December 08, 2017

Handmade Christmas Ornaments

Two of my favorite people to make gifts for are my SIL and hubby's niece. They both like things that are made with love and they're always excited to open my packages. It makes me happy to make them happy. For a couple of years now, my SIL has a vase with some branches in her kitchen that she decorates according to the season. I gladly granted her requests for little fabric fish, Easter eggs, and Christmas ornaments. Each year, I try to come up with some new pieces to add to the collection. For last year's Christmas I had made glass glitter stars, fabric baubles and 3-d book page trees.

This year I sewed, respectively knitted tiny leather mittens and scarves. Just when I had finished those wintry accessories, my friend Michelle over at A Crafty Mix posted a DIY for the cutest little washboard ornaments. I commented that it would be great for the washboards to have some tiny clothes to keep them company. While I wasn't able to make some of the adorable washboards because I can't print anything at the moment, the thought of tiny clothes kept floating around in my head. I decided to sew a set of sweaters.

Old T-Shirt upcycled into Christmas sweater ornament by Vintage with Laces

I recycled a part of an old T-Shirt that I had recently sorted out. I added embroidery lining and double sided fusible interfacing between the fronts and the backs. The sweaters are 2" (5 cm) high. In the pictures the color is not accurately displayed. The sweaters are more teal colored in real life, matching my SIL's kitchen décor.

Old T-Shirt upcycled into Christmas sweater ornaments by Vintage with Laces

Small Christmas mitten ornament made out of leather scraps by Vintage with Laces

The mittens are about the same size as the sweaters. They're made out of leather scraps I received from a tailor may years ago. I thought it would be easy to stitch the mittens by machine but it wasn't because I didn't have a leather needle in my stash. I made several attempts but my machine kept skipping stitches and the thread broke numerous times. I solved the problem by removing the spool and the bobbin and just piercing the leather by machine. Hand stitching through the holes took a bit of time but was easy to do then.

Small Knitted Scarf Christmas Ornament by Vintage with Laces

It's a long time ago that I knitted something but it was quite fun to make five of these little scarves. It certainly helped that all five of them were finished so much faster than one in a regular size.😀

Have you made any ornaments this year for yourself or to give away?

The ornaments will join these parties:

Sweet Inspiration at A Crafty Mix
Saturday Sparks at Pieced Pastimes
DIY Salvaged Junk Projects at Funky Junk Interiors
The Creative Gallery at Making It in The Mountains
Show & Share at Coastal Charm
Talk of The Town at Knick of Time

October 19, 2017

Roy Al Flush - The Gambler with a Heart of Dice

Thank you very much for your kind words on our loss of Gracie, Pixie and Smokey, and the wishes for Cosmo's recovery. Thankfully, he's doing very well. He gained a lot of weight and grew quite a bit over the last three weeks. Cosmo is a very sweet boy and we're so happy that he survived.

I haven't created anything lately but I have a few new friends waiting for some months now to make their appearance here. Today you are going to meet Roy Al Flush. He's a gambler with a heart of dice. Literally. However, he does not only like dice games but he's also an avid poker player and from time to time you can find him playing a round of Dominoes or Tri-Ominos as well.

Found Object Sculpture. The Gambler Roy Al Flush by Vintage with Laces

Roy Al Flush holds a winning hand right now and is about to go all in. Who wouldn't with a royal flush? If you're not familiar with poker, this is the best hand you can get and it's not the first time he's so lucky. Now you know why everybody calls him Roy Al Flush. He is a famous player and is feared among his competition for his great tactical play and his luck.

Found Object Sculpture. The Gambler Roy Al Flush by Vintage with Laces

His head and body are made from tins that I roasted in a charcoal barbecue fire after we had finished grilling. The nose once was a foot of an alarm-clock and his mouth was a strap adjuster. For his arms I repurposed two tiny graters that came as an extra with some nutmegs. His hair is made from a piece of fine wire mesh, pinched in between the tin's bottom and lid. After the mesh was fixed, I pulled the cross wires.

Found Object Sculpture. The Gambler Roy Al Flush by Vintage with Laces

Found Object Sculpture. The Gambler Roy Al Flush by Vintage with Laces

I made his hands from vintage Christmas candle holders and buttons. The cards are from a German mini card deck and measure only 1" x 1 3/8".

You probably know the phrase "lucky at cards, unlucky in love". So far that had been true for this little gambler. He's actually quite charming and dated frequently but he never met the girl he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. It's not that he's too demanding but all the girls he got to know where too pretentious for his taste and often just interested in his money. Then he met Sewphie Zipperbutton. Yes, her sweet personality is right along his alley and she fancies him too. For his reliability, his humor, and a bit for his good looks as well. Don't you think they make a cute couple?

By the way, Sewphie was featured in the May issue of the Australian magazine "Homespun".

Found Object Sculpture Sophie Zipperbutton by Vintage with Laces featured in Homespun May 2017

Found Object Sculpture Sophie Zipperbutton by Vintage with Laces featured in Homespun May 2017

Australian Magazine Homespun May 2017

Thank you, Homespun for the lovely feature! I was very excited to see my sewing gal along with such a lovely description in print .😊

Roy Al Flush will show up for a round of poker or dice here:

A Morning Cup of Joe at The Cottage Market
Sweet Inspiration at a Crafty Mix
Talk of the Town at Knick of Time
Waste Not Wednesday at Raggedy Bits
DIY Salvaged Junk Projects at Funky Junk Interiors

September 29, 2017


I feel like my heart has been ripped into pieces. Three of our four kittens died. If you missed the story about the two week old kittens that someone abandoned in front of our home on Easter, you can read about it HERE. We had planned to find new homes for all of them once they would be three months old. Very soon I knew though, that I wouldn't be able to part with Gracie or Cosmo. When the time came to let them go, there were too many kittens available and by far not enough people interested in adopting one. So we kept all four and they all had grown very close to our hearts.

The four were 5 1/2 months old and such a happy bunch. All of a sudden they lost their appetite, started vomiting and had diarrhea. Smokey and Pixie had recovered fast but Gracie was doing real bad and Cosmo only a bit better than her. Gracie spent 5 days at the vets getting infusions and injections. She fought hard and the vets thought she would make it but last Friday she lost the battle. Cosmo had not eaten for several days. Therefore, we had to force-feed him which was very stressful for him and for us. The amount we were able to feed him, was just a fraction of what he would have needed to eat. He was only fur and bones on Sunday and I had not much hope. Suddenly though, his appetite came back and he started to eat again.

At the same time Smokey and Pixie got a relapse. They had been perfectly fine for several days. They had been eating, they had been playing like crazy and we certainly hadn't expected that they would get sick again. The vets did their best but they couldn't save them. Smokey and Pixie died the next day. The vets told us that currently, there are a lot of cases of  indoor cats with the same symptoms and that several, especially younger cats didn't make it either. A problem of bottle-fed kittens is that the lack of mother's milk weaks their immune system. Our three adult indoor/outdoor cats did not get sick at all.

Gracie, you were such a sunshine with a very sweet personality. You had been pretty sick as a baby and we were so happy that you recovered. You stole our heart quickly and we knew soon that we wouldn't be able to give you away. For the last several weeks you came to me every morning while I sat on the couch with the laptop and my first cup of coffee. You coiled up on my lap for at least 30 minutes or until I had to get up. You purred the whole time and after a while you climbed up to my head and rubbed your face against mine. Then you bit my nose very gently. I always said: "I love you, too, sweetie." You had been the first to climb up the countertops, even before the boys tried to get up there. You loved playing with water. When I put a flat bowl with water and some toys on the floor, you didn't just try to angle for them with one paw. No, you just went into the bowl with all four legs and dabbled in the water. You had such a cute and funny way to jump when we played with the cat fishing rod toy. You made us smile and laugh often.

Smokey, you were a sweet and gentle boy. You were the only one with black pads. Your fur was extremely soft and smooth. Touching you felt like touching a piece of silk. You loved Izzie even though she was always very rough when she played with you. Whenever she came in, you followed her and snuggled up on her when she took a break. You were quite talkative. When I prepared food for the four of you, you were the only one telling me how hungry you were and that it was high time to serve you a meal. It was so cute. You loved lying on the stairs, looking down on the entrance way. Even though you were the boss of the kitten gang, you were the first who hid when there was a loud noise that scared you.

Pixie, you were such a lovable girl. You were the smallest of the litter. When we found you, we weren't sure you would make it but you were strong. I often called you Pixel because you were such a tiny thing. Your clumsiness made us laugh often. You were a fidgety cuddler. When you came to one of our laps, you never lay there quietly, but moved around, following our hands and rubbing your head against them. Whenever one of us openend the drawer where we store the cat treats, you always were the first up on the cupboard to receive a little snack. You surprised me a few times, when you jumped from the armrest of the sofa or from a table directly onto my back. That was a bit painful but very cute. When I stood in the kitchen, you liked to sit with your rear on my feet. While your siblings became a bit picky about their food, you ate everything I served.

We loved all three of you very much and we miss you. We are so sad that we're not able to experience you as adult cats. You enriched our lives and brought us a lot of joy. You made us laugh and smile every day. Farewell, my sweeties!

We are happy that we still have our sweet Cosmo. He has a serious expression but he's a very charming and lovable boy. Poor Cosmo misses his siblings. He searched for them and called for them several times. He eats a lot now and has gained back some weight. His gut flora has still to improve though. After Smokey's and Pixie's relapse we're of course worried it could happen to Cosmo as well. My stomach feels like it's filled with big stones. I lost 10 pounds within the last 10 days. Losing one furry family member is hard, losing three at the same time is horrible.I hope all your furry babies are doing well.