Monday, December 12, 2011

What's been keeping me busy...

You mean besides Pinterest? Technically this does involve Pinterest since I found the ideas on there. This idea has been re-pinned hundreds of times, and it's one of the first craft projects from the site that I did - a Wedding Invitation Ornament:


The idea is to cut up a wedding invitation into strips and put them inside a clear glass ornament. As you twist and turn the ornament, you can see glimpses of the wording. As soon as I saw the idea, I knew I'd be making one for my cousin and her new husband.

Luckily, I helped the bride with the invitations, so I had the files on my computer and didn't have to cut up the actual invitation itself. I printed out a copy and set to work cutting up the strips but I wasn't all that thrilled with the results. The size of the font varies, which adds visual interest, but doesn't lend itself to being cut up into neat, equally sized strips and it was difficult to gauge spacing between some of the smaller lines. It was bothering me that there were skinny little strips and much thicker strips. After several attempts, I decided to re-format the invitation itself into equally sized strips, which looked MUCH better inside the ornament (and let's not discuss the fact that I bought two sizes of ball shaped round ornaments, and two sizes of flattened round ornaments because I am a nut job and none of them are actually glass because they don't seem to sell individual glass ornaments but I have come to terms with the fact they are acrylic, mmmmkay?)

Once I got the strips coiled and stashed inside the ornament (a chopstick and a pair of long tweezers came in handy for this), I finished off the ornament with a sheer white ribbon from the actual invitation (they were pocket invites tied with the ribbon) and two smaller black ribbons to tie on their initials. The original ornament had a seashell charm as a nod to the theme of the wedding, and I liked the idea of the charm, but there was no "theme" to the wedding. I did, however, honor the black and white color scheme. I love, love, love how it turned out and I think my cousin and her husband will love it as well.

But that's not the only ornament I've finished up. In addition to the stitchy ornaments, I've been working with some buttons I've inherited from my husband's grandmother. She passed away this past January, just after her 99th birthday. My MIL generously gave me a very large jar and several bags of buttons that Grandma had collected over the years. I've had a lifelong fascination with buttons, stemming from the hours I spent playing with my own grandmother's buttons (both my grandmother and my husband's grandmother were accomplished seamstresses and had massive collections of buttons, fabric and notions).

I had some ideas for button monograms, but I wanted to see what else I could do with them, especially with shank buttons that would not lend themselves to being glued onto paper and framed. This is what I came up with:

These are just a few of the ornaments I created from Grandma's collection. (There are at least a dozen more ornaments I finished since taking this photo, and I've tried several other techniques which I will share soon.) Of course, most of the buttons were not sorted, so I spent several hours with my two year old, "playing buttons" (which means I spent several more hours while he slept re-sorting all the ones he had jumbled together). Most of them are strung on pipe cleaners, which worked out very well to not only shape the ornaments, but the fuzzy stuff on them helps hold the buttons in place better. For those that kept spinning around on their shanks, a little hot glue on the back helped hold them in place. I raided my own stash for the ribbons and have gotten VERY good at tying neat little bows.

I should also mention that I don't really have a dedicated craft space in our house yet, so I tend to work a lot in our dining room. (We generally eat in the kitchen, so I don't have to worry about cleaning up my projects for every meal.) All of these ornaments were made sitting at a dining room table we inherited from Grandma, so I spent a lot of time thinking about her as I was making them. She was quite crafty and clever herself and loved to crochet and sew. I loved her dearly, and these ornaments are a wonderful reminder of her.

This is a closeup of one of the ornaments we're keeping for our tree. It's hanging next to one of the dozens of hand-crocheted snowflakes that adorn our tree, every single one of them made by Grandma. And this one below is another closeup:

11 comments:

Erin said...

Those button ornaments are fabulous!! I have a small bead stash I inherited from DH's grandmother....hmm, I wonder if I could do something like that.... I've been making scissor fobs and a keychain or 2, but I'm getting bored with that!

Rachel S-H said...

Lovely ornaments, and I like that they are a link to your gramma!

Anna van Schurman said...

I meant to do that ornament for my sister! I have got to ask if she has an extra invitation (she had millions since she only invited about 40 people, and you have to buy way more invitations than she needed). Or I could use mine and replace it later. I've got to get on this! :)

I could also do one for the second reception. Hmmm....

I love the button ornaments. Very special.

Kathy A. said...

What wonderful ornaments. How sweet to make ornaments that contain memories. I think that makes them even more special.

dixiesamplar said...

Wow, those are some very impressive ornie ideas...thank you, and yours are especially lovely! I will have to share this with my daughter and DIL...they will love them too.

Carol said...

What is it about sifting through old buttons that is so much fun--I just love pouring out my jar of buttons and searching through them for the perfect one...Your little button ornaments are adorable, Jenn!! As is the wedding invitation ornament. I'm purposely staying off Pinterest (for now!!) as I know it would be way too addicting for me :)

Michele B. said...

Uh, oh, I've never heard of Pinterest and I have a feeling if I go check it out I'll be in trouble. Your craft projects are fabulous. How wonderful to have found a way to reuse those special buttons. You could decorate a whole tree with them. I like the wedding invitation idea a lot - will have to remember that next time we get invited to one.

Tammy said...

wow LOve the wedding ornie and the buttons ones too. What a great idea!!

Sew Wilde said...

The ornaments are great! Where did you find the initial charms? They are cute.

Julie

Dani - tkdchick said...

OMG you are just so creative! What wonderful creations.

That wedding invite ornament looks so elegant!

Dianne said...

Your cousin will treasure the invitation Cmas ball. Glad you figured out how to make it to your liking. Since I have a little snowman made from buttons, I will treasure it even more. : ) These are really sweet.
My brother loves buttons and had made several things with them.