my new butter dish

butterdish2

I had this longing for a butter dish. Well… when I did the Easter sideboard display I wanted a butter dish. Badly. I thought it’d look really nice with the fresh hot cross buns.

I didn’t have one. Obviously. Otherwise I’d have used it. So I looked around for a bit. Didn’t find any I liked. Not in my price range anyway. My price range is narrow…

Anyway, a post on Facebook reminded me that I desperately needed a butter dish in order for my life to make sense, so I started looking again. On ebay of course… I wanted vintage. And found this!

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This is the butter dish of my dreams! I saw it and knew I wanted to hold it and love it and call it my very own!

When I saw it I thought the bottom was bakelite and I love bakelite. But its not. Its glass, and somehow that’s even better!

And I’m using way too many exclamation marks!!

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How do you like my new butter dish? I love it. As you may have noticed. It’s the perfect colour for my kitchen too. It was made for me. It was fate. That’s why I couldn’t find the right one at Easter… cause I was meant to have this one.

To quote Garrison Keillor – “isn’t it nice when things just work?”

z

 

barbie display box (almost finished)

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Remember when I began working on this display box for one of my vintage Barbie dolls? We (I) decided the TV would be the way to go for the background… The above is a Photoshop-ed version which is a good way to envision something.

I decided to put ‘wallpaper’ on the sides of the box, plus a floor, ceiling, skirting boards and cornices of course…

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Putting in a floor, dark timber, and wallpaper on the sides.

I decided I wanted to use a different barbie in this box so I chose another. These are my girls. The headless one in the back is the green-eared barbie I mentioned before. Her head is on a pen on my desk right now. Without hair. Kinda creepy really. Her hair is on the way so I can start re-rooting her soon.

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I went with the blonde ponytail barbie in her original outfit. In order to create the background I printed out the TV and mounted it on board to give it a 3D look. I also printed out a large vase and put in some plastic flowers.

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I’d printed out the TV smaller than I’d planned to, so the wall looks really bare above it. I could live with the smaller TV but I needed something more. I made bunny ears (antenna) for the TV using Fimo and wire but that wasn’t enough.

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A 60’s style starburst clock was the obvious solution. Its the ultimate 60’s decor!

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Yes… The clock needs hands, I did forget about that, but I see it now looking at the photos… Plus I’m thinking I may need to put some ‘floorboards’ on the stand so its not so glaringly obvious.

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I also need to decide how I’m going to mount this first box on the wall and put a perspex front on it to keep it from getting dusty. THEN it’ll be finished.

And then I can start on the next boxes. For my barbies, and for dolls I’m listing on Etsy!

Coming soon!

z

display box for barbie

I’m still finding my way on WordPress… Its seems that the spaces between paragraphs I see when I write a post disappear when its published. Given I like my white space I have to find a way to keep it!


 

Meanwhile, I thought I’d share an idea I have to display my barbies (since I bought a few). A small collection – remember, over 2 of anything is a collection, though a collection of 3 items is a pretty pitiful collection… Whatever. I have 3 vintage barbies in great condition and one green faced one I’m restoring. More about her in the future.

For now, I’ve finally started on the first display box for one of my barbies. The idea is to fix up and ‘furnish’ each box as a room, put in the barbie and accessories, then put on a perspex front to keep her safe.

Naturally, since I’m going to mount these boxes on the wall, I can’t go deep, so real furniture and real rooms are out of the question. I mean, I’d have loved to make them into a kind of dollhouse – using larger drawers for each room then mounting them on the wall in a stack, but I just don’t have that much room. For now I’m just using smaller, shallower boxes.

All I’ve done on the first box so far is put in the background. I used scrapbooking paper for this cause I wanted it to look like wallpaper. So here is Barbie with her poodle… (forgive the photo – bad lighting in the office, good pics when the project is finished).

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Now I have to decide what I’m going to ‘furnish’ the room with. My idea is to use images I find and print out, then decoupage them into the background.

First idea – a dresser and a painting for a bedroom look:

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Next idea, a couch for a living room look:

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Only that looks a bit bare. I need a large picture on the wall, or a few small ones… its not quite right.

Lastly, a TV, which I kinda like, though I dread cutting out that antenna!

This is the smallest box of the three I’m planning and as such doesn’t have room for any real accessories. I’ll add a floor but not sure if I want to add sides.

So which one do you like best?

 

z

electric heater mantle clock?

Some time ago I picked up this old electric heater. I can’t remember where, but I do remember why. It was the shape. I loved the shape of it. I saw it and thought “hey, I can make something out of this”.
I brought it home and snuck it past Wayne so I didn’t have to listen to a lecture about bringing home more junk.
Then I proceeded to bury it under a ton of crap in my shed. Not in order to hide it.

So, when I started my whole ‘clean out the shed, get organised, streamline my life, find the circular saw’ kick, I found this little beauty and briefly considered tossing it out.

Briefly. Very briefly.

I just couldn’t do it. Sometimes a vision is worth pursuing.

I was seeing it as a lamp. Or a clock.

A clock doesn’t need wiring so that won out. I bought a clock mechanism on ebay and proceeded to rip the guts out of the heater. Actually, I didn’t rip it all out. I loved the coiled springs so I kept those, just took out all the wiring.

I had to drill a hole in the front mesh to fit in the clock, then put it all back together.

Then promptly pulled it all apart again… The clock mechanism I got came with simple black hands which just didn’t work. Too dark.

I took it apart and sprayed the hands with Antique White USA gloss. Much better.

I put it all back together. Admired it a while. Then daylight savings ended. Now I avoid looking at it cause I have to take it apart again to change the time.

I really like it. Its a mantle clock with a difference. I mean, how many people have a retro heater which is now a clock?
And its not that hard to open up… I just have to get out the screwdriver and take out 4 small screws. How hard is that? Not hard at all.
…When I find the screwdriver. I know its on the bench. Somewhere…
z
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cluttered easter sideboard

I don’t usually do special things for Easter. In fact, I barely do special things for Christmas… I mean, who remembers the chalkboard Christmas tree when I was too lazy to make a real one? Or the book stack tree? Even when I did make an effort, it was minimal.

Well, this Easter, inspired by the anti-bunnies I’ve been making for my Etsy shop, and finding a rusty rubbish bin in my stash, I’ve gone all out.

Working on the theory of more is more, and the design principle of clutter is good, I’ve decorated our sideboard with a mix of vintage, rusty, junk and food.

I like it.

Of course, unless the hot cross buns get eaten soon they’ll have to be covered, ditto the chocolate, but hey, for one day it looks great. When the food is gone I’ll just add a few other things to maintain the cluttered look.

Its not like I don’t have a lot of junk.

So, what’s taking up space on my sideboard today?

Starting on the left, a couple of empty frames I’ve moved from one house to another and never got around to filling ‘frame’ (hahah) an antique vent I found at a tip shop. Just had to have it. I mean, could you resist that shape? Sure, its not exactly your average sideboard decor…

A couple of funnels add the necessary (in my life) rust factor. And a couple of anti-bunnies sit back and enjoy the view.

What are anti-bunnies you might ask? Well, they’re scrappy monster bunnies, kind of the opposite of cute Easter bunnies. Not that they aren’t cute. These guys are cute as. They’re made of a mix of recycled and vintage fabrics. I recycled bits of fabric out of an antique armchair the poodles pulled apart. Turns out it was stuffed with fabric scraps. Who knew.

The middle section is the serious section – ie the food section. Since I sold all my cake stands and haven’t made any more (yet) I’ve had to improvise using one of my retro kitchen scales and an antique serving dish. The dish holds eggs of both kinds: real and chocolate. I bet you know which I’ll be going for…

You can’t have Easter without hot cross buns, and naturally you need butter for those. I don’t have a butter curler so I’ve had to make do. The napkins are vintage ones I’ve collected over the years from different places. One on the right under the side dishes was given to me by my aunt Marissa in Greece – it used to belong to my grandmother.

On the right its ‘help yourself’ with a stack of smaller plates and knives. But it can’t be too practical… Old timber cogs, old books and a couple of sets of salt and pepper shakers, topped off by a wooden duck finish the look… Cause what sideboard is complete without a duck?

Above it all hangs the masterpiece. A rusty galvanised bin lid I scrounged from somewhere years ago. Does anyone remember my previous bin lid projects? I love rusty bin lids. This one holds more anti-bunnies and a couple of vintage Easter greeting cards I found online. The cards are held in place by vintage earring magnets (also for sale in my Etsy shop).

This rusty lid has little hooks on the side so I tied a bit of hemp rope to hang it with. I placed a few of those floor protector felt pads on the back to stop it from marking the wall.

The sideboard itself is something I acquired via barter. Barter = good. A friend of mine had a sideboard I’d admired and he admired the oriental cabinet I used to have my TV on. We swapped. Everyone is happy.

The sideboard is a very heavy solid tassie oak piece, made in Tasmania. It holds all kinds of useful things and doubles as our bar. Its very useful and very pretty.

Speaking of sideboards and cabinets, I saw this one in my online browsing and fell in love. I want it. Its nothing like the oriental – or ‘ming’ cabinet I had my TV on and swapped for my sideboard (ie it has the same ‘locks’ on the doors)… its way better!

Anyway, back to reality, you know what its like with these vintage cabinets – they have keys and if you lose them you’re in trouble. I think I have one key to share between 3 bits of furniture – including the small cupboard in my office.

In order to make this key less prone to being misplaced, I’ve added a tassel I made of jute string. It was okay, but a bit too plain. I thought the sideboard needed a bit of bling so I steampunked it up a bit with bits of chain, crystals and other bits from an old necklace.

Much better.

There you go. Our sideboard is finally all dressed up.

Now… what else can I decorate…?

z

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playing with barbies

Meet the girls. From left to right: Barbie, Barbie and Barbie. And their poodles – Larry and Peggy.
These are my girls. The one on the right is the first one I bought – Fashion Queen Barbie from 1962 or 63. The middle one is a Ponytail Barbie from 1962. And then there’s the blonde Ponytail Barbie from 1961. I have one more brunette Ponytail, also from 1961, but she’s not dressed. Yet.
The blonde girl is in her original clothes. I got her on ebay. The other two I bought from a local collection. They came in their original bathing suits and I had planned to make their clothes myself but have you ever seen how TINY their clothes are?* I ended up buying them dresses from a very talented lady on etsy who’s probably way younger than me and has way more patience (and better eyesight!). You can visit her shop here. I already had shoes to match their outfits thanks to a friend and her collection!
The white standard poodle is also an ebay find from many years ago. She’s been living in my poodle collection since I bought her over 16 years ago. She’s now finally got a mom of her own.
The miniature poodle was a recent ebay find. When I went Barbie mad and went looking for an early Ponytail model I came across him. He came complete with two outfits, two leashes, a food bowl and a couple of other bits and pieces. How could I resist?
I love them, though to be honest, I think I could probably make a pipe cleaner or felt poodle that looks better than either of these… their charm is in their vintage-ness.
I have big plans for these girls. But I have things to do before I start playing with dolls. (Playing MORE with dolls). I have a grooming room to finish, an office to clean up (so I can find my projects) and Bratz dolls to make over and list in my etsy shop.
The To Do list never gets shorter. It just changes so I don’t get bored of it.
z
* Tiny clothes on Barbies says the woman who’s now making clothes for repainted Bratz dolls!