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 TxAntiqueMall.com websites. We ended up having a nice gathering of friends/folks, shopping & mingling over a nice brunch spread.

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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:

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Take Flyte Farm

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After While Crocodile

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Unique Antique

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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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In a Social Rut?

I have been told I am a planner, design & decorate great parties, and have fun ideas for things to do. If you want some alone time with your man or gal pal(s), I have put together a running list of budget-friendly activities, coming from my own personal experiences and/or future outings for Date Night or GNO aka Girls Night Out. (Interchangeable with Day/In). Going out doesn’t have to evolve around bar hopping or running up the street to that same ol’ chain restaurant!

Please keep in mind I live in the Austin, Texas, area. Be sure to check your hometown for similar events/places referenced in this list. Here it is:

  • “High Tea” at a nice hotel like the Four Seasons. Gotta dress fancy and remember, pinky out!
  • Drive-In Movie Theater.
  • Take a day trip to an unexplored city. One of my fave shows is The Daytripper. Me and the hubby get great ideas from it. Thanks, Chet!

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  • Take a bird watching class. Gotta get up early, but it’s so peaceful and fun to see birds you never knew were in your area. I found mine through a local rec center.
  • Take a free yoga class. That’s right, FREE. Most yoga studios give newbies a free first class.
  • Go to a winery for a wine tasting. I love pulling up a chair at a small winery. You can try several glasses of wine for a great price and talk to the owners.
  • Go to a wine bar and buy a wine flight. Same as above, but you get several different glasses of the same style of wine with an information card describing each one. Educational and fun!
  • Antique shop in a little town square and grab lunch at a tea room.
  • Paddleboarding.
  • Take the dogs to the park on a sunny day.
  • Visit the Austin Flea or other local arts n’ craft shows.
  • Visit a science or art museum.
  • Take a Sunday drive, literally.
  • Try a new cuisine/type of food. Come on, give sushi a try!
  • Host a “Craft Night”. Wine optional. You might have some “Nailed it” memes after this though.
  • Organize a book club.
  • Organize a supper club.
  • Host a “Game Night”.
  • Host a “Small Plates Party” as I like to call it. I think the more formal name is Tapas.
  • Alamo Drafthouse Singalong.

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  • Rent a pontoon boat out at the lake in the summer time. You can go in together on it with other couples to make it more affordable.
  • Take a brisk walk at the park or on a trail, then go for smoothies.
  • Brunch.
  • Camp or rent a cabin on the river or lake. Same as above with the pontoon boat.
  • Meet up with a buddy at the gym.
  • Have a slumber party with your girlfriends.
  • Visit a mom n’ pop bookstore. Enjoy the ambiance, local feel, and the books of course!
  • Host a “My Favorite Things Party“.
  • Host some sort of a “Swap” party. It can be with clothes, craft supplies, recipes, etc.
  • Join a Co-Op Community Garden.
  • Host an “Ice Cream Social”. It’s on my to-do list for sure!
  • Go to a small sports event. There’s college games, minor league baseball & hockey, roller derby…
  • Take an art class. You can take one from an art school or even try out “Painting with a Twist“.
  • Work out to an exercise video in your living room. With your significant other or friend. Makes for a good laugh.
  • Go on a “Photo Tour”. Hop in the car, grab your camera or use your Instagram app on your smartphone, and drive around taking interesting pictures of your adventure. There are also guided-sightseeing-walking photo tours you can sign up for as well.
  • Visit a state park and go for a hike.
  • Visit a historical site. You can also go on a historical marker drive.
  • “Treat Yo’ Self”. ‘Parks and Rec’ fans will recognize this reference. Get a facial, wrap, blow-out, pedi, or massage.
  • Go to a water park. If you’re in my neck of the woods, try Schlitterbahn. Also, go with another couple. Way more fun!

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  • Ride your bicycles through a college campus.
  • Attend a music festival. But, go during the week, and catch a free day show.
  • Host a “Cocktail Party”. Not the one where you don a fancy dinner gown. Have your gal pals over to try out new cocktail recipes and catch up with one another.

Hope this gave you some insight on a shiny new social life. Being a social butterfly and enjoying quality time with my husband, I am always looking for something new to do around town. Also, all the fun things you pin on your Pinterest board and want to do eventually, be sure to take action!

Joie de vivre – Texas Style,

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P.S. My apologies to the mommies out there looking for kid-specific events. I’m just a married gal with furry children.

Create Yourself

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – Unknown

As I was polishing the wood furniture this morning, it dawned on me that I needed to blog about all the wonderful ideas I have in my 32 year old head. Since the planning of my wedding this year, I have had time to figure things out. Working odd jobs, taking a Creative Writing class, reading lots of  books, and designing most of my wedding reception has led me to a few conclusions.

At first, I thought I wanted to be a children’s book writer, but over time I realized to start slow and not overwhelm myself. So with that in mind, I’d like to create a zine that I could sell through my Etsy shop, Rare Bird Boutique. Speaking of my shop, I want to redo it! New logo, banner, biz cards and what I would sell in the shop. With all this wedding DIY hub bub, I might just break into it myself. Back to the zine, if you do not know what that is, here is the def: “a magazine, esp. a fanzine. A webzine.” It is like a handmade magazine and you can do anything you want! Draw and write by hand or use your computer. I could make a grown-up version and a kid’s version. Be on the lookout this Fall/Winter for the possible future zine created by yours truly.

Another new found joy in my life is yoga. Okay so I just went for the first time yesterday, but I really loved it! After turning my fiance and friends down many times because I thought yoga was boring or that I was going to be the guy that “tooted” in class, I never gave it a chance. But I decided a gal like me, puny and out of shape, should give it a shot. Luckily, there was a class in downtown Georgetown at Runtex during Saturday morning for $10. I walked in and the instructor Beth let me be her guest and I joined the class for free. I met several nice ladies around me and waited for the journey to begin. My butt was literally handed to me  though – what a workout! We did some hardcore yoga, danced to the “Eat Pray Love” soundtrack, and meditated. It was definitely needed. I was so excited afterwards, I bought my own hot pink yoga mat and begged my fiance to join me for the Monday night class. For more info, go to the Runtex Georgetown Facebook Page.

After my yoga class, I walked around downtown Georgetown as I waited for my engagement ring to be polished at Quenan’s. I visited several of my favorite antique stores and took in the scenery. That was when I thought how lovely it would be to live near the square so we could walk everywhere and indulge in the charm of the lil’ town. We could take the dogs for a walk or ride our bikes in the historic neighborhoods, grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants, visit the library, and shop at the antique stores. But those houses are hard to come by in our price range, so I will have to dream a little dream…

Downtown Georgetown

A beautiful GT house For Sale 

Oh well, I have a cute abode out in the country and I have lots in mind to change things up a bit. Since I want to get back to my Etsy shop, sell antiques, write a zine, and blog, I need a creative space of my own. I tried this year, during my writing stint, by incorporating a desk into the living room. It is kind of in the way and there’s not really any privacy for “thinking time”.

My small creative space

We have a guest bedroom with Jon’s old bedroom furniture, but I want shelves, my desk, and an old bed. Everything is too “matchy-matchy”. Currently, this is what it looks like right now:

The bed takes up the whole room, not to mention we have a giant dog kennel in there too. But if we sell the furniture, I can get my guest bedroom/office in order! Here are a few ideas that I stole from various websites like Apartment Therapy (see my “Link Club”):

Older & Smaller Bed

Wall O’ Shelves

Oh… I can just imagine it and boy I have! With that in mind… I have several ideas for around the house too. Can you tell that after this wedding, I am back in business with redecorating and design?

A “stair-stepping” garden for the backyard

Using vintage wooden pant hangers for artwork

Industrial metal stools for the bar counter

There is so much to do and I better figure out a better source of income to feed this insatiable, creative appetite! We want a fence, a deck in the front and backyard, tile our bath and kitchen floors, and redo the scary kitchen counter tops too. It is a work in progress, just like me.

Speaking of, I definitely want to be the O.G. that I am, but have never dove in quite like this before. I mean I border on weird, but I take pride in my uniqueness and want to shed  a little more light. Why not a nose piercing, different clothes, a tattoo or how about bolder eyeglasses such as these?:

These RayBans are reserved for me and no one else!

Whatever it may be, I know this year will be different. I thought I was finding myself, but I have been here always. I just need to continue creating myself, even if it means at the age of 32. Getting married, starting over, and making new discoveries has been quite a ride in 2010 and I can’t wait for it all to continue. It has been scary, but fun. Stay tuned for so much more!

“Purrfectly Pleasing” First Place Goes To…

As of now, the “Purrfectly Pleasing” Giveaway has ended. Thanks so much to Karen at Meow Boutique for sponsoring myfourth contest. I have really enjoyed reading your comments about my mom-in-law’s shop! I also wanted to thank everyone for playing, reading/subscribing to my blog, and checking out Karen’s delightful shop. Now it’s time to award the prize to one lucky Hand On Hip contestant, selected randomly using random.org.

Black Satin Evening Bag 

To recall this past week, you had a chance to win a stunning black satin evening bag fromMeow Boutique by 1) picking out your favorite item from the shop and posting it on here, 2) subscribing to my blog “Hand on Hip”, OR 3) commenting on the post with the words “WE ARE SIAMESE IF YOU PLEASE”. And that lucky winner is… drumroll please… Lola Malone! Lola entered the contest by choosing option #1 and said, “My favorite item is the apron with ruffled red and white trim. Super cute!!!”

Congratulations to Lola! From me and Karen at Meow Boutique – Enjoy a night out on the town with your new gorgeous evening bag!

To the rest of the Hand On Hip audience, keep reading and stay posted for more giveaways in the future. It’s been real! Real fun!

Purrfectly Pleasing To The Eyes – Giveaway

***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries***

Okay, so I decided to have one more contest! How could I say ‘no’ to my future mother-in-law? Thanks to Karen at Meow Boutique, she will be sponsoring my fourth giveaway. Karen’s shop features everything from her very own creations, “artistically altered or embellished” items, vintage pieces, gift baskets, and more. Now, you will have a chance to win a beautiful, black satin evening bag embellished with a white satin flower. (See contest rules at the end of this post.)

Black Evening Bag

Even though I know my subject quite well, I did a Q&A with Karen so you can find out more about her and Meow Boutique.

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MELANIE: Welcome to “Hand on Hip” Mom… Um, I mean Karen! Why don’t you tell everyone a little bit about yourself and where your creations come from?

MEOW BOUTIQUE: I was an Air Force brat and have lived in many places as a child. I was born in Ontario, Canada, while my father was stationed there. We moved to Denison, Texas, when I was in the 6th grade, after my dad retired from the Air Force.  My husband and I have lived in quite a few places in the U.S., but we call Texas our home.

Black Top with Hot Pink Trim and Torn Rose Brooch

MELANIE: When did you get started “artistically altering and embellishing” your items?

MEOW BOUTIQUE: I have been altering and embellishing items for about 5 or 6 years now. I can never find exactly what I am looking for in stores, so that I add to it or change it into what I think looks good.

MELANIE: Let’s talk about one of your own creations, the vacuum cleaner cover.

MEOW BOUTIQUE: My vacuum cleaner is big and bright yellow and I did not have a place to store it out of sight. It was such an eyesore sitting in the corner of my living room where everyone could see it. The first vacuum cleaner cover I made was out of recycled curtains that I had made and wasn’t using anymore. I had asked my son what he thought of it and he commented that you don’t even notice that it’s sitting in the corner. That made me think that maybe other people had the same problem with storage and I decided to make and sell the covers.

Black Purse with Black & White Polka Dot Fabric Flower

MELANIE: What else can you tell us about your shop?

MEOW BOUTIQUE: I chose the name “Meow Boutique because of my love for cats and because I like things that are sweet, soft, special, etc., hence the addition of lace and fabric flowers on my clothing items. In regards to my vintage and antique items, I try to find things that I think someone would want to have in their home. I shop for things I would personally like to have. The benefit is that I can enjoy the things that I buy for a time before I sell them.

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CONTEST

Thanks again to Karen, my future mother-in-law and shop owner of Meow Boutique! Be sure to also check out her ongoing sale and free shipping on certain items in the shop. Now that you have kindly read the interview, here is how you can enter the contest to win the glamorous, black satin evening bag!

There is one way to enter, choosing from options 1, 2, OR 3:

1) Go to Meow Boutique and pick out your favorite item, then post the item here.

2) Subscribe to my blog “Hand on Hip” and leave a comment letting me know (I will check. So please, no cheating!)

3) Comment on this post with the words: WE ARE SIAMESE IF YOU PLEASE  (Any “Lady and the Tramp” fans out there?)

…and be sure to show your Etsy love and support by adding this seller to your favorite shops list!

This giveaway will begin at 5:30 pm CST 7/5/2010 and will end on 7/11/2010 at 5 pm CST. One winner will be selected using random.org and will be announced in a post at the end of the contest. One entry per person is permitted. Prize ships anywhere in the United States! *Email addresses are appreciated so that I can contact a winner!

Happy shopping, have fun, and good luck!

A Different Chocolate Experience… In My Own Backyard

Oh, do I have a treat for you! No, no-no, I don’t have a free giveaway of chocolate (maybe another time), but I have some information that may send you packing down my way.

If you are a foodie, a chocolatier, or someone who is just plain interested in trying out new concoctions, you have to stop in at Big Top Candy Shop. Located on “SoCo” as us Austinites call it or South Congress Avenue, Big Top is nestled in between many of the cute boutiques, shops, galleries, and eateries that make up the row of old buildings along the street. I always come back, bringing my friends and family, to check out the nostalgia inspiring ambiance and treats.

Every time I visit, overlooking the rows and rows of candy from today and yesteryear, I buy myself a slice of their Chocolate Covered Bacon. Yes folks, chocolate… covered… BACON. Since I eat mine right up, I do not have a photo of my own.

Photo by MoxyJane @ flickr.com

This goes beyond the level of a chocolate covered pretzel! You’ll taste smokey, salty bacon covered in a blanket of double milk chocolate heaven. Interested in trying out other mysterious treats? Big Top also has a chocolate case filled with other goodies like chocolate covered potato chips, orange peels, and banana chips. I personally love the bacon, potato chips and gummy bears dipped in chocolate!

Not everyone is as excited about the bacon as I am. Coworkers and friends all have had mixed reviews, mainly them being: “I like my bacon and my chocolate separate. Not together.” Maybe it’s just the texture or the taste or BOTH! Either way, that leaves more for me and my fiance Jon. Maybe even you – brave enough?

Big Top Candy Shop / 1706 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704 / (512) 462-2220

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If you are looking for something conveniently closer to home and the bacon idea isn’t all that scary, let me tell you where to buy another chocolate bacon treat. I picked up a Mo’s Bacon Bar, made by Vosges Haut-Chocolat, at my local World Market for Jon on Valentine’s Day. Luckily, he was *sweet* enough to share and I am so glad that he did!

It was salty, sweet, and euphoric. I am not one to seek chocolate out, but if this bar ever came back into my life by chance – I would not turn it down! It is made with fine, premium ingredients like applewood smoked bacon, Alder wood smoke salt, and deep milk chocolate – 41% cacao. I can just taste the bits of bacon and sprinkles of salt on my tongue again!

Vosges also has other “Exotic” Chocolate Bars: Dark Chocolate Bacon, Red Fire (Mexican ancho, chipotle chillies, & cinnamon), Black Pearl (Ginger, wasabi, & black sesame seeds), and so much more!

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To take this chocolate voyage one step further, I will introduce you to chocolate paired with sushi. Yep, sushi! Close to home, at Hayashi Sushi Bar & Grill in Cedar Park, Texas, they have a roll called The Chocolatier. Not having the exact menu description, I recently remember it having 2 types of salmon, asparagus and avocado, topped off with several different tasty sauces and dark chocolate flakes. All I know is that it melted in my mouth like butter and the colorful array of flavors were perfection.

If you are interested in trying out some of their other flavor packed signature sushi rolls, try Hayashi’s “Foxy Lady”, “Ex-Boyfriend”, “Affair”, or “The Bomb”. They are open late and have happy hour specials, entertainment, and special events!

Hayashi Sushi /1335 E Whitestone Blvd, Suite T-140, Cedar Park TX 78613 / (512) 986-7176 / Also located in Georgetown

Sanctuary, It Is…

Fun Find Alert:

Today on my lunch break, I decided that I was going to find a store other than Target, etc., that had stuff that fit my decorating style. I hopped on the Internet and found Sanctuary in Westlake Hills (just a few miles away from work). As soon as I saw this picture, I had my keys in hand, ready to go!

Sanctuary

Sanctuary

When I got there, I was so relieved to see items in the store that I search for on design websites like the garden gloves from Hable Construction I wanted, but in pink!  I picked up some fun coasters from Snow & Graham and a lovely piece of garden art (home decor) by a local artist; check out her gallery & shop at LD Design.

When I was in the process of checking out, I spoke to a lovely lady at the counter. I told her how I wanted to blog about Sanctuary and she asked me what my blog was about. I explained to her that I just blogged about decorating my house and design-y type stuff. She seemed excited about me blogging about the store and she mentioned that her house was featured on Apartment Therapy and asked if I had seen it.

I didn’t recall, but was anxious to check it out. Now that I think of it all, I was speaking to Hanna the owner of the store and I had seen the blog about her “sunny” home, but I saw it on All Things Austin Design. Very cool & exciting!!

I enjoyed speaking with Hanna and now that I have visited the store, I am a BIG fan! Please stop by this gem of a store at: Sanctuary / 3663 Bee Caves Road / Westlake Hills, Tx. / 78746 / 512.329.0507 / Sanctuary Blog

Enjoy!

Barn Owl Collectibles

Fun Find Alert:

This weekend, we spent our Valentine’s Day in a quaint, bustling little town outside of San Antonio, Texas, called Boerne. It has boutiques, bakeries, art galleries, and antique stores galore! One store I stumbled upon that I absolutely fell in love with was Barn Owl Collectibles.

When you walk in, the store is set up in a way that is minimal, airy, simple & sophisticated. Not stuffy and crowded like some antique stores. Barn Owl has everything from furniture, art, home decor, gifts… take a look!

Just gorgeous!

Just gorgeous!

This armoire was only $400 and in spectacular condition.

This armoire was only $400 and in spectacular condition.

I loved this French painting!

I loved this French painting!

I met the owner and found out that they have only been open for 3 months. I wish them the best and lots of success!  If you are ever in the Hill Country and up to visiting a charming little city with great shopping, go to Boerne and stop in Barn Owl.  They are located at 233 S. Main, Suite B / Boerne, Texas / 78006 / 210-725-4720