Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Thrifting is Finally Good

Not being able to source enough stock for the shop has been one of my main concerns since moving to Vermont. For the first few months I just wasn't finding dependable places to source vintage. In Boston I knew exactly where to go, how to get there, and what to expect when I arrived, but up here there isn't a true thrift store for miles and miles around. Sure, there are plenty of antique stores selling country primitives for thousands of dollars, but that's not the kind of thing I'm after.

Online searches weren't turning up much, either, so I finally just started asking around. Jackpot. Turns out most of the good thrifting spots around here aren't online. You can't look them up, you just have to know where they are. After grilling my bargain hunting neighbor and the clerk at the post office, I got a few leads that have panned out pretty well. I now have a handful of dependable spots in my back pocket, and am hitting my thrifting stride.

Yesterday I went out for a few hours and came back with a car full of treasures, a few of which are pictured above. I'm planning another outing for Saturday, so with any luck will be listing all kinds of great finds in the shop by Sunday evening [breathes a big sigh of relief].

Monday, January 28, 2013

Inspiration on Pinterest

It's no secret that I love Etsy. I run my own Etsy shop, and support other sellers by purchasing items off the site instead of at the big box stores whenever possible. It feels right to do business with individuals who put care and creativity into every item, and for whom each sale really matters.

To collect, share, and showcase the amazing pieces I discover daily on the site, I've started a Pinterest board called My Favorites on Etsy. If you love vintage and/or handmade, feel free to check out the board and follow along. I add new items each day for fresh inspiration. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Wedding Dress

On Wednesday I took the train to NYC to attend a surprise birthday party and spend time with friends I had not seen in much too long. I stayed with my dear friend Marie, who is currently getting her fashion design degree at Parsons, and has graciously agreed to design and sew my wedding dress!

While Josh & I can't quite seem to figure out how to want to do this whole darn wedding thing, let alone set a date, one thing I do know is how I want the dress to look -- simple, simple, simple, and not bridey. Marie and I drew dress sketches and fabric shopped in the garment district on Thursday, and by Saturday she had a muslin sample of the dress complete for me to try. What a talent! Thank you Marie!!

Now I just need to get on that whole setting a date thing...

Images above: Bolts of white fabric at the giant fabric store Mood where we bought the final dress fabric (a crepe)  //  Dress sketch  //  Draping the dress with muslin on a body form  // Truing the lines and putting in seam allowance before re-draping on the body form  //  cutting the muslin pattern

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

This Morning

Images above: View from the house  //  Fern playing in the snow (per usual, Riley was inside under the covers)  //  The woods behind our house

Monday, January 21, 2013

Little Dog on Design*Sponge

Today I am absolutely thrilled to be featured on my all time favorite design blog, Design*Sponge. The article includes a peek into my Boston condo, including details about the vintage finds inside and my numerous furniture DIY projects. The Little Dog Vintage shop and this blog also get a shout-out.

Design*Sponge began featuring virtual tours of cool homes back in 2007, and since then I haven't missed a single one, so I am beyond honored to have my little condo included. Head on over to Design*Sponge to check it out if you are so inclined!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Barn Update

As some of you may remember from this post, we had quite a bit of work to do in the barn. It needed a serious cleaning job, heating, and cabinetry before it could function comfortably as Little Dog Vintage headquarters. We've made a TON of progress over the past few months, and I wanted to share an update on the space. It is by no means finished, but is really starting to take shape!

Below is the original barn "To Do" list from the beginning of the summer.

  • Build storage cabinets with doors that seal shut to store shop merchandise
  • Clean and paint the walls & ceilings (we spent a whole day last week vacuuming spider webs and dirt off the walls in preparation for this)
  • Clean and paint the work bench that runs along the length of the left wall
  • Find a large slab of limestone to set the wood burning stove on (limestone will radiate heat from the wood burning stove) (We may or may not do this eventually. The space heats up just fine without it.)
  • Find flue attachments for stove & install
  • Insulate the wall behind the stove to avoid damage from heat (Installed the stove 3 feet away from the wall instead.)
  • Set up Internet in the barn (Using internet in the house for now, may extend the range to the barn eventually)
  • Install new ceiling lights (Not yet)
  • Clean and seal, stain, or paint the cement floors (Decided they are fine as is for now. We gave them a good cleaning.)
  • Have an electrician fix breakers in the electrical box (we are currently only getting power from one outlet)
  • Build photography setup: Make a table with wheels on the bottom out of an old barn door I found at the burn pile at the dump. This will be used as the base surface my my photographs. Buy a large piece of drywall and attach it to a rolling wall frame. This will be used as the wall background for my photographs. The whole setup will be able to roll around the workshop as needed to get the best light. (You can see the completed photo setup here.)
  • Set up computer, printer, packaging supplies, etc. (Keeping most of this in the house for now until we set up internet in the barn.)
  • For next year: paint the outside of the barn red with white trim (Still a next year project)

The cabinets along the wall store the vintage stock, and the top is a work space for projects and packaging. Wall shelves hold more stock, and my photography setup has found a happy home at the front of the barn where the natural light is best. Here are a few more shots...



 And finally the new workout area on Josh's side :)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Recipe: Pineapple Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates

Josh comes from a family of healthy eaters and avid exercisers. They adhere to the paleo diet, which is a high fat, low/no carb eating plan free of dairy, sugars, legumes, and grains. Josh and I aren't strict paleo, but we do make an effort to eat healthy most of the time.

For Christmas this year Josh's sister Jenna and her husband Mat gave us a paleo cookbook that has convinced me paleo meals can be absolutely delicious. Practical Paleo is chock full of recipes, ingredient substitutions, and 30 day meal plans to address specific issues such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and digestive issues.

Today I am sharing my favorite recipe we have tried thus far, Pineapple Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates. For anyone who has come to know and love Devils on Horeseback, this is a tasty, healthier alternative.


1 dozen dried, pitted dates
12 pineapple slices
6 bacon strips
12 toothpicks

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425° F.

Slice the dates down the center lengthwise, and place pineapple slices in the center of each date where the pit had been. 

Slice each bacon strip in half so that you now have two pieces from each strip, each approximately 4 inches long. Wrap one piece of bacon around each pineapple stuffed date and secure with a toothpick. 

Place the bacon wrapped dates onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until the bacon is done to your liking. Let cool for a few minutes before consuming.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Dan Reisinger

Some time ago I found a vintage poster at Goodwill marked Dan Reisinger, and not knowing what I had, hung it on the wall and forgot about it. Flash forward a few years to a new house in Vermont where bright, graphic, mid century prints don't quite fit in. I decided to sell the poster in my Etsy shop, but after doing some research discovered that I've had quite a nice find on my hands all this time.

Reisinger was born in Yugoslavia in 1934 to artist parents, and went on to design beautiful posters, logos, corporate identities, environmental design, and paintings. The peace movement plays a large role in his designs, and I love his striking color combinations and the clean but whimsical feel of his work. I especially love the series of travel posters he created for Israeli airline El Al in the late '60s to early '70s. All images below were gathered from Enjoy!

*Disclaimer: all images are for viewing only; reproduction is not permitted

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Scenes from VT Route 106

Our drive to town this morning was perfect for snapping a few shots of the winter landscape. After two weeks of frequent storms, the rolling hills and farms that define the area are now blanketed with a few feet of snow, and it is really something to see.

Our house is in Reading, a rural town with small farms nestled into hillsides and valleys off country roads. Weathered old barns and white farmhouses are the norm. A ten minute drive north on the main road out of town puts us in South Woodstock, an enclave of traditional old brick homes settled around the beautiful Kedron Vally Inn and tavern. A brook runs under an old stone bridge at the center of town. Another ten minute drive north delivers us to the center of Woodstock (population 3,300) where we can do errands and eat out.

The shots here are from our drive through Reading and South Woodstock on Route 106, with the last photo of the brick house taken in Woodstock Village. Enjoy the scenery!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Delicious Snow

It's been snowing on and off since we returned from California, and Fern can't get enough. She is content to frolic all day in the subfreezing temperatures, stopping only occasionally to sit on the deck and eat snow. When she returns to the house, the balls of ice wedged between her toes make a click clack sound on the hardwood floor, reminding me of a lady in high heels.

Riley, on the other hand, prefers to stay inside on the couch all day chewing bones and napping in his "den".  He's still a bit of a city slicker.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Basement Remodel Update

The room still looks pretty rough, but believe it or not we've made good progress on the basement remodel front over the past few weeks. The room looked like this only a short time ago.

During the week before Christmas Josh framed the walls and electrical box, and took down the closet wall to expand the room. This week we've started installing furrings on the ceiling (our wood beam ceiling will eventually be attached to the furrings) and purchased the materials for the radiator box, recessed lighting, and drywall install.

Over the next few weeks we hope to install the drywall, wood beam ceiling, recessed lighting, and radiator cover.

Image above: The framed walls, electrical box, and furrings. Image below: The area that once was a closet! French doors we found at a flea market will be sanded, painted, and installed on the empty wall to the right, opening up the space into the second bedroom.