September 29, 2013

Grand Opening of CharmingShopVintage

Hey there everyone! I hope you had a fantastic weekend. I can't even believe it's Sunday already! Where did the time go? This Saturday marked a huge occassion for my shop. I opened CharmingShopVintage - the vintage section! Just as I've said before, it's an entirely different Etsy shop, but each one will be linked together, so you can click back and forth through both.

Here are the links: - click here for the vintage shop! - click here for artwork, handmade jewellery and confetti!

This new shop is very important to me, because my whole life has been built around vintage, ever since I was very young. This is my dream. I will try to bring the best of the best to you through my new shop, and I hope you enjoy everything! I have started with 23 items to launch the shop, but will bring in more and more each week. Every Saturday, there will be more added, so make sure you keep checking back often! You can expect coupon codes, cross promotions with our sister shop, CharmingShopLove and maybe even some themed sales. 

Here are some of my favourite items from the new shop: 

This extra-mod shift dress is the epitome of the sixties. I can't get over how retro it is! It'll fit the right lady like dream. I only wish it fit me!
These aren't just fabulous mugs. They are part of a large four setting dinnerware set! It's in such amazing condition for it's age. And you really can't go wrong with a black and white setting for matching with your existing kitchenware. I can see these pairing really well with festive orange dishes for the Fall.
This duo came all the way from Wisconsin with me, from week long road trip I took early this September. Not only does this squirrel have the dreamiest eyes, the nut gives it a kooky, quirky vibe that I really enjoy. If you are weirdly drawn to salt and pepper shakers, like me, you'll like these two.
This Whiting and Davis Mesh Purse was part of my personal collection. I've had it for 6-8 years now and have only worn it out a couple of times. Mostly it was a show piece in my vintage accessory collection. It was a special treat to have it in my life and I took great care of it. Things like these are meant to be treasured. I had my fun with it, and now I want someone else to love it just as much as I do.
If you want to look glamourously vampy this season, you probably need to check out this 1940s feather hat. This piece is extra tiny, but oh the things you could do with it. I always picture someone wearing it with deep red (almost black) lipstick and a showy, flowing black dress with lots of draping. But keeping it crisp in a hat collection is equally lovely. This is definitely in pristine condition and has it's original hat box from the store it was purchased from here in Winnipeg. Now that's rare!

Stop by the shop to see 17 more listings and more photos of these five. And please don't hesitate to ask me more specific things about the other pieces. The best thing about vintage is their stories. I love passing on their past if that's something you would like to know! Remember, there will be 10 -15 more next weekend too. Thanks for stopping by. I'll see you soon!

Marissa xo

September 17, 2013

It's Time for Some Fall Love

Did you know Fall is my favourite season? This time of year I get obsessed with roasting root vegetables and baking seasonal treats. I wear a lot of wool sweaters and drink large amounts of tea. My all time favourite thing though is the one day I look forward to every year...Halloween. Even at the very end of summer I start dreaming up costume ideas (Yes, I'm 23 and I still dress up just for fun!) and how to decorate my home to make it the best on the block. We like to go all out and the fact that this is our second year in our home is very liberating in terms of going Halloween crazy! All I can say is my handmade autumn wreath is up on my door already and I'm getting into the cold weather spirit. If you're not that into fall or struggling with how to put yourself in the mood to be inspired this season, don't worry! I've put together a list of things I'm doing to keep myself cozy as the weather changes. 
Top left: I made these awesome Pumpkin Pecan Muffins and a Loaf from the same recipe! (Recipe posted below!) This recipe calls for canned but using fresh pumpkin instead would be truly amazing.

Top right: In the Fall, Bath and Body Works is my best friend. There are a lot of scents I don't like, because I find them too artificial, but I'm crazy for their Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin scent. Their other scents that contain spices like cloves are also amazing because they carry right into Winter and the Holiday Season. So if you bought too many, they'll be relevant for a while!

Bottom left: This was my very first year of planting in my garden and I haven't quite gotten the hang of landscaping yet. I know I have many years to figure it out, so I'm not worried. However my plants didn't do so well this year. The late start to the summer meant the seeds I planted are only just starting to  get their blooms! What the heck! I planted some hens and chicks and they didn't do well at all. I brought a couple inside as an experiment and they did great. So I gathered up the rest and put them in a new pink Mid Century planter from Value Village. These babies are staying with me for the winter. My Fall goal? Fixing up my garden, collecting seeds and bringing some plants inside for the winter. Next year my garden will survive!

Bottom right: Staying cozy with pillows. I've been on the hunt for gorgeous retro fabric. I found two old pillowcases that were falling apart, so I cut them into round circles and made pillows! In the colder weather, sitting surrounded by warm blankets and comfy pillows is essential. We were lucky enough to install a new furnace when we moved in, but I don't always feel like using the heat, especially so early in the season. I'm trying to conserve energy by cuddling my new homemade pillows. 

I bet you're ready for that recipe now, right?!

Pumpkin Pecan Muffins

Be aware this recipe makes so much! Like I said earlier, I got a large loaf and a dozen muffins out of it.
It is also by no means healthy, but sometimes you just have to treat yourself!

*1 can of pumpkin puree (15 oz)
* 4 eggs
* 1 cup vegetable oil
* 2/3 cup water
* 3 cups sugar
*3 1/2 cups flour
*2 tsp baking soda
*1 1/2 tsp salt
* 1 tsp cinnamon
* 1 tsp nutmeg
* 1 cup pecans (add more or less for desired amount)
* extra pecans for garnishing on top

Mix all your dry ingredients in a bowl and then add all wet ingredients. Mix well. Grease your loaf pan or muffin tin and pour in. Muffins will bake for 20-30 mins and Loaves will need 50 mins to 1 hour to bake. Mine needed the full 30 mins and hour, but it will all depend on your oven, so keep a good eye on them. Take them out and let them cool for 10-15 mins before serving. I hope you enjoy!

So there it is, a good pumpkin recipe to start you off this season. Other things I've been enjoying? I'm re-watching Lost and I'm powering through it, because I honestly forgot how much I used to love it! I'm back to wearing my FlowerBomb fragrance. It's a strong, spicy and warm floral if you've never tried it. It's positively deadly. I only bring it out for Fall and Winter, so it's been on repeat for the past week and will be my continuous go-to until Spring gets back again. It's a little on the pricier side and I actually got the bottle I'm currently on for free. (Oh, the perks of working in the beauty industry. But I'm not anymore!) If you're on a budget, Rihanna's fragrance Reb'l Fleur is a fantastic dupe. I am not really a Rihanna fan, but really, who needs to know!? My music playlist has been a mix of Planta, the newest CSS album and Austra's Olympia. Austra is coming to Winnipeg soon and I'm too excited to see them again! I'm listening to so much A.C. Newman as well. I can't get enough of powerful music while I work on CharmingShop. Creativity needs background music for sure!

I hope you found some inspiration in my Fall post today. Thanks for stopping by!

Marissa xo

September 16, 2013

CharmingShop at the Farmers Market

It's no secret my little business, CharmingShop, made it's public debut this summer at the Red River Farmers Market here in Winnipeg. I took tonnes of set-up photos, because one of my very favourite things to do is create themed parties, unique decorations and set-ups for absolutely anything. I'm pretty big on presentation, and getting it just right was so important to me. All five weeks I changed the table look a bit, but I think it was consistently "CharmingShop". In case you didn't get to stop by, here is a little look into my Summer months at the market. Just in time, before Fall starts getting a bit too serious!
I apologize for the crazy combination of all the days together. It's just one of those days where my computer is acting up I guess. I just want you to get the general idea of how my booth was set up each day. 

I took all of my work to the market, including just about everything that's on my Etsy site. I also had some exclusive market pieces such as some one of a kind charm keychains and handmade confetti. (Well the confetti is in the shop now, but it wasn't at the time!) I was so happy to see lovely customers in person! Sometimes it's nice to get that personal view on your work. The internet doesn't always provide that closeness you need to hear upfront feedback. I also believe in giving the best possible customer service too, so being able to give you all 100% of my time and giving you a face to place with the shop was my pleasure! I'm definitely human, not just my internet/Etsy/blog work. Sometimes it's hard to recognize internet artists and sellers are in fact real people with real lives, so if you came out to see me in person, I'm so glad! I live for that connection.

Just as I posted the other day and also touched on in this post, my confetti is now up in the shop. So brides, decorators, party-goers, go to my Etsy shop right now to collect some seriously adorable confetti! It's 100% created by me and I enjoy making it. All my listings are for one individually. But believe me, I can make you however many you need! 

As much as I'd like to keep posting some awesome new CharmingShop goodies for you on Etsy, I have to take a little break from creating right now. CharmingShopVintage is calling! The next few weeks will be vintage-crazy and retro-filled. I have been hunting down the best of the best and I can't wait to get the new shop opened for you guys. I'll keep you posted of course.

Before I get back to sorting through some new treasures for CharmingShopVintage, I just wanted to thank you all for following along with me and my creations, and now my new dream of getting this vintage shop up and running. If you're reading this, you're awesome!

Have a great day!

Marissa xo

September 11, 2013

Some Wednesday News

It's the middle of the week and I'm trying to power through mounds of shop work that I am in desperate need of catching up on. Today has been busy, but at least there are some end results to share!
Over the summer I made a ridiculous amount of glittering handmade confetti. Originally, I used confetti as my shop decor. I like life to be fun and exciting, so bright and colourful confetti was a natural choice to complement my work. But then the idea came to me that I had to make atomic era inspired confetti sachets to sell individually and in groups in the shop. Why not, right?! Everyone loves some good confetti!
This summer my confetti sachets were only available at my booth at the Red River Farmers Market, but now they are available worldwide through my Etsy shop! Hooray!
I have three types. The first has gold packaging and features multicoloured confetti with hand-cut atomic era diamond shapes and coppery gold glitter. The second is only multicoloured hand-cut diamonds with opalescent star glitter. And last but not least, my bridal inspired glitter has tones of white, gold and silver with those same hand-cut diamond shapes and silver pearl glitter. These little packages of confetti are 100% hand-punched, packaged and decorated by me. I guess my obsessive paper collecting has really come in handy! You can give one of my confetti sachets as a little surprise in a birthday card or have 200+ made for your handmade wedding. You can open them up and throw that confetti in the air, or you can keep the sachet as a memory of a special day. It's all up to you. My hope is that everyone falls in love with my new CharmingShop confetti collection. I truly enjoy making them, and anyway, being a part of your special days are kind of my thing. I used to do your special occasion makeup. Now I make your confetti party favours!
But that's not all. I wanted to give you all a heads up about my Etsy Team's Handmade and Vintage Sale happening on Saturday October 12th. I am not personally in this sale, but I wanted to make sure you know how many talented and creative people we have living here in Winnipeg. If you can make it out to this sale, you definitely should! Winnipeg has the best vintage collectors and curators and the most innovative artists of all types. You won't be disappointed. The poster is below, so make a note of the details and mark your calendars, ladies and gentlemen!
Have a great night everyone!


September 10, 2013

I Love...Enamel Brooches!

Hi everyone, I'm back from my vacation - a six day road trip to Wisconsin and back. I'm exhausted and drained, but there's no time for that! I have to get right back into work. If you've been following along with me through Instagram (@marissahowes), you'll know that I was posting daily photos of the goings on of my travels. Where I was, what I was doing, and most definitely, what I was buying. 

We went "free styling", meaning we just went wherever the Interstate took us. We travelled along through the smallest towns you could drive through in a matter of minutes. They were beautiful, breathtaking and quiet. There were dilapidated old barns and tonnes of weathered houses that were clearly lived in with love and heaps of history. Sometimes I truly wished I could stay where I was and settle into my own little home on the edge of the woods along with everyone else in those towns. I have never met such kind and lovely people too. It was the perfect place to search for highway garage sales and slow traffic antique stores by the side of the road. 

We stopped at so many, and probably one of my favourites was a an older couple's garage sale. The husband told me his mother used to collect thousands of salt and pepper shakers and he was trying to sell off some. I think he was thrilled I was interested in his family heirloom collection and he offered to dig out more boxes, so I could go through them. We were on a tight schedule then though, so I had to decline. But he was a very sweet man and was happy to talk about his vintage items and demonstrate some of the more complex mechanical salt and pepper shakers. I was in heaven. Before we parted to get back on the road, I purchased a squirrel and nut salt and pepper shaker and a creamsicle-orange enamel floral brooch I found in a box of jewellery. These pieces were bought for the shop, but the history of them and the memories I made while travelling around this past week were incredible and will stay with me forever. Maybe I don't get to hang onto those items personally, however I won't forget digging through other peoples treasures and learning about parts of their lives. That's what I love about vintage. It connects everyone, no matter who you are. Who doesn't love a good story?

Anyway, I'm telling you this now, because that enamel brooch really inspired me to do a jewellery based I Love... blog post. I was thinking, usually my I Love... posts are about home decor or clothing, and I've never done any about jewellery. I don't know why, because when I first started collecting things, my true interest was in jewellery. I was a real vintage jewellery hoarder back in the day. So I guess this is fitting. Here you go. Ten enamel brooch listings from Etsy, inspired by my sweet enamel Wisconsin find.

Enamel all the way! Perhaps my favourite thing about these pieces are how bright and bold they are. If you want to stand out, wear a colourful enamel pin from the Sixites and you can't go wrong. And since they tend to be on the festive side, they're a perfect accessory going into Fall and Winter. I mean, you can't deny that number five would look incredible paired with a simple black cardigan and a glittering holiday dress! And if you're not a brooch-wearing lady, why not stick your hair up in bun and adorn your locks with a custom enamel brooch hair pin. There's an easy DIY right there! I'm all in for a season of enamel brooches. Are you?

Lots of love, as always!