My Vintage Family

Friday Crafternoon: A little inspiration for your weekend!

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I love all kinds of paper crafting, but I just never have gotten into the scrapbook world. For one thing, I don’t take a lot of pictures of people. I wasn’t sure what the subject of my scrapbooking could be since I am lacking in that key element.

It wasn’t until recently that I began to put some pieces together in my mind. As I have talked about before, I love searching for interesting vintage photos to use in cards and shadowboxes. Old photos just seem to inspire me more than anything I take myself.

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I suddenly remembered two large boxes of old photo albums that my father and I had acquired years ago, after helping my Grandmother clean house before she moved. How could I have forgotten about those? Here I was, sitting on a goldmine of fabulous old photos, of people I was actually related to! Sometimes an idea is so obvious that you just miss it. So I picked them up from my parents house and began the task of sorting through and making copies.

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I am just in the beginning stages, but I really love it! And I feel a sense of accomplishment that I am preserving history and resurrecting these previously forgotten family moments. Even though my Grandmother went through these albums with us a bit before she gave them to us, I have already forgotten the the context for the many unlabeled photos. The feeling of responsibility to document all of these things for fear of loosing the information forever had loomed over me and seemed daunting. I am excited to have found a way tackle the project one step at a time and put my own creative spin on it. Now I weave my own handiwork into the tapestry of my family history, where the present meets the past and takes the form of something that I can pass on to future generations.

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I do plan to try to be better about taking my own photos to use, and I’m certainly not abandoning my fascination with old photos of strangers! This is just a way for me to branch out, putting my own spin on things as I go. It is so important to find your own style and forge a path for yourself. Don’t worry about making work that fits the mold of what “everybody else is doing” because that isn’t creativity. Our differences are what makes it unique! If you’re hesitant to try something because it isn’t your style, then I encourage you to find a way to make it your own. You just might like the results!

Are you a scrapbooker? What photos inspire you to create? I’d love to hear from you!

My 2016 Christmas Cards

Christmas has come and gone, but I thought it would be fun to stretch it out a little bit more with this behind the scenes look at how I put together my Christmas cards this year. It was a lot of fun and I was very pleased with how they came out.

I started out by making the ornaments. This was the most time consuming part of the process, but since I wanted this to be the main feature, it was worth the effort. Using a design that I had adapted from my favorite vintage ornament box, I printed a full sheet of the ornaments, with Silhouette crop marks, at a copy center using toner based ink. Then I used the print and cut feature on my silhouette cameo to read the crop marks and die cut my ornaments.

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After they were cut, I used my Minc machine to add gorgeous red foil to the design. You can check out a little video of them over on my Instagram. Then I just added a simple twine bow, and they were ready to go! Next I cut the background pieces, some woodgrain, and some green, as well as the pine branches.

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Then, it was time to heat emboss my sentiment on the back of the card with a cute stamp from a Cavallini Christmas set. I made sure to treat the surface with my powder tool first to cut down on unwanted powder sticking, then stamped with my Versamark watermark ink pad, before adding red embossing powder. I usually repeat these steps until I have several cards ready, then heat them in batches.

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To add some dimension to the card base, I backed my green and woodgrain shapes with craft foam and adhered with a tape runner.

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Finally I could assemble the parts and add some embellishments. I attached the ornament with a foam square for even more dimension, and tucked my paper branches around it with a few dabs from a glue stick.

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I added the sequins with tacky glue, to give it a little extra sparkle.

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And there you have it! Thanks for stopping by. I hope to share more behind the scenes looks with you in the coming year, so stay tuned!

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Mini Makeovers, with Plants!

I am not extremely gifted in the agriculture department, but I wanted to give it a go with some fun plants in the living room. They really do complete the look, and of course improving the air quality is a bonus! A couple months ago I was looking for something to hold a sansevieria (“snake plant”) and of course I wanted a mid century feel. I came across this beautiful project on Pinterest using an Ikea pot and some spray paint:

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My birthday had just passed and I had received a Visa gift card, so once again I was able to complete a fun little project without dipping much into my own pocket. The Pinterest link only led me to this photo and the name of the Ikea pot, CASHEWNÖT. The top and bottom of the pot separate, and you can style it two ways simply by turning the bottom part over. Since the bottom pan is not very big, one of the miniature sized spray paint cans was more than enough to cover the piece. And voilàA fabulous planter!

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When I purchased my super cool metal cart, I also picked up a mid century plastic plant pot for a mere 50¢. The burnt orange color was not bad, just not a color used in my current decorating palette. (Please don’t hate me for painting it!) I thought the geometric design was stunning, and would pop even more in white. Now that it is finished, it reminds me of the Disneyland building that houses It’s A Small World.

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I already had paint left over from another project, so the most expensive part ended up being the plant, which was only about $7.

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These were both small and simple projects, but they enhance the overall look of the room tremendously. Now I just have to try my best to keep them healthy!

A Vintage Makeover

If you are a regular blog reader or pinterest enthusiast, I am sure you have seen this all over the place:

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The Ikea RÅSKOG cart! Beautiful, isn’t it? Industrial look, great color, functional, easy to move, and even better, the price has gone down quite a bit since it first debuted. It currently retails for $49.99, making it a pretty affordable piece. Even still, I am a bargain hunter, vintage lover, and I can’t resist a project so when I saw a chance to make my own alternative I took it!

Last week I found a beautiful plant stand at an estate sale. I usually do not go to estate sales on the first day. I like to scoop up the half price leftovers and get the best deal. I took a chance on this one since it was on my way home from work, and their ad said they were open to “reasonable offers” on any day as they were motivated to sell. So glad I went! They really didn’t have any of the kitschy/crafty little junk I usually scavenge for, but they did have this gem:

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I just couldn’t believe that no one had snatched it up yet! It had such character and potential. They had it priced at $35, but I only paid $30. Not a big difference, but I wanted to shave a little bit more off since I knew I was going to need to buy some paint. Luckily, the top tray is detachable, which made the painting process much easier. The feet were also easy to remove, so I did not have to tape off anything. Each foot has a rollerball, so that the piece can glide. I cleaned and oiled them, so they do move, just not very smoothly.

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The big paint lesson I learned here was that I should have bought a cheaper can of white primer to start, then moved on to the color. Though the can did boast being paint and primer in one, I was going from black to light blue and a primer coat may have really helped save time and money. Always learning! The paint was very fast drying, which is ideal for outdoor painting since little critters can’t seem to stay away. This caterpillar was so happily nestled in, I felt bad moving him away!

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I ended up spending just under $11 for three cans of Krylon “Blue Ocean Breeze” paint. I could have used more for sure, as I skipped painting the underside of the shelves in an effort to save paint. So, my grand total for the project was about $41. When compared to the Ikea cart, my vintage piece is less expensive, more interesting and unique, and an overall better fit for my space.

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It is the perfect size to go in front of the window, which is something I had been hoping to find. The top comes in at sill-level,  and the height of the legs allow for the air flow from the vent. I always need more storage in my studio. I am still working on arranging items on the shelf, but I have plenty of things to choose from!

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I am just so happy with how this project came together!

Bottle Brush Trees

How did I celebrate Halloween? By doing Christmas crafts of course! I was bleaching and dying trees all day.

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I used new and vintage ones. The vintage ones definitely worked better, but I have not been finding many of them lately so I had to make a craft store run.

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And now I have a colorful forest!

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The crafting continues!

Christmas Crafting!

I have been kicking it into full gear to get ready for the holidays!

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You can look forward to all kinds of new items in the shop, including supplies and vintage items! I have made good use of the vintage candle clips I bought at an estate sale.
Wish I would have scooped up more! All of these beauties will be hitting my shop very soon.

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My press is getting festive too!

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I have been meaning to make these for a long time. I love how they are turning out!

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So far, I have not listed many of my more elaborate pieces like these in the shop because they are so delicate and I fear they will be destroyed in the mail.
I have many dioramas and terrariums that only come out for in person sales, which I do not do very often. They do make good gifts though!

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I have to give  shout out to Meyer Imports for being such a great source for many of my supplies. They are such a nice business! They really treat their customers like old friends, and I love that about them. A lot of their products are new old stock, which is pretty cool. I like to keep things vintage when possible. The majority of my supplies, come from thrift stores and estate sales. I love the hunt!

My Office/Studio

And now the moment you have all been waiting for. A detailed look at my favorite room in the house –

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My Studio!

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You may feel a cuteness overload. I assure you, that is normal. There is a lot to take in, and you could walk in here every day and still see something new, which I love. I like to surround myself with interesting objects to draw inspiration from. Here you will fin work from some of my favorite artists such as The Black Apple, One Canoe Two, Liz Born, and Starshaped Press. This is also the nucleus of my alice collection. All those books on top of my hutch are copies of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Through the looking Glass, or some other Alice related book; there are 50+ in my collection. I enjoy seeing all  different artists interpretation of the characters, or fancy cover art, which is why I have so many.

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Some of you will recognize the garland from my wedding. My mother made that for me. Too cute!

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I painted the back of the door red for an added pop of color amongst all the gray and white. You can see that we continued the laminate flooring of the living room and hallway into this room as well. Carpet would not have been very functional in here.

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The closet had no doors when we bought it, but there were metal tracks from a previous bifold door. I thought that replacing it would be a hassle, and not very convenient with the other door right there, so I went with a fabric curtain.

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Many of my crafty friends rave about the table when they realize it has a built in light box. It is extremely convenient, especially paired with the legs that enable it to become a drafting table. I used the drafting function a lot when I was in school, but this space is a little tight and I had to scoot the legs in closer, so they are not fastened to the top anymore.

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I searched long and hard for the perfect mid century hutch to paint and put in my studio. I really liked the idea of being able to see my tiny treasures and supplies, but protect them from the inevitable dust layer of open shelving. I especially like the basket weave  panels at the bottom.

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I strategically placed the white rabbit portrait across from my studio so I can look out at him.

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The springer spaniel portrait still cracks me up. The colors and pose remind me of old illustrations of Jesus. Somber and regal, staring toward the heavens with long flowing dark hair. When I saw it at Viking Thrift, I knew I had to have it.

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Whew! That is a lot to take in, huh? Thanks for stopping by! Next time, I will take you to the kitchen, my second favorite spot.