Christmas Nostalgia...Vintage Vernacular Christmas Photos from Flickr

You can click and click again for a closer look at some of these sweet images...

I wish you all a very Blessed Christmas!!!

Chalk Blocks on the Mantle

Look!  There was sun streaming in the window the day I took this photo.  It's so dreary here today.   This mantle has been home to ceramic Old World Santas for every year at Christmas since we moved in.  Finally, changed it up this year!  (Some of the santas can be seen in the top high shelves on the left.)
Click on the photos for a better look.  We have a ceramic dickens village nestled in the shelves on the right.  Even though painted ceramics are waaaayyy out of vogue...I still love all the pieces we painted back in the eighties/early nineties! The little nativity on the sofa table is for the little gals to play with.  What better way to learn the story?

The white deer and tree were purchased quite a few years ago.  Then last year I made a bunch of wood chalk blocks.  They are fun to add anywhere for any season. 

I made the roses from scraps of vintage linens and burlap.  My 19 y/o daughter drew the pictures and letters for me and the blocks are scattered around the house.  I love the chalk blocks!  They are so versatile.  We stacked, stacked, and restacked them trying to make the shape of a tree, but because I cut them all slightly different sizes (by design)  each tree tower wanted to tumble.....may need to make more but all the same size this time....someday!

Have a great day!


Well the countdown is on.  I'm afraid we lost about 5 days to illness and extreme worry here.  But, that acceptance thing.  Well, I was feeling everything BUT acceptance on Friday.  Now, the cloud has passed and well, it is what it is, and I would say my heart is indeed ready for the Christ child. 

On to cheerier things!!

I bought this plain chipboard advent calendar at Hobby Lobby (half price!) , painted it, added vintage text squares, numbers...

...and candy!

I painted both sides of the drawers, but only put numbers on one side.

The drawers come out and can be turned around.  That is how the little girls are counting the days down.  They pull out the drawer and turn it around each day.  And, there is enough room in each box to hold six pieces of candy.  The college girls can get theirs when they come home! 
This was a fun project and you could decorate the box in so many ways. 
How's your countdown going?!

The Junk Tree

My Junk Tree sits in our foyer.  It will soon be filled with all the presents that we take elsewhere...all the Grandparents' homes for the family gatherings.  We have another tree that we place all our immediate family gifts under.

I've added a few ornaments that I haven't blogged about yet.  These sweet little birds are made from vintage salt bags, feed bags, burlap, and vintage fabrics.

The pattern instructions were to sew them right sides together and turn, but I decided I liked having the seams show so, went that route.  The fact that sewing them this way made them 10 times faster to make had nothing to do with it.!

I put a string in this guys beak as if he's making a nest. The birds are just nestled in without hooks or ties, so after Christmas I can easily place them where ever I want.  I  think a bare branch tree will be kind of neat.  I have about 6 or so and might make a few more.

I made a some little pillow ornaments out of one feed sack that I was particularly fond of the texture.  I just pinned in or glued some rhinestone jewelry that was old, tarnished, and missing stones.  Doesn't matter here!

I  roughly whipped stitched around them with a huge needle and string.

The variety of shapes and textures works.

This was so fun doing this this year!  Thanks to those who linked up!  Be sure to check out their projects!
The best part for me was having the focus for the year.  And, now having so many completed ornaments was just a real treat when it came to decorating.

I'm thinking I need another year long project.  Just not quite sure what it will be.  How about you?  Any big (or small) projects on the horizon for the new year?

I wrapped the lights only around the center pole of the tree.  Since it was trimmed and bare, I didn't want strands of lights showing or in the way.

Up next will be a pretty simple mantle and an another advent calendar.
I hope you are having a blessed Advent!

Reflection: Acceptance

Over at the Inspiration Studio, the theme is reflections this week.  They are spending a bit of time thinking about the past year. When I read her post asking people to submit photos to the flickr pool with the theme reflecting, I knew what photos would be a good representation of our year right away. But, they are straight out of the camera with no editing so I decided to post them here instead.  You see the fact that they are just as is, is a main reason why they are representative of our life.

Our youngest daughters sleep in our room.  You can read why here.  First we had two cribs then progressed to a full size mattress on the floor. Currently, this is the sweetest spot in the house.  I usually read to them, but sometimes Randy does.  Last month, I thought "I need to get a picture of this." And, I did.

He kept reading, not sure if they were completely asleep yet.  Straight out of the tub, hair only slightly combed.  Mismatched pjs, pillows without cases, a quilt that I made in high school.  No little girl room decor. In the corner that you don't see is a shelf of books and a pile of toys.  p.i.l.e. It's always a mess.

So, then last Tuesday (after Audrey had another seizure, she's OK now.  It had be 2 1/2 years since she had one and we thought she had outgrown them too.  She will eventually.) I called my son to come that night and take my picture with them in this special spot.

So, why do I think these photos reflect our year, our past four years?

It's not that they are perfect in their imperfectness, like my junk, antiques, and rusty pieces.  No, not at all.  It's because they show life as it is. Now.

It is what it is.   We might want things to be different.  But they aren't. These are living in the moment photos. Photos of peace and joy in acceptance.

It doesn't mean I can't keep altering photos,dressing up junk trees, and praying for healing for my little gals. Heck no! Not at all.

But, at the end of the day, I need to accept the day. What was accomplished, what wasn't, what happened, what didn't, and pray

that today was enough. 

I am not completely there.  At all.  But, this past year has been part of the journey.

Later this week will be a posting of the finished junk tree...maybe!!

Junkle Bells November December...Life Happens!

 Well.  Went to take some pictures for my post.  Needed a tripod. Not enough light. Battery for camera died.  CanNOT find extra battery or batter charger.  Believe they are together hiding from me. So...I accept what I have and wait until I find my charger.  Patiently wait.

On with the project!! (no more whining!)

I saw a tinsel wreath project here at Creature Comforts and thought, "hmm...kind of neat..." but I don't have tinsel and really don't like that kind of tinsel.  When we got out our boxes of decorations what did I find?!?! Three packages of tinsel I bought last year after Christmas on clearance for 25 cents each.  Guess I did like this kind of tinsel last January!

I've been buying every embroidery hoop that I find at auctions, garage sales, & thrift stores for a couple of years because I see potential.  Even bought some with lovely vintage fabric already framed in them and ready to hang from Leah.  She had awesome fabric in them!

The best part though was after I wound the wreaths and hung them, they looked too modern and then I found a pile of vintage jewelry a friend had given me.  Not the really old kind I usually craft with, but like 50s to 60s style.  I just wrapped the chunky gold pieces around the top of the wreaths and let them dangle down the center.  Now, they look mid century modern and I love them!

 The grouping of three all different sized hoops works really well on this odd shaped wall we have just off our foyer leading up the stairs.

My Junkle Bells tree sits just to the left of the picture in the foyer.  But, no more pictures until I find that battery!

If you have a junk Christmas Project please link up below and share!

...two more...

I just wanted to show you two more spool Christmas trees that I made and sold at the show on Saturday.  It's kind of hard to see in the picture, but the bottom spool (the trunk) has black thread on it.

I'm rather fond of Christmas in plaid.  

I must say I'm surprised at how many spools are different heights.  I have a lot of spools, like seriously a couple boxes of them and I had to sort and sort to find enough of the same height for each tree.  For each of these I tore fabric strips and glued them on the spools.  The one peeking out from behind was done with each spool a different pattern of red.  Why not green?  I don't know.  I just saw my red scraps and really wanted it to be red.  So, red it was.

I hope you all are having a great week and enjoying the preparation for the upcoming Holidays!

Don't Miss This One!

This is going to be one big, fabulous, fun, exciting to see what else she adds GIVEAWAY!
Go to here to enter!

Here is the link to her whole blog so you can see what else she is adding.

Don't get lost perusing all of her beautiful images.  She comes across some wonderful treasures!

Vintage Christmas Light Garland

There were some strands of very old lights in a box of Christmas decor I bought at an auction.  The brittle cord kind of old, not the 'cool I'll keep these neat lights' kind of old.  I tossed the cords but kept the light bulbs.

There had to be a project in them.  Well, garland with torn strips of vintage fabric is what I came up with!

For lack of a great place to photograph them, I "strung" them up on a wall to show you.

I think they'd be great on a door or across a window, on a mantle,.....

or strung on the most awesome vintage tin tub that is sitting in your basement bedroom because you don't know where to put it yet!

I'll be bringing these light garlands to the show in Seward on Saturday.  I'm looking forward to meeting new people there and meeting up with my Seward friends Leah and Rachel!

My First Mosaic A La Kim

I've been a busy gal down in my sewing room getting ready for a craft/art show in Seward on November 20.

  As I was sorting through some of my old wood spools I realized I had enough green ones to make a Christmas Tree.  I was quite smitten with the little spool tree so thought I'd take some pictures to show you all.  

Then I thought....perfect subject to try another mosaic with using Kim's video tutorial over at the Test Kitchen.  I had to go back and forth a few times from the video to my project, but got it! Her instructions are very clear and concise.

I'll share more projects as I get a chance to photograph them.  If you are from the area...look me up in Seward on the 20th!

Veteran's Day

...thank you, to those who serve or have served.

Click here to see a beautiful and creative Veteran's Day Post.

Wordless Wednesday

As Winter Approaches

I thought I'd show you a few additions to my tank garden.  I'm slowly working on it, but sadly need to wait for spring for plants for it all to come together.  I thought this tractor sprinkler was perfect for this space!

 This is kind of a different wash tub than what I usally see so was pretty excited when I picked it up at an auction a while back.

 This porch swing was picked up at a garage sale.  I took the chains off it and sat it on cinder blocks to make a bench in front of one of the tanks.  I'll do something to camouflage the blocks this spring.  I'm thinking paint and plants.

 Back when I was making teacup bird feeders I made quite a few plate flowers too, and finally have a place to put them.  I think I'll like the contrast of the plants with the glass.

More plate flowers

These are more like cup and saucer daffodils.  I love the pattern and color!

My sister gave me a kit to make stones with words many years ago....I finally made one!  Right away I went and bought more concrete to make more.  Now, just have to decide what words I'd like.  Any suggestions?!

A big wagon wheel makes a perfect trellis.  Now, get out a paper and pen and right this down. Hyacinth Bean Plant.  Now, look for it and plant it this spring.  I sound bossy don't I?! LOL, just making a point! REALLY, it's one of my all time favorite plants I've ever had!    I planted it from seed, and it was the only seed that wasn't washed away in the torrential rain and flooding we had the night after I planted my seeds in my new tanks. 

And one more photo that I played with using Kim Klassen's textures.  This old window came from the farm and the glass is completely covered in age.  It doesn't even wash off in the rain and honestly I don't think I'm going to wash it off.  Kinda like it covered in "age".  (That's code for dirt and grime btw.)

Those are cockscombs in the foreground.  They remind me of my grandma.  She had them hanging upside down in her basement to gather the seeds.  I do the same except in my laundry room to dry them and display them.  I have an old pill bottle that she labeled in her handwriting, "cockscomb seeds".  Kind of neat.  She was special.

Have  great week and don't forget that I need suggestions for 7 letter words or less to make more stones for my garden!

Another One...

Inspired Ideas by Amy Powers
To get your creative ball rolling for the holiday!  Click here and be sure to click the full screen button too!

You May Enjoy This

Covet Garden

This is the cover of the 3rd issue of Covet Garden's online magaizne.  How can you resist that photo?! I found this wonderful online magazine a couple of weeks ago and thought you all might enjoy it too.  If you like it, be sure to subscribe to it so you will easily know when they come out with a  new issue. 

I actually remember how I came across this magazine...

Dottie Angel
...from here.  This delightful and quirky spot in the blogworld.  I have no idea how I came to find Dottie Angel....but, I was instantly taken with her and her style.  This photo almost made me squeal.  She calls her style "Granny Chic". I actually googled "Granny Chic" because I hadn't heard of it...Yeah, well, turns out I not only live secluded on our acreage, but, a bit secluded in the online world.  The term is there.  The style is there, and I love it!  I think our "college girl" bedroom would be wonderful all decked out in "granny chic." 

Dottie Angel

My girls had finally convinced me to pull off all my doilies and now I'm loving them all over again in a new light!  I can hear my daughters groaning now...

I hope your week is shaping up nicely!

Junkle Bells in October

So, this project started out to be a tutorial on how to make a scrappy junk advent calendar.   First you pick up a cooking sheet or tray.

Then you collage over it with vintage text book papers

Next give it a coat of paint.
Here the tutorial ends, but the lessons begin.

Calendar without the dates added
*You can click and click to see the pictures closer*

Lesson 1:  Don't give up when the first paint you choose is ugly.

Don't give up when you smear the lines because you didn't let the paint dry.

You can keep painting over it.

Adding little pieces of this and that and more paint if you want.  

Lesson #2:  An advent calendar MUST have five weeks to it.  So when Dec. 1 is on Thurs. next year you still have room for Christmas on the Sunday of the next week and so on....

I do realize that this is really a 25 days of Christmas calendar and not all of Advent.

That was a tough lesson learned but I kept on as I'd put so much work into it already.

I was so enjoying putting the little scraps together and stamping dates with my old library stamp.

All my pieces were done.  Just to glue on the magnets...
when lesson #3 was blazoned on my brain.


So, how are those little calendar dates staying on you wonder?  Well, I have the strongest little magnets so I added a magnet to the back.  Unfortunately, that means that should someone pick up a piece off the board the little tiny magnet on back will fall down.  It also means that when you store your little pieces to put up on the board all that magnetizing power will be annoying.

Yes, annoying.  The pieces were to be stored stuck on the back of the calendar until each day we pulled the next one out to slip it in it's place on the front of the calendar.

So, no tutorial, as no one would want to duplicate the steps I took, but plenty of lessons.

I may just magnet (can that be used as a verb?) my pieces in place right now, and just leave them in place.  I am quite happy with how the painting and pieces turned out.  At least there is that! And, if four years there will enough room on it again.

Now, anyone want to join in on the fun?! I'd love to see your junk Christmas project!  Link up below!!  I'll leave it open for a week so you have time to join up.

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