Monday, March 29, 2010

Lilly Letters

I just finished these 9 inch wooden Lilly Pulitzer fabric covered letters for a customer.  She is expecting a little granddaughter (appropriately name: Lilly) who will soon have these letters hanging in her nursery.  I think they look so sweet!  Now, I'm working on a set for a little girl named: Jordan, as well as, a number of initials.  These are in my etsy shop (click HERE to visit). I can do them in any of the patterns that I currently have on hand. They're just too fun.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lilly Pincushions

I started making these glass pedastal Lilly pincushions last year when a sweet Lilly friend (these are friends that I've met online as a result of my obsession with Lilly, they are some of the best people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing) well, this "Lilly friend" suggested that I make something for people who sew.  There was one woman who bought nearly every single one that I made.  She and her daughter are huge Lilly fans, and now, Lilly fabric pincushion collectors.  It was funny, as soon as I would list one, she would buy it; It worked for me.

 I've been really busy with the headbands in recent months and I stopped making the pincushions for a while but, now I'm back at it. I'm trying to stay true to my original intentions.  When I first started making and selling items, I did so because I wanted to tap into my creative side.  Obviously, it's turned into much more than a hobbie where I get in tune with my crative abilities.  It's really become part of me and, as a result, it's changed the way I look at things.  I don't mind staying up all hours of the night working (most the time).  The house is so quiet. I love that I don't have a commute and that I am doing something I enjoy.

Last night I did something that I enjoyed and the results can be seen above (and in my Looking 4 Lilly etsy shop).  These are great for Mother's Day.  By the way, I've got this idea for Mother's Day corsages.  Stay tuned, I'm thinking that I'll make them with Lilly fabric, I know, shocking.  I wonder if the other fabrics in my studio (those that aren't Lilly) have hurt feelings.  I'll get to them...someday.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Vested Gentress

The highly coveted & very collectable Horse Tail Dress by Vetsed Gentress
Currently avail. through Pin Up Dresses

So without a doubt, my heart belongs to Lilly.  I just wanted to make that clear although, I hope I do that on a pretty regular basis.  I'm a huge fan of contemporary Lilly Pulitzer (meaning the Sugartown years, 1993-present) but, it's the vintage Lilly (1959"ish"-1984) that hits my bank account the hardest.  I'm on a constant search for items.  As I search for vintage Lilly, I'm always coming across Vested Gentress items and, I've become a fan.

If you aren't familiar with Vested Gentress, I'll just quickly tell you that Vested Gentress was a company based out of Valley Forge, PA.  They opened in the early 60s and closed in the 80s.  In addition to their regular clothing line, they had a golf and tennis line. They, like Lilly Pulitzer, were known for their prints. Only, the patterns that Vested Gentress used, could make Lilly's seem, well, pretty tame.  Rather than write about it, I'll share these amazing photos.  I don't own the items seen here. But here's the good news, the owners are now sellers, as the items shown here are available! See hyper-links.

Just like Lilly, Vested Gentress was known for their hand printing.  The patterns were playful and, at times, sort of in-your-face funny.  Many patterns used cartoon character-looking animals.  The dog that was also used as the company logo for many years comes to mind and can be seen below.  He's seen here as a puppy but, is usually seen in patterns all grown up and is often with this frog...I can't make this stuff up folks.  I'm sure someone out there knows more about the person who created many of these characters.  Please share the information with me if you have it.  I'd love to know more and give credit where it's due.

There are many Vetsed Gentress (VG) collectors.  One can easily see why.  Several of the patterns are unmistakably VG.  They even have a little "VG" by the pattern image (the G looks like a Q).  They are fun and colorful and remind us of a different time.  (I'm desperately trying not to start off every sentence in this post with "Like Lilly...." )There will always be people who want VG, there will always be sellers on the lookout because they know that there's such a strong resell market for the items.  Having said that, I will also tell you that VG prices tend to be all over the map.  I've purchased skirts for as little as $8.  Currently, there are a number of items online that are priced well into the hundreds.  This also adds to the collector's fervor as one can occasionally find an amazing deal.
Avail through: Heidi Hodge

I want to point out that VG comes in every color of the rainbow and more. I have a few dresses in brown! I just happened to post photos here with examples in pink and green.  Honestly, I just noticed it and blame it more on habit and preference than availability (insert happy face here).

Avail through: Pretty Plus More

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Clutch

Vintage Lilly Pulitzer fabric clutch & matching headband

I've been making these new clutch purses with vintage (1960-70s) Lilly Pulitzer fabric.  I am crazy about them. I hope you share my enthusiasm. I currently have a little over 200 Lilly prints on hand (both vintage & contemporary) and plan on making several more over the next month. I will definitely have a clutch giveaway during the next few weeks. I will have about 5 clutch purses in my vintage Lilly etsy shop by Friday.  Here's a link:

Clutch purses are the coolest because they lack shoulder straps and basically say, "Please, don't bother me, I'm busy holding my purse."  If you want to look really busy, I would suggest holding your clutch with both hands. No one would dare ask you to help them move a couch or change a baby's diaper when you have one of these one-of-a-kind vintage Lilly clutches in your grasp. 

Here are a few questions you are likey to be asked when holding a clutch:
"One olive or two?"
"May I pull the car around for you?"
"Where did you find that darling purse?"

Here are few questions that you are not likely to be asked:
"Can you grab that end and walk towards me?"
"On your way to the gym?"
"Would you like the extra value meal for only .48 cents more?"

So clearly, life is just better with a clutch. Plus, it actually holds stuff. Be informed, they won't hold diapers (mostly because I said so)...Yay!! 
Can you see the "Lilly" signature?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Awkward Family Photos

Okay, I have to share this site.  I've been on a blog-reading kick lately.  As the bloggee, I've been exposed to some great sites and this is (by far) one of the best, in my opinion.  The title says it all: Awkward Family  I suggest you stop whatever it is that you are doing (Oh wait, you're reading my Blog), well, when you're completely done here, head over there.  The images are funny but again, like Cake Wrecks,  the insightful captions by the blog creators really set the tone.
The creators (Mike Bender & Doug Chernack) also have a book out (see above image).  This gives you a good idea of what the site is all about. Had to share! Tomorrow, I bring you: Lilly Clutches!

 By the way, here's just one more photo from the site; I couldn't resist.
I'm sure in the discussion stages, this sounded beautiful.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cakes Gone Wrong!!!

Example of a cake gone wrong from Cake Wrecks.  One comment was that this cake looked like the Octo-Mom.

I came across this blog: Cake Wrecks "When Professional Cakes Go Horribly & Hilariously Wrong". It's worth a visit!  Maybe you have heard of it already, which wouldn't surprise me as the blog is insanely popular and, the woman who writes the blog (Jen Yates), also wrote and published a book by the same name ( click here to see book link). If you're a little late coming to the party (as was I), not to worry, that's why God made blogger archives. The cake examples are too funny and her writing is beyond witty.

"What, I wrote exactly what it said!"
Yes, exactly...

We have a winner!!

The winner of the March Give away is:
Mrs. Bogarde!!
Congratulations! And, thank you to all who entered.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Large Orders

I just completed and sent off this order for the young ladies of Sweet Briar College.  It was for 250 Lilly Pulitzer fabric headbands (I mailed them in a little more organized fashion than this!). I've been working more and more with sororities and doing several group orders for weddings and birthday party favors.  I love it.  Now, I'm going to hit the studio and work on some Lilly clutch purses that I've been dying to make.  Stay tuned...

March Giveaway!!

Looking 4 Lilly Spring 2010 Venise Trim Vintage Lilly fabric headbands (left-"Adys" & top- Our Joan both by Suszie Zuzek dePoo, bottom right- "H & S" by Pell)

I'm loving Lilly's Little White Shayna dress. The boat neck, 3/4 length sleeves, empire waste and the lace, oh dear, that lace kills me. It's inspired me. I've made headbands that are similar to some that I made last year around this time.  I've used vintage Venise trim.  It's delightful and oh-so-bright white.  Kind of like the Shayna.
       The Shayna: Lilly Pulitzer Spring 2010

So, I'm going to have a giveaway.  The items in the giveaway are seen above (all THREE 2 inch headbands).  They are all made with vintage Lilly Pulitzer fabric.  Two of the three patterns were designed by Suzie Zuzek dePoo (Lilly's head fabric designer for aprox 25 years 1960-80s) and the third ("H & S") was designed by Pell (who also did coloration for Lilly Pulitzer while he was a co-owner of Key West Hand Print Fabrics).  The pattern "H & S" was, obviously,  the print that I asked my graphic designer to emulate when designing my blog template.  Did she do an amazing job or what?

You can enter the headband drawing three different ways:

1. Follow (all followers are automatically entered to win)

2. Leave a comment here (that's pretty simple)

3. Send your friends! Have them leave a message in the comment section here telling me that you sent them.  Your name will be entered in the drawing an additional time for each person you send who follows and leaves a comment. Of course, the people who you've sent will be in the drawing as well.

That's it!

The drawing will be held on March 14.  The winner will be announced here.  I will also contact the winner and notify them.

Good Luck!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Excellent Blog with Amazing Giveaways

I have to share a link to this blog  by Lauren Nicole Gifts.  She makes the most beautiful hand stamped jewelry and other pesonalized items. And, she has beyond great giveaways... Stop by and take a look for yourself! She is currently having a Lilly fabric giveaway.  This one is right up my alley. Here's an image:

Saturday, March 6, 2010

My Alarm Clock

Okay, so I realize that this may not seem post worthy but, I just have to tell you anyway.  I have a built in alarm clock (not in my head) but, in my house.  It doesn't require electricity or batteries.  It only requires water, bi-weekly cage cleanings and a bit of guinea pig food, actually a lot of guinea pig food.  His name is "Budgy" or "Fluffy" or "Bo" or whatever my six year old wants to call him on any given day. You see, technically, he's her pet. In fact each one of our three daughters has a guinea pig.  Santa brought them this last Christmas. My husband wasn't all that happy about it but, I was thrilled. It just so happens that I love almost anything with fur. So, way to go Santa!

This little guy though...he's amazing. You can seriously set your clock by him.  Every morning at 6:00am (if he is bored, it's 5:45am) he starts to squeak. It starts off slow and rather quiet.  I used to think that if I ignored him, he'd stop. Turns out that the slow and quiet squeaking is just his way of warming up. Once he gets the slow and quiet part out of the way, he goes to town and makes noises that are difficult to believe come out of an animal weighing in at (maybe) 1.5 lbs. He's on the entire other side of the house and I can't sleep through it.  It's like a flock of seagulls  flew in through the window (not the band but, an actual flock of seagulls-Little tip of the cap to the class of '88).

The funny thing is, I'm the only one that hears these incredibly loud sounds.  The girls don't budge.  My husband, on the other hand, is already up by this hour on most days. But, he has this strange ability to completely block it out.  He just goes about his business making coffe or whatever, with a guinea pig down the hall squealing as though he's being attacked. This is probably why my (many) requests for guinea pig quarters were met with a smirk followed by him saying, "You helped them write the letters to Santa". It just doesn't bother him and, why should it, when a crazy lady is running around looking for the guinea pig food she misplaced?

When all of this started (shortly after Christmas), I thought I would train him to stop.   I tried feeding him at different times and giving him so much food there would be a constant supply thus, no need to squeak at me.  Well, regardless of how much food I put in his cage, it always seemed to be gone by the next morning (guess that's where the "pig" part of their name comes from) and, as far as timing the feedings differently, this just seemed to confuse him and created a situation where the squeaking took place all hours of the day.

So, now this just seems to work best.  We are both convinced that each of us trained the other one.  He thinks he squeaks at me and I hop up and feed him, which is exactly what happens.  But, I like to think that I have this great alarm clock who wakes me, without fail, every morning at 6:00am because that's when I choose to feed him. It's a symbiotic thing. Although, I'm not really sure what's symbiotic about a guinea pig dictating the time of day that I wake up but, I'm just going with that for now.

Here's another view, just in case you didn't get a good look before (you're looking at his nose here).  One more thing,  he's not nearly this cute at 5:45am. But all things considered, I'm still pretty crazy about this little guy, my daughter's guinea pig, that is.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Rain, Rain...Go Away

Our 4 yo twins each have a day during the week where one goes to preschool while the other stays home.  This allows me to spend one day (or at least 3 hours) every week with each of them individually. Today, I have my little Linden here with me.  She's the "younger" of the two, by two and a half minutes, or "Baby B" as she was called at the time of their birth. 

It's raining here today...again. Linden looked so darn cute in her yellow rain coat this morning; I asked her to let me take a few pictures and she agreed. So I'm posting this really for no other reason than to show off one of my very special blessings.

In a few minutes we are going to go into my craft studio/room where I'll work on headband orders.  Linden will do me the huge favor of sorting my buttons.  This is where I give her about 500 buttons and a few plastic ice trays and ask her to sort them according to color.  I can't tell you how many times my daughters' little hands have sorted my buttons.  In the end they all end up back in the original container where they will wait to be sorted again on another day. I love spending time with the girls as they sort buttons.  The converstation almost always starts off with a detailed discussion involving our favorite buttons which are usually pink.  Where the conversation goes from there is anyone's guess as, it's entirely up to the button sorter.  But, I can tell you (from experience) that topics often include kittens and candy (on a good day, both).