The BIGGEST faux pumpkin I have ever seen!!

I found this big ole faux pumpkin just AFTER Thanksgiving last year.  sigh.  I almost passed it up because I didn’t really want to store if for nearly a year before I could put it out for sale.  Alas, the novelty of it being bigger than any faux pumpkin I have ever seen convinced me it was worth buying.  It seriously took up the entire shopping cart.

After the first of the year, I found this other large pumpkin with a wire stem.  The price was right, so I bought it too.  Stashed them away until last month; when I got them back out to paint them and get them ready to sell.

I painted both of them white.  The smaller one I added white ‘sugar’ glitter to.  If you want to minimize glitter ‘shed’, you can spray your glittered item with a clear varnish.

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The bigger one was just too big to glitter, but I wanted to ‘pretty it up’ a bit.  I stirred some ‘fairy dust’ glitter (super fine Opalescent) into Mod Podge and brushed it on.  It’s shimmery but not glitter-gritty.  Much more sparkly in person than the pictures show.

These two pale bluish-grey average size pumpkins are left overs from last year.  I typically buy my used pumpkins from thrift stores and estate sales.  Don’t let a missing or broken off stem stop you from buying one.  You can always add a snippet of a tree branch for a stem.  I intentionally look for one without stems because I prefer the look of a real wood stem!  A little bit of moss adds to the natural feel of painted pumpkins.  (I have a big pine tree in my front yard that constantly sheds moss; that I gather and save for craft projects like this.)

A few small and mini pumpkins; some glittered and with wood stems, and a few make from suede and velvet fabric.

Have you started decorating your home for fall yet?  

Here in the Northwest, we are HYPER ready for fall this year.  Although summer got a very late start this year, it has been a long and EXTRA hot summer with no cloudy rainy days to break it up, and more 100 degree days than I can ever remember having EVER!  It didn’t even cool down at night on most of the really hot days; which it usually does here.  We have had enough of the heat and are aching for cooler fall evening and sunny crisp fall days!

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Halloween Things ‘on a stick’

I’m really not sure WHAT these things are called.  I’ve also seen ‘snowmen on a stick’, so I guess it’s okay to just call the Halloween things that too.

I just added these to my booth at Stars, along with the reproduction JOL and black cat baskets.

The original Halloween JOL baskets were made of JUST paper mache.  I used glass votive holders and ivy bowls, covered with multiple layers of paper mache for mine.  Easier to get a nice round shape that way.  The chenille handles are glued to the inside using e6000.

For the paper mache, you can use strips of newspaper, or any fairly pliable paper.  I used tacky glue to adhere my first layer of paper to the glass; then for all the additional layers of paper, liquid laundry starch.  After 3-4 layers of paper are completely dry, sand down any pumps or wrinkles; then add a couple of payers of tissue paper strips (again using the starch).  Once dry, sand again before painting.

For the ‘stuff on a stick, start with a styrofoam or dynalite ball.  I was using up what I had on hand, which was styro.  Poke a hole with your painted dowel, remove dowel and fill hole with tacky glue and reinsert dowel; let dry before you start covering your ball.  You’ll be holding onto it by the dowel as you add the layers of mache, so you want it in there nice and firmly, glue completely dry.

I save the newsprint paper that they use to wrap fragile things at stores with for my paper mache.  If using styrofoam (as I did for these) glue will not adhere to the styro.  And don’t bother buying that special styrofoam glue.  It doesn’t work!!  So, how do you get your first layer of paper to stick???  Cut nice and narrow and extra loooooooooong strips of your paper for the first layer.  You want one piece to fit completely around your styrofoam ball, and you are basically ‘encasing’ the ball with the paper strips that are glued to EACH OTHER.

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I lay out 3 -4 strips of my long paper and put a strip of tacky glue right down the center.  Then wrap the glued strips around your ball.  Keep gluing on strips until you ball is mostly covered, a few slight gaps is fine.  Next start adding your wider and shorter strips of paper using the starch.  3-4 layers, once dry, sand away and bumps and lines.  Then just as with the buckets, add a couple of final layers or tissue paper with starch.  Another sanding before painting.  Place your ball on the stick in a vase to dry.

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For my spider and ghost, I decided to use google eyes, glued in place with e6000.  Then I painted on the rest of the features.

For the spiders legs I used doubled over chenille stems.  Poked nice deep holes on each side where I wanted the legs to go with a skinny screwdriver, filled the holes with tacky glue, then inserted the chenille.  Those adorable funky little hats??  Made from melted styrofoam cups, painted black!

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You can find the ‘how to’ for the hats on Pinterest.  I’ve found that the ones that I make tend to mostly turn out with a very crumpled rim, like on the spider and ghost.  The one on the JOL above came out with a nice FLAT rim, but that was the ONLY one that turned out like that.  WARNING: the styro hats will be very BRITTLE and chip easiily.

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The above Punkin Head boy was made using an actual little fake pumpkin!  I just added a few layers of mache, then proceeded as usual.  Since this guy had a stem on top, he didn’t need a hat.  For his eyes I used painted thumb tacks!  (add a dab of glue before pushing them in place.) Oh, and I do add a coat of matte varnish when completely done.

After I got all of those done, I decided I wanted to tackle a BIG bucket; but I’m really TRYING to not spend any $$ on supplies right now, and use up what I have on hand.  So I made the big black bucket completely from scratch!

And, yes, I KNOW he looks more like a PIG than a cat!!  Gimme a break.  It’s my first try!!

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I used this glass hurricane lantern as a base for my bucket form.  I covered it with plastic food wrap, then added 2 layers of paper strips using mod podge as my wetting agent.  I wanted something a little sturdier than the starch for the first layers since I was going to have to remove it from the glass once dry.

I was really, REALLY hoping that the removal process would be easy.  HA!  I cut down one side and tried to peel the dried mache away from the glass,  NOPE.  It was too stiff to budge.  So I cut down the other side two, thinking that I’d be able to pull both sides away and keep the bottom in tact.  ALMOST!  The sides pulled away fairly easily, but the bottom cracked in several places.  Oh well, I can repair it.

So, my next step was of course to patch up the bottom and sides with strips of mache.  I used tacky glue on a few strips first (sort of like band aids!) to hold the sides and bottom together while I added the layers of paper, using the starch now.

Before my mache got too thick, i cut slits where I wanted the ears placed.  (In hindsight, I should have put the ears higher!)  I cut the ears out of an old cereal box and left enough extra length so that I could fold about 1/2″ at the base.  Inserted the base into the slit, put tacky glue on the folded tab and held it in place until it dried flat.  (tacky glue dries well enough to hold in about 5 minutes.)  Once both ears were in place, I started adding the layers of paper dipped in starch.

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Once completely dry, mark spots on the sides for your handle holes with a pencil, and drill holes.

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Second mistake I made on this was to glue on the nose/whiskers BEFORE I painted on the eyes and mouth.  I glued them on with e6000, so there was NO way to re-position them once I realized my mistake.  It really should have been higher.  I made the nose out of FIMO, and inserted some thin craft wire through it before baking it, for the whiskers.

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Painted black, inside and out, eyes and mouth painted on; a coat of varnish to finish.  A ‘rebar tie wire’ handle and a big orange bow and it’s done.  I guess her name should be Miss Piggy?!?!

Stop by my booth at Stars, for these and lots more Fall and Halloween decor!

END OF SUMMER SALE??

It sure doesn’t FEEL like it’s the end of summer, with daytime temperatures still reaching the upper 90’s; but it IS Labor Day Weekend, and the unofficial end of summer . . . which means it’s time for the

Stars Antique Malls End of Summer SALE.

As it always is for the store-wide sales at Stars, each vendor sets their own discount amount for their booth; and I ALWAYS offer 50% off everything in my booth during the sales.

I just stocked all my Halloween goods too!  Yes, they are all 50% off too!

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Unique faux pumpkins; some pale blue ones and silver glitter.  The white ones are BIG.  The one sitting on top of an urn is coated with a ‘sugar glitter’.  The GINORMOUS one, sitting on the chair, is painted with ‘fairy dust’, that sparkly iridescent glitter.   It is seriously the biggest faux pumpkin that I have ever seen.  I cannot even reach my arms all the way around it!

The sale runs Friday – Monday, September 1-4; 11am – 6pm.

Pumpkin make-overs.

P1230212We had a few very windy days and a lot of moss fell from the pine tree in my yard.  I had brought this pumpkin back in to re-paint (it was my ‘least favorite’, had that weird grainy surface) and decided a bit of moss around the stem might be a nice touch.  The tiny yellow pumpkin is a real one.

P1230213So then, of course I had to add moss to ALL of them!

P1230214Just  bit of tacky glue and blobbed it on!  easy peasy.

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On a TOTALLY unrelated topic, I’m debating whether or not to splurge on a Keurig single cup coffee brewer; presuming there will be some pretty good sale prices on them during the upcoming holidays.

I only drink ONE cup of coffee in the morning, and for the last few years I’ve been content with instant.  Before that I had a Melita single cup brewer, which I really liked.  But they stopped making the pods for them!?!?  For the years years before that, when I could drink an entire pot of coffee during a day of crafting, I always bought Starbucks whole bean coffee, and ground it fresh per pot.

So when the brewers that take k-cups originally came out; I decided to not get one for fear that the same thing would happen and I’d have to toss out yet another perfectly good coffee maker.  But, by now, it’s pretty clear that the k-cup is here to stay; and they even make a Keurig MINI that is less expensive and takes up less counter space (which, as you know there is not much of here in my new place!)

AND they even make them in turquoise and red!!!  I’ve had coffee made with them when visiting others and it IS really good.  But the k-cups are a bit pricey . . . but if I only use ONE a day . . . .

Do any of you have a Keurig?  Was it worth the price?

Do I NEED one??

Time off to recover from surgery.

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Happy October!!P1220982

FINALLY had my carpal tunnel surgery!  That big ole bruise goes through to the top of my hand also!  Needless to say, I will be ‘out of commission’ for a while.

P1220883I did get a few more blue / grey pumpkins painted up for my front porch before surgery.  I had actually found one REAL greyish-aqua pumpkin at the grocery store; piled in with all the white pumpkins.  It didn’t have a stem, so I added one.

P1220892A medium branch had fallen from the tree in my front yard.  I chopped it up for the real pumpkin and used it on the fake ones that had ‘removable’ stems.
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Saved some of the scraps of the branch and just laid them around the pumpkins.

P1220889The smallest one was originally black, which showed through a bit when I sanded.

P1220881This one is my LEAST favorite.  It has that ‘plastic glitter stuff’ on it.  Teeny tiny clear plastic spheres . . . soaked up paint and the antique glaze, like a sponge.  Hence, the lines of glaze would not ‘blend out’ very well.

P1220887This one had a crackle finish originally.  I had hoped the cracks would show up better. The stem hole was too big for just one stick, so I did a double on this one.

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This is how the antiquing medium was supposed to work!

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This is a styro one; painted grey and antiqued.  Not really enough ‘texture’ for the antiquing medium to settle into.

P1220884One of the larger ones withOUT a removable stem, so I just painted it brown.

P1220886Small grey one with painted stem.

P1220895The benches are ones that Michael built for me a while back.  I had intended to use them for my coffee table, but until I make room for them inside, they are on my front porch.

P1220875Thrift store red berry wreath on my front door.

P1220878I used some of the skinnier parts of the branch that I cut up for the pumpkin stems to add to the berry wreath.  Just ‘tucked them in’ and wrapped them with the berry wires to hold them in place, so they are removable if I want to change it later.

WHEW!!!  That post wiped me out.  Gotta go ice my hand and rest a bit.  Will be a week or more before I can post again.

Blue pumpkins

Don’t you just LOVE the blue ‘fairy tale’ pumpkins!

P1220722I can never seem to FIND the real ones to buy though.  sigh.

P1220720When I found these two ‘squatty’ metallic pumpkins on a recent thrift store run, I decided to try to make my own!

P1220724Craft paint to the rescue!

P1220723I gave them a couple of coats of my new shade of aqua paint, hand sanded a little bit and brushed some antiquing medium into the creases.

P1220721Not quite as subtle of a blue color as the real ones, but I love how they turned out.

P1220728I was going to keep them for myself, but I decided to take them to Farmhouse Rustic.

Hopefully I can find more of this shape of pumpkins to paint for myself!

It was ‘one of those days’ . . .

You know, one of those days when everything seems to go wrong! I was stocking my booth at Stars and not even TWO minutes in, I dropped and broke an item. Not even five minutes later, I dropped and broke something ELSE! I should have just turned around and gone home at that point.

Then the vendor across from me dropped and broke something . . . and I LAUGHED! sheesh. I explained that I had the ‘dropsies’ and had already broken two items.  I was just putting out a darling porcelain doll.  I hadn’t even taken pictures of the doll yet.  I turned to grab my camera and CRASH!  A customer had reached for an item next to the doll and knocked the doll to the ground, breaking her head!
P1220582Poor Dolly.  And she was such a cute doll too.  (WAS being the operative word!)

P1220581And this is what she looked like when I took her back home.  To do WHAT with her, I had no idea!  I just couldn’t throw here away .. . . not yet anyhow.

P1220583Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaybe I’ll happen upon a porcelain doll head one of these days and can fix her up.  But I’m still really TRYING to ‘de-clutter’ and only keep items that I can personally use (or collect!) or can sell.  If it doesn’t fit either of those, I have to get rid of (donate) it.

She sat in my living room for a couple of days as I pondered her fate while sorting through my Halloween product and supplies.  Hmmmmm????  I wonder what it would look like if I attached this little skull to her???

P1220668Not really ‘my style’ at all, but I do see a lot of these ‘creepy baby dolls’ around this time of year; so why not?

P1220667It she does sell, great!  If not, I’ll donate her like I would have had to do anyhow.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained; right?

P1220703She has gone to my booth at Stars, along with lots more Halloween goodies.

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Here’s a peek at some more of the Halloween decor.

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Getting SPOILED by all this sunshine!!!

Eighteen days straight of dry sunny weather here!  Second longest dry spell this year!  Yeah . . . we get a little giddy from too much sunshine around here!  It’s been so nice to be able to work outside this late in the year.  I’m getting LOTS of sign boards ‘prepped’ (sanded, base coated, painted and distressed) ready to be stenciled on later when I am ‘stuck’ inside.  Getting a good number of other painting projects done too!

10.18.13 both malls prijects 011Little three drawer apothecary chest I picked up last week.  I liked the bird/garden themed drawer pulls, just not on here.

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The color was a little ‘different’ too.  Almost a Periwinkle blue.  Removed the drawer pulls (set aside to use on another project later on)  Sander off the sheen and painted it my signature Aqua.

10.18.13 both malls prijects 033Another round of sanding and some new knobs and voila!

10.18.13 both malls prijects 098It’s now in my booth at Stars; $29.00.

10.18.13 both malls prijects 013Ceramic Father Christmas from last weeks thrifting.  Will be leaving him ‘as is’.

10.18.13 both malls prijects 018Vintage AQUA aluminum compote dishes!!  To keep or to craft with????

10.18.13 both malls prijects 021Of course I HAD to look to see just HOW small these pieces were?!?

10.18.13 both malls prijects 020REALLY small!  Don’t even ask me why I bought it?!?!?  Maybe use it as a ‘gag gift’ for the Larson Family Christmas exchange??

10.18.13 both malls prijects 019Anybody got any ‘puzzle pieces’ craft project ideas??

10.18.13 both malls prijects 027Another picnic basket!  (needs a little repair work along the edge)

10.18.13 both malls prijects 029Another apothecary chest to pretty up.

10.18.13 both malls prijects 023Too cute little blue bunny and single cup teapot, cup and saucer.

Stocked up both malls today.  BIG  SALE at STARS Thursday – Sunday.  25% off all regular priced items in my booth.  Still Lots of Halloween goodies available too!

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10.18.13 both malls prijects 105

Birds of a feather . . .

P1080494But these two ‘thrift store bought’ birds are NOT going to flock together!

10.1.13 pics 009The white one was a salt shaker, so to hide the holes on top if it’s head, I globbed on a bit of spackling.  Then I noticed this other salt shaker and how perfectly sized they were for each other!

10.1.13 pics 010I glued them together with e6000 and let the glue cure overnight.

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Once the glue was set, I spackled the base also and let that dry.  The top and base were both slightly different shades of white, so I spray painted the whole thing to make it cohesive, and, of course, added a crown!

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This ‘pre-crown’ picture shows how petite this little guy is.  Will probably save him for spring.

10.1.13 pics 011I was in ‘Halloween mode’ by the time I got to the other bird, so it got painted black.

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Gave the bird a sheet music paper crown and glued him atop a little wood box (opening facing to the back); dug through my stash of Halloween embellishments to find this head stone shaped one to glue to the front of the box and added a little glittered spider.

10.18.13 both malls prijects 106It’s quite petite, as you can see here in my space at Stars.

 

Halloween goodies now in both Stars & Curiosities

I’ve now got my booths in both antique malls stocked with fun Halloween goods.

Here are the pictures from STARS:

P1080437Nevermore raven, grubby old medicine bottle, mini glitter skull under a cloche (cloche sold separately).

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‘skeleton’ shades are great for Halloween decorating!

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Big glitter skull on a stick with ‘spider eyes’

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Small glitter skull on a stick with crown ornament.

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 Little glitter witch hat and framed spider.

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If the broom fits, ride it signs.

P1080531Skull with paper crown (sold separately).

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 Feather crows with crowns.

P1080538Vintage grubby old critter cage with more crowned crows.

P1080533Mini glitter skull ornament; same size as the turquoise one.

P1080534Altered glittered owl.

P1080536Altered vintage perfume bottle,

P1080537Black owl with crown.

P1080539Assorted Halloween paper silhouettes; 2 to a pack for $1.00.

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And the following pictures from my booth at CURIOSITIES in Beaverton:

P1080586Large skull on a stick.

P1080585Medium and small skulls on a stick.

P1080587Another large skull on a stick.

P1080588Little black shadow box shelf filled with Halloween stuff.

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Glitter owl.

P1080590Glitter skull ornament.

P1080591Jarful of skeletons.

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Prettied up pumpkins on pedestals.

P1080592Close up.

P1080594Jack-o-lantern face vintage crochet threads.

P1080613Lasercut tagboard candelabras with glittered candle tips.

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This one is set up for display; others available packaged so they don’t get damaged from handling.

P1080615Shabby chic wood porch pumpkins.

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Spider with a hat.

Happy Halloween decorating!