Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pom-Pom Party

These gorgeous flower-like pom-poms look intricate and difficult to make, but they are actually fairly simple. However, they do require an ounce of patience (see step 6). With adult supervision, they would be a fantastic project of a little gal’s birthday party; a beautiful memento for the young princesses to take home and hang in their own palace. Have a bunch of boys? Switch to using bright primary colors along with black and have the tykes create their own far away galaxy of planets.

Made in smaller sizes and hung at a variety of heights, a group of these would make a great mobile for a child’s room or nursery. Make them in a bride’s wedding colors for her bridal shower or in soft pastel colors for a baby shower. Create themes based on the season; black and orange for Hallowe’en or red, white and green for Christmas.

Below are the instructions to get you started


• Tissue paper (20 inches x 30 inches). Choose one to three colors in similar shades of the same color to keep things from looking like an acid circus. Unless that’s the look you’re going for. Local dollar stores usually have a good selection.
• Scissors, either plain ol’ straight edged or a more decorative scalloped or waved edge.
• Monofilament fishing line
• Thin floral wire, white if you can find it.

Here's how:

1. Stack four to eight the sheets of paper on top of one another, depending on how full n’ puffy you want them to be.

2. Now, fold the sheets into 1.5-inch accordion folds, all the way across. Be sure to keep the folds even.

3. Prune the ends of the tissue into round or pointed shapes to give them a petal-like look.

4. Cut about a foot and a half length of floral wire.

5. Wrap the wire around the center of the folded tissue and secure it by twisting. Trim the excess wire.

6. Now the fun part! Pull apart each layer, separating it from the center one piece at a time (here’s where that patience comes in handy).

7. Measure the length you'd like to hang your pom pom from and cut a piece of monofilament accordingly.

8. Knot the monofilament to the floral wire and hang!

9. Try varying the size of the tissue paper and the cut edge to create an array of effects. Repeat until you've created a pom-pom fantasyland. The more, the merrier!

Not in a crafty mood or short on time? (hey, it happens) . . . PomLove, Fiesta Pom Pom and orangekisses all have a spectacular selection of ready to ship pom-poms in a variety of sizes, as well as a custom order option for your special occasion or color pallet.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Silver Spoons: not just for your mouth anymore . . . .

When visiting London in 2008, I had the pleasure of browsing through several vintage flea markets, especially in the prestigious Notting Hill neighborhood. It seemed everything old and British was for sale (well, not quite everything… the Queen was not being offered up for purchase). One of the things I really enjoyed sifting through were the stalls of old silver, which was generally for sale by weight instead of by piece, due to the current value of silver prices.

Always on the hunt for new and interesting jewelry, I found a stall where a young lady was turning antique silverware into wearable art. Forks became bracelets and tie clips, spoons became rings and pendants.

In the seventeenth century, English servants who married began the tradition of crafting wedding rings from stolen bits of silverware, since they couldn't afford a proper ring.

As recent as the late 1960’s and through the 70’s, spoon rings were very popular with the young  and rebellious, who wore them as a symbol of breaking from family traditions and conformity. Nothing says “family revolt” more than chopping up the heirloom silverware. These “repurposed” jewelry pieces were mainly available at flea markets and craft sales, where sellers would offer them inexpensively at a couple dollars per piece. Because of the nature of the ring’s design, these were also easy to resize, as most rings were created in a spiral shape that wrapped around the finger instead of a closed and soldered band.

Still somewhat popular today, these rings are beautiful and reasonably easy to make. Two great websites with detailed instructions on how to make your own silver spoon ring as well as a list of materials and equipment you will need are at Essortment Hobbies and Ehow.

Grandma’s silverware . . .beware!

Not feeling crafty enough to make your own? The photos displayed here are some beautiful examples of the several different patterns for you to purchase by AnneMariesAccessorys and dankartistry

Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring . . is in the Bag !

Warm weather, blooming flowers, birds chirping and Easter only a couple days away. . . .

Here are a trio of lovely spring tote bags to brighten you day. These bags all feature roomy interiors with six pockets; some smaller for your cell phone, others larger to secure your water bottle or pocketbook.

These bags can be put to use for a variety of tasks. Use one as a book bag, another as a diaper bag to hold just the things you need for your little one while visiting a friend for coffee. Load one up with flip-flops, a good book & a blanket and head to the beach (just remember the sun screen). I have one for craft projects that holds everything I need (crochet hooks, scissors, balls of yarn, buttons) which I can toss in the car at a moment’s notice if I am heading out to my nephew's cello lesson or to Oma’s house for coffee.

All the totes are handmade and feature many vintage or upcycled fabrics from . . .oh. let's see . . .a grad dress, a full length skirt that I shortened, Italian dupioni silk swatch samples, cushion covers that I tried to make that ended up being too small. Each has its' own character and no two bags are the same. The unique buttons are from either my mom's or my Oma's collections. . . pssst! Mom, see what happens when you innocently ask "Can you use these fabric and buttons for anything?"

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