Category Archives: vintage

My New Halloween Wreath

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You know that crocheted doily wreath that I first created last winter, and have then altered for different holidays and seasons since?  Well, it’s been changed up again.  This time the crocheted doily part is minimal – is really just the white base – but I love what’s been added to it.

Rabbits Aren’t Just for Easter Anymore
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As you may know, hubby and I have two pet rabbits.  Our cute little fur kids inspired me to go outside of the usual “Halloween animal” sphere when decking out this wreath.  I used my Big Shot machine and a Tim Holtz Easter Elements die to cut out bunnies and bows in black and orange.  When combined with some rhinestone strands, a black netting bow, and a sparkly button, this wreath has a fun and festive feel.

Have you done any crafting or decorating for Halloween yet?  Do tell!

Warm regards,
Melody

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My Article in Somerset Memories Magazine!

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As you may know, I published a book earlier this year.  An Altered Existence: Fictitious Stories About Faces from the Past is available via amazon.com and signed copies are sold through my Etsy store.  Well, I’m very happy to share some book-related news.  An article about my book has just been released in the Autumn issue of Somerset Memories magazine!

About the Article
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The article, which was written by yours truly, starts on page 59 and runs through page 61.  The article includes an introduction to the book, stories, and artwork, and then gives how-to information on six of the fourteen illustrations that appear in my book.  It’s a thrill to see my work in the pages of such a lovely publication, and I’m very thankful my project and book were selected to be included in this issue.

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More Great News: A Positive Book Review, Too!
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Some months back I sent Jana Holstein, the Managing Editor of Somerset Memories, a review copy of my book. She read it, enjoyed it, and was kind enough to include the following review in this same Autumn issue of the magazine.  Thanks so much, Jana!

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“When talented author and artist Melody Nunez gave me a copy of her book “An Altered Existence: Fictitious Stories About Faces from the Past,” I was intrigued because I knew it was a book that  centered around stories she created to with beautiful vintage found cabinet cards.  As I began reading, each story drew me in and I felt a part of the tale.  Each cabinet card is altered in a way that resonates with the story, so it’s fun to flip back and look at the art while reading the story.  There are 14 short stories in all, reflecting birth, death, family, romance, and even ghosts.  Well written and heartwarming, this is a fun, quick read.  I really enjoyed Melody’s book.  So much so, that I chose some of her altered cabinet cards as feature article in this issue (see page 58.

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So, if you’ve been thinking about purchasing a copy of my book, but haven’t done it yet, please do.  It’s good!  And don’t just take my word for it – take Jana’s.  And artist/author Seth Apter’s!  And the others who have reviewed my book on amazon.com!  ;] Help support a self-published writer and artist, and treat yourself to a book that can be enjoyed one story/illustration at a time (in multiple sittings) or in one fell swoop.

I hope you’re having a wonderful week.  Happy Fall, everyone!

Warm regards,
Melody

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DIY: Vintage Button Pendants

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As you likely know by now, I LOVE vintage buttons.  I collect them, and have a box full of them.  I love using them in both art and craft projects, and have featured some of my button projects here in the past – like the button bracelets I made earlier this year.  Given my penchant for vintage buttons – and for necklaces/pendants – I truly have no idea why it’s taken me this long to make vintage button pendants. Silly me!

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I recently sat down to try making my first batch of pendants, and ended up making over 20.  Yep, I’m hooked!  Not only will these little beauties add a lot of options to my “jewelry wardrobe”, I love the idea of wearing some of the very bits and bobs that I love so much.  It’s much better than the buttons sitting in my box. :]  Button pendants are easy to make, and are so versatile.  And while I chose to pull buttons from my vintage stash, you can certainly use new buttons as well…

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Materials
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Buttons
Bails (I purchased some at a bead store, and some on eBay – photo above)
Wire clippers
Sand paper
Quick-set Epoxy, E6000, or a permanent jewelry adhesive of your choice

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Instructions
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1.  Decide which buttons you want to combine to create a pendant.  I used as little as two, and as many as four. Make sure they’ll stack together well.
2. Cut the shanks off the back of any buttons that have them.

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3. Sand off any remaining pieces of the shank if desired.
4. Stack the buttons together and glue them together with your permanent adhesive.
5. Glue a bail on the back of your bottom-most button.  Let dry completely.
6. Wear and enjoy!

Here are some of the pendants I created…

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Please let me know if you have any questions, dear readers.  Happy Creating!

Warm regards,
Melody

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Art Exhibit, Book Signing & Art Journaling class in Kansas!

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I was in Kansas last weekend – what a wonderful trip!  The 14 altered art illustrations from my book – An Altered Existence – are currently on exhibit at the Lincoln Art Center, and I spoke and signed books at an event there last Friday, July 19th.  It was a pleasure to be welcomed by both the gallery and the community, and it was such a thrill to see my work hanging on display in that lovely art space!  I also taught a class at the Lincoln Art Center on Saturday morning, and it was great fun to share art journaling with my 12 students.  A good time was had by all!

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Fun with Friends
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In addition to activities related to the art exhibit, I was there to meet up with some wonderful friends of mine.  Our adventures included a visits to a local wax seal manufacturer, antique shopping, and some yummy meals.  Some of us even went firefly “hunting” in the evenings.  We don’t have fireflies here where I live, and my Lincoln friends were kind enough to take me out in search of the luminescent beauties.  We didn’t find oodles, but I was entranced with those we did see!  I’m so thankful to all my wonderful friends for their kindness, support, and enthusiasm!

Antique Store Finds & Generous Gifts
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I invariably leave Kansas with more than I arrived with (this is my third such trip to Lincoln), and this year was no exception.  I was gifted with a number of wonderful and unique items, like a vintage crochet-trimmed handkerchief, books, vintage photos,  a ceramic pen holder, an Anasazi pottery shard and more.  Such wonderful treats!

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My antique store purchases included a bronzed baby shoe (I split a pair with one of my friends who also collects them), a manger cow with springy horns that truly looked like a “mad cow”, as well as a little purchase for hubby.  I also bought a jar of vintage buttons, and the jar itself was fab and rather unique.  Given the unusual size, shape, and contents of the jar, I wasn’t surprised that I was stopped at security when flying out of Wichita.  It was my first-ever on-the-spot bag search, so I suppose I was due.  Here’s a picture of the mad cow – I think he needs to turn his frown upside down!  :]

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Blessed Journey
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Every trip I’ve made to Lincoln, Kansas has been over-the-top fantastic, and this particular trip will always be extra special to me because of the art exhibit, signing, and class related to my book.  Big thanks to everyone who helped make my exhibit and overall trip so wonderful.  I’m most appreciative.  :]

Warm regards,
Melody

 

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Patriotic Vintage Doily Wreath

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Happy Tuesday!

I recently changed up my wreath – you know, the one I’ve decorated for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Spring thus far.  (Well, I also did a St. Patrick’s Day version, but guess who forgot to take a photo before switching to spring?  Ack!)  This incarnation features red, white and blue.  The wreath was switched up in time for Memorial Day, and will stay this way until after the 4th of July.

To create this look I pulled some blue doilies from my stash, as well as some red and white “bullseye” doilies.  I decided to add some simple foil stars and a bit of white ribbon to finish it off, and love the look. Because I pin the doilies on each time with T-pins it’s easy to take off the old doilies and add the new ones.

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What do you think?  I hope you like it.  Please let me know if you’ve been inspired to create a doily wreath of your own…

Warm regards,
Melody

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A Rite of Passage

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My book, An Altered Existence: Fictitious Stories About Faces from the Past, is just over a month old now.  Self-publishing has been a wonderful adventure so far, and I thought I’d share a happy “new author” rite of passage I recently experienced.  Until a week or so ago, all my book sales had been done through Amazon and Etsy.  I hadn’t seen my book for sale in a bookstore, but that was about to change.

While on a road trip I stopped into a bookstore near my destination, and ended up selling them a copy of my book.  Yes, one copy.  They very nicely explained that because they’re a small store they could only start with one book, but I was so excited you’d think I’d made a best seller list.  I was even more excited when one of the two ladies I was doing business with walked over and put my book on their New Fiction section in the front of the store.

OMG – there it was!  My book – for sale – in a store!  It was a first for me, and naturally I had to take pictures to mark the occasion.  I was grinning ear to ear as I left the store and drove on down the road. It was a small victory, but I was elated anyway.  Woo hoo!  Later on in my trip I went to sell another 7 books, including five that were purchased by an antique store, and it was a wonderful feeling.  I wish I’d brought more books with me.  :]

It’s unlikely my little book will make a big splash in the literary world, and I probably won’t sell tens of thousands of copies.  This is a project that came from the heart, and seeing it through to being published – and beyond – is food for my soul.  I strive to be mindful and grateful in daily life, so you can be sure I’m going to appreciate all the firsts and unexpected joys this literary journey brings my way.

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Like the pleasure of seeing MY book on a shelf in a bookstore…

Warm regards,
Melody

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A New Crocheted Wreath Variation: Spring!

I’m continuing to modify the crocheted wreath I created back in December – it’s so easy to do since the doilies are just pinned on!  Thus far I’ve shared two versions: Christmas and Valentine’s Day.  Today I’m showing my newest version: Spring!

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I used crocheted doilies and floral pot holders in purples and yellows, and love how the wreath turned out. Two of my favorite flowers are irises and daffodils, and the color scheme of this wreath reminds me of those two flowers.
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I didn’t make this a “strictly Easter” wreath since this version is likely to hang until June, when I’ll work on creating a 4th of July-themed wreath. So this wreath uses spring colors, but doesn’t include bunnies, chicks, or eggs – though I was tempted because I love all three of those things!
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Spring begins tomorrow, so I’d like to wish you a Happy Spring a bit early.  If you live in a cold climate, I hope you enjoy nicer weather.  :]
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Warm regards,
Melody
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New Assemblage Series: Then & Now

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I recently created a two-part assemblage series, and thought I’d share it with you.  These pieces are particularly significant to me for a few reasons.  One: they’re more personal than my previous assemblages. Two: measuring 12″ x 15″, they’re the largest assemblages I’ve made thus far and incorporated heavier objects.  I even used epoxy for the first time, so now I feel all official.  :]
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I really enjoyed creating this series, and look forward to creating many more assemblages in the future. This mental shift towards more significant assemblage work is evident when I shop at thrift stores, estate sales, and antique stores – I’m now looking out for more dimensional pieces than ever before!
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Rather than take you through the assembly of these two pieces step-by-step, I’ll give you some of the highlights :
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THEN – first in the series
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This assemblage includes the following items: a vintage photo of a young girl, a traditional wooden ruler, a square wooden ruler, a doily, a pair of scissors, a heart-shaped tart tin, vintage graph paper, red fibers, 3 large beads, 2 vintage rhinestones, gold joss paper, and a small silver frame.
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The picture above was taken with the glass lid up, to reduce glare.  The image below shows the lid down…
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then
NOW – second in the series
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This assemblage includes the following items: a vintage photo of a woman, a small glass container, a vintage bunny figurine, a small doily, three vintage pen nibs, a nasturtium seed packet, a projector light bulb, lace, ribbon, a vintage measuring spoon, a vintage book, a paintbrush, a foreign postage stamp, a clear lens, and a piece of vintage cloth measuring tape.
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Again, the picture above was taken with the glass lid up.  The image below shows the lid down…
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now
  • Both assemblages made use of pre-made wooden boxes with glass tops.  The boxes were purchased at Michaels, and the wood was left its natural color but was sealed with a clear varnish.
  • The inside of each box was collaged with vintage sewing patterns before the other elements were added.
  • Though each assemblage stands on its own the two were meant to work together, so some elements are used in both pieces – like photos, doilies, measuring elements (ruler and tape), the deep red color, and metallics.
I hope you enjoyed this peek at my newest assemblages.  What do you think?  Please post a comment with any questions or feedback.
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Warm regards,
Melody

 

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An Altered Existence – Giveaway Winners!

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Thanks to everyone who entered my book’s giveaway.  It was a treat to read your wonderful comments!
It is my pleasure to announce the lucky giveaway winners.  The following three people have each won a signed copy of my new book, An Altered Existence: Fictitious Stories About Faces from the Past.

1. Mayah
2. Debbie M.
3. Amie*

For those of you whose name I didn’t draw, please visit my books’s amazon.com page and consider purchasing a copy – I’d really appreciate it.  Big thanks to those who’ve already ordered a copy!  :]

WANT A “SIGNED” COPY OF MY BOOK?

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If you’re planning to buy  – or have already purchased – a copy of my book from Amazon.com, but would like it signed, I can provide a signed bookplate/label for you to put in your book.  Simply send me a SASE – I’d be happy to send a signed book plate your way!  Here’s my mailing address:

Melody M. Nuñez
P.O. Box 60030
Irvine, CA 92602

Happy reading, y’all!

Warm regards,
Melody

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Books & Bunnies!

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Greetings from Book Central!

I received my first big shipment of books on Monday, which will be used to help promote the book, and I’m so excited!  Feedback on my book has been very positive thus far, and I’m a happy camper.  I’m looking forward to sharing my “baby” with more people in the coming months, so I also ordered some bookmarks and postcards to help with that.  They arrived last weekend and I think they look fab.  Hubby did such a great job on them!

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In other book-related news, some (very) informal market research has been done, and two out of two bunnies surveyed find my new book delicious!  ;]

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So, have you entered my giveaway yet?  I’m giving away 3 signed copies of An Altered Existence: Fictitious Stories About Faces from the Past, and will announce the winners this Tuesday, March 5, 2013.  Please enter now by commenting on this link’s post, if you haven’t already!  :]

I hope you have a great weekend, dear readers…

Warm regards,
Melody

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