Country Christmas Santa-scape

This holiday season has been flying by! So much to do, so little time. Because I had been spending so much time decorating my booth for the Christmas market,

Cupboard Stocked Open DoorsI have not had much of a chance to decorate my own home for Christmas! So what I am doing, I am doing in bits and pieces. Open a storage bin, pull out some stuff, set it up-decorating on the fly. Tablescapes are a quick, simple way to add some holiday cheer to a tabletop, cupboard or hutch. The trick is in the layering. This is my little storage cupboard in the kitchen. Before…

Red Hutch Before

After…

Jingle All The Way Tablescape

Here is the how-I-did-it: Started with a base. In this case, a white sparkly runner from HomeGoods to brighten up the top of the cabinet, which is dark red.

White Snowflake Runner on tablescape

Added a backdrop. I had this aged, chippy piece of wood (I believe it is an old cabinet door, sans cabinet, so I painted the raised panels with chalkboard paint so I can write whatever I want, depending on the season or holiday.) I just stood it up against the wall, no need to hang it.

Santa Tablescape Door BackgroundAdded the swag-this sparkling BELIEVE sign on a jute rope was the perfect size to hang from each corner.

Santa Tablescape Believe SignNext comes the plant or flower. I like to have something flowering on one side and then a candle or lantern on the opposite side to create a full vignette with the background. The heights don’t need to be the exact same size, but you should have some balance between the two sides. In this one, I used a poinsettia in an old raspberry jam bucket we picked up at a consignment shop over the summer. Loving the bright red colors!

Raspberry Pail with Poinsettia

Added an old Santa and the red lantern on the opposite side, which provides the height and color balance I was looking for.

Santa Tablescape Santa and LanternPlaced the reindeer next to the poinsettia in the bucket.

Rustic ReindeerSince I was going with a Santa-themed vignette, I decided to write some fun Christmas lyrics on my chalk board. Very simple process: go to Avery.com and find whatever size template fits the space you are going to write on with chalk (in this case, I used an 81/2 x 11) Choose your words, choose your font and print. (My printer is just about out of ink, so the print was very faint, but I only needed the outline so no worries there!)

Santa Tablescape Tracing DesignFlip over the paper to the reverse side and “chalk it up” rubbing the entire paper with the side of a piece of chalk.

Santa Tablescape Chalking Paper DesignFlip it over, tape to the chalkboard, then trace the edges of your design with a pencil.

Santa Tablescape Design OutlineRemove the paper and voila-you have a chalking template in place!

Jingle All The Way ChalkboardNow you just fill it in with your sharpened chalk and you are done.

Santa Tablescape Sharpening Chalk++TIP++ keep a damp Q-tip nearby as you chalk so that you can easily clean up any edges or marks.

Chalking the outline Jingle All The Way

Looks so festive, right?! Added the greens, just weaving them in and around the items on the tabletop.

Santa Tablescape Rustic Reindeer and SantaSprinkled on a bit of fake snow for some sparkle

Santa Tablescape Fake Snow Sprinkles

and some twinkle lights to give it that holiday glow. Done. 30 minutes from start to finish. Really gives the kitchen a holiday feel.

Country Design Santa DisplayNow its time to start baking for our cookie swap! Only 9 days left everyone! Keep HoHoHoing! Susan

The Stockings Were Hung…

At the Vintage Thymes Monthly Market! Just a few pics of this weekend’s market, today, Saturday and Sunday.

VT Merry Christmas Box with Greens

Some of the most beautiful and creative items I have see yet! My booth is chock full of vintage items including this antique buggy bench-which I love.

VT Buggy Bench

I have been working on the cupboard since the summer, when I purchased it at a flea market in Maine. Somehow I managed to get the whole thing in the car and take it home. Now it’s your turn : )

Cupboard Stocked Open Doors

This antique jewel-encrusted dress form is astounding!

VT Jewel Encrusted Dress Form

The artist, Nancy Rafi, reports that it took her 100 hours of construction, using pins, buckles, belts and buttons from all over the world. This is a truly one-o-f-a-kind piece. Simply Amazing.

So many cute vintage signs,

VT Merry & Bright

and if you don’t have a tree yet, you might like one of these! They are not real but they are so fun! These are glittery shabby chic.

 VT Shabby Chic Trees

This one’s wrapped in red plaid ribbon and already lighted

VT Red and White

And this one was created using old book bindings-so creative!

VT Bookend Tree

There are plenty of stocking stuffers,

 

VT Hand Painted Snowflake Blocks

vintage wreaths (this one was created from old barrel staves)

VT Barrel Stave Wreath

and perfect gifts for everyone!

VT Vintage Picks by Jen

So come on down to the Vintage Thymes Market

VT Vintage Vignette

and stop in to my booth at Country Design Home to say hello!

VT Candy Cane Vignette

If this doesn’t put you in the holiday spirit, I don’t know what will! Happy holiday shopping everyone! Only 12 more days til Christmas! Susan

Rustic Glam Reindeer

Musical Deer CloseupOne of the my favorite holiday projects I’ve been working on this season is a pair of decoupaged reindeer using antique Christmas carol sheet music. I had fallen in love with some similar to this in an Orvis holiday catalog I recently received. But they were glass and glitter and cost a pretty penny. AND, they are sold out!!

Glass-Glitter-Trimmed Deer OrvisTime for a little DIY. This is a simple, somewhat time-consuming project, but with a bit of patience you can make these beautiful deer too for a little $$$! I found two papier mache deer at Joann’s for $6.99 each, but they were on sale for 40% off. (well, actually there were three, but one of the little guys just kept falling over- too much spiked eggnog perhaps-so he was returned?!).

Decoupaged Deer Before1. Along with your deer, you will need decoupage glue ( am using Modge Podge here, but there are so many brands to choose from now), some decorative paper, hot glue, glitter, jute twine, some bells and fluff. Here is the how-to:

Deer Supplies2. I cut most of the sheet music into strips and bits before I began, the rest as I went along. There were quite a few curves and crevices to work into, so I used varied sizes of cut paper. If you don’t have sheet music, you can use any light weight paper, like wrapping paper, or even the newspaper! Working in small areas, one section at a time, brush on some decoupage glue to the deer, then onto the reverse side of the paper piece you are using.

Decoupage Deer Sheet Music

Place the paper onto the deer, then smooth it with your finger or brush. Repeat, overlapping as you go, until the entire deer is covered in decorative paper.

Glueing Sheet MusicI created a bridle with the border of the musical paper.

Decoupaged Deer Holly BridleI left the antlers clear because I wanted to decorate those differently. Allow to dry.

Decoupaged Deer Completed4. Glitter time! Paint the papered sections of the deer with decoupage glue, then sprinkle with clear glitter all over, making sure you get into all the cracks and crevices. Shake or tap it to allow any loose glitter to fall off. ++TIP++ I always place a piece of wax paper under my projects before I begin sprinkling. Once you are finished, you pick up the wax paper, fold in half to created a “luge” and pour all of the leftover glitter back into the bottle. Saves a lot of glitter! If you notice you have missed a spot, then just add a little more glue and re-apply glitter.

Glittering the decoupaged deerI left the antlers and hooves dry, as I wanted those to be wrapped in a rustic jute to contrast the sparkly mane, but you can glitter the whole thing if you would like. Allow to dry.

3. Decorate the hoofs and antlers. Using jute, start in a hidden area and use a spot of hot glue to anchor the twine.

Anchoring twine to antler with glue gun

Paint the remainder of the area with the decoupage glue.

Applying glue to antlers of decoupaged deer

Wrap the twine around until the area is covered. Tuck in end and add another spot of hot glue to anchor in place.

Anchoring the twine with glue gun

5. For the collar I used some white feather boa I had available to mimic the ones in the Orvis ad.

Decoupage Deer with feather boa trimCut enough to wrap around twice. Anchor the end under the chin with a spot of hot glue.

Anchoring feather boa with glue gunWrap the feather boa around twice, cut and secure back under with the hot glue. Make sure you don’t get glue on the feathers or they’ll lose their fluff-a-bility!

6. For the collar, you will need thread, a little bell and a pushpin and a decoration of some sort.

Snowflakes and Thread

I used a push pin decorated with a sparkly snowflake for the anchor.

Snowflake Pushpins

Glue a rhinestone to the snowflake for a little added bling.

Glueing Rhinestone to Pushpin

Take the pushpin and tie the bell with thread to the plastic part above the ridge. That will prevent it from slipping off the pin. Or you could glue it.

Threaded bells

Then push the pin into the neck area, through the fur. The pin will not show through the fur, so no worries there. Dazzling deer!!

Deer Bling Collar with Bell

7. Done! Are these exactly like the ones in the ad? Nope. But I love my deer with the antique Christmas carols and furry collars.  Such a pretty holiday decoration for a dreamy, sparkling, snowy mantel or console tablescape!

Antique Music Deer Pair CDH

Now if only someone had a decoupaged deer on their Secret Santa list….only 18 days left everyone-oh, deer, better get shopping! Susan

Silver Bells, Silver & Shine

Inspired by Silver Bells

Silver & Shine Silver Bells PM

A few silvery holiday ideas… Silver & Shine Deco Dreams Come True Silver Ornaments in Bowl with Greens by The Expert Touch Interiors Silver & Shine The Expert Touch Silver Mantel by French Flair Interior Design

Silver & Shine French Flair Interior Design

It’s Christmas Time in the City at the Atlanta Holiday House

Silver & Shine Atlanta Holiday House.

Silver and Navy Table Setting by French Flair Interior Design

Silver & Shine Table Setting Houzz

A simple shining mantel by AM Dolce Vita

Silver & Shine amdolcevita

Shimmering Silver Tree by French Flair Interior Design 

Silver & Shine Silver Branches by French Flair

Simply Parisian Style by Rose Garden Romantic Home

Silver & Shine Rose Garden Romantic Home

Christmas Bowl by Timothy De Clue Design

Silver & Shine Silver Bowl Timothy De Clue Design L.L.C.

Silver & Plum Table Setting by Focal Point Styling

Silver & Shine Focal Point Styling Houzz.

Silver Lights Screen Wallpaper. Download to add a bit of silvery sparkle to your holiday!

Silver Lights

Only 20 days til Christmas. Make your holidays shine. Susan

Glen Magna Designer Showhouse

I have been to many designer showhouses over the years, hosted in mansions by the sea and ancient monasteries, but none more personal or meaningful to me than the Glen Magna Farms Designer Holiday Showhouse in Danvers, Massachusetts.

Glen Magna Farms Endicott Mansion PMYou see, I was raised in this north shore town, not very far from the grounds of this old magnificent estate, and as a child my wish had always been to have the wedding of my dreams there. Which I did, so very many years ago. (and, yes, hats were a thing back then…)

Wedding Image Glen Magna

The Endicott Mansion has been the site of many beautiful weddings and historic events over the years, but lately, according to Danvers Historical Society president Wayne Eisenhauer,

Wayne Eisenhauer

Wayne Eisenhauer Danvers Historical Society President

had started to show its true age. Many of the mansion’s period rooms had lost their luster and were in dire need of updating and refurbishing, without sacrificing the integrity of the magnificent home and its history.

The Peabody Parlor

But, extensive renovations are prohibitively expensive on such a grand scale. The Designer’s Showhouse seemed the perfect solution: each interior space would receive a floor-to-ceiling makeover, painstakingly preserving the existing architecture. The proceeds would benefit the Historical Society and provide funds to refurbish the 1792 Derby Summer House,

Derby Summer Housewhich is also on the grounds of the Glen Magna Farms. On Thanksgiving eve, I had the opportunity to tour the mansion with Wayne Eisenhauer, the Historical Society president and met several of the designers, including the Showhouse Chair, Sandra Biondo of Sandra Biondi Interiors of Danvers. The completed works of the collective group of incredibly talented designers is impressive. Room after room, once faded and dated,

Bride's Room Endicott Estate

Photo courtesy of Benoit Photography

have been stripped of the old layers, and redesigned displaying touches unique to each designer. Above is the before Bride’s Room, used primarily as a dressing room for the bride to be. The redesigned suite by Linda Hentschel of I-Design Interiors (the bedroom) and Diana Kennedy of Diana Kennedy Interiors (the adjacent Bride’s Bath) is so very lovely in shades of rich creams and whites. The bedroom features a hand-carved mahogany four poster bed from the society’s collection and a mirrored console table- brilliant touches of old and new. The Endicott Library with its extraordinary curved bookcase spanning the length of the room, has been transformed by William Ralph Fine Antiques & Design. The room now features a desk dating to the 1600’s and an exquisite antique highboy acquired from the historical society’s private collection.

Endicott Library c.1900

The challenge was updating the spaces while staying true to the estate and its place in history at the turn of the century, while oftentimes preserving existing paint colors and architectural details at the behest of the Historical Society.

Glen Magna Farms Renewal

This is the grand foyer back at the turn of the century

Endicott Estate Grand Foyer

The Drawing Room, designed by Donna Terry, of Boston Design and Interiors boasts this magnificent carved fireplace

Glen Magna Drawing Room Fireplace

which is the focal point of the room. This is the original room as it appeared prior to the transformation.

The Drawing Room

This is Donna’s inspired rendering of the space,

Glen Magna Drawing Room Donna Terry Rendering

which was decorated in the Art Deco Style with Neoclassical/Egyptian Revival roots. The finished room is nothing short of spectacular! Of course, you will have to attend the showhouse to see for yourself the amazing transformations of all the spaces. It opens today, December 1 and runs through the 15th. The self-guided tour hours are 10-4 daily, and the tickets are $20 either online or at the door, all to benefit the Danvers Historical Society. For a complete listing of all of the talented designers and contributors to this project, click here. I hope you all have a chance to visit the Endicott Mansion at Glen Magna Farms. It is inspired decorating at its best and it is for such a great cause! Have a wonderful post-turkey, three weeks to Christmas weekend everyone! Susan

J & J Graphics Artwork

Last weekend I was fortunate to attend the Hingham Holiday Fair at Hingham High School-simply amazing!! The entire school, including the hallways, the gym and cafeteria were overflowing with Christmas joy-just the right start to my holiday season! Although there were so many vendors who caught my holiday-shopping eye, there was one booth in particular whose artwork really captivated me.

View of Boston and Charles River FullJ & J Graphics is a mother and son team from the north shore of Boston who create original folk art paintings depicting “Memorable New England Coastal Locations, Sailing Scenes and Boston Sports”.

J & J Graphics Home Page

J & J Graphics Art

So perfect for holiday gift-giving for a lover of all things New England! The colors are vibrant, the scenes iconic

J & J Calendar

The Swanboats

some are fanciful

J & J Cape Cod

Cape Cod Houses

some seasonal

J & J Holiday Cards Full

J & J Graphics Holiday Cards

some just capturing all that is Boston and our heritage.

J & J Boston Landmarks Full

Boston Harbor and the Consitution

There are calendars,

J & J Calendar 2014

J & J Boston Sports Calendar

sports posters,

J & J Boston Sports

J & J Graphics Boston Sports Calendar

large and small

J & J Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox Poster

and so much more, featuring the coastline of New England from Maine

J & J View From Crocker Park Full

Marblehead View From Crockett Park

to Cape Cod and the Islands.

J & J Brant Point Lighthouse Full

Nantucket Harbor

Their beautiful work is available in many local shops around the New England area, but you will also be able to meet them this weekend at the Hingham Shipyard Holiday Market on November 30 and December 1st. 

J & J Graphics Hingham Holiday Shipyard

But if you’re not able to get to the shipyard, you can visit their website @ J & J Graphics for additional information and locations or to order online. Happy holiday shopping everyone! Now that turkey day is behind us, let the Christmas games begin! Susan

Teeny Tiny Tea Table

My DIY projects are being completed at a record pace this month, knowing that Thanksgiving dinner for twenty is fast approaching and our Vintage Thymes Monthly Market will be the following weekend! One of this week’s projects was refurbishing a cute little side table.

Teeny Tiny Tea Table BeforeThe original finish was a shiny scratched shellac with large milky stains on the top over a dark mahogany wood. After several unsuccessful attempts to remove the stains, I made the decision to paint and antique it instead. Since I wanted to show off the pretty delicate floral border, I decided to go with two coats of Annie Sloan French Linen for the base and a specialty deeper gray color that I created. (I’m calling it CDH Parisian Gray : ) I have been mixing my own colors and creating a chalk-like paint using a recipe I recently discovered online. LOVE it. Blog for another day.

CDH Parisiian Gray Paint

For the finishes, I used some Martha Stewart products I discovered in a 50% off mark down bin at MichaelsCrackle Effect for the center, Antique Tintable Glaze for the contrast and a Satin Acrylic Finish. 

Martha Stewart Glazes and FinishesHere is the How-To:

1. Cleaned the table and remove cobwebs and dust (it was in the barn…).

2. Painted the base coat with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. The beauty of ASCP is that you don’t need to prep or prime anything. Just paint and go. Two coats. 3. Sanded the edges to give the table a more rustic appearance. (You can skip this step if you want it to be a bit more refined : )

Annie Sloan French Linen Paint- 2 coats legs4. I had left the middle circle untouched, thinking that I would just add the crackle medium and then paint over that to allow the dark wood to show through. (For more info on using crackling medium, check out my Big Rack Attack Towel Rack tutorial)

Martha Stewart Crackle Medium over shellacFAIL. The crackling medium dried, and when I painted over it for the contrast, it looked fine.

Martha Stewart Crackle Glaze Over ShellacUntil I started to add the glaze. What a mess. All of the paint started coming off with the rag! Apparently the crackle medium did not adhere to the unprepped and shellacked inner circle. So I scraped it off,

Scraping off Crackle Glaze and Paintcleaned it well, sanded it down,

Sanded Table toppainted it with my CDH Parisian gray,

Painted Inner Circle of Tea Tablecrackle glazed and repainted that inner circle again, allowed to dry thoroughly,

Repainting inner circlethen proceeded on to the next step.

5. Mixed the Antique Effects Glaze with my darker gray paint.

Martha Stewart Antique Glaze and paintRemember, the more paint you use, the darker the glaze effect will be, so just use a small amount of paint. Paint it on, wipe it off with a damp rag. Do one section at a time, as this product dries pretty quickly and you want it to be blended smoothly and not leave streaky lines.

Painting on Martha Stewart GlazeI started out with a fairly dark mixture of paint and glaze, then added more glaze to lighten up as I went on. The great part about this product is that it is water based, so just taking a damp rag to it removed the excess perfectly. You can see how the glaze enhances not only the crackling effect in the center, but also the medallion of flowers along the border. So country pretty!

Wiping Off Excess Glaze6. Allowed to dry, then added the Martha Stewart Satin Finish for protection. Done. Overall, I give the Martha Stewart products two thumbs up! They go on smoothly (the crackle fiasco was my bad, not Martha’s), clean up with soap and water, are essentially odorless and a little goes a very long way, so it’s inexpensive as well. But the refurbishing of this little table cost me a lot of time. Good thing Coach got it for FREE-99!!

Table with Martha Stewart Satin Finish7. So, where could you use a Teeny Tiny Tea Table? How about next to a pretty pink victorian rocking chair in the Parisian-inspired guest room?

Teeny Tiny Tea Table Vignette PMOK, I am off to decoupage the world! Or, at the very least, some more stars… Have a super Sunday everyone, and GO PATS! Susan 

Jelly Jar Soy Candles

Nothing like a fun DIY project to get ready for the upcoming holidays! I had a box full of vintage jelly jars kicking around,

Jelly Jars Empty Stackso I decided to make some candles as stocking stuffers. This is really quite easy, as most of the products I used from Country Lane

Candle Making Kitcame with very explicit instructions on the packaging. I purchased the starter kit, plus all of the additional materials including the colorants

Country Lane Candle Colorant

the scent bottles (so many yummy flavors to choose from!!)Country Lane Candle Scentsand extra wicks

Waxed Wicksat AC Moore, but you can also buy in quantity from various candle makers through Etsy or Ebay as well. I figured I would give it a try on a smaller scale before I got into wholesale lots of wax and wicks. Here is the How-To-Do-It:

1. Wash the little jars or whatever you are planning on using. In my case, if the tops were really rusted, I spray painted them so you could see the embossed Jelly Jar writing.

Jelly Jar Pre-Washed2. Bring water to a boil in a pan large enough to hold the candle melting pot, but with only enough water to submerge the bottom of the pot!

Pot of Simmering WaterThe melting pot has a handle so it hangs onto the edge of the pan of boiling water. Once the water is boiling, reduce to simmer. Place pot filled with wax chips into the hot water, making sure you don’t splash any water into the melting pot!

Melting Wax3. Leave the pot in the simmering water until the wax melts completely. DO NOT ALLOW THE WAX TO BOIL!!! Soy wax melts very quickly on the lowest setting, so it only takes a couple of minutes to melt the entire bag.

Soy Wax Chips4. Get the little wicks and dip them into the melted wax, then adhere them centered in the bottom of the jar. Allow to cool completely!

Jelly Jar EmptyThat way when you go to pour the wax in, they will stay upright. Nothing worse than a crooked wick!

5. Add scent and colorant to the desired colors and scent levels. Obviously, the more you add, the darker the color and the stronger the scent. The melted wax appears darker than when it cools and sets, so color accordingly.

Adding colorant

6. Pour melted wax carefully into prepared jars, making sure you avoid the centered wick, so it won’t melt and warp. Allow to cool.

Pouring Wax7. To create some labels, I went to Staples and got these cute little Martha Stewart Brown Kraft Paper labels numbers 72428 and 72429. (If the packages look a little ink-stained to you, that is not your computer screen. They were in a bag with a jar of black grout and I was fumbling for my keys and dropped the bag in the driveway and…you can guess the rest.)

Martha Stewart Brown Kraft Paper Labels8. Go to Avery.com Design & Print Online, and plug in the label numbers in the search box.

Avery Design and Print

A template will pop up and you can design it however you would like your label to look. Remember, these are enlarged on the computer screen, so when you actually print them in sheets of 6, the print will be smaller!

Jelly Jar Label Reverse9. I have a pretty old printer, and it doesn’t take kindly to adjusting for different size cards and papers. So I simply taped my labels onto a sheet of standard copy paper in the proper position,

Labels Taped to paperthen printed them-perfectly placed and spaced!

Jelly Jar Candle Label

10. Add the printed labels to the jars and put the tops on. Cute! And they smell great too! If you have questions or are looking for additional information, go to Soap Expressions.com and they have lots of candle-making tutorials using their Country Lane product line.

CDH Jelly Jar Soy Candles

Have a fab Friday, everyone! Time to start preparing for Turkey Trot Thursday!! Susan

Todd Farm Dawning

Sunday morning, Coach and I ventured to Todd Farm in Rowley, not as shoppers, but for the first time ever, as vendors.

Todd Farm Sign

Coach had been yard and estate-saling all summer long, and the barn was bursting at the seams. This weekend was the last available one for us (but the flea markets are still going on until December 1) where we could try to move some stuff, to essentially make room for more stuff. Alarm went off at 4am. Groan. Pitch black outside, damp and freezing cold @ 31 degrees.

31 Degrees at Game Time!

Fortunately, we had packed both cars the night before so we were ready to travel to Rowley, arriving at 5am under the cloak of darkness. We were ushered to a row of parking spaces marked with orange cones, next to the lovely Lisa from Rita Joes Vintage, who was already set up and ready to sell! As we began untying the ropes to take down our display tables from the roof of the car, we noticed flashing lights in the foggy distance,

Flashlight Posse

reminiscent of an old western where the sheriff and his posse are desperately searching for the escaped fugitive. The only things missing were the baying bloodhounds. An amazing and surreal sight. And simply AWESOME. These were the many dealers with head lamps and flashlights swarming the incoming vehicles,

Dealers checking cars

checking the interiors for hidden treasures and asking “any old toys, any old artwork?”

Dealers at Dawn

 So once we set up shop,

Its A Sign

I strolled around to take a few photos as the sun began to rise over the fields.

Todds Farm Truck At Dawn

Pink sky at morning…

Pink Sky at Morning

Finally in daylight, I was able to see what some of the other vendors were offering, and discovered a few of my favorite things:

A very jaunty Mr. Snowman

Frosty the Snowman

I have never seen a mannequin like this one, but I would be happy every day if I had her in my dressing room…

Laughing Manequin

This is an entire Marionette’s traveling road show suitcase.

Marrionette Suitcase

As the breaking daylight illuminated the quickly-occupied fields, it became apparent that there are many levels of sellers. Those, like us, who packed their mini vans and SUV’s with household wares and crafts,

Mini Van Unloading

and then there are those who press their company trucks and vans into service for the day.

Junk Removal TruckAnd then there are the big guns, the vendors who we see every time we shop at Todd Farm, with large cargo vans

Unloading vanand trailers packed to the rafters with furniture and goods.

Unloading trucksI love the Christmas vignette from this vendor with the antique sleigh and vintage life sized Santa…Holly Lane…Ho Ho Ho!

Holly LaneIf you happen to be searching for anything unusual, like an antique circus wagon

Circus Wagonor a weathered stone mermaid,

Mermaid of Stoneor a box of gorgeous bright blue bulbs from an airport runway,

Blue Bulbs

Todd Farm is the place for you! And if you are interested in selling some of your prized possessions, they make it so easy. You drive up, park your car, pay your $35 and you are in business! Just remember, the early bird gets the worm,

Early Bird with Wormso getting there before daybreak is the best way to showcase your wares to dozens of dealers before the general public arrives. As for Coach, what exactly did he sell? The signs in the above photo? Pretty much gone. As a matter of fact, some of the old metal auto and cigar signs were purchased by another vendor who promptly walked across the pathway and resold them in his booth! Shades of Killer Stuff and Tons of Money.

Market Tasco SignThose antique coffee grinder wheels we scored at The Elephant Trunk? Sold.

Enterprise Coffee Grinder WheelsThis antique retro table with the cool graphics. Gone to a good home. Top included, just not in the photo.

Retro Rocket TableThis gorgeous aqua metal trunk? Sold. (That one killed me. I loved that thing! But just had no where to put it!)

Market Aqua Steel BoxCoach did alright selling his stuff, and I loved the people-watching, the photo-taking, getting rid of a bunch of stuff and the donuts from the canteen truck that was conveniently situated nearby. The amazing Marty’s donuts. OMG.

Marty's DonutAnd since Coach did so great selling his finds, I think we have may have just found his new summer job! But for now, it’s time to get out there and find some new stuff to sell! Happy treasure hunting, everyone! Susan

Stenciled Sign-Make Your Own!

Merry Christmas Sign HGTV

With stenciled holiday signs being so popular this season, I decided to decorate an old pine box for the market. The trouble with pre-made and purchased stencils? There are only a limited number of fonts available with the letter stencils.

Stencil PileSometimes a 3″ Times New Roman or a 2″

Arialwon’t do the trick. Also, the pre-made ones that have specific sayings and designs can be quite pricey, even with a coupon from your favorite local crafts store! You can order custom stencils online as well, but again, the price could be prohibitive for one project. Unless you are planning on making a ton of signs with the same design, it is difficult to justify spending upwards of $30 on a large pre-cut stencil for just one creation. So, I decided to try a do-it-myself stencil with stuff I already had in my workshop. Success! This is the “how-I-did-it”: Tools you will need: regular copy paper, printer (ink or laser, doesn’t matter), plastic sheet protectors

Sheet Protectorsor transparency film,

Transparency Filmspray craft bond (the kind that is temporary and moveable, like this Elmer’s),

Elmers Craft Bondan X-acto knife, razor cutter or small sharp scissors, a cutting surface (I used an old sewing cutting mat) scotch or any transparent tape, paint and stenciling sponge or brush and, most importantly,  a pattern or idea for the design.

Stenciling Supplies

Step 1: On my Paint program on the desktop, I found the font I wanted and created the sign I needed: Pine Cones 5c. Saved the file. You can use your own favorite program and be as elaborate as you like as long as you can print it out and cut it out.

Pasting Together Stencil Pieces

Step 2: Go to Blockposters.com

Blockposters.com

and download your file. It is easy and free! They customize your sign to whatever size you need. In this case, I needed a long narrow horizontal sign, so it printed out on four pieces of paper. Print it out. Cut apart the words and tape them back together with the correct order and spacing to fit.

Stencil Cut To SizeStep 3: Take the plastic sheets and cut and tape them to the same size as the paper sign.

Cutting Stencil with T-squareYou may need more than one sheet of plastic, depending on the size of the sign you are making. Use the scotch tape to piece together.

Sign Adhered to Plastic

Step 4: Spray the craft bond to the back of the transparent plastic sheet and adhere that to the paper pattern, front side up, so you can see the print. Make sure it is solidly in place there are no wrinkles!

Elmers Craft BondStep 5: Take your razor cutter or knife, or scissors if you don’t have those, and cut out the stencil. (Yikes! Looking at this pic I realized how rusty that razor is! And no, that is not my blood on the mat…)

Cutting on Mat BoardRemember, when you are stenciling, you need the little middles of the round letters to have some definition! You can do one of two things: leave a small line attached to the middle piece, or cut it away completely.

Cutting Out Whole LettersKeep the little middle pieces and glue them onto the piece separately before you paint. Cut Out Letters CloseupStep 6: Once your stencil is cut to your liking, you can peel away the white paper pattern in the back and that will leave the plastic stencil.

Stencil 5c cut

Or you can leave it on, as long as it is adhered solidly. Now spray the back of the stencil lightly and press it onto your prepared piece, making sure you press firmly along the cut lines so the paint doesn’t bleed underneath.

Step 7: Paint inside the cut stencil areas. I actually started with a base of spray paint, then added layers til I got the look and color I wanted. You can use spray paint, or a damp sponge or an actual flat stencil pouncing brush with acrylic paint, whatever you have available (if you have never stenciled before, then you might want to check this out for more details.)

Step 8: Stand back and admire : ) Stencil on Box Completed Cute, right?! Now, I realize this is a lot of steps, but I wanted to make sure I covered all of the bases. This is actually quite simple, and allows you the flexibility to create whatever style stencil you want or need for your specific project! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask here or drop me a line @ countrydesignhome@gmail.com. And if you do create a project with your own design, please send it to me or post on my Facebook page-can’t wait to see them!  Happy stenciling Saturday, everyone! Susan

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