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.

reindeer2

Autumn Teacup Wreath

I just couldn’t stand to see these antique Royal Albert Crown China (Devonshire Lace pattern – 1930s) teacups thrown away – even though they had cracks on their insides.

Hydrangeateacupfall2016-1a.png

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

They were a Craigslist freebie – the ad said if no one replied by that evening they were going in the trash. I couldn’t bear the thought.

Among other considerations, these types of dishes cannot go in our recycling bins. They go to landfill.  No way!

hydrangeateacupfall2016-2

So I gathered some autumn rust coloured hydrangeas (yes – I cheated and added a couple of Dahlias for filler because I temporarily ran out of hydrangeas and have to wait for more to start to dry – too hard to handle when they are fresh fresh) from the garden and made a teacup wreath.

But you get the idea.  Not including the harvest and drying of hydrangeas, this project took a whopping 15 minutes to make and cost nothing (I used a grapevine wreath that I had on hand. I bought 3 for 75 cents at a yard sale a year and a half ago but I have used them several times already).

Sharing:

vintage charm button 2

tuesday cuppa tea button

Talk-of-the-Town-button-Knick-of-Time

letstalkvint

35ee33d17bfeb3e35cd5532dca848e6a

vintage-wednesday-diy-by-design

waw_button

Chair Planter with Bling

Planterchair1.jpg  Here’s a tip off the top from the auctioneer’s kid: when you go to an auction (or antique store) park near their garbage.

It’s astonishing in this junk-friendly era with distribution mechanisms like curbsides and “Craigslist free” listing, but people still throw away stuff that is…well, “killing me with potential” as we used to say around the Crib board.

In this case the source was my antique auctioneer uncle. He bought a batch lot (a “Lot” at an auction is an item being sold. That item can, as in this instance, be a group of items. Usually they are items of low value grouped together in the hope of creating enough value to make it worth the auction house’s overhead costs of selling it.)

Planterchair2.jpg

My uncle wanted one item in a batch lot being sold at a competitor auction and he did NOT want this seatless, scratched up chair frame and told his employee to haul it out to the garbage.

It never got there.

The frame was nearly 100 years old and perfectly solid. Someone had sanded one side – clearly intending to refinish the frame and probably upholster a new seat cushion (if that is your desire for a chair frame you come across, there are tons of cushion forms floating around for free or you can get one cut from scrap wood for a song!)

I had other plans. So on the way home I stopped by the recycling centre. I don’t know about where you live, but in British Columbia you can take your leftover paint to the provincially funded recycling depot in every community. They will either dispose of it in the most environmentally-safe manner possible or, if it is still usable, will put it in a bin where another member of the community can take it for free and use it up (THE most environmentally responsible disposal method). I picked up almost a full litre of off-white paint (colour selection is limited to what gets dropped off…of course).

But I was fortunate and found a good supply of cream colour latex – which I made into homemade chalk paint with the addition of some Plaster of Paris (about 30% which I mix in a separate container so I can play with the combination until I get it right.

I took advantage of the lovely summer weather to paint outdoors. Two coats.

Planterchair3

I then distressed it by scraping with the blunt edge of a butter knife the parts that would be worn naturally (edges of the legs, back and seat, most elevated areas of carved section) and then lightly sanded with a sanding block.

It was pretty, but I wanted something a bit more so I looked through my vintage costume jewellery and found a brooch I thought perfect for the job.

I love pearls – and am quite fond of rhinestones.

planterchair4

I attached it with E6000- a good, strong glue.

Planterchair5.jpg

I wiped the chair down and gave it a coat of clear outdoor Minwax.

The only planter I had that fit the chair was brown, so I gave it a quick spray with quick-drying Rustoleum matt white spray paint. Filled it and set it next to the front door.

The pink flowers brought out a pink tone in the pearls.

planterchair6b.jpg

Planterchair8

Planterchair7

I’ve used it as porch décor, but it would make a nice piece of decoration for a backyard wedding, as well.

Sharing:

vintage charm button 2

35ee33d17bfeb3e35cd5532dca848e6a

Snickerdoodle-Create-Bake-Make-Party-Button-1

Make-it-Pretty-Post-Button

Beached Porch

What do you do with a driftwood plank? Make a nautical sign, of course!

And of course that naturally leads to redecorating the porch. Of course!

BeachsignA

As those of you of shared creative temperament will understand, sometimes inspiration hits at 2:00 a.m. when craft and stationery stores aren’t open.

I had some stencil letters from a community project but the spacing of the individual cards didn’t fit the wood, so I used chalk to trace the letters onto some scrap (black) paper in the recycle bin, cut the letters out and spaced them on the wood and then traced the letters once again.

BeachsignA1

Then I used a paintbrush and homemade chalk paint to fill in the letters. To make those stand out against the pale blue  background paint and old dripped white oil paint, I used a Sharpie to trace the outline of each letter.

BeachSignA2.jpg

Then I sanded the letters to give them a distressed look similar to the wood.

BeachsignA3.jpg

Then I gave it a couple of coats of fast drying polyurethane.

It looked fine, but really was in want of some kind of embellishment. Which had to be free – or darn close to it.

The real fun came in when I spied a dog chew toy I had purchased from a bargain bin ($1.50 CDN – so about $1.00 US). All of a sudden I realized that it was a perfect nautical knot.

Beachsignknot

I used all kinds of white paint remains that I had on hand (from craft paint to spray paint) to alter the texture and colour a bit. Then glued it to the sign using both my hot glue gun and E6000 (more weather proof).

Then I bashed it about a little to make it look aged similar to the wood.

Beach sign 3

Then I pulled together some nautical-type items and got to playing.

Beach 6.jpg

beach sign 5

Beach sign 4

Confession: that fabulous LLBean beach bag doesn’t belong to me. A friend was walking by with it just as I was about to lift my camera.  It just works, doesn’t it!

Sharing:

Snickerdoodle-Create-Bake-Make-Party-Button-1

vintage charm button 2

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).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

 

 

Butter Churn Planter

The delicate, translucent trumpet-shaped flowers of the perennial morning glory (aka bindweed or creeping jenny) are deceptive. This non-native plant is considered an extremely hardy scourge here in the Fraser Valley, where aggressive root systems can crisscross a farm field in the blink of an eye and reach depths of 15-20 feet.

A former neighbor used to turn over his lawn, pour gasoline on the roots and try to kill the roots by burning them. (In areas with cold winters they aren’t a problem – the deep cold kills them off).

Knowing this, I still love having them in the garden. Love seeing the flowers close at dusk and burst open with first sun.

So I do the same thing with these that I do with other aggressive self-propagating plants like Feverfew, Mint and Lemon Balm. I grow them in containers and try to cut back before they seed.

When my uncle bought this reproduction butter churn, its depth had promise as a home for a deep-rooted plant. So I planted it up for him and it now provides a cheerful greeting at the entrance to his antique warehouse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharing this post at:

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.

 

Sharing this post at:

Talk-of-the-Town-button-Knick-of-Time

Before-and-After-Post-Button

 

Garden Angel

 

Expecting company on Sunday, so I want to sharpen up the outdoors décor a little.  At Christmas I made some spindle angels as gifts.  I will probably put this one away for next Christmas, but it’s going to debut as a porch ornament in the meantime.

Garden Angel

The total cost was about 1o cents. One side of a broken picture frame and a chair spindle, both of which were curbside rescues. The head is a cookie cutter I’ve had for years and never used.

The bling is junk that I rescued from broken things.

The only cost was the bit of paint and glue.

Spindle Angel

Soon it became a pretty add.ition to a porch planter

Child’s Play

Sharing this at:

Talk-of-the-Town-button-Knick-of-Time

Before-and-After-Post-Button

vintage charm button 2

 

 

 

 

More than Sew Sew

Antique sewing machine doorstop

A local sewing shop has a brilliant repurpose – an antique sewing machine as a doorstop.  Although it’s old, it’s probably not working and even if it is, functionally isn’t as convenient as today’s fancy, light model machines. So if not for this business’ creativity, it would likely end up in the landfill.

Those things weigh a ton – it’s a genius repurpose!

Laura's Fashion Fabrics antique doorstop

I’ve walked by it for years and love that this little shop has this clever repurpose right out front where everyone in the community can see it.

And propping the door open all day (spring through fall in our mild climate) is a big, friendly White Rock-style “come on in”.

If you’ve ever in White Rock, BC give a thumbs up to the girls at Laura’s Fashion Fabrics on Johnston Road  (http://laurasfashionfabrics.com/)

 

 

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.

Sharing at: