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- voilĂ 















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!

11.30.2015

Holiday Greetings in my etsy shop!

With the turn of the calendar page...its now officially the holiday season!
I've just listed these 6 designs available in my etsy shop...
use them as a quick holiday greeting, a friendly postcard wish, a festive tag for a package 
or punch a hole in the top and hang as an impromptu ornament...
'tis the season!



11.24.2015

Rustic Luxe - a nature inspired table

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, preparations are underway for many of us...

The internet is awash with images of gloriously set tables...costing more time and effort than most of us have at this late date...I have a few suggestions here that will lend that feel of Rustic Luxe without too much sweat or strain...

The play of contrasts is the idea behind Rustic Luxe...the rough with the smooth, the shiny with the subdued,
the practical with the whimsical...







































To start, I gathered up a well loved linen tablecloth and a vintage wool blanket...there's a sheen to worn linen that contrasts nicely with the woolen texture of the blanket...using the linen alone seems commonplace at the traditional T-day dinner...using the blanket alone would seem a little too picnic-like...layering one over the other is unexpected and gives a great rustic luxe vibe.


Given the time of year and the sense of the season, nature is a wonder of inspiration. I gathered up a slew of fallen leaves as well as dried stems from my garden...the large leaves were pressed and comprise the bottom layer of the centerpiece (if you don't have time to press leaves ahead of time, did you know that lightly ironing will also work to flatten and dry them) An eclectic trio of pitchers with similar tones displays a collection of bird feathers, an assortment of dried stems  and a large handful of poppy heads.







I also collected some smaller dried leaves from my photinia bush - I love how they look like leather. With a border of gold dots, the leaves are stuck into a small bottle for a little flourish at each place setting.






Candlelight always adds to the festive mood...the two candles on the table are made from a pair of worn out wool socks, two recycled glass jars, some linen string and two pearl buttons...the complete tutorial can be found in an earlier blog post - here...


The final touch to the centerpiece...one of the chestnut garlands which kicked off the Rustic Luxe series...the little gold beads mimic the gold dots on the leaves...repetition always helps in pulling a vignette together...










Though we use ironstone and silverplate everyday in our household, I do concur that this is one of the times that I bring out my grandmother's silver...that glint of shine plays off nicely with the simple ironstone...plain striped napkins (which you'll notice have not been ironed...just more texture!) echo the tones of the leaves and those willow branch napkin rings show up again...








In place of name cards, I've pulled together 4 words of inspiration, quickly stamped onto a piece of used manila folder...its a little wonky, I like that...calligraphy would be nice but time-consuming...
one word set at each place...a thought to contemplate for the day...perhaps to spark dinnertime conversation...
I used some sort of galvanized hose connectors that I recently picked up at a farm sale...I don't know what they were, but for now, they are card holders. 

















I know what you are thinking...I don't have anything like old hose connectors around here...well, there are options...a tarnished fork, a flower frog, even an old hair clip...be creative...its not about what something is, its all about what it can become...


















































Well, now that the table's set, time to see if that turkey is thawing...and to take a minute to thank each and every one of you...I appreciate that you follow my adventures - whether here on the blog, my facebook page or on Instagram...I appreciate your support, your comments, your enthusiasm...at this time of thanksgiving, I'm grateful for this community...

worth a look...

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