Sunday, January 29, 2012

Thrift finds.

I worked really hard getting a big order out this weekend, so after I dropped it off at the post office I figured I'd treat myself with a trip to the thrift store. I hadn't been since early December so I was really jonesin'! Check out my retro finds:


I first spotted the creamer with the swoopy handle. It has gray leaves on one side, yellow on the other. It was sitting all by itself, but knowing how things go in these places I thought I just might find a matching piece...down the aisle a few yards, there it was! The matching sugar bowl. It has yellow leaves on the lid and gray leaves on the base.


I was just about to ask if anyone knew the maker (since there are no markings), when I found a photo of a similar set on Flickr! Love it when that happens! It is Knowles Kalla Craft in the Southwind pattern. I can't find any other matching pieces online other than a single plate. It must be a rare pattern.

After I snagged the creamer and sugar bowl, I saw an employee unloading a cart of new items. I freaked a little inside when I saw this on the bottom rack of the cart:


This cute light pink ceramic vase with gold sponge paint. I love the delicate handle. No markings. Here's a detail of the gold.


I'm a serious sucker for gold speckle/spatter/sponge paint on vintage items. If it's got gold, I'm sold! Speaking of which, this isn't a thrift find that I scored personally, but one my mom found and gave me for Christmas:


It's a ceramic box with a horse and carriage scene. Notice the sophisticated lady with the parasol.


This pattern is painted on the box lid, with the gold sponge painting around the rim. There are no markings other than a tiny piece of a red label left on the bottom. The maker of this one will remain a mystery.

I enjoy researching items that I find in thrift stores to give me a better idea of their history. It's also fun to see if something you snagged for a couple of bucks is worth many times more! I personally have trouble parting with items I fall in love with, so my finds always get added to my personal collection.

Have you had any particularly successful trips to the thrift store lately? Tell me about them!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Rainy days.

Happy weekend! It finally started raining here yesterday, so after some freakishly weird warm temps it finally feels like winter! What are your plans for the weekend? Theses two rainy days will be perfect for me to spend some serious time working on a few new product ideas (new beautiful cotton/linen tea towels!) and get caught up on some work around the house. But now I'm off to get my hair done, so those projects will have to wait a little while. I'll do a better job with beautiful hair, anyway, right? In the meantime, here are a couple of prints in my shop in new colors: bright blue and kraft brown.


I've also listed reprints of some of my first Mini designs on Valentine cards.


All available in my etsy shop.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

From my sketchbook.

Growing up, I was never really that interested in drawing. Sure, I enjoyed painting, had a streak when I was about 8 when I obsessively created watercolor sunsets, and I liked coloring. But drawing? Eh, not my favorite. It wasn't until my sophomore year at UC Davis in my first landscape architecture courses that I was REQUIRED to keep a sketchbook. Our lecturer would take us out on campus and we would sketch various things, mostly trees, shrubs, and outdoor spaces. At the time I felt like I had no idea what I was doing (because I didn't) and I felt a lot of pressure to have a "good" sketch when it came to sharing with the rest of the class. Over ten years and tons of drawings later the most important thing I've learned about sketching is not to care so much! Really, the loose quality of a sketch is really what gives it its charm.

While I may not be sketching trees and shrubs as much (unless I'm at my day job), I keep sketchbooks to record new screen print design ideas, work out product specs, or just take notes about things. I have a small Moleskine with me at all times and have larger sketchbook that I use at home. I'm always interested to see artists' working sketches to get an idea of their creative process so I've decided to start a regular post here sharing some views of my sketchbook. They may be from this morning, from years ago during my Italian travels, or my early days in college. Here are a couple recent ones.



Do these look familiar? They're the working sketches for this years' holiday cards in my Etsy shops!



Friday, January 6, 2012

Be Excellent.



I came across the lovely type and embroidery work of Maricor/Maricar today on Design Sponge and was particularly struck by this piece. Not only is is a stunning example of embroidery in some of my favorite colors, it's a really good message. My grandmother passed away last weekend at the ripe age of 89, and with the sadness and reflection that a death in the family brings, it has also led me to think about the life I want to lead and the person I want to be. I always try to do the "right" thing, but when I feel taken advantaged of or unappreciated it's so easy to think "Forget it, I'm going to be selfish, too!" But, all in all, I know that's not who I am and sometimes it just takes a little time to see the kindness in others. I have recently been blessed with many kindnesses, from good friends to total strangers, and I know that the tough times are worth it. So, just keep being your most excellent self, for others, and just for you. Cause it's who you are.


Thanks for teaching me lots, Grandma. We miss you already.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Starting new and exciting news!

2012! It rained over the New Year's weekend and I was greeted one morning with this little beauty:


I had a relaxed New Years with my family at home and have been trying to ease myself into 2012. So far, I've been a little sluggish getting into the New Years swing of things and haven't yet gotten my annual list of goals together. But I am happy to say that I have exciting news that lets me check one of my long-term goals off my list.... can you guess?...



(photos from Otto's MINI facebook page)


I'm so proud to announce that Otto's MINI in Exton, PA will be carrying Vitamini products in their boutique! It's been a goal of mine since I started my biz in 2008 to have my products in a MINI dealership and I can't be more thrilled. If you are in the Exton, PA area, head over to their brand new facility for their Grand Opening Party on January 13th. Who knows, you may see a few of my items hanging around...

So, if you don't hear from me much, it's because I'm a going to be a busy bee getting orders together (even though one of my 2012 goals is to have and maintain a more consistent blogging schedule...)
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