Thursday, March 25
today little bits of green are starting to grow outside. i have some miniature daffodils and crocuses blooming, and with easter just over a week away i wanted to make a little spring nest for the center of my easter table with the fresh green of spring...
start with: a little 3 inch twig nest from the craft store, some brown wire, moss, a feathered bird, a few leaves and flowers, and a piece of tulle to tie on the top.
step #1. wire a handle to the sides of a twig nest. shape the wire in a curve over the top. my handle is doubled and stands 5 inches tall. twist the wire ends around and nest to the nest and clip.
step #2. clip or glue your bird into the nest. the birds i found at micheals are already glittered with clips on the base and are made by 'ashland signature accents'.
step #3. arrange the moss around the base of the bird. i used a dyed reindeer moss, it is soft and such a great color.
step #4. add some tiny fern leaves, flowers and stamens.
step #5. make a little bundle of velvet leaves and flowers and tie on the top of the handle with a piece of tulle or polka dot swiss fabric.
this project is so easy and quick, you might make one for each place setting. i am planning to arrange my spring nest on a pretty square creamware platter with some miniature daffodils and chocolate foil eggs. happy spring day for you, its snowing here.....
Thursday, March 18
i have had this idea for weeks, a sewn wool egg with vintage trim stripes and a little bunny tucked inside. this is what i had in mind from the beginning for artful thursdays, time for me every week to just make whatever i can imagine. it was so much fun making stuffie bunny and i can't wait to make a whole basket of them.
this darling vintage book got me started today. the the easter egg artists by adrienne adams. it was published in 1976 by weekly reader books, one of my favorite children's publishers from my childhood.
i started with a bit of wool and polka dot tricot from a vintage lounge suit (i actually tried it on, comfy but hideous...), little ric rac and trims, stuffing, and some embroidery threads.
step #1. sketch the size of egg you would like on a piece of paper and cut out 2 patterns. mine is 4 1/2 inches tall and 3 1/2 inches wide. draw a simple bunny shape inside one egg so you know he will fit.
step #2. pin the pattern to your tricot or other non-fraying soft material and stitch along your pattern lines leaving a small opening for stuffing. i like to sew first and then cut out the bunny as this keeps the fabrics from sliding and i can cut really close to the stitching.
step #3. carefully tear off the paper pattern. the stitching perforates the paper and it comes right off.
step #4. stuff your bunny using a chopstick to get the stuffing up in the ears and sew the opening closed.
step #5. embroider a the eyes and nose using a satin stitch. sew the little mouth with a back stitch. i anchored the whisker threads with one back stitch and left the ends long then trimmed them to length.
step #6. now to make the wool egg. cut out one full egg out of wool using your original egg pattern. cut the paper pattern in half with a big zig zag for a cracked half egg and cut out of wool. stitch along the cracked edge of your egg.
step #7. select a few trims you like and line them up in stripes on the half egg. stitch them in place letting the trim ends hang over the sides of the egg.
step #8. pin the cracked egg to the full egg back and stitch all around the full egg. cut off the trim ends.
now all you have to do is tuck your stuffie bunny in your egg with a little paper grass and a baby chick to keep him company. a few tiny treats would fit in the bottom of the egg for a sweet surprise. enjoy, julie
Tuesday, March 16
the story is she was an irish gypsy and he was an irish priest. they fell in love and ran away to america. i came along a couple of generations later and i happen to know for a fact that explains the following about me:
stormy weather is my favorite, i love the ocean, i have two redheaded daughters with feisty tempers, and i always keep my eyes open for four leaf clovers...
this is a fun leprechaun wallpaper my daughter marina designed. mind blowing isn't it. download it to your screen saver at retro and ruby here:
i wore a bit o' green today and i am going to see 'leap year' tonight to celebrate. irish boy that runs a pub gets girl romantic comedy.
its my lucky day, julie
Thursday, March 11
this week candice and i put together our very first nesting kits for spring. all the lovely goodies to make your own paper mache eggs here in the art nest shop, just opened up today! other big news, we are working on a quarterly magazine, can't wait to show you how it is turning out... and the art nest summer retreat will be up next week.
i have always adored these paper mache eggs made in germany. one year i decorated a whole nest of them. this year i had the idea to cut out the back of one of the eggs to make a little window. then i found these little glittery white birds and my artful thursday project just flew together....
gather together a paper mache egg, tinsel for the nest, glittery bird, silver dresden paper scrap, ribbon, and a few millinery bits.
step #1. draw a window on the back of one half of your paper mache egg. cut out the window using an exacto blade.
step #2. use a finger nail file to smooth the edges of your window.
step #3. paint the outside of your egg with acrylic paint. i left the inside plain so the pretty pink floral pattern would show.
step #4. punch a hole in the top of your egg using a 1/8 inch punch.
step #5. glue a strip of dresden paper daisies or small trim around the edge of your egg.
step #6. glue some millinery stamens and a spun cotton mushroom to the bottom of the egg.
step #7. shape the tinsel into a nest and glue in place. glue in some flowers and a glittery bird.
step #8. thread a glass currant on a chenille stem through the hole in your egg and twist it into a curlicue.
step #9. tie some ribbon and stamens to chenille curlicue
hang your lovely little paper mache egg where the sunlight can shine through the back onto the little nest. see candice's egg she made today here. and a peek at the new nesting kits.
hope you all had a happy thursday, julie
Tuesday, March 9
can you even imagine getting this package in the mail? hosting the tiny book swap was absolutely amazing! every day as a new package would arrive filled with tiny books for the swap i couldn't believe how lovely each one was. my mailman seriously thought something was up, the packages just kept arriving...
one weekend we got out our big banquet tables and lined up the wallpaper envelopes i made and my family helped me divide up all the books and package them up to be mailed. i had to drag this huge box to the post office.
we ended up with two extra packages of tiny books from the swap so everyone agreed we would love to donate them to rebecca sower to be auctioned off for haiti. i have been so impressed with all the work she has done to help us contribute to relief efforts. you can bid on them here and see more lovely photographs of our project.
what a beautiful gift combined from each of the artists, another reminder that together we can accomplish great things.
Thursday, March 4
in celebration of tim burton's new movie coming out tomorrow i made a little paper banner to celebrate wonderland...
well, that and my college daughter wanted a tiny crepe paper banner to hang in her dorm that looked like spring.
here is the alice in wonderland photo i used for my color inspiration.
i started with: stack of vintage papers, crepe paper streamers, string, stickers, letter stamps, ink, glue.
step #1. cut out a pile of paper diamonds and glue them to crepe paper.
step #2. fold the paper diamonds in half and cut the crepe paper border with zig zag and scallop scissors.
step # 3. using alphabet stamps and black ink stamp the letters for 'wonderland' on flower stickers and attach to each paper triangle.
step # 4. fold the triangles over a length of vintage baby yarn and glue in place.
step # 5. cut a piece of black and white striped crepe paper and wire into a little rosette. (rosette tutorial here)
step # 6. wire the rosette and a piece of ribbon to the end of the yarn.
step #7. glue a tiny applique to the center of each crepe paper rosette.
i hope to invite a little more wonderland into my studio... cross your fingers i can get tickets for this weekend, julie