Cedar Reindeer Rescue

The At the end of August I drove past a number of items that had been placed curbside.

I saw potential in several pieces, including the two cedar reindeer.

They are similar but not an exact match. Even the wood is different colours. And those fuzzy pink noses! A cross between Rudolph and Pinocchio.

I used nail polish remover to remove the pink noses and the plastic neck ribbons. I also removed the plastic eyes which had been glued on crudely, and one of which was missing.

Then I watered down some white latex paint and gave them a quick whitewash. The cedar was untreated, so it absorbed almost all of the wash in some spots, which added to the rustic, country look.

The whitewash made them look a tad more like a matching pair.


10 Junk Altered Autumn Cards

Old lace, fabric scraps (including the seams that are of no use as dust cloths!), old buttons, belt buckles, bottle caps, corn husks, candy wrappers, old keys and broken jewelery pieces…

When most people do a cleaning purge such items go the trash.  With me they go on cards.

I recently took the opportunity to get a jump on my holiday (Thanksgiving/Christmas) cards.   Boy I  had fun!

I’m getting a lot more confident in my multi-material play at the same time.

And since the cards frequently include something more, I pulled out to include with my cousin’s card this antique autograph book that belonged to our  Grandma.



I enjoy the benefits of the internet as much as the next guy. But I swoon over hand-written cards  and letters.

I don’t receive a lot these days, but here’s a sample of what my family and friends can look for in their mailboxes over the next few weeks.













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Rustic Engagement Sign

This wonderfully bashed-up trumpet is not new to this blog. And the door from a 200 year old Quebec cupboard is not new by any measure.

But they are new together, like my 58/63 year old friends who just got engaged.

They wanted to keep it quiet – it’s not the first time for either of them.

But I convinced them to have a little soiree to share their happy news and made this for the occasion.

And it all comes apart very easily (no chalk paint here – just regular latex that will scrub off fairly easily within a few days), so the pieces can live on to trumpet other occasions.


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DIY Junk Thanksgiving Cards

My American cousins have an extra month to get ready, but Thanksgiving is just around the corner for us Canadians (2nd Sunday in October for all of you who are planning to share with me YOUR handmade Thanksgiving cards.

But most importantly, make them to share with your family and real life friends. I promise you, homemade cards are transformative.  You’ll be (pleasantly) embarrassed by the fuss you will receive.

Especially if you do what I do and make each card especially for the person you are giving it to.

Here are some examples:

The card above is for Mrs. Choi. Until she retired, she ran a coffee shop where my Uncle (often) and I (occasionally) had breakfast.

Currently, a couple of times a month, she hangs on my Uncle’s apartment door a grocery bag containing a home cooked meal. I am very thankful for her many acts of kindness and caring.

These dried berries were picked from the bush in front of her former restaurant.

The blue and white checked fabric is from a tea towel she gave me in her restaurant to wrap my hand. My dog had just died and I was distracted and cut myself. She gave me the towel (told me to keep it) and held me while I cried.  I’m embarrassed it has taken me so long to return this scrap of gratitude.

A month or so ago a local antique picker and dear friend sold my Uncle a couple of antique apothecary bottles.  My Uncle is almost 80 and should have retired some time ago, but he can’t give up the people. He’s not making much money as an auctioneer, and John gives him great deals.

One of the apothecary bottles was cracked (which was reflected in the price, of course) and as we were unpacking the van, my Uncle started to tell me to throw it out… then, to just take it (watch for it – it’s going to be a Christmas project). He’s also the friend who gave me some antique tins. But I took the label off and saved it for this card, to let John know how much I appreciate his sweetness.

I don’t buy corn husks unless hell freezes over – or I forgot to dry my own.  This patch is from fabulous Chilliwack Corn (Jubilee!) consumed 2 weeks ago.

This card is for my baby brother (who keeps telling me “52 is not a baby”). We lost touch for too many years and I take every opportunity to tell him how grateful I am to have him back in my life.

There is nothing about the makings of the card related to him – except me. And the fact that we grew up in what was a rural village.

The centre is (blush) candy wrappers. My embarrassment stems not only from how  bad the sugar is for me, but the wrappers are not recyclable in the area where I live. Pure landfill fill… so I’m on a mission to find things to do that keep them from the dump and hopefully burn off a couple of calories. Also the bottom ruffle on John’s card.

MANY more cards to come — because I have so much to be grateful for.

Although I’ll never top last year’s Thanksgiving post – my most popular post to date


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Wedding Card Mailbox

WeddingCardsMailboxThis is a remake of a plastic mailbox I painted last fall for Christmas porch decoration Christmas Mail.

A friend’s backyard wedding this summer has me seeing wedding décor everywhere I look.

The other side of the mailbox had a big chip in the front. I covered it by making a few quick and simple fabric flowers and hotglued them to the mailbox.

The wording was printed off on the computer and applied using the packing tape method. A string of very inexpensive imitation pearls was hot glued for a little elegance.



Canuck Junk

Getting ready for July 1st.  Polishing up my Canuck Pride.

Canada Day 2016 2

This is the antique window my uncle rescued for me from his friend and client, Herda.Graniteware Garden

I needed a Canada Day (July 1st for my American pals) porch greeting – and quick. So I just printed off the words, taped the pages in place on the back side of the window and then used black and red Sharpies to trace the lettering onto the window.

The Maple Leaf I drew by hand (obviously – lol).


This antique doll comes from the East Coast of Canada. The clothing (including the sou’wester hat) is traditional fisherman attire. The red hair – well, our maritimes are heavily populated with the descendants of Irish immigrants.



Child’s Play

Don’t you just love arriving for a party to find a specially decorated porch or entrance? I do.

I learned to do this as a fundraiser at BC’s Children’s Hospital Foundation. We hosted donor stewardship events for the biggest (wealthiest) donors, and it was always a priority to make the reception area beautifu

But with house parties, hosts and hostesses are usually up to their backsides getting the inside of the house cleaned and decorated.

I’ve discovered that creating a greeting porch/station is a very welcome gift I can give to my hosts. And if you use props you already own this job can be fast and virtually free. Your real gift is your time and creativity.

When a friend’s youngest turned three, I pulled together (and borrowed one of the rocking chairs) some antique children’s furniture and décor. All the plants were from the garden, so there was no cash expense.


AiJ followers will be familiar with this seatless antique Canadian pine child’s rocker. I use a kitchen strainer as a planter. I got it from a curbside “Free” box a couple of years ago. It’s perfect for the purpose.

I borrowed this scroll wood child’s rocker and added a large teddy bear (a curbside rescue from a couple of years ago – I reserve it for outdoor decorating.











I pulled a planter from another location and added the Garden Angel I made last week.




and an antique doll I’ve had for 20 years…




It’s a weekend. No mail delivery so the mailbox gets pulled into action, too.


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St Patrick’s Porch Decor

Antique Shamrock Lard tin (from the former Burns Company of Vancouver, BC) planted with Shamrocks and Irish Moss.

The Celts of ancient Ireland believed that planting Irish Moss by your door acts as lightning rod for prosperity and good fortune.  I’ll keep you posted.

It is accompanied by a vintage Blue Mountain Pottery Clover Leaf hostess dish in green drip glaze – a curbside find at the home of neighbours doing a spring purge.  Given the significant Irish population in this city, I think I was lucky to spy it first.

All in all fun, vintage DIY porch décor for St. Patrick’s Day – and here in White  Rock for the month long  Irish Festival in March.

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Betty Boop Centrepiece

Initially this antique chamber pot was going to be a porch planter; then I added the candles and made it a Valentine’s centerpiece. I thought the Betty Boop lunch box (not vintage, but a replica of the 1950s cartoon character) resembled a heart-shaped balloon, so I taped it to a garden stake and to give it height like a balloon would have.


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Morning Cup of Joe

I’m linking this post to by My Little Inspirations


Wow Us Wednesdays – http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net/2016/02/wow-us-wednesdays-259.html#more