Friday, April 30, 2010

Rhinestone Brooch Bridal Bouquets

Since I tend to gravitate to sparkly rhinestones...and especially to brooches...when I go to antique shops and estate sales, I guess it was a natural thing for me to notice the trend of rhinestone bridal bouquets. Now, I was very pleased with my bouquet when I got married 20 years ago. It had dried roses that my husband had given me (that I saved) and other dried flowers to fill it out. My mom did an excellent job on it, and it was gorgeous--very romantic and it held a lot of meaning. I liked the idea that I could save it (I was on the edge of the new idea of preserving floral bouquets) for always, and I still have it today stored away. Also, there was a Victoria magazine article--one of the first issues of the "new" Victoria, as I remember, though I can't remember the issue--that had bride's maid dresses with sashes. On the backs of the sashes the bride had purchased beautiful vintage rhinestone brooches for her attendants to wear. They added beautiful sparkle to the dresses for the wedding and were her gift to her ladies for being her attendants.
With those thoughts in mind, I have greatly enjoyed seeing the progression of the bridal rhinestone brooch bouquet. I like the idea of putting the rhinestones into, say, an organza or silk flower to add sparkle to the centers, or to simply make the whole bouquet one beautiful sparkling wonder. I love the fact that these bouquets are one-of-a-kind and keepable. Below are three of my favorite creators. Each has a different style and look...but I love them all.
One is Hair Bows Wonderworld on Etsy. Her creations are beautiful and very elegant. Here are a few of her stunning bouquets.
Another favorite Etsy creator (and fellow Wisconsinite, by the way) is Very Tres Chic by Paula Stanton. Her brooch bouquet has a definite "wow" factor to it and has lots of gorgeous, sparkling color. For anyone planning a vintage wedding, her shop is a must visit. Here is one of her creations.
The last Etsy shop is Croska which offers bridal bouquets with sparkles nestled within the bouquet for a unique look.
Whether you are looking forward to the big day yourself soon or know someone who is...or, if you are like me, and can't help just looking at beautiful, sparkly pieces created by very talented people, I'd like to suggest these three shops and the consideration of their handiwork. I can imagine a bride placing a favorite lady relative's brooch (perhaps the relative has passed away) inside her bouquet as a remembrance of her on the wedding day. Perhaps the groom gives his bride a special brooch that is then incorporated into the bouquet. The romantic and nostalgic side of me just bursts with thoughts of what could be done with these beautiful bouquets.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Some Springtime Blooms

Just thought I'd share some springtime blooms that are out now. One is from our cherry tree out front and the other is from a blooming "mystery" bush that smells wonderful and is very pretty. I tried to get a picture of a little robin's nest in one of the spruce trees out front--it had four sweet eggs nestled in it--but by the time I returned with my camera, Momma was sitting on the nest and not budging! I didn't want to disturb her, so I left her alone to keep her little eggs warm. Perhaps I'll get a picture of her babies once they hatch!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Some New Brooches

I've been inspired lately to bead...and bead...and have been having great fun in the process. This "work" is just so relaxing. I just finished these two Victorian-inspired brooches and am pretty pleased with how they have turned out. I think light blue and brass looks stunning together and almost want to keep the above brooch for myself.
Then I recently acquired these iridescent yellow flower beads and just HAD to make something with them. They are the sunniest little flowers I've ever seen! I thought the little brass heart charm really completed this brooch.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

May Petite Basket Swap....Addendum... an addendum to my earlier post about the May Petite Basket Swap I participated in hosted by Jenny of Fated Follies...I received my petite May Day basket this past week from Tracy of Cotton Pickin' Cute. (I certainly would encourage you to visit Tracy's blog for some fun and interesting posts!) First of all, it smelled great when I opened the box--Tracy had included a little bundle of potpourri which I thought was a great idea. The basket was wrapped in a tea rose colored tulle and tied with a pretty green ribbon.
The basket itself was a doily that had been stiffened. It is in beautiful shades of green, ivory, and pink.
The basket was filled with all sorts of pretties.
I enjoyed the vintage goodies especially--the pretty buttons on the button card, a little creamer, and other fabric and paper trims.
Tracy even included an old letter--I thought that was very nice and appropriate for a May Day Basket.
She also gave me a sweet little bunny salt shaker...and I love the rose tag. It was indeed a fabulous basket filled with fun vintage treasures. Thank you so much, Tracy!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Violets on our Earth Day Adventure

Earth Day also happens to be my husband's birthday. So, we went on a birthday/EarthDay hiking adventure at a state park that is close to us. The name of the park is Devil's Lake State Park--not the pleasantest of names, I know. I guess it was actually supposed to be Mystery Lake, but due to a translation problem with the local Indian tribe it came to be Devil's Lake. Name or not, it is a beautiful area, and I highly recommend it to anyone passing through Wisconsin. It's a great picnic place as well. There is a lake, of course, with little beaches and cliffs on all sides with many, many hiking trails. It was a homeschooling adventure for sure, for we discovered violets (the Wisconsin state flower) in purple, white, and yellow (I didn't know yellow violets existed until I moved to Wisconsin) as well as saw wild strawberry blossoms and blueberry bushes with blossoms galore. We saw vultures, woodpeckers, a snake, and even a coyote. We looked at moss and trees and a tent caterpillar nest crawling with little caterpillars. It was a day of getting plenty of sunshine and fresh air and lots of discovery.
On the trail at the top of the bluffs we saw beautiful views of Devil's Lake and Lake Wisconsin and the trees budding into leaves. It was a great spring day indeed, and a day to enjoy and make discoveries in God's Creation.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I'm Joining Another Swap

A Swap for All Seasons is hosting another fabulous sounding swap--"Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue." It sounds like a fun one for sure with its vintage wedding theme. Want to join in? The more the merrier! If you do, you may just click on the link at the beginning of this post, and you will be taken there.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dusted and Rearranged

I'm not a big fan of dusting--in fact, I rarely do it! However, when I do have occasion to all the family coming over this coming weekend, so I had better dust...things certainly look great once done. So, this is the case with my hutch. It had a gray hue to it...a fuzzy gray it was time to dust. I also rearranged my teacups and teapots by adding some new ones (like the lovely blue flowered cup and saucer from my sweet friend in the UK, Paulina of Swept and Garnished) and putting away others for awhile. I'm pleased with the rearranged, dust-free look. Perhaps I should have company come more often!

So, Who Really is in Control?

"He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke." (Psalm 104:32) I can't help but think of this verse with the recent volcano explosion in Iceland...and, yes, even the earthquakes that have recently taken place. It's interesting that we the people who reside on this earth can think that we are in control of and must control everything and think very little of God in the process--like manipulating the clouds for rain, reducing the number of cows because of their "emissions", etc. Now, I'm not saying that we should abuse the earth--we should take care of it, of course! However, one little "look" and/or "touch" from God can remind us mighty quickly of who is really in control. We cannot just go on with our lives with disregard of who and what God is. What God can do and allow--and what He has chosen NOT to do or allow--has much more impact that anything we can ever imagine. Recent events are a reminder to us all to honor and serve and fear the One who is ultimately at the helm.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

May Petite Basket Swap

Tracy has received her little petite basket full of goodies, so it is now safe to post a few pictures of what she got now on here (didn't want to spoil her surprise!). My swap partner was Tracy of Cotton Pickin Cute. It was especially fun because I love little things, and I liked the idea that this swap had an old, Victorian flavor to it. It was fun gathering things for Tracy and couldn't wait to get it out to her. I made her a little charm of the palest of pink flower beads and filled a tea strainer with old buttons. They yellow vintage ring holder I found at an estate sale. The little ribbon that is supposed to hold the ring was ripped, but the little leathery "envelope" was adorable and perfect to put the charm in. Of course, a hankie liked the basket--making one last treasure for her. The sparkly acorn was an estate sale find too, and I thought she'd enjoy some bling. Oh, and the little glass salt shaker I filled with glitter so that she could add her own sparkle to a future creation of hers. This was a very fun swap--hosted by Jenny at Fated Follies. There is also a Flicker group showing the goodies that all the swap partners gave if you'd like to view the other little treasures that were exchanged. Thank you, Jenny, for hosting this! It was fun.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Finished Watching Cranford

Hubby and I just finished the last of the five episodes of Cranford last night after renting it out. I had never seen it before and enjoyed it. My dear hubby suffered through it but liked the fact that it moved right along and switched to so many different sub stories throughout the hour (though...of all scenes...he fell asleep during the moment when the different ladies thought the doctor was going to marry them!). It was sort of many of the good people dying off who I really liked in the film. I especially enjoyed the life of Mattie, of course, and the compelling relationship between Mr. Carter and the boy. It was a good watch and would recommend it to all (just have a tissue box handy), and I'm looking forward to watching the Return to awhile though...after my husband has fully recovered from watching this one!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Weekend Happenings

First of all, I'd like to thank Sadie of Lollishops for putting my shop on the Lollishops front page this past weekend! I was surprised and delighted and thankful to see my shop up and for the exposure. Thanks, Sadie!
Mom and I went to a couple of estate sales where I found some sparkles to sell in my shops and these two beauties...actually something for myself!
This first little creamer hails from Germany and has the sweetest roses on the front. I also love the frilly lace look along the edges of the piece. I'm eager for my roses to bloom so that I may cut them and put them into this. I think it will look beautiful.
Then this was sitting on a shelf--I couldn't believe no one had picked it up yet. It is in perfect condition, and, of course, the pattern matches the Old Country Roses pattern I'm trying to economically collect at thrift stores and estate sales. I have another teacup in this pattern--but not this style. I like how the inside of the cup is full of roses which is quite different from my other teacup. There is nothing like taking a sip of tea and seeing a beautiful pattern while sipping.
I finished the Petite May Basket Swap basket for my partner, Tracy of Cotton Pickin Cute, and have shipped it out to her. No pictures yet since I don't want to spoil her surprise, but once I know she has it I will post some pictures of what I sent her. I hope she likes it. It was fun to do.
I was up late Saturday night on this computer, and the screen started doing strange movements. I thought my eyes were unusually tired. The pictured continued to move which made me nervous, so I stood up and noticed that our monitor was smoking! Oh, no! My husband who had already gone to bed came running out and knew all of the things to unplug. Whew! I'm thankful--very thankful--that I was still up...that we hadn't gone for the evening....that my husband was home who knew what to do...the Lord took care of us! I have never heard of a computer monitor catching on fire before, but that one was quickly on its way. I'm grateful that what could have been bad a bad situation was taken care of by the Lord. We had a "spare" downstairs which I'm using now. I'm thankful for that too.
Oh, here is a screen shot of the Lollishops front page in case you'd like to see that I really was on the front page there!

Friday, April 9, 2010


I just finished and listed a new brooch featuring of all! I love fish and have many pretty and different fish beads. Now, I just need to do something with them! The ones on this brooch are tiny little silver fish, and I enjoyed putting them in a "lake" setting complete with a "rocky bottom" made of silvery white, black, and brown seed beads and "weeds" made of bright green glass tube beads. Of course, those bubbles are pearly white glass beads. This was fun to make and something a little different.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Allure of the Cupcake Wrapper

I never thought it possible to improve upon a cupcake! A cupcake in and of itself can be such an exquisite little work of art--sometimes even a tiny one if a mini cupcake is made--with dreamy, creamy frosting swirled over the little cake, and everything from jeweled sparkles to a garden of flowers placed on that small rounded mound of perfection. I've seen some beautiful ones lately--in magazines mostly. I was also at the craft store this week and noticed some for sale. I think it is a rather extravagant splurge for the already glorious cupcake, but I can't help liking them! I decided to do a simple search and found some GREAT wrappers on Etsy that I thought I'd share with you. I'll certainly keep these shops in mind when I'm ready to have my own parties with all the stops and whistles, and I hope you will too.
These pretty wrappers are at Have2HaveItPersonalized. I think her design is very fancy--perfect for a wedding or the most feminine of parties.
These two by Geekinesis are amazing and hold many fabulous possibilities. Their intricacy is alluring.
Any--and, yes, EVERY--floral cupcake deserves this picket fence wrapper by Cupcakeflair.
This one by Joosy Card Co is fabulously French and elegant.
And this one by ALittleLollipopTree is just plain fun. Though the design is simple, I can't resist them! They make me think of popcorn (which along with cupcakes is one of the "fun" foods in the world), and I can just imagine decorating cupcakes with yellow and white marshmallow bits to make the cupcake top look like popcorn in a bag.
I hope you've enjoyed these great finds as much as I have.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Pretty Pastels Treasury on Etsy

I was able to snag a treasury this morning and featured some pretty pastel goodies from some of my favorites around Etsy. If you'd like to go directly to the treasury here is the link---Plenty of Pretty Pastels.

Friday, April 2, 2010

More Vintage Jewelry Perfume Bottles

A dear gal who is getting married contacted me through my Etsy shop this past week asking whether I had more vintage/antique jewelry pieces perfume bottles (she wanted some gifts for her bridesmaids). I did...BUT none were completely done yet! So, I've been working hard and steady to complete some and get them listed for her review. The one I have already listed with the lady on it she has asked me to alter. It is now on the counter drying. Hopefully the sun will keep shining so that I can get a nice picture later this morning, and hopefully she will approve of the change. Of the three here, the pink and green rhinestone one is reserved for her...but the other two (and they are sort of tied for being my favorites actually) are not and are listed on Lollishops and Etsy for sale. These are a lot of fun to do...and I DO like perfume bottles in all of their femininity!