Thursday, September 30, 2010


Don't you ever get tired of just plain painted walls?
Once in a while you need to liven things up and all it takes is a little paint, some time, and tape.
What colors you choose depends on the room and the mood you want to achieve. Spend some time looking through home magazines or online for design ideas and color combos that appeal to you.
When you go to the paint store just breathe deep.  Take home a handful of color samples and tape them to a wall where the colors will change as the sun moves throughout the day.  Remember, the color will appear darker on the wall once it dries.
Don't be afraid of color or trying different color combination's that you would normally shy away from!

Here I used two complimentary colors with muted tones and vertical stripes on two walls to get a homey, cozy and inviting room. I also varied the size of the stripes. I like wider stripes for a less busy appearance.

You can also take one color and mix it two or three times with white to get different shades of the same color. I used tape (that blue paint tape) to leave a white stripe between each square for a crisp clean look.

Don't be afraid of bold colors which are great in kids rooms, sport rooms, dens, dining rooms, etc.
This was drawn free hand on the wall and painted around. You can also buy stencils or draw things out on paper and transfer to the wall if you don't feel comfortable doing free hand.
The possibilities are endless and once you try something in one room you'll be looking at every other room with a new eye and paint brush in hand.

Note:  I wasn't thinking when I took these photos that they'd end up on a blog so pardon the rumpled bed, toilet seat up and toilet paper all askew.  I didn't do it!  I swear.

Goodgosh Peggy

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fall has arrived… (again *sigh*)

Last year I picked up a few of these cool papier-mâché pumpkin ornaments. 
(with an idea in mind of course)

I was all excited and got right to work on them.
First I cut out an opening just how I wanted it.  I then gathered some different  shades of orange tissue papers to cover them.

I picked out the images I wanted to use to decorate them with, had everything ready to go.....

and then……….

the next thing I knew, Halloween had passed, so I set them aside.
Now a whole year has gone by and my little unfinished pumpkins sadly sat in a box…..
I have brought them out and renewed my goal to get them done this year.
But now what will they become?
I still have the original idea in my head, but …..will they be what I first planned or will they turn into something else? I have gotten some other ideas in my head for them now, but I need un-cut ones for that.  Hmm, maybe I will have to pick up a few more.
While I am at it, I had picked up these little plastic pumpkins (last year also…*sigh*)
and I think they need a little up-cycling themselves….

Maybe if you come back and check up on me I will post pictures of the finished products. (plus if I know somebody is watching, well.... I will have to get them done)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Upcycle with Cutter Fabric, Lace, and Linens

Those old stained and worn linens and fabrics can be upcycled into wonderful new items. So many times we see them at flea markets, thrift shops, and garage sales for just pennies, but we pass them by because they aren't perfect,

Look closely at the trim and needlework. Is it in good condition? If it is, these sections can be cut out and reused. The salvaged trim and needlework are beautiful on pillows, purses, clothing, and anything else your creative mind can imagine. Look closely at the fabric, are there large enough sections that can be cut out and reused?

Check out these shops to see just how wonderful the upcycled items can be.

I thought this blouse was so unique. I've never seen recycled fabric used this way.

Look at this tote made using salvaged fabric.

And look at the wonderful use of vintage doilies in this pillow.

The next time you run across a treasure trove of vintage linens, stop and take a closer look at them.  For just a little bit of money, you can make wonderful keepsakes by upcycling them.  Have fun and set your imagination free!


Monday, September 27, 2010

How Do You Know

What it is?
What is it worth?
Will anyone buy it?

These are questions a lot of people are asking about the stuff in Grandma's attic...or basement...or where ever!

So here are some links to resources for what you may have :)

Vintage Fashion Guild Label Resource

Links for pottery and stoneware

Vintage Costume Jewelry

Antique or Vintage Lace Identification

Identify your silver or china pattern

(scroll down on this last link to find clickable links to specific types of buttons)

Vintage BarkCloth

Depression Glass Patterns, Elegant Depression Glass and 40s50s60s Glass

Fabric Identification


 Good blog post about vintage

Good blog for general information

Hope these resources help some of you to identify your treasures :)


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Contest Winner!

Congratulations to our contest winner, Randi!

Randi found the hidden bird photo in each of our shops and her name was drawn.

Thanks to all that entered and stay tuned for more contests!

Please stop by Handmade Spark where we are pleased to be a featured blog!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My Wallpaper Obsession!

I love wallpaper!  I have a stash of it, but never have enough!   I like to use it to make tags, paper beads and handmade envelopes.  It's just wonderful for making paper beads, my favorite, in fact.

These are paper beads made from wallpaper, you can see the actual wallpaper used behind them.
These are some handmade envelopes made from wallpaper.

I especially like books!  With wallpaper books, I get coordinated papers all in one!

But I never pass on rolls or sheets.

With all that said, take a look at this online shop I found!  It's located in NY and someday I'd like to visit this store and touch each and every piece of wallpaper!
Click on photo above and prepared to be wowed!  It's a shop called SecondHandRose!  What an assortment of wallpaper!

While there, stop by and check out the Linoleum section!   It's to die for!
 This one below has got to be one of my favorites!

Let's visit one more online shop!
Bradbury & Bradbury (click on image above)

Just looking at this shop and the retro wallpapers, makes me wanna.

Hope you enjoy our visit to wallpaper lane!  

*****Please note:  Our contest ends at Midnight tonight!  Please stop by and enter:*****

Friday, September 24, 2010

Now What Do I Do???

Okay, so you’re pulling out all your old jewelry or maybe out “thrifting” and thinking to yourself, “I’ll never wear it, don’t want to give it away – let’s see if I can sell it”.  But now, what is it?  Who made it?  How do I price it? 

This is me with every piece I think to sell.  So here is my process.  First, I try to see if there are “markings” or not.  Markings are usually on the back and it points the way to the designer or maker of that piece.  Here is a great site I go to when I don’t recognize the mark then I can advertise it by WHO made it. 

Of course, this only helps when the piece is signed.  When it’s not and you simply have an unmarked piece of jewelry, you start searching for that item, or something very similar.

Trying to describe pieces you don’t know much about is a very frustrating thing.  Materials, styles, colors, and the list goes on and on.  But there are some great sites out there that are very helpful.  And wanting to be in a competitive market for vintage jewelry you want to be sure you’re not too high or too low (unless you just want to get rid of things of course).  So these sites will also help in getting ideas to price your jewelry.  Here are just a few:

I have found these sites pretty easy to navigate through.  I think you will too.

So the next time you pick up a piece of jewelry and you’re not sure what to do with it, check out these sites and see what you find.  Who knows, you may have a collectors piece worth lots more than you ever imagined.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

There's a mouse in my house! Well, there too.

Okay, so I am at work minding my own business when my dog perks his ears up and dives towards the table I'm working at and continues to shove his head under it sniffing and going crazy, giving new meaning to the phrase "doggone crazy". Get it? Chortle. Snort.
Yes, I took a picture of his butt in the air. Who wouldn't?

So, back to the story... I bravely got on my knees to peer under the table and realized at that moment I've got some serious cleaning to do under there. Really, I saw a blur of movement and knew right away it was a doggone mouse. My experiences in life have given me a fine tuned instinct and wisdom no school room could teach. I done knew it was gonna be a mouse!
The mouse ran, the dog ran after the mouse, and I ran after the dog and the mouse who much to my dismay, ran into my office and disappeared into thin air. This is where it gets really gross. This is what I found.
Insert a big *sigh* right here. 

Now, mice are cute so I always pause for a moment of reflection **pause** before I decide which method I am going to use to destroy them. Is there really a good way? I don't think so.

Sincerely yours, Peggy, Cody the dog,
and the mouse. Squeak!

~Moravian Paper Stars~

A bunch of white glittered stars

           Moravian stars actually have more points and these lesser point stars are known as German stars, Swedish stars, Bethlehem stars, or more correctly as Froebel Stars, named after Friedrich Fröbel, the German educator who invented them. (we have always called them Moravian stars though)
          A dear friend of the family would make several of these stars to go on our packages every Christmas.  These same stars that he made have been decorating my tree each year.
A couple of years ago we had some friends over and Ed came to my house and patiently taught us all how to fold them. They seem difficult at first, but once you get the folds down they are easy peasy (as Karen would say)
          I think I was first drawn to the simple beauty of these stars. I decorated some of my small evergreens outside with plain white waxed stars. We made hundreds of them to use as table decorations at a holiday gathering for the families of deployed soldiers. They are wonderful to use on packages, for table settings, and as decorations….any time of the year
              I make them with colored paper and then I use matching glitter and coat them thoroughly. I love the look of when they are simply dipped in wax, but I have a thing for glitter, so most of mine get glitterized. My finished stars measure 1 1/2” across. The smallest I made so far measure  ½” across, (these tiny ones are not glittered)
tiny 1/2" star
             Lisa from  makes some wonderful Moravian stars and some really cool 3-D star ball ornaments.
beautiful purple star ball ornament, by Lisa

two color round star ball, by Lisa
       You can check out more of her stars and her shop here;                                    

           If you would like to make some of these on your own, this site has the best directions I found.
Just a little warning, the directions may appear confusing at first, but once you get it they are really easy to make.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Seriously, Can You Help Me?

All of the previous posts have been informative or instructional, this one is neither.

Several years ago I read an article about these unique little ceramic pieces and their popularity.   Then one day while treasure hunting, I found this one. However, now I can't find the article, which has to be the only one I don't have, and I find very little helpful information.

The original sticker on the bottom says "OriginalArnartCreation", "Japan". It also has the two crossed feathers and the numbers 33/156 (no letters).

The PM&M (Porcelain Marks & More) website discusses the authenticity (or not) of arrows with three or more feathers, however, mine has only two feathers on each arrow. I cannot find a makers mark that matches what I have, or mention of this mark as being fake.

This is a small piece which measures 3 1/2" high X 4" across, is round, and has fruit, leaves, and tiny flowers on the top.

Can someone help me, or lead me to a website that gives more specific information for Arnart?
Thank you!


Monday, September 20, 2010

Where do you find your “stuff”????

As sellers of vintage and antique items one of the most frequently asked questions is this one…

So I am going to do a show and tell…show you an item and tell you where we found it…sort of!

The leather bound books with marbled covers  and the hand painted fruit plates were found at an Estate Sale….
Wondering how to find an Estate Sale in your area?  Try this link…

An Estate Sale tip… prices are frequently slashed by 30 to 50% on the last day of the sale, of course if you had your eye on something special it may well have sold!


The old wood spools with silk thread and the fabulous silverplate trophy urn were purchased at a swap meet/flea market…

Do I have a link for swap meets?  Yes, 2 links in fact!

The vintage bowls and the galvanized metal tool carrier were garage sale finds…you can find garage sales listed in your local papers or local Craigs List.

Another question we are frequently asked is “How much did you pay for that”?  

The answer to that is….I give out that information on a need to know basis and You Don’t Need to Know!

Happy Hunting….

Check out  for our own treasure hunt….Sept. 19 - Sept.25!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Our first giveaway!

In honor of us hitting 50 followers, we are holding our first blog giveaway!  The host of this one is Julie from DoodleVintagePlus and she has decided on having a Scavenger Hunt.

In each of the following shops you will find a listing with this photo somewhere in it:

Visit these shops by clicking on the links below and find the hidden photo in each one:
The contest is simple!  Find the photo in each shop and email the listing from each shop to, include your contact information with your answers.  Contest ends Saturday, Sept. 25th. at midnight EST.

Please do NOT post answers to this blog, they will be removed and you don't want others copying your answers!  All correct answers that have been emailed to us will be put into a hat and one winner will drawn.

The prize is a $20 gift certificate to shop at DoodleVintagePlus.  Julie will be in contact with the winner on Sunday, Sept. 26th to make arrangements with the winner to claim their prize.  You do not have to be a member of Etsy to enter.  Anything purchased over the $20 is to be paid by winner (this would include shipping costs if it applies)

Have Fun and Good Luck!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Vintage Suitcase Makeover

 I'm never sure if I should wash an item or leave it in its original state.  Glassware is never a doubt, warm soapy water and it sparkles.  I love washing glassware and dishes.

Recently, I purchased a vintage suitcase.  I fell in love with the style of it, it's not really square but flares at the bottom and the inside fascinated me.  Although it was higher priced than I usually spend, I had a coupon, so I'll take a chance on this one.  I did notice scuff marks on it, tiny nicks and someone priced it with about 6 price tags.  But I thought the two toned piping and the darker matching handle was really neat and I loved the insides, so it was decided I'd purchase it.

When I got it home and inspected it further, I realized the handle is NOT a darker brown, just super filthy dirty from hands.  It was so bad, I decided I could not sell it this way.  So I cleaned it.  While cleaning it, I realized the piping is really dirty, too.  Now, what's the best way to go about cleaning this?
I went with the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.  It worked like a gem!  If you are not familiar with these things, they are like a sponge but as you use them, they disappear until you need a new one!  Pretty cool.  And I do suggest if you use them, to test them in a spot that won't be seen to make sure it's okay to use.

Not only did it clean the handle and piping, but it removed the scuff marks!   I am just thrilled with how it worked out.  I'm not going to show you just how bad the sponge looked by the time I was finished!  Pretty gross!


All cleaned up and ready to go!

I have learned a lesson regarding plastics.  I had a hard plastic container that I couldn't get the price tag off of it, I tried one of those products like Goop Off or Oops and it took the price tag off but left a horrible cloudy spot and I ended up throwing the whole thing away.  Since I love acrylics and Lucite items, I had to find something that worked.  Guess what?  The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser works on that, too! 

What about you?  Do you clean things up before you sell them or leave them as you find them?

**The duck**

Friday, September 17, 2010

Christmas In September

I hope it’s not too early to share some Christmas memories.  Since last week’s post and my wonderful finds while de-cluttering, I have been thinking more and more about the holidays.  I have these memories of Christmas growing up.  My house was always decorated.  Once we moved from our house with a fireplace, we even bought one of those “fake fireplaces” just so we could get more into the spirit of decorating.

When my sister moved in with us, I think she loved decorating more than anyone else in the house.  She had so many ideas and items, and then got into the spirit of “buying” more decorations.  (Remember my clutter photos – mostly her stuff)

She would even take pictures off the wall and wrap them up like presents.  Seriously, presents hanging on the walls?   Only in my house!  But I loved her.  Every inch of available space was decorated:  shelves, tables, desktops.  And even on the floor by the tree. 

She also had this shadow box.  It had a few little shelves with a mirror behind it.  During the year she had all kinds of stuff on display in it.  But come holiday time, those items were packed away and Christmas was now on display.  Now, my memory is not as good as it used to be, but I remembered lots of cool stuff.  Then, it all disappeared.  For the life of me, over the past few years, I have not been able to find those boxes of Christmas decorations. 

Until de-clutter time began.  YES!  I found them.  Shadow box items – small, cute, and festive!  I struck gold.  Imagine the look on my face when I opened this one box.  Here are samples of what I found.

You'll find some of these things listed in my Etsy shop, and some are yet to be listed.  I still have to downsize and get rid of many of those items but I will ALWAYS have those memories.  I wonder if Avon will ever make these things again!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

My dad and I and a Mural

trompe l'oeils (loi').
  1. A style of painting that gives an illusion of photographic reality.
  2. A painting or effect created in this style.
Recently my dad was called back to a local McDonald's to add on to the mural he had done years ago. They had remodeled and had to tear down part of what he had already done which meant more work to do. I had helped him the first time (minimally) and this time he needed my help more then ever because of his ill health.

The theme was right up my alley. Hollywood movies~ They had asked that we include Toy Story and Shrek.  I was hesitant at first ~ you know how it is as an look at the big empty canvas and start to doubt yourself. Well, this was a big ass canvas that included an audience and freezing cold air blowing in my face for hours, but for my dad, I'd do anything.



     I have done murals before in my own home and others which include the side of the building at our previous gallery, the side of a shed at a horse breeders farm, the wall of the Public library in the children area,  and twice for a client in her dining room. I'm hoping to start learning more from my dad and eventually....who knows?

  A few notes: 
  • My dad is more experienced and quicker
  • Parts of what you see here were already done years ago 
  • It was freezing cold in there 
  • Painting Woody made my head hurt at times 
  • Getting used to stares and questions was difficult
  • I was proud of my dad and myself
  • McDonald's is ALWAYS busy
  • The Strawberry Banana smoothies are pretty darn good.
Beam me up Scotty ~ Peggy, GG, horse face

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Chalkware from Vintage Chocolate Molds

vintage chocolate molds

My interest in chocolate molds and chalkware started several years ago when my girlfriend gave me an old mold for Christmas.  After receiving my first mold I became fascinated with using it to make chalkware.
From there my collection grew and I snapped up all molds that I could find. (within my budget, I might add)  I mostly acquired Santas, but then that expanded to Easter and Halloween.

The process of making chalkware is very simple. I use plaster of paris.  Some people use different mediums and even use dental plaster.
I decided that I would use plain old plaster, kind of in keeping with how they were made years ago.
I lightly coat the inside of the mold with cooking spray,(I use Pam) Once the inside is coated I put the mold together and use masking tape to seal the edges, then I use the mold clamps for a nice tight fit and less leakage of the plaster.

The plaster is then mixed and poured into the mold, as I pour, I try to tap out any air bubbles. The filled mold is then set aside until the plaster cures anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. When it is ready to be removed I take off all the clamps and tape then gently separate the 2 sides. I trim the bottom immediately while the plaster is still a little soft. Sometimes I trim the seams and smooth out the rough edges at the same time.
Once this is all done I set them aside to let them dry completely. (at least 24 hours, maybe longer depending on the size)

Finally when they are all dry I begin to paint them. For some reason I start with the faces. I think I just like having the faces done so their personality comes out at the beginning. I use old postcards and old images for some of my ideas on decorating my Santas. I love the old fashioned Santas partly for all the different colors, not just the usual red coats. To finish, I coat my chalkware with a matte finish.
Sometimes they are holding a little pine sprig or feather tree, some of them get a sprinkling of mica or glitter.  You can decorate however you would like, as little or as much as strikes your fancy.

The following sites are a couple of my favorites and have molds and painted chalkware;

finished chalkware
( jj )