Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday -- Christmas Craft Finds!

Oh my, I am pooped!  We got up and headed to our Goodwill stores this morning as they opened two hours earlier for Black Friday.  All seasonal items were 50% off, so I had to go each one of them, 4 in all. After that, we dropped off our finds at home and then headed out to breakfast.  Nobody felt like changing gears and cooking breakfast.  We finished breakfast and off to the other thrifts we went.  Here's my haul on the garage floor.  I was looking primarily for goodies for crafting.

After getting it into the house, I sorted the ornaments into the den where my bins are.

I bought some of those mixed grab bags.  They usually don't have much in them that I really want.  I love them though because once I see enough to make me want to buy it, I wait to really analyze it when I get home and so it remains somewhat of a mystery until then.  I took pics just for fun.
I saw Jewelbrites in this bag!

I'll keep the items in the Pyrex, the other stuff I will donate back. 
These are darling!!!

This next bag I saw at one of the stores last week, but I wasn't willing to pay what they asked.  Today it was 50% off, so I got it.

I liked the plastic corsages.

And that was about it.

Hubby showed me this next bag, he pointed out the sugared bells.  The bag was 99 cents, so that was enough to justify me buying it.

A lot of stuff going back to the thrift in this one.

I sorted all the glass balls into their respective color bins.  I also had to sort the minis I got the past few days.  I did really well I think. I like using lots of mini glass balls, so I'm constantly on the look out for them.  I fear I won't find them when I go out thrifting, but based on this picture, I've been pretty successful recently.

My jewelery box!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Vintage Ornament Wreath #4 - Making Lemonade out of Lemons

Quick post today--cleaning house, getting ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow!  I finished up a wreath yesterday evening.  I ended up with ornaments that will not go into making my pastel wreath, ones I've had or purchased recently in bags of mixed items, but I'm determined to use them!  Brown bells, balls and orange don't sing Christmas to me, but I loved the challenge!  As Tim Gunn would say "make it work!"

I bleached bottle brush trees and added mica to them, added this brown deer I picked up and added them to the center creating a bit of a diorama.  My hubby is calling this the Thanksgiving wreath.  He asked me if we could keep it, I said sure.

Break time over!  Back to chores!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Vintage Finds Made in Japan and a Super Score!

We were out all day with the rest of the world.  Day after tomorrow is Thanksgiving so we headed out in the morning and got all the food stuff we need for the holiday weekend.  After that it was the thrifts, we won't go for the next two days and hubby is free today, so we hoofed it all over the place! (And boy are my dogs howling).  I'm sitting here taking a break, trying to recuperate a little.'s what we found!

We look for vintage ceramics made in Japan.  The snowman is a music box.  The napkin holder has no marks/labels, I'll see if I can find one on line.  The other items are labeled Japan.
I'm always on the hunt for mini glass balls.  Decided to pick up some bead strands as well.
I was absolutely stunned to find Franciscan Oasis at the thrift.  I've never seen it at a thrift before.  Even my husband was shocked.  For those who don't know, these dishes are highly desirable and ebay prices have skyrocketed--I paid 89 cents a piece.  I have a service for 8, so happy to have these extras for my set.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Vintage Ornament Wreath #3 - For my Hubby

I went to the store yesterday to get some more foam wreath thingies and by evening I couldn't keep myself from starting a new one.  Mind you, I had already been thinking about a color scheme and what objects I would use in this next one, so I already had a plan in my head.  I started about 6:30 pm, I actually wrapped two foam rings--one for my friend who asked me if I could help her make one.  After that, and getting the hanging wire on--I got busy.

It took me longer on this wreath.  I didn't want to do alternating colors on the outside and inside, but still wanted a particular outcome, so I had to fiddle with it a while before I was satisfied. I wanted this wreath to be a bit over the top--hubby likes lots of glitz!  I spent another few hours at least on it today. 

I used lots and lots of small balls on this one and it took me a while to get them all on there.  I would hang it on the wall, look at it take it down, put more stuff on it.  I like adding little bits of stuff like parts of old corsages and plastic foliage.  I just love all those old Christmas things.  Good thing I started collecting this Christmas vintage stuff last year, I still barely had enough old interesting ornaments for this wreath.

I have one more wreath that I really want to make, especially for me.  It will be pastel colors, lots of turquoise and pink I'm sure!  I still have a lot of plain ornaments, and newer decorated ones that are in colors that aren't ones I'm particularly attracted too, but I'm sure to make more wreaths just for fun!

We call this wreath Hi Ho Santa!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Vintage Christmas Thrifting - Not too Shabby

We try to hit all the thrifts on Friday as hubby likes to get his mind off work and he loves to hunt just as much as I do.  We went to all but one of our usual places, we just got too tired and our little furry guy was sure to want us home. I did some quick's the stuff!

Lots of fun little stuff and crafting goodies.  Flocked ornaments, also a little Santa in a cage with a mini bottle brush tree and bottle brush trees stamped Japan.  Craft stuff included, spangles,unopened packages of Lee Wards sequins,Wright's metallic shell design trim and an unopened packet of Shiny Brite butterflies!  I was happy to find the white satin balls--saw some at another thrift yesterday and they wanted $2.99! I was like 'no way', I got these for 89 cents.

This big satin ball is a music box.  It is made in Japan and the second one of these I've seen this week.  The first one was so faded on one side I had to pass it up.  I was delighted to discover these Holt Howard salt and pepper shakers--my first Holt Howard Christmas find! 

Some mostly not so old glass ornaments.  These big jewel faceted ones are really cool, I think they are not old, they have nylon threads on the hangers which is kinda a giveaway to me, plus, they don't have any oxidation or flaws--but I need to look them up none-the-less.

Mostly plain Shiny Brites...
Big stenciled Shiny Brites...
And a German and two Polish ornaments!  But there's more!

Two Erzgebirge nutcrackers!  My dear sweet husband gives me the big puppy eyes every year about wanting nutcrackers.  We have one, a nice one, a Steinbach I bought in Germany at the store outlet the first year we were married.  But he'll look at those cheap ones from China every year seeing if I'll bite and I don't.  Well, today he raised the bar and I couldn't say no.  He said from now on he's going to look for Erzgebirges.  Both of these have the Expertic GDR labels/stamps.

Well, it's taking me longer than I wanted to write this post.  It's getting late and I'm exhausted.  I told hubby we needn't go to the thrifts tomorrow, but he's already dropping hints.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Vintage Ornament Finds Today

I went to a Christmas garage sale today.  Got there early and had first choice so I we went straight to the glass ornaments. There wasn't a lot.  There were ones in boxes, ones on trees, a mish mash.  When I got home I sorted what I got and put like items together.  I got one of my vintage boxes to put the rest in.  Here's what I got.

Most of these aren't as old as I would like, but the sizes and shapes are the kind of thing I need for wreath making.  The little mushrooms are cute and I can't turn down horns and bells.  Since all I've been finding at thrifts are mostly plain balls, I had to suck it up and pay the asking price.  It's still a lot cheaper than buying on line, so I should be happy.

I stopped by the thrift as well and found this little pathetic fake tree with these adorable itty bitty ornaments on them.  They will be great for a bottle brush tree.

(Oh AND...I found Pyrex--YAY! )

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Vintage Wreath #2 -- I Couldn't Resist!

Oh my gosh!  This vintage ornament wreath thing has taken over my mind!  I had some time for myself in the afternoon before supper and I had wreath on the brain. Earlier I had sorted the ornaments I picked up at the thrift into my boxes and felt like I might have enough stuff for a wreath I wanted to make for my friend.  I thought I'd wrap the foam ring, put on the hanging wire, and see if I had enough bulbs for the outside.

My friend has a red and white kitchen and red is dominant in her living room, so I wanted to make her something to fit in to that.  I decided on a green tinsel garland base color.

After adding the outer ring of ornaments (and positioning but not attaching the inner bulbs), I laid on some of the non-glass objects I had collected.  Red and white gingham seemed like a perfect choice for my friends kitchen.  No way I could just stop here, though I did have to take a break to make supper, I was back at it afterwards.

Here it is.  It has a bit of the country feel she likes with the gingham and wood ornaments.  I hope she likes it, I think she will.  Once again I caught myself starting to fret and pick things apart about it, but I reminded myself this is supposed to be fun--I let go and went with it!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

It's the Little Things - Vintage Christmas Craft Goodies

I've been going out on Tuesdays to hunt for Pyrex and Christmas stuff, went yesterday to about half the places and today hit some of the others.  I got the usual, glass balls for crafting.  Hubby found a basket with a large flocked deer and other goodies.  I could see a couple of vintage Santas, and though 6 bucks seemed a lot, I figured the basket was worth a couple and could be used for a variety of things, so I got it.  I couldn't wait to get home and see what else might be in it--here's some of the stuff.

I was delighted to find this small pink tree topper!  I'm collecting ornaments for my pastel wreath.  There are 2 glass acorns and the metal nativity with 3 wise men is cool, it's one piece bent into two scenes (does that make sense?).   There was quite a bit of other stuff in the basket I can use for crafting not so vintage for my friend, so I felt like I didn't get totally ripped off.

I got the Ray Glo balls at another thrift for 65 cents, love this color green.  There was a pack of small balls in a nice shade of green-blue, but they wanted $1.99 for all the small packs--I passed those up.  I got a number of those balls last week for 99 cents and less.  Apparently someone else started doing the pricing!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Vintage Christmas Finds and Vintage Projects

Oh boy--I've been having vintage on the brain 24/7!  Last week my (vintage) neighbor came and showed me vintage textiles she has purchased over the years.  I told her about my desire to make an applique felt Christmas Tree skirt.  I fell in love with a number of them last year perusing on line, but I didn't want to buy one, I wanted to make one.  I started collecting materials this time last year and here is what I have so far--it has been slow going.

Though I would love to use only vintage materials, that simply won't happen.  I purchased wool blend felt (and some gimp) form Etsy.  I scavenged the thrifts for spangles and sequins and bought some new.  I sorted thousands of sequins by hand from the thrift stores.  I've only managed to find a little gold and silver rick rack.  I splurged and bought 6 foiled ruby colored glass hearts and a little trim from the same buyer on Etsy.  Glass seed and bugle beads came from the thrifts.  Found an unopened roll Lee Ward's gimp too!  Recently I purchased a vintage white felt skirt with little embellishment in hopes of being able to re-use it for this project.  Today's felt just isn't the same--we'll see when it comes.   Anyway, there is going to be a lot of planning as first I have to decide on a design. One thing for sure, it will be pastel.  Here's a picture of one that inspires me.

After finishing the blue/gold ornament wreath yesterday, by evening I was already thinking about the next one.  I needed to re-sort some of my red ornaments and threw some of the older ones in the lid and then I started adding other stuff.  Here's my palette.

I wasn't planning on hitting the thrifts today, but it happened.  Got more glass ornaments--of course, but found some other gems too!  Here's some of the fun stuff.

I had to buy 3 bags of mostly junk to get these 4 Shiny Brite ornaments.  But it was worth it.  There was enough miscellaneous stuff I can use in crafting--the rest I'll donate back.  They'll probably make bags with just one Shiney Brite in each again to get people like me to buy them (sigh).  I don't have any of the 'tops' shape, so I was thrilled.  I was also thrilled to get these beautiful light turquoise/aqua ornaments.  I think they are Coby.  They will go into making my pastel wreath.  And deer are always a score.  I got the chenille spun cotton angel and deer next to her yesterday, that alone made my day!

I'm pooped, I need to make something for supper--but my mind is still on vintage Christmas!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Project - Attempting the Vintage Ornament Wreath

I couldn't wait any longer, even though I was tired last night, just knowing I had all the supplies to make an ornament wreath, I decided to just wrap and glue the tinsel garland onto the foam ring.  I had my box of ornaments on the kitchen table for days and it was teasing me to get started.

I made the wreath in a color combination around this vintage angel I found.  Mixing some of the ornaments in a box lid is a must for me.  I need to see how the colors and shapes will work together.

I thought I would  just wrap the foam ring last night, but I couldn't stop there.  After rigging up a wire loop for hanging,  I decided to put ornaments on the outer ring.  Then I thought I'd figure out how to position and attach the ceramic angel as she is deep at the bottom, I didn't want her to stick out too far.  I used a bamboo skewer for additional support.  I marked the top center of the wreath with a price sticker (it what was I had at hand) to keep myself oriented.

 But, I couldn't stop there! 

I kept going until I finally stopped here.  I was tired and it was getting late. I needed to think about what I could do in the upper section, dig through my stuff and find some more objects.  Think about things a little. Also, I broke an ornament by pressing too hard and that was extra work to clean it out and attach a new one-- I knew that was enough for the night.

I got up this morning, had coffee and rushed to get the roast in the oven and do my morning chores.  Then it was on to working on the wreath.  I think I spent no more than two hours finishing it up.  Making this is fun as it doesn't take very long!  Here it is all done!

I've got to say I'm lovin' it.  But I also like ornaments just thrown in a box.  For those reading this and thinking of making your own wreath for the first time, don't let me mislead you in thinking that the box of ornaments in this post was all I used.  That box was just a sample of what I used. 

My friend knows I'm going to make a wreath.  She's excited to see what I make.  I hope she likes it--I made it for her in the color she likes.  I'm going to go email her now--have her check out my blog as I won't see her right away.  We'll see what she says!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Thrifty Christmas Finds on Friday

I forgot the minty Franke box with red Shiny Brites and other assorted red balls when I took this picture.

Went thrifting for Christmas craft stuff today and just had to put my haul on the table and snap a picture!  This is some of the more exciting stuff I found, I also bought boxes of mostly plain ornaments to build up my stash for ornament wreath making.  I love the bag of turquoise mercury glass tear drops, couldn't believe my eyes when I ran into it!  Thank goodness I made sure to have a discount coupon that I could apply towards them.  Little glass bells in blue and silver don't come along that often, so happy to find some.  I also found this bag of mixed colors satin balls, light blue and lime green too!

I'm bushed!  We are out to scour again tomorrow!

Vintage Cardboard Christmas Music Box Fix Up

I picked up this cute vintage music box made in Japan the other day.  It needed a little TLC.  Looked like the cat chewed on the chimney, the roof had some paint loss, the mica was faint and the felt base dirty.  Something is missing from the chimney base.  I found one on Etsy--I wanted to find out what the missing object was, but there was no embellishment on it at all.  Here's the before picture.

Here is the music box as I found it.  Poor chimney--I had to remove the chenille trim, it was mangled.

A little paint brightened up the roof and an application of fresh mica created greater color contrast.  I removed the chenille trim on the chimney, painted the exposed brown cardboard, added pipe cleaner and applied mica.  I used a piece of the mangled chenille to prop up the awning and added mica.  The felt base is very dirty around the outer edge, so I applied mica over the top to freshen it up.

I don't know what is missing from the chimney base.  I decided to mica the top of an old vintage mercury ball and place it where the missing object was.

This little gem cost more than I thought it should for the condition it was in--but then again, we know, I like a deal!  But I'm glad I didn't pass this up, it's just darling!

(Hubby is also glad I bought it though initially he had his doubts.)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Happy Happy Girl! My Mini Mother Lode!

I wasn't planning to post today, and I'm just squeezing it in as it is.  I've been busy all day and on my feet, so I decided to take a break and have a cup of tea, check email etc.  Oh yeah, and post!  I planned to hit the local thrifts today in search of Christmas stuff and I came home a happy happy girl!  I didn't find anything at the first few, but number four had this waiting for me!

Lots of unopened packages of vintage mercury glass mini balls, satin balls, box of Diamond Ray reflectors, spray of mercury glass picks, bag of plastic lanterns with flocked candles inside of them, and this curious ornament which contains a mylar rain bonnet!  The picks were in a bag with non-vintage plastic ornaments (I'll donate back) and some green and gold mercury balls.  Hubby doesn't quite understand the fascination over the mini balls or pink mini balls for that matter, but us vintage crafty folk do!  Oh yes, there is also a box of gold balls, the box is in excellent shape and has a graphic of Santa and Reindeer on it.  I was so grateful the thrift store put the price tag on the bottom of the box.

I also got a few other things at a couple of the other stores.  Debated on the one, but glad I took it home though hubby was kinda like 'you sure?

This sweet vintage music box needs some TLC--it looks better in the photo than it is, though Mr. & Mrs. Santa are in great condition, their hair and beard still white and clean.  I'll repaint and re-mica/glitter the house.  Found my first Jewel Brite ornaments!!

Last night I got the itch to start throwing some ornaments together to see how the combination would look for an ornament wreath.  Here's what I have so far.

I picked up even more ornaments at the thrift today. Here's what my stash looked like last week.

Here is the current state of things--I had to reorganize and move the felted and brown box out to make room for more glass.  I have to look for more plastic containers on my next trip out!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Christmas Finds - Lefton's Wins Again!

The thrift stores around here are finally getting into high gear with Christmas stock.  We looked for glass ornaments, crafting supplies and kitsch.  Here are a few pictures of finds from last week--I didn't include a picture of glass ornaments, though there were many!

I found numerous unopened packages of vintage craft supplies.  The older sisal wreaths have that nice thick snow on them unlike the painted stuff they put on these days. Not pictured is some gold Hollywood brand glitter! I bought the National tinsel as it's like the German lametta and it's just neat to see the unopened package.  I have my lametta I purchased in Germany 30 years ago--we don't use it every year, but when we do we take it down strand by strand and pack it away for another year.

Vintage kitsch finds included figures made in Japan, each stamped or with label.  I found this unopened package of Christmas garland!  A couple of the bell cages are out of shape, but cute all the same.  I've gotten into the vintage Hong Kong plastics!

My favorite piece is this Lefton's reindeer planter!  So sweet!