Tuesday, 8 December 2015

A Bit Of British Styling On My Sideboard

Clara Jane and I have been decking the halls for Christmas.

The first area we tackled was the sideboard in the family room.~

The sideboard is a William IV piece from Britain so I went for an English country look. Or, what I imagine an English country look is. I've never actually been there, but I think I've seen enough BBC costume dramas to fake it.  You Brits reading this will have to let me know how close I am.

I started with a garland of cinnamon sticks, apples, twigs and greenery; fake, of course. ~

The ceiling slopes down on this side of the room until it is only 7 1/2 feet tall. To give the illusion of height, I pulled the garland up to where the ceiling meets the wall and added a large, red bow. It's a decorator's trick that we often use when hanging draperies to give a window more presence.

I'm minding two little girls, one and two years old, every Monday for a few weeks and will have my own one-year-old grandson here over the holidays, so all decorations have to be well back out of reach on the sideboard.

Clara Jane is helping weave a string of beads through the pierced compote dish. ~

The pedestal bowl dates from the mid-1800's. I picked it up for next to nothing because clear glass never sells well in antique stores. Because this one has a pierced edge to the bowl it always dresses up nicely with some ribbon or beads wound through it.

Some shiny apples and a pomegranate give an old time Christmasy touch. My dad and I always shared a pomegranate at Christmas. No one else in the family liked them and it's always nice when you are one of six kids to have something special you share with a parent. Dad isn't with me anymore, but I keep the tradition up.

The bowl shares space on a vintage, silver edged tray with a green depression glass dish of sugared nuts and a candle kept contained and far back from little fingers. ~

A little tree I covered with buttons from my Grandma's button box and a wooden Santa carved by my brother in law stand in front of a triple mirror. ~

On the opposite end of the sideboard is a darling wooden soldier painted by a friend, a vintage book bundle tied with lace and a pinecone and the letters JOY that I dressed up with gold foil. ~

All done but for the sconce chimneys drying out after a wash! ~

I have to show you one more photo. That's tiny Maeve guarding the tissue paper. I'm thrilled that her fur has grown back in and she's feeling well and playful after two months on the homemade cat food. I honestly thought I was going to lose that girl and it's Christmas present enough for me to have her on her way to wellness!

Friday, 4 December 2015

My Music Christmas Tree!

I can never resist vintage music books when I find them in flea markets and thrift stores. The artwork on the covers, the aged pages with music notes dancing merrily across them and the thought of people gathering around to hear someone play these songs draws me in every time.

This Christmas I was determined to use some of those books to make one of the wreaths or trees made entirely of sheet music that I've been admiring on blogs and Pinterest the last couple of years.

I won't say this was a quick craft. Thank heavens I settled on covering a 10" styrofoam cone and not an entire wreath! ~

The process is simple, but it does take a few practice shots to get the roses shaped nicely.

My music pages were 12" X 10" each and I cut them into four sections. I stacked the four sections so I could cut them all at once and rounded the corners to make the rough shape of a circle. Then, I cut a spiral into each circle. ~

Be sure to leave a round piece at the end of the spiral. You will need it to push a pin through when you assemble your tree. ~

From the opposite end from the round piece, begin rolling the spiral tightly until you have wound all the way to the centre. give it a pinch with your fingers at the bottom and release the paper. It will begin to unfurl into a rose shape.

Stick a pearl topped straight pin through the centre of the rose and make sure it has gone through the centre of the round piece that is now covering the bottom of your rose. ~

Stick the pin into your styrofoam tree.  I added a dab of hot glue to my roses to make sure they stayed put, what with grandkids and cats that are sure to be touching them. ~

If you are as lucky as I am you will have a supervisor for the assembly process. I feel I should put an 'inspected by Clara Jane' label on my tree. ~

Keep on cutting and rolling, pinning and gluing for the next four days until you have the whole form covered. I cut the sheets into smaller sections to decrease the size of the roses as I moved toward the narrow end of the cone. At this point I'd stabbed myself with the pins and burned my self so many times with the glue gun that I was seriously considering handing the whole project over to Clara Jane to finish! Instead, I roped my friend Wendy into rolling some of the roses.

You won't need to finish the bottom of the styrofoam form unless you are attaching it to a base that raises it up. I was putting mine on a hand turned wooden base that I had in my stash and some of the white styrofoam on the bottom showed, so I added a bit of fringed trim to cover that up.

That brought the whole decoration up to 19" tall and makes a showy piece for my Christmas decor.

There are lots of musicians, professional and amateur in my family and I'm hoping they love this ode to music as much as I do! ~

I'm sharing this with:

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Sign, Sign - Everywhere A (Christmas) Sign!

It's been a Christmas craft marathon here for the last two weeks. A month ago I said I'd have a booth at the craft bazaar in the neighbouring, small town.  I've no idea what possessed me to agree to such a thing except that it was the first one for the organizers and they didn't have enough people participating.

The fact that I didn't have any crafts made for such an event should have told me this was a bad idea! As fate would have it, I was very busy with work leading up to the bazaar and it all had to be done in about 12 days.

When all else fails, paint signs!

My sister was getting rid of a sign that she had purchased at a thrift store, intending to paint it over to her own taste. That got a coat of white paint. I traced the lettering on a stencil to make painting a little faster than doing it freehand. I chose a rusty red colored exterior paint so this sign can be hung outdoors.

What to paint the next one on? Aha, I had some new, wood shelf boards that I picked up at a thrift store for $1 each. A friend cut two grooves in the boards and I drilled holes for a wire hanger.

I really liked the idea of a countdown to Christmas sign. A cedar closet freshener already had the hook attached and 3 coats of chalkboard paint was all it took. It is easily removable to write on.

This one is done with green lettering shadowed with bright red. ~

The third sign was the most fun for me to make. My sister wanted an 'Oh Deer' sign.  I couldn't seem to find just the right sort of deer image for such a cheeky sign until I came across an elf and deer picture my granddaughter had drawn for me.

Love the funky take on it! I scanned the picture and sent it to Picmonkey to invert and turn to black and white. Once that was done, I printed it out, and trimmed it as close to the image as I could ~

I painted a coat of Modpodge on the ink side of the design.  Then you position the picture, glue side down, on the board and smooth out any bubbles. Leave overnight and in the morning, dampen the paper with a sponge and slowly begin rubbing the paper off until the image appears more black than grey.

Here she is all done! ~

There's still lots of time to paint whatever sign grabs your fancy.

For the most fun of all, immortalize your tiny tot's artwork on a Christmas decoration to bring out year after year!

I'm sharing this with: