Monday, January 31, 2011

Polar love...

Remember these little guys?  Well, they went on a little journey recently that I will share with you some day.  They had a lot of fun seeing the big city for the first time; ate the best sushi and frolicked on the smoothest ice.

And look who they brought with them...

She is so pretty and sweet, sporting her beautiful Valentine scarf and her warm little hat.

Welcome home...there is no place like it !

We're expecting a blizzard here in Toronto, and the kiddies can't wait to have a snow day!  It will be the perfect day to stay home and work on our Valentine cards or have a Disney movie marathon.

What do you like to do on a snow day, or are you lucky to have warm weather year round?

I hope you're keeping safe and warm!

much love,

I made the little polar bear using the same method seen here

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Love Mantel...

Every day is Valentine's day when you love and are loved


Love is patient,

love is kind and is not jealous;  

love does not brag and is not arrogant,

does not act unbecomingly;

it does not seek its own,

is not provoked,

does not take into account a wrong suffered,


does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 
bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails...But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

sending you much love,

Mantel 100% homemade with love.
(simple jars filled with faux snow, faux jars, coffee filter roses, heart wreath made out pages of a book and coloured with water colour, hanging book page mittens, stack of old books, dollar store shadow box with page book heart.

sharing the love here

and at


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A rose tutorial just for you...

As promised, here is the rose tutorial.  I hope you find the instructions easy to follow.

You will find that the initial preparation takes a little bit of time, but I hope you'll agree that the end results are worth it.  I would love to see how your roses turn out.

This is the rose we will be making, let's get started...

Here is what you will need:
Coffee filters
Food colouring or dye (red and yellow)
Floral wire
Floral tape
Paint brush

1. Dilute food colouring or dye in water (the richer the colour, the darker the rose).  In order to expedite the process, use a large container where you can place several coffee filters at the same time.
2. Place coffee filter in the coloured water.  The longer you leave the filter in the water, the richer the colour will be.  Continue this process and allow to dry.  If you are like me and don't like waiting, you can use a hair dryer to expedite the process.
3. In a small container, dilute yellow and red food colouring or dye to make orange; this will be used for the centre of the rose (you can skip this step and the next step, however,  I think that this is what makes the rose so realistic looking)
4.With a paint brush, gently add the orange/yellow colour to the edge of the filter.  The filter must be dry or the paint will run and mix with the pink. Once again, allow to dry.

Is this not the most beautiful bunch
of coffee filters you have ever seen?

5. Once the filter is dry, take the filter with the orange edge (not very noticeable in the picture, but you want it to be very gradual) and fold in half.
6. Fold that half in half.
7. Cut the bottom of the filter as shown
8. Open the filter and cut a slit on one side only as shown.

9. Take your floral wire (sorry, I forgot to buy some and so I used a pipe cleaner; it works well but it's not as sturdy as floral wire)
10. Start wrapping the coffee filter around the pipe cleaner
11. Continue wrapping until...
12. The entire filter is wrapped around the wire

13. With floral tape, tightly wrap bottom of rose as shown
14. In a similar way as steps 5 and 6, fold filter to form a triangle (I folded it 4 times)
15. (Optional) With your scissors, scallop the edges.  This does not have to be perfect.; nature is perfectly imperfect.
16. Open filter and repeat steps 9-13.  You will repeat steps 9-13 until you have the desired size. For this particular rose I used 4 filters in total.

17. Once you are satisfied with the size, wrap the filter one last time but this time...
18. Wrap the entire wire

19. It's difficult to tell from the pictures but the last row of  'petals'  looks like one continuous petal.  In order to give the rose a realistic look you will have to cut the filter in the shape of a petal..see fig. 20.
21. I tried to show you with an arrow how the cut would look (I apologize for the quality of the picture)
22. The rose is now done.  Now it's time to fluff it up and make it look real by adjusting the petals.  Use the method I showed you here (steps 6-7). 

.................Take a deep breath.................

And we are done!  As I mentioned before, the initial process of dying the filters takes some time, but once you have all those beautiful filters ready, you should be a master rose maker by your second rose! (fingers crossed for you)

 I can almost smell it...

I displayed my roses on Our Valentine's Mantel, if you get a minute jump over and take a look.

I hope you found the tutorial useful.  If you have any questions, please let me know and I will respond to them as soon as I can.  Don't forget to share your new creations with me.

As for the jar tutorial.....well.....I will try to get that to you as soon as I can, but like I said before, it's a work in progress so I have yet to master the technique.  Perhaps we can learn together?

I'm going to enjoy a nice cup of tea now. See you soon!

much love,

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Winter blossoms

As the heart of winter smothers us with its grey skies and harsh cold winds, I long the warmth of summer.  I long to see green grass and blooming gardens.

Have you heard of the Blue Monday Phenomenon?  Apparently, there are scientific formulas that have determined Monday, January 24th to be the saddest day of the year and hence, Blue Monday (some say it was this past Monday, January 17th...did you feel sad?).

The formula is based on many factors, including: weather conditions, debt level (the difference between debt accumulated and our ability to pay), time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and feeling the need to take action.  Do you think there is such a thing?  Are you feeling the winter blues?  In case you need a little cheering up, I made these for you....

I have always loved the contrast between the vintage glass and the pinks of roses and shabby.

It almost feels like summer...

...but alas, even the flowers, as they look out the
window, know that winter is here for a long time.

These are homemade faux vintage jars.  I have been experimenting with different methods to get them just right, but it's still a work in progress (Anna, they don't compare to yours).

I thought of doing a tutorial of these flowers....

...but given there are a plethora of rosette tutorials out there, I decided to hold off for now.

But if you are interested, I would be more than happy to post a tutorial for you.

I hope you remain rosy and cozy on this cold winter day!

much love,

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

sweet rose treat

Never say 'oops' say 'Ah Interesting!'

Have I bored you with my Valentine ideas yet?  I hope not because here is another one.

This one was born out of , as my sons would say, a 'fail', or what I call 'a deleted scene'.  I had this vision of making beautiful little flowers out of a lollipop and conversation hearts and in my head, I thought I could soften the lollipop in the microwave and stick the hearts right on to it.  Easy, right?!? 

Well, not so much.  The sugar of the lollipop
become too brittle and the 'petals' kept falling off. 
In other words...'FAIL'

And so I started to play some more, using
the melted sugar from the lollipop....

And was soon sculpting with melted sugar.

Pretty?  Well here's a little warning: these beauties come with a price...burnt finger tips...ouch!  I've never worked with melted sugar before and quickly learned it's almost like working with hot have to work extremely quickly as the sugar hardens in seconds.

Not an ideal craft, so I am giving you an alternate pain free method, with very similar results...

These little guys are made out of gumdrops. 

Here is a little tutorial for a gumdrop rose lollipop...

You will need:
 Jumbo Gumdrops (red, green or colours of choice)
Rolling Pin
Lollipop Stick

Sprinkle your working surface with sugar
(this will prevent gumdrop from sticking)

Flatten gumdrop with rolling pin...

With your fingers, stretch out the
gumdrop to form a long thin piece
(that's one unattractive picture)

Cut some of the gumdrop and
roll around the lollipop stick...

With kitchen scissors, cut a couple of petals
 (notice that my petals are not exactly the same? 
That's because I don't know how to be
 'symmetrically' correct...that's hubby's job)

Wrap the petals one by one...

...overlapping them until you have the desired size.

TIP: if you find that the gumdrop is
too sticky, add some sugar. If it's
not sticking, add a tiny bit of water.

This is me with way too much time on my hands....

This one is for my sister in law who loves daisies....:o)

Package them up in a little treat bag....

Tie with a pretty Valentine sweet!

And here is my most beautiful blossom holding our little sweet treats!  I cherish those chunky little fingers....just want to eat them up! :o)

So, the moral of the story is: go ahead and make mistakes...because they are the bridge between experience and wisdom.

Have a sweet day!

much love,

sharing my roses here

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...