If you are so inclined, you can head on over to Amber Ostrich’s web site, a local estate sale company, and read an interview they did with me about my vintage selling business! Don’t mind my goofy pictures though – I’m the most un-photogenic person in all the land.
In a flash of inspiration I decided to marry my two loves, Christmas and all things woodland, in a Christmas themed terrarium!
The first order of business was clearly a gingerbread house, so I set to work sculpting one out of polymer clay. Mr. Crafter teased me mercilessly during this phase, telling me my transformation to a full-on grandma was complete. Well excuse me Mr. Crafter, I think you meant my transformation to full-on AWESOME cause look at this thing!
I had way too much fun making this. I really like working with polymer clay. After baking all it needed was some glitter Snow-Tex and some Diamond Dust and it was ready for my terrarium!
Terrariums are super easy to assemble – all you need is some pea gravel at the bottom, a layer of potting soil, then a layer of moss. You can get a package in the floral isle at the craft store.
The mushrooms I also made from polymer clay (left over from the terrarium-making station at Little Betty’s woodland themed 2nd birthday party) and the spun cotton snowman, tiny Santa, and ceramic reindeer are from my considerably large and growing stash of Christmas and woodland themed miniatures for just such an occasion.
Even Little Betty got in on the action! I made the shapes for the gingerbread house for her and she assembled and decorated it and applied the snow and glitter.
Little Betty and I are definitely looking forward to digging in the next month and churning out lots of Christmas crafts!
I just couldn’t wait, folks. I had to decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving. I couldn’t help it! Part of it was how excited I was about our new tree! Although I love our classic vintage aluminum tree, it’s not as big as I’d like and it was starting to get a little raggedy after years of use and I really don’t want to ruin it. So all this year I’ve been thinking about what kind of tree I wanted to get. It’s a tough decision for us vintage lovers. There’s not anything similar to the aluminum tree on the market. But we are thrilled with what we ended up with. Wanna see?
I thought a white tree might be a good substitute for the look of the aluminum but this one was especially awesome because it’s white iridescent pre-lit with multicolor lights. Most white trees are not iridescent and have white lights.
It’s super kitschy and sparkly. In other words, perfect!
Mr. Crafter says he likes it even better than the aluminum one and I’m inclined to agree. Plus no more pesky color wheel!
Soon I’ll show you some other current vintage Kitschmas vignettes from around Casa Crafter. I’ve also started my Christmas crafting and have some projects I’m excited to show you when they’re done! Have you decorated yet? Link to photos if you have them!
You may recall earlier in the year when I ran across 2 Gemma Taccogna papier mache sculptures in a thrift store to my unending glee. I had been drooling over her work online and wishing for some of my own but unwilling to drop multiple hundreds of dollars on one of her pieces. Since then I have loved admiring my 2 Gemmas on the fireplace mantle. Well folks, you can officially call me a collector because now there are 3.
Isn’t she breathtaking?? She was discovered in the vintage store across the street from mine (yes, the very same one where Mr. Crafter found the Black Forest coffee and end tables last week!) and she was only a few dollars more than I paid for the other Gemma head! I still can’t believe my good luck.
I was almost 100% positive it was one of hers even before I anxiously flipped her over. She’s just too iconic of an example of a Gemma Taccogna. And the colors – sweet mother – the colors are perfect for my house! Seriously, I should go buy a lottery ticket. I’m on a roll.
This piece is a vase – and it’s huge! Over a foot tall. The condition is great considering it’s a 50 year old piece of papier mache. Just some minor flaking around the edges and crazing on her face.
She looks like she’s always been on my mantle. The other head is a Mayan artifact replica we got on our honeymoon made by a man who looked just like a Mexican Johnny Cash. He had spent is career restoring Mayan artifacts for museums and in his retirement made authentic looking replicas in a small hut we just happened upon in the middle of nowhere. Although he’s not papier mache I think he fits in nicely with the girls. It’s not creepy at all to have a posse of disembodied heads staring at you from above the fireplace, right?
If you have a little one around and like to craft do yourself a favor and head to Wal Mart for the latest issue of Kids Crafts 1-2-3! There’s lots of great holiday projects in this issue (including of course my Reindeer Romp felt playmat on page 57!)
Not every Wal Mart carries it but if yours does it could either be in the craft department or in the magazine department so try both. If your Wal Mart doesn’t carry it never fear! You can subscribe or buy single issues online here.
I have been wanting to make the Snowbird Mittens out of Vogue Knitting’s Mittens and Gloves FOREVER. And finally, I decided this was the year I should have my mittens!
I used Brooklyn Tweed LOFT in a deep red and a soft grey. They turned out too big so I bravely threw them in the washing machine in my first attempt at felting. 2 cycles later they were perfect! You can see on one of them I somehow got off from the chart on one of the trees without noticing until they were finished, but I think it’s little mistakes like this that give handmade items soul, don’t you? My great grandmother made a quilt with a sailboat in each square and on one of those sailboats the sail is upside down. I’m sure it drove her nuts, but everyone in the family adores that quilt because of that small mistake.
Anyway, I adore these mittens y’all! Now we just need to break 70 degrees here in Austin so I can wear them!
So, one of the great benefits of being a vintage dealer for a living is that I can trade out furniture and we’ve been doing a lot of that lately. Today I’m going to show you what is happening in our living room. First, we got our first ever real adult couch! Meaning, non vintage, brand-new, costing more than our mortgage. Although we loved the other set, especially that peacock blue color, we found we really needed more seating space in this room, and thought a proper sectional would fit the bill perfectly. Thanks to Thrive Furniture and their Taylor L shaped sectional we got something we feel fits into our vintage home perfectly and gives us the space and comfort we wanted. Plus, their Lucky Turquoise color was almost the same color as our old set! Now our living room is such a cozy nest, perfect for curling up in front of the fireplace and watching movies.
But the real story of today is the totally amaze-balls coffee table set we picked up today. Mr. Crafter went to the vintage store across the street from mine while I was restocking and spied something he knew I’d love. He dragged me over there and it was ours in less than 10 minutes. I’ve never seen anything like it – it’s 2 coffee tables and 2 end tables with German Black Forest carved scenes under glass, just like my Alpine Chalet collection! It’s super hard to photograph because of the glass, so excuse the terrible pictures and try to see past the glare to the amazing beauty of these pieces.
This is the round coffee table. There is a string underneath that if you pull it plays a song and the water wheel turns. That part needs a little work – I’m hoping my local clock shop can get it working correctly.
This is the rectangular coffee table. It’s hard to appreciate the depth and intricacy because of the glare unfortunately.
Then there are 2 bi-level end tables too. Aren’t they amazing? Seriously, I’ve never seen anything like them. I love them so much. Yes, they are kitschy as heck, but that’s totally my bag! We’ll never have a stereotypically perfect mid century home, but being surrounded by crewel pillows, Alpine chalets, and Mr. Crafter’s found art pieces makes me indescribably happy and comfortable. And that’s what home is supposed to feel like, right?
It’s that time of year again – when moms like me agonize for months over an idea for a Halloween costume and then slave away for weeks on it all to culminate in 2 hours of a sugar induced frenzy. This year marked a new era for us at Casa Crafter – it was the first year Little Betty decided on her own what she wanted to be. I was so nervous, all the while begging internally “Please not a princess, PLEASE not a princess!” And so I was moderately relieved when she declared she wanted to be a purple unicorn. And since I am nothing if not an accommodating mommy, I produced this for her:
I used Butterick 3899, size 3. I definitely could have gone down a size. It was an easy to read and follow pattern and I had no issues with it. I used a short pile silky faux-fur with satin lining. It was not too hot for a Texas Halloween as I feared it might be – maybe because it was so baggy. Little Betty got lots of compliments and was very proud of her costume! I was just happy she didn’t refuse to wear it, always a major concern with a 3 year old!
She had so much fun trick or treating with her besties – they were basically beside themselves with glee, zipping from house to house collecting candy with such zeal it was like they were afraid it might run out. Afterwards we came home where she was allowed to pig out on her loot while watching The Great Pumpkin. Certainly a perfect night for a 3 year old.
How did your costumes turn out?
I know I’ve been talking a lot about how awesome Mr. Crafter is these days, and I would totally tone it down if he would quit doing awesome things but he has done something so incredible that I just knew you would want to know about it.
Some of you long time readers may remember a post I made about a year and a half ago about seeing the best vintage lamp ever in a shop in Chicago that was not for sale. It broke my heart, and you can see why:
Yes, friends, that is a 1950s squirrel lamp with fiberglass shade. It is the mothership of vintage lamps. The pinnacle of lighting greatness. The holy grail of 1950s functional art. I have never stopped talking about it, and bless his precious soul, Mr. Crafter has been listening. Ever since then every time Mr. Crafter has gone to Chicago, he’s made a visit to the shop and tried to talk the owner into selling it to him. She loves the lamp as much as I do and could not be persuaded. Believe me, Mr. Crafter has exceptional acquiring and persuading skills. His whole career revolves around getting impossible things to happen. This lady was not budging. So the other day I squealed like a 14 year old girl when I got this picture texted to me:
I love this man. Seriously, this is probably the sweetest thing he’s ever done for me. I am giddy with love for my new lamp and my thoughtful husband!
Doesn’t it look like it’s always been in my house? I feel that it’s finally come home where it belongs. I made sure to put it right by our couch and TV so that I can maximize my time gazing at it adoringly.
Is it not the most perfect lamp in all the land? Have you ever seen anything so beautiful in vintage home decor? And most importantly, how in the heck is Mr. Crafter ever going to top this one?