Sunday, December 20, 2009

Victorian Visions by Nanalee

Nancy is one busy woman. I’m finding that’s another trait common to Hoarders Unite team members! Nancy, or Nanalee, as she is known on Etsy, has two shops:

Victorian Visions by Nanalee ( features vintage jewelry and home décor, and a variety of handmade items.

Garmenture ( features vintage clothing and accessories as well as restructured, upcycled or altered clothing and accessories. I love browsing through both shops – they offer an eclectic selection of fabulous items!

Creating for Etsy is only one of the activities that keeps Nancy busy. She has just finished making 12 scarves and 23 hats, some for her grandchildren and some for charity, and is busy making charm bracelets for her daughters and daughters-in-law for Christmas. Other craft activities include making collage art and greeting cards, as well as scrapbooking, She’s tried all sorts of crafts over the years - painting, ceramics, sewing clothes for herself and her children, embroidery – the list goes on and on.

Nancy comes from a large family (she’s the oldest of 14 children), and she recalls always making gifts. Looking back, she recognizes that her mother and father provided a lot of creative inspiration, but at the time, they used words like "frugal" or "broke” to describe their craftiness! Her mind is always thinking of what she wants to try next, and she has a notebook full of ideas and a white-erase board to help hold her thoughts.

Listening to music while creating is an absolute must for Nancy, and she loves to sing along to her favourite 50’s music. Sometimes, she’ll stay in her room, thinking of more things to do, just so she can keep listening to her music. She’s also been known to cuss on occasion when things aren’t going well (I don’t think she’s alone with that one!).

All of those craft interests and ideas need a lot of supplies. Even though she had to get rid of a lot of her hoard when she downsized three years ago, Nancy, still has tons of paper, stickers (stored in alphabetized file folders), paper ephemera, embellishments such as buttons, plastic items, fabric items, beads, old jewelry pieces, ribbon, and seashells, to name a few. In addition to craft supplies, she has a hoard of tea cups and saucers, vintage creamers, miniature shoes, evening bags, purses, jewelry, and now clothing that she plans to deconstruct and alter.

Nancy has had a mystery project in the works for the last few years, but she’s keeping the details to herself for now. But she did tell me that it involves a lot of caps from water and pop bottles that folks have been helping her collect – bags and bags of them. It’s all very intriguing!

Nancy considers her wind chimes to be the most interesting things she’s made from something from her hoard. They’re made from recycled things such as discarded keys and metal baskets. The first one she made was with a metal hamster wheel that she bought at a yard sale for 10 cents. It is rather large and round, spray painted bronze, and has all sorts of keys on chains hung from it. It makes the most beautiful music.

Looking at Nancy’s photos of her stash, it’s easy to see how organized she is. She likes to use plastic shoe boxes and freezer containers, ensuring all are labeled with the contents. She’s always reorganizing and coming up with better storage ideas. As she lives in a very rural area, Nancy relies heavily on shopping online for her supplies.

Nancy quit working outside of her home about five years ago, and that’s allowed her the opportunity to focus on her creative endeavors and online selling venues. She and her husband of 40 years have six children and 15 grandchildren. All live close enough for frequent family get-togethers.

As if all of that wasn’t enough to keep her busy, Nancy also has four blogs. My Blah Blah Blah Blahg gives a peek into her life, family and friends; Vintage Visions provides a venue for writing about her love of all things vintage; and Handmade Heaven was started for her artfully handmade crafts. More recently, she has started writing about growing up in her blog, Growing up Rich in a Poor Family.

Posted by Trudy


  1. What a thorough and informative post! I love the photos, and I would love to be half as organized as Nancy!I am spread between three rooms and the garage with my stuff because I don't have a designated craft room or permanent crafting area. My setup changes with the seasons.

  2. Thank you for the great write-up, Trudy. I would like to know how you get the photos placed as such. I have lots of trouble with those pesky photos.