O’ Christmas Tree

joy_candy_spiegel3Christmas is coming a little slowly this year … mostly because I started a new job and even though it is only part time, it has thrown quite a wrench in my schedule.

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I love the music, the lights, receiving Christmas cards, finding the perfect gifts and making some as well. The one thing I hate is being stressed or feeling like I have to do something. Those feelings are coming on strong, so I am starting to scale back a bit … letting some things go so I can continue to enjoy the season. One thing I have given up on is the tree. I decided since it is still in the box and I have way too many other things to enjoy, I will just leave it there.

I did hang some of my favorite ornaments — the ones with a bit of red in them — on the tree my husband made me from barn wood. This tree lives in my house all year long. I change out the decorations for the season and also include photos and cards from others. And, although I was so busy, I completely missed fall, I did manage to put some special touches on it for Christmas.

I started with picking up a wooden star at Michael’s. I painted it with Distress Paint and hung it above the tree. Then, I added some store-bought garland and my the first card I received this year — from my friend Marilyn.

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I think it turned out pretty good … what do you think?

One-of-a-Kind knobs from Home Depot

barn tree 7 candy spiegelSo you can’t really BUY one-of-a-kind knobs at Home Depot, but you can buy plain wooden knobs and make them one of a kind.

That’s what I did for some of the knobs on my tree.

Wooden knobs sell for less than $1 each and I used paper-crafting products I already had on hand, so these knobs were practically free, as well as being unique.

knob4_candy_spiegelI coated the first two knobs with Globecraft & Piccolo Embossing Powder. I popped the top on the dabber adhesive and used a paintbrush to coat the wooden knobs with Globecraft & Piccolo Embossing Adhesive. Then I dumped the powder on them and then heated them.

This one I did in Mermaid Tears …

001I found that my Ranger Heat Gun was taking forever to melt the powder, so I pulled out my traditional heat gun on these. I had a lot of bubbling as I heated them — caused by the amount of adhesive that was painted on and the intense heat of the gun. I just let them cool for a minute and then hit with heat again until I got a somewhat smooth finish. There are still some bubbles, but since this is such a rustic piece, I thought they fit right in.

This one is done in Vintage Silver.

002Next I turned to paint … I painted two additional knobs with Claudine Hellmuth’s Studio white paint. I screwed the knobs through a box to hold the knobs in place while I worked on them.

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Once dry, I added some of the new rub-ons designed by Tim Holtz to one of them (I was surprised at home easy these went on and how well they adhered!) Then I coated it with Glastique.

knob_candy_spiegel (2)For the other one, I used Wendy Vecchi’s new Red Geranium Archival Ink and one of her stamps to create a background. I thought the red would match some of the red in the barn wood. Then I added a few more rub ons. Next, I coated the entire thing with Glastique and while it was still wet, I sprinkled clear Vintage Glass Glitter from Art Glitter over the top.

knob_candy_spiegel3It came out a little more orange than I had hoped, but I still love it. I sparkles as the light hits it!

Finally, I had one black knob that I also got for practically nothing at Home Depot. I painted a bit of white paint across the top and then wiped off the very top with a towel and came up with this …

knob_candy_spiegel4So, the next time you need a few new knobs, consider making them one of a kind with your paper-crafting supplies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The barn tree

Last spring, Matt took me to a friend’s home and I was able to tour a 150-year-old barn that was about to be torn down. I fell in love. This is the Mosaic Moments page I created following my adventure …

Candy_Spiegel_BarnThe part of the barn that amazed me the most were the ladders. These ladders went from the floor of the barn to the second and third stories. They were built onto the main support beams of the barn and I fell in love with them.

iphone 054 I even got Matt to pose on one for me …iphone 070Many months later, I found a tree made out of a pallet on Pinterest and thought it would be perfect to replicate for my house. I figured I could put knobs and clips on it and hang favorite photos, cards and other items that could change throughout the year.

So, I asked Matt to go back to that farm and get me some discarded barn wood to build the tree.

He came home with a piece of one of those amazing ladders!!! He told me it was the one he posed on and I let him believe that I believed his little white lie. These days, that barn is a pile of rubble, so there was absolutely no way to know what ladder the piece he brought home came from. But, Matt can be a real romantic sometimes, so I went with it.

Anyhow, I asked him to use the piece of the ladder as the trunk of the tree and to use barn siding, trimmed down, as the branches. He did as I asked and created this amazing tree for me …

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I added random knobs and pieces of hardware to the tree to hold my creations. Many of the knobs were purchased at Hobby Lobby. Others were from Home Depot. I also made a few with my paper crafting supplies … check back in a few days to see how I did it! Every knob is unique — there are no two the same — but all are in silver, white, black, cream or glass.

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For some scale, here’s how it looks in my house. It hangs on the hallways wall that connects the bedrooms to the kitchen via the living room. (I live in a very small house) … The pictures don’t do it justice (it’s hard to photograph in a small space on white walls), but it looks amazing and makes a huge difference in my living room.

(remember to click on the photos for a closer view)

barn tree 3 candy spiegelAt the top, I placed a rusted pipe fitting I found in the rubble at the farm. Matt used toggle bolts to hang it to the wall and I asked him to use really large washers to add a bit of metal to the wood. I love that you can see where the rung of the ladder was ripped off of the ladder side. The paint and patina is all-natural, century-old barn paint, water damage and weathering. All we did was clean it.

barn tree 6 candy spiegelI made the explore life knob and then glued two Tim Holtz clips to hold photos and cards. I used Art Glitter Designer Dries Clear Adhesive. It stuck almost instantly and held strong! And, they work perfectly as you can see!

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When we were at Home Depot looking for toggle bolts to hang the tree, Matt and I both noticed the chains and he asked if I would like to add it to my tree. I jumped at the chance. The Home Depot employee thought I was rather strange when I asked for only 3 feet of chain. He had a very clouded look on his face as we attempted to explain what we were doing, but when I mentioned “cards,” the light bulb went on.

“You mean Christmas cards?” he asked with this excited look on his face because he finally figured out what we were doing … or so he thought. I just went with it. Sometimes it is impossible to describe my altered style to those who only use pipe fittings for pipes and chains to hang plants and secure loads. lol

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Here’s the tree with a few random things hanging from it … These are cards I recently made, some ornaments that didn’t sell at a craft show last week and a favorite photo of mine.

barn tree 8 candy spiegelOn the bottom rung, Matt used picture hanging wire to create a thin clothesline for hanging things. I added a few mini clothespins by American Crafts that were left over from a project to hang my cards.

barn tree 5 candy spiegelI also added a few eye hooks and this chain from Prima fit through perfectly.

I love my new tree and I hope it inspired you to turn some “trash” into something fabulous with the help of your paper crafting supplies!

 

 

 

 

 

Red, White and Blue Challenge

sign4_candy_spiegelThis month’s challenge at Scrap It Girl is to use red, white and blue while making a card, layout or similar project.

I decided to take advantage of the challenge to make something I have been planning for quite some time — a “vintage” sign.

sign_candy_spiegelI started out with some barn wood from a friend who was demolishing a barn. My husband made a little frame on the back side with scrap wood to make it really strong (the barn wood was 150 years old and was extremely dry and fragile.)

sign_candy_spiegel_2Next, I used Claudine Hellmuth’s Studio Gesso to give it a white-washed look.

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Then, I used painter’s tape to mark lines and painted them with Claudine Hellmuth Studio Paint. I think this is Modern Red. I also added a bit more gesso in places so things there would be crisp white in spots and dull red in others. I wanted it to look like it had been left outside for some time.

sign6_candy_spiegelNext came the lettering. I cut out the letters I wanted to use with my Cricut machine. I used both Doodletype and Street Sign fonts. Then, rather than using the letters, I used the paper they were cut from as a stencil and painted in the letters. I kept my brush dry and dabbed on the paint, like you would when stenciling. I just held the cardstock in place. It was a little challenging around the a, e and o, but I managed to get it.

The est. date is the year we got our first chickens and planted our first garden crops.

sign5_candy_spiegelNow came the personal stuff.

We live in the middle of nowhere, in a small town that never made it into being more than a township, several miles from other small towns and 30 minutes from any city. We have one red light, but the speed limit never drops below 45 mph, so you know how small the town is.

While we are definitely in the country, we live between two lakes, in a neighborhood where the houses are super close together. Although we don’t have lakefront property,   we live in a cottage-size house with cottage-size lots, so we feel like we live on the lake.

On the other hand, we rent the house from my husband’s parents. They also own four vacant lots that go from our house to a wooded area on a dead-end road. They graciously let us garden and keep turkeys on their property, so we are able to call ourselves “farmers.”

We have a huge garden with corn, beets, squashes, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, lettuce, beans, peas, onions, herbs and more. And, we raise turkeys, meat chickens and hens for laying eggs. This year, we also put in a blueberry patch so next year we can enjoy fresh fruit as well. I freeze veggies to eat over the winter and my husband and mother-in-law can and make pickles. We’re proud of our farming attempts and have even thought of offering some of our naturally grown products at farmers markets.

Our situation is unique. We can walk across the street to go swimming or boating on the lake and we can walk out to our garden to pick dinner. In my mind, it is the best of both worlds!

So, I wanted to show both the nautical and country sides of our life.

sign5_candy_spiegelI started with one of the symbols of country living … a rising sun. Rather than yellow, I used paper from Authentique that features sand dollars. Then, I used a Crafter’s Workshop stencil and gesso to create the dotted rays.

I used Matte Glastique Finishing Glaze from Globecraft & Piccolo to decoupage the paper elements on to the wood. This way, I could work around the contours of the wood and make everything attached permanently.

I prefer Matte Glastique to similar products because it does not leave a tacky finish.

sign3_candy_spiegelI used another sheet of beachside paper from Authentique, along with a die from Cottage Cutz to create the windmill. Rather than decoupage the top of the windmill on, I glued the center and then coated both the front and back of each of the blades with Matte Glastique. Then I bent them out. The Glastique keeps them strong so they will not rip.

sign4_candy_spiegelFinally I added chicken dies, cut from both patterned paper and cardstock with a die from Die-Versions and anchors cut from cardstock with a QuicKutz die. A few pieces of twine (leftover from the stuff used to stake the tomatoes) and I called it done.

What do you think?

Visit ScrapItGirl.com to see what the other designers have created with this challenge and then enter your project to win!