resliced Happy Mail #5

I have been on a resliced happy mail hiatus lately – there has been a lot going on. Ironically, I feel like during that time I sent out even more mail than during the times I focus on sending resliced happy mail! Though some of that mail wasn’t as happy as I would’ve like (sympathy cards are never fun to send…), I did have a few fun pieces sent out (hello, Mother’s Day!) – but I’ll admit: some of those were Hallmark specialties (a girl only has so much time! And sometimes Hallmark says it best).

The fifth recipient of #reslicedHappyMail is a lovely lady who was nominated by a coworker. From reading the submission it was obvious that Audrey is fiercely loved, respected and appreciated at her office. Because the words were so sweet, I’ll share with you an excerpt from her nomination:

“Audrey is the most amazing person you will ever meet. She has always done everything she can for anyone. She recently has had to take a leave of absence from work to have a extensive surgery on her back. She has battled the pain and been uncomfortable for quite some time. I and all the employees at work miss her already and we are not even half way through the recovery time for her. […] this woman is so strong sometimes you would never know she was in pain. She has a grandson and another grand baby on the way. She is so excited and hopes that one day she will be able to pick them up again. Oh and dance – she loves to dance (or she did 13 years ago when I met her). She deserves a little bit of HAPPY in her life, for she always gives her HAPPY to other people!”

One thing came to mind after reading the nomination: In more ways than one, Ms. Audrey is one strong lady! And so, I got started on her card.

As you know, I’ve been dabbling with watercolors (of the very childish Crayola variety). The Postman’s Knock really  has me inspired to try more with watercolors (especially after reading her latest post: Painting with Watercolors for Beginners). When I saw this printable card from TPK, I knew I wanted to try my watercolors with it! Being that Audrey was described as liking all colors and being full of love, I thought this sweet floral design would be fitting for her!

And so, here is the card I sent to Audrey!

audrey

As you can see, my watercolor skills still need some work, but I had fun trying them out!

I hope this card reached Audrey and reminded her of how loved and appreciated she is!

I never get tired of reading these nominations. I love hearing all the wonderful things that people do and how they’ve impacted the lives of those around them for the better. My heart is just so full.

I also sent my penpal another letter (after a brief hiatus…sorry to keep you waiting Brenna!). I have been trying out sewing on cards since I have a load of fabric scraps that could use a new home. My penpal shared with me during a recent exchange that her word this year is “enough” so I used that as my inspiration.

penpal

The envelope is made from scrapbook paper. I glued a rectangular scrap piece of computer paper to the front for her address. I’m kind of digging the loosely sewn fabric scraps on the card. I am also loving the Sakura Gelly Roll pens I ordered. They are crazy smooth and the white looks great against the gray cardstock! I might have to invest in additional colors 🙂

You can read more about my #reslicedHappyMail project here. You can browse all of the #reslicedHappyMail creations here.

Vintage Charlotte

{Brace yourself for a long post chock full of love for handmade + vintage businesses and loads of holiday gift ideas – explore the links and images that will take you to the shops!}

glasses

Glasses from Dress My Room Interiors – click the image to be taken to her site.

At this point, you’re probably familiar with my love of all things vintage.

Well, this weekend I discovered Vintage Heaven!

Vintage Charlotte at The Fillmore

Vintage Charlotte at The Fillmore

Over the summer, my friend Emily of Butterfly Vintage participated in the Vintage Charlotte pop-up market. In the months leading up to the summer event, I started following Vintage Charlotte on Instagram and Facebook and actually won the giveaway via social media (but I forfeited the gift since I couldn’t make it to Charlotte that day…le sigh).

After hearing how amazing the summer show was and drooling over all the pictures, I made sure my calendar was marked for the Winter Market!

I talked my sister into taking the day trip with me early Saturday morning.

Here we are just before skipping inside - can't even hide our excitement!

Here we are just before skipping inside – can’t even hide our excitement!

We happily paid the $5 early bird fee to get in at 10am (admission is free after 11:00) – and let me tell you: that’s a definite recommendation! When we left the market around 12:30pm, the line was wrapped around the building – there had to be 200 people waiting to get in! And inside it was elbow-to-elbow.

We grabbed a Yelp tote…

yelp bag

…and a scavenger hunt worksheet (yes, we’re total nerds who can’t resist the enticing challenge of possibly winning a prize!)…

Yep, that's right: we got ALL the stickers! AND we were the first to turn it in. #TeachersPets

Yep, that’s right: we got ALL the stickers! AND we were the first to turn it in. #TeachersPets

…and off we went into #VintageHeaven!

We quickly found Emily to give her a good luck hug and check out her booth.

I'm always excited to see what Emily's mannequin is wearing because she has such great style! You can't see it here, but the behind me that mannequin is wearing a long sleeve floral print dress with a calf length fur vest - tres chic!

I’m always excited to see what Emily’s mannequin is wearing because she has such great style! You can’t see it here, but the behind me that mannequin is wearing a bright, long-sleeve floral print dress with a knee-length fur vest – tres chic!

After greeting Emily, we started our first loop. It wasn’t long before I fell in love with this bag from Sans Maps:

sans bag 3

{Photo credit: Sans Map – click the image to be taken to the shop}

As a gal who loves sewing bags, I am usually pretty good at resisting buying purses, but this bag really got me. The design is absolutely brilliant – the top flap is a fully functional (and very spacious) zipper pouch, the adjustable strap allows you to convert from a shoulder bag to a cross-body / messenger style with ease, and there’s even a clip on the inside to hook your keys so they don’t get lost in the pit!

The exterior of the bag was made from a vintage wool skirt (there’s even the hint of what used to be a pocket on the back) with remnant leather accents.

sans bag 2

{Photo credit: Sans Map – click the image to be taken to the shop}

The interior is made from vintage floral print linens and Marimekko fabric.

sans bag 1

{Photo credit: Sans Map – click the image to be taken to the shop}

The abundance of pockets and storage solutions prove this to be a very thoughtfully made bag.

One of my favorite things about going to pop-up markets is being able to meet the maker and hear their story. Corey’s husband is French and in their time together they have lived in several different countries. She named her company “Sans Map” as a nod to their life without borders. I enjoyed chatting with Corey and was so excited to support her handmade business. This bag is going to be the perfect travel companion for my trip to England – it’s big enough to fit my essentials with room to spare for souvenirs while still being comfortable (& stylish!) to tote around town.

Speaking of my upcoming trip, I found this very fitting travel journal (well, that’s what I’ll be using it as!) at Vintage Concord‘s booth:

england

You know my love for snail mail so it should be no surprise that I stocked up on cards at the market!

Sable & Gray‘s booth caught my eye with their quirky-yet-lovely prints.

sable & gray

And how perfect is this sweet postcard?! Kristin snuck 2 in my bag without me noticing – such a sweet surprise!

Here are a few cards I picked out from Sable and Gray:

s&g thank you

{Click the image to be taken to Sable & Gray’s shop to buy this card for yourself!}

happy bday

{Click the image to be taken to Sable & Gray’s shop to buy this card for yourself!}

Looking for a birthday card for the ladies? Check out this pretty one – I bought one of those too 🙂

And my personal favorite:

cool card

{Click the image to be taken to Sable & Gray’s shop to buy this card for yourself!}

While completing the VTG CLT scavenger hunt, I stopped at Shannon Newlin‘s booth for a sticker and spotted this gorgeous scarf:

s.newlin scarf

No, I didn’t buy it, but I almost did! Isn’t it lovely? I wish you could feel how soft it was. The print is just gorgeous.

While at Shannon’s booth taking in all of her beautiful paintings, I spotted a holiday card set I just had to have:

cards

I mean, how cute are these penguins?!

penguins

You know I couldn’t stop at just one booth for cards! So if anyone is looking for a pen pal, I’m in the market for one! 😉

One thing I always buy at craft markets is soap. Long ago my Mom got us hooked on handmade soap. That was always the souvenir she’d bring us when she had to go out of town for work. It felt like such a luxury! I’m so happy that more and more soap artisans are popping up so getting my hands on a little slice of sudsy luxury isn’t so hard anymore!

There were 2 shops whose soap collections we liked so my sister and I split the bulk sale at each – a compromise while still getting a deal: win-win!

The first soap shop was Kitsch and Fancy.

I WISH there was a scratch-n-sniff option for WordPress because these gals nailed the Pumpkin Spice scent in this soap! If you love fall, you need to order some and hold onto to this little slice of fall for as long as you can 🙂

kitsch p.spice

{Click the image to be taken to this soap in Kitsch and Fancy’s shop}

My second choice from Kitsch and Fancy: Peppermint of course!

kitsch peppermint

{Click the image to be taken to Kitsch and Fancy’s Etsy shop}

Since there’s no scratch-n-sniff options, here’s a list of other scents from Kitsch and Fancy that I recommend: Fresh Linen, Lavender Basil, Maple Pecan Streusal, and Holiday Berries.

The second soap artisan we loved: Whispering Willow.

From Columbia’s Crafty Feast to Asheville’s Bele Chere festival, I see Whispering Willow everywhere! And I don’t hate it. Not one bit. In fact, I swear by their mint lip balm – it’s amazing.

I couldn’t decide whose peppermint soap smelled the best (peppermint is probably my favorite scent) – so I came home with another peppermint soap! 🙂 I can’t wait to end my day with a long shower filled with the scent of the Goat Milk Lavender soap – such a sweet, soothing scent!

whispering willow

{Click the image to be taken to the Whispering Willow’s shop}

While stalking perusing the feed from the summer market, I discovered Ferris Wheel Vintage on Instagram and fell in love with her style. I knew I would find something great at her booth, and I did!

I found this great navy knit dress – a perfect winter work outfit – at her booth for only $15! What a steal.

{Click the image to be taken to the Ferris Wheel Vintage shop on Etsy}

{Click the image to be taken to the Ferris Wheel Vintage shop on Etsy}

Even the tag for this dress was adorable!

fw tag

{Click the image to be taken to the Ferris Wheel Vintage shop on Etsy}

Katherine’s tagline for Ferris Wheel Vintage is “beautiful, affordable, hand-picked vintage gems for all styles and sizes” – I couldn’t agree more! Her Instagram feed is drool-worthy and I definitely recommend giving her a follow.

ferris wheel

{Click the image to be taken to the Ferris Wheel Vintage shop on Etsy}

One thing that I do at every craft fair / pop-up market that I go to is collect business cards from all of the vendors selling goods that I like. While I’d love to buy from all of them, my budget just won’t allow it.

biz cards

My collection of “favorite booth” business cards from Vintage Charlotte.

Once I’m back at home, I sort through the business cards and look up the shops on social media.

Tips:

  • If you have an account on Etsy, add the shop to your favorites so that your followers will also see the shop – this helps share the love with some free marketing for your new favorite shop while also saving the shop so you can easily find them later.
  • Build a secret “Gift Ideas” board on Pinterest to collect links to items you think would make a great gift for so-and-so. As you are browsing the shops (on Etsy or otherwise), “pin” the items so you can refer back as holidays/birthdays approach.
  • If you have an Instagram account (let’s be friends!), search for the shop and give them a follow. Lots of handmade businesses are starting to do exclusive flash sales and promotions on Instagram so this is a great avenue to keep up with your shops (and score a great deal on something you wanted to buy anyway!).
  • Remember to support handmade businesses this holiday season! By purchasing from a small, creative business you are fueling the artists fire and keeping them inspired – they rely on your support! As a handmade business owner, I know how special these sales can be – and I never regret supporting another artist. [I can’t say the same for big box purchases..]

Vintage Charlotte is one of the best craft fair / holiday market / vintage-anything I have ever been to! I absolutely cannot wait until the next VTG CLT!

What are some of your favorite handmade businesses? I’d love for you to leave a link in the comments so I can check them out for the holidays!