Thursday, October 27, 2011

Never Say “Die,” Say “Damn!”

It isn’t classic, It may be profane,

But we mortals have need of it time and again,

And you’ll find you’ll recover from Fate’s hardest Slam,

If you never say “Die,” Say “Damn!”

Maurine Hathaway

Ca. 1920s

Isn’t this just the best saying?

Basically it says don’t give up, even though we may be frustrated or angry or even sad, we must never give up. In a clever turn of words, this phrase allows us to acknowledge our emotions and to indulge in them a moment by suggesting we curse at them. But never does it suggest giving in to those emotions; in fact it is cheering us on to overcome them.

I struggle daily in trying to be a good mom. Being a good mom is not a passive activity, particularly when parenting smart, opinionated, volatile and fast-moving kids. I need to have done the research, done the thinking (gotta be able to outsmart this fresh brains), be able to control my own emotions to keep things from getting out of control and be able to move fast to catch that errant ball that is rocketing toward the plate glass window.

But some days, I just am too tired and cannot muster up the energy to do what it takes to be that good mom. That’s where these little motto prints come in! I have them hanging in a powder room on the first floor of my house. I step in the powder room for a moment, take a look at these, take a deep breath, and mutter “Damn! “ (and maybe a few other choice words) and stomp my feet. I then re-emerge with a fresh attitude and strength to go on. I liken it to my Superman telephone booth.

As you may know I love all things antique and vintage (except my grayhairs!). I have been collecting these motto prints for several years. The first one I found it the one that is just words and border without any real graphics. I found this at a garage sale with my friend Michelle. I paid $1 and was hooked immediately and started hunting for more. They are rather hard to come by though and are usually more expensive that I can really justify (one of the signs of motherhood is never having any money for myself as it all goes to kids activities – they both play hockey!).

I believe the second one I found was the one of the little boy hanging from a tree by his shorts while picking apples. I found this one while at Round Top in Texas. I paid more that I really wanted; I think I paid close to $50. Gulp! But I thought the graphics on this one were so well paired with the saying.

The rest I found on ebay at various times and they were cheaper than the Apple one but definitely more that my first one. I am still hunting for more of these…. Never say die, right? Perhaps I will update the blog when I find a new one.

So, when things get tough today, and they will, remember,

Never Say “Die,” Say “Damn!”

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Who'duv Thunk? My shop was included on a Sports Website!

This weekend, I was going through my shop stats (akin to google analytics). This is something I try to do this regularly in order to get a sense of my traffic sources as well as to see what key words bring shoppers to my shop. Typically, etsy and google are my top traffic sources.

However when I looked at my stats in line graph format, there was a noticeable spike in shop traffic from a single source.... a source that I have never heard of. Usually etsy and google combined result in 50-150 views in a day. But on September 14, I had 1,163 views! "What the?!?!?!" (in a good way of course).

So I researched the source of the traffic spike. Surprisingly, the source is a sports website called Uni Watch. In my personal life, sports play a huge role. I have two kids who play competitive hockey and a husband who is a huge football fan and plays hockey himself. Naturally, I thought there must be some mistake. The must have been some huge crossing of wires/life compartments. I couldn't fathom why I was getting traffic from a sports website.

Uni Watch is a unique website, one that I would never have imagined existed. It is a website that devotes itself to the "obsessive study of athletics aesthetics". Here is what they say in their "Here's the Deal"/"About Us" section.

"Uni Watch is a media project that deconstructs the finer points of sports uniforms in obsessive and excruciating detail. It has nothing to do with fashion — it’s about documenting and maintaining the visual history of sports design, and about minutiae fetishism as its own reward. If that concept doesn’t make sense to you, no problem — Uni Watch definitely isn’t for everyone, and there have always been people who Don’t Get It™. But for those who understand the pleasures of detail obsession, programmatic classification systems, information overload, and sports history, you’ve come to the right place."

So I read through the website, particularly the posts from the day which caused
my traffic spike. "EUREKA-I found it!" The author of one of the articles referenced an item I had in my shop, the only sports-related item I (currently) have listed. The reference is buried deep in the day's post in an article called the "Collectors Corner" by Brinke Guthrie. If you read far enough you will see that he took a moment to go onto etsy and found several vintage sports items including mine. In his article he referred to my item as "some old-timey sports decals".

Phew, mystery now solved; I now know the reason for the traffic spike. I am grateful for the additional traffic and exposure that I received. I must go and thank Mr. Guthrie. Additionally, I found unique and extremely interesting website that I never knew existed. I will be sure to share it with all of my sports fan family and friends.

The "old-timey sports decals" have not yet sold - now is your chance!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Who Am I

About me.. My name is Jennifer. My mom named me after an African American classmate in the 1960s whom she thought was breathtakingly beautiful. I suppose she hoped I too would be beautiful. I like the name, especially when said as the full name. It sounds sophisticated and maybe even sexy. But that is not me. I am more of a Jen. Not Jenny or Jennifer just Jen.

Jen just seems so much more down to earth, don’t you think? I think of myself as down to earth. I don’t worry too much about how I look, though I don’t wear a bathrobe and slippers everyday. I always wear sneakers because they are the most body conscious shoe I can find. And I wash may hair, but not every day….I have better things to do than to spend too much time messing with it. I also don’t spend too much time worry about what others think. I am quirky and a little different, I am happy this way.

I value humor, compassion, creativity and hard work. Humor and laughter mean the world to me and I could not function with out it. There is a quote by Victor Borge “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” I love that quote. My own version is “Laughter is everything.”. If you cannot laugh and see humor in life, then you are not living compassionately, intelligently and openly.

I am a mother. That is my primary role and one that I take utterly seriously. I have two kids who are so very different. As a result I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out the best way to parent them and guide them. As a result of their distinctness, what works for one, usually does not work for the other. One is ADHD diagnosed and the other is not. One is a teenager (as of today she is 13) and one is still a boy person. Every day is vexing and perplexing on how I will manage to parent them and guide them on their journey.

I am a wife to a wonderful man whom I knew I was destined to marry. While “just friends” in college we eventually drifted apart. But I always referred to him as “the man I was supposed to marry”. Seven years later we were reunited; and at that moment, I knew we were gonna be together forever. We married 12 years after first meeting. He happens to be darn good looking, but the down to earth-ness in me is most drawn to his humor and creativity. He is the love of my life and he is my rock. I cannot imagine my life without this funny, creative, brilliant, strong, compassionate man in it.

I am a small business owner. I own a multifaceted online antiques and collectibles business. This is my passion; this is what keeps me sane (literally) in the chaos of my life. I love finding things that are really cheap (or sometimes free) and turning around to sell them and make some dough!! Plus it is real fun researching some of the oddities I come across. It is really amazing what some people deem as trash and how others will clamor to acquire that same item as a treasure. That is why my business name is FineLine Antiques. The tag line is “…. because there is a fine line between trash and treasure.” But I haven’t used the tagline much because I don’t want people to think I am charging them $50 for trash, even though, once in awhile, I am!

If you are so inclined to take a gander at some of my FineLine Antiques treasures, you can find them at:

or our newsest venture

Now you know a little bit about me….feel free to share a little bit about who you are, I would love to know ya!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Time for a Pretty in Pink Picnic

Well we have finally reached the official start of Summer June 21, 2011. Even through the weather is not cooperating in some parts of the U.S.A., we can still plan for a perfect sunny day’s picnic.

I found a menagerie of things that would really lend a hand to your picnicking fun. It was all spurred on from and idea I saw in the July 2011 issue of Better Homes and Gardens. They had a feature article called “Sharing Summer” about outdoor dining and entertaining. The hostess in the article said she uses vintage tablecloths for her outdoor dining and entertaining; both on tables and on the ground.

So I started poking around the vintage section of etsy to see what I could find. I did find a cool tablecloth that would be “Oh So Cute” as a picnic blanket for two or over a card table under a large canopy tree.

Then I found a great cake carrier in pink and stainless steel.

Then I found a cool set of pink plastic silverware.

Well, I was on a roll. I actually created a Treasury on etsy to showcase my fun finds.

But I will list a few here for your inspiration and enjoyment.

Vintage Pink Therm-O-Jug. Who’d have thunk? A Thermos in pink! Very hip!

Of course you will need some napkins to wipe the cherry juice off your chin when you bite into a ripe cherry….

Don’t let the ants go marching one by one on your pretty event!

Finally you might need some cool eye protection.

Hope your picnic season is stylish and free from pesky critters.

Be sure to stop by one of our many shops for fun new merchandise.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spring Flowers Everywhere - Even Your Wardrobe

If you've never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom. ~Terri Guillemets

Everywhere you look colorful flowers are popping up in gorgeous colors – despite the snow and dreary weather (at least here in the Midwest).

No, flowers are not poking through the snow yet, they are showing up on a multitude of fashion items: dresses, blouses, purses, jackets, skirts etc.

And I am not just seeing a floral mirage; its official according to People StyleWatch and InStyle!

Many of your favorite fashion icons are donning these romantic beauties. You can see Natalie Portman in the People Stylewatch page above. But others are popping up too….

Now, as flowers have been a theme eternally, you will also find this look in vintage styles. Etsy is a great place to start this search for affordable, trendy vintage floral fashions.

I think my favorite is Selena Gomez with a sophisticated ascot blouse of a crisp white background upon which magenta and navy flowers are happily floating.

Get the look with a fantastic (affordable) vintage blouse by renowned designer Vera Neumann in a soft purple and tan tulip floral. This blouse available at (Click on photos to take you directly to items in this article.) This Vera blouse really has a similar feel as the one Selena is rocking.

Then there is Lauren Conrad. She has her own fashion line for Kohls and she is including these romantic images in her line as well. Here she is modeling one of her own. But you can get a similar look in vintage with a purple floral print & high waisted green and purple satin cumberbund dress at

Wanna try a look like Scarlett Johansson?

Check out these Scarlett Johansson look-a-likes.

Pink dress available at

Green dress available at

Or do you prefer the styling choice of Kristin Cavallari?

Get a similar look to hers at with this 1950's Halter Swing Dress.

Or define your own style and really go for the vintage look with these 1960's Dirty Dancing inspired summer sleeveless blouses with peter pan collar available at

Even the T-mobil 4G girl is wearing floral.

If you've never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom. ~Terri Guillemets

Get your soul and your style in bloom.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Where oh where did the time go? ....oh that's right I have time flies at WARP SPEED!

I have been meaning to blog and just don't get to it. Partially because I put so much pressure on myself to come up with something clever. So today, all pressure is off. I am gonna show you what I am focusing on in my shop. I am focusing on bringing up to speed in two categories: Tablecloths....Bark Cloth and Sewing...Patterns.

Today I listed two new tablecloths. The first one epitomizes True Spring. It features wonderful colors, floral design and has a light and airy feel to it. Something to brighten your day when the snow begins to melt!!

Look at that I mean doesn't that just make you wanna start to garden and have iced tea?

The other tablecloth I listed today evokes summertime fun. It features ripe red strawberries being poured into their cherry yellow cartons for market. I wanna whip up a batch of homemade lemonade infused with a strawberry syrup and strawberry garnish and watch the kids run through the sprinkler.....oh wait, its 36 degrees out today. Well one can dream.

I have added some new items to the bark cloth category - and I don't mean gags for barking dogs! Cool vintage 1940s 1950s bark cloth cutters that are just perfect for your next craft project......maybe for the throw pillow for your porch glider this summer!

I have many more fun retro tablecloths that are currently in the shop and will be adding more in the coming days. I also plan on adding some more Bark Cloth pieces. So stop by and check them out.

Maybe tomorrow, I can blog about all the new sewing patterns I have been and will be adding. Check back soon!