Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Christmas Ornament Exchange

Recently I participated in a wonderful ornament exchange hosted by sweet Stephanie at The Enchanting Rose.  My gift box came from a blogger who truly is a 'kindred spirit', AnnMarie at Musings of a Vintage Junkie.  AnnMarie and I love a lot of the same things and her wonderful gifts reflected such kind thought and care!  This ornament is SO beautiful! Most of my Christmas decorations are blues, whites and silver so this is perfect, not to mention absolutely stunning!

My box was packed with lots of wonderful surprises!

Not only the beautiful ornament but this antique Ball jar filled with vintage light bulbs!

Perfect next to my little tree with vintage earrings on it!

Also included were this wonderful CD that friends of hers recorded and two books.  I've so enjoyed the Walk Through Advent book and the Daily Bread.  I told AnnMarie I grew up watching my mom read her Daily Bread each afternoon.  

The ornament is front and center on my little tree (We opted for a small, artificial tree in the bay window this year as our puppy Hudson would have probably drove us nuts with a large, on the floor, real tree!).

This is the package I put together for my swap partner.  She didn't have a blog so I snapped some pictures before I wrapped it all up.  Carol's favorite colors are periwinkle blue and pink so I found some things in those colors.  Carol also loves vintage like me so it was easy to find fun things to include like this vintage Christmas card, gift tags and hankie.  I added a fun set of battery operated fairy lights.

For the ornament, I included one of my mittens made from vintage linens and trims,

I'm always on the look out for these mini leather books. I included this one by Washington Irving.

I added this wonderful Advent book by Matt Chandler and a pretty, vintage doily.  

As always, Christmas has crept up on us and will soon be here and gone.  I'm grateful for God's faithfulness this past year and His mercy in sending His Son as our Savior.

Blessings to you all my friends!

Monday, December 10, 2018

Reclaimed Wood Christmas Gifts

I love using reclaimed wood and old fence boards for artwork.  I've used them for lots of projects like these:

I wanted to make small pieces of art to give as gifts this Christmas.  I started with these fence boards that I cut to 5.5" in length.  Using my sander, I smoothed the edges.

While I do like Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for furniture, I prefer Rustoleum's Chalked for other projects.  It's much less expensive and still gives the chalk paint look and effect.  I gave these pieces a watered down wash of the white chalk paint.

I leave a lot of the wood showing to give it a more natural, weathered look.  While this is drying, you can get your quotes, words, etc. ready to apply.

The words are printed on tissue paper (see tutorial link above) and then I tear the edges.  I've changed up my 'mix' from time to time but basically I use a combination of Mod Podge, Gesso and water.  The Gesso is white so it helps the tissue blend in better with the wood BUT, it also means the letters are hidden more as shown above.  

Using a clean piece of towel, immediately blot over the letters to make them stand out again.

Here you see the progression.  After this dries, I use my sander to remove even more of the paint and tissue, blending it so the edges of the tissue 'disappear'.

I like to give a wash of paint to the backs and for these I attached picture hangers.

Each one comes out looking slightly different and unique.  These snippets of Christmas songs make nice, short quotes for these tiny boards.

May you feel that "thrill of hope" as we celebrate the coming of our Savior in coming weeks!