Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas at our House



This blog post will show a few of the decorated areas in our home.  We have taken a spur of the moment family vacation to Ft. Myers Beach, Florida, but we did get to enjoy the decor before our trip and will also get to enjoy it for a while afterwards.  As you will notice I tend to use ivory, whites, silver, taupe and aqua in my Christmas decor.  A bit of a non traditionalist when it comes to color for the holidays, but it is what I like.
Our Christmas tree is homemade by me.  I used a vintage drapery pole and kept the finial on the top of it for its tip.  I close-up of the fabulous tree stand is the following photo.  I just love the rustiness of it.

Some of the ornaments I love to use will be in the following photos.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Where Am I?



 
We booked a family vacation on Dec. 14th to go to Ft. Myers Beach, Florida from the 21-28th of December.  Looks like we got out of town just in time, as a winter snowstorm ravages the Midwest.  We are taking long walks on the beach, watching sunsets, celebrating our recent 16th wedding anniversary at PF Changs in Naples (was on Dec 18th), picking sea shells, watching dolphins frolic as we walk the beach, laying out poolside, eating healthy,  and enjoying family time together. 

Now, if Jon could just find a job down here, I think we'd pull up roots and move here.  All three of us are loving it, so at peace and such a relaxing place to be.  The first day here I went for a long leisurely walk on the beach, and could literally feel the stress of 2009 and all of the business just lift off of my shoulders.  So blessed to be here.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  Thank you for all of your comments, following my blog and your precious friendships that have unfolded in 2009.  I am blessed for having you in my life.

Gretchen

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Vintage Redesign Spotlight

The necklace below was gifted to me by some dear friends from North Dakota.  Many of us know them as the JunkFest Girls.  Andrea, Cassie, Lynette and Missy.  Thank you girls for thinking of me when you were out junking and for the fabulous gift of vintage jewelry and raw elements you sent my way for me to redesign with.  I loved it all.  This is the first feature from the JunkFest stash the girls sent my way.

The JunkFest girls knew a treausre when they spotted one.  The choker style necklace had a former life as a choker on a spandex style chain, with a simple locket in the middle of the spectacular surrounding elements.

The back side of the necklace shows how well made this piece is.

First thing I did was to remove the spandex choker portion of the necklace.  I then added some wire wrapped black wire to form the connections to the chain I chose to go with the focal portion of the design.  I added birds in flight, a rose, and such.  I added a vintage crystal rhinestone piece to the front of the locket and this really makes the piece come to life.

Sorry about the blurry photos.  I have a new camera that I rec'd early for Christmas and these problems should not be eliminated in the future.  A few things changed up and this necklace is now a long styled up to date piece that is perfect for the Vintage Redesign Styles I love to create.

This necklace was sold in November or early December at the French Flea of Anoka.  Each of these designs are a one-of-a-kind style and unique to each individual that purchases them.

A Wordle - About some of the things I like

Wordle: My style

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Trash to Treasure Clock Tutorial

Electric Clock Re purposing
Before & After

Quite a change, huh?   So, as many of you know that I'm part of an online group called Junk Market Style and as a contributor as well as a member of this great group, I am suppose to be creating projects to post on this site.  I am asked to do primarily jewelry posts, but can do whatever else strikes my fancy as well.  This project in this blog is something that I created for the "French Flea" shop to sell for last weeks sale.  So what to do with it now?

Shown displayed for sale at the French Flea of Anoka
I found this old electric clock one day while searching for cool items to re purpose and sell at our shop, and it just so happen to be additionally marked down too.  I had seen my dear friend, Janis blog about something similiar she'd done with an old clock, and she'd seen it somewhere else, and thus I changed mine up to make it my design.  As an artisian, I don't ever want to copy someone's work, but may find inspiration or an idea that they've used and then try to make it my own.  So here we go, this is what I did:


This is why I did it.  The electric cord was literally fried.  Useless at this point.

This clock had nice brass features.  The base, the top piece and the trim ring are all brass.  First thing I did was unscrew all of the screws on the bottom brass piece, which then let me get to the wood portion that I wanted to spray paint white.

This is the top decorative brass piece removed off the clock. 

There were also two screws in the back, which is what held the clock mechanism and glass domed piece as well as the clock face onto the clock case.  There was also a cool brass i.d. tag on the back held on by a few brass brads, so I pried them up carefully and put the i.d. tag aside as well.  What I was left with was an empty clock case, the mechanism & glass front, and misc. brass parts.

Empty clock case

Misc. pieces

Notice the long screw posts?  That is what held it all into the clock case.



While it was still Fall, I took the clock case outside and elevated so that I could more easily spray paint the top as well as the edges at the same time.  After drying, I turned it over and repeated this process and spayed the back of the case as well. 

 I was left with a nice solid coat of white spray paint on the clock case.  Too nice, for me, so I grabbed a piece of sand paper to have at it.

With a bit of strokes here and a bit of strokes there, my sand paper did its job and you will note on the final photos that there is just the right amount of distressing done on the clock.

Next up, take your glass prism and clean it really well with soap and water.  Dry thoroughly than lay it over top of an image you want to use for the clock.  I found a vintage postcard photo that was in my stash of images I'd purchased on a DVD off ebay, and made it big enough to cut out the size of my circle piece of glass.  Trace it with pencil and proceed to cut it out.  Make sure the image fits accurately inside the glass piece. 

I chose to carefully attach the image onto a piece of card board backing (like off a notebook) and cut it in the circle as well, which then fit snug inside the rim.  I also added some white glue to areas that I wanted to add glitter to, such as the snowballs, and the young girls hat.  Let the glue and glitter dry real well.  After drying you may then glue the brass rim carefully around the back edges right to the hole in front of your clock where it originally came from.

Screw the brass piece on top and base back into their respective locations and carefully add the i.d. tag back to the clock case if applicable.

You may now add the frosting to the cake.  My frosting was quite simple.  The glitter I had originally added to the snow balls and the young girls hat, and than added this black diamond (grey) Swarovski crystal with gold vintage jewelry element to the top corner for a little extra touch.

The finished project.

Tools used:
screw driver
sand paper
spray paint
photo copied image
white glue
glitter
bling - jewels

Mimi-Toria's Design Jewelry Style