Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday Cheer Coming Your Way!

Just got our first snow of the season in Northern Virginia. I thought I would spread some holiday cheer by sharing a picture of the little evergreen we planted this fall when we landscaped the front of the house.


Maybe someday he will grow into those bulbs. Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

10% Discount at Virgo's Vintage

Today only, I am offering 10% OFF all items (including already marked down items) to all the fans of Virgo's Vintage on Facebook! Use the coupon code that is posted in the status at checkout.

Happy holidays!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Letterpress Christmas Card

So, I have always been in love with letterpress. In fact, it is sort of my dream to buy one and start selling cards, stationery, and invitations on Etsy. Maybe someday....*wistfully looks off into the corner of the room*

Last weekend, I took a letterpress workshop in Alexadria, VA. I figured if this was something I thought I really wanted to do, then I better actually get to it and take a workshop. And, as I had hoped, my love for letterpress was confirmed and solidified!

At the workshop, hosted by Stewart Bradely from Railway Station Press, we learned to set type, lock the chase, set the tympan paper and gauge pins, and ink the press (a beautiful tabletop Chandler and Price Pilot!). We made 40 copies of our own design—mine being Christmas cards.

From my home to your's...Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

New York City Trip

In October I went to New York City with some of my husband's family for the weekend. We made it to China Town, Little Italy, and Grand Central. Unfortunately, I only had my camera on me for Grand Central. Here are some of the pictures I took...

I just love the architecture and constellations on the ceiling!

Grand Central's Main Concourse

My sister-in-law, me, and my mother-in-law in the in front of the Information Booth.

Murray's at Grand Central Market

Penzey's at Grand Central Market
I am so taking a guided tour of Grand Central the next time we go. It is amazingly beautiful, and I would love to know more about it!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving Vintage Visitors

We had some vintage visitors at our Thanksgiving table this year. Check them out, and say "hello"!


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Johanna van der Sterre Original Children's Book Illustrations

I am so excited to share this!

Introducing: Johanna van der Sterre - Original Children's Book Illustrations on Etsy

My sister-in-law, a fabulous children's book illustrator and all-around amazing person, has opened up her own Etsy shop! She is selling some of her original watercolor illustrations. These illustrations would be the perfect gift for an expecting mother to include in her new nursery, or just fabulous artwork to have around the house! Check out some of her wonderful work below.

Tree Trimming by Johanna van der Sterre
Tired Donkey by Johanna van der Sterre
Bath Time by Johanna van der Sterre
Check out her whole collection of originals here!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday Through Cyber Monday Sale at Virgo's Vintage

As part of the Vintage Market Team's Home for the Holiday's Sale, I am offering 15% OFF everything at Virgo's Vintage now through midnight Monday, November 30! Here is a sampling of some of my recently listed items worthy for any holiday party!

Vintage Aurora Borealis Rhinestone and Gold Clip-On Earrings
Vintage Large Rhinestone Burst Clip-On Earrings
Vintage Teardrop Rhinestone Clip-On Earring and Pendant Set
Vintage Gold Tone Rose and Emerald Rhinestone Brooch and Clip-On Earring Set
Make sure to search "vmteamhoho" for a complete listing of all participating items in the Home for the Holiday's Sale. Or, just click here! Make sure to check each shop announcement for full details...and Happy Holiday shopping!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pumpkin Recipes to Try

I love pumpkin! Pies, cakes, breads...everything pumpkin! Here are some must-try recipes!



Quinoa Pumpkin Pancakes from Babble

Sweet and Sour Grilled Pumpkin Recipe from Pinch My Salt

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies from My Baking Addiction

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal from Cooking with My Kid

Pumpkin Cheesecake from Jolly Mom

Pumpkin Custard from Nourished Kitchen



So much to do...so much to do. Where do I start?

Oh, and...HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Holiday Table

One of my holiday duties is decorating and setting the table with my sister-in-law for our family dinners. It is really something I enjoy doing. For Thanksgiving we usually stick to leaves, mini pumpkins, and earthy colors. For Christmas we do all the normal Christmassy things—red and green candles, silver and gold glittered pieces, snowflakes, etc. Below is a collection of items, courtesy of the Vintage Market Team on Etsy, that would be perfect for any table and any occasion.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Vintage Autumn Outfit

Thinking about what I am going to wear for Thanksgiving this year inspired me to put together an outfit courtesy of the Vintage Market Team on Etsy. Perfect for autumn with earthy browns, red, and golds. What do you think?



Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef at the Smithsonian

There is a temporary exhibit going on a the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in DC. Running until April 24, this exhibit combines the mathematics of hyperbolic geometry with the organic craft of crochet!


IFF Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef
Hyperbolic crochet forms by Christine Wertheim and Barbara Wertheim.
Photo © The Institute For Figuring (by Alyssa Gorelick)

IFF Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef
Hyperbolic crochet kelp form by Anitra Menning.
Photo © The Institute For Figuring (by Alyssa Gorelick)

IFF Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef
Hyperbolic crochet coral by Heather McCarren.
Photo © The Institute For Figuring (by Alyssa Gorelick)

This is on my immediate to-do list! How about you?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Living with Less: Step 1

Step 1: Sell Only Vintage Jewelry on Virgo's Vintage

Why?
The amount of "inventory" I have accumulated over the past year was astounding. Once I went through all the to-be-listed items and packed them up, they totaled four large gray plastic totes...and then some! The clutter was taking over our spare room, which we have done nothing with because it has been the "catch-all" room. In fact, it is still decorated as a nursery...and the safari border is really not in our taste! I hope to have the the spare room a proper guest room, because a futon in a sea of boxes really isn't inviting for our guests. Also, jewelry is easier to store, easier to ship, and easier to take photos of. I will probably keep selling vintage holiday items, because they are so darn cute!

How?
I will be letting all non-jewelry items expire from my shop, and I will be giving my mom (who has two booths in shops in upstate New York) the expired/unlisted inventory.

What?
Here are some of my favorite soon-to-be-expired items.

Expires February 20, 2011
Expires February 1, 2011
Expires January 24, 2011
Expires January 6, 2011

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Vintage Market Team Home for the Holidays Promo!

The Vintage Market Team is hosting a "Home for the Holidays" promo, and my vintage Etsy shop, Virgo's Vintage, is participating! Starting today, I am offering 10% OFF all items in my store (excluding previously marked down items in the Half Off Sale section). This sale will run until November 22, so get to shopping!

Check out the video below for a sampling of some of the fabulous vintage items on sale. You can also click here for a direct link to all items tagged VMTEAMHOHO. Check each shop's announcement for details on their sale.






Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

America Recycles Day - November 15

Keep America Beautiful, a nonprofit organization engaging individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community environments since 1953, is celebrating America Recycles Day on November 15, and so can you!



America Recycles Day is a nationally recognized day where communities rally together to promote participate in recycling. There are many events going on all around the U.S. Go to the America Recycles Web site and find out what is going on around you! There you can also take the I Recycle Pledge to show your commitment to keeping America beautiful! Together, we can make a difference!

I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do. —Edward Everett Hale

Friday, November 5, 2010

Crochet Baby Jacket

I had previously posted that I was planning to make my goddaughter the Stargazer Sweater from Crochet Today! for Christmas, but I have decided to make the Baby Jacket by Mari Lynn Patrick that was in the Nov/Dec 2010 issue of Crochet Today! The change in my gift simply came from the fact that I cannot find the issue that has the Stargazer Sweater pattern...and the Baby Jacket is just as cute and snuggly.

Baby Jacket

I am using Eco-Ways by Red Heart in Lichen. Eco-Ways is made from 30% recycled polyester fashioned from plastics found in soda and water bottles. Though it doesn't sound like it would be soft and comfortable against the skin, it actually is! I am also using a J hook versus the pattern's I hook because my swatch was measuring too small. The pattern is pretty easy so far and working up quite quickly. After only working on it for two hours, this is what I have so far...

 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Crochet Ring Necklaces at The Soundry

I dropped off my first round of crochet ring necklaces to be sold at The Soundry in the boutique! Such and awesome place for artists and art-lovers alike!



Click on the image below for more information on The Soundry.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Living with Less

A constant battle rages inside of me between learning to live with less and having all the things I would like to have. Our 1,300 square foot house, built in 1949, has all the amenities of a house from that era— rambler-style, small closets, a galley kitchen that is hard to fit even two people in, no basement, and an attic that might as well be a crawl-space. To add to the matter, I love to sew and quilt and crochet, cook and entertain, and I buy and sell vintage...talk about passions that accumulate "stuff"! I must find a balance!

Don't get me wrong, I love our house. In fact, we bought it because it was not your typical cookie-cutter track housing you find so much of in our area. But, I am finding that having all these things in what is considered a smaller home (average house size in 2004 in the U.S. was 2,350 square feet) is holding me back and weighing me down. Somehow, I feel it's preventing me from doing those things above that I really enjoy. It is time to purge!

What to do? What is my action plan? What is my goal? Well, I need to change my lifestyle. I need to take assessment of what is really important to me. I need to ask questions of these things that are around me. I will be posting about my purging in the coming weeks (possibly months), along with completing my UFOs (unfinished objects) in order to get my life more in order. Hopefully I will be able to find a balance between learning to live with less and still being satisfied.

Do you have the need to purge? How do you keep your "stuff" from getting the best of you?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween! Party!

Happy Halloween! This is my favorite holiday...the holiday where you get to be whatever you want to be! What is better than that? And, to make it even better, I hosted my first-ever Halloween party last night. Here's what went on!

Head Cheese (dill and cream cheese dip with prosciutto)

Swamp Things (black olives, blackberries, figs, blue cheese, and crackers)

Lady Fingers (almond cookies with jelly) - recipe
Deviled Egg (with sweet red pepper horns and beards)

Mummies (crescent wrapped lil' smokies with mustard eyes)

Black Death (black current, black cherry, brandy, and seltzer)

Eyeballs (mozzarella balls and olive slices)

The Spread

I used century-old family photos, candles, and cobwebs to create an eerie ambiance.
And there you have it...some of my decorations and my food! I hope you Halloween is/was just as fun as mine!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Love This!

I could watch this video and listen to this song over, and over, and over again...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Crochet Ring Necklace Tutorial

I have finally worked up a tutorial that I promised so long ago for the crochet ring necklaces I have in my shop.

 


What you will need:
C/2.75mm crochet hook
4 - 1/2" plastic cabone rings
Embroidery floss in two colors
4 jump rings
Lobster clasp
2 - 9" pieces of 1.6mm sterling silver cable chain
Embroidery needle
Jewelry pliers

Step 1—Crocheting Around the Rings: Insert crochet hook into plastic ring and pull up loop. This counts as your first stitch. 20 SC around plastic ring, making sure to crochet over beginning tail. Cut off beginning tail that has been crocheted over. Leave 3"–4" tail at end to weave in (see step 2). Make three in one color, and one in the other color.

Crochet around ring and over tail.
Back side of crochet ring.
Front side of four rings with beginning tails trimmed and 3"-4" ending tails ready to weave in.
Step 2—Finishing the First Ring: Thread ending tail onto embroidery needle. Starting with the front facing you. The front is the side that has the nice crochet braiding. Place needle from back to front through the first stitch (see first picture below) Pull through and tighten. Place needle from front to back in last stitch (see the second picture below). Pull through and tighten. Run needle underneath crochet rings on back side to hide thread (see the fourth picture below). Trim end.





Step 3—Attaching the Other Rings:  Thread ending tail onto embroidery needle. Starting with the front facing you. Place needle from back to front through the first stitch (like above). Pull through and tighten. This time, place needle from front to middle of last stitch (see the picture below). Pull through and tighten. 


Holding the finished ring you just made in Step 1 with front facing you, run the needle through the middle of 2 or 3 stitches (see first picture below). Pull through and tighten. Run needle through the middle of 2 or 3 stitches on other ring (see second picture below). Repeat a few times until they are securely attached. Knot off and run needle underneath crochet rings on back side to hide thread (like in Step 1). Trim end. Repeat for third and fourth ring to form crocheted ring chain.




Step 4—Making the Necklace: Attach jump rings through a stitch on each end. Attach chain and clasp...and you are done!

If you don't feel like making them, you can always buy one here ;)

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