loving: jean jean vintage

jean jean vintage I’ve been a fan of Jean Jean Vintage for a long time, and check the shop almost daily (thanks to all the peeks she shares on Instagram) to see what goodies are up for sale. I’ll  make little inquiries about certain pieces that come in here and there, and I’m always bummed out when they sell before Ben has a chance to snatch it up to surprise me (hint, hint, Ben). You know my love for vintage clothing and furniture, but I rarely talk about my love for vintage jewelry in this space. I tell you, it’s a dangerous thing to love, but so fun. I love looking at pieces and wondering about its history. Antique jewelry is like art to me.

Duff is the wonderful lady behind the shop, and Jean is her middle name. When she was a little girl, her dad called her “Jean Jean” sometimes. Her father passed away ten years ago, and when it came to thinking up a name for her shop, Jean Jean seemed most fitting. Duff had an itching to start a small business, and with her BA in Archeology, coupled with her love for rocks, fossils, and antiquities, naturally, this led to her to sell antique jewelry. Initially, she started off selling costume jewelry, and now also sells fine jewelry too. If you’ve checked out her shop before, you know how exquisite her pieces are. This one has been a favorite of mine for a long time!

I asked Duff what were some pieces that get her really excited and she said… “I love Victorian moonstone rings, lockets with name and date engravings, and simple Art Deco 22K gold bands. I also have a thing for 1930s Czech glass necklaces. But engraved signet seals are really my current jam, both to sell and to collect for myself. I’m having one set for myself right now. Merry Christmas to me!”

jean jean vintage jean jean vintage I looked into the history of my etsy purchases, and my first purchase from Jean Jean Vintage was four years ago when I got the triangle shaped locket. A couple years later, when Glow was added to the family, I got the black one from her too (it’s one of the necklaces I wear most often). I’ve been wanting to get a vintage monogrammed locket, and have had my eye on this (or this) one. Also, I  wouldn’t be opposed if Santa left this diamond ring in my stocking (it would be great for stacking with my current rings!).

My Christmas wish list is pretty much filled with antique jewelry pieces. I blame Ben, since he gifted me a victorian turquoise ring a couple years ago, I have been even more obsessed since. If you need help finding something to put on your wish list, I say Jean Jean Vintage is a good place to start. With coupon code CAKIES15, you could get 15% off the Jean Jean Vintage shop through the weekend, so find your favorites, email it to whoever your Santa is and give them the coupon code too. That’s totally what I do to Ben all the time. HA! If you want to keep up with Duff’s new listings, you can follow her Instagram here (@jeanjeanvintage).

row one: edwardian locket, bloodstone ring. row two: pearl midi ring, victorian moonstone necklace. row three: victorian coral ring, mixed cut engagement ring.



winter garden readying

winter garden readying winter garden readying winter garden readying winter garden readying winter garden readying winter garden readying winter garden readying It’s that time to get everything ready for the winter garden. Ben took out the tomato plants, amended the soil, and we’re working on getting the covering ready for the plants. The 2′ rebar rods are hidden except for the top 6″, then sheathed with PVC piping, and will be covered by Agribon row cover. I’ll share another post as this process develops. We are planting everything from seed this year, so it’s another sort of trial and error thing; we will see how it goes.

Other than that, Ben amended the soil with bulk amendment from a local soil distributor. Any free Saturdays we have are usually spent working on projects. Ben’s working on outside ones and I’m working on inside ones. There’s always something to do or fix; maintaining and growing a garden takes a lot of work and dedication (and money). Though once you get everything in and flourishing, it’s so satisfying to be able to get food from your own backyard.

I’m thankful Ben takes the time to research and do all the grunt work for our garden. If he didn’t, I totally wouldn’t, and our backyard would just be grass and concrete. His birthday is coming up next week and his one request is that we all work on the garden together. That request is easy enough that I think we could make that happen. Hopefully, it doesn’t rain on that day. We’ve been getting a couple of really good rain days in, something we love and desperately need, but that means we get off schedule on the garden plans because Ben’s not able to get out there and work on it. Any of you doing a winter garden this year?



our mini thanksgiving feast

mini thanksiving feast 2014 mini thanksiving feast 2014 mini thanksiving feast 2014 mini thanksiving feast 2014 mini thanksiving feast 2014 mini thanksiving feast 2014 mini thanksiving feast 2014 mini thanksiving feast 2014 mini thanksiving feast 2014 This was our first mini Thanksgiving feast with just the six of us. Hopefully, we can start a new tradition of doing a mini feast on Thanksgiving Eve because Thanksgiving Day is spent with Ben’s family for lunch, and mine for dinner. While I cooked and prepped, the girls got the table ready with place cards and notes. Their thank you notes were so sweet. To decorate, they just gathered whatever fall-ish decor I had around the house and put it all over the table.

I’m not brave enough to attempt a whole turkey, so I used this turkey breast crockpot recipe, this stuffing, and we did the Brussels sprouts recipe that’s in my book. Of course, we also had mashed potatoes and gravy, and pies! It was all your traditional things made as healthy as possible, so that means whole wheat stuffing, lean sausage, no butter in potatoes, and lightened up pies. There were a couple rounds of toasts, as the girls loved drinking sparkling lemonade (they rarely get juice), while Ben and I sipped on a Santa Margherita Prosecco. It was nice to be able to take some time to celebrate a day of Thanksgiving with the six of us.

Somewhere along the evening, the girls were so excited and crazy (in a good way) and they started their own mosh pit. I don’t even remember where that came from, but all of a sudden, the four of them were jumping and bouncing around in a corner together laughing and yelling. Ben and I were just laughing at how silly they were, and as much as they drive me nuts, I know I have lots to be thankful for.



diy: wee felt house & a little mouse

wee felt house and tiny mouse Wee Felt House & A Little Mouse

Wee Felt House & A Little Mouse Template
3 – 12″ x 12″ wool felt rolls
Felted flowers and balls
Various scraps of felt or wool felt (for the mouse)
Coordinating embroidery floss
Embroidery needle
Poly-fil (for the mouse)
Snap buttons
Fabric glue

wee felt house and tiny mouse Directions:
1. Using your template as a guide to cut out the triangle portions of the house roof. For the body of the house, cut out five 5″ squares from your wool felt fabric. For the side of the house roof, cut out two 4″ x 5″ wool felt pieces. For the windows, cut out three 2″ squares, and for the door, cut out a 2″ x 4″ piece of wool felt.

wee felt house and tiny mouse 2. Hand sew your door and windows onto four of the 5″ squares, set aside one to be the bottom of the house.

wee felt house and tiny mouse 3. Pin the four walls of the house to one of the four sides to the bottom of the house. To attach, use a blanket stitch to connect each piece together. Go around sewing the all four sides of the bottom of the house. Continue sewing together the corners of each house. Then, sew three sides of the top of the house. Leave the top back of the house free of stitching.

wee felt house and tiny mouse wee felt house and tiny mouse 4. To make the roof of the house, pin together the long side of the two 4″ x 5″ pieces together, then pin the ends to the two sides of the triangle (the 5″ side of the triangle should line up with the bottom of the roof. Blanket stitch all sides of the roof together, but leave the back bottom of the roof free of stitching. Then, pin together the back bottom of the roof to the top back of the house, and blanket stitch those two edges together.

Cut out a 1″ x 8″ piece of wool felt, sew each short end 3″ down from the top center of the roof with a blanket stitch, and continue to blanket stitch all the way around. This is the handle of the house. Using fabric glue, add the felt flowers and balls to decorate the house. This can also be hand sewn on as well.

Sew on the snap buttons onto the top right and left of the house; one stud on the bottom center of the roof, and one socket on the top center of the house body.

wee house and a little felt mouse wee felt house and tiny mouse wee felt house and tiny mouse Wee Felt Mouse

1. Cut out the felt pieces for your mouse using the template. Stitch on the inner ears onto one of the mouse body pieces; this will be the front of your mouse. Place the front and back mouse body pieces together, with the right side facing out, and stitch all the way around the edges of the mouse to create the mouse body. Leave a small opening, lightly stuff with Poly-Fil, and then continue to sew the opening closed.

wee felt house and tiny mouse 2. Sew a strand of floss up through the bottom for the little legs of the mouse. Sew on a little felt foot on each end and knot. The bottom of the feet end up dangling about 1″ down from the base of the body. Sew another strand of floss through one side of the body and out the other side for the mouse arms. Sew felt hands on each end and knot. The arms and hands extend about 1″ out on each side of the mouse body.

wee felt house and tiny mouse 3. Embroider on the face of your mouse and add any additional touches you may like. I added a tiny bow tie on mine. With your embroidery floss, add on a tail at the back of your mouse.

wee felt house and tiny mouse 4. Line up the three cheese block sides with a triangle and stitch all the sides together to the triangle. Continue to sew the sides of the cheese block, and then add the bottom triangle and continue to stitch all the sides of that piece on. Before stitching the cheese block closed, add a tiny bit of Poly-Fil, and then stitch the cheese block closed. Make sure that all the sides, edges, and corners of the cheese block are stitched together. I had made all the pieces for this tiny mouse when I felt like he was missing something. Then it dawned on me: this little guy needs a cheese block. I think it was the perfect addition!

wee felt house and tiny mouse wee felt house and tiny mouse wee felt house and tiny mouse wee felt house & a little mouse Isn’t this wee house and little mouse so cute?! He’s the perfect little friend to tote around with his wee house. You could also use the template to make a whole family of mice! There is certainly room for more to live in the house. This tiny house from a small box could also be used for the mouse (or mice) to live in.  It’s a present for one of the girls, but I’m tempted to give it to her already. To help fight the temptation, I better wrap it up for Christmas and put it under the tree. This project is a fun one to make and would definitely be a good present to make for Christmas. It’s also a great project to do with older children, and they could make little mice for friends.

Supplies for this project was provided as part of the Michaels Makers series.

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pie making This week’s learned, links, and thankfulness…

I want to make this cute clay bunny bowl.

Ms. Tips is having a 30% off sale! These deadstock vintage sunglasses for kids are adorable.

Jean Jean Vintage is having a 15% off sale. This victorian seed pearl ring is gorgeous!

I loved the movie Maleficent. I thought it had such depth and it was a creative way to spin the old classic.

If you’re looking for a wooden dollhouse, this simple geometric dollhouse is really cute!

I’m stuck on what to get Ben for Christmas. The men gift guides I see out there never help me.

We finally got the Christmas music started, and while the tree has already been out, it’s time to get the rest of the Christmas decor out too. The girls are giddy with anticipation!

I’m thankful for friends who I can text on those hard parenting days, and for a husband who showers me with words of encouragement.

Don’t forget to Shop Small today and check out some of the small businesses I partner with on the right. Happy shopping!




jean jean vintage ms. tips citykid treehousekidandcraft-CAKIES.4.13 lotta sqapothecary entrance10


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