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Crafting With a Vintage Look, Issue #011 - FREE Gifts for a Vintage Christmas!
December 20, 2008

Issue #011 - It's December 20, and this is our next-to-last Special Edition of 2008. We have some crafts to impart, some stories to tell, and ideas to make your holidays special.

In this Special Christmas Edition of Crafting With a Vintage Look we bring you:

  • Instant Place Cards! Food cooked? Holiday table all set? Did you remember the place cards? You can make them in an instant with our FREE template and instructions.
  • Snow Children and Happy New Year are our latest image books added to our Vintage Image Download Gallery.
  • Sharing memories from Christmas Crafting Parties we have known, along with some tips for organizing your own.
  • Wonderful Free Gifts from Mary at Victorian Embroidery and Crafts.

We'll be away between Christmas and the New Year, so we're suspending our vintage image eBay auctions until we return, too. Boy, do we have some wonderful things to auction in January!

On to the crafts...

Instant Christmas Place Cards

When you are cooking a holiday dinner for a crowd, some of the details get forgotten (for that matter, some of the side dishes get forgotten, but that is another story). Last year, we realized at the last minute that we needed to arrange the table seating, but we didn't have any place cards made.

Necessity is the mother of invention, and we quickly invented some vintage-look place cards using standard self-stick address labels and a vintage Santa illustration. They were so easy to print and make, we're sharing them with you on our Christmas Place Cards page.

If the link above doesn't work for you, type into your browser:

Snow Children and New Year Images at Our
Vintage Image Download Gallery


From Snow Children II and Happy New Year I image books

Your crafts, cards and scrapbooks can have a vintage look with large, high-quality images in high resolution. Vivid colors and detail. Unusual and whimsical illustrations from those imaginative Victorians. Available "right now" with easy and secure PayPal payment and simple one-step downloading.

Our goal is to create the "picture perfect" image resource for your crafts, scrapbook and altered art projects. We are proud to invite you to browse our first offerings of our Vintage Image Download Gallery.

If the link above doesn't work for you, type into your browser:

Memories of Christmas Crafting Parties

Way back at the turn of the century, we invited our nearby relatives over for Christmas dinner. Since we both cook (in a truly tiny kitchen) we always felt like our guests were sort of abandoned for the hour or so before dinner was served. So we had an idea - set up a crafting party before dinner. That would keep them busy and out of the kitchen, spark conversation, and let them make their own party favors! And a tradition was born. Here are some of the most memorable occasions...

2001 was the year of the Gingerbread Housing Boom. The week before, we made simple gingerbread houses out of graham crackers glued to a cardboard base. When our guests arrived, we gave them each a bare house and set them down with bowls of candies and thick Royal Icing. "You have about an hour to decorate your house," we announced. "After dinner, tell us all a story about why you decorated it as you did, and then we'll vote on the winner. Your prize is... well, a basket of cheap personal grooming products Scott found at his office. It's the thought that counts." And they were off and decorating. We cooked, and they iced, decorated and laughed. I think my sister still keeps hers in the refrigerator.

In 2003, everyone wove their own, personal placemat for dinner. We spray-glued old Christmas wrapping paper to 11" X 17" butcher paper and cut vertical slits every 2". Then we cut dozens of 2" strips of wrapping paper, and laid them in the center of the table. Everyone selected their papers and wove their own placemats for dinner. Brother-in-law Ernie couldn't weave by the rules, and kept asking for more and more supplies and cutting implements, ending up with a placement that resembled a Pompeian mosaic. And everyone told fanciful stories about why they chose the designs and colors they did.

Was it only four years ago that we all decorated our own gingerbread cookies? We made batches of gingerbread cookies in the shape of men, trees, stockings and Santas, and put out squeeze bottles of icing in all colors and bowls of candy decorations. The stories about the cookies were odder than ever, while Ernie actually set up a tableau of cookie-characters acting out a political event. Ernie never crafted by the rules. After dinner, everyone took home their plate of entirely-edible customized cookies.

Another year we took a group photo with the digital camera and immediately printed copies for everyone. Our crafting table was stocked with cheap, wooden picture frames and bottles of squeeze puffy paint. The challenge was to decorate the picture frame with pictures and words, and tell a story about it. We all still have our framed photos from the event.

Then there was the year we all went on a Baja cruise for Christmas. We brought along foam Christmas stockings and self-stick foam decorations. We all decorated our foam stockings... and told our stories. A year later, we made little figures and scenes out of "Magic Noodles" (colored cornstarch puffs) and water.

If you think it sounds like fun, we hope you'll try a crafting party of your own. Our tips: Plan your project to fit the time, space and abilities you have. Keep the crafts simple and clean. Paper and scissors are the best tools. If you need paint, use squeeze bottles or paint pens. Avoid clays or smelly things, or anything that gets your hands dirty. Have all materials and supplies pre-cut, pre-measured, and laid out. If you want your guests to take their creations home - be sure the glue or paint have time to dry.

Above all, tell stories and give prizes. With each craft we hear childhood reminiscences, dreams, political satire, and weird flights of imagination. And each year someone says, "Remember when we made those stockings and Barry told that strange story about the mermaids..." That's why we do it.

That, and keeping everyone having fun and out of the kitchen.

FREE Holiday Gifts from
Victorian Embroidery and Crafts

Our friend Mary over at Victorian Embroidery and Crafts created two unique Victorian e-books for her customers - and she is graciously sharing them with you!

  • Make Yours A Victorian Christmas is a collection of Victorian Christmas decorating ideas from 1893, plus gift-giving ideas from 1894 for those very important people in your life.

  • Christmas Entertainments contains Fancy Drills, Acrostics, Motion Songs, Tableaux, Short Plays, and Recitations in Costume for Children of Five to Fifteen Years. No matter what your age, you will enjoy this Victorian holiday book.

To get your free copies, go to this password protected page. The Password you need to remember to get this gift is:


On December 26, 2008, this offer will be no longer available. Get it while you can. Iím sure you will enjoy it.

Next issue:

We'll be away in the great Pacific Northwest between Christmas and New Year's Day. If you send us a note during that week, we'll be able to respond to you when we return.

Our thoughts and wishes go out to Mary, who runs Victorian Embroidery and Crafts, as she cares for her ill parents. She has done so much to help us with VintageImageCraft, and we are grateful to have her as a friend.

Our final 2008 issue of Crafting With A Vintage Look will be to you soon (with a fabulous New Year Noisemaker craft!), then we'll return to our once-a-month schedule in January.

Have a wonderful Christmas holiday. 'Tis the season to craft...

Scott & Martin

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