Friday, December 2, 2011


Back on November 8 I did a post on garlands made from book pages.  Well, at the store I sell at, Aubergine Emporium, in Simi Valley, California, the owner of the store has done a beautiful Christmas tree decorated with books.   I can't wait to show you the photos next week.  She decided the only thing missing was a bookworm.  Immediately I thought of the book garlands I had written about so I set out to make a "bookworm" for the shop's tree. 
You could use him as a garland or wind him through your tree branches.  I think he looks quite studious.  I also think he needs a name.  Anyone have any ideas?

He's quite intelligent and very well read.
To start the process of making him, I used an old Reader's Digest book, tore out the pages and cut them in half cross-wise.  I used picture hanging wire to string the pages.  I started with a metal button and ran the wire through the button holes.  See two pictures down.  I made it the approximate length I wanted the bookworm to be.  I took my half pages and stapled them as you see in the next photo.
After I had made a whole bunch (A WHOLE BUNCH) I strung the stapled sheets on to the wire.  When I got to the length I wanted it to be, I took a pen and coiled the wire around it to make a corkscrew nose.  This also secured the wire so the pages would not slip off.  I went to the local craft store and bought some eyeglasses for dolls and then used buttons for the eyes.  Those I glue gunned on to his face after placing the glasses so I would know where to place the eyes.  For a more holiday look, you could spot glitter the tips of his pages with silver glitter.  He came out so cute, I want to give him a hug.

Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special

Thursday, December 1, 2011

White on White Felt Poinsettia Table Topper

My inspiration for this project came from a magazine article that was featured in the Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Issue and the idea came from Centsational Girl.  Her project was Christmas stockings, but I changed it up a little bit and did a table topper.  I think this would be a fabulous tree skirt if you did it in the round and placed the poinsettias around the edges.  I might even cut a groove in this and set it under my tree.  Simple to do and very little cost.
 I had a hard time coming up with a petal pattern so I literally cut off 5 petals from an artificial poinsettia plant I bought at Joann's Crafts yesterday.  Just as an aside, I wait until the artificial plants are $4 to $5 each and then I buy about four or five of them.  We have a French wire plant rack on the front porch that gets very little sun.  At Christmas time I like to put the fake red poinsettias in between my real ivy pots.  Just the hint of red comes through.  I intersperse the tiny white light strands in between the foliage and it looks fabulous from the street.  It's all about the curb appeal (at least that's what Home and Garden Channel says, and I happen to agree.)  I have enough light for the ivy there but not the live poinsettias.  When the season is over, I just toss them.  They are the same price I used to pay for the real deal and by the end of the month they are not looking too good because they do not get enough light.  Okay, back to the project at hand.
 I cut 5 large petals, 4 of the next size, and 3 each of the 2 smaller petals.  I graduated the sizes down as I went.  I purchased one yard of the 72 inch cream colored felt by the yard.  One half was for the table topper and the other half I used for the petals.  I used pinking shears on the edge of the table topper piece to give a little contrast.  My decorative scissors would have been fabulous but they were not sharp enough to cut the felt.  As you can see, I overlapped the petals a bit.
 Next I took the next smaller petal and glued them on top of the large petal base.  I used Tacky Glue to glue them in place.  How easy can you get?  No sew.  This photo shows the trim I purchased to do the flower center to give it dimension.
 Next I placed the next smaller size petals overlapping all the way, building layer on layer.
Finally I used the smallest petals and overlapped some more.
The trim I used was sort of a nylon with gathering.  I cut a three-inch piece, put Tacky Glue on the back and twirled it in a circle.  It was very soft trim so easily pliable.  The following photo is the finished product.  Excuse the ridge in the picture.  I placed it over a piece of burlap and couldn't get the crease out.  I left the center blank so I could put a centerpiece in the middle.  This is a low cost project ( about $8) and extremely easy.  Pottery Barn has some tan pillows with a similar concept.

Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Glitterfest Magnolias

For this week's paper flower, I was inspired by a wreath I saw on Funky Junk Interior's November 28 blog post.  It was a twig wreath made with brown paper and music sheets.   I decided to add some copper glitter and some sparkly beads in the center to add a contrast of rustic and shine.  These could be attached to a wreath or a copper wire to make a garland, or, of course, the way I did them they could be gift box adornments especially if you wrapped your package in brown mailing paper.  Those are just a few possibilities.
 I started with some old sheet music that had a nice yellowish cast from age, but it wasn't as brown as I wanted it to be.  So I brewed some hot tea and dipped my sheet music pieces in it in a shallow cookie sheet.  You can see my flower pattern is very primitive.  The sheet music petal is approximately 5 in. wide  by 3 3/4 in.   I used the same pattern piece I used on the Glitterfest Roses I posted on November 22 only this time I rimmed the petals in copper glitter instead of silver, and I used sheet music instead of book pages.
To dry the petals I hung pant hangers from a chandelier and ran string down with clothespins and they dried over the bathtub within a half hour.
For the backs of the flowers I cut cardboard circles about 3 inches and then cardboard circles about half that size for the flower centers.   I cut two sizes of flower petals, one for the music sheets and one for the back petals.  These I cut out of brown shopping bags and I made these petals a little larger but in the same shape.  As you can see in the following photo, I used tissue paper garland and a decorative candle ring with beads on it.  I used these for the center of the flowers.  I used the same technique for my Poinsettias From the Page post on November 6.
Now that everything is cut out, I took my brown bag pieces and scrunched the base of the petal and glued four petals on the 3 inch cardboard circles I had cut out.  Try to overlap the petals as you go around so you don't have empty spacing.  I used a glue gun to glue them down.  The brown grocery bags are very stiff so be patient in letting your glue set up.  I had to use a wooden skewer to hold the glued area down so as not to burn myself with the hot glue.
The brown bags are VERY STIFF.  Because of this they were a little hard to work with.  If you want a less stiff petal, use brown mailing paper.  It is probably easier to work with and will give you the same coloration.
Next I took three of the music sheet petals and scrunched the bottom of the petal and glued them in place trying to overlap the petals with the bottom layer.  Then I used Tacky Glue to glue the tissue paper garland on the center of the flowers.  This is the smaller piece of cardboard.  You can purchase tissue paper garland on Etsy.  I always get the ivory or cream color.  This particular garland had some cellophane mixed with it to give it a shinier look.  Then I took my beaded candle ring and snipped off the little beaded components one sprig at a time.  One sprig had about 20 little beads on it.  If you can't find something like this, go to your local Michael's or Joann's and find the sprigs with complementary colors and take them apart to add a little color to the center. I used a glue gun to attach the sprigs to my flower center. 

Once the center piece was done, I used the glue gun to glue the flower center into the flowers.  My photos of this part did not come out well enough to include in this post, but I know you crafters can figure this out.  Like I said, refer to my other flower posts if you are confused by this step.  The following photo is the finished product.  If you like these projects, please subscribe to my blog.  I have lots of great ideas and love to post the tutorials.  Thanks for visiting.

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Art In Photography

I am feverishly working on some tutorials for my blog this week but got a little behind because we were gone for five days.  Tomorrow I should have some new material to share, but, as promised, my daughter took some artsy photos on our trip I wanted to share.  She just got an SLR camera (I'm green with envy, but wouldn't know what to do with it if I had one).  I, on the other hand, am still learning to blog so I can only master one thing at a time.  The above and below photos are of the fabulous chandeliers at the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley, California.  In fact, all of these are except the pickup truck and the store front window you will see below.
 I love how the side of the pickup truck reflects the Boston Ivy growing on the adjacent wall.  This is a wonderful photograph.  I think it does this vintage vehicle justice.
 The photo below is a carving on the front of a side board in the dining room at the Claremont.  I love the detail.
 This photo of the entry gate reminds me of yesteryear's Hollywood glamour. 
 This next one is a little eerie.  It is a store window in St. Helena.  It is on the main drag in town and is called Napa Vintage Home.  They had incredible holiday decor.  The tree in this window, which is barely visible, is a very tall tomato cage wrapped with honeysuckle vine and then lit with clear mini lights.  I must try that next year.
 The last photo is another chandelier from the Claremont.  These were magnificent in the lobby of the hotel.  There were about six of them and they are enormous.  I hope you enjoyed these as much as I did.  I think my daughter did a fabulous job.

Monday, November 28, 2011

I Love Junk

While travelling down the highway to get to our various destinations on Friday, I spotted a fabulous shop.  At first glance I thought it was a trendy antique shop, but the kids said it was just a place that sells fancy olive oil.  By the time we came back down the hill it was dark and the shop was closed.  Not to be dissuaded, I insisted we venture back on Saturday.  Oh, it was so worth it!  The name of the shop is St. Helena Olive OIl Co.  It is located at 8576 St. Helena Highway in Rutherford, California.  They do carry awesome olive oils and culinary delights, but I fell in love with their junk.  We did manage to purchase a few items that were the focus of their business and they said I could take as many photos as I wanted.
 As soon as we walked in we were greeted by this wonderful dog.  I guess you could call him The Greeter.  He's all metal, steel and just pure gorgeous.
The shop was full of old crates filled with more artful delights.  This crate was loaded with dried rosemary, lavender, hydrangeas and other wonderful smells.
Here is The Greeter's friend.  He's manning the rear of the shop.
In the back was an old black stove holding a wonderful weathered black suitcase.  I love the colors of the rusty spring and the wooden tray and the original plaid lining to the luggage piece.  It all really complements the colors of the stove.
 This coffee table was incredible.  Anything on old metal wheels gets my attention in a hurry.  I think this was originally part of an old door placed on a metal cart.
 The furniture and displays were fabulous.  Isn't the blue on this incredible?
 Here is another old crate with a wonderful French label.
 This was a drawer front with some old etching in the wood.  To die for.  We peaked around the back and found this vintage GMC truck fully restored.  This was the second old pickup we found.  The restoration on this was magnificent.  Just like new with all the vintage charm.