MIMI-TORIA"S DESIGNS ONLINE Square Market Online Store

Friday, January 30, 2009

A Tribute to My Wonderful Mom

Margaret Catherine Johnson
January 30, 1925 to July 7, 1995

My Mom
What a beauty she was. Today, would of been my Mom's 84th birthday. I loved her dearly and truly do miss her. I want this blog post to be about her life, her memory and the impact she made on this world from the time that she was born to the time she lost her life to cancer.

This is my Mom holding kittens when she was pregnant with Sandy the first of the seven children she had.

My Mom at age 36 with my sister, Ingrid
(the one lovingly looking up at her bald little sister)
and I'm the baby in this photo.
Edna Bergren with baby daughter, Margaret.
Note: she was a baldy too, like me.
My Grandma looks so chic in this photo.
Mom was a darling little blond toehead with blue eyes. Isn't she a cutie! Her Swedish heritage surely shows through at this young age. My Mom was an only child for the 1st seven years of her life, and than along came her only sibling, her little brother, Vernon. My Mom loved to sing and her favorite thing to do was to go to Shirley Temple movies for .05. My sister, Sandy told me that my Mom admired Shirley Temple so much that my Mom would take a navy bean and put it in her cheek, pinch it together, and than tape it at night, so that she could one day have dimples like Shirley. How cute is that? My Mom also loved to dance with her singing and as an only child she had to go with her parents to the bowling alley and would stand on the counter and perform for all of the adults. That would of been fun to see.
This photo is great, as it includes my Great Grandma Kump, my Mom as a teenager and her little brother, Vernon. Note the gorgeous vintage flower basket and lovely flowers. Both my Great Grandma and all of her daughters were lovers of flowers. I think my three sisters and myself have inherited that love of flower gardening from the Kump lineage.

My favorite photo of my Mom!

She was a wonderful woman, if only I could be more like her. She was soft spoken but very friendly, she was as honest as the day is long, she never said anything bad about anyone, and she was always thoughtful.

Photos of my Mom and Dad during their time of dating.

January 19, 1946
Margaret Catherine Bergren weds Ralph Linne' Johnson

Wedding Photos 1946
They were married in a blizzard!

My parents were married for 50 years! That is incredible.

The photo below shows my parents love-

Photos of Mom and Dad and their seven children. My Mom gave birth to seven kids, three boys and four girls in a 12 year time span. She was pretty much barefoot and pregnant.
My Mom was a homemaker and with seven kids in toe, she was kept quite busy. My parents had the first three kids in four years. There were two girls at the top, three boys in the middle, and two more girls at the bottom. My Dad always says, the girls at the top and again at the bottom were so that they would have built in dishwashers and never needed to buy a dishwasher. That was sure true.
My Mom was really quite the hostess in her 50 years of marriage. They bought the "home place-farm" that my Dad grew up on and with that came all of the relatives and company over the years. Our family was always the gathering place, so I have fond memories of many extended family gatherings.

In 1991, my Mom was finally diagnosed that December with a non-curable cancer, Multiple Myeloma. She was a survivor and fought many times to keep going over the years that she was sick. She was a very Godly woman, had a beautiful voice and used it to glorify God through being in the choir at church, singing for many local funerals and many weddings down through the years. My Mom was the sweetest woman I've known, and never had anything bad to say about anyone.

The above photos are some photos showing the seven children with their children.

This is a 3 Generation photo with my parents, myself and Emily as a baby. My Mom was very sick during my pregnancy as well as the entire time after Emily was born, but she would always get excited to share the joy Emily's birth gave to me regardless of how she was feeling. Here she is shown wheelchair bound, with oxygen, as well as other difficulties. My Mom lost her battle to cancer when Emily was just 8 1/2 mos. old. I know she's in Heaven and has a new healthy body and one day I will see her again, so on days like this when I'm feeling blue, I will put my trust in seeing her once again. I love you Mom!

Emily Victoria Schaumann
This photo was taken just after Mom passed away.
The day before Mom died Emily learned to give kisses, and
gave my Mom lots of kisses. She passed the next morning.
Thanks Mom for giving me life and being the wonderful person that you were.
You were my best friend, as well as my Mom.
Love you always-

Thursday, January 29, 2009

How I Got My Business Name

So you may wonder when you see my blog name: Mimi-Toria's Designs, and wonder, how in the world did Gretchen come up with that name? Well, I'm going to answer that question here for those of you that don't know me. I decided to start making jewelry when Emily, my daughter, was just two years old and I was a stay at home mom. When Emily was just 1 years old, she would say her name was Mimi Toria which was how she said Emily Victoria. That is how I came up with my name.
For years, I have used the below photo of Emily which also has a double reflection of my Mom (photo on table by mirror). All of the photo props were brought to the photo shoot by me and were significant to me. My Mom had bought me the lace dress, the shoes are my wedding shoes, the photo of my Mom, a long strand of pearls that were my Mom's, etc.
Below in this photo you can see the triple reflection of my Mom. I love this photo and have a color tinted one of it in our home, and use it for my business as well. My business is in memory of my Mom as I lost her to cancer when Emily was just 8 1/2 mos. old. My Mom was a very self giving person and I dedicate my business in memory of her.
Emily Victoria Schaumann - my daughter at age five.
Tomorrow is would of been my Mom's birthday and I plan to do a tribute in memory of her and wanted to post this blog before that one.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Vintage Necklace Redesign "SOLD"

So you may be wondering, where has Gretchen been and what has she been doing? Well, I tell you what, I haven't been just laying around doing nothing. Since I last posted, I've created 50 new button style pendants, a "Livestrong" cancer bracelet in memory of my Mom whom I lost to cancer, created about 10 pairs of new earrings, spent a day working on a new style of business cards and business tags. I've also been working on a "contributor challenge" for Junk Market Style a group I am highly involved with. To see more about that visit this link at: http://www.junkmarketstyle.com/item/6509/jms-contributors-challenge .
So until I have a bit more time to post all of my new items I've been designing and do it properly, I am showcasing this gorgeous vintage redesigned necklace that I made. The original necklace left much to be desired and surely wasn't something I would wear, but it had great bones about it. I kept some of the existing chains intact, as well as the great focal tassle and than added to it.

I had a fine set of vintage white pearls that were from a vintage necklace that I took apart and decided to use these pearls to form the shorter portion of the neckalce and to set off the fabulous pearl/focal that I recreated.

Note the detailing of this focal piece. It has vintage AB crystal rhinestones set into it, as well as small seed bead pearls and very fine detailed gold filigree floral embellishments. This is truly a lovely and wearable piece of jewelry now for the time and era we now live in. It has a new life!
The focal was made with the use of a vintage mother of pearl button as a backer and the fabulous vintage clip on earring that has been attached to the button to form this fabulous redesign.

The final photo doesn't do this piece justice at all, but it shows the overall effect. The tassle pearls, the pearl strand of beads, and the focal piece with pearls, all combined give this a look that is stunning when worn. This piece is now "SOLD".

Monday, January 19, 2009

Vintage Style Earrings "SOLD"

Have you ever tried to do a photo shoot with a helper? How about a four legged helper? Every time I set my stuff out to start photographing, our helpful cat, Coco Chanel, just always has to be right there sniffing and being a part of the action. She is such a funny cat.

These earrings started out with a vintage gold filigree finding that has a vintage mother of pearl mosaic piece that was a never used piece which was purchased through ebay. They have been glued to the filigree setting and than are attached with 14 kt gold filled jump rings and lever back earring findings.

I've been trying to get some earrings up on my blog per a viewers request, but just haven't been able to until now. Although there is only this one style at this point I will try to add more in the days ahead. It is much more time consuming, now that I am editing all of the photos before posting them, working part time, a contributor on the Junk Market Style site, working on projects for the JM site, designing and creating jewelry, a wife, mom to a busy 14 year old daughter, as well as trying to wash the clothes and clean the house when I have time. Ha! The lives we women try to maintain. It's crazy. So please be patient and don't give up on me yet.

Here's a side note for my Junker friends that follow my blog.
Note the awesome chippy aqua vintage wood plynth block that I've used for my photo shoot. This was a great find, as I use it in my homes decor when I'm not using it for photography.
In the top two photos the velveteen muted gold piece of fabric was purchased at the same Occasional sale that I bought the great little girl photo I have shared with you all in the previous post. These great items I found is what I love about combining junking and jewelry design. The vintage feel of my jewelry is just set off best with the warmth of old pieces.
"One Persons Junk, is Gretchen's Treasures".

Free Images for Your Use

I thought it would be fun to share some wonderful vintage scans of originals that I have collected over the years. The three of these could be used for altered art projects, valentines, framed alone, added to a collage as well as many other fun projects and ideas you may come up with. I also enjoy doing altered art projects as well as the Junking and Jewlery Design, so this will represent some of the altered art postings that I plan to include on my blog.

This first one with the couple seated on the bench is a vintage postcard and it is one I've had for quite a few years and just recently came upon while organizing and decided to scan it. Why not share with others such great pieces of history.

The second image is also a vintage postcard and is just a lovely print of roses.
It could make a beautiful Valentine's Day card.
The third image is hands down my favorite of the three. This Victorian Era scanned photograph is one that I purchased last week while out shopping at an Occasional Sale in Minnesota. I totally can see angels on this little cherub girl.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

My First Blogging Award

I'm so excited!!!
I just started my blog last week and I've received my first blogging award from a fellow blogger today. Thank you so much Amy. Please visit her site and support her by posting on her blog. She has some great reuses for junkers as well as people that just want to have more organization in their lives. Thank you Amy!



Amy at http://whisperwoodcottage.blogspot.com/

What this award is about...

Bloggers who show great attitude and gratitude.

What you have to do...

Upon receiving The Lemonade Award, you also pass it on to other bloggers who you think show great attitude and gratitude. Here are the rules:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.

2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!

3. Link to your nominees within your post.

4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

This award is being passed on to...

1. Lani @ http://www.cottageelements.blogspot.com/

2. Candy @ http://www.junksophisticate.blogspot.com/

3. Janis @ http://janisgurney.blogspot.com/

4. Karla @ http://www.karlascottage.typepad.com/

5. Theresa @ http://cottagegardens-theresa-smith.blogspot.com/

6. Elizabeth @ http://www.elizabethhousestlouis.blogspot.com/

7. Debbie @ http://www.curiousgoodsantiques.blogspot.com/

8. Dawn @ http://the-feathered-nest.blogspot.com/


I plan to go visit these wonderful gals sites and let them know they've been awarded a special thank you from Mimi-Toria's Designs. Please plan on stopping by these wonderful blogs and visit each of them. They all offer great inspiration to my life, to my dreams and aspirations, and to the blogging community at large!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

First Shipment

This is the first pendant to go out of the doors for this year from Mimi-Toria's new collection of jewelry. Many of you know that I had been designing jewelry for 10 years and than took a break for a couple of years, just now getting back into the design business again. Thus to celebrate my new venture, I wanted this first purchase out the door to be a memorable one.
I started with a lot of recycled products. Since I'm an active contributor on Junk Market Site, one always trys to use recyclable when possible. I'm reusing a plain white neckalce box, misc. jar of vintage buttons, vintage seam binding in black, repurposed taupe ribbon, newspaper print for the stars, 2 chipboard stars as well as the letter "A" for Ann the purchaser. I had saved this cool black/white stripe tissue paper from a clothing purchase my daughter made at a cool store in the Mall of America. It was perfect for this project.

Starting with the box top, tissue paper and trusty strong glue stick I measured approxiamately the size of tissue paper I needed to cover the box top and down into the sides of the top of the box. I glued the top down first, and than carefully worked out any creases and went along the opposite sides next. I cut the edges as needed and kind of used upholstering style techniques with a mix of gift wrapping to complete the top and bottoms of the box.

This shows the box with all of the tissue attached to both the top and bottom portions of the box. Note that if you attach the tissue paper neatly down into the sides it really gives the box a clean and neat look. Shown here with the pendant Ann had chosen to purchase.

The next thing I did was to measure the ribbons. I attached the black vintage ribbon onto the tan colored ribbon with the glue stick and than attached them both with the glue stick directly to the top portion of the box while centering it. I also glued the edges down inside the box for a tidy look.

I chose to embellish the box with personalizing it with items that I knew would be significant to the Ann. I wanted a little white fluff to go up against the ribbon, so that the stars would be showcased and I found this with the small piece of leftover piece of feathers that I attached. I chose the chipboard stars, as I know that Ann has a fondness for stars and that is what attracted her initially to the star pendant she purchased from me. I printed some newspaper print off of the computer, as I had already recycled all of last weeks papers, so didn't have any original newspaper left in the house. Next time I would use newspaper for the chipboard. I just chose to use the grey chipboard as is to layer on top of the newspaper print star. On the bottom right I attached a recently purchased black letter "A" to represent Ann's name. I hope she likes this!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Faith, Hope & Charity Necklace

Please note the brass filigree rectangle on the bottom left of this photo.
I was able to receive a small stash of these through the generosity of a gal I met
online, and I did a swap of other vintage elements in order to get these wonderful
vintage brass findings.

Shown above is the finished product I created using one of these brass
findings. Lovely elements create a lovely and one-of-a-kind design.

I have photographed this necklace on a beautiful mother-of-pearl belt
buckle, which accents the beauty of the vintage white mother-of-pearl
carved accent button I used to attach onto this brass finding. I had a great
14 kt gold filled vintage charm cluster that dangles from the center of one of the
filigree cut outs in the center and is attached by a jump ring. A delicate krinkle
style vintage chain finishes off this necklace. All elements in this collaboration
are vintage, with an exception of the jump rings.

Most items that are featured in my blog either are or were for sale.
You can contact me for further information either through this blog
or my email address at Gretchen.Schaumann@comcast.net.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Found Elements Used in Design

This vintage jet black found cameo style piece is just waiting
for me to use it in a design. Note the gorgeous vintage grey
square mother of pearl button in the lower corner. Beauty!

A great shot of various vintage white mother of pearl buttons
that are waiting to be designed with. I look high and low to find
great elements to design my jewelry out of.

There are a lot of different great vintage elements to design with in
this photo. Note the vintage gold filled locket with filigree on the
bottom right corner. The cameo hand carved mother of pearl girl
pendant in the lower left is another great piece. Hearts seem to be
filling up this photo, but they are truly a romantic sign of the times
with vintage elements and thus quite often found in my pursuit of
great finds.

Vintage keys are always a great addition to vintage styled
designs. The gold leaf elment is cool, as are the various white
vintage mother of pearl carved buttons, and the awesome very
large mother of pearl belt buckle piece up on the top left.

The top right rose gold bird will become a cool element in a
vintage redesign necklace piece, as will the great glass clear
vintage buttons and various other elements shown here.

The top left cameo piece is a finished pendant for a necklace
that is currently SOLD. It started as a combination of found
elements and is now a great one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry.

Note that the found element that takes up most of the space in
this photo is a vintage door pull. These are great design elements.
Bottom right piece started out as a vintage mother of pearl grey
button and vintage 1950's clip on earring. A lovely combination.
I just wanted to share with you some of the treasures I look for
when I am out foraging. I may find great pieces at an antique shop
nearby or while in Illinois for a family wedding. I keep an eye out
for little treasures while shopping thrift stores, garage sales, flea
markets, occasional sales, and whatever resources I happen to come
upon that may have great smalls such as these.
I have been a collector of smalls since I can first remember even back
to as early of an age as eight years old. I guess I was destined to do
this creative type of work for many years.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fun at the Beach

Gretchen, Emily and Jon vacationing at Treasure Island, Florida
Dec. 18-23, 2008

Love you Jon!

The 18th of December was Jon and my
15th wedding anniversary.

We rented a 2 bdrm/2 bath
condo suite on the beach.

Our condo from the beach view.
We were on 4th floor oceanfront.

View of the freeform pool area.

Pool view from our condo balcony.

Sunset and oceanview from our room.

Resort was U shaped and these are
the gardens in between.

Pathways through the garden area.

Gorgeous sunset.

Jon enjoying the ocean.

Shells, shells and more shells.

Me picking shells along the beach.

Amazing sunset.


Loved walking down the beach front each day.


A heart in the sand!

Emily our daughter at
Clearwater Beach.

Clearwater Beach at Sunset
crossing the causeway.

Mimi-Toria's Design Jewelry Style