Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy New Year Creating!

Though the tiny studio is not quite put back together, I was able to squeeze in there for some much needed creative therapy yesterday.

Using this set from House of 3 (which by the way, all their Christmas stuff is 50% off til Friday!), Mini-Postcard 2010 Calendar Printable Kit, I made this:
I used the same concept to bind the calendar pages as I did in this post: Kickin' It Old School
The sparkly, dangly thingamajig is a vintage clip on earring. I can just picture it on a formally dressed middle aged 1950's housewife! The lace trim is from an old collar and that last bit I have of that. The rest is seriously old stash that is every bit as beautiful to work with as it was when I first came upon it. That label with 2010 on it? Very old Recollections. ~sigh~ I miss Recollections. The printed paper is old Autumn Leaves Foofala. ~another sigh~ I miss Foofala. At least I have this to remember them by. ;)
Have a Happy New Year! See you on the flipside!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Top Chef Hometown Heroes

No, this isn't a Christmas post because there's no way I'm getting a table booked prior to the 25th, but I wanted to spend a moment bragging on 2 local star chefs, Bryan and Michael Voltaggio who were recently on Top Chef.

Michael ultimately won, but I've got to show my allegiance for Bryan since he co-owns VOLT Restaurant in Frederick which since it has been open garnered nothing but accolades from food & wine press. I've only been there for lunch a few times, but each time has been lovely. If you are ever in the Frederick area, let's make it a date!

And you should come to Frederick. I've got to brag on this little town. The downtown area is stellar with some great dining in addition to Volt as well as unique antique stores, boutiques, art galleries & more. The first Saturday of the month, stores & restaurants roll out the red carpet late into the evening for themed special events. Just a few weeks ago, Accessories of Old opened up downtown after moving from Bethesda giving vintage loving folks another haven of wonderfulness to drool over. (It's like a smaller Tinsel Trading!)

We first moved to Frederick because the housing prices were reasonable compared to areas closer to DC or Baltimore where we had been renting & the schools were decent. Very quickly, Frederick County worked its way into our hearts truly becoming home with all it has to offer and only a short drive (or Metro ride) to the major metropolitan areas.

The Top Chef attention has been exciting and a boon for Frederick. We don't 'know' Bryan or Michael, but we cheered them on and share in the excitement of our fellow neighbors. (I made the lime macaroons & those proved pretty special too)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Early Christmas Surprise

I apologize for not posting a winner to the Christmas giveaway sooner!

I had some flooding in my studio which is where my computer is. The floor cabinets are toast as are all the storage units that were against the outside wall. We had to take the computer down and move everything about while we cleaned the place out and dried things out, but the computer is back up & running. The studio will take a while longer to reassemble after repairs are made, but I'll live.

My littlest elf drew a name from Santa's boot and the winner is Janelle of Coasting Along! Janelle, send me your snail mail address and I'll walk on over to the bustling post office & get this bundle of vintage ephemera on its way to you ASAP.
More Christmas fun coming along soon as I dig myself out of the studio disaster....

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The ADHD Christmas creation

~If you haven't already, leave a comment on the post below for a holiday blog candy giveaway!
Granny Panty Chic: Loopy for Christmas (and a giveaway)

I have two college students who are broke (and so are their parents), but they have the desire to give their friends (and their current squeezes) nice little gifts. With finals and their busy schedules, not only are they broke, but crunched for time as well.
When Heidi Swapp posted this super cool project with candles on her blog, Heidi Swapp Candle Project along with a quick instructional video, I thought it'd be fun to try it for myself, but now my son has asked me to pick up some candles for him to try his hand at as well. She used darling Santa brushes from House of Three. I printed out some images (including sheet music) I already had to try, got excited about the results and subsequently nearly cleaned Michael's out of their Christmas candles.
The best part for my college students is that each candle takes only a few dollars and 5 minutes or less to create.
Since these little projects too so little time, I had a few minutes to play at making a Christmas card.
Materials used: Oooooooooold Melissa Frances papers, text paper, vintage sheet music, creaft store poinsettias, Prima flower centers, Ranger Stickles and vintage glass glitter.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Loopy for Christmas (and a giveaway)

This little project is straight from our childhood; a paper chain. Even now, children make colorful chains to count down the days to Christmas, my youngest child still among them.

The slight twist is that I used paper taken from an old French book "Les Malheurs De Sophie" (The Troubles of Sophie) that I purchased at the Porte de Clignancourt flea market in Paris. I looked the book up on Wiki and found that a film & ballet had been based upon it as well which is kind of cool. (forgive some of my photos, I think my camera is about to die since it also flipped out on me over Thanksgiving)
For my chain, I used 8 sheets from the book and cut them into 2 inch strips. The pages have a lovely, creamy aged quality and are still quite sturdy.
I used very basic tools, especially since losing my bone folder in a class, so I improvised with a rub-on tool. :)
After cutting my little pile of 2 inch strips, I scored a line down the length of each strip and folded them on the score line. ~This is a super easy project, but not the most mind engaging, so it's perfect to do while watching your favorite Christmas movie.~
Once all of the strips were folded in half lengthwise, I ran a line of glue down one side and pressed. While pressing the halves together, I also ran my fingers along the paper in a curling motion, so that when the glue dried, the strips would already be predisposed to forming a loop. (if that makes any sense, almost like curling ribbon)
Since I'm not the most patient of gals, I skipped the drying part and went straight into stapling my strips into loops connecting them as I went along. The Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher (or whatever it's called) is great for this. The little staples have a nice hold and fit the tone of the project.
When I had attached all of my loops together, I cut lengths of seam binding to tie to each end for hanging. The 8 pages translated into about 8 feet of paper chain. The glimpses of French text and aged paper would go very well decorating all through the year as well as Christmas time. If you'd like, you could also finish the edges of the strips with distress ink or vintage glass glitter, but be careful not to weigh the loops down or the draping effect might be lost.
Want to know about the giveway? Read on...
And now to give some elements of this project away! We all love happy mail, so I'm going to send someone 8 pages and 1 illustration from this vintage French book as well as seam binding in deep green, silvery white and red so you can choose which you would like should you decide to make a paper chain and use the rest for other projects. I also have a page or two of vintage sheet music and vintage Christmas cards & seals to tuck into this little package as well as some recently unearthed Heidi Swapp product that I likely bought more than once (hey, I get excited about cool stuff or some came in a kit).
To be entered into the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post. For another entry, link this post in your blog (but only if you want to share the opportunity with a friend or two!) and include that in your post. My trusty assistant will draw a name from Santa's boot next Friday, December 11th. Bon Chance!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Inspiration

Besides helping hubby finish up some shopping for his family, doing the Christmas cards, decorating the house and mailing out packages, I'm feeling pretty ahead of the game this year. ;) Sounds like a lot I know and it is, but compared with the frantic activity of November getting orders & events under control, December feels like a breath of fresh air.

Fresh arctic air. Brrrr, our balmy Autumn has finally decided to bid us adieu.

Here are some fun links for Christmas inspiration should you need it:

One Pretty Thing seeks out the best & brightest of the creative internet world. If you can't find inspiration here, we need to get you some CPR (Creative Pretty Restoration) quick!

Joli Paquet once again offers a vision of Christmas loveliness with new tutorials each Tuesday & Thursday as well as their coveted kits that will be offered tomorrow, Thursday December 3rd. Snap them up while you can. They are wildly popular.

Teresa McFayden is offering her yearly 12 Days of Comfort & Joy e-zine for subscription. Amy Hanna is a special guest artist and several downloads will also be made available throughout the duration of the e-zine. Wherever you see Teresa McFayden, you will see gorgeous ideas abound, so consider checking it out.

I'll be back tomorrow with a super simple tutorial straight from your childhood with a little vintage inspiration thrown in and a blog candy giveaway to complement the tutorial, so check back!

Sqeeeeee, only 22 days til Christmas!