27 August 2010

Rag & Stone

Just sharing a post from a friend that I read yesterday and LOVED.  She makes the most amazing jewelry and has so much heart behind each piece.  She has her jewelry at our markets and everyone just LOVES it. I had to share this with you...see you Monday! 

If you look up a town in southeast Iowa, Muscatine, you might not really think much of it. Muscatine is a sleepy little river town stuck right up into rolling hills right off the Mississippi river, and is actually a very pretty part of the midwest. I remember visiting as a little kid all my extended family here, its where my parents grew up.

I remember humidity like you wouldn't believe, cicadas the size of softballs singing into the night, and the blackest dirt I've ever seen. And in that melon-growing dirt you could find the coolest clamshell buttons, all broken up into fragmented white bits.

If the sun was shining at just the right angle and if you were lucky, a whole button would surface its little self, all shiny like the inside of a clamshell, with two funny holes smack dab in the middle. Or even better, a whole clamshell with button holes stamped out of it.

I can remember these little buttons everywhere down by the rivers, in flower pots, in backyards, in green jungle alleys behind my Aunt Pete's house, even in the cement downtown. Buttons Everywhere! Apparently, the Mississippi harbored enough fat little clamshells that the town of Muscatine became the pearl button capital of the midwest, coined the term "pearling the mississipi", and the commodity led a booming economy in the early 1900s.

This is a clamshell antique button that came with a thousand others, some resin, some colored shell, some clam, in an old barnum-and-baileys cookie tin i stole from my mom (which I am sure came from my grandma). I took these buttons a few years ago, thinking...well, I could someday make some jewelry out of them...not knowing then that I would actually know how to make them into jewelry. Funny how that all just plays itself out.

On the back of this piece is stamped " Life's Simple Pleasures". If there is anything simple and beautiful to me, it is definitely a pearl button from my grandma's collection.

To see more of Erin's amazing work, visit her Etsy shop, Rag & Stone, HERE.

26 August 2010

Things Bloggers Do #7

7.  CAPTCHA. hhhhhh.

This one should be titled, "Things WEBSITES ALL OVER THE ENTIRE INTERNET DO...."

There are few things more disheartening in blogland than reading through an amazing post, getting to the end…smiling, wanting to leave a comment, and coming across the elephant in the room that is CAPTCHA. It turns this:

I actually get nervous when I have to do them…like if I fail, I fail at life and not just some box where you type letters into. You can’t study for it; you just have to hope you can read the jumbled mess…

Who writes them? Do they ever make funny ones? Lets google it.

 Oh my. Ok, honestly, if I ran across that, I wouldn’t be so upset. But no, usually I get these!!!


Awesome.  Just....awesome.  All I wanted was to post this old decor on craigslist...JUST GREAT.

I really feel bad for robots though, they suffer the most…who says they don’t want to blog and read about arts and crafts? I mean I know they have claws for hands but come on…let’s not discriminate!

“Honey! I was just reading about a good recipe for stew and that devil box popped up again! I just can’t take it anymore!”

I actually just found out my blog, until now, has supported robot segregation. I am truly sorry and apologize to the human and robot population alike. All are welcome on this blog. ;)

Of course there are bad spam robots, and if you’ve been repeatedly harassed, moderation of comments is acceptable, and I highly recommend that you purchase Old Glory Robot Insurance immediately.


19 August 2010

Things Bloggers Do #6

6.  Burlap

If you search for burlap on Google, do you find articles about how it’s used to carry coffee beans and was often worn by people on Ash Wednesday to rip up their flesh for religious purposes? No?

Yeah…I totally find entire 2 or 3 pages of blogs featuring amazingly cute crafty things made from burlap!! We have completely reinvented something once used as camouflage in WW2. Actually we’ve done that with a lot of things stemming from that time period….but today is BURLAP!!

Do you actually sit on burlap cushions? I did. I made one. I tried it, and believe me; it feels like sitting on a porcupine. It feels even worse on a hot day when it makes your booty itch.  Bootyitis, if you will. And you have to try and NOT scratch it. Good luck with that.

(On a side note, if your booty itches when not sitting on burlap, you should probably see a doctor. Or use some Preparation H. Yes, I just linked to their website. You’re welcome.)

I had to add this in, the fact that it sheds like crazy and it makes you itch your nose when using it.  You have to be really careful in public, people might think you're a crackhead if you keep itching your nose all the time...

I think I sneeze a minimum of 10 times whenever I use burlap to do anything.

Don't show your kids this picture, it may give them nightmares....

It also smells like the wrong end of a dog. I’m just being honest here. Since you can’t wash it without destroying it, you must deal with the smell. How can I describe it…it smells like compromise....?!

Do I want the cute curtains bad enough to endure the smell???? YES. I will not be buying any Eau De Burlap anytime soon.

I can’t get enough burlap actually….seriously; I think chairs made out of it are amazingly cool. So what if people can’t sit in them? I’ll just leave them in the living room as decoration.

“Actually Sally, we don’t sit on the furniture! Here, use this hideous non-burlap pillow to sit on.”

Why is Sally dressed up so fancy coming over to my house anyway?  Her and her blond curls...

Can you imagine if our entire society caught onto this burlap craze we’re in? What other uses would we find for it?

- Burlap toilet paper?

- Burlap flavored toothpaste? (Don’t know why I’m on a toiletry kick here…)

- Burlap seat covers!

- Burlap Jelly Bellies!

- Burlap evening gowns! Oh wait…wasn’t there a Project Runway episode?

- Burlap Skivvies!

"Guaranteed to drive up Butt Paste sales."

Well so much for my original ideas. Maybe the toothpaste one will catch on.....

16 August 2010

DIY Photo Wall

I'm sure you've seen these all over blogland, but we decided to make our own for our booth at the fair.  We spent about $40.00 on the supplies, and it took Tanner about 5 hours to build.  We had to stop in between to find our dog who decided to run away...but that's beside the point.  He's back safe at home. 

For those of you familiar with my Things Bloggers Do series, my first post was on DIY tutorials.  As you know, I like to draw on things that I do to write them.  Well, congratulations....you get to read one of my DIY tutorials.  I'm apologizing in advance ;)

We still need to add the chairrail trim to the top, by the way. 

Some things you might need:

10 1'' PVC poles (depending on what size you're going for, you may want to make it a completely different size..)

 Corresponding 1'' PVC connectors (You'll know which ones and how many you need once you draw out your plans)

2 8' sheets of plywood or other type of wood.  We used MDF, it was a little less expensive.  Plywood would definitely be more sturdy, however.

-  About 6 yards of fabric of your choice

-  2 large dropcloths, white sheets, or fabric of your choice for the backdrop

-  Paint (We used leftover stuff we had from our cabinets)

Frames.  Vintage, thrifted, painted, whichever you like

-  A drill & screws

-  A jigsaw, skill saw, or other choice cutting device. (I don't recommend using a plastic knife).

1 8' piece of trim of your choice

Alrighty...so first you're going to put together your PVC frame.  You can really do whatever you want here, but I'm going to post pictures of how we did ours. We used PVC because it needed to be portable and break down. 

Step 1: Cut a hole in the box (just kidding...sorry for those of you who don't get that...)

Just showing you the back side...

Once you get your frame done, stand back and marvel for a bit, and then go get your frames...

Lay the big wall down and mark out your layout for the frames.  My advice is to not place too many holes above each other...so that you don't get your body in the frame below if you're trying to be in the top one.  Does that make sense?  "I HAVE NO WIRE!?"

You can kind of see the fabric we used...just seeing how it would lay on the wood.  Trace the inner part of the frame onto the wood, and then start cutting. 

Stare.........make yourself look back at the project.

What? How did that get there again........... 

Anyway...next, lay your fabric out.  We measured down 5' and thats where our fabric stopped and paint began. Staple it around the entire area, pulling tight to reduce wrinkles. 

Trim the excess, and warm up your iron.  Iron everything and really press those wrinkles out.  You don't want them showing up in your pictures! 

Now stir up your paint and paint the bottom..

Don't worry too much about making sure the paint line is straight, because you'll be putting a piece of trim where the paint and fabric meet.

While the paint was drying, I just had to play around with the wall..

Now its time to cut out the fabric where the holes are.  Easy peezy.  We used a rotary cutter..

Now put a couple screws where your picture frames will go, and hang them!

We ran into our first problem here, as we realized that we needed a solid backdrop. Stat.  We hung some dropcloths and tied them to the top and bottom of the PVC frame in the back and sides.  You could use sheets, different patterned fabric, whatever you wanted to use...

Tomorrow night, we will be putting the chair rail trim on, and hanging a few misc. photos on the wall to make it look more realistic.  I'll make sure and post a final photo before we take it to the fair for our free photo booth!  Have a super Monday.  Email me if any of this is confusing.....  :)

12 August 2010

Things Bloggers Do #5

5.  We. Get. Featured.

One of the coolest honors on blogland is to be featured on someone’s blog. It makes you feel all giddy inside like a unicorn on laughing gas. I’ve been featured on a few, and it totally made my day. I’d tell random strangers at work, “Hey guess what! I was featured on a blog today!”

They looked at me funny, and then I remembered that they are mere infants with no knowledge of the blogging world, reigning supreme at number 2. Then I shunned them.

Do you know what’s even cooler than being featured? Having an awesome button to show for it! There are those blogs out there that have like, a million “featured on” buttons. I would stand and applaud you, but no one is watching me do it so it’d be awkward and pointless…. but mentally, there’s a standing ovation going on. Starting with the slow build up clap and all.


I seriously want those buttons. Do you make them? Do they come in your email? If they did, I’d be waiting on them like the dad on Christmas Story waited for his leg lamp. You know how excited he was.

I bet a huge reason why people don’t have them very often is because it’s HARD to get all your information into a 125x125 box. This one is still a mystery to me. Its like me trying to fit into my size 5 jeans…it ain’t happenin.

I guess I do have one button I could make…

They’re like brownie patches. I was a brownie for a total of two weeks before I realized that my toys and being outside was way more fun. Also, I played with Hot Wheels when I was little. Only I didn’t race them. They got married and had babies. Shhh…I know…I know.

Anyway, they are like brownie patches. I love going to a person’s blog and being like.. wow, they have been featured on so many things! It’s a huge accomplishment, and I salute you for having amazing content that people want to share. I have found some of my favorite blogs this way.

(Not saying that if you don’t get featured, you’re not a great blog, because that’s certainly not true).

Everyone should have a “featured on” button. That’s why, today…I’ve decided to make a special FO (if you will) button for everyone who reads or comments on my post. Oh man, I know you’re just racing to the comment form right now ;) Go ahead, take that. It’s yours. Also, I’m shamelessly promoting my series. Tee hee.

Stay tuned for next week, as we discover the joys and the smell of burlap.

Say yes to the fist pump.

05 August 2010

Pixel Perfect Blog Hop

Pixel Perfect is having a Blog Hop of before/after pictures.  All you have to do is show them ONE SOOC (straight out of camera) shot and then the edited version! 



No truck! :)

Shot with a Nikon D40, used Picnik.com to edit

Things Bloggers Do #4

4.  Get sucked into the blogging vortex

I dare you to sit down at your computer to do something without typing in blogger.com. Go on, exit out of this post and just sit there. Read your email, check a little Craigslist, but DON’T type in the name of a blog, blogger.com or anything in any form of one..

Do you find it easier to lick your bathroom floor? You’re not alone. I’m right there with you. What is it about blogland that is so incredibly addicting? Those of us who fall into this category suffer from what I like to call ADBD. Attention deficit blogging disorder.

I have a fever, and the only cure for that fever is to look at blogs until my eyeballs fall out or my butt skin actually grows around my chair. Thank goodness I’m married or I would honestly look like the guy at the end of Indiana Jones 3 I’d be at the computer so long.

I submit that you can not look at one blog without wanting to click another. I usually end up on one blog after about 2 hours and wonder “HOW DID I GET HERE?!”

My bedtime has two enemies. Their names are “Older Posts” and “My Favorite Blogs.” How do you not click those?


-  You absolutely have to check google reader before bedtime

-  Sometimes when you read magazines, you wish they had a follow button

-  You can't remember how many blogs you read per day

-  You can't remember your own blog after you're done

-  You get mad at your husband when he doesn't understand what blog you're referring to at the dinner table

-  If you go on vacation, you panic thinking about how much blog catching up you'll be doing once you get home

-  Your children are malnourished

-  You laugh and pity the people around you who don't know what a blog is...they're so not in the "in" crowd.  Shun them.

-  Your husband has to say things like "hey come look at this great opportunity for a blog post" for you to pay attention to him.

I better stop now, my dog has been whining at me to let him out for the past 3 days....I guess he needs to go or something.  Doesn't he realize he's infringing on blogtime?

04 August 2010

100th Post....

Have I really written 100 posts?  Have you read them all?  I'm sorry.  Truly. :) 

I started out talking about things like our kitchen remodel...



Then Tanner and I made some tables...

Then I stopped writing for a while...which is SO like me.  I thought that was the end...and then I got back on and the creative juices started flowing again.  Or maybe it was the fact that I found out how to properly post pictures and blogger wasn't so intimidating...

Then I went to the Vintage Barn Show with friends...

I hosted a baby shower...and a Halloween party...

and I introduced you to Gertie...

Christmas came and went...

We had some puppies....never doing that again....

Started our market...

Foreclosed on a house (boo!) and moved into a farmhouse (yay!)...we simplified life...

I also got a new camera between blog posts...can you tell?  Look at the difference in those pictures.  THANK you craigslist.

From post 1 to 100 I've done a lot of things.  I've learned to sew & I've started making and selling pillows in my Etsy shop...

And to thank you for reading, I'm offering 20% off on all my pillowsClick here to be directed to the shop!  Thank you for being so loyal and awesome, and I'll see you tomorrow with a Things Bloggers Do post!!

Oh, and thank you Robyn for the sweet award you gave me!  It makes me feel all googly and gushy inside!! hah.  :)  Congratulations on opening your store as well!  I will be checking that out :)