Now available! - Twelve Days of Christmas Earrings Volume 5 with 12 all-new designs.

Now available! - Twelve Days of Christmas Earrings Volume 5 with 12 all-new designs.
Get ready for the Christmas Party season and make yourself some sparkly festive earrings. Christmas Trees, snowflakes, ornaments and stars - these are just a few of the fabulous earrings in this Volume

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Paint and String Initials - more engagement party decorations

In my last post I showed you the jute wrapped initials we decorated for the engagement party. Today I have a variation on that idea.
 
By the time I got to the last of the decorations I had almost run out of jute so I needed a way to tie these initials into the theme that didn't need so much string. With all the curves on the ampersand it would have been a challenge to wrap the whole symbol with jute anyway, so running out was a stroke of luck!

I decided to paint them red, white and blue, the theme colours for the party. It was quick and easy and with the exception of the blue paint, it used materials I already had on hand.

Once the paint was dried, I selected areas of each letter/symbol to wrap with string and secured the beginning and end with hot glue.

And all it needed was the addition of the roses and a bit of ribbon to tie it into the theme..... simple and effective.

The roses are made from copy paper using Tim Holtz Tattered Florals die.


We hired a huge marquee for the party - it was middle of summer and we wanted to make sure the guests had plenty of shade to mingle in. Sadly, the weather was against us and we had four days of torrential rain and it was blowing a gale. The marquee threatened to take off several times before the party even began and to say we were stressed would be an understatement. We had to relocate the party inside and rethink the decorating too.

Bunting which was to be strung in the marquee was now placed above windows, in doorways and arches and across the room in any way we could find to attach it. The balloons were tied to the handles of kitchen cupboards, the backs of chairs, pendant lights and even sitting on the stereo speakers. We really had to get imaginitive in a hurry but in the end it all looked great and the party went off well despite the weather.


And the dessert was wonderful too. The chocolate fountain was a big hit and was like a magnet for all the chocoholics.

Perfect to go with the strawberries....
and the other goodies for dipping....

It was rather fortunate that the party was just a couple of weeks before Valentine's Day because we were able to re use some of the decorations to set the mood for a romantic dinner that night. I love it when you can get more mileage out of your decorations!

'Til next time....



Saturday, February 23, 2013

Jute Wrapped Initials

It's been a nearly 4 weeks since the Engagement Party and it's only during this past week that we've started taking down the decorations. They looked so wonderful that we left them up so we could enjoy them just a little longer. So today, before I pack away the last couple of things let me share another one with you.

Our happy couple liked the idea of seeing their initials together in the monogrammed napkin rings so we carried it a little bit further and used it as part of the theme for the celebration. For this project, I started with some paper mache letters, a ball of jute and a hot glue gun. Once again, most of the supplies for this project came from my stash and the only cost was the paper mache letters.


To get this project started, I used the hot glue gun to secure the first few centimetres of jute along the top edge of the T.

You need a lot of jute for this project. This roll holds 180 metres and didn't want to see it all unravel on the studio floor. Imagine the fun Kitty Kat would have had with that! I found it helpful to use a paint brush as a spindle so that I could control the spool. If you have a paper towel holder with a narrow enough dowel, that would be ideal.

Then it was just a matter of wrapping and wrapping and wrapping the jute around the letter securing it with hot glue every once in a while. The "T" shape was really easy to wrap. The "S" was a lot more of a challenge and used an enormous amount of jute.

Once the whole letter was covered I punched a strip of copy paper using the Flower Burst punch from EK Success to make a border along one edge. It's mounted with Glue Arts Extreme Tac mounting squares.

Then it was time to embellish the letters with flowers. This one uses Tim Holtz Tattered Florals. To make the flowers look more like roses, I cut away one petal from the first layer, two from the second layer and three from the third layer. I used the pieces I cut away to create the bud of the rose and then hot glue it all together.

 In keeping with the colour theme of this party, I've added some blue roses and some hessian too.

 And here's the "S" - it just ate the jute on those curves.



So how much of this roll was left after this project?

Well, none! I had to buy another spool to finish it!

But I love the look of the jute. It has a down to earth feeling about it - very much like the happy couple.

In my next post I'll show you the another variation of this idea.

'Til then, have a great weekend!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Glowing Heart

Today's project is for the romantic at heart.

Candle light is one of the most important ingredients of a romantic Valentine's dinner for two and what could be more appropriate than a heart of tealights. You can make this simple "heart wreath" in no time at all and all you need is a hot glue gun and some tea lights. I suggest you make this project on a sturdy surface that you can transport easily to the dinner table as the hot glue is not very strong.

I've used a combination of 20 unscented Glimma tealights in red and scented Tindra tealights in shades of  ink from Ikea. Just lay the tealights out in a heart shape and play with the colour arrangement until you are happy.

Take a sheet of paper larger than the heart and press it down over the top so that it leaves an outline of each tealight. Place the paper on a firm, portable surface and move each of the tealights into its position on the paper. Glue each tealight to the one next to it.

Gently remove the paper out from under the tealights. Transport your tealight heart to the dining table and carefully slide out your firm work surface. 

In a dimly lit room, the flickering light and beautiful aroma from these tealights will give your dinner table a wonderful soft glow and set the mood for a very romantic evening. Happy Valentine's Day!

'Til next time....



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Red Roses for Valentine's Day - the Budget Version

What says Valentine's more than anything else? Well, there are hearts.... and of course, there are chocolates. But if there is any one thing that symbolises romance it would have to be red roses - the flower of love!

Can't afford a dozen long stemmed roses this Valentine's Day? Well how about some artificial roses to dress up your dinner table instead. I picked up mine for just $2-50/bunch from Crazy Clarks.

To pad the bunches out I added some hessian (burlap) ribbon from Joann's and some red picks - mine are a combination of Christmas decorations and party picks from decorations that I'd stored away from parties past, but you can pick these up from your local party store for just a few dollars. Here's what I did.

Firstly, I cut lengths of hessian ribbon, placed the ends together and threaded a length of 26 gauge wire along the edge. You want to make sure you're about a centimetre from the bottom edge so that it doesn't fray. 

Pull the wire to gather the hessian and then wrap it securely around the base of the loop.
 

Insert a length of 20 gauge wire through the base of the loop and then wrap it around the stem of a rose.

Create 5 or 6 loops for each bunch and then add the picks to fill in any gaps. I created 3 separate bouquets and placed them in glass jars, added some marbles to balance them and then trimmed them with hessian and jute to tie the theme together so that you don't even notice that each of the bouquets is slightly different.
 
 
 

So, a dozen long stemmed roses might be the symbol of romance but there's no reason why you can't enjoy your roses long after Valentine's Day with these artificial bouquets.

Happy Valentine's Day!


Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Art of the Heart


Inspiration for today's blog post has come from Linda Peterson over at the Friendly Plastic blog. Linda has compiled a wonderful and varied group of Friendly Plastic projects with the heart as the central theme: mixed media, jewellery, and card making all get a look in. Some are tutorials and some are just wonderful eye candy - I hope you'll check them all out.

Linda's post got me looking through my own archives and I was surprised at how many heart-themed Friendly Plastic pieces of jewellery have appeared on my blog over the years. Take a look at some of the pieces I found.

You can find links to all the eye candy below:
Rainbow Hearts bracelet
A Change of Heart
Egyptian Lily
Heart of Mine
Dramatic Heart

Aqua Hearts and Queen of Hearts

'Til next time.....


Friday, February 8, 2013

Romantic Bunting

A few days ago I shared the monogrammed napkin rings for the engagement party and I'll have more table decorations for you in the next few days but today I'm turning my attention to decorating the party room.

To tie the bride and groom's favourite colours of red and blue together, we used hessian/burlap and a white lacy edging. Continuing with that theme, we created some bunting to be hung across the doorways and over the gift table. It's a quick, easy and very inexpensive decorating idea. The total cost for 4 lengths of bunting was under $5 and all we needed was hessian/burlap, a stencil, paper doilies and acrylic paint.



Using a template for the triangles makes it easy to get them all the same size and also helps you get the best economy from your hessian. I found it also helped me keep the weave of the fabric straight which will make the stencilling step much easier. Use a permanent marker to trace out one triangle for each letter or space that you will need.

Cut out the triangles trying not to fray the edges.
 

I've used an old Elmer's stencil kit I had tucked away in a drawer. These letters are 2" tall.

The bride-to-be was happy to lend a hand with this project and whilst she stencilled, I cut enough triangles for 3 more strings of bunting. We had a great production line going.

For the stencilling, we measured 4.5cm up from the bottom point and then placed the bottom of the stencil at that point. With a dry brush or sponge dipped into the paint, you just stipple the paint through the stencil onto the hessian. Stippling or pouncing the paint gives you a much clearer outline than dragging the paint across the stencil.

You don't need to saturate the hessian, just make sure that you have good coverage.

Once the paint was dried, I created a casing by folding the top over and stitching it down with the sewing machine.

Next I used the flower burst punch to create a continuous border along a sheet of white copy paper and attached it to the top of each triangle with Glue Arts Extreme Tac mounting squares. They were so quick to use and they stayed stuck even in the dreadful humid, rainy weather we had for the party.

In keeping with the theme, we strung the bunting on jute. For the spaces between the names we attached heart doilies for a touch of romantic red.


This is another idea that would work well as a Valentine's Day decoration. Just stencil your own special words (or names!) onto the hessian and string it up near your dining table to set the mood for your romantic evening.

'Til next time....



Tuesday, February 5, 2013

CHA - Bow Challenged? Not with these tools

Before I left for CHA, I promised to post about all the cool stuff I saw. I had a technical hitch whilst I was there and I wasn't able to get many photos from the show floor and since returning home I've been working long into the night to meet some upcoming deadlines. So, it has had to wait until now to tell you all about CHA.

There were a couple of cool tools for tying bows. The first one is the Bow-it-All from Zutter which was being demonstrated by it's inventor, Stacy Nicholas. I watched closely as she created a very full bow from a continuous length of ribbon by firstly wrapping the ribbon around the outside pegs of the tool and then the inside pegs, then the outside and then the inside again.

She had a nifty little technique for tying it off so that the bow never came undone which I didn't catch on camera but check out the video in the link below to see how it's done.


With this easy to use tool, she quickly created a beautiful 6 loop bow for me.
 
There are a lot of features to like about the Bow-it-All such as the fact that it has both metric and imperial measurements - a boon to those of us who are always left convert measurements from inches to centimetres - well done Zutter!

Another great little feature is that all the pegs are stored neatly inside the base and it has its own zippered storage pouch.Yes, it all stores flat so it is easy to transport to your next crop.

All in all it's a well thought out tool and a must for anyone who wants to make fancy bows. You can watch Stacy in action as she shows you how to make bows using the Bow-it-All on the Zutter website.

The second bow making tool I found is from Little Pink Ladybug and it has been around for a while but it ties all sorts of different bows. It's called the Brilliant Bow Maker Bow Making system and it uses a set of multiple sized templates to create each of the different bows that it makes.

This would make a great bow for a headband..... what little girly-girl wouldn't love to have one of these in her hair!

You can see more information on the different systems at Little Pink Ladybug.

I'll be posting more of the soon to be released products and things I found interesting at CHA in the coming weeks so stay tuned.

'Til next time....


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