Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cirque De Noel

Tis the season...

In each of us there is creativity. In some of us it flows like a rain swollen river and in others it comes as often as rain to the barren desert. But still, there is that spark of inspiration in each of us that comes out in so many ways. It seems to be especially prolific this time of year when our hearts turn to home and loved ones. Beauty is created out of imagination, wonder manifests itself from love, and  joy comes from the appreciation of ones work.  
For the last four years Heidi Nebecker who is a member of our art group has decorated a tree for the ChristmasTree Jubilee held in Ogden Utah at the David Eccles conference center.  Each year I am amazed at the beauty that comes from this girls heart and imagination.  She puts her whole heart and soul into each beautiful tree she decorates.  For this years Christmas Jubilee she created a Cirque De Noel themed tree.  The tree glitters with glass ornaments and garlands.  Cheerful St. Nick banners and teal taffeta fabric weave through the sparkled branches.  Animals are dressed in their finest attire as they await the arrival of Santa Clause in handmade hot air balloons.  A netting of lights and a charming hand cranked Ferris Wheel set the scene for magic and imagination. 

My pictures hardly do the tree any justice.  To see the tree in person is purely magical.

Each beautiful tree created for the Jubilee are auctioned off and the funds collected benefit the special-needs children of the Weber School District.

The magical details...

The animals are from the Bethany Lowe Halloween collection that Heidi redressed with Christmas attire. The small glittering lights at the base of the tree and on the Ferris Wheel are from Restoration Hardware .  They are the prettiest lights I have seen. 

The beautiful Christmas star are two seperate stars from the Pottery Barn that she glued together and glittered.  It is stunning!

To create your own magical hot air balloon follow Heidi's picture tutorial.

Blow up the balloon and tie a long string to the end.  Tie the balloon between two chairs pulling to get the shape of the balloon.

Apply wet plaster guaze over the bottom third of the balloon and let dry.
Dick Blick has a wonderful plaster cloth 

Tape a string to the other end of the balloon so you have a way to hang your hot air balloon.

Plaster the rest of your balloon and hang from a light fixture or closet rod.  Let dry completely and add a mixed joint compound that you can buy at Lowes or Home Depot.  Mix per directions dilluting the compound so it is thinner than sour cream.  Brush on the compound with a two inch brush.  The thinner the compund the smoother the finish will be.  When completely dry the balloon is ready to be sanded.  A foam sanding block works great.  

Create or purchase a netting and attach to a basket.  An old fishing net would be perfect.

Paint your hot air balloon and glitter it using a pretty German glass glitter or our BFF Martha Stewarts beautiful glitters.  Combine two colors of glitter like a silver and a gold to give it some depth.  Glitter your netting as well.  Attach netting and basket to the glittered balloon and decorate using christmas trims and tinsels, stars and such.

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. 
Norman Vincent Peale

Enjoy the Season!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012



"Among many truths the speaker discussed,
 a woman needs to be told she is beautiful,"
  "She needs to be told she is valued.  She needs to be told she is worthwhile."
I am grateful for many people in my life.
Especially the beautiful girl you see in these pictures.
She is beautiful inside and out.
I adore her.
I wanted to give her something special.
And so I made this photo collage garland for her.
I printed these images from her Facebook Page.
I glued the images to heavy cardstock, and then covered the back with German music sheet paper. 
 I added some detail with pink thread in my sewing machine,
as well as scrapbook paper. 
I found words that perfectly describe her,
and surrounded them with German glass glitter. 
Wrapping each picture together with delicate wire,
 vintage crystals and pearls. 
It was a perfect gift for someone that I love so much
Diana Camomile Peck

Friday, November 9, 2012

Post Some After Photos

Sometimes the "after" pics of Halloween pumpkins are better than the ones we see during trick-or-treating! A few years ago we were treated to an especially delightful rotting Jack on our porch. 

Anyone have a fun one to share?  Email to our blog's address, and I'll add them to this post.

Its a dreary, rainy Friday here, but here's wishing you a wonderful autumn weekend!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

vintage tinsel holiday wreath tutorial

i am a bit of a vintage tinsel junkie. . . so there was this big ball of green and silver tinsel at the antique store for $1.00. i couldn't resist. even though it looked a bit ratty and melted in places from sitting a little too close to those old big bulb lights on someone's tree fifty years ago. i had visions of little wreaths adorning all my packages. i am working like a little christmas elf making a big pile of tinsel wreaths today and thought i would share how to make them. the tinsel i am using is 1 1/2 inches wide. you could use a smaller tinsel and make a smaller wreath, or loop it around twice to get the fullness.
the bows are from dollar tree $1.00 for 12. they are a fun old looking velveteen ribbon with a wired silver cord twisted around the center. here is the tiny 1 inch bottle brush wreath that was my inspiration.
step 1. cut 7 inches of tinsel and gather together a small red bow, 5 glass garland beads, and Aleene's tacky glue.
step 2. form the tinsel into a circle 3 1/2 inches across. overlap the two tinsel ends and secure by twisting the silver wired cord around the tinsel. trim ends
step 3. put a bit of glue on one side of the glass garland bead and nestle it down into the tinsel.
here is the tinsel wreath class i taught to the art group retreat last holiday season up at Sundance. i added some frosted pine cones, berries and a tiny red bell.
and here is some great vintage tinsel for sale on etsy if you want to make your own vintage tinsel wreath~ some great gold~
fluffy silver tinsel garland.
and this lovely platinum tinsel made in Italy.
search for 'vintage tinsel garland' on etsy for more vintage tinsel. enjoy, Julie Collings

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Squash Pie

Whew!  Halloween is over!!  Everyone who knows me understands how much I dislike Halloween.  I'll never be Lorraine with her 'Cats' quality face painted or Julie with her fantastic beehive hairdo or Cheryl with her amazing Glinda the Goodwitch costume, or even have Emily's tat sleeve...
That's okay.  I'll just stick with the great holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Speaking of Thanksgiving....it's so one of my favorite holidays.  I love the feeling of warmth and yummy smells and family gathered around.  What Thanksgiving traditions do you have at your house?  

One of ours is a pie.  Squash pie.  It's the queen of the gourd pies.  My sister-in-law Jennifer and I can eat an entire pie just standing at the counter and chatting.  I'm serious.  So here's our secret Elton Family Recipe:

1           pie shell
1 1/2     c cooked and mashed hubbard squash
1           c sugar
3           eggs, lightly beaten
3/4        c evaporated milk
1/4        c milk
1           T melted butter
1            t vanilla
1            t cornstarch (dissolved in milk)

Mix together ingredients and pour into pie shell.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

That's it.  Add a dollup of fresh whipped cream and YUM.  Do you have a secret family recipe?

Happy fall day!