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Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

The weather has been warm enough that it’s been easy to forget how close we’re getting to Christmas. We all got reminded that the season is at hand yesterday. Santa came to Shakespeare! This was actually the second year that there was an actual Santa Claus parade here in town but this one was on a much larger scale than last years. It was a good size and had a nice range of floats and marching groups. Even Elvis put in an appearance! There was also food and drinks, along with photos with Santa, at the Credit Union, courtesy of the Perth County Visitors Association. It was a fun time and put us all into the festive mood.

The start of the Shakespeare Santa Claus parade

The start of the Shakespeare Santa Claus parade

Elvis appears at the Shakespeare parade

Elvis appears at the Shakespeare parade

more Shakespeare Santa parade

more Shakespeare Santa parade

Santa arrives in Shakespeare

Santa arrives in Shakespeare

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There was one last style of vintage ornaments that I altered to give them a more

rusted steampunk angel ornament

steampunk feel. I started with metal angels in a rusted iron finish. They already had great, leather hanging loops and holes in the hands. That made alteration really easy. I mostly went with attaching watch springs that were dressed up a bit with some glass beads in reds and greens. A couple got brass gears, and they worked as well, but the the darker colour of the springs was a better match to the base ornament, in my opinion. They may have technically been unfinished craft supplies, since they did not hang balanced without the added decorations. Maybe they were always intended to be personalized, I’m just not sure, since none of the group appeared to have been decorated prior in their history. Anyway, I ended up with a quartet of this style and I like that they have a more rustic feel than the other “steamed” ornaments, so they will work on a different range of trees. (and would still easily fit in a country-style look)

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This is one of another trio of this years Steampunk ornaments.

steampunk bulb ornament

They also started with vintage ornaments. These ones have a glass bulb, topped with pressed metal and filled with a smaller thing, something like a those foiled vinyl bells. If they had been in good condition, I wouldn’t have changed them since they did have a cool, retro vibe but they had been kept in a damp space at some point. The result was that the interior decorations had discoloured and the glass had become spotted. To steam them up, I peeled off the tops then took out the damaged insides and cleaned the bulbs. The top opening was wide enough that I was able to fit in a good sized watch spring that mostly filled the interior. (it helped that the spring could squish down a bit to go through the top) The spring was jazzed up with a couple of additional mini gears, as well as a couple added to the bottom, and then the ornament was re-assembled. I ended up with three, in this style, although each one is slightly different.

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Over the summer, as part of a Regresty challenge,

large Iron Angel

I made a few little ornaments out a rusty nails and some feathers. During the garden prep that revealed the nails, we also pulled out a chunk of cast iron that appears to be a leg from an iron stove. The shape was perfect for it to be made into a larger version of the “Iron Angel”. Considering the larger scale, I went with using full feathers, only slightly trimmed. (and I was lucky to have just enough feathers left from the group of free-range goose to complete this project) Each one was wired separately and then five were combined, on each side, to make a pair of “wings”. To keep the wings stable, as well as to give a solid piece which to attach to the leg, the whole group was woven/braided together before being glued to the back. The halo was made from an Edwardian brass curtain loop that was also wired. To make it stable for table-top display, (and also so it will not mark anything it’s put on) the bottom was covered in a soft, salvaged black leather. The leather also covers the small support wedge on the back. I haven’t quite decided what to do with it, but it was a fun concept to explore!

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I’m a bit shocked to realize how close we are getting to Thanksgiving!

pumpkine scone prototype

It’s one of those holidays that always seem to come as a surprise. It creeps up in the business of the fall/pre-Halloween season and gets forgotten about until it’s almost upon us. I’m not sure how we’ll end up celebrating the day, but I have been working on a special treat. I’m experimenting with creating a pumpkin scone. (I think the scone obsession may be a result of the Cafe across the street being closed for the season. No more tasty scones unless I make them myself) I think I’ve finally got the recipe mostly worked out. I started with a classic base, and modified from there. The sugar was reduced a bit, since the first batch of pumpkin puree was pre-sweetened. The spice level took a couple of tries as well, and it seems that a full teaspoon of the pie mix gives the right amount of seasoning. Our recipe calls for one egg and ½ cup of milk. To be able to add enough pumpkin puree, I upped the flour a ¼ cup. Then replaced the milk with around a ¼ of plain yogurt and a ½ cup of the puree. (and a teaspoon of vanilla, just to help increase the pie-like effect) This round turned out a bit on the wet side, so the shape isn’t as smooth as it should be, but there was a bit more yogurt in it due to emptying out the container. I did find, from an earlier batch, that if it’s a bit dry, some more puree can be worked in and gives a lovely stripe of orange in the finished scones. The next thing is to see how it goes with the plain puree and get all the measurements written down exactly!

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It’s a beautiful day out today so I’m sure people will

flower barrels, July 2011

be having a good time at many of the varied Canada Day celebrations that are going on all over the country. (no promises about the weather anywhere but here ) We might even get ourselves organized enough to get about and see the local fireworks display. That’s about all of the day’s events we’re likely to make it to since the shop is open. (since we are officially in a tourist zone it’s a necessity) I didn’t get any decorations up but our flower barrels have been planted with white petunias and these fun red-spiked annuals so they are perfectly dressed for the party today!

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The last two Januaries, we’ve waffled a bit on what to do with some of the Christmas

painted glass St.Patrick ornament

ornaments. Last year, they all went away, but this year we decided to leave out just a few of the vintage glass ones along with a few other special pieces. Partially because we sell vintage, and most people don’t have the time to go hunting for decorations in the season, and also because we always bought holiday decorations when we travelled. It was a fun way to have a souvenir, without ending up with too much clutter and we wanted to give our visitors the same option. Of the pieces we’ve kept, out this is the biggest. It’s a beautifully done, hand-painted glass statue of St. Patrick. He’s almost 8” high and the detail is just lovely even if I’m fairly certain he was done in the last 10-15 years. It’s one of those things that could easily be displayed all year round but is, of course, especially perfect to have out today! (I’m all for decorations that work for more than one holiday a year)

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