Artist Spotlight: Catnaps & Cartwheels

Have you heard the saying, “It’s a beautiful thing when a career and passion come together?” The quote applies perfectly to our new favorite crafter and entrepreneur. We’re back with our Artist Spotlight and this month showcasing Catnaps & Cartwheels.

Catnaps logoBefore Easter, Daughter found Catnaps & Cartwheels through social media and was drawn to the quality and vintage vibe of the handmade stuffed animals and dolls.

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Dana Hallman, owner, creator, seamstress, designer, etc, at Catnaps & Cartwheels always enjoyed crafting and art as a young child and teenager. Growing up, she watched and observed her mother sew her Sunday dresses, curtains and other household projects. (It’s funny how mothers can influence their daughter so much. We know this first hand at Georgia & Daughter.) It wasn’t until Dana was pregnant with her first child, that she attempted her first sewing project, a simple baby quilt.

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Pretty in Pink

A few weeks ago, we picked up some great finds at our favorite auction house. In case you missed the photo on Facebook, our truck looked like this on the way home. We received a few lingering looks and bright lighting from our fellow commuters. Much to Georgia’s fretting, we (us and the furniture!) arrived home safely.

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One of our first buys of the night included this solid oak end table. It was made in the U.S.A and the construction is sturdy and built to last a lifetime. However, the top had a few water rings and the finish was undesirable. Nothing that we couldn’t fix.

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The Best (Unprofessional) Easter Bunny Cake

We apologize for being a little M.I.A. this week. We’ve been extremely busy with different projects (Georgia is finally getting hardwoods after 15 years!). We have several great posts for the coming weeks after visiting our favorite auction house and getting ready for Spring & Summer.

Before Easter, we wanted to share one of our most cherished traditions – our Easter Bunny Cake. Before the fancy cake molds from William & Sonoma, Daughter’s grandparents were creative enough to produce the most adorable bunny cake from two round cake pans. Each year, the bunny would be decorated differently. After 30 plus years, it remains the highlight of Daughter’s year.¬† It isn’t Easter at our home without one these!

georgia & daughter: An Easter Bunny Cake

To make your very own Bunny Cake, you’ll need a box cake mix (or homemade recipe), 2 round cake pans, 2 cans of icing and any decorative items such as sprinkles, chocolates, food coloring, etc. You’ll also need a larger cake board for the final cake.

The first few steps are very simple, just follow the instructions on the box cake mix. Using the instructions for baking 2 round pans.

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After baking, let the two cakes cool completely and place one on your finished board. This round cake will be the bunny’s face so you’ll need to place it about 2/3 down. Leave room for the ears and bow tie. Place the other cake on a cutting board.

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Working with the cake on the cutting board, use a knife to make two arcs. As Grandpa would say, “Make the cake look like a baseball.” The side pieces will become the ears and the middle section will be the bow tie.

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Carefully place the ears and bow tie on the finished board with the first cake. Your bunny will look something like this:

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We place small pieces of wax paper under the cake edge to help keep the board clean.

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Now comes the fun part! You’ll need 1 to 2 cans of icing, depending on your preference of icing. Ice the entire cake. We’ve used blue, red and purple icing for the bow tie and pink icing for the ears. We’ve also had white, chocolate and pink bunnies! Use your imagination!

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After icing the bunny, you can remove the wax paper and use sprinkles, chocolates, toothpicks, Twizzlers, etc to create the ears, nose, mouth, whiskers, etc.

georgia & daughter: An Easter Bunny Cake

It’s not perfect. It’s not professional. It’s not exact. And yet, kids will absolutely go crazy for it!

Happy Easter!

~georgia & daughter

 

Tips for Thrift Shopping

As you may know, we here at Georgia & Daughter love a great find. We love the thrill of the hunt and we scour antique shops, thrift stores, consignments markets and auctions for those special pieces for our homes.

Over the years, we have found some absolutely wonderful treasures and wanted to share them with you. Plus, in case, you haven’t been thrift shopping, we wanted to share a few tips for a successful score!

1. Big Cities v. Rural Towns  РWe live in the country and appreciate all things slow paced. Thrift/consignment/antique shopping and even auctions are completely different in a big city, like Atlanta, compared to their northern counterparts. More than likely, you will find the high-end pieces in the city and more of the rustic, primitive items in the country. We shop in both the city and country to stock our homes with unique pieces.

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Old wood buffet gets a modern day makeover. We bought this piece in a very rural part of Georgia.

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2. Thrift Shops v. Consignment Stores – Thrift shops are furnished by donations (such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc). Most thrift stores aren’t looking to earn the maximum profit for an item, but rather to turn over items quickly. On the other hand, consignment stores are furnished by individuals who have ‘loaned’ their item to the store and would like to gain as much money as they can. Consignment stores take a percentage of the seller’s profit, between 15 – 50%. Most of the time, you can negotiate at consignment stores but not at thrift shops.

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These hand drawn flowers were purchased for $15 for the pair at a thrift store. The colors and theme fit perfectly with Daughter’s vintage, floral guest bedroom.

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3. Be Realistic! – If you find a piece of furniture that you love but the piece is missing a drawer or door knob, do you have the time, money, ability to fix it? Minor repairs such as painting or loose leg should not be a deterrent. However, major repairs such as broken legs, missing hardware, water damaged wood, should all be considered. The cheap $50 dresser may take $100 worth of repairs, is it still worth it?

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TV stand bought at an antique mall for $125, we added 4 legs for $15.

4. Accessories, Accessories, Accessories – Thrift/consignment and antique stores are meccas for small, decorative items. They also offer the chance to score unique, vintage items that can add soul to your home. When buying accessories, you can overlook the dust but look for chips, working parts, broken glass, etc.

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These gold finials were found at Daughter’s favorite thrift store for $5/pair as is – no chips, no re-pianting.

5. Deep Discounts – Most thrift and consignment stores will have their own discount policy depending on how long an item has been available. Over 30 days, our local consignment shop will mark the item 25% off, then after 60 days, 50% and after 90 days 65%. Ask the store clerk or manager about their specials!

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All accessories on this table (minus the wedding photo and album) were purchased from thrift stores or yard sales. Jewelry box, dresser, peacock, ring dish and candle holders.

6. Keep an Open Mind – You never know what you will find when thrifting! Keep an open mind to what is available in the stores. When searching for a specific item, we have found something that we were completely not expected!

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For the Blue Hair Poker nights, we found this perfect tin box to keep all of our quarters in! Daughter paid a quarter!

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7. Be Ready to Hunt – And by hunt, we mean dig, sort, browse, etc. Again, its the thrill of the hunt. Behind some very old furniture, may be the best treasure yet. Prime example, this handmade, crochet quilt was tucked away and hard to see in a local consignment store. Once we pulled it out, we found a gorgeous red and black chevron quilt in the most perfect condition! When we were checking out, the clerk told us that a young, college age lady placed the quilt on consignment and that her grandmother made it for her when she was a freshman at the University of Georgia. Hmmm, hello! Please do not sell something that your precious grandmother spent so many hours and love on! However, the quilt is now very much loved by a UGA alumni and her family.

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So adventure out to the land of thrifting! We’ll be out and about at yard sales and auctions on Saturday!

~georgia & daughter

The Little Table That Could

We have some wonderful news to share with you! Our first month as a booth vendor at the Gainesville Antique Mall is now officially in the books and we are blown away by the experience. We set a very reasonable goal for the first month sales and could not imagine the response! It seemed like we couldn’t maintain a ‘full’ booth without restocking twice a week! It’s a good problem to have but one we were not expecting. Our inventory is getting low so we’ve been out picking and Georgia found this little table at a thrift store.

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She is a small, but cute end table that just needed some TLC to bring back her fabulousness. Daughter took her home and applied two coats of Annie Sloan’s Duck Egg Blue.

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On the left, two coats of Duck Egg Blue. On the right, one coat of Soft Wax applied.

After the second coat of paint, she looked too perfect. We decided that this little gal would be even more cute as a shabby, chic gal. After applying one coat of Annie Sloan Soft Wax, we used a 80 grit sandpaper to distress a few spots. We completed the makeover with two more coats of Soft Wax. (Disclosure: Since we wanted to sell this piece, it was important to apply two coats of wax. We want our clients to feel confident in their purchases.)

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We are pretty pleased with this little table and she’ll be in available in our booth this weekend.

georgia & daughter: Annie Sloan Duck Egg Blue End Table

~georgia & daughter