The New Glass Slipper… Birkenstocks!

I guess you could almost call this a contemporary “Cinderella” tale of sorts.

It all started with a wedding (not mine!)

Weddings, of course, are generally dressy occasions, and for someone who loves to create and “alter” clothing, I absolutely hate getting dressed up, myself.

But the occasion mandated that I bite the bullet and do it.

So I put on my “new”, very lovely and feminine ivory colored high heeled shoes, which perfectly matched my vintage-style floral skirt, and off I went.

 Only to turn back a short time later because MY FEET WERE KILLING ME!!!

creme heels

But what, then, was I to wear? All my other shoes were either black or brown leather, mostly mules and in no way would they have properly adorned my feet for such an important occasion!

And then I remembered.

I had a lovely pair of pink (lavender, really) suede Birkenstock’s that my dear friend, Esther had given me for my birthday in January, and I had yet to wear them.

Honestly, the moment I slipped my feet into these blessed shoes I heard the angels singing!

Can a girl fall in love with a pair of shoes?

I am hooked.

On Birkenstock’s.

I’ve already picked out my next pair, which I’ll be ordering promptly. I’m not going to tell you which ones, though, because I don’t want anyone to copy.

Oh. And who says you can’t “upcycle” your pink suede shoes with a bit of vintage bling???

pink birks 3pink birks 2


Fashion Boutique on Wheels – My Dream Job!


french flea

Shows are great. Love ’em. I enjoy the anticipation of each event, wondering what the customers will buy, what they’ll “ooh” and “ahh” over, what new contacts and friends I may make in the process, and what may inspire new creations.

I also love interacting with the other vendors. It’s amazing what new bits of wisdom and fresh ideas you can gain from your peers, especially from those who are new to the show circuit and can see things through fresh eyes.

Paris Flea

But there is a downside to the show circuit.

Actually, there are lots of downsides, beginning with the schlepping. I don’t mind packing up prior to a show because I can take my time and organize things just so. But it’s the unpacking and the setting up, sometimes in the dark. And it’s really bad when you’ve finally created a fabulous little venue in your 10′ x 10′ allotted space only to discover you’ve set up in the wrong location. I’ve done it more than once, and believe me, it’s not a good thing.

Sometimes the weather isn’t cooperative, either. I’ve set-up in the rain, faced gale-force winds that have left me hanging onto my canopy for dear life!

I’ve frozen until I thought I was getting frost-bite and had to pack up and leave the show early.

I’ve also roasted like a chicken and wound up with heat stroke.

And then – when the uber long, exhausting day finally ends, you have to pack it all up and load it back into your vehicle while looking forward to a drive home that feels like it’ll never, ever end.

But then once you do get home, you get to unload it all again.

Something I haven’t figured out yet is why there seems to be more merchandise at the end of the day than what you had to begin with. Must be the rush to shove it all in as fast as you can so you can be done with it, all the while telling yourself that starting tomorrow, you’re going to start looking for a real job, even if it means frying french fries. Seriously. I can’t count the times I’ve resolved to cash it all in and be done with the show circuit altogether.

But I won’t because I love, love, love what I do.

So here’s what I’ve been thinking about for the past few years, only to discover that my idea isn’t so original. In fact, men and women have been doing it successfully for quite awhile, and that is to take their fashion boutique pop-up-shop on the road.

They term them  fashion boutiques on wheels just like food trucks but with clothing, jewelry and accessories instead of food. I have seen mobile bookstores, which is a really wonderful thing.

So now I’m reading, learning, looking at possible vehicles while I’m driving or online and trying to guage the practicality of actually “doing it”.

I must admit – the idea of simply driving to a location, parking in my space and opening the doors sounds quite wonderful. But can I, will I actually do it? We’ll see…

my bannerjewelry on bust

Dress Up Your Reading Material with Handcrafted Book Jewelry Bookmarks

This all started when I was trying to think of how I could raise $$$ for ministries that are close to my heart. The idea of making handcrafted bookmarks or “book jewelry” popped into my head. After ordering some materials and looking through my stash of vintage ribbons, beads, etc, I thought I’d give it a go.

Needless to say, the idea itself is always the easiest part. These little gems are a lot of work! But as I’ve given them away as gifts people really seemed to love them and I began receiving orders.

So though I may not make a lot of them as originally intended, I do enjoy the process and most of all, I love making something that will, in the end, result in blessing someone else – whether it’s the recipient of the bookmark or the ministries that are so dear to my heart.

Blue bookmark 2 striped bookmark 2 bookmark 2

Chunky Modern Hoop Earrings

I just had to show off these chunky modern hoop earrings I made using seaglass blue faceted glass beads, copper wire, antique brass chain links and large, thick silver hoops I destructed from – ahem – a dog collar. Just goes to show that anything can be used to create something else.

Barnyard Charm 3 Barnyard Charm

Is There a Downside to Upcycling?

If there is a downside to upcycling, I haven’t found it yet. In fact, I can’t think of anything about upcycling that isn’t a good thing: It’s resourceful,  eco-friendly and responsible. I like upcycled clothing because there’s no end to the creative possibilities of taking something mass-produced and ordinary and making something new & unique, totally one-of-a-kind. I love linen and I love denim. And I love vintage textiles. I can’t think of any reason why these two (or three) things should not be joined together.

Here is a sampling of some recent creations that you can see at my etsy shop:

boho linen maxi dresses

boho linen maxi dresses

Cottage Chic Denim Vest

Cottage Chic Denim Vest

country linen wedding dress

country linen wedding dress

tattered shabby grunge chic vest

tattered shabby grunge chic vest



Vintage Chunky Metal Charm Bracelet

I love wearing chunky jewelry. I like the feel of it and the sounds it makes ‘cuz it lets you know that it’s there.

I love to make charm bracelets because they’re so random and so unique. Lots of work, lots of time required but I enjoy the process of seeing it all come together in such unexpected ways. And the wearer has the freedom to embellish even further, truly making it their own.

I haven’t made one in awhile, but yesterday I felt inspired.  Check it out at my etsy shop.


Downtown Petaluma just keeps getting better and better.

Downtown Petaluma just keeps getting better and better. One of the latest creative additions is the B Street Mercantile.

I love everything about this beautiful store, especially in that it highlights local artists & crafters. I am a big believer in supporting local businesses, especially the artsy-crafty ones!

I am enjoying seeing an insurgence of interest in handcrafted goods as opposed to  mass-produced, imported goods.

I hope people continue to be inspired and tap into their own creative side.

In the meantime, SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL CRAFTERS and check out this wonderful new store!

Get Inspired!

There are those who are talented, and then there are those who are REALLY talented!

Such a person is Cathe Holden, who I have known for several years. We met when I was a dealer at Summer Cottage Antiques in Petaluma, CA, and we became friends.

Shortly after that she also became a very successful dealer at Summer Cottage, and is now doing so many incredible things in the national crafting world I wouldn’t know where to begin.

Good things are meant to be shared, so I thought I’d share Cathe with you! Check her out at her website “Just Something I Made” where you can get all of her updates, including where she will be to do book signings for her new book!

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  • Bio

    Cathe Holden

    Hi, I’m Cathe (pronounced the same as Cathy). I’m a graphic designer, crafter, creative blogger, & flea market enthusiast. I live just north of San Francisco in lovely Petaluma, California with my husband, Mr. Wonderful & our 3 awesome teenagers. is where I share creative ideas, crafty projects, original designs, artistic inspiration, product reviews and loads of free stuff! Thanks for visiting!

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