Thursday, March 31, 2016

Brand New, Same Old, Part 2

Tell the truth. Did you go look up some of the quotes and tunes from Part 1? I bet some of you did, just so you could try to avoid the God bullhorn.

All the confirmation God sent, was to bring me to The Pretty Vintage Studio. The name is actually a pretty cool play on words. One of my avoidance techniques was to look up the word ‘pretty’. I went to my 1940’s dictionary. I thought I was being clever. Turns out I was not.

The 40’s definition of ‘pretty’ was quite extensive. None of them helped me with avoidance. Number 1 was not surprising until the end: pleasing to the senses, especially the eyes, in daintiness and grace. (Insert exclamatory statement here! I am 5’1” and get called ‘dainty’ a lot!) Number 2: medium or moderate amount as in ‘he has a pretty sum of money’. (In this case, moderate amount of vintage items.)

The definition for studio was a craftsman’s workroom. Ta-da! Vintage is self-explanatory, so I didn’t even look it up. I dutifully busied myself with designing and drawing out my logo, and not really doing anything else. It’s much safer to sit and focus on busy work, right? I was participating with God’s plan in my own way. He caught on I guess, because literally within 48 hours, a brand new Passion Week devotional arrived in my email from one of my fave places.

Ah-ha! I could avoid the ‘God has a plan’ thing by focusing on Passion Week and Easter! YES! So off I go. Day 1: Does my house look like a house of prayer? UGH! Day 2: What has God laid on your heart that you have cast a shadow of a doubt on? GASP! Day 3: Did you know that the word sacrament means ‘a visible sign of inward grace’? (and here is where I had to leave the room & STOP bible journaling to go cry. Yes, I did really go cry.)

So, apparently, I should be praying, not doubting God’s plan, pretty means filled with daintiness and grace, and sacrament means a visible sign of inward grace. This avoidance thing did not work out so well for me after all.

The plan? It is pretty big, but the parts that I need to share today: The blog is changing, I am opening a new Studio, and I will be sharing some of my fave vintage finds with you. My FB page will be up and running soon, my google+ page is already live, and you can find me on IG. Whew!

Stay tuned in the coming days and weeks as this all comes together. I can honestly say that once I started participating, God stopped yelling, continued sending confirmation, and I cannot keep up with all that He is sharing with me, and encouraging me to do. I think I might even be a little excited about what is still to come.

If you are casting a shadow of doubt on what God is telling you, let me encourage you to step up and step out and trust! Even if it is scary, or uncomfortable, He will provide you with all that you need and will be with you every step of the way. I’m praying that God will fill you with courage, strength, grace, and movement!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Brand New, Same Old, Part 1

Welcome to the brand new, yet same old blog! The name is new; the concept is old. The focus will be new, but it will contain some about the old. Are you thoroughly confused yet?

Let me help in a colorful, creative way: Here’s the story, of a stubborn lady, who was busy homeschooling her teen. She was being told, by God the Father, it was time for something new. It’s the story, of really great husband, who was busy encouraging her to hear. He was cheering, she did not like it. And now here we are!

Did you sing that? I sang while writing. If you are of a younger persuasion, you might not have caught the reference to a classic television show, “The Brady Bunch”. Utopia at its finest.

If you have read anything I’ve written, you will not be surprised by what I am about to share… I am embarking on another ‘new’. It is not new for me really; it is the same old. What makes it new(er) is the place I’m at in my life. I have been pretty comfortable learning (FINALLY) to sit and ‘be still’ and listen for God.

Apparently the whole ‘be still thing’ is only valid until God decides it is time for you to become active. Heed my warning, when He says move, you best be moving, because He will get a bullhorn, aim it at you, and start yelling! The drill sergeant from Police Academy, ‘move it, move it, move it’! FYI – God is really loud and persistent when He wants to be!

To match the drill sergeant yelling, He threw in some additional quotes for good measure. Examples? How about, ‘be ALL that YOU can be’, and ‘just do it’, and ‘dance, dance’. (The last one was mine, but it fits since I have been a dancing fool over percolators and inkwells!)

Then, He secured the help of my hubs and my best friend to share in the fun. Seriously? Even worse, He had the nerve to turn a Passion Week bible study into confirmation of what He was saying! How does THAT happen?

So here I am, becoming an active participant in His idea and plan. It shouldn’t be uncomfortable right? I am an entrepreneurial person, I love creating, I adore people. I should be enthusiastic. I am not. The reason will probably shock some of you. I am uncomfortable because I had grown content in, and with, the stillness. I also have some insecurities that I keep hidden away so no one will see them. I prefer not to acknowledge them at all, most of the time.

After a lifetime of running and pursuing, sitting down and learning quietly has been a joy and blessing. It was hard to learn for sure, but now that I am here, I don’t wanna get up. (Insert whiny teen or toddler voice.) Confirmation from God on this plan has gone above and beyond the norm. There is no doubt that it is time to be obey and get active again. I don’t understand a bit of it, or what it will look like, or see the whole plan. That is where trust will have to play a part.

The ‘old’ blog has a new name, to match the new plan. Visit again to read Part 2, but until then – consider carefully for yourself – is God trying to get your attention? Has He told you it is time to move? Move people, before He gets out the bullhorn!!!

PS - There is an entire sermon just in the title! Possibly even 2 or 3. You bible scholars are already thinking of all the verses that sprung to mind when you saw it. They sprung into my mind too, so I'll probably have to go illustrated one in my bible soon!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Pictures Finally

I finally was able to assemble some pictures from all the collections, new items, and work we have been doing over the last few weeks!!! Since there is "new" stuff within the mix, I downsized the pile of pictures and am sharing some of my favorite things.

Saw these and only brought them home because they went so ridiculously cheap. Set of 4.


We sanded, painted, and divided into 2 sets of 2. The lime green chairs now live in the studio, and the white chairs are in my dining room as extras. The lime was my daughter's pick and I thought for sure we'd hate it. They are actually my fave now!

Who can beat a stack of old magazines from the early 1900's? We found some issues of "The Literary Digest" mixed in with the stacks the hubs got. I love to read, but beyond that, the ads are a hoot and a half! I did have to stop reading them, as I found an article in one, pre-WWII, that was sharing the story of a poor misunderstood Hitler. I had to stop reading. If only they knew then, what they would soon discover. 


Meet my mannequin! She is made out of paper, fiberglass, and yarn. Her paint is chipping off and her hands went missing before she came to live with me. Her dress is vintage, as is her hat. The coolest thing about her? Her hair is yarn, that was sculpted into its very chic shape, and then painted over. Her poor dress has been to the cleaners, but it was faded in area's when I got it.

This really neat looking little box is a Kodak Brownie camera. One of our 'accidental' purchases years ago - it came in a box with assorted stuff, and has been sitting here just because. My budding photographer is much more interested in it now than she used to be!

One of the many pairs of children's leather shoes I own. Some pairs are newer (think 1950's), but a few are older. One way to tell the age of your shoes - look for wooden pins through the sole as opposed to stitching. Pins/pegs = older.


This vintage jewelry box is covered in leather, and I keep my fave pieces of old jewelry in it. My hatpins live here as well.

This jewelry box is not quite as old, but it's still fun, and a great place for some of the rest of my jewelry. 

This is one of my all-time most favorite hats! It is technically NOT a hat, and is entirely covered in feathers! It lives in a hatbox only came out for this picture.

Honestly, once I was going through all my collections, and sorting, and purging....I got a little lost in the moments. Getting lost does not help when trying to collect pictures! I will get some more up, but I wanted to at least FINALLY get some of my fave up!!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Pictures Are Coming!

I bet you have been waiting impatiently to hear the outcome of last week's 'happy dance' right? Okay, maybe not impatiently, but at least interested in hearing.

As of today, I do not have everything ready to share. I'm sad because I have been impatiently waiting to post pictures, and tell you all about the amazing.....and then the crud hit....and then it left, but I had to do a ton of work in order to have pictures to share.

So now I am sorting, recording, moving, and preparing to share the awesomeness with you all!! It IS coming. Just a bit more slowly than I personally care for it to go. I am however pretty excited about some of my finds.

Maybe I should just share a tiny bit in the meantime though. You know, just in case you are impatient like me.

I did not come home with nearly the number of vintage finds I had hoped. The items I had been most excited about were not my cup of tea after all. The hats I missed only because they were not quite what I had hoped for either.

What I DID come home with, completely by accident, and my husbands love of reading, were boxes of old magazines, some stacks of books, some cigar boxes, and a few miscellaneous odds and ends that we are still sorting through.

As an example: buried in a stack of magazines on hobbies and crafts, we found a 1939 copy of a home magazine featuring Gone With The Wind pictures, along with a feature on the 'Old South'. The staples are all still there, through the front, and it is in very good shape considering.

We found a hatpin mixed in with some costume jewelry. We found another stack of magazines, dating back to 1915 mixed in with some other literature. We found early medicine books mixed with a stack of papers on veterinary medicine.

These are the challenges being faced so that I can share my fun finds with you! There was also the challenge of going through my collection to find the pieces that could leave to make room for the new, then I had to help two hatboxes, that just could not survive much longer without some TLC. Of course there was also the dusting that was needed, after stirring it all. I left that job purposefully until I was certain the crud was gone! No reason to make it worse!!

My goal is to have it all ready to share with you by the end of this week. Partly because I can't wait to share, and partly because I just really, really want it all done and put together and displayed and done!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Happy Dance Time!!!

This is probably the most ridiculous post I have, or will, put out for the universe to see, but I AM THAT EXCITED! Since I am doing my happy dance, while typing, just excuse anything that remotely looks like an error. At this moment I look like an elementary school child the teacher is constantly having to remind to sit still!

No ordinary happy dance will do either! This is not a box UPS just delivered to my door, which causes me to smile and sing and dance around while other's laugh kind of dance. Nope. This is a full-on, dance around the room impatiently, tell my body to get up & go, while singing kind of dance!

Sadly, before I get to the exciting, I guess I should add some background here for you. Just in case. And so you can dance too! So here it is - I adore antiques and vintage and history!! I realize this does not illicit any smiley responses, but I'm getting there I promise!

Many, many moons ago, I began collecting vintage fashion. My absolute faves are hats and hat pins. Second would be gloves and handbags and shoes. Clothes are near the end, but only because sizing is so ridiculously difficult and cleaning some of them is next to impossible! I have an amazing 1940's dress that has been to the dry-cleaner, and sprayed with more febreze than ever should have touched it (no water type liquid should have touched it at all), and it still smells of the worst BO! It now lives in a chest all by itself so as not to infect anything else with it's awfulness.

Anyway, I began studying about old fashion, fabric, hats, etc... Since my obsession began, I ended up with many boxes filled with not so special, but fun, and quite a few 'thank you Jesus I found this' items. They have all been carefully stored so as not to destroy them, and they come out occasionally to visit with me, or dress one of the dress forms I have in the house. They actually get treated better than my vintage quilts do. I know, that's super sad, but quilts quite often can not be repaired without losing their value, which means you can't use them, fold them, have them out, or do much with them without destroying them. I refuse to wear cotton gloves just to touch them, so once the quilts are stored, they stay there.

The next part of the story that is important, is that every year, usually in April, I start getting the itch to spring clean. I want windows open, fresh air, sunshine, crocus blooms, and really just want to feel and see spring all around me. It is by far my favorite time of the year in the Midwest. Oh for it just to be April and May already! I go through the house like a crazy woman, washing curtains, walls and windows. I re-arrange the furniture, and usually end up tossing and giving away things left and right. It is when my creative juices are at an all-time high! It also usually causes my family to want to scatter. Projects and honey-do lists become a staple around here for a few weeks, and you had better play along....or I will clean your space for you....and I always bring trash bags to the party.

Okay, so today is March 2nd, spring is coming and I just finished the studio project. My plan was to move into the spare bedroom next which became a holding cell for items getting moved around. It needs nothing more than a good cleaning out. It was re-done to perfection a few years ago, so nothing needs to be changed. This is also the room where all my vintage fashion lives.

Yesterday, March 1st, I was sitting in bed, after doing all that had to be done, resting. The great body rebellion of the weekend is slowly subsiding, so I begin thinking about cleaning up the hallway and spare room. Then I start thinking about all my 'stuff' and how I should probably go through it, just in case there are some items I can part with, clear out, need to start wearing, display, whatever. I'm still a little tired, so I decide I will start tomorrow (which is now today!).

And there, in black and white in the afternoon mail delivery, is the most amazing thing - are you ready? The listing for a household auction coming up with MORE VINTAGE CLOTHES AND HATS!!!!!!!!!!! Can you even stand it?!?! Happy dance time people!

But that's not all! They also are advertising art and craft books, vintage fabric, a few household pieces, and more fun stuff than I can possibly list. I'm over the moon. (I have previously stated that it's the small things in life that make me smile, right?)

My hubs, whom I do love a bunch, has previously informed me that he has NEVER been to a household auction in his life. And he is no longer a spring chicken, so I can't even see how that's possible. I'm a newer chicken and decorated my whole house with auction finds....for like $0. How has he lived without them?

He has been informed that he will be coming along with me, since he NEEDS to have this experience at least once in his lifetime. It's too fun to pass up! We both love the thrill of bargains and we both adore history, and it's just fun! There is no better "date" I can think of for us. In the summer there's a food truck with the kind of food that only tastes good when it comes from a food truck. In the winter, it's just cold which means you get to hold hands and snuggle to stay warm. My favorite ones are the summer time auctions, at the household being auctioned, where you stand outside sorting through hay wagons filled with items, and wander through the yard looking over furniture to see if you can salvage it or use it.

So, I simply MUST clean the spare room out now! I must go through all my boxes of goodies and organize and sort. I must make room for the new things that MUST come home with me! I must dance around the house until it's auction day, singing and being excited and annoying everyone in my household, and all over social media, with my enthusiasm and joy over hats and vintage clothing and fabric! (I guess I must also carefully look over our budget and decide how much food we must have to live, so that I can purchase said items....sigh of sadness here. Hate being an adult sometimes. It'll be even worse when we get there, and I refuse to play the 'let's go higher' game. If you want to spend $50 on a group of hats worth not that, please do so. I know how to play also.)

Today, I will inform my rebellious body that we WILL be cleaning up, or at least starting the process. I will be doing all my grown-up responsibilities first, like getting to the laundry that is patiently waiting for my attention, working so I can pay for said hats, and maybe even feeding the people that live here.

I also promise to get some pictures of my current collection, and what I add to my collection, and post it here next week sometime. Let's all dance our happy dances over the fun things in life, that fill us with joy! Here's to putting on "new" hats, getting our groove on, spring coming and anything else that makes you want to get up and dance!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


Last month I felt compelled to finally join the millions of people who have an Instagram account. I should add that I had a Twitter account before it was popular, and my Skype account is from back in the day when no one had even heard of Skype! I held off on IG though, as I simply didn't see the point in having ONE more social media account. (Social media is like its own full-time job. Just keeping up with all the feeds and pictures and video's and whatnot. It's exhausting!)

However, I am part of a FB group, made up of other planner & creative enabler's and saw that there was to be an IG challenge. Well, I couldn't very well not participate right? I must enable too!

So, the teen and I joined the IG world and I moved forward with the Daily Challenge. And accidentally found more enablers! Sad truth is that there are a TON of us! Who knew?

The last day of the challenge was 'inspiration'. Of course, we had just embarked on the studio makeover, so I used that as my 'inspiration' shot. Now, let me be clear here - it is not the room that provides the inspiration, but rather feeds the inspiration...and makes sure we have room to create once inspiration strikes!

Yet, thinking about the word inspiration is something that really struck a cord with me. Many moons ago, I was part of a company that used the word inspire as part of their mission statement. Inspiration is what leads to creativity. You see something you like, you attempt to create it. Pretty simple right?

Years before that, during all my leadership training, we also talked about inspiration. A great leader inspires the masses to move forward. They don't tell them to move, they encourage and cast vision and then people are inspired to move all by themselves. (PS - this does not work as well with little ones. To inspire them to move, one finds that encouragement works sometimes, but threats and bribe work most often!)

I started thinking though about what truly does inspire me. I have a list of things I adore - coffee, the color yellow, flowers, books, history, vintage everything, the outdoors, did I mention coffee?

When I'm working, great leadership, thoughtfulness, and the enthusiasm of other's, inspires me to work harder. Some days the paycheck is a great inspiration. Homeschooling does not inspire me to greatness, but watching my child excel does. (Anyone else realize that homeschooling is like going back through school again yourself? I finished college, so why am I taking algebra and geometry again? I did not like algebra then and have discovered I have not learned to appreciate it with time.)

Hearing stories of what other people have overcome can be inspirational. Reading my Bible can be inspirational. Looking at pictures on IG can be less inspirational, mostly due to the unrealistic dream to be able to replicate what I can not. Yet. (I choose to see my unrealistic expectations as either motivation to learn to do it, or motivation to run the opposite direction and choose a new thing!)

Then there are those days where little is to be found to inspire me. Sunday was such a day. I was down for the count, watching mindless television while trying to rest. As an aside - when did television programming become so bad that we couldn't fall asleep for fear we would miss the next awful moment to poke fun at?

Or, how about when you are so inspired, that your head is literally swimming with all the possibilities of what could be? Where to start? How to start? When to start? Why must the laundry pile be so big that it is literally standing between you and fun? (This would be the current state of the pile I am looking at, while sitting here typing, NOT doing the laundry simply because I have an unrealistic dream that it will magically disappear all on its own. I firmly believe this is why women have taken to yoga pants and leggings - they take up virtually no room in the basket, therefore creating the illusion that you are further ahead in the battle of the laundry!)

I am often overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the inspiration that strikes me. It grows in my minds eye, evolving into a much large picture and vision then where it began. The overwhelming 'project' state sometimes squashes my inspiration, as the work load looms. I am almost always happy with the outcome, but generally feel less enthusiastic about half-way through as I find myself having to be more creative with space or budget than I had planned.

What inspires you and what will you do with your inspiration? Is it time to create something new? Maybe repaint something, start something, end something, find something, take a nap? With spring approaching, today is a great time to find your inspiration and vision and do something with it! You just never know what come from it!

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