Sunday, December 19, 2010

Snowflake Tutorial

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While most of the country (and many others) have been getting record amounts of snow, I have to settle snow of the paper variety here in the Northwest.  I get a little jealous--never thought I'd miss the snow! So we make our own.

I have been decorating with snowflakes at Christmas for years.  They are simple, beautiful, and white. . . and sometimes silver in my house.  This year I tried something different.  I made a snowflake design I had used in past years, but put a twist on it by making it out of a vintage dictionary.

Now that the kids are out of school for winter break, I am trying to come up with things to do--you might be too.  So I am posting this tutorial so you can make your own vintage looking snowflake, or so you can keep your kids busy making a Christmas craft.  To make it simply, you can just use strips of paper like I have done with my girls, or you can follow the directions below to make something a little sturdier, and more unique--like snowflakes should be.

You will need:

a book (mine was 8.5 X 11 but any size is fine)
glue sticks (Elmers or a brand the will stick really well--the cheap ones don't work)
8 or so paperclips

1. Start with pages cut from an old book--cutting pages out is super easy with one of those wrapping paper cutters.  Mine was an old dictionary (I love dictionaries, and it did make me a little sad to cut is up).  I purchased it for almost nothing at the Goodwill.

2.  Next, fold the page in half (the top down to the bottom) and then in half again, and then again.

3.  Then cut along the fold while still folded.  Now you will have a lot of about 2.5 inch pieces by about 8 inches (depending on the size of the book--bigger books will make bigger snowflakes, but any size will work).  The end pieces will be half pieces, but they will still work.

4.  Then start gluing and folding.  Glue down the length of each strip and fold the edges to the middle. . .

5.  Then glue down the middle again and fold in half. Then glue the middle fold in half again.

For the half pieces, glue two together, on atop the other, then fold the same as the rest, only you fold the sides in once then in half.

You will need 12 strips like these for each snowflake.

6.  Glue two together in their centers like a cross.

7.  Add two to each side opposite of the center one.

8.  Add two to the other strip, opposite of the center, and weave through the perpendicular stripes.

At this point I put that side in the middle of the book to press while I make the other side.  Repeat steps 6 - 8 so you will have  two halves:

After they have dried a little (5 - 10 minutes at most) but are still moist and pliable, gently curve the two outside strips to each side of the snow flake.  Then take an outside strip from to bottom leg of the cross and the right leg and curve the under and out.  Glue tips together and put a paperclip on it to hold it while you repeat the other four corners.

It should look like this when done:

Set aside and repeat with the other half.  While you are allowing the glue to dry a little under the paperclips, gently curve the remaining straight strip of each side.

Then lay one side atop the other, but shifted so each straight single portion lines up with a curved double section--like this:

Attach with glue the single strip under the loop of the double strip on the opposite side (remove the paper clip long enough to glue and attach, then re-paperclip)  Now repeat on each of the eight loops (four for each side.

When you are done it will look like this:

Leave the paper clips on long enough to dry and then you are done!  Unless you want to sparkle it up like I did.  I used simple white Elmer's glue in a bottle to add some silver German Glass Glitter to each
 loop.  You can also take half strips and curve them to make loops and attach them to each point for another variety of snowflake:

Enjoy! Happy Paper Crafting!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Small Diversion. . .

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Well hello.  Let me start by saying a belated thank you to Mary, otherwise known as the Urban Farmgirl, for her lovely introduction last week on her blog.  For those of you who didn't come our way via her beautiful blog (at least a dozen of you), you should really check her out--she is a very talented gal, I think you'll like her. Plus, she just recently opened her etsy shop, loaded with vintage goodness!

For those of you who kindly humored her and accepted the introduction,  I am wondering: Do you sort of feel like you got set up with a stranger and though you were sure things were going well, they left you hanging?

Sorry about that.  Let me explain, or at least show you what I have been up to for the better part of the last week.  You see, we bought a cute little rental house a couple months ago and when it came right down to the wire (renters wanting to actually move in) we really had to scramble to finish it up.

But it was worth it.  Here are a couple pictures to wet your appetite.  For the whole house tour, complete with before and after pictures of each room,  GO HERE.

Wheww! Now I can get back to refinishing furniture!  Let me know what you think.  And for those of you who asked questions, If I haven't answered them yet, I will.  Thank you for all your lovely feedback.

Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Snowflake Mobile

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We seem to have a one track mind around here.  Christmas, Christmas, Christmas.  And way more craftiness than any other time of year.  I am ready to start painting a dresser, or redoing these cute little chairs sitting in my living room waiting for a face lift!

Every year my family does the 25 days of Christmas and one of our traditional activities is to make snowflakes.  I decorate with snowflakes every Christmas, and since moving to the Northwest my paper snowflakes are usually the only snowflakes flying around (unlike the rest of this country!).

Lisa and I have made many snowflake ornaments for the shop--some of which I have made in the past with my girls, but this year I decided to try a new one. . .

Origami snowflakes. . .

Then I made them into a mobile.

I have visions of hanging it above a table set with white ironstone. I am even in the process of sewing a set of white ruffled placemats to go with that vision.  If I pull it all together in reality like the lovely picture in my mind I will take a picture of it and share it with you.

In the meantime, if you want to try your hand at these snowflakes, and are direction challenged like I am (seriously, have you tried to read an origami diagram?), you can find a youtube instructional video here. Or you could try this snowflake (I am trying that one next).

Happy Crafting!

***Linking with Kate @ Centsational Girl and the Christmas Craft portion of the Holiday Home Party***

Monday, December 6, 2010

Farrell House Envy

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Over the weekend I attended a local Holiday Home Tour.  It included A house that I have drooled over for a while.  In fact, I swore if that house every went up for sale I would buy it.  It was built in 1915 and is all kinds of fabulous.  I even wrote about it here.  But alas, when it did go up for sale, my husband objected, firmly, to buying a house that had original 1915 wiring and plumbing and windows--never mind the original fir trim, wrap around porches, sleeping porches, multiple wood burning fireplaces, history and charm and general fabulousness of the place.

The new owner, though in mid renovation, decided to be part of the holiday tour and cleared the dust long enough for a few local interior decorators to do up the place.

One of those lucky ladies was the owner of Camas Antiques, JoAnn Taylor.  I offered to help her. . . she nearly accepted.

But as a consolation, she did include several of our pillows in the decor of the master bedroom.

I have to say, I was a little bit green with envy while walking around the house (which distracted me from taking many pictures--and the ones I took don't do the place justice. It felt so big and spacious and. . . lovely).  I would LOVE to be in her shoes right now.

(Those french doors lead to large glassed in sleeping porch!)

And even though I would never decorate the bedrooms in Tiffany blue and vibrant orange, I am excited that she is going to have an open house in the spring when all the work is done.

You can bet I will be the first in line.

In the meantime, our cute little twin bed, which used to look like this:

is currently on display in the Camas Antique front window display.

And it couldn't look any cuter!

I am tempted to buy it back myself!

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Crisp. Clean. Christmas.

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We seem to have a one track mind around here. . . Christmas, Christmas, Christmas!  We will soon get back to furniture make-overs and tutorials (We scored three adorable chairs are the Goodwill the other day that will soon be undergoing a make-over), but today I thought I would share a little more holiday festiveness going on around my house.

For starters, I finally got the flowers in my ironstone pitchers as was originally planned.

They add to the effect of the paperwhites--which I plant every year since I saw a house in House Beautiful years ago that incorporated paperwhites into its Christmas decor.

And they are now starting to bloom.

Every year I try to find a way to display my Christmas cards.  And since so many people now do flat picture cards, I can't stand them on my coffee table and living room shelves like I used to.  So this year I tried a variation of the giving tree I made for Thanksgiving.

Only I hung snowball ornaments and clipped the cards on with clothes pins.

Mine is a little large and unruly.  This wouldn't be such a big deal, except since my family room is devoid of furniture, we moved our living room furniture into our family room until we manage to agree on what to purchase.

This would be fine in the living room, but watching TV through branches isn't a big hit around here.

But luckily, I like it without the tree too. (I found a space for it on a side table in the living room).

What I love about this softer, whiter style, is how well it goes with the rest of the space. . .

I've been Christmas decorating in increments this year.  I have the living room mostly done (though devoid of furniture) but with added touches of red and blue (which I didn't think I would like together--hence the lack of red in the family room), but I bought some wrapping paper with blue and red and white that I love, so we're going with it.  I'll post pictures of that room later.

For now I will enjoy my serene family room/kitchen. . . until it gets bombed again by the kids, in like an hour.

***Linking with Rhoda at Sothern Hospitality***
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