Monday, September 1, 2014

Intro to Chronic Pain Awareness Month Blog Series

Etsy features a blog series called Quit Your Day Job where they highlight sellers who are successful enough to run a full time Etsy shop. Making the leap from hobby to full time business is a choice for most people, but a necessity for some.  

During the month of September, I will be running a series of interviews with five other Etsy shop owners who have disabling chronic pain conditions. They are not able to work outside of the home. Etsy offers the freedom and flexibility for those, like me, who have pain conditions that restrict us from holding down "day jobs." These women will share with you how they overcame their challenges, worked to grow businesses with certain limitations, and also tips for others considering starting an Etsy business.

My inspiration for writing this post came from a time where I tried to go back to the workforce myself. I am recently divorced and trying to support myself without relying on disability services because of the way a lot of people view "invisible illnesses" vs visible disabilities. I found that I was unable to work outside of the home due to a variety of conditions, and I am so thankful I also have my Etsy business I can continue to grow. There is something truly special about being your own boss when you are not able to report to others due to medical conditions. I will share my story this week, and I hope that you will also continue to follow the entire series. 

The statistics on chronic pain vary greatly, but it is currently estimated that up to half of the American population experiences some type of reoccurring pain. I know that many chronic pain conditions affect women more than men, so I thought that this topic would be interesting to share with all of the people who love Etsy (which I know has more women Sellers/Buyers than men, so I thought it would also be applicable to both populations). 

I hope that you will check out their shops and choose to support their businesses when you are browsing Etsy. I have already purchased items from one of these sellers and plan to support others as the Holiday giving season approaches.

Featured Etsy Sellers:

Anna of Artibility
Kris of Laughing Vixen Lounge 
Loretta of LorettaJos
Loye of Loye's Threads
Shannon of Perriewinkles

For more information on the American Chronic Pain Association and Chronic Pain Awareness Month, visit

Looking forward to sharing this series with you!


Thursday, August 21, 2014

How to Style a Great Shelfie

My Shelves are always getting changed and rearranged. I like to add a combination of books, frames, and decorative items for my "shelfies." 

[A shelfie with my kitties from last year, before I restyled the built-in]
[A more recent shelfie]

Here are some of my tips for stylizing your bookcases and shelves:

  1. Have a theme. For example, in my front room I had a nautical beach theme, so a lot of the candle holders had braided rope or sea glass. Also match the scents of candles to your theme!
  2. Included framed photos and other personal items that are not store bought. These will make your shelf unique from any other catalog pic. I have a lot of items that were passed down from my family on my shelves.
  3. I like to avoid end to end books. I will stack smaller sets of book and lean some for variety.
  4. Consider adding a letter, such as the initial for your last name, to continue the personalization of your shelf.
  5. Add small succulents to bring life to your shelf. These plants are low maintenance, and can also be displayed in terrariums.
  6. Don't forget to adjust or remove shelves to expand the height of your displays. You can add taller items by raising the shelves.
  7. I usually DIY some of the items on my shelves. If I want to have a color theme, I might spray paint vintage items and vintage frames to have a cohesive look.
  8. Upcountry Vintage has lots of great boxes, nicnacs, and small decor items tagged with the keyword "shelfie" to help you find unique vintage items for your bookcase. Consider metallics and neutrals that can always be updated and changed as you update your style trends.

Here are a couple of my pics from the shop for great vintage accent pieces to your shelf:

[Ceramic Frames with Gold Trim by Upcountry Vintage]

[Mid Century Madonna and Child by Upcountry Vintage]

[Vintage Milk Glass Bud Vase in Starburst Pattern by Upcountry Vintage]

[Skull Sculpture in Wood and Oak Apple/Gall - Former Disney Artist by Upcountry Vintage]

[White Enamel Hospital / Surgical Container by Upcountry Vintage]

What's your tip for a great Shelfie?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Roundup: A Passion for Pineapple

I was going through my photos from when I lived in Maui recently, and came across my visit to the Maui Tropical Plantation (we would often bring visitors from the Mainland there to see all of the different plants that grow on the Island). I loved to see the way Pineapples grow, and now I am loving how Pineapples have become trendy due to their great geometric shapes!

I have rounded up some items, including a salt and pepper set from my shop. I hope you get a chance to check out some of these great pineapple themed products that are cropping up!

Vintage Mid Century Wooden Salt and Pepper Set by UpcountryVintage
Tiny Pineapple Necklace Rose Gold Filled 14k by BeauAndStella
Vintage Set of Brass Cutout Pineapple Candle Sconces by ssmith7157
Tote Bag Pineapple Organic Cotton by PetiteMila
Pineapple Print, Mint and Coral Pineapple Art by MelindaWoodDesigns
Pineapple Pattern Yellow White Pom Pom Tassel Shorts by SuccessDress

Are you in love with this geometric motif too?
What are some of your favorite pineapple themed products?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Guest Post by Ashley of DelightfullyDutch on How to Identify Dutch Pieces

Jess here! I am so excited to introduce you to Ashley, another vintage housewares and home decor seller from Etsy. We both bonded over our love for Dutch decor, so I invited her to share with you her expertise on the subject. Be sure to check out her shop, follow her on Facebook, and also on Pinterest.

[Ashley and her husband, who are both Etsy shop owners]

My name is Ashley and I'm the owner behind DelightfullyDutch, a vintage shop on Etsy. My grandparents are from Holland and I grew up visiting my Dutch grandmother (Opoe) frequently, whose home is like an antique store and museum in one. I admire her joy in her treasures and her incredible knowledge of every piece.

When I go out on the hunt, of all the items that catch my eye, treasures from the Netherlands are always a delight! Some can be spotted with just a quick peak under the base. For instance, beautiful and rustic pewter pitchers and vases read Royal Holland Pewter just underneath. They look breathtaking as a centerpiece filled with spring blooms. And don't be bothered by any bumps to the pewter, they add great character and farm style charm! 

Be sure to keep an eye out not only for blue and white windmill tiles, but also sepia toned, bright multi-colored, and naturally colored farm life scenes. There is a beautiful variety of authentic Dutch tiles, some of the most rare and valuable feature scenes in purple and date back to the 1700s.

A few hints I'd like to offer toward the blue and white ceramics--they're called delft blue. They can be found in tiles, vases, plates, cups...etc. To spot one made in Holland, you may find it says "hand painted in Holland" or that delft blue reads in Dutch as "delfts blauw".

Finally, many European countries have motifs of a boy and girl. To tell a true representation of a Holland boy and girl verses Austrian, Swedish or even Pennsylvania Dutch is that the boy and girl will be facing each other and bending in for a kiss!

I hope you are more excited to search for and enjoy Dutch delights! Come by DelightfullyDutch for ideas and gifts related to the culture of the Netherlands!

Dank je wel! Thank you!

[Vintage Pewter Pitcher Royal Holland Pewter by DelightfullyDutch]
[Vintage Dutch Tile Trivet Ceramic and Cast by DelightfullyDutch]
[Vintage Copper Teapot Ceramic Delft Blue Lid by DelightfullyDutch
[Vintage Dutch Jar Container Food Storage by DelightfullyDutch]

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Day That Started It All

I still remember the day I decided to start Upcountry Vintage. I had lived in Maui for less than a month and was thrift shopping at a new thrift store. I was overwhelmed with the great mid century home decor items I found on one trip, and was too broke to keep them for myself, but felt I needed to connect them with people like me who would appreciate them too!  I found my calling to begin Upcountry Vintage. These are the items that started the shop, and I feel like they still represent my shop style to this day. I love graphic motifs and scandinavian design, bold colors, milk glass, and fun figurines.

[As a former graphic designer, I loved the bold colors and lines on this plate.]
[This cake plate was so beautiful, I knew I had to share it with Etsy.]

[A nun figurine playing tennis, how could I pass this one up?]

If you are an Etsy seller, do you remember the day you decided to start your shop?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Dog Days of Summer

Upcountry Vintage was included in this lovely summer treasury curated by Susan on Etsy. Please swing by and check out the great items here.

[This is the Ice Cream Scoop available at Upcountry Vintage - perfect for an Indian Summer!]

How are you enjoying your summer?