Thursday, December 11, 2008

More Shaped Tags/Ornaments

These are similar to the homestead crafts we learned in the wilderness in the 1950's when my parents first settled in the north. If we lacked ornaments or cards, we invented our own. It was common to take something from wrapping paper, whether it be a picture or an ornament, and glue it to cardboard from the groceries (anything that was empty was opened up and used for art paper or construction material), glazed over with decoupage or white glue, and glitterized.

I like to to use construction paper for these ornaments, because the color is on both sides. When using scrapbook papers, cut two, with the white sides together, and paste together, to give color on both sides. I used the Polymer or Scribbles paints to outline them, and the candle shape has glitter on the flame. To use them as tags or ornaments, punch or sew a tiny hole in the tops and thread a single piece of metallic embroidery thread to make a loop for each one. I will have the patterns available soon, and a few more ideas. I like year-round ornaments that I can use for all occasions.

I have a few more "word-signs" and some other paper projects that are taking me awhile to invent. It took a long time to draw and cut and re-do these to get the look I wanted. These shapes can be enlarged, and made with felt and other fabrics, like muslin, on which you can embroider or use the polymer liquid puff-paint. They would make interesting rubber stamps, but I have not yet figured out how to make those ;-) To make these more sturdy, use a marbelized card stock in pastels, and do the same amount of outlining and glitter on the backs, as well. It keeps them from buckling.

This is the sort of thing that women can do when their husbands have to be away for long periods of time. One thing I used to do is make a little patchwork pillow or some kind of decorative shaped pillow, each time he was gone, and now I have an interesting collection. Also, I think women at home alone need to develop a reputation for being hospitable and host regular get-togethers to make the days not so lonely and long. It is a great motivation to do nice things to your house.


My daughter and I had enormous pleasure perusing the holiday craft sales all around. This year, they were held in the most obscure and unusual places, and the less promising the premises looked, the better the products were. One place was held in the upper room of a glass factory, where a woman had placed the most wonderful array of Victorian crafts and art.

Another wonderful place was an old single wide trailor, but you would never have known it once you got inside. The proprietors had transformed it into a regal palace, full of wonderful dishes and tea sets and table cloths, fireplaces, and every good thing. Another craft sale was held inside a woman's garage. Again, there was no reminder that is was a garage. She had rugs to walk on, beautiful music playing, and samples of French Market Soup, to eat, which was sold in dried form in bags with measuring scoops. She had her store divided up into themes, and my favorite was the shabby chic section, where women had innovately transformed old furniture and lamps, wall pockets, and every good thing, into something fresh and sweet.

We also visited an old red barn, where a group of women had set up their hand made wares and it was absolutely lovely. These girls have such a feeling for the appearance and appeal of things.

I remember years ago (years and years) when window shopping was so popular, that proprietors sent some employees to window-dressing classes to learn how to create an appealing disply in the windows of shops, to draw people inside. We used to get dressed up and walk in the evenings just to see the window displays. Now, the down town areas have no window displays, and if someone does have something in those windows, it is not facing the street. The shops are not used in the same way as they were in times past, so we are more likely to look at the label on the back of a paint tin, than on a pretty living room display, in the window. This visit to the craft shows this year really made me wish we had window dressing again. The artisans and crafters just seem to get better and better.




16 comments:

Elizabeth-Plain and Simple said...

I really enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for sharing it. I also miss the window displays that stores use to have.

Elizabeth

Barb said...

Very nice blog Lydia.
I'll be back to check it now taht i know about it.

Barbara Jean
Treasures from the Heart

Country Victorian said...

Lydia,

Your are so creative! It is so much fun to see what you come up with next!

ann said...

I enjoyed your post about the gift tags. You said that they would look good as stamps, I agree. You could cut out the shapes from thin foam and glue onto wooden blocks and use as a stamp. Ann

Armchair Housewife said...

Hi Lady Lydia,

I know it's a bit off-subject now, but i wanted to tell you that after the discussion on getting dressed properly in the morning for keeping our home, i got convicted and did something about it.

I went to the thrift store and picked out a number of nicer blouses and cardigans that I can wear around the house and not worry as much about getting them soiled, as they only cost me a dollar or two a pop, but they still look much nicer than the tshirts I was wearing. i'm still a pants gal, but I think having a nice bouse or cardigan on is much nicer and makes me feel more professional about my homekeeping than my old tshirts did. And more feminine, too! :)

And I've been doing my hair each morning, and even putting on - gasp!- a bit of mascara and lip gloss (which is as dolled up as I get, and like it that way).

And today I'm going to look for a nicer apron, because the one I have is a total mess.

Thanks again, Lady Lydia for encouraging me... it has happened before and I'm sure it will happen again. :)

-Nicole

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

Nicole, I think it puts others in a better mood toward you when you dress up a little. Even with jeans, a nice sweater or blouse is charming. I quit wearing them because I couldn't get any to fit me well, and also because the styles kept changing and my figure kept changing and eventually I started to see that they weren't very pretty and I could spend the money on fabric for a skirt. Even if all you do is put on a nicer top and fix your hair and makeup, it just makes such a tremendous statement about what you are going to be doing today. There is a change in people who are sick, once they bathe and fix their hair and put on a clean outfit. Even while sick, they feel more optimism.

Amy B. said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

Your creative posts are inspiring, well, they all are, really. But yesterday I had to make a quick stop in the Dollar store to pick up cookie sheets to convert into memo boards with magnets made from those semi-flat clear rocks used in fish bowls or floral arrangements. I passed by the gift bags, recalling some very clever uses you wrote about and decided to get a couple of the very large ones. These we taken apart at the seam very easily then centering the ribbon handles we cut large triangles out and rolled these into tussie-mussie cones. I am filling them as Christmas treat bags for my nephews and neice (gluing tissue around the opening and twisting closed). Then we cut the sides of the bag (which are neatly folded down the center already) into gift tags to punch and tie onto gifts. What fun. There is scrap remaining which will be cut into small gift boxes, more tags, and ornaments. All from $2 worth of paper! I love being thrifty! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Dear Lydia,
I am a young lady of 16 years, and have been following your blog for a few days now. I must say...
I am amazed at your creative talent. You inspire me to be creative as well. I am home schooled and look forward to the chapter of life in which I will be a wife and mother. I love home making! Your blog is such a joy and blessing. Thank you!
Danielle

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

I certainly hope you blog about this and include pictures. Some ladies are using parts of gift bags as cards, and other parts for ornaments. It would be interesting to see all you can do with one bag.

ladiestea said...

Those are lovely tags. Can't tell what size they are from the photo. Thank you for all your good influence over the years as I've been reading your writings for 3+ yrs. If you and your daughter are ever in the area, stop over and we'll have tea as I make you some salve.

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

I think they each are about 5 inches. I do plan to put the pattern up so you can print it off. I am working on a lamp post and a long stemmed rose, both with lots of glitz and glitter, and also am doing a brown paper bag version. Our paper grocery bags are very stiff and can be used for many different things. Also, I put tiny clothespins on the back of these ornaments, because I have given up on those icky sticky metal hooks. I think ornaments ought to have their own clips attached. White glue works fine to attach the clothespins and it is so much easier to mount them on just about anything.

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

That olive oil salve that you made me has really helped my skin. It cleared up a cracking and peeling problem I was having with my fingers, and now I use it on my face. It makes even the cheapest makeup look very expensive and has a very nice glow underneath it.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Lady Lydia and Fellow Commenters/Readers,

I must say, as has Nicole, I've also over this past week really made an efort, and it has lisfted my spirits wonderfully (fel a bit dim here as this is a jolly good piece of common sense I should have heeded a long time agao)......makes a difference, and I am heartened.

I would be most interested for the recipe for the olive oil salve mentioned in a one of yoru previous comments, Lady Lydia, if it would be possible to post it, this would be much appreciated.

Blessings,

mrs. E.,
Australia.

goldilocks said...

The window-display as impromptu storage area seems sad to me, too. I see a lot of it.

It's untidy looking, but nobody seems to care.

Guess people live mostly in the suburbs, and the clientele that once walked by those windows now mostly drives by and can't see it to appreciate it.

Miss Lila in Atlanta said...

Lydia,
Awesome Blog dear. If only more people would take your words to heart. We're currently reading the "Little House" books in our homeschool, my grandkids kids aged 3 to 10. They love it. They are always saying things like, Laura did this or Mary did that or can we kill a pig like Pa did. (Mmmm don't think so, sorry.) I recently found an old timey bonnet at the thrift store like Laura and Mary used to wear. The girls wear it everyday now and they each want one. (trying to figure out how to make some) But that goes to say, sometimes I think all these "over Priced" "mind boggling", toys may be more for the parents than these sweet innocent children. Ah, well, don't get me started!
I read your blog each new post.
Would love some pictures of you and family.
Have a lovely evening,
Miss Lila in Atlanta

Miss Lila in Atlanta said...

Lydia,
Awesome Blog dear. If only more people would take your words to heart. We're currently reading the "Little House" books in our homeschool, my grandkids kids aged 3 to 10. They love it. They are always saying things like, Laura did this or Mary did that or can we kill a pig like Pa did. (Mmmm don't think so, sorry.) I recently found an old timey bonnet at the thrift store like Laura and Mary used to wear. The girls wear it everyday now and they each want one. (trying to figure out how to make some) But that goes to say, sometimes I think all these "over Priced" "mind boggling", toys may be more for the parents than these sweet innocent children. Ah, well, don't get me started!
I read your blog each new post.
Would love some pictures of you and family.
Have a lovely evening,
Miss Lila in Atlanta

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