Friday, February 17, 2012

Coastal Wreath

Recently Hubby and I have been enjoying the beauty of the Mid-Atlantic coast.  We try and get away for a week or at least a very long weekend every few months.  When placing our home for sale in anticipation of retirement in a very short time, I thought that a pretty wreath on the door leading from the garage into the main home would be nice.  With all this in mind, I decided to make a reminder of our new favorite place for us when we return home.  I am very intrigued by the rustic and natural state of this area.   With cedar shake shingles and sea oats blowing in the breeze of the sand dunes, I was an instant fan. I have even made a photo array in our newly designed master bath of places we love to visit while there.  Perhaps I will  post some of those pictures and the reclaimed frames I painted and distressed later.  Back to my wreath. The ocean is amazing with the strength of the surf and beauty of the sea life. It is very unlike my hometown of Key West, Florida. With the reef not far off shore, we had no real surf growing up and with so much Latin influences, vibrant color was everywhere.  Beautiful in it's own way. Here is so much different.  Browns, greens and white are abundant.  One of our favorite days while visiting is to go beach-coming and bird watching.  Our little divas (Yorkie-poos) love to chase the sea gulls and sand pipers.  It really is cute.  I used as much natural and dried flowers and leaves as I could.  I added some feathers and a little copper sun and accents.  At the bottom is a birdhouse made of balsa wood and a pair of chubby little Carolina wrens.  The large shell to the right is representing The Scotch Bonnet, the state shell of North Carolina and of course the others for the lovely fruits of the sea.  Hope you enjoy.  It really brightens our arrival home! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Valentine Gum Ball Machine

Hello everyone.  I have been MIA for a very long time.  I have missed you. I finally now have time to get back to some crafting.  Hubby and I have finished our home and have placed it for sale.  We are planning a new and exciting move in our lives.  More on that later as things progress.  I made this adorable gum ball machine as Valentine gifts for quite a few girlfriends.  It turned out so cute, I couldn't resist and gave them early. This is not my original idea, I have seen them all over Blogland and Pinterest.  I don't remember the first one I saw, but it was a little different, I put my own twist on it.  If you would like to make your Valentine one, you will need:

1 four inch terra cotta pot
2 four inch terra cotta saucers
1 ivy bowl with smooth edge top
1 silver cabinet knob
E 6000 glue
spray primer
red high gloss spray paint
Sentiment cricut cut Sweetheart cartridge "hugs & kisses"cut at 2.5" out of silver metallic contact paper or vinyl
10 rhinestones (a little bling :)

Before you begin, remove all labels.  I failed to take photos for you, so I am staging the process.  Hope that is OK.  You may need a little Undu or Goof Off, be sure your pieces are completely dry before you proceed.  At this step I recommend that you drill your hole in your saucer if you are using a cabinet knob.  If you choose a wooden knob with no screw, do not glue at this point.  The reason to drill your hole now, is in the event you crack your lid, you have not already painted.  You will need a special bit, we had it as my wonderful hubby recently finished tiling our new master bath. It is a diamond bit, a little pricey, but so worth it.  Make sure you keep pouring a little water on the saucer as you drill, this keeps it cool and helps prevent cracking.  If you choose the glue the knob method, you skip the drilling.  Once your pieces are ready, begin by assembling your creation before the painting.  
E 6000 is the perfect glue for this, it is clear and readily accepts paint.  Turn the pot upside down and glue the saucer right side up to the bottom of it.  Now you can paint your pieces. Be patient.  The terra cotta will absorb the paint.  That is why to use the primer.  After numerous coats, it begins to get glossy and smooth.  Just like gum ball machines from your childhood.  Paint the glued piece and the single saucer.  Making sure to paint the undersides of both pieces.  At this point, if using a wooden knob, paint it in a contrasting color.  I would use silver.  It will coordinate nicely with the contents.  

After your pieces have completely dried, glue your ivy bowl to the top of the saucer.  I found mine at Dollar Tree.  You want to get the kind that has a smooth edge on the top.  The ruffled edge one would be chip prone with the heavy terra cotta lid.  Use that fab glue E600, be generous, and swish it around as you are pushing, in order to create a tight seal.  

 Now really all that is left is to cut your sentiment. 
 I chose "hugs & kisses" from the Cricut cartridge Sweethearts, but this sentiment is available on numerous other cartridges.  I found the silver metallic contact paper on the closeout aisle at Lowe's.  You could use any vinyl or even card stock that is appropriately prepped with adhesive to adhere to the glossy paint.  Then just a bit of bling, my rhinestones were pre-glued and then just screw on your knob.  Add that yummy chocolate and you are done.  Hope you make one.  So simple, but has been such a hit.  I have made about a dozen and the smiles are so worth it.  Hope you like my little project.  Leave me a comment, let me know what ya think!