#CIJParty 2015 – Vintage Decorations Continue Christmas Traditions

Guest blog post by Molly of MollyFinds

When my husband and got engaged we were given a gift certificate to purchase something from a catalog. I knew immediately I wanted a light up angel for our first Christmas tree.  We will be married 20 years this December with 2 children. Every year our family has continued the tradition that my parents started with my sister and I. Our kids take turns being the one lifted up to place and light her. It gets more amusing every year, as our son is now the same size as his daddy.

Vintage Christmas angels are something I try to collect for my Etsy shop, MollyFinds every time I find them.

This Paramount Electric Tree Topper Angel from the 1940s was one of the coolest I had ever collected and sold.



And I got the most heartwarming message from the lady who purchased her:

Molly, I received my order and it arrived safely. Thanks for packaging it so securely. My family had this angel tree topper (still has it) since before I can remember (I’m in my 60’s) and all my siblings fight over who will ultimately become heir to her. Now I’ve found the solution and can give a duplicate for one of them to cherish. Thanks! Linda 

Traditions are part of what make memories so special and build anticipation not only for children but also the adults each year.

Here are some Christmas angels I have available for Christmas in July



Choir Angel Light up Christmas Tree Topper



And this sweet table top Christmas Angel night light

Angels are not the only vintage holiday theme decorations that I have! Click the ornaments to go to my vintage holiday section!



My social media sites:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MollysMuses

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MollyOBryonWelpottPhotography

Instagram: https://instagram.com/mollyfinds

For the next #CIJParty post please see main party post.


#CIJParty 2015 – Tutorial: Shabby Mermaid Bust

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Tutorial For A Shabby Mermaid Bust” – Patricia And Rebecca from northandsouthshabby


Recently I was reviewing my Pinterest repins. A comment made on our vintage jewelry anchor caught my eye; “Beach decor-can’t decide if it’s tacky or cool! Shabby Beach/Coastal Cottage style may not be for everyone, but I love it. If you don’t love it, stop reading right here, because you’ll definitely won’t like this project!

DIY Shabby Mermaid Bust


My mom found this bust at a salvage shop. Pretty, but it sat there for a while before I decided what I wanted to do with it.


Then I thought, how cute would she be if I made her a mermaid?


Materials Used

A bust. This one was found at a salvage shop.

E6000 adhesive (Don’t even try this with another glue. You’ll have wasted a lot of time.)

A small paintbrush.

Judykin’s Diamond Glaze

Various shells, sea glass, coral

Glue gun/glue sticks

Aluminum foil

Tutorial Directions

Start by squeezing a bit of E6000 onto a piece of foil. Just dab a shell into the E6000, really just a little is all it takes. Squeeze a couple of dots of hot glue on top of the E6000. Press to your figurine for a few seconds. The E6000 forms the permanent bond, the hot glue forms the “fast bond”. Alone, the silicone based E6000 will slide around, but not when topped with the hot glue. Really, try it!

I started my figurine with one of my leftover Vintage Jewelry Starfish from my Christmas sale, and worked my way around her head. I realize not everyone has previously made Vintage Jewelry Starfish lying around, but get creative. An old brooch would look great, or a starfish covered in glass glitter.. or just leave it out. I like that it creates a unique focal point.


Add, layer, fill in the spots…


I added Limpet Shells at the bottom to create a “Mermaid Scale” look..



Next. You’ll have spider web strands of glue everywhere..anyone that’s ever used a glue gun knows what a pain they are! But did you know if you hit it with a blow dryer, pouf! They’re gone!


Lastly, add Judykin’s Diamond Glaze. I love this product so much! It’s a very thin, very clear(non-yellowing) adhesive/top coat. It just kind of insures it’ll all stay together. Drip some out of the bottle, and spread out with the paintbrush. Work in small areas, letting dry in between.



And she’s done! Just love how she came out! Now – to sell, or keep?


Thanks for looking and happy crafting! -Rebecca

Facebook: www.facebook.com/NorthandSouthShabby

Twitter: twitter.com/noandsoshabby

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/nandsshabby

Website: www.northandsouthshabby.com

Blog: vintagekeywest.wordpress.com

For the next #CIJParty post please see main party post.

#CIJParty 2015 – Marsala – Pantone Color Of The Year

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

The 2015 PANTONE Color of the year is Marsala. Pantone defines Marsala: “Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal, while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.”

Here are a few Marsala items from the CIJ team on Pinterest!




Are you a member of the CIJ team? Do you have Marsala items that you like to have pinned on Pinterest? See the CIJ forums to participate!

Soon we’ll change the Pinterest boards to the 2016 PANTONE color of the year! Leave your guess here what the color will be!

Be sure to check back on the main party post to make sure you haven’t missed any of the #CIJParty today.

#CIJParty 2015 – Christ kindle Markt: Christmas Markets The German Way

Guest blog post by Mary of StockLaneStudio

Christ kindle Markt:  Christmas Markets the German Way

Glänzend:  Glittery shiny German Christmas markets!

Germany has some of the best Christmas markets in the world.  Often crowded (überfüllt),  with well over millions of visitors, Christmas markets usually spring up all over Germany (and other parts of Europe) on the Friday before Advent and close up before Christmas Eve.  Known as a Christkindle Markt  or Weihnachtsmarkt or some variation of the two, each village market has something special to make it unique, but all are teaming with warm food and beverage, handmade holiday gifts, arts and crafts, twinkling lights and holiday cheer that last well into the evening.  Beverage booths offer ceramic mugs to fill with steaming hot chocolate or glühwein (grog or mulled wine) to warm our bellies while we walk around and mix and mingle with the smells and sounds and colors of visitors and vendors that have set up to celebrate the holiday season.



Schrullig:  whimsical and quirky

Bavaria is the southeastern region of Germany and boasts charming villages and cities.  Restaurants still maintain outdoor seating in the winter, often between walls of snow banks, just making sure heaters and warm blankets are part of the service.   The village of Rothenburg ob der Tauber can’t be missed, if only for the sake of their Schneeballen (my kids called them brain cakes).  Sort of like a funnel cake fried into the shape of a ball, these yummy treats are usually sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Schneeballen found at the Rothenburg market:



The Christmas market in the Bavarian town of Nuremberg market has its fair share of typical German Christmas booths, selling intricate and delightful ornaments or handmade scarves, traditional candies and chocolates that melt in you hands if you don’t eat them soon enough.  And the delightful collectable Rauchermen, or incense burning wooden ‘smoker’ figures that are carefully carved and decorated to depict all the members of society that you can think of:  the doctor, optician, toy seller, woodsman, mushroom picker, beer brewer, the list goes on and on.  But the booths of delightfully quirky prune people are what make you take a second look.  Yes, Zwetschgenmännle are little dolls made of prunes, nuts and figs: it’s a fruitcake and a doll all in one!  What better use of a prune can there be?  Placed in a windowsill facing out, these figures are said to ward off evil.  The comical figures are not unique to Germany, and can be found in many parts of Europe, but when I think of Christmas in Nuremburg, I think of Prune People.

Lebhaft:  animated

The market in Aschaffenburg, Germany takes place in the Johannisburg Castle Square and boasts a mini train carrying gleeful children to a giant two-story tall wooden Christmas pyramid.



Handcrafted Mini versions of this pyramid are sold in wooden stalls in most village markets  and for me, these charming pyramids have become another symbol of Christmas in Germany, ranging from simple and small to tall and elaborate.  All rotate magically by the heat of one or more strategically placed candles.

Blendend unt Schön:  sparkling and beautiful

Frankfurt’s Chriskindlemark  takes place on and around the Römerberg, the square that is the heart of the city.  Beautifully rebuilt and restored half-timbered houses are bathed in lights and trees and simple wooden craft stalls for the holiday.  A fun way to tour the market is through a horse-drawn carriage, clopping along with bells and warm blankets.  The Frankfurt market has its own version of ‘prunepeople’.  They call them Quetschemännchen.  Yes, still made with prunes and nuts, these are far more romantic.  Tradition has it that love-sick men used to send these off to girls they fancied.  I can’t think of a more romantic gesture!!

Köln Cathedral Spire:



Currywurst, liebekuchen, kartoffelpuffer and apfel-pfannkuchen

In Cologne (Köln), climb the 509 stone steps of the spire of the Gothic Cologne Cathedral or Kölner Dom, and look down on the twinkling lights, red canopied booths and throng of shoppers snacking on warm apfel-pfannkuchen (apple fritters) or  potato pancakes.



Once you descend the spire, treat yourself to currywurst (a curry-sausage sandwich) and heart-shaped lebkuchen.  These giant gingerbread cookies are a Christmas Market staple, decorated with frosty wishes like:  Frohe Weihnacht (Merry Christmas) and Ich Liebe Dich (I love you).  The frosting can be quite sugary and hard sometimes, making these giant heart cookies best suited for hanging up as Christmas decorations than eating in my opinion.



There is another more traditional lebkuchen that is delicate and just slightly sweet and flavored with honey, spices and nuts that suits my palate.



There are just too many famous and continuously traditional markets to list here– I feel like I’ve done a disservice not having mentioned Trier or Munich (Glockenspiel on the Marienplatz), or Berlin or Dresden or. . . .What is certain, is the tradition and cheer and warmth of bright lights and good conversation found in all of Germany’s Christmas markets, keeping tourists and locals coming back year after year.

Snow frosted bikes in Munich:



Stock Lane Studio is all over!

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For the next #CIJParty post please see main party post.

#CIJParty 2015 – Tutorial: Motif Blanket

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

“Tutorial For Join As You Go Motif Blanket” – Becky Simmons from fantisticmio


Crocheters love making motifs. Joining them together, however, is a whole other story! In this tutorial you will learn a way to take a join-as-you-go method and apply it continuously. Not only is this a quick and easy way to join motifs together, it cuts down on the number of ends you’ll have to weave in!


In this picture you can see the difference between regular join-as-you-go and the continuous method we will be covering today:


Please note: this tutorial assumes you already know how to join-as-you-go granny squares.

Materials Used

This tutorial is geared specifically to traditional granny squares, but the technique can be used with any join-as-you-go technique.

Tutorial Directions

The first thing you need to do is decide on a layout for your squares. Here is a layout of 6 squares with a schematic for a general overview of what we’ll be doing:


Take the square from the top right corner and crochet around three sides:


Take the square that goes *below* that corner square and put it next to the square you were just working with. Work 3dc into the corner of the second square:


Now rotate that second square up and join it along that side to the first square:



Crochet around two more sides of this second square:


Continue adding squares down the column by repeating how you added the second square.

The last square of the column is slightly different! Only crochet along one more edge after the joining edge:

8867793221_6bd0bb9a41 (1)

Take the first square at the bottom of the second column and put it next to the last square of the first column. 3dc into the corner:


Rotate the new square so that you can join that edge to the previous square. When you get to the corner of the square you’re working on, work 3dc in the corner, ch1, slip stitch to the adjacent space, or in this case since they line up, around the join of the adjacent two squares:


ch1, then take the next square up in the second column and start joining it to the previous column:


Do this with all of the squares in the second column so that you end up with something like this:


It’s time to finish the edging on the second column now, which will work almost exactly the same way as the first column.


Go all the way around the first square. When you reach the spot where four squares meet, ch1, join to the square directly across from the one you’re edging with a slst in the corner space, ch1, then start edging/joining the next square.


Continue in this manner until all of your squares are joined.

All that will be left is to work across the bottom and up the right side of the blanket.

There are a few ways to do this to get it to look “normal”. I tried a few of them before settling on “3dc in the corner of the first square, ch1, sc between the edging on the two squares, ch1, 3dc in the corner of the next square”:



I like to work a second round of edging (as each of the internal squares looks like it has two rounds of edging), and when I get to the bottom and right edge, I work a group of 3dc into the sc.

Here is the blanket before the extra outside border:


Here it is with an extra round:


The difference is subtle, but I like it!

Twitter: https://twitter.com/fantasticmio

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/fantasticmiocom/80783964579

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/fantasticmio/

Instagram: fantastic.mio on Instagram

For the next #CIJParty post please see main party post.

#CIJParty 2015 – 4 Amazing Free Publicity Opportunities for Your Small Business

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

I’m excited to introduce to you today Gail from AttentionGetting. Many of you may already know her because of her fascinating website Attention Getting Marketing. Gail has written 7 marketing ebooks. She has 20+ years of marketing experience and I appreciate that she has taken the time today to share with us 6 tips for getting holiday sales from Attention Getting Marketing on Etsy.

Gail Oliver

Gail Oliver

You may not have heard, but  May 1st – 7th, 2016 is National Small Business Week (be sure to use the hash tag #DreamSmallBiz) and it is a good time to pitch a story about your business to your local press. Anything can be a possible story pitch, including if you have:

  • An innovative product or service idea
  • An eco-friendly business
  • Rapid growth in the last 6 months or year
  • New facilities or location opening
  • Engaged in a charitable endeavoNSBW

Now, I also came across four awesome opportunities to get free publicity for your small business.

1. Get Included in an American Family Insurance Ad

At the dentist office I was looking through a copy of People Magazine (which has a readership of 46 million), and the opening 3-page color ad was from a company calledAmerican Family Insurance, with their “Dream Fearlessly” campaign promoting the work of a photographer, a writer, and an artist who are all trying to turn their dream into a business. So, if you have pursued or fulfilled a business dream, submit it to American Family Insurance (scroll down to the form at the bottom of the page) and maybe you will be profiled in an upcoming ad.

2. Share Your Pinterest Success

I don’t know about you, but Pinterest brings a huge amount of traffic to my blog. Therefore, if you have a Pinterest success story of how it has helped your business, submit it to Pinterest and they just might profile your story in emails, on their blog and more, so other businesses can learn from your success.

3. AT&T Wants to Know Your Business Story

Telecom giant AT&T has a “Real Stories” feature that profiles business owners who have a great story to tell and insights to help other entrepreneurs. Submit your business story to AT&T and you could be featured on their blog (called The Business Circle) and their social media pages (250,000 followers) – a great way to drive more traffic to your site and gain more customers.

4. Be Part of the Globe and Mail’s TakeOff Series

If you are a Canadian small business or entrepreneur, you have from now until July to submit your story to Canada’s national newspaper, the Globe and Mail, to be profiled in their “TakeOff series. Essentially, they want to know what helped or hurt your business from “taking off”. You can get more details about what and where to submit here.

Things to Note

Thank you for joining us today Gail. I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to share the tips with us today. It gives us the opportunity now to start planning for 2016!

Please be sure to check out the on the main party post for the schedule of events.