January 30, 2014

Chinese New Year Nail Art Ideas

Did you know tomorrow is Chinese New Year? It's the Year of the Horse! Every year I like to paint my nails red and gold to celebrate. Here are some fun ways you can paint your nails for the New Year too!
Love the use of glitter in this nail art! Found here.
The top two nails with the geometric pattern are decorated just with nail decal stickers! Mix and match your nails for an even more creative look. Found here.
   If you can't do all these crazy designs and patterns, don't worry about it! Sometimes simpler versions are just as nice! I decided long ago that crackle nail polishes are best used for Chinese New Year. It never gets old. Source Unknown.
These watercolour fish decals are so beautiful! Found here.
These designs would take a very steady hand, but look at how awesome they turn out in the end!  You could even use false nails and paint them before you put them on, if you had to! No shame in that!
Source Unknown.

I know I got some ideas on how I'll be painting mine this year. I usually just stick to a more plain red and gold, but maybe I'll put more detail into it this time!

Well I'm off to make some yummy soup and banana bread. Today is a cooking day.
See ya later!

Marissa xo

January 28, 2014

New Vintage!

Why hello there fellow bloggers and readers! 
I'm here today to show off some new items over at CharmingShopVintage.
This bun warmer is one of those things that isn't totally relevant today, but is so nostalgic for me. It always brings me back to the fancy dinner parties my Grandparents used to throw when us kids were very young. So if you're planning on hosting a retro party, this is the perfect serving tool for you! And take a look at that retro paisley print too by the way. Just incredible.
Winter is absolutely driving me crazy this year. It's so cold here, that all I want to do is stay inside wrapped in a blanket and eat warm food all day. Am I the only one? This fondue pot seemed like a perfect idea right from the start. Fondue anyone? Chocolate or cheese?
I recently said goodbye to my Midge doll, and the very next day I stumbled upon another! How cool is that?! This pretty lady has a couple condition issues, but she sure is gorgeous!
I got a little (okay, a lot) excited when I came across this find. I already have a large collection of this same English set in my shop, but to find the teapot as well was just perfect! These can be purchased separately or as a set by the way. I'm always open to offers!
I've had this awesome dispenser for two years and had every intention of hanging it in my own kitchen. I've decided to let it go, but only because I found another one. My boyfriend says we need to keep the other one, because "the font is bigger and cooler." His words exactly. I love them both, but what can you do when you have two and have to make tough decisions? I had to choose one. I can't have it all!

Okay I won't spoil it by showing you all the new things here on the blog! Just click here to be directed straight to the shop. I plan on adding a bunch more this weekend as well. This group of new items was supposed to be larger, but we had some technical mishaps. Everything's essentially ready to go apart from the photography. I hope you find some things you like!

Have a good night, Dears!

Marissa xo

January 20, 2014

Home Sweet Home

The first time we stepped into our house, It felt so different from what I felt with the other houses we had looked at and/or bid on. I guess you could say it was true love. Maybe that's really cheesy, (Okay, it is cheesy.) but I got butterflies and I knew it was the one.

 I remember walking in and seeing our kitchen nook first thing, and feeling like I didn't even need to see any more. That won me over instantly. The more I saw, the more I wanted to live here. Every detail was extraordinary, and honestly that's very tough to find these days. Everyone wants to "update" or do renovations to their homes. This home was in tact and ready for me to restore. (And of course fill with antiques.)

Here are just some of the crazy details of my house that I would never change. As long as I'm living here, these original details will stay!
Here's my sweet little built-in table that I couldn't part with. 

Having this fancy valance above my kitchen window is pretty cool. If you're wondering what the circle is, it's a cut-out for an outlet! I have a red General Electric clock to put up there, but when you have a fear of heights you procrastinate with these things...
These gingham and floral patterned contact papers were inside some of my kitchen cabinet drawers. They're dirty and old, but I love finding surprises like this!
This is a photo of our art room. There are a couple things I love in here. The built-in wall storage and the original hardware. We have these knobs all over the house. 

The wackiest area has to be our side door and going down into the basement. This is an area we haven't touched and only use for storage. On the left you can see my steps have this weird side ledge with built-in tin planters. At least that's what I've decided they are. Upon closer inspection they are actual baking tins, which have been placed inside there. It's a crazy DIY of the past! On the right you can see my super weird, milk/letter door. It's kind of the best.
I truly have the weirdest blinds. They're on the outside of the house, and there's a crank inside to open and close them! I lifted it up for you to see, but it actually lays flat against the window frame. Our kitchen window is exactly the same, except it's moved with a string pulley system. We have a wall divider beside our front door. Lots of people have these and lots of people knock theirs down. I love mine and it's great for extra storage or shelving. 
Our door is so incredible to me. I really enjoy the natural light that comes through it. 
As soon as the weather warms up we'll paint it a nice bright red colour.

What I've learned as a homeowner is to be patient. You can never really be prepared. You think you know what you're in for, but you find out very soon that you're wrong. You just have to learn to laugh at all the things that don't work out. My house is hilarious. It's quirky, demanding and likes to break here, there and everywhere. The things I clean or fix don't stay that way for long. But all in all, living here is a dream. I never thought I'd have a house this young, but I do. I love this little Mid Century "dollhouse" and I really didn't think I'd find such an ultimate vintage item to own. 

Does your home have any cool features or details that make you fall in love over and over?
I want to know!

Have a great day!

Marissa xo

January 17, 2014

New Artwork Coming Soon

Mixed Media Pattern Collage, Entitled "His Favourite" (Unfinished, work in progress.)
I haven't blogged in a little while, and that's because I've been exclusively working on a new set of art pieces to add into the shop. As I said before, I've marked down ALL of my jewellery to make room for new artwork (and possibly new confetti come springtime!) I already have three pieces in the works at this moment. 
(This one above being one of them.) 

Lately I've been trying to get our art room organized. When you have two artists living under the same roof and sharing a tiny space, things get out of control fast. There are pencils and paints and brushes in every box and area possible. I couldn't tell you where anything is exactly. So this January my goal was to get this area cleaned up. Regrettably, that stopped fast when I found my old portfolio and found some new inspiration in it. 

I only really held my unfinished pieces in there. The ones I was stuck on and couldn't bring myself to finish. In fact a lot of them are from high school. It's always weird to look back on your old work, don't you think? I feel like I know my artistic path now and back then it was more like trial and error. I didn't have a real system for creating art. I felt like now I could be able to breathe new life into them, when I couldn't before. So now my thought was to take all the unfinished pieces I still loved, and transform them them with my current style. It almost feels like collaborating with my 18 year old self.

This piece in particular is from 2008. I was nearing the end of high school. I was at a very cool place in my life artistically. All I thought about was creating, and I really did spend all my time doing just that. This piece was a result of my constant work, but I never finished it. I always loved it's peachy tones and collaged circle of children sitting quietly in the bottom corner. Adding what I know now, I think, has made it even better than I could've made it five/six years ago. 

As you probably guessed, all my pieces will feature multi-layers of retro-inspired designs and patterns. There will be lots of collaging, lots of colour and lots of movement. I'm really proud of starting all these old pieces up again. It feels like such a sad waste to let them stay half-done. If I still feel something for them, why wouldn't I keep elaborating on them? 

Anyway I only wanted to share this unfinished piece with some of its new additions, so you can see what's kept me away from here for a while. I promise I've got so many pieces to wrap up and start photographing and/or scanning to list in the shop. I want to take CharmingShop in a new direction for 2014. This time with my art more in focus. 

Thanks for listening to my personal art rantings,

Marissa xo

P.S. If you want to see more of my art process, follow me on Instagram. (Click the link on the right side of my page.) It seems like my only posts these days are art posts!

January 09, 2014

Top/Popular DIY Tutorials for 2013

Pretty soon I'll have some new projects to share with you, 
but these are my favourites from last year. 

I think out of them all, the kleenex folder was my absolute favourite 
creation. I don't work with felt very much, but I'm certainly going to do 
more with it as soon as possible. 

Have a great day everyone! Stay warm. It's cold outside.
It's a perfect day to stay inside and make something.

Marissa xo

January 08, 2014

Favourite Vintage Finds of 2013.

Today I'm counting down my favourite vintage items I found last year in 2013. Some were dirt cheap; others not so much. But hey, all of these keepers were remarkably low in price in relation to what I could have paid! Here we go!
ONE) Atomic Era Floor Lamp
I got this bad boy off Kijiji this Fall, and had it hidden in our basement as a unique Christmas present to us both. It was so hard to play it cool while this thing was in my house and not being used. I wanted to bring it out so bad! It was definitely my most expensive vintage purchase of the year, but totally worth it in every way! I will never regret shelling out some extra cash for this lamp.
TWO) Retro Pink/Lavender Laundry Bin
This was an estate sale find. I got it this summer along with a sizeable collection of furniture. In total I spent $50 at this sale and got some really stunning large pieces I had been coveting secretly for a long time. The starburst on the side of this beauty makes my heart happy!

THREE) Green Lamp with Splattered Shade
This lamp was my favourite find from my September trip to Wisconsin. It'll forever be a little memento in our home of all the thrifting I got to do outside of Canada this year. I've never done any U.S. vintage hunting before up until this trip, but I'm hooked and I'm really looking forward to bringing home some treasures from Chicago this spring!
FOUR) Plastic Terrarium
I found not one, but TWO terrariums this year! The one pictured is my first find, which I later sold when I found my new one. It's bigger and in much better shape. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would own one of these. It was one of those things I didn't know I needed until I layed my eyes on it. Now, I couldn't do without it.
FIVE) Fibreglass Lampshade with Gold and Black Splattered Pattern
I found this lampshade for $5 at an estate sale, and it still makes me swoon! I added the shade to a vintage bronze lamp I already owned.
SIX) Set of 2 Hanging Lamps
These two beauties are from the Old House Revival here in Winnipeg. We loved them straight away and knew they'd be perfect for our retro living room. I adore their asymmetrical look. The best part is they pair so perfectly with our floor lamp, which is close by, along the same wall!

SEVEN) Teak China Cabinet
This teak cabinet is so beautiful to me. The fact that I got it for my birthday last year was so special. It's a family piece and I'll keep it until I have someone to pass it down to.
EIGHT) Metal Wall Sculpture.
I was so obsessed with my mom's metal wall sculpture, that I was ready to splurge to get one of my own. But just when I least expected it, I came across one at Vlue Village! I love when that happens. It was like it was meant to be. Oddly enough it looks exactly the same, only hers is painted beige on some areas.
NINE) Vintage Couch
After we said goodbye to my grandma's white couch set this summer, I thought I would never find another one I would like as much to replace them with. I was wrong. We stumbled upon this couch along with it's ratty old partner (aka chair) at the Habitat For Humanity Restore, while rainy day shopping for 50s kitchen cabinet pulls. The chair was too far gone, but the couch was perfect and on sale!! I will never regret bringing this big thing home.
TEN) Lefton Poodle Cookie Jar
 This fancy poodle cookie jar is not mine personally. It belonged to me for a couple weeks while I washed it, photographed and listed it in the shop. This Lefton jar was in the shop for one day before it was purchased! Just coming across it was a dream. I love holding these cool things for a bit before they go to their new homes. It's like I run daycare for vintage items. Or better yet an adoption agency. All in all, this was my best find out of the things I didn't keep for myself.

I got so many neat items this year, so it was tough to narrow it down to ten. I thought I'd spare you the long version, because believe me, I could go on forever. 2013 was a thrill of fantastic finds. I keep wondering what things I'll drag home this year. I will have an entire basement to furnish soon enough, and of course a vintage shop to stock!

What were your best finds this year?

Marissa xo

January 05, 2014

Jewellery Clearout at CharmingShop

Alright everyone, for 2014 I've decided to streamline everything and to direct my focus. This is starting with a large sale to clear out my jewellery line from CharmingShop. EVERYTHING is on sale. Well out of my jewellery that is. Earrings, bracelets, necklaces. If you have special requests let me know, because I have so many unlisted pieces as well. I might just have what you're looking for behind the scenes. If you'd like to know the original prices of anything in the shop, just ask. I have a price list nearby! 

You might be wondering why I've decided to clear all my lovely jewels out of the shop. Well, it's just time to narrow down to a few things. I took a hard look at what I am able to create and what I enjoy most. I no longer have the time to make jewellery, photograph it and list it. The good news is, that time can now be spent elsewhere. On some new artwork perhaps. 

Jewellery-making is going to forever be a hobby of mine. I'm sure down the road I'll bring out a new collection. And of course I would never say no to any custom orders! Here are a few of my favourites, but check out the shop link on the right to see the rest of my pieces that are up for sale. Get 'em while you can!
Elegant Peacock Collar Necklace 
was - $41.75    now - $35
Turquoise Metal Collar Necklace
was - $25.05    now - $15
All earrings and earring sets now $6 to $10
Opalescent Snowflake Collar Necklace
was - $45.33    now - $40
Art Deco Bracelets
were - $14.31    now - $10

Help me find homes for these pretties, so I can fill my shop with all new goodies!

Marissa xo

2014 Goals

I know I'm a little slow to get my goals in for this year. How are we a week into January already? I couldn't let this week finish off completely without sharing my goals for this year; in my life and my work. So here they are...
My number one goal is to be more open and outreaching. I am a shy person, and getting myself out there is a tough thing for me. Last year I rekindled some really great friendships, where we just lost touch over the years. I think it's really important for me this year to keep my friendships alive and keep up my end of the deal. Its so easy to put off a call or a text or an email until it's too late. This year I want to be there for as many people as I can. 
I started off my blog in 2013 with blogging nearly every day! I'd like to get that momentum back by sharing some new kinds of ideas and posts. My shops are ready for an update and so is my Blog. You'll be seeing some changes here and there at CharmingShopLife. 
I'm trying to be more aware of what I put into my body. Saying no to my favourite things is incredibly hard, but my health is so important to me at this point in my life. So for 2014, I'll be juicing! Maybe I'll post some recipes here. ;)
I made this one pretty general. 2014 will be my year for crafting up DIY projects and working on new art pieces. I have been exclusively focussed on the vintage shop, and I need to get some new creativity flowing over here!
We bought our house knowing that we would have to renovate and restore it. It was begging us for help from the moment we stepped in it, and there was no turning back. Love at first sight. This year I want to make sure we finish painting this beauty completely. We are aiming to fix up the basement this summer and I've been busy gathering up decorating ideas. (I'm so ready to have our 60s blue velvet couch down there!) Just having the extra space will be a life-saver.
This is the most cliche goal out of all of them, so I saved it for last. Our big thing this year will be travelling. We are planning to go to Chicago this Spring, and it'll be the first trip we've taken as a couple in the five and a half years we've been together. Sooo long overdue. This winter we also had to write off our very old car, and we bought a new one just in time for Christmas. The new car is much more reliable, and I'm seeing some trips to the lake in our future... No matter where we go, I'm just excited that we'll finally get to go somewhere together!

Thanks for reading my super ordinary goals for 2014. Nothing crazy, but hopefully doable. 
What are your goals for this year?

Marissa xo