Charmlicious at MRS Designs

Have you bought your charming Christmas tree yet? 

MRS Designs Blog - Charm pendants made with vintage clock gears

We are busy here at MRS Designs putting together our Christmas trees. They are made from discarded clock parts, beads, and wire.

MRS Designs Blog - Charm pendants made with vintage clock gears

The trees are part of a new product here at MRS Designs. We are offering charm clusters that can easily be clipped onto necklaces, hats, purses, scarves...anything to help your day to be charming and cheery!

Here is a charming cluster of trees...Ahhh yes and a snowman too!

MRS Designs Blog - Charm pendants made with vintage clock gears

Here he is in the making...Uh-oh looks like a white out blizzard!

MRS Designs Blog - Charm pendants

Here we are...much better.  The "snowman's components" - two beads in graduated sizes, a rondelle, and a head pin. 

MRS Designs Blog - Charm pendants in the making

Working on these cute charms is like working in Santa's Workshop!

MRS Designs Blog - Charm pendants made with vintage clock gears

Here are some charming pendants made with Mother of Pearl buttons...find more in our shop!

MRS Designs Blog - Charm pendants made with stacked mother of pearl buttons

This one reminds me of a cluster of gumdrops...

MRS Designs Blog - Charm pendants made with mother of pearl buttons

Wishing you clusters of inspiration!

MRS Designs Blog - Charm pendants made with vintage clock gears

 

Remember reuse, renew, repurpose

Margaret

Annual Mill Tent Sale at the Faribault Woolen Mill!

Earlier this month I blogged about the beautiful downtown Faribault, Minnesota where you will find my favorite antique store. Today I'd like to share with you the "soft" country side of this charming little city and a special place you will find along the Cannon River.

Here is the Cannon river which runs throw Alexander Park - a park named after the founder of the city, Alexander Faribault. 

MRS Designs Blog - Annual Tent Sale at the Faribault Woolen Mills

It is a scenic spot where you will find ducks, fishing, a dam, and a Woolen Mill.

Today is different than most, there is something extra special happening here this weekend! See that huge tent???

MRS Designs Blog - Annual Tent Sale at the Faribault Woolen Mills

As you can see this weekend, September 26 and 27(9am-4pm), the Faribault Woolen Mill is having their annual Mill Tent sale. It's a saving of 85% on seconds and has many discounted products!

MRS Designs Blog - Annual Mill Tent Sale at the Faribault Woolen Mill

Pretty cute welcome! There is a huge tent filled to the edges with boxes and boxes of blankets, throws, scarfs, etc! 

Reminds me that winter is around the corner and I need to stock up on wool!

MRS Designs Blog - Annual Tent Sale at the Faribault Woolen Mills

I especially liked these "ticking" wool blankets and scarves:

Faribault Woolen Mill is a family owned business known for its quality and durable, comfortable wool blankets. It is the oldest manufacturing company in Minnesota and is the last remaining woolen mill in America that uses raw wool and also creates woolen products all in one place.

Watch this video about the woolen mill to understand my love of this store:

I also wanted to mention their beautiful wool bags that you will find in their online shop. They are awesome and made to last with leather handles and many compartments. They are on my Santa wish list :)

MRS Designs Blog - Annual Tent Sale at the Faribault Woolen Mills

Prices at the sale were excellent and I was able to find many things!

MRS Designs Blog - Annual Tent Sale at the Faribault Woolen Mills

The staff was very helpful and ready to check our purchase.

I am so proud of our Mill! Target has announced that Faribault Woolen Mill will be joining to create an exclusive line of classic-meets modern collection of American-made accessories and giftable items starring the heritage mill's signature 100-percent wool textiles. This includes an assortment of bags, throws, scarves and tech accessories (smartphone cases and tablet sleeves) which will be available starting November 2nd. Here is the announcement Target made, along with another great video. I can't wait!

MRS Designs Blog - Annual Tent Sale at the Faribault Woolen Mills

The other day, while window shopping at the posh Galleria Shopping Mall in Edina, I found this cute window display which said, "Wrap yourself in Minnesota History" and then realized it was filled with Faribault Blanket products! I was so proud to see the success the woolen mill is having.

MRS Designs Blog - Annual Tent Sale at the Faribault Woolen Mills

Please visit their online shop and support a local business. I guarantee you won't be disappointed!

 

Remember reuse, renew, repurpose.

Margaret

New Product Update!

Well, it has been a pretty busy summer! Remember back in June when we gave you a glimpse into the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee? Some of our favorite finds there were the soldered lace pendants made by the oh-so-cute shop, Two Charming Chix. We have finished two necklaces now using the pendants and are so excited to share with you how they turned out!

We've combined the pendants with gorgeous vintage pieces to create truly unique necklaces. Ciao for now...I'm off to make more!

 

Remember reuse, renew, repurpose.

Margaret

Vintage Half Dolls

This week I'd love to give you a glimpse into one of my vintage collections: half dolls and pin cushion dolls. I find them to be so sweet and can't help but want to save them from the dusty shelves of antique stores and dress them up to their full potential!

A little history first about the dolls:

Most vintage half dolls or pin cushion dolls were produced between 1900 and 1950. Many were made in Germany, by firms such as Dressel & Kister, F. W. Goebel, Ernst, Bohne & Sohne, Heubach, Hertwig, Karl Schnider, and many others. Japan made many inexpensive models. Most half dolls are between one and nine inches tall and are generally made of porcelain. Half dolls are often found unmarked, marked Germany or "Made in Germany," marked "Japan," or with a four or five digit mold number. Only a few are marked with a distinctive company mark. The bottom edge of the half doll was made with several holes for thread, and the doll was stitched with a voluminous skirt. They were made to be incorporated into something useful like to cover a hot pot of tea, powder box, pincushion, whisk broom, or lamp.

MRS Designs Blog - Vintage Half Dolls

Looks like a host of characters ready to party!

MRS Designs Blog - Vintage Half Dolls with Broom Bottoms

Remember girls, our job is to sweep...

MRS Designs Blog - Vintage Half Dolls. Some are animals!

You will also find animal heads. This dog half doll is made in Japan.

MRS Designs Blog - Vintage Half Dolls, Jester

This sweet jester half doll is made in Germany.

MRS Designs Blog - Vintage Half Dolls with Plaster Bottom

This half doll is a towering eight inches tall and has a plaster bottom with number 5024, Germany on the back.

MRS Designs Blog - Vintage Half Dolls Collection

I like to call my collection, "The ladies in waiting."

When a half doll arrives in our shop, she is usually in need of something...desperately. They just seem shy and embarrassed with their situation, and I feel I must do something!

MRS Designs Blog - Vintage Half Dolls. Sometimes they are in rough condition!

Sometimes their stuffing is rather stinky and is sometimes filled with old wood chips...

MRS Designs Blog - Vintage Half Dolls Original Filling

So we carefully take them apart, and begin with a new and fresh beginning.

MRS Designs Blog - Vintage Half Doll Pin Cushions, How to Refinish

We begin with a sturdy base made of wood. A muslin skirt is made to fit around the base and then it is stuffed with new wool batting.

MRS Designs Blog - Vintage Half Doll Pin Cushion

She consults with a stylist and picks out the latest in vintage adornments. Usually this would include vintage hankies, vintage lace, ribbons, beads, and vintage buttons. Ahhh...thats better. I think she agrees!

MRS Designs Blog - Vintage Half Doll Collection with Two Refinished

Both of these pincushions are available in our shop. We have also posted three half dolls if you would like to dress up your own lady! They are waiting for you now in our shop, ready to serve and to be loved again!

 

Thanks for visiting.

Remember reuse, renew, repurpose.

Margaret

How to Paint and Decoupage an Old Book Cover or Journal

Here is my faithful bible that I purchased in 1970. It has been well used and needs a facelift. Sure, I could have sewn a new slipcover, but I had heard that Annie Sloan chalk paint will stick to almost anything!  

So I prepped the book by removing the pages, which were still intact with its original book webbing, leaving the flaps.

MRS Designs Blog - Paint and Decoupage an Old Book Cover - Step 1

I opened it up and laid it flat on a painting surface. I brushed on Annie Sloan paint "Pure White" on the outside and let it dry. 

MRS Designs Blog - Paint and Decoupage an Old Book Cover - Painting the cover

Then I painted the inside flaps.

MRS Designs Blog - Paint and Decoupage an Old Book Cover - Annie Sloan Paint

I folded back the page and pressed them back together and then opened them again. The texture appears to look like angel wings or feathers. Annie Sloan chalk paint is very creamy and perfect for this.

MRS Designs Blog - Paint and Decoupage an Old Book Cover - Annie Sloan Paint Inside Pages

I let this dry again and then I topped it with a light coat of Annie Sloan wax to seal it and then buffed it lightly.

MRS Designs Blog - Paint and Decoupage an Old Book Cover; embellishing the outside

Back to the outside of the book. Here is where it really gets fun. Collect together all your paper embellishments like old music, vintage wall paper findings, stamps, old postcards (mine were written by my grandmother who sent them to me when I was little) and other graphics that have special meaning to you. The Graphics Fairy is a fabulous resource where you will find over 4,500 free vintage images. Pre-arrange them on the dry cover so you get an idea where to place them once you are ready to glue down with "Mod Podge" glue. Use stamps and paint to add texture after the first coat of glue has dried.

MRS Designs Blog - Paint and Decoupage an Old Book Cover; Stamp Tips

A trick to place stamp images exactly where you want them is to first stamp the image on white tissue paper. I use the Cost Co brand. Using water, paint around the image and tear it out. Then glue down exactly where you want it...no guessing or luck required! Be sure to give your cover three good coats of glue. Here is the new front...

MRS Designs Blog - Paint and Decoupage an Old Book Cover; final product

And here is the back...

MRS Designs Blog - Paint and Decoupage an Old Book Cover; final product cover

The wonderful thing about using Annie Sloan paint is that it leaves a time worn, vintage look...in a pretty way, of course!

MRS Designs Blog - Paint and Decoupage an Old Book Cover Finished Product

Why not pick up some velvet bookmarkers that you can find in our shop to go along with your "new" book!

Thanks for visiting.

 

Remember to reuse, renew, repurpose.

Margaret

Engagement/Wedding Gift Idea

Over the holidays, Nicole attended an engagement party for a close family friend and needed to find the perfect gift. She wanted something unique, personal, and memorable as being engaged is such a happy time for a couple. With MRS now offering custom monogramed necklaces, she thought it would be great if we could take our custom designed lenses to a whole new level.

The result - she designed a sweet little ornament for the couple with their initials and engagement date. Hanging from a delicate vintage lace ribbon, the ornament turned out great!

The final touch for the party gift was an excellent bottle of Provocateur by J.K. Carriere. Nicole was able to travel to Willamette Valley in Oregon this past spring with her husband and in-laws and this pinot was one of their favorites of the THIRTEEN wineries they visited. Hanging the ornament around the bottle neck provided an easy solution for no wrapping required (give her a break - it was Christmas time and she couldn't handle anymore wrapping paper).

If you need a personalized gift for an engagement party or wedding, this could be a great option for you! Check out the Custom Vintage Lens Ornament section of the website where you can request your own custom designed ornament. Just fill out the request form and we can get started!

To Annie and Harminder, we hope you love your ornament...and the wine of course!