Monday, December 19, 2011

Tomato Planter Christmas Trees

I've been tempted to buy the prefab guys, like these, but $40+ just seemed too expensive.  Thank goodness for the internet.  Pinterest, specifically.  I found this easy (read: cheap and easy) solution.  

If you can't tell - that's just an upside down tomato cage and a ton of lights.  

42" Tomato Cage - $2.57
3 sets 100 Lights - $2.68x3

Total:  $10.61

Made one for each side of the door.  Not too shabby. 

Testing the lights first, of course.

The only part that had any real planning was wrapping the bottom layer.  Just threaded the lights around the bottom loop.

Then diagonally up and down the "tree" until it looked full.  These pictures are with 1 strand of 150 lights, but I ended up adding more for the final picture - 300 lights total.

I thought I would need florist wire to secure the top, but the lights did it for me.  Just wrapped them around each other to tighten up the top.

That's all there is to it.  My Mom actually made one as well - but wrapped it with greenery first and it looks great.  This is an easy project to make your own.

One step closer to being ready for Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Decorating

My husband and I bought a house this year.  I've always loved Christmas and have taken pride in our seasonal decorating skills, but my neighbors -  they are serious decorators!  Time to step it up.  So we started with icicle lights.  Easy enough.

But then we needed something for the windows.  Honestly, I think most of the wreaths I see in stores are tacky.  Just too much flare for me.  I was able to find a handful of wreaths at Michaels and just added a little berry for color.  Easy windows done.  

I wanted something with a little oomph for the front door, so I decided to make this guy.  Back to Michaels for berries, spray paint and the letter "G."  Woah, popular letter.  Two Michaels and no G's!  Luckily I found one at AC Moore.  

Tangent: Compared to the crazy disheveled-ness that is Michaels at Christmas, AC Moore was a much less chaotic shopping experience.  The place didn't look it had been ransacked and the line was minimal.  I haven't done extensive price comparison, but it might be worth looking into.

Back to the wreath.  

1. If your letter is a light color, you'll probably want to spray-paint it black to avoid any color showing through. To prevent the letter from sticking to the paper, I propped it up on two disposable cups while painting.  I've seen people use push pins for the same purpose on smaller items.

2. While the paint is drying, start cutting small bunches of berries (not individuals) off of the larger bunch.

3. Now it's time to glue. Picking out little sections of berries, manipulate them to fit the shape of your letter and then glue them down. If you haven't used a glue gun before, word to the wise: The heat is no joke. Be careful not to get it on your skin.

4. I ended up applying two layers of berries to the letter, which gave some additional height and texture to fill in the gaps.

And that's it!  My original plan was to hand the G from a ribbon on the door, but it looked a little empty to me.  Additionally, I discovered I have NO ribbon skills.  Looks like it's back to Pinterest for some tips.

So I added it to a wreath.  Much better!

Ultimately I decided it looked best on the side of the wreath.  I may add berries or a ribbon to it later, but for now, I can live with this.  It was honestly pretty easy - although I definitely underestimated both the heat and messiness of a glue gun.  Luckily dried glue peels off almost anything with minimal effort!

Here's how it looks at night:

Final addition - spiral Christmas tree.  Next post!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Artisan Tees, Jill Lauren Knits, Beehive Quilts, Myla's Bags

Our mission is simple: to provide the best products and service to our customers at the lowest prices possible and to support the arts. We take great pride in our company, our commitment to customer service and in the products we sell as well as the artist we help support. Our online store is designed to provide you with a safe and secure environment to browse our product catalog. Or you can always come visit the Artisan Tees store in downtown Charleston S.C. at 47 Spring St.

I love to knit and I love to shop handmade! I learned to knit 10 years ago when I was in the Peace Corps in Russia. I bought some yarn at the market and the little old lady who lived next door to me taught me to knit. I knit many scarves in Russia and when I returned I took a few classes and have been knitting ever since! I love designing new things, everything in my shop is an original design. I also love to shop for vintage items to include in my knitting, especially buttons.

For me, quilting has been something ultra-personal, my own thing. I learned a little from people, a lot from books, but mainly it's been me in a room by myself for the last 10 years developing my own technique. Now I am opening that world up and trying to teach my approach to others.

I've always loved sewing, so opening my own business was something that was bound to happen. In 2006, after many compliments from friends and family about the bags I made for myself, I decided to open up my own company. The company was created as a way to share my ideas and creative handbags, accessories and clothing to the world. All myla's bags creations are a result of my passion for design as well as my intense focus on craft, which ensures that all my products are durably constructed, stylish, fun, & unique. I hope that you have a long and enjoyable relationship with my handbags. Please feel free to check out all I have to offer! 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Proud Mary, Retulled Tutus, Seek Vintage, Jess Ann Jewelry, Bean & Bug

More pics! 

Proud Mary believes in design that solves problems. We create unique, handcrafted patterned goods that are made in a socially and ecologically responsible manner. Our aim is to establish healthy relationships with artisans in developing nations. These relationships offer a beneficial exchange of ideas and resources. Purchasing product along with access to new markets provides economic growth for the artisan and their families. Through our products, we hope to share the stories of the hands by which they are made.

It's never TULLE late to try a tutu!
Get a healthy dose of mayhem with ReTulled Tutus! For women and children, ReTulled's "tousled" tutus come in every size, shape, and color imaginable from metallic to glitter to glow-in-the dark.
All tutus are hand-crafted and can be custom ordered to fulfill any whim, theme, or holiday.

Seek Vintage

A twenty-something with a borderline obsessive love of all things vintage. Loves seeking out treasure among trash. If you're looking for something specific, I might be able to find it for you.

Jess Ann Jewelry

I, Jess Ann Smith, am a jewelry artist and designer.  I create jewelscapes inspired by
nature, color and light.
I am a dreamer. I tread gently on our earth.  I love laughter.  Always a beachcomber.  I crave the outdoors.  Iam always learning.  I love to listen.  I try to be compassionate.  My daughter is my masterpiece.  What else is there...breathe.

I am a stay-at-home mom of two little girls, Bean and Bug, living in Charleston, SC. My grandmother taught me to knit as a little girl and I have always loved the hobby. As my friends started having children, I began knitting baby clothes as gifts. Then I became a mom myself and was able to knit for my own girls. I have often been told that I should sell my knitting, so here it goes.