Starting anew is always a good thing! Here is Vol. 1 of "Artful Living on the Bluff" for you to enjoy. While I am not contributing new material to this blog, please feel free to look around and then visit me at the new and (hopefully) improved "Artful Living on the Bluff" blog at

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It's been a busy summer! In addition to just being... well... busy, things have also been changing for my business. Wanting to cut back on my vintage inventory, I am trying to curb my insatiable need to stop at EVERY garage sale I see and am getting rid of stuff (aka. donating) by the boxful. Going through years of accumulation and deciding what to keep and what to purge is HARD work!

I have also been trying to change the focus of my artwork away from factory-made beads, supplies and findings to using more and more found and upcycled materials such as fiber reclaimed from used clothing and trims and treasures found and/or scavenged second-hand.

So, that being said, here are some shots of my newest creation made entirely from upcycled materials including vintage crochet doilies, fabric remnants, scraps and trims found at tags sales and thrift shops. I haven't named it yet - the naming part is always the hardest - so let me know if you have any suggestions :)


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sunny Summery Vintage

I found this fabulous fabric from CarawayCache... a great treasury collection (curated by lovelytocu) entitled Sunny Summery Vintage. I hope you will stop by the original treasury page to see all of the unique vintage finds and leave a comment, if you so desire :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Vintage Inspiration from Modern Magazines

During my garage sale-ing last weekend, I found some great vintage items but I also scored back-issue Elle Decor and Architectural Digest mags from the "free" box. (I love, love, love the "free" box!!) I always find lots of wonderful inspiration for uses for vintage treasures inside - mostly from the advertisements - go figure... Here are some shots of pages I particularly liked - Enjoy!! :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Goods (aka. What I found last weekend!)

There weren't a lot of sales this past weekend and I could only go out on Thursday. I was happy with the pretty items I found! Here are just a few:

Here's the lot! Some VERY pretty finds here!!
This tissue holder is to die for! Probably not Bakelite but the carved plastic is simply luminous with swirly hints of pearl
Another view... just because!
This pretty tea tin doesn't have a maker's mark but what fabulous graphics!
These sweet framed cameos are already available in my Etsy shop! I hope they find a new home to pretty-up!
Green is my favorite color so I just couldn't pass this little gem by! Is he Vaseline glass?? If I had a black light, I could find out.
Wow! What a fabulous jar of vintage buttons! I can't wait to sort through these babies!
These linens are destined for a tea bath - they will be SOOO pretty when they come out!
I don't think these beautiful crystals are vintage so they're going to be added to my stash of cool stuff to use in my upcycled jewelry creations. Find out more about my jewelry by visiting my website at
Speaking of jewelry... I found these great shirts at sales, too! They are not vintage and are less-than-perfect for wearing but they have such wonderful details that I bought them for use in some of my wearable fiber art. They'll most likely get thrown into the tea bath as well.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing the goods for this week! Please be sure to stop by my vintage shop to see more :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Art Market

The Art Market is a local arts and crafts show held the 1st and 3rd Saturdays during June, July and August down along the riverfront in Dubuque, IA. The Art Market is put on by The Dubuque Art Center (in conjunction with other local sponsors) and I have taken part in the last two. This is the first time I have ventured into selling my wares "face-to-face" and I have really enjoyed the experience so far. Not that I have made a ton of money or anything. The little money I have made has come in handy but times these days are not easy for a lot of people and I make jewelry. No matter how you slice it, jewelry is a luxury item. 'Nuf said.

BUT I will say that I enjoy seeing people react to what I make and I love it when one of my creations goes off to a new home. I also like the feeling of accomplishment that comes from a day of honest work. Selling at fairs is hard work! It's definitely not for woosies and (for me, at least) takes some strategic planning to make sure you have all of you ducks in a row. The bottom line is that I really enjoy it and would recommend it to anyone who has been thinking about diving into doing weekend craft shows.

My advice is to start small and local. Borrow a tent canopy your first couple times out. Unless you know you will want to use a canopy anyway for backyard picnics and weekend camping trips, don't invest in one right away. If you start by doing shows locally, you will not have to worry too much about hotels, meals and travel expenses. And if you forget something, you will be close enough to (A) drive home and get it or (B) call someone who loves you enough to bring it to you.

Money aside, I find that I enjoy it. REALLY enjoy it! And I know I want to expand and continue exploring the art/craft show possibilities. Here are some shots from yesterday at The Art Market:



Saturday, July 2, 2011

Morning Coffee Quotes

The first blossom of summer! - photo by Cindy Caraway

“If the whole world followed you, would you be pleased with where you took it?”
- Neale Donald Walsch

“Losing an illusion makes you wiser than finding a truth.”
- Ludwig Börne

“Things turn out the best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”
- John Wooden

“Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.”
- Henri Louis Bergson

“What torments of grief you endured, from evils that never arrived.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Learn how to separate the majors and the minors. A lot of people don't do well simply because they major in minor things.”
- Jim Rohn

“There is no worse sorrow than remembering happiness in the day of sorrow.”
- Alfred De Musset

“To speak ill of others is a dishonest way of praising ourselves.”
- Will Durant

“We have the Bill of Rights.
What we need is a Bill of Responsibilities.”
- Bill Maher

“Respect gained by fear is only an empty pretense that turns to contempt the moment the threat disappears.”
- Michael Josephson

“An optimist is someone who goes after Moby Dick in a rowboat and takes the tartar sauce with him.”
- Zig Ziglar