You can follow me through here and we can visit a while.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and
Happy New Year From
Brown Gingham Creations!
My studio and Etsy shop are closed now until Jan. 5th

Thursday, December 11, 2008

In the last post I showed you what we've been working on here at the flower shop.
I began at our main display window outside and then inside at the front entryway.
(See previous post)

Today our tour our tour takes us into the main showroom (there are 3 showrooms/main showroom/sunporch/kitchen-sales area, a design studio and display case for fresh botanicals, and a separate workroom where the bulk of creating occurs.)
As we enter the room this is a turn-of -the-century buffet that is the perfect spot to display reprodution vintage Santas. They depict Santa at different time periods and countries. My favorite is the patriotic Santa in the far left corner. Standing next to him is a Victorian style patriotic Christmas tree. Flags, bunting, dried carnations, decorations...all sealed under glass. Any one of these would be a great gift for the collector.
In the center of the room is a wonderful turn-of-the-century violin-leg library table filled with holiday fare. We display not only permanent botanicals designs in this room, but fresh too. Like this delightful fresh, fragrant mix in a vintage 1930-40's Mill with waterwheel ceramic planter. We also love to take vintage items and create tabletop vinettes, like the 1950's sewing box accented by matching roses, greenery, and special finds that were inside the box such as wooden spools of thread, buttons, packs of needles, etc. Perfect keepsake for the needlecrafter or seamstress.
As you come to the front of the table an antique Berea chair sits on top with a swag of faux greens and pinecones cascading over the chair back. The seat is filled with basket filled

with holly and one of my Christmas pillows. Next to is more of my hand-work, a bowl of fragrant fresh holiday greens and a wonderful mache
rocking horse in it's holiday floral finery. In the far corner of the room is a faux fireplace, ready for Santa to come down.
It was dry laid and the hand-carved roses on the mantle were done by me. This years color combination is rich reds, muaves, golds, browns, and greens. It seems retro earthtones are sneaking back.
As I said before our displays change daily. Can you pick out the difference between the two photos?.....
The rose bouquet on the far right corner of the mantle is gone. Well, I'd better close for now and do up some replacement designs and orders that have to go out on the next sleigh.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What I've Been Working On

Thought I'd give you a peek at what we've been working on at the flower shop, A&J's Floral Boutique(R). This is our front display window. We love the oldtime window displays of 40's to the 60's with their holiday scenes and animation. Santa is new and he sings, but Mrs. Claus is an 'animatron' from the 60's and still works. She busily knits in her rocking chair nodding her head to the msuic. The feather tree is filled with vintage looking glass Waterford ornaments depicting Santa with a globe and is topped by one of my Angelic Inspirations. The elves have just finished the mache' train and firetruck just in time. They're filled with a feather tree and holiday boughs. As you follow the wrought iron fence around to the front door,

You are greeted by Frosty. This is out on our 'sunporch', which is filled with plants and gardeny gifts, so we've decorated it with babies breath, assorted blossoms, berries, gilded acorns with oak leaves, and frosted balls. If you look real close there are little chickadees nestled in the boughs. Throughout Christmas our displays change almost daily with sales of product, so tomorrow I'll give you another peek of a different area.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas tree

It's finally beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Albers' house. We had our first snow fall ( of no accumulation predicted) of about 3 inches over the weekend, so I figured that would get Jim into did. (by the by for those of you who aren't familiar with Cincinnati weather. It was in the 20's- teens over the weekend, by tomorrow it's back up to the 50's) We store our tree, lights still on, upstairs so all he has to do is come down and place in the front room. Realllly keeps the light issues at a minimum if ya know what I mean. He then brings up all the ornament boxes from the basement. I love opening them's like opening a time capsule.
My fav collectible is aluminum. (This is a subject for a future post) These aluminum reflectors were inherited from my grandma. They are placed over the light bulbs and the colors are so vibrant from the plastic centers. Especially on her aluminum tree! You can place the reflectors over the matching primary color light bulb of the plastic or place on a different color to create new colors..i.e., blue over red bulb =purple, red over yellow get the idea. I also use some larger ones and to put those on my window candles.
These are a few of the vintage ornaments I place on my tree. In the 60's when I was little these types of ornaments were always on our Christmas tree mixed with the newer ones of course. The plastic yellow one has an aluminum whirligig inside. When placed near a light bulb the whirligig spins from the heat generated. They work on the same principle as those German candle carousels you see..for the life of me I can't think of what they're called, If you can please tell me. The little bell is colored glass with mica flecks for snow on the top and bottom edge.
This last picture is a plastic ornament with plastic flowers inside. These too were on my Mom and Dad's tree at home, but as I said she still uses them.I was sooooo happy to find 6 of these at the Burlington Antique Flea Market in Kentucky last year in a box of ruined ornament. (they thought the openings were supposed to be filled with a colored film...children). I have many other vintage glass balls. Some with glittered landscapes scenes others with stenciled holiday icons, and still others with birds and fauna. I mix them with new solid colored glass balls to fill out the tree. When I purchase a 'new' vintage ball it replaces the solid one.This This is the picture of the completed tree. Jim still has to put the village and train under it though. (Pic to follow). Let me know what your fav vintage ornament is or share pics of your vintagey tree.

Oops! Here are a few more Ornaments I forgot to place. The hand-blown glass and celluloid is a German creation and very old. The other two are 1940's-50's glass balls

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's That Time of Year

It's that time of year! Holiday craft show, decorating home for christmas, finishing up displays in the shop, everyday orders to get out, holiday orders to process....phew!!! Hopfully by next week things will be smooth and I can show pics of all the frenzy.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

This time of year is so hectic. Centerpieces for clients Thanksgiving tables, redecorating the flower shop for Christmas, getting ready for the Sharonville Holiday Craft Show on Saturday, shopping for my own Thanksgiving's time to slow down, take a breath and recall what I have to be thankful for.
The best blessings are my family, including my furry family members too, and friends, old and new, are at the top of the list. All those who have stopped at my websites, the shop, and my show booths.
The little everyday miracles throughout the year are the most surprising and oft forgotten... a flower arrives in the exact color needed, you find all the socks in the dryer, the antique mall is closing, but they let you browse till lights out. A stranger gives you the last bunch of green bananas on the display. Someone you don't know stops you to say they like your outfit or tote. You press ENTER on the computer and it doesn't go blank. I have a lot more and I know these are little things, but they remind me God is on my shoulder watching. Let me know what your thankful for.
Okay I have to get back to work. Hope you have a great Thanksgiving. If you're in the Cincinnati area for the weekend e-mail me and I'll give you directions to the Craft show.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I finally have the photos from the 32ND Sharonville Arts and Craft Show. It was an early day. Set up began at 8a and was to be done by 11a when the show opened. There was over 50+ vendors setting up all at once, but it sure ran smooth. Some people began walking by during set up . They were interested in things I and fellow vendors were taking out of our boxes. Some vendors used just tables for display, others used chrome store fixtures, and still others used covered cases. I like to use antiques when displaying my textiles. A 30's-40's wooden ironing board, from Jim's Grandma, just lends itself to the theme. The clothes line suspended between tent posts added some charm and much needed space. The table with the vintage tablecloth was a perfect spot to do some demo embroidery while people gathered.

This small cherry child's bed was a great find at little used furniture shop in Northern Ohio. Jim attached the foot board and headboard creating a display bench for my bolster pillow. It also created an entryway making it look more like a small room. Another cherry table stood behind it with more items.

The tent was located on the corner so I was lucky to have more usable space on the ground and in the air. I suspended items on decorative chain. It was a 10x10 space, but boy it felt like more.

This is Jim, my husband. As you can see he is very interested in the newspaper. He didn't even notice I was taking his pic. He was a very big help that day though. He stayed the whole time. I was proud of him, he was able to answer some questions about vintage he must have been listening to me a little when I didn't know it. He did leave for a minute and brought Shadow, our Norwegian Elkhound, down to sit with us. He was our official greeter. He certainly brought a lot of people into the booth. Later in the day my Mom and Dad came. It was a quick tear down with their help.

And, this is me..front row, second over in the blue jeans holding the doll. I was so happy, and surprised, to have been awarded first place in Mixed Media/Fiber Arts.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A flurry of Creating

Just a quick post. Getting ready for the Sharonville Arts and Craft Emporium this month on the
29th. I'm working on quite a few new items. My favorites are the
vintage inspired aprons and shirts. I'm trying to create some baby things too, but I don't think they'll be ready. Hopefully I'll have pics downloaded from my camera soon to show the new ideas. The pic to the left is a display I did a while back to showcase some of my things. The hand-painted chair in the forefront sold quickly. I'll have a few more hand-painted items in this show. I do custom hand-painting on clients own pieces and custom creations using clients vintage textiles and fabrics, which I fit in when I'm not doing my real job.....creating floral designs for weddings, parties, and every day occasions. What can I say I love being busy.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's Tuesday!

What a busy day today already. Up at 4AM, did a little matching together of some design ideas with fabrics and embellishments ( will have some pics coming soon), made lunches, got dressed, and headed to the polls. Already about 20 people there and voting, which is a lot for our area at that time of morning, with about 20 more behind me waiting. Those volunteers will have a lonnnnnggg day. Now I have to get in flower mode and get to designing. Time to decorate for Christmas, change displays.... it's gonna be a lonnnngggg day for me too.

Speaking of Christmas I have a few things done this is just one example
This is my Angel Love Box. (excuse the pic) I found a stash of 6" plastic 50's dolls at an antique mall and bought every one they had. I love 'em. They're completely hair, no clothing, ready to create with. I hand applied her tresses added my hand-embroidered Christmas hankie added the doily and affixed her to the top of my box that I partially covered with plaid Christmas satin. I love these. I put a little poem I wrote with it. The gist is you can't open it, it's filled with love inside. Will have to create some for everyday too.
Well, I'd better close for now. My work work day begins officially at 9AM, soooo, I must get to the real flowers not the embroidered ones.
No matter the lines...Vote!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Other Blogs

I have been reading a few blogsites regularly for little over a year now. They have been the inspiration on starting one of my own. and a fellow Cincinnatian I love Janet's stitch school and vintage embroidery patterns. Susan has wonderful vintage teapots thay she combines with vintage textiles...the colors, the patterns..they just make you feel good to look at her photos. And, then there is Kimberly's fabrics. You just have to see them. Stop by for a "chat" and check out thier websites.
I can only hope my post's are half as interesting. A my photo's, well, I can only pray they come out better than my first try. Hope you're have a nice Saturday so far!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Finally my blog is up and running! I still have to get used to inserting photos as you can see, so please bear with me. I had a page at my website for a newsletter, but didn't have any interaction with readers. I'm hoping with a blogspot to hear from new friends soon. My name is Melody Brown-Albers. I'm from Cincinnati, Ohio, in the suburb of Sharonville. I am a Master Floral Designer and Mixed Media/Fiber Artist. Please visit my website at It is filled with some of the things I love. Flowers, vintage fabric, dolls, painting, embroidery, and clothes. New creations are added frequently. Read the About and In The Design Room sections for more info. If you stop by let me know by signing my Guest Book. I'd love to hear any comments, questions, or suggestions.
In future entries I hope to let you see where my studio is and my family's flower shop, where some of my designs are showcased. Introduce you to my husband Jim and puppyboy Shadow. Invite you along in antiqueing jaunts, share decorating and accent ideas, and let you see some of my other vintage collections. I can't wait to hear from you. Please join me meandering through the garden of my life.