Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Please Mr. Postman....


I love sending little care packages... especially surprise ones!  When my daughter was in college I sent her little things pretty regularly... especially that first year.  I even sent little packages when she was living away in Toronto.... I loved finding a little something and pairing it up with odds and ends... even freebies.  I think I actually still have a few of them hanging around 5 or 6 years later!  Perhaps my fondness of this little tradition goes back to when my husband was in school in Phoenix and I was still here in Washington... we sent letters to each other almost daily and sometimes little packages would arrive as well... once the package was almost as big as me and contained a 4 foot tall Pink Panther, really.

I thought it was time to dust this tradition off and start again... and no better time than Halloween!  I've amassed a bit of this and that...

I found a small box and some vintage pattern pieces to use for tissue/wrapping... tuck in a little bit of Martha Stewart Halloween and some tissue decorations...

Of course a cute little nut cup, in the appropriate colors.

And we can't forget something with GLITTER!

These little truffles I picked up last Friday at a local craft and antique show.  Aren't the ghost, mummy and jack-o-lantern cute?  And because of the recipient of this little package... well the jack-o-lantern truffle is bacon flavored, although not MY personal favorite the recipient will appreciate it!

So I placed a piece of the pattern/tissue in the box...

Added my goodies.... some wrapped in additional pattern/tissue and vintage seam binding in orange and black.  And I couldn't leave out some paper straws.  In black, orange and lime green... with a vintage orange chenille stem to keep them together.

Folded over half of the pattern/tissue and added this wonderful little graphic I picked up at local store, Grandiflora, which you may remember from some of my prior posts... then folded the final pattern/tissue over.  All ready to take to the Post Office after work today.

A fun way and inexpensive way to send a little love....

Or even a trick or a treat!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall, in a day


We've been enjoying an unusually sunny, dry and warm end of summer and start of fall here in my corner of the world... But fall finally arrived in Northwest Washington... the past weekend was dark, wet and windy.  I must say, there's nothing like a little bit of blustery weather to make you want to curl up at home, inside, with a good book and a hot cup of something.

Much of the fall foliage is showing it's colors... and with the windy weather some of the foliage is no longer attached to the trees...

And although I don't have much in the way of fall foliage here at Red Gate Farm... I sure seem to have accumulated some leaves from someplace!

Not to mention a few pine needles...

I'm sure the perennials loved the drenching rain we finally have had after months of next to none, really.... none.

 And I know my two labs were happy to spend a Saturday snoozing the day away...

On my bed... with my pillows no less.  And no, they weren't interested in a book or a hot cup of tea...

Not really sure why I've been looking forward to a rainy day... since we'll probably have grey skies and rain for the next 6 months...

Monday, October 8, 2012

Your cheatin' (he)art...



A little cheatin' has been going on here at Red Gate Farm.... cheating on chalk art that is.

If you've been following, or checked Red Gate Farm out recently, you may have noticed that we had an event back in August... a wedding kind of event!  And we used a lot of chalkboards in the decorating.  Some for keepsakes...

Some for fun and whimsy...

Some for signage... like signage to tell you the kinds of cupcakes we offered!  My daughter was the one that discovered this technique for transferring... of course it can work on other mediums besides chalkboards....

So, the first step is finding what you want to transfer.... an image, some typography... or even a bit of both.  There are tons of free images/printables out there or you can even make you own using a variety of computer fonts, like I did with my last chalkboard project... I've printed out a number of pages to use... some for holidays, some for fun.... so to pick one for today's project, well... I'll have to go with a Halloween printable.  You may need to reduce or enlarge your print to fit your board....

And since this is chalkboard art, you'll need a chalkboard.  Mine happens to be a vintage slate chalkboard I keep in my living room year round, but you can also use this method on chalkboards you've made with chalkboard paint.

You'll need a piece or two of chalk... plain old white will do.  I also used a chalkboard marker for the final "writing" but only on my real slate board or glass... the markers state that you cannot use it on the "man made" chalkboards paint... well you CAN use it, it just becomes permanent... we actually used a marker on our wedding chalkboards but since we were keeping them that was fine.... of course, you could always paint another coat of chalkboard paint over them and start fresh if you like the look of the marker as the end product.

The next step is a little dusty and messy... you basically cover the back side of the printed copy of your image or typography with the chalk... I couldn't get a picture of this since my paper was white... should have used some color chalk for demonstration purposes, but you get the idea, right?  So cover everywhere that you have type or an image, but on the back/blank side.  For my example I had to cover the whole back side with chalk!  And yes, it was a dusty mess.

Now next you'll want to gently shake the loose chalk off of your paper before flipping it over... then carefully place it over your chalkboard.  I like to use a small piece of tape to keep the paper in place while I'm working.... And finally take a sharp ink pen or mechanical pencil and carefully trace around all of the letters (or the image).  For skinny letters you're mostly going for size and placement... the bolder letters you'll want to actually outline them.

Remove the paper and this is what you will see.... a faint transfer of your type/image!  Now this is best done in a bright room.  The first time I tried it in the evening and couldn't see anything (I really hate those florescent lights even if they are green!)... I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong.  I found the next day I just needed that... daylight that is!

 I also like to keep my original print handy because I do refer to it while going over everything.  Be careful not to rub any chalk off as you work across the board going over everything with your chalkboard marker and filling in the larger letters.  I like to outline them first and then (gasp!) color withing the lines!

A tip, if you are using regular chalk instead of a marker is to dip the end of the chalk in water... and use like normal.  You may need to dip the end multiple times throughout the project.  It will look faint at first but then darken as it dries.... and THIS does work on "man made" chalkboards that you want to erase!

And voila!  tThis is what you end up with!  You may notice I was in a bit of a hurry and the "orange" didn't come out quite right....

But imperfection is part of the art, right? Right.  I actually like some of the typography printables that have more of a variety between the fonts... but this is the Halloween one that I had handy this weekend I liked the best.

These little vintage slate chalkboards are fabulous for this since they are slate on both sides... I left my "fall" typography on the other side and can just flip it back over when October is over... always thinking ahead!  And come December?   Well a wet rag and I have a clean slate (couldn't resist).

And if you didn't know, you can use this same method to transfer an image/typography onto wood or paper... just use a pencil on the backside as your transfer "medium" instead of chalk!

So I hope you give this a try... because this cheatin' art is worth it!


And a PS...  someone asked about this little image in my last post.  It's actually something from the Martha Stewart line at Michaels... I know it's from a number of years ago.  But it's just a little velum square that was trimmed in metal...kind of like those key tags?  This would be easy to copy by either printing something directly onto vellum with your printer or even using pen/ink to trace an image onto vellum... and there are lots of free images out there!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Decking the (haunted) halls....

It's that time of year... when witches dust off their brooms...

Of course mine is a cute little vintage one, child sized that is.

The orange of Halloween is kept confined in the kitchen this year... I don't decorate the whole house for Halloween but I do try to add a little something to my dining room.  This year it's all about black (of course), whites and silver.  I've been wanting to get some of these glittery letters at a local store for a long time but couldn't spell a word I wanted... until "boo"!

My mom and I picked this up last year... a wooden cut out of a haunted house.  It's 3 pieces hinged together... not vintage but certainly fits in with all my other vintage items... a black, pressed glass plate, a black glass flower frog, vintage pottery in shades from white to cream...

And the vintage book page banner I made last year is hanging once again.

And I added a little vintage silver in front of a black and glittery frame...

As well as my Pottery Barn "mercury glass" pumpkins... I love these.  I can have them out from September 1 until the day after Thanksgiving!

And since Halloween isn't just about black but orange too...

I sprinkled it all around my kitchen.  I love the pale green and jadeite colors I use in my kitchen.  Who would have ever guessed that this color of green seems to go with everything... from black and orange of Halloween, to the reds of Christmas, to the aquas and silvers of winter and of course the pastels of spring!

My vintage Nesbitt's pop crate is standing up like a little shelf or shadow box this year...

I filled it with tiny treasures like this vintage plastic witch... made to top a cupcake....

And speaking of witches... who couldn't resist these two vintage Gurley candle witches?  I love Gurley candles for all holidays!  I think this goes back to my childhood and my mom's set of Gurley choir boys and girls...

And this cute little vintage witch has a crepe paper skirt and chenille pipe cleaner legs... I think she was perhaps meant to top a cake back in the day...

And did you notice my orange light bulbs?  They're my new acquisition... a complete box of them at an antique store.  And don't miss the vintage paper plate in the background... I got this a number of years ago for just $1!

See what I mean about the orange and black with the green?  I love my jadeite mixed with some orange and black for Halloween... I have two of these black sisal trees...

Complete with black glitter, of course!  You can just perch them in a little pitcher or pot...

And we're back were we started...

But this broom won't be used to sweep away any cobwebs... because this is the one month out of the year that I can ignore them... with the excuse that it's part of the decor!

Looking forward to the weekend, it's going to be another dry and sunny one here in Washington.


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