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

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Very Vintage Christmas!

Our good friends (and my children's Honorary Grandparents), Randy and Lois, have been decluttering lately and lucky me - they just went through their piles of Christmas decorations!

After deciding what they wanted to keep, they told me to come over and take what I wanted before they donated it. Here's what I chose.

Lois told me most of these old glass ornaments were from her mother.

Aren't they pretty and so delicate?

When the kids are older, I'd like to decorate my entire tree in nothing but these vintage jewels and other Shiny Brites I have stored away.

Do you see the one on the bottom right? It's actually not old, but is painted to look like a rose. I thought it was bodacious.

These are HUGE! According to Lois, they're also very old.

Two Putz houses with the Japan label still on the bottoms! Some bottle brush wreaths and various newer ornaments. Being Irish, I couldn't resist the Celtic cross.

Wait! There's more! Lookie what I found the past few weeks at various thrift stores, all for a song.

These are the types of goodies Magpie Ethel always seems to score!

Ever since I converted my Dining Room into an Art Room, my mind and eyes (and mind's eye!) are constantly on the look-out for pieces I can work into my folk art.

Pieces I would have looked over before now become the focal point of an amazing idea I have in my head! Now, if only I could fill my studio with the actual finished pieces. But.....they're mostly all still in my head!

I figure at some point to also fill my Etsy Shop with tons of vintage goodies.

The ideas are endless!

I have a real love for miniatures. I especially like to use them as little toys peeking out of Santa's pack and for creating tiny dioramas.

When I found this little village, I figured to resell it on Etsy. But lately, I've been noticing that other artisans have been using each piece to make Christmas ornaments. Loved the idea! My only decision now is whether to break up the set (which is still in its original box and comes with trees and an ice-skating pond) or repurpose them. I think making the ornaments would be SOOOOO much fun and creative....but I hate to break apart a set that's been together for 30 years. Hmmmmm......I'll have to think some more.

I just LOVE the whole process!
The hunt for the old pieces.
Rummaging through thrift stores for unique finds (and super low prices).
Using the found materials as the focal points for my artwork.
Dreaming up ideas.
Choosing different mediums for the perfect combination.
Creating new and unique art.
Recyling something old into something completely fresh and new.
What was once just an idea in my head then becomes a solid, tangible piece of folk art to be enjoyed. Really, how cool is that?!!


  1. Wow, that is quite the haul, lucky you!!! I have some of those same shiny brights from my mom and grandmother. And those putz houses, that is so great...enjoy!!! hugs...cleo

  2. WOW!!! You lucky dog! I have a lot of my parents ornaments from 50+ years ago and it's amazing how many of yours are exactly like mine. I also had one of those little gold angels, not sure what happened to her. Have a great Thanksgiving, Nan

  3. Well Jill that is pretty cool. I feel we are kindred spirits in many ways. The same yet different! You have such an eye for the vintage coolness!! I still want to come and go thrifting with you and then creating!! Keep on having fun girl! And see even God provides you with cool stuff like what you got from your friends! XO Fran.

  4. Now, the last time I knew...Jack and Jill went up the hill to thrift and Jack found the goods and Jill came tumbling after...

    I want them all...tee hee! Okay, I was in my craft room tonight and knew some fella was peeking at me...It was weird...your gnome tag hangs right over my left shoulder. I just knew I had to get on the computer and see what Jill found. Tee hee...Life will never be the same for Jack and Jill...I know it!

    I'm cold...dropped to 10 degree's and temp is still falling. We had such a horrific wind storm 65 mph last night. I kept saying my prayers that the roof would not blow off. I hardly slept. Ice everywhere. Worked until 7pm last night and had to be back at 5am this morning. I stalked candles all morning and the fabric isle and then over to Martha Stewart isle...where I finally began to have some fun.

    Len off at church and I'm heading to the land of nod. Night night...thinking of you. I love that tag you made me!

  5. Talk about a super score! Jill you always get such good stuff in such large groups. I can't wait to see what you make :)
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Hello friend!!! I just went through and looked at all the past post you have made!! I have been missing out! Hope you have a great Thanksgiving holiday:)

  7. You definitely hit the Mother Lode! Beautiful treasures that have found a good home where they'll be well taken care of for the next generation - perfect!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  8. Sending you a love filled Thanksgiving Day wish...I love you Jill. Happy Thanksgiving my friend.

  9. Nice vintages ornaments (on the most part). I have the Dorothy and the rose myself. My dining room is pretty much my craft room too!

  10. Oh my goodness! These are wonderful friends to have! I'm dizzy thinking about the moment you were told to take home these treasures! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with your family, and I can't wait to see what you create with all the little miniatures! Elizabeth

  11. I could have done cartwheels in the snow...you gave back to me...such a goodie!
    Thank you for my gnome envelope, you smarty pants you. They make me laugh. I just LOVE THEM! I'm going to use them in a shadow box with a gnome theme I'm making for the wall before you go up the staircase in my home.
    That little envelope made me feel so loved...now I can sleep tight, night night.

  12. Oh wow, between the goodies from your friends and the thrift finds, you've got me swooning over here! I'm crazy about those bottlebrush wreaths, and I keep looking at that little Peter Pan-ish little guy. He's so cute! And of course all of those glass ornaments......OH MY! I can only imagine the beautiful creations that are going to come out of your studio!

  13. I would like to see the bottom of those putz houses to see the "made in japan" on it ma'am. They look like they're knock-offs from china. Just sayin'...