Sunday, 1 December 2013

Framed Green Bauble Wreath

Recently I saw a beautiful Christmas wreath made using baubles and an empty picture frame. So in the spirit of recycling I used a discarded picture frame which I had previously cut the canvas away for a denim jacket refashion. The frame had nice cream and green tonings so I decided to match this with green baubles. To get a tidy finish I wrapped the loose dangling wires with jewellers wire. This also helped hold the baubles in a pleasing configuration.
So here is the canvas as a finished jacket refashion. The canvas has been washed to give it an aged look. Hmmm but what to do with the picture frame. As this point I just hung onto it until a project came in mind.
Here is the frame with the remaining canvas. The first think I do is cut away the silver hanging wire as it is wrongly placed for this project.

The wire is now cut away. Next step is to select baubles the will match the green in the frame.

This is the tricky, tedious bit. I use green wire the hang the baubles, that was the easy part. To get a neat finish you will need to wrap the wires together and this will take a little bit of time. This will also help keep your baubles in place. For example I wanted the sparkly baubles to be prominent so I needed to adjust the placing and ensure that the wire held them there.

Finished result. Simple, serene and clean. This  framed Christmas wreath cost next to nothing.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Ollie's Magical Retro Christmas Wreath

For the past couple of weeks I have been working on a special Christmas wreath. I had recently fallen in love with some Christmas wreaths I had seen on Pinterest made from retro Christmas decorations. They evoked childhood memories of kitsch decorations hanging off green tin foil trees. You had to be ultra careful with the tin foil tree as it had the capacity of ripping your hands to shreds. Back in the day safety in relation to kids really didn't exist.Anyway, I wanted a Christmas wreath this year that would resonate with both adults and children. This wreath cost next to nothing and yet is so visually rich. I have dedicated this upcycled project to little Ollie who is so in love with this Christmas wreath he has asked me to help him make one of his own.
Old tired Christmas Wreath from Savers. Now most people would use a hot glue gun for these types of projects. I prefer to use a fine jeweller's wire.

Getting a little bit excited about these old retro Christmas decorations. I need to add to this stash so I have hit the thrift stores and built my collection for this project.

So I start with these retro decorations.

And add them to this rejected wreath. I tried to save the sad molting bird....but it was beyond dead. Hmmm the pine cones are a bit damaged and dusty too.

Gold sparkle glue fixes everything. Pine cones look refreshed. Now here comes the two week part of this project......weaving the decorations tightly through the wreath with with jeweller's wire until it is totally covered.

Hanging on our boring old door,but it is looking mighty fine. It makes our door look less boring which is a bonus. Normally I wait until the 1st December to put a wreath out, but I am so pumped by this one that I have put it out early. The little gold hanging chain has been reclaimed from a cheap nasty thrifted tee.

So much to look at. The oldest decoration is a long red sphere shaped glass decoration on the left centre. This dates back to the early 1960's and is very brittle. 

Ollie's Magical Retro Christmas Tree.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

"Petites Etiquettes De Cadeau" or Small Gift Tags

Turn a retro 1970's French children's cookbook into beautiful individual gift tags with a vintage music score and a bit of glue. This is an easy project and ideal for Christmas. To get a nice finish use scrap booking scissors to cut your circles. I also used a big roll of tape as my circle cutting template.
So I started with The French Chef Cookbook, but any retro children's book will do. 

The illustrations are divine.
Lalalalaaaaaa......this musical book dates back to the 1920's

This little miss is my favourite. 

Individual and sweet gift tags ready to be used with twine tied in a bow.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

"Christmas Cometh Before You Knoweth" Snow Dome.

Oh nooooo it is only two months before Christmas. Hmmm it sounds like ages away however "Christmas Cometh Before You Knoweth" so it is time for me to start thinking Christmas flourishes. I run away the week before Christmas and head down to the coast as I like to escape the crazy commercialism that has become Christmas. I hate the voracious shopping frenzy to buy meaningless gifts that make big business rich and us poorer through our insecurities about the meaning of Christmas. Instead I plan ahead and start to think of individual gifts that I can make for the people that are special to me. I like all things kitsch and snow domes fall right into the category. Recently I have been on the hunt for retro Christmas decorations at the thrift stores. They usually come bundled up in freezer bags so generally it is a surprise as to what you find inside. It is not hard to make your own snow domes, which make a cute kitsch gift or just have them displayed together around your house at Christmas.
First step is to grab an old jar. You have to make sure that the item you glue to the lid will fit in the jar. Not too long and not too wide otherwise there will be tears as I found out with a too wide item.

This freezer bag full of retro kitsch Christmas decorations was purchased for .99 cents at the local thrift store.
For this project I used super glue as it needs to be strong enough to hold the Christmas decorations while they are immersed in water. This is little 5 year old Ollie's effort. He wanted to ensure that Santa had a chimney to descend down. Place the super glue on the inside of the inverted lid and then add your Christmas decorations.

Once the glue is dry fill the jars with water and glitter. On the inside rim of the lid I placed super glue around the circumference. I then screwed the lid in place. Let this dry before you turn your snow domes right side up. To hide the lids I attached vintage lace.
This little cutie is my favourite. 

The "Christmas Cometh Before You Knoweth" Snow Domes are easy to make and low cost using recycled materials.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Kelli's Altered Couture Cure Bag.

Of late I have been in refashioning wilderness and have not been in a position to be creative. A couple of weeks ago Charlotte rang me to say that Kelli loved my Anthropologie style bag (as seen below) 

and was interested in having a tote made for her. I sort of put it on the back burner but I did have a shopper tote in mind that I could use. I now would like to announce that I have emerged from my creative wilderness and found my cure through this altered couture project. 
I found this shopper tote in a thrift store and paid a couple of dollars for it. It is obvious that it was originally a gift with purchase probably from a department store. While I like the colours in the bag, I dislike the has to go.

This is vintage lace that I found in one of my favourite thrift stores yesterday. This is just a small part of what I found sealed in a bag, which I paid $1.50 for. In this project I will use the top bit of lace.

Another thrift store find going back a few months. Someone must have got a whizz bang sewing machine and put it to good use. I found a box of these sample patches and I picked out the ones that I liked the most. 

Leftover plastic type fabric leaves from another project. These are just what I need.

Thrift store fabrics. I think that I am going to use the bottom one called Country Floral.

At this point I have started to put all the elements together. There is no right or wrong with this work flow. You just keep adding stuff where you think it will fit. Note the beautiful floral braiding which I purchased new(but it is seconds stock) from a Paper Emporium.

Hey is your bag. Surprise!

In the far right corner you will see the pretty blue bird is frolicking through the leaves which disguise the branding.

Kelli's Altered Couture Cure Bag.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Heather's Feathers

This post is dedicate to my wonderful friend Heather who lives a very long way from me. We live at opposite ends of the world with Heather in Canada and me in Australia. Horrie(my husband) and I met her on a Cosmos tour through Eastern Europe. She then came to Australia to visit me and I took her to Healesville Sanctuary where we watched the birds of prey. Ohhhh ahhhhh very exciting but scary show. I will not spoil it here except to say that you get up very close and personal to these massive eagles. Heather is a teacher and she also takes choir......she is the inspiration for my musical feathers. 
Greetings from Kevin Koala.....I have missed you Heather.

Wally and Wayne Wallaby wondering when Heather is coming back to feed them.

Start with wooden skewers which will form the spine of your feather.

Here is an early twentieth century soprano song book with musical scores that I found at the thrift store for 50 cents.

These pages with be perfect for this project.

I created 3 feather templates that I made in different sizes using cardboard.

I traced around my template and then cut out two of each feather which will make back and front over the spine.

Just for something different I cut scraps of lace which I then glued to my musical score feather. Once dried I cut the excess lace off.

At this point back and front of the feather have been glued to the spine. Once dried I cut towards the spine on a 45 degree angle to replicate feathers.

Completed feathers in three sizes on display. The lace feather creates texture and interest.

Late afternoon sun.

Heather's Feathers dedicated to my far away friend Heather.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Pippa's Ripper Zipper Necklace.

I have a tendency to buy items from thrift stores with absolutely no project in mind. Around 2 years ago I bought a box full of grey zippers for $5.00. Those zippers have pretty much stayed in the box waiting for some refashioning project ideas. Having spotted a colourful zipper necklace on pinterest that used zip heads and jump rings only, I thought that I would made my own Anthropologie style version.
Box full of chalked marked zippers.

Jump rings and zipper heads being attached using jewellers pliers

This strand is made up of 7 zipper heads and attached half way down a discarded double chain with a jump ring.

I will use one of these vintage buttons to add a bit of detail to the necklace.

This discarded part of the zipper I have turned into a bow which will be attached halfway down one side of the necklace. This will then give it an Anthropologie feel. I sew this bow into place.
Completed necklace. I created a second chain of 9 zipper heads which I attached with jump rings halfway down the silver double chain. Look closely and you will see the vintage button on the left hand side. Underneath the bow on the righthand side I had added a tarnished heart.

Necklace ready to wear all in grey and silver tonings.