Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Vintage charm

For a long time, I've been wanting to make my own necklace from vintage charms and bling that I collect from thrift stores, estate sales, antique stores, and the generosity of some of my swap partners.  The other night, I finally did it!
Sorry for the blurry photo -- but, you get the idea!
It always feels so good to do a project you've been thinking about for a long time, doesn't it?
For the "base" of the necklace, I bought a gunmetal-colored chain from Michael's craft store.  That's the longer chain on the outside; for the shorter, inside "chain" I used a beautiful rhinestone necklace that was too short for me to really wear otherwise.  I fastened it to a very old piece of chandelier glass, which I then tied to a piece of beautiful vintage velvet ribbon, in moss green.
The little cuckoo clock charm was originally a souvenir pin from a German town.  The square charm in the lower right corner of the photo above is from an industrial line of jewelry findings; it unlatches and you place whatever you want in between the glass.  I put vintage sheet music in it, along with a pretty piece of old lace.
I added a pretty, very old filigreed ball button, and pieced some pearly beads and an embellished charm that I received in a swap -- it's a bird, nest and blingy "eggs".
A vintage rhinestone pin...
a soldered charm that was a gift from Viola, more beads...
a pretty rhinestone crown -- I love this piece!
A skeleton key, and some pretty vintage glass buttons.
For the focal piece, I put on a claw clasp.  That way, I can change out the charm!  Does that sound strange?  I just have so many pretty charms I'd like to wear more often...
Like this Jane Austen piece...
this beautiful Silver Bella souvenir from Hope...
and this little fairy charm that was a blog giveaway win.  I think they will all look very cute on the necklace!
Just for fun, I decided to make some earrings, too.  The earring findings were not expensive at Michael's, and adding the beads was very simple!
I wore the necklace out the other day, and really enjoyed the feeling of wearing something I'd made!

Monday, November 28, 2011

And a partridge in a pear tree

Here is a close up of those fabulous 3 inchies I received in the 12 Days of Christmas Swap:
Jami Miller -  A Partridge in a Pear Tree
I love the pear green envelope with a button!
The texture of the pear is just amazing.
Tamantha Kaplan - 2 Turtle Doves
The packaging is divine, but the
inchie is even better!  So much beautiful detail!
Hope Ellington - 3 French Hens
Beautiful French-country style!
My 4 Calling Birds
Mollie Morrison - 5 Golden Rings
I love the vintage "gold" velvet
and other old textures she used!
Karen Hess - 6 Geese-a-Laying
Pearl "eggs" nestled amid a nest
of so many beautiful fibers!
Nora Neeley - 7 Swans-a-Swimming
A needle-felted swan, and just look at all
all the stitched embellishments!
Mary Kahler - 8 Maids-a-Milking
I can hardly believe the creativity of this interpretation of a girl milking a cow!  It's awesome!  The cowbell is such a great detail, too!
Lisa Hadja - 9 Ladies Dancing
Do you know that until I photographed this, I hadn't realized the ladies are twirling in the shape of a "9"!  You are looking down upon them -- and I think that is just brilliant!  Bravo Lisa!
 Sheila Rumney - 10 Lords-a-Leaping
I completely love the colors,
and the simplicity,
of this one!
Robin Weins - 11 Pipers Piping
By the same token, I completely adore
the detail, textures, and collage-
effect of this one!
Jeanelle Ricca - 12 Drummers Drumming
Soft pink and minty green
with lace for texture on
the drum.  It's brilliant!
 I got to help her assemble the piles for the swap.
And as if all that beautiful textile goodness wasn't enough -- Jeanelle also treated us to a piece of this fabulous vintage Christmas handkerchief fabric!  Isn't it FUN?  It was so hard to cut it up!  And some vintage music note flashcards (shown with her drum inchie.)

Thank you to all the talented ladies who participated in this swap! Your talent and creativity humbles me!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A banner day

Here's what I did with the inchies I received in the 12 Days of Christmas swap:
I made them into a banner!  I know it's hard to see, but I wanted to show you the whole thing; I made it in two sections of six "flags" each.
I used alternating, heavy vintage fabrics.  One was a bark cloth design from the '40's, and the other was a green toile that was probably from the late '50's.
I used some heavy embroidered eyelet trim to string them all together, then strung green and rose seam tape, respectively, through the middle row of 'hole' in the eyelet.  All the materials I used were from my collection vintage materials!  I love that.
I'm really happy with how it turned out.  I'm also proud of myself for "committing" to sewing down all the pretty inchies; it's so tempting to just hoard and admire them!

The banner's already hanging, as shown, in the archway between my living and dining rooms.  It was the first bit of Christmas decor that went up in my house this year!

Tomorrow: a close up look at all those inchies!

ALSO: For Cyber Monday, and the remainder of the holiday season, I'm offering FREE US SHIPPING in my handmade shop, Leaves and Lace!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Four Calling Birds

(Spoiler Alet: many have received their swap but some have not so if you're in the latter group, stop reading!)
I've always loved The 12 Days of Christmas.  My jr. high school choir did a fun satire of the song, called The 12 Days After Christmas; it begins, "The first day after Christmas, my true love and I had a fight.  And so I chopped the pear tree down, and burned it just for spite..."  It remains a fun holiday memory!
This year, I enjoyed doing a 12 Days of Christmas 3-Inchie Swap with some of my Silver Bella friends!  All the inchies have finally gone out so I'm going to show you mine now!  I had 4 Calling Birds.
See how the bird's mouth is open?  It's calling.  I made the bird from some pieces of felted sweater I'd gotten from Elizabeth Shea last year.  The bird's eye and topknot are beads, and the feathers on her head are made from a piece of eyelash yarn.  She's trimmed with vintage laces, and the musical note fabric as well as the background fabric were a giveaway from Angela; it was leftover from one of her quilt projects.  I had an Etsian custom-make the little medallions for me, stamped with the number 4.
Naturally, I had to make 12 of them...
I wrapped them very simply this time, using that cute graphic of the 4 calling birds.
I sent along a little grab bag of vintage Christmas stuff for each swapper -- including cards I made from vintage wrapping paper and vintage Christmas cards; each bag had those hard-to-find Christmas seals, stickers, decor and even some buttons.  Next I'm going to show you all the 3 inchies I received!  They are fabulous, so be sure to come back and see them!

Oh, and:  It's almost time for the The 6th Annual Original Printables Holiday Countdown!  Different downloadable images December 1 - Christmas!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving wishes

Here's a scan of the cutest vintage Thanksgiving card I bought recently, for your viewing pleasure or artistic pursuits:


Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Moving on to Christmas

Judging from the things I've been attracted to in my thrift and antique shopping, I am way into the holiday spirit!
But, it's the wrong holiday!  Meaning, I would like to skip Thanksgiving altogether this year.  I am so. Not. In. The. Mood.  I would love to just move on to Christmas already!
Tell me the truth: how much do you love this little Putz house?  It's my first!  I have never splurged on one before!   That little blue star hanging down from the ceiling is so cute, I even don't mind the kitschy little mushrooms over there on the right!
I had never seen one in this shape, so I really had to have it!
I also got this vintage ornament, which is such an amazing red!
And I love that it has a different motif on the reverse!
Some people would think I'm nuts because these little seals, and their envelope, make me sigh deeply.  I only wish I had all 30 of them!
Likewise I love these little plastic embellishments; I think they are from a liquor supplier, and were made to be stuck to the outside of those wrapped liquor boxes you can buy at holiday time!
Kitschy chenille, anyone?  I thought this was such a fun old ornament!
Who could leave these little guys behind?  To give you an idea of their size, that is the edge of that tiny chenille ornament next to them!
And here's more holiday kitsch...
than any one person should be allowed -- right?!
Do you like that tablecloth in the background, by the way?  It's for sale here in my shop.
Seriously -- what more can I say?
Linking up:
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday