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

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Vintage Fontanini Nativity Given New Life

I couldn't help myself.  
Despite my love of the vintage look, I have
just a strong of a love to combine the old
with the new.  And this old set needed
a face-lift.
It was my first time experimenting with
enamel paints and I'm here to tell you - 
LOVE it!
 The original figurines were all 
painted basically one color.  Even their
hands and faces would have speckles
of color.  Although I dig their funky 
look, my heart cried out for details.
 Yet, I tried to stay true to the 
original color palette.  Example, If one king 
wore lime green, I repainted in a more
subtle jade green and detailed him with 
yellow and gold accents.  
 What kings looked like before....
 and after.
 My new love with enamels was 
purely accidental.  I needed gold and didn't
have it in my stash so I borrowed Ted's
paint, which he used for models 20 years 
ago.  Surprise!  They still worked!
 The gold went on so flawlessly,
I had to try more!  Notice the 
difference in Mary's halo, gown,
and Jesus's crib using gold accents.
 Another reason why I WILL be using
enamels again....SOON....is because
of how well they took to the plastic.
Unlike water-based paints, I didn't need to 
prime first and then put on several layers.
 AND the enamels were excellent
for working in tiny details.  These figures
are only 4 inches tall so I needed a fine
brush to handle teeny areas to paint.
The paint stayed exactly where I 
put it.  No drips.  
 Of course, there are pros and cons
to everything.
 What I didn't like about the enamels were
the strong chemical smells.  Plus, I didn't like having
to wash my brush with paint thinner, which
was also very strong to inhale.  
 Acrylics also come in endless amounts
of color whereas the enamels were very 
limited.  This is where you need to do
some mixing of colors is you want to 
branch out for more assortment.
Santa knows what's on my Christmas
list this year!
This nativity set was actually for a childhood
friend of mine who asked me to put my
"creative touch" to it.  Some have criticized me
for "devaluing" the set.  To this I stick out my
tongue and say, "Ffffffftttt!"

Friday, November 14, 2014


Brought the kids to Feeney's this year, which is a
nursery that really does up Christmas!
Entering the store, you're greeted with
a scene from "Frozen." 
They say pictures are worth a thousand
words.  And since there are so many
pictures, I'll just let them speak
for me.  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Recycling Those Old Christmas Bulbs

Look what happens when you take
old Christmas bulbs - too hot and unsafe to use -
and decorate them with pretty glitter and ribbon!
The kids had a ball making these!
Must be the messy glitter.
All you do is thinly spread glue
on the bulb.....
and sprinkle with glitter! 
Once dried, I redid this step
making sure there were no bald
spots.  I also sprayed with
high gloss finish to keep the 
glitter from flitting away.
(Is flitting a word?!  
Sounds appropriate nonetheless!) 
It's not  totally needed, but beforehand I painted
the tops with Silver modeling paint.   Have fun
choosing the hanger!
 While I preferred the brand new extra fine glitter,
both kids liked my vintage large coarse glitter.  
See the difference between the red on the left
with the other colors?
 Martha Stewart makes the prettiest colors too.
Look at the different shades of blue!
It's so good to be putting these old bulbs to use.
I tried using them years ago for Mary's Fairy Party,
but within minutes they were too hot to touch. I 
was so afraid of a child burning herself, I had to take
them down.  So they've just been sitting in our basement.
Use it up.
Wear it out.
Make it do.
Or do without!