Vintage Halloween at Room With a Past

October at Room With a Past | DuctTapeAndDenim.comooooooooooooooooo……This month starts my favorite time at the Room!  Room With a Past is filled with vintage Halloween goodies.  The photo above is my top shelf with a BOO banner made of vintage Bingo cards.  I’ll include a tutorial for that next week.

Remember way back when I found this amazing vintage typewriter at my favorite thrift store?  Well, after 6 years of using it as a fall/Halloween decoration I finally decided to sell it.  So I “typed up” (actually printed on the computer) a portion of “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe and put it on my shelf.   It sold BEFORE the sale even started.  One of the Roomies bought it!

Vintage typewriter at Room With a Past |

One leftover skull bracelet snuck in to my turquoise and howlite bracelets this month.  Do you see it?

Handmade bracelets at Room With a Past | DuctTapeAndDenim.comI loved the display below.  Especially the chair.

Vintage Halloween at Room With a Past | DuctTapeAndDenim.comJust wondering what’s in the vintage tin below that vaporizes moths?  lol…  You never know what you’ll find at Room With a Past!

Vintage moth vaporizer at Room With a Past |

Come see me, I’ll be working Saturday from 10-2.

Our Autumn Diet Soup Recipe

Our Autumn Diet Soup Recipe | DuctTapeAndDenim.comI just recently realized how much our eating habits are tied in to our environment.  We usually eat pretty healthy.  If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ve seen many of the salads that I ate this summer.  Heat = I don’t want to cook.  So I end up eating a salad every day during the summer.

I’ve been craving soup for at least a month.  But it’s just been sooooooo HOT here in Northern California!  I’ve made two pots of soup so far.  Both times I had to turn on the ac when I started cooking.

But yesterday was different… it felt cooler… could it be…. it is….. FALL?

I kept hearing rumors of rain.  But when I looked up the forecast it only said 20%.  I’ll take it.

Now to decide what soup to cook.  Well, here’s the other story to how we eat with our environment.  Last weekend we celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving since Mark was here with us and missing turkey and stuffing with his family.  Then we had some friends over to watch the baseball playoffs which meant hot dogs, chips, salsa, Cracker Jacks, and more.  THEN a ginormous New York strip steak during a Monday Night Football party.  What were we thinking?

That gave me the answer… I’m making “Diet” Soup!

Big bowl of Diet Soup.  Recipe on the blog. | DuctTapeAndDenim.comI got this recipe a few years ago when I was working in the doctor’s office.  Several of the girls were following the popular fad diet of only eating soup.  I started with that recipe but made changes to fit our tastes.  And I do eat other food besides soup… I can only handle one bowl a day.  :-)

Our Autumn Diet Soup Recipe
Recipe type: Soup
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ bunch celery, chopped
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2-3 carrots, chopped, sliced, or grated
  • 14 oz bag frozen sliced red, green, & yellow bell peppers
  • 14 oz bag frozen green beans
  • ½ - 14 oz bag frozen edemame
  • 14 oz can tomatoes (diced or with green chiles)
  • 2-3 potatoes, chopped (optional)
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  1. Saute the onion and celery in the olive oil.
  2. Throw everything else in the pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Turn down to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.
  4. Remove chicken, shred, and return.

Speaking of fall… did I ever tell you that I had a Thanksgiving book published?  It’s on sale now through October 21 for HALF PRICE!!!  It’s called “Give Thanks: Thanksgiving Readings for the Family” and is a collection of hymns, stories, poems, and Scriptures for you and your family to read together through the month of November.  It will fit in great if you will be celebrating the 30 Days of Thanksgiving with us!

Lots of other books are on sale, too.  Mosts of my titles are 50% off.  (Yes, I wrote more than one… that was back in our homeschooling days.)  Click on the photo below to see all the titles.

Linking to:

MONDAY:  Mostivation Monday, Monday FundayLou Lou Girls Fabulous PartyPIN-spiration Link Party @ The Stitchin’ Mommy


Carolyn’s Homework’s The Inspiration Board, Confessions of a Plate Addict’s The ScoopCozy Little House’s Tweak It Tuesday,  Elizabeth & Co.’s Be InspiredYou’re Going to Love it Tuesday At Kathe with an E , Lori’s Culinary Creations’ Tickle My Taste Buds Tuesdays, Do Tell Tuesday @ Maybe She Made It, Memories by the Mile’s Treasure Box Tuesday, Coastal Charm’s Show and Share Party, Party in Your PJs

WEDNESDAY: Creative Spark Link Party @ My Paper CrazeDIY by Design,  Creative Muster @ Fluster BusterYour Whims Wednesday @ My Girlish WhimsWow Us Wednesdays @ Savvy Southern StyleWhimsy Wednesday @ Simply DesigningWednesday Whatsits @ White Lites On WednesdayWork It Wednesday @ Place of My Taste, What’s It Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants

SATURDAY: Show and Tell Saturday @ Be Different Act Normal , Strut Your Stuff Satuday @ Six Sisters Stuff, Show Me Saturday

SUNDAY: Think Pink Sunday @ Flamingo ToesIt’s Party Time @ Three Mango SeedsSweet and Savoury Sunday @ Baking in Pyjamas, Share It Sunday at Our Rosie Life


How to Have an Arm Party

How to Have an Arm Party | DuctTapeAndDenim.comHere’s another question I hear often, “How do you know how to combine bracelets on one arm?” (aka, “Arm Party”).  It sometimes comes out as a statement, “I can’t wear that many bracelets at one time.”

This is usually from an older woman.  The younger girls don’t seem to have any problem with it.  In fact, many of them post a photo of their arm on Instagram every day.  BTW, I recently started posting photos of my arm parties on Instagram again, too, so make sure you follow me if you want to see what I’m wearing.)

Of course there are exceptions.  Like the 70-something woman who came to my booth at Antique Alley and told me, “You can never wear too many bracelets!”  I really wish I had taken a picture of HER arm party!

Let me start off with a few guidelines and then show you some examples:

Arm Party with California Road Trip and other Vintage bracelets |

Mixing silver, brass, and pewter – old and new.  One of a kind bracelets. Contact me for availability.

Wear an Odd Number

It’s a known design rule that odd numbers are more appealing to the human eye.  Sometimes known as the “Rule of Three” or the “Rule of Thirds.”  For work and/or church I usually stick with three bracelets.  But on “just for fun” days, wear any amount as long as it’s an odd number.

Wear More Than One Metal at a Time

I know this will be hard for many of you… and you won’t hurt my feelings if you decide to skip this one.  I have lots of favorite jewelry and it’s not all the same metal.  When you mix types of metal in your arm party it makes wearing more than one metal look intentional.

Mix it Up

Start with 3, each one a different style from the list below.

  • 1 cuff/bangle
  • 1 bead
  • 1 chain
  • 1 fabric/thread
  • 1 leather
  • 1 watch
  • 1 charm
  • 1 misc

Notice in the photo below there is one thin leather, one chain, one bead, one misc, and a bangle.

Arm party with green beads |

Top to bottom: BLESSED – bought when we were visiting our daughter in Canada, simple silver chain – a new chain I’m testing out before I start using in my designs, green beads – just some leftover green beads I strung together; Simple Sideways Arrow Bracelet – from Duct Tape and Denim; NEVER – Actually says “Love Never Ends”

Or Don’t Mix it Up

Wear 3, 5, 7, or even more of one style.  (Sorry, no photo yet.  I don’t usually wear bracelets like this.  Let me know if you have a photo of an example I can use.)

Arm party with sideways silver cross bracelet and turquoise beads |

From left to right: Vintage Tape Measure Bracelet; red leather (handmade by me); Sideways Cross Bracelet; Genuine Arizona Turquoise Nugget Bracelet; the silver chain again that I’m testing out before I use it in my designs.

Wear Something Personal

Whether it’s a sterling silver Tiffany eternity bracelet or a pony bead bracelet that your niece made for you, add them both to your arm party and remember the people that gave them to you!

Arm party with sentimental bracelets |

From right to left: a multi-chain bracelet I made for myself using leftover chains; GRATITUDE hand-stamped cuff; silver/diamond bracelet given to me by a friend; pearl stretch bracelet with vintage bow charm and bead.

Wear What You Like

After giving you all those guidelines I want to go back and give you my NUMBER ONE fashion rule… “WEAR WHAT YOU LIKE.”  I’m not really one to follow many fashion rules but I think if you’re comfortable and like what you’re wearing that makes all the difference.

Arm party with lots of vintage rhinestones and dog tags |

This arm party was a fun combination of seven bracelets. Five were one-of-a-kind vintage repurposed rhinestone and dog tag bracelets. The antiqued brass sideways cross bracelet and the olive wood bead bracelet are both available in my Etsy shop.

Now throw yourself an Arm Party & tag me on Instagram so I can see it!  Follow my Arm Party board on Pinterest to see LOTS more examples (both good and bad).

Arm party with fleur de lis and Texas bracelets |

An example of a simple arm party that could be worn to work or church.  From left to right: simple silver chain; Fleur de Lis Bracelet; Simple Texas Bracelet; tiny glass bead bracelet made by me.

Vintage brass tag bracelets in my arm party |

BTW, Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!!!  This starts my own personal thanksgiving season but I’ll be celebrating the 30 Days of Thanksgiving (#30DoT) on the blog and social media in November.  I’ll also have a few spaces open for guest bloggers so send me a message if you’d like to participate.

Linking to:

SUNDAY: That DIY Party @ DIY Showoff (no food), Think Pink Sunday @ Flamingo ToesThe Sunday Showcase @ Under the Table and DreamingShare It Sunday at Our Rosie Life

MONDAY:  Masterpiece MondayInspire Me MondayMonday FundayCreate Link InspireProject Inspire{d}Lou Lou Girls Fabulous PartyHome Stories A to Z’s Tutorials and Tips, Love Grows Wild’s Time to Sparkle, Mod Mix Monday @ Mod Vintage Life, Your Designs This Time @ Elizabeth Joan Designs, PIN-spiration Link Party @ The Stitchin’ Mommy

Happy Halloween in Paris Tags

Happy Halloween in Paris Gift Tags | DuctTapeAndDenim.comHappy Halloween in Paris gift tag tutorial | DuctTapeAndDenim.comI call these my “Happy Halloween in Paris” gift tags.  I started making them a couple of years ago.  It was another example of supplies just sitting around on my desk when I realized that I could use them together.

Since I sell at a shop named Paris Flea Market I thought the Eiffel Tower theme was appropriate.

I started with the Tower in orange ink, let it dry, then added the bats, bird, and words in black StazOn ink.

I lightly rubbed the edges of the tags over the ink pad to give them a little grungy look.

I’m trying out a new service, HangATag, for my readers.  The photo below contains links to online stores where you can buy the supplies to make these tags.

Unfortunately, I bought the rubber stamps a few years ago so I can’t find the exact ones that I used.

Let me know what you think about HangATag.  If it works I’ll keep including the info for you.

I have more tutorials on my blog including Halloween accordion books and some fun little spiders to make with your kids.

Linking to:

THURSDAY: inspiration2 @ Live Laugh Rowe,   Treasure Hunt Thursday @ From My Front Porch to YoursThursday Favorite Things @ Katherine’s CornerThe Best Linky Party @ Redoux InteriorsWakeup Wednesday @ Weekends are Fun, Fabulously Frugal Thursday @ A Life in BalanceCreate It Thursday @ Lamberts Lately, Pin Junkie Pin Party

What is the Best Necklace Length for Me?

Most common necklace lengths | DuctTapeAndDenim.comToday I’m starting a blog series of the most commonly asked questions that I get about my jewelry.  Probably the number one question I get is, “What necklace length should I get?”  Especially from online buyers.  I understand that it’s very hard to see and comprehend what you’re getting sometime so I’ll do my best to show you.

Helpful infographic photo for finding necklace lengths | DuctTapeAndDenim.comI carry the most popular necklace lengths from 16″ to 30″:

Choker (14″-16″)

My shortest ready made necklaces are 16″.  (Any length can be custom ordered.) It is a very classic look that will lie above or just on your collarbone.  Personally, it’s a little short for me but I don’t like anything too snug around my neck.  If you don’t either, move to the next size.

Princess (17″-19″)

This is my favorite AND the most popular necklace length in my Etsy shop.  It should sit right on or just below your collarbone.

Matinee (20″-24″)

This is the most popular length in my Etsy shop for the large rustic metal pendants.  It can be worn with a high or very low neckline.  My favorite is the 24″ because I can slip it over my head without unfastening the clasp.

The most common problem I hear from my customers about the 24″ chain is that it hits at an awkward place on their breast.  If you have larger breasts and don’t want to draw attention to them try the 18″ or 30″, even with a large pendant.

Opera (26″-34″)

This length give you a great vertical line that is very slimming.   It will also draw attention away from your neck if that isn’t one of your better features.  I offer 30″ chains in antiqued brass or stainless steel ball chain.

Rope/Lariat (40″+)

None of my regular ready made necklaces are this length but from time to time I do make them this long.  These are flexible because they can be doubled or even tripled.  These also create a long vertical line which is slimming and will draw your outfit together.

I now offer multiple lengths on almost every necklace in my Etsy shop since it is such an individual preference.

I’ll show you what kinds of outfits to wear each length with in a future post.  If you have any other questions you’d like me to answer, please leave a comment.  Thanks!

Linking to:

MONDAY:  Masterpiece MondayInspire Me MondayMonday FundayProject Inspire{d}Lou Lou Girls Fabulous PartyHome Stories A to Z’s Tutorials and Tips, Love Grows Wild’s Time to Sparkle, Mod Mix Monday @ Mod Vintage Life, Your Designs This Time @ Elizabeth Joan Designs, PIN-spiration Link Party @ The Stitchin’ Mommy


Confessions of a Plate Addict’s The ScoopCozy Little House’s Tweak It Tuesday,  You’re Going to Love it Tuesday At Kathe with an E,  Do Tell Tuesday @ Maybe She Made It, Memories by the Mile’s Treasure Box Tuesday, Coastal Charm’s Show and Share Party

WEDNESDAY: DIY by Design,  {wow me} wednesday @ Gingersnap CraftsCreative Muster @ Fluster BusterYour Whims Wednesday @ My Girlish WhimsWhimsy Wednesday @ Simply DesigningCenterpiece Wednesday @ The Style Sisters, What’s It Wednesday @ Ivy and Elephants

THURSDAY: inspiration2 @ Live Laugh RoweHome Sweet Home @ The Charm of HomeCreative Inspirations @ Embracing ChangeTreasure Hunt Thursday @ From My Front Porch to YoursThursday Favorite Things @ Katherine’s CornerWakeup Wednesday @ Weekends are Fun, The Weekend re-Treat Link Party @ The Best Blog RecipesInspiration Gallery @ Design, Dining + DiapersCreate It Thursday @ Lamberts Lately, Pin Junkie Pin Party

FRIDAY: Show and Tell Friday Cindy’s Romantic HomeFeathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage, Simple and Sweet Fridays @ Rooted in ThymeFreedom Fridays @ Love Bakes Good Cakes, Create With Joy’s Friendship Friday