Saturday, May 31, 2014

Glitter and Light

Jeanne and I got together one day to create this month's challenge project. I rummaged around in my closets and found a small vase that I didn't use very often and a pair of votive candle holders ... one had a chip in the glass and the other had an partially used candle stuck in tight. I cleaned them up and took them to my studio.

I wasn't feeling very inspired, so it took a while to get started. I finally pulled down my box of lace and started auditioning various laces on the candle holders. I settled on this simple double-sided flat cotton lace. Cut to length, I simply hot glued it in place.

Then I turned to the glass vase. I decided to cover the bottom of the vase with Mod Podge and glitter. Then I found some gold-beaded, white cording to wrap the center of the vase, covering the transition from the glitter to the clear glass. The gold beads on the cording inspired me to dig out my beads. I found some gold beads the same size as those on the cording, and hot glued them to the lace flower centers on the candle holders.

Last tulip of the season

A matched set!

They make for a nice moody setting.


The candle holders were inspired by some I saw on Pinterest,
originally pinned from Martha Stewart Weddings

Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Family of Vases: 3 Dot Techniques

 I completed this month's project over Skype with Mom and Jeanne. As you'll see in their posts, they had complex projects with beautiful results. I felt silly because I chose a few very simple projects, but I love how they turned out anyway.

First: I applied washi tape in gold polka dots around a tall, square vase.

Second: I used a stencil and a silver metallic Sharpie to make a design on a tiny vase.

Third: I used my favorite ribbon to tie a bow around the lip of a mason jar.

I think they look pretty handsome as a family!

Friday, May 23, 2014

May Challenge - Candle Holder or Vase

Well, it's the 23rd of May. Think it's time for the May Challenge?
Better late than never!

This month, make and/or decorate a vase or a candle holder.

Your choice. Often the two are interchangeable. I can easily imagine a beaded candle holder.

I can also imagine a lace-covered vase.

And a series of either is high on the "Way Too Cute" scale.

Ready? Set. Go!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Pretty in Pink

Meet our guest artist, Mary Elizabeth. She I have been friends since high school - 40 years! We reconnected via Facebook and now "talk" with each other nearly every day. Mary Elizabeth is the most talented scrapbook artist I know. She asked to join the April Artist Trading Card challenge.

She used lovely scrapbook paper, a ticket, ribbon, a brad and other little doo-dads.

Mary Elizabeth said her mom loved pigs, so she included a cute little piggy.

I loved the pinked edge. The entire card is Pretty in Pink.

Art by Mary Elizabeth Tait.
Posted by ...

Sunday, May 4, 2014

2014 Family Ornaments

In the week between Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve last year, Jodie and I had some fun coming up with the 2014 monthly challenges for AuralArtists and doing some crafting in my Studio. Since we were still in the Christmas Spirit at the time, we decided to make the family ornaments for this year. We found an idea on Pinterest that we liked, so bought some supplies and set to work.

We started by giving the styrofoam balls an undercoat of paint. 

We poked some holes in a shoe box with bbq skewers, and poked the balls on the other end. That made for a pretty good drying rack.

Then we took some time to separate the various shades of sequins, metallic confetti, and pin heads into separate piles.

The actual job of pinning the sequins to the balls is easy enough, but gosh, does it hurt your fingers after a while! I finally pulled out some leather thimble pads that I use when stitching. That helped ease the finger pain and made the job go much more quickly. You can see the pad on Jodie's thumb.

We made six distinct ornaments. Blue flowers for Jeanne.

Red with white polka dots for Jodie.

Silver and blue snowflakes for Dale.

Pink and purple flowers for Margaret.

Gold snowflakes and red flowers for Julie - the colors of Gryffindor! 

And a colorful spiral for Jodie's boyfriend Ken.

We finished them up with a coordinating ribbon loop and matching bow. Oh, how they sparkle and shine!




Inspiration from Tiny White Daisies:

Friday, May 2, 2014

Fabric Flowers

I saw an ad on a craft website that offered a class in how to make fabric flowers. So I started poking around YouTube and found some tutorials. Jodie and I gave them a try when she was home after Christmas. It's taken a while to post this because there are quite a lot of steps! So now, I present to you, this AuralArtists Extra.

You begin with squares of fabric and matching thread. We were making 6-petal flowers, so had 6 squares. The size of square you begin with will determine the final size of your flower. We made flowers in two sizes.

Fold in half, point to point. Finger press.

Fold the right point to the top point. Finger press.

Fold the left point to the top point. Finger press.

Turn the folded fabric over, keeping those folds vertical on the back side. The raw edges will be toward the top; the folded edges toward the bottom.

Fold the two side points into the middle. Finger press. 

Fold the two sides together like a taco, making sure those two point in the center stay lined up.  Hold it in place by putting a pin through all layers, making sure to catch those two points with the pin. Repeat for all six squares.

Turn the pinned piece over. You should have three folds. Place the fabric in front of you with the folded point down and raw edges up. Using a thin, long needle and a long piece of doubled thread, pierce the fabric in the center so that all the folded layers are held in place with the needle. It's important to hold those points that are folded into the center of the fabric with this step.

Line up all the fabric squares on your needle. You may need a thimble to help you push the needle through all that fabric. (It seems I inverted the stack and am showing the raw edges at the bottom).

Now with some sharp fabric shears, cut off the points on the raw edge of the fabric. Make sure the pieces on the needle are even.

It makes a bit of a mess trying to hold everything in place while you're snipping off the ends of the fabric and they go flying.

Pull the needle on through all layers of the fabric. 

This next step gets a little tricky. Tie the two ends of the thread into a square knot or surgeon's knot, keeping the loop around the end of the fabric a little bit loose. You need to leave enough room to manipulate the petals into place.

It can get pretty wonky as you even out the spacing of the petals around the thread loop.

You may need to trim the raw edges of the petals a little more to make all those raw edges line up in the center.

Once they are in place, start unfolding the petals. This is where the magic happens. You simply play with the petals until they look good to you. It takes a bit of time. Once the petals look the way you want them to, put a few stitches through them on the back of the flower to hold them all in place.

The back of the flower should look something like this. If it's a little messy, that's OK.

Cut a circle of felt in a similar color to your flower. It needs to be large enough to cover the messy center, but small enough that it stays behind the majority of the petals folds so that it doesn't show on the front of the flower.

Glue it in place. We used white glue that dries clear. This would be a good place to use fabric glue, if you have it.

Make your flower tidy and glue the felt dot in place.

Picking centers for your flowers is fun! There are just so many possibilities! We got into my stash of vintage buttons and into my bead stash. We played with size and color and stacking buttons until we found some combinations we liked. You can even use old jewelry or a single earring for the flower centers. The flower center needs to be large enough to cover up any raw edges that still show on the front of the flower. Sew or glue the centers to your flowers. Again, use a glue that will dry clear.

For the two large flowers, we used vintage buttons. I like that crystal center. It adds lots of sparkle.

On the two smaller flowers we used buttons and beads. The polka dot flower has a button center with a circlet of pearl beads surrounding it. And here, you see our hearts and polka dots that makes this an official AuralArtist Extra!

We made our fabric flowers with cotton fabric. But there are some absolutely gorgeous flowers made from silk and satin. I imagine they would be fairly tricky with the slicker fabrics. These flowers are a lot of fun to make. They can be used as hair accessories or broaches or in the place of bows on wrapped gifts. There's a very good chance I'll make more of these in the future.