MIMI-TORIA"S DESIGNS ONLINE Square Market Online Store

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Award From my "Junkfest" Sisters

Andrea, Lynette, Cassie, Missy

The four awesome gals at JunkFest have given me a "Kreativ Blogger" award. I am humbly accepting it with gratitude. Check out Andrea, Cassie, Lynette and Missy at their very creative site at http://junk-fest.blogspot.com/ . These gals all live in or near Carrington, North Dakota and they hold an annual JunkFest in their hometown on the fairgrounds every year. This year it will be held one day only on September 12th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. They are sold out by 2 p.m. and there is a line to get into this great event. I hope some of you can plan to attend. Go to their site to see some of their great Junk transformations and to find out more about their sale.

I was fortunate to have met these great sisters through the Junk Market Style online site at http://www.junkmarketstyle.com/ , and I started emailing back and forth with three of the four. As it turned out these gals had a Minnesota junk trip planned for the first week-end in April, and so it was planned to meet in person. They had to travel through an awful snowstorm to get here, while towing a trailer. Hardcore driver, Cassie, got everyone to Minnesota and back safely. We met in Champlin and traveled to Andover to see "the Round Barn Potting Co", ate lunch at Applebee's, visited our new shop in Anoka, "My Three French Hens" in Anoka and than on to a thrift store before they headed on their way back from their four day journey that they had been on. Lanette from Minnesota joined us for lunch, but didn't join us in the shopping events, as she had just arrived back from Texas and had shopped her heart out down there.
Gretchen & Carolyn best friends

Gretchen, Carolyn, Andrea, Missy, Lynette, Cassie

Shopping at "Three French Hens" in Anoka, MN

So now you know who I've received this award from, so I'll get on with the award portion of this blog post.

There are rules to this reward, so here they are:

1) List 7 things you love.
2) Link to the person/blog that sent you the award.
3) Choose 7 more bloggers to pass the award to.
4) Comment on those 7 blogs to let the recipients know you've chosen them.

Here are the seven things I love:

) Jesus

2) My wonderful husband, Jon, and daughter, Emily.

3) The great friends, family and followers and blogging friends I've made since beginning this journey of blog land in January.

4) Vintage cool jewelry that I can redesign with and create into a beautiful piece for 2009

5) Time-worn patinas. European decor.
6) Our Kitten - "Coco Chanel" , is 3 years old, but goes by the name of "Kitten".

7) Our cabin I named "Lakeview Cottage" and the flower gardens I'm creating there.

8) shopping "occasional sales" with Carolyn

Had to add #8.

So, the next thing is to pass on some awards to 7 people. There are so many more, but this time I am going to pass them onto the people that have been most inspiring to me and/or have assisted me in the blogging adventure first, and than those that have become personal blogging girlfriends.

1. Elizabeth at http://elizabethhousestlouis.blogspot.com/ . This was my first experience into the blogging world and she set the bar very high right from the start. She is so talented in her photography, writings, display and overall the whole merchandising aspect of a business. I think if we lived closer to one another, we'd both find joy in each others company. She has been an inspiration to me, every since I first learned of her through her articles in "Romantic Homes" magazines a number of years back.

2. Elizabeth at http://formattingtest.blogspot.com/2007/05/shop-talk-series-volume-1-7.html . This site has a wonderful "Shop Talk series" she writes for shop keepers who are starting a business and/or are in a business and it is filled with a wealth of information. I'm not sure if people know about this information, so wanted to share it as a separate award, as it is well worth the read and time. I shared this with the gals that recently started up "The French Flea" in Anoka, MN, as I believe as individuals we should always be about growing in our faiths, our characters, and our lives.

3. Karla at http://www.karlascottage.typepad.com/. Karla is another great blogger gal and was very helpful in emails instructing me and encouraging me with setting up my blog. She is a very talented artist as well. She has a definite girly-girl attitude going on in her blog, and she has been very generous with tutorials on great projects, as well as sharing her life and soul as an artist, mother and grandmother.

4. Lanette at http://www.cottageelements.blogspot.com/. Lani as we like to call her in the junking world has become a person friend, a great helper for setting up my blog, and now a partner in the new "French Flea" occasional shop venture. She has a great blog and shows how to re purpose cool items you would think were useless and makes them into awesome treasures. Her house is to die for and would be my dream house if I ever win the lottery. However, I'd move it onto a lake if the lottery provided me with the winnings to do so. Just lovely and so wonderfully displayed. Check out her site for awesome PR regarding the new shop "The French Flea", as well as Sue Whitney book signings. Love you Lani!

5. Theresa at http://cottagegardens-theresa-smith.blogspot.com/. She has so much going on her blog. She is a very talented lady and I just love her time worn patinas that she collects and sells at large Flea Market and Gatherings through out the US. She has great taste, and I really admire her. Funny thing is she and her house she lives in was featured in a national magazine and I immediately loved what she'd done to her double wide trailer. Who would of thought to do such a fabulous make-over, but Theresa. You must read about it, and to do so go to this link: http://www.countryliving.com/homes/house-tours/double-wide-mobile-0607?click=main_sr . She was about the third blog I truly followed and admired. My dream is to meet her at one of her annual blogging parties in Texas. Maybe, this Fall.

6. Andrea, Cassie, Lynette & Missy at http://junk-fest.blogspot.com/ . I just met these wonderful gals on a Minnesota road trip that they took together to accumulate finds for their annual "JunkFest" event. This is the group that gave me the kreativ award, and now I give it back, as you gals are so deserving. Each of these four girls bring their own take to the Junking world and are very talented. What is cool about their site is that there are four of them posting their inspiring, enticing projects online and combine their talents for an annual "JunkFest" event. This year it will be in Carrington, North Dakota for 1 day only on September 12, Saturday. Read more about in this post from their site: http://junk-fest.blogspot.com/2009/05/just-reminder.html . Only 127 days away. Thanks ladies for the award, but most of all for our new found friendship. Blogging is awesome!

7. Candy at http://junksophisticate.blogspot.com/ . Candy is an inspiring gal and co-contributor with me on the Junk Market site. We have become blogging friends through this site, our own blogs and emailing and she is just an all around top notch gal. So very talented and works with her beauty with very little money. Hoping to get to meet her in person someday soon. Check out her site for wonderful photographs, inspiring ideas and just a great all around blog.

Thanks ladies for all that you've brought to my life in the past year. I look forward to many more years of blogging, inspiration and creativity with you all. And Elizabeth, Karla, Theresa and Candy, I promise you, I will one day meet you for real. It's a must!

"Now go out there and continue to Bee Kreativ!"

Photo taken last week while walking on a nature walk. I was about 12 inches from this bee. A bit scary, but made for a great photo op.

Vintage Redesign Necklaces - Olivene & Gold "Both are SOLD"

As you may have noticed I have been a bit busy with the new shop which opens tomorrow morning, and I haven't been posting any photos of new jewelry, so thought it was time to do so. Here are a few samples of a couple of necklaces I've made for the shop sale.
"Olivene" - SOLD

This vintage redesign necklace was created with this wonderful focal that I have been hoarding for many years. I've added the rhinestone rondelle to add extra sparkle to the piece. It is a two strand creation. SOLD opening day at the new shop.

Front details of this sparkly olivene setting and the black wire wrapping accents the color so well.

Side view of the olivene sparkler. This is a sterling silver setting that I've left the antiqued patina on it to coordinate with the blackened wire and to carry on the vintage feel of the piece.

The back view of the olivene sparkler shows the detailing on the back of the sterling silver setting it is in.

Two strands makes this a fun, but yet substantial necklace.

I have a love for vintage rhinestone rondelles, and decided to wire wrap this one with the black wire and olivene glass Czech beads to create a focal accent on the shorter length of the two strands.
This photo shows a bit more of the necklace and how the two strands lay together.

A good shot of the adjustable chain length in the back and how this necklace clasps. There is a hand made wire wrapped hook closure and a length of wire wrapped bead and chain to add length to this overall design if desired.
The entire necklace shown in this photo. "SOLD" May 1st opening day of the shop.

"Golden" (SOLD)
This is a lovely necklace, which the photos don't really show it to its true brilliance.

Lovely sterling silver crucifix has found a new home on this Y style necklace. All of the elements used are of vintage origin with an exception of the black wire. These beads were once on a very long flapper style necklace from the "1940's" and the black beads are also of vintage origin as are the rhinestone rondelles.

A lovely reuse of a crucifix. It is a great reminder of Jesus' death and resurrection which He did for all of us.

All of the links, jump rings, and hook closure are hand made. Note the details of the wire wrapped black accent beads used in both the drop above the cross and than repeated in the drop on the adjustable portion of this necklace. Again this necklace is adjustable. "SOLD" opening day of the new shop on May 1st.

Monday, April 27, 2009

"The French Flea" Part 3

"The French Flea" is the new shop I'm selling my jewelry and miscellaneous items in starting this Friday the 1st of May. It has been a very fun and exciting process leading up to it, but I'm tired, and now just hoping all that time is well worth it and the shop is well received in the Anoka area. This will be the last preview I post before the doors open on May 1st. I will plan to do updates and reminders ahead of the sale dates, so if you want to keep in touch with what is happening with this great new shop, you can check my blog for future updates.
I've started this blog post with some photos of my jewelry area. Julie and her husband, graciously added the French doors on either side as well as the screen door on top, to build an area for my jewelry to stay permanently. I am so grateful for Julie and Terri to allow this to be a permanent location. That will be a huge time saver for me.

Mimi-Toria's Jewelry
I've used two 2' x 6' tables set in an L shape to form my area. I had made slip covered black table clothes for each of these tables years ago, and also made leg extensions so that the tables are at a higher height for shopping purposes. I then bought burlap and draped it over the boxes and elevated items I chose for creating different levels of display areas.

I only have a wall on the back of my area, and currently just have one large vintage wood frame that I've covered with burlap as well, and have my vintage redesign necklaces displayed in it.

This photo shows the right side of the area, which has the extra table coming out the end and side. I've chosen colors that are more in keeping with the French feel for my displays.

This is a long vintage peely grey painted shutter that I purchased for display at the shop. I added my business name "Mimi-Toria's" to the top in white wood square tiles and added a silver
small oval sign that says "choose with no regret".

A cool vintage dish for sale with vintage white buttons is used to display some jewelry items.

I love this vintage ornate rust and chippy aqua bathtub claw foot that I'm using to display this wonderful matching vintage redesign necklace and earrings.

Some more new, fun and funky jewels.

This is a great vintage oval frame, but was quite ugly before. I spray painted it with a platinum color to display earrings in it and it is much better. Earrings are mostly $16-$18.

A cool vintage oval frame is added to my display and has some information on it about my business. The pendant in the lower right has some beautiful abalone shell detailing on it.

Pearls and coral. What a great color combination and so Springy feeling.

My burlap and vintage wood frame necklace display.

I have two old great suitcases that I've chosen to use for my display area. Here the coral colored jewelry is hi-lited on a piece of burlap. Note the cool second bathtub claw foot that I'm using for display. Also there is a great broken tile that I'm using for display. I just really love to use found items and junk to display with. It has a time worn feeling of bygone days, which is what I'm looking for in my overall displays.
The Rest of the Shop
Terri, Robin, Julie and Gretchen included in this photo. Terri and Julie are the inspiration people of this whole new venture. They're doing an awesome job. Come see for yourself.

A view looking in from the front of the shop.

Incredible what a pop of color can add to the overall scheme of things.

Looking in from the front of the shop again towards the left side.

We have a wonderful bank of windows all across the front of the store along the sidewalk. This area is looking towards the windows in the front left corner as you look outside.

I adore this cool chair Julie has for sale. Love it!

This area is next to my jewelry display area towards the front of the store.

Lovely white desk and chair. To the right is my jewelry area and the French door dividing area.

Many of you know Lani, and this is one of her wonderful treasures she has for sale in the shop. She finds the coolest things. Love this piece.

Some of my laboratory bottles that are for sale in the shop and are displayed above in the photo of Lani's cool cupboard.

This plaster architectural piece was from a hotel in Duluth, Minnesota. It is very cool and one more of my miscellaneous items I'm selling at the shop.

That will be all for now, and the rest you'll just have to come on out to Anoka and see yourself. The dates again will be May 1st and 2nd. Then again May 13th from 4-7 pm and May 14-17.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

"The French Flea" Part 2

This is another post about the new shop I'm going to be selling at here in Anoka, Minnesota. In the previous post I explained a bit about what an Occasional Sale shop is and how it runs, so this posting will be more about before photos as well as a few in the middle of photos. I took a few shots last Thursday when setting up was beginning, so they aren't the best, but will give you a taste of what is yet to come. Julie and Terri are really the gals that originally came up with this vision and they are doing a great job with pulling it together. Julie has been recently working long hours and is seen in many of the painting photos further on in the photos posted. Thanks gals for letting me a part of this great new venture.

I will be selling my vintage redesign jewelry at this shop, as well as misc. smalls. I have posted photos of some of my smalls that I will be selling in the shop for your viewing. I only took photos of my smalls, as many of the other vendors didn't have their items in yet, or weren't displayed. Things will be different for the May 1st opening, so you'll just have to stop in and see it in all of its glory, but here's a sampling for now.

Lani and Julie worked on providing a great postcard for the shop and this is the front of it.

I'm selling lots of silver, cloches, birds eggs, misc. architecture, garden items, etc.

Below is the back side of the postcard Lani and Julie created with more information about the styling of the shop as well as store open dates and times.

This is a shot of the outside of the shop. It is really a great looking shop from the outside, but at the time I took this photo the old sign of the former shop named Pure Bliss was still on the building. I have tried to add the new shop name on top of the old here. Too funny! Just wanted you all in blogger land to be able to see the exterior of the building and know what you'll be looking for when you come to visit me at the new shop. lol Now that is being opptomistic!

Photo of me shown near my area that my jewelry will be set up permanently at the shop. I will be heading in tomorrow to actually get the area set up as I want with props and the beginning of jewelry items. Stuff is piled on the table at this point, but I will plan to share an after photo in the upcoming days of my jewelry area before the sale begins.

Now to the beginning of the shop preparation. Their were a number of plaster areas that needed attending to. Note the before color in this photo was a ivory/rose color and the new color is a nice warm color and quite "French" feeling with the black, and neutrals we're using in this shop.

A view from the middle of the shop looking towards the Main Street in Anoka. We have great side walk viewing windows as you can see. Julie is painting in the lower left corner, and three men are watching. Hmmm! I think there might be a problem here. lol Actually, all three of these guys were involved and helpful with the shop opening, just not in this photo.

There are basically two rooms to the shop, as well as a patio area. The front shop area is a nice size and quite open, so Julie has been working on some great division areas with architectural elements, etc. Julie is shown here painting in the back room area. It has been divided for 1/2 retail space and 1/2 private area for bookkeeping, etc. for the shop.

Two of the vendors are busy painting here. Since this time, the french doors and header have been removed, blocked up, sheet rocked, spackled and painted. This is the area that my jewelry will be showcased in. There was a lot of detail work and cutting in that needed to be done. This is the area of work I helped with as well, since I'm best at detailed painting, but lent my hand in the back room detail work. No photos to prove I was there working, but I was.

It was decided that the green ceiling would have to stay, since time restraints didn't allow for an overhaul on that too. The walls and the flooring would be time consuming enough. Here Terri is shown, as one of the vendors husband is using a hair dryer to hurry up the drying of the spackling that was done.

These two people worked like crazy people and along with Julie did most of the rolling of the large wall areas the night we all painted. This is the room I worked in with detail work around doors, duct work, and pipes. This area will be retail space, as the metal door seen in the right of the photo leads out to the patio area.

Photo is to show the before of the carpet. It was pretty bad, and since it had already been cleaned and still looked bad it was decided it would be painted. The days chosen didn't work into my schedule, so I can't take any credit for how this turned out. It actually looks quite wonderful.

Julie doing her magic with paint on the icky carpeting that was existing.

A nice shot I borrowed off Lani's blog of the completed floor, so you all would see it done. Thanks Lani!


One of the vendors has four of these great French styled chairs.

This is a "Junk Market" style junk re purposing project that I've done for the shop. It is a vintage stamp holder, with glass test tubes and at this time some faux flowers in the test tubes. I actually plan to have live flowers for the opening of the shop, but am waiting for some blooms.

Lots of great neutrals will be hi-lited in the shop. We are working on a French/European theme and black, white, greys and ivories are all great colors for this look.

Another area that was starting to get set up last Thursday.

This is a very cool open back bookcase that I think Lani brought in for sale. A lot of the smalls are items that I've brought in. They were just set here for the time being, as we really haven't gotten to the point where all of the big furniture pieces had been brought in yet.

Some great little French inspired flats.

This beautiful silver dish, real birds nest, faux eggs, moss, wood piece with moss and cloche are being sold at the shop as a vignette altogether. I just love nature and the aspects it can provide to the European and French style.

Check out this cool door! It is original to the building, and I'm wondering why a metal door such as this was used? It adds great ambiance to the overall feeling of this area and where it leads to.


Look at this fabulous brick wall we have in our courtyard. Note the wonderful patina it has. We plan to use this area for a garden inspired area, with lots of great items for your gardens as well as furniture that is appropriate for the outdoors.

This photo is looking back towards the metal door from our building. The courtyard is a wood floor and has wonderful varying brick patinas around three sides of the area. There is a fence and garden gate on the fourth side. Shown in this photo are the four "JunkFest" gals from North Dakota and my best friend, Carolyn. Its the only photo I had of this area, so hopefully I didn't offend anyone with its posting.

Now, get the May 1st and 2nd date written on your calenders and plan to see for yourself this great new shop in Anoka, Minnesota. Be sure to introduce yourself when you stop in if I don't already know you. I'll be there May 1st and again on May 14th. Hope to see you then!

Mimi-Toria's Design Jewelry Style