She Sells Seashells by the Seashore

home decor

Seashells, there is something inspiring and meditative about collecting them at the beach. Whether you are a natural collector of objects or not, maybe its the texture, the color, the shine or the feeling under your feet when you spot it along the ocean’s edge, there is an impulsive need to pick it up. Millions of shells, scattered and you suddenly feel the need to pick up… That One! When I was a little girl we put them in our beach buckets. I remember making art with them. One time I made an owl, glued together from several shells to make a paper weight and I gave it to my Uncle for a birthday present.  Maybe the attraction to this beautiful, surreal part of nature is that most of the time we never see what they looked like when they were alive. They are mysterious, living on the ocean floor, where most of us never go.

Low Tide Treasure who created the owl below has a great post on how to clean shells after you collect them.

Seashell Art
Wide Owl from SeasellsWe love seashells.

 

When my grandma who loved the beach could no longer live alone moved up north to be with family, I bought her a bag of shells. She loved touching them and moving them around. Her eyesight was poor but she could feel the edges and inside and outside of the shell and was inspired to move them around. The still life photographs I made are from those shells.

Seashell Art
Fine Art Seashell Photography

I went shopping with my daughter yesterday and beach life and mermaid living are all the trend. There are bathing suits that are long mermaid tails, shirts that say, “Mermaid Hair, Don’t Care.” These fun trends are not just for little girls. A way to bring the mermaid life into your own home is with shell decor: art prints, mirrors and even chimes.

Beach House Decor
Vintage Seashell Mirror
Ocean Cottage Decor
Vintage Seashell Chimes

And for the girl who wants to take her shells with her

Shell Choker Necklace
Vintage Seashell Necklace

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Easter Basket… What’s in Yours?

Easter, families, Uncategorized, vintage

Easter Baskets… what are you filling yours with?

When you think of your childhood Easter Basket, do you remember dying eggs, egg hunts or a visit to the bunny?

This past Sunday in church they showed a little montage of small children with the Easter Bunny posing for photos. They were all extremely weird, creepy and some down right scary. The kids were crying, the rabbits had huge teeth and crazy eyes. Those rabbits no doubt filled helped fill the schedule’s of some counselor’s later in life.

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This is my husband in 1973 – 9 months before I was born;)

What I remember, being small in the 70s, was a giant pink styrofoam easter basket that had sort of large green pipe cleaner handle.  So I asked my mom for my Easter picture and this is what my basket actually looked like. Maybe the pink one with pipe cleaners was in my dreams or maybe it was later in life.

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This is me and my beautiful mom in 1973

 

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Our kitchen in the 1970s – look at that retro wall paper (I still own that bunny bank)

I also remember a year where my basket was actually a tiny child’s wheel barrow full of Easter grass and candy. We later replicated this for our kids with a red wagon.

As an adult, what do you like in your Easter basket? My must have, Reese Peanut Butter Eggs. That’s my breakfast with milk and sometimes a yellow hardboiled egg yoke with salt and pepper. It may sound odd or even yucky but it’s my tradition and I have done that every year since I was little.

I came up with some fun vintage Easter items that were around in our Easter’s past.

Easter Basket Goodies

A link to the items above: Easter Dress, Easter Egg Decoration, Basket, Easter Rabbits, Vintage Basket, 3d Paper Bunny, Berry Baskets, Little Chick, Popcorn Rabbit, Easter Tins, Vintage Basket, Bunny Cookie Jar Check these out, they are some of my favorite vintage sellers.

 

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter and if you like this post or want to share an Easter memory, I would love to hear it in the comments below.

Spring Pantone Colors – Rose Quartz and Splash Green

Spring Pantone Colors – Rose Quartz and Splash Green

Uncategorized

Pantone’s color of 2016 is Rose Quartz with Serenity. Its lovely, but for spring I am seeing Rose Quartz with Splash Green as an incredible pairing that we find in nature. Fore example this tiny seedling of a pepper plant is naturally splash green and has a lovely rose quartz background.

Rose Quartz with Splash Green
Tiny Pepper Plant Seedling Photograph

And when we combine nature and a found object like this rose quartz – pink vintage trailer in the wood and the rambling neon or splash green trees and leaves we get something rustic and lovely.

vintage spooky trailer in rose quartz and splash green
Rustic Pink Trailer in the Woods Photograph

And because I love vintage, I wanted to show that people have been using this color pallet for a very long time. And no coincidence it has a touch of nature to it.

Rose Quartz and Splash Green Vintage
Country Gingham Vintage Mikasa Plate

I find the most beautiful colors to not be manmade but already created in nature and then expanded on by artists and designers. In fact my son has this bold green choice on his bedroom walls and it was called, “grass,” when he chose it. Do you have a favorite Pantone color for spring? Or have you found a favorite pairing of the spring Pantone colors? Please share your favorites in the comments below.

Vintage Style Men – Their Love of the Classic Cigar

Uncategorized

Why did so many of the most classic vintage style men love their cigars? Smoking is hazardous to your health, it’s expensive and it smells bad. So why do some of the classiest men consider smoking the largest, most expensive and down right smelliest tobacco products to be a luxury on the most special of occasions?  Does it blow an heir of wealth, success or confidence?  Or celebration? A brand new baby? Light it up!  The odor aside, I don’t know why, but cigar smoking men do exude a look of confidence that has been seen in the movies. And then there is that famous quote from Freud (pictured first in the collage) “Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar.”

This is a little round-up of some famous and some not so famous, handsome, vintage cigar smoking men and the classic cigar accessories they may have enjoyed as a gift.

 

 

 

cigar smoking men

Vintage Lighter with pipe for men
Vintage Cigar or Pipe Lighter for Men
Vintage Glass humidor with leather strap
Vintage Glass Romeo Y Julieta Cigar Humidor

 

kitsch vintage collectible chalkware with cigar
Vintage Chalkware – Cigar Smoking Clown

The first time I ever encountered a humidor, it was a large walk in style one for a new cigar store in town. It was a crisp, clean smell and really big. The business didn’t last. But what has lasted and I have come across more than once are antique wood tables with built-in humidor, box style vintage humidor and most recently the glass humidor with strap for easy travel.

Lighters are part of the experience of smoking a cigar and buying your man a cool one for a conversation starter at a party is a great gift ideas.

And lastly, chalkware is always such a cool thing to come across, especially when they are in nice shape, but a cigar smoking clown, is something you do not find everyday.

And lastly if you read this post, I will share, YES I tried to smoke a cigar once.  When we had just finished photographing our first wedding, my husband and I lit one up. I did not look like the men I shared above and so I never tried it again. If you don’t smoke, I am not suggesting you start.

Fruit, timeless and classic for Kitchen Decorating

Uncategorized

Decorating the home with fruit is as old as the invention of the paint brush and canvas, maybe earlier. Many old masters created pieces that were made for the fine dining room experience and then donned museum and gallery walls.
At some point fruit fell off the tree, “back to earth,” and became something we could decorate the kitchen with.

Master painter, Giuseppe Arcimboldo, created fine art portrait of important people, but did them in a way that was “fruity.” Intriguing works of a mosaic feeling and style where the fruit made the person. Pictured here The Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II, which I adore because this man of stature had a sense of humor and Arcimboldo was definitely bold and confident to approach such subjects with this style. I really enjoy the Adams apple!

Giuseppe Arcimboldo oil on wood painting of Vertumnus (Emperor Rudolph II)

 

Flash forward 350 years and the new housewife discovered fancy beaded fruit to display in fine bowls, wooden fruit for in monkey pods and kitsch anrthropomorphic faces for in the kitchen.

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Vintage Anthropomorphic Fruit via Etsy
kitchen fruit
Vintage Beaded Fruit via Etsy

 

 

wood fruit
Vintage Wood Wooden Fruit via Etsy

 

 

I tried my hand at a 3d fruit head sculpture to make a photograph of in college. I had a styrofoam wig form and I cut up fruit and tried to attach it in a nice way with straight pins. Kiwi, pineapple, oranges and I think some bananas. Needless to say, with no background in food styling at that time, what I ended up with was a puddle of sticky juice and pins in a styrofoam head with tiny scrapes of fruit still hanging.

But I recently created this fruit still life collection. It wasn’t planned. We always have fresh fruit in our kitchen. I walked in to get coffee and the natural light was amazing and I was so drawn to the almost overly ripe bananas with their freckle’s. The end result was a collection of 3 that are a more dramatic and moody color palet for the kitchen than usual. I like them a lot.

Set of 3 kitchen prints
Banana Fruit Still Life Photograph Collection

No One Brags about Their Hood Anymore

color photography, dads, Uncategorized

I love to drive but I am not a car person. I don’t like car shopping. I haven’t really ever gone shopping for a dream car. Several of the cars I have owned, have been ones that I have purchased from family because they were a great deal. Maybe it’s just because I don’t see anything really tempting about them?
New Cars…. mehhh

bluecar5x7
Blue Ford Edsel Class Car Photograph

But old cars, 1950s, 1960s, curvy, round, self indulgent cars sort of turn me on with my camera.
Even the Ford Edsel above charmed me with its shape and color. I didn’t know until after making the picture that it was known as a “greaser,” an “ugly duckling, “one of the top 10 Ugliest cars of all times.” But compared to the boring shapes of cars today, it intrigued me.

I have always been able to imagine myself in a big old car with a giant steering wheel, big sunglasses on and a scarf around my neck.
Something about the big steering wheel is so seductive.

Big Red Steering Wheel Photograph, Classic Car Photo
Big Red Steering Wheel Photograph
Classic Studebaker Steering Wheel Photograph
1950s Classic Studebaker Photograph

 

 

Mint green Studebaker Hood
Mint Green Studebaker Car Photograph

And Please, we cannot forget Hood Ornaments, so classy, so rich and so appealing. I will gladly pull out the redlipstick and take a ride with the top down anyday.

A Simple Christmas Book Review

Uncategorized

My sister gave me this book, A Simple Christmas, written by Mike Huckabee on Thanksgiving.

A Simple Christmas
Mike Huckabee

I like Mike Huckabee. I like how gentle he is on TV. I like his ability to laugh and his gift with music.
I like that he’s a christian and I usually like his sense of humor.
A Simple Christmas is a collection of 12 short stories.
I enjoyed these stories. Reading it in the middle of the holiday season, I took it one story or chapter a day.
I have heard Mike’s voice so many times on the radio and tv,  that when I read the book, I felt like I could hear him reading it to me, with his pauses and smiles.
I also love vintage and mid century things and when he describes his life growing up as a child in the 50s and 60s I could picture the homes, decorations, clothing and scenery.
It made me think of my parent’s, the same age as Mike and I could insert my own family’s faces into some of his stories.
This is not a political book, Thank God.
It’s a book about simplicity, growing up and learning to appreciate things until the things grow smaller and smaller and eventually there are no “things,” but moments and people.
A great book to unwind during the holiday season while having a cup of tea.

Storybook Christmas Card
FlapperDoodle on Etsy

The Joy of Greeting Cards

creativity, memories

In an age where everything is instant and downloadable, wouldn’t you agree there is something special about receiving something in the mailbox?
I love seeing an envelope addressed to me and then looking to see who it’s from, where it was postmarked and I also enjoy looking at the stamps.

Vintage Unused Christmas Stamps

But when something comes in an envelope the 2nd part of opening it in anticipation of what’s inside is the real treat.
Some years my family has made handmade Christmas cards to mail to our friends and family. This was one of those years and they were less than perfect, little hand cut gingerbread men covered in glitter. Even though they weren’t perfect, we went with it and mailed them because I knew they would bring smiles to our friends. Some friends may have wondered, What Were They Thinking? Other’s may have smiled at their silliness and there may have even been a few who cursed us for the glitter~
I participated in a card card exchange this year with a photography team I belong to, Female Photographers of Etsy or FPOE.
I received beautiful cards, some were handmade and most included a photograh made by the sender.
I sent this photograph in a wallet size to all of my team mates.

If I were to purchase something to display cards in my home, I really love this wine cork board.

Handmade WIne Cork Board in Vintage Frame by:
Farmhouse2056

But what to do with all of the beautiful cards when we are done displaying them?
My fellow photographer friend and paper crafter, Lisa Bonowicz shared what she does with hers. She binds them, almost like mini scrapbooks. I love this idea, I wish I would have started doing this years ago. I am thinking you could even add a recipe card for what was served that year on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Favorite cookies etc.
And I especially love the idea of being able to go back and see the handwriting of people I love.
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Lisa’s photography can be found at Lisa Bonowicz and her paper crafting can be found at The Orange Sparrow.

It’s All About Snowflakes

It’s All About Snowflakes

art photography, handmade jewelry, Home Decorating, Home Decor, Winter, Christmas, Uncategorized

 

What makes snowflakes so special? They are all one of a kind. If you don’t live up north, perhaps you have never felt the awe and joy of seeing these almost microscopic masterpieces up close.

Sometimes when it’s super cold and the windshield freezes I can see them through the glass. I want to try and capture their beauty through my photography this winter. The thing that amazes me is how tiny, fragile and perfectly different each one is. They are light on the tongue and mesmerizing to the eyes.

Snowflakes are one of the prettiest ways to decorate; they aren’t limited to Christmas but anytime in the winter. Sparkly, sassy, sweet and peaceful they can be all these things.

Here is a little collection of handmade and vintage snowflake things I really love.

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This handmade Christmas Snowflake Dreamcatcher is pretty amazing

 

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I love this fine art snowflake photograph from FirstLightPhoto
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Snowflakes aren’t just for around the home, they are lovely to wear. This simple snowflake necklace is handmade by LaurenBlythe.

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And a vintage set of snowflakes that makes holiday cocktails even better

All of these vintage and handmade items are available on Etsy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Searching for Santa

Searching for Santa

christmas, Uncategorized, vintage

Every family has that one special Christmas Decoration or toy that year after year is pulled out and when the children become parents, can’t wait to share with their kids. For our family one of the 2 that I remember is very similar to this Santa on Bike that winds up and rides across the floor.

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It feels like it might be more difficult for our kids to remember the “Most Special,” piece from their childhood because they are bombarded by disgusting quantities of mass produced junk that pretends to be fancy and more than they are.  For me, all of this “stuff” lacks feeling. It costs less to make more and more and more and more and you get the point. And it waters down the magic.

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I love vintage, everyone that knows me, knows that. I long for the simpler pieces,the Kitsch perfect pieces that people keep year after year; the pieces that don’t end up getting donated or tossed out after a couple of seasons.

Like these simple plastic Santa Tree Light Ornaments from the 60’s. They have withstood the test of time for almost 50 years.il_570xn-834645923_4jev

Or this tubby Santa Clause that is a signed Rosbro from the 1950’s and can be used for holding candy or other small surprises. There’s nothing pretentious about him.il_570xn-682840098_fn77
Even this adorable 1940’s Wind Up Santa is unassuming. He is simple, he is sweet, he makes me smile when I see him; nstead of feeling overwhelmed by mass quantities of his clones, which is what I feel with the majority of his great grandsons at the box stores this year.il_570xn-537813815_92id

I just hope if you are reading this, you will do a little “self experiment.” Try opening a big box website and next to it open a website with vintage of the same item, could be Santa, Nutcracker, Stockings, etc.

And without looking at price or anything else, just look back and forth and see which one makes you feel something. I catch myself when window shopping for vintage physically smiling at the pieces. That’s the one to buy, not the biggest, newest and cheapest because chances are you will be over it next year and onto the newer bigger and cheaper thing.