Tuesday, December 25, 2012


My Christmas Wish
for All,
is an awakening
of the pure innocence
in your Heart 
you felt as a child,
and a belief
in something greater
than yourself.

Merry Christmas Everyone,

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Glass Glitter makes Everything Better .........

I'm not a huge fan of shopping at the dollar stores, primarily because most of it ends up at Goodwill, if it hasn't been thrown away already.

 This time, however, I snuck in one day to see if they had any crafty components that I could transform on the cheap.

 Since I've had bells on the brain for the last month, I picked up these.......

If you are looking for another easy peasy project that requires very little skill, I bring you these instant transformations........
Since I mentioned what's prevalent on all the old postcards, 
of course I added holly.
 And striped paper...
And rick rack....

 And for the ultimate kitsch, plastic greens.....a little of this goes a long way.

 And crepe paper with glittered pinecones....

The upright holly or spiral pipe cleaner can serve as a placecard holder. All the others are great for ornaments or tucked into wreaths.

Glass glitter makes everything better........except my face and hair.

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Chic, Mossy, & Old-Fashioned ...... (Tabletop Decor, that is)

Though I love embellishments as much or more than most, every so often my mind gets a "Less is more" inspiration.

When a component is so beautiful, that adding anything to it would take away from its perfection, these are the times that my brain tells me "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should".......

Here are three examples of my tabletop creations where less is more, and oh so easy-peasy to create in the eleventh hour of decorating......

Can you ever go wrong with silver glass glitter? As long as you don't glitter every square millimeter of the creation, you can create beautiful results. A grouping of these trees twinkles and shines fabulously in ambient mood lighting.

LIke the little black dress, this tree is very simplistic, but very chic. Glass glitter over styrofoam, mercury ball top, and a base made from stacking 2 fluted tins. A glue gun to join the styrofoam to the top tin, and of course I used a thin magnet to connect the two tins together.
This next example takes us away from the city chic, and brings us to an elegant forest.

I can't resist chartreuse reindeer moss. So much crisp color and texture all at once, that I just can't bring myself to cover it with much of anything. In this instance, I glue-gunned some silver glass-glittered pinecones sparingly.

Then I wound some very delicate silver crinkle wire around, and topped the tree with a silver glittered star. I'm sure Amy (Into Vintage) is cringing as we speak, at the thought of using a glue gun.......:)

The fabulous pewter base was something I found thrifting a couple years ago, knowing full well it would have a tree on it someday, as well as a great base for pumpkins in the Fall. I think this base may have been from a lazy susan, or perhaps had a dome on it.

Last, but not least, is a very old and large aqua Ball jar I've had since this Summer, waiting to be used for something. I combined a bit of kitsch with old-fashioned charm, using only red Shiny Brites and plastic cedar sprigs.

Just one layer after the other, with a couple smaller balls on top.

I finished it off with old red wooden beads, strung on a pipe cleaner, which was easy to twist tight and tuck under. So much beauty in the aqua glass, with the red and green, that nothing else is needed for a nostalgic kitchen accent.

These can be whipped up fairly quickly, so get crackin' if you haven't yet!

Vintage Button Card Bouquets ........

I used to collect vintage buttons (I still have a full bag of them), and with those, some button cards entered the mix a long time ago. Though I sold most of the cards, I still had a few just waiting to be embellished.

I recently purchased some beautiful little bunches of millinery stamen, already assembled in a wonderfully festive color combination. While staring at the crafty mess surrounding me (that currently resembles my mind at the moment), I inadvertently laid one of the bunches on a button card. To my surprise, a wonderful idea came to me. Nothing genius, mind you, but it's a wonder it took me this long to craft with the cards.

Charming result number 1.......


and Third.......

With the stamen bunches, I added lacquered holly, then accented the cards 
with old bells, and buttons......what else, right?
Yes Magpie Ethel, these are your bells, thank.you.very.much..:)

When assembling an old-fashioned look, you just can't go wrong with rick rack. 

I covered the backs with striped wax paper, to cover the holes.

Any flaws on the fronts of the cards are welcome vintage charm, including the holes, creases, and yellowed paper.

These would make wonderful ornaments, but also great as package tie-ons. Might have to create some more for Valentine's Day.

See all of my Button Card creations
on my Pinterest Board "My Button Cards"

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The Bygone Era of Christmas Postcards .......

It appears that the earth-shattering events of last week threw me off my game, with regards to Christmas projects. So now I find myself speed-crafting/photo-editing/blogging in the Eleventh hour........

First Post: I thought I'd share some of my collection, that has been one of my theme inspirations this year.

Antique Christmas Postcards........

Two artistic elements which are prevalent throughout my collection are 
bells and holly.

They are everywhere.

And add to these rich renderings, gorgeous embossing. 

Postcards are truly a lost art. Something not done anymore unless you're on vacation, and even then, only photographic types, 
with no gorgeous artwork anywhere....

The final sublime touch to an antique postcard is when it's been mailed, showing hand-writing, with pen and ink no less (!), the stamp, and the postmark from 1910.......Heaven.....

Since I will NEVER alter these, I make color copies shrunk down to fit into some of my petite picture frames. The originals are stuck into the tree, or hung from wherever I feel like it, using mini clothes pins or bent wire.

If I created nothing for Christmas, these beautiful nostalgic postcards would hold their own in the absence. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Tiny Tart Tin Tree ........

As expected, I've been Christmas crafting all week, because I love it, 
and because I can.....

I know little tart tins have been transformed into ornaments in every configuration possible, but I decided to keep it simple......this time. :)

I've collected stacks and stacks of all sizes of these pretty little tins, some beautifully worn, and others bright and shiny. I've been wanting to create with them for years, but I kept getting distracted. This time, I did something about it.

I recently picked up a small tinsel tree at GW, knowing very well that I had a plethora of ornaments to come up with a themed tabletop tree. 
So what did I decide on?.........

A kitchen tree, and more specifically, a baking tree.....

Loads of little tart tins, each with their own sparkly charm.

Some have vintage rhinestone buttons, and others have little pinecones with silver German glass glitter. I attached the buttons with a glue gun, and the pinecones with removable putty, specifically cord weatherstrip,
available at the hardware store.

I really wanted to keep an all-silver color scheme with the ornaments, so I added a garland that is actually large ball chain, which I believe is, appropriately, the same size used for pie weight chain. I'm sure I could've easily used a beaded garland, but this chain has an incredible weight to it making it drape so beautifully. And with a nickle finish, it brilliantly shines like a mirror.

The tree sits in a star-shaped antique baking tin, which I lined with Spanish moss, then laid fresh green moss over it, to balance out the green of the tree, and also to add contrast to the tin.

I played around with different ways to hang the ornaments, because I didn't want anything that would permanently alter them, so I could use them again for future design ideas.

The empty tart tins are hanging from smaller ball chain, and the only things connecting them to the chain are Rare Earth magnets. (This is not an appropriate method if small children or pets try to play with the tree.) I wanted a clean and simple look to the hanging hardware, so this worked perfectly. Depending on the strength of these magnets, you may need to use a couple as I did, 
since they are so thin.

The tins with buttons or pinecones are facing out, to show off their sparkle, so I used a glue gun to attach silver pipe cleaners to their backs. Using a pipe cleaner keeps the tart in a facing-out position, so it doesn't dangle or turn. Using a glue gun allows for easy removal from the tins, or you can glue the pipe cleaner to a magnet, allowing you to re-use it to hang a different ornament.

The treetop's tin is a diamond-shaped one with small round tin inserted with a magnet between them, and a button glued inside the round tin. I used a metal lanyard clip with a magnet to fasten the diamond tin to the tree top.

This tree has a trunk wrapped with brown florist tape, and shows all the bumps created from attaching the branches, so I covered it with Spanish moss. I wanted something neutral, but not green, and wanted the silver on the tree 
to be the focal point.

I love so many styles that you just can't box me into one. Designing a variety of small, tabletop trees is the perfect answer to fulfill all of my decorating tastes, and for minimal cost, since you don't have nearly as much space to fill on a tiny tree. Since I had most of the components already, save for the tree and ballchain, this was quick and very inexpensive. Now that's my kind of decorating.......:)

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Linking To:
Saturday Nite Special, a link party via Funky Junk Interiors

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Nostalgic Dictionary Page Candy Canes

Somebody stop me..........

After all the things I've adorned with my old dictionary pages, I keep finding new things to create with them. There's just an old-fashioned charm about the look of ephemera-covered objects that I really love. Using vintage elements to create tree ornaments is at the top of my creativity list. I certainly don't have the vintage inventory that Laurie of Magpie Ethel has, but that doesn't stop me.

So, without further ado, here are my two latest creations.......

I really like the shape of old-fashioned candy canes.
They are more rounded at the top, unlike current
ones that have more of a U-shape.

Many many moons ago, when I was wishing
I had a metal-working shop to create my own
iron scroll pieces, I crafted a poor man's 
version, using tie wire and poly tubing, 
available at any home improvement store..
Tie wire is thick and strong, but very malleable. 
After cutting the desired length of tubing,
I inserted wire the same length, then formed 
them into the desired shape.

So it seemed like an easy undertaking to create
my own candy cane shape using the same method.

After cutting many many many 1/4" strips of dictionary pages,
I wound one strip at a time with glue, overlapping the edges.
I wrapped a second layer over the first, to make the
shapes more sturdy and stationary, since the aged paper
becomes quite brittle with glue and can easily crack if bent.
A few coats of glue later, to protect and harden,
they were ready to embellish.

I went with shabby elegance on this style.
Crocheted lace, tea-stained cheesecloth, creme & silver
cording, and a tiny pine cone with silver German glass glitter.

In true Old-fashioned Christmas form,
I couldn't resist using lacquered holly.
My inspiration came from my collection of
antique Christmas postcards, with almost
all of them featuring holly and bells.
A little piece of red ticking, a small silver bell,
and tied off with the most wonderful baker's twine
in kraft & black. Just for fun, I cut a number
in a circle shape, from leftover scraps of 
Bingo cards I used for my previous star ornaments.
I love the numeral style, and I just couldn't throw the
scraps away, hoping someday I could use them for 
something. So glad I saved them now.
I'm really happy with the results, and now
I think I need to make some more!
I will inevitably still be creating things for at least
another week, since Christmas isn't Christmas
unless I'm crafting things......:)

Join me on Instagram

Linking To:
Saturday Nite Special, a link party via Funky Junk Interiors

shabby creek cottage
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