Thursday, June 23, 2016

Summer Is A Circus...Up-cycled Stuffed Animals!

A Circus Without Animals...Inconceivable!

And a circus without an elephant is just tragic!

I have only attended a Ringling Brothers Circus once in my life.  It was magical!  The elephants were by far my favorite part.  Their dignity and majesty were awe-inspiring.  It makes me sad that they will no longer be a part of the circus.  To me they are the "Big Top."  I have collected more images of elephants than of any other circus symbol. They will always be a part of everything I love about a circus.  I recently redecorated my grandchildren's play room into a Dumbo Circus theme.  It's still a work-in-progress, but I plan to share pictures sometime soon.

Sweet Ellie...Circus Elephant!
I found Ellie at a cute little shop in Salt Lake City called "Retro Betty."
There was a basket of pre-loved vintage stuffed animals that day.
I bought an Easter bunny as well.

I always intended for Ellie to be a Valentine circus animal...so I chose red and aqua for her colors.  I love those colors for Valentine projects.  But she will fit in with all my circus creations. It was fun making her a cute clown collar and a party hat.  I can't help myself when it comes to party hats.  So many of my characters seem to have one.  It's the fastest way to feel festive!  I also made her a fancy box for her matinee performances.

Hat Close-up.


Ellie's Fancy Box!


Ellie's Clown Parade Baton.
Made from odds and ends and bits and bobs.


She's ready for the 1:00 p.m. show!

Circus Bear!


"Wheeler"

I love old stuffed animals on wheels.  I would love a collection of Steiff animals, but they are so expensive...especially the vintage ones.  I saw this funny old wheeled bear at Flea-o-logy in my friend Paula's booth.  I was in love!  I had to chase George down and beg for some extra cash...I had already exceeded my flea market allowance...lol!

He needed a little work.  I used some painted beads to replace the missing hubcaps and hold the wheels on.  I'm not sure I like these...I may change them later.  I made Wheeler a collar from a scrap of vintage fabric I have had forever.  The aqua polka dot matches the beads.  I didn't want to glue on his party hat, so it ties under his chin.  He is so stinkin' cute!


Party Hat!

Thanks for letting me share my new Circus Friends!


Thursday, June 2, 2016

Summer Crafting...Spice Tin Uncle Sam!

Spice Tin Uncle Sam!
My crafting group is getting together later this month to create quirky Uncle Sams using vintage tins and whatnot for one-of-a-kind patriotic decor.  I am still working on gathering together the elements I will need for the group project.  We plan to make the heads out of paper clay or oven-dry clay.  I have my head almost ready...which is the big thing to cross off the list.  In the meantime I found a cute bobble-head Uncle Sam at Hobby Lobby.  The head was just the right size to use with an old spice tin I had in my stash.  Yay!  Something fun to make to get in the spirit for Craft Day.

Sam is about 8 inches tall, not including the stand.
I aged the head with watered down brown paint.
His legs are wooden spools with pop bottle caps for feet.

I don't know what those electrical thingies are for, but
they work just right for hands.
I got a whole bag of different sizes and colors for $1 at a fleamarket.

Sam's little drum is a wooden Christmas ornament.

I found a couple of great Bingo cards in my stash that were perfect
for a patriotic wall hanger.

First Creepy Crafty of 2016...
This is Mothra.
She is created from an Avon Mothicide tin.
She is a little over 7 inches tall.

Fun use for my rusty calipers I found last spring.
The wings are rusty hearts.

Side view of Mothra's green tongue.
She was a lot of fun to create.
It's always Halloween in my head.

This was just a quick post before we leave for our Granddaughter Madison's graduation.  I can't believe our little girl is almost 18!  Tomorrow we'll head for Yellowstone for a couple of days...I can't wait.  It's one of my favorite Vintage Vacations!



Friday, May 13, 2016

Vintage Vacation "Fairy Garden"...Yellowstone!



Yellowstone!
I have been in love with Yellowstone since I was a little girl. My memories of the family vacation we took there are like an old post card... worn on the edges, a bit faded and in soft focus. Yellowstone was the topic of my first Vintage Vacations that I posted on this blog.  The link is on the sidebar under Featured Post if you would like to travel there again.  There you will find some of the post cards and vintage souvenirs I have collected over the years.

Currently, my favorite things to make are Fairy Gardens...those fun and magical miniature landscapes found all over the Pinterest Galaxy.  My versions, however, don't use live plants and aren't found in my back yard or garden.  Because I cannot be trusted with living plants...they would die of neglect! So I use quirky containers and fake flowers and greenery to create little vignettes.  Last spring about this time I made my daughter Sascha an Alice in Wonderland fairy garden in a giant teacup and saucer.  Find it here: Alice's Merry Un-Birthday!  

Yesterday I came across this plaid Ohio Arts lunchbox that was a gift from my friend Tammy.  I had used it for a Christmas vignette, but like a bolt out of the blue I "saw" in my mind what it could become.  I am so grateful for these kinds of moments...my "crafting mojo" has been a bit on the fritz.
Who knows... if you like this one, maybe there will be a series of vacation fairy gardens in the future.

A Miniature Vintage Vacation!
Yellowstone Fairy Garden.
The trailer and chairs were a gift from my daughter Missy!
I used a post card graphic to line the inside of the lid.
A rustic pole gate is the entrance to the camp ground.

Side View.
I found the trees at Hobby Lobby on the aisle where they sell train miniatures.
They have quite a variety of trees, plants and greenery.

Back of the lid is a collage of Yellowstone graphics.
I prop the lid open with a rustic "log."

Don't Feed the Bears!
This little bear is one of a pair of souvenir shakers from Yellowstone.
He seems sad to find that sign on his favorite tree stump.

View from above.
It doesn't take much to create this simple vignette.

Fairy Garden Wreath
Fairy Garden Wreath from a Walmart wreath.
The mossy wreath was covered in pretty good fake succulents.
I added a few flowers and a rustic "measuring tape" ribbon.

It only took a few minutes to glue a little fence to the back.
Then I added dotty red mushrooms,  Seven Dwarf cake toppers and a wee bunny.

I adore these little fellows.

Circus Cloche
Circus cloche.
My crafting group made chicken wire cloches to put over plants.
Mine showcases a circus elephant.


The cloche joins the summer circus that will be on display for most of the summer in my living room.

Hope you enjoyed this miniature Vintage Vacation!


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Route 66...A "Novel" Approach to a Vintage Vacation!

My Favorite Vintage Vacation Road Map

I just finished reading a fascinating detective novel.  I love murder mysteries that take place in interesting settings with a flawed, but fascinating protagonist.  The setting of the book,"Find Me" by Carol O'Connell, takes place along the Mother Road, Route 66, starting in Chicago, Illinois and Ending on the Santa Monica Pier in California.  Mallory..."just Mallory"...the detective, is following letters written by her long-vanished father who left clues like breadcrumbs for her to follow as she retraces his many trips down that fabled highway.  Her journey parallels a caravan of desperate parents following a man who has convinced them that they may find the graves of their missing children somewhere on that road.  Somehow, their quest becomes linked with hers.  Along the way, Mallory makes a pilgrimage to the landmarks in the letters.  Is she trying to find her father or clues to who she is?

Along with her father's letters...Mallory may have had a beat-up old travel guide.
This one is from 1947...older than hers would have been.

Mallory's Landmarks...
Route 66 started on the corner of Michigan and Adams in Chicago, Illinois.

Gemini Giant...Wilmington, Illinois.

"Tall Paul" located in Atlanta, Illinois.
Moved from original location in Cicero.

Our Lady of the Highways... Raymond, Illinois

Meramec Caverns...Stanton Missouri,
Famous for its many advertising barns and as a hideout for Jesse James.


Mickey Mantle Boulevard...Commerce, Oklahoma.


Blue Whale Slide and Arrowood Trading Post in Catoosa, Oklahoma.


The U-drop Inn in Shamrock, Texas...inspiration for Ramone's in Cars.

Avalon Theater in Mclean, Texas

Phillips 66 Station...Mclean, Texas.

You're Half-Way There!

Mid Point Cafe...Adrian, Texas.

Club Cafe...Santa Rosa, New Mexico.

Clines Corners...New Mexico.

El Rancho Motel...Gallup, New Mexico.
Stay in rooms named after old movie stars who once stayed there.

Black Cat Bar in Seligman, Arizona.

The part of the story dealing with the serial child killer comes to a head somewhere near Mallory's Black Cat landmark.  There are many...even more famous...sites to be seen along Mallory's route, but these are the ones that held special meaning for her father. I hadn't even heard of most of them. Mallory will finish the trip with only one final landmark before the story ends...End of the Trail.

They say the road didn't really end at the pier, but somewhere near the intersection of  Olympic and Lincoln Boulevards.  I think it's more poetic this way.
 The End...