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 ;)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Curb Appeal

Well, we finally finished landscaping the front of the house! It ended up taking us a month to finish, as we sectioned off areas to do every weekend. We started with the right side of the house (under the crepe myrtle next to the driveway. Then we did the left side of the house (under the bay window). Then we finished the right side of the house (where I had to remove a ton of grass).

Our process was: I pruned the existing azalea bushes back, my husband too a pickaxe to the stumps, we leveled the soil,  I planted, we mulched. All I can say is, thank God it has been a cool autumn!

Enough of my rambling! Here are some pictures:

During. Take that grass!
Side view from the driveway.
Side view from the driveway.
View from bottom of stoop.
Left side bed.
The rose bushes are doing really well!
It looks a little bare now, but it will look better when the spring bulbs come up.

Plants on the left side (under the bay window):
- Peony (you can't really see it, but it looks like two sticks coming out of the ground right now)
- Rose bush, knockout in hot pink
- Juniper bush, gray owl
- Daffodils
- Irises
- Tulips
- Hyacinth
- Alliums
- Gladiolas

Plants on the front right side:
- Dwarf blue spruce
- Nippon Daisies
- Juniper bush, gray owl
- Lavender
- Butterfly bush
- Rose bush, knockout in yellow
- Chinese fringe bush
- Day Lilies
- Daffodils
- Irises
- Tulips
- Hyacinth
- Alliums

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Old Family Photos

It's Vintage Love Saturday over at Southern Lady's Vintage. This weeks theme is vintage photographs!

I thought I would share some of my family's old, old, old photographs. My "private collection," if you will. Here are a few of my favorites.

A tintype from mid to late 1800s.

A graduate from the 1920s.
That's right...a chicken on a leash with a wagon!
I just love the feeling and light in this photo!
Love this picture. From the watch chain to the mustache to the faux painted background.
Check out that fabulous hat!

 You can find the whole flickr album here.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Turned 30

Sorry I have been MIA lately. It has been kind of crazy around here.

On the craft-front: I got a space at The Soundry to sell my crochet necklaces, so I have been making those like crazy! I will start selling there November 1, and plan to have more necklaces up on my Etsy shop soon.

On the home-front: We tore out and replanted bushes at the back of the house and tore out and expanded the flowerbeds at the front and side of our house. I first talked about it in July! So good to have it finally done. Pics to come...

On the vintage-front: I have been promoting a vintage Halloween via Facebook, here, and through Etsy treasuries (you can find some fabulous Vintage Market Team Halloween challenge treasuries here!), and gearing up for the Christmas season. I took pictures of holiday jewelry last weekend, and hope to start posting those within the next couple of weeks.

On the personal-front: I turned 30 a month ago! And...two days later I went out for a run and rolled my ankle at mile 1.5. I continued for another 5.5 miles to finish the 7 mile run. That night I had my combined birthday party with my best friend, Holly. The plan was that when we turned 30—no matter where we were—we were going to be wearing fabulous dresses. And, of course, I had to wear heals that were just as fabulous! Needless to say, the next day I was on the couch with my foot up on pillows, icing it with bags of frozen peas...with a headache from the night before, to boot. But, we did look faboulous!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Vintage Salt and Peppers

My grandma had the best collection of salt and pepper shakers. Every time I see the little pairs at a flea market, yard sale, or thrift store, it reminds me of her. Ceramic, wood, doesn't matter. I have a special place in my heart for SnPs. I only wish I had some photos of her's to post, but I will share what I have or have had in my shop...

Vintage Mod Nesting Donut and Post Salt and Pepper Shaker Set - Italy
Vintage Mini Lusterware Salt and Pepper Shaker Set - Japan
1960s Holt-Howard Salt and Pepper Shaker Set
Vintage Bouquet Salt and Pepper Shaker Set - Japan
Vintage Kiss the Cook Salt and Pepper Shakers - Japan
Vintage Clear Plastic Salt and Pepper Set
Be they plain and simple, mod and bold, cute and colorful...I love them all!

Oh, and check out Southern Lady's Vintage blog for her weekly blog hop. This week is Vintage Salt and Pepper Shakers!

Friday, October 1, 2010

It's a Gurley Halloween

My mom came across a box full of vintage Halloween items the other day at one of her sales, and she so graciously shared some of her findings with me. See, Halloween is not her favorite holiday...but it sure is mine!

In this box, there were some pretty fabulous Gurley candles! Gurley Novelty, in Buffalo, NY, produced figurine candles that were designed and manufactured by  candle maker Franklin Gurley. The candles were commissioned by the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company (now ExxonMobile) for the original purpose of using the excess paraffin that was produced during the oil refinery process, and were around in the 1930s. Gurley candles were originally produces under the name  Tavern Novelty Candles, but was bought out by Gurley in 1949. Over time, Gurley's business went from paraffin confections such as wax lips and teeth to almost exclusively candle production. Tavern was bought out and the name was changed to Gurley Novelty in 1949. Gurley Novelty made candles for all the major holidays, but the Christmas and Halloween ones are the most sought after.

I share my collection with you...

Gurley Orange Ghost Halloween Candle - Set of 2
1960s Gurley Skeleton with Orange Robe Halloween Candle
Gurley Gray Ghost Halloween Candle

Gurley Florescent Witch with Jack O'Lantern Halloween Candle

Gurley Pumpkin Man Scarecrow Halloween Candles - Set of 2

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