November 27, 2013

DIY - Crafty Holiday Cone Tree Tutorial with Ribbon and Sequins

After moving into our current home, I knew I wanted to start our own Holiday traditions here. Ones we can keep following up on when we start a family. Growing up we had a lot of holiday traditions. One being getting our Grandparent's tree up reeeaally early in November every year, so they could have their fancy holiday party with all their friends. Even making gingerbread cookies with my mom.
 Mostly I was designated to pressing M&Ms onto their stomachs for buttons. (Back then I wasn't so steady with the icing or that great at baking at all for that matter...)
I have nothing but warm and fond memories of Christmas as a child, and making sure my own family feels that way is very important to me. After lots of moving around and downsizing happening over the years in my family, I have received essentially all of my christmas decorations from my Grandma and Mom. They're a symbol of the past and I love the idea of carrying them on into the future here at my house.
Even though I really covet my extremely old Christmas items that hold a lot of value in my heart, I'm really big on crafting up my own decorations. Probably my favourite holiday things are the ones that were handmade by my family members. (I always tried to figure out how they were made and wished I could do something that amazing!) Now I feel that it is my job to get cracking on some crafty things to fill our space, and inspire the new and future generation of little ones in our life. My tradition? Making at least one new holiday tree every year!

This is what you need:

* sequins (two different colours and sizes.)
* small beads/seed beads
* sewing pins
* sewing ribbon/fabric edging
* scissors
* styrofoam cone tree

Let's get going on this super cute mod-looking tree!
This project requires a bit of coordination (and both hands), but it's very easy.

 STEP 1 Start from the very top, so if you get to the bottom and theres space left, you can slice it off with a knife without compromising your tree. place your ribbon edge down and secure with 1 to 2 pins. Push them right into the styrofoam.

STEP 2 as you wrap your ribbon around the cone, push pins into the cone with your desired sequin pattern. This creates sparkly ornaments on your tree. For mine, I first put on one red seed bead, then a smaller red sequin and then a larger pearlized sequin. I chose to put my sequins on in their concave position, so I would get the most out of their sparkle. Because my ribbon had flowers on it, I used the middle of the flower as a marker of where my pin should go.

STEP 3 Once you get back to where you started, make a cut in your ribbon. Not right at where the ribbons meet. Give a little bit of room, because we have to fold it over. So the line doesn't look messy or unfinished, slightly fold your ribbon over and use 2 pins to secure each side of the very end. 

STEP 4 Repeat steps 1-3 all the way down to the very bottom, or as far as you can go. I did each layer so the edges would join at the same place as the last. That way there is a seam down only one side of the tree. If there's extra styrofoam you can cut it off like I said above, or just leave it how it is. Maybe you'll find another way of finishing yours off, Like by attaching fake glittery snow with glue around the very bottom edge! So cute!
(The diy cone tree to the left was one I made last year inspired by another blogger's holiday post, but I can't find the original blog now! If you know of it please let me know, so I can give credit where deserved. I will post a link when I finally come across it too.)
This is such an easy, no glue/no mess way to get a clean and sleek holiday cone tree. I hope it inspires you to make one or even think up some of your own holiday DIY projects!

Happy crafting!

Marissa xo

November 21, 2013

CharmingShopVintage Press Feature

Did you know the retro "His" and "Hers" Egg cups in my shop CharmingShopVintage
were recently featured on a blog post?
It's true! 
They were featured on along with twelve other vintage and handmade items for a post entitled "13 Super Awkward Couple Gifts on Etsy." 

Although I don't completely agree with the writers stance on how scary they are, (and she did say they were mugs, not egg cups!) I think it's a cute little post on some of the outside-the-box and unique things you can find on Etsy.
This blog post obviously got a bit of a buzz, because it created some extra traffic in my shop. If it helps find this adorable little egg cup set a good home, I'm all for it! It sure did make me laugh.
Click here to see the full post including the rest of the items.

Thanks for stopping by today.
Just to let you in on my new shop deals, get 10% off anything at CharmingShopVintage with the new holiday shopping coupon code SALE10OFF. Also don't forget to enter my Holiday Giveaway! All the details are in the post below!

Have a good night ladies and gentlemen!

Marissa xo

November 19, 2013

Winter/Holiday Giveaway with CharmingShopVintage

Hello darlings,

Winter has officially hit Winnipeg. The ground is blanketed with snow and I have already been out shovelling the paths and sidewalks around our house. Im already so tempted to get my christmas decor out. All my favourite bloggers seem to be set for the holidays with their trees up already!  
I'm holding out for another week at least.

In the meantime, I thought I would get the holiday mood going over here with a winter giveaway!
I must say, I was a little inspired by another local giveaway from Daphne over at Vixage. (Click the link to see her lovely giveaway!) 
Here's what you get:

* Beautiful long vintage scarf
* Vintage red and gold beaded necklace with ornate clasp
* Vintage red and green buttons
* 2 antique keys
* Kitschy heart pin
* Vintage frame with vintage wrapping paper featuring holly and red birds inside. Cute holiday decor!

And of course I plan on throwing in a few extra little things!

Here's how to qualify!:

As I'm sure you can tell by the photo, this giveaway was intended to be a Instagram Giveaway, but if you don't have an account, I included some separate rules for you!

To qualify:

1) Follow my blog, CharmingShopLife for one ballot.
2) Follow my Instagram feed, @marissahowes for one ballot.
3) Repost this photo on Instagram, tagging @marissahowes and #charmingshopvintage for one ballot.

Each one you do gets you a ballot for the draw. Do all three and you get three! I will of course accept multiple Instagram reposts for extra ballots.

For non-instagram users:

1) Follow my blog, CharmingShopLife for one ballot.
2) Follow my shop CharmingShopVintage on Etsy for one ballot.
3) Follow my shop Facebook account for one ballot.
(Links are provided on the right of my Blog.)

Each one you do gets you a ballot for the draw. Do all three and you get three, just like above!

Extra Info:

* Giveaway will end December 10th. At that point I will randomly select a winner.
* Open to Canada and the U.S. only.
Any questions? Just let me know!

Good luck everyone!

Marissa xo

November 10, 2013

Custom Handmade Vintage-Inspired Confetti

Custom Confetti is one of the newer editions to my shop. I originally added confetti sachets as a special item only available at markets, and then introduced it into the shop as of this Summer/early Fall. I have many different pre-made packages to choose from, but I think what excited me the most about it was the possibility of making custom made confetti for weddings, parties, showers, etc. I'm kind of a self-proclaimed party decoration addict, and the thought of my work being a part of someone else's special day is pretty incredible for me. Party planning is a not-so-secret obsession of mine. Being a lover of the details of craftsmanship and handmade/diy decor, my confetti is made with a cute, crafty and fun look. And believe me, I can make anything your heart desires! I wanted to show you the beginning stages of my newest custom project: An atomic 50s themed confetti collection to celebrate the purchase of my customer's Mid Century Dream Home! Lots of colour and lots of fun! It was modelled after the large shapes I use for the backdrop of my shop photo-shoots. Making this has been a dream. I wish I could share the finished product, but that will have to wait a bit. I think my sweet customer should get the surprise of seeing it first! Too excited to get these tiny little packages in the mail and off to their new home!

Have a great day everyone!

Marissa xo

November 05, 2013

DIY: Embroidery Thread and Ribbon Spools

I have a crazy amount of craft supplies at my house. Every time I get a gift, I keep the ribbon, paper, cardboard, etc. You never know when these things are going to come in handy. Not only are you recycling by using these things again, ( Let's face it, lots of people just toss packaging in the garbage. How sad.) but you're also saving yourself quite a bit of money. Going out to craft stores or even gift shops for gift wrapping can be so expensive. I say live guilt-free and hoard crafty things to reuse for projects and presents!

That being said, finding places to store these things can get out of hand. I try to keep organized with labelled boxes and files. However, I find as a creative person, these things end up all over the place before I even know what's happening. I like having so much to work with, because it forces me to be inventive and resourceful, but if I come across any ways to help myself stay clutter-free, I am completely ready to try them out.

A week ago, I decided to work on my mess of a sewing box. I have a nice sized, wooden sewing box with tapered legs and fold-out storage. For any normal person it should be enough room. But oh, no. Not for me! My biggest problem is my embroidery thread. Due to lack of  space I threw a bunch in the bottom compartment. It was supposed to be a temporary spot, but months later, here they are still waiting to be untangled and sorted through. Oh dear.

My idea for streamlining this disaster? Handmade cardboard spools. You can buy these at any craft store and they usually come inside packages of embroidery thread as well. Some are plastic and some are paper. It seems silly to go out to buy more if you have the perfect solution in your own home though. Paper and cardboard is EVERYWHERE, so let's use it!
I made these simple spools by creating a paper template and tracing a bunch of thick cardstock paper. One side is white and the other is a baroque-style black and white pattern. I wanted the white side to be the front, so I could label them and write the colour name in a cute handwritten font. Another good idea is to write down the colour number if they have any. That way when you run out you know exactly  which ones you need to stock up on.

I used a pencil to roughly sketch in my font, which I free-handed based on the font, Swung Note. I like crafty looking things, so handwriting the font was something I knew I wanted to do to get a quirky, thrifty effect. I filled it in with a black ink pen and added details and doodles with Copic markers. Starbursts and diamond shapes were a must of course.

Just as a side note, I think putting the colour name on the top would also be a great idea if you have kids. For little ones learning basics like colours and spelling, this would be a nice way to secretly teach them while they play and do crafts. Lessons hidden in play time - always a good plan.
 I really like how these turned out. You can really put any type of thread or ribbon on these, and do any type of design or shape you want. I feel like the possibilities are endless here. I was even thinking of making some with animal faces on the top! Maybe I'll do those sometime soon. I could always use more spools!
What kinds of things do you do to keep your craft items organized?

See you again soon!

Marissa xo

November 04, 2013

New Vintage Items at CharmingShopVintage

Monday is a photo-editing/adding shop items kind of day. These beauties and more will be making their way into the shop, so make sure you stop by CharmingShopVintage tonight to have a little look! 
On another note, I recently purchased a silver aluminum christmas tree from a very lovely shop on Etsy called KitschyVintage. (I completely believe in supporting other Etsy Shops. We all have different things to offer!) Anyway I'll be spending a portion of my day setting it up in my living room just to have a look at its sparkly branches. Then I'll pack it away for another month. Sigh. I'm not a big fan of the awkward period between Halloween and Christmas. Its too early for holiday decor, but you just want to jump right in and get festive. Am I the only one that wants to pull out their ornaments and things already? 

Marissa xo

November 02, 2013

Halloween 2013

This Halloween was busy, busy, busy and incredibly fun! I wanted to share some of the things I did with my family this year to get in the spirit.
We made some cute sugar cookie ghosts, black cats and jack-o-lanterns. My favourite are definitely those cats. They're too cute for words.

We had two pumpkins this year - one for my house and one for my moms. After finding out I'd be alone at my house for Halloween, we decided to move the party over to my mom's house. (Her two-storey house looks more like a Haunted House anyway!) Her pumpkin is so sweet looking and I got a little carried away with mine. I enjoy making mine as crazy-looking as possible every year. 
This is her house. I decorated the outside just before the little kids started coming. We had roofers up there right until the last minute! Nice timing, hey?

I discovered this amazing handmade vintage dress that I just could not let go of early this summer. It was way too big, and it was so long it went past my feet and then some. But I expected I could shorten it and get an amazing costume out of it. I am not usually one to alter anything old. I generally keep things exactly the way I find them, but I knew I had to wear this dress. It was very "out there", but I'm totally okay with that! You can't really see, but it has orange velvet cinched areas on the sleeves with little bows. And at one point it had a belt. Too bad it's not with it anymore. I wonder what it looked like! I can't believe someone made this pretty thing themselves! I think I did a pretty good job of altering it into a cute little mini dress. It deserves to be worn.

And I just wanted to mention I styled my costume with my Bait Footwear Noel heels in Luggage. These shoes are my absolute favourite. If I had to pick one pair to wear the rest of my life, it would be these ones for sure. Plus they're very 1960s retro. Perfect for this outfit.
Here is a look at my makeup - eyes open and eyes closed. I wish I had better close-up photos of this, so I'm sorry about the blurriness. It always looks so much better in real life. I did this whole look in just half an hour, false lashes included. I wanted to stay super authentic 60s, but a bit stronger for a Halloween night look. My dress was very dramatic and bold, so I thought the makeup should be pretty literal as well. 

All in all I had so much fun standing at the door handing out candy to the little kids. This year we had 100+ kids compared to 15 or 20 last year. They're always so cute in their costumes! I like how scared and excited they get. It remind me of when I was little and how I used to go trick or treating with my sister and best friend. We were always so worried that someone or something would jump out at us at each house, but too excited to receive our candy, take it home and dump it out on the living room floor to sort through and trade. 

What are your Halloween traditions? And of course, what were you this year?! 
I hope you had a great Halloween! Thanks for taking a peek at mine!

Marissa xo