Tuesday, October 28, 2008

You've been e-Booed!

Happy Halloween!

Just for a fun Halloween Celebration we've e-Booed three of our favorite blogs. Come along, no costume needed, just grab your coffee and sit down for a visit to these talented Ladies and their inspiring posts:

Gail from

Tara from

Lynn from

When witches go riding,
and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers,
‘tis near Halloween.

~Author Unknown~

Clara & Marcela

Monday, October 27, 2008

Playing tag...

Before it became "too dangerous" to be played in schools, playing tag was one of our favorite activities...and still is! Adapted to our older years, our new version of tagging (gift tags, that is) does not include running or an open space. But just like our childhood game does not require any special training, connects you with friends and it's a lot of fun!

This is the perfect project if you are new in the paper-glitter-scissor (sounds like another fave game) world or if you are trying to entertain the kids during a raining afternoon. The blank tags can be purchased in several stores from Michael's to Office Depot and pretty much any method or supply can be used to embellish them: pretty paper scraps, stamps, trims, buttons, rhinestones, decoupage.....Gifts tags don't only finish a pretty wrapping they also can be used around the house as little pieces of handmade love.

A tag given to our friend Ana Laura for her B-day now embellishes a lampshade.

A Thankgiving tag decorates now a Fall vignette while reminding us of the friend that made it.

Clara made sweet personalized tags and used them as place settings during our Valentine's Lunch. She paired them up with a fabric envelope full of candies, of course, I still display mine on my desk area.

So next time you need to present someone with a gift, grab all your supplies, come out and play tag! Ditch the Hallmark card and let the Art Fairy inspire you. The recipient will love it as much as the gift itsef!

I would thank you from the bottom of my heart,
but for you, my heart has no bottom.
~Author Unknown~

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ruffled Ornaments Tuttorial

One woman's that same woman's treasure....After actually pulling this bag of empty ribbon spools out of my own trash can , twice!, I decided it was destined to become something cute, glittery and inexpensive (my 3 favorite words!)

That's how this (our first) tutorial started....I know that you have some of these around your craft room...

Using your fave glue, mine is Tacky Glue, squeeze a generous amount around one of the sides:

Scrunch crepe paper (streamers), and press at the same time on the glue, creating a ruffle on the flat surface. Keep going all around....

Create a second ruffle, smaller than the first one...

To cover the center, I used a couple of matching papers circles. I cut them using scalloped scissors just for a little more detail. I added some ink to the edges to give them more definition and a vintage feel. (A picture could also be used for a personalized ornament) Glue it to the ruffle's center.

I made a little banner by stamping my words, but you can make yours using your computer or by practicing your beautiful handwriting!...A little more ink for shading.....

And Yes! glitter!!!! I used the German Glass from The Shabby Cottage Studio, thanks Gail!

Finally, cover the inside with a pretty ribbon, the back of your ornament with a pretty paper and add another piece of ribbon for hanging. Attach your banner using a glue gun. Just one dot of glue on each side will do!

I think my trash became a pretty treasure! Look how cute they look when finished:

I hope you give them a try next time you feel crafty. If not, you can always find them for sale at our store!

Happy creating! Make sure you subscribe to our blog to receive updates and more tutorials!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Shop for the cure.

We are excited and proud to introduce our "Music and Hope" Collection. Inspired in the Breast Cancer Awareness Month, 50% of the procceds from our Mixed Media Assemblages will be donated to support Breast Cancer Research. We thank our fellow artist, Sherry Smyth a cancer survivor herself, for her courage and determination to get people involved in this important cause!
For measurements, description and prices click here

"Choosing Hope"

"Choosing Hope" closeups

"Music for Hope"

"Music for Hope" closeups

"Nest of Hope"

"Nest of Hope" closeups

All three pieces are One-of-a-kind and make perfect Christmas Gifts!
Please shop and be part of the future; a future without breast cancer!

You can make your purchase at under our Handmade and Heartfelt Category or by clicking here.

For more wonderful items and a list of other participating shops, you can visit Sherry at her Shop for the Cure page. Thank you!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The joy of HCDD

With age, we have developed something that we call HCDD (House Chores Deficiency Disorder). It does not keep us from totally doing our chores, (our homes still clean, laundry is done and the family is fed), however HCDD keeps us from doing them in an efficient, organized way. We are easily distracted by wonderful "stuff". Somehow there is always something wonderfully shabby, white, peely, chic that calls our names. There is always something that needs painting, displaying, embellishing...something that will spark our imagination and inspire us between dusting and mopping, between cooking and doing the dishes!

This wonderful disorder and the fact that we don't look for a cure has motivated us to write what we call "I was going to save the world, but something.............caught my eye!".
My plan today was to get to the supermarket early in the morning, wash the car, cook some peaches and pears before they go bad and wash all the soccer gear for the weekend. But my HCDD kicked in and that's when it happened..
"I was going to save the world, but something Chic caught my eye!"

Before I got to my chores, I started thinking of how beautiful Clara's house looked last night. I HAD to go to Clara's house and photograph her Oh-So-Chic-Fall-Decor in order to share it with you. Enjoy it!

White candelabra loaded with vintage rhinestones and pearls, yummy antique brown transferware platters, and urns filled with pumpkins. So simple, so wonderful!

Her collection of architectural pillars holds orange, cream and black candles. A mercury glass pumpkin next to the kitchen sink adds a lot of sparkle.

A black antique frame, shabby wood, feathers and cream pottery over the china cabinet. On the coffee table, a grouping of white pumpkins, more pottery and pearls, lots of pearls!

Even her statuary is dressed up in fall colors.
It's 4:15 pm now, the car still dirty,the peaches and the pears can wait one more day, Ed can swing by the market on his way home from soccer practice. The rest it's all done: rooms are clean, beds are made and the meatloaf is in the oven. My HCDD allowed my eyes to get caught today, it allowed me to admire Clara's style and it allowed me to sit down and share her pretties with you.... I love my HCDD!!
Now tell us, what has caught your eye today?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Memory Keepers

"Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose."
~From the television show The Wonder Years~

And holding we do!... Shells from our last vacation, jewelry with a special meaning, the feather our child picked up at the park, pretty vintage buttons from an estate sale, little pieces from our life that remind us of happy times and people we treasure....More often than not, all those special trinkets, not pretty enough to be displayed by themselves, sadly end up in the "kitchen drawer". Yeap! "that" drawer, the one that we all have, the one with the batteries, with the old pens, the one with the paper pad from where your "neighborhood realtor" smiles at you.

Well, it's time to bring all these little treasures out and make a beautiful, inexpensive display that we bet will be your next party conversation piece!

We have used a large reproduction glass candy or aphotecary jar to make our "Memory Keeper".
We stuffed it with a vintage linen with a few holes but with a killer monogram that made it worth keeping and here's when the fun part started!....We found a rhinestone earring that lost it's partner a long time ago, a ceramic souvenir bought on the streets of Florence, a beautiful shell from South Beach, a small black and white picture, Grandma's necklace and measuring tape and lots more! We placed all our treasures between the glass wall and the linen. There is no right or wrong here, no pattern to follow, just a pretty way to "contain your memories".

Our other example was made using a glass dome and a pretty plate as its base. Inside, we displayed an antique silver plated compote housing a nest we found on the ground of the Sequoia National Park about ten years ago and a sweet crowned bird. All items that, if not in a group, will never be displayed. Because of their small size, these items would had been lost. We decorated the top with a "Dream" tag made by a fellow artist for a touch of color and inspiration.

Domes also look fab when filled with rolls of old letters tied with a pretty ribbon, they could be Grandpa's love letters to Grandma or music pages of a favorite song.

Look in your jewelry box, your child baby box or in the closet for inspiration, you will be amazed of how many pretties you have. The jars and domes are sold everywhere. Michael's has them in different shapes and sizes from under $20.00. Think Christmas or Birthdays....perfect gift! Try it, you'll be surprised!!

When thinking and collecting items for this post we came across a piece of family history that didn't make it in the "Memory Keeper" because it's used every day....Our Dad's scissors! As old as they are, all metal, with no plastic to "protect" her fingers, they became Clara's favorite tool when working on her paper crafts. We can remember being kids, seeing our Dad using them and thinking: it's time for new scissors!!!
Years later, (about 35 to be more precise), even in a different country, here they are!... what makes us think that sometimes it's true....

"People seem to get nostalgic about a lot of things
they weren't so crazy about the first time around."
Author Unknown

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tips on vintage shopping....

Lately, one more reason has been added to our Why-we-love-vintage List: recycling and reusing old furniture is good for our Planet!... "Low Impact Living", as some like to call it, is fun, creative and affordable. That's why we decided to write some tips for all of you that are new to antique and vintage shopping.

Bring your measurements: If you are working with a tight space, it will really help you to know the measurements of your room or wall. Remember that antique and vintage stores usually don't take merchandise back.

Most of the time large walls present a challenge
because large pieces af art are very expensive.
In that case: "build" around a smaller picture.
Adding sconces on each side, architectural molding over or under the picture, even a large empty frame around it will fill a wall without a huge expense.

Bring an open mind: Dressers are not only for the bedroom, they also make killers sideboards and entryway pieces!, Garden totes are wonderful silverware caddies or desk organizers. Shop for pieces that can be used in numerous places in the house, benches for example, are work horses: outside in the garden, at the end of a bed, by the front door, hallways, the list is endless!!!

When redecorating a guest room, our own Jean used an architectural wood piece instead of a headboard.

Look for "flow" not for "matching": Pairs and Sets are hard to come by. When looking for night stands or kitchen chairs, for example, look for different pieces with the same scale or style. Jean used a night stand on one side of the guest bed and a chair on the other. Unified by color and scale, these two work together and the chair provides additional seating in a small room.

Mix and match: You don't need to live in a beach cottage
to enjoy the relaxed feeling of painted pieces. White (and black) furniture looks fabulous when mixed with the warmth of natural wood.
Build a relationship with the store owners: We love regulars and we'll keep an eye for the items on your wish list!

And finally.....

If you love it...Buy it! There is always room for a piece that makes your heart skip a beat. Remember that once is's gone! Looking back, you will always regret more the pieces you didn't get that the ones that came home with you....So, try it! Go Green, Go Vintage!