Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Roadside Oddities...International Car Forest!

Random Acts of Art in the Desert!

On New Year's Eve we took a drive on Highway 95 seeking for roadside oddities.  Our goal was the little town of Goldfield Nevada, home to the "International Car Forest of the Lost Church"...or as we called it, "CarHenge."  On a snowy and wind-swept hillside we found a collection of abandoned vehicles...cars, busses, and vans buried in the ground like they were thrown down by a giant child in the midst of a giant temper tantrum.  There was no sign on the highway directing us...we later found the sign propped up on a junked car at the entrance to the site.

I've never been to the Cadillac Ranch near Amarillo, Texas on Route 66, but I know that the designs on the painted Cadillacs are constantly changing...would-be taggers are encouraged to bring along their spray paint and their artistic ability...or lack thereof.  I was amazed by some of the artwork on the vehicles at the Car Forest.  I would like to share a few of the photos I took with my new camera...thanks, Santa!

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly...
 I loved the colors and patterns on this car!

Modern Art?

Nite Owl Truck...

Owl eyes were everywhere....

Watching us...


Limo hitches a ride on a Meadow Gold Truck...

 Owl Eyes there...

What's holding up the bus?

The Art of the Spray Can...

Bizarre and oddly beautiful...
Is that Alice in handcuffs?

Strange faces with eyes that follow you...

These were just a few of the images that I liked the best.  I hope if you ever travel that stretch of highway north from Las Vegas that you will stop and maybe get out your spray cans and indulge your inner artist.  Maybe you will be the next Banksy.

Playing around with effects on PicMonkey.
This gate is on a parking lot in Beatty, Nevada.
It has it's own story that I will tell you some time!

Thanks for joining me on this Vintage Vacation!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Random Acts of Halloween!

 Random Acts...New Creepy Crafties!

One of my all-time favorite postcards!

I have been so lax at blogging, I am embarrassed to say.  More and more it seems like Facebook and Instagram are taking the place of posting for many of my blogging friends. I like the immediacy of sharing a new craft on Instagram...but nothing beats the magazine-style format of a good blog post.  I enjoy writing about my life and odd-ball things I find on Vintage Vacations.  The world is full of things that make you scratch your head and say "Huh?"  I just love finding those things.  So I will continue on.  

This time of year, blog posts are mainly holiday craft oriented.  The long winter days of January are a good time for story telling.  This isn't the fanciest blog, with professionally designed elements...but it's mine and I love it!  I hope you will hang in there when I am lazy and don't blog as often...I will try to do better.

 New Creepy Crafties...

Shadow Box Jack.
He was an Art-Group project.

Boxes from Trina, Kim, Margo...and Me!

"Cat Scratch Fever"
Made from an old scratch remover container and a vintage British tart tin.

Side View.  I just love his scraggly tail!

This little kitty is "Ditt-mark."
He's from a typewriting ribbon box.

"Tin Man Jack"
His tin is an oil can for a fuel-powered iron.
Of course he needs this little funnel for a hat.

Grim Grinning Gourds...come out to socialize!
I saw Kim K's wreath on Instagram and had to make one too!
This was so cheap to make...$10 worth of Walmart pumpkins
and an old wreath I already had.

Fun Fall Arrangement.
We made the mushrooms at Art Group from tart tins and old chair spindles.

I still love making "Fairy Gardens!"
This one was for my friend Kathy's Birthday!
I love using small porcelain figures and salts and peppers.

And Finally...
My DIL Lori painted this Halloween chair for me.
She is so talented!
This will be a Halloween heirloom for years to come.

This creepy clown needed a place to sit!

Thanks for letting me share my "Ghoulish Delights!"

Monday, October 10, 2016

Lost Halloween Traditions...Rituals to Find a Husband!

Note:  This is a repost from 2013.  I have been very lax about posting and I thought if I shared this older post, it would get me back on the horse, so to speak!
Will I see my true love's face?

One of my favorite places to visit in the Las Vegas area is the Clark County Museum in Henderson.  Located on the old Boulder Highway, it's not too far from our condo.  The museum's curator, Mark Hall-Patton is often seen on the reality television show "Pawn Stars."  I love this museum...they have created a street of heritage houses...each from a different decade and featuring different aspects of Nevada and Las Vegas history.  I will do another post sometime on those houses.  Each is fully furnished for the time period and often by the original owner's possessions!  There is even a historic Vegas wedding chapel!  This morning I received their email newsletter and found an article called "Halloween Rituals to Find a Husband."  This was an aspect of Halloween I knew very little about.

Does it count if you stand in front of your true love's  picture?

The author asks "But what about the Halloween traditions and beliefs that today's trick-or-treaters have forgotten all about?"  A lot of traditions were focused on the future and the living...instead of the dead.  One of the reasons that "fortune telling" was so popular at parties.  Many of the rituals had to do with helping a young woman identify her future husband...giving her hope that someday...by next Halloween perhaps...she would be happily married.  For example, in 18th-century Ireland, a matchmaking cook might hide a ring in the mashed potatoes on Halloween night, hoping that whoever found it might also find true love.

Popping Hazelnuts...

In Scotland, a fortune teller might instruct a young woman to name a hazelnut for each of her suitors, then toss the nuts into the fire.  If the nut popped or exploded...he was not the one for her. But the one that burned steadily to ashes would be the future husband...the one whose love burns true and steady, I suppose.  In some versions...the opposite was true.  Another legend says that if a young woman eats a sugary concoction of walnuts, hazelnuts and nutmeg on Halloween night, she will dream of her future husband.

Apple Peel Test....

Apples appear a lot in old Halloween traditions and rituals.  In Christianity, apples are portrayed as the symbol of sex in the Garden of Eden.  Young women tossed apple peels over their shoulders, hoping the peels would fall on the floor in the shape of their future husbands initials.

Apple Bobbing...

Apple bobbing is a very old Halloween tradition...but one we still follow.  Boys and girls duck inside the tub to catch the apple as it floats away from them.  It takes a certain amount of skill to get a grip on the apple...whether with your teeth or by suction.  At many parties, the first successful apple bobber would be the first down the aisle.

The Apple and the Candle...

An old custom the was meant to be fun...but was kind of dangerous...involved hanging a stick from the ceiling.  On one end of the stick was an apple...while on the other a lighted candle.  The stick was twirled rapidly and let go to unwind.  With one's hands tied behind their back, the object was to try to bite the apple without getting burned.  Most of the time the participants went home with scorched and blackened faces.  This was considered hilarious! 

Another apple ritual or "spell" says that the girl should cut an apple into two pieces in such a way the the seed part resembles a pentacle.  She would throw one of the pieces over her left shoulder, walk backwards towards the mirror without looking back, while she eats the rest of the apple with one hand, and combing her hair with the other before the mirror.  Then she should look back to see the face of her future spouse.

The Candle and the Mirror...

There seemed to be a lot of variations of the "see my love's face in the mirror" ritual.  The young lady stands in front of a mirror in a darkened room on Halloween, holding a candle.  When she peers over her shoulder, she should see the face of her true love.

Candle Twirling Test...

I hadn't come across any info on this particular test of love...but apparently if the twisted candle stays lit, Girlie, you will be!  Whatever that means...lol!  I had a lot of fun learning about some old Halloween traditions that have passed into oblivion.  Thanks to the Clark County Museum for the interesting topic!  It might be fun to experiment with a couple of these...but maybe not the "apple and candle" test...yikes!

Best Halloween Witches Wishes!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Steampunkin...and the Thief of Time!


What is it about Steampunk style that is so appealing to me?  Sometimes I wish I were younger so I could get geeky and immerse myself in this whole other world.  It's kind of a fanciful Victorian-JulesVerne-Science Fiction-Fantastical Voyage into steam-powered technology, with a lot of rusty gears.  I have always been a nerdy kind of person.  I was into Star Trek from the time I was 12. I went through a Lord of the Rings fan phase...as the collection of Hobbit figurines in my office will attest. As I get older, I don't seem to feel the need to go to ComicCon...but I still feel the desire to dream fantastical dreams.  George likes the idea of Steampunk and has been collecting materials to build a few cool lamps. 

I love it when the creativity gods smile down on me...sending those Eureka! moments that strike at the oddest of times.  Mine happened while I was organizing my Halloween crafting materials and found a pad of scrapbook paper I forgot I had.  It's a Graphic 45 collection called "Steampunk Spells" and it's pretty cool.  I had an inspiration flash...Steampunkin!  What could be more fun?


Steampunkin Jack!
Old bed springs are the perfect size for a Jack-in-the-Box.
Finished Jack is about 18 inches tall.

Jack's hat was a woman's fascinator.
Zurchers has a Steampunk section in their costume department.
They have a fun selection of accessories...jewelry, hats, goggles, you name it!
Even little bags of gears!

The medallion on the front of the box was a brooch from Zurchers.
I used the lid of the box for a platform for Jack's box to sit on.
I wrapped the edge in leather and added nail heads.
The legs are mini-candlesticks from Hobby Lobby.

Jack's box is wrapped and embellished with Graphic 45's Steampunk Spells papers.
Up next...Jack's companion!

Thief of Time...Altered Crow!

Thief of Time.
I've had this crow on a wooden platform for a few years.
I thought a clock theme would be fun for him.
Everyone knows that crows are thieves...so he became "Thief of Time."
Note...clocks on the wheels.

TOT wears a capelet made from the fingers of an old kid glove.
I found the glove in with some old lace that belonged to Grandma Patta.
I embellished it with clock hands, a clock and some gears.

TOT's hat is also embellished with little clocks and gears.
Tiny clock hands are the "feathers" in his cap.
He carries a stolen timepiece in his beak.

Little Steam-Punkins.
I saw these gold-veined pumpkins at Walmart and just knew they needed the Steampunk treatment.

More clocks and gears!

Temporary display...I start decorating this weekend!!

Hooray for September!
Are y'all as excited as I am for fall?