Friday, 24 June 2011

2nd anniversary

Today is our 2nd wedding anniversary, although we have been together a lot longer than this. So this is just a short post to wish my wonderful husband and true love of my life, a 'happy anniversary'.

We thought it would be fun to hand make presents for each other every year based on the traditional gift guide, this year is cotton and my husband made this beautiful piece of thread art for me.

We had recently been talking about thread or string art, which used to be popular in the 1970's, as I used to do this as a little girl with my grandfather. It is a beautiful gift to be surprised with and has a heart in the middle.

This is what I made for him, it is a photo frame covered in cotton fabric, which I then sealed. The little flower is made from a circle out of a very old, falling apart dictionary. The definition of love. I have also put in a photo from our wedding.

I had to include a photograph of this, an origami crane and say 'yay I did it' Last year on our first wedding anniversary (which was paper), my husband wrote me the most beautifully romantic poem (on paper) and one of the things I tried to make for him was this origami crane. Unfortunately those of you who have known me that long will remember I could not get the crane right and was quite disappointed... so this year I was determined to get it right and finally managed it... better late than never isn't it?

Monday, 20 June 2011

Paper Quilled Sun

I thought I would have another go at paper quilling, this time a sun for the summer solstice. We have already made tea light lanterns for the garden, so this will hang in the window and hopefully catch the sun.

First, I shredded a sheet of yellow card as you can see above, the quilling tool was made by my husband and If you would like to make one yourself I will put a link at the end of this post.

I made lots of different sized circles very simply by rolling the strips of card around the quilling tool, loosening slightly and sticking the end down at the required size. Some circles are made with the full length A4 strip and some with half a strip. They were then fixed with a spot of glue into a circle of card to give the body of the sun.

Then I made these shapes to go around the outside, I made the circle in the same way, loosened to the desired size and pinched one side of the circle. This gives you this tear drop or flame shape. Do enough of these to totally go around your sun.

Stick them at random orientations around the outside like the photograph above to finish the sun shape. After this I sprayed just a touch of gold paint on to the sun, not enough to cover the yellow but just enough to give a gold glow in the sun.

 A piece of gold thread was added to the top so that it could be hung in the window and I wanted to add a bell or some glass beads to the bottom but I couldn't find any so sequins have been added to catch the sun.

Here it is in the window, not a very sunny day but hopefully this will look lovely with the sun shining on it.

The link to the post for making your own quilling tool is here.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Father's day frames

Just a quick post to wish my husband, the wonderful father of my children, a happy father's day. We usually give some homemade presents as well as bought ones on special occasions as the children love to make things. This year everything seems to keep creeping up on me so fast that I'm having trouble keeping up.

So this years craft is a very simple one, we saved a few jar lids from the tea light lanterns to use as frames and added magnets to the back of them. These automatically stick but if you want something more permanent, you could add a spot of hot glue. This leaves the inside of the jar lid for your photographs, we took some fun ones, printed them out and cut them to shape. Then just push into the lid, once added to the frames they can be stuck anywhere that a magnet will stick.

This photograph shows them on the refrigerator but they are ideal for my husband to stick up in his workshop. Last year we made large hand print posters with the messy little hand print poem on and my son painted a rock with the words 'dad rocks' on it you can find a picture here.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Tea light holders

It is coming up to the summer solstice / midsummer / Litha, it's celebrated on the 21st June and is the longest day of the year, so we thought we would make some Tea light holders from old, recycled jars to use in the garden. In the lovely summer evenings these lanterns look very pretty hanging from branches, and give the garden a magical touch.

This craft can very easily be done by children, but it does require that an adult first makes the handle from wire if the children are very small. The wire handles above were twisted by my husband and he has used various methods and wires to do this.

This one is the simplest one, the wire has been wound round the top of the jar, twisted together and then the handle has been looped through and bent up.

This one has had a loop incorporated into wire each side of the jar and then wound round and fastened off. The handle has then been added as shown above.

This handle on this jar has been made by twisting the thin copper wire salvaged from a coil in the back of an old computer power supply. So choose your method of fixing and type of wire and once this part has been done anyone can decorate the lanterns, even small children or they can be left plain.

The blue jar has been sprayed with glass paint to give it this wonderfully deep colour and it is quite possible to use stencils to get a design on the jar but we have chosen to add star shaped sequins. We call this one 'the starry night lantern'.

Next we tried to make a lantern look like it was surrounded by fireflies, some have been stuck on the jar and some have been suspended on wire to give the illusion that they are flying around the flame. So this is 'the firefly lantern'.

We decided to leave the little hexagonal jar plain as the light reflects nicely and the last jar was decorated with leaf skeletons as you can see below. The photograph enlarges if you click on it, in case you need a closer look.

The decorations are purely personal choice and you could really go to town with this and be as ornate as you like,my daughter was considering jewels. This is a lovely way to recycle jars and they make a nice touch to the garden.

This is the starry night lantern hanging in my willow tree in the grotto, looks lovely all lit up but my photographs after dark did not come out too well. If you are hanging the lanterns please be sure you do it safely, make sure they can't be knocked down and smashed, or that pieces of the tree will not catch fire.

The lanterns after dark look really quite beautiful and definitely add a touch of magic and a hint of romance.