions with all the Charcuterie hanging behind him.

Because of Anja and her friend Rachel, that she often speaks of, I am currently obsessed with Swedish Hasbeen shoes.  I think I have to get a pair, pronto, and I think I will be going to Clementine's, in West Seattle, to try some on first.  Also, my obsession has become contagious and I think I pretty much have Erin talked into needing a pair too!  It'll be a girls afternoon on the town and it aint gonna be cheap!

Assorted colors of Swedish Hasbeens!

Anja is leaving for New Orleans in a couple days.  I feel like a stalker but she has been asking for suggestions of places to go see, where to eat, what to do and visit etc.  Again, those of you who know me, know I am profoundly in love with NOLA, its part of my email address, I just went back for the third time in the fall and I do plan to live or stay there for an extended amount of time in the future.  Fingers crossed!

A blurry photo of us in our hotel room at The Hotel Monteleone famous for being haunted and for its Carousel Bar in the lobby.  Also the rumored birthplace of Truman Capote!

So I have been desperately trying to piece together every little bit of what I would want to tell Anja about New Orleans and I am realizing that so much of the magic of the city is that you have some amazing thing to discover at every turn.  There is never a dull moment and I am not sure that you can ever have a bad meal there.  I wonder what it would have been like if I had gone there for the first time armed with a list of "must do" things.  I think it would have been a little different experience, and I would have been glad to have had some guidance, but I also had the luxury and delight of "self discovery" without the pressure or anxiety of "gotta go, gotta go, gotta go."  I would do that to myself with a list.  It would become my boss and I would feel compelled to "accomplish" every item on the list.  And I would not have as many deep, cool, in-the-moment experiences if I went by a list, because, like I said, being me, I would rush to do it all and not leave time for magic and happenstance.  I am beyond certain that Anja would never just do exactly what I suggest she do, but I think I will withhold my desire to rush to share every detail, of every place, of every taste, of every sound that I would want Anja to experience, so she can find her own experiences of the amazing city.  I gotta think of just a few key gems to share and let the rest stay in the magic little place in my brain where the rest of NOLA is perched on a pedestal forevermore!
Gem #1:
Me in front of Elizabeth's Restaurant in the bywater area.  Take a cab from the quarter.  So worth the drive. Best breakfast ever!

Gem #2 (&3)

This is David's Found Objects.  I would also highly recommend checking out Le Garage across the street on Decatur.  In fact, Decatur is where its at.  Next time, I will be staying on lower Decatur, FOR SURE!

Gem #4 and beyond
Walk around and take it all in!

Walk along the Mississippi on the Riverwalk.

Take the ferry to Gretna.  We went to the Gretna Heritage Festival and it was fantastic to get a real dose of local culture and arts!  Yes, we caught a glimpse of Kool and the Gang and saw the awesome New Orleans Bingo Show!

Just watch out for the BIG bugs!

We spent one day driving up to Baton Rouge and exploring there before seeing one of our favorite bands, The Avett Brothers perform.  It was exciting for us because we were in the 6th row or so and the venue was virtually empty.  Here is how excited we were and how empty the place was:

The lack of an audience should in no way reflect the awesomeness of this band!  We were just in the middle of nowhere!  They were originally scheduled to play at House of Blues in the Quarter but for whatever reason had to cancel and at the last minute rescheduled in Baton Rouge so I think people were just not so aware that they were in town.  Lucky us!

Look at some balconies:

Check out some neat houses:

Side note: Have you been watching Treme on HBO?!!  Ohmygawd, I love this show.  The music, the scenery, the vibe.  Love all of it.
This past October was the first time I had been back since Katrina and it was a very different feel in the quarter.  The sense of mysterious and ethereal things, intangible, laying right below the surface, is still there but the many little obscure shops, galleries and eateries are gone for the most part.  I missed that part of it.  There is no lack of people who are ready to share what happened to them during Katrina.  You can still see wrecked buildings and the high water marks on underpasses and structures.  It makes you wonder and leaves a tinge of sadness but I am just so darn happy that the essence of NOLA is still there.  Keep rebuilding NOLA!  I will be back! 

Do you know what it means, to miss New Orleans, when that's where you left your heart?

Portland, Projects, & Moisture Festival in Seattle

Its Sunday.  I have been working on two awesome projects but they both are part of some up coming birthday presents for friends so I cant share them yet.  Can't wait to though since they are fun and easy projects that you can do too. 
Above you can see a photo of an utensil drawer/divider that must used to sit in someones kitchen drawer protecting spoons and forks.  Over time its interior green flocked material lining stuff has faded and come off in places to give it this perfect velvet looking green patina inside of it.  I love it.  As soon as I saw it at Stars Antique Mall near Sellwood I thought it could either hold litle miniature items oe become part of an assemblage piece I am working on.  I literally have tons of this kind of stuff around here.  Waiting its turn to be the next project in process. 
I saw two old cruddy and perfect patina painted red drawers just like these at a sale on Friday but I passed them up.  Sometimes I cant bring myself to buy a good piece because I have so many projects going and cant justify having another thing laying around waiting for attention.  I should have bought the red ones though.  Darn it! 

This amazingly perfect condition lamp shade/ lighted picture thingy is so cool.  Chad found it hanging on the wall in someones space at House of Vintage in Portland, on Hawthorn, and it was only $10.  Yes, I know, can you believe it?!  Maybe you have to see theis in person to see how neat it is.  The picture shows on both sides and its like really thick transperancy film material, but thick, I mean really thick.  And each corner has a very small grommet stuck in it like you are meant to attach it to the front of something lit up, like an advertising sign//board, or to those old vintage light up pictures people woould hang in their living room.  Or maybe its meant to wrap around a lamp shade base or something similar.  We have it leaning in a window right now and it looks cool with the light coming thru.  We intend to find a flatish little slab of wood that we can cut a channel in and wrap the shade into a cylinder shape and fit it in there with a light bulb in the middle.  Another small little project that needs to happen.  It'lll happen, cuz I love this thing!  Nice score Chad!

Above you can see a couple covers of old books I found in Portland.  The bluish book covers on the left I found at Stars Antique Mall and there are two of them, with both sides looking perfectly aged and with great patina, so I have 4 pieces of those when I seperate the backs and fronts.  The one on the right is from Monticello and its back side is great too so I have 2 covers there.  I will use all 6 peices, seperately, in assemblage pieces I have in mind.  Most likely they will end up as the background in a shadow box/ diorama type dealio.  I wish I could get my walls to look like any of these book covers and I would be in heaven.  The age, wear, patina, and mix of colors, texture and depth are what I long for.  I cant stand my flat single color walls but know this is not the house to completely make over with plaster walls and pigments.  Sigh.  Another time and place in my future.

Went to a fabulous and wonderful comedy/variete show at Moisture Festival last night at Hale's Palladium in the Ballard/Freemont area.  What fun!  The Mositure Festival works to keep Comedy, Variete, Burlesque and Vaudeville alive.  We went with freinds and by the time we left we were holding our faces because our cheeks hurt and ached from laughing so much!  It was that fun!  So we are taking the kids next Sunday.  The day time and 7:30pm show are for kids too and the late night 10:30pm show is for adults only.  I already know my kids will LOVE this because it is funny, weird, and odd.  It's right up our alley!  There are clowns, jugglers, acrobats, comediens, musicians, rope acts, aerialists, dancers, fan twirlers, and burlesque in the late shows.  Check out their times and other shows if this at all appeals to you.  I think you will find it entertaining and enjoyable. 

Back from PDX (a.k.a. I HEART PORTLAND!)

Whew! What a whirlwind! Two nights in Portland (PDX) is NOT nearly enough to do everything this girl wants to do! Dang! I need at least a week to eat, shop and listen to good music, and still, I bet, I would barely squeeze it all in. PDX has the goods and that's no lie. I happened upon a yard sale and an estate sale and scored, as always at Monticello. Found some sweetness in Sellwood and at Stars on Milwaukie. There is ALWAYS some gorgeous treasure to be had at Randy's Madison Park store on SE 13th where you can find beautiful Edwardian, Victorian and primitive antique furnishings and accessories. Always leave there drooling with a fever! And I was lucky to find an awesome item digging thru all the crap at House of Vintage. Chad even scored a brand new pair of vintage shoes at Magpie vintage clothing on SW 9th that still had the original tag on them as if they were old store stock.

I was so jealous! But I did score many a loot and treasure so I am not too sad!
For now I am just going to post some photos of many of the cool things I found. Later I will write about the food we ate and the music we saw. It was all good and fabulous!  Above you can see three of the four cardboard boxes I found.  These three all came from Monticello.  I love the old graphics on these and they are truly useful.  Usually I use them to wrap gifts in because I believe the presentation of a gift is just as important as the gift itself.  Its the whole experience I am looking for!  My cousin and I have gotten into a wonderful habit of gifting each other with these amazing vintage boxes and it makes gift exchanging all the more spectacular!  I especially love the typewriter paper box becasue of its size.  It is often hard to find vintage boxes, in useful shape and in larger sizes.  Sometimes I find good hat boxes but they are a bear to wrap since they tend to be roundish!  The My Little Library box with the bunny coming out of the watering can is so darn cute and it has the best graphics on the side as well, pictures of every nursery rhyme you can think of, some you can above.

This tiny little wire chair I love because I can upholster it!  Yes, folks!  I want to embellish this little fellow with gorgeous vintage velvet and make it the most inviting chair you ever had laid your eyes on.  Imagine it with a load of beaded olded velvet and maybe even a little weird doll sitting on it and a couture pillow with fringe.  Perfect!

And next, OMG, the most fabulous French ribbon and silk embroidered butterfly appliques I have ever seen.  There is one vendor at Monticello who has tons of vintage french ribbon and material and odd millnery items and whatnot.  Love that vendor!  So hard not to spend every cent there!  Another vendor had these, never before seen, silk embroidered butterfly appliques.  What?!  I mean..... WHAT!!?!!  Have you ever?!  These are TO DIE FOR!  What will I do with them?  Stare and drool and tuck away till gawd knows when....  Just look!  And the butterflies ar on old tissue paper.  Not sure how they are stuck on but they dont seem to be iron ons so ....... Hmmmm......

Well, I had planned to make this a much bigger post but since it has taken me three days to get this far, I think I will publish now and start a new and continuing post later.  Gus gets home from Death Valley National Park tonight.  He has been there 9 days with Community School.  We are all anxious for him to be back but have enjoyed our time with Jasper alone.  Funny how we had Gus alone for 8 years and have yet to enjoy extended amounts of time with just Jasper.  Bitter sweet since it all goes too fast anyhow.  How did August get to be turning 15 years old?  Time flies when you are having fun.....

Gnome Houses and Headed to Portland!

I have been wanting to share these pictures and gnome house ideas with y'all for a while now. I still can't find the pictures of the gnomes themselves but will hunt them down and add them later. Also, heading to Portland for the weekend where I intend to listen to wonderful live music, eat amazing food and shop til I drop. Will be staying at my beloved Ace Hotel and hitting all my usual haunts. I intend to make a Portland post next week to fill ya in on all the places I love to visit while there and share my treasures too!
In the meantime, let me give you peek at the gnome houses. I made the first couple of these over a year ago. I made one for Jasper to keep in his room for all his varied gnome folk and I made another another for an auction. I have made them for friends kids for gifts and just made another for August's Wilderness Awareness School auction so they could raise the money they needed to currently be spending 9 days in Death Valley National Park.
Anywho, I hunt and gather, all throughout the year, from tag sales, to estate sales, to rummage sales, Christmas Nativity Sets. The barn/building part is what I use to build my gnome houses and if I can, I leave the figures behind or give them back to a thrift store when I take a load in. The Creche is so useful to attach all my gathered and dried moss and twigs to. Whenever there is a strong wind I just walk around my yard and gather as much moss and lichen covered sticks as I can. I dry them out well and then use a hot glue gun to attach these in every which way to the nativity creche and voila, a gnome house is born. On this last one I used gathered shells and glued them to the tips of sticks to make them into mushrooms. We also used found and bought feathers and one tiny fake bird. The gnomes themselves are hand sewn using wool felt, gold or silver thread, and tiny bells for the tips of their hoods. I use wool stuffing and make them in three sizes so they can be a family. Last time the kids used nuts in the shells to glue together gnomes and added acorn hats and fur collars. So cute! Also on this last one I used a tiny grapevine wreath and placed some beeswax birthday candles around and melted into it and hung it as a chandelier! So darling! My lovely friend Brooke won this one at the auction and she was thrilled.
The kids help a lot with these projects and have great ideas about how to make them magical places. Try making one with your people and let me know how it goes. Have fun!