Friday, December 9, 2011

Add Life to a Garland or Tree with Fresh Flowers

I like to add a little life to my artificial stairway garland with fresh flowers.

In the past, I've done this by putting individual stems into water tubes and tucking them among the branches. This year I found some clear plastic balls at the craft store
and decided to use them to hold the flowers.

The balls hold much more water than a water tube (less maintenance)
and I love the way they glow when the garland is lit.

I was worried that the water would make the ornaments too heavy to just wire them as is to the branches (the metal caps tend to pull off very easily).
So I adapted them to be more secure.

I cut off the metal prongs.

I removed the cap, flattened some of the tongs so that I could slide it
into a hole punch and then punched a hole in the center.


I used E6000 to glue the cap back onto the ball and let it dry overnight.

I wrapped a wire around the neck of the ball.

I wired the ball to the stairway garland.

I used a turkey injector (without the needle) to fill the ball with water.

I inserted a couple of flower stems and then
surrounded it with some red glass balls for more color.

You could also use these fresh floral ball ornaments to liven up a Christmas tree!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Glass Ornament Vases

Everyone loves decorating with glass Christmas balls. They're fairly inexpensive, come in several colors and patterns, and have the perfect amount of Christmas bling!

Of course, they look great on the tree, but did you ever imagine
they could also make a pretty amazing vase!

Just remove the silver cap, fill with water and add your favorite flower. You will need to add some tiny pebbles or sand to weight the bottoms if you want them to stand alone.

They look pretty cool when grouped together to form a super easy centerpiece.

I filled several glass pieces - that I've picked up from thrift stores - with amber glass rocks. I added LED candles among the rocks of some of them. (Tip - put the candle in upside down so it will be easier to turn it on and off.) Add a flower adorned ornament vase
to each glass piece and your done! SUPER EASY!!

Sharing with:
Homemaker On A Dime: Creative Blogger's Party Hop, Craft-O-Maniac: Craft-O-Maniac Monday, The Shady Porch: Rock & Share, Ginger Snap Crafts: Wow Me Wednesday, Savvy Southern Style: Wow Us Wednesday, Under the Table and Dreaming: Sunday Showcase Party, Fireflies and Jellybeans: Show Off Your Stuff, I Gotta Create: Winter Wonderland, Funky Junk Interiors: Saturday Nite Special, Marvelously Mess: A Marvelous Mess

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cameo Appearance

As a long time admirer of the beauty and grace of vintage cameos, I was thrilled when I became the lucky recipient of several gorgeous and unique cameos that had belonged to my grandmothers and my mom. However, many of them were brooches and earrings which I rarely wear. When I set out to find a way to incorporate them into necklaces without compromising the integrity of the original cherished pieces,
I decided to replicate them using polymer clay.

Polymer clay comes in a vast array of colors, is inexpensive, and very easy to work with. The versatility of the clay allowed me to incorporate metal framework within and around the cameo that could be adorned with complimentary crystals, pearls, and charms.

I adore the look of my new collection of cameo jewelry but most importantly, I love the precious memories that come to mind when I wear a piece that was inspired
by a cameo worn by a loved one.

Do you have a family heirloom cameo that you'd like to turn into a necklace, or maybe even make as a gift for a sister, mom, or aunt to remind them of a loved one?

Visit my tutorial here to see how they are made. 

You can also find some of them featured in the Autumn 2010 issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry and in the Summer 2011 issue of Belle Armoire.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

a reason to be THANKFUL!

With Thanksgiving only a couple of days away I starting thinking about the things I'm thankful for. Of course, family was the first thing that popped into my head. But, what next? With the weather changing to cold, damp, and rainy, the answer was warm and cozy home to snuggle up in!

My house has not always been warm and cozy. It has been through a couple of addition/remodels. The last one being three years ago. We started with no particular deadline. That immediately changed once we learned we would be hosting our son's wedding in three months! Doing all the work ourselves (mostly Hubby), we didn't have much of a social life that summer.

Hubby demolished three walls opening up
the kitchen area and expanding the dining room.

Wow! Look at all those electrical wires...they all needed to be rerouted!
Luckily, my electrician works cheap!

The really cool step-up architectural feature that Hubby worked so hard to create over the dining room table during our previous addition/remodel project was now in the wrong place! So, after investigating the situation he went to work to fix that issue.

What a mess...cabinets were scattered where ever we could find a place to put them. The sliding glass door in the back ground had to be removed to make way for a stove and microwave. We found a home for it in our newly enlarged dining room.

My youngest son was still living at home and helped out with some of the heavy lifting.

There's Hubby cutting right on top of the counter...doesn't he know
we have a cutting board?

I did help...really! I was the clean up girl and there was always something to clean up. I also did all the plaster work and painting which was challenging at times. As you can see from the photos, I had to texture and paint in random areas here and there working around the mess.

Notice the hideously bright orange dining room wall? Hard to believe but that is
the start of a gorgeous, rich red finish that will have the look of leather.

 Once most the painting was done, Hubby started laying the new flooring.

This is what the place looked like two weeks before the wedding! I was beginning to feel a little panicked and questioned whether we could finish on time. With help from my very generous father-in-law, we were able to wrap it up the day before the wedding which gave me just enough time to whip out all the wedding flowers!

I wouldn't have chosen to take on a major remodel and a wedding at the same time
but you do what you have to do! And, I love the results!

The new kitchen sparkles with stainless steel and glass tiles.

I love this bar area for entertaining! Hubby - nicknamed the mixologist by one of our friends - never leaves this area during a party...he's the perfect bartender!

With much cutting and hammering, Hubby was able to create a beautiful storage area and focal point for the dining room reusing some of the old kitchen cabinets.
I sanded, primed and painted them a soft black to accent the red leather wall finish.

Now that all that hard work is just a fading memory, I'm grateful that I can
just grab a cup of coffee and sit back and relax in my warm and cozy home!

Hubby got his reward too!