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Thursday, December 18, 2014

How To Make Vintage Ornament "Sprigs"


Today I am going to show you how I made the ornament "springs" that I added to this basket of branches.   I love when something comes about totally without a plan, and this is what happened here.  I ordered the large branch sampler from Balsam Hill.   The branches were spread out on the floor in our front room.  It was Thanksgiving morning, and I needed to find somewhere to put them.  Knowing that the branches wouldn't easily fit back in the box I searched my brain for something I had around the house that they could be put in.   This vintage basket seemed like a great choice.  After lining the inside of the basket with Target dollar polka dot kraft wrap things were looking much tidier, and I had the start of something special.  Of course, you could also use fresh greens of your choice for this project too!

Here we are in the beginning.  Basket ready.  Looks great, but soon after I felt like it needed a little something.  That is when I remembered  a project where something not working turned into something I thought was really neat.  My sprigs were really a paper tree fail.  I think I had tried to assemble one starting at the top to see how that would go.  It didn't go well.  I took apart what I had started, but the glue from attaching the ornament stuck to the first square of paper.  Hmmm...  I liked it!

I decided to make a bunch of sprigs to add to my branches.  This is what you will need.
Very small vintage ornaments
old dictionary pages cut into squares
(1 had 2 sizes of ornaments so I cut the papers in 1" squares and 1 1/2" squares)
12" bamboo skewers (mine are by everyday living 100ct. - don't use the super skinny skewers - too frail - I think World market has the heftier ones - and maybe a cooking store)
Elmer's school glue

Remove the hangers from the ornaments.

Holding a skewer in your hand poke the pointed end through the middle of a paper square.

After the skewer is through the paper you can either take the paper off the skewer and flip it over so that the ragged side of the paper isn't facing up or you can just leave it.  It is not something you will ever see anyway.

Dab a bit of glue on the end of your skewer.  You can also dab it in the end of the ornament.  It is also good to actually take the glue on the skewer, and push it down a little more with the end of your glue cap just so more of the skewer is covered.  That way the ornament will stick better.

Pop the ornament on top.  Wipe off excess glue with your finger, or also if it's just a little you can leave it.  The paper needs to stick to it, and it dries clear.

In no time you will have made a whole bunch of adorable sprigs to use as you please.  They even look cute in a vase all by themselves.  I have also tucked them into my pinwheel bouquets.

Just a few more photo's to leave you with.  

Basket - vintage vegetable
  Silver Orb - Home Goods
  White sweater vase - Jo-Ann Fabrics
  Branches - Balsam Hill.  

Monday, December 8, 2014

My Holiday House

This year I am happily sharing my home in Jen Rizzo's Holiday House Walk.   There have been so many beautiful homes decorated for this season.  I'm looking through them at my own pace so I don't just speed through.  Plus, I figure it's like eating your favorite piece of chocolate or meal - go slowly so you can enjoy it longer!  Christmas seems like the best time to deliberately slow down and enjoy the big and little things in life.  

Decorating for Christmas is my favorite.   I remember when I was little I would lay under our tree and look up through the branches at the colored lights.  Making our house into a peaceful place filled with the tree's, shiny ornaments, and lights brings me right back to that carefree feeling of calm and happiness.

I think I will start my tour with our front room.  This is a cozy little space.  There is my dog Guinness.  She can't seem to get enough of this room.  I keep finding her lounging in here at night when just the tree is lit.  Our tree in this room is very cheerful and colorful.  It is my boy's tree.  We started out collecting transportation ornaments, but after so many years there were beginning to be too many.  Last year I switched to  the quirky animal ornaments that Anthropologie carries.  My teen boys even like them - they think they are funny.  I hope Anthro keeps adding more. 

This is our "tie" chair.  There are usually more adding fun color, but they are getting cleaned at the moment.  J and N have to wear ties to school here and there so keeping them out, and on the chair is not only convenient, but we can enjoy them.

 I found the chair at an estate sale.  It already had this blue upholstery so I just painted over the wood to give it a new look.

I made the yarn garland.

This bag is from Old Navy last year.  It is simple and it makes me smile.

Sound asleep.  I'm not thinking that looks too comfortable!

Now lets go to the dining room.

It's a little fancy and a little casual this year.

Bottle brush trees mixed with paper and glitter trees I made.  I love creating things, and am going to glitter up some more cones to add to the table.

I made the chalkboard tag place markers using a little gift bag, a chalkboard sticker, and torn fabric strips.  The names erase easily so you can use them again and again.

Over the past year I have become addicted to rolls of paper down the center of my tables.  It all started when my friend gave me a roll of the Cake paper for my birthday a year and a half ago.  Now I find my papers at Home Goods and Target.  Pretty much always $1 to $3 a roll.

A view of the dining room to the front room.

Next up - the foyer.  When you are looking the picture above it would be on the left.

The greens and vintage ornament decorations are new this year.  Tutorial coming in my next post.

I made the J and N pictures years ago for Josh and Noah.

Now we will go to the back of the house to the kitchen table.

Random items on a big breadboard I found in the Anthro clearance room a couple of Summer's ago.

This tree is decorated with pom-pom's, white pinecones, silver glittered snowflakes, soft animal ornaments, and random ribbon.  I had everything except the animals ornaments which I found at Target this year.

My tree holder is a old galvanized mop bucket found at a garage sale for $5.  I added wide burlap ribbon and a burlap flower to dress it up.

I guess you can tell I like white, but like to add color.

To the right of this room is our great room.  Our first level is one big circle.

This is where we spend lots of time, and where we watch TV together.

LOVE the Thoughts From Alice hand drawn village.  It's my favorite new addition this year!

I made J and N their stockings when they were babies.

Yarn ball garland - I am inspired by Jeanne Oliver's garland that has many different layers so I'm planning to add a little something - something to this.

Our tree in this room is a collection of hand stitched Santa's, crystal, ornaments from my childhood, and glass bulbs collected over the last 20 years.  I like to buy smaller ornaments for this tree.  With the Santa's not reflecting light the glass ornaments are really needed to add shine and sparkle.  The garland is made from book pages and seam binding that I sewed together.

My grandma made this little tree, and I have to figure out how she did it.  I love it!

I wish I could find more of this "gingerbread cookie" ornament.  It is heavy and it looks absolutely real.

Santa and his sleigh is another favorite ornament - this was on my tree growing up.

Cozy again, but looking comfortable.

My real tree branches are not the sturdiest so some of my ornaments just find themselves lying about.  These are from the early seventies.  Also a childhood  ornament - now I'm dating myself.

A work in progress.  Knitting chain garland too!

So, that is our great room.

Lastly, Noah hard at work in his lair.  I think this is his favorite spot in the house.  He watches his sports, plays Xbox, and does homework down here.  I have to take more photo's of this space.

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit my house.  If you would like to see more photo's from Christmas past I have a label bar at the side of my blog.  Just click Christmas, and you will see more ideas!

Thank you to Jen Rizzo for putting on such a lovely group of Holiday Homes, and giving everyone the opportunity to participate.

Merry Christmas!

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