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Friday, May 30, 2008

Moon Maiden Soaps

We have a new member and new Etsy seller here at Etsy Cottage Style.
Dana is having a Grand Opening Event of her new business and has a really wonderful giveaway and sale going on. Above is her grand prize, just look at it all, so yummy.
Please check out her Etsy shop at Moon Maiden Soaps and Sundries and go to her blog to read all about it and sign up to win. Good luck :)
And I wish you much sucess in your new venture Dana.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Those summer parties, weddings, showers, and

special occasions, or my favorite, just because; you need some beautiful jewelry to set off your outfit. Please visit my shop at : http://www.ostarajewelry.etsy.com/

I have many other beauties in my shop. All these pretties would be perfect for a beautiful bride or bridesmaid too!
This is Bella. Isn't she a vintage beauty? The vintage enamel shabby cottage like pendant is awesome and I utilized a gorgeous light blue vintage crystal to set it off then I added ribbon as the tie so it will drape beautifully down your neck!

This lovely is Elizabeth. I love this salvaged beauty. So classic..reminds me of Audrey Hepburn. This came from a damaged necklace and I added vintage faux pearls in the most beautiful shade of gray which you can not find now a days.

Close up of that beautiful vintage rhinestone button I used.

This pretty 18 inch necklace is made with dyed freshwater pearls, silvertone ring, and a gorgeous vintage rhinestone button. Simple yet elegant!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The VB Boutique Mentioned On Real Simple

I'm so excited to share with you that The Vintage Butterfly Boutique was included in an article on Real Simple's Simply Stated blog, along with 24 other vintage shops featured on Etsy, written by Holly Becker of decor8.

Take a look and enjoy the vintage goodness of 25 amazing vintage housewares shops!

Shabby Chic Pink Roses Jewelry box

I've really become interested in painting jewelry boxes lately, especially floral boxes that are in the shabby chic style.

I've painted this light pink rose and buds against a soft green and white background. I've also lightly distressed the box, to add to its shabby chic appearance.

There are very soft, washy leaves and flowers in the background. Just a hint of something far away.

A little surprise when you open the lid.

The design is carried around the side of the box as well.
This jewelry box is available in my ETSY shop at: http://www.artfulcreations.etsy.com/ .

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Green Gift Wrapping

If you're like me, you love presenting someone special with a beautifully wrapped gift but sometimes feel a little guilty about sending the paper and ribbon to a landfill once the gift has been opened. One of my favourite gift wraps is plain brown kraft paper. It's inexpensive and best of all, it's completely recyclable.

You can add your own design to the paper with either rubber stamps or by cutting and pasting images to it. Tie some tea-dyed twill tape in a bow, add a silk flower or two (to be kept and reused of course), a gift tag and voila! You have a beautifully wrapped "green" gift. The twill tape can be ironed and re-used again and again.

A variety of gift tags and the tea-dyed twill tape are available in my Etsy shop ... www.amongthehedgerows.etsy.com.

Have fun wrapping your gifts and saving the environment at the same time!


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Art of Repurposing

I recently posted this entry on my blog http://www.dandelionwishes-mimi.blogspot.com/ and I thought I would share it here with all of you as well......

What in the world is repurposing you ask?? Well I define it as taking an object with it's original purpose and using it for something entirely different giving it a new purpose. You may have repurposed items all around your home without even realizing it. The laundry basket used to store toys, a pretty mug used to hold pencils by the phone, or empty baby food jars used to organize nuts and bolts in the garage. All good examples of repurposed items. Items for repurposing can be found just about anywhere. They can be new items or previously used items. I must admit I have been known to rescue items from the certain demise of the garbage man. I call these items curb-side treasures :) To master the art of repurposing, you must "think outside the box". Well that's how my family refers to me anyway. When I look at an item I think about what it would look like with a fresh coat of white paint, or how I could use this item for unique storage or what would this item look like in the garden? It helps to give new purpose to things. Are you still confused? Let me show you a few examples from around my home......
First let's visit my garden

A bucket that once held coal now holds a pretty flower.

An old worn out shutter makes a nice background for a cheerful potted flower.

An old locker basket is now the home for a happy geranium.

I have lots of repurposed items throughout my home as well. Here are just a few of my favorites..

When I saw this old fan blade guard I just fell in love with it's charm. I wasn't sure what I would do with this little treasure but since it was only a quarter I scooped it right up. After I got it home I realized what a wonderful towel rack it would make hanging on my little red table in the kitchen.

This was a real find at a local flea market. It's original purpose was to display bags of chips for sale at at grocery store. I thought it would be perfect to display some of my favorite vintage photos of my family.
I love to repurpose items in my craft studio as well...

I have always loved the look of these old flower frogs. I have quite a collection of them. This one found it's way to my scrapbook table and is the perfect thing to hold all of my pens and pencils.

I just recently added this repurposed item.. When I came home with this my family just shook their heads. I told them not to worry I had the perfect plan for this treasure. What is it you ask...well it is the springs of a baby crib (painted that pretty shade of blue that I love) It is the perfect way to store all of my die-cuts. I purchased some little "S" hooks for them to hang on---now I can easily see what I have and it makes them so accessible.
I found this sweet little salt shaker at an estate sale recently. I really loved the way the glass was cut. I use salt skakers in my craft studio to store my glitter, but this one was so pretty I thought it would make the ideal vase for those dainty flowers growing in my garden right now.

As you can see it is so much fun to repurpose items. Just use your imagination and "think outside the box". You will be amazed how once that was headed for the trash will now become one of your prized treasures. Have fun and happy treasure hunting :)

If you would like to share some of your repurposed items with everyone, visit the etsy cottage forum "The art of repurposing" and join in the fun.

Brilliant Pink Rose Shabby Chic Vintage Ceiling Tin

One of my favorite "new" surfaces to paint on, are vintage ceiling tins. I'm fascinated by their history and the special architectural details that each one has.

For this piece, I started out by adding a distressed border around the edges, making a frame for the rose. The outer edge in light blue, the inside edges are pale lavender. I put on a soft background of blue for my rose and once the design was started, I made some soft shadow leaves in the background. When the flowers, buds and leaves were finished, I added stems with some thorns going underneath the back of the main artwork.

My Pink Rose is done in acrylics and measures 12" x 12". It is available on my ETSY shop:

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I Must Be Crazy!

I've been putting it off and putting it off as I already have a lot on my plate but I finally gave in and opened another Etsy shop! I decided I needed to separate artwork from supplies as I feel Shabby Cottage Studio was looking a bit messy for my taste. I'm just a merchandiser at heart and since Etsy won't let us do that, this was the next best thing. ;-)

So please stop by if you get a chance and check out my "other cottage," The Papier Cottage. I'll be adding more artwork in the weeks to come so this is just a beginning.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"Let Them Eat Cake" Gift Tag Tutorial


Find scraps in junk draws,yard sales,fleamarkets,church sales.

1. Tags

2. Glitter

3. Magazine Clippings

4. Type,Quotes,Letters,Words

5. Paper,Shabby Wallpaper Scraps,Old Greeting Cards

6. Fibers,Yarn,Ribbons,Lace

7. Buttons,Bead, and Bling

Tags- mailing tags of all sizes. You can find them at office supply stores in bulk. Wal-Mart also has some of the smaller sized tags, but not the big mailing tags.

Adhesive- Glue stick for paper. Use a glue gun for 3-D embellishments such as buttons,fabric,millinery. Mod Podge is also good for gluing paper.

Paper- Check out your local scrapbook/stamping store, Hobby Lobby, Michael's, etc. Be sure to look at the wonderful handmade, origami, wallpaper, and wrapping papers too .

Magazine Clippings- Perfect for a rainy day make clippings from old magazines. Victoria Magazine is my favorite for clippings. Flowers, people, words, letters, etc. Organized by subject in boxes.

Yarns, Fibers Ribbons, etc.- Use these to decorate your tags. I use yarns, ribbons, chenille yarn, silk ribbon, DMC cotton floss and other specialty embroidery flosses and yarn. Don't forget about other things, like strips of fabric and raffia.

Buttons,Beads and Bling- These are great embellishments for tags. Anything can be used to embellish your tag. Keys, buttons...let your imagination run and have fun!

Thank you to Denise for sharing this tutorial with us.

You can find more beautiful and whimsical designs by Denise in her Etsy shop Couture de Papier

and on her blog, also named Couture de Papier.

Have fun putting tags together:)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Reaching Out with Love & Hope: ECS's First Charity Event!

Some creations are inspired by the colors of a sunset or the shape of an egg nestled in the palm of a hand, others by a piece of music or the sound of the wind high in the trees. And while these are pretty and look nice on a side table or around a wrist, it’s art that comes from a deeper place and tells a story that is the most widely appreciated. Although the Etsy Cottage Style group is home to many with their own home-based or brick & mortar businesses, it is more a place where amazing artists and crafters can meet up, share ideas, and support one another. And what better way to come together as a group that looks beyond the “bottom line” than to band together to create something that will give back to the greater community?

Just a couple of weeks ago, the call went out: “How about we do a pass-around altered book?” Jewel from Shabby Boutique asked. And since then, the idea has grown from a basic craft to an international project that will be auctioned to raise money for a cause close to this woman’s heart: children with cancer.

The “swap” is still gearing up and getting organized, but we asked Jewel some questions to find out more about how it will work and the inspiration behind it.

What inspired the idea of a pass-around altered book?
Jewel: I was looking at the vintage books at the thrift store; I always try to find books that I had a kid so that I can get them for my children. I picked one up and thought, “What if I could get some others to do a pass-around altered book with me?” I’ve wanted to do one ever since I saw it on The Carol Duvall Show. But then I wondered Who gets to keep it? It would be selfish of me to say that I would keep it since I started it. So, then it hit me—why not do it and then auction it off for the NCCS (National Children’s Cancer Society)? I thought that auctioning on eBay would be an issue since we are mainly an Etsy group, but when I posted the thought in our group, no one seemed to mind. I figured we just might be on to something here! LOL!

Tell us your story and how you came to be connected to the NCCS.
Jewel: Well, my story is a long one. But what it boils down to is this: I was in an awful marriage with a man who turned to drugs. Things went from bad to worse financially, and then got very ugly when he started becoming increasingly violent and verbally abusive. One day he just snapped and hit me. That is when I said, enough is enough. That was the Saturday before Mothers Day, and on Monday I got a restraining order to get him out.

Two weeks later, on June 1st, 1999, I took my three-year-old son Cody to the doctor. He’d been vomiting on and off for a few days in between playing—you know how little kids can be. But that morning he was just very lethargic and could barely speak. It looked like he was gasping for air, he had no color to his lips, and his eyes were sunken. After calling the doctor’s office and trying to get in immediately, I was given an appointment for 30 minutes later. Even thought the office was 20 minutes away, I said, “Whatever it takes, I’ll have him there.”

At first the doctor said that he could see nothing wrong with Cody. But he took a blood sample and soon returned to say that I needed to sit down. He told me it was acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and I remember sort of laughing but with an edge of panic, saying “Is that serious?” I just dropped to my knees and thought to myself, Now what? I thought that things were going to get better with my ex-husband gone. I was, for once, enjoying life and truly happy.

The doctor immediately sent us to St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Cody was put in PICU right away to have his blood filtered. I found out that he very likely would’ve suffocated in his sleep that night if I hadn’t taken him to the doctor. He had virtually no red blood cells left. I found out several months later that the doctor had already scheduled Cody for a bone-marrow transplant but did not think that he would make it past his first night. Miraculously he pulled through, and we spent almost a year in the hospital.

During that hospitalization I couldn’t work because there was no way that I was leaving him at the hospital alone. I saw way too many kids just dropped off for days, weeks, and months at a time with no visitors or phone calls. So I had the children come to our room, and we watched movies, played games, and did whatever fun stuff we could to pass the time. I missed my other son miserably, but the hospital was nice enough to let Dillon come and stay with us sometimes. I still feel guilty that he lost his father, his mother, and his brother all within a few short weeks and was sent to stay with great-grandma and grandpa. But I had to do what I had to do. I just hope that he forgives me for the choice I made.

Everyone kept saying to me that I was amazing and asked how I did it. I’m not amazing. I just did what I had to do and didn’t think twice about it. You just go with the flow, but the real key is laughter. It has always gotten me through the rough times in my life. Even the psychologist said in the hospital, “I don’t understand how you do it. I keep expecting you to crack, but you don’t. You just keep on smiling and laughing and going on.” I just learned a long time ago that if you can’t change it, then don’t worry about it. Just laugh and go on.

It was a long battle. I couldn’t work and had no child support, so the NCCS (National Children’s Cancer Society) helped me with my house payments, utilities, gas money, food, you name it. But they helped emotionally and spiritually, too. I owe the NCCS—and other organizations like it—more than I could ever repay. So I take every opportunity to help them or give back. I don’t think people ever realize how much these charities need our support to help others in time of need until they've been in that situation. I know that I used to sort of frown on the people standing outside of the stores wanting you to donate. I was more worried about how we were going to get food on our table or clothes on our back. But since this happened, I will now be the first one in line to donate. I do as much as I can to help others in my community as well as other communities.

What is the theme for the pass-around altered book?
Jewel: The theme is “Love & Hope for Our Little Angels.”

How will the swap work? That is, who will start it, how will it travel, how many people will be involved, where will it end up, and how will it be auctioned? Also, what about page size and photographs of the work in progress?
Jewel: Well, I’ll start it since I’ve already bought a vintage hardback children’s book, but, depending on how many people sign up, I can get a bigger book if need be! Anyway, I will do the cover, divide the pages up with paperclips, and put the names on the pages in order of where the book will travel. Each person will mail the book to the next person on the list. Once everyone is signed up, we can figure out the route to save time and money. Some Canadians have already signed up, and I feel that if people from other countries want to join in, that’s great! At the end, it'll be shipped back to me so that I can take care of the auctioning.

Each person will get basically two pages to decorate however she likes, using whatever medium she likes, as long as it goes with the theme. Each person will have a week with the book. I know that life throws you curve balls, so I don’t want anyone to feel rushed. I want everyone to put her heart and soul into it so that love just oozes from the pages.

The page size depends, once again, on how many get involved. And after each person finishes her pages, we need a place to post pictures of the progress. So we will start a place for those pics to be published as well, either on Flick’r, Ning, or here on the Blog.

I'd love to have as many people as possible involved with this, but if everyone has the book for a week we should limit it to no more than 20 people. I would like to be able to auction the book off around Christmas time. I think it would be a great time to make the donation as every kid and family needs a little extra then, and it would make a great Christmas or Hanukkah gift for someone.

I've been involved with many charity auctions via a group on eBay called P.E.P. (Painting eBay Pretty). I was a group moderator until last year, when opening my own shop meant that I had little extra time. But I've helped with and been in charge of several charity auctions. As a matter of fact, we do one for the Susan G. Komen Foundation every year.

Tell us more about the theme. How do you envision the swap members using that idea? Do you want them to make multi-media art pages? Write stories? Both?
Jewel: I told my story to a couple of ladies, which, without my knowing so, helped them make some tough decisions. Later when they told me how I gave them a spark of hope and courage, it made me feel good that they were inspired by my story. But, really, they found the courage within themselves to do what was right. I love helping others though, that's where I've always gotten my true joy from life. So, if by sharing my stories I can help others, then I will talk, chat, or email away. LOL!

I envision pages just oozing with Love & Hope for our little ones. Everyone has her own idea of what Love & Hope is, and that's what I envision for this book.—everyone’s ideas and hearts coming together. They can write poems, paint on the pages, write stories, or share their own family photos—just whatever comes to mind when they think of Love & Hope. I want the members to use their hearts and creativity.

Thanks Jewel!

If you'd like to get in on the action, see the original Etsy Cottage Style Ning post. Also, once you sign up for the project, stay tuned for a special "button" to post on your blogs.

For more information:

NCCS web site

Shabby Boutique Web site

The Shabby Boutique Etsy shop

Monday, May 5, 2008

Starrydeborah has tussie mussies and more tussiemussies!!!

Hi, I'm deborah of starrydeborah and not too long ago I went through a tussie mussie phase and have a few of them up on my etsy shop and some are in my art room just waiting for the next step. So I thought I would just put up pics here for you all to see.
I also make custom tussiemussies for weddings and parties.
Hey, how about a garland of mini tussiemussies, I might have to try that idea!
Hope you have enjoyed my pics and if you are interested in purchasing or have questions just contact me at my etsy shop at: starrydeborah.etsy.com or leave a comment here for me.
Have a wonderful day and happy blogging,

Friday, May 2, 2008

Summer Cottage Gardens

Member and good friend of mine Cindy from Cute Pink Stuff is featured in the "Summer Garden Tour" at The Old Painted Cottage this week.
Above is one of Cindy's cherubs in her beautiful California garden, if you want to see more of her home and many other amazing cottage style gardens, take the tour, it is so inspiring, especially to those such as myself who are still waiting for good weather and flowers to bloom.

It's in the air!

Blogging, that is! I don't know about you but I love blogs! They give me just a little glimpse into the lives of people and helps me to realize that we all are different but the same all at once.

I'm excited about this blog in particular because it is an artists blog, and I believe that artists are some of the most coolest people on earth!!

I woke up this morning with this feeling of anticipation, of what my next art work would be, how it would look, what materials I would use, etc., there was just this sense of excitement of what was to come and that is the same feeling that this new blog is bringing to my heart today.

So, heres to the world blogging, and may it bring us all inspiration, encouragement and most of all joy!


Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Stroke of Genius

I'm so looking forward to being part of this blog, to contribute ideas, to share our love of art and shabby cottage style and to encourage and promote one another. Creating our own blog -- the idea was a stroke of genius! Thank you Lynn, Tiffani and Ally for giving us another outlet for our muse!