October 29, 2013

Oh, October - Shop & Life News

My goodness it's been an interesting month. I haven't been posting too many things on my blog, or even updated my shops as much as I had hoped to. October has come and gone so fast, and I'm sad to share I spent most of it sick in bed, but what can you do? It's no secret I've had some crazy health problems this year, but after adding even more to my plate by starting a part time job (Yep, that's right!) I think I've kind of disrupted the balance I had going for so long. Anyway a couple days a week I now lend my cosmetic talents over to the people of Winnipeg, and spend the rest of the week working on my shops. Being able to do EVERYTHING I love to do is very satisfying, but finding the right mix can be challenging - especially being a homeowner too. 

I thought it would be a good idea to let you all know where CharmingShop stands. Maybe you've noticed it's been quiet for a while, but I promise I'm still here working away! I recently started streaming CharmingShopLove. I am discontinuing my beloved framed Balloon Girl art pieces, and they will now only be available by request. For the holidays, you can expect a brand new selection of earrings and bracelets coming your way, sparkly enough for any party! As for CharmingShopVintage, I will still be adding to the shop weekly. I haven't for the past two weeks, but I can assure you I have some cute items ready to post any day now. 

Man, it sucks running a business when you're under the weather. But you've gotta do what you love, no matter what! 

Remember, if you're in the mood for some CharmingShop goodies this Fall, make sure you head on over to both shops before November 1st to get 20% off with the code HALLOWEEN20. There's only a few days left now!

Thanks everyone. Have a great night! I hope you're working on putting together your Halloween costumes!

Marissa xo

October 21, 2013

I Love... Retro Wall Hangings and Plaques!

There's just something about 1950s to 1970s wall hangings that set my heart a-flutter. If you are dreaming up ways to get your vintage life in motion, considering some new art additions to your walls is a fantastic, high-impact start! Check out these ones I've been eyeing on Etsy lately:


October 10, 2013

DIY - An Easy Fix for Fading Vintage Fonts

I know we've all seen them - glorious retro canisters with little to no label. You can see the indent where the metallic colouring used to sit, but no paint in sight. Seeing this always makes me so sad. Mostly because I want to find one in tact for myself (or for CharmingShopVintage now.) In reality the missing paint is usually attributed to the item being well loved and used often in it's previous home. Sometimes it's neglect or you know, leaving it outside for too long. In a barn perhaps? 
Lustroware Cookie Jar on the right.
I found this gorgeous Yellow Lustroware Cookie Jar at Value Village and after I could't stop thinking about it, and going back weeks later to find it still on the shelf, I brought it home with me. I already have the Kitchen Canister set in White, but my kitchen had some original yellow tiles on it's retro breakfast nook. I felt like I should honour it's original look by bringing in that colour somewhere else in the room. The font was mostly all rubbed off, with just a tiny bit showing here and there. I knew I had to save it. I was keeping it for myself, so why shouldn't I? 

Here's the deal - if you find something you really love, but the font has long since passed, you can potentially fix it! Just remember, if you fix something yourself, it's for you to keep. If you're in the vintage business, never sell things you've altered unless you are open and honest about it. Maybe someone else will appreciate your work on restoring a thing of beauty, but usually collector are interested in vintage things untouched and unchanged in any way. Sometimes it's the flaws that count. So before you start, make sure this is something you want to do!
Getting a good soak before we start doing anything with it. 
All you need is a steady hand and a waterproof marker that is the colour of your original paint. Before you start, do some research and find out what colour font you need, unless you're trying to change the font colour altogether of course. I went to Michaels and got a thin paint pen that was skinny enough to get into the little grooves. Remember, to look at the tip of the marker. You don't want a ballpoint pen marker, because the paint won't transfer onto your vintage surface. Only thin felt marker tips will do.

If you don't have lines or grooves to follow, you'll have to attempt this freehand! Good luck to you. I know you can do it. It's just a matter of time and patience. I suggest looking up your item with it's original font in tact. Leave that photo beside you and carefully copy this onto your item. But of course, you could always create a template to trace with if you're unsure of starting right on your piece. It's up to you and what you feel comfortable with.

Let your vintage item dry completely. You may want to do a few layers of paint. And there you have it. A "new to you" font for a restored by you vintage piece! For upkeep I would suggest hand washing if this is something you use every day. The paint will wear with constant use and can be touched up when needed.

After: The lid
...and the front font. This is with one coat.

I hope you enjoy this mini tutorial. Maybe you have something yourself that you've wanted to try fixing up. Of course if it's something expensive, I would always recommend taking it to a professional restorer. You never want to lose the value of your piece. I got my Cookie Jar for $1, and I really felt that giving it a new life was the right thing to do.

Have a great day everyone! 
Happy thrifting and diy-ing!

Marissa xo

October 09, 2013

Orange Raspberry Bread

When I was young, my family was always baking. There was never a shortage of sweet treats around. My mom was always making cinnamon buns and shortbread cookies, and my grandma would make anything and everything from tarts to pies. Not just a normal amount, but enough to feed her entire family for weeks. That meant we always got  tupperware containers or vintage tins filled with goodies to take home. One of my greatest memories is waiting for my grandma's christmas desserts to thaw from our basement freezer. The only way we could eat them all was to freeze them. 
One of my favourite things to have from childhood was their loaves. I always loved having a warm piece smeared with lots of butter. Yum. And now that I have my own kitchen, I'm really drawn to making them for my own mini family. There's really nothing like a hot fruit loaf straight out of the oven. 
This is something I whipped up myself that we really enjoyed. It reminded me of when I was young, hence the introduction about my family and their baking addiction. It felt like my grandma or mom had made it for me with love, and that made the recipe even more special and delicious. There was something about the way the orange and raspberry blend together, that almost crystallizes and forms it's own glaze. Its tart, sweet, and I can honestly say one of the best things I've made in a while.You have to try it!

Here's what you need:

* 1/2 cup butter
* 1/2 cup milk
* 1 cup sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1 1/2 cups flour
* 2 tsp orange zest
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/4 orange juice (fresh squeezed)
* 2 cups raspberries

What you do:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees C. Mix the butter and sugar in a bowl until it's light and fluffy. Then add the rest of your ingredients (except the raspberries) and mix the batter until smooth. Leave the raspberries until last so they stay whole. Grease a loaf pan, and pour the batter into it. Let the loaf bake for one hour, checking it periodically. After one hour, check with a toothpick to see if it's cooked all through. If not, an extra 15-30 mins baking can be tagged on to this time. (It will depend on the thickness of your loaf pan and also your oven temperature, but it will not take less than one hour.)
Once it's done, take it out and let it cool. I prefer to eat mine right away while it's still warm from the oven. As much as I love Fall foods, I needed a boost of something more energetic and lively. Fall is making me too cozy! Enjoy!

Marissa xo

October 06, 2013

CharmingShop Updates - Fall Sale and New Items Added

Well it's the end of the weekend, but I have some news that'll keep you excited this week! Both my Etsy shops, CharmingShopLove and CharmingShopVintage are in sale mode! For the entire month of October you can get 20% off your orders by using the coupon code HALLOWEEN20 at the checkout. Because the sales are the same in both shops, I will offer custom listings for anyone who wants something from both shops. Hey, if I can save you on shipping by combining your item orders, I totally will! The less you have to pay, the better! Just let me know what you want and I'll get that up for you asap. I really just wanted to celebrate the Grand Opening of the new Vintage Shop and the fact that it's Fall. Halloween is my absolute favourite, so having this sale around this special yearly tradition is pretty much meant to be. I want to spread that happiness around.  
 Did you know I added some new items to the shop as well. Like I said before, every week will bring a new batch of goodies to the shop. I honestly feel like it might go on forever at this point. You don't even want to see the state of my house at this point. I have an antique store in my basement! Take a look at these five pieces. They're new to the shop and I have a feeling they won't last long in the shop. Get 'em while you can! (Pictured above is a candy pink, retro Autograph Book with a zipper closure. Check out those graphics! I hate finding treasures like these, because I could truly keep them all.)
 These 80s designer lucite shoes are pretty special and in amazing condition. Jewel-encrusted peep toe slingback wedges? Yes please!
 This pair makes me so happy, I could just hug them! I imagine them sitting in a kitchen full of pastel appliances and pink decor. I know they're going to make a girly vintage-lover happy someday!
Everyone loves Jadeite and Delphite! This Delphite Pyrex Fridgie will add a cool new colour to your ever-growing pyrex collection.
Yes, I'm putting one of my prized possessions up for sale. Goodbye, my lovely terrarium. These guys are high in demand, so get it while you still can! I love how it transforms any room, and takes you back to a time of funky, space age home decor. I would keep this one if I hadn't found a second. Even then I was debating whether or not to keep both. Why, oh why is it always so hard to part with these things? The one I kept is larger, but this one has much better quality plastic and is sturdier. It was a tough choice, but I'm sure it'll go to a good home one day soon.
To see the rest of the items, all you have to do is go to my shop CharmingShopVintage on Etsy. Soon I will put up a link button on the blog sidebar so I wont have to keep listing it. Hopefully you'll see something you like in one or both my shops and can take advantage of the Fall Sale while everything's quite a bit cheaper. Remember, it ends November 1st, so don't wait
too long. This week I will be posting some long overdue recipes and diy tutorials and ideas. Make sure you check back! I have some good ones for you!
Marissa xo