Traditions & snail mail

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I am traditionally modern? An old-fashioned liberal? Not sure what you call my kind. I’ve never been a fan of labels, so whatever you call it.

I love traditions, and the old fashioned way of doing somethings, but do I find technology helpful? – YES, do I enjoy using the washing machine?-YES, do I find ease in the accessibility of knowledge? -YES, thanks google.

BUT, I love the way an old book smells and feels. You will never catch me reading on a kindle. I just can’t get into it. I love receiving letters and cards ( more so cards, because no one writes anymore). I feel like the art of writing letters is slowly dying. The fancy paper, the pretty seals, stickers, cursive. Hell, they don’t even teach cursive anymore.

Stamps!! Don’t get me started on stamps. I think they are like mini masterpieces. Tiny little history lessons barely an inch in length. I adore them. I have a pretty cute stash of cancelled stamps. I have always been drawn to them. I remember the first time I found some at a garage sale growing up… they were lovely, from other countries and already used, but carefully steamed off the envelopes. Some contained post marks. I took them and paid the man and I recall dumping the small glassine envelope out on the table and sorting them for hours.

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I think one of my favorite things about my Poppy was his stamp collection. He was religious about it. Reading up on the Post Office digest, getting the special releases, every time a new set came out, it meant a trip to the post office and the Village Variety. Another one of my favorite spots in town growing up.

Last spring I found a bag of old letters at a “junk” shop. I bought them and proceeded to read them all. It was incredible. The man was at boot camp, these dated back to pre-WWII. She writes to him. They ask of health, talk of holidays, etc. I wish I knew the end of the story. I felt kind of rude reading these private letters, but someone saved them and cherished them. I convinced myself they would be happy someone enjoyed them.

The bag was also filled with other letters from various people and a little book and clippings from papers and such. I adore this bag of stuff.

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I want to write letters and receive letters, love letters. I’m sentimental that way. I love saving the cards I have received from my hunny over the years. I hope someday, my great-grandkids break them out and read them. By then they won’t even know what writing is.

Journals have become Facebook. Paper books have become Kindles. Photo albums have become Instagram. Don’t get me wrong, I love my modern life. And the advances we have made, but there is a part of my heart that wishes we could go back to simpler times…but with dishwashers and internet.

What traditions do you still enjoy??

P.S. – Anyone who comments will be entered to win a package of vintage paper ephemera and a letter from me! I will include some really lovely goodies from my stash, which you can use in art projects, or letters of your own. BTW, you have a really good chance of winning, because not many people read this blog. LOL

I will choose a random reader and announce the winner here next Friday, June 2nd!

XO- Marissa

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Vintage Jewelry DIY

I love vintage jewelry. I swoon over the expensive chokers, 1920’s /30’s style dainty rings and earrings. And I would love to own a crystal encrusted statement necklace. Ahhh maybe some day…

Until then, my wallet usually allows me to pick up broken bits from the half price bin at estate sales, beware though…I once stuck my hand in deep to grab something and ended up pulling out an old denture set (whole place heard me squeal) I KID YOU NOT.

I also collect, old earrings missing their mate, pins, old chandelier crystals, old watches that lost their tick decades ago, and broken pearl necklaces. Some other things I collect throughout the year, are really sparkly buttons from vintage sweaters that can no longer be worn due to tears or stains, little salt shakers, charms, thimbles, anything really.

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I got thinking I could probably create something like the ones I oogle over at antique malls, the ones in cases that are surrounded by video cameras. And I thought I could do it for a lot less, because I am one crafty gal.

BASIC SUPPLIES NEEDED:

  • pliers, small ones with needle nose
  • snipper tool (pretty sure that is the technical term) wire cutters, etc.
  • E6000 glue or really strong clear adhesive (optional)
  • necklace wire
  • new clasps / jewelry findings
  • old baubles, pins, necklaces, earrings, etcDSC05438

I started by cutting the backs off the earrings and pulling old necklaces apart and sorting through all the little trinkets I collected. I was feeling really inspired as I started to sift through these trinkets.

I have a wild imagination and sometimes I wonder what the woman was doing when she was wearing these pieces. Was she shipping her honey of to war with a long kiss goodbye. Dancing the night away at some downtown party. Or does she just mop the floor wearing her pearls. I’m a nut. But it’s fun to dream.

So after I cut everything apart, I begin to layout the “idea”

thOne of these might help…. I don’t have one….so I just measure out the length of jewelry wire I need based on the length of the necklace I am making and lay the bigger jewels where I want them to end up, then fill in with other beads as I go.

Process looks like this :

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Sometimes, I do it differently, but there is no method to my madness. Sometimes, I love a bigger charm or piece so much that I know that will be the focal point and so I start with that. Then I just add to each side, so things stay even. But the sides don’t always match. Which was hard for me to begin with, because as creative as I am, I also have a touch of perfectionism, so I feel things should be equal on both sides. Ugh, it’s a struggle. But I forced myself to try this and really like the look of an asymmetrical piece.

 

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See the sides are the same length, but they have different charms on either side.

 

This is a finished piece, I just have to cut in the center, (one link) and add a clasp. I love how these are turning out and they will be for sale in my ETSY shop soon …here’s the link GO. But don’t bother until FRIDAY, MAY 26, 2017. When I have my grand opening, which I will announce here too! There is currently nothing to buy! LOL

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Now that you know about my hoarding. I feel like we are friends, and friends don’t judge. So, what do you guys hoard? collect?

Have a creative day!

XO Marissa

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Makeovers

I love a good makeover.  How about you? I don’t mean makeup either.

I mean bringing home the ugliest, thrifty, one man’s trash -kind of project ….and making it sparkle and shine.

It literally makes me squeal like a pig to see an amazing before and after picture.

20170523_105615So, I was browsing through my local Goodwill ( by the way, they know me by name) and I found these vintage 1967 Glenn Miller chalkware parrots. I can almost envision the house these were displayed in.  The brown and mustard yellow shaggy carpet, the plaid-ish couch, the kitschy ashtrays on every table.  Lol

But really, I dig this stuff.

So when I saw them I knew I could get them back to the vintage glory or at least die trying.

$6.99 for the pair.  But this is what they looked like …ugh

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I am all for artist expression and obviously crafty makeovers, but this is just not cool.  And definitely not my style.

With summer weather coming , I knew I wanted to paint the parrots in their more traditional colors, but brightErica and more vibrant.

I used Golden brand acrylic paints in red, teal, green, yellow.  And paid craft paint in white and black to mix various shades.

Golden paints have a factory and artisthe residence in New Berlin, NY (near me) and I love to support them go on a tour of you ever get a chance.  Plus the high density pigment and thick consistency made easy work of this project.

Www.goldenpaints.com

I printed the parrots to cover the hideous splatter paint and start with a clean slate. Then I just Googled some various styles of parrots and got to painting.  Finally I sealed them with a high gloss modge podge.

I’m pretty ecstatic about how they turned out!

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What do you think?

I think they will make a great focal point for my luau this summer! Plus that side by side is crazy! Love it!

Polly got a makeover!

XO Marissa

Perfect Retro Picnic

I love picnics…even more so the beautiful weather that allows for them. It’s casual dining at it’s best. I love the smell of bbq and love the tasty salads, that all contain massive amounts of mayo. yum.

I love eating in the sun and under the trees. The easy breezy way everything comes together so quickly. The laziness that ensues. It’s much more fun than a stuffy dinner party. I would trade blankets on the grass over napkins on your lap any day.

I thought it would be fun to incorporate a vintage vibe which makes it even more adorable.

 

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So I broke out my portable record player and some oldies and set the stage… Still much easier than a dinner party. I hung an old lace table cloth between two trees for a little privacy and strung up some cute vintage hankies. Filled my basket with bottle sodas and goodies.

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I just packed up some sandwiches, but if your house of the park allows you could totally grill up some yummy bbq food. I wrapped the sandwiches in parchment and ribbon ( honestly more for pictures than anything).

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I packed everyone’s favorite bubbly and made a batch of cherry limeade too.

Recipe: super easy

1 can of limeade

1 bottle of cherry lime seltzer

1 jar maraschino cheeries

Mix up the limeade according to directions, add 1 part seltzer to 2 parts limeade for a little added flavor and fiz. Finish off with a few cherries and a bit of cherry juice if you like. Add to super cute mason jar for sipping!!

I also made some chilled  fruit and yogurt parfaits which I packaged in cheap mini mason jars and topped with gingham fabric from my stash.

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A picnic is not complete without dessert and I wanted something easy and low maintenance (mess free). Cupcakes seemed like an easy option. Google cherry cola cupcakes. yum

Of course, I dressed up in a vintage little sun dress and made a cute little daffodil flower for my hair. All the ladies got flowers for their hair and fans to cool and keep the bugs at bay.

It was a really sweet day. With laughter and fun. You could totally spike that limeade and add a game of bocce ball to carry this picnic into the evening. LOL

May this spring bring many picnics and bare feet frolicking

XO Marissa

PS. If you care to read the full article this has been published in PINUP Industry MAGAZINE – here

Christmas Trees…. my favorite tradition

It’s my favorite part of the holidays. Oh Christmas Tree. How lovely is every last needle…..except when they are in the bottom of your foot. ha!

All kidding aside, I don’t even mind the needles. The smell of fresh cut pine, the bare spot that faces the wall, the lights all aglow at night, watching movies by tree light, and reminiscing about where all the ornaments came from. I love it all!

I remember walking back onto our property as kids, trekking through the snow, knee deep to find the perfect one. Whining.

I’ve come a long way…I appreciate those memories now.

Somehow the tree always looks better in nature. But who cares.

I was honored to team up with Massoud’s Tree Farm in Saquoit, NY this year. I was able to  capture families going on there Christmas tree adventure. Lots of rosy cheeks and laughter.

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Over the past few weeks I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know the family! “Everyone who works here is family”, says, Omar Massoud (owner). He was right, because after just a few hours of being there taking pictures, I felt right at home! They were so kind and inviting.

They are completely a full service Christmas shop…. from gorgeous trees, to wreaths made to order, decorations, anything you want. They even load up the tree and tie it down for you.

I spent some time talking with Mr. Massoud (Owner) in the cozy gift shop, where he makes wreaths and swags, each creation is beautiful. Most days his hands are so sticky with sap from his hard work, but he always has a smile for every single customer and greets everyone like family!

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You can tell he loves his work and loves working with his family. Thank you for welcoming me into your family.

After taking lots of pictures for my clients, we ventured up on the hill to get our own tree! We got a fun and crisp ride up and after searching for a bit we found the perfect one.

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Home it goes to get lit and decorated. And then a cozy Christmas movie ….

Here is a small peek at some of my favorites from the season!

I have the best clients! I love my job!!

Warm Wishes this holiday season from my family to yours….

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What is your favorite winter tradition?

XO

 

** All photos taken at Massouds Tree Farm. Please find them here and give them a huge thumbs up!

 

Ice cream socialite

So  I’m planning on hosting a little customer appreciation party  this month and releasing some new items.

I was trying to come up with a cute theme that wouldn’t break the bank.  I love a good theme, don’t you!

I would need an outfit to match ( did I mention I love a good theme).

So it started with these. …

I had oogled over similar pairs online and then gagged when I saw the price.  As a DDIYER, I knew I could make these at home.  

Total cost: approx. $5

Items :

High heel shoes  ( i didn’t include this in total price because I had these and they were in terrible shape from other halloween costumes)

Silicone caulk (white)

PAINT  ( i used pink and brown)

Fake cherry 

Frosting decorators tip

Newspaper, ziploc bag, paint brush, craft foam scraps.

First spread a layer of caulk all over the shoes and let dry.  I used one whole small tube for the pair.  I let them dry overnight. 

These were previously painted and glittered for a poison ivy costume.  So I scraped mossy of the glitter off and started with a blank canvas

I simply used a butter knife and my fibers to smooth it out over the shoes , covering everything but the bottoms.

Then I filled a ziploc bag fired with a Frosting tip with a bit odd the caulk. and made a swirl ( mimicking whipped cream).


I plopped on a fake little cherry ! I got these at a little old lady’s garage sale but you can find ten at hobby lobby or Michael’s too. 

I showed them to dry overnight after this step.  The next day I painted the hell a light brown and the rest (excluding the whipped cream ) a nice strawberry pink.  You could  use mint green (mint chip) or cream ( French vanilla) let your favorite flavor be your guide.

I then drizzled some very thin glossy brown paint in the toe area only ( stimulating  chocolate syrup) and before this had a chance to dry completely I dropped small pieces  of craft foam in fun colors. 

At this point you could spray with a finishing / sealing spray like  polyacrylic. You will want to use a water based one if you use water based paint. 

I skipped this step because I used an outdoor craft paint and waterproof caulk, plus I don’t plan on wearing outdoors. 

So, happy shoe makeovers! 

These almost look good enough to eat!

XO marissa

Pin Wheel Decor

Who doesn’t love a friggin PIN WHEEL!

PIN WHEEL: Instructions

What you need:

 

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Starch, squares of fabric, they must be perfect (or close to) squares, paint brush.

STEP 1: Cut the squares, place on foil or waxed paper, something that can be easily peeled off. Then brush on a good layer of liquid starch. Starch comes in spray or liquid form, liquid is better for this project and can be found in the laundry isle. This makes your fabric stiff , no fraying, and easier/ more sturdy for projects.

Step 2: allow to dry completely

Step 3:

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Step 4:

Cut from each corner of the square to the middle, leaving a small spot in the center ( about the size of a penny). You could even put a penny in the center so you don’t over cut.

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see how I did not cut all the way across and stopped in the center.

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you will then fold every other “petal” toward the middle and hold with finger . this begins to form the pin wheel shape.

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Once you have folded every other “Flap or petal” you will have this. I used a vintage button and a dab of glue to hold it all together.

You can add these to just about everything…. your packages, your shoes, hair, clothing…. just too cute!

May there always be wind through your pin wheel

XO- Painted Pin Up