"What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what is behind a windowpane."

Friday, April 18, 2014

A wee bit of Easter

A few years ago I would have looked at
these old Easter crafts, cringed thinking of
the cheesy '70s and kept on walking! 
My 44-year-old eyes now look
upon these crafts no longer with contempt
but with nostalgia. 
Do you remember making these?
 Isn't it fun going through decorations
and forgetting what you've collected over the
years?  I was surprised by my stash.
These are all made from metal and open up
to hide Easter surprises.
Forget plastic.  give me wood and metal!
 This egg is extra large
and too big for the basket.
It's the only one I have made of paper mache.
 Found these at Michaels.  Not everything
I decorate with has to be vintage!  Made of
metal and just a few dollars. 
 These are so delicate I was afraid to take them out
of the jar for close-up pictures.  These were
hand-made by Ted's grandparents.  
It takes a steady hand and
tons of patience to do this kind of art,
neither of which I have!
I wanna Easta egg!  I wanna Easta egg! 
I wanna Easta egg!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easter Egg Minions

One of my favorite things about the
internet is the sheer volume of
creative ideas!  Browsing Pinterest the
other day I found home made
Easter egg Minions that the kids could make.
 So easy and fun!
All you need are yellow and blue plastic
Easter eggs, a black Sharpie marker,
hot glue and googley eyes.
 Just combine the yellow and blue eggs,
hot glue on the eye (or draw it yourself)
and use a Sharpie to make the goggle
band, hair,  mouth, and any extra details.
Easy, fast, cute, and fun! 
You can also use purple eggs
to make the crazy Minions from
"Despicable Me 2"!
I want to make more!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Vintage Angel Transformation

Come and see the change in these old
angel ornaments!
 Inspiration came a'knockin'
and I opened the door!
 One set of angels looked
like this.  Since I had bought them in
February my mind naturally gravitated
towards converting them into
Valentine cupids. 
 Maybe the harsh winter changed
my mind....maybe it's because I'm
dreaming of Spring and Easter...
but when the paint came out,
it wasn't red and pink, it was
pretty pastels and glitter.

 The other set of angels were in
this position.  I debated whether
to add a new hanger, but decided
to keep its original gold cord.
Instead of black eyes like the
original ornaments had, I added
 a wee bit more details, giving
them all bright blue ones. 


Now-a-days, so many people are into
high-tech electronics, things I have
no clue about.  I prefer a paintbrush
and paint any day!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Crystal Pipe Cleaner Shamrock Tutorial

All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl.
Want to come out and play?!
OK.  How about making crystal shamrocks?
 Very simple.  Inexpensive.  And the kids
will get a big kick out of it!
 All you need are:
A large glass jar
Pipe cleaners
A wooden dowel or even a stick will do
Optional:  food coloring
 First, shape your pipe cleaners into
your desired shape.  Since I ran out
of green, I chose to make a snowman
out of white ones.  This is where
kids have a lot of fun coming up
with all kinds of different shapes.
 Next, pour about 3/4 cup of Borax
into the mason jar.  Then add BOILING water
and dissolve.  You can add food coloring
during this part and of course, once the
boiling water is in the glass jar, make
sure the children don't touch it.
 Tie a piece of string/twine around
your shape and hang it from the dowel.
Then drop it into the water, making sure
that it's not touching the sides or bottom. 
Also, make sure the top is completely
covered so that crystals can form
evenly all over the shape.
 By the next morning, your
pipe cleaner should have crystallized.
This part really excites the kids
and to be honest, it brought a
big smile to my face too!
I added another pipe cleaner as
the hanger.  These look very pretty
hanging in the window. 
Don't be afraid of the Borax!
If you don't add enough,
you'll be disappointed to find
only a few crystals attached to your
pipe cleaner.    Have fun!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Rockin' Robin!

He rocks in the tree tops all day long
Hoppin' and a-boppin' and singing his song
All the little birdies on Jaybird Street
Love to hear the robin go tweet, tweet, tweet
 Rockin' Robin!
Ted spotted these robins in our yard.
There must have been 30 in the tree
eating the holly berries off the branches.
 And sipping water out of the gutters.
The wise old owl, the big black crow
Flappin' their wings singing
go, bird go!
Rockin' Robin!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

So Beautiful...yet So Destructive

Like many here on he East Coast, we've
been hit with major snowstorms
this year.
 It's all so beautiful to look at.
 The house looks so warm and cozy.
And the gorgeous pictures you
can take still don't compare
to the real life beauty
surrounding you.
 But then you see the destruction.
 The fallen branches that are so
strong they break telephone poles
in half, causing you to lose all
power and heat for four days
while the temperatures drop
below freezing.
 Luckily, we have my parents to take us
in while Ted, along with chills and a
fever, keeps the house somewhat heated
with a kerosene heater - just enough
to keep our pipes from freezing.
 So glad that week's over and now
looking to somehow get this mess
cleaned up. In the meantime, we
uploaded the pictures.
It still is pretty, isn't it?

Monday, February 3, 2014

A Box Full of Angels

This past weekend with the weather
finally nicer, my family trekked
over to an antique mall
in Burlington, NJ.   While there
I spotted this box of angels for just $10.
 At first glance, they looked vintage but then I wasn't
too sure.  The man who owned the spot told me
he honestly didn't know how old these were
but had gotten them off an old Christmas tree
at an estate sale.
 Looking them over, I figured they definitely weren't
just from a dollar store.  The give-aways?  First,
they're made out of a hard plastic.  Now-a-days, everything's
made out of resin. 
Second, the gold paint is so worn out with time. 
Third, the gold paint!   Wasn't this
more popular in the 1970's? 
And fourth, the way the faces are painted seem similar to the
way older figurines were painted. 
Actually, they remind me of the old
Fontanini Nativities that most of our
grandparents displayed. 
 So what made me buy these old angels?  I thought
they'd be really fun to repaint as Valentine
Cupids!  I know I won't have time for this year,
but there's always next year! 
School's closed today because of another
snow storm.  That's ok with me.  After fever
and chills yesterday, a day of rest and lots
of Day Quil is just what I need.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My VALENTINE Mantle & Banner

When inspiration comes a'knockin'
it's best to open the door!
I just had the BEST time creating this
Valentine banner - and it's different from what
you might expect!
 Originally, my idea was to make a banner using
cute Vintage cards.  While rummaging
through my stash of images, the MUSE came
through loud and clear.  Instead of using
old cards, why not use pictures of my
own children?   And take it a bit further
by adding satirical captions to go
with them, just like the old Valentines.

The first - Mary at age 5 in my
childhood Communion dress,
which resembles a wedding gown.
I added a frame with the caption,
"Picture our lives together, Valentine."
Nicolai helping Daddy build a
tree house, "Valentine, let's
build a life together!"

I had much fun trying to
come up with a quip to go with each!
A simple picture of Mary brushing
her teeth reads, "Don't brush me
off.  Be my Valentine!"

Mary actually came up with this line,
"Valentine, you're my favorite

If there's a picture you like, but can't
come up with something you're really
satisfied with, you can always google
ideas.  For example, for this picture
I googled, "Valentine card snow"
and found, "Don't give us the
cold shoulder.  Be our Valentine!"

Mary was just 6 years old in this
picture and having a Valentine
party.  They grow so fast!  It's actually
much clearer, I was getting some
camera flashes in a few of these pictures.

I actually found a K.P. joke on a vintage
Valentine, but didn't really like it.  Let the
brain-storming begin.  Hmmm...judging by
his face, K.P. duty would be funny....
and he does have a bag of potatoes...
you mash potatoes....no......ooooo!
You peel potatoes!

"It's time to come clean and be my
Valentine!"  Bathroom images are taken
from a 1950's Montgomery Ward
catalog I own. Hence, the
green tub and that thing you're supposed
to hang up in the bathroom....I guess
to collect dirty clothes?

Mary in her fairy stage.  A little
cupid flies above saying, "You enchant
me, Valentine."

No need for captions on this one.
The background just says, "I love you"
over and over.  I found some old I Love You
picks in my stash and the way Nic's hand
is positioned, I was able to make it look
like he's holding it.

Another fun part of this project
was choosing every day pictures
and seeing them through
different ideas.  What was once a picture
that reminded me of Mary's accident
is now a cute Valentine that reads,
"Cast aside your worries and be
my Valentine!"

OK.  I just looked at this picture
of Nic and "I'm crazy for you,
Valentine" easily came to mind!

The banner is connected by red and white
twine and can be folded like a book
for easy storage. 

Vintage Valentine candy boxes line
the back and I used red and white
polka-dot fabric as a runner.  White paper doilies
are added too.  Love the bright white
against the red.

Do you think you'd like to give this
a try?   The ideas are endless and with
personal photos, it becomes an
instant keepsake.

On both sides is a vanilla candle.  And this
vase filled with glittered hearts just adds
some sparkle and fun.

Below it all is another banner of those
heart-shaped candies with sayings.  It's from
the 1980's and although I've had it for a few
years, it's the first time I'm actually using it.
Eventually, it all gets used!

Bought this at an antique shop a few
years back. 

My favorites are these old
lacey ones though.

So pretty!

And here's the little display I came
up with for my Valentine skaters.  Found
some old trees in my stash and put down
fake snow.  I plan on going through more
supplies to see if I can add to this.

Just couldn't wait to share!  Hoping others
will be inspired to make their own
 banner using family and friends.  I'd love to
see what you come up with!