Showing posts with label Crafts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Crafts. Show all posts

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Aluminum Foil Birds

We made these cute little birds in art class last week.  They were made out of foil lasagna pans from the dollar store.   I found the pictures I wanted to use in bird books which I traced using tracing paper.  Then I put the tracing paper on top of the foil and went over the lines with a pencil leaving little indents in the foil.  Then before cutting them out, I added the pin-prick detail by tapping a darning needle with a little hammer making a series of little holes to outline the wings and beak and outside edge.  Then I cut them out using scissors (no fancy tools needed) and attached them to twigs and raffia. Can you see them on the mantel - they are kind of hard to see, but I like the subtle detail.

The other change I made to the mantel was that I had to replace the carnations as they finally died.  I bought a poinsettia from the grocery store and cut the branches and put them in the tray.  They looked great ... until we put the fire on in the fireplace.  The leaves were not too impressed with the heat and now most of them are wilted.  I need to find some faux branches or possibly snip some evergreen from the tree in the front garden.

It did this all weekend and now we have loads of snow and everything looks very Christmassy.

And finally I wanted to show you this photo that my daughter Kate sent to me that she took of the harbour in Halifax (can you see the lighthouse over on the left).  The air was so much colder than the ocean that it produced this magical effect.  She's almost finished her last essay and will be heading home this week and will be here on Wednesday.  Yay!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Christmas Craft Party

I had my second annual Christmas craft party this past weekend. It was a lot of fun to hang out with my friends from the art class, to make some Christmas crafts, and to eat delicious food.

Everyone brings something to nibble on which makes things much easier.  I baked brownies, cut up some veggies, and whipped up some of Sarah Richardson's Spiced Nuts (recipe from this post).  They are delicious, although they burn easily so watch your timing on them and I only put half the amount of cayenne in because I'm a spice-wimp.

Sarah Richardson's Spiced Nuts

The bag was opened and then the bottom was rolled in under itself to hold the chips up near the top - clever, eh!

This year we made four different crafts at three different stations.  I had them set up so people could just move between the tables whenever they were ready to.  

You can see the three stations in the dining room and family room below - thank goodness for open concept homes at a time like this.

Here's the low down on what we made:

1) Twig Stars 

They were simple to make and looked so pretty all lined up along our bench at the end of the evening (why is it that Juno photo-bombed every single photo I took of our finished stars).

Here's what you need to make twig stars:
  • twigs - I used some dogwood branches that I clipped from our bush in the backyard
  • glue guns
  • clippers 
  • different sized star templates
  • ribbon, twine, and berries to decorate the stars

2) Glass Ornaments and
3) Glass Tea Light Holders
These two were at the same table because they took many of the same materials. Everyone got really creative here and there was a lot of variety in how the ornaments and tea light holders were decorated.

Here's what you need to make these:
  • glass ornaments
  • glass tea light holders
  • glue
  • paint
  • glitter
  • paint pens
  • small containers to put the glitter, paint, or glue into
  • small funnel for pouring the glitter into the ornaments
  • paint brushes

and this is how pretty the table covering looked after the party 

4) Orange Carving
We actually did this last year, but almost everyone's oranges went mouldy except mine.  I put mine on the floor heat vent for two weeks and they dried out perfectly.  You can see the ones I made last year all dried out and displayed on my mantel this year, in the photo below.

Orange carving requires the following:
  • oranges
  • a carving set - the kind for carving linoleum
  • a bowl to catch the carved orange peel

Not everyone in the class lives in a home with floor heat vents so I'm drying mine and a few other people's.  And now my family room heat vents look like this and the whole main floor smells like oranges.

You can see what crafts we made last year in this post (and one of my favourites in the first photo of this post)  Have you ever been to a craft party? We had ours extra early this year to accommodate everyone's schedule - which means, apart from the tree, the house is decorated for Christmas. Wahoo!

Linked to DIY Christmas at It's Overflowing

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fall DIY Table Runner

The other day I showed you the fall runner I made in art class.  It was so much fun to make that I wanted to show you how we did it. Our runners were a group project and now I have a memento of all the pretty leaves made by my friends.

I went to art class a little early this week so I could take some pictures of the materials we used to make the runners.  The process was very simple and didn't involve too many specialized tools.

You need the following:
1. A high-density rubber block in the size you want to make your design
2. Carving tools
3. A glass picture frame (the type without a frame) that we used to roll our paint on
4. Roller (although technically you could apply the paint to the glass with a paintbrush

We looked up leaf shapes in some tree and shrub books (well I did anyway because I'm a bit of a botany nut and wanted to make a real leaf shape).  First we sketched the leaf on some waxed paper and then transferred that to the rubber block.  Then we carved the leaf.  The only tricky part is that you have to consider that the ink will only be on the raised portions and you cut away the part that won't have any ink showing.  

Once our leaves were carved we rolled acrylic paint onto the glass - sometimes using more than one colour - and pressed our rubber leaf stamp into the paint.  It was so exciting to see the stamp with ink on it for the first time.  Then we stamped everyone's leaves on each other's runners so we had a complete forest of leaves.  You have to make sure to apply enough ink, but not too much, so that all the details show up.  You also need to press evenly across the stamp when you apply it to the fabric.  We didn't mind if they weren't perfect though, as real fall leaves aren't perfect.

(I made the maple leaf at the top and the oak leaf at the bottom) 

Before stamping on the runner fabric I practiced on a piece of paper which I proudly hung on our fridge (like I'm in kindergarten all over again).

We're going to make another runner soon in a Christmas design because we all enjoyed making them so much. They really aren't difficult and would make great gifts for friends and family.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

An Easy Craft and Summer Updates

I've finally caught up on posting reviews of my summer reading and need to finish some more books before I can do any more.  I'm pretty proud of myself to have read four books so far.  Yay me!

I wanted to share a couple of things with you.

My daughter and her cousin had a craft session, but were only able to find crayons and paper to use so they got creative and made these treasures.  

This one started with crayons arranged randomly across the top of the page

and ended like this.

The other one started with the crayons taped along one side

and ended like this.

It was a lot of fun, but definitely not a craft for younger children as the wax was messy and the blow dryer hot.  The finished products are now proudly framed at the cottage.

We spent a few days at our family Georgian Bay cottage and we had a little bit of every kind of weather in those three days - a rain storm, clouds, sun, and a beautiful sunset. I hope to pull 
together a post next week to show you the flower display we had. In the meantime here's a few of the amazing skies.

I hope you are enjoying summer. I haven't had much time to blog this year as there isn't any internet at the cottage and I've been busy, but I'll be back visiting everyone soon and I have several posts I need to write up. 

I love summer and it makes me sad that there are only a few weeks left (sniff, sniff).

Monday, February 25, 2013

Button Easter Egg

Has spring/Easter fever hit you yet?  I finally caught the bug this past weekend. The mantel and sideboard still had remnants of faux snow balls and pinecones and Valentine's day items hanging around so it was time to change things up. 

I decided I needed to whip up something new for Easter this year - I guess you could say that crafting fever hit at the same time as spring fever.  I checked out Pinterest for inspiration and after considering many different projects I finally settled on making this button Easter egg (made by Kyla from Funky Polkadot Giraffe and posted on Craftaholics Anonymous in a guest post).

The funny thing was that upon closer inspection of the inspiration button egg, I realized that it was a printable Easter egg and no real buttons were involved in making it.  I must confess that real buttons were harmed in the making of my Easter egg - yes sir, I glued their little plastic backsides to the wall (well cardboard anyway).   

I bet you have a little collection of buttons like I do - you know those extra ones that come attached to shirts and jackets in case you need a replacement.  Well over the years my little box has become well stocked.  I rarely use the spare buttons so I thought they might like to come out and play.  You can tell I've had some of the buttons for years because if you look closely one of the buttons I used is an Oshkosh button.  I don't know what kids wear these days, but I remember the cutest overalls made by Oshkosh when our kiddos were young. (wistful sigh)

To make the egg I drew a template and then arranged the buttons on it so I could play with the layout before committing. When I was happy with the arrangement I drew a faint outline of the egg onto the blue cardboard and then spread tacky glue onto the area and transferred the buttons over.  Tacky glue dries quickly, but leaves enough time for a bit of sliding around to make everything fit. I put a few books on top while it dried to help prevent the cardboard from warping.

I chose the rich blue cardboard because I wanted to highlight the gorgeous royal blue door in a photograph that my friend Kat gave to me.  The photo was taken in Strasbourg France and is one of those ancient doors that you only seem to find in Europe.  I fell in love with the rich royal blue colour and decided to decorate the entire mantel around it.  

By the way I must tell you about Kat - if you don't already know her that is. She's an incredibly talented photographer and has recently opened a shop to sell her pictures.  She takes beautiful nature shots, including many bird photos and landscape photos, as well as pictures from her travels like her recent trips to France and Germany.  You can see more of her works (and order your own gorgeous blue French door photograph) at her website Low Tide High Style.  I would encourage you to pop on over and have a look - you won't be disappointed.

You can see in the picture below how the photos are framed. They come to you from Kat's shop already stretched around a frame so you can hang them up as they are or just stand them on a mantel or dresser leaning against the wall.  

As I was changing things up on the mantel I realized I needed some dyed eggs in rich blue colours to tie the whole springtastic display together.  So I did what any sensible person would do - I hard-boiled a few eggs and dyed them several different shades of blue (along with dying my fingers blue)


I brought in a few other blue items to help carry the colour across the mantel. 

And I added some rustic/natural elements like the wooden candlestick (seen above), my son's mead bottle, the little clay bowl that I was given in Bangladesh, and some forsythia twigs that I am forcing (in the photo below).

And there you have it - a true blue Easter mantel!

I'm joining up with the Pinterest Challenge that is happening at the following blogs:

I'm guessing there will be a whole lot of pinning, a whole lot of inspiration, and a whole lot of fun at these blogs starting on Wednesday, February 27th.  

Pin It

Also linked to Tweak it Tuesday at Cozy Little House,
Budget Decorating Party at Creative Cain Cabin,
Tutorials and Tips Link Party at Home Stories A to Z,
Totally Tuesday at Madcap Frenzy,
WOW Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style,
Spring Mantel: Countdown to Spring Party at Domestically Speaking