Happy New Year! All signs of Christmas have been taken down and packed up, other than the glitter and pine needles that will linger until next December. Now that all the presents have been unwrapped, I can finally share some of the gifts I was excited to give this Christmas. Shopping this year was so much less stressful since I found several gifts on my antiquing excursions throughout the year. I also gifted some handmade jewelry. If you know me, making things is not my forte, but I have taken to a few crafts this last year.
I will start with the gift that was one of my absolute favorite purchases from the Dallas Market's Vintage Finds show in June...I put this picture from the "Fluff" space in that post, but couldn't spoil the surprise and say that I bought one of the awesome vintage seed posters.
Just this week I stopped by Uncommon Objects in Austin, and look what I found:
If this store has it, you know it's hip, or at least weird.
I also found this great antique wooden box for my sister. I love all the cities stamped on it.
It was perfect for hauling home lots of her presents.
Another antique gift I gave was rather hard to wrap due to its size and weight. I first discovered the charm of former farm implements while working with Karen at the Country Living show. Here is a look back at the beauty that was her booth:
The tiered trays were a hit. I fell in love with the plow disc stacked on top of the spacer, and I found several this summer on my travels. I made them all clean and shiny (please know I just refrained from using a hip hop reference here) by using the Rust-oleum Chrystal Clear Enamel, and I featured one as an ornament tray in my booth this Christmas.
I was bummed to discover that someone disassembled my display, assumingly in an attempt to buy it, but they must have found something better as they headed to check out. My disc with the price tag never made it to the register and was found in another booth, yet my un-tagged spacer was paired and purchased with (though not paid for) that dealer's disc. Ugh. Really? I was pretty disappointed in this shopper's lack of conscience.
Fortunately, giving the gift was much more of a success. My friend Rachel grew up on a farm and loves antiques as much as I do, so I knew she would appreciate this funky set of farm implements. She opened it while at her parents house and said her mom was intrigued as she opened the disc, well knowing that it came from a plow. After unwrapping the spacer, they saw the function of the duo. I'm sure her dad has lots of old rusty discs and spacers somewhere, but this one was clean and polished enough for the dinner table. I love how she has it on her dining room table with a candle, and she planned to serve appetizers on it for her New Year's Eve party.
Now on to the gifts that I made, or rather put together: personalized necklace pendants.
This sweet photo is of my grandfather with my mom and uncle on an old tractor.
This map pendant features my hometown, Heyworth, and off to the left, Funks Grove, home to Funk Farms.
I gifted this Austin one to my friend Meegan, who now lives in San Francisco.
I discovered these great little pendants from my school librarian/junkin' friend Paulette, who wrote a detailed post about how to make a map pendant on her blog, My Junk Obsession. Let me tell y'all, she is so talented. These pendants are pretty simple (as even I can make them), but she also constructed her own coffee table out of old table legs, a handmade platform upholstered in leather, and an old steamer trunk. Check out her tutorial!
Anyway, back to the pendants - I won't go over how to make them since Paulette's post does it so well, but I will add a few suggestions: the ONLY place I found 1.5" pendants with a deep bowl is Hobby Lobby, and I had to scour the jewelry aisles to discover them, as employees didn't know what they are. I ended up finding them at the end of an aisle, not actually in the aisle. They only had two, so I checked both Michael's and JoAnn's, but no luck. The best bet, if you want to make several, is to order them from Etsy. They are way cheaper and there are lots of styles from which to choose. I also think it would be cool to use a map from a geography book or atlas that would cover more territory for the small circle and give more perspective.
Another craft which I have picked up is stamped spoon necklaces. These too were inspiration from a purchase at the Dallas Market Vintage Finds show; after seeing them around for awhile, I couldn't resist any longer, so I bought a wholesale lot of spoon markers from super-talented and sweet Maggie. They've sold well and I wanted to try my hand at this metal art. I spent much of my time last summer hunting for vintage spoons, buying the perfect metal letter stamps, and hammering away. It certainly isn't easy and requires much patience; one wrong punch and you ruin the spoon (or, if you are me, you turn it over and attempt to stamp successfully on the other side). I never did smash a finger, but I do think I tweaked my wrist after making so many! These spoons make awesome personalized gifts (as long as you don't smash your finger in the process), and they have been great sellers at the booth and the Barn Sale this fall. Speaking of which, I need to make more...and if you are interested in a custom order, just contact me!
This picture was just snapped with my new-to-me fancy DSLR camera - I am so excited! Rachel is becoming quite the professional photographer and upgraded to an even better camera that will help her capture kids' movements, so my parents bought her old camera as a Christmas gift for me! I know *nothing* about how to take pictures or use a nice camera, but I just attended a three-hour class yesterday...basically it confirmed that I know nothing, and it was a beginners class. There is SO much to learn! But I am proud to say that I took the above picture in manual mode without a flash(!), and I even set my ISO, aperture, and shutter speed (in case you are a camera guru, I used ISO 400, shutter speed on 1/60th of a second, and an F4.5 aperture...if you have suggestions for indoor stills, please share!) And that's all I know about my camera with a lens. I hope to keep learning and look forward to bringing you much better pictures this year on the blog!
Hope you all had a wonderful start to 2013!
Have a chic week,