That Happened Fast!


It sure did. We decided to buy a house and build. Our plans went from 3-5 years (in the making for a couple) to NOW.

After looking around town for neighborhoods that suited our tastes (vintage ranch style homes with big yards) became hard to find in our price range, we changed gears. We thought about houses to remodel or that were already remodeled in our style. Then there was the day my husband said something about new homes. The funny thing was, we have never cared for new homes ever! Somehow though, the thought of starting new and not having to fix up anything, was a joyful relief.

Once we looked around, it was over. It was done in my head as to what I wanted. Hubby and I struggled a bit with agreeing on what to do, but in the end, we found our home. A brand spankin’ new house, built in 6-7 months time.

The crazy part now is finding the time and energy in between life’s events and work, to pack/declutter, fix up our current home,  and keeping it spotless for the realtor team. Let’s also throw in the costly task of replacing our AC system this week, before our house goes on the market. Nice timing.

Part of the craziness ensuing is me purging Rare Bird inventory. I do not want to pack it up and I don’t want it stored either until the new house is ready. So in the mean time, I have asked my customers to name a price and make an offer. This means deep discounts! I have had folks set up appointments to meet me at my home office or to check out my Instagram shop. By the way, free shipping ends in the Etsy shop Monday, 7/14. I have already sold a lot of stuff, but there’s still more! Pretty soon, Rare Bird will take a hiatus, so get your vintage while you can!

To wrap this up with a bow, I am taking a breather to write this and update you on what’s going on… We will be working on packing and fixing up a few more items around the house this weekend. I will try my best to post more and keep you abreast of anything else.

Best wishes,

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Restocking The Shop

Slowly, but surely, I have been adding items back to my Etsy shop again. I took everything out of the shop starting in January this year. In the mean time, I am/was selling my vintage on Instagram.

My Instagram prices are lower than Etsy to stay competitive, but it looks like Instagram sales have slowed down for everyone. So it’s back to Etsy, where new inventory can be found weekly. I will be transferring inventory from Instagram to Etsy if it hasn’t sold in a while. But also keep an eye out for newly rescued vintage items being listed!

Right now, the FREE SHIPPING promo has been extended from June through July 14th on Etsy. Here’s a sneak peek of my Etsy shop. Maybe you’ll find something for yourself or a gift for someone who is a vintage enthusiast too. Take advantage of the free shipping, today!


 Click photos above to be redirected to Rare Bird Boutique.

We Have A Winnah!

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Well, the $10 Rare Bird Boutique Shop Credit Giveaway is officially over and now it’s time to announce a winner:

Congratulations to Yasmin! She will get to use her store credit shopping in my Etsy shop or my Instagram shop. Yasmin’s $10 credit expires a year from now, so she can shop now or wait for that special something. Always check back and see Rare Bird Boutique’s new listings and sales.

Thank you again to Yasmin and everyone else that participated. These giveaways are so much fun. I will definitely have another one real soon… so stay tuned!

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Who’s That Lady?

After just scheduling some strategic tweets about my current giveaway, I realized I need to schedule some blog posts too. Can’t be blogging a couple of times a week, when I have time… BORING! But, while I have you and your attention, I think I am going to introduce myself, aka blogger/seller/human.

See that profile pic off to the side? Yep, that’s me, Melanie. You know I love design/art/decorating/animals/vintage, just as it says. To be more precise, I will go into detail:




ART. Art has been a big part of my life. I took it throughout middle school and was in AP Art in high school. Continuing on into college, I graduated with my BFA in Art from the University of Texas at Arlington. I enjoy painting and collage as creative outlets, but really can’t seem to get invested in doing them anymore. I took a painting class at the AMOA Laguna Gloria last Spring and fell right back in love. It’s still there… when I find inspiration and time.




DESIGN. My last year in college though, I decided to focus on graphic design. I dabble in a little bit of it now with my job creating the company weekly sales newsletters, but I’m no logo/branding creating genius. I just admire all of that from afar like packaging/illustration/typography.




DECORATING. Geez, obsessed much? Just look at my Pinterest board. My style in a nutshell: Modern Eclectic (modern mixed with antiques/vintage). Decorating has been in my blood since I was a kid though. My room was always pristine and decorated. I collected Barbie’s, but I also asked for and bought decor & furniture for my room. Embarrassingly enough, in high school, I even had a sign on my bed to not sit on it. Everything was in it’s perfectly staged place. Who I was trying to impress, I don’t know, but it sure makes me laugh today. Creating your happy place is serious business, folks!




ANIMALS. Where do I begin? This is my weakness; they are my heart. I go right into “baby” voice mode when I am around pets and other animals, even on screen like Pinterest. My friends laugh at me as I gravitate towards someone’s dog on the street or talk to the cows as I drive by… I am a sucker. But with this love comes sensitivity. I get absolutely destroyed hearing about animal abuse or seeing shelter dogs. I freak out when I see a dog on the loose. Can’t tell you how many times my husband and I have stopped to help out a lost or dumped dog. I even stop the car and move turtles out of the road. I could go on and on. I bleed (and brake) for animals.




VINTAGE. This all started in college just by perusing the antique stores in Grapevine, TX. I started collecting some odd pieces for the apartment, mixing it into the decor, and it became an instant hit with friends. In 2007, I decided to open my own Etsy shop to sell my handmade and vintage wares. And over the past couple of years, I started to “rescue” vintage by thrifting and going to estate sales for inventory. I love vintage Pyrex and other glass bakeware, children’s books, barware, furniture, kitschy ceramic planters… But all of this shows because I sell what I love.

Hope that helps a little more, getting to know who is behind the “Hand on Hip” blog and Rare Bird Boutique Etsy/Instagram shops.

More to come!

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PS: My $10 Rare Bird Boutique Shop Credit Giveaway ends today at midnight CST. Be sure to enter soon!


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Back To The Basics

As I am writing this, Aaliyah’s “Try Again” lyrics are playing through my head:

It’s been a long time 

We shouldn’t have left you

Without a dope beat to step to…

Well, it’s Timbaland rapping, but you get the picture. I’ve neglected this blog. I feel pretty rotten about it, but things got busy, crazy, and now slow. I can refocus again. Let’s see, I need to catch you up!

1. Rare Bird Boutique is no longer featured in Cherry Tree Creative or Little Liberty’s in downtown Taylor, Texas. Just wrapped things up there this Spring.

2.Instagram sales picked up on my other account at @rarebirdforsale for a while, but eerily, they are slow now.

3. I hosted my 2nd Vintage Market at my home in April. Bad idea to host the day before a holiday, but nonetheless, it was fun! My friend Kristin of After While Crocodile Vintage vended with me again and we also had a mini garage sale.

4. I took everything off Etsy at the beginning of the year and now I am slowly adding items back on. Free shipping in June, folks!

5. Did I mention that I went back to work last September as well? No more sabbatical. I am back to my marketing gig, part-time for a former employer.


Sadly, I came down with the flu, fast & furious after this picture was taken at my 2nd Vintage Market.


So as you can see, things are slow and in a rebuilding process. I had branched out in so many ways with Rare Bird Boutique, that the blog had suffered. In these times, I can come back, regroup and write when inspired. Times like these make you reflect and wonder why things are slow. It could be that I need to reconnect with an audience again therefore, it’s “Back to the Basics”.

Hope you’ll stick around to enjoy the blog and more! I look forward to this down time to reintroduce myself, the blog, my shop and lifestyle to the reader.

Best wishes,

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Don’t forget! I am hosting a $10 Rare Bird Boutique Shop Credit Giveaway until 6/24. Details in this post.

Rare Bird Boutique Giveaway!


Rare Bird Boutique, my vintage shop, is having a giveaway for a $10 shop credit. You can use the credit in my Etsy or Instagram shops! Contest runs 6/15 through 6/23/2014, ending by 6/24.

Click here for more details and to enter: a Rafflecopter giveaway.

Good luck!

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Vintage in Portland, Oregon

Planning my trip out to Portland, months in advance, I definitely had surveying vintage shops on the itinerary. Portland has a great variety of shops to hit up and thank goodness, I stopped in the ones that I did. I had so much fun and even brought back a few things for Rare Bird:


Vintage drink stirrers from Portland’s Flamingo Hotel

Some of the shops I visited were appetite shop+studio, SMUT, Pop-up Shoppe, and one of my faves, Lulu’s Vintage:

1. Appetite had a lot of lovely handprinted fabric accessories like pillows, towels, bags, etc., but also vintage industrial/office pieces, home decor and more. I fell in love with the retro clocks, office supplies, desk lamps… I stayed so long just trying to figure out what to buy! Feeling overwhelmed by the awesome choices (and that I was a creepy lingering shopper), I just left empty handed.


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2. SMUT was also a great store, just around the block or so (Burnside Street area). It had so many vintage items to sort through, that I like to call them “smalls”: matchbooks, drink stirrers, pennants (all of these aforementioned, I bought and brought back). They also had lots of 60s/70s/80s kitschy items like board games, Playboy magazines, records and more. One guy found a metal “wood grain” printed picnic basket for his girlfriend’s birthday. The sweet gal behind the counter took it the next level and suggested he put lunch in it. He was super excited about this idea.


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3. Pop-up Shoppe was in the Nob Hill neighborhood/Alphabet District where we were staying. I loved that area. The outside of the store certainly grabbed my attention and the inside was a long corridor of vintage stacked wall to wall, floor to ceiling. It was very bohemian with vintage clothing, accessories, collectibles, and more, from all eras.


Image from Pop-Up Shoppe FB page

4. And lastly, was Lulu’s Vintage in downtown Portland, near the famous Powell’s bookstore. I had the pleasure of meeting the owner Anne and having a quick chat. Her shop is definitely “a clean & colorful boutique with an artful array of Vintage for Men & Women” … also carrying “locally created cards and gift items, Pre de Provence soaps, and Illume candles.” I bought a gorgeous vintage black necklace, some pressed/printed Portland bridges postcards, and an assorted paper ephemera fun pack.


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Anne also has another great and informative website called Shop Vintage Portland, a “map & guide to vintage, retro & antique businesses and events in Portland, Oregon”. This is a great resource, so be sure to use it in your next vintage PAC NW excursion.


Hope y’all enjoyed my vintage tour in Portland! Shop these stores online or visit in person.

It’s been a real treat,

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My Vintage Market

“So how’d it go?”

Last weekend, I had my “At Home Vintage Market” on Saturday. As you may remember, I was going to have a couple of vintage sellers join me and have like a mini trunk show in my house. But, over time, it evolved into an indoor/outdoor market by having a vendor outside as well. I also decided to post it on Craigslist, Austin Craft Riot, and the websites. We ended up having a nice gathering of friends/folks, shopping & mingling over a nice brunch spread.


Some of the public came out and not sure where they were, but maybe it definitely had to do with the heat and my location. I live out in the country and for some reason, I heard from a few people that a specific map app was directing people to the next town up. But, we did get a visit from the folks from the Huntsville Antique Show! They saw my ad on the Texas Antique Mall website and brought us some cool paper fans with their show info on them. Thank you so much!

Autumn of “Take Flyte Farm” had a lovely setup outside and Kristin of “After While Crocodile” & Julia of “Unique Antique” joined me inside. You can check out our Etsy websites here:


Take Flyte Farm


After While Crocodile


Unique Antique


Rare Bird Boutique

I want to thank the lovely ladies that vended with me and everyone, including our friends, that came out to support us. It was a lot of fun! In regards to another vintage market, maybe I will try again this Fall or next Spring.

I did get to meet, through Autumn, Miss Stefanie and her daughter Liberty of Little Liberty’s in downtown Taylor, Texas, at my show. I am HaPpY to say that my shop, Rare Bird Boutique will have some of my vintage in her store starting this Friday! I also talked to Miss Curie of Cherry Tree Creative in Taylor as well and I will have my vintage in her store starting next week! Each store has so much to offer, so please check out their Facebook pages and visit them in person.

Several items from my Etsy shop will be pulled to go in these brick & mortar stores and I will probably close my online shop for a bit to reorganize shipping costs and add new inventory. So my apologies for this inconvenience!

Well, that’s that… One thing leads to another. I love what I do! Searching for that special-fun-retro vintage piece is what keeps me going. So stay tuned for more Rare Bird Boutique news via the blog, FB, or my newsletter.

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I Wanna Go Back

With it being summertime, people are planning their highly desired vacations. Mine has already been planned for the West Coast in July, Oregon that it is, since my dear friend is getting married. Hubby and I decided to throw on a couple of days pre-festivities to putz around Portland. But always in the back of my mind, I hope for a chance to arise of going back to Hawaii someday.

I’ve been there three times: once as our first big couple’s vaca (Oahu 2008), then to get engaged unbeknownst to me (Maui 2009), and lastly to get married (Kauai 2010). We have traveled to other big cities, states and even Saint Lucia, but Hawaii has my heart and always will. I don’t know if it’s the people, the laid back feeling, the open sky and vast beautiful ocean, constant sunshine and perfect temps, yummy food & more, but I do know with all of that wrapped into one, I feel at peace. I totally understand how it had a profound effect on artist Basquiat before his untimely death.


Had just arrived in Oahu…

One island I definitely fell in-love with in particular, and it’s the busiest of them all, is Oahu. I hear people complain about it, but I love it. Maybe it’s just the nostalgia of where my then boyfriend, now hubby had our first tropical trip. I do know that I revel in the kitschy, bustling part of the island of Waikiki. I wish it was still like it’s heyday of the 50s-70s with tiki bars, retro hotels and such. There are only a few of those accommodations left and I hope to stay in one next time we go. Please be soon!

So lately, as I was saying before with it being summertime, I have been a pinning madwoman, reflecting on these polynesian memories. There are so many great finds on Pinterest! You will have to check out my board “Aloha Love” to see some of my fave Hawaiian establishments, future places to check out, vintage pics & more. Here are just a few of the great throw-back pics I found:





So maybe just maybe, I will be back in the near future. We’d stay at The Breakers or the Waikiki Circle Beach Hotel… Eat my fave Hawaiian plate lunch, shrimp from a food truck, and shaved ice… Work up the courage to actually surf this time… I could go on and on.

Until then, I’ll just “pin”, plan and daydream.

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