12.29.2015

Rustic Luxe - New Year's Eve

With Christmas over and the New Year sliding in soon, this is the last post of the Rustic Luxe series...

I wanted to end this creative series combining the most rustic item I could think of with the most luxurious...
I wasn't quite sure what it would be...until inspiration hit me at work one day in the lumber department...

What is more rustic than rough concrete?  And what is luxe than gold leaf?  What if I combined them together...

My inspiration came from these...



These are dobie blocks, used to hold rebar in place when pouring a concrete slab...I've played with these before - see my tutorial for my bud vase holders here - but for the holidays I was thinking of making candle holders with them...how festive for New Year's Eve...I gathered together my supplies...








Normally these blocks come in a section of 9 or 16 blocks, with divisions between them for separation.  I used a wide rigid putty knife and a sledge hammer to break the sections apart.  Once apart, I formed a holder for each candlestick by first straightening out the wire supports and then, using a metal pipe for a support, wrapped the wire around the pipe.  Once the pipe was removed, it was easy to slip in a candlestick.

I revised my idea of using gold leaf and instead went with heavy body acrylic artist paint in a deep gold color. After taping off sections on the concrete block, I used a stiff brush to apply the paint...surprising only two coats were needed to give a good solid color.

With the candlesticks completed, it was on to the rest of the tableau...







































Gold splatters on a length of kraft paper for a table runner was another Rustic Luxe combo...I used a can of gold spray paint which was leaking badly...but I ended up liking the drips and drabs on the paper...the chestnut garland (first seen in the Thanksgiving dinner centerpiece and then hanging from my Christmas tree branch) makes its final appearance with its nutty texture and the glint of gold beads. A few poppy pods sprayed with a bit of silver paint fill the bud vases...











A swath of wide silk ribbon tied around a small galvanized bucket is the perfect Rustic Luxe champagne holder...

























Vintage ironstone plates and silver cocktail forks are waiting for the appetizers...
all is set for this small intimate gathering to begin...





















As we close out 2015, I want to thank you for visiting my blog, leaving your comments, giving me your support...
I hope that the new year ahead holds all the promise and opportunity you desire...cheers!


12.24.2015

'tis the season!








































Wishing all a wonderful holiday season...
wherever you are and whatever you celebrate - cheers!

12.18.2015

Rustic Luxe - Christmas morning

I know its not quite Christmas morning...but if I wait to post, what good would this quick and easy gift bag idea do you later...because if you're like me, I'm now scrambling to get presents together and could use a couple of quick ideas...because how is it that Christmas is just a week away?!

I recently had to say goodbye to two of my flannel pajama bottoms...one torn all the way down the backside (had them over 10 years - guess they don't make them like they used to!) and the other had the elastic give out in the waist.  But rather than toss them out, of course I thought of making something with them...

A simple bag was my idea...since the bottom of each pajama leg is already hemmed, there's only one seam needed to sew...I cut off each leg for a small sized bag...

tip here...notice the ribbon tied onto my scissors handle...since I have several pairs of Fiskers scissors and they all look alike...I tied a ribbon on the pair that I save for only cutting fabric so that they are always sharp when needed...the other two pairs I use to cut whatever...and that may mean paper, cardboard, wire or even tree branches...










After sewing the cut seam, I trimmed the edge with my pinking shears...this will keep raveling to a minimum; turn the bag right side out and iron the seam flat.  For a little bit of luxe, I tacked a length of silk ribbon onto the side seam...this ribbon will be the tie that keeps the bag closed.









A button hides the place where I tacked on the ribbon...
and provides a spot for hanging a gift tag...



















We don't do a big Christmas here...pretty low key...so a small gift, wrapped inside of one of these bags will be perfect...a low key setting also means plenty of rustic not too much luxe (it is morning after all)...











































































The rustic is the simple setting...including a view of my back garden that is very rustic looking at this time of year...a tablecloth made from a canvas painter's dropcloth; blue ticking napkins and my workhorse ironstone dishes lay the groundwork.

the luxe comes from a few shimmering vintage ornaments...








Forced bulbs in vintage canning jars tied up with twine get a bit of luxe with a shiny metal bell...

















the handmade wreath crafted from birch tree limbs blown down in a recent winter storm adds another layer of rustic...the metal rim from a deconstructed lamp shade provided support for the branches as I molded the wreath...a few more metal bells hanging from a length of twine is another touch of luxe...















Simple and sincere...that's what Christmas morning should be...








































joining Funky Junk Interiors Party Junk...always a good time...

12.11.2015

Rustic Luxe gift wrapping

Amid all the hustle and bustle of the season, I find one of the most enjoyable activities is gift wrapping...yes, I'm one of those...which shouldn't come as any surprise since I love working with paper...and fabric...and found objects...of course with a bit of metal (wire in this case) thrown in as well...

So I gathered together my supplies and got to work...

As per usual, I like to use what I have at hand...or acquire as inexpensively as possible...here's the round-up...







































The Rustic part is the copper wire as well as a few snippets of greenery from the yard...the Luxe part is the vintage buttons, fabric ribbon made from old linen tablecloths and wax paper...yes, waxed paper - there's quite a nice sheen to the paper that gives just the slightest shimmer in the light.  I also added in a roll of paper first aid tape - a poor man's washi substitute - details here about my discovery of this inexpensive tape - and a few sheets of colored tissue paper....both the paper first aid tape and the tissue paper came from the dollar store.

Using an idea from Martha Stewart years ago, I wrapped the first two gifts in colored tissue paper and then wrapped each gift again in a layer of wax paper...mutes the color of the tissue and adds that slight shimmer.  















































Then I used a length of thin wire to encircle each gift and embellished the wire with buttons and tiny silver beads. Since the wire is thin, it is easy to manipulate and fashion into whatever designs you want.  I went with plain and simple...
















The metal box shown in the picture above was given a little bling with a silver seal topped with two vintage buttons...I punched two small holes in the top of the tin to thread the wire that holds the buttons in place.












I also wrapped up two gifts in a shimmer of white...
white tissue paper on one, waxed paper on the other and then embellished each in its own way...






















































Copper wire encircling this gift holds a found white feather in place...a strip of paper first aid tape with a message of "peace" stamped in gold adds the final touch...





















The second gift is tied up with a length of linen ribbon...old worn and stained linen tablecloths are torn into strips of about 1" wide...the frayed edge of the ribbon giving a nice texture to the monochromatic tones.  The final embellishment is a tiny vase...created from a string of burned out tree lights...I just snapped off the bulbs from the wire string, pulled off the green plastic connector and was left with just the bulb...its made of plastic but still looks glass-like with its faceted edges...I twisted a length of wire around the top, attached it to the top of the gift and added in a few sprigs of color- voilà















Lest you think that I am super organized and have all of my holiday gift giving under wraps...I do not...and in fact, should probably get on that right now....

Linking up to Funky Junk Interiors Party Junk and Knick of Time Vintage Inspiration Party - holiday inspiration at both abounds!




12.04.2015

Phinney Show this weekend!

If its the first weekend in December, then it must be time for the annual Phinney Winter Festival...its a fabulous artisan show in Seattle...115 artists, live music, food and plenty of holiday cheer - what's not to love!








































This is the 14th year that I'm participating in this show...I've got to say that its one of my favorites...not only for the new friends I meet as well as connecting with old acquaintances, but I get to finish up my holiday gift shopping...I'm a big supporter of buy local, buy handmade.

In addition to my original mixed media art collages, I'll have plenty of affordable gift items too...














Hot off the press, these folded notecards with fabulous vintage images...
































Art tags that can adorn a gift, enliven a bulletin board or even be a bookmark...








Collage journals, all one of a kind...a place to record thoughts, remember ideas, start 
that first novel or just keep a list of anything you like...



































Hope that you'll stop by and say hello...I'm in the Blue Building on the second floor...introduce yourself and tell me you read about the show on either my blog, my Facebook page or Instagram and there will be a free gift for you!

worth a look...

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