Thursday, 17 October 2013

Plum Pudding anyone?

I know, I know . . . it's too early for Christmas.

Or is it?

I made a couple of these cute little Plum Pudding decorations quite a few years ago, and I thought I'd add a couple more to my collection.

Just out of curiosity, when does it stop being a collection and how many does it take before collection becomes obsession??

If you fancy making one of these yourself, here's a simple "how to" . . .

  • 1 polystyrene ball - I've used a couple of different sizes, but prefer the ones that are just about 1 1/2"
  • Pins - Lills Pins (Short) - one container will make a few puddings, plus 1 longer pin for the hanging loop
  • Sequins - 2 colours, darker for the "pudding" and lighter for the "custard/cream"
  • Beads - little ones to suit the lighter sequins, plus 1 slightly larger red one for the berry
  • Holly - Either metallic ones found in the bead section of your local craft store, or my preferred option, Holly cake picks

  1. Use a pen or fine marker to draw a line around the ball to mark the "custard" line. There's no right or wrong - just whatever is pleasing to your eye.
  2. Starting at the bottom, in the centre, pin dark sequins, cupped side DOWN, to the ball until the entire "pudding" is filled up to the "custard" line. Ensure that the sequins slightly overlap each other so no polystyrene is visible
  3. Load your pin with one little bead, then a lighter sequin, cupped side UP.
  4. Starting at the "custard" line, working your way around and then up to the centre top, pin bead/sequins in place. As with the bottom sequins, ensure the sequins slightly overlap each other so no polystyrene is visible. Leave a small area at the top to add the holly.
  5. Trim the stem of the holly to somewhere between 3/4 & 1" (long enough to poke into the ball, but not so long that it pokes out the other end!) 
  6. Using a small amount of glue (suitable for polystyrene) on the stem of the holly, poke the stem into the ball.
  7. Tie a knot in the end of a looped length of metallic thread for the hanger.
  8. Load a small clear bead and then the red bead onto the larger pin (if you've got a larger head on your pin and it doesn't fall through the bead, then don't worry about the clear bead). Poke the pin through the knot of the hanger thread.
  9. Again, using a small amount of glue on the pin, poke the pin into the ball, in front of the holly. I then adjusted the hanger thread so that it wrapped around to the back of the holly leaves (it seemed to hang a bit neater that way). If your holly cake pick comes with a couple of berries attached, you're done. If not, add a couple more red beads on longer pins in front of the holly to make a cluster of berries.
  10. Let the glue dry thoroughly before hanging your "Pudding". Trust me on this - the pins will eventually come out if you don't glue, or don't let the glue dry thoroughly. And no-one wants their pudding falling off the tree prematurely!!
  11. All that's left to do is enjoy these little puddings hanging on your tree (and they sparkle quite nicely if you have lights on your tree, too).

These sequined Plum Puddings make great decorations and great little gifts. They are delightful and calorie-free! Will you stop at just one??

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

It's a matter of perspective

Sometimes you need to get up close to see the detail . . .

Sometimes you need to be further away . . .

To get a different perspective.

We've been to Floriade many times over the 26 years that it's been running. The flowers are always beautiful, colourful and plentiful. But this is the first time we've been up on the Ferris Wheel to see the view from above.

I guess it's the same for gardens . . . or craft . . . or life. Sometimes you need to see and focus on the detail and sometimes you need to take a step back and take in the bigger picture from another perspective.

There's no right or wrong, no better or worse. Both have their own unique purpose and beauty.  I'm so glad I got to be reminded of that. And to see both perspectives of Floriade this year . . .

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Paper Roses

Do you pin?

I do.

But usually that's about as far as the creative process goes.

Well, inspired by Liz Lamoreux's "Pinned it. Did it." posts, I finally did more than pin, browse and pin some more . . .

Stacy Cohen's tutorial for making Paper Roses caught my eye and thought I'd give it a try.

I already had the flower punch. The ink. The paper. And no excuses.

The result was a quick to make, cute paper rose. I'm not sure quite what I'm going to do with it. But what I can say is that I finally did more than just pin it . . .  I pinned it. And I did it!

Pattern: Paper Rose
Designer: Stacey Cohen
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