Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Stroll Down My Garden Path...

Ahh...it's that time of year again when Nostalgic Summer opens up it's summer headquarters.

I've introduced you to our lake home in Battle Lake, MN in a few past blogs, and thought you might like to see what I do there when I'm not scouring flea markets, antique shops, auctions and yard sales looking for treasures to turn into unique jewelry.

Our cabin is situated on a point on the west side of East Battle Lake. The point stretches approximately 45 yards out past the cabin and is about 100 feet wide. The east side of the point was always a jungle of overgrown weeds, brush and poison ivy. As children we were told "Don't go through there.... it's all poison ivy!"

Since I was little I had imagined that overgrown mess as a "secret garden." Four years ago I decided to clean up the weeds, overgrown brush, poison ivy and create the secret garden I'd always dreamed about.

I hope you enjoy this walk through my "Secret Garden."
"I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers."  ~Claude Monet
 "The lakes are something which you are unprepared for; they lie up so high, exposed to the light, and the forest is diminished to a fine fringe on their edges" ~Henry David Thoreau
 “There's naught as nice as th' smell o' good clean earth, except th' smell o' fresh growin' things when th' rain falls on 'em.” ~ Frances Hodgson Burnett from "The Secret Garden"
"If you've never experienced the joy of accomplishing more than you can imagine, plant a garden."  ~Robert Brault
Here is the other side of the point from the garden path.
I hope you've enjoyed this stroll through my Secret Garden.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Summer Shop Feature ~ Deeder the Beader

It’s time again for Nostalgic Summer’s “Summer Shop Feature” and this time it will include a GIVEAWAY!

I am so excited about all the great artists/handcrafters in my group The Traveling Handmade Bazaar and want you to get to know them…. so they will be the summer shop features this year.

First up is Denise of Deeder the Beader.

Denise began beading five years ago, she loved the great jewelry a friend was wearing and attended a jewelry party her friend hosted but found the jewelry just wasn’t right for her. She decided to take a few community education classes and create her own pieces.

Friends started noticing Denise’s jewelry and asked her to design custom pieces for them. She applied for a tax ID number, opened an Etsy shop and “Officially started business in mid 2009.”

The mystery behind the name……“Deeder the Beader”

Denise had lots of help and support from friends and family when choosing a name for her business. She submitted several ideas to them, when her husband came up with “Deeder the Beader.”
Deeder was a nickname Denise’s parents had called her (she is so very lucky…I won’t divulge some of the nicknames my five brothers called me!) anyway, the name had a great ring to it, it spoke of her business which is much more than just jewelry and she felt “it was to catchy not to use”

Denise uses glass, stone, metal and acrylic beads in her creations. One of her favorite mediums, paper beads, is handmade in Rwanda from recycled paper. The Rwandan women who make these beads were affected by the genocide in 1994, becoming orphans or heads of households as well as enduring illness or dependency.  These paper beads help support their families. A portion of Denise’s sale of the paper bead jewelry goes back to the women of Rwanda.

Denise is a wonderful, creative, friendly person who always has a smile on her face and a positive attitude. I am happy and honored to have her as a part of The Traveling Handmade Bazaar.

AND….she is generously donating this beautiful necklace/earring set as a giveaway for her shop feature.

To enter the giveaway contest:
1.    Leave a comment on this post with your favorite item from Deeder the Beader’s Etsy shop. The link: DEEDER THE BEADER
2.    Like Deeder the Beader on Facebook at: Deeder the Beader
3.    Like The Traveling Handmade Bazaar at: TTHB
4.    Follow Nostalgic Summer’s blog here.

Leave a comment for each of these you do…remember the more you do, the more chances you have to win!

The contest will end Thursday, May31st at midnight.
The winner will be chosen and announced on Friday, June 1st.

Denise is also offering a discount at her Etsy shop for Nostalgic Summer readers. Use code NOSTSUM0512 at checkout for a 10% discount.

Thank you Denise for letting us get to know you and for being a part of The Traveling Handmade Bazaar!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Introducing....The Traveling Handmade Bazaar!

 “If you have a dream, give it a chance to happen.” ~ Richard DeVos

 As an Artist/Crafter I am always looking for venues to sell my wares. But being the creative type, with an eye for detail, and a lover of all things unique, I wanted the venues to be creative, fun, intimate and unique. Well, I wasn't finding that in the usual craft shows, expos, and girls night outs.....so I decided to form my own troupe of fantastic artists/crafters.

I belong to some great networking groups, and advertised for like minded artists on the discussion boards. I was a bit nervous, what if no one was interested? Well that didn't happen, and after just two months in planning The Traveling Handmade Bazaar was born.

We are 14 artist/crafters strong (and all are fantastic!), our first show is being held tonight. I am so excited to see what was once just an idea, a dream, a small 3am thought, come to fruition!

In the next few months I will be introducing these talented people to you in my summer shop features blog posts.

But now I have to get ready for our FIRST SHOW!

Join us if you are free tonight.....We guarantee a good time for all!

AND....If you are looking for an event idea for your business or organization.... we will hold our amazing trunk show “Pop-up” events at various locations throughout the Minneapolis/St Paul area.

Contact us to host a fundraising trunk show, or a special event for your business at renee@nostalgicsummer.com

“Since it doesn’t cost a dime to dream, you’ll never shortchange yourself when you stretch your imagination.”~ Robert Schuller

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle......Can Be Beautiful!

More and more I feel I'm defining my company "Nostalgic Summer" by what I can do to help protect and preserve our wonderful planet.

As you know I am now donating a percentage of all my Etsy sales to The World Wildlife Fund.
           I also want to make small changes in my life to "reduce my carbon footprint..... BUT I want to make it fun also! :-)

So.....This is the first in a series of post I am going to do on fun green ideas. And it just so happens the first green idea is mine.

My jewelry is all about re-purposing, reusing what is already here, "reinventing vintage artifacts through modern means: looking towards the future for memory while drawing from the past for inspiration." And I feel my new line embodies this vision perfectly!

The re-purposed vintage tin necklaces are made from cast off cookie, biscuit, tea tins...even old discarded metal lunch boxes!
I always run across these wonderful, old, unwanted tins at garage sales, junk shops, and second hand stores. They are almost always rusty, dented, dirty and unloved....so I'm now giving them the love and respect they deserve!
Now they will live on as really pretty adornments!
I hope you enjoyed the first installment of "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle...Can be Beautiful!

I would love to hear some of your green ideas!

"We are not to throw away those things which can benefit our neighbor. Goods are called good because they can be used for good: they are instruments for good, in the hands of those who use them properly."
-- Clement of Alexandria

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy Birthday…. May!

"The world's favorite season is the spring.
All things seem possible in May."
-  Edwin Way Teale

A little birthstone history, fact, lore and legend.

I love May…the Lily of the Valley blooms and the Nightingale sings! 

Lily of the Valley is May's birth flower and the Nightingale is it's bird.
One legend tells that the first Lily of the Valley loved the Nightingale, but because she was so shy, she hid in the long grass to listen to his song. The Nightingale became lonely, and said he would no longer sing unless the Lily of the Valley bloomed every May for all too see.

The traditional and modern birthstone for May is the emerald.  As a symbol of rebirth, the emerald is believed to grant the owner foresight, good fortune, patience, understanding and youth.

Emerald, derived from the word smaragdus, meaning green in Greek, was mined in Egypt as early as 330 B.C. Today, most of the world’s emeralds are mined in Colombia, Brazil, Afghanistan, and Zambia.

One of Cleopatra's favorite gems, the emerald has long been associated with fertility, rebirth, and love.

 Ancient Romans went so far as to dedicate this stone to Venus, the goddess of love and beauty.

May’s mystical birthstone is the sapphire…..but I will save that for September!

Happy Birthday May, Happy Spring! Pick a few Lily of the Valley and listen to the Nightingale sing.