Sunday, October 25, 2009

How to bleach Christmas trees

The chillier weather has prompted me to think about my Christmas projects. I bought these little trees at Hobby Lobby for 99c. They have them in all sizes so it's hard not to go Hog-Wild!
Last year I learned how to bleach sisal bottle brush Christmas trees from Shanda over at Front Porches, then the other day I was reading Karla's blog at Karla's Cottage and saw her beautiful "Tree Farm". Bleaching the trees is so easy.

I simply mixed a solution of bleach and water, approx 1:4 ratio, then dipped the trees. I let them soak until they were the color I wanted. It took about 15 min, maybe a little more for some trees. I just swishled them around every so often.

I took them out and rinsed them well under running water and left them to dry in the dish rack.

They even retained most of their snow flocking. Later, I will glitter them and dye them with Kool-aid.

My little forest under glass! It's so easy! Hope you try it!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Last Hurrah...

Garage season is officially over in my neck of the woods. A week of rain and temps in the 50's-40's have successfully pushed yard-sales into least until Spring.

BUT, now and then, there surfaces the ever hopeful Church Rummage Sale! I like those even better than g'sales because you inevitably get lots of great vintage stuff from all those little old Church Ladies. Look at my loot above.

This tray will be remade with a little paint and some vintage wallpaper.

Gorgeous California souvenier plate (my home state!) with beautiful graphics, only .25! It struck me that it might be pretty old because the place where it says "Hollywood" shows only the Hollywood Bowl, not the HOLLYWOOD sign, not even Grahman's Chinese Theatre!

This Italian wood carving will be great as a crown on one of my old wardrobes. It's about 4 ft across and only cost a buck.

More Christmas, of course. I love the homemade sequined satin ornaments.

Mirror $3, covered cakeplate $2.

Brooch and apron, .50 ea.

Covered butter, .50.

I got this old lamp base for $2 with the intension of restoring it. It will make a nice bedside lamp when it is finished. I refurbished a similiar lamp that I rescued from a trash heap last year.

Here it is. The blue ceramic base was in excellent condition. I rewired it with a new cord and socket. The Rachel Ashwell blue roses shade that I found at the thrift store for $2 was a perfect match. It was like new. I use it every night!
Seems like I always have more "projects" than "time!'

Monday, October 12, 2009

Time for Halloween!

It's time once again to drag out my Halloween decorations! I have 3 big tubs full of stuff but this year I decided to pare it down and use only about 1/3rd of it. (Less clean-up time!)

I found some plastic gold frames that once held mirrors. After spraying them black they provide the perfect spookiness for framing a couple of my skeletons. One is vintage Beistle, the other is Mexican tin.

The candelabra I got this summer with the intention of spraying it white. I'm glad I left it black. It's just right for Halloween. I'm using my leftover orange candles from last year because I can't find true-orange candles ANYWHERE. I looked at every store and can only find shades of autumn-orange. I want Candy Corn orange! But I DID find some nice BLACK ones, 4 for a dollar. Can't beat that.

These are some little Halloween Cat pins that I made. I just got those wooden 1/2 spheres that come in a baggie at Hobby Lobby,painted them black then painted the faces on them with a really tiny brush. I used green sequins for the eyes and glued them on; glued felt triangle ears to the back; then hot-glued a pin clasp to the back, too. Viola! Kute kitty!

I made a few pumpkin face pins too but they didn't turn out as cute. I have some great vintage chenille stems that would make nice bodies for the pumpkins. Maybe I will put attach the heads and hang them on my Halloween tree. Hmmm.

This is my dog, Pudd, trying on her Halloween costume. She is going as "Where's Waldo." Ha!
What are YOU going as?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Birthday Gifts

I know it's been over a week since my birthday but I wanted to show you some of the wonderful gifts I received! Look at the picture above for my haul! I got beauty items (wrinkle cream) from my sister (ahem), slippers from my brother, a FLIP WILSON DVD from my other sister (YES!), and a sweet angel that holds a lit candle from my mom.

Check out these beautiful mixing bowls I got from my husband. I actually bought them myself because he said, "Just get whatever you want and say it's from me." I like that kind of gift. I had seen them in a gift shop last July and the owner said, "That's my last set." Well, I had the opportunity to get back to the shop in September and, lo and behold, if the "last set" wasn't still there! That means it was meant to be, right???

My sweet daughter bought this apron for me. (Doesn't she make a cute model?) She knows how I love to wear aprons everyday. If I'd have known, I would have sent her over to the Pansy Cottage Girl to check out more aprons. But I'm perfectly happy with the adorable apron my girlie picked out for me.

Look at this whimsical rainy day fabric in pink and brown. So "Small World!" I'm sure that's why she chose it. I am a HUGE fan of Mary Blair.

I also wanted to show you some of the cards I received. The one above is a vintage card from my Mom. She knows how I love old stuff...but she didn't want to sign it!

My God-mother sent me this card! It is SOOO me! I make no secret of my Dumpster Diving! The inside of the card says, "I'm still searching for the perfect gift." HA!

This last card was so adorable, I had to share it. Look at their cute little "paws." This card is from my sister. We were never this close at this young age because she is 6 years older than I. But now we are the bestest of friends! WE dance together ALL the time now!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Kindness of Strangers

Recently, one of my regular customers at the thrift shop came in. He walked up to the counter and put this old blue box in front of me. I didn't recognize it as something I had put out for sale so I was a little confused. (Sometime I get people coming in trying to sell me stuff but this guy wasn't like that.) I opened the box and this is what was inside:

I was still confused and I said, "What's this for?"
"Well," he said, " I was cleaning out my garage and I knew how you liked old Christmas stuff... so I thought you might like it."

Then I understood he was giving me the boxful of old santas! What? Some people are so kind they leave me almost speechless. "Wow, they are beautiful! Thank you!" was all I could say.

A week or so earlier we had run into each other at a garage sale and he joking said,"You don't have enough junk at your shop so you gotta go garage saling???" I had an armload of Christmas stuff at the time so I had to make confession of my Christmas "problem."

So, THANK YOU to Tim for a wonderful early Christmas gift!

I got another gift from a "stranger" recently. I won a fun giveaway from Priscila over at Casa Bella Chic. (I guess she's not really a stranger, I consider her a blogger friend, although we have never met. ) The package came wrapped in vintage gold wallpaper flocked in white.

Lots of adorable sweetness and ephemera! Thank You, Priscila!! One of the pieces was a cover page off an old dot-to-dots book. Do you see the cute little bear driving the car?

Well, I got out my scissors and hole-punch and went to work.

I couldn't bring myself to cut-up the little bear but I turned most of it into little gift tags:

Now...any suggestions for doing a project that includes the little bear??

"Have a Happy Day!"

Saturday, October 3, 2009

My Christmas Addiction

You have GOT to see my garage sale Christmas SCORE! I pulled up to this sale, spyed the tableful of vintage Christmas and started scooping things up! As I was examining everything I asked, "How much is the Christmas stuff?" The reply couldn't have been sweeter if the Sugar Plum Fairy, herself, has wispered it directly in my ear...".25 cents each." WHAT?! My hands moved at lightening speed and within a minute the table was practically empty. And what did I spend? $2.50!!!
Check some if this stuff out!
Vintge plush Santa with vinyl face, hands and boots. He is in like-new condition and his beard is as white as pure fallen snow! He stands on his own, about 14" tall.

Sweet box of ornaments from Japan and Germany.

Three boxes of bobeches, complete with vintage wreaths.
Adorable red Japan angel. I have 3 or 4 just like it in white.

If anyone can help me out with info on this item, I'd appreciate it! It is a treetop angel, labled West Germany. She is approx. 6" tall, clothed in white velvet, holding a tinsel tree. She has gold foil wings and her head and hands are made of painted wax. She is in excellent condition.

I can't believe this entire box was a quarter. The angels are like they were never taken out of the box! They are labeled West Germany and embellished with silver glitter that has tarnished fabulously. Can you see the vintage tablecloth beneath the box?
I picked up a few other vintage Santas and some Lefton Holly pieces that will probably go in a lot for ebay.
Talk about "Christmas in July!" (I mean "September"), I hit the jackpot on this one. I'm still doing the "Jingle-bell" dance! ;)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Birthday Celebration & Cottage Update

Well, I celebrated my 48th birthday on Tuesday and the best present of all was that my mom was here to help me celebrate! I hadn't seen her since April so I was REALLY happy to have her here for almost 2 weeks!

We had a very full day, doing our favorite things...garage sailing, thrift shopping, lunching...then to my son's soccer game that evening. After the game, my sweet in-laws treated us to dinner at our favorite Chinese place, The Mine Garden. It's actually call The Jasmine Garden, but the lightbulbs behind the "J-A-S" have been burned out for quite some time now, so it's the "***MINE Garden."

That's my husband on the end pretending to be disinterested and playing games on his phone...I think he pretending...

Check out my beautiful flowers from my in-laws. They remembered that my favorite flowers are anything orange.

Well, my mom hadn't seen the cottage in a long time so she REALLY wanted to see it before she left for home. Here are some current pics of our work. (The bathroom is still a no pics of it.)

Mom enjoying the view from the porch. That walkway was completely hidden under sod until my hardworking son uncovered the entire thing.

Mom in the bedroom.

Mom modeling my circa 1960's fridge with pink interior.

Mom pretending to do housework...(she doesn't really know her way around a kitchen but can definitely find a microwave!)

Mom lounging on my $10 sofa that clashes magnificently with the green walls. I used a Pale Apple from Laura Ashley but it just wasn't pale enough. It turned out pretty lime-y. I will repaint the room but, right now, that is waaay at the bottom of the to-do list. The red sofa will be permanently moved to the yellow living room when that room is finished.

Here is the living room. I LOVE this pale yellow color. I had to mix it myself and have since had much trouble in matching it, even with the photo-technology at the paint stores! Green room is to the left, pink kitchen to the right, I am taking the photo from the front door...See, I told you it was a tiny house! That cottage painting behind my mom willl hang in the living room. The chandelier on the stool will go in the green room. Check out that vintage crib leaning against the wall on the left. That was also a curbside attraction at the same place I picked up the antique door (see kitchen photo above.) I love the bunny/teddy bear/ giraffe decals. So adorable! I haven't decided what to do with it yet, but it will definately be a piece somewhere in the cottage.

Above is a view into the green room from the yellow room. The sun was really shining nicely through the stained glass. Here is mom sitting in the corner on my ratty old pink chair that I dragged all the way from Kansas. It is a bit rickety but I love it!

I had a great birthday! I have some more photos of our g-sale finds but I will post those tomorrow. Thanks for reading!