Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Merry!

Whatever your Christmas looks like...

May it bring you Peace

Warmth, and Kindness.....

Merry Merry


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Whimsical Dutch-Inspired Christmas Centerpiece

I have a dear friend in The Netherlands
and it has influenced my Junker's eye the past few years.
I now seem to have a radar for windmills and wooden shoes.
I try very hard to not get carried away and impulsive
with my purchases, since there is a plethora
of Dutch souvenirs in the thrift store.

I recently acquired 2 pairs of clogs at the auction,
but didn't have immediate plans for them.
The smaller ones got a bad paint job,
which displayed a poor attempt to improve the 
existing Dutch scenery. Since sanding wasn't helping,
I decided to work some chalk paint magic + distressing instead.
But I didn't stop there.

Ta Da!

I was originally thinking of fitting a small
windmill next to the tree, but then I had an epiphany!
Why not make the tree the windmill?
And really, any excuse to use more mercury beads 
is a win as far as I'm concerned!
The beads are threaded onto thin pipe cleaners,
which I wired together 
then tucked into the treetop with hot glue.

Lots of fun crafty items in this piece.
A little classic, a little kitsch,
and lots of German glass glitter.
The mini Dutch people were from a package
of NOS mini European people from Meyer Imports.
Apparently they were used for snow globes.
I knew they had to join this ensemble.

I secured everything well enough to sell,
but I think I've grown a bit attached to it.
Maybe I'll have to just make more then...:-)

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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Antique Tin Christmas Centerpiece + Kitschy Reflector Flowers

I know a great many of us are addicted to old tins.
Whenever I can creatively decorate with one, it's a treat.

When I bought this tin, I pictured it with a bottle brush tree in it. 
Well I couldn't just leave it at that. 

Playing with vintage elements is so much fun, and so rewarding to give new life to old treasures. Probably my favorite part is the flower that basically created itself.

Can mercury glass balls, antique metalized tinsel garland,
lacquered holly, and old light reflectors ever be a bad thing?
I think not!

Just for fun, I accentuated some corroded spots
with bronze mica, for a little extra zing...

This Christmas flower is so simple, but with so much instant impact! 
It's the teensiest of tart tins, with a pipecleaner stem of green mercury beads 
hot-glued to it, then backed with the inner layer of a double light reflector. 
Wish I had a bunch more of these tiny tins!

Oh look, more flowers are growing...;-) 
Metallic flowers growing in metal grass on a metal dirt mound. 
Looks like something from the Jetsons....

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Putzing Around.....Creating Light-ready Putz Houses

My first 2015 Christmas Putz Houses....

So many little pieces of silver Dresden
to form windows! 
The dimensional flat-back trees are New Old stock 
from Meyer Imports. 

After perusing all the old humble Putz house designs,
one of my favorite details were the sweet spotted rooftops
meant to resemble snow. Let me tell you, purposely painting
imperfect spots took some control from a
perfectionist painter like me.

I do love my silverleaf and German glass glitter,
and used copious amounts of each on this little gem.
I also used silver Dresden and mini tinsel trim.

Now for the lighted part.
Since this is my first year to create 
light-ready Putz houses, some additional
work was required. You have to make the
interior look presentable (as in no unpainted surfaces), and cut holes
for the windows, as well as one for inserting a light.

I used transparency film for the windows,
and coated them with Mod Podge & Varnish,
then tinting them with yellow alcohol ink,
so they glow warm when the light is on inside.

Just for fun, I created a lead glass look
on these windows to add to the whimsical
storybook quality of this house.
Same ingredients as the other windows,
but drew lines first with a fine Sharpie.

The hole on this is to accommodate a battery tealight,

and on this storybook one for a tiny light.

For the red house, I created the same design
as my Halloween house...
A sliding hatch to cover the hole.
Being roomy enough for a battery tealight,
yet shallow from front to back, the hole would
be too visible without a cover.

These houses are now available in my Etsy shop,
and more are being created!

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Halloween Skeleton Hands Charger Plate

What's a Halloween dinner without
Skeleton hands?

After seeing door wreaths made with
Skeleton hands, it seemed like a
no-brainer to lay them down
as a charger plate.
I found these great flat hands at Michael's.

I cut a circle of Foamcore,
and cut out little sections of the top paper layer 
and foam just large enough for the 
hand's end piece. I just used hot-glue
to secure them to the Foamcore,
but that is only good for temporary use.
You need a strong white glue or something 
like E-6000 to hold them more permanent.

Once dry, I flipped it over carefully 
and painted the circle with black
chalkboard paint. You see why I 
cut the top paper layer only?

I then hot-glued natural tinted reindeer moss
for 2 reasons: 1) To cover the circle edges, 
and B) To give the dinner plate something to
rest in. The reindeer moss has a unique feature
of being spongy and rubbery, creating a bit
of a non-slip surface for the dish.

A clear dish is ideal,
allowing a full view of the hands,
and also any chalk writing
you choose. I saw a chalkboard charger 
example on Pinterest that said
"You have just been poisoned"...

A perfect place setting with the
placecard holder I made last week.

This could also work great under an
appetizer dish!

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Monday, October 19, 2015

Halloween Skull & Skeleton Hand Place Card Holders

I'm picturing Vincent
dining at twilight 
for an intimate gathering
with his closest friends.....

Oh the things you can do
with craft store props
and a glue gun.

A plastic skeleton hand, plastic skull, grey moss,
battery tealight, and styrofoam.

Small styrofoam disc painted black.
Hot-glue moss around disc,
and hand into top back of disc.

After hot-gluing moss around the battery tealight
last week for my Putz house,
I started thinking about other uses.
Again I painted the tealight black
before gluing the moss to it.

Cut a hole through the bottom of skull
large enough to fit over the plastic flame.
A little snug fit is better than loose and wobbly.

Using thin brown cardstock
for the place card,
I accented the name with red hot-glue
and used the same glue to attach
the card to the hand.
Just a touch of bloody macabre.

The moss ring around the styrofoam
gives you something to nestle your tealight into,
since you don't want to glue it down
or you couldn't switch it off.
(If you plan on running the tealight till it
goes out, then feel free to glue it to the base.)

A nice finishing touch to your All Hallows' Eve 
soiree at twilight.....

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Too Much Time On My Hands

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