"Junk"le Bells in April

So, it's spring and we all are planting and wishing for warm nice days.....but, I'm still running to my sewing room preparing for next Christmas!

This month I'm making ornaments out of book pages, vintage buttons, and vintage crepe paper.  I went off to make a wreath out of book pages; have you seen those on the web?    But, then thought I would like them better altered a bit, miniaturized, and on my tree.

I used an old hymnal.  Plain text would be fine, but I thought the music would add a nice touch for Christmas.

I used a small dowel rod to help me roll the pages a bit tight.  Secured the end with a glue stick and slid it off the dowel.  Then I  cut my little roll into three pieces (at an angle) for the petals for my ornaments.  

I glued each piece to a piece of paperboard (cut up cereal box), then added a string to hang it, and another piece of old book page to cover it all up.  I may change how I add the string.  This placement of the string makes the ornament want to tip a bit forward.  I used my sewing machine to baste along a strip of crepe paper so it was easy to gather it up to make the little rosette.

For this one, I made my little paper rolls into the shape of a tree.  I used a needle and thread to string them together and hold them tight while I added a little glue between each one. A button and vintage glitter finished it off.  

I'd love to have you join me with your Christmas "Junk"le Bells project in April by linking up with Mr. Linky below.  Again, I'll leave it open for the week to give you some time.

"Junkle" Bells All Year Round Participants

1. Prior

2. Keepin Time@kimmykats

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Paula's Garden

My friend Paula loves junk as much as I do and loves flowers as much as I do.  She, however accomplishes much more than I do!  So, I thought I'd share a couple of pictures that I took of her yard and garden last year for inspiration for this spring. Remember, you can click on pictures for a closer look.

She does a great job of incorporating her junk finds into her yard.

I use a stool like this in my storage room to access the top shelves.  My Grandma had one and they make me nostalgic. (I guess all old stuff does!)  

 I thought this shade garden was cozy under the big trees.

An out house never looked so good!  The other side is even better with a huge black eyed susan vine on it but I didn't get a picture of it.

I have the doors...just got to get it done!

Very neat.

Even better.

Can you tell why Paula inspires me?!

I sold a Victorian looking mailbox at a garage sale and another woman in town snatched it up and it sits outside her home in her garden here in town.  This rough mailbox is more my style....I wonder if Paula would miss it?!

The best part is this garden sheds that sits in the back of her yard.  All decked out.   Her husband wanted to haul it out of there!

The real amazing part is that they have only lived here I think two years now.  She did everything in a short amount of time.  That woman is focused!

And, last but not least...the pond with my little girls on the bridge.  Oh, how they wanted to play in that water and throw rocks...nuh huh...not here!  
I am looking forward to seeing it this year as she adds to it and it matures.  

Around here, we are getting some work done in our yard and garden for graduation.  Went looking for flowers yesterday and came home with 4 trees instead.  Yeah, you might say I lack focus.

Thanks Paula for letting me share your garden!

Random Items I Brought Home

A few more finds from our trip to the Mother of All Garage Sales Event and a few other stops on the way home....

Lovely, isn't it?! (For my garden!)

Not exactly sure what I'll use the old file holder for, but I sure thought it was neat.

This will go in the garden next to one of my metal chairs, probably as is.  And, after a day of gardening, I will sit down and put a glass of iced tea on this little table and relax. Or at least, think about doing that. Hopefully, this year will be the "someday" that I put a bit more of that garden in the ground!


This had some old cushions in it that headed straight to the garbage, but the rest of it is in really very good condition.  We have a few pieces of mission style furniture in our house.  One more seemed like a good idea!  Yeah, the cushion issue is an.... issue...there always seems to be room to add to the "someday" list!  Good thing I don't stress about checking things off of that list.

Prior Lives Party

Lezlee is having a blog party where she features something that she has updated/upcycled/repurposed that used to have a "prior" life.  She's asked others to join in, so here is my project.

My "new" necklace used to be a watch in it's prior life!  I saw on Etsy where someone was selling gutted vintage women's watches for supplies so I bought a couple from her.   Of course since then I've bought quite a few to empty out myself. 

I made a teeny tiny collage inside of the watch case with a tiny piece of a worn leather book cover, fiber snippet, one rhinestone, and a number from a hymn book page.
"Why number 46?" you might ask.  Yeah, well, I'm 46.  It's shaping up to be a great year and I can't fight age so am embracing it!

I used a little distressing ink to add even a little more age to the tiny pieces.  Each jump ring and the bead at the bottom came from different old jewelry pieces. So, it's a complete hodgepodge of pieces and I like that look.  Nothing really matches, but it does.

The chain is new though because I didn't have anything else that worked.  I've worn my new necklace quite a few times already and I just love it.  I have more to make, so "watch" for them in my Etsy shop!  After graduation.

You can see what other items have had "prior" lives over here at Lezlee's blog!

Can You Hear Me Now?

This past Saturday a friend of mine and I went to Lincoln to an event billed as the "Mother of All Garage Sales".  We had fun!

 These pictures are rough, but this is SOOTGS  (straight out of the garage sale)

 and into my garage, with bad lighting.

 Have you ever seen a grocery bag full of phones?

They are really all in very good condition, but d.i.r.t.y!!!!  I've cleaned up two of them and have taken them over to my booth at the antique mall.  More will eventually end up on Etsy.  After graduation.

Oh my, I think phones are great.  Right up there with suitcases, and doors, and windows, and clocks, and fabric, and buttons, and rolling pins, and cake covers, and.....you get the idea.

Funny thing: Rachel's soldered necklace contest this week has phones in the image. 

Isn't that hilarious?!  You'll have to check it out here! See if you can win a necklace!

Watch Out. I Have a Mat Cutter, and I'm Not Afraid to Use It

Quite a few months ago, I bought a mat cutter at an auction.  It was completely a buy on chance.  I didn't know if all the pieces were there, but it looked new and I took a chance.  I had to order a blade for it, but then it was ready to go.  I just finally tried it out this past week.  I feel so empowered!!! I have a huge box of mat boards that I bought at a garage sale about two years ago so I can cut and practice all I want.  I can now do things that I never would have taken the time to take to a framer to have done....or let's be honest...spent the money to do.

My daughter painted a bunch of my old frames black for a project, but then abandoned the project....so I'm on a mission to use the frames.  I like that part of the work was done for me.  I took this photo of my son's hand next to his hand print in the concrete at my brother's house, showing how much his hand had grown since he pressed it there years back.

So, after I cut the opening for the photo, I then cut a small piece of mat board, but reversed it so the bevel went the other way. I used that piece to mount the text I wanted to add.

I typed the quote with one of my old typewriters on to a piece of wall paper that had a neat texture to it.  I sprayed a coat of matte finish over the text before I began messing with it just in case it would smear.

This watch graphic came from the The Graphics Fairy and seemed perfect for this project.  I printed it out on nice photo rag paper, backed it with a piece of card stock, then mounted it raised up with a couple of squares of mat board behind it.  Today, I'm linking this project up with The Graphics Fairy Brag Monday Post.  I love her freebies and all the wonderful projects that people use them in.  There is some serious creativity going on over there, so you'll have to go check it out!

This picture is now hanging upstairs in our bathroom.  I've been in the process of finally doing something with that bathroom after 13 years in our home.  Nothing fancy, but some fun things that I'll show you soon.

Happy Monday to you!

Mantel Party

I'm linking up today with another blog party, (I think it's kind of fun to follow a theme!)  Today, it's at the Nesting Place where her motto is:  "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful."  When I saw that, I knew I'd want to check out her blog further!  Today, people are posting pictures of their mantles.  I feel very blessed to have two mantles to decorate but you'll only see one today.  Because, well the other isn't too "spiffy" at the moment, and it's dark in that room while my 10 y/o is sleeping in there suffering again from sinusitis.

Decorating a mantel is one of the biggest decorating challenges in my opinion.  Ours if far more traditional than many, but that's our house too.    I would love to "change it out" with the seasons, but....just doesn't happen much.  I also really just use what I have or come across at sales.  I know if I went out to buy something new for the mantel, I just wouldn't like it.  Our ceiling isn't vaulted; the the wood beams in the photo kind of make it look that way.  The area around the fireplace, though is open to the library on the second floor.

My brother (thankfully) thought to add an outlet to this mantle so we could put up Christmas lights. (My brother and his wife built our house)  Now, at night, we light it up with my vintage mismatched lamps I bought at garage sales.  I don't think there is anything much more beautiful than old books, so they are all over our house including the mantels.

Now, if you'd like to see some creative mantels and interesting decor, head over to The Nesting Place!

A Goofy Grin

I was tidying up the sewing room and my work table a couple of weeks ago after working on my "Junk"le Bells garland. 

 And this was sitting there.  

 I don't know which of my little gals created it, but I loved it.  They play around me all the while I tinker in my sewing room.  Sometimes I give them something to do but mostly they "sew" scraps on one of my antique machines, draw, or build with whatever objects I have piled up or laying around.  This day it was wire, bottle caps, scraps of wood, and pieces of bottle cap garland.

Discovering this little face was a sweet moment.  The mess didn't matter any more.  The "to do" list was no longer a priority.  At least for this moment.

Over at Chatting at the Sky, this is what Emily has to say about what to post about for Tuesday's Unwrapped:
 Anything that causes you to pause and celebrate the moment. Not what will be or what is to come, but what is real and true this day: the messy, the lovely, and the unexpected. Share a photo, a story, or anything that offers a glimpse into your own journey of discovering the gifts in the midst of the ordinary.

Happy Tuesday!


Cookies!!  I won these at Just Something I Made.  Delicious homemade and beautifully decorated cookies from Bake at 350.  There were six cookies, but 7 of us at home.   Hhhmmmm....what to do?what to do?  Sharing works!

We opened the package on the porch since we were so excited!
Thank you Cathe of JSIM!  She was celebrating 2 years of great blogging.  Have you been to her blog?  She melds vintage, recycling, and technology to put us all in awe.  Her projects are so inspiring.  If you are a suitcase collector--you better check out this post of Cathe's now. She never ceases to amaze me with her creativity! And, thank you Bridget of Bake at 350!  The cookies were wonderful!!
I aspire to Bridget's cookie expertise. She has tips and beautiful photos of her cookies on her blog.  You'll be motivated to break out your cookie cutters.

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