Monday, November 20, 2017

A Surprise Vintage Plaster Creche

An aging mind is a semi-sweet thing.  It can be very aggravating when you forget where you put your keys.  But sweet when you can't remember what happened on Longmire last season, so when you watch it again it seems fresh.  Same goes for the loot hidden in the attic.

But first, I have a confession.  I think it has been five years (or more) since I decorated for Christmas at home.  Sure, I may lean one of my stenciled sleds on the front porch.  And I always put out this 12" baby Jesus, which I purchased an auction many years ago.  Then I call it good.  But honest to goodness decorating, (like putting up a tree)?  No.

I sell at a vintage market, so all year long I am buying Christmas items to resell, or to re-purpose in order to resell.  It is my business, and I take it seriously.  I am in it to make a profit, which means I am dragging out all my Christmas loot in October to package and price it.  And all of the Christmas items that I "enhance" (stenciled windows, stenciled sleds, bottle brush trees, dioramas) have to be finished, priced and in the booth by the first week of November.

When all of that is completed, and I have staged and stocked my booth for Christmas -- stick a fork in me, because I am DONE. Exhausted, burnt out with decorating. and a bit tired of the lights and glitter before the season ever gets into full swing.

Don't get me wrong.  The REAL message of Christmas -- Christ coming to earth -- I never get tired of that.  That is the foundation on which my whole life is built.  And come to think of it -- there wasn't a lot of glitz or glamour in that Bethlehem stable.

But this year is a little different.  It will be our last Christmas in this beautiful Victorian house that we have lived in for almost 30 years.  So, our adult children will be home this Christmas for one last time to celebrate in this house.  Yes, that would be reason enough to decorate.  But sooner or later we have to sift through all of those attic Christmas boxes anyway, in order to figure out if it all gets transported to the new house or not.

So last week we took the plunge.  All of the Christmas boxes came down from the attic.  And there were plenty of them....totes for a "kid" tree, totes with fragile antique ornaments for a "Victorian" tree, totes with Christmas scrapbooks, lights, totes with Christmas crafts, four small trees and one large tree.  And more.  So much more.  But this way we have a chance to sort: keep, sell, pawn off to others, donate or kick to the curb.

And then the surprise.  When my husband brought down one large tote, he asked what it had in it.  Super heavy.  I took a peak inside and didn't recognize the bottom of a large plaster  donkey.  But hey, it looked cool.  We put it aside and kept working.

The next day I unwrapped the whole nativity.  WOWSA.  It aroused a whisper of a memory... shopping a sale at a "nunnery" in our little town, and picking up this large plaster set.  I bet it was 7-10 years ago.

Obviously I meant to keep it, since it was in the attic -- but this is the first year it will be displayed.  It was worth the extra effort of going through all of the Christmas boxes just to rediscover this lovely old creche.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Stenciled Winter Scene Windows

I picked up 10 identical vintage windows at an auction the first week of November for $1 each.  Whoohoo.  Now what to do with them?  Especially this time of year, where time is short.  If I wanted to get these windows sold, I knew that I would have to do something fast and easy.

 I decided to stencil them all to look like the old fashioned
spray snow windows of old.
Since the windows were all the exact same size,
I could basically just lift the stencil off for use after use.
Well, that was the theory....

It wasn't quite as easy as it sounded,
since I wanted to do several stencil designs.
And after doing more than one of each design,
the stencils starting getting "bendy".
So, some didn't have really crisp lines.

 But overall, the idea worked well.
I did about two or three of each design.
With spraypaint, so it should be good indoors or outdoors.

 This is the only one that I added a window adhesive to.
"Joy" was the only Christmasy window adhesive I had on hand.

 This stencil was a little more complicated.
So I only made one of this.

 And it is staying in my window through Christmas.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Halloween Wreath Upcycled To A Winter Centerpiece

I had made two wreaths for Halloween, starting with the same type of nutty twig wreath.
This was my first one, which I sold.
The second one that I made I spray painted black.  It did not sell.
What to do with a black wreath for the holidays?

After yanking off the Halloween decor, I spraypainted it white.  But it did not look white,
it looked a sad gray.

 So I brushed on some off-white chalk paint and immediately sprinkled on some vintage mica "snow".  I did about a quarter of the wreath at a time, to make sure the paint was still very wet when sprinkling on the mica.

 It had a nice effect, and I am using it as a table centerpiece while I am hosting my family this weekend.

Linking up with:
Vintage Charm Party with My Thrift Store Addiction

Monday, November 13, 2017

Stenciled Sleds 2017

I didn't go quite as crazy collecting sleds this year, as I have in past years.
  I think the count was 8 or 9, but I only had to "tweek" 6 of them. 
Here they are:

 The giant blue one already had the blue paint...

 I  just had to add a little stenciling.

 (I thought my garden gnome would have made
an excellent Christmas elf.)

 Sled #3. White always looks great stenciled on red.
(I just painted my white picket fence green
a few weeks ago, and it made a nice backdrop.)

 I did the yellow/gold stencil on this one 
to match the yellow/gold pinstripe already on the metal frame.

 I thought it looked very authentic,
someone else must have thought the same ...
it was the first one to sell.

 Just a tiny bit of stenciling on outside slats of this one.
(I know when to leave well-enough alone.)

Not necessarily my honest thoughts
on snow.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Christmas Box Dioramas, Pt 2

This is the second post of my prolific collection of
Christmas Box Dioramas that I made this year.
So, if you missed Part I of this installment,
click here.

I think the Christmas Light boxes were my favorite diorama
I love the little windows, just perfect for a peek into a wonderland.
I have a whole box full of Christmas postcards,
so I had several background choices.

I like the natural colors and theme in this one.
You could display it through February.
The little bird clips on to the butter pat.

This is a cigar box,
but I covered it with parts of an old Christmas themed box.
I think this the only one where I messed with the outside.
The music in the background is entitled "Christmas Faeries".

Third, and final, Christmas Light box.

Old clock housing where I threw all
of the misc that I had left.

Oh, and of course the background is
yet another old Christmas light box.
Every one of these dioramas sold
same the day I took them in to my vintage booth.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Christmas Box Dioramas, Pt I

There's always one holiday art project that wraps me up,
that makes time stand still while I am working on it.

 Last year it was Christmas in a Jar Dioramas, like this one above
 (click here  to view that post).
This year it was these Christmas Box Dioramas.
I used about every vintage box I could lay my hands on.
So many, that this will actually take up two posts.

 Deer friends in a cigar box.
The reindeer background was a page out of an old Christmas book.

 For this one I used a slightly imperfect sewing drawer.
The background was part of an ornament box.

 This is a very tiny old dovetailed box.
I found the tiny Merry Christmas tag in my stash.
(Well, all the Christmas doodas came from my stash,
and these dioramas about cleaned it out.)

 Last year I had all of these great Christmas light boxes,
complete with lights -- and none of them sold.
So this year I repurposed them into dioramas.

 Love the old lights on this one.

 I snapped up this little box of ornaments just last week
(and had to pay more than 25 cents.)
I knew it was the perfect size for my tiny nativity figures.

Tune in Friday for the next installment of dioramas.

Linking up with:
Vintage Charm Party at My Thrift Store Addiction
Funky Junk Interiors 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Bleached Bottle Brush Trees 2017 Edition

 I still have a huge stash of little round wood pieces
that I use as bases.
Sometime this year I collected the insulators and
pierced light reflectors from different sales,
all with an eye for bottle brush trees.

Click here
and here
to see other years with bb trees.

Click here
for my tutorial on bleaching bottle brush trees.

  I also picked up a dozen or so of 
these vintage rolls of thread -- in such amazing colors.
I knew right away that they would make bb tree bases.

 This larger tree was leftover from last year 
and looked a bit ragged.  So I glued all sorts of
ornaments in it to glam it up a bit.

The outside trees have those old star shaped
glass candleholders as bases.  I just inserted some
"plastic wood" in the candle hole and inserted the tree.  If you try it,
make sure you let the plastic wood dry before handling the trees.