Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Vintage Christmas

This year I've been adding a few vintage items into my Christmas decor... previously I really didn't have a "theme" per se, other than my growing collection of reindeer. Wherever I traveled, I would be sure to pick up a deer to add to my tree or home somewhere during the holiday season, but those were all new items.

That has definitely changed this year. I'm loving the look my antiques and thrift store treasures are adding to my holiday decorations... while shopping for antiques for my studio, I've picked up a few older reindeer over the past year or so too:

I found the cutie with sleigh on eBay and it arrived here at the "Christmas Capital of Canada" (yep, Winnipeg's official title!) from warm, sunny Florida literally minutes ago!

And here are some recent finds at my local Goodwill and secondhand shops.

These great felt and feather cardinals from Goodwill...

... hiding inside a huge bag of greenery, bird's nests and pine cones. Two dollars for it all. They look great tucked into the pine boughs on my fireplace mantel.

The beautiful wired ribbon was 50 cents a roll. I also discovered these two treasures from Christmas past:

I was looking for a new (hopefully vintage!) tree topper for our smaller Christmas tree this year. So awesome to find this old blown glass topper in perfect condition, still in it's original box for a mere dollar! Then of course I HAD to bring home the little reindeer for only 49 cents; still encased in it's plastic bag...

These are a great addition to my other blown glass ornaments I got free this year at a local second-hand shop (see more about them HERE).

My next post will feature the wonderful treasures I found at a large Antique Show a few weeks back, and then I'll follow it up with a post on how I'm adding some into our living room holiday decor.

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The Thrifty Groove

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

White Wreath

With the advent of Pinterest, I have found so many wonderful projects I've wanted to try my hand at: the latest being a white pine cone wreath with red cardinals. Isn't this beautiful? I pinned it from Diedre's Simply Simplisticated blog. Her's was incredible too.

I already had collected a few pine cones used in my autumn decor last month; but not enough for a wreath. So I ventured out to my backyard where we have over 20 pine trees; I knew there were plenty of pine cones just waiting for me out there!

Only I had forgotten one important thing; it had snowed and my treasures were now completely hidden from view under a blanket of white... so I was only able to gather a few that had fallen on the tree boughs.

* Sigh *

Then I realized my cones were not elongated like the original.  

Oh well...

I had already picked up white spray paint, three cardinals and some red berries at Michaels, so I was determined to still create something.

Using a wreath base I found at Goodwill, here's my version:

I will admit this wasn't as easy as I thought it would be.

After about four or five coats of white spray paint (spraying everything in a box in the basement since it was -30 with the windchill outside), I gave up... the cones and wreath were just soaking the paint up and not turning the nice bright white I wanted. I finally resorted to hand-painting the cones with watered-down white acrylic paint to get them looking white - ish.

And because I made the mistake of painting them BEFORE I assembled it, my hot glue was not adhering correctly; the cones were falling off once the glue hardened.


Thank goodness I just bought a whole new tube of E6000 glue - it did the job after I held the cones in place for a few minutes to set.

The birds and berries were just wired into the wreath, and a wire was attached to the top for hanging.

I do like the partial wreath design; my take but not a direct copy of the Pinterest inspiration.

Hopefully if you want to make one of these beautiful decorations, you'll learn from my mistakes!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Bread Board / Chalk Board

I wanted to add a chalk board to my kitchen to quickly and easily jot down groceries we needed without searching for a pen and pad of paper. So I picked up this old bread board for $2.49 at Value Village and had plan...

I used Circa 1850 to remove the varnish and a layer of paint, then sanded it down. Even though some of the paint remained, I knew the chalk board paint would cover it so I didn't worry about removing it all.

Since I wanted to try my spray on chalk board paint, I masked off the parts of the board I wanted to keep natural.

Then I painted it using two coats of Rustoleum spray paint. What a quick project! It dried in 20 minutes, and after an hour I removed the tape, primed it with chalk and wiped it down.

A loop of rope through the top, plus some to hold a piece of chalk (with a bit of E6000 glue to hold it on the back) and I was done!

Easy peasy.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Those Are FREE? Really??

A few weeks back while I was picking up a silver creamer at a local second-hand store (a small shop that "de-clutters" people's homes and sells what they are given), I noticed a large trunk on the floor by the cashier. The lid was open and inside were bags, small boxes and tissue paper. A hand-written note taped to the trunk said "FREE!"

Awesome! So I began to dig around, finding it was filled with vintage Christmas items. I pulled out a swag of artificial pine greenery with ribbon, gold rope and pine cones. Next I spotted a toy wooden sled in a white plastic bag.

Then feeling guilty and a tad greedy, I realized perhaps I was only supposed to help myself to ONE item for free...

So I asked the lady at the register... "Should I only be taking one item?"

"Oh no, please take as much as you want. That's stuff that we can't sell as it is damaged. Help yourself to whatever you want!"

Wonderful! I told her I had a flashback to the kid's treasure trunk at Red Lobster - with me always reminding my daughter to take just ONE toy....

She laughed as I dug in once more to find this:

Yep. Tiny Japanese glass ornaments still in their original box and tissue... I was thrilled and a bit surprised they weren't in fact, damaged at all!

Then I read over at Denise's Spittin Toad blog her brilliant post about framing vintage ornaments. Perfect! What a great way to display these treasures!

I got out a shadow box frame I had brought home from Value Village a few months back - I knew I would find something neat to display in it.

So out poor Blue Boy went...

... and in went some scrapbook paper for a holiday background. Then I hung each ornament on gold thread after a small dab of E6000 glue was placed on the ornament caps to make sure they wouldn't slip off.

So for the just a few dollars for the frame, I have a great vintage Christmas decoration!
Thank you so much Denise for the inspiration!

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Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Thursday, November 15, 2012

"Antique" Sign

A few days ago, I posted about picking up a holiday decoration at Goodwill... I bought it for the wonderful board underneath the hand-painted Christmas greeting. I have yet to actually remove the painted teddy bear and text... so I am using the reverse side to create a new "antique" sign for my studio.

I have wanted a sign that said "Antiques" for awhile, but it wasn't until last week when I heard the term "Antiques and Bygones" on a wonderful program called Salvage Hunters (think UK version of American / Canadian Pickers) that I knew I wanted to use it for my sign!

The first step was getting the proper graphics; so of course I headed over to The Graphics Fairy and hunted around for something ornate for the background / frame. I found an antique sheet music graphic and changed it up a bit for my use, adding text and a pointing hand image too.

I will admit, I didn't know how the heck I was going to transfer this onto the board. I reviewed Karen's DIY site on the many transfer techniques, and after trying the "wax paper method" without success (no matter what I did, the paper would jam up my printer), I decided to try method #1 using pastels! I flipped my final printed page over and rubbed the back with black pastel.

Then I taped it in place on the board, and using a fine embossing tool (she used a ballpoint pen), I traced the image onto the board.

It worked great! Because I want this to look aged, it didn't have to be perfect.

Next I got out all my black pens, black Copics, ballpoints and even Sharpies to trace over the pastel rubbed onto the board.

Voila! I am really pleased with the result:

This shelf is where it will stay... I was going to thread some old rope through the holes, but I think I shall just leave them be. To me, it looks like where the old sign would have hung from a bracket! ;)

A really fun, easy project that didn't take long at all to complete, thanks to Karen at The Graphics Fairy!

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shabby creek cottage

Saturday, November 10, 2012

About 1.5 Cents Each

When I go thrift shopping....

Man do I ever mean THRIFT.

While at Value Village this week, I picked up a few things so I could use my 30% off everything stamp card.

But the best deal was the cheapest item in my basket:

Yep, I found a bag of handkerchiefs for 99 cents. At first glance I was going to pass on it since it seemed to have mostly brightly-coloured hankies; not the style I was really looking for to use in my Victorian Studio. I wanted some older, lacier ones. But when I looked closer, I spotted a few that might do, so I "splurged" and decided to take a chance on the bag.

When I got home, I tore it open to find these. Not really my cup of tea...

And these... getting there, the embroidery is really nice on some...

Then these... better! Some nice lace and delicate flowers...

Ooh! Now we're talking! Lookit the beautiful edge....

Bingo! Lace galore!

And even MORE!

Do you think it was Fate that brought me to pick up this bag of beauties? Well, take a look at the three monogrammed ones that I found in the bag and let me know what you believe:

In all.... 43 handkerchiefs! And with 30% off, that comes to around a ridiculous 1.5 CENTS per hankie!

Yep, I have to say, this was just MEANT to be...

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Even More Thrifty Finds

What came home with me this week from Goodwill and Value Village:

I grab bags of lace whenever I see them - this time, for only $3 I got meters and meters of wonderful border lace that will be great on greeting cards.

Those three ceramic owls aren't old, but I just couldn't leave them since they were cute and only 50 cents each!

I also spotted an old two-handled bowl; I have no idea what it was used for, perhaps a serving bowl, but now it "serves" as a holder for random ribbon bits:

And of course, I never can resist silver. Tarnished or newer; it usually finds its way into my cart. Those seven silver Christmas napkin rings were a mere $2 at Goodwill... still in their original packages! Seven is the perfect number for us; when we host a family dinner, that's the number around the table!

The grape-adorned silver plate was only $3 and the silver "scoopy-thing" was $10; my biggest purchase of the day at Value Village.

Do you know what it is? It's called a sugar scuttle! With matching scoop, these silver beauties have a gold anodized interior. Shaped after coal scuttles, they were used in Victorian times up until the mid-1900's. It is super-heavy too! I love it; and the small scoop fits perfectly in the back.

Yep, some wonderful finds this week for sure!

Linking up with:

The Thrifty Groove

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