Monday, November 27, 2017

My Favorite Antique Christmas Ornament


 I mentioned before that it has been several years since I
have put up a Christmas tree. My daughter-in-law
offered to help me hang our antique Christmas ornaments this year.
It had been so long since I have seen these beauties, that I kept
oohing and aahing as we unpacked each little treasure.
Like the icicle above with four indents.
It has to be my favorite.

 I have several of the teardrop ornament on the left.
And several of the gold indent on the right.
I love both designs.  And I have several clip-on
bird ornaments.  This one may be my favorite.

 I have several grape cluster ornaments.
This one is interesting because it isn't opaque.
It may be my favorite.

Shiny Brites make my heart race,
and the clear ones are ... my favorite.
I love the old glass garlands,
and this interesting one is (you guessed it)
my favorite.

 This plastic UFO ornament was my mother's,
as was the multi-color garland in front of it.
Both are definitely -- my favorites.

 I have a special affinity for icicle ornaments,
and you may be surprised to hear --
this fragile twisted glass ornament is my favorite.

 Ten years ago I made several icicle ornaments from
old jewelry and broken mercury glass garland beads.
This one was my favorite.

I guess that is why people go to the effort of putting
up a tree year after year.
A joyous reunion with all of their favorite Christmas ornaments.

I am taking a blogging sabbatical now through all of December.
I'll be back in January.
An early "Merry Christmas" to all of you.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Refurbishing Shiny Brites


Let's talk Shiny Brites.  You know, the ornaments.  Some of my VERY favorite are the clear ones.  Someone told me that these were manufactured during WWII.  I like that you can see the twinkle of the lights through them.  I like the fake frosty snow on them...
But WWII was awhile ago, and even if they haven't been used every Christmas for the last 70 years -- they still can show a little wear.  Or look very tired like the ones above.


I did a tutorial a couple of years ago that works great if you have plain colored Shiny Brites that have chipped color, or are a little dingy.  Click here to read that post.  But that transformation will not work on these clear ornaments.

So I have tried a couple of things, and maybe you can learn from my experiences.  Last year I tried using a small paint brush and applying glue to the area of "snow".  Then I liberally sprinkled on vintage "mica" snow and left it to dry.  The result wasn't bad, just a little "chunky" (chunky snow ornaments in foreground".)

This year I painted the "snow field" with clear glittery fingernail polish (a little more control than with Elmer's glue).  Then liberally sprinkled the area with fine white glitter from Michael's. 

 I think I like the results more than last years.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Victorian Antique Door Bell Ringer


The first time I ever saw one of these I fell in love -- that was over two decades ago.  Wouldn't it have been nice if  our Victorian house would have  had a door ringer like that?  I came home from my road trip and checked -- a filled-hole smack in the center where a ringer would have been.  So, I am convinced that once upon a time our house did have said door ringer.

I priced them on ebay.  Out of my price range.  I wanted an authentic one.  About five years ago I came across most of the ringer pieces at an auction.  I bought the ringer at a decent price, but knew I needed someone handy to work on it.

That is where my brother came in.  I sent the ringer to him a few months ago to work on.  And this week he was passing through long enough to install!!  This was item on my house "to do" list.  I feel like this house has wanted it's house ringer replaced for a long time.

 The brass eastlake motif of the bell .... 

blends seamlessly with the existing eastlake hardware,
that has been on the front door for 120 years.

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.

Linking up with:

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.

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

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

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.

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