Sunday, November 29, 2009

Vintage Christmas Monday

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  Mine was filled with family, food and fun and it definitely flew by much too fast!

Today is Vintage Christmas Monday hosted by Joan @ Anything Goes Here.  I love the idea of this party because with each Vintage Christmas Monday post I get to recall some wonderful memories of Christmas past.

Today I have one simple vintage Christmas card to share (and a project I created using the card).  This card was sent out in December 1961 from my Mom and Dad to my Aunt and Uncle.  After my Uncle passed away in 2001, my Aunt was cleaning out her house and came across this card which she had stored away and saved for 40 years.  She thought that we would be interested in it and mailed it back to Mom and Dad.

What makes this so special to me is not just the card but the note that my Mom wrote inside the card.    It was early December 1961 and my Mom had just had her 5th child on November 20th.  She now had 5 children under the age of 7 and she found the time to hand write Christmas notes to family and friends (that in and of itself amazes me).  This particular note to my Aunt and Uncle went into wonderful detail about each of us kids and reading those descriptions 40 years later was a real gift. 
I won't bore you with all of the details of the note but this is how my Mom described me: "Janie is a year and 1/2 and the worst one we've had yet about getting into things.  She is a real loverbug and Grandma and Grandpa sure like that".

There was a photo that was mailed out with all of the cards that year.  This was the picture of the five of us in 1961.

Last year I decided to make a Christmas gift for all of my siblings using the card and picture.  I made seven identical framed pictures for me, my 2 sisters, my three brothers (one for my youngest brother who was born in 1964) and my parents.  I copied and reduced the size of the card, typed up the message that Mom had written, made copies of the picture and created this Christmas momento for my family.

Thanks for letting me share my vintage Christmas card.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Vintage Christmas Monday

Joan @ Anything Goes Here is hosting a party every Monday until Christmas called Vintage Christmas Monday.  This party is a wonderful way for us to share some of our vintage Christmas decorations.  Joan has a wonderful blog that is always brimming with all sorts of vintage goodies and she has a great eye for putting together vignettes with her vintage finds.  Be sure and check out Anything Goes Here and all of the participants of this vintage Christmas party.

I'm a little late joining the party (better late than never) so I'm going to share just one of my vintage Christmas decorations tonight. 

First let me say that it makes me a little sad to admit that this is vintage because it is the Christmas stocking that I have had my entire life.  This stocking is celebrating it's 50th Christmas this year!

My mom made this stocking in 1960 for my 1st Christmas.  This is the same stocking that all my brothers and sisters have (I have 3 brothers and 2 sisters) so Mom definitely got her use out of this pattern.  It is made out of felt, with embroidered features and sequined highlights.  We didn't have a fireplace in my childhood home so every year the stockings were hung on the staircase bannister.  It was always my favorite holiday decoration.  When we got older Mom gave each of us our stocking.  It became the pattern for the Christmas stockings for our own families.

Thanks for letting me show you my favorite vintage Christmas decoration.  I'll be back next Monday with some more of my vintage Christmas finds.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Holiday Idea #6 - Frugalicious Silver Display Stand

I wanted to join Jane @ Finding Fabulous for her Frugalicious Friday party because I have a super simple project that definitely fits the criteria of being frugal.  This is my first time to join the party so a big thank you to Jane.

This project isn't anything new but it fits all my criteria for a great project.....quick, easy and inexpensive.  These two items are going to be birthday presents for my sisters.  They both have November birthdays, both live out of town, and both are visiting for Thanksgiving so it is the perfect time to present them with their gifts.

You all probably know by now that I'm having a love affair with anything to do with tarnished silver (ok, it can be shiny too but I love the patina of the tarnished pieces).

I took two silver plated candlesticks ($1.00 for the pair):

I glued them to the bottom of these silver dishes ($1.00 apiece):

And ended up with a pretty silver pedestal stand for holiday (or anytime) decorating.

They took less than 5 minutes to make and they cost $1.50 apiece. 

The project that I promised to post about using these 3 silver bowls is coming soon.  I ran out of creative juice last night and spent the evening watching my favorite Thursday night shows.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Holiday Idea #5 - Thrift Store Creations

Happy Thursday!  It's time for two of my favorite parties...Thrifty Thursday with Leigh @ Tales at Bloggeritaville and Vintage Thingies Thursday with Suzanne @ Coloradolady.  Head on over to both of their wonderful blogs to check out all things thrifty and vintage.

This week I was able to visit two of my favorite thrift stores and I left a happy thrifter!  With the holidays in mind, here's some of the thrifty, vintage things I found:

Take these three little black and silver trees (all three for $5.00).........

Add them to these beautiful silver cream and sugar bowls (also $5.00 for the pair)

Place them on a previously purchased silver tray to create one beautiful centerpiece:

I found this old quilt this week for $2.00!!  It definitely shows some wear but the colors say Christmas and I plan on using it as a skirt under one of my trees.

This $2.50 find is one of my favorites.  It is a vintage holder for the old wood handled rubber stamps.

I found some red and green Christmas lights in my stash of decorations and created this unique Christmas tree.

My next holiday find was this vintage metal Christmas tree stand ($3.99):

I'm not planning on using it for a tree.....I saw it as a fun plate stand for a holiday buffet (I still need to find a holiday plate to use with the stand)

I also found a HUGE bag of old holiday lights.  I'm going to use these in various jars around the house.

This is my last find.  I have a project that I am working on using these.  I'm going to post the finished project tomorrow so make sure to come back and see how it turned out!

Have a happy Thursday!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Holiday Project #4 - Snowman Tassel

Cheri @ It's So Very Cheri is hosting a party called "I Made My Own Tassel". I had never made a tassel before but I've seen some fabulous tassels on several blogs and thought it sounded like a fun project and something that I could incorporate into my holiday decorations or give as a gift. Be sure to check out Cheri's blog to visit all of the participants or better yet, create your own tassel and post to Cheri's party.

Since I had never made a tassel before I googled "tassel tutorial" and I was directed to a wonderful blog called BeTasseled. Heather @ BeTasseled does a great tutorial on making a tassel and I followed her step by step directions to make my holiday tassel. If you're interested in making a tassel I would recommend following the link above to Heather's blog for her fabulous tutorial.

See this little snowman? I made this papier mache snowman during my papier mache crafting phase in 1996. It has been sitting in a drawer in my studio and when I saw it I knew I wanted to incorporate it into my tassel (if anyone is interested in a tutorial on how to make the papier mache snowman let me know...I'll do a future post on making these).

Knowing the snowman was going to be the focal point of my tassel,  I gathered all of my other materials....wood candle cup, fringe, ribbon, pom begin my project.  I choose a red, black and cream color scheme to go with my dining room decor.

Following Heather's directions, I layered and glued my materials to the candle cup and my tassel began to take shape. My final touch was to take my papier mache snowman (wearing a new color coordinated scarf and newly painted ear muffs) and glued it to the top of the candle cup. I added a ribbon to the top for hanging and here's my completed tassel.

This project did not take much time (I spent more time at Hobby Lobby deciding on the fringe and ribbon) and the total cost was around $3.00 (not including the snowman).
I am happy that the snowman I made 13 years ago is getting a new life as a tassel.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Holiday Idea #3 - Framed Vintage Key Gift Idea

Today I'm joining Chari @ Happy to Design for Sunday Favorites.

"Sunday Favorites" is a Sunday meme designed to give bloggers a chance to share a favorite post from the past.  You can visit Chari and all of the participants here.

I wanted to "rerun" this project that I first posted on August 20th because I think this project would make a nice gift for someone for Christmas.  This project fits the criteria I promised for my holiday posts....simple, inexpensive and quick.

Here's the post as it ran back in August:

I got on the internet after work today and decided to get some inspiration from the pages of Pottery Barn and guess what they are showing.......vintage-looking skeleton keys.
(photo courtesy of Pottery Barn)
Their idea was simple and beautiful! So here's what I created using the Pottery Barn idea as my inspiration.

First I decided since my keys were not 4" to 7" like the Pottery Barn keys I needed to ground them in a frame rather than have them simply hanging on the wall. I took this thrift store frame I had on hand (this one cost 25 cents) and went to work.

After dismantling the frame and putting the glass away for another project, I painted the frame black, distressed and antiqued it. I tossed the original picture but kept the cardboard backing. I sprayed some spray adhesive on the cardboard and adhered some cream colored fabric that I had on hand. I choose 7 of my favorite skeleton keys and decided on their placement. I pierced small holes on both sides of each key and used thin wire to hold the keys in place. I attached the finished project back in the frame and project completed!

I love the finished project. It will look great hung with a grouping of pictures and photos. Thanks Pottery Barn for the inspiration!!

P.S. The Pottery Barn keys cost $19.00. My finished project cost $7.25.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Holiday Idea #2 - Gift Card Packaging Ideas

There's a new party on the block.  Jan @ Bobbypins Boardwalk is hosting a weekly Wednesday party called "The Boardwalk Bragfest"  This is how Jan describes the party:
"Link your favorite project, whether it's a craft, DIY, recipe, furniture revamp, gardening sculpture, landscaping, poem.  No restrictions.  The "Boardwalk Bragfest" is your chance to show us your talent, and we would love to see it!
I am pleased to join Jan for her first Bragfest.  You can link to her party here.
Today I'm posting about gift cards.  I would imagine I could do an entire post on the pros and cons of giving gift cards for the holidays. But love them or hate them, they are definitely big business.

There are a few people on my shopping list who receive gift cards from me because it works best for both of us. But just because I'm giving a gift card doesn't mean I can't jazz the gift up a bit! So today I thought I would post some ideas on how to "dress up" our gift card gifts (ignore the fact that I used the same Blockbuster Gift Card in all of my photos!). Don't worry, these ideas are all very inexpensive.

Do you have a seamstress or crafter on your gift list? How about taking your JoAnne's, Hobby Lobby or Michael's gift card and putting it in a jar of buttons. Decorate the jar with some lace and ribbon and top it off with a measuring tape and button. I found all of these items at thrift stores for under $3.00.  (This idea would also work well using coffee beans in a jar with a Starbuck's gift card).

What about a book lover??  Gift cards to Borders Books or Barnes and Nobles are popular.  I found an inexpensive book at a thrift store ($1.00) that had previously been a library book.  The library check-out  envelope was still in the back of the book.  I carefully removed the envelope and moved it to the front of the book and made it the holder for the gift card.  I stamped Merry Christmas on the envelope and added a little gift tag.

My sister lives out of town and I typically send her a gift card to a favorite retail store.  This year the card is going in style.  Just last week I found this vintage shoe form for $3.00 at an antique store.  I added a little bling to the front with some vintage earrings.  I still need to add a high heel to the form (I'm going to get a pair of high heels at the thrift store and take the heel off one of the shoes).  The gift card fits perfectly in the front slot of the shoe form.

We all could probably use a gift card to the home improvement store.  If you have someone on your list who wants a Lowe's or Home Depot card why not slide it into a vintage folding ruler.  I've seen prices all over the board for one of these but I found some at a flea market for $1.00 - $1.50 apiece.

Is someone you know having a baby?  Add a gift card for baby items in an old baby shoe or tie it to a glass baby bottle.  This shoe could be further embellised with jingle bells or a pink or blue ribbon for the laces.

How about the camera buff?  Gift cards for picture developing or photo books might be welcome.  Adding the gift card to a thrift store frame makes for a nice little gift.

These are just a few of the ideas that I was able to get pictured.  I know you will be able to come up with your own ideas and I would love to hear them.  Leave me a comment and let me know how you give your holiday gift cards.

Happy Shopping!


Monday, November 9, 2009

Holiday Project #1 - Wire Picture Holders

As I mentioned in my post last night, I have decided between now and Christmas to post nothing but holiday decorating, craft and gift ideas.  My goal is to make these projects simple, quick and inexpensive....something I think we all want during the busy holidays.  So here's my first easy holiday project that could be adapted for year round use.

We've all seen these picture holders at various stores (you can see I got this one at Goodwill):

I have purchased these and cut off the picture holder part to use in several different projects.  Here's a picture of some Halloween picture holders I made with wood blocks, scrapbook paper and a wire holders.
But since these holders aren't always the easiest to find (at a good price to cut apart) I decided to get some wire and make my own. 

I purchased a roll of 18 gauge wire (110 ft. of wire for under $5.00 at Lowe's).  I typically start with a 12" piece of wire for each holder so you get a lot of picture holders for the money.  I had my son take pictures of me making a holder...hopefully this will make sense.

The first step is to bend the wire at a right angle at about the middle of the cut piece.

Next, turn the piece towards you so the bent piece is facing you.

Find something round that you will wrap the wire around to make your circular photo holder.  For this project I just used the glue stick I had in my studio.  For the smaller circle you will see in pictures below I used a Sharpie marker.

Holding the glue stick at the bend of the wire begin wrapping the wire around the glue stick, away from you.

Wrap the wire around the glue stick twice.

Slide the glue stick off the wire and you should have something that looks like this.

With wire cutters cut the tail that was left hanging after you finished wrapping.

With round nose pliers, curl the remaining part of the wire tail around towards the circle (This step is decorative but also keeps you from having the point of your wire exposed.)


And here is the finished wire picture holder

The length of the wire can be cut to fit your project.  With the larger ones I made last night I created this using an old wood spool, a scrapbook paper scrap and a sticker:

And using the smaller wire holders (using the Sharpie marker) I was able to take one of my altered bottles (this one is Halloween) and turn it into a picture holder (I plan on doing this with some Christmas bottles).

Or how about sticking one in one of the holes of a vintage silverplated salt shaker.  These would be great for pictures in the dining room or name plates for a holiday dinner.

Once you make some of these you will be seeing all sorts of possibilities to create picture holders out of everyday objects.  They are not only decorative but could make great gifts too.

I am posting today at Just a Girl for her "I Can Make That" Party.  There are a lot of fabulous ideas posted so go take a look.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Holiday Ideas

As I write this we have 46 days left until Christmas.  Just this week one of the radio stations I have programmed on my car radio has started playing Christmas carols 24 hrs/day and as I left for work on Friday my neighbors were getting Christmas lights put on their house.  I'd say the 2009 Christmas season is upon us!

So I am going to join in the festivities and post nothing but holiday decorating, craft, and gift ideas until Christmas.  I plan on posting often with easy to do projects....projects that won't take a lot of time or money.  So come back often and hopefully you will find an idea that works for you!

I'll be back tomorrow with my first easy, inexpensive, holiday project

Have a great week.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Raise A Racquet - Part 2

It's Thursday already and that means Thrifty Thursday with Leigh @ Tales from Bloggeritaville and Vintage Thingies Thursday with Suzanne @ Coloradolady.  I always enjoy participating in both of these parties and viewing all of the fabulous thrifty and/or vintage items people are finding.  I am also joining The Shabby Chic Cottage for the first time for Transformation Thursday.  Thanks to everyone for hosting these great events.

If you are looking at these first pictures and thinking you've seen this already, bear with me.  I'm not rerunning my post from three weeks ago (found here), I just found a new use for the same item.  So today I thought I would post my second idea using the vintage tennis racquet braces I found at a thrift store for 50 cents apiece. 

  Here's a picture of the unadorned tennis racquet braces:

and here is the BOO sign I made for Halloween:

As I was taking down the Halloween decorations this week, inspiration struck on how I could use these same braces for a Christmas decoration.  I changed out the scrapbook paper, stacked the braces one on top of each other, inserted a dowel rod through the braces to hold them together, added a star to the top, and placed them in a red bucket.

And the completed project....a vintage Christmas tree to decorate my fireplace.
                                                   There are so many ways this tree could be further decorated.  You could add the word JOY in the braces, add some vintage Christmas images or photographs or decorate with some favorite ornaments.  I plan on dressing this up a little more but I wanted to get it posted for today's parties.  Not a bad decoration for under $3.00.

Happy Thursday,