Sunday, July 29, 2012

Crystal Bead Swirl Christmas Ornament

Can't get enough of Christmas in July?  Here's my take on making a cute Crystal Bead Swirl Christmas Ornament:

                                           You will need:
                             72 - 8mm faceted clear beads             
                             18 - 18mm global faceted clear beads
                               7 - silver metallic chenille cleaners
                                    wire cutters

  1.  Cut two(2), three inch pieces of pipe cleaner stem.  Twist tie six of the pipe cleaner stems together, approximately two inches from the top, wrapping the ends around.                           

 2.  Feed six,  8mm beads onto each of the six stems, then three, 18mm global beads, and six more, 8mm beads, for a total of fifteen beads on each stem.

                                            Do this for the remaining five stems.

 3.  Twist-tie the top stems together to form a loop.

4.  Once all the stems have been filled with beads, make sure they are evenly spaced and twist-tie (secure) all six stems at the bottom with another three inch piece pipe cleaner stem, wrapping it completely around them.

 Cut off all but a half inch of the stem ends, twisting them together.
5.  Holding the ornament securely at the top and bottom, twist the entire ornament.  It will hold in place.

                                        Love that swirl pattern!

The large crystal beaded ornaments reflect light. They're like glistening baubles!    
                                                               (please excuse the threads holding the ornament up)
    This was easy to make and turned out really great.                                                                                                                            
                              Have fun making your own and enjoy!



Friday, July 27, 2012

Christmas in July

I love Christmas in July! It gives me time to jump start my ideas on planning for the next Christmas. Yvonne over at StoneGable featured a wonderful week-long blog about Christmas in July. I find all of her blogs so inspiring. This year, she's giving everyone a chance to post their past blogs on creative ideas for Christmas. I didn't have a blog last year, but I did take photos of Christmas in my new home that's located in a +55 community.  I was very excited about decorating and making new items to display. 

I've always wanted to make a Christmas Topiary. I had fun doing this and may have gotten a bit carried away. I wrapped white garland w/lights around a large styrofoam ball and decorated it with different shades of gold ornaments. I then stuck a rather large cut-off tree branch into the ball and secure it in a planter. You can see how I decorated the planter with additional garland, ribbon and ornaments.  I also decorated a white wreath for the door.  Both the door wreath and topiary lit up at night.

The parlor is the first room you see after entering my home. This tree looked so pretty at night. Naturally, its done in different shades of purple.

I had fun gluing sequins and adding ribbons to styrofoam balls (the two in the center)   .    .     .
And of course I had to decorate my reindeer in purple . . . . .

Continuing with the purple
theme in the 
great room. . . .

I made ribbon trees out of purple and gold ribbon . . 

                                  I love the way they turned out!
Can you tell I like purple?


In the great room, I decorated a white tree with different sizes of teardrop purple ornaments.  It was so festive!         Hope you enjoyed this . . .

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sea Shells

"What Do You Do With Sea Shells?     .    .    . You glue them to a picture frame,  or a mirror on the wall.  A conch shell makes a door stop or a light within  the hall". This poem by Lola B. Minard  says it all.  

For "The Great Glitzy Craft-Off", I've made a tealight candle holder out of spoons and I've glued sea shells to a ceramic candle holder and next .   .  .
.   .    .   . I'm going to    .    .    .


Does this look familiar?  I put my left-over shells
in one of those bags that 
has onions in it you get from the grocery store.  What a beautiful orange color!!!

Sorry, I got off track!  

.  .  .  .  glue sea shells to the base of a food cover tent!!!!

It was pretty easy using my glue gun. Just glue and stick the shells around the base of the tent.

 The picture from Z Gallerie is very different from the usual food covering tent. It appears to be a deep tan or gold and is well made and very sturdy. The sea shells add a decorative effect  that's quite appealing.

 A few years ago the food tents were quite the novelty  .  .   . cheap and plentiful in the stores.  I think everyone bought one back then. I found mine packed away - among the things we don't use anymore.  I was happy to bring it back to life by adding the shells.

I've had more fun re-creating some of the Z Gallerie items and I hope you've had fun reading about it, too!!! A very special thanks to Lisbonlioness and Sunny, such FABULOUS BLOGGERS!!!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sea Shell Candle Holder

I am having so much fun trying to re-create some of the fabulous items pictured by Sunny from the Z Gallerie. You know that area when you walk into the front of Target that has the baskets of items usually three dollars and under?  Most of the time I just walk past thinking of what I need to be getting.  The other day something in my ear said "take a look at what's here!"  There, I found the cutest ceramic candle holders for just $2.50. A couple of black ones, lime green, yellow and off white.  A light bulb went off and I thought of the picture of the sea shell laden candle holder at the Z Gallerie.

Although the candle holder from Target appeared much smaller and not quite as detailed, I could definitely
 work with it.

 I found a couple of bags of pretty seashells at Michaels for $1.99 - plus I could use my coupon for 40% off.  Not a bad deal at all!!!

 The fun part was gluing the shells on with a glue gun. It was just like fitting the pieces of a "puzzle". Moving the shells around for the best coverage and appearance.

Do you like this angle?

                                            Or this one?

 I know the original holder is completely off-white, but I like to see the beautiful "markings and colors" of the sea shells and chose not to spray paint.  Besides, it's been raining all day  .   .   .   . a good excuse not to do it!

                                               I'm liking this!

Thanks Lisbonlioness and Sunny for allowing me to "play"!!!


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tealight Candle Holder

        I was excited to read about the "The Great Glitzy Craft-Off" or is it "The Great Glitzy Hack-Off" in a recent blog and decided to give it a try. I love Z Gallerie (although I've never been there). I often look at it online to see what interesting and fabulous things are available to wish for or dream about. I, too, have thought about re-creating some of the great finds. I've been inspired by "Flower Plaques" in hopes of making them one day .  .  . but that's another story.  Anyway, looking at the pictures posted, I knew I could re-create the black tealight candle holder. This looks very similar to the plastic spoon napkin rings I had made some time ago. Yes, I can do this!

To make the flower tealight candle holder I gathered: 
Black Spoons
Small Glass Jar Candle                                       
Needle Nose Pliers                                                          
Glue Gun
LED Tealight Candle
Filter Mask (if not in a
 well ventilated area)
  WARNING .   .   .   . Do this in a WELL VENTILATED area, or outside or wear a filter mask!                                            
To start, take a spoon by the handle and hold the bowl portion side down over the flame of the lighted candle. Not too close or it will blacken or create a hole. You will begin to see movement of the plastic.  Move the spoon around the heat of the flame.  This is how you can shape the spoon into a "petal" using the needle nose pliers or your fingertips. You can bend it up or back or let it flop.  Visualize how a flower might look or look at a picture of a rose. Have fun shaping the soften plastic.  If it gets too hot, move it away from the flame and let it cool.  Once you've gotten the desired shape for all of your petals, hold each end of the spoon and place the curve part of the handle over the flame and pull the handle away from the petal.  For a cleaner finish, the handle can be cut off.  Leaving portions of the handle on can increase the size of the overall flower. There are approximately sixteen petals on the Z Gallerie tealight holder. So you would need to do this for at least sixteen spoons.

To shape the flower, begin by taking 2 petals and holding the handle ends over the flame until they soften, pushing them together (side by side). While still warm, press together (flatten) using your fingertips or needle nose pliers.  Be careful doing this, the plastic can get very HOT!!!  Continue melting the ends of each petal (one by one) to the first two until you've put together all of the petals (approximately six or more) for your base of the candle holder - the first layer.  Stagger the next petals over the first layer by placing and pressing just the melted ends into the center of the first layer, one by one. This is the second layer.  Now that the actual flower is formed,  you'll need to make approximately 5 or 6 short petals to form an enclosure for the tealight.  Before making the actual petal enclosure, place the tealight on top of the flower to judge where to place the petals. ( Very Important) 

Using the tealight as a guide, insert the melted ends of the petal into the flower to form an enclosure for the tealight. After the enclosure is formed, make sure the tealight is level and can easily be removed.  For a cleaner look, I glued a flatten round petal at the the base of the petals where the tealight sits.

                         I don' t know why the color looks different in this picture.

      Well, what do you think?   I think I'm on to something .  .  .    .   .

A Shout-Out to Sunny at Life in Rehab and  Lisbonthelioness over at Three bed semi for allowing me to join in and have fun!