Monday, December 6, 2010

The Gift of Serendipity & a Surprise

A new week is upon us Friends & along with that comes new Possibilities!

I believe in Serendipity.
The definition is:
1. The phenomenon of things coming together perfectly when you least expect them to.
 2. The effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something else entirely.
Thus has been, my amazing 'Gift of Friendship' from Diane Cook

{susie & diane at marburger farms last September}
Diane found me through my blog, although I don't know exactly how she came across it.
I do know she was taken with my Disneyland post & loved the design of my etsy shop banner.
She contacted me to help design a brand for her to use on her blog rosa & josie's, for hang tags on her beautiful line of jewelry & to help promote her classes on the art of making jewelry.
It was a simple design from a vintage cabinet card she had of two little sisters holding hands.
As I played with this image in PS, there were so many things I fell in love with. The little pleats in their matching skirts, the floral embroidery & piping that decorated them, the crispness of their shirts & of course, how tenderly they held each other's hands.

Who could have ever imagined that one design job would make soul sisters out of strangers, inspire me to create my own jewelry, introduce me to some of the greatest talents in the art of jewelry making, get me design jobs, motivate me to travel half way across the US to the great state of Texas to be a part of an Antique Experience like no other, indirectly introduce me to The Junk Gypsy's & Magnolia Pearl, directly introduce me to my gal pal Charlene Pearl of My Heart's Ease & unknowingly change my life forever!
I couldn't have!

{one of diane's displays at marburger farms}
Serendipity, right?
So, I go to Barnes & Noble to pick up an issue of Artful Blogging that I know Diane has been featured in. As I flip through the pages & see her article, I am overjoyed for this amazing & talented woman I now call friend.

Heading towards the checkout, I grab a Belle Armoire Jewelry magazine just for the heck of it, thinking that maybe an ad I recently worked on for Jeanette at might be in this issue.
Again, with the magic of serendipity, what a wonderful surprise I had in store!

As I slowly turned the pages, wanting to take in each exquisite article, I saw one that caught my eye...
A Necklace Round Robin by Cindy Wimmer of Sweet Bead Studios . How exciting, I know Cindy, Diane introduced us & I worked on a design job for her ArtBliss Workshop.
Then another...
Where Inspiration is Hatched by Ricki Schumacher of Riki Jewelry. How cool, she & I had just been emailing each other about setting up a time to work on some blog design, she liked the work Diane & I had done together.
And then, there it was...
The Art of Presentation, Her Grandmother's Wedding Veil
Artwork by Diane Cook...
and spread across 3 glorious pages, were the images of two little sisters holding hands.

{diane at her booth at marburger farm}
One of Diane's favorite sayings is...
Come join me...take my hand, as we travel on this journey called life....we will learn together.
Diane is the embodiment of generosity. She can never truly know what an amazing gift
she is to me.
The effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something else entirely.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Writings from a Christmas Past...

In 1870 a loving & devoted daughter named Ella, wrote some Holiday wishes to her much beloved parents.
My dear sister Kristen, gave me these letters years ago knowing my appreciation for anything old & now I share my treasures with you, my Sweetest of Hearts.

1870 was a mere 5 years after the Civil War had ended. What of the war had our Miss Ella seen first hand?
Did she & her family live in the North or in the South?
Were they of privilege or poverty?
Did she & her Mother sit together wrapping bandages for the soldiers?
Did her Father or brothers go off to fight in the war?

The papers she chose to write on are delicate & ornate, the pages tied together with a thin green ribbon.
Her penmanship is exquisite & her prose beautiful.
By her writings, I can tell Ella was a sensitive & well educated young woman.
I want to know so much more.
Here's her Christmas Wish...

Heartily my parents dear
I wish you blessings choice,
And all the treasure here below
Which can your hearts rejoice.
Peacefully may pass the days
Within the bright New Year,
Plentiful may pleasure be
Your loving hearts to cheer!
Yes, may Heaven grant you health
And still your life prolong,
Never may my Parents dear
Be suffering any wrong.
E'er for your parental care
And all your tender love,
Will I endeavor day by day
My gratitude to prove
Yes, I will strive to be your joy
Your comfort and your stay,
Each benefit received from you,
Thus fondly to repay.
Ah! then accept my wishes fond
My own loved Parents dear,
Receive with them my fibile love
And gratitude sincere.
Affectionately inscribed by

What an amazing Gift from a child! This is a lost art my friends.
In an age of voicemails & emails, texts & iphones, facebook & twitter...
who would want to take the time to sit down & write such an eloquent & heartfelt poem?

I am blessed to have one more of Ella's handwritten wishes, this one for her Mamma's birthday only 5 days before my own.

My dear Mamma,
Today being the anniversary of your birth, I beg you to accept the sincere congratulation that come from the heart of a devoted child. Although I wish you happiness every day of my life, still on this bright anniversary of your birth, it seems but natural that I should give expression of my thoughts. Yes, dearest Mamma, may God grant you all blessings, both spiritual and temporal, may he bestow upon you all that contributes to a life of peace and happiness. Though I cannot give you a sensible token of my love and gratitude, be assured that I have offered fervent prayers to the throne of God for your welfare.
Receive, beloved Mamma, my wishes for health, peace and happiness as a testimonial of the lasting affection of
Your devoted child,
November 20th, 1870

Sweet, Sweet Ella...
Could you have ever imagined in your grandest of dreams that 140 years later, someone like me would be holding your letters close to her heart, with the wish to share your love & beauty & grace as a Christmas gift to all the world? Life is so very Remarkable!!!
Sharing with my friends from Faded Charm ...Welcome!

I am also joining Debra of Common Ground for her Vintage Inspiration Friday post. The theme through December is to share your Vintage fun is that! Come on over & join in the fun, there are so many lovely links to visit. I hope you will enjoy them as well.
PS: If you haven't entered my 400 Friends Giveaway, don't forget to click here & leave a comment!


Monday, November 29, 2010

Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn, Riverside

Here's to the start of a New & Wonderful Week Friends!!
The Friday after Thanksgiving is a day my family looks forward to all year.
Not because of the unbelievable crowds & prices on Black Friday,
but for the yearly 1st night lighting of The Festival of Lights in Riverside, California at the historic Mission Inn.

It's an awesome evening of Christmas Magic, filled with music, lights & fireworks!
Did I mention they put up more then 3.5 million lights?
Talk about a nightmare if a bulb burns out! lol

The countdown begins...
10, 9, 8, 7, the crowd is getting excited now... 
6, 5, 4, the sound of children screaming with glee is in the background...{oh, sorry that was me} 
3, 2, 1, the lights are all turned on simultaneously as a bombardment of fireworks shoot from the roof of the Inn!

Can anyone give me a 'WOOT WOOT'!!!
Urban dictionary definition:
An expression one may utter in complete approval or joy.

Expression of simplistic ecstasy.

An expression of absolute happiness, totally euphoric.

I guess that just about sums it up perfectly!!! ;)

While watching a fireworks extravaganza, surrounded by millions of Christmas lights,
I'm pretty much 6 years old again.

Ooooooooo, ahhhhhhhh...ohhhh, wowww, sooooo coooool!!! 

That was the extent of my ability to verbalize, as I was completely mesmerized by this beyond amazing start to the Christmas Season.
Here's wishing you a Magical Beginning to your Holiday Season Friends!!!


Friday, November 26, 2010

Shelf Life...

Greetings Sweet Hearts!
What inspires you to create a room or a space the way that you do?
Is it a beautiful picture from a magazine or book?
Is it something you saw in a movie, that you fell madly in love with?
A booth in your favorite antique mall that captured your imagination?
Or maybe it's simply, one piece.
One perfect piece of something, anything, that sings to your soul & says, this IS who I am.
For me, it's my antique Round Top Texas, tin ceiling tiles.

They capture the essence of everything I LOVE.
Their subtle,  neutral color.
The tarnish & tatters of age.
The remembrance of an era lost.
The attempt of ornamentation with limited means.
The dream of their journey, until they got to me.

To me, that's the magic of choosing something old over something that's new, the story.
Looking at this sweet little wall shelf, one could never imagine the story it has to tell, but it has one.
I bought this shelf new from Pottery Barn.
It has hung on my walls for over 20 years.
It was once as white as snow, with lovely glass windows in the door & on the sides.
I have always adored it.

This sweet little shelf, once bright & new, has endured more then most people have. You see, there was a fire.
The fire was so hot, it shattered all of the tiny glass window panes & the smoke was so thick, it's snow white paint turned as black as coal.
 In despair, I flung the sweet little shelf out onto the pile of ruble that once was my life.

Un beknowst to me, the little shelf had been spared.
Someone had taken it from the ruble, still seeing the diamond in the rough.
They knocked out the remaining pieces of broken glass
& sanded off most of the black soot
that covered it.

When my little shelf made it's way back to me, I cried in joy & in grief.
I cried for the things I had loved & lost.
 I cried for something loved & lost, that was given a new life & found it's way home.

This little shelf hangs on the wall next to my bed now, filled with the little things I love.
A silver baby mirror & brush.

Old tin types & hand rolled thread.

Baby shoes & clock faces.

Business cards & button cards.

White linen & rusty tub feet.

Holy cards & an antique hair comb.
The little shelf reminds me everyday of the possibility of pain & joy,
of death & rebirth.
It's why I love my ceiling tiles & it reminds me of who I am.
Subtle but strong, living my life in greys,
rusty & tattered, enjoying the patina of age,
coming from a lost era of innocence, still looking back,
& always dreaming of the journey that waits, just around the next corner.

I am joining Debra of Common Ground for her Vintage Inspiration Friday post. There are many lovely links to visit and I hope you will enjoy them as well.

I hope all of you friends, had a Blessed & Loving Thanksgiving!
Mine was PERFECT, proving you can still teach an old dog new tricks! ;)


Monday, November 22, 2010

400 Friends, a Giveaway & a Thanksgiving Blessing

Say WHAT? 400 Friends?
When, Where, How, Why?
It seems like only yesterday I was on my way to Texas & stopped by Glendale, Arizona to personally deliver my '300 Friends Giveaway' to Carol Anne of Carol Anne's Boutique.
What a wonderful morning we had getting to know each other, opening presents {she brought me some too!}, having a marvelous breakfast & finding out how very similar we were.

That was almost exactly 2 months ago & now,
how very lucky I am to have 100 more friends, today.
Thank you so very much Sweet Hearts, for making this one of the most amazing adventures of my life!

In Celebration of all of you, my friends, let's have a Holiday Giveaway.
That's right, you heard it here 1st...vintagesusie is having a GIVEAWAY & all of you are invited!!

So, what are the rules you may ask?
We don't need no darn rules friends!!
You need not become a follower or add the badge for this giveaway to your sidebar.
You need not wear a pin on your shirt with my face on it or hire a plane to write vintagesusie & wings across the sky.

Simply leave a comment to this post & your name will be thrown into my favorite cowboy hat, for the chance to win untold treasures!

I will pick a name out of my hat on December 13th, 2010 & on that night the lucky winner will be announced to all the world! How exciting, right? Another Christmas present to open!

Now, about the gift. I'm a thinkin...
somethin from Texas of course,
somethin I make, {jewelry always sounds good}
somethin pretty, somethin blue,
somethin old & somethin new!
Hey, I think some one's getting married!! LOL 

I will provide Sneak Peeks of the Grand Prize throughout the Giveaway, so stay tuned!

As you can probably see from my photo's, I've been playing dress-up today.
Johnson Brother's Vintage China
kinda dress-up.
I brought out the Wedgewood Wine Chiller & the Brighton Wine Glasses that I ADORE, along with the mercury glass candle holders & my new Pottery Barn burlap table purdy!
So I wonder, how will this Thanksgiving be?

This Thanksgiving, I will remember the lessons of last year.
I will laugh & love myself & my family, with all our beautiful imperfections.
I will not stress over the little stuff & if I do, I won't be upset with that either.
I will feel grateful for yet another year to share with my family & friends.
I will feel blessed for all the love that surrounds me everyday.

I will remember the people I don't even know, fighting in places that I've never seen,
risking their lives & missing their loved ones, so my loved ones & I can sleep in peace.
Even with our trials, we all have so very much to be thankful for friends.

I wanted to share this quote with you, I found it so lovely & true.
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow." ~Melody Beattie
Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving Friends filled with Blessings, Love & Laughter!