Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Handmade Christmas part 4 - Book Page Wreath I made a book page wreath!! (that photo is a bit yellow from weird night lighting!)
Yay!! So excited!! lol ... I've seen them aplenty on other girls blogs and on decided to give it a go. As usual, I forgot to take photos from the beginning!!...but remembered as I started here goes...
I used a book from the opshop..cost me about 50c - the same book I used to make the paper star garland..that book is value for money!
Anyway, I started with a 30cm (12"?) polystyrene (stryofoam) wreath,
an old book,
some Fabri Tac
and a stapler.
That's it. out oh about a hundred pages!! (Oh if your book is not aged looking and you want it to be, rub some coffee/tea or thinned brown paint along the edges of the book before you rip the pages from the book, and let it dry)...Bring the ends of each page to meet in the centre, then fold in half, with the edges innermost, without creasing - you want it left rounded. The shape kind of makes a heart ♥ when you look at the end :) Pinch the torn end together and staple in centre.

Starting on the outside bottom edge of the wreath, put a dab of glue on the middle of the stapled end, tuck under the outer edge of the wreath and press against it to stick. Place them side by side creating a kind of fanned row all the way around. Next do the innermost edge in the same way, but standing them upright.
Next fold the end of each stapled edge on the rest of the pages up about 2cm (1") forming a 'tab'. Apply the glue to the underside of the tab and begin the next row, above the first outer row, and in the 'gaps' it formed, gluing to the wreath, working from the outside in, in complete circles before moving inward to the next 'row'. When you've filled in the whole wreath, check for gaps and glue in extra pages until it's as full as you like and no polystyrene is showing.

So this is how it looked at the end. You can just see the centre gap..they've 'crowded' in a little in the just push them back up. Oh I meant to say attach a loop on the back of the polystyrene wreath at the beginning - I forgot and had to add it later. I simply made a loop of jute twine and glued it on but if I'd remembered at the beginning I think I would have tied it around the wreath form.
I sat a silver star in the centre..might leave it there, might not. What I did find tho was that it was too 'round' and uniform for my taste so I carefully 'scrunched' it all, handful by handful to make it look a little 'shabbier'..a little more aged and rustic looking....
Much better!! Wish I had a dark wall to hang it on...maybe a square of dark fabric behind it? hmm..I'll see.

Thanks for stopping by :)
ciao for now
jessie xx

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Handmade..Part 3 - Stars and Hearts Garland

Today I made up a garland on simple jute twine, with stuffed fabric hearts, sewn and left with raw edges..I like the fraying look...and tin stars...made from aluminium oven liners! Found a reference to them on Pinterest (where else?!!) found a star template on google and set to work. They are quite fiddly, a little sharp..but definitely worth the effort. I LOVE the 3D feel of them..tho probaby they're reall 2D aren't they? Cos they have no back. I was going to join two together to make a completely 3D one, but my mind went to the garland idea and that was the end of that! my 50c scarf from the second hand shop and $4 oven liner (sadly they are not 2 or 3 for $1.50 as I saw on a US blog :(..)...made me this beautiful, folksy, charming garland..what do you think?

Oops..still got the pen marks on this star...need to wipe off :)
I thought how cool they'd look too if you painted them and distressed them to look a bit rusty and aged...going with the silver for now cos I love that too...
but I might make some 'aged' ones too..

And here it takes pride of place over my kitchen sink!
Thanks for stopping by...if you're making Christmas decorations this year, do leave a comment so I can come by for a peek!
ciao for now bellas!
jess xx

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Hey girls...have you seen Sande Chase's blog, A Gift Wrapped Life??...if not, you are seriously missing out...her fabulous giftwrapping is to die for. And while you're there...check out her FANTASTIC GIVEAWAY..but it finishes TODAY! ...GO NOW...HERE! It's the beautiful stationery, handstamp, ribbon you see in the beautiful wooden box below...and it's for INTERNATIONAL readers of her blog...go now!

She also has an amazing website where she sells all the fabulous things you see there...check it out over here.

ciao for now, bellas!
jessie xx

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pallet Love...DIY

Ah well girls...took a break from making Christmas decorations to making gifts...although this one is probably for me! lol...but now I've made two ;)

I'm LOVING all things pallet-y...and even here in NZ I've found that you can get pallets for free pretty much everywhere you see them...mind you, you just really don't see them - until you start looking! Seriously, I would have thought we didn't really have them..but I've found heaps now...AND not all pallets are equal. Which I didn't really realise till I got them home, so excited was I to grab 'em and go! ...but I'll make something out of most of the bits, I'm sure.

So I started by sanding down two of them that I'll use for wall art...paint, text, can't wait to go get some paint...(I LOVE my friend Raymonds electric sander..has a mind of it's own tho!..and my new handsaw, jigsaw and hammer all got baptised today!)
But IN THE MEANTIME..the VERY FIRST pallet creation I found on Pinterest was a shelf made from the pallet structure itself (rather than just using the timber pulled off it) , cut down and re arranged...check it out at Monica and Jess's blog "Real Housewives of Bucks County" (dont' you love it?!) - they do all sorts of things with recycled wood...really, really I gave it a go.
And I'M SO HAPPY with how it turned out...take a look...

I particularly like the old black bits, the aged bits...although I love distressed, whitewashed 'stuff'...i also love this rustic look... Now this isn't ACTUALLY finished...bit of sanding to do and I may add some stencilled text to it...maybe a couple of brushstrokes of blackboard paint across the front section...not lots of ideas...but this is how it looks filled with kitcheny 'stuff'...where I had seen it in my minds eye...tho you can stand framed photos in it, a row of herb pots, maybe rolled towels in the bathroom...the options are endless...only limited by your imagination! ...
So here it is with a few things from my kitchen...
And then I played with Photoscape a bit and made these photos look even more inviting! ..don't I look happy with my creation? lol

So there we are...Hope you enjoyed my latest creation...
Love to hear what you think,
Thanks for stopping by :)
Ciao bellas!
jess xx

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Handmade Christmas..Part Two :)

Hey everone :)
Well the other day you know I said I'm making my decorations this year, from primarily what I have at hand...which isn't much as most of my crafting things are in storage...along with my boxes of Christmas decorations!! lol...anyway, I do have my stamps and glue and some other bits and pieces so can do some things.

Okay..on to my next decorations. Well I have started the Bay Leaf Wreath that I mentioned in last weeks post, so far just a complete circle of leaves --looking very cool and drying a bit, but haven't dried the orange or apple slices yet so will post that when it's done...
the meantime...
I saw some GORGEOUS fabric wrapped styrofoam(polystyrene down here!) balls as Christmas Tree decorations on Pinterest, which were an Etsy item of decided to take the idea and make it my own :)
I began with an old sheet from the local op shop (thrift store) which I'd bought to die Donna Hay Blue (!) for a blue Christmas table cloth...but then I found a great old blue tablecloth! for $1 I got the both! ...and the white sheet has been sitting in my linen cupboard ripped lots of strips across the sheet to get freyed edges, used my stamps to stamp words like LOVE and JOY..will do PEACE etc too...and a cute heart stamp and a Christmas tree stamp...along the length of the strips...and began wrapping around the balls. Some are wrapped with all stamped strips, some with mostly plain strips with a stamped strip wrapped near the end...others different. Anyway...this is how they turned out..I'm really happy with them :)

Oh also I love buttons so tried a button idea that didn't look good, so carried on and completely covered a ball with buttons...real cute actually, tho I wish I'd had some red fabric to wrap the ball in first so the white didn't show thru...but never just don't need to look too closely.
I took lots of cool pics but am having trouble uploading as my computer is SO SLOW right have just put these few on...more maybe tomorrow :)
Hope you like them :)

Thanks for stopping by!
Be back with the next idea later in the week...not sure what yet :)
have a lovely week
happy crafting!
ciao bellas
jessie xx

Friday, November 4, 2011

My Handcrafted Christmas...part one

Okay...I love all things vintage, aged, matter how you say it..I love it! They evoke a sense of history, of lives lived, of stories wherever possible, I like to use (and buy!) old things. This year, with our Christmas decorations accidentally tucked away in long term storage...I have decided to make as much of my decorations as possible, with a vintage feel. I always look out for old books at 2nd hand shops, op shops (thrift stores in the US?) etc...and so I bought a couple of old Readers Digest Encyclopaedic Dictionaries for a dollar...circa 1965..and nice and old they are..the more age-d the better for me! I love text on things and sometimes use gift-appropriate text on paper to use as wrap know, pages with words about love for engagement or numbers for a special number birthday etc. Anyway...I digress! I think this year I'll keep the colour palette dull, aged colours in tones of charcoaly blue, faded white and a splash of red here
and there. A move away from the usual red and green (with gold and silver of course!) I may add in some antiquey metallic somethings here and there.

So first up I decided to make a star garland with these old book pages and some cool red buttons

I KNEW that bag of red craft buttons I bought impulsively once would come in handy
ONE DAY!! :)

All you need is some old books, craft glue (such as Fabri Tac - FANTASTIC fast grabbing, quick drying glue), a stapler, an ink pad in colour of choice (mine is red) buttons in colour of choice, double sided tape and some string/wool/strong thread for hanging, scissors....and we've got the makings of some lovely stars. (if you want a step by step, leave a comment and I'll repost with a how to) Here are my 'progress' pics along the way...

I used mixed buttons to keep it not too uniform...

And amongst the bag of various round buttons was this cute wee heart ...

Laying out the garland that I've threaded onto red wool...untangling was a little time consuming!
And I'm all about instant gratification so had to string it up RIGHT NOW! just used two hooks that are already in the wall...but not where it will hang
Nice closeup along the wall....
And there it is..but I must take it down now until I have made all our decos...and then closer to December, decorate with purpose!! And a plan!!

Thanks for stopping by...I'll be back soon with my next project...I think it'll be a bay wreath...cos I got a nice big Bay tree right on my back doorstep...and maybe i'll dry some oranges and apple slices in the oven to glue some ideas coming now...cinnamon bark maybe??..
What do you have in your hands Ladies?
That's what I'm aiming for here....

ciao bellas!
blessings to you all
Jessie xx

Moving on...

Hi all..well my last post was a little sad...and soul searching...sorry about that! Well, kinda sorry. Just being real with where I was at I suppose. I find the emptying nest a very lonely place, to be honest. Having had 5 children around me for more than half my life(and half of that time my husband would be away at sea so the kids have been my constant really)...seems rather odd to just have one chick left in the nest! So it's now a season of change and moving on into what God has for me in this next part of the journey. I'm getting there...

For now, it's about creativity, I have found. With lots of time on my hands, not working, planning for Europe next year (maybe)..planning for a move 'somewhere' anyway...I've been a bit in limbo. Hard to be in this place - I'm a nester, a nurturer, a 'home creator'...although I love to be out having a coffee and a chat with friends, I also just love being at home...doing, making. Unfortunately that often means baking..and eating! The love of all things food - preparing, cooking, laying the table, eating, sharing...ah, it can be a curse at times! So much so that I've had to make drastic changes...and rejoin the gym! Actually to clarify - I rejoined in February and dont' think I've made it since Italy! So that was June! being a poor steward of my hubby's hard earned money has been weighing on my mind (all those gym fees going out each week...and not actually going!) I'm back! Aaghhh...yes, I'm back. And my body is protesting! But that won't last...I have a goal to lose 10kg by years end...and I WILL DO IT!!

I found a great pin on Pinterest the other day..."You are not a dog - do not reward yourself with food!"...haha...had such a laugh at that because I SO DO reward myself with food, and comfort myself with food, and reward OTHERS with food...etc etc. I still might, it'll just be less frequently and maybe more nutritious..?...well, I said maybe ;)

okay..I'll be back in a bit with some of what I'm doing right now...Christmas is coming and all our Christmas decorations are in storage (mistakenly, but still packed away, unattainable! grrr)...this just means I have to be REALLY creative as I determine not to buy any more 'stuff' as we are going away next what will my house look like this Christmas? Well, it begins....

talk soon bellas!
jessie xx