Winter Jar Scenes

The holiday craft bug has bit me and I just finished up another project; a big batch of winter jar scenes using mason jars and bottle brush trees. I have seen them on Pinterest, so here is my version. :)

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I started by gathering some jars. I used some mason jars I had on hand, and found these ones at Target. I also got a few jars of different shapes, at the Goodwill for super cheap.

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The two small jars on the right are salt & pepper shakers I got from Walmart. I love these cause they are like mini snow globes!

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I used various bottle brush trees; all of which I found at A.C. Moore in either the doll house/miniature section, or the seasonal Christmas section. I also found some cute mini gold reindeer, perfect for this project.

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The ones with the wooden bases were easy to glue in place. I used hot glue and they seem to be holding pretty firm on the glass. Some people who do this project don’t even glue them down. They will simply add their “snow” and then stick the trees down in. I like them glued in place so they don’t keep falling over.

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The ones without wooden bases posed a bit of a challenge. I created a ball of hot glue on the ends to use as a base. Looking back it would have been easier to use some clay or floral foam, but too late now!

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I then added the “snow.” I started out using coarse sea salt and when I ran out, I got Epsom salt. They both work great as snow. The Epsom salt had a peppermint smell too, which is perfect for Christmas crafts! :)

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I used tweezers to place the small deer in the snow and big tongs for the deeper jars. I must say this part was a challenge. I did not glue the deer in place because they’d be almost completely covered with the snow. I did push them down in pretty good, and because they are light weight, I am hoping they won’t move around too much.

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I picked up this wad of tin garland at the thrift store last year and stashed it away because I knew I could cut them apart and use them to accent winter crafts. I used the snowflakes to tie around the tops of the jars to give them a little extra country Christmas look!

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Here is one of the completed jars with the snowflake tied around the neck of the jar. I love how they came out!

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For the smaller jars, I left out the deer and just did a little tree scene, and accented it with a raffia bow.

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Here are a few more!

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For these larger jars, I thought I’d make them into candle holders. I put a small glass tea light holder right into the mouth of the jar. You can get these small glass tea light holders at the Dollar Tree.

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And remember these from last year?? I had some smaller trees left over and decided to use them up on these cute car ornaments! I got the cars last year after Christmas at Walmart. I am selling them for about $5.50-$6 each. Honestly, I will probably break even on the car ornaments, but I don’t care because they were really fun to make and a fun item to sell around the holidays!

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I’m selling the winter jar scenes are ranging from $4-$8 at my co-op, so we’ll see how they go. Hope everyone has a Happy Turkey Day! :)

Snowman Wine Bottle Toppers

I was out doing some shopping and came across these cute little hat ornaments and “DING”…a light bulb went off and I thought I could use them for snowman hats. Yes, Christmas displays are in full swing at all the big box stores; I got these at Walmart, next to all the tree ornaments. If you can’t find these particular hats, there are other options out there. Look in the ornament section for different types of hats, and check the doll-making section of the craft stores. You can also click here for a link to some hats you could use instead.

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I had these little terra cotta pots in my craft stash of supplies. I think you can get them at any craft store.

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I painted them white using my heavy artists’ while acrylic paint, since I was out of regular white craft paint. Warning: it takes a gazillion coats to cover the terra cotta. You’ll probably have to do 4-5 coats with the regular craft acrylic. Spray painting might have been an easier option.

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Then I painted on some faces. I love making snowman stuff, because the faces are so easy to paint. You can make the noses all different shapes and sizes.

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I then used a hot glue gun to adhere the hats to the top of the snowman pots. At this point, I thought I was done. But they seemed plain, like they were missing something…

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So I decided to add some little homespun fabric scarfs. I just tore little strips and tied them on.

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They fit perfect on top of a wine bottle. They would make fun stocking stuffers or a nice complement to that bottle of wine you’re giving as a Christmas gift.

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They also make cute little “shelf sitters” and can go anywhere, not just on top of a wine bottle! I think I will try selling them for $3.50-$4.00 a piece at my co-op.

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I had a lot of fun working on this project. It has helped motivate me a bit and I have some other cool little Christmas-themed projects in the works. Hope to share them with you soon!!! :)

2014 Cupcake Spooktacular

Happy (belated) Halloween! This summer and Fall were very slow in the crafting department, so I am sorry for the lack of posting over the last few months. I had to share this year’s Halloween Cupcake Spooktacular however, as this has become an annual tradition for my friend Melanie and I. We took the “gore” level up notch this year, as you will see. Though Halloween is over, maybe these can inspire some ideas for next year!!! :)

Here are some of the supplies we used in case you’re looking for specific brands/supplies:

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One of the most complex cupcakes was the Dracula in the coffin (with coffin-shaped baking cups, frosted oreo face, and mini M&M eyes):

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Spider cupcake holder with crushed Oreo “fur”, mini Oreo & red candy eyes (a lot of different shaped candy pieces we use are found in cupcake decorating kits):

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Creepy clown with mini M&M hair and dot candy nose:

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 Psycho clown made with Wilton candy eyes, red dot candy nose, sparkle gel mouth, Pop Rocks hair, and pre-made clever:

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Spooky vampire:

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Bloody cupcake with “bullets” (Red food coloring & silver sprinkle balls):

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Pumpkin patch with candy pumpkins, leaf sprinkles, and green shredded candy grass:

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Grey alien brain with green gel “ooze” filled syringe (got syringe from work):

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Chocolate tree (made by piping melting chocolate onto wax paper) over a pumpkin patch:

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The office favorite: Blue guy with candy hair and pre-made knife in the eye (oozing sparkle gel “blood”):

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Scarecrow with graham cracker hat, candy corn nose, and shredded wheat hair:

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Night scene with chocolate moon and fence (piped them on wax paper, using colored/chocolate candy melts):

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The famous skeleton with white-chocolate covered pretzel ribs and marshmallow head (held together with a popsicle stick):

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The zombie grave with piped chocolate hands and feet (using green candy melts), crushed Oreo dirt, and bloody bone sprinkles:

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Frankenstein with frosting head, Reece’s Cup hair, pretzel bolts, and candy eyes:

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Witches brew with chocolate cookie wafer & Hershey kiss  hat, and pretzel & shredded wheat broom:

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Bloody accident scene with sparkle gel blood, graham cracker band-aid, and pre-made candy finger and clever:

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Owl with Oreo/Wilton candy eyes, Oreo eyebrows and candy nose:

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Night scene with cat (moon and cat piped on wax paper, using colored/chocolate candy melts):

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Piped chocolate tree with crushed Oreo dirt, pre-made grave stone and bone/skull sprinkles:

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“Pretzel monsters” which are made of pretzel sticks mixed into a pot of melted green chocolate,then plopped into wax paper and Wilton candy eyes:

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Gummy worms crawling out of crushed Oreo dirt with some bloody bone sprinkles:

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Creepy monster dude with gummy eye and Wilton candy eye:

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Oozing pile of frosting topped with green sparkle gel and eyeball candy:

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And here’s the whole gang out on display!

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Mel and I with our masterpieces! :)

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Until next year! :)

Easy Country Decor Ideas: Filling Old Jars

Happy Independence Day to all my crafty friends out there!

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A day off work meant a little time to do some thrifting this morning, and boy did I score some great stuff! It also got the crafty juices flowing and I decided to do a little bit of tinkering with some left over mason jars and jar-filler ideas. I always seem to have an abundance of mason jars from other projects, garage sales, etc. I can never resist buying them if the price is right, because I always seem to find a use for them! :)

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Forgive me if you’ve seen similar pictures and content from previous posts – this is just a recap of all the jar filler ideas I’ve done in the past few years! :D

The first set of jars I filled with glass marbles. They look great as is, but would also look nice with a twine bow or homespun ribbon tie. I like them just plain!

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Where did I get the marbles you ask? You’ll never believe it…

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The dollar store!!! Not the Dollar Tree, but a random dollar store called “Real Deals.” That’s why I say you have to stop at all different kinds of dollar stores whenever you see them, because you just never know what kind of great crafting supplies you’ll find! I love these because they look genuinely vintage, but were a fraction of the price!

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Vintage buttons make for another great jar filler. These two particular jars are for sale in my Etsy shop. Old buttons are so beautiful and interesting to look at, so why not display them as art? :) I also like to use other types of glass jars like this one on the left, which I think is a vintage jam jar. Not sure though, but I love its textured look and weathered tin lid.

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I filled the next set of jars with some “fixins” which I had lying around, waiting to be scented. I decided to put them in the jars unscented and will tie on a small vial of scenting oil to go with them, so people can refresh the scent now and again. I took out the flat metal lid that goes under the screw cap and replaced it with a square of homespun fabric. I think I will do a big batch of these for Fall and tie on a little tag with a crow or pumpkin on it. I buy these rosehips/putka pods in bulk from various suppliers online.

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Here are a few jars I have filled that are already decorating my house. More vintage buttons and clay marbles from a flea market.

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Dang I love those old clay marbles! I think it’s the palette of earth tone colors that gets me. :)

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Here’s how I have some jars displayed, just to give you some ideas.

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Another easy and cheap bowl filler idea are old Christmas tree bulbs! I find them at every freakin garage sale and estate sale I go to, always buried on the big table of Christmas crap that no one wants. Therefore, they are often very cheap! Obviously these would be great sellers at Christmas craft shows. Accents with a little jingle bell or Christmas themed fabric ties would look great too!

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My last idea for today’s post are old keys. I buy lots of skeleton keys where ever I can, and they often include random other types of keys (more like “modern” key shapes and generally more boring/run of the mill keys) which I usually toss to the side. This is the jar I found at the thrift store today and I thought they’d go perfect together. I really like how it looks and think I’ll keep this one. :P

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Well here they are all together! I am obsessed! I love them all!!!

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Some other ideas that come to mind are:

  • Acorns
  • Cool lookin’ seed pods
  • Potpourri
  • Sea Shells
  • Sea Glass
  • Wax tarts
  • Jacks (the old children’s game)
  • Old pins, brooches, or vintage clip on earrings

What other jar filler ideas can you guys think of? Send me pics of your jar decorations and I’ll post ‘em here! Have a great 4th!

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Here is a picture of some mason jar center pieces filled with lovely black & white family photos, created by reader Susie! Here is the link to her full post: http://www.susiewittwer.com/2013/01/mason-jars-family-photos.html. I just love the idea of using vintage papers/photos inside the jars!  :P

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Wooden Primitive Country Flags

Hello my crafty friends! So I was out and about garage sale-ing last week, and I found this box of wood pieces for super cheap. My craft mo-jo slowly came back to me as I was flooded with ideas on how to use them. My first thought was little flags, kind of similar to the wood, country-style, flags that people make out of old fence posts. They came out so cute and are going to my booth at The Carriage Place next week. Here’s the “how-to”!

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First I spray painted them red and white and let them dry for a few hours. I then glued the pieces together using Elmer’s Wood Glue and let them dry over night. They are solid as a rock!

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Then I hand painted on the blue part using some acrylic paint I had on hand.

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I sanded them a bit and then used a gel stain to get a more primitive look. Basically you just squirt it all over and rub it on and then wipe it off with a paper towel. It gives it a more rustic, weathered look. You could also do this with plain brown paint if you can’t find the gel stain.

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I experimented with hand painting stars and did not like the look of them. I got really lucky and found some white metal stars I had stashed away and they worked perfectly. If you don’t have access to the tin/metal stars like these, you could easily stamp them or paint them on. Here are the finished pieces!

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Finally, the last step was to install some sort of hanger. I went with my trusty saw tooth hangers that you can pick up at any hardware / home improvement store.

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Ok, now I need your help! I also painted these ones below pretty beachy colors. I had planned on doing kind of funky row of houses, where I’d paint little windows and doors on these. It was a great idea in my head, but after starting to paint the windows, it looked kind of dumb. What else could I do with these? I was thinking maybe turn them to the side and do a “beachy” kind of flag? I have a huge pile of them and am drawing a blank. Any suggestions??

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Before I go I wanted to share some pictures of my booth that I just did a major overhaul on! There really aren’t a lot of hand made crafts in my booth right now; mostly antiques and vintage items. I hope to get some more hand made items in there soon! A lot of my new inventory I found at thrift stores, garage sales, and Craigslist. I found some real treasures and wish I could keep them all! If only I had more room in my house to decorate!!!

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Hope you have a great day and thanks for stoppin’ by! Happy crafting!

More Mini Jar Candles: Easy Country Themed Wedding Favors

First of all, Happy, Happy Easter! :)

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After a loooong miserable winter, I think it’s safe to say that Spring has finally sprung! Just as I knew it would, the nicer weather has motivated me to get back into the crafting groove and also do some “pickin” at the local thrift stores. Lately, my big project has been mass producing these country jar candles as wedding favors ~ 120 to be exact! You may remember them from one of my very first posts, and they are still just as fun, easy, and inexpensive to make. They are somewhat time-consuming (when doing a large quantity like this) but each jar only costs $1 at Wally World, making for a very economical set of favors!

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I like to use these particular jar candles because they come with an “Easy Peel” label, which allows you to very easily take off the label for crafting. They also smell really great and come in a variety of colors.

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For mass production, I found its easiest to tear all your homespun strips ahead of time. Mine were about 1″ wide and I just tore them, to get that raggedy primitive look. For those who don’t have fabric on hand, I usually get mine by the yard at Joann Fabrics.

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I then use a glue gun to apply the homespun strips. Just a little dab will do ya!

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I don’t worry about having perfectly clean seams where the fabric comes together, because I plan on wrapping them with twine which camouflages the spots that were glued.

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I then pre-cut a bunch of pieces of twine and wrapped them around the candles a few times and tied them in little knots on the back. I glued on rusty stars and hearts on the front of each candle using E6000 glue. I do not like to use hot glue for the rusty pieces because I find they very easily pop off – hot glue doesn’t stick well to the rusty tin. It also melts as the candle heats up!

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This person also wanted the candles wrapped and tagged for her special day. I laid out the text in Microsoft Word, and used my regular ink jet printer to print them out on sheets of brown kraft paper (from A.C.Moore’s). I used a tag shaped punch, but you could also just cut them out into squares or tags and hole punch them!

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Here is the finished product! The baggies are actually candy/baking treat bags.  They are a perfect thin cellophane. I these favors will be just perfect with her country themed wedding!

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I have to share my latest thrift store score because I got some AWESOME items! It just goes to show you that you have to stay persistent and keep going back, even if you seem to have no luck.  After many trips finding nothing at all, I got all these great items that, after a little cleaning up, are some real treasures! Some repro enamelware, tea pots, a crock, and a very cool, vintage looking “Bird Watcher” sign! All will go to my booth at the Carriage Place!

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I got this other amazing group of antique medical items off of Craigslist. I can’t even tell you the incredible freakin low price I paid for this lot because you will literally die!!! I plan on keeping some items for my “oddities” collection, and selling the rest via Etsy and my co-op. They are all from a pharmacy in northern NY. All of the funnels, beakers and bottles are glass, and the mortars & pestles are cast iron and brass. Simply amazing.

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Have a GREAT Easter and happy pickin’ & craftin’!

Primitive Country Themed Bottles or “Single Stem” Vases

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all my fellow Irishmen & women! :) Before I get to today’s craft project, I thought I’d share an update on the primitive crate shutter I made. I finally found a little pip berry wreath at my friend June’s antique store, and it was the perfect size to place right in the center of the shutter! Woohoo!

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I used some thin green floral wire to tie it on the shutter, sliding it between the slats of the crate boards, and securing on the back.

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I then used some jute twine, knotted through the pre-existing holes (from where nails held the crate pieces together) to make a hanger.

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It’s heading over to my co-op this week. I am putting $22 on it. It only cost a few bucks to make – the pip berry wreath being the only expense. The rest of the supplies were on hand, and I was able to re-use an old dilapidated crate that may have otherwise gone in the burn pile! :)

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Ok, and not for the single stem bottles project. It’s a “dollar craft” because these awesome little bottles are only $1 at Michael’s craft store! The rest of the supplies I had on hand.

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You can accent the bottles with whatever you’d like! I decided to use rusty tin stars, little enamel number plates, and some skeleton keys. You could also use buttons, twine bows, little pip berry sprigs, faux berries or flowers, sea shells, antique broaches…be creative!

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Took a strip of torn homespun fabric and used a hot glue gun to secure it in place.

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Here are the finished bottles! They could be used for general decor or as single stem flower vases! :)

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I am going to price them at $4 each and see how it goes!

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And last but not least, some great thrift store finds! It’s quite a random collection of items, but cool nonetheless! I found a mint condition 1957 Chevy model car, a chunky primitive candle, a beautiful vintage brass and enamel bowl, and an old brass Eiffel Tower bottle opener!

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I also found a colorful enamel pot, a wooden wall decor/candle holder, and another little brass elf dude that I could not resist. Vintage brass seems to sell really well on Etsy and in te co-op.

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The major score of the trip was a bag of vintage brass horse buckles / tack medallions, in a variety of designs and shapes. I thought they were trivets at first, but upon further research I found that they are used to decorate horse tacks and bridles. They are collectible and are oh so cool!!! Some will go to the co-op and some on Etsy!

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Hope everyone has a fantastic St. Patrick’s Day! Cheers! :)

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