Wednesday, July 31, 2013


This is an antique portrait that I sold on ebay many years ago. I sold it for a client and always wished that I could have purchased it myself. It is oil on canvas. We named her Claudette while she lived in my office, looking at us waiting for a new home. Isn't she lovely?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Cute Etsy Shop

Here is a copy and paste link to a really cute brand new vintage style etsy shop. Check it out!
Here are some of the items in that shop.


A Nancy Drew Summer

I was thinking back to the summer of 1970. I was a kid and every weekend I would go to the swap meet with my dad. I was already a treasure hunter by then, looking for antiques. I discovered Nancy Drew books and would look for the oldest ones that I could find, with the dust covers. I loved the "old fashioned" graphics. I paid 5 to 10 cents each for them. I would find and cash in pop bottles all week so that I would have money for more books. (Pop bottles paid 3 to 5 cents each.) I would come home from the swap and read those books all week long. I remember being told to go to bed and reading my books under the covers with a flashlight because I could not put them down. I still have my Nancy Drew books. This was my favorite.:

Remember when the inside cover looked like this?

Were you a Nancy Drew girl too?
I kind of want to read one tonight....

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Lovely Nature Hike

It is such a beautiful day that we went out for a wonderful nature hike at the lake.

If you have never seen poison oak, this is what it looks like. It is just starting to turn red around the edges on a few leaves, but in about 4 weeks the red will be coming in bright and strong. The trail is overgrown with it now.

The wild anise is in full bloom and it's musty licorice aroma is on the breeze.

Near the end of the trail we found an old fashioned heart. Such a lovely day!

Grandpa's Peach Tree

Grandpa lives at the base of the mountains, near an Indian Reservation. His land is filled with old organic fruit trees. Apples, cherries and PEACHES! Every summer we climb the hill up to the peach trees to pick fresh delicious heritage peaches. He invites neighbors and friends to come pick as well. His peaches are second to none. Yesterday was that day. I forgot to bring my camera to share with you the picking party, but here are the fruits of our labor! We will eat them fresh for a few days and then let the cobbler, smoothie and jam making begin!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Fresh Brown Eggs

There's nothing like gathering your own fresh brown eggs! These will be a nice fresh egg salad soon.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My Magic Lamp Store- The Urban Barn

I am always looking for new props for my daily photography shoots for my ebay and etsy shops. It keeps things fresh for shoppers and frankly, it keeps things exciting for me as it is my creative outlet. I get an idea in my head of what I need. I imagine something that I want, a color, a old mirror or crusty rusty paint...torn pink silk, what ever my mind imagines that I must have to shoot a certain item. Then I get in the car and go to this shop, this wonderful shop that is like my Magic Lamp. I make a wish and this place grants it! I ALWAYS find what I am looking for no matter what it is. Today I wanted a chalkboard in old paint and that paint had to be dark and original. I also wanted larger typeset blocks, old ones with numbers or letters that have a great patina. they are!

This shop is The Urban Barn located in Escondido, CA. Their website is
Here is what I left behind and believe me, I wanted to buy it all!

Succulent bling!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Amazing Quartz Drusy Necklace

Here is an outstanding quartz drusy that was set in an abstract setting around the natural shape of the stone. This piece was made in Taxco, Mexico and it is vintage.

It is offered in my ebay store right now. Here is a copy and paste link:

Monday, July 22, 2013

The WienerNational Dachshund Races

As we do every year, my family and I attended the annual WienerNationals Dachshund races. I always search out the best Doxie costume at the event to share with you. This year's winner is....

How I Found Dark Beauty

On etsy there are many wonderful teams that one can join. I am a member of many, with Got Vintage Shops and Ecochic at the top of the list. So, I was up late one night, troubled and trying to figure out a huge photography problem that I have been experiencing. To shoot jewelry correctly, the lighting has to be perfect. I prefer bright California sunshine. Which is all good, unless you live near the beach and the weather turns gloomy and foggy. That has been the case for me this summer. I find myself grabbing my things, not matter what I am doing and running outside to my photography vignette to shoot one thing as the sun peeks out for just a moment. Sometimes I get 15 minutes in an entire day! I cannot complain about the fog as it keeps our temperature cool and comfortable, but I need to be able to shoot my photos for ebay and etsy or you will never see my fresh finds.
So it's late at night and pitch black outside. My office window is wide open so I can hear the crickets and leaves rustling in the soft ocean breeze. I am enjoying the scent of the salty air and the tourists' campfire smoke in the air as I sipped my tea and looked around etsy. Then I saw it! I saw this photo:

(Link to this shop below) Something about the black on black caught my eye. I clicked into the shop "Nowvintage" and the photography took my breath away! She makes simple finds look extraordinary and amazing things out of this world. I learned that she is a member of a team called "Dark Beauty". I went to the team page and was captivated by the artistry in both items offered and the photography skill level. This is an "A-1" top notch team! I was so obsessed with what I saw that I studied the way they work with black and dark colors, black on black, low lighting and shadows. THIS was my answer! The next day, after making a pinterest board where I collected my favorite photos, more than 200 of them, I gave it a try. It is not easy, but it works. I am practicing this technique and hope to have it wired for the winter. I am working to be good enough at it to get through these gloomy but cool days.
And the icing on the cupcake here is this... I am now a proud member of this team!! Here are a couple of my practice shots. I'll get better.

Here is a copy and paste link to Nowvintage on etsy:
The owner is named Bobbie and her finds are fantastic!
Here is a link to the Dark Beauty Shop on etsy:
You will love this group of artists. I sure do.
And last but not least, a link to my Dark Beauty Pinterest board:
Take a look. Let me know what you think!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The beauty of a Cameo

All of these cameos are antique and hand carved. Some are still available on ebay, some have already found a home. Aren't they beautiful?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Dark Beauty

Here's the thing. I live near the ocean and when it's hot inland, it's gloomy or foggy here. I love this, I live here for the cool temperatures of the sea and those sweet, salty ocean breezes. However, It is not so good for the photography of jewelry for ebay. I need bright sun for that. I found this really awesome group on etsy called "Dark Beauty". Some of those members do this black on black photography that I am totally inspired by. They use black backgrounds, diffused lighting and shadows. I think that it will solve my sun related lighting problem. Here is my first try with it. Not as good as theirs but I will get better.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Artful Crosses and Navajo Turquoise

Just sharing a few things from a personal collection. I love those maltese crosses!


I have a secret passion for opals. I have to be very disciplined to not keep the fabulous vintage opal jewelry that I find in my travels. When it is time to list them, I find myself taking far too many photos of them at every angle in the sun as I just cannot stop looking at them. Here are a few of the pieces that I have offered on ebay...a view through my camera lens.

If you wish to see all of my vintage opal jewelry, you can copy and paste this link into your browser:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Vintage by Nina New Book Alert!!!

Nina Hartmann has a new book coming out soon and it looks like I will be able to retail them this time. More details are coming. I am going to place my order this week and you will be able to reserve a copy as soon as I have more information. Here is a sneak peek from Nina:

Sleeping with Cats

For my entire adult life there has been a cat or two...or three in my life and family. I never let them sleep in my bed with me until we got these Bengals. That's when I learned that the big king sized bed in the master bedroom is THEIR bed and I just sleep in it. Most nights it's my sweetheart on one side, cats sprawled out in the center and me clinging to a slice of space on the edge. I wake up with a stiff neck and having a hot flash and night sweats because they are so warm and they love to sleep in a pile...right up against me. I sometimes wake up to one sleeping on my chest. Think about a new litter of kittens sleeping in a pile, that's these two bengals and I. However, in the winter they are great for cold feet. Our brown bengal, Jasper knows how to kiss...on the lips. My daughter taught him to kiss on the lips for a treat. It's really cute, but he turned it around and gives a kiss when he wants a treat first and you had better know where that mouth has been before he plants his kitty lips on yours. (You were licking what?) I was awakened at 2:38 this morning by a kiss on the lips. Please pass the cat treats? Those Temptation cat treats are cat crack, you know. And then again, awakened with a blue mouse on my chest and a huge pounce to my stomach. None the less, these cats are great companions. The silver bengal is Smokey Joe Lee and is as sweet as can be. Jasper has a white heart on his belly because he is a love! So, sleeping with cats is not good, restful sleep, but I would not change a thing.