December 30, 2009

Christmas crafting!

so, I didn't think quick enough to take any photos of my Christmas cards (it's always a scramble to get them done and in the mail!), but there was some additional Christmas crafting going on... wanna see?? This sequined and beaded beauty (pic above) was a great score at the thrift store... it was the entire kit, never opened, from LeeWards, and it was actually pretty fun to make! Okay, so my thumb hurt by the time I was done from pushing the pins into the foam ball, but it turned out great in the end. This was actually one of my presents to Tom-- we try to add to our ornament collection every year, and he has some similar ornaments from his Grandma in his collection, so I was really happy to find this kit. (I know there are companies that still make these kits, so I may make some of these for next Christmas, too.)
These two photos (above and below) are from another of Tom's presents, which is still not quite done, but almost. It started with a clear glass plate (again, from the thrift store) and some of his collected cigar bands... I saw an article about these kinds of things in a Mary Engelbreit magazine, and thought it would be really fun to make a keepsake out of the cigar bands-- he's collected them ever since we've known each other (because I asked him to, for crafting purposes!), and has quite a few saved up. This plate also was a lot of fun to see the design come together-- the artwork on (better quality) cigar bands is incredibly detailed, in terms of color and design. It only needs a backing of paper on the backside to cover up the wrong side of the bands, and then it will be ready to hang up in his office.
a detail photo, just to show the color and design of the bands... click on the photo to see it larger.
And, finally, a couple ATCs... I rearranged the furniture in my crafting space (!! It was a lot of work, but I just had the itch... I think I did this growing up, too-- I remember rearranging the furniture in my bedroom quite a few times.) It still needs to be cleaned (as usual, of course!) but in picking up the desk, I collected some interesting scraps and put them together to make a couple trading cards. I added them to some premade backgrounds I had stored in my stash. The one above is collaged from a die-cut piece of scrapbooking paper, more scrapbooking paper, glitter, and some random words I cut from a vintage gardening book.
This one started out with another premade background of watercolor paint, a napkin, and some handmade paper... I added a tiny vintage photo print, a German scrap frame, and more vintage words. Now if I just do some more organizing, I might find some more neat stuff, and get some more crafting done!

December 27, 2009

random links to remember

holiday memories to come later (once I get the photos off the camera!) but for now, I don't want to forget these websites.

half hour meals

sleeping kitten- dancing dog blog I found while I was googling unusual holidays.

a bit of holiday info: it included a Snuggie-- which is actually very warm and comfortable, although it does pain me to say so... :D

December 20, 2009

thrift store score!! (lots of photos...)

Yesterday, I headed to Casa Grande (a larger town about 20 miles away) to pick up Mexican for dinner. Of course, I couldn't just go to the restaurant and come back; I spent some time treasure hunting at the local Savers. You never know what you'll find in thrift stores; most of it is junk, in my opinion, but sometimes you can find a gem hidden in the "stuff" jumbled on the shelves. Most of my time was spent perusing the children's books and the Christmas decorations; I saw some vintage Christmas decorations that I thought long and hard about then left behind, but I just couldn't leave this stack of books in the store... they had to come home with me!! I do have a small collection of children's books but since I don't have much room on my shelves, these will be going up for sale in my Etsy store over the course of the next couple days. All of these are either Wonder Books or Rand McNally Elf books except the one in the back, which is a California state music textbook. The little ones are Rand McNally Junior Elf books. That book size really brought back some memories- I remember reading books like this in first grade, I think it was. These all have copyright dates in the 1950s, with some being reprinted in the early 1960s, by the look of the illustrations. (my Roman numeral knowledge really got a workout!)
The artwork in these is just wonderful, right down to the end papers! The top pic shows the end papers from "The Giant's Shoe" and the bottom pic is the end papers from "No-Good the Dancing Donkey."
Here's a shot inside "Mother Goose," a Rand McNally Tip-Top Elf book, which is a little larger than the Junior Elf books. (copyright date 1958; the illustrations have that late 50s/early 60s look to them.)
This sweet illustration is from a Junior Elf book titled "A Moth is Born." It shows the life cycle of a cecropia moth all the way from egg thru cocoon and moth. Copyright 1957, these illustrations remind me of the old paperback type of nature identification books.
This pic is the end papers from the book "Three Little Ducks." The end papers don't really have anything to do with the story, but I love the little squirrel, puppy and kitten! Copyright 1955, this book follows Ducky Diddle, Ducky Doodle, and Ducky Daddle (don't you just love the names??) as they wander off and have adventures while they are supposed to be taking a nap.
This is from Heny Penny, which is one of my favorites stories from growing up... I love the little kerchief on her head! Somehow the colors from vintage books have more "warmth" to them than new books... not sure what it is, maybe the age of the paper mellows the colors?
This cute illustration is from "December is for Christmas," copyright 1961. Jeremy the rabbit learns he can read, and reads a 2nd grader's story about Christmas to his family, which inspires them to decorate a tree and celebrate Christmas with all the animals in the forest.
Here, Alice meets the Caterpillar on her adventures in Wonderland, from a 1951 edition Wonder Book. This one doesn't even look like anyone ever read it- the colors are really vibrant, and the pages are all in great condition.
This pic is from "I Love the City" which is a California textbook that has small poems and short music songs in it. I love the washed-out, soft colored watercolor illustrations! There were actually three copies of this book, and I don't think any of them had ever been used, either. Thanks for enjoying my thrifted books with me!! I always wonder how things end up in the thrift store, and what chain of events brought them there, especially items like these. There were quite a few more I might have bought-- I felt sort of sorry for them, being jumbled in such disarray on the thrift store shelves in amongst countless wrinkly, torn, and dirty paperback books. I hope I can find them good homes!!