Good idea: keep a reading journal.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Reading journal
I've been reading books like crazy ever since I moved within walking distance of a great library last spring. My book consumption has only increased since I got my Kindle Fire HD in May. It's so great that I can finish a book one evening and immediately check out another on my Kindle through the library! I've read a little more than 30 books in the last 16 months. Awesome!

The only problem with that, though, is I'm losing track of all of the books I've read! So I picked up this simple kraft notebook from MUJI and thought it would be a great place to list out the books I've read. I also bought some new pens because, come on, new pens.
Reading journal
I dedicated a page to each book. If I read more than one book in a series I listed them on the same page. I noted the title of the book, the author, and any notes about the story or what was going on in my life when I started reading it (for example, the book I started on my flight to London). It's also a good place to draw little sketches, too, if you're into that sort of thing. 

Here are some of my recent favorites:
Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. A sweet story about love, family, and growing up.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. Attempting the impossible and making peace with the past.
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. I was lured in by the setting in 1960's Cinque Terre and was captivated by the rest of the story.

What about you - read any good books lately? I just finished one so I'm on the hunt for another! Let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions.


Spend the night in a vintage trailer!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Summer may be coming to a close but there's still time for one last road trip! If you're anywhere near Bisbee, Arizona you should consider stopping for a night at The Shady Dell where you can stay in one of their fully-restored vintage trailers. So cool! Here's an excerpt from their website:
Our sleek collection of vintage travel trailers are all perfectly restored to combine mid-century Americana kitsch with the comforts of home in a way that only the 1950s were capable of.  Each trailer, such as the 1949 Airstream, or the 1950 Spartan Manor, are available for an overnight stay. For once, experience the 1950s in full Technicolor.

True story: I was about 11 when my dad brought home a vintage silver trailer much like the ones above. I thought it was the coolest thing ever! They parked it at my grandma's house, and while we never took any road trips with it, I did convince my little sister to spend the night in it with me a couple times, even though we never hooked it up to any electricity. Hahaha! My parents sold the trailer to a friend a couple months later, and it's still one of those things that they (and I) regret. I wish I had that trailer today! 

If you're, like me, lamenting the trailers of your past, or just want to try out something fun and different for a weekend away, The Shady Dell is the perfect spot! Peruse their website and choose the trailer (or bus or yacht!) you'd like to stay in. There are great pictures of each of the trailer's interiors, all complete with period-appropriate decor and accessories! So good! And seriously, how cute are the owners?

I was digging around the web and discovered a couple bloggers from my everyday reading list have stayed at the Shady Dell. Read about How About Orange and Oh So Lovely Vintage's experiences staying the night in these cool trailers - it looks like so much fun!

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend, wether or not you're camping out in your grandma's driveway!

All photos via The Shady Dell.


A weekend off.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

First City Festival - Monterey
I haven't allowed myself a weekend off since my trip to London in April...wow, too long! Working full time and running a small business simultaneously means I usually spend weekends working instead of relaxing. It's a bummer sometimes, but it's a sacrifice I'm happy to make for something I love to do! Last weekend when I had the opportunity to spend the Saturday and Sunday at a music festival in Monterey I went for it! Here are some of my photos from the First City Fest. Set at the Monterey Fairgrounds (back on my hometown turf), the festival was spread out over three stages for 36 (!!) bands and included carnival rides and lots of good fair food.

First City Festival - Monterey
How beautiful is this swing ride?! I couldn't stop snapping pics of it, stationary and in action. I took a pic of the same one last year at the Mumford & Sons show.
First City Festival - Monterey
We were blessed with abnormally warm weather (for Monterey), even if that meant I got a sunburn. Cause I did.
First City Festival - Monterey
MGMT and their crazy fractal cartoons.
First City Festival - Monterey
Passion Pit - one of my favorite performances of the weekend.
First City Festival - Monterey
Neko Case!
First City Festival - Monterey
Planes flying in to the Monterey Airport would fly right over the main stage. It was pretty cool!

While Sunday night concert-going made for a tired Monday morning, I had a really great weekend. It's nice to take a break every now and then.

All photos by Casey | Vitamini Handmade. Even the first one!


New: Mini tees in the shop!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Mini Cooper Tees
I'm so excited to have tshirts for sale in the shop!

Available for little kids sizes 2-6 and adult unisex sizes XS to XL. All hand screen printed by me on nice American Apparel tees. Cool gray and white stripes for adults, heather gray for kids.

Mini Cooper Tees Mini Cooper Tees Mini Cooper Tees Mini Cooper Tees
Thanks to my sister Annie for taking the photos of me. And thanks to my little niece Madeleine for being such a good model for the kids shirts. She's a Mini lover, too.

Mini Cooper Tees

Have a wonderful weekend!


DIY Whiteboard Calendars

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

It's back to school time! I always enjoyed school as a kid and the loved excitement of a starting a brand new school year with new school supplies and a new calendar. I'm not in school anymore, but I still try to get a fresh start in my workspace at home by getting organized. Lately I've been feeling a little overwhelmed with my to-do lists, supplies I need to remember to order, suppliers that I have to call. The lists that I jot down on paper aren't doing the trick any more. What good is a list when you tuck it away in a purse or a notebook and then find it 2 weeks later?

I stopped on my way home from work last week and bought a big white board to help organize my calendar and task items. I'm thinking I'll do something along the lines of these projects:

This DIY from SFGirlByBay (top image and below image) uses colorful washi tape to divide up the spaces and color-code task items. I like that you don't have to commit to anything on the board - it's all removable!

This project from Little Green Notebook (one of my favorite home project blogs) uses wood trim to make the board feel like a piece of art instead of office decor. Simple and pretty.

If I had a whole wall to devote to a calendar, I'd totally set myself up like this one at Design Files.

I'm excited to start mapping out my own calendar. I'll show you how it turns out!


Kate Spade's Hopscotch Drive About Town

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Have you seen the Hopscotch Drive About Town Collection by Kate Spade? So great! The sketchy, retro-style streetscapes with stylized cars and buildings are right up my alley.

These salt and pepper shakers are so adorable!

All of these items would look great in my little retro kitchen. ;)
Images from Bloomingdale's.


An Afternoon at West Elm

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I had a wonderful time at the Etsy Pop-Up Shop on Saturday! Here are a few photos of my display snapped with my iPhone.

Vitamini display at the Etsy Pop-Up Shop at West Elm Palo Alto Vitamini display at the Etsy Pop-Up Shop at West Elm Palo Alto Vitamini display at the Etsy Pop-Up Shop at West Elm Palo Alto

It was so nice meeting some of my Etsy customers who said they came out to the event just for me. How sweet! I also met lots of new people and got to connect with the 5 other sellers who were there. All in all it was a great afternoon and I went home feeling really excited about my business and future opportunities. I also have a few new products that I'll be listing in the Etsy shop soon.

I didn't get a chance to snap photos of the other sellers and their displays but definitely check out their shops:
Unique jewelry and hairpins: iluxo by Mariko
Lovely hand-thrown ceramics: RossLab by Rossella
Cool screenprinted tea towels: The Heated by Cristina
Beautifully simple paper goods: 45Wall Design by Traci
Fun French food illustrations: GĂ©raldine Adams Illustrations by GĂ©raldine


Popping up with Etsy and West Elm

Saturday, August 10, 2013

MINI Cooper Zippy Bags

If you're in the California Bay Area don't forget to stop by West Elm in Palo Alto today from 1-6pm for the Etsy Pop-Up Shop! I've whipped up a few special items that will make their debut today, like these colorful zippy! I hope to see you there.


Recent Thrifty Finds

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Thrifty finds
I've found some good things at the thrift shop on my last few trips! Here are some of my recent finds.

Thrifty finds

A set of two Temporama plates and bowls! Score! I've always loved this pattern. They are in near perfect condition and were around $1 each.

Thrifty finds

This great covered casserole dish was calling out to me! It's marked "Japan" on the bottom. It's a nice, functional piece that'll look good on the kitchen table. Now I just need to find that risotto recipe I brought back from Italy...

Thrifty finds

I couldn't resist this little bowl with its cool hand painted pattern. It was on sale for 70 cents. How could I pass it up?! I think I'll use it to catch loose change or earrings that I'm always taking off as soon as I walk through my front door.

Are you starting to see a trend here? Vintage ceramics are my main thrifting weakness. That and furniture, but those pieces are harder to find...

Thrifty finds Thrifty finds

I also snagged the coolest little cut-out vase in a nice shade of green. I can't quite make out the maker's mark on the bottom, besides "PAT. PEND DESIGNS CARMEL". Bonus that it's a California-made piece. And I grew up around there, so, more points for that. I may have to do a little more research on this one.

Thrifty finds

It looks nice with my collection of other thrifty find vases! I paid around $1 each for these, besides the Heath bud vase that I bought on my trip to the factory. I found and picked those giant dandelions over a year ago and they're holding up great! I love how they look on my bookshelf.


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