December 16, 2009

Having a ball, for four bucks.


Since first embedding at the shorehouse, I've scooped up a number of Christmas balls -- mostly at rummage sales, but also at a flea market and a yard sale.

Last year, our first Christmas at the house, I sprinkled out a few. But by this year, if you'll please pardon the expression, I had a lot of balls:


These things are readily and cheaply available, you just may need to do some digging since vendors typically bury them (they're not exactly big movers apparently). Despite my voluminous collection, a little investigating on this here blog showed the entire lot cost me around $4.

I needed to do something other than squirrel them away like a furry nocturnal creature on a pre-winter bender. So this past weekend I finally dragged them out of the basement, inspired in part by the
Victorian Holiday House Tour in Ocean Grove, NJ, that I went on which made me feel like a total decorating-challenged underachiever.

I started by placing some of the more dainty and vintagey looking ones on a small but mighty tree I bought at the supermarket:



Then I moved on to jars...


...and bowls, including the one I just got at the SPCA thrift store for $3 specifically for this purpose...


...and my great-grandma's pressed glass compotes:


Then came the mack daddy of them all. I took a wire hanger (free with overpriced dry cleaning) and strung up a collection of blues, and silvers and golds...


...and created something that, if he were alive to see this, I'm sure Elvis would proudly hang in the living room at Graceland.


I turned to the now ubiquitous Eddie Ross model for guidance. I trimmed about eight inches off the hanger with a wire clipper to make mine smaller, and wished I had followed Eddie's advice to glue the metal caps to the balls before I started stringing the ornaments. A few broken balls and several slivers of finger skin later, my gaudy little star was born. The tinsel was a scrap I grabbed at an everything-in-the-bag-for-a-buck sale and kind of forgot about until I dumped the ornaments out of the bag. I tucked it in to cover up the wire in some spots it was exposed. It's not glued down so if I want to make it a little less Vegas, I can easily remove the garland.

After all was done, here's what I'm left with:


Not bad for a day's work.

24 comments:

modernemama said...

Erm... I just paid $4 for 4 balls at Rite-Aid and that was 50% off. I seriously need your scavenging skills

Renovation Therapy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Renovation Therapy said...

I just screwed up my comment! Rough day.

Everything looks awesome!

desiree said...

Thoroughly impressed! Especially the wreath....amazing 4 bucks you can't beat that!

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

That wreath looks perfect for Graceland!

Love all your 'ball' creations!

Hope you have a Merry Christmas!

:) Diane

Tardevil said...

$4-what a deal! I just scored a bag of vintage ornaments for 80 cents, and squealed with glee! Love that new apothecary jar you got. They're pretty in the compotes too.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Perfect, Laura! Love your wreath, love the tree with them, and the jar effect as well. You have found some neat balls, and a lot of them look vintage. Loved seeing them all...

XO,

Sheila :-)

Maya said...

So many ornaments..., I'm the opposite. I ran out of balls completely (love how that sounds) and just picked some up at the super market. And next year I'll start all new! The wreath..., soooo cute!!! And I love it with the garland, and neither Vegas, nor Elvis came to mind. Well Elvis is on my mind, since I've posted his "Blue Christmas" tune for Thursday, and I've been humming it all day long.

Frau said...

Love it and your right thats a lot of balls! Have a wonderful day!

fairfieldhouse said...

I love your small but mighty tree and where you have it sitting. I was tempted to make a wreath like that but I didn't have the balls. Ahem. Perhaps next year. Yours looks great! Hope you fingers are healed.

Keetha Broyles said...

And now your home is filled to the brim with Christmas Bling!

I'm lovin' it!

Joyce said...

I LOVE your balls! You did a great job displaying them throughout your home. Do you have spindles(not sure if that is what those things are called)on your bed? You could always hang the remaing on your bed or add to a tie back on your curtains. What time is Christmas dinner? I'll be there! xo

~*Jenn*~ said...

They look fabulous!!! Love the wreath what a great idea!! SO jealous, those balls aren't cheap to get here at all, even at thrift we pay almost $5 a ball, at the antique market you're look at nearly $100 a box, it's insane!! I scored a few this year and then - my daughter knocked them off the tree. Wahhhhhh LoL

Thanks for sharing!!

sarah { abeachcottage } said...

I'd died to come across them, I've never ever seen them like that in all my thrifting!

now I love your balls, if only there were more balls in life ;-)

S
x

Lorrie said...

You really do have (a lot of) balls Laura--LOL! I love that they were such a bargain, and you've displayed them just beautifully.

Weef! said...

You have outdone yourself, Laura!! The christmas ball wreath is fabulous! I also love all of the ornaments in the bowls (and especially the clear glass lidded jars).

Thanks for posting!! You've inspired me for next Christmas! I'll be looking for Christmas Balls for the next year!!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi Laura

It has been a crazy month for me topped off my a total computer crash...boo hoo...now I own a brand new HP lap top so I
m back to see what I've missed on your blog.

I love all your old fashioned ornaments ...a few of which I have in my collection as I am really that old..lol! They look so pretty in the jars and compotes and the wreath came out just perfect!

Hugs, Pat

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Wow, you have been busy! The wreath is perfect!!! I love everything that you have done with the decorating and now I am going to copy cat you...sincerest form of flattery you know.
♥, Susan

Rhonda @ Shellbelle's Tiki Hut said...

Oh Laura, everything looks lovely and what a deal! My favorite part though is that you included your great-grandmother's compotes, I am very sentimental, especially at Christmas.

Now I'm off to check out you Victorian Holiday House Tour.

While Stella was visiting I took her to the Vintage Christmas Stroll her in Tampa at a hotel built in 1891. You would have loved it! You need to check out the vintage postcard from the hotel, it is so typically Floridian!

Merry Christmas Laura, from one beach gal to another.

Rhonda @ Shellbelle's Tiki Hut said...

I'm back! The link didn't work and I'm crying the blues, no vintage tour for me this morning, boo hoo.

Rue said...

That really is a lot of balls LOL You crack me up Laura :)

Everything looks really festive! I tried the wreath thingy, but it was BAD, so I gave up.

I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

(((hugs)))
rue

thomasenaalicea said...

過去的事早已消失,未來的事更渺不可知,只有現在是真實的..................................................

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

GREAT BALLS!!!

Really really....and love your wreath with the sparkle of tinsel!

Keetha Broyles said...

These posts you bloggy friends have been making about your vintage ornaments made me want to dig mine out to post about - - - and I did - - - and I will!!!!