Monday, January 31, 2011

Vintage Valentines

Valentine's Day is probably my favorite holiday visually speaking. I've always been drawn to the romantic images in shades of pink and red. Several months ago, my dear friend Tomas sent me some lovely vintage cards he found at an Atlanta flea market, which you see here.

Taking a cue from our Victorian valentine masters, I created a few of my own cards this year (below) that I'll be sending to friends and family. I simply painted large white hearts on cardstock for the background, then attached scrap images and punched ledger hearts, topped off with seam binding and rubber stamps. For more delicious card-making ideas with detailed materials and instructions, please visit my good friend Sharon's blog, The Teacup Incident. (Sharon also created my lovely banner!) How do you like to honour your sweethearts?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Better Than Chocolate

While it may be debatable that anything is better than chocolate, one thing's for sure: jewelry has fewer calories! Here are some Valentine-inspired designs currently available in my Etsy shoppe. Hearts, cherubs, flowers, yummy ruby-coloured stones...candy for the eyes, and all the sweeter when given or received as a gift. Please stay tuned on Monday for a post about vintage and hand-made Valentine's Day greeting cards.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Slow Down

Each new year causes most of us to reflect on where we've been and how we'd like the life ahead of us to pan out. This winter was no exception in prompting me to re-examine my values and I took the leap of faith to decrease my full-time work schedule in order to devote more time to creative pursuits and spending it with loved ones. It's so easy to get caught up in the frenetic pace of the world we live in: commuting, working, answering e-mails, text messages, paying bills, running errands... one of my goals this year is to focus on simplicity and just kind of slow down the chaos. I'm still adjusting to this concept and have certainly not perfected it yet, so I recently bought myself these flowers to remind me to 'stop and smell the roses', if you will. What helps you slow down?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Toys

This morning I just wanted to share some of the gems I got at the Candlestick Flea Market last weekend. As you can see, I was drawn to lots of romantic things this time, maybe because Valentine's Day is around the corner. Vintage cameos, a tiny mirror, pink rosary beads, watch fobs, and of course, a silver rooster charm are among the bounty and these are what I'll be playing with over the next couple of weeks. As some of you know, I'm now taking Thursdays off from my day job to focus on my jewelry designs, so today should be lots of fun. Hoping to create more 'upcycled' treasures like the ones in the last photo. Thanks for indulging me!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Marilyn, Marilyn, Marilyn

Yesterday I saw one of my favorite vendors at the Candlestick Flea Market. Marilyn Plescia and her husband Ron are known throughout northern California and Oregon for their breathtaking displays of vintage goods in shades of white and cream, fair pricing and friendly service. They set up shoppe at the Candlestick and Alameda Flea Markets, as well as at the Antique Society in Sebastopol, California. Marilyn also has a lovely blog, marilynmarilynmarilyn, and regularly e-mails those of us on her mailing list with show updates. This month her signature black and white harlequin-decoupaged display crates were laden with antique clocks, silver urns and pitchers, crystal bowls, alabaster lamp bases, dance shoes, dolls, and plenty of chippy frames. Please say hello to Marilyn and Ron the next time you're at the flea market and tell them Robyn sent you!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Nylon Candy

I can never resist the colourful fluff of vintage crinolines when I find them for sale at reasonable prices. When I moved into my current apartment, my dad installed a bar way up high in my coat closet to store them on, and they look so delicious hanging together. I don't get the opportunity to wear these nylon confections as often as I'd like, but they make me smile whenever I see them, and I wanted to share a peek with you. Do you have any silly collections?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Play Time

It's a chilly day here in northern California - perfect for whiling away the hours in my studio, designing new jewelry, with nothing but my imagination and a cup of hot chocolate. Here's what I'm working on today, soon to be listed in my Etsy shoppe. When do you feel most inspired?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mama!

Today is my mother's birthday! I just wanted her to know how much I love and appreciate her, though I don't tell her often enough. This year has had its ups and downs, but you're still going strong! I hope you make me a nice roasted chicken soon. I love you!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Instant Relatives

They say you can't choose your relatives, but it can be kind of fun finding instant family members to decorate your home. I've long been fascinated with vintage photos and love rummaging through boxes of them at flea markets and antiques stores.

From cabinet cards to tintypes, snapshots to Polaroids, I can't help but wonder who these people were, how they spent their days, and what happened to their loved ones - not to mention admiring their wardrobes! Rather than toss these slices of historic life aside, I prefer to honor them by placing them in a pedestal bowl or on the coffee table for house guests to enjoy. They always prompt conversation!

Vintage photos lend an endearing quality to crafts as well. Many artists use them in collage and altered projects, and I've made my share of greeting cards out of them. (I recommend using colour copies so as to preserve the originals.) Most recently, I've been featuring them in pendants for my assemblage jewelry designs. However you decide to display these old souls, I hope you'll invite some instant relatives into your own home, and ask them to stay a while.