Monday, 10 December 2012

What To Do With A Load of Old Sticks...

Just a quick one today.   I've finished my wreath and although it's not what I had in mind, I love it even better I think.

Our friend brought over some random sticks and things from her mom's backyard and within all the stuff was these bendy little sticks she thought I could use. 

Building it was pretty easy. 

I started with a 12" wire wreath form I bought on ebay.  3 for £3.  Not bad.

Branch by branch I wired them to the frame, making sure they were all facing in the same direction.   Oh and it's easier if you wire them onto the backside of the frame.

Once that was done, I wired up loads of pine cones and attached them to the front of the frame, making sure to try and cover the wires holding the twigs on. 

Big tip:  when wiring the pine cones, leave two bits of wire hanging from the pine cone to twist together once on the frame rather than trying to wrap one long piece of wire around the frame.  It just doesn't work.... especially once you get loads of stuff on it.  

Anyway,  there it is.  

The beauty of doing stuff like this is.... it doesn't matter what you put on it really.  If you can attach it to a frame, you can make a wreath out of it.  

It doesn't have to be perfectly formed either.   

Monday, 3 December 2012

Tree Ornaments - Take 2

 Attempt number 2 at tree ornaments went much better than expected today.

I made salt dough instead of actual cookie dough and it works so well that I don't want to stop!   There creative possibilities are endless!

Salt dough is easy:

2 cups of plain flour
1 cup of salt
3/4 cup of water

Knead thoroughly until the mixture forms a smooth, firm dough.  You may have to adjust the water or flour a tiny bit to get it right.

This is the recipe for a plain white dough.  I really wanted a gingerbread cookie appearance so I dumped in a pile of cinnamon, ground cloves, all spice and mace.   All the good ones.   Now my ornament dough is a golden brown and smells terrific!

Rolling out the dough is easy but you will need to do this on a floured surface just as with any other rolled dough.  

The thickness is really up to you.  I made mine pretty thin then began to cut out the shapes.  

Heat the oven to somewhere around 100C (200F)  or is it 100F (200C)?  I can never remember.   Whatever is the lowest setting on your oven will do it.   Some recipes may say a higher temperature however, I found the higher setting made the ornaments puff up.  (Yes, I turned the oven up because I was being impatient.) 

I didn't bother timing them either.   (living dangerously again!)   I just kept an eye on them.  It took around 20mins and you need to turn them halfway through! 

By this time,  I was late to pick up the munchkin from nursery.   


I decided to get in the car, get munchkin, then drive over to Hobbycraft to get paint.   Fatal error.  I ended up finding all kinds of really cool stuff to make these ornaments!  

I got some more of those wooden shapes (like the reindeer I put on the candles),  some rubber stamps, paint, glitter pens, gingham Christmas tree shapes.... and on and on! 

Here are some of the results. 

 These ones were air dried and came out white! 

The oven dried ones stayed brown. 

 Of course Mummy has some sparkle.

 Fancy cut outs

 These were done with the rubber stamps.

The only problem is I need to make more to use all the bits I bought!