Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Down to the Wire for a Merry Christmas!

I haven't posted for a while but I have some great excuses plus I have accomplished a lot during this time. One excuse is that CHA {Craft and Hobby Association} trade show is coming up and work has been extremely busy. Another excuse is that I have been doing a lot of freelance which makes me happy. And my third excuse is that I have been busy crafting which left very little time for posting.

So now I can share everything that I've crafted during the month of December.

My favorite decoration this year was so fast, easy and cheap. I used one large and one small vintage, thrifted, drum-style fish bowl filled with recyclable packing peanuts to create a totally California Snowman.
I used thrifted buttons for the eyes and mouth. And because this is a California Snowman, I used a thrifted seashell for the nose.
I already shared my tree here but I just love how cheerful all of the vintage ornaments look.
I pulled out all of my vintage Santas and Holiday Thermoses to decorate a shelf.
Every year my sister and I exchange handmade Christmas ornaments. We use a theme based on the Wedding Anniversary gift guide. This year the Traditional gift suggestion is Cotton and the Modern gift is China. So I used cotton yarn and crocheted a "China teacup". I found the pattern at TurtleDoveCoo.
You can see the Paper/Clock ornament I made for her last year.

As a gift for my coworkers, I made a batch of crocheted snowmen.

I found the pattern at The Dapper Toad. I sat and crocheted these in my truck during my lunch hour and a few were made while sitting in the Target parking lot waiting for the rain to stop. Everyone loved these little guys.

Finally, I made a burlap wreath with vintage Christmas ornaments for my wonderful neighbor.
AND, in between all of this, my son had a track day to test out his race car. Car was great but my dog was a little bored.

No time to be sitting around now! Last minute details to take care of today. I wish everyone a Christmas filled with hope, joy and peace.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Thrifting Before the Storm

It rained hard yesterday. Well, at least it was hard by California standards. Luckily we got some thrifting in before it started although one seller didn't expect any "die hards" to show up... HA!

My favorite find was this super sweet Tom Thumb metal typewriter in its original box. Love the vintage color. Love the sturdy metal construction. Such an exciting, cool find.
We found several other nice vintage toys. This is a working Lite-Brite probably from the early 80s before they had UPC bars. This also had an original box, tons of pegs and newer picture refill packs.
And we found an even more vintage Fisher-Price Toot Toot Train pull toy with a wooden body.
You hear about people who never throw away anything. We found "Bob Pins" {I just realized where the common name of "Bobby Pins" came from} that must have been from the 40s with an illustration of a woman wearing a fashionable "bob" hairstyle. I love the brand name "Scoldy Lox". There is also a package of "bead cord" to restring your "flapper beads".
The last thing we found was another Holiday Thermos {shorter one in the photo below} and a Rex {Rexall Drugs} Thermos. They will be a part of a holiday vintage vignette.
Last year, I bought a white artificial tree at an After Christmas sale. I've never had an artificial tree before. I reasoned that since I believe in thrifty living then I should not keep spending tons of money on live trees every Christmas. And back in the 60s, the artificial metallic trees were probably considered tacky but are now so cool. So I bought the cheapest white tree I could find. It was all of $10 and I didn't have any idea of what it would look like when I set it up this year.

I have to say that as an artificial tree novice, I really like the fact that my artificial tree celebrates the fact that it is a fake tree. It isn't pretending to be anything but a cheap, white, fake tree. If it were a green tree then I would expect it to look like a real tree which would be disappointing.

Having said all of this, we finally put up my cheap white tree and decorated it with my vintage ornaments. I love this tree! It looks like frothy icing sprinkled with shiny candy bits.
And speaking of vintage ornaments. I have two glass ornaments that someone had written a date of 1915 on them. Amazing to think that something made of glass during World War I could have lasted almost 100 years to be on my tree! 

Hope everyone had a fun day of thrifting. I will try to get some of these items posted in my store

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving Thrifting

Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving!

I am so thankful for my Dear Handyman. What a trooper! After a Thanksgiving feast he drove me to a house that was scheduled for an estate sale the following morning. We left a box at the door as a placeholder to show that we were first in line {which is the custom at this particular estate sale company's sales}. We woke at 4:45 a.m. the following morning and drove to the sale only to find that someone else had come after us and removed our box. There was nothing we could do to prove our case so we ended up 46th on the signup sheet and the seller took in the first 40 to the sale. By the time we got inside the dealers had bought all of the items we wanted. Oh well, you win some and you lose some.

We did find a very early Monopoly set probably made between 1939 - 1940. The game pieces are made of a composition material, possibly Bakelite. The shapes are crude but they include a horse and rider, train, elephant, car, bathtub, shoe, lamb and iron {the handle of the iron is broken and it seems to be made of a dry composition material}. The wooden hotels have printing that say "Grand Hotel". The old board and pieces were in a newer Monopoly box which also included a set of old dice. These were a fun old find.
More fun finds...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

More Pyrex and Vintage Christmas... Oh Happy Heart!

I admit that my heart skips a beat when I see Pyrex or old Christmas ornaments at a garage sale. And my heart sings with joy when the prices are reasonable. Today I have a really happy heart!

I had three favorite finds today. The first was a good stash of vintage Pyrex. The sellers laughed at how happy I was when I saw the Pyrex.
More favorite finds...

Friday, November 8, 2013

Vintage Jewelry Christmas Tree in 3-D

I love a creative challenge so what could be more fun than a Christmas themed Challenge using Dew Drops from The Robin's Nest and a Smoothfoam Cone!

The idea for a 3-D version of a vintage jewelry Christmas tree came from one of those vintage framed jewelry Christmas trees that I found at an estate sale. The jewelry was interesting but the shape of the tree just wasn't pleasing so I decided to disassemble the pieces and make my own modern version of this classic kitschy tree.

I began with a 9" Smoothfoam cone and added a stainless steel scrubber that I loosely pulled over the cone shape. It didn't cover it completely but the idea was to create a filler so that later, the styrofoam would not be seen between the jewelry pieces.
Then came the fun part of sorting and selecting the vintage jewelry. I chose only silver tone, white or pearl jewelry, avoiding colored stones and most gold tone metals {I had to keep the crowns seen below}. I used hot glue and began at the bottom with the largest pieces of jewelry.
If you check out the original framed jewelry tree you will see this dog and the crown as they originally appeared.
You can see how the stainless steel scrubber works as a filler.
Because I didn't use any colored jewelry on this tree, the shiny red Dew Drops from The Robin's Nest add just the right amount of accent color throughout the tree.
I only used the red Dew Drops which really adds such a nice pop of color.

This is linked to:
30 Handmade Days504 Main, Cherished Handmade TreasuresCraft-o-ManiacGingersnap Crafts, JAQS StudioJust Us Four, Kammy's Korner, Kathe With an E, Knick of Time Interiors, Ladybug Blessings, Mad in CraftsNot Just a Housewife, Our Delightful HomeSew Can Do, Sew Much AdoSimply DesigningSugar Bee CraftsTatertots and Jello and The DIY Dreamer

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Designers Craft Connection - Thank You Gift

Welcome to the Designers Craft Connection Blog Hop for the month of November. This month's theme is a "Thank You Gift". I am especially thankful that Dear Handyman and his son-in-law both like to cook and barbeque so we will have a feast on Thanksgiving. Since I enjoy crafting more than cooking, my Thank You Gift is a Thanksgiving Table Runner.
The fun part about this felt table runner is that everything is thrifted. I began with a stack of felt that I found at an estate sale two years ago. There was only a small handful of felt scraps left after I cut everything that I needed.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Experimental Halloween Tags

Once a week I spend my lunch hour playing with the dies, inks, stains, paints, etc. in the art room at work. It is definitely one of the perks to working at a crafting company.

I have been experimenting with painting and inking a lot of tags and decided to use a couple of them to create some Halloween projects.

The Happy Halloween tag began with lots of Distress Paints and Stains in a variety of layers and techniques. Once I was happy with the look of the tag I used a thin sheet of scrap cardstock and die cut the word "Boo" using the Gothic Boo die by Sizzix. I sprayed the back lightly with adhesive to temporarily hold it in place on the tag. Next, I sprayed Perfect Pearls Heirloom Gold using the die cut shape as a stencil.
I wanted to experiment with Tim Holtz's new Framelits and Stamps so I used the Retro Halloween Set {the Owl} and Cobweb Blueprint Set {words "Happy Halloween"}. My only suggestion would be to use very dark ink if you are going to stamp on colored paper. Other than that these were super fun and easy.
Other shapes I used include the Bird Branch {I trimmed off the bird} and the Mini Owl and Crescent Moon {Moon only}. I adhered everything to the tag and love how the subtle shimmer of the Perfect Pearls makes it look like moon beams.

My next tag is a Pumpkin tag which began with a thick layer of Distress Paint so there would be brush strokes visible once it dried. I used Distress Stains and Distress Inks in a variety of Autumn colors and techniques on top of the paint. The darker colors made the texture stand out nicely.
I also splattered water to create droplets which is my favorite Tim Holtz technique.
After I was satisfied with the colors and textures of the tag I die cut the eyes using only the triangle eyes from the Sizzix Mini Scary Jack-o-Lantern Set and using the Base Tray.

The next part was an experiment that happily worked out as I had hoped. I cut the mouth by using the same Mini Scary Jack-o-Lantern die and Tray but instead of using a regular Cutting Pad, I used the Embossing Diffuser Set #2 so that I could control exactly where the die would cut.

I began with a regular Cutting Pad on the bottom, then the Base Tray with the Jack-o-Lantern mouth die only, next I placed my tag and finally an Embossing Diffuser insert piece placed over the upper part of the mouth die. I ran this through the Big Shot so that it only cut where the Embossing Diffuser insert piece was and this created a single jagged mouth cut across my tag.
To reassemble the two pieces, I tilted the bottom piece and stapled them together on one side.
As a final detail, I used Distress Inks to age a piece of green ribbon to use as a stem for my Pumpkin Tag.

This is linked to:
504 MainCommon Ground, HomeworkJust Us Four, Kathe With an E, Ladybug BlessingsMad in Crafts, Sew Much AdoSimply DesigningTatertots and Jello, The Crafty Blog StalkerThe DIY Dreamer and Whipperberry

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Easy Halloween Lanterns

This is always a very busy time of year at work so I don't usually spend time decorating my workspace. But this year I thrifted a decorative lantern string with the perfect, quick and easy project in mind.
I began by die cutting cobweb strips using the Tim Holtz Cobwebs Decorative Strip by Sizzix. There are a ton of little pieces to punch out but the final effect is awesome.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Recycled Crow

Sometimes a creative thrifter has a vision of an object's potential that only they can see. Such is the case with my Recycled Crow.

I am working on my Halloween display and added my recycled crow. I first found the tattered crow at Goodwill back in March. The original photo below shows that it was kind of sad looking. The wings looked really bad and it was missing its tail but it had Halloween potential.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Awesome Thrifting Haul

I haven't had the opportunity to go thrifting for a few weeks due to a variety of reasons but this weekend's haul made up for lost time.

My favorite find was an old hat box full of vintage, velvet millinery flowers. The seller was the original owner and told me that she had collected these when they were in fashion. I told her that I would take good care of them. The colors are amazing!
I love vintage buttons and sewing notions so this was a great treasure hunt. I couldn't buy everything I wanted but I did buy some nice pieces. I found a big box of buttons and a bag of Lucite buttons. I can't wait to sort through the box.

I also found these old Bias Tape cards with cute animals. The cards have the front and back of animals printed on them. You can cut them out and glue them to both ends of a thread spool to create the animals. Cute and thrifty!
This is a set of wooden curtain tie-backs with sweet red cherries.
Another exciting find was this stack of old Japanese Paper Lanterns. I was thrilled to find these in such good condition.
I also bought a box lot of vintage Christmas treasures.
The bottlebrush tree in front is flat on the back so I assume it was meant as a wall display. The bottlebrush wreath has three strands of mercury beads hanging with green paper bells hanging below. Lots of vintage Christmas tags and stickers as well as old West Germany and Shiny Brite ornaments in the box.
A box of old Mazda/General Electric Christmas lights missing a few bulbs but the box is in good condition.
My favorite surprise in the box were these small Chinese paper lantern ornaments. So fragile and sweet. The poinsettias are made from chenille sticks.

The last thing I found was this little figurine of a doe and her fawn. After my stare-down with an angry mother doe during my recent vacation I thought this was an appropriate find. Don't let that sweet doe's face fool you. But the fawn sure looks cute. This is actually an old souvenir from Las Vegas. When did Las Vegas have deer?

I'm on a Thrifting high! Hope everyone had a great day of thrifting.

This is linked to:

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Haunted Country Cottage

Recently I was talking to the oh-so-talented designer Brenda Walton which got me thinking about her sweet and beautiful Sizzix dies. Brenda's style is very delicate and feminine with lots of pretty colors but with Halloween just around the corner I started thinking about how I could use her dies in a different way.
What could be better than using her beautiful Country Cottage, 3-D die to create a distressed Haunted Cottage. I began by cutting out the house shapes from a regular manila folder.

Next I used Distress Inks and Distress Stains to add colors to the various pieces. I wanted the walls to look like they were old and mossy.
I cut the roof shingles out of very fine sand paper which gave it a wonderful texture. I added a little Distress Ink to highlight the edges.
I cut the shutters out of a used corrugated coffee cup sleeve/holder. I seem to repurpose or recycle everything. Because this is a haunted house I didn't put shutters on all of the windows so that it would look unkept.
To give the Cottage a little more haunted feel, I die cut a couple of Ghosts using the clear plastic die packaging and glued them floating out of the top and front of the Cottage. I also added some Cobwebs under the eaves.
The final accent was some thrifted Spanish Moss around the base and an electric tea light for added character.

It was fun to turn Brenda's sweet and feminine Country Cottage into something creepy enough for Halloween.
Things are getting a little creepy around here.

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