Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Fashion Finds

                        Studded jeans, leather necklace by ChykShop, black tank and sunglasses

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Fashion Finds

Spiky sweater top, ChykShop skirt, Suede boots and aqua t-shirt scarf from UrbanChyk

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Handmade Leather Necklaces

Strolling through the sidewalk arts and crafts area of Kyiv, Ukraine, we came across a number of handmade leather items. Some of our favorites included handmade leather necklaces. We decided to try and make some similar necklaces for sale in our boutique in Kyiv. Our necklaces were made to be statement pieces and were a little bolder than the ones we were seeing on the street. They sold out quickly, so it is time to make some more. Here is a look back at those we made last year. Be on the lookout for ChykShop leather necklaces in the near future!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Brimfield Antique Fair

I am constantly on the hunt for new treasures, whether they be antiques, vintage finds, art work, fashion accessories or home decor pieces. I love to antique, collect, pick and re-purpose items and have found that New England is a great place to find them. Last weekend I went to the Brimfield Antique Fair (, which claims to be the biggest antique fair in the US and maybe even the world. This fair is so vast that you cannot begin to cover it all in one day and I loved it, not only for the huge selection and great prices, but because most of the dealers would let me bargain with them. It must be the Ukrainan in me that likes to haggle because I don't ever want to pay full price for anything. Even if the price is already good, I still have this desire to negotiate with the dealer, just for the fun of it.

One of my favorite items that I picked up in Brimfield was this antique trunk. I love the leather and tin details and, with a little clean up, it will be great for storage to hold my purses or blankets.

I have a bit of an addiction to purse shopping! I love all types, sizes, and brands. I especially like the old, antique, beaded purses for decoration and use the leather/crocodile/snake purses for everyday wear because they are less fragile.
I found two lovely beaded purses at the fair and framed them in a shadow box. The cute brown purse is sturdy enough to actually use and I just loved the shape of it.

I also picked up two frames that were perfect for some pictures that I bought at the Yarmouth Clam Festival earlier in the summer and have been waiting to frame and put up on the wall. The silver frame is an antique frame which I sanded and repainted with the silver color. In the frame is a piece from Dan Johnson Designs. The black frame is not an antique (the fair has a great selection of new and vintage items, too) but it frames this picture from Scott Ainsworth Photography beautifully.

I also picked up some nick-nacks for my house, one being this beautiful cloisonne box. I have already marked the dates for the Brimfield Antique Fair on my calendar for next year. If you are in the New England area, I highly recommend it!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Bead For Life

Bead For Life is a great organization that is helping the women of Uganda work their way out of poverty. The Ugandan women use recycled paper to make beads for jewlry. The motto at Beads For Life is "Eradicating Poverty One Bead at a Time". I bought a beautiful purple necklace which is perfect for a fall accessory.

I believe Bead For Life provides a great way to shop for something cute and special, while at the same time helping a great cause. These necklaces or braclets make great gifts for birthdays or the upcoming holidays, especially for the philanthropist friend or family member.

Another interesting thing the women of Uganda offer on the Bead For Life site, is Shea butter products, such as soap and cosmetics. Shea butter is said to have incredible moisturizing and healing properties so the women collect them, prepare them and crush them to extract their moisturizing goodness for use in their products. The website has an interesting video showing this process: here. I am thinking that these products will make fun stocking- stuffers this Christmas.

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Monday, September 3, 2012

T-shirt Infinity Scarf

What to do with an old t-shirt? I have been making Infinity Scarves out of them! Quick and easy to make, these Infinity Scarves add a splash of color to my outfits and I like being able to do something with my old t-shirts that were near and dear to me!

Castleberry Fair

Yesterday, I attended the Castleberry Art and Crafts Fair in Topsfield, Massachusetts and came home with a handful of handmade goodies!
My first purchase of the day was pumpkin scented goat’s milk soap from Northwood Naturals. It smells wonderful and is perfect for the fall season. A few of the ingredients they use in the soap in addition to goat’s milk are olive oil and Shea butter which give it a smooth, creamy feel. I made a return trip to the fair on Sunday and purchased some more soap, including Peppermint, Maine Blueberry and Just Lemon. They all smell divine and my experience with handmade soap tells me that they will retain their fragrance for the life of the soap. I will keep these on hand and just tie a few of them up with some wire ribbon for those unexpected occasions when I need a small gift.

The next item I came across was Muddy Mary’s Bloody Mary Mud. I am a huge fan of Bloody Marys and this is a convenient way to make the perfect drink. You just add the “mud” to tomato juice and vodka. Delicious! Even better, the mud came in a box with a cute ribbon, making it a great gift for any Bloody Mary drinker!

At almost every craft fair, I pick up some sort of painting or photography. As we all know, the east coast is very picturesque and I came across a sweet lady with some prints I had to have. Her booth was called Anna Janessa Photo Art and I found her to be a very talented photographer. She offers many services including Fine Art prints, Black & White photography with selective hand painting, Portraits, Photo Restoration, Special Event photography and more. I selected 6 photos that were taken in Maine and Massachusetts of the 5x7 size because I happened to have some left over frames that size. They will make a terrific grouping on the wall.

It is never too early to start shopping for Christmas so I stopped by the Birds, Blooms and Butterflies booth which had hundreds of hand painted ornaments. I selected one with a hand painted picture of my favorite flower, the sunflower, on it. I can’t wait to hang this up on the tree this year!