Sunday, December 22, 2013

Decoupaged vintage ornaments

Hi everyone!

Christmas is almost here and I am so excited! These days I had such a great time crafting the last decorations, while listening to Christmas songs, and today I finally completed my tree adding some final ornaments.

The steps I used to complete these little creations are the ones of sphere 1 that you can find here, but this time, instead of buying decorative paper with the manufacturer’s graphics, I had my own designs printed (yayyy!!!!)

It was such a long time I wanted to do it! Each time I visited Graphics Fairy’s website, I was amazed by the gorgeous vintage images she was posting and I kept imagining them decorating my tree. A couple of weeks ago, I decided it was time to stop dreaming and start doing!

First of all, I downloaded 3 beautiful graphics: a cute elf girl, a sweet cat and a lovely dog. I then I cut, resized them, and modified saturation and brightness in order to unify the designs. I also added a common background and small decorative leaves in front of every image, before cropping them in the shape of a circle, so that they would fit on my Christmas plexiglass baubles.

I was able to get everything printed by Calambour, a company located here in Milan that produces mulberry paper. Personally, I really like the job they did: images are crisp, the result professional, and people at their office very helpful, so I will ask them again if I will need more printing. If you wish to print by yourself however, you could use regular paper or try the steps of this tutorial to print on mulberry paper with your inkjet printer.

And here are my beauties! I love how I was finally able to get those gorgeous graphics on my tree…everything turned out just as I wanted (and I am happy, happy, happyyyyy!!!).

I wish you a lovely day and joyful holidays!






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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Romantic decoupaged candle dish

Hi everyone!

Today’s creation’s story begins a couple of weeks ago, when walked into one of my favourite shops to get a candle for the vintage candle holder I had just created. I didn’t go there on purpose, so I didn’t have with me the exact measurements of the piece, but I still decided to buy the candle that looked closer to what I needed.

I once again proved that using memory to guess the right size is something I should never do, since apparently, my failure is not limited to my boyfriend’s t-shirts (2 wrong size gifts in a row). When I got home, I indeed realized that the candle was at least twice the size I needed.

I was already planning to return it, when, a couple of days later I found in a thrift store a dish in which it would fit perfectly (I, of course, found out about the fit later, since when I bought it I just thought it was a nice piece to decorate. I guess I would have otherwise got one that was either way too large or definitely too small).

It was a square, very simple and cheap white porcelain plate, but I believed it had potential. When I got home I started working on it. So I will now stop with the chatting and start sharing the instructions on how to make your own!

Materials:
  • Porcelain dish
  • Mulberry paper (for background; I used Calambour PAU 36
  • Decoupage paper (flowers; I used Calambour CAL 95)
  • Primer
  • Decoupage glue (or Mod Podge)
  • Acrylic sealer (clear)
  • Acrylic paints (I used brown, cream and gold)
  • Brushes, scissors…
  • Optional: masking tape

First of all, I decided which area I wanted to embellish and delimitated it using masking tape. This is not mandatory, but it helped me moving around more straight lines. Knowing how clumsy I can be, I left the center of the dish empty, so that if any wax accidentally spills on the plate, it will not ruin the decoration.
You then need to cover with primer the surface you want to work on, so that the paint will stick to it. Once this coat is dry, you can sponge some acrylics in order to create background texture. I made 2 coats, the first with cream only and the second one mixing some 50% brown, 40% cream and 10% gold paints (see picture2).

After everything dried, I used diluted decoupage glue to attach the mulberry paper (previously cut by tearing the perimeter of the 4 stripes making up the sides of the decoration). I then removed the masking tape and defined the internal and external perimeter tracing lines with gold acrylic paint.

To add some extra interest, I cut out 2 flowers from the regular decoupage sheet and glued them on top (in order to get better adherence, you should dampen the designs before applying the glue). To protect the decoration, I covered everything with 2 coats of sealer.

I wasn’t 100% happy with the effect yet, as the different elements were not perfectly blended together. I then decided to take a couple of extra steps: first of all, I thinned some brown paint, until it got a watercolor consistency and applied it in circular motion with a sponge. This helped unifying the colors. I then added 3 coats of sealer, and used very thin sand paper on the flowers in order to get a more even surface…

And voilà! Here is my final creation! I think I will use it as centerpiece for Christmas dinner. I hope you like it!

Have a lovely day, and come back soon!

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Sunday, December 8, 2013

New RAW bracelets

Hi everyone!

Today  I want to show you  some brand new bracelets I accidentally created this afternoon. I say “accidentally”, because this wasn’t the plan! This morning I indeed started with the good intention to spend the day finishing ornaments for my Christmas tree. Everything however rapidly changed as I accidentally clicked on my Pinterest shortcut. After days of baubles, candle holders, ribbons and bows, seeing the beauties I had pinned on my jewelry boards, made me crave for beads, so I had to quickly take out all my supplies and start working.

I have to admit it was very refreshing and I am extremely satisfied of the result…so here are my two little beauties inspired by two pieces which you can see on my bracelets board. They both use right angle weave, but with extremely different beads and motives: the first one has as main feature some champagne 2-hole twins and 3mm bronze round beads creating little flowers, with size 15/0 bronze and pearl seed beads adding a frame finely decorated with tiny picots.

For the second bracelet, I instead used 6mm Czech fire-polished beads in 3 different shades of brown, all kept together by matte brown and metallic bronze size 11/0 seed beads. You could use 1 color of fire-polished only, but I think that combining different ones adds some interest to the pattern.

And here are the pictures! I hope you like them, and don’t forget to visit my Pinterest boards for more inspiration.

Have a lovely day!


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Friday, November 29, 2013

Decoupaged Christmas ornaments

Hi everyone! 

Today I want to show you some Christmas ornaments I have been making lately, using decoupage mulberry paper. I love the versatility of this technique: you can get a totally different look just by changing the image and some other small details.

To create these spheres you will need:
  • Plexiglass spheres (glass ones are good as well, I use plexiglass because they can be opened in half, so you can be attaching the paper on the inside, as I did for the ornaments in picture 6 and 7)
  • Decoupage glue (I think Mod Podge would be ok)
  • Mulberry paper with Christmas prints
  • Clear acrylic sealer 
  • Decorations (ribbons, pine cones, berries, flowers...) 
  • For sphere in pictures 1 to 5 ONLY, you will also need plain mulberry paper (without any prints, I used a cream color) 
  • For sphere in pictures 6 and 7 ONLY, you will also need: glass primer, fake snow paste
Here you can see a tutorial (my very first tutorial, yayyy!!! :-) for creating your own ornaments. It is in Italian, but just below the box, I wrote full instructions in English :-).


Sphere 1 (pictures 1 to 5):

First of all, I tore some plain mulberry paper, in order to get small pieces with uneven borders. I then used decoupage glue to stick them to the sphere until the entire surface was covered.

Once dry, I glued an image printed on mulberry paper (which I got from a Calambour decoupage sheet I found on Nom de Plume website). I then let the sphere dry and added a coat of acrylic sealer.

To further embellish the creation, I used hot glue to attach some ribbons, bows and flowers (you can find instructions on how to make the crocheted flower here).

Sphere 2 (pictures 6-7):

First of all, I used decoupage glue to attach some decorated mulberry paper, but this time I worked on the inside of the sphere: I opened the ball and attached the decoration on the two separate halves, keeping the printed side facing the plexiglass surface (I used images that would cover all the space, but you can cut some smaller prints and eventually add an extra layer of plain paper on top).

I then let the sphere dry and added a coat of acrylic sealer. I later painted the surface with cream acrylics, in order to make the design more opaque, so that the colors would be more brilliant.

After closing the ornament, I covered the borders with glass primer and brushed some white snow paste, before sealing everything with clear acrylic sealer.

To further embellish the creation, I used hot glue to attach some ribbons, bows and pine cones. 

Here are some pictures of my tree ornaments. I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial. Have fun and come back soon!


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My favorite parties: The Shabby Creek Cottage - Dwellings - From my front porch to yours - The Charm of Home - Between Naps on the Porch - Green Willow Pond - Ivy and Elephants - Coastal Charm - A Stroll Thru Life - Cozy Little House - Stone Gable - My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia - Knick of Time - No Minimalist Here - The Brambleberry Cottage - Common Ground - French Country Cottage - Its so Very Cheri - Rain on a Tin Roof - The Dedicated House








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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Old wine glass or new candle holder?

Old wine glass or new candle holder? This is this Christmas dilemma… 

Today I want to share with you a new, quite clever creation. I admit it, the idea is not mine (ouch!), but I was inspired by Pinterest (see the original pin here). All you have to do is get a wine glass and flip it to make a candle holder. How simple and smart is that?

When I first saw it I was so impressed, that I literally ran to look for an odd, old wine glass and started working, personalizing the idea with crackle effect, decoupage paper, felt and burlap… Do you want to try too? Just follow the step-by-step instructions below and you can make your own original center piece for your Christmas table…enjoy! 

You will need:
  • A wine glass
  • A flat cardboard or plastic circle (I used a plexiglass sphere’s separator)
  • Glass Primer
  • Background acrylic paint (I used a gold color)
  • Foreground acrylic paint (I used ivory)
  • Crackle medium
  • A Christmas image (I got mine from Calambour paper RP73)
  • Decoupage glue (Mod Podge should be ok)
  • Clear sealer
  • Liquid bitumen (or any other medium that will give an antique look to the piece)
  • Decorations (flowers, berries, ribbons…)

First of all, you will have to brush the outside of the glass and the top of the circle with (in order): glass primer, gold acrylic paint (2 coats work better than 1, see image 2 below), crackle medium, ivory paint (1 coat only, the second coat would not crack!), letting, of course the products dry between coats.

Next, I applied the decoupage image, using the appropriate glue and I let it dry, before covering everything with a clear acrylic sealer. I then centered and glued (using a hot glue gun) the glass to the circle. With a sponge I applied a very thin layer of liquid bitumen to the surface and, when it dried, I added some ribbons and flowers as decorations (you can see how to make the felted poinsettias in the beautiful tutorial here ...and maybe,  you will end up also making the stocking, as I did).  

And here is my final creation! I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial. For any questions, just leave a comment below.

Come back soon, and have a wonderful, creative day!


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My favorite parties: Under the Table and Dreaming  Between Naps on the Porch - Dwellings - Creatively living - I should be mopping the floor - The Stories of A2Z -  Coastal Charm - A Stroll thru Life - My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia – Stone Gable - Cozy little house - Knick of time - Savvy Southern Style - From my front porch to yours
- The charm of home - Ivy and elephants - Green Willow pond - The Brambleberry Cottage - No Minimalist Here - Common Ground - French Country Cottage - Rain on a tin Roof - The dedicated house - It's so very Cheri - My Romantic Home



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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fall wreath

Hi everyone! 

Thanksgiving is approaching and I am sure many of you are looking for ideas to decorate their houses and make them even more beautiful and welcoming for their loved ones. While this holiday is not celebrated in my home country, I still love its warm, family feel, so in this period of the year, I usually adorn the house with fall inspired pieces. Today, I want to share with you the last one I created: a large autumn wreath, made with some simple supplies you can easily find at your local craft store. I decided to write some step-by-step instructions on how to make your own, hoping it could be of help for some last-minute inspiration. 

You will need:
  • A willow (or wisteria) wreath
  • Small synthetic fall-inspired bunches
  • Orange/yellow/brown synthetic leaves
  • Berries-decorated wire
  • Burlap ribbon
  • Hot glue

First of all, put your wreath on an empty table, allowing for some space around it and start playing with the larger elements (bunches and leaves) by laying them on it, without using any glue. Leave a small empty space on the top, where you will then attach the burlap ribbon (see picture 2 below). 

Once you are satisfied with the result, carefully take all the elements away from the wreath, placing them one by one all around the piece in order to keep the sequence of how you want to glue them (if you want to be totally sure you will get the same result, take a picture before removing them). Now, start sticking all the decorations to the wreath using your hot glue gun, beginning from the ones that will lay behind, in the background. 

I used glue mostly for leaves. For the bunches, instead, I preferred working with the wire: I inserted the bottom of the clusters between the wines and twisted the wire around them to keep everything in place. Then, I wrapped a berries-decorated wire all around the wreath to keep the pieces well in place. 

Last, but not least, glue a burlap ribbon on top. You can make your own by folding a strip of fabric and sewing in the center. If you want to prevent it from fraying, just brush some Mod Podge or any other clear-drying glue on the perimeter and let it dry before forming the decoration. 

And here is my finished piece. Hope you enjoyed this little tutorial. 




 
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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Great news!

Hi everyone! 

Today I want to share with you some nice news and improvements I have been working on lately.

First of all, let’s talk about Pinterest: I recently started exploring it and I just love, love, love how inspirational this social network can be for beaders and creative people in general. With all the beautiful works shared by hundreds of talented artists, it is an endless source ideas. I therefore decided to start using it much more frequently. 

And here is the first small new feature: you can now directly pin any image posted on this blog by clicking on the little button that appears on the top left, when you pass with your mouse over it.


But now, let’s get to the seriously interesting stuff! I indeed collected the most gorgeous pieces I could get my eyes on and got them organized in 3 boards in order to share with you my sources of inspiration. They are called earrings, bracelets and necklaces respectively and contain beautiful designs for which patterns are not available or are for sale. I hope they will help your creativity fly (at least as much as they helped mine ;-) ). 

But wait, that’s not it! I said “seriously interesting” right? And that to me means patterns lots of them and possibly free!...so here is the juicy part: I also created my new, super-favorite board, called FREE PATTERNS where I am collecting a fantastic mix of jewelry pieces, coupled with instructions to start making these beautiful treasures right away! Just click on the Pinterest button you find here on the left, and let the fun begin!...


And..don't go away! News are not over yet! Indeed, I LOVE video tutorials, so I also started putting together all my favourite ones into playlists on my new youtube channel, which you can visit by clicking on the button you find here on the left, just under the Pinterest one! 

Ok, this is it for now…I hope you will enjoy these little improvements, and don’t forget to come back soon, more great news are on their way! ;-)
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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Pattern: Black lace earrings

Hi everyone!

These days I have been experimenting a little with the beautiful book Bead Romantique by Lisa Kan, so after the Autumn Sparkle and the Romantic Vintage earrings, I decided to create a new pair of earpieces using one more pattern from this amazing text.

This time, however, I based my creation on the instructions for making a necklace (the Black Lace Lariat at page 100). At first, I wanted to make one of the flower medaillons on page 102 and then simply attach it to a fish hook component but I soon realized that I did not have most of the beads suggested (and, after seeing such an inspiring project, I wanted to make the earrings right away!) so I adapted the pattern.

While the instructions of the lariat in the book are covered by copyright, my adaptation takes only a small part of the pattern, changing materials, bead counts and adding extra steps, hence creating a quite different pattern. I therefore felt free to share with you the step by step instructions of my variation. So, if you also would like to create these elegant lacy pieces, just follow the step by step tutorial and pattern below.

Time to complete the project: 1 hour
Difficulty: 2/5






Hope you enjoyed the pattern…if you did, don’t forget to leave a comment ;-)

Have a wonderful day!

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Thursday, October 31, 2013

October like Fall-leaves and pumpkins

October is the month that mostly reminds me of fall. Yes, the heat is gone and so are long hours of light; the weather gets back to be rainy and the days colder. 

But autumn also brings many beautiful surprises: nature gets back its bright colors after the drought of the summer months; trees fill their branches with gorgeous orange, yellow and red shades; in the morning, dew decorates leaves and flowers with its shiny, crystalline drops while making the air crispy and clean.

So, when in the fields it is the time of harvesting crops, we can start enjoying the warmth of our homes, but also still spend nice days outside delighted by the little gifts that nature presents us with during this beautiful month. 

It is now time to wish everyone a happy harvest and prepare for a spooky Halloween, without forgetting that “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower” – Albert Camus

 

 
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Friday, October 25, 2013

Romantic treasure chest

Hi everyone! 

As you probably know by now, little sparkling treasures are my passion: I love tiny earrings, colorful bracelets, elegant pendants…but all of these beauties deserve an adequate container to be stored in.

I already had a small jewelry box, but, of course, space for my little gems is never enough, so when my eye was caught by a beautiful mdf box at a craft fair, I couldn’t resist. Once I got home, I decided I would immediately turn it in a romantic treasure chest worth of holding my little creations, so I started working. 

First of all, I used some acrylic gesso which would prevent the permeable surface to drink all paint. Once the surface was dry, I sanded it and brushed it with a cream acrylic color. After about 30 minutes of drying time, I used a sponge to apply some brown paint (thinned out with water, in order to get a slightly transparent coat). 

Lastly, I decorated the piece attaching lace, ribbons and a cute heart charm. I then cut some small squares of felt, which I inserted to protect the bottom from any scratch. 

And here is my romantic treasures holder! 

Have a lovely day!

 
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