Friday, December 24, 2010

What I was doing when I should have been at the grocery store shopping for Christmas dinner

Here we go again. 

Seems like it was just yesterday when I was dragging my feet about grocery shopping for Thanksgiving dinner.

In my defense, my Christmas dinner shopping was delayed because on the way to the grocery store I drive right by not one but two thrift stores.  And they already have their Christmas items marked 50% off.

Do you think anyone will notice?

A very Merry Christmas to all of you!!  
xo -amy

Monday, December 20, 2010

(snow) Men I've Known and Loved

I don't know if it's all those years spent living in places where it doesn't snow or maybe it's the no-shoveling-required with these but snow and snowmen seem to be the theme of my growing collection of vintage Christmas decorations made by some very talented vintage Christmas crafters.

I love every little thing about this winter scene, right down to that tiny mushroom. Created by Barbara over at Oodles and oodles who is busy today hosting The Academy of Vintage Christmas Ornament Arts and Sciences Awards ceremony. Be sure to stop by and see which vintage ornaments were this year's big winners. 

This happy little guy came home with me last year -- you may recognize him as one of Magpie Ethel's  very charming creations.

The multi-talented Suzy of GeorgiaPeachez created this kitschy-adorable Christmas scene. In addition to sewing and making jewelry, Suzy may be best-known during the holidays for her glorious vintage ornament wreaths.

I don't know who made these little vintage snowmen but they were perched on the edge of a shelf at Goodwill and before I could stop them (as if), they had flung themselves into my shopping basket.

 And even though I don't own a glue gun, I was inspired by these vintage crafters to make a little snowman of my own using a couple of the many, many vintage ornaments rolling around here. I built him a tiny cardboard hat and tied on a scarf made from vintage velvet ribbon, adding painted eyes and a vintage glass bead nose.

Hope all of your holiday plans are coming along. Pretty snow is falling here today. Yay!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

a vintage Christmas giveaway *winner*

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who joined in for the vintage Christmas giveaway -- so nice to meet some new faces and say hello to some old friends. And thanks for all of your kind words on the post about my ornament-screen-Christmas-tree thing! Wishing you much joy and happiness this holiday season!

In selecting a winner for the vintage Christmas giveaway, I resorted to Ye Olde Random Number Generator because I was far too preoccupied with holiday frivolity which included arranging vintage Christmas ornaments into numbers.

Comment #45, come on down -- congrats to Heidi Ann of gold country girls!

Happy Vintage Holidays to everyone :-)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's just like a Christmas tree but without all those annoying pine needles

Several months ago I came across this vintage Christmas ornament + screen door photo on Linda's blog, My Vintage Soul, taken while on her junking / pie-eating adventure in Syracuse, New York.

And it gave me an idea...

Remember these? I know I do because they've been hanging out in my dining room for quite some time now.

I combined them with an old window screen I had stored in The Garage Where Cars Can't park to make this:

I taped some string to the frame of the screen to act as a guide for the shape of the tree and then just poked the wire ornament hangers through the screen. 

 I didn't have enough ornament hangers so I ended up using pieces of pliable wire and that seemed to work much better -- the wire made it easier to adjust the height of a hanging ornament without having to take it out and poke it back in twenty times in an effort to position it where it needed to be. The ornaments seemed less likely to to fall out too because I scrunched the wire on the back of the screen.

I didn't take a photo of the scrunching.


In other vintage Christmas news, I hope you'll enter my vintage Christmas giveaway over here.

Thank you, Linda, for the use of your photo.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

a vintage Christmas giveaway

Merry Vintage Christmas!
As my way of saying thank you for not dozing off during and therefore enabling my year round vintage Christmas ramblings, I've put together a little vintage Christmas giveaway.

(And just for fun, let's keep score for how many times I say 'vintage Christmas' in this post.)

This giveaway includes vintage Christmas things I've found while out roaming the Oregon countryside, vintage Christmas things I've made in the Doily Factory and ... some sweet vintage Christmas goodies from one of my favorite vintage crafters, Magpie Ethel*!

Now onto the giveaway...

A collection of vintage Christmas decorations including that tall glittered Thanksgiving reindeer and his snazzy cousin (a Magpie Ethel creation) who's sporting a stylish over-the-head wreath with coordinating green-glitter antlers and standing near one of Magpie Ethel's hand-dyed bottle brush trees in aqua. 
There's also a sweet vintage Gurley Christmas tree candle and two tiny bottle brush trees on vintage wooden spools wearing red plaid scarves -- made by me in the Doily Factory.

Maybe you can use a few last minute stocking stuffers so there's a pretty vintage poinsettia hankie along with a trio of pocket-sized tissue holders and two pairs of lavender sachets I've made from a vintage embroidered runner and vintage Christmas fabric.

To help get all that gift-wrapping done there's vintage Christmas wrapping paper and little gummed vintage Christmas labels along with a handy instruction booklet for 'beautiful gift packages' from Dennison, circa 1949...

 And these charming gift tag badges from Magpie Ethel.

So the kitchen won't feel neglected, here are a couple of vintage Christmas tablecloth towels to help with the dishes, also from my Doily Factory.

And finally, a little something for around the house.

This holiday pillow handmade by me using a bit of my very favorite vintage Christmas tablecloth of all time.

If you'd like to be entered to win this giveaway, just leave a comment by midnight PST, Sunday, December 12th. I'll draw a winner on Monday morning. This giveaway is open to anyone, anywhere and please make sure there's a way I can contact you via email if you win. :-) 

Thanks again for coming by -- you're the best! Happy Holidays!

*If you haven't met Laurie/Magpie Ethel yet, you can check out her fabulous blog to learn more about what she makes and collects (all of it is *amazing*) or browse through her etsy shop to see her charming & whimsical creations. And if you're in the Portland, OR area this weekend, you can see her and her vintage crafts in person at Crafty Wonderland! (if it isn't snowing, I'll be there shopping!)

Vintage Christmas score: 14? Do I count the time I used it in this sentence? :-)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Earl paints a collie

This painting was an estate sale purchase that I planned to resell but my inner voice (one of them) kept telling me to wait. I hung the painting in the corner of a room where I could walk past it often while I mulled it over. 

The house where I purchased this was long and narrow and built into a hill so the basement felt as though it went on for miles -- back and back and back until it ended in a man cave filled with lots of table saws & wood, tools and the usual jars of nails and screws. In one corner there was a stack of old picture frames and the very old supplies of someone who was a painter.

Which is where this painting comes in. Covered in dust and signed & dated 'Earl Martin 1945.' 

I can't get the picture out of my head of Earl Martin at home, in the basement, maybe listening to the radio for news about WWII and loving his dog so much he painted this portrait.  And then knowing that painting sat in Earl's man cave for 65 years...

I guess I can tell the inner voice to shush. I'm keeping it.

Who's a good boy?!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What I was doing when I should have been at the grocery store shopping for Thanksgiving dinner

While taking some etsy photos in order to further delay my trip to the grocery store on the day before Thanksgiving, I realized this poor soul was just too rough around the edges to be sold in my etsy shop. 
I mentally reviewed the description I would have to write which would say something like 'dirty, stained, blotchy and missing one eye' and realized whoever is searching the internet for that is probably looking for something else altogether. 

  I selflessly set aside my yam shopping and rolled up my sleeves for an emergency makeover. 

Glue bath. Hold still. Close good eye.

Bedhead with glitter.
Waiting area for glittered parts to dry so un-glittered parts can be glittered. Attempts to disguise unattractive aluminum pie pan with vintage ornament camouflage not effective. 

Admires setting sun and snow-covered hills while contemplating upcoming post about a very vintage Christmas giveaway. 
But first, this.

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Pita* Factor

Do you buy or sell on  I do both, especially at this time of year. In fact, I just bought some vegan lip tint from an etsy seller. My first handmade cosmetics purchase.

Not a vegan, btw.

For selling, I have two separate shops, one for things I make and one for things I find

When I'm out thrifting and yard sale-ing for vintage items to resell online, one of my biggest considerations is "What's the pita* factor for shipping this thing?"

I tend to choose things that aren't too bulky, too breakable or too heavy for me to ship although one recent exception was this metal vintage Christmas tree stand. Iron or steel? Don't know. I do know it's really heavy and sturdy and practically indestructible.

I love its industrial / forgotten-in-a-barn look and its rusty patina -- it weighs 27 pounds which doesn't sound like all that much until the day comes when it sells and I have to lift it onto the post office counter to ship it. Assuming I can get it out of the car first.

I've also done a bit of vintage Christmas sewing recently ... here's a peek.

 { click to enlarge }

These pillows and stocking sachets were just listed in my things-I-make etsy shop, VintageHome

And I'd like to send a big thank you to everyone who's been so kind to email and ask about my vintage Christmas items, sewn and otherwise. 

Hope everyone's holiday planning is going smoothly! 

{ *pita = pain in the a**  }

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Blue Christmas

So far we have established that of the many types of vintage in the land, vintage Christmas is one of my absolute favorites. Depending on the time of year, it almost always occupies the #1 or #2 spot on the list, switching back and forth with vintage fabric.

I become especially weak in the knees around vintage ornaments which is how this group came home with me. They were really filthy after spending an eternity in someone's barn but they washed up quite nicely. 

And upon further inspection, I wondered if they might be hand-blown because they're very irregular in shape. Some are almost lopsided. And their tiny, tiny metal caps say JAPAN in even tinier letters. Pre-WWII, possibly?

See how oddly shaped the one on the left is compared to the Shiny Brite on the right?

BTW -- I do not recommend washing your Shiny Brites.


When I'm not busy washing/ruining vintage Christmas ornaments, I'm adding vintage Christmas loot to my etsy shop, PeppermintBark.

{ click to enlarge }

And there's lots more to come. Hope you're having a wonderful day -- *beautiful* blue skies here today!