Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas Eve everyone! I hope things have settled down a bit, and you are able to enjoy these moments. The good things... Family, Friends, good food, and the joy and happiness of Christmas.

 The weather is surprisingly clear here in Portland today,the sun is out even! My sweet mama is coming up today, and I'm doing our celebration dinner this evening. Yummmy! I've been baking for the last two days. My grandmothers famous Zucchini cookies,chocolate chip, sugar cookies, and lemon bars. Smells so yummy in love.

But it sounds like Christmas Day, will be another story... Heavy rain and possible snow. Just maybe, we will get a white Christmas...

The other day I ventured out to my little Jewel, so neglected, and lonely. It has been cold and very wet here. Nothing new for this time of year in Portland. I think we are the rain capitol, if I'm not mistaken. Ha!Ha!

And what to my wondering eyes should appear, all of my pretties that I had securely fastened to my walls with command strips, had all fallen down. Too much moisture I guess, to hold everything up. Oh, man,so sad.

 I wanted to do a bit of Christmas decorating in there for some photo's. So, I went and grabbed a portable heater, and started cleaning up the debris. Luckily, nothing broken, just scattered. Soon after, I blew a fuse, another curve ball.

But determined, I kept going. Even though I was freezing. My sweet hubby brought us out some sandwiches for lunch. So sweet of him! He was thinking we would have a nice cozy lunch.

We ate there, as we could see the steam of each breath in the cold. Longing for the warmer days to return... It was fun though, a winter picnic!

Wishing you much love, and a very Happy Happy Christmas!!!
~Susan Xo

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happiest Time of the Year

Hello Lovelies! Hope your enjoying all the magic of the season. 4 days til Christmas! I can't believe how fast time has gone... I think I have been saying that ever since Halloween. lol!
But it's true, how fast it goes. My mother was right, the older you get, the faster it goes...
This year I have had such fun, moving at a much slower pace, than years past, and enjoying the small things. No rushing around, fighting crowds and all that. Simple. Simple pleasures.

This year I did a special art swap with 4 lovely talented artists, and it has meant so much to me. Something I will cherish forever deep in my heart. I set up at art tree so that I could display all the pretties that I received, and some of my own creations too...

It's a skinny artificial tree, and I love it's shape. The branches are strong enough, and perfect for
 holding all the love on it's branches!
This beauty was made for me by the talented Sharon Borsavage, I love the birdie and the rhinestones are such a special touch. At the base she did a nest of metal work and pearls, I sooo LOVE it!
Sharon is such an amazing artist, her jewelry is stunning, you can find her and her other work,  HERE
on her Etsy Shop.

And Mary Jane Chadbourne's little tree in a shaker is sooo adorable! A glittery magical display, I just LOVE it!!! Mary Jane's work is truly amazing! And she has an upcoming class too! Multi talented Ms. for sure! You can find her HERE

And the Beautiful Diana Darden, she's such a doll, and a master shrine maker. Not to mention an amazing artist! She made this bulldog ornie for me, "Merry and Bright". Sorry it's a little blurry, it's such a wonderful piece that I will surely treasure! So special and thoughtful.

And a Beautiful pennant she included was also a sheer delight! Her work is amazing, and you can find her amazing works HERE
And the amazingly talented Denise Phillips! Denise is a multi-talented artist, I first met Denise through her ATC swaps, and I have been smitten with her and her little furbaby son Mr. Oliver Howard, ever since. She's such a delight!  Her Etsy shop has something for everyone! You can find her HERE

Oh such FUN!!!
I have also been creating a few new pieces here and there...

 A shabby WISH banner...

I used various background papers and added velvet lace edged ribbons, flowers and buttons, and silver sparkling letters, centered on top of an accordion folded circle.
I edged the pennants in German glass glitter.
And fun winter white treat cones. I used french script writing papers, vintage gold doilies, and accordion centers.
I added a Frozen Charolette doll in the center. She has a rhinestone necklace and a crown fit for a queen. Vintage lace, and the word an-gel ic.

I added hand cut crepe paper at the top of the cone and vintage lace. This one measures 12". Perfect for filling with lots of goodies!

This little beauty is one of my new favorites! A hand blown tea pot ornament. I like to try and get at least one special one for myself each year if I can. This one is now #2 of my teapot ornies.
This was my Merry Christmas to me...
As if I haven't been blessed enough all ready, with all the the fabulous gifts I have received this year. I am ever so Thankful...
I hope you are enjoying your celebrations, and taking the time to cherish all the small things. They really are the most important things that we will remember...
Many Blessings to you and yours this Christmas Season.
~Susan Xo


Monday, December 17, 2012

Ornaments Galore

Hello there lovelies, Hope all is well... This past week I have been on such a crazy schedule. Sleeping for 5 hrs. or so, then wide awake, brainstorming, and somehow, being soooo productive. Short naps, then whirling off again!!!
I'm not sure how I have managed to get myself all turned around, but I feel so energetic, and maybe a bit restless. It's odd. You would think I would be walking around all day with a glazed look over my face in zombie mode....
 But nope..... crazy brilliant ideas, brainstorming, planning, and creating like mad!  I'm kinda liking riding this creative wave. Ha! Ha! Crazy I tell Ya....Crazy
So this year has been just amazing for finding vintage ornaments, I have been having such a good time hunting up these little treasures and sharing them with you. The handling, cleaning and photographing them all, has kept me pretty busy. I have found so many this year, that I can't possibly keep them all...
Yay for You!!!
 Each one is so unique and delicate, there really is something magical about these old Christmas Ornaments. Maybe that's what's got me all jacked up. lol!

These guys are the Jumbo Balls. They measure almost 4" across. Very nice size.
I haven't seen very many Shiny Brites that are this big.

And this group is very rare, they remind me of a Birthday Party. A Birthday Party for Jesus! These are hand painted and made in Poland. Really delicate and they measure only 1.5" across.

I love the painted ones,they really are pretty. And the indent style are so delicate and light weight. These are really old Shiny Brites.
I found this bit of info from Wikipedia:
The Shiny-Brite company produced the most popular Christmas tree ornaments in the United States throughout the 1940s and '50s.
In 1937, Max Eckardt established "Shiny-Brite" ornaments, working with the Corning Glass Company to mass produce glass Christmas ornaments. Eckardt had been importing hand-blown glass balls from Germany since around 1907, but had the foresight to anticipate a disruption in his supply from the upcoming war. Corning adapted their process for making light bulbs to making clear glass ornaments, which were then shipped to Eckardt's factories to be decorated by hand. The fact that Shiny-Brite ornaments were an American-made product was stressed as a selling point during World War II.
Dating of the ornaments is often facilitated by studying the hook. The first Shiny-Brite ornaments had the traditional metal cap and loop, with the hook attached to the loop, from which the ornament was hung from the tree.
Wartime production necessitated the replacement of the metal cap with a cardboard tab, from which the owner would use yarn or string to hang the ornament. These hangers firmly place the date of manufacture of the ornament to the early 1940s.
Following the war, Shiny-Brite introduced a line of ornaments with a newly designed metal hook that provided the user with two lengths of hanger. The long hook traveled through the center of the ornament and exited the bottom, where it attached to the foot of the ornament. This provided the "short" hanger. Unlatched from the bottom, the entire length of the hook was available, allowing the ornament to dangle at a greater distance from the tree limb to which it was attached. This arrangement was designed to allow the ornament to fill sparsely limbed areas of a natural tree.
The increasing popularity of the aluminum artificial Christmas tree, first manufactured in 1958, made this device far less attractive to the consumer, as an artificial tree had no gaps to be filled. The added expense of the lengthy hanging wire coupled with the diminishing need caused this feature to be discontinued in 1960.
The demand for glass ornaments waned as plastic ornaments became more popular, ultimately bringing the Shiny-Brite company to close its doors in 1962.
During its peak, Shiny-Brite had four factories in New Jersey, located in the cities of Hoboken, Irvington, North Bergen, and West New York. The company's main office and showroom were located at 45 East 17th Street in New York City, NY.

I know that during the war, WWII, metal was so scarce, they stopped making the shiny metallic finishes. They were hand painted and sometimes a metal tinsel was inserted to add sparkle and shine. Even the hangers were no longer made of metal due to the shortage.
I found this box of Ornies the other day, and man, are they ever pretty.....
 One of the little caps was missing, but I had a few extra old ones, so I replaced it with one of those.

 Lots of indents and hand etching. Very pretty. These are Made in Poland too. I looks like they were made exclusively for Kmart back in the day.
And the plain silver Mercury Glass ones are pretty too. Simple and very reflective. I love to mix these with whites and golds. It makes for a pretty display.
Can you see me in there? Ha Ha! It's difficult to photo these with out capturing yourself in their mirror like finish.
I love this old fish one. I have had him for years and years... Aqua and pink! Unfortunately, he lost part of his tail over the years. But I still Love him.
Here's a few of mine... I separated them so that you can see them a little bit better.
And here's a big pile of them... a nice little collection.
These pink ones were super cute too! They sold quick. Pink must be the hot color this year. Yay for pink!
These pink Indent Shiny Brites were so pretty too, they have gone to a new mama. And she loves them!
These too, have a new home for Christmas...
It's been so much fun this year, to find so many of these little beauties. This is only a portion of what I've found, if you can imagine that....
And they look so cute on my little tinsel table top tree... The snow man here is one I have had for 20+ years. He is battery operated and his little eyes light up and the broom moves back and forth. He blows air out of the top of his hat! Where a little white Styrofoam ball hovers like magic...
Until next time... 
 Wishing you Blessings and Happiness...
~Susan Xo


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Vintage Postcards

Hello Lovelies!
Hope you are all having a wonderful time celebrating the Holidays. This can be such a busy time for most of us. I will admit, this year things are much more simple for me. I just try to work on a few things a day, and not get overwhelmed. I try and live in the present moment. And thank goodness for lists, or I would end up all over the place! 
There really is magic this time of the year, the sparkle of glitter and the twinkling lights. The magical glow of the adorned tree, going through all the boxes of old ornaments, and the memories that they invoke. 
I do tend to get a little sappy this time of year. LOL!
This past week I have been listening to all the old Christmas songs on the radio, while working in the studio, so much fun!

I have a collection of seasonal vintage postcards, that I keep in cigar boxes. I think I have a few for every Holiday. Imagine that! Ha!  
I enjoy going through them, and creating little displays, as each new Holiday arrives. It's a quick and easy way to add some festive touches around my home.
These little fan card holders are just the best.I use them year round. I have 3, I think, that I can change out with paper ephemera, art, or photos.

These little fans work great for displaying Christmas Cards too!


I really adore old postcards! They excite me so...the textures and colors used in the images. Ohhh the Simple pleasures...
I haven't even started wrapping yet...How about you?  I had better get that happening soon... Good thing it's on the "LIST."
Wishing you all the Joy and Happiness the Season brings...
~Susan Xo



Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas Decorating

Hello Lovelies!
Hope all is well... Are you feeling the magic of Christmas yet?

I certainly am! I was feeling so behind, but not after today!
I was finally able to get some of my decorating started today. YAY!!!

We got the tree last night... and then discovered that our tree stand had gone missing from last year. Oh how fun, back to the store we went...
That was all right though, it just gave us more time to vignette Jewel up for a photo!
She's looking festive now, with her Christmas glow...

Put on the Christmas music, it's time to get this Christmas on!
Stringing the lights...

My Mantle this year... I decided to go with wintery whites...
A little vintage Dollie that was given to me last year, she's really old, and I just love the patina of her dress.

A little Christmas Faerie...

A little collection of bottle brush trees...

I made this little muslin wrapped cone tree, covered in vintage white buttons, last year...

A little bottle containing vintage buttons...

Untangling the butterflies... I love all my butterflies!
I have been collecting these for years.
And here it is! All decorated! I used a lot of amber and golds this year.

I like to use birds,and birdhouses, and nests, and butterflies...

This Christmas faerie is one of my favorites!

And these!

A little baby birds nest with glittered little eggs...

A special Ornament that I won when attending a live show of AM Northwest one year with my sister...This one is really special!

And lots of fruits dipped in sparkly Christmas magic!
It feels so cheery in here now... I just love the way the tree turned out, with the contrast of the white mantle. The mirrors really add an extra glow and enhance the twinkling feel of the room.

Even sweet baby violet has a front row seat!

Hope you enjoyed my decorating this year, I have more to come... so stay tuned!

Enjoy your weekend.

~Susan Xo