Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Longing for the Farmhouse

Several years ago, when my husband was pastoring in a Very small rural community, we lived in a farmhouse.  Sounds perfect doesn't it?

Well, it sorta was.

RollingHills Vintage
We had been renting a home in town, and I use the term loosely...there was a bank, a grain elevator and a hardware store...when someone bought the rental out from under us. We still owned and were trying to sell a home in another part of the state--we couldn't buy a house, couldn't find a house to rent and had a narrow timeframe of less than three weeks to be out of the rental we were in.

Normally in situations less stressful than this one I panic.  Full blown get the bag she's hyperventilating, sing Hakuna Matata over and over to her, smack her in the face and call her Shirley panic.  This time, not so much.  I knew we would find a place. 

So we drove. And drove.  And drove around the area.  Nothing...

Til we drove out in the country and passed (about a mile and a half from 'town') an old farmhouse that no one was living in.  I'd call it abandoned except a family still owned it, they lived two towns away and had rented it out but the renters who had lived there for years finally moved six months prior.  It was perfect for us.  We contacted the family, rolled up our sleeves and dove in.

When I say perfect it's easy to picture a whitewashed home, with a front porch and gigham curtains, isn't it?  This wasn't that farmhouse.  This was a paint is badly peeling, someone didn't care for this properly sort of farmhouse.  We removed, with the help of some friends, layers of wallpaper...more than a wedding cake--we took up cat urine soaked carpets to reveal the hardwood underneath.  Windows were replaced, holes in the basement were patched, floors were joisted up and then....

Post Road Vintage
There I was, sitting in a kitchen with creamy white cabinets, sunlight filtering through old lace curtains given to me from a farmwife down the road...and I realized I was as close to Glory as I ever was on this earth.  We had to leave that farmhouse when my husband got a post in a different church over a year later, and I think in a way I always hope underneath everything to recapture that moment in my life.

I know it's just a place, but I think some places speak to us--they might be different for each person--but they sing a tune that we know too and make us feel at home somehow.

Sometimes I catch myself in a melancholy state, and wonder where in the world my mind is, and why I am not 'feeling' like my sunny self.  Then I remember, and I think somehow--I am longing for that farmhouse...for the way that morning felt when it came a mile and a half from town, for open windows and quiet thoughts, for entire days spent mowing acres and acres of sweet green grass and clover.  No phone ringing one house over, only a few cars passing...alone with my thoughts and a chorus of birds that only sing country songs.

I am longing for a farmhouse.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Interview with Jonathan from Mantiquities

You are fairly new to being an Etsy shop owner. How long have you been familiar to Etsy?

Everything I know about Etsy I know from my wife! She started her fabulous shop in November 2010 after we started putting things on Ebay to sell.

You know a lot about shipping- could you give us some tips?

Wow! Thanks for the compliment. :) Sure.

Don’t be afraid of international shipping. I find the United States Postal Service the most reasonable. The online tools are really helpful to knowing how much something will cost to ship. Customs forms are not hard to fill out and it really expands your customer base.

Also, learning how to make your own boxes really saves on shipping, especially for medium-sized and larger items. It's a process to learn, but it is totally worth it. It saves on shipping costs (dimensional weight can be a killer for shipping!) and it saves on not having to use extra packing material to make up the space inside the box.  All that being said, if you have a perfectly sized box from something else already, you probably should use it!

What's the story behind the Mantiquities Shop name?

Well, my wife and I first toyed with the idea of opening my own shop because whenever we go treasure hunting I tend to find more unusual and more man appealing stuff (you know like an old antique razor kinda beats out a lovely Monet Brooch in my book). We thought of the name Mantiques at first, but alas that was taken. Every name we came up with seemed lame. Somehow "Mantiquities" came into mind maybe because I was ruing that our original idea was taken. I felt like it still had that essence of Man who enjoys Vintage and Antique things.

You have a ton of vintage comic books- who is your favorite superhero?

I have always loved Spider-Man. I like that he is not perfect and that he has a life outside of his daily crime fighting adventures. But... Batman is a real close second. He has no super powers and he rocks.

You have an incredibly amazing wife- how did manage that?

I am very fortunate and blessed. I thank God for her everyday!
(So sorry everyone...I Had to ask that, and he gave such a sweet response, I thought--well That's going in for sure!!)

What has been your favorite find?

Hmm. That's a tough one!  I would have to say that my favorite find was the "Bunco Card Game" that we had in the Beteabon Shop. It just had that classic early 1900's look, and the fact that it was authentic made me love it even more.

When did your love affair with vintage begin?

My whole life I've been a collector I guess- even when I was young. I remember playing outside when I was in 2nd grade and finding a Mercury Dime in some dirt I was playing in the front yard. It was so cool to be holding a piece of history- like I just traveled to the past. I think that is the thing that I love about vintage items.

Animal, Vegetable, Mineral

Definitely Animal. I love dogs.

Someone hands you the title to your classic dream vehicle- what is it?

I would say the "1931 Ford 'Model A' Tudor". 

Any advice to the rest of us about what a guy might be drawn to on Etsy?

Not every guy likes the same thing, but I think you have two kinds of shopping interest for guys. For himself and for his lady.

For himself - the stereotypical things work! Cars, Sports, Mechanical things, or Geeky Stuff (video games, comic books, and old school sci-fi) for the brainy guy... which I must admit is probab- er... definitely where I fall!)

For his lady, most guys are clueless!
 If he saw in the description "for the lady who loves __________" that would be awesome!

Thanks Jonathan, for 'pinch hitting' and for the wonderful interview!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

New Giveaway!...A Little Nepotism Never Hurt Anyone...

Congrats to the winners of Last Week's Giveaway!!

Jinx won the giveaway from Shadowjewels!
The Chief Strumpet won the giveaway for a gift certificate to Beteabon or Mantiquities!

It is my firm belief that into everyone's life a little nepotism must flow...especially when you forgot that March had an extra week, and didn't schedule a featured seller....

(Don't worry I have some Amazing featured sellers for April and May already lined up!)

So this week we are featuring a giveaway and an interview from Mantiquities on Etsy.  The proprietor of that shop happens to be my husband, Jonathan.  Thus the nepotism.  The whole idea of interviewing my own husband is hilarious to me, and secretly makes me wish I had a truth serum like in the movies.  Then I'd ask questions like--you didn't forget to take out that trash, did just didn't want to...  Or did you just check her out?  Or who's Really right most of the time?!  Of course, I would never be able to get another featured seller on this blog, lol!!

Actually Jonathan and I have a great deal of fun together searching for treasures, he's really the one that got me involved in it.  He has helped me immensely with the shipping end of things, and then decided to try his hand at having a 'man shop' of his own.  We are still light on 'man items'...because when we go out, I still buy like crazy for Beteabon...but we will be listing all week this week on Mantiquities instead!! 
This accidental interview and giveaway has provided me with a motive like no other!

This week we are giving away a Kodak Brownie Camera, a deck of advertising playing cards--Mad Men era, and your choice of vintage shirt, with tie.  It's a bit more on the 'guy' side as a giveaway...but remember Father's Day is not long off and a tie is always the perfect impersonal

To win just--

Comment on any post this week
Follow the Beteabon Blog
Follow Jonathan on Twitter...Twitter @Mantiquities

I think this week's going to be lots of fun even without the truth serum.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Yesterday I wanted to post what I am giving away to my loyal followers this week. 
It is my morning routine to get up with the hubs, make him a bite to eat, pack his lunch and then as he goes off to teach...I blog and poke about on Etsy. 
I do this with cup of coffee in hand. 
With cream.

Yesterday started out the same...made a cool Motown treasury...

Because I love Motown..(especially the Commodores) and then off to blog.

Have you ever wanted to throw the computer across the room? 
Yep, that was yesterday when I tried, not kidding, fifteen times to post. 
So I figured it's not to be, and went and did laundry. 
 I hate laundry, but I was forced to actually do Housework because of my computer. lol.

Here's what I am giving away...

At the risk of being a shameless self promoting shopowner...I am giving away a 50.00 giftcard to my shop
I will draw the name at random from my followers. 
 I like the idea so much I might just do it once a month or so.  :)

Love having you all here!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Miss Emily

This week we have the privilege of having ShadowJewels as our featured seller here on the Beteabon Blog. 
Make sure to read her interview and comment to win some amazing Victorian inspired jewelry!

One of her favorite poets is Emily Dickinson, who is also a favorite of mine.  Rhonda at ShadowJewels refers to her as the quintessential peculiar woman, I like the reference. 
 Truly Emily Dickinson was odd and rather wonderful.  There was something 'otherworldly' about the way Emily Dickinson saw life, something a bit Charming and Childlike, Prim and Clear.  She was all at once very young, and very old.

If you are not familiar with her poetry, I encourage you to read a bit about her life, and delve into her poems.  She had a rare gift.  Today I am sharing with you some of her poems that have been honored in the work of several very talented Artists on Etsy. 

To visit the listings themselves, simply click on the pictures...

From Below14th, lovely "Hope is a thing with feathers" necklace

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,

And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird

That kept so many warm.
I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,

It asked a crumb of me.

From CathyKiffneyStudio an amazing clay bird

From LisaHopkinsDesign a ring to keep you Hopeful

A bird perched atop a fencepost at Arlington National Cemetary
from MKC Photography

Stunning artpiece from RCBArtdesign
 I'll tell you how the Sun rose --
A Ribbon at a time --
The Steeples swam in Amethyst --
The news, like Squirrels, ran --
The Hills untied their Bonnets --
The Bobolinks -- begun --
Then I said softly to myself --
"That must have been the Sun"!
But how he set -- I know not --
There seemed a purple stile
That little Yellow boys and girls
Were climbing all the while --
Till when they reached the other side,
A Dominie in Gray --
Put gently up the evening Bars --
And led the flock away --

A journal for your own poems from The Curio Studio by Sparkplug 95

A Word made Flesh is seldom
And tremblingly partook
Nor then perhaps reported
But have I not mistook
Each one of us has tasted
With ecstasies of stealth
The very food debated
To our specific strength --

A Word that breathes distinctly
Has not the power to die
Cohesive as the Spirit
It may expire if He --
"Made Flesh and dwelt among us"
Could condescension be
Like this consent of Language
This loved Philology.

Beautiful Mixed Media by Mizkatie

I dwell in Possibility--
A fairer House than Prose--
More numerous of Windows--
Superior--for Doors--
Of Chambers as the Cedars--
Impregnable of Eye--
And for an Everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky--
Of Visitors--the fairest--
For Occupation--This--
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise--

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Interview with Rhonda at ShadowJewels

Rhonda with Coob

When did you start Shadowjewels? How long have you been creating your own jewelry?  Was there a particular event that sparked it?

ShadowJewels is entirely the fault of the internet. About 12 years ago, I got a new computer. Once I got online, unfortunately I discovered cybershopping. I started collecting Victorian jewelry, but that was frustrating for me because the pieces I really wanted were too expensive. Then one day I bought a necklace with a broken clasp~ a bargain! And decided to learn how to fix it. When I found you could buy vintage beads and jewelry parts online, that was the end of my normal life.
'This will be much cheaper', I thought. Sure! Now I have a whole room full of the stuff. It has not been cheaper than buying the Victorian jewelry, but it sure has been more fun.
What drew you to Etsy?
Finding Etsy was like coming home for me. I love handmade, of course....and when I saw how vintage was taking off, that was wonderful!
The community here is just so creative, and positive, and eco conscious.
I'd absolutely love it if you could tell everyone about Coob. (Your avi buddy)
Oh Cooby. He's a character. When my husband moved here from France, he brought Coob with him. At first we really didn't click, because he couldn't understand me! Coob didn't speak English. "Come here boy!", "Cooby get out of there!", and "Coob, dinner!" were all met with the same puzzled, blank stare. He must have thought I was stupid ("look at thees seely woman, she does not speak a zee francais"). He learned fast though, and it didn't take long for him to become part of the family.
Now if somebody is speaking French to him, it's because he's in trouble. LOL!

You are the Queen of the Treasuries (in my humble opinion)...How do you find inspiration for your wonderful collections?
For me, making a treasury is a similar process to making my jewelry. Sometimes I'm inspired by a special item, a color, a season, mood, song, story, or poem....lately I find I am drawn more and more to Emily Dickinson, that quintessential peculiar woman. I'm right there with you Emily, getting stranger by the day!
What season of the year do you find most peaceful?
Love them all, except summer. I melt.
You create gorgeous vintage-inspired you ever go 'treasure hunting' for other vintage things?
Yes but I'm more of an online shopper!
What are the top three songs on your Playlist right now?
Sixties! Blind Faith~ Can't Find my way Home, Jefferson Airplane~ Somebody to Love, and Jimi Hendrix~ Machine Gun.
 Animal, vegetable, mineral.
Giraffe, artichoke, quartz. Ametrine, tourmaline, garnet, aquamarine, kyanite, labradorite.... wait a minute, what was the question?
If you could spend a day with a picnic lunch, your favorite book, and a beautiful place--what would be in the lunch basket, what book would you bring, and where would you go?
A simple lunch, some brie and fruit; the Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss ( just started it); in Sequoia National Park. I love exploring the high Sierra, and sequoia forests are my most favorite places of all. Nothing else comes close to that feeling of sheer joy, peace, and contentment. My husband and I go out camping every chance we get. You can see his beautiful nature photography on my flickr page

Any advice or encouragement for fellow artists or Etsyians?
Find what inspires you, hold on tight, and then follow your dreams. Remember to stay positive.
Instant Karma's gonna get you!

Thanks Rhonda!  For the positively wonderful interview!

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Little Bling! Vintage Inspired Jewelry Giveaway!!!!!!

******Congratulations to last week's winner, Jhitomi!!!*******

I love anything that is shiny.  My husband is the most patient man on earth, because whenever we are out I am always darting this way and then that in pursuit of things that sparkle.  I don't wear tons of jewelry...but I like having the option to!

When I was a little girl my Grandma kept an old train case in her guest bedroom for when we grand-girls visited. It was full of old jewelry that she didn't wear...pieces that had seen better days, or weren't her style...they were saved for our visits so we could play dress up.  I loved, loved, loved digging through what I thought for sure were diamonds and rubies and using those pieces to pull together an 'outfit'.  You have no idea how the right necklace can rock out a bathrobe until you have tried it. In retrospect I wish I had all those little baubles today because I am sure I was getting peanut butter and jelly all over some really wonderful vintage pieces.  If someone runs across a rare Weiss brooch that smells like a sandwich--it was probably part of my early collection of vintage :)!

I got reacquainted with vintage jewelry fairly recently, when a wonderful woman at an estate sale sold me five boxes for five dollars each.  On the ride home, I poured over all the shiny things in my little used grocery box and fell in love with vintage jewelry.  Especially rhinestones. 

That was last summer, and since then I have thrown myself into studying vintage jewelry.  Maker's marks, company styles, anything that will help me to identitfy jewelry from a bygone era.  I love it.

This week's giveaway from a featured seller is ShadowJewels on Etsy.  I am ecstatic!!  I promise I will not enter my own blog's giveaway, though I will admit to wanting to!!  Her jewelry is stunning.  It uses vintage elements and is vintage inspired.  what I really love is the thought and time taken with each piece.  ShadowJewels is art.  It is quality.  Her jewelry speaks of a time when delicate care was taken in each earring, every bracelet.  This is wonderful stuff, worthy even of Grandma's train case.

Here's how to win (winners are chosen via an online randomizer):

Comment on any post you like this week, each comment is an entry
Double entries for a comment on the featured seller post on Tuesday
Follow me on Twitter for an additional entry

Here's your prize:

A Pair of Amethyst Art Glass Earrings handcrafted by ShadowJewels

The Just White Bracelet from the ShadowJewels Collection

Happy Commenting!  You need this beautiful bling!!!

***********A Note to my followers...
I promised you a giveaway in addition to our weekly one, and have not forgotten!!  :)  To avoid confusion I will be publishing a post on Thursday with your prize in it...just know that I have written down each of your names, and you are entered.  I don't think you will be disappointed. :)  But go ahead, enter the one with Shadowjewels as well, I would!! :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

I Think You're Gonna Like it Here!

That's a 'line' from a song in Annie.

She sings it when she realizes that her adopted residence with Daddy Warbucks is a place that not only has lots of 'goodies' but is where she will be accepted, and made to feel at home.

Now, I am no Daddy Warbucks--I'm minus the millions and plus the hair...

But there are lots of new followers this week to my blog, and I want to keep you right here with me!

I noticed that sometimes after a giveaway, people stop following because they think that there is nothing special for someone who is not a new follower.

Well, I appreciate my followers, I love looking at the rows of avatars and feeling like I am writing to each of you. I am glad to write to you.  So to keep you here with me in my little home on the web I am offering a special giveaway for you next week.

Feel free to enter the weekly one that starts on Monday with Shadowjewels,
but also starting Monday there will be a special giveaway just for you blog followers....
and all you have to do to get an entry is just stick with me.  :)

On Monday, On Monday, I'll love ya on's only three days....A.....WAY!!!!!
See you Monday! :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Jokes...

You could look these up on the internet,  You could probably even find ones that are funnier.  These made me laugh a bit, and seemed pretty clean and non-offensive.  I hold the nation of Ireland and people of the Irish heritage in high regard.  However, my apologies to all the Leprechauns out there...

Kieran O'Connor always slept with his gun under his pillow. Hearing a noise at the foot of the bed, he shot off his big toe.
'Thank goodness I wasn't sleeping at the other end of the bed,' Kieran said to his friends later on. 'I would have blown my head off!

An aging man lived alone in Ireland. His only son was in Long Kesh Prison, and he didn't know anyone who would spade up his potato garden. The old man wrote to his son about it, and received this reply, "For HEAVENS SAKE, don't dig up that garden, that's where I buried the GUNS!!!!!"

At 4 A.M. the next morning, a dozen British soldiers showed up and dug up the entire garden, but didn't find any guns. Confused, the man wrote to his son telling him what  happened and asking him what to do next.

His son's reply was: "Just plant your potatoes."

Mike lay dying on his bed when his wife Brigid came in to him and asked if there was anything he wanted.
Mike said "Brigid, what is that delicious smell coming from the kitchen?"
And Brigid replied "Oh Mike that is a ham I am baking ."
Mike thought, and said "Brigid, as my dying wish I would love to have some of that ham you're
Then Brigid said "Oh Mike, I'm saving that for the wake !!"


 Why can't you borrow money from a leprechaun?
 Because they're always a little short.


An American lawyer asked, "Paddy, why is it that whenever you ask an Irishman a question, he answers with another question? "Who told you that?" asked Paddy.


An Irishman, an Englishman and a beautiful girl are riding together in a train, with the beautiful girl in the middle.The train goes through a tunnel and it gets completely dark. Suddenly there is a kissing sound and then a slap!

The train comes out of the tunnel. The woman and the Irishman are sitting there looking perplexed. The Englishman is bent over holding his face which is red from an apparent slap.

The Englishman is thinking "Blimey, the Irishman must have tried to kiss the girl, she thought it was me and slapped me."

The girl is thinking, "That Englishman must have moved to kiss me, and kissed the Irishman instead and got slapped."

The Irishman is thinking, "If this train goes through another tunnel, I could make another kissing sound and slap that Englishman again!!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Star Treatment.

Make sure to read the interview with our featured seller this week--Niftic,
and comment for the giveaway!

(Written Last Night, In A Reflective Mood)

I am looking out tonight at the start of something wonderful-Spring!
I love the winter, love the snow, (when there are reasonable amounts of it)...I enjoy the occasional rainy day, but oh, I love the Spring when it starts to lose the cold edge and mellows out.
During the changing of the seasons it is a chief pleasure of mine to stare out the window.  The kitchen window here faces the backyard and beyond that a farmer's field.  On any given day we are graced by all sorts of birds, squirrels, deer and the occasional stray cat.  

I love to look out during the day through bits of old lace at streamy sunlight.  
But even more I love the singular beauty of Spring night.  
The whole world seems to be still and waiting, and the sky is dressed in her finest rhinestones--
Vintage ones.

Today's blog is a tribute to those windows we look out of, and the wonderful, whimsical, stylish and simple things we add to them.  

From Guschislinenscloset...Lace Luxury

From Besserina...A Dreamy Drape

From Stanfordglasshop...A Stained Glass Stunner

From Polka Dot Canary...An Ode to Strawberries and Cream

From Pillows2Please...A Profusion of Paint

From thislittlehome...A Soft Sophistication 

and From Thesourgrape...A Felted Fantasy

Thank you to all these shops for allowing me to use their images, 
please visit them for more wonderful items! 

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Interview with Reana from Niftic on Etsy

Reana from Niftic

It's so nice to chat with the lady BEHIND that crazy Avi…Let's start with that!
Where did you get that picture, and why did you choose it?
I am a huge collector of ephemera and found him many, many years ago. He makes me smile and actually sometimes giggle out load when I play with different words coming out of his mouth. I wanted something a tad unusual and he was the perfect fit. I’m seriously thinking of leaving him behind soon and taking on my true persona, but the word is still out on that. I would miss him terribly.

What drew you to Etsy?
I was a huge Ebay seller when my Mom became ill, I used it to help supplement my income while taking care of her. After she passed I decided to explore the internet market further and thankfully I stumbled upon Etsy. It just felt right to me, the comradery, the sense that your not alone. I opened a store right away only to close a short time later in order to do my research, it took me nearly 2 years until I felt I was truly ready to join the Etsy community. The learning continues daily I still have so much more to explore here.

I've seen you mention your 'personal stash’ have you always been a collector?
I learned the secrets of collecting from my Grandmother who I cherished dearly. We would go to garage sales, church sales and the like. She would always hand over a few dollars and say, “ Find something you love, something different, something that no else has.” Her words ring in my ears every day.

What is the story behind the name of your shop?
I agonized over my name, every time I thought I had it, it was taken or too close to the one I had chosen. 
I finally came across a book of 40’s slang and there it was. 
“Niftic” was used in the 40’s as nifty or keen would be used later on. It suited me to a T.

I just programmed my time machine and you can have five minutes with anyone in history,
who would it be and what would you talk about?
By all means photographer Diane Arbus, a simply amazing woman who died in the early 70’s. Her work was of real people, the deformed, the midget, the giant, she found beauty in everything. She saw herself as somewhat of a voyeur, peaking into the lives of others. One of her most famous quotes…
"My favorite thing is to go where I’ve never been before.”
I’m fascinated with her inspiration and her feeling for humanity in general,
she was a little out there but what talent!

Favorite piece you've ever found.
I found a stunning piece at the age of 15 with my Grandmother, we where at a church sale. The necklace I’m wearing now, it just sang to me, all beautiful and glistening. I’ve never seen another piece quite like it, ever. It cost me $15, which was all the cash to my name, but I never regretted that purchase, I have treasured it for a very long time.

You are a leader of the Vesties Team-how do you juggle that along with a successful shop and other team memberships?

One cup of Joe in the morning and I’m off and running, usually up at the crack of dawn. I’ve always been a bundle of energy, especially when forced to deal with something new everyday. I spend a good 10 – 12 hours a day networking, marketing and the like. Each day has it’s own special task, which of course gets thrown out of wack quite often, but I try to stay the course. The Vesties is near and dear to my heart. I just love that team. Opendoorstudios gave me a chance of a lifetime and I am very grateful to be involved. I also became involved with the VM Team, another great group who’s true calling is vintage.

Animal, Vegetable, Mineral?
A diamond in the rough, just waiting to shine.

Seen any good movies lately?
Give me AMC or IFC anyday. I thrive on the old classics and I’m a big fan of Independent film. Tim Burton gets my heart racing, he’s an amazing talent as well as David Lynch, I love his dark brooding weirdly entertaining films.

Any advice for other treasure hunters?
Just have fun! Collect only what you love and sell only what you would purchase yourself.
Don’t be intimidated by Auctions, they are my mainstay.
Love the thrill of the hunt and hunt only what you love.

My mantra,
Give of yourself, you will get so much more in return and try to see the beauty in everything.

Thanks Reana, for reminding us to look!