Prize Puffs and Curio Cones Oh My!

In case you missed it over the weekend, I launched my newest product through my
Peachy Keen Party Queen line on the etsy shop!
So now that the Prize Puffs and Curio Cones are available for purchase… what are all the options?
Well I’m so glad you asked!
20150828_093643_resized
Prize Puffs come in lots of sizes, and of course are quite customizable.
 
Puny Prize Puffs have 4 prizes inside.
Petite Prize Puffs contain 7 treasures.
Plentiful Prize Puffs hold 10 trinkets.
Pumped Prize Puffs harbor 13 toys and treasures.
Posh Prize Puffs are the deluxe version that contain 16-18 prizes.
IMG_20150829_130341_resized
Curio Cones are also customizable and come in just two sizes.
The Cutie Curio Cone is about the size of a waffle cone.  It includes a prize puff with additional prizes hidden inside the curio cone.  These little cuties hold a minimum of 20 prizes.
Colossal Curio Cones are the same as my cutie version… only much larger.  These 17 inch cones contain a prize puff and trinkets, totaling at least 30 prizes!  When the recipient is done… the cone doubles as a party hat.
20150829_144738_resized
The story of the School Cone, or “schultüte cone” is a German tradition.  (My ancestors are reportedly from Stuttgart, and Beilstein)  When entering first grade, children receive these cones filled with school supplies, toys, candies, and other treasures from their parents or grandparents.  
Schulanfänger, Urdenbach, 3. April 1953

Schulanfänger, Urdenbach, 3. April 1953

Image from Wikipedia

The holidays are coming… and these Prize Puffs and Curio Cones are perfect for a Halloween treat, stocking stuffer, or fun and wacky hostess gift.  You never know what you are going to get.. because I never know what I will find in my trinket hunt, but you can be sure you will get a gift that has been carefully curated to recreate that vintage vibe!

Plus check out my new you tube channel!!! 

The Launching of Prize Puffs and Curio Cones has Arrived!

20150828_093643_resized

I’m very excited to launch one of the new products that I have been working on, and has kind of become a signature party gift of mine!  I have personally gifted this to kids and adults alike, with great success, and most any theme or occasion can be customized to fit!
Introducing…..
(Cue the trumpets)
Prize Puffs and Curio Cones!
But what’s a Prize Puff or a Curio Cone you ask?
Vintage inspired toys, trinkets, and treasures wrapped in over 100 feet of crepe paper streamers.
The prizes are all curated and hand rolled by me!
In the 1950’s Charles Gregor Surprise Balls, “The Toy You Destroy to Enjoy” flooded the five and dime stores, as well as those of Fao Schwarz and hospital gift shops. Today an original Charles Gregor Surprise Ball can cost you hundreds on auction sites, IF you can even find one.
Experience the simple joy and thrill of these nostalgic toys with my Prize Puffs!  These are great party gifts for every age, and involves the entire crowd.  What color will come next!?  What prize will fall out next!? Great for developing fine motor skills, and requires little effort so it is the perfect gift for a get well or hospital patient.

20150828_093938-1_resized

Each Prize Puff and Curio Cone is hand wrapped with prizes in each layer that have been diligently searched out in an attempt to remain authentic to their original predecessors.  Prizes may include vintage and vintage inspired trinkets, toys, jokes, riddles, fortunes, candy from around the world, and other treasures hand selected and sought out from vendors and personal artisans.
I was always the black sheep of my family.  While other kids my age were interested in sports, or social interactions, I was busy staging full scale Broadway productions of Disney Flicks in my grandma’s living room, and carnivals on the weekends.  As a young adult, and with the discovery of my love for vintage childhood nostalgia, I began to entertain at out home.  Each event was meticulously planned, making sure the theme was carried throughout, from decor to food to favors.

20150827_131916-1_resized

For most of my life I’ve been surrounded by individuals who merely “put up with me” but never really understood my passions.  However, with the vast connecting powers of the internet, I discovered others who shared in my oddball passions.  I found others who loved talking about their estate sale treasure hunts, and the thrill of finding that lovely vintage item for a steal.  Others who loved planning events with sometimes obscure themes, but that were painstakingly researched in order to stay true to the authenticity of the time period, and theme.  Others were out there that reveled in a weekly thrift store ritual, or who were content to spend their Friday evenings creating art.  
I often wish I could go back in time to visit a five and dime store, with it’s rows of penny candy and vintage trinkets… I would surely be in heaven!  Perhaps, in a past lifetime, I had happy memories visiting with only a handful of coins in tow.  Until the popularity of such fads rise again, here is my time machine for others who find they are a little like me.

20150815_115943_resized

I spent a lot of time doing some soul searching to better communicate why I created Nicolyndime, and the etsy store of the same name.  This is an excerpt from my shop’s page: 
MY MOTHER WAS A STAY AT HOME MOM/ HOMEMAKER WHO WAS ABSOLUTELY DEVOTED TO ME.  ONE OF MY FAVORITE ACTIVITIES WAS OUR WALKS TO THE COMMUNITY GROCERY AND PHARMACY WHERE WE WOULD PUT A QUARTER INTO THE SQUARE VENDING MACHINE THAT WAS JUST AT MY LEVEL.  ALL OF THOSE COLORFULLY LIDDED CAPSULES INSIDE, AND THE ANTICIPATION OF WHICH SURPRISES WOULD ROLL OUT, WAS ALMOST TOO MUCH TO STAND!
EVEN BETTER WAS THE ANNUAL FIREMAN’S CARNIVAL, ALSO A SHORT WALK FROM OUR HOME, AND THE THRILLS OF WINNING NEON COLORED WHISTLES, BOUNCY BALLS, AND OTHER TRINKETS FROM THE DUCK POND; THE ONLY GAME THAT REQUIRED NO SKILL.  MY CHILDHOOD WAS MARKED WITH THESE PLASTIC TRINKETS THAT, IN THE EYES OF A CHILD, ARE SURELY THE EQUIVALENT OF RUBIES AND GOLD.
LATER MY MOTHER SUFFERED AN ILLNESS AND LOST HER ABILITY TO WALK.  CONFINED TO A WHEELCHAIR, AND NO LONGER ABLE TO GO ON OUR WALKS, WE WOULD REMINISCE AND LOOK THROUGH HER VINTAGE TRINKETS, AND SPEND PRECIOUS TIME TOGETHER.
WHEN I WAS OLD ENOUGH TO MAKE THE TREK TO THE PHARMACY BY MYSELF, I WOULD PICK OUT TRINKETS FOR MY MOM, AND DELIGHT IN MY ABILITY TO BRING A SMALL GLIMPSE OF OUR PAST ENJOYMENTS INTO HER HOME.
SHE HAD SUCH A KNACK FOR FILLING MY YEARS WITH WONDER, AND I’M SURE I GET MY CREATIVITY AND LOVE FOR CRAFTING AND ENTERTAINING FROM BOTH MY MOTHER AND MY GRANDMOTHER, THE TWO WOMEN WHO RAISED ME.
SUCH POWER THOSE SMALL PLASTIC TRINKETS HELD!  SO MUCH SO, THAT IF I SEE ONE TODAY, THE MEMORIES COME FLOODING BACK.  SMELL A CRAYON AND INSTANTLY BE TRANSPORTED TO CHILDHOOD, SEE AN ITEM LONG FORGOTTEN BUT THAT IMMEDIATELY TELLS YOUR STORY, OR HEAR A SONG AND TRAVEL THROUGH TIME.  I GUESS THAT’S WHY I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN DRAWN TO ITEMS FROM THE PAST.  OLD ITEMS CREATE CONNECTIONS, GIVE US STORIES, AND TIE US TO A NETWORK THAT’S GREATER THAN US.
NICOLYNDIME EXISTS TO BE PART OF THAT CONNECTION.  PERHAPS I CAN HELP YOU SAVE TIME BY PROVIDING A PARTY DELIVERED RIGHT TO YOUR DOOR SO YOU CAN SPEND VALUABLE TIME WITH YOUR LOVED ONES INSTEAD.  THERE’S NEVER ENOUGH TIME…  OR MAYBE I CAN SUPPLY A WONDROUS PRIZE PUFF, OR CURIO CONE, TO A FRIEND, OR AS A NOSTALGIC GIFT TO YOURSELF FOR A RAINY DAY!  POSSIBLY I HAVE JUST THE VINTAGE ITEM THAT YOU HAVE ALWAYS REMEMBERED FROM A HAPPY MOMENT IN TIME.
WHEN YOU MAKE A PURCHASE FROM NICOLYNDIME, YOU’RE GETTING MORE THAN YOU CAN SEE.  A CURATED OR HAND CREATED GIFT PROVIDES THE RECIPIENT WITH A CUSTOMIZED PIECE OF ART THAT SHOWS THOUGHTFULNESS AND SOUL.  A PARTY IN A BOX SUPPLIES A STRESS FREE EXPERIENCE TO MAKE MEMORIES, SAVING YOU TIME TO SHARE WITH THE IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE.  A VINTAGE FIND NOT ONLY PROVIDES A PRECIOUS MEMENTO AND MEMORY TO THE PAST, BUT ALSO RECYCLES THAT TREASURE FROM A FATE IN A LANDFILL.
Also exciting is the pre launch of my youtube channel where you can see a prize puff in action!  
Check it out here:
Prize Puff from Nicolyndime on etsy
I hope that you will continue in my creative journey with me, and follow along as I continue to add products!

1950’s Sale 2 of 2…. Gearing up for Thanksgiving!

20150825_152246_resized

Ok so it was kind of a let down.  The prices were VERY high… and I nearly left without anything.  But in the end I still managed to get a good deal on the things I did pick out.  There was a near complete set of primary colors pyrex nesting bowls photographed at the start of the sale.  The only bowl left on day 2 was the largest yellow one.  There was also a blue pyrex snowflake casserole there, but I didn’t want to drop the $15 they had for it.  To some this would probably be a good deal.  But I am a collector only when I can find it for a steal, or it isn’t much fun for me at all.  The estate sale worker told me there was $8 on this yellow pyrex bowl.  

I put it back….

Then I went back for it…

then I put it back….

then I went back for it and carried it around.

20150825_152139_resized

I had also spied this cranberry set.  I had never seen it before, and I thought this was something I could use.  Every year I just throw the cranberry in a small bowl and that’s that.  But this would give it a bit more pizzazz.

20150825_152213_resized

As I was contemplating putting that back… this woman told me she had just gone in to get it, and then realized I had it.  She told me it was a good find.  I’ll be the judge of that… I looked it up to see if I could get it again for a better price on ebay…. because I was actually going to let her have it if it was about the same somewhere else.  But it turned out it was a good price.. so I kept it with me.  

In a pantry closet, I spied the turkey lifters.  

They had $4 on them.  Something I always say to myself every year when I’m just ready to pull the turkey out of the oven on Thanksgiving is, “I wish I had those turkey lifters.”  Then I forget about it for a whole year, only to remember it on turkey day the next year.  One year I tried that kind with twine, but that was for the birds.  (Get it!?)

So I added the lifters to my stash.

Next I kept one of these 50’s booklets with me (The GE one), because I really liked them all, but at $5 a piece I whittled it down to my first choice.  

20150825_152256_resized

20150825_163731_resized

Look! There’s my pyrex bowl in green…..

The cookbooks were priced at $2 a piece. 

20150825_163807_resized

This vintage Disney postcard was tucked in the pages of the General Electric refrigerator book.

20150825_152316_resized

20150825_152322_resized

I bit the bullet and asked what was the best absolute price they could do on the lot…. and was shocked when the woman totaled me to $15.  SOLD!  

I may hit the sale again, on the last day, and see if they are willing to wiggle down on the prices even more.   

All in all, I am happy with my purchases… and my Pyrex bowl will look great as a fruit bowl in my 50’s dream kitchen someday!

50’s Treasure Hunt 1 of 2

While scrolling the estatesales.net listings for my area, “eek cool vintage mid century modern estate sale, groovy” caught my eye.  I began to drool and ooo and ahh as I looked through the photos.  Back in PA, true vintage estate sales are a dime a dozen.  In fact, that’s pretty much all there is when there is an estate sale listed.  But here in FL, there are few in my area, and prices tend to be higher because there is a vintage market and aesthetic here.  Prices were extremely high, and I unfortunately can’t go on the half off or better day… but I still found some treasures at an affordable price.  Some of the items may even make it into the shop!  
I knew it was good when I saw this:
20150821_101829_resized
Pastel porcelain told me the house hadn’t been renovated and most likely the contents were also of the same vintage quality.
So here’s the goods:
20150821_114826_resized
Kitchen items that I had to have.  While I was checking out, the woman asked me if 1955 was my birth year (and I really hope she was kidding, as she’s 30  years off in that calculation) but I told her it was the year I feel like I should have been born. 
These cute promotional bottles.  LOVE the retro fonts!
20150821_114843_resized 20150821_114856_resized
I did a quick search, and Tops is still in business today here in Florida apparently.  This is a lonely salt or pepper shaker, that will probably have a new life in my craft studio….
And I just love the pastel blue lid….
20150821_115109_resized
I spotted this, and debated a long time whether or not to get it.  I have to admit that the note tucked in with it was the main reason I bought it.  I had just celebrated my first birthday at the time of this note:
20150821_114925_resized
I remember these coasters from my grandma’s table.  She was quite the entertainer, and I’d like to think that I got a lot of my entertaining chops from her.  She never had these colors, but these are in such excellent condition, and they were only a dollar.  I had to snatch them up.
20150821_115014_resized 
My grandma also had a bearing on this purchase.  I once bought her a squirrel candy or nut dish that she absolutely adored.  Ever since then I search for squirrel decor that will complement that dish for Autumn/ Thanksgiving time.  The little squirrel is adorable to me.
20150821_115138_resized
It was taped shut at the sale, and it wasn’t until I got home to open er up when I got a surprise.  So bright and cheerful in there!
20150821_115032_resized
Continuing on….
20150821_115334_resized
These were tucked in the bathroom.  Again, those nostalgic graphics and photos.  Swoon.  This lovely lady is looking ultra chic in her Klippies.  See the cost of inflation?  They were 29 cents, then 36 cents at drug fair… I paid 50 cents in 2015.
20150821_115342_resized
Old bandaid tin… with some original bandaids inside.  
20150821_115348_resized
Who remembers Mercurochrome?  My generation may be the last to have experienced it’s blindingly painful sting, and bright red stain on your skin….
20150821_115716_resized
As a makeup artist… I got pretty geeked out about this right here:
20150821_115351_resized
I carefully opened it up to make sure there weren’t any bad surprises inside.  Pretty good condition.
20150821_115415_resized
Doesn’t everyone get excited when they buy UNOPENED vintage Kotex Feminine Napkins at a sale?  Well at least I can’t be the ONLY one…..
20150821_115500_resized 20150821_115504_resized
This woman, whose possessions I get to honor, was an avon seller for years.  There was a whole closet lined with vintage avon containers, candle holders, bath oils, etc.  These two soap dishes jumped out at me.
20150821_115507_resized
Never used, still in the original wrapping… the soaps have such intricate and delicate patterns.  Today no one really thinks about soap as decor, but in the old days these items were one of the details.
And this rain bonnet… which I had forgotten was at this sale… is the exact same one that lived in my grandma’s car in case of an emergency.  I shall always remember it there as she drove me back and forth to my dance classes, and competitions.  I almost missed it but spied it right at the end.
20150821_115517_resized
There’s the hat, still waiting for an emergency, just as my gram’s always was….
20150821_115528_resized 
But wait there’s more…..
20150821_120425_resized
In the garage, there was a lot of Vintage Christmas sprinkled around.  I had to have some restraint, prices were high.. but when I spotted these vintage picks.. I had to get those.
20150821_120429_resized
And the Thanksgiving ones too….
20150821_120435_resized
I don’t know why I thought this girl was a pilgrim… but I think she’s a caroler…. She needed some one to tell her she was still beautiful, even though she has a gnarly scratch on her cheek.
20150821_120438_resized
I have a few of these small ones, but these nativities tend to be broken since they were very fragile.  These are in very good shape.  
20150821_120450_resized
The santa picks were in these vintage cups.  I kind of had to buy it all….
20150821_120456_resized
Once again… the charm in the old worn graphics gets me every time.  Those nativities were a shiny brite product.  
20150821_120637_resized 20150821_120642_resized
20150821_120648_resized
I was super excited to get to this sale yesterday but had a change of heart in the wee hours of the morning.  So I went today, and most of the items I wanted were still there… and a lot of them were really expensive so I left them behind.  As you can see, I still found some goodies.  
There’s another 50’s sale I’m hoping to have success with later in the week.  Fingers Crossed!!!!

Exciting Weeks Ahead!

findbrevardhomesdotcom

photo: findbrevardhomes.com

I’m just stopping in today with a little insightful blog post.  I had mentioned in my last post that I found a job teaching dance.  I had been a little down in the dumps because as soon as I had gotten moved in and settled, I hit the area hard sending out my press kit and resumes to local studios.  Many of them did not respond, even after my follow ups, and a few responded telling me they were fully staffed.  
I interviewed and taught as audition for a small studio, but they didn’t have the need currently for me, and told me perhaps next semester.  And yet another studio wanted me as a teacher, but was only just starting out and didn’t have the student base.  I finally got an interview and audition for a larger well established studio, but after teaching the class, and talking with the studio, I really felt as though I wasn’t the right fit artistically or ethically.  I declined the job offer but feared I had made the wrong decision, and pondered if it was better to accept a position where I would be unhappy in order to teach, or be unhappy not teaching.
The people I choose to share my life with are my best cheerleaders, and they reassured me that the right opportunity would come.  But the end of the summer season had arrived, and I knew from a practical standpoint that most studios would have their staff selected by now.  As a last ditch effort, I sent a few more press kits out to studios that were a tad bit farther than I wanted to drive.  After not hearing back, I decided to give up, and not even send a follow up email.  
Instead, I decided to focus on my business, and journaled my thoughts in order to get a clear statement on paper of what I wanted Nicolyndime to be.  I casually checked my email, something I do on my phone countless times a day, and saw that I had a response to my kit!
That next morning, Friday, I had set up an audition for the following Monday.  Monday evening rolled around, and before I knew it I was hired!  It just so happened that this studio had an emergency spot that needed to be filled, and my press kit showed up at that exact time.  
After my first staff meeting that following Friday, I had felt that I made the right decision.  All of the other instructors that I have met (and there are a lot of them) feel quite genuine, and the owner’s philosophy for her studio feels equal to mine.  
As I get older and wiser, I have learned to cut certain people out of my life who have vastly different views than I about the world and that will, in turn, ultimately harm me whether it be emotionally, physically, or psychologically.  I have learned the importance of listening to my gut in order to select the right path for me.  For now, at this moment in time, this is the right spot for me to be.  
Driving to my first day this past Monday, I felt very blessed to be in a beach town, doing what I love.  The drive to one location makes me feel like I am on vacation as I watch the surfers carrying their boards to and from the beach.   On the way home a gentleman on a skateboard pulled by his dog, who had a smile on his face (the dog not the skateboarder), made me smile too.  As with any new experience, I will be happy to have a few weeks of classes under my belt, to ease into the dance season.
Also something very exciting to me this week, and the beginning of next… two estate sales from homes that look like they are right out of the 1950’s.  It’s rare to find that here in Florida, a place with no basements, and barns, and less older established homes and families.  I hope that I don’t have to deal with any rude estate sale people, who make the whole experience unbearable… but positive thoughts instead!
I’ll be sure and post any interesting finds, and maybe some items can make it to the shop if I don’t want to keep it all!!!
Also, I am working on some new items in the shop’s giftable line.  Just crossing my t’s and dotting my i’s on those!
Follow your heart and your gut folks!  Thanks for reading!

e.l.f Lock & Seal Review

I’ve had this for a long time, and haven’t tried it out till now.  While I was swatching all the other lip colors the other day, and already had makeup up and down my arm, I figured that now was as good a time as any to give it a go!
Here it is:
20150811_145921_resized
You get the product in a dropper bottle, a brush, and a mini pot to dispense the product into.  
Since the directions on the back say you can use this with pretty much any product:
20150811_150815_resized
I used e.l.f. brand for testing this out.
20150811_150056_resized
20150811_145940_resized
On my arm from Left to Right:
e.l.f. baked eyeshadow palette in a purple shade, black shade, and white shade, e.l.f. blush from the blush and bronzer compact, Taupe Instant Lift Brow Pencil, Studio Shadow and Liner Stick in Plum/Purple, moisturizing lipstick in Cheeky, and Studio Matte Lip Color in Hot Commodity, and Dash of Pink.
So I did my best to follow the directions of dropping the product into the mini pot.  But then it says to add the product to the makeup, and apply it to your face.  In order to do that with most products, I would need to put a wet brush onto the powder, and it would be impossible to do this technique with the eyeliner, and lipstick.
So first I tried to dab the product onto the makeup swatches on my arm.  I applied it to only the bottom half of each swatch.  I noticed that I was getting a bit of color transfer and running from the Lock & Seal.
20150811_150401_resized
Then I tried to wet the brush with the Lock & Seal, and dab it into the blush and apply that to my arm.  You can see a slight hint of the pink on the far left above.  But that didn’t work at all.  it was like the watercolor version of applying makeup, and wouldn’t be at all practical for your face.
I allowed the product to dry thoroughly as instructed, and lightly wiped it off with a dry tissue.
20150811_150709_resized
As you can see most of the product came right off.  The darker shadows seemed to resist a bit.  After another wipe it was all gone:
20150811_150734_resized
So then I tried to dab it on my lip color, because truthfully that’s why I got this product:
With lock and seal
And allowed that to dry thoroughly before giving it a wipe:
After wiping lock and seal
With sad results 😦
Overall:  I say it didn’t work for me.  If I could mix a bit of loose powder, or shadow with the Lock & Seal maybe it would work, but I’d prefer to use a setting spray and omit all of the mixing and brush cleaner this would take.  Also, I don’t like the idea of continually putting a wet brush into a compact for fear of damp loving bacteria taking up residence, or having to shave powder from a product, collect it, mix it, blah blah blah….
Happy Weekend to all!  I hope you all have something enjoyable planned!

e.l.f. Cosmetics Lipstick Swatches

20150811_143526_resized
Hello friends!  Happy middle of the week.  Today I’m talking about my e.l.f. cosmetics mini haul.  I took advantage of one of their no minimum shipping offers, and ordered some backup essential instant lift brow pencils, but of course I had to get some more lipsticks!  
20150810_144027_resized
This time I got more matte lip colors in the shades Dash of Pink, and Hot Commodity, and a Moisturizing Lipstick in Cheeky.
Each Lipstick is $3
20150811_143904_resized
From Left to Right:  Cheeky, Hot Commodity, Dash of Pink
The first color I tried was Cheeky:
Cheeky2
This lipstick smells like vanilla.  I notice it in my other moisturizing lipsticks too, which can be a little off putting if you are sensitive to smells.  It’s a nice pigmented coppery peach shade.
This is the Dash of Pink:
Dash of Pink
It’s the same formula of all the other studio matte lip colors, which I really love.  This is a pepto bismol kind of pink, only more flattering:
Dash of pink2
When I opened the Hot Commodity, I thought it was going to be way too bright for my skin tone:
hot commodity
It’s an orangy shade that makes me think of summer.  I have NO lipsticks in the orange spectrum, so I was curious how I could play around with this.
I purchased the Cheeky so that I could layer it for different effect.  So here is the Dash of Pink with Cheeky layered on top:
Dash of pink w cheeky
And finally, Hot Commodity with Cheeky layered over top:
hot commodity with cheeky
All of these shades have big color pay off.  As usual e.l.f. lipsticks do not disappoint!  Later this week I’ll talk about my review of e.l.f. Lock and Seal so tune in soon!
Also… an update!  I’m absolutely over the moon to announce that I have accepted a job offer teaching dance at a local studio!  I had a small time period where I thought I wouldn’t find the right fit for me.  Being in a “small town feel” beach town, there aren’t many opportunities for the new girl in town… and I was terribly down in the dumps one day last week.  But instead of getting all mopey I expanded my radius to send out more press kits, and told myself that in the meantime, I would focus on the expansion of the shop, and the blog.  I was super excited however, when I got an email from an interested studio, and before I knew it I had accepted a teaching position!  So I still get to share my passion for teaching dance with the young minds of my area.  I am very grateful to get to do something I truly love, and I consider it a huge gift.  
Don’t worry though, I will still be working on the shop!  I’m waiting for my supplies to arrive in the mail so that I can start designing!

Hey!  Join me… It’s free plus you get a freebie!  It’s a win win!!!

cropped-click-to-join-photo-copy.jpg