Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Wishing a very Happy New Year to all of my dear blog friends!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Blue Christmas

Not THAT kind of blue, although it was a little different with this being the first time in 36 years that it was just the two of us.  I apologize for being a little absent from blog land this week and promise I will be making the rounds soon.  I am off work this week and 1) filling up my Etsy for the new year and 2) trying to relax a little and not make every single thing I do into a project.  That is easier said than done for me!
On the relaxing note...  I have had a hold on this book for a while and the library finally got it in just in the nick of time for me to enjoy it for the holiday.  This isn't a new book, I am just late to the party.  I took a time out this afternoon and read it.  I know it's a little late but, if you are looking for a feel-good book for the holiday then this is the one - especially if you happen to like JUNK!  8+)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Poodle Love For A Special Friend

My dear friend, Carol, is a collector of all things poodle; broaches, spaghetti, paintings and even the live variety (and I do mean variety!).  Naturally, I keep my poodle radar tuned in and on the lookout for something new for her collection.  This was her Christmas gift this year and it is safely delivered so I won't spoil the surprise now.
I found this sweet vintage planter several months ago.  It took me a while to figure out how to fill it then I noticed the amazing Christmas reflector flowers in one of Magpie Ethel's blog posts.  She is a local creative so I headed out to one of her Christmas shows in search of the perfect flowers for a poodle planter.  Love these!  The three flowers are Ethel-crafted and the I made the filler stems of blue pipe cleaners and my stash of vintage glass Christmas garland beads.  I inserted them all in floral foam and filled in around them with silver tinsel garland.  The result is made of Christmas decorations but not so "Christmas-y" that it can't be enjoyed year round.
Thank you Ethel and Merry Christmas Carol!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Christmas!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Christmas Project Completed

 I purchased a big wooden Christmas windmill carousel at an after-Christmas sale at least 15 years ago when Rite Aid was still called Payless Drugs. It is similar to little brass Swedish angel chimes only bigger and it is made of wood.  Made of wood in China.  Every single year I take it out of the box, set it up and say SOMEDAY I am going to fix this ugly thing. 
 Last year I purchased some sweet vintage angels thinking they would be perfect for the carousel.  Still nothing.  Then the lovely and talented Karla Nathan did this post that finally got me going. Her blog is so cool that way!  Yes, I know that what I did bares no resemblance to what she did but it was the spark my muse needed to get me off the pot.
 I used the Glidden Gripper primer that she is always recommending so no sanding, which was a good thing.  They must have plenty of varnish in China because I think they had dipped it.
 That was after I snapped off the ugly little nativity  figures.  I saved them (of course!) and maybe SOMEDAY I will do something Karla-inspired with them.  So why did I buy this thing if I thought it was ugly, you might wonder.  Well it was big and it was made of wood and and I knew it had potential and it was 75% off.  Wouldn't you buy it?
 This is the beginning of the story, pre-primer and pre-glitter.  I snapped the figures off the very top before I thought to take a picture. You can also see the little angels, pre-glitter, on the right.
And this is the box, "as found".  When the granddaughter comes over for Christmas Eve I will light the candles to it sparkles and talk to her about how the rising heat makes the blades and the angels spin.
I am linking up with Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday.  We are celebrating on Christmas Eve so I plan to spend Christmas Day blog hoping, relaxing with a good book, eating leftovers and watching a couple of Walton's re-runs (thank you Casey!).  Happy Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Swiss Family Robinson Family Travel Journal Comes Home

 I first told you about this little travel journal in this post.  Yes, it really was that long ago.  I most recently told you about it this post when I got a very happy surprise in my mailbox.
 I arrived back home this week.  Somerset Gallery only had room for a few of the pages so I will show you "the rest of the  story".  I was visioning a chronological journal so the caption on this first page is Preparations For Escape.
 When I took apart the mostly apart already book I harvested the illustrations and some chapter titles to re-use in my journal.  The caption on this page says Wanderers From Home. There is a little envelope for stashing memories.
 The caption on this one is New Discoveries and there is a library envelope on the facing page for journaling and mementos.
 A Castle In The Air and another envelope decorated with a bird illustration from the original book.
 The illustrations were all black and white so I added some hand-coloring with colored pencils.  More tiny envelopes for treasures.  These envelopes are the little ones that hold the extra buttons that sometimes come with clothing and I tea-stained them.  The caption is Adventures.
 A Tour Of Discovery and A Fairy Palace.  Velum envelopes this time so you can see the contents.
 This caption says Another Excursion and the bottom of the page is decorated with a piece of fabric salvaged from the binding.
Tea-stained tags that spell out HOME and the caption on the final page is The Return Home.
Now I just need to go off on an adventure with my family so I can fill 'er up.  HA!, silly me, my whole life with my family is an adventure!  8+)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Shopping Side Trip

 I didn't mean to do it.  I spent the morning Christmas shopping with The Husband and I am nearly finished.  I wrapped last night until I ran out of paper so I dropped him off at home and headed to the Dollar Tree for more paper...
 ... which just happens to be right next door to the VOA.  And I hadn't used my  60% off secret phrase yet.  What could I do?
And happy was I to find three poke sacks and three apothecary jars and one tiny old watering can.  Oh oh, this is my third watering can.  I dumped out the poke sacks and haven't sorted them yet but I already spotted a couple black glass buttons and some really neat green oval shapes.  Now I am off to FINISH the wrapping and my reward will be the poking!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wooden Buttons

 I don't seek out wooden buttons but they seem to find me and who am I to turn away a wayward button.  I do think that some of them are pretty and interesting.  Pretty interesting.
 These pinwheels are great and the square one with them looks like it is carved from a burl or maybe some kind of nut.  That one in the lower right compartment with the two big holes is a nut shell.
 Some interesting shapes and a pretty set painted with random lines that remind me of spatter painting.
 Natural wood in all sorts of shapes.  Those two large ones are huge, 1-3/4" in diameter.
A few stained and painted buttons. That round red one is kind of washed out in the picture but it is Christmas red and reminds me of a cabinet knob, in fact, that is what I thought it was when I first found it.  The torpedo-shaped one has two large holes and I think it was for some sort of toggle closure.
I hope you are all enjoying your holiday season.  I am off to do some wrapping tonight!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Crafty Wonderland and Sparkly Pink Goodness From Ethel

 I went to Crafty Wonderland yesterday.  This was my first time and it was AMAZING!  If you are in the Portland area I highly recommend it.  This show is what America's Largest Christmas Bazaar was "back in the day", before it crossed over to the dark side.  There were over 250 artists and craftspeople selling a huge variety of goods.  I was looking forward to seeing Magpie Ethel's booth because we have become blog friends but I haven't seen her in action.  Oh.My.Gosh.  All I had to do was look for the sparkle!  It was so crammed with people I could barely wiggle my way in to shop.  I was able to get three of her stemmed reflector flowers that will be part of a Christmas gift for another friend and the reflector clip above for my little pink tree.
 She gifted me with a pretty little box containing three new additions for my pink tree. 
All three are vintage, which is exactly perfect.  A little pink pine cone and even an indent. Happy, happy, happy!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What I've Been Up To

I should be getting my Christmas shopping and the rest of the decorating done but I took a time out to play with some ideas that have been bouncing around, waving their arms, in the back of my head. There's always tomorrow, right?  Well, at least until December 25th!
 I made up a new altered Altoids tin.  The girl second from the right is my sweet Grandma, circa 1915.  The caption says "The girls of summer".  I cannot imagine how you could swim in those ruffled bathing suits.  They had to weight a ton when they were wet.  Maybe that's why she never liked the water.
I sorted and cleaned a big bunch of mother-of-pearl buttons so I could fill some test tubes I have had for ages.  I auditioned all kinds of ideas for embellishing the corks on tops and finally decided to just keep it simple with one white shoe button on top of each. 
The button gift tags are made with some beautiful playing cards and my button stash.  I created  rectangles with a pretty olive green border in Word and printed them on vintage ledger paper then glued them on the back so there is a place to write.  The buttons are not permanently attached so they can be removed and used if the gift-ee wants.  It's a little late for this year but this would be a fun way to use all the saved Christmas cards most of us have stashed away.
I think I have it out of my system, which is good, because this weekend I MUST get busy with the shopping and get the living room tree put up!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I {HEART} Blog Friends!

 I arrived home last night to find a surprise in my mailbox.  Sweet Laurie at Indulge Your Shelf sent me this perfect little pink bell to add to my collection of vintage pink Christmas ornaments.  Plus! she included a little packet of pink glass garland beads.  What a wonderful and unexpected gift!
Here is a closer look without the distraction of my pink tree.  At first I thought she had decorated the bell herself by adding the pink glitter but she told me this is how she found it.  I have so much to learn about vintage ornaments.  I really need to check Amazon and see if there is a book.
You all know how much I love birdies so the tag she used on the top of the packet is just perfect to me.  Thank you so much for your generosity, Laurie!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Sale That Made Me Break My Rules - AGAIN!

 I had completely forgotten the sale that made me break my rules was being held in two parts and this weekend was round two.  Many thanks to my blog friend Laurie (Magpie Ethel) for reminding me!
 They opened up the basement this weekend and this was truly a hoarder house of quilting, lace trims and childrens' books.  A lot of it wasn't priced so it was kind of tough picking since you had to dig the boxes then haul it around until you could find someone to price it.  Many treasures to be had for the stout-hearted and strong-kneed.  Is kneed a word?  Hmm.  The fabric completely overwhelmed me and I didn't even try.  That is something I really need to learn more about.
I got a ton of rick-rack and other trims, tiny Shiny Brite ornaments and a sweet Christmas deer, wooden spools, decals, die cuts and something new for me - children's story books.  Renee, those are YOUR fault - hehe!  And in case you're wondering...  YES, I did go before I did the housework and no, the universe did not crack open.  Imagine!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Button Tour Continues

 Glass buttons are my favorites but they don't get glamorous jewelry box storage.  It's not that I don't respect the buttons.  They are just so pretty that I like to keep them out where I can see them.  The opaque glass buttons are stored in the center compartment of a vintage pink satin dresser box.
 I scooped them all out into a tray so you could get a closer look.  You can click the pictures bigger.
 I put all the glass buttons that are not transparent into this category, except the ones with rhinestones that I showed you in this post.  The clear ones will be for another post. 
 Many are iridescent or decorated with gold or silver. Sometimes they even resemble a metal button.
 Notice the gold one in the top right corner of this picture.  It looks like a military button but it is actually glass with gold paint.
 Black is the most common so I always get excited when I find colors, especially unusual colors like pink or brown. 
I love the way these look when they are all jumbled up together just like jewels in a treasure chest.  Every time I poke through the pile it's just like discovering them all over again.
I am linking up with ShowAnd Tell Friday at My Romantic Home to share the button love again this week.  Thank you, Cindy, for hosting!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Work In Progress

 I promised to show the "project" I picked up when I was out thrifting last Friday.  Well, last year I discovered the joy of vintage Christmas ornaments and began collecting them as you might recall from this post.  The pink ones got me jonesing for a pink tree on the table in the art room.
 I have been on the lookout for a sparse feather or tinsel-style tree.  No luck so far, at least not at a price I was willing to pay.  I spotted this new-in-the-box silver  Christmas card holder at the VOA and the muse snatched it up.  I covered it with vintage pink tinsel garland I found on this trip
 My MIL has been here for Thanksgiving week and she spotted a white pearl pendant I could use to dress up the star so it stood out more.  I covered it with pink Martha glitter and tied with sliver ribbon.
 I didn't have nearly enough pink ornaments to get started so we made a trip to the Montecello Antique Mall on Saturday.  There were WAY more than this newbie-collector was willing to spend in one trip but I got enough to have a good start on my "vision". 
I even got a couple marked Poland that sweet Barbara at Oodles and Oodles was kind enough to educate me about.
I plan to bend the card holder rings in and out so I can create layers.  It's a start and there is room for a LOT more ornaments, which is just fine by me. 8+)

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Surprise In The Mailbox!

 Remember the little book I told you about in this post? Well, Stampington has had it so long I had pretty much given up on it and then, today, I came home from work to find a complementary copy of "Somerset Studio Gallery Winter 2012" in my mailbox. I had no clue but there it was!
These scan aren't very good and they only showed a couple of the pages.  When the real deal comes home I will show the rest of the story.
What a great surprise!