Thursday, March 26, 2009

Vintage Thingies Thursday ~ Keep On Truckin'

Behold the "GMC Rainbow". Not made of rain and refracted sunshine, I know, but these hunks of colorful metal sure lit up my day when I discovered them in an alley (in front of someones house!) just down the street from the shop! They look to be a similar age as my dream truck (a 1962 Chevy 5 window, with the happy grill, not the beefy grill). Notice how they all smiled for the camera?
Excuse me, ma'am, but your vintage is showing! Go to Colorado Lady's blog this and every Thursday to see more!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Vintage-look Bottle Brush Trees Tutorial

Because some of my blog readers have asked "How the heck did you make these?!?!?" I've invited the master-mind behind their creation to be a guest today and show you! Her name is Rosann, and she's one of those very clever people who can look at something, and figure out how to make it herself, and then actually make it out of, "oh just stuff I already have laying around the house."! You, however may need to go to the local hardware store to get the supplies, and here's Rosann now, to tell you what you'll be needing. Rosann--take it away, my friend!
Good morning Little Pink House readers! I'm excited to be here! Let's get going!
sisal twine ~ your choice
wire ~ I like 26 gauge steel
rubber gloves
contact cement ~ dries clear
paper towels
tacky glue
vise ~ clamp type, (or just a drawer that shuts tightly - Jan)
paint brush ~ #12 flat is fine
items to decorate tree
wax paper
First ~ protect your work surface. This will make for easy clean-up. Cut sisal into 3”to 4” lengths, then separate strains. Use as much or little for fullest and/or height of tree.Cut wire at least 20” long, then fold in half. Make a loop at top of wire with pencil turning 3 times. Remove pencil. With gloves on, put contact cement on both section of wire were the sisal will lay between.

Center the sisal on one side of wire then place other half of wire on top, lining it up. (I felt like I needed two more hands at this point - Jan) Let cement set.

With ends of wire, place into the vise, tighten. With pencil back in loop, start to twist. You may need help the wire twist where sisal is, so use one hand to move sisal round it. Twist enough to hold firmly. Too much and the wire will break. (My first tree did break, but that's OK, it was still usable! - Jan)


twist, twist and twist some more! This was the hardest part for me--getting the twists even throughout the wire, instead of bunching the twists at one end - Jan

Remove tree (even though it doesn't look like one yet), from vise. Move sisal around to even out empty or full spots on tree.

Start shaping the tree with scissors. Remove a little at a time on a 45 degree angle. Have the top of the tree towards you and work out to the base. (Kinda like that old joke about the marble sculpture--cut away anything that doesn't look like a tree ?!?!?)

Keep the loop on the wire at the top to add a topper, otherwise it can be cut off. Trim wire at base, leaving as much as you need for base / stand.

Lay a nice layer of mica on wax paper. This makes it easy to return unused mica to container. Brush tacky glue on tree, then roll over mica. May need to sprinkle some mica on by hand. (You could use glitter too, right? I wonder how German glass glitter would look!)

Choose a base / stand for your tree. Then add on items with tacky glue to decorate the tree. (There are lots of options for the base. Rosann used 1/2 of a small Styrofoam ball, covered in flecks of gold glitter and the mica she used on the tree. You could use a wooden spool, or block too!) Or just anything you have laying around the house!

Different twines will produce different trees. You can also dye the sisal to make trees for any season! Contact with water will also straighten out the twine as it dries. I used food coloring for my green trees (see picture at the top of this post) before I glued it to the wire, but I bet you could dip them afterwards too! How about PINK for Easter? And then you could glue tiny eggs to the tree, or...or...or...the possibilities are mind-boggling!
Important point: Some of the twines you find at the hardware stores are NOT SISAL, and don't work as well. They don't turn out as "full" and they won't "take up" any dyes. So be sure you have a true sisal (you can smell sisal, or just ask the sales person if you don't want any funny looks in the rope aisle at the hardware store).
PLEASE--if you make a tree, or a whole forest of them, email me to show us--we'd love to see what you've done! Rosann, thanks so much for showing my readers how to do this!
No problem, Jan. You can also check out, for more instructions. If anyone has any questions you can email Jan and I'd be happy to answer them! Thanks for letting me sit in with you today!

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A New Look

There's a new website in town, and there's ROOM for everyone! After months of designing, and emailing back and forth with Cathy at Avalon Rose Web Designs, the new website for Room With A Past is complete and LIVE for your viewing pleasure! She did a great job with our visions! You can also visit the new Roomies blog for the shop here.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Happy Birthday M.o.m.!

In case I haven't told you, I think you're an incredible woman (even if you did chase me around the house with a wooden spoon when I was little, AND missed giving me Halloween as my birthday!) Happy Birthday to someone who loves pink even more than me!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Vintage Thingies Thursday ~ Let's Monkey Around!

Who could resist this face? Okay, my friend Audrey (who thinks any inanimate object with a face is kinda creepy) could. But not me. Not once, not twice, not three, not even seven times could I resist that little monkey face.

But wait--there's more to this story than meets the twinkle in the little monkey's eye!

I had one of these guys when I was still in a crib. It was a BLUE monkey, given to me by my "awful" (uncle) Jimmy. "Monkey" was my best friend, but alas, as with many childhood toys, he was lost (or thrown out as I see it!). But, as we all know, you can BUY your childhood back through the miracle that is Ebay! I searched auction after auction for my elusive little blue friend, finding only his colorful cousins (which as you see, I had to buy only to be safe in the knowledge they were coming to a good home!).

They do a lot of smiling, but they're not talking. I don't know where my blue monkey BFF is, but his pals will keep me company until he's found.
Get your vintage on! Visit Colorado Lady's blog every Thursday to see what else is being shared, and then JOIN IN!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Vintage Thingies Thursday ~ Stuffy Old Pals

This is a bunny I could not pass up at a tag sale I went to a few years ago. The seller was truly grateful that I took him to a good home. I don't know how old he is, but he was filthy and I gave him a good bath which made his hair fall out. This does not make him any less lovable to me (especially since he was probably happy being filthy and having hair)!

This is a bean-filled clown I found shoved to the rear of a linen closet in my parent's house when I was little. I'd never seen it before, and when I asked Mom about it, she said she made him, but now (45 years later) she says she doesn't know anything about him! (That's a picture of me on a collage my sister made for me in the background)
This is a really good friend of mine that has been through thick and thin with me, and has the tear stains to prove it! Her name is Betsy/Cathy. She is a "flip doll" that my Mom made for me when I was about three years old. Betsy has blond hair, a little pout and a raggedy ripped dress. When you flip her over (she hates that) Cathy, who has black hair, a full smile, bright eyes and an elegant satin dress with a flower at the waist, appears. (You can see Betsy's hair hanging out from under Cathy's dress). Betsy and I had more intimate conversations than did Cathy and I. Nothing personal, Cathy is perfectly nice. Betsy even meets in the middle with her sometimes. It's just that Betsy was always home, while Cathy was on her way out the door to a ball or some such. That and the fact that Betsy was always such a better listener.

Show me your vintage. Join "Vintage Thingies Thursday" at Colorado Lady's blog every Thursday!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Gray Days At The Pink House..

are cheerfully brightened up by confused yellow flowers in my yard. But with beauty comes pain. See that photo on the bottom left of the collage? I didn't forget to rotate it--the heads of my daffs are being pummeled with rain here in Northern California today, and they are just too tired from trying to figure out if it's Winter or Spring to take it anymore! We do need this rain, so I must say I'm sorry to my standard-sized and miniature little babies. But their beauty has not gone unnoticed--I enjoy them every day, but more so on these gray and wet ones.