A Surprise Gift!

DH came back from a business trip, and look what he brought for me… what could be inside?


Vintage retro earrings!DeanGift2

And an Italian Mosaic bracelet, in it’s original box. I think our antiquing/thrifting is rubbing off on him :-). I’m a lucky girl!DeanGift3

Thrifting With My Girl!

Oh, DD and I had so much fun going out to lunch, and then thrifting.  We both managed to find some neat things.

Here is an adorable framed cross stitch of a little fawn:


This decorative plaque is pretty large.  I think it would look nice in my studio – hopefully, I will have a space of my very own one day…


What a find this pop out book was. I just love the graphics.  Ok, it’s only from 1975, not that old to me, but really old to DD 🙂


And this little fellow.  When I find a singleton of a salt/pepper shaker, I feel compelled to rescue them, and make them into something nice.  I think he would be happy to be featured on top of a spoolie for Easter!


Canon Creative Park!

Oh my gosh, I am in paper craft heaven!!!  Girls day in Japan is coming up, so I decided to poke around the web for some Girls Day crafts.  Well, lucky for me, I stumbled on Canon Creative Park! If you are into paper craft, scrapbooking, card making, art,  calendars, and just about anything to do creatively with paper, you have to visit Canon Creative Park.   I’m planning on making a Girls Day display.  The display I’m showing is a bit ambitious for me right now, so I will do a simpler one.  They have simple as well as more complex things to make.  You can find projects for any occasion, and interests.  I felt like a chicken without a head trying to decide which project to download and do. Best of all, everything is free to download!  Of course, it is personal use only, and my one advice is, to make sure you download “letter size” (for here in the US) when given a choice.  Here  are some samplings of what they have:

Girls Day Court:

CanonCreativePark1Mother’s Day Card:


Valentine Mobil (Or maybe even Easter!):


A Wedding Couple:CanonCreativePark3a

Easter Bunny:CanonCreativePark4

Graduating Duo – I can make it for DD in June! CanonCreativePark4a

Year Of The Snake – how cool is this!CanonCreativePark5

Ship with sailors – too cute!CanonCreativePark6

Circus toy shadowbox? I think it actually moves:CanonCreativePark6a

Saint Basil’s Cathedral – looks really challenging:CanonCreativePark7

A Halloween Mobil:CanonCreativePark8

Santa Decoration:CanonCreativePark9

This is just a tiny sampling. There a hundreds more to look and choose from. Now get going! – Canon Creative Park.

Officially A Thrifting Enthusiast

Well, I can say that I am officially a thrifting enthusiast!  Even dear daughter has joined me in this somewhat amusing pursuit.  We have different interests, but it is really fun to have a companion to go thrifting with.  We got past the musty smell, and the need to wash/hand sanitize our hands pretty quickly :-).  DD has even found popular You Tube videos of converting thrift finds into cool outfits and accessories – she has yet to put this knowledge into action.  Anyhow, here are some things that I found recently. I love the retro Dickson figurines, and vintage puzzles in cans:


I’m thinking this green angel might even be a cute Saint Patrick’s day decoration.  And I found this old children’s book with the cute illustrations (always thinking of the digital angle):


I love crafts, so when I came across this binder full of old craft leaflets, magazines, and catalogs, I was thrilled!

Thrifting_Feb2013_3And, there is an odd side to all of this.  It seems sad and strange, but we have come across lots of old photos and albums still with photos in them.  When I think that these photos once belonged to someone, and now just sits in the corner of a thrift store, it kind of makes me sad that there weren’t family members or friends interested enough to keep and cherish them… Well, DD and I decided to buy one of them, and brought it home.  I am of Japanese descent, and we found this album full of photos from a Nisei Week celebration from the ’70s.  It shows photos of a parade with the queen and her court as well as the Japanese American War Veterans.  DD and I are thinking of mailing the album to the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles:


This is about it for our recent thrifting adventure.

A Manzanita Branch…

I have always admired my neighbors manzanita branch that she has suspended over her counter in her beautiful kitchen.  Well, after Dear Daughter asked me to keep the Christmas Tree up all year to decorate it for all seasons, I had an idea.  I decided to get a branch, and decorate it.

Branch1Big manzanita branches are not easy to come by, so I improvised.  With the help of my friend Maria and her truck, we collected a big branch from an empty lot in town, and hauled it back home.


I have no idea what kind of tree it is… DH was not too thrilled to have a tree branch in the house, so for the time being, it is “curing” in our back patio.


Considering we live in a ’70s ranch, I will have to trim the branch to size and figure out a way to make it look nice in the house 🙂

Thrift Store Vintage Finds

Recently, I came across a group of very interesting bloggers.  They are into everything vintage and artsy.  In fact, I was able to join a Valentine heart swap over at Cozy Blanket (more on that on another post).  Anyway, their activities peaked my interest, and the other day during running errands, I looked in at a thrift store in my town.  Way in the back was a woman with a little thrift boutique.  She had the most interesting things in her shop.  Everything was such a bargain, I couldn’t resist! – this after telling myself I need to purge my house of “stuff”!

When I look at things, I am always thinking of one craft or another that I can use them for.  I found these beautiful hand crocheted doilies:

ThriftStoreFinds1She even had a tin full of vintage buttons! I am hoping someone will have a button swap soon – the last one I was involved in was so much fun! Here are the ones I chose and brought home:


And even though Christmas is over for now, I couldn’t resist these two choir girls – love the era!


And finally, this little tin house.  I thought it would make a nice house for my little kiddle dolls from my childhood. When I came home, I checked on the markings, and it is illustrated by Gillian Tyler, an English artist, and produced by Dana Kubick.  It makes me wonder how it came to be in the corner of a little thrift boutique here in California…


Garage Sale Mice

After coffee with a friend, I happened on a garage sale. I found these cute little mice sitting on the table waiting for someone to take them home, so I snapped them up! – aren’t they cute!

New Warby Parker Glasses

I had my annual optometry appointment today with the intention of getting new glasses. Well, after trying on some frames, and realizing the average frame was around $160 ($240 for the one I liked), I decided to forego purchasing them.  Especially since the lenses and etc. were not even included.  As happenstance would have it, I went home, turned on the TV and saw a segment on a program featuring Warby Parker glasses.  Warby Parker is an on-line optical company involved in a  “buy a pair give a pair” program.  You can go to their site and virtually try on glasses from their selection.  It only costs $95.00 (lens, frame, & s/h), and the best part is that someone else in the world benefits from new glasses with your purchase! Here, Georgie Girl is modeling the glasses I ordered (Webb):

More Traditional Croatian Jewelry

I have not been very creative in my jewelry arts lately, so I thought I would share some more Croatian jewelry.  DH just came back from a business trip to the Netherlands, and stopped by Croatia to visit his family.  Here are two very beautiful pendants he brought back for my daughter and I.  The one on the left is a pendant depiticting the coat of arms of Zagreb.  It is also the design on the flag of Zagreb.  The one on the right is a Morcic pendant – one of my favorite types of jewelry.  Morcic jewelry have been worn traditionally as an amulet to ward off evil:

Vintage Beads From Europe

I am a lover of all beads, especially vintage beads. So when Vente of Vintage Beads From Europe approached me to try out some of her wonderful vintage bead mixes, of course I said Yes! Vente’s passion and interest led her to open her own on-line store where she offers a variety of soft and hard vintage plastic beads as well as metal findings and jewelry accessories.  And here are the bead mixes she sent me:

Ideas are already spinning in my mind as to what to make with these fun beads – check back  later to see what I come up with!

Updating Vintage Finds

I found these pretty vintage earrings sometime ago,  and finally decided to update them for wear.  I replaced the old clip-ons with gold and silver ear wires, added crystals and beads where needed. Aren’t they nice!:

Saint Benedict Medal

My friend Maria brought this beautiful Saint Benedict key medal and cross, back from Mexico for my daughter and I.  I just love adornments of crosses, religious medals, and spiritual emblems, so I thought I’d share:

This medal originally came from a cross in honor of St Benedict. On one side, the medal has an image of St Benedict, holding the Holy Rule in his left hand and a cross in his right. There is a raven on one side of him, with a cup on the other side of him. Around the medal’s outer margin are the words “Eius in obitu nostro praesentia muniamur” (“May we, at our death, be fortified by His presence”). The other side of the medal has a cross with the initials CSSML on the vertical bar which signify “Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux” (“May the Holy Cross be my light”) and on the horizontal bar are the initials NDSMD which stand for “Non Draco Sit Mihi Dux” (“Let not the dragon be my overlord”). The initials CSPB stand for “Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti” (“The Cross of the Holy Father Benedict”) and are located on the interior angles of the cross. Either the inscription “PAX” (Peace) or the Christogram IHS may be found at the top of the cross in most cases. Around the medal’s margin on this side are the Vade Retro Satana initials VRSNSMV which stand for “Vade Retro Satana, Nonquam Suade Mihi Vana” (“Begone Satan, do not suggest to me thy vanities”) then a space followed by the initials SMQLIVB which signify “Sunt Mala Quae Libas, Ipse Venena Bibas” (“Evil are the things thou profferest, drink thou thy own poison”) – Wiki 🙂