Thursday, December 31, 2009

Treasuries and Blog Posts for 2009

Thanks to all of the Etsians who featured one of my items from my shop in a Treasury or in a blog post!

Etsy - for my vintage office fan and letter opener! Woot!
CathieU, my vintage office fan on her blog,
AthenasArmoury, my lavender wands,

Ajewelryboxx, my eco friendly face scrubbies in a treasury
WickedDarling, my vintage Virgo stationery in a treasury
ThingsOldeAndNew, mint green salt and pepper, creamer & sugar set in a 'minty' treasury,
morrigae, my vintage cornucopia, in a treasury
IlluminatedPerfume, a silk flower wreath,
mysticwynd, another wreath,
thewhiteroom, a wreath -
paisleybaby, simplysuzula, Rolyzcreations, Santa's sleigh-

Treasuries and Blog Posts for 2009

A HUGE shout out to all of the generous Etsy Treasury creators and Blog Writers who included items from my shop.

Below you will find a list and the items that they felt were Treasury/Blog worthy.

Thank you all!
Montserrat, my Breaking Dawn Necklace
HandmadeShowcaseBlog featuring my entire shop on their blog,
kristensteinfineart, my 1950s lamps in her Treasury,
prettypeardesigns, questions and answers on her blog,
patchfirstshop, one of my snowflake pins on her blog,
PassionArte, an item of mine in her Treasury
TheSilverDog, my matched set of ribbon wreaths, in a treasury
papermichelle, my vintage picnic hamper!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sleigh Bells Ring

A lovely Treasury on Etsy

by Etsy seller paisleybaby featuring: A vintage cape by lonesomebrown, Cardinal photograph by mingtaphotography, Jingle bells by trimgoddess, Sleigh ride photograph by ceejay60, Black wool beret by andjane, sleigh ride fingerless gloves by mickieandbetty, red felted earrings by WildWomanJewelry, sterling deer pin by greatbarbarian, knitting pattern book by elanknits, 1910 French postcard by DogDayAfternoons, handmade wooden sleigh by bittersweetdesign, and winter bells earrings by ShySiren. I feel honored to be included among these other sellers!
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snowfall dampens Holiday Nesting Open House

Bittersweet Design Studio amid the snowfall of Saturday December 19th.

This photo was taken at 7:00 am. It is still snowing like crazy at 9:30. I suspect that no one will stop by for the Holiday Nesting Open House today...

If you would like to shop with me today - check out my Etsy shop, or my Artfire shop - click on the photo links on the left hand side of my blog.

I will be happy to open for you, prior to Christmas, upon appointment. Simply post a comment below or email me:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Holiday Nesting Open House

Holiday Nesting Open House
Bittersweet Design Studio and Moonshine Essentials
December 18 and 19 from 12 noon to 5 pm

Directions: From Route 7 east or west - Take Route 9 west - go approximately 1/2 mile - immediately after the traffic light get ready to turn left on to Simpson Circle.
The shop is just up the gravel lane from the first house on the right. There will be a sign. You can park along Simpson Circle.
We hope to see you!

Welcome and thanks for stopping by! Please join us for our last event of this Christmas season, our 16th annual open house. Not only will we treat you to some yummy homemade breads,a db somehting hot to drink, we will also send you off in style - everything you purchase will be packaged or bagged for gift giving.
If you have been here within the past year, you know that we are an ever evolving shop, and that once more we have honed our focus. In many ways, our focus has shifted towards ‘hearth and home’, and being ‘green’. You will find many more of our handmade products (knitting, jewelry, note cards, wreaths), and those of our friends (handbags, candles, soap) and more, as well as a larger variety of vintage items, from furniture to home décor - and of course cool vintage Christmas. My daughter and I have also included clothing and accessories in our vintage line – including outerwear, formal wear, lingerie, handbags, and hats. As usual we are having just plain fun!

Friday, December 11, 2009

the 3/50 project

3 What 3 independently owned businesses would you miss if they disappeared?
Stop in. Say hello.
Pick up something that brings a smile.
Your purchases are what keeps those businesses around.

50 If half the employed population spent $50 each month in locally
owned independent businesses, it would
generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue.
Imagine the impact if ¾ of the population did that!

68 For every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores,
$68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures.
If you spend it in a national chain, only $43 stays here.
Spend it online and nothing comes home.

1 The number of people it takes to start the trend… YOU.

Pick 3. Spend 50. Save your local economy.

Courtesy of The 3/50 Project, ®© Cinda Baxter 2009. All rights reserved.

Holiday Nesting Open House

Some christmassy items in one of the cupboards at the shop. Top shelf - vintage planters; 2nd shelf - vintage plates, candle holders, glasses; 3rd shelf - kitchen items and holiday soaps; bottom shelf - vintage and new kitchen items ready for holiday cooking!
Vintage coffee carafes, vintage pressed glass (USA made) Christmas cookie platters, Herbal Star candles, Mid Century Modern Inland Glass platter.

Of course there are lots more goodies to be found here - We're the best place to shop for Christmas.
We'll be open December 11 & 12 from 12 noon to 5 pm AND December 18 & 19 from 12 noon to 5 pm.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Bittersweet Design Studio at Really Great Finds

Just a few photos from the Garden Room at Really Great Finds in Purcellville.
Some great vintage Made in USA glass cookie platters - I have about a dozen? of these in various designs.

Aluminum 'feather tree' showcasing vintage ornaments.

The Christmassy red hutch has a variety of hand painted snowman items and snowflake plates, platter and tray. The top - not shown - is filled with those wonderful vintage, glazed greenware, electrified Christmas trees with the little plastic 'bulbs'.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" Open House

This is a note to let you know what events we have planned for the upcoming months.Here is a list of our ‘end of the year’ events.

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” Open House (at the shop)
Friday and Saturday, November 20th and 21st, 12 noon to 5 pm.
Need to come earlier or later? Just let us know!
”Holiday Gift Shop & Moose Café” hosted by the Mountain View Elementary PTA
Saturday, December 5, 2009, 1PM-4PM Café and Gift Shop opens at 1PM,
Student shoppers only 1PM-3PM, parents can visit gift shop 3-4PM.
“Holiday Nesting” Open House (at the shop)
- Consecutive weekends
Friday and Saturday December 11th and 12th, and
Friday and Saturday December 18th and 19th,
12 noon to 5pm, all 4 days.
Need to come earlier or later? Just let us know!
Because we are an ever evolving shop, we have once again honed our focus.
In many ways our focus has shifted towards ‘hearth and home’, and being ‘green’.
You will find many more of our handmade products (knitting, jewelry, note cards, wreaths), and those of our friends (handbags, candles, soap) and more, as well as a larger variety of vintage items, from furniture to home décor.
My daughter and I have also included clothing and accessories in our vintage line – including outerwear, formal wear, lingerie, handbags, and hats. As usual we are having just plain fun!
We would like to update your information with us – so that we may better stay in touch.
1. We would love an email address – to allow us another way to communicate with you. Sign up on the email list at the shop and receive a free gift. If you are already on our list – let us know and we will give you 10% off your purchase at our November Open House.
2. You can also message me through my website at
3. If you would like to shop online – go to the website above and click ‘shop online’ – then you can choose to shop at my Etsy shop, Artfire shop, (or on eBay – if I have anything listed on Ebay at the moment).
4. Another way to keep up with what is going on at the shop – and in my life – follow my blog –
5. Make an appointment – You know you are always welcome to come at a time convenient to you – for a group of friends – or just yourself.
We hope you have had a wonderful year and hope to see you at one of our upcoming events!
Fondest regards, Elizabeth and Virginia

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Etsy's front page WOOT!

WOW!!! How exciting is this - November 10, 2009 - will go down in history... (Do you hear the serious announcer's voice???) I was on the front page with my 'Home' Ribbon Wreath in a selected "Holiday Gift Ideas" treasury. It was between about 8:40 and 9:05 pm. This rocks! I tried to load the entire page here - but I couldn't. I'll work on that...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Treasuries - Two in One Day

Take a look at these two Etsy Treasuries -
The theme for the first one is teardrops by view it at :

and the theme for the second is horns of plenty or cornucopia by view it at:

Many thanks to these two Etsy shops for featuring:
Pair of milk glass vases - teardrop pattern
and a vintage ceramic cornucopia

How fortunate to be featured in two treasuries in one day!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Paint the Town Green Eco Fair

October 17 - Paint the Town Green - Purcellville VA 10 am - 2 pm - to coincide with the Fall Farm Tour. I will be bringing my "Top Secret" Recycled Envelopes cards, purse from sweaters (by me) and purses from calendar towels, (by long time customer Chris Kugler), as well as three new lines of 'green' items designed and made by Bittersweet Design Studio - eco friendly face scrubbies, accessories made from soda can tabs, and totes from feed bags. I will be inside the Town Hall along with Jill Evans Kavaldjian - AKA Art@Garden Corner, as well as other artists exhibiting their work. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Big Event Purcellville VA Town Wide Tag Sale

Look for this sign to find me!

This Weekend - Saturday and Sunday (however - We are starting Friday!)- over 200 yard sales and loads of other vendors selling their wares. Great stuff, including all the normal yard sale items - but also amazing items from artists, designers, etc... This is a shot of my stuff from last year's sale.

I will have vintage furniture, vintage table top items, accesories, fun kids stuff, and more. My daughter will have many of her amazing and unique clothing items from her shop.

We will be set up at The ReallyGreat Finds store in Purcellville at 600 Main Street, under 2 10x10 canopies. Stop by and see us. Mention this blog post and we'll give you an additional 10% off the already bagain prices!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bittersweet Design Studio Happenings

A view of the Garden Room, with our items for sale, at Really Great Finds, Purcellville, VA

Hello everyone - NO - I did NOT fall in a well or get swept out to sea... I am so sorry for 'blanking out' on you this summer - See my "Sorry Excuses" below.
OPEN HOUSE "It must be Fall" to be held this weekend at our shop in Paeonian Springs, VA We will be open Friday September 18 and Saturday September 19 from 12 n00n to 5 pm. As usual, if you need to come by earlier or later we are happy to accommodate your schedule.
ALSO on the schedule for FALL:
September 1st - I have been graciously invited by Suzanne at Really Great Finds, to take over part of the garden room (AKA sun room) at the store in Purcellvillle. I moved in some pieces of furniture and a boat load of smalls two weeks ago. If you need a Bittersweet fix and are in Purcellville - Really Great Finds is open every weekend - Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Also September 1st - The 25 finalists for the Handmade Moment were chosen - I was not one of the 25 - However I still think "If Etsy were a person" video is an awesome thing. Thank you to everyone who took time to view my video. I greatly appreciate the support.

September 4th - Pushing the Envelope - Crafty Packaging for Cards of all Kinds by Marthe Le Van, published by Lark Books, a division of Sterling Publishing Co. arrives in the mail! My submission "TOP SECRET" is on pages 34 and 35! I will have copies available for sale in the shop. I'll even sign it for you :P
September 18 and 19 - Open House in Paeonian Springs, VA
September 26 - Historic Homes Walking Tour, Paeonian Springs, VA at 1 PM, during the Paeonian Springs Fall Festival. I will be conducting the walking tour and discussing the beginnings of Paeonian Springs, and some of it's architecture. This is will be approximately a 45 minute tour. This is only the beginnings of a comprehensive walking tour brochure/guide thatI will be working on for our town.
October 9, 10 , 11 - Fri and Sun 10 - 6, Sat 8 -5 - Open Air Market at Really Great Finds to coincide with the Purcellville Town Wide Tag sale (October 10 and 11 Sat 8 -3, Sun 10 -3).
October 17 - Paint the Town Green - Purcellville VA 10 am - 2 pm - to coincide with the Fall Farm Tour. I will be bringing my "Top Secret" Recycled Envelopes cards, as well as two new lines of 'green' items designed and made by Bittersweet Design Studio.
4 days after my last post, our dearly beloved dog of 15 years Abby, a Black Lab, passed away in our arms, amid kisses, tears and belly rubs. I can hardly even write this, because I can't see through my tears... frankly I think that's a pretty damn good excuse!
Now some other ones...
We had the good fortune of having 2 young enegetic sisters - Anna and Amy Reynal, helping us over the summer, as well as our nephew, Kenny Kopp. I'd like to see you keep the three of them busy, and try and squeeze a blog post in!
We were busy making the video "If Etsy were a person", and being a peer reviewer for the videos.
We listed and sold a boatload of stuff on eBay (that's a lot of packing and shipping!), and listed stuff on Etsy, where we had brisk sales there also.
So - enough for my sorry excuses - I gotta shake a leg and finish getting the shop ready for this weekend, and get some more small tables up to Really Great Finds to replace ones that I have sold!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lavender Wand Tutorial and Contest!

Seize the day! Now is the time (at least if you live in the Mid-Atlantic region) to harvest your lavender. You want to harvest your lavender while it is still in bud form - before it has bloomed or flowered. If it has already flowered, it will look lovely in a vase, but will not hold its fragrance for as long it would pre-bloom. Harvest it in the morning after the dew has dried, but before the sun gets too strong and draws the oils out of the buds.

Materials needed:
1 yard of 1/4 - 1/2 inch wide satin or grosgrain ribbon
38 freshly cut lavender stems
vase of water
small gauge knitting needle, crochet hook, or tapestry needle

The particular variety of lavender I grow is the Grosso variety - meaning big or tall - this particular plant has nice long, tall stems to make a very pretty, large lavender wand. After cutting your lavender, you will want to grade the stems. I create four or five piles of lavender stems that are the same length from shortest to tallest.

After grading the stems, I normally put the lavender in the graded bunches in a vase with water. This is because lavender stems are very woody and usually by this time of the year are rather dry. We need the stems to be supple so that they can be bent without breaking.

After soaking the stems for 1-2 days at the most, count out 38 stems of lavender. Align all the heads and pinch the stems together just below the heads. This is where you will tie your ribbon.

When I tie my knot, I always leave one tail of the ribbon least the length of the lavender stems, or about 12 inches long. The other tail stays attached to the spool of ribbon until the very end.

Next, I grip the knotted area with my thumb and forefinger, turn the buds toward the floor with the stems pointing upward. With my other thumb and forefinger, I gently squeeze the lavender stems just above the ribbon knot. Because lavender stems are so woody, this pinching breaks down the fibers in the stem and allows it to be bent more easily. You will pinch and bend all of the stems so that they fold down over the lavender buds.

Once all of the stems have been bent over the knot, pull out the longer length of ribbon (still attached to the spool) and begin weaving it through the stems. With 38 stems, I weave over and under two stems at a time, making 19 the odd number of times I weave in and out. This ensures that I will always have an over/under pattern every time I go around the wand.

Watch the video for tips on getting the stems and ribbon tighter.

As you weave, it is helpful to go back to the beginning with a small guage knitting needle, crochet hook, or weaving needle to tighten the ribbon around the wand and also to push the ribbon up the wand in order to close the gaps in your weaving.

Once you have woven the ribbon past the buds inside the wand (so you can't see them) and have tightened the ribbon around and up the wand, you will need to let the wand dry for a few days to a week. You will know when it's dry when you roll the wand in your hand and the buds feel loose inside the wand and the ribbon feels loose in its weaving.

After it's dry, you will start back at the top of the wand and tighten the ribbon with your pointed tool as before. Depending on the size of the wand and the width of the ribbon, you may end up with 3-5 inches of excess ribbon. This is why I don't cut this end from the spool until the end.
Pull the shorter length of the ribbon through the stems and tie it in a knot to the long end of the ribbon so that your weaving will not come undone. A square knot (right-over-left, left-over-right) or a bow look nice.

Trim the stems with scissors so that they are all even. Any length you prefer will do; I normally leave them 6-8 inches long, for a total wand length of 12-14 inches, but it can also depend on the natural length of the stems. At this point, you can also cut the ribbon from the spool.

This is the finished wand.

However, if you don't like the loose stems, you can also use additional ribbon to wrap the uncovered stems. Simply take the ribbon and criss-cross wrap it up the stems to cover them.

The final product is shown below.

Visit my Etsy shop at or my Artfire shop at and pick your favorite things. If you leave me a comment on this blog about which item is your favorite, along with your name and email address, you will be entered in a contest to win this lavender wand! The contest will end July 27th. Winner will be chosen at random based on the criteria above.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

If Etsy were a person...

Please click on the stars to rate the video - 5 stars would give it a perfect 10! Thanks for voting!

If Etsy were a person...

Shared via AddThis

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The video is up...please vote for us!

After several days of hard work, the video is now up on Etsy's site and ready for your votes!

To view it, just follow this link:

Just a has audio, so you may want to turn the volume down if you're watching in a public/work place.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tomorrow A Handmade Moment Etsy tv

I am sososo excited! The video came out really well today - we (Anna - really...) will help me synch the music with it tomorrow. Thanks goodness for agile younger minds...

I love the way it works, looks - everything about it!

Stay tuned - tomorrow I will post the link here - then please, please, please go VOTE for ME !!!!
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