Friday, July 30, 2010

Quick, cute centerpieces

Here’s a super-quick idea I created back in December. I needed centerpieces for the banquet tables for a local Harley Owners Group (HOG) Christmas party. The party theme was “Hoe-down,” and the audience was motorcycle enthusiasts. Here are the materials I used, no more than $1 for each item:

Small glass container
Florist foam block
1 stem silk flowers
1 Bandana
1 fistful of craft raffia

Starting with a small glass candle jar and “country-looking” silk flowers, I first pushed a chunk of florist’s foam down into each jar. (You can hot-glue it if you like; I left mine loose because I wanted the flowers to be removable.) I separated the blooms on their stems from each bunch of flowers and arranged them in the foam so they created a nice “poof” over the top of the container:

To decorate the jar, I wrapped each one in a brightly-colored bandana. This fit right in with the barn-dance theme, and bikers use them all the time as head coverings. I folded the corners of each bandana in so it made a smaller square:

Then, I gathered the folded bandana up around the jar and tied it together using a couple lengths of raffia.

The result was a cute, quick centerpiece that fit the theme. And, when we gave them away at the end of the evening, 22 bikers each got a new bandana out of the deal!

“Turkey in the Straw,” anyone?

More soon!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Monkey see, monkey paint

First of all, just in case there was any doubt that my cat actually likes the romantic office desk makeover featured in my previous post, here's the evidence:

Side note: he SNORES!

For today's post I thought I would go out on a limb and share some of my "art." I don’t make any claims to being an artist. From piano lessons to desktop publishing and everything in between, I consider myself a bit of a trained monkey (and I mean that in the nicest possible way - “monkey see, monkey do, sometimes with passable results!”).

One of the artistic endeavors that I’ve practiced quite a bit is the art of decorative painting. While I have never been able to re-create to my complete satisfaction the designs and strokes of published teachers such as Priscilla Hauser and Donna Dewberry, I’ve nonetheless been pleased enough with my results that I actually painted a variety of items one year as Christmas gifts - which means that I was for once not entirely horrified by my own efforts - and those items actually saw the light of day in someone else’s home.

Here are a few samples of my many painting projects, starting with one of my favorites - a brag book/photo album with roses and greenery:

Crackle-finished plaque for my grand-daughter:

Romantic Christmas ornaments (given to a complete stranger in an ornament swap!):

Another photo album, this time with geraniums and hand-painted calligraphy:

Glass creamer painted with lilacs and filled with hand-poured soy wax candle:

A curb-find cabinet that I painted pink, embellished, and then hung on my old patio, pre-flood:

Tableware caddy painted with cherries and given to my mother-in-law (she's still using it!):

I haven’t painted since we moved to our new house, but I DID rescue my rack of craft paints so I really have no excuse. One thing I lost, though: my original sketchbook full of practice strokes and pictures, which I lovingly called "Bad Art." Here are a couple of surviving images I had scanned out of it for other uses before it was destroyed - a "signature" graphic I used in an online forum with magnolias and my username, "Janetgia"; and below it, a baby robin I painted, then scanned and used as an avatar in another forum:

I've certainly got to spend some time practicing my skills before I feel confident enough to give something away again!

Have you ever tried tole, One Stroke, or any other type of decorative painting? What did you think of the results?

More soon!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...