January 31, 2010

Don't Judge a Box by It's Cover ....

As the old saying goes ... don't judge a book, or a box for that matter, by it's cover .... I found that to be oh so true this past week. See this box below? This has been sitting in my basement for seven years, unopened ... only shuffled around a couple hundred times. As you can see "flatware" is scrawled across this rather uninteresting box ....  although I can tell it's my Mother's handwriting, the box never called out my name or gave me the slightest whisper to open it and take a peek inside.

Until this past week that is ... searching for something to share for Silver Sunday, this box named "Flatware" finally said something ... "please stop walking past and ignoring me, take a peek inside my plain wrapping and a treasure you might find ..."


SO I listened and obeyed, wouldn't you if you were standing in the basement of a hundred year old home and a box spoke to you?! Above is what I lay my eyes upon ... Not one, but two generations of family silver "Flatware". The first one below was my Great Grandmother's, Elizabeth Greener Frost Rowland or "Nana" to me. I'm blown away that this heirloom has been sitting neglected in the basement slowly tarnishing, right below the formal dining room, all this time. I'm smitten with the set .... I can't wait to polish it {did I really say that?} and use it for Easter.


The next silver set seems to be only a portion of the whole and was my Grandmother's, Lois Margaret Rowland Caskey, or "Mom-Mom". Now I remember this set was given to my Uncle Ron Caskey upon my Grandmother's death, but being a bachelor he didn't have any interest and my Mom held onto the set. My Mom has has also reminded me that my Uncle's middle name is "Sterling" ... Ron Sterling Caskey ... How cool is that? There are also many miscellaneous pieces here that I haven't taken a closer look at to figure out their origin. Another fun to-do project! And yes, you can bet I will not be judging anymore boxes that sit in the basement by their "covers" .... I'll soon be opening every single one ... you never know what lies within .....


More fun things this week ... two announcements !!

1.)The winner of the Gypsy Brocante necklace give away is ............ Jenn from "The Apiary", CONGRATULATIONS Jenn I can't wait to start designing a piece of jewelry for you! Please e-mail me your mailing address.
Thank you to EVERYONE who participated in my latest giveaway, all of your comments are so well appreciated, they give me so much encouragement ... another old saying I'm learning to be very true. "It's better to give than to receive" ... I'm having a blast giving out treasures, it really does make your heart feel good!

2.)Oh I have been BUSTING at the seems for this one!! ....

Vintage Black Friday is back! .... starting next Friday, February 5th will be the first round. There are two major changes this time .... we will be gathering only once a month, the FIRST FRIDAY OF EACH MONTH ....and will be hosted by The French Cupboard!! You will need to go here to link up to the party next Friday ... everyone is invited to join, grab the revised button and I'll see you there next week with all of your vintage Black ... can't wait!


How exciting Silver Sunday will be sticking around on a Monthly basis!! Thank you Beth, you're a great hostess. Please run over to Beth's blog to visit all of today's participants and don't miss her posting about her Great Grandmother's Sterling Silver Chatelaine ... it's fascinating!

January 28, 2010

My Bucket is Over Flowing ...

My business bucket is full ... over flowing full ... full of sweet, sweet opportunities, challenges, and new adventures! Let me fill you in on what's been happening behind the scenes here at the brocante.
As I've complained about in the past, during the winter months here on the East coast there is not much exhilarating junking action ... the flea markets are shut down for the most part and the auctions are cold and way overpriced for my budget! So what do I do in my idle time? ... lay plans and put things into motion ... expand and search out new horizons ... here is what has come forth from a winter of sparse shopping.

I'm beyond thrilled to have my shop, Gypsy Brocante, now be a part of The French Cupboard community. I doubt there are many of you who do NOT know of this French inspired website whose motto is "Uncommon marketplace .... shop uncommon"  it is exactly what it claims to be ... a gathering of merchants with the goods you want, need, have to have for your romantic lifestyle!

And the icing on the cake ... not only will my shop be joining the list of inspiring merchants, but I'll also be joining The French Cupboard's blog team as a contributing blogger! My first post is scheduled for FRIDAY, February 5th ... yes, for those of you who are paying close attention, I'm dropping a hint here ; )  ... I'm hoping you all will come on over for a visit!!

The next project that will happily be keeping me busy and out of trouble for the next three months ... a challenge I'm excited about, but also a little nervous about {to say the least} I've been chosen to be a part of the Lollishop Spring design team ... what an honor to be included in this creative group of fellow 'Lolli' girls! Here's where you can check out all the fun action.
And lastly ... I'm leaving in a few minutes to go scout out a location for monthly 'Gypsy Barn Sales' ... we've been searching for the perfect venue to hold barn sales for a while now ... not as easy as one may think, at least I thought it would be easier. I'm hoping today's site is a winner ... we want to have our first sale in April!

I think that about covers it for now ... what's next? Keeping my nose to the grindstone and in the studio .... you know what's going to happen as soon as the weather breaks, don't ya? ... back to the flea and shopping!

January 27, 2010

White Wednesday ... dreaming

  I'm dreaming of spring flowers ... but these rosettes remind me more of white snowflakes that the weatherman is calling for this coming weekend .... I'll keep dreaming. 

{click on pic to enlarge}

Join me over at Faded Charm to see all of the dreamy white today.

January 23, 2010


It feels good to be inspired and back in my studio creating ... for the past few weeks I've been so wound up with  life's "stuff" I haven't taken much time to create, let alone feel inspired to create! When I have too much going on at one time I tend to 'freeze' and do nothing, well nothing creative at least ... sometimes all of my energy feels like it's been zapped out of me just while thinking about all the life "Stuff" ... a few nights I even crawled into bed before 7pm! Yeah, for the night ... not a little nap! 

Anyway ... that was the week before last ... this past week was different, I snapped myself out of it and tuned into the right side of my brain ... literally. I went into the studio, pumped up the two portable heaters, turned ALL the lights on really bright, poured myself a glass of wine {yes ~ it was in the evening!}, and hit the play button on the cd player. And played with my other "stuff" all the goodies, treasures, and flea market finds .... all the "good stuff" that takes my mind off the "other stuff" .... Ahhh, finally inspiration comes to me!

Oh and yes, this is where SILVER SUNDAY comes in ... I finished six necklace designs ... ALL done in silver.  I have also joined up with Mosaic Monday this week over at Mary's blog ... 'The Little Red House'


Silver is probably my favorite element to create with ... love, love, LOVE it's timeworn and tarnished patina combined with antique crystal rosaries, luminous mother of pearl, vintage milk glass beads, glamorous rhinestone rondelles, and old ornate crucifixes.

{click photo for larger view}

The mosaic above contains photos of the pieces I worked on last week ... I had almost the same amount of fun taking and editing the pictures as I did making the jewelry ... maybe a sign that I must really be coming out of my creative funk?

I also got a HUGE boost to my morale from the sweetest comments you gals left on my last post about the 'Prairie Gypsy' belt buckles ... your kind words gave me a whole bunch of much needed encouragement ... THANK YOU!!

Last Silver Sunday I promised two things ... a Vintage Black Friday announcement .... and another giveaway...

As promised, here they are ... 

Vintage Black Friday is coming back...much sooner than planned and will be a monthly party! Yippee and ya-hoo!! ... I am so excited to tell you all this news  ... but I'm not spilling all the beans just yet ... I'll do that next week ; ) ... here's one hint, VBF is fast approaching, start gathering your treasures now ladies!

And this week's Silver Sunday give-away? Since I'm feeling sooooooo creative these days, I'd LOVE to pass on the "good stuff" to YOU! How about a Gypsy Brocante necklace like one of the above ... in SILVER, but of course! We'll play the same way we did last time here's how you can earn chances to win a necklace:

Leave a comment on this post earns 1 chance.
Become a follower earns 2 chances.
Already a follower? Let me know, earns 2 chances for you .
Mention and link to my give-away on your blog, earns you 3 more chances.
{Feel free to grab the button below}


Winner will be announced on next week's Silver Sunday post...

Happy Silver Sunday to all! ... make sure you check out all the good silver "stuff" this week over at Gypsy Fish Journal.

January 19, 2010

White Wednesday .... creating white

I've been working on some new 'Prairie Gypsy' belt buckles ... rhinestone cowgirl style !!

This one is my Ode to White Wednesday ... I chose to use only vintage jewels in various shades of white and cream.

I can imagine this belt buckle worn with a white ruffled blouse tucked into low slung jeans ... jeans tucked into a pair of boots ... OR ... wrapped around a tee-shirt  over an extra long prairie skirt .... can you tell I'm dreaming of Spring, already?

I could also imagine this glitzy buckle as part of a country wedding or casual reception party attire ... I wish I knew a Southern gal bride-to-be ... I would definitely give this as a gift!

I've completed about seven belt buckles so far .... there's a little sneak peek of them in the box below ... I can't wait to show you all of them ... soon!

I'm posting a little early this week ... I want to make sure I have extra time to get around to more WW participants this time around.  Thanks Kathleen of 'Faded Charm' .... I'm so enjoying being a part of White Wednesday !!

January 17, 2010

Silver Sunday No.3 ... Silver Spoons and Soup

Silver Sunday No.3 .... Silver spoons and soup. Nothing fancy or frivolous. Simple and satisfying.

It's been cold ... really cold ... not just here on the East coast, but it seems everywhere ... and it's still flu season ... my family hasn't been suffering from the flu ... just two rounds, for everyone, of a yucky stomach virus.

What does the bestest ever Mom-Mom do for her family? ... Soup, she brings soup ... her best homemade chicken noodle soup !! What does a good Mom do? ... serve it with her favorite silver soup spoons, of course!

I'm blessed to have a Mom who lives around the corner from me and who is generous and willing to do anything for me {without asking} ... tonight she showed up with soup ... she always shows up just at the right time, just when she's needed ... she always shows up. Nothing fancy or frivolous. Simple and satisfying. Thanks Mom .. I love you!

These are my most used silver items ... my silver soup spoons ... I LOVE soup and eat it year round, doesn't matter if it's 102 degrees outside ... I'll eat soup, but I never had the right soup spoons ... until I found these at a small flea market this past summer ... a great bargain at $2.50 for all six spoons! ... they are engraved with an "N" ... our last name begins with an "H" ... doesn't matter to me, they work just the same!

Not only does my Mom know how to cook, but she has a few kitchen tricks up her sleeve ... here's one she passed on to me a long time ago ... you can use toothpaste to polish silver ... yup, not only does it polish your pearly whites, but you can shine your silver with it as well ... try it, I swear it works.

LinkAs promised last week ... we have a winner of the silver chalkboard tray give-away! First though, a huge thank you to everyone who participated in this giveaway ... those who became a follower of my blog, those who blogged about my giveaway, and mostly to those of you who left for me such wonderful and sincere words in your comments ... THANK YOU!! ... I wish I had 100 plus trays to give-away ... but, there's only one and it's going to {drawn by my favorite Gypsy Prince!} ..... Maija at 'maigirlz' ... congratulations, Maija!!

Here are two things to keep in mind for next week .... 1.) another silver Sunday giveaway and 2.)An exciting announcement about Vintage Black Friday ... remember Vintage Black Friday? ... stop by next week for the latest VBF update ...

Thanks to Beth for dreaming up Silver Sunday, make sure you visit ALL of the participants ... may take a few days ; )

January 13, 2010

White Wednesday ... Dimpled Cherubs

White Wednesday ... here are three lamps from my living room ... I didn't purposely start a collection of these ... it just happened ... and now it all comes together and makes sense to me, in my mind at least ...

These cherub babies make me smile, they make me happy just to look at them ... they remind me of my own children when they were infants and toddlers ... all three off my babes were chubettes {weighing in at 10lbs, 9lbs, 9.5lbs} each one had rolls of baby fat and dimples galore ... oh how I could eat them up ... delicious !!

This last one is my favorite ... I think ... look at that hiney with the two dimples ...

Fat yummy dimpled babies ... does it get any better than that?... I think not!

Thank you, Kathleen from Faded Charm, for White Wednesday and giving me the venue to share my favorite whites.

January 9, 2010

Siver Sunday No.2 ...

Silver Sunday .... have you heard? ... hosted by Beth over at Gypsy Fish Journal is one big shiny silver smash of a hit!! ... The list of participants is growing everyday ... and if you managed to visit everyone last week, I'm sure you were as amazed as I was at all of the unique pieces we had the opportunity to view .... I'm more than anxious to see what everyone has in store for us this Sunday.

On this second Silver Sunday I would like to share a silver tray chalkboard tutorial.
Transforming my old stash of silver trays into elegant silver edged blackboards.

I gathered all my supplies: trays,paint,brushes. The first thing I did was to give all the silver a good scrubbing in soapy water, rinse and dry well. My paint of choice is Rust-oleum chalkboard paint in black. It's latex ... no odors and easy to clean up, gotta love that! I prefer the paint in the can over the spray paint ... it's much thicker, goes a lot further, and way is more economical.

Start painting! You could tape off the area you want to paint with painter's tape ... I usually jump right in without tape, do what you are comfortable with. Multiple layers of thin coats work best ... no need to prime if your silver is old, etched and rough naturally {mine always is} ... be patient between coats, at least a few hours in between.

Waiting ... and ... waiting ... and ... waiting .. might as well wrap your brush up in a plastic bag in between coats, no need to wash it out until you've finished.

Make sure you let your final coat of paint cure for 24 hours before writing your first message ... patience is key to this project.

Before you know it, you'll have a whole bevy of trays done and on hand ... maybe to use as a fun message board in your kitchen or to give as an unique hostess gift.

Speaking of gifts ... my second item I want to share today with everyone is a Silver Sunday give-away !!

I'm going to be giving away one of my silver blackboard trays next Sunday ... here's how to enter, it's the "usual" way to gather up chances of winning, each chance will be put into a silver bowl and drawn next Saturday night at 11:00pm est. The winner will be announced on next week's Silver Sunday post ... on Sunday ; )

Leave a comment on this post earns 1 chance.
Become a follower earns 2 chances.
Already a follower? Let me know, earns 2 chances for you .
Mention and link to my give-away on your blog, earns you 3 more chances.

Note added July 29th: Yup, this an OLD post and this giveaway is OVER ... HOWEVER, I am running a new giveaway and swap party ... look for details HERE !!

I just found a new blog {new to me!} check out all of the chalkboard lovin' going on today ... thanks for hosting Beth !!

Have a wonderful day and thanks for stoppin' by ...