Thursday, August 21, 2014

Halloween Update!

Halloween Cone - SOLD

I am so excited about how these Halloween treats came out.  Part of me wants to be selfish and keep them all to myself.  But I must scare...I mean... share the wealth.  We hope you love these guys and ghouls just as much as we do! :-)

 As usual, this blog update offers first dibs on our new spun cotton one-of-kind figures. If you see something(s) you love, just email us at crystalandben@vintagebycrystal.com and we'll let you know if they're still available. First come first served! we'll update item status in this post as often as we can to make it easier for you to know what's available. Items often get scooped up quickly, so make your selection as swiftly as you can, you can always add available pieces to your order later.  Also feel free to include second choices in case your first choice is unavailable, but make sure you label them "second choice".  Click on photos to enlarge.

Shipping is $3.50 for one item and $1 per additional item up to $6.50, then additional pieces are free.  All paid orders will ship out immediately via first class mail and should arrive within a few days.  If you prefer 1-3 day priority shipping, please let us know (there will be an additional $3 charge).  We send Paypal invoices via email unless you specify that you'd rather pay via check. And of course email us if you have any questions!

Happy Shopping!



Spooky Caroler (Paper Mache Head) - 38
Tricky Tracy (Paper Mache Head) - SOLD
Mrs. Squash (Paper Mache Head) - SOLD

Garden Girl - SOLD
Miss Merl - SOLD
Masquerade Margret - 30
  
Proud Piper - SOLD
Ghost Scare - SOLD

Stacking Stella - SOLD
Suzie Lue - SOLD

Autumn Witch - SOLD
Matilda - SOLD

Cat Witch - SOLD
The Picker - SOLD

Mrs. Muffet (paper mache stump) - SOLD
Double Headed Hana - 30

Miss Elena - SOLD 
Miss Stacy - SOLD

Mrs. Melon (Paper Mache Head) - SOLD
Mr. Melon (Paper Mache Head) - SOLD

Pumpkin Princess (Paper Mache Head) - SOLD
Pumpkin Pumpkin Prince (Paper Mache Head) - SOLD

Mr. Bones (Paper Mache Head) - SOLD
Sir Wilson (Paper Mache Head) - SOLD

Misty - SOLD
Milo - SOLD

Twyla (Paper Mache Head) - SOLD
Esther (Paper Mache Head) - 40

Loony Luna - 46
Jack Bean - 38

Apple Bob (Paper Mache Head) - SOLD
Angie (Paper Mache Head) - SOLD

Miss Claudia - SOLD
Miss Fanny - 30

Miss Hilda - 30
Miss Swoops - SOLD

Vampire Valerie -  30
Vampire Vince - SOLD

Monday, August 18, 2014

Halloween Update Sneak Peek!

Here's a preview of what's to come for Thursday's Halloween Update!
We hope to see you here... if you're not too scared! :)
 
Thursday, August 21st - here, the blog - 11:00 am EST

Friday, August 15, 2014

Halloween Update Announcement!


Summer is quickly coming to a close.  Which means Fall is just around the corner!  Which means fun, exciting, and awesome Halloween decorating!!!
I can't wait!  And if you can't either, there's no need to.  We're going to have an amazing collection of spooky yet charming characters to kick off the start of the season.
We hope you'll all join us on Thursday.    

Blog readers get first dibs as usual and if you'd like to be notified about upcoming blog updates and special events, just sign up for our mailing list on the right side of my blog, or leave a comment with your email address
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New one-of-a-kind pieces will be available for purchase on:

Thursday, August 21st - here, the blog - 11:00 am EST

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Halloween in the House!

Boo!  Summer is slowly waning and Ben and I are chomping at the bit thinking of all thing fall!  The apples, the pumpkins, the leaves, the cool but not cold air, the candy, the ghouls and goblins...the fact that all the spider webs on our porch will finally be in season!  So many awesome things come with fall...best of all Halloween!  And with those thoughts to inspire me, I've been conjuring up a little collection of limited edition pieces for Etsy.  There are pumpkin people, witches, Halloween girls, etc. and there are 3-5 of each piece.  They are posted on Etsy now, get them while they last!  :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Happy Anniversary!

Wowie!  Has it been three years already?  Ben and I have had three happy married years together and have been happily teasing and rolling our eyes at each other for almost *gulp* ten years!  But I feel like we've known each other our whole lives.  Every year gets better and better and I'm so so lucky to have my best friend at my side always.  :)   

Monday, August 4, 2014

Weekend Wedding!

Ben and I recently were guests at the wedding of our good friends, Jess and Shane.  They are amazing people and had a beautiful ceremony and super fun reception.  And I wanted to share with you the cake topper I made for them as a wedding gift.  Jess chose blue birds for her invitation and wanted the theme repeated in her topper. 

 
Her cake is really simple and classic, making the love birds the star of the show.  I love how they turned out!
Ben looked quite handsome all dressed up.  :)

Before the ceremony we sat in this adorable stone and wood roof/bench thingy...it was really charming.

And what the heck...here's one of the few good photos of me (far away and looking down, lol).

The happy couple...love you guys!  :)


Friday, July 18, 2014

The Garden!

I always mean to post a little more about the garden for all of those who are interested.  Well...finally Ben took a whole bunch of photos for me share.  Yay!
We've been getting lots of rain again this summer and everything is booming!  The tomatoes have septoria leaf spot again this year, but they are still growing fruit and I planted way more plants than is reasonable (many are transplanted volunteers, which are always more robust than the others), so I'm sure I'll have a fine crop nonetheless.  Look...my first reddening tomato!  Exciting!

On one side of the rock wall next to the garden I planted wildflower seeds.  I noticed something coming up this spring while weeding and left it, not knowing what it was.  Well...now I know!  A mix between traditional black eyed susans and these wow factor black eyed susan type flowers (anyone know the name?).  Beautiful!

Only one peach tree survived the winter, so I bought a new, more tried and true one from the nursery in town.  Unlike my old one, this tree produces full sized peaches!  My other peach tree has yet to blossom...we'll see if ever does!

Radishes are bored with being underground.  They like to pop up and see what all the fuss is about on the surface.  Well...what say you, Little Radish, of the world of the light?

Last year I made my main garden path very narrow and as the season went on, it grew narrower still.  This year I smartened up and made it fairly wide.  The big lump of green in the middle of the photo is a small tree that I can't bring myself to chop down.  I trimmed it way down and planted lettuce around it, which enjoys occasional shade, especially in the heat of the summer.

This wire mesh protects my tender plants from Mr. Wood Chuck (aka Mr. Goundhog) and his family.  He tried to dig under it a few times this spring, but the wire is buried 6 inches or so and he gave up.  Sorry Mister!  I guess it's milkweed and clover for you!

Many gardeners think that growing dry beans can be a waste of garden space, but being a vegetarian, I eat a LOT of beans.  When I plan my garden out in the winter, I think about what we eat most and use that as my guide of what to plant (makes sense of course).  We're at the point now where about half the food we eat comes from the garden or my dad's farm (dairy - I've been making butter, yogurt and ricotta so far - and sweet corn) and I'm always aiming to increase that, especially now that we've started a family. 

Last year I planted the beans on the ground, not knowing they were climbing beans (I just bought dry beans at the grocery store and planted them, black, pinto, and kidney).  This year I built a fence for them to climb.  It's much better this way!

And two white eggplant plants live nearby.  I'm not a huge fan of eggplant, but I like it in dried chip form and as eggplant parm, so two plants should do nicely.

I planted tons of peas this spring...but made the mistake of planting them on the outside of the garden fence (I was planning tomatoes for the inside).  I hadn't seen Mr. Wood Chuck at all last year and so thought I was safe.  Nope.  He ate most of them.  The few plants that escaped are really robust and producing lots of peas.  Now I just have to wait for them to get nice and plump and ready to shell!

Dill.  I kept planting in the wrong spots the last two years...but not this year!  I've already dried a whole bunch and the rest are waiting for pickles.  Yum!

Kale and Collards...two of the best garden plants you can grow in my opinion.  You can plant them as soon as the ground thaws in spring (they like cold weather).  You can start harvesting in a month or so after planting and they just keep growing all season, whether you pick them hard or light and will keep producing until December in zone 5 before the cold finally conks them out.  The leaves on both plants are large, so picking and prepping takes little time, and they freeze really well, blanched or raw.  They are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat.  In contrast to spinach, which is very healthy of course, but not as easy to grow.  Spinach only likes cold weather (it bolts as soon as it warms up), so you plant it early and it's done by early July.  Fall plantings are difficult in zone 5 because it doesn't germinate in warm soil.   The leaves are also smaller than kale or collards and so picking takes more time and the harvest is always smaller than I ever hope it will be.  I love spinach, but for cooked dishes, we often mix or substitute with kale, since kale is so much more bountiful.  I've also just discovered beet greens, which I think makes a much better substitute than kale...it's taste of texture being a lot more similar to spinach.  The leaves are nice and big and if you're growing beets anyway, then the greens are merely a fortunate byproduct.

The green bean plants are heavily loaded right now and Ben has been sauteing then and I've been experimenting with drying them into crispy green bean treats (blanch and freeze, then while frozen, coat in oil and salt and dehydrate for a few hours, then pop in the oven at 170 for a while more and the result is a shriveled and ugly, but very crispy, salty, and yummy snack!  The texture is kind of like a crispier cheese puff)

The zuchinni and yellow squash are pumping out the produce and I've been experimenting with drying those too, but less successfully.  I have one more idea up my sleeve...wish me luck!

These are radish seed pods.  I love radishes, but they are so spicy I can never seem to polish off my crop and then they go to seed.  I had radishes popping up all over this spring!  Anyone know of a variety that isn't so spicy?

Ben took these photos last week and the difference between then a now is astounding!  Many of these squash and pumpkin plants have reached the tops of their trellises already!  I have these planted in such a small space, I'm experimenting with going vertical...even with heavier fruited plants.  We'll what happens!

And lastly here's the progress on my grafted apple tree.  So far so good!  The branches are growing and popping out leaves!  Three varieties on one tree...not bad.  I may try to graft more onto it next spring. 

I hope you enjoyed my long winded garden tour!!  If you liked it, let me know and I'll post more of them!  :)