Welcome to my blog! Here is where you'll finding me rambling about a variety of subjects, including my family, vintage, thrifting, Etsy shops I love, and more!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Settling in for a Long Winter's Nap

this was a couple of summers ago!

Oh wait, that's the wrong holiday, geez, I'm getting old!

Hold on while I get my party gear!

Okay, I'm back!  Pj's and popcorn all set up!

Yes, this is what New Year's Eve looks like around here...and I'm not complaining!

Been there, done that, and now perfectly content at home, safe & sound!

On the other hand...my daugher Katherine just left for a party-and she looked so darn cute!

We've had a fun (and yet strange) tradition here on New Year's Eve, that started several years ago, when my oldest daughter, Lindsey was much younger.  We have this 80's-early 90's electronic game called "Mall Madness".  Considering my shopping history, I should always win that, but nope..never have!  My husband, Bob, has won most years.  My son, Mark has one a few of the years, and we even had my Dad involved on year and he won!

So I guess guys should be out there shopping more!  The object is to be the first to buy your items and get out of the mall first.  Now I get it (the light bulb just went on!).  Guys don't think about what they're buying-they're goal is to hurry and get out of the mall...and thus, the reason the guys always win this pathetic game!

So this year, it's me, Mark, and Bob...the tradition lives on.  Maybe we can drag this tradition on for at least a year longer.  How funny it will be when it's just Bob & I and Mall Madness!

Anyways..I hope everyone has some fun tradition for New Year's Eve (something where's there's not much chance that you'll be arrested).

I love my past memories, and look forward to my future...and I hope the same for you!

Cheers to the New Year!! 2011!


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Don't Look Back-Yes, Look Back!

Yes, I'm here yet again to talk about the new year!  Blame it on my yoga instructor, Vicky!  (By the way, she's expecting her 2nd baby in a few months, but she can still do more yoga moves than I can!)  Vicky always ends our yoga class with something that makes us stop and think.  Last night she talked about looking back.  I know-you've always heard "don't look back-move forward".

This time-look back on the year 2010.  Make a list of your accomplishments, what you've been most proud of, and even the mistakes.

Pat yourself on the back!  You've made it through another year, and hopefully you've learned something from the good and the bad that when on in the past 365 days!

That's what it's all about!  One big learning process!

I, personally, am proud of my Etsy shops!  I devote most of my day (and even part of my sleeping hours), working on my shops!  I've never worked so hard, yet been so happy!  Doing what I love to do!  Now, if I could just become a millionaire from it!!

So look back!  After you've looked back and realized you'ved learned something from all of it--then move forward-and have an even better year than the year before!



Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy New Year! Time for Resolutions!

Happy 2011 everyone!  I hope the New Year brings you all of your wishes!

Speaking of New Year's resolutions...are you making any!?

I'm just beginning to think about what I want for 2011.  For me, it helps to write down everything, in detail!  I always say, be specific about exactly what you want (and be careful what you wish for!).

I will not only include hopes for my 3 Etsy shops (here comes the plug: http://www.jenscloset.etsy.com/ http://www.mymilkglassshop.etsy.com/ and http://www.thechinagirl.etsy.com/ ) but also things like getting organized!  That's one of my usual resolutions, maybe this year it will happen!

I also need to resolve to use the inventory I have here in my house already, and avoid shopping for more!  Easier said than done!  For all of the antique dealers/vintage sellers, you know what I mean!

I believe it's okay to list material things you want too!  If you want a new car, rip out pictures from a magazine, or go straight to the dealer for a pamphlet on your favorite car!  

Keep a scrap book of your resolutions including any pictures that will help you focus on your goals!

Like I said, I'm just beginning to think about what I really want for the new year-so I'm sure I'll have an update on this subject soon!

I wish everyone a successful New Year-what ever "success" means to you!

My best,


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Wake up! Wake Up!  It's Christmas morning!

It's a little strange when you find, all of a sudden, you're up earlier than the kids!  It seems like yesterday that they were waking me up at some crazy time, like 5 a.m.! 

Actually, it was my oldest daughter, Lindsey (she was 26 last year), that woke up her younger siblings at like 6 a.m. last year!  This year she wasn't here to wake us up, and now I miss that!  She will be here later today, so traditions are changing!

I guess this happens sooner or later, but here it is 9:30 a.m., and I've been up for almost 2 hours, my husband just made me my wonderful breakfast (I'm spoiled-he does this every weekend!), and here I am, updating my blog!

Hopefully my younger two, Mark & Katherine (17 and 19), will be up soon to open a few of their gifts.  My Dad will stop by for a quick visit, and then we're off to my sister Susan's house for an early dinner.

By the time we get back, Lindsey should be here!  Then we will do some fun unwrapping of gifts!

Yep-times they are a-changin'! 

So if you have little ones that have woken you up at a crazy early time, remember, it won't last forever, so enjoy that special sparkle in their eyes (if you can keep your eyes open long enough)!

Merry Christmas to all and here's to a wonderful 2011!



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Big Day is Almost Here!

Be a Christmas Angel to someone

I'm sure you know what day I'm talking about! 

It's almost here!  Christmas Day!

This weekend I kept waking up in a panic during the night thinking about the Christmas shopping I still needed to do!  I really hadn't started much. 

I had a couple of good reasons (at least, I think so!).  One was that I was focusing on my Etsy shops!  I know the weeks before Christmas are important when you have a shop, so I was trying to get as much listed as I can (and I must say, I had my most successful selling weekend last weekend!).

Another reason is we are cutting way back.  I was in a panic about that,  Even though my kids are 17, 19, and 27, I still don't want to disappoint them. But the facts of life are, my Etsy shops are my only source of income, and my husbands been laid off from his job for just over a year (we were both working at the same office).  Fortunately, Bob (that's my fantastic husband) has something he's working on that I think will be quite successful!

I did a pretty good job at sticking to my budget (only snuck -is that a word-snuck!? - in a few extra gifts for everyone!).

I did manage to get everything done by Tuesday and then I was able to focus on some other special people in my life.

First of all, Rea.  I'm sure if you've read my blog you know who Rea is!  My 92 year old neighbor, who recently moved into an assisted living facility.  I brought her the cutest blow up reindeer (just from the dollar store) and a festive holiday pin, and a Christmas card.  I know she has a lot of pride, and I didn't want to lavish her with gifts and make her feel bad about not reciprocating (although she still said I shouldn't have done anything)! 

Then onto my friends at Goodwill!  Goodwill is a wonderful company because they employ "handicapped" people!  I have to put "handicapped" in quotes, because this amazing group of people are far from handicapped in my eyes!  Upon first glance, you may think there's something wrong with them.  But, if you stop and talk to them, you will discover the most kind hearted, loving, and compassionate people you've ever met!

I brought Jerry, Elizabeth, Elise, and Robert a Christmas card and a little Christmas ornament.  Jerry is my absolute favorite!  For him, I also wrote a special to let him know how important he is to so many of us that pass through the Goodwill doors!  He was so excited, his hands were shaking, and it was hard for him to open the envelope, I had to help him with that!  If you want to see pure goodness, you need to meet Jerry!  What does he want for Christmas?  He wants the entire world to be happy and to end suffering.

That's what I mean by a pure heart.  The hugs I received from them was all the thanks I needed!

I hope you're able to relax by now and think about the people that have touched your lives.  You don't have to spend a lot to let them know how you feel!

I also have a tradition of bringing a big box of chocolates and cookies to the staff at our Recreation Center.  I'm there just about everyday, and the staff is always so nice and friendly!    I know, I should bring something healthy, since it's the "rec center", but what the heck-it's the holidays!

So sit back, relax and enjoy this beautiful holiday season with the people you love!

Merry Christmas and Happy Happy New Year!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gift Ideas for the Baker and a Great Sugar Cookie Recipe!

Early American Pyrex

Fun little Xmas tree molds

Retro Fire King Bowl

Vintage Mirro Aluminum star molds

I hope you're not tired of hearing about gift ideas!

I have some fun retro gift ideas for the baker!  I love to cook and bake and definitely consider myself to be a "foodie".  The food channel is usually on all day in my house, even if I'm not watching it, I can usually hear it from the next room!

Today I will be making some Christmas cookies, with a recipe I've used for years now.  It's from "Mrs Fields Cookie Book" 1992.

Here it is!

Christmas Sugar Cookies

Preheat oven to 325 (that's her secret-a lower temp oven for a longer period of time)

2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 t salt
3/4 c salted butter, softened
1 large egg
1 t pure vanilla extract
 (yields 3 dozen cookies)

In a medium bowl combine the flour & salt with a wire whisk.
In a large mixing bowl cream the butter & sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed.  Add the egg & vanilla, and beat until well mixed.  Scrape down sides of bow, then add the flour mixture.  Blend on low speed just until combined.  Do not overmix!
Gather dough into a ball; flatten the ball into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate 1 hour until firm.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a 1/4" thickness.  With cookie cutters, cut dough into desired shapes and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  You can add colored sugar or if you're doing icing, leave them plain.
Bake for 13-15 minutes, being careful not to brown.  Immediately transfer to a cool, flat surface.

and have fun!!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Happy Holidays!

I just wanted to say hi to everyone!  I haven't updated my blog in a bit, and I wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a fantastic New Year!!

I've been adding tons of new things to my 3 shops so be sure to check them out!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

You've Gotta Have Hope

Hope is what keeps us going.  When things seem they're roughest, we need to have hope!  Some days we wonder if we can make it another day, but we do.  It's all about hope.

The reason I decided to write the blog about hope is because I visited my 92 yr old neighbor Rea in the rehab center (no, not like the one Lindsey Lohan likes to go to).  If you've read my blogs, I've written a few about her.  She's a tough but sweet woman, and she has a fantastic sense of humor.  This lady worked until the age of 74 for the post office, delivering mail! 

I've known Rea for quite awhile now. It started when I saw her using her walker to get her mail and drop off her garbage at the end of the driveway.  I volunteered my son to do that every week.  He's 18 now, so I'm guessing he started doing that when he was about 15.  I think it's good to get your teenager's involved with helping someone other than themselves.  It will give them a bit of compassion for others; plus, it builds character (one of my Dad's fav sayings "suffering builds character)!

I would bring Rea meals and chat with her quite often.  I would take her to her doctor appointments and even took her to get her haircut once (I just love that even at 92 she cares about her hair!).

Awhile back Rea had a bad fall, I'm the one that thought something might be wrong, and I called the police station.  Since then she's been at a rehab center trying to get strong enough to return to her home.

The trouble is, I spoke with her son over the phone (I've never met him and he lives in the same city), and he told me not to tell Rea, but she won't be returning home. 

Anyways, I should get to the point of this so as not to loose your interest, but I thought you should know a bit about Rea.

I've been visiting her at the rehab center, but not as often as I would like to.  She called me and was very upset so I was up there the next day to talk to her.  All I have to say is, if you have a 92 year old mother, I don't care what she's done, you do not call her the B-word.  This isn't the 1st time she's been treated this way and it breaks my heart, and more than that, it breaks Rea's heart. 

My last visit with her I saw all the hope completely drained from her and she talked about her death.  My heart is now broken, because Rea has lost all hope, and that is so sad.  She calls that place a prison, and I can completely empathize with that.  Could you imagine going from your home to a place where your hooked up so just about every move you make sets off an alarm!?

If you know someone that is alone, make friends with them.  If you don't know someone, find someone.  They're out there.  Visit a nursing home.  I know that when people have just one friend to talk to, it helps.
Heck, it doesn't even have to be an old person, just help one person!

Have hope--it's what keeps us going.


Saturday, November 27, 2010


If walls could talk!

The Red Brick School

Standing since 1909


In our wonderful town of Westlake, Ohio, stood a great piece of history, but has now been demolished.  It was called the Red Brick School, and was built in 1909.

Apparently there was a group of citizens that did try to convert it to an art center, but unfortunately that idea did not workout and thus, this great historic building is now rubble.


This is some of the information I found on this great old building.  I drove by it everyday on my way to the post office.  It was also right next to our middle school.  I always loved it.

The past few days they have been tearing it down.  It was pretty sad to watch, but I did get some pictures.

I wish I would have had a chance to go through the inside of this great building, but never did get that chance.

If walls could talk!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

I've been blogged!

So cute from Suzi's shop!

Love this elegant necklace!

I love it when I find out someone has mentioned me or my shop in their blog!  Especially if they're saying nice things!

Check out this cute blog!


Suzi has some great ideas for holiday decorating...and she also has a cute vintage shop on Etsy!  It can be found here

I also just realized that she sounds so much like my daughter!  She loves to quilt, sew, crochet just like my daughter Lindsey!

Please check out Suzi's blog and her vintage shop!

and...have a great weekend!


Friday, November 19, 2010

It's Amazing!

Like magic these turned into...



Truly amazing!

I sold a pretty set of china plates and a teacup awhile ago to a lovely person named Lisa Marie.  Little did I know what she would create and how truly beautiful her work is!

Lisa Marie can take pretty vintage china and teacups and turn it into true works of art!  Wouldn't it be great to take some of your Grandma's china and turn into into something like this!?

Her cake stands and other tiered stands are absolutely stunning and perfect for weddings, showers, or what a wonderful gift any of her beautiful pieces would make! (hint hint to anyone in my family!)

You must check out her shops on Etsy!  http://www.orangeandblossom.etsy.com/ and http://www.highteaforalice.com/ !

Enjoy browsing! 

Thanks Lisa Marie!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

My latest purchase! Cute cute gift tags!


I have purchased from this very cute Etsy shop at least a few times already and I just love everything!

Check out the cute snowman gift tags...and the pretty Christmas tree tag!  Such talent!  All handmade and unique!  This craft is called paper quilling.

I can't wait to add these to some of my Christmas packages this year!  Before I forget...I need to order more!

Please check out the Enchanted Quilling's Etsy shop!  I'm sure you will find something you just have to have!  And they come all the way from Australia!

Happy shopping!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

I Made Something I Made Something!

I am so proud!

I promised I would have "jen's crappy craft" segments, but I think this turned out pretty darn good for my first try!

I made this cute large white tissue paper pom-YAY!!

I remembered making these when I was a kid, so I figured I should be able to do it!  This was my first try, so it's not perfect, but I still love it!

I found an easy tutorial from the cutest (and very popular) blog called Design Dazzle! http://designdazzle.blogspot.com/2009/06/how-to-make-pom-pom-tissue-flowers.html

So if I can do it...anyone can!!  These would be so cute in Christmas colors and made in a smaller version for your tree, or fun on top of a gift instead of a bow!

So try it!!

Have Fun!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank you for all of your sacrifices

Today is Veteran's Day.  I want to say thank you to all those that have sacrificed to keep out country safe.  It's not only the men and women serving our country, or who have served our country in the past, but it's also the family's of the men and women in are armed forces. They also have to make sacrifices for us.  They often have to move from the USA with their children and are separated from their friends and family.

My sister in law was a "navy brat" and I know she had to move quite often.  It's tough enough being the new kid at school, so to constantly be the new kid had to be quite challenging (and she's one of the nicest people!).

Thank you-Yvette (my sister in law) and to all!
Thank you so much...you are appreciated!


Friday, November 5, 2010

The Winner of the Vintage Christmas Bell

listed in my shop!
Congrats to Robin!  I did a random-number-picker-thing and the number was 1!!  Since yours was the first comment, you are the grand prize winner of the cute vintage Christmas Bell!

Thanks for all that left a comment!

More giveways to come!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Latest Etsy Purchase

I might have to get this one next!

These are now mine!

This is my second purchase from a most-adorable Etsy shop http://www.lipeony.etsy.com/ please be sure to check it out!

Li's art work is just adorable!  I love this little girl with the reindeer antlers!  It's going to be perfect framed as a Christmas decoration this year!  I also received the cute card on the right that I just might part with to send to someone (most likely my sister!).

I admire anyone who can create such wonderful artwork, because I am certainly not one of them!

Why not pick up a cute piece of artwork from the LiPeony shop-as a gift for a friend, or as a gift to yourself!  It will certainly make you smile!

Shop early for Christmas!


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween to all you ghost and goblins or whatever you've chosen to be on this most festive of holiday's!

We live on a busy street so we don't get too many trick or treaters.  I think we got like 3 last year!  My kids are older and I miss going with them trick or treating and all the excitement! 

So I'm just dressed up like a "spinner girl" for spin class right now (on a bike-not yarn). 

Enjoy the day and if your kids are still little-remember how fast these times go by!

Happy Halloween!


Friday, October 29, 2010

My Beautiful Necklace From Etsy

You must check out http://www.etsy.com/shop/agasunset !!  I received a beautiful black crocheted necklace from Angie yesterday that I just love! 

My pretty necklace! Thanks so much Angie!

I love this!

Gorgeous blue earrings!
Be sure to check out Agasunset on Etsy!  You're sure to find something you just have to have!  Also this is  a great time to start Christmas shopping early!

Enjoy your weekend!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'm Getting Into the Holiday Spirit!

I know it seems a bit early, but for me it's the perfect time!  Why not get your Christmas shopping done now by shopping on http://www.etsy.com/ !  You'll find everything you need from quality handmade items to fun vintage/retro items!  There really is something for every family member there!

I've started to list some of my holiday items in my shop http://www.jenscloset.etsy.com/ and to get things started I thought it would be a great idea to have a Christmas giveway!!

All you have to do is add a  comment (and I would love for you to follow my blog too!) and leave an email or some way I can get in touch with you if you win!  I'll do the random pick (there's some place online where they'll pick the winning number for you!), and let's see...gotta pick a date to end the giveway...how about Friday, November 5th!  If this goes well, I'll be doing another holiday giveaway after this one!

So what's the prize!!?  An adorable vintage Lefton Christmas tree bell!  It's white with red berries and green holly leaves!  This cute retro bell measures 3 1/2" tall and perfect to add to your existing vintage Christmas decor-or great way to start a collection!

I will ship anywhere in the world-so everyone is welcome to enter!

I'm also posted a few more of my Xmas items that will be listed in my shop soon (some already there)!

Good luck and Happy Holidays!!

Well..I'm still having a problem posting more than one pic at a time-and still haven't figured out why-so here's the bell-I'll do another post with some of my vintage Xmas goodies soon!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Blogger Help

For the past few weeks, or maybe more, I have only been able to upload one picture to my blog post.  Is anyone else having this problem, and what the heck can I do about it!?

Here's my one picture-

Okay I guess if I upload them all at one time it's fine

So here's some milk glass vases!

and something from my china shop!

Always something to learn!

Let me know if anyone else is having problems with blogger!



like this problem, I add the pictures, and then it won't left justify the rest of my text-crazy-

Monday, October 18, 2010

Front page widget

Playing around with the widget!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

LaBella Cupcakes are Yummy

I just posted an update on my "beauty blog" about my trip to LaBella Cupcakes in Lakewood, Ohio!  I meant to post it to this blog, but goofed.  It turns out  that was the perfect spot for it- how can you be beautiful if you don't eat yummy cupcakes!?

So check out http://www.fabfortyandbeyond.blogspot.com/ for more info on LaBella Cupcakes!

Happy eating!


Thursday, October 7, 2010

I love Milk Glass!

I love milk glass!  I love the simplicity of it!  I love to fill my hobnail milk glass large pitcher with flowers for a rustic look!

Milk glass looks great in a collection too!

Milk Glass Decorative Bowl

Milk Glass vases are very popular with brides and floral shops too! I sell quite a bit to them!

Bud vase collection

Classic collection

Take this classic collection and add Christmas ornaments for an instant holiday decoration!

Check out my shop for a great selection of milk glass! http://www.mymilkglassshop.etsy.com/

And yes, my crappy craft tutorial is coming soon!


Monday, October 4, 2010

On Your Mark Get Set!

Christmas is coming!

If you have an Etsy shop are you ready for the Christmas rush!? 

I've ordered my green and red tissue, stocked up on cute Christmas ribbon, boxes, and Christmas wrapping paper! 

In all three of my Etsy shops, http://www.jenscloset.etsy.com/ http://www.mymilkglassshop.etsy.com/ http://www.thechinagirl.etsy.com/ I will gift wrap and send directly to the gift recipient (in the USA) at no extra charge!

I love Christmas and I love to gift wrap!

On your mark get set-and go!  Be prepared!  Make a checklist so you're not caught off guard!

And-I've decided to have a weekly "jen's crappy craft" weekly blog!  I am craft challenged, but I do try!  I can't understand what happened, my Mom was a talented artist and crafter, and both of my daughter's are the same way!  In my mind I think I can create something wonderful, but when it comes right down to it, I'm challenged!  But that doesn't stop me from trying.  So for all you craft-challenged, like me, do not be discouraged, I'm going to attempt a craft every week and together we can can create!

Have a great week!


Saturday, September 25, 2010

I love Aqua Too!

Besides the color pink, I also love aqua!  Aqua AND vintage makes it even better!

Just a few of my favorite aqua finds!

Enjoy the day!