Friday, May 15, 2009

Bright Ideas

I had such fun getting things ready for the talk I gave Tuesday night on "Use What You Have" decorating. I had been accumulating ideas that I am constantly finding here and there, thinking "Oh, how cute! I need to do that". Well, all of a sudden --- I REALLY needed to do that !! And now, I will share with you. Presenting -- candle ideas.....except, this first one --- NOT a candle. But so could be used to hold a candle. It's filled with buttons collected over probably 75 years. I found two jars of these buttons at my Mother-in-law's house when we moved her to "the Village" and I fell in love with them. They came to live with me !!!! The look of these buttons in jars is one of those things that just so appeals to my eyes. The jars usually are not decorated, but this I had to try. I like it!
I took an old piece of sheet music and cut a length that would reach around the jar. You don't have to destroy music to do this. Just copy onto regular paper, dip in leftover tea or coffee -- both work -- tea smells better. Then smooth out and let it dry completely. Attach to the jar with glue or I attached it with double-sided tape so I can easily take it off and do something else if I want. Then I covered the top and bottom edges with what looks like antique lace. NOT. I bought it in a spool at Wal-mart -- 3 yds. for less than $3. I used the tape here as well. Tie a piece of jute twine around the middle and embellish with an old broach. A clip-on earring would work great too. Or slip a charm of any sort on the twine and embellish it that way. It just needed something kinda blingy, I thought. I really like this look.
Here is a new quart jar with a new piece of taffeta (found at Hobby Lobby) wrapped around, jute wrapped around several times and ties and an old broach pinned on. Instead of cutting the fabric with scissors, I am really liking the look of torn edges. It just is another element of interest. Place a chunky pillar candle in the jar.....lovely. I think a whole row of these on a mantle OR down the middle of a table OR I want to make about a dozen to put on my back porch for summer parties. This is an inexpensive Dollar Tree pillar candle with torn muslin ribbon wrapped around several times. Then a piece of the lace to secure the key and the picture is just tucked in under the muslin. The picture is my grandparents house, the key belongs to the front door. If you look very closely you see my mother, about age 10, riding her bike (right side of the picture, in front of the first porch post). I love this picture!!

To make muslin ribbon --- buy the cheapest muslin you can find. It has the least shape and wrinkles easier than the pricier kind. Then literally rip ribbons of the fabric, tearing across the fabric. Just experiment with'll see what I mean. I'll post more about this soon since I have some more uses for this muslin ribbon.
Here -- a couple of pillar candles embellished with upholstery tacks. Choose your design, choose the type tack you like-- the cross is black tacks, the "R" is antique brass. You can also use thumbtack -- they come in all sorts of colors. Just find your design and transfer it onto the candle using a pencil or a toothpick -- just "trace" the design. This is VERY inexpensive to do, but I've seen embellished candles in stores that are pretty pricey. I left these plain so the design could be seen, but I think something like leather strips tied around top and bottom would be nice. Two antique cheese graters, given me by friend Mendi. I just stood them on end, tied them together with jute twine and no, you can't see it, but behind there is a small canning jar containing a votive candle. It stands in the corner of my counter top and at night looks very interesting. There are all sorts of cheese graters out there. Even a new grater can be spray painted to match the kitchen. You don't have to go with the rustic look like I do. Make it your own.
Well, those are a few sweet and inexpensive projects. None of these took much time and they each have a little, warming effect tucked in here and there in my home. Give it a try!
Blessings on this Friday,
Gwynie Pie

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