I hope your holiday was happy!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I meant to share this Christmas post with some of my favorite retro holiday ads on Christmas Eve, but I couldn't find the wifi password at my parent's house (after looking for a good 2 minutes), so I put the laptop away and poured myself a glass of eggnog!

I love the Plan59 website! There is an entire section devoted to Christmas. Here are a few of my faves:

Check out that sweet record player/credenza! I'd be pretty happy if santa brought me one of those. The architecture of this place is pretty impressive, too. I think that's an indoor pond!

I'm glad I didn't get any of these in my stocking! Pretty box, though.

Graphic stack of gifts and bows.

Pretty illustration of a Lincoln Zephyr.

Hm...the chimney flue turns into a tree? Slightly strange.

Ooh, cozy! Hanes will help you have a "White Christmas" (their words)!

And my favorite, a travelin' Christmas in the Redwoods. You can purchase prints of anything you see on the Plan59 website. I'm thinking about ordering this last one...


Silver bells.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wow, what a busy holiday season it's been! Thank you to everyone who made a purchase from my shop these past two months. I think it was my busiest season yet! I hope your friends and loved ones love their MINI gifts!

Now that the dust has settled a little bit, with the Christmas shipping deadline behind us, I have a chance to catch my breath and enjoy the season. I've been getting into the holiday spirit by listening to the new She and Him Holiday Album. I love its retro vibe. Silver Bells is on it and it is one of my favorite Christmas songs. It inspired me to do a little retro-inspired holiday collection.

Beautiful silver ombre glasses from TheFancyLamb. I'd feel like I was drinking at Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Price with these!

Vintage Christmas corsage from Birdsnestandpaper.

 Set of Shiny Brite Ornaments from efinegifts.

Mercury glass garland from junquedujour.

These sequin ornaments remind me of my Grandma. From jacklom3.

Set of Jewelbrite ornaments from BarkingSandsVintage.

Rhinestone brooch from AntiqueAddictions.


My New Etsy Shop!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I just realized that I never officially announced my newest project: a new Etsy shop! I mentioned it here on the blog when it was just an idea, but now it's real! So, consider this its formal introduction:

vitamodern: My handmade shop featuring retro gifts and stationery! I've been slowly making products to add to the shop, including these retro house zippy bags in bright coral and teal. The fabric design features my retro house sketches (straight from my sketchbook!) and cool boomerangs and stars!

And these screen printed cotton tea towels featuring my retro house papercut design project. I creating a whole series of retro house designs based on some of my papercut work.

I've also been working on these repurposed wood key hook boards, screen printed with my retro ranch designs.

And my current fave, atomic boomerang holiday cards!

I've actually already sold out of the white cards! I still have a few of the kraft brown ones left, so if you are interested head over to the vitamodern shop. I'm very tempted to mail them out myself... I've got tons of more projects in the works, so add my shop to your favorites so you can keep an eye out.

I hope you are all doing well crossing things off your holiday shopping list! There is still plenty of time to buy handmade in time for the holidays. Head over to Etsy and support small handmade businesses this holiday season!


Oh, Christmas tree.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Last year was the first year I got a real Christmas tree for my apartment. I always spend the holiday with my family, so the idea of a Christmas tree all by it’s lonesome in my place on Christmas day always seemed sad. But I was tired of not feeling the holiday cheer in the days and weeks leading up to Christmas, so I took the leap and got one last year and it was so nice to have! It reminded me of the holiday and was so much fun to decorate and just to look at.

I was sure I'd get a tree this year and was hoping I could get one from the family farm. My parents have a good amount of land and about 12 years ago decided to plant a little patch of Christmas trees so we could just cut our own tree down every year and carry it up to the house. So, this year, I decided to check out our own tree stash before I went out and bought one.

My cousin Michelle took this cool photo. The trees are to the right of the house.
I found one that was perfectly imperfect! About 6' tall, very skinny, and a little vintage looking. It even had real pinecones still attached! I wish I had taken photos of it “in the wild”, but it was getting dark really fast and my dad just happened to be driving by in the tractor (no kidding!) with the hand saw with him. After he re-lived last year’s tree cutting incident where I “cut it in the wrong place!” I kindly requested that he cut it down himself. It only took a good 5 seconds of sawing before it was down and I was carrying it up to the house. I trimmed a few of the lower branches and some of the dead stuff and put it in a bucket of water overnight. The next day I gave it a little spray-down to get most of the spiders off.   

After it dried, I wrapped it in a few plastic garbage bags and ever-so-carefully jammed it into the MINI! I had to move the passenger seat all the way forward and maneuver around it for the stick shift and ebrake, but it fit! Shoulda taken pictures of that, too!

So here's the tree all decorated. It came out really cute! I think it looks a little Seuss-ish. The size is actually perfect because I don't have that many ornaments. I did find a place for all of my favorites, though.

And apparently this is what happens when you live with a boy:

I've got hockey players on my Christmas tree.


Holiday Sale!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Cyber Monday! I hope you all had a restful long weekend with lots of friends, family, and food! I spent Thanksgiving with my family, then broke all of my personal rules and found myself in the middle of the black Friday line at Target at Midnight. After a mild panic attack and a near squishing incident in the electronics section, I walked out of there 15 minutes later with a new Dyson vacuum, and Mad Men Season 4 on DVD. Not bad for a totally unplanned trip.

As for the rest of my Christmas shopping, I’ve barely put a dent in it. I’m planning on making a few gifts myself, but will be buying the rest on Etsy. I encourage you to do the same, and support small, handmade businesses. So, to get the online shopping ball rolling on this Cyber Monday, I’m offering a 10% discount on all of the items in my shop! Simply enter MINIHOLIDAY2011 in the coupon code box on the Etsy checkout page and the discount will automatically be deducted from your total! This offer will end on Sunday, December 4th, so get your shopping done early! I’ve got lots of items, from tea towels, to pillow covers, coasters, to cards. Head on over to my shop and check it out. Happy shopping!


Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving is almost here! The shopping season is also in full swing, and I've been busy trying to prepare myself and my little biz for the (hopeful) rush. In the midst of all of this, I have plenty of ideas for handmade gifts for my friends and family this year, so I'm excited to carve out sometime for some crafting and sewing of new projects, and I'm looking forward to sharing some of my projects here on the blog as well. But in the meantime, I'm going to take a couple of days to hang out with my family in Monterey and appreciate all of the things I'm thankful for. Wishing you a stuffed-full Thanksgiving and some productive shopping (if that's what you're into). From the looks of this illustration, it looks like Black Friday was even a "thing" back in 1960!

I love that little dachshund on the run!


New items in the shop!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I've been keeping busy trying to get my inventory up to snuff for the impending holiday rush. With the effort to stock all of my usual items, I've been creating a few new items as well! Here are a few:

I've got new moving announcement postcards featuring my Mini Caravan design screenprinted on sturdy recycled kraft cardstock. These come in sets of 4 and in red or white ink.

New "let it snow" cards in deep blue and black! This design is a variation of a design I've had in the shop in previous seasons, new and improved for 2011! It features a MINI Cooper on a wooded hillside, watching the snow fall, with a Christmas tree on the roof!

Check out these retro ornament cards with a Classic Mini Cooper! I printed these with hand-mixed deep teal and lime green inks. Check out the card section of my shop to see all of these new cards and my usual designs. I've got a few new products in the works as well, so keep an eye out for those.


Dia de los Muertos.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dia de los Muertos Hair Accessory
I whipped up this little Dia de los Muertos hair accessory this weekend to wear for Halloween. I know, I know, I was a couple days early. But I was dressed up as a "dead head" for Halloween so it fit. I used 4 colors of felt (black, white, pink, teal, and yellow), a couple different colors of embroidery thread, and some multi-colored sequins. I used a snap barrette I already had to attach it to my hair. Here are a few process photos.

I started getting the rough shapes laid out - the skull, the eyes, and various flower shapes. I started getting the embroidery laid out as well. I sewed the sequins to the felt flowers, but you could easily glue them on instead. 

After I had the flowers, leaves and skull arranged the way I wanted, I put everything on a big piece of black felt to use as a backer. I did a quick baste stitch to secure everything, then cut the black felt backer to size.

Here it is all finished. I embroidered the rest of the skull with linear and swirly stitches. I also added a few green leaves and some more sequins to the flowers. 

Here's an inspiration sugar skull! My sister made this one a few years ago and it's held up very well. Those are lots of fun to make, too. And here's a photo of me wearing my handiwork on Halloween. It was so much fun to make - I hope you like it! What did you wear for Halloween??


Fall decor.

Happy November! I hope your Halloween was filled with lots of treats and not so many tricks. I spent the evening with friends and family passing out candy, listening to spooky Halloween music, and watching The Lost Boys on DVD (yay for crazy Santa Cruz!). Now that it's November, Christmas is fast approaching but I refuse to let the Fall/Thanksgiving season pass me by. I wanted to share this pumpkin painting project I did after my trip to the pumpkin patch. I'm glad that once I put away the bats and skeletons around my house I can still enjoy my pretty pumpkins until Thanksgiving.

Inspired by this photo from Martha Stewart Living, I was determined to find a light-colored pumpkin to paint a wood grain texture. The beetle and spider web ones are pretty cool, too but I was really attracted to the graphic nature of the wood grain.

Photo from MS Living

So I picked out a pumpkin that was dying to be painted. Here's a progress shot.

Fall Craft Projects

I used black craft paint. I just started at the stem and made my way down to the underside, painting wiggly, irregular lines and knotholes.

Fall Craft Projects Fall Craft Projects

And here it is all finished, paired with some of the pumpkins from the patch! You may be able to see a little bit of shimmer in there because I added gold stripe accents to the black design. I also painted the stem gold! I'm hoping this pumpkin lasts until Thanksgiving.

Today is also Dia de los Muertos! I have a fun little project to share with you later.

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