Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Iron Craft 2016 Challenge #25--Leftovers Wreath

For Challenge #25, we were asked to use our stashes to complete the challenge--no new supplies. After making wreaths for the theater and other people, I still had one wreath remaining from a client that had to cancel her order.

I decided to decorate a wreath for the front door of my apartment. So digging through my stash, I decided to use leftover bits and pieces from other projects and threw them together for my wreath. This really is a jumble of ideas, colors and bits and bobs. So, anything that I had left over was free game. After it was said and done, I really like the way it turned out. It reminds me of an old fashioned Christmas tree with years of memories and ornaments all thrown together.

As a matter of point, I usually don't decorate my apartment for the holidays. Because I am so busy decorating for the theater and for clients, I am usually so exhausted by the time it comes to decorating my apartment that I have no energy or desire left.

This year, I decided to be a little selfish and say no to a couple of clients, for whom I didn't enjoy working, and decided to decorate a small area in my apartment. I also had a trip to Tokyo that took me away for 10 days so it was a little easier to say that I was too busy for clients.

This is a small table in the foyer that I decided to decorate. I covered the wall in a holiday table cloth as a backdrop. I had a Christmas Tree Vintage Ornament set that I brought out (right front). I also decided to use my vintage silver tinsel tree (right back) that I decorated with battery operated lights and faceted metal ornaments from Target, I also used a pink bottle brush tree (left back) that was left over from a previous project. The miniature artificial tree (left front) is from Michaels and is draped with ribbon and vintage mercury ornaments and miniature wood ornaments from Mexico. The wreath is a natural wreath from Target. The stockings are from my collection of stockings that I use for decorating. Each year, I limit my purchases to two new stockings. Mainly, I use them to decorate for clients so they become useful each year. At last count, I had 117 different stockings and will use about 75 stockings each year. The wooden bowl is a handmade bowl that a friend made and gave to me this year as a gift. I decided to make it the centerpiece of the tableau.

I wish the best for you and yours during this holiday season. May the season bring you  light, happiness and joy and I hope you have a spectacular 2017.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Iron Craft 2016 Challenge #24--Lights, Lights, Lights

For Challenge #24, we were asked to create with lights. Being in the middle of my decorating season, I decided to share some of my ideas using lights. These were all designed during this two week period.

Project #1--The Octopus Wreath
This is a throwback to a project that I used to do with younger kids. Originally, we would use a piece of cardboard, wrap it in ribbon and the use tubed icing to put candies on the wreath form. I would always use Lifesavers (either mint or the colorful regular candies). Here is a grown up version that I have used in offices before. This is a Styrofoam form with a flat back (you can also use an extruded Styrofoam form). The first step was to wrap the form with battery operated lights. The second step was to wrap the form and lights in the ribbon of your choice. This isn't totally necessary but I don't like the Styrofoam peeking through the candies. Rather than gluing the candies, I secure the candies with large ball topped quilter's pins. I hang it in a public place so that people can unpin a piece of candy and eat it. I have done a similar wreath at Halloween and used snack sized candy bars.

When in the mood, just flip the switch on the back of the wreath and it lights up. These are red lights under a plaid ribbon.

Project #2--A Vase of Ornaments

This is such an easy idea and is loosely based on Kat's photo/project that accompanied this challenge. Rather than make a wreath of ornaments, I simply took a tall vase and filled it with various sizes of ornaments. This is winter tableau so I used blues, whites, silvers and clear ornaments. I placed some of the smaller ornaments in the bottom and then alternated threading the lights and larger ornaments until the vase was full. The ribbon the top of the vase is decorative but also holds the battery pack in place on the back on the vase.

When you are read, just flip the switch. These are actually twinkling lights which really reflect off the mirrored ornaments.

Project #3--Lighted Packages

View 1 (from the right)

This is another easy project to fill that space that just needs a bit of color or light. I like to use this technique on high shelves or book cases to draw the eye up high or around to specific areas of the room. This is a high shelf that is about 8 feet off the ground. This is a huge room so I wanted to carry the eyes all around. The colors are duplicate from other parts of the room. I simply wrapped empty boxes with reflective paper and decorated the boxes with repeated ornaments and different ribbons. Since there is such little ribbon needed and a basic style wrapping paper, you can use big colors as shown here.

Once the boxes are in place, drape lights above, around and through the boxes to create interest. This is string of lights that is plugged in. The cord is tape down on the back side of the shelf so that it doesn't show.
View 2 (from the front)
When you are ready, just plug in the lights.
View 3 (with lights)