Last Kitschmas Post of 2013

There are a couple last Kitschmas projects I wanted to show you before I pack everything away for another year.  *sniff*  Although my new job and the God Bless Our Pad kit prevented me from being as prolific with my Christmas crafts as I wanted – there were so many I had in mind that I just didn’t get to! – I did get a few things done.  I already showed you this year’s felt mouse ornament, but I also started another ornament series that I plan to make one of a year.  Last year I bought this adorable Nutcracker ornament kit made by Bucilla:

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I had originally planned to make all four this year, but I quickly realized that was crazy business.  These little guys are pretty fiddly and intricate!  So I wisely came to the conclusion that I should make one a year, just like the mice.  Requested by the boss Little Betty, the ballerina was first:

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It’s all hand sewing and embroidery, adding beads and sequins, then sewing the layers together, and finally sewing the back and fronts together and stuffing as you go.

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The sewing was definitely the least fun part as the spaces were so tiny it was darn near impossible to get stuffing in there!  Anyhoo, I’m looking forward to eventually having all 4 of these sweet ornaments on our tree.

Next up was hands down the most fun project this season.  Little Betty, my sister in law, and I made over 40 of these sweet diorama bell jar ornaments.  We used this tutorial.

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I wish I had pictures of more of them but we gave them to co-workers, teachers, and family members as gifts.  They were so fun to make and turned out tooth-achingly sweet, in my opinion!

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They were so cute, in fact, that my sister in law agreed they actually made us angry.  Now that, friends, is pretty darn cute.

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They are made out of plastic wine glasses, scrapbooking paper, vintage Christmas miniatures, and glitter.  In other words, magic.

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Little Betty had so much fun making these with us!  She was pretty prolific, actually, churning out adorable Kitschmas vignettes in record time for us to encapsulate in plastic domes covered with glitter for generations to come.

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Well, folks, that’s it.  Kitschmas is officially over.  I think this coming year I may start making Christmas crafts in July so I can get everything I want finished!  What were your favorite Christmas crafts this year?

Kitschmas Craft – A New Mouse Ornament!

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There is so much fabulous felty goodness in this sweet magazine, but by far the best seems to be the mice ornaments.  Ever since I posted about them last year I’ve been swamped with requests from people wanting a copy of the pattern.  They all remember them from their childhood and want to recreate them.  And I totally get it!  They are sweet as darn pie.  My plan was to make one each year.  Last year I made the elf mouse, and this year I made the mouse in a stocking.

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Aren’t they cute??  You can read more about this project over at No Pattern Required.

I’ve got a couple more ornament crafts to show you in the coming days as well as a new crewel kit reveal!  Yay!!  So stay tuned, friends.

Estate Sale Good Times

I haven’t been hitting up too many estate sales lately, but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten how fun they are!  So this weekend we decided to go full monty on one that looked good, held by my good buddies at Amber Ostrich Estate Sales.  We got up SUPER early to make sure we’d have a good chance at some of the goodies we saw in the pictures.  We didn’t end up using any of the snacks or entertainment we brought to pass the time though because I ended up gabbing away with the great peeps who were also waiting.  Who says estate sales are cutthroat?  Honestly, I haven’t had too many of those experiences.  After one of the gals told me what she was there for (she got there even earlier than we did!) I told her I’d grab it for her if I found it before she did.  Another guy was there for one of the things we were there for, but we talked it out and decided that if it was under a certain amount he would get it and if it was over that we would get it.  See?  There’s no reason to be nasty at these sales, folks.  You’re likely going to keep seeing these people at other sales, so be nice!

Now for the scores!  And oh yes, there were scores.

Here is the thing that went over the predetermined price limit with our line friend:

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The gentleman who lived in the house was a boat manufacturer and he made this couch out of fiberglass.  The back and bottom bubbles out as you can kind of see.  The legs are nothing short of totally amazing.  This one is three pieces and can be arranged as a loveseat and chair, couch, or 3 chairs.  The turquoise upholstery is in great shape except for one stain that I’m going to try to steam out.

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He also made this one.  Seriously, how great are these things???  It’s going to be SO hard not to keep them.  This one has some minor rips in the seat that I’m going to try to mend.  Aren’t they just the epitome of 1950s atomic cool?

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We are crazy in love with this caricature.  It’s dated 1956.  The guy featured was a prominent Austin lawyer and theater dude.

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Ok.  THIS CHAIR.  Holy balls!  I want to keep it SO bad but I’m going to be a good little reseller and resist.  But that aqua color is just perfect, and these Eisenhower chairs are so desirable and hard to find!

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I’m super excited about these unused craft kits!  The lady of the home was a member of a craft of the month club that sent her a craft kit every month.  How exciting are these??  The one with birds is an adorable apron and the other is a framed wall hanging with yarn flowers.  I can’t wait to do them.  Keep an eye on my column This IS Your Granny’s Crafting on Tuesdays over at No Pattern Required to see how they turn out when I make them!

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I paid a pretty penny for this pyrex, but it was unused straight out of the box and none of us had ever seen this pattern before!  And it’s such a great size for leftovers.  Speaking of leftovers, I can never have enough of these tupperware containers, so I snagged them right away.

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I was going to sell all of these things, but when I got home I noticed the deer planter had been repaired, so I guess he’s staying with me!

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I often buy things just for the packaging, and these camping supplies are a great example of that.  Love them.

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Kitschmas!!  I paid way too much for that tiny knee hugging elf but I’ve never been known to leave one behind.

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I’m also a known sucker for any vintage zodiak stuff and big eyed wall art.

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This amazing vintage sign is a present for someone.  We could not have found a more perfect present.  Although I really want to keep it – it’s awesome!!

Not a bad haul for one sale, huh?  Now that my estate sale bug has been reignited I can’t stop looking at the listings online!  I’m already thinking about going back to this sale for the rest of the craft kits - unbelievably I left a ton behind.  Maybe on the half price day I’ll go get the rest…

A Vintage Kitschmas Treasure Chest!

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My pickin’ mojo has been off lately – I’ve been kind of striking out and it’s a total bummer!  So today when I managed to pack my van to the ceiling with amazing goodies I was pretty stoked to officially declare an end to my pickin’ dry spell.  Check out that turquoise chair!  It’s actually part of a 1950s curved modular sectional.  Totally amazeballs.  And that pink luggage just might end up staying with me and not go to the store.

But the REAL story of today is the Vintage Kitschmas Treasure Chest!!

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I actually owe this all to the amazing Mister Crafter.  When I saw the stack of old military trunks in the garage of the house we were picking, my gaze just skimmed right over them.  A little while later I hear the mister’s voice coming in from the garage:  ”Hey, did you even look in these trunks?”

I said “No!  Is there anything in them?”

“Oh yeah.”  He says.  ”This one is full of vintage Christmas stuff.”

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After I caught my breath and picked myself up off the floor, I dug through the first couple layers, just enough to realize that I was going home with the entire trunk.  We were both super excited to get home and fully excavate the old trunk and see what was in store for us.

Here are some highlights of what we found.

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Oh yeah.  Vintage Putz village.  Major score.

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Adorable vinyl tree skirt in the original package.

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GOBS of ornaments.

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Cute as a button window stencils.

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Never opened tinsel.

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Dainty and sparkly tree icicles.

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I never really know what to do with these kinds of cutouts, but this Santa, sleigh and reindeer is a total must-keep.

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How adorable are these little NOEL angels?  They’re not Holt Howard (although they look like they could be) but they are definitely keepers.

Once I had the box empty, this happened:

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Cat is drawn to box as child is drawn to cat.  This may be the saddest looking cat in a box in all of the internet.  Poor Walter is a saint.

Recent Finds

I’ve run into a few little gems recently I wanted to share with you.  First of all, HELLO turquoise bottle brush Christmas tree!  I totally heart it.  And I know it’s a small thing, but I adore that dustpan.  It makes me happy every time I see it hanging in the kitchen.

I’ve recently started rehabbing Little Betty’s chalet dollhouse with flooring and wallpaper, so this handpainted furniture will fit right in!  Little Betty thinks the benches should go outside and I think she is absolutely right.

The estate sale where I got everything I’ve shown thus far had some amazing kid stuff, including TONS of doll clothes and shoes.  It was hard to only get a few things, but I think I chose well.  Those party dresses and coat/hat set are insanely awesome.  Little Betty’s dolls have been hitting the party circuit ever since.

And speaking of Little Betty, she also scored these vintage Acme inlay boots.  They are not in the best shape, but they fit and are wearable and generally super cool.

I think these barkcloth curtains might be the best nursery print I’ve ever seen.  I’m going to hoard this fabric until someone very special gets pregnant then make the perfect baby gift out of it.  Also, that Little Red Riding hood ribbon is from 1890!  It’s perfect.

Lastly, I’ve been on an slowly escalating holiday celluloid kick lately, and I think it’s about to really take off.  I have a few Halloween pieces and a big Santa, but when I found these Christmas pieces it became clear that I’m now going to actively search them out.  They’re so beautiful and delicate and really look great grouped together.  I love vintage Christmas so much.  I’m about 5 degrees away from having Christmas stuff up all year.

Did you find anything good this week?

There is a small chance I might have overdone it on the crewel pillows.

Mr. Crafter – in fact, every male who has been to our house recently – is of the opinion that I have too many pillows on the couch.   But I – and in fact, every female who has been to our house recently – has agreed that it’s awfully comfy to have a lot of pillows on the couch.  So you can see we have a real Mars vs. Venus situation on our hands here.

Even I acknowledge that this is probably pushing the limits of the acceptable pillow-to-couch ratio, but what’s a crewel-loving gal like me to do?  Stop buying/making them?  Never!  

I guess my only option is to start farming them out to other parts of the house.  Every room and upholstered surface at Casa Crafter shall be adorned with crewel pillows!  Every wall covered with framed crewel work!  (I shiver with glee at the thought!)

That’s the awesome/crazy thing about Mr. Crafter and I.  Neither one of us does anything halfway.  When we get obsessed with something (which happens regularly) we totally go for it.  For me, bakelite! Vintage purses! Enid Collins!  Squirrels! Vintage Christmas!  CREWEL!  For him, James Dean! Rusty signs! Vintage Matador stuff!  Danish Modern furniture! Photography!  There was even a whole year where he was obsessed with the color brown.  It’s a miracle we’re not in the poorhouse.

But in my defense, how am I supposed to pass up an amazing piece of crewel?  They are so charming, and the great ones are getting so hard to find these days.  I have no willpower.

In other news of my shameless obsessions, I couldn’t resist splurging on one last after Christmas sale item:

It was 75% off!  It had to be done.  I can’t decide if I’ll put it in Little Betty’s room next year or not – I kinda like it right there.  But please notice the absence of other Christmas decorations.  I finally broke down and put them away.

Anyone else have borderline clinical obsessions like me?

Today was a good day.

Today I headed out of town at the crack of dawn with Little Betty and a girlfriend to hit some promising looking estate sales.  While the estate sales did not live up to expectations they did turn over some great smalls, and the extended thrifting expedition afterwards saved the day!

First of all, you know how they say you will get back what you put out into the universe?  Well I think the universe has been reading my blog because CREWEL!  And lots of it!  Plus some other needlework pieces.

I think my favorite is the pink flowers behind glass.  I can’t wait to create a big crewel display at the shop!  I already have a few really great pieces there.  Those two little pillows were picked out by Little Betty.  She is always scouting things for her baby dolls and apparently they can never have too many pillows.  Santa clearly approves of my selections.

Little Betty scored a whole lot more than those tiny pillows today though.  Feast your eyes on this booty:

She already has a wool hunting jacket, but this one was too cute to pass up!  Plus it’s a size too big so hopefully it will fit after she outgrows the other one.  And how about that blanket?  It will be perfect on her bed during the cold nights we’ve been having here.  It’s wool like a Hudson Bay blanket, and I’m am over the moon for that white and pink.  She’s too young for those little embroidery kits still, but they’ll be super fun in a year or so.  They’re so adorable I’m considering hanging them on the wall as art.

We’re not big liquor drinkers around these parts but I could not resist these shot glasses because next Christmas when my visiting family decides to tear though a bottle of bourbon like they did this year, I’ll be prepared to serve them in style!

Cute right??

Now, I know Christmas is over.  Really I do.  And I’m ok with it!  I’m actually wanting to take the decorations down but Little Betty and Mr. Crafter are resisting.  I swear!  But do you think I can resist after Christmas sales?  I think you know the answer.

I am head over heels for the little Santa town in a hurricane glass thingie.  Like, I love it bigtime.  The partridge in a pear tree glass is part of a 12 glass set – one for each day of Christmas, each one different.  I was too lazy to unwrap them all to show you though.  You’ll just have to trust me that they’re awesome.  And I’ve been super wanting one of those Build-It-Yourself Santa decorations!  Whee!

But my FAVORITE find of the day?

13 Christmas, handmade, felt napkin rings, each one different and kitsch-tastic!  All the necessary elements are present here – elves, Santa, reindeer, angels, sleighs, stockings… I am so excited to use these for every Christmas dinner for like, ever.

Have you been taking advantage of after Christmas sales?  And am I the last one with decorations still up?

Vintage Christmas Cards!

This week I lucked into an antire BOX  of greeting cards and letters from the 60s and 70s.  Mostly Christmas.  And boy howdy let me tell you the graphic design eye candy that was inside was mind blowing.  First of all I had such a great time sorting through them all and reading the sweet letters to this family. (It came from an estate – I was lucky enough to nab it before the auctioneers cleaned out the house!)  After hours of pouring over hundreds of them, I’ve pulled out a few Christmas cards to show you that I think are extra special.

I LOVE this Santa in a beaded balloon.  It actually inspired some friends and I to consider a card making party next year!

This one is totally incredible.  I mean, what exactly is going on here?  A transvestite carnie Santa?  Believe it or not, there were actually TWO of these in the box.  I love that this family got this card twice.

Sadly you can’t see the glitter that this card is highlighted with.  But isn’t it just the sweetest thing ever?  And if I were a tattoo enthusiast like Mr. Crafter I’d be tempted to get that reindeer permanently on my body.  I love it that much.

Classic, simple, beautiful.  Perfect.

I love this one.  Nighttime snowflakes and presents… dreamy…

How much do you love this sassy little kitten?  I actually had a hard time choosing which adorable kitten Christmas card to show you – there were so many!

And lastly, check out this pretty Christmas lady.  I like to imagine her name is Merry.  Also, I want to live in that house.

I can tell that from now on I’ll be checking out old greeting cards instead of passing them by like I always did before!  And I think I’ll start keeping the ones people give me.  Maybe at my estate sale someone will be glad I did.

An advent treasure hunt

I’ve been squirreling this vintage Bucilla kit away for quite some time with the intention to make it for Little Betty for Christmas.  I finally decided to bust into it and even though it took about 10 hours to complete, I really love the finished product!

Aren’t they adorbs??  Love em.  Anyhoo, I decided to use them as the prize in a treasure hunt that would originate in Little Betty’s advent calendar.

This morning when she woke up it took her no time to get into it!

She ran around the house excitedly, from one clue to the next…

and was thrilled to discover the culmination of a secret Christmas tea party with her elf, Princess Jack, and her new family of gingerbread dolls!

In no time they were cuddled up on the couch with her.  I think they have found a loving home!  Having kids is pretty fun.  I’m so glad I got to do it.