Thursday, September 29, 2011

One Week Later

Looming work deadlines, a hacking cough, and the beginning of a lot of new TV shows have really muffed up my productivity this week.  I could hardly believe a whole week had passed since my last post. 

I have a ton of posts lined up, I just have to get my act together and get them up.  I have a few other projects on the go that I will be sharing with you in due time, so I'm eager to get rid of this cold and get back on track.

But I'm not here to pore over the mundane details of my life, but rather I'd like to show you a new book I found last night.   We had taken a trip to the local book store to pick up a few things, and I came across this incredible book on the sale shelf.  Don't you love when that happens?!  It falls perfectly in line with what I've been working on for the next look book.

The book has beautiful bright illustrations in many different styles, that are reflective of the fashions of the 1960's. It's a very romantic portrayal of life back then, and maybe a bit idealistic, but it seems to be the allure of the era.  I could stare at these pages for hours coming up with my own stories of what's going on in the elaborate images.  I know my description is not doing the book justice, so have a look at some of my favourite pages...

All in all a great source of inspiration, and a lovely way to enjoy a cup of tea and an afternoon in your favourite easy chair!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Put It To Good Use: Old Pianos

When Clayton and I first started dating, I always loved hearing about all his art school stories, and the cool creative things he saw.  One such story included a piano string bed.  At the time I couldn't quite visualize what a piano string bed looked like since I had never seen a piano in the buff.... but one rainy day up at the cottage, we were doing our junk store rounds and saw a poor old piano decaying outside in the elements.  It was our lucky day!

A piano string bed had always been high on Clayton's want list, so we asked the owner of the store what the deal was with the piano. We told him that we wanted the inside, and he told us if we had the tools and the time, and muscle might I add, we could have it.  So we went back to the cottage, grabbed a few crowbars, hammers and such and started hacking away. About 2 hours later, we had uncovered this gorgeous piano string bed with hand painted flowers and scroll work.  It felt good that we were able to save something so old and uniquely beautiful.

Since the piece was so incredibly heavy, we were limited as to what we could do with it.  One thing we do love is rusty, metal things in the garden. And our backyard is laid out in such a way that one side of our garage acts as a large wall closing in one side of our yard.  It was a perfect spot to showcase our new treasure.  Since it was sculptural, floral, and neutral toned it fit right in with the flowers and greenery. But at the same time it was completely unexpected and a bit industrial. A bit of a hard edge in the midst of a peaceful garden.  It's now a permanent fixture in our garden and we enjoy watching the clematis grow up the strings in the spring and occasionally I'll run my fingers across the strings and enjoy the resonating chimes.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Without giving too much away, I've been collecting inspiration for an upcoming project with The Vintage Ramble, and I've been enjoying imagining a life of mini dresses, high hair, and colour colour colour!I It is no secret that I am a huge fan of 60's fashion especially mod styles (see my collection of big eyed mod kids here) so I am so excited for this project to be happening.

This seasons fashions present such a great opportunity for us fashion lovers to experiment with great elements from 60's fashion.  The chunky heel, colourful tights, beehives, bows, and frills, just to name a few. I can barely stand the groovyness of it all...  To further peak your interest, I'll leave you with this amazing commercial I came across.  It makes me all kinds of happy. Enjoy!

Monday, September 19, 2011

DIY: Goldenrod Potato Scarf

This project ranged somewhere between DIY and science experiment.  Needless to say it was a lot of fun, and I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.  It's so easy to forget about all the natural resources available to us crafters, and it was nice to be able to use two very easy to find materials. 

Around this time of year goldenrod is not hard to come by and it makes for a really great natural dye. So I took advantage of this overabundance and tried my hand at natural dying.  Also I LOVE POTATO STAMPING! This was my first attempt, and it was great fun.  

If you would like to try this out, here is what you'll need:

 -White cotton fabric (I used a white sheet)
-A bunch of goldenrod
-Fabric paint/fabric screen printing ink
-An old pot with a lid. Make sure it's large enough to boil a big bunch of flowers.
-One potato

First things first, you have to remove the leaves and stems from the flowers.  You don't want to boil the whole plant, so do the best you can at paring down the plant to just flowers.

You can see here I still have some leaves that are close to the flowers, but I eliminated the thick stems. 

Once you have prepared the flowers, fill your pot with water.  Depending on how much goldenrod you have to boil will determine how much water you want and how concentrated your dye will be.  For the amount of flowers I had about four cups did the trick.

I boiled my flowers on high for about two hours.  The longer you boil it the better colour you will get out of the flowers.

Once the boiling process is complete, turn off the heat, and  use a slotted spoon or strainer to separate the flowers from the water.  Dispose of the flowers and keep your dye in the pot.  Your dye should look like this :

Once all the flowers are strained from the liquid, put your fabric in the pot.  I precut my fabric, and if you have to sew down any unfinished edges, it's best to do so before you dye the fabric so you don't have to try and match up thread to the colour of your dye.

Dunk the fabric in a few times and make sure it is fully immersed in the water. You want the dye to make contact with all your fabric for the most even dye job.

I kept my fabric in the pot overnight to make sure I got a really vibrant yellow, even though it doesn't look it in this photo, the colour was much more bright after sitting in the pot all night.  When you are happy with the colour ring out the fabric and hang it to dry on a plastic hanger.  Don't use a wire hanger or else you'll be left with a rust mark.

Once it's dried, iron out all the wrinkles.

Keep the iron out, cause you will need it after you print your fabric.....

Once your fabric is ironed, find  a large work surface and line it with newspaper.  place the fabric down and get your paint and potato ready.

I used screen printing ink, but you can use any fabric friendly paint. I spooned a little bit of paint out in a paper plate.  You want a flat surface to dip your potato in.  Also have some paper towel handy to blot your stamp.

I chose a basic shape.  Nothing too complicated.  Just remember when cutting your design in the potato, your want to cut around your design.   All the raised parts will be your stamp.  You want to dip your stamp in the paint and make sure the full surface of your stamp is covered.  Then blot off the excess paint and firmly press the stamp to your fabric.

You will also have to determine the placement of your stamp to create your pattern.  Try and map out the best arrangement to fill the fabric surface.

When your all done stamping wait for the paint to dry and then heat safe the design with an iron.  This will insure that your print won't fade or wash away.

A fun two day project perfect for a weekend!  I was so pleased to know that the finished product cost as little as $2 and that I used some of our greatest resources available to us-- Nature!  It will be fun to discover more natural dyes in the future.  I'm thinking of trying coffee next, or maybe beets! Hope you have fun with this one!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cabin Fever

Can you guess what I did last night?  My cabin fever was running high yesterday, so naturally I went thrifting! I really needed to get out of the house last night, so I took myself on a little date to Value Village. Even though Halloween crap has taken over the store, I still managed to find a few great things. My most favourite purchase was the Tretchikoff print of "Miss Wong" I have been waiting to find her for so long now. And in a close second was the fat lava lamp. 

I also found these motorcycle boots, that fit like a dream. I couldn't resist! I'm still, however, trying to figure out how to style them with my wardrobe.

Rarely do I find records that I'd actually enjoy listening to. But last night two new records came home with me.  Green Onions, and Claire De Lune. Both great songs to have on vinyl.  Also a peasant top, and even though the snow hasn't fallen, I snapped up these boots for the upcoming winter season.

I had to have this sweet little pill box...

and this fabulous poodle wrapping paper was among a pile of other unopened packages of wrapping paper. I'll tuck those away for a rainy day.  You can never have enough.  And lastly Miss Wong. She's so pretty!

One more thing before I go... Thank you to all who entered the TVR one year anniversary giveaway.  The time has come to pick the winner... If your name is
Nicole Ordonez Congratulations!  I will be contacting you shortly so you can claim your prize!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fall Trend: Florals

This might be my favourite style post yet!  One of the many trends this season is florals, and this sweet little dress from The Vintage Ramble Etsy shop is just the ticket! When you think of florals you may think of bright colours on delicate fabrics, but this dress is perfect with tights and layers.  Add a white collared shirt under this and you'll be toasty and cute! How would you wear the floral trend this fall?

P.S. One day left of the vintage outfit giveaway.  Don't forget to enter to win a one of a kind vintage look

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Shop Update

I have a bunch of cute things for fall in the etsy shop. A big shop update is under way, and here is a sample!

Friday, September 9, 2011


The Vintage Ramble Etsy Shop is almost One! To celebrate I'm giving away this whole look!  I'm so excited for this giveaway. I love this look so much for fall. All the items are vintage and include:

This amazing patent leather doctor's bag + this floaty dreamy dress

 Three matching wallets + two vintage button hair pins + this darling pearl bracelet

To enter, you must:

*Become a follower on Google Friend Connect and leave a comment saying you've done so. If you already follow with GFC, just leave a comment

Bonus Entries:
*Follow on twitter and leave a comment
*Follow on Facebook and leave a comment
*Follow on Bloglvin' and leave a comment

The winner will be chosen on September 16.  Good Luck, and thanks for supporting The Vintage Ramble!


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fall Trend: Leather

I'm pretty much in love with this outfit.  There is no doubt I will be trying to put this one together with what I have in my closet.  This is an easy look with all the right ingredients for fall.  A light leather jacket, (which you can find in The Vintage Ramble Etsy shop) paired with great bell bottoms a t shirt and those oh so cute clog sandals you've been wearing all summer.  The layers in this outfit are great because fall can be so up and down temperature wise.  The striped t-shirt still holds the outfit together even after you've taken off your jacket.  But if you have to stay bundled up, the stripes peeking out the bottom of the leather is just as charming. Come on autumn weather show your face! What's your favourite way to wear your leather jacket?

Outfit Details:
Leather Jacket- The Vintage Ramble
Stripped Shirt - Zara
Yellow Tights- We love colors

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Put It To Good Use: Vintage Drawers

Coming up with these posts has been so much fun for me.  It's going to sound crazy, but it never occurred to me how many things in our house are made up of repurposed items.  I suppose it has become second nature to me since I grew up with this kind of thinking.  My dad has always been extremely creative and innovative when it comes to transforming junk into something functional and beautiful. What I'm going to show you today is a result of my dad's brilliant repurpose focused mind.   I am so grateful for his example, since it's instilled a can do attitude in whatever challenges I'm faced with.

When I started selling clothes I did a few clothing shows, and I needed something to display jewellery in.  So my dad came up with a brilliant idea to turn this antique bowed drawer he had into a showcase.  He simply found a frame that fit the top of the drawer, added a few hinges, and just like that I had a display case for my goods.

When we moved into our house, we incorporated our display case into the dining room set up.  It now sits on our buffet and holds all our curious tiny treasures.  We call it our cabinet of curiosity now....

There are so many excellent things you can do with drawers.  Here are a few that I really liked

Make a doll house
Build a side table
Make a bookcase
Organize your recipes

Hope this got you inspired to turn your old drawers into something great!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It's The Little Things

Like finding a vintage Pee-wee Herman ring at the flea market....

DIY: Scalloped Rag Bag

This DIY has been on my mind for a long time now.  I love the look of scallops, especially when they are made from fabric.  I had always wanted to try this with leather (and probably still will someday) but as a project this made the most sense.  A great rainy day afternoon craft, and I was able to use my fabric scraps for it, so the cost was next to nothing. 

Here is what you'll need if you want to give it a try:

1 white sheet
Fabric scraps
Scallop template
A sewing machine
A measuring tape

First you are going to determine the size of your bag and cut out two pieces from your white sheet.  I used the finished edges of the sheet so I didn't have to do any sewing for the opening of the bag.  You also don't want to cut one long piece that you fold in half to form the bag.  This will make it harder to sew on your scallops. 

Then cut two more pieces for your handles.

In order to prepare the front and back panels for the rest of the project, you will have to make your handles and attach them to each panel of the bag.  Do this by folding in either side of the pieces you cut for your handle.  The sides should meet in the middle.  Then fold that in half.  This will give you a clean edge.  Pin it together and sew along one side of the handles.

Once the handles have been sewn, determine where you want them to go on the bag.  A good trick is to fold the bag panel in half to ensure that the handles are placed symmetrically on the bag.  Pin them into place then sew them on

Next is the most time consuming part. first you'll have to create your paper template.  I just free handed mine, which is why all the scallops aren't perfectly the same. This is something you can do before you start to sew your bag together.  I did mine ahead of time while watching tv.  You'll have to cut out your scallop strips.  Depending on how big you have made your bag will determine the number of strips you have to cut out.   I just placed my template on the fabric and pinned it in place, then cut out the shape.  The cutting goes much faster if you double your fabric then cut out your shape.  This way you get two strips with every cut you make.

Next is where the fun part starts.  Take your front panel of your bag and pin the first row of scallops to the bottom of the bag.  Leave about an inch for seam allowance.  It's easier for layering if you start from the bottom and work your way up. I chose to use three different fabrics and I arranged them in a pattern, but you don't have to do this.

You want your scallops to overlap only about a half inch.  Basically overlap enough to hid the stitching on the previous strip.  Work your way to the top until you have covered the whole front panel.  Once you reach your final panel, make sure you have a strip with a clean edge to sew along the top opening of the bag.  While we want rough edges on our scallops, we still want a nice clean edge on top.

I staggered my scallops only slightly, if you did this, they might not all meet up on either end of your bag, but that's ok because now you will sew the front panel of the bag to the back panel.  I made sure that when I sewed them together I kept a 2 inch seem allowance on either side of the bag and all my rows of scalloping covered the front of the bag perfectly.

To sew the two panels together, put the right sides together.  So the side with all your scallops should be touching the side that will be facing outward on your back panel.  Pin this in place and sew along the edges.  When you are sewing along the bottom, you don't want to sew down your last row of scallops, so before you put both panels together, pin your last row of scallops up so it doesn't get caught in the bottom seam. This is the final step, so once you have sewn in together, your done!

I'm smitten with the end product, and will be sure to make another when I accumulate more scraps.  These would make for a cute set of grocery bags, and more importantly it's another way to recycle those fabric scraps.  Hope you give it a try... it kept my hands busy for a few hours.  So throw on a record and enjoy some time crafting!