Thursday, October 30, 2014

Shutters ~ Done!

Thanks so much for giving your input on my shutter dilemma!  I’m sure you are all just hanging on the edge of your seats to see which option was decided on. 

I had to laugh after going through all the comments.  The opinions were pretty evenly divided!  So much for using you guys as the tie breaker! I decided to find some happy middle ground and I lightened the shutter with the dark wax a bit and added a touch of dark wax to the clear waxed shutter.


What do you think?  I think I’m more relieved to have two shutters looking the same at this point!  It took a little bit of playing with the waxes between the two shutters to get them looking the same, but I am happier with the outcome. 



After adding the wood embellishments to the tops I knew I had to make them stand out a little bit, so I felt the shutters needed some dark wax to accomplish that as opposed to just leaving them totally Old White.


Now, I’d like to hang paper wreaths of some kind off them. I’ve been looking on Etsy for those made with paper flowers or rolled up book pages.  Like these:

11- 12


Petal Book Page Wreath


17 in Shabby Chic Vintage Book Page Wreath




Christmas Wreath - Merry and Bright - Vintage Book Page Wreath - Winter Decor - Cottage Chic - MTO - Mint Aqua Blue Green


I think it makes for such a pretty yet simple look.  Since putting this post together, I have found something I like and once they arrive I’ll share how they look.  For now, I’m glad I got this project finished and I thank you for your input!


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I Still Can’t Decide!

It’s been about a week since I painted those shutters I picked up at the antique mall.  Just to refresh your memory, the picture below is what they looked like before painting.


I painted them in Annie Sloan Old White chalk paint after gluing on two wood embellishments at the top of each.  Since I wasn’t sure which way I wanted to go, I waxed one with clear and dark wax, and the other with just clear wax.


I like both of them in their own way, but am having a hard time deciding which way to go.  One day I am drawn to the one with the dark wax, and then the next day the one with just the clear wax.


I asked my daughter’s opinion and she liked the dark wax option because it seemed to go with the gold of the mirror better.  I agree.  Until a day later when I am looking at the other one!


I want to apply a bit of clear wax to the dark wax shutter just to adjust the streaky dark look (or I may have to add more paint).  I always tend to be heavy handed with the dark wax, but can usually make adjustments to it with the clear wax.  Unfortunately, I need to get more clear wax.


I could use some input and then, since I can’t make up my own mind, I think I will go by the majority vote.  I can’t live with two different shutters much longer, so which do you think, dark wax or clear wax?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Artist Behind The Etsy ~ Sugar & Paint


Being a part of the Etsy community, not only as a seller but as a customer, I have come across many talented individuals.  With this series, I hope to introduce you to some of these creative people, finding out where they find their inspiration, and a little bit more about them.

Cute, functional, creatively decorated ~ many terms come to mind when I see Liza’s clothespin creations.  She is a very talented artist and I can think of so many different ways to use her clothespins.  She has covered a variety of themes from holidays to numbers to sea creatures.  While Liza’s clothespins are what caught my eye originally, she does have other items she offers such as cards and tags, as well as furniture and accessories.  Enjoy your visit with Sugar & Paint!


Hi, My name is Liza. I live in beautiful Bend Oregon with my husband and my two teenage daughters.  I am one of those people who just has to be creating something all the time so I always knew I would be involved in art in some form.

HALLOWEEN BOO CLOTHESPINS hand painted magnetic

 FALL PUMPKIN CLOTHESPINS hand painted magnetic pegs

I graduated from art school in San Francisco, and I started what I thought was my career, as a freelance graphic designer, just to find out that it was too much business and not enough creating! I knew I really wanted to work for myself and to be able to decide which direction my art would go.  So, I started a really fun greeting card business and found myself with sales reps all across the US. I ended up taking a break when my daughter was born, but soon my need to create caught up to me and I started painting my own ugly furniture during nap time. That soon led to a new little business of painting furniture...for children and for adults.  Along with furniture, I would paint smaller items such as picture frames, clothespins and magnets. I would build up enough to fill a booth at an art fair or charity boutique of some sort, sell as much as I could and then start over.  Every time I would have a show, I was surprised that I had people coming back asking for more magnets and clothespins.  


 10 MUSHROOM CLOTHESPINS hand painted magnetic

When the economy started to go sour, and people weren't spending money on furniture as much, I decided to try to open a shop called Sugar&Paint on Etsy,  and sell all those smaller items that I love to make.  Occasionally I throw in a piece of furniture and some of my greeting cards too.  

CONGRATULATIONS on your NEW HOME greeting card

DECK THE HALLS fish bowl Christmas cards set

Selling on Etsy is just perfect for me!!   While I am always having conversations with customers, I get to paint all day long and create whatever I can come up with.  Clothespins are what I specialize in.  I have a tiny space to paint on so any kind of detailed image or pattern can inspire a new design.  People use them for birthday parties, wedding favors, hanging kids art, displaying Christmas cards, in the classroom, place card holders, clipped onto a wrapped package.....I'm constantly surprised with new ways people find to use them! 

10 PAINTED HEARTS CLOTHESPINS Valentines magnetic pegs

CHRISTMAS CANDY CANES hand painted magnetic clothespin set

What I especially love is the idea that my clothespins become a part of someone’s holiday tradition, or that my child's stool becomes a gift from Grandma to a new grandchild, or even that one of my greeting cards will be used to wish someone's friend a happy birthday! I feel so completely lucky because I actually can't wait to get up and go to work and see what my day's creation will be!

Head on over to Liza’s shop and see her fun creations!  You can visit Liza’s shop here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Christmas In The Bag


Yeah, sorry, it is super early, but I’m still working on my shutters and since I wanted to get an early start listing my Christmas items in my Etsy, I thought I’d give a preview of them here.  The listings on Etsy are for three months and I’d rather have them listed early than hanging around for a period of time after Christmas.


I’ve got a bunch of small pillows.  I’m just giving a group shot here and you will be able to see them individually in my shop.  All these pillows measure about 6 x 9.


These red and white document fabric stockings have a creamy white quilted fabric on the back.


New in my shop this year are these burlap gift bags, which could be used to hold an actual gift or for decorative use.  This one has lots of decorative trims and tassels on it.



This one has some lace going all round the top opening and a cluster of three snowflake buttons hand-sewn in two opposing corners.




I’ve made one for myself for decorative use, too.  I won’t show that one until I’ve decorated my home for Christmas though.   Just stuff them with some shipping boxes that you would throw in your recycling.  I will most likely have mine near the fireplace and tree.



You can tie them off or leave them open and “overflowing”.  I’ve only made the two for my Etsy shop because I wasn’t sure how they would do. 


I also have the wine bottle bags I did last year (first picture above, too).  I’m planning on getting all these items listed in my Etsy shop by the weekend, if you are interested.  

Thanks for looking! 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Artist Behind The Etsy ~ Dakota Designs By Vicki


Being a part of the Etsy community, not only as a seller but as a customer, I have come across many talented individuals.  With this series, I hope to introduce you to some of these creative people, finding out where they find their inspiration, and a little bit more about them. 

Good morning, everyone!  This morning’s feature is some stunning jewelry created by Vicki at Dakota Designs by Vicki.  Such gorgeous pieces Vicki creates and so affordable!  Perfect gifts for others or yourself.  Enjoy a peek at some eye candy this morning!

Thank you Kathy for inviting me to post my story on the "The Artist Behind The Etsy"!

Greetings from a windy and chilly South Dakota!  Fall has definitely arrived in South Dakota and it's my favorite time of the year.  I was born here and have spent most of my life in this lovely state.  My husband and I have 5 children and 6 grandchildren (4 girls and 2 boys); the most recent grand daughter born on October 3rd in Chicago.  I work full time in the banking industry and we are small business owners, so I lead a fairly busy life.  Several years ago we purchased my mother's lake home and 6 months out of the year we travel every weekend to our cabin.  I create most of my jewelry at the cabin; sitting in the screened in porch overlooking the lake.  I am inspired by the peaceful setting and beauty of the water and surrounding nature. 

Swarovski crystal earrings, aqua earrings, trendy jewelry, bridal earrings, wedding jewelry, dangle earrings, handmade

Swarovski crystal earrings, aqua earrings, beaded earrings, heart earrings, handcrafted, handmade jewelry

I had always wanted to design and create jewelry and dreamed of having my own store one day.  As most of us know, life can be very complicated and busy, and my dream was buried under the every day duties and responsibilities of working and being a wife, mother and grandmother.  My family's needs came first and I found myself deeply entrenched in making sure their needs were met.  My son was deployed to Afghanistan for 15 months and during this time, his wife and son moved in with my husband and I.  They were expecting their second child, who was born and lived in our home for the first 4 months of her life.  After she was born, we suspected that something was wrong as she was not meeting milestones as expected.  She was eventually diagnosed with a severe neurological disorder called Angelman Syndrome.  We learned our granddaughter would never be able to speak and would suffer from seizures.  I spent the next few years educating myself on this syndrome and learning about the challenges she would face.  She is thriving today and one of the greatest joys of our family. 

Swarovski earrings, Beaded earrings, aqua earrings, trendy jewelry, crystal earrings, cottage chic jewelry

Baby bracelet, baby gift, infant jewelry, baby girl jewelry, baby girl bracelet, baptism bracelet

Recently my husband was injured in a fall while at work.  He was working on scaffolding and fell 6 feet.  His injuries were severe and he spent 4 months in a nursing home and had several surgeries.  He has never quite recovered and will most likely not return to the line of construction work he has done his entire life.  It was during those long months of his recovery and much soul searching on my part that my dream to design and create my own jewelry was reborn. 

Turquoise bracelet, wrap bracelet, yoga jewelry, seed bead bracelet, beaded bracelet, yoga bracelet, handcrafted, trendy jewelry

Ocean wine charms, beaded wine charms, housewarming gift, birthday gift, wine glass accessories, trendy jewelry

I discovered Etsy and was in awe of the beautiful jewelry I found there.  I admired (and purchased) some very lovely pieces from talented fellow Etsy designers.  I was inspired by the beauty of the jewelry I found on Etsy and wanted to learn how to design jewelry and have my own store.  I spent a great deal of time reading jewelry design magazines, surfing the internet for articles, blogs and how-to videos; basically, learning everything I could about how to design and create jewelry.   I began practicing and making jewelry, most of which my mother admired.  So, with 1 fan, and all the courage I could muster, I opened my Etsy store.  

Swarovski bracelet, Swarovski jewelry, crystal bracelet, trending items, handcrafted jewelry, beaded bracelet, trendy jewelry, handmade

I continue to expand my knowledge on designing jewelry and each piece I create is made with care, using quality beads and fine components.  I am currently working on learning the art of Kumihimo, an ancient Japanese form of braiding, and hope to add my new designs in December.  I also enjoy using pieces of vintage jewelry in my designs and hope to expand my collection.  In the bracelet below, I incorporated a pair of vintage clip on earrings into the design:   

 Swarovski bracelet, vintage jewelry, upcycled jewelry, trendy jewelry, gold bracelet, handcrafted bracelet, repurposed jewelry

I love making bridal jewelry and offer custom orders of individual pieces or sets like the one below:

Pearl bridal earrings, bridal jewelry set, pearl bridal jewelry, Swarovski earrings, pearl earrings, bridesmaid earrings, handmade

Flower girl bracelet, flower girl jewelry, pink flower girl jewelry, pearl flower girl bracelet

I want my customers to be happy with their purchase and ship orders the same day I receive them whenever possible.  I also include a free pair of handcrafted earrings with every order.  Most of my customers are women and I like to think that if they are at all like myself, they lead busy lives and a little surprise along the way is a nice way to brighten someone's day. 

Aurora Borealis earrings, Swarovski earrings, crystal earrings, dangle earrings, handcrafted jewelry, handcrafted

Thank you again Kathy, for having me on  your Sunday feature "The Artist Behind The Etsy"!

Thank you, Vicki, for sharing your story.  It is amazing how personal the stories are that bring us to sell on Etsy.  You can visit Vicki’s Etsy shop here.

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