Shalom's Cottage Home Blog

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Rock Island, IL, United States
Hi, I'm Shalom. Artist, crafter, gardener, flea market enthusiast, bargain hunter, and lover of flavor. Welcome to my journey!

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pick Your Color! Dahlia Garden Wedding & Bridal Shower Invitations

My Dahlia Garden wedding series is now available in 8 delicious color options!
SUMMER SALE - 15% OFF!!! (limited time only)

Idea File: What to do with a beat up antique frame

Remember that antique frame I picked up at an estate sale back in March for just $2.75? Do you think I had any idea what I wanted to do with it when I bought it? Ha! But none of that matters, if you follow the mantra, "Buy what you love!" This does require some genuine soul-searching (which is a finely tuned skill that must be honed down to take mere seconds in some cases, if you want to snag that bargain before someone else swipes it out from under your nose). Especially if you are running out of closet space and can't afford to rent a storage unit for all your "treasures"...ahem. But, like love, when you know, you know.

Two months later (a pretty good record for me!), I figured out what to do with my "find"and created a 3-D vignette with the frame on top of my fireplace, using an antique silver cake stand (a previous flea market find), a hand-painted clay vase (from the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan), some flowers (yes, artificial, but they can always be switched out for fresh) and two modern glass votive holders (Crate & Barrel). SO much, more interesting than just plopping a painting inside it and banging a nail into the wall for it to hang on. What's great about this idea is that it's easily interchangeable for the seasons. Also - because I've been in the habit of buying things I love for years, when the mood struck me to redecorate my living room, I didn't spend a dime!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Playing "Secret Agents"

Today, I took a lesson from my preschoolers to heart and stepped into the role of a "secret agent" (sans oversized magnifying glass). Of course, I was really only window shopping, but as I visited several area stationary stores to review their wedding product offerings and asked the same questions of any interested customer who had an upcoming wedding to plan, I did feel a little bit like the female spy in any James Bond movie. I was cool, calm and oh so conversational. And I have to tell you - I learned A LOT: from the names of paper and stationary suppliers to the types of products that are hot with brides today to the brand of imprinting equipment they use. Nothing the salespeople wouldn't have shared with any other savvy customer, really, but I have a feeling if I'd waltzed in and announced that I was the owner of an up and coming stationary business and was here to snoop for ideas, I might not have been received as warmly. Of course, I have no plans to drive anyone out of business - if anything I hope to have my line stocked in their stores someday. I can't afford to attend the National Stationary Show (my dream destintation!) and I feel like I've bled the internet dry of any useful information regarding getting started in the stationary business so undercover research was the next logical step. Not only was it WELL worth my time, but I had FUN!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Today I'm Thankful For: Free Fresh Flowers

The simple gift of being able to come home at the end of a long day and breathe in the scent of a peony blossom truly is priceless (especially when it comes from your garden!). Here are some of the lovelies I've been bringing indoors for so far this spring, for however long they will last...
Pink Peony (perennial)

Yellow African Daisies (annual) and Coreopsis (perennial)

Allium (perennial)

Note: perennial: comes back year after year on its own; annual: must be planted each year

Friday, May 14, 2010

Today I'm Thankful For: Healthy Deliciousness!!!

A nice big bowl of this yummy concoction is filling enough to pass for a meal, yet oh so good for you!


Fat-free plain yogurt (or vanilla for the chickens out there)
Honey, to taste (skip, if using vanilla)
Fresh, sliced strawberries.

This takes only about 5 minutes to put together. Just dump a few spoonfuls of plain yogurt into a cereal bowl, drizzle honey over the top and stir. Add more as needed. Then slice up enough strawberries to cover the top. Enjoy!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Today's Score: Vintage Metal Pieces

So, I was just happily minding my own business, working at the preschool run out a local church, when I started to notice a lot of activity going on in the fellowship hall. Turns out they were gearing up for their annual garage sale (actually more like a mini flea market in size) and they encouraged all church workers to shop early to get the best deals. Oh boy did I! For a whopping $12.80 I scored the following:

3 vintage white metal storage crates: $.10 each (yeah, I couldn't believe it either). I just LOVE the decorative round holes in the sides. Sometimes it's all in the details.
5 wooden frames: $.50 each. I'm collecting them for a black/white photo wall I have planned for my living room re-do.

Vintage metal school desk: $10.00. Now THIS was just too good of a deal to pass up! I had one of those "Ah Hah!" moments when I saw it and quickly nabbed the closest person to put a SOLD sign on it for me. It's just so quirky and fun. I'm thinking of re-painting it a glossy orange color and putting in a corner in my spare bedroom as an art center for when my niece and nephew come over.