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!

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What I’m Lovin’ in October

October is my favorite month of the year! I’m sad to see it go, but man was October good to me 🙂

{Image via Pinterest}

{Image via Pinterest}

There are so many things that I’m lovin’ this month, but here’s my short list!

oct

Since October is my birthday month, you’ll have to forgive the fact that almost all of my favorites this month revolve around that 🙂

Oh, well – Cheers to being one year older!

1. the watercolor family portrait by Rachel Tenny my sister had made for me

If you've ever met me, the Hubs and our pets, you know how very SPOT ON this painting is ;)

If you’ve ever met me, the Hubs and our pets, you know how very SPOT ON this painting is. 😉

Y’all know how much I love my sister and when it comes to birthdays, she never disappoints! She’s also been pushing me to get some family pictures taken (no wedding = no fancy couple pictures) so this was the perfect solution! 😉

A few months ago, I discovered Rachel on Instagram through some common friends. Her posts are so thoughtful and uplifting – not to mention beautiful. Of course, I had told my sister all about how much I loved her work.

When I opened the portrait (which my sister had framed beautifully…upside down!), I almost cried. It was beyond thoughtful and something I will cherish forever.

My sister says that Rachel was amazing to work with! I’m shamelessly encouraging you to support this super talented local artist by ordering from her shop, but secretly I want to hoard all her time because I have about a billion family portraits I want her to make for me! 🙂

2. the Lavender Mocha at Drip

Lucky for me, my birthday fell on a Saturday this year which means I talked my sister, brother-in-law and the Hubs into going to The Good Life Cafe for brunch followed by a stroll through the Soda City market which ultimately landed us at my very favorite coffee shop, Drip on Main where Rachel aka “the Best Barista in Town” (as confirmed by Free Times) treated me to an iced Lavender Mocha {to.die.for. – for real, go grab one now!}

The Lavender Mocha is to.die.for!

Thank you for the treat, Rachel!

3. Learning new tricks to make my snail mail even fancier!

After learning the calligraphy basics (read more about that here), I’ve been diligently practicing and sending obnoxious amounts of snail mail (this month brought on a great excuse for thank you notes!). I was thrilled when I ran across a tutorial for “5 Unique Ways to Address an Envelope” on The Postman’s Knock.

{Source: The Postman's Knock - click the image for link}

{Source: The Postman’s Knock – click the image for link}

The best part about the post is that she includes styles that you can do without any “real” calligraphy training (aka: faux calligraphy).

4. Flowers

The morning of my birthday, the Hubs said he was going for a run. An hour later he arrived home carrying a vase full of beautiful flowers! Not only were they gorgeous on their own, the story of how they got to my house paints quite a comical picture: The Hubs arrived at Publix, picked out pink roses for sentimental value (the first flowers he ever bought me were pink roses), baby’s breath because they are my favorite and yellow because who doesn’t love yellow?! Then bought a vase, scissors and a bottle of water [which must have come from a cooler because the vase nearly slipped out of my hands from all the condensation!]. He cut the stems in the parking lot and arranged them all by himself in the parking lot of Publix. I can only imagine what this looked like to the grocery shoppers that morning!

flowers

I think we’re all familiar with the fate of most plants that end up in my care (remember the Dutchess?), but my sister insisted on sending pansies home with me last weekend.

After a bit of resistance, I gave in and took those pretty purple flowers home to adorn my porch for as long as I can keep them alive.

pansies

I have to admit, being greeted by colorful little flowers after a long day of work sure is splendid. 🙂

5. Any excuse to shop for vintage clothes!

One of my favorite local vintage shops is having a sale on Saturday, November 8th from 12-4pm at the Conundrum Music Hall. The Thrifted Sisters are two super sweet sister-in-laws who have a knack for finding the coolest vintage apparel (and other neat vintage goodies) and making them generously available to you (and me!).

thrifted sisters

Aside from the event on Nov. 8th (which you should definitely go to), you can find their goodies on Instagram (you get first dibs there and you’re the first to hear about sales!) and Etsy.

My friend Shanika and I attended the  last party the gals threw and we had a blast trying on some super cool vintage outfits – like this awesome faux fur wrap Shanika found:

shanika

This picture makes me feel regret for not snatching this for myself!

And last, but not least: I’m lovin’…

6. All of you who made me feel so special on my birthday!

If you're not following Kid President on Facebook, you need to! {Click the image for a link to his page}

If you’re not following Kid President on Facebook, you need to! {Click the image for a link to his page}

I love birthdays – not only because they’re full of delicious treats (like homemade cupcakes from my sister!), but because they’re a reminder of the fact that people care about you! My heart is so full from all the birthday love this month. Thank you to everyone who made me feel so stinkin’ special!

{Catch up on all What I’m Lovin’ monthly posts here.}


What I’m lovin’ in June

Whatever happened to things slowing down when the weather gets warm? The only thing slowing down is my energy being zapped by this blanket of humidity that’s taken over Columbia!

June went by in such a flash my list of June-lovin’ wasn’t ready until July – I do hope you’ll forgive me!

june

 

1. Planning my imaginary vacation through airbnb’s Instagram feed.

There’s a such thing as #TreeHouseTuesday which led to me starting a “wish list” of all the treehouses I want to visit.

Like this one in Vermont:

treehouse

this one also makes me long for snow… 🙂

2. Vintage clothes.

This one should be pretty obvious by now, but as a short gal stuck between junior & adult styles who dislikes both, vintage clothing has saved my work wardrobe from looking very confused.

In addition, I love the way vintage clothes are constructed – sturdy, comfortable (and oh-so-soft!) and timeless.

I just got this fabulous shirt from Saint & Rambler Vintage a few weeks ago at the market:

S&R shirt

A few months ago after I made my first dress ever (the #OutAndAboutDress by Sew Caroline – you can see my picture here on Instagram), I found a tutorial for adding tulip sleeves which I added to my “make this!” list. Unfortunately, I haven’t made an Out & About Dress with Tulip Sleeves (yet!), but when I saw this shirt I knew I had to have it!

Aren’t the tulip sleeves just the best thing ever?!

sleeves

3. Succulents.

They’re everywhere right now! I see them all over Etsy in listing photos and on all the hip design people’s Instagrams.

Well I’m neither hip nor much of a plant enthusiast (after the time my cat knocked over my only indoor plant I vowed to never have an indoor plant so long as Mr. Norton is still alive & kickin’…literally). However, I saw this baby hens & chicks succulent at IKEA for $3 and fell in love:

theodore

I named him Theodore and took him to my office before Mr. Norton realized he had been in the house.

I’m happy to report that a month later, Theodore is still very much alive which is a significant improvement from the fate of Dutchess Jamie Lynn the orchid. Apparently hens & chicks are hard to kill (thank goodness!).

4. Garden fresh tomatoes!

The garden we planted at my grandparents is flourishing so of course, my appreciation for fresh produce goes beyond May. 🙂

There’s really nothing more tasty than a sun-ripened tomato sandwich on fresh baked bread (try Heather’s Artisan Bakery at the Soda City market!) slathered in Duke’s mayonnaise and sprinkled with a little sea salt & fresh ground pepper. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

tomatoes

Also lovin’ the fact that my sister is successfully growing lots of cherry tomatoes – and she doesn’t even like tomatoes! Thus, I have been getting little deliveries of tomatoes for the past few weeks 🙂

turtle

5. Light & fresh summer recipes from Cooking With A Wallflower.

Recently, she posted a recipe for a Cheesy Tomato Basil Quesadilla that I tried with a spin (I’ll post my spin on the recipe soon!) using the tomatoes from my sister’s backyard garden. It was heavenly!!

I hope you loved June as much as I did and Happy Independence Day!!

{Catch up on all What I’m Lovin’ monthly posts here}