Sunday, December 4, 2016

Christmas | Miniature farm scene

model barn
In honor of our first measurable snowfall this winter, I decided to put together a miniature winter scene in my dining room.
vintage wood barn
I started with this little thrifted barn. 
toy cows and horses
Then I pulled out my small herd of secondhand livestock. I'm not sure if any of them are truly the right scale for the barn, but I thought the second and third cows from the left looked like the best fit.
battery-operated mini lights
 To give the scene a Christmassy look, I bought a set of miniature lights.
Christmas farm scene
I strung the lights all the way around the roofline and snaked the excess inside through the back door.
Christmas farm scene
The battery pack is hidden inside the barn.
toy wreaths
Once I had the light situation squared away, I dug all of my miniature wreaths out of storage.
miniature winter barn scene
I decided to put one of the medium-sized ones on the front door.
miniature winter scene
And I put one of the tiny wreaths on the front bumper of my white Chevy pickup (another thrift-store find -- it's not old; I'm pretty sure it ended up at the thrift store because it's missing a headlight.)
toy Chevy truck
I tossed a miniature tree in the bed of the truck.
toy barn
 I stole one of the copper stars from my star collection for the end of the barn.
miniature winter farm scene
And I hung a couple of brass bells from the roof on the other side.
miniature winter farm scene
I added a couple of deer and some faux snow and trees outside.
toy barn with cows
And I put a battery-operated votive candle inside the barn so it would be lit from the inside at night.
toy barn with cows
Here it is lit up at night.
toy barn with cows
 And here's the barn during the day.
toy barn and cows
I love the chippy paint on the roof.
toy barn and truck in snow

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Collecting | Secondhand stars

star ornaments
 I've come to the conclusion that I'll collect almost anything. Except for stuff that's made (and marketed) specifically to be collectible. Hummel figurines? I'll pass. Precious Moments? God no. Those faceless Willow Tree people that everybody else loves? Not my thing. collection of stars
But turn me loose in a thrift store or at a garage sale and I guarantee I will find some random castoff that has absolutely no monetary value that I will just HAVE to have.  
And then I'll find another one. And another one. And another one. Case in point: my collection of secondhand stars. Most of them cost next to nothing.
Some of them I've given makeovers, like these two. The star on the left was unpainted cardboard when I bought it. The one on the right was one of those plastic glow-in-the-dark models. I gave them both a coat of copper paint and now they look like they're metal.  
These were all basic pine stars that I've picked up one or two at a time. Most of them were unfinished wood when I bought them. One was bright blue. I painted them all white, glued a little newspaper on them and grunged them up a bit.
collection of stars
This one was obviously a cookie cutter that someone had drilled holes in and turned into a Christmas ornament before casting it off.
star Christmas ornaments
Most of these were bright shiny gold stars, which I didn't love, so I brought them home and painted them silver.
collection of stars
I tend to put out a star or two here and there occasionally, but most of the time, my stars live in a box.collection of stars
With Christmas coming, I decided I'd pull them all out and give them a chance to shine.
vignette
They're still just a bunch of random, discarded, picked-up-at-a-thrift-store-for-a-quarter-each stars. 
collection of stars

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Thanksgiving | Turkey assemblage

turkey robot
I've been a little obsessed with "turkey robots" lately. Some people call them "turkey assemblages." Or "upcycled turkeys." Or "steampunk turkeys." Whatever you call them, they're out there, and I love them.
steam punk turkeys
I've been storing images of some of my favorites on Pinterest and keeping my eye out for parts to make my own.
upcycled turkey
 A few weeks ago, I found an old vegetable steamer in a thrift store.
upcycled turkey
I bought it, knowing that the flaps on the basket would make perfect turkey feathers. 
turkey assemblage
I also bought this thing. I'm not sure what it is. Maybe a tea strainer? But when I looked at it, I saw a turkey head.
turkey assemblage
After I got my turkey parts home, I disassembled the steamer and soaked the pieces in vinegar for a few minutes to remove the lime scale.
turkey craft
 The bright, shiny aluminum wasn't working for me, so I slapped a quick coat of brown acrylic craft paint on everything.
Rub 'n Buff on metal
 Then I smeared Spanish copper Rub 'n Buff over the paint. (Rub 'n Buff doesn't adhere very well to shiny metal; hence the basecoat.)
making a turkey from upcycled parts
 When the Rub 'n Buff dried, I buffed the pieces with a soft cloth and started assembling the turkey.
picture hangers
 For the feet, I found one of these picture hangers in the hardware stash in my basement. (And then I had to go down to the hardware store to buy a second one.)
picture hangers
They got a basecoat of brown acrylic craft paint, topped with Spanish copper Rub 'n Buff, too.
making a turkey assemblage
The beak was made from an old earring. I just snipped the end of it off.
Thanksgiving craft
I found a couple of washers for the eyes.
turkey assemblage
I put a bolt through the hole on the bottom of the turkey's head and stacked six nuts on it to act as spacers.
turkey craft project
The head was screwed into a hole in the center of the body.
turkey robot
Here's what the head looks like from the front.
Thanksgiving craft And here's how it's attached in the back
assemblage
After I had the head attached, I hung the feet off the rim of the turkey's body.
making a turkey from salvaged parts
 Then I glued on his facial features.
metal turkey
 Here he is all done.
turkey assemblage
Linking to:
Funky Junk | Salvaged Junk Projects
Shabbillicious
Show & Share | Coastal Charm