Friday, October 29, 2010

We've been adding to the shop every day and have much more coming!  Be sure to check it out.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


So remember that little couch reupholstery project I started oh, six months ago or so....don't get too excited it isn't quite finished yet but I'm finally making real progress and I am so excited with how it is turning out.  I finally ordered the fabric and it arrived about a week ago and it is beautiful...exactly what I had in mind when I began this project.  On Sunday I started making the first cuts on the fabric (so nervewracking!) and little by little each night I am adding a new piece to the couch.  I'm making some minor adjustments to 'modern' it up a bit and I honestly can't believe how easy it's been up to this point.  Here's a quick look at how it's going.  I haven't attached any of the pieces to the frame yet but you can get the idea of how it will look.
 Photos: The Design Boards

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Things that make me smile...

I've been trying to get behind the camera as much as possible these days.  I really want to learn all the manual settings on our camera and I feel like I'm finally getting the hang of things which basically means I've stopped throwing down (ok gently laying on something soft) the camera and storming off in a fit of frustration because  the shot just isn't setting up right.  Baby steps...

So today I'm feeling inspired by photography and the camera.  These are some of my favorite shots....When I can set up a shot like one of these, I will be happy.
What's making you smile today?

Mid Century Moment

I love this space - the open beams, the chalkboard, the vintage numbers, the large wooden dining table and the mid century feel...I want to move in, right now.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Behind the Design - Mini Cyn

 This week's Behind the Design features Cynthia of Mini Cyn, an extremely talented jewelry designer who designs and creates some amazing jewelry in her etsy shop.

Where does your inspiration come from?
It varies, from either the graphic design side of my brain which has a tendency to produce stylized classic shapes, my fascination with antiquities or just simply from experimenting. The latter is very important for self development I think in all areas of the arts.

Where do you do most of your work?
Firstly on the jewelry bench without a doubt! Uploading, writing descriptions, answering questions on the laptop comes second.

How did you come up with the name for your business?
All I remember was that I hadn't put a lot of time into it as I was still juggling a full-time position and freelancing all at once. But wanted to play with the first syllable of my name 'Cyn...' so. 'As for 'Mini..' I don't remember.

Your favorite thing to make?
I love making everything that I've produced. Especially unique pieces(one-of-a-kind) when I find time in between my bread and butter.

What is your all time favorite design from past or current collections?
Circa 1994, definitely my simple square shaped collection from when I first started making jewelry back 14yrs ago that combined both silver and 24krt gold leaf. At present it'll have to be my Victorian floral collection; It's just a lot more beautiful than I can do justice to from my photography. The history that lies beneath it, reviving the engraving for a new life for all to appreciate gives me a lot of satisfaction.

What advice do you wish someone had given you when you first started your business?
The downside to selling online; how unreliable the post can be at times and dealing with the aftermath for both seller and buyer! I feel helpless.

Coffee or tea?
I love both, but coffee a must in the morning!! Tea in between breaks in the afternoon whilst working, and of course whilst dining with my family as it's very much embedded in part of my culture.

Favorite magazine/blog/daily read?
Oh where do I start!!! I have tons of fave mags seriously but since I started my business I've stopped collecting them sadly. They often range from Graphic design inspired, home deco, low brow art, typography etc. Plus it's not easy to sourcing English mags here not the ones I like anyway. There's nothing like having a tactile experience thus I'll always favor mags over Blogs. No fave Blogs, just some I frequent now and then when I get the time.

If you could follow one person around for a day, who would it be?
There's too many to mention but for fashion's sake I'll say Vivienne Westwood.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, money and time being no object, where would you go?
Bora Bora just because I'd never spend that much money from my own pocket for such pure decadence. In reality, I spend most of my earnings to visit my family spread throughout the world.

If you had to spend a year on a deserted island, what 5 things would you bring with you?
1. my whole family(nieces and nephews included)
2. my partner
3. water
4. knives
5. a year's supply of potatoes(goes well with fish and coconut sourced from the island;)

Thank you Cynthia for participating in this week's Behind the Design.

Photos courtesy of Cynthia, Mini Cyn.

Cynthia can be found at:
Etsy shop

My weekend...

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. My mom and I went antiquing in Arcadia. Arcadia is like the antiquing capital of Florida, they have a main street in the town and it is literally antique store after antique store. On the 4th Saturday of every month they have an antique fair which is why we chose this weekend to go. We had a blast but we were told that the best time to come to a fair is in January or February where they get over 150 dealers lining the streets and parking lots. We are already planning that trip.

While I didn't come home with much I still had a blast shopping with my mom and I did not come home empty handed. I scored a ziploc bag full of vintage thread on wooden spools which I plan on displaying in our studio when it's done and I found a sugar spoon to add to my collection. It's silver plated and has Loon Lake House engraved in the handle...I imagine it came from an old inn or B&B. I had my eye on a bunch of other things but showed restraint. The only piece I am regretting is a beautiful glass cake stand with a dome for $12!! My mom thinks it was a reproduction but it was still gorgeous and at that price I really wish I would have grabbed it.

The rest of my weekend was spent catching up on things and working on my couch reupholstery project. I got the first piece of fabric on it last night and it looks great! I can't wait until it's complete. I'm striving to get it done before the holidays.
Photos: The Design Boards

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pumpkin Butter

Over the weekend I made pumpkin butter as planned.  I had visions of using fresh pumpkin and actually canning the butter but the weck jars I ordered got delayed and we never made it to the pumpkin patch so I improvised and the result was delicious.  I might try again this weekend the proper way but I have a ton of this stuff hanging out in my fridge right now and it's pretty tasty...

Peel of one orange
2-15 oz cans of pumpkin
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
*Adjust spice measurements to your own taste. This version has a very nice clovey, spicy flavor which I love but please adjust accordingly.

Simmer the orange peel in 2 cups of water in a saucepan for 10 minutes, drain and allow to cool. Finely chop the peel.

Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan stirring well to combine. Bring mixture to a boil while carefully monitoring the pan and stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened, continue to stir frequently. Pour into clean jars and refrigerate once cooled.  Enjoy!

Photo: The Design Boards

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fresh Flowers

I picked up some mums while shopping this weekend, they were so well priced and they look beautiful in one of our large blue ball jars. We've been collecting vintage blue ball jars for our kitchen and while one day they will store dry goods on open shelving, right now I am using them for vases.
Photo: The Design Boards

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Blog Love - Dress, Design, Decor

I thought I would share a little blog love today. I love stumbling upon new-to-me blogs and getting lost for hours scrolling through previous posts and getting tons of inspiration. Dress, Design, Decor is a blog I found a while back and I am so in love with all the gorgeous photography, fashion and interior inspiration Daniella posts. She has a great eye and I'm warning you, you will want to dedicate a few hours to perusing through all the beautiful imagery!

All photos via Dress, Design, Decor

Monday, October 18, 2010

Behind the Design - Another Feather

Good morning!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  We are starting off the week with a Behind the Design featuring Hannah of Another Feather, a shop featuring beautiful handmade jewelry and accessories.  

Where does your inspiration come from?
Walks in the woods, collecting tiny objects, looking at antique shops and flea markets, traveling, surrounding myself with creative friends, and having an aesthetic work space.

Where do you do most of your work?
I do most of my work between two spaces the studio & my home workspace.  I do most of my metalwork, torch work and casting in the art department's shared metalsmith studio here in Boone. I also do a lot of work in my home studio area where I put finishing touches on my metal work, do some hand work (sawing and filing), and design and make the rest of my simpler jewelry pieces.

How did you come up with the name for your business?
I always collect feathers on my walks and bring them home with me, so 'another feather' seemed to capture that collecting habit in my process of making wearables with found natural objects.

Your favorite thing to make?
I really love working very, very small so in jewelry, bezel setting tiny stones and unusual natural objects and then soldering little joints are some of my favorite tasks.

What is your all time favorite design from past or current collections?
Hmm, I love the artifact pendant series. with these I hand cast textured bronze bezels for different pieces of shed antler.

What advice do you wish someone had given you when you first started your business?
To keep track of all business expenses, receipts, and paper work for taxes, and to open up a separate account so that you can track all those payments easily at the end of the year.

coffee or tea?
Coffee in the morning and during the day, tea in the evening.

Favorite magazine/blog/daily read?
Magazines: Selvedge, and Metalsmith magazine

My New Roots
The habit of being
Ecological artist
Journal of a nomad

and the New York times Home and Garden, AT HOME feature section.

If you could follow one person around for a day, who would it be?
Probably J. Morgan Puett. she seems like a fascinating woman, and I would love to spend time with her at Mildred's Lane, collecting, rearranging interiors, listening to her ideas & philosophies, and make lovely things with her.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, money and time being no object, where would you go and why?
Denmark & Sweden. I would really love to visit both of these Scandinavian countries. It seems so breathtakingly beautiful there, and i would love to be able to travel around that landscape and visit our friends.  It's so very expensive to stay however, maybe someday..

If you had to spend a year on a deserted island, what 5 things would you take with you?
a wooly animal (sheep or goat), a drop spindle, my knife, my bible with blank pages in back for journaling/sketching, and my husband who can survive in any circumstance.

Thank you Hannah for participating in this week's Behind the Design.

Photos courtesy of Hannah, Another Feather.

Hannah can be found at:
Etsy shop
Big Cartel

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Fallish weekend

We're expecting a beautiful weekend weather wise and I have a ton of things planned for it.  Here's what I'll be working on this weekend..

1. Doing a little antiquing - I'm on the hunt for some Fall and Thanksgiving related items and I have been having a lot of luck lately while thrifting.  I have so many great finds to share with you so stay tuned for a post next week.

2. Planning a little shop update, I have a ton of photos to edit, a few more to take, and so many amazing things to add to the shop.  I'm really looking forward to sharing all the beautiful vintage clothing and home accessories we've been finding lately.

3. A marathon baking and canning session.  I ordered weck jars and had them express shipped in anticipation of this first cool weather weekend.  I'm planning on making some pecan pumpkin butter and cinnamon raisin bread. 

4. A visit to a local pumpkin patch to pick up a few pumpkins for baking and to decorate the house with.

5. Lighting our fire pit and sitting outside with a batch of hot chocolate and maybe a bottle of wine or two.

6. Football, dinner with friends and family, house projects, gardening, relaxing, listening to records, reading a new book from the library, and enjoying everything this season brings with it.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Vintage Love - Barking Sands Vintage

This week's Vintage Love features Jeni of Barking Sands Vintage.  Jeni's parents were antique dealers and it's obvious that she has a great eye for vintage finds because her shop is filled with such a beautiful collection of home accessories.  I am in awe of the chenille beadspreads, someone please buy them all before I am tempted to!

What do you love about vintage?
I love the endless possibilities of vintage. I love the countless styles to choose from and the random object that will surprise me. I love the hunt and I love being on the road and I love the thrill of victory when I find a great piece. I love learning something new every day.

What is the best item you have ever come across when you have been vintage/thrift shopping?
My parents were antique dealers, so I’ve been lucky to see a lot of good stuff in my life. There are pieces that are great finds in financial terms—buy it for $50, sell it for $1000. That is nice, but it is more often the fun, little pieces that make me really happy, like a camp blanket in a pretty color or a sweet little Victorian cake plate in a nice pattern.

Do you have a style or method you use when vintage/thrift shopping?
I believe in the scattershot approach—I will go anywhere and look at anything, anytime. Shops, malls, shows, thrift shops, you name it. That said, I have certain ‘runs’ that I like to make, day trips to certain areas where I know there is a concentration of good shops. When I plan things right, I’ll go to the opening of a big show coupled with a few other stops. Exhausting, but fun.

Is there one tip you could share that might help someone who is new to thrifting and vintage shopping?
If you’re new to vintage shopping, you have to train your eye to what is right and what is a reproduction, which will only happen over time. Start slowly and be persistent—it’s a marathon, not a sprint! Even if you don’t buy anything, every trip you make to a shop is part of your education and worth your time and energy. You can read all the books in the world, but only by looking at and handling objects will you learn. And--wear comfortable shoes, and bring water and a snack so you don’t get cranky while you're shopping.

Thank you Jeni for participating in this week's Vintage Love.

Photos courtesy of Jeni, Barking Sands Vintage

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What's got my interest on Pinterest

Pinterest has really been my go-to source for inspiration lately.  From gift ideas to book suggestions to fashion and interior inspiration, it really is such an amazing source for ideas.  I've been collecting a lot of inspiration for my house as I begin to think about what direction I really want to go in terms of art, decor, accessories, etc. 

One of my favorite boards that I have created is my Art and Display board which is full of prints I love, vignettes that make me smile, and beautiful displays of art and ephemera.  Nothing sets your home apart more than what you put on your walls or the collections you create in the small little spaces throughout your home.  It is a true reflection of your tastes and your experiences and it all tells a story - your story.  These are some of my favorites...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Things that make me smile...

I am seriously craving fall and all the color and beauty that it brings. We are expecting some cooler weather by the end of the week and I plan to take full advantage of it including making some pumpkin butter and fresh bread and lighting our fire pit and sitting outside with blankets and hot chocolate.  This truly is my favorite time of year...

Mid Century Moment

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fashion Files - Fall Favorites from Old Navy

Lately I am really loving thrift stores for clothing (some recent finds - a $2 DKNY wool skirt and a $3 Banana Republic dress) but it really can be hit or miss and with the changing of the seasons I'm really craving a few add-ins to spruce up my existing wardrobe and carry it into Fall. 

For simple basics, I always look to Old Navy and Gap and yesterday, I went on a little mini shopping spree, picking up some great items for Fall including a sweater coat very similar to the Boden one I found last week but at a much better price!!  What are you buying for the Fall season?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Vintage Love - Pica Pica Found

Vintage Love is back!  This week I am featuring Liz of Pica Pica Found.  Her shop has a wonderful assortment of vintage home goods and her move across the country has almost everything in her shop on sale!  
What do you love about vintage?
I love finding things from different time periods--my background is in design, and I enjoy seeing how much a time period is defined by the styling of its everyday items, from fashion to household objects to magazine ads. I also really appreciate shopping vintage as a way of lessening the amount of waste in the world. If an object still has life in it, it should be enjoyed, not thrown away! And I adore the "character" than comes with items that have obviously had long lives.

What is the best item you have ever come across when you have been vintage/thrift shopping?
Oh, that is a tough one. I have a gorgeous old solid wood office chair on big metal casters that I scored at a local thrift shop for just $6. I think that is my favorite thing that actually made it home with me. I've come across some pretty neat things that were just too impractical to keep or attempt to sell--one of my favorites was a huge, heavy metal scale that (I think) was designed for weighing laundry. It had incredible industrial style, and it took a lot of self-control to leave it at the store!

Do you have a style or method you use when vintage/thrift shopping?
I have a little route of 4 to 5 stores that I try to hit once a week. Mondays and Thursdays are discount days, so sometimes I will take advantage of that, but often times the picking is better on other days. The weekend is too crowded, hands down. I try not to linger when I shop--I just run through the furniture and housewares sections, and don't glance at clothes (unless I'm shopping for myself!). I figure if something doesn't catch my eye quickly in the shop then it probably won't catch someone else's eye online.

Is there one tip you could share that might help someone who is new to thrifting and vintage shopping?
If you are shopping to sell, familiarize yourself with what is selling well online, but don't be afraid to branch out and develop your own style. I figure that there must be other people out there who share my tastes, and I don't buy anything for resale that I wouldn't purchase for myself. If you try to stick with just the things that are very visible on sites like Etsy than you will be competing with lots of other sellers who have the same products. If you are shopping for yourself -- enjoy yourself! Don't worry too much about what something is supposedly "worth" -- if you like it and the price seems fair to you, then snap it up!

Thank you Liz for participating in this week's Vintage Love.

Photos courtesy of Liz, Pica Pica Found.

can be found at:
Etsy shop

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Portfolio perspective...

I love gathering inspiration from stylists and photographers portfolios. Big Leo Productions, home to some truly amazing stylists (including Paul Lowe) has so many gorgeous portfolios to gawk over.  Here are some of my favorites.

I love the intensity of the dark, still life photos - they are all from Pamela Duncan Silver's portfolio.  They are giving me some inspiration for future apt22 photo shoots.  I love the idea of shooting vintage silverware on a black black drop...gorgeous!

Big Leo Productions also has a blog, The Den, with even more photography and inspiration.