Friday, June 25, 2010

Persoanlized Wedding Gift: Monogrammed Candle Holders!

My friend, Deb, got married a few weeks ago. I wanted to make a gift for her and Josh that was personal and classy--something they could use for years to come.
Enter my cousin Julie, who is a consultant for PartyLite. They have some cool, albeit somewhat expensive, candles and accessories. Last year they had a special on their Express It candle holders and I bought several, knowing they'd make great gifts.

The premise behind Express It candle holders is the way they can be personalized. There are two columns of glass and you can put all kinds of things in the spaces between the cylinders.

My idea was to personalize it so that you could use it without anything between the columns if you'd like.

The first thing I did was to frost the inside column so that you could use it without any kind of insert. I used two coats of Valspar Frosting Spray Paint that I found at Hobby Lobby, letting it dry for about 15 minutes between coats. It sprayed on very evenly, which surprised me. I expected the spray to look uneven as if you'd used regular spray paint.

Then I got out my Silhouette SD. The Silhouette is an electronic cutter that you connect to your computer and can be used for various mediums including vinyl (like I used for this project), cardstock, and paper. It's similar to a Cricut if you're familiar with that line of cutters.

I wanted to monogram the candle holder with a "W" for Woodson--their last name. The letter needed to be at least 4 inches high. I selected black vinyl and the font was "Twilight" (from the movie series).
After cutting my "W", I applied it to the OUTSIDE glass cylinder. This will allow them to change out the items between the glasses, or leave it plain, and still have it look elegant.

If you don't have a vinyl cutter, you can find vinyl monograms at places like JoAnn Fabrics, Hobby Lobby, or even on eBay or Etsy. Don't limit yourself to monograms, however. Stickers in shapes like stars or hearts would be lovely. Think outside the box!
I think the project came out very well! I can see these being used as table centerpieces, on buffet tables, or in a living room setting. Of course, they also make great personalized gifts!
I have a few of them left. Wonder if I should make one for us?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tipsy Pots: Leaning Towers of Flowers!

This is right after we planted the flowers. They've filled out now!

I saw a cute planter at a house in a nearby town and thought it was adorable--and about to fall over!

My sister-in-law, Lisa, said she knew the secret to the "tip" and would be happy to make me a set.
I don't have pictures of everything, but here's what you need:
--At least 3 clay pots in various sizes with a center drainhole in the bottom
--Metal rod that's at least six inches taller than your stacked pots
--Drainage material (I used packing peanuts.)
--Potting soil

Our pots were different shades of terra cotta, and I really like red, so we started by painting the pots red with three coats of spray paint.

Push the metal rod down into the soil where you want your tower to sit. This isn't a project you can move around after you finish it. You have to make it where it will live!

Slide the biggest pot down over the rod through the drainage hole. Add a layer of drainage material then fill it almost to the top with potting soil. Be sure to have your kids help you with this part. Mine love getting dirty!
Put the next largest pot over the rod through the drainage hole. (Now you're starting to see how this is going to work, right?) Tip it to one side so that the top edge of the pot is leaning on the rod. You may have to add more soil to the bottom pot to get your second pot to sit where you'd like it. Pack the soil down because when you water your flowers it will cause the soil to settle. Once you have your pots how you'd like them, add your drainage material and potting soil to the second pot.

Repeat this process until you get to your top pot. Plant the flowers and give them a good soaking of water.

Watering this tower can be a bit challenging in the beginning. The soil will settle and the water will run out of the pots, taking some dirt with it. As long as you filled the pots with soil to begin with, they'll be fine. The flowers will "spill" over the sides when they start to grow.

Next year I'm planning a larger tower using bigger pots and more of them! They're definitely unique. In fact, I've seen two cars stop and take a picture of them in our front yard!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I'm Ba-a-a-a-a-a-ck!

Hopefully, my hiatus is over! What a wild ride this last year has been.

My blog is going to have a little re-vamp. More crafts, sewing, projects, and recipes.
I can't wait to get back at it!