28 Nov 2012

Doe, A Deer

Back around Halloween I promised you that you wouldn't see any Christmas around these parts until at least December 1.  Well, I have to eat my words.  It's 3 days before December 1 and here's a Christmasy type post for you.  But....if you really want to, you can think of these little deer as totally non-Christmas decor.  Your prerogative really. 

Way back in the middle of the summer (summer...it's hard to believe we even had summer with how much snow we have now!!), I hit up a garage sale that was selling Christmas stuff.  It wasn't intentional, we were just driving around and then BLAM Christmas in August. After we started chatting up the ladies holding the sale, they told us that they were trying to liquidate a gift store.  All proceeds were going to one of their grandsons who was trying to save up to buy a quad (are they called quads in the US too?).  Anyhow, it was pretty funny....this 10 year old kid was hocking old lady Christmas stuff to buy something totally manly.  

I spotted these 2 little deer buried in the middle of ribbons and bows.  They were marked $6 for the pair, but I managed to wrangle the kid down to $4.  Clearly he wanted that quad because he was a hard negotiator.

The gold would have been ok if it was nice gold/brass...but it wasn't.  It was cheap looking.  You know me, I couldn't just leave them as is.  Nope.

I had some Antibes Green chalk paint left over from my little sewing kit and figured I'd give it a go on these.  I didn't do any prep.  I just grabbed my paint brush and started painting.  3 coats later they looked like this.

A little too green, right?  Mr. Swell started calling them atomic deer so I knew I had do something.  I had planned on distressing them, but they needed more than just that.  

Thank goodness I have about a million gallons of paint to work with in a situation like this.  I mixed some dark brown with glaze, brushed it on and then wiped it off in some areas.   It still wasn't dark enough for what I envisioned, so I then added a bit of black stain in some areas. 

After much rubbing and dabbing, they looked much less atomic and more patina.

The best part was that to distress I didn't even need to go out to the garage to get my sandpaper.  I used my fingers and rubbed quite hard, and the paint rubbed off.  Since these guys aren't going to get handled a lot I wasn't too worried that that paint didn't really stick to the fake brass very well.

Instead of reattaching the red ribbon and jingle bell, I kept them a little more woodsy and tied on a piece of twine.

Plopped in a couple dollar store candles and these happy little deer were complete.  They've taken up residence in our basement on the mantel (of the totally faux electric fireplace, with my DIY painting). 

I'm kind of digging that it's Christmasy, but not over the top.   I think the little reindeer on the right is looking at them with a bit of envy....

And just to keep with the deer theme, they are right next to my stencilled stag head

Since I've already lied to you about not posting anything Christmas before December 1, do you want in on a secret?  

Ya, the ceiling is totally not done!  It's on our winter to-do list.  Half of the basement is done, but we stopped once the weather turned nice....and now we have to get back at it!

Check out what else is on the to-do list for the next few months.

Envious? Ya, I bet!

How about you?  Any good winter projects lined up?

More Christmas posts coming up....but at least it'll actually be December!


  1. I love the deer candle holders! The paint job you did looks really great too - they were kind of looking atomic.... =] I have a few Christmas projects floating around in my head. Im just trying not to go over my budget!!

    1. I hear ya! So far I am at about $50, and I think I am at my limit!

  2. I just want you to know that I totally sang the song in my head when I read the title of this post!

    Cute candlestick holders, love the way they turned out.

    We have lots of projects coming up - it seems like for the last couple of years weve been laying hardwood flooring right before Christmas - and this year looks to be the same.

    Were going to attempt [attempt being the key word here] to lay enough flooring to finally reach the wall in our living room and go down the hallway into the master bedroom. This means removing the remaining old carpet, baseboards, door trims etc and maybe some painting.

    All in time to host a family luncheon for 20+ people on 12/22, no sweat, right? LOL

    1. hahah, I have been humming that song in my head for 2 days now since I cam up with the title. It alternates with the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme song (its Fins fave). Sounds like you are going to be super busy! At least you still have 23 days to get it all done.....good luck! Thanks for your comments - always appreciated.

  3. I love how they turned out! Oh! talking about ceilings, this morning I was patching lots of holes in my bedroom ceiling, after taking away all the nails that had popped out, and changing them for screws! I dont like working on ceilings, my neck hurts! Good luck with yours!

  4. oooh! Love those painted!! Great eye!!!

  5. I have these exact candle holders, also found at a yard sale. I just love them. Love how you distressed yours. I painted mine white.

    1. I was so, so close to painting these guys white....I figured that I had enough white in my house though so Id mix it up.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  6. They look so charming! You have a great eye. Every year I say I am going to scoop up Christmas decorating things at summer garage sales, and every year I dont. After reading your post, I have more of an incentive to follow through.

  7. i love the little gold touches peaking through!!


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