Saturday, December 5, 2009

Welcome and Keeping Busy

Please help me welcome cia Soares. I can't find a blog link for Lucia. Thank you for stopping by!
I experimented with making popcorn garlands the other night. I used the styrofoam that is made up of little balls. I broke those into smaller irregularly shaped pieces and then strung them. I alternated three pieces of "popcorn" with a cranberry colored bead. It would look better if I could make the popcorn pieces smaller but they tore when I threaded through them if they were smaller. Overall, I'm happy with the experiment. I need to find a much smaller needle before I try again, though.
The popcorn garland on a small tree.

Magnolia Way got a much more elegant Christmas tree yesterday. The tree itself was made from green chenille stems (both regular and the ones with fluffy bumps.) I formed branches from the stems and glued them to a piece of dowel that I pre-painted brown. I used one of the bumps to make the tree top and glued it into place. Then I started at the bottom and worked up the tree, making the branches gradually smaller. The larger branches have 3 smaller pieces of chenille twisted around them to make the branches. The middle branches have two of the smaller pieces, the upper have just one, and the topmost row has no extra pieces twisted around them. I alternated rows of the bumpy chenille with rows of the plain chenille stems. The bottom row has 5 branches of bumpy chenille, then a row of 4 branches of plain chenille, next a row of 5 bumpy chenille branches and another row of 4 plain. The next row had 4 branches of bumpy chenille, then a row of 4 branches of plain. The last row was 3 of the bumps with no cross branches. The number of rows depends upon how full you want your tree and how tall the piece of dowel used is.

After the tree was assembled and dried I decorated it with lots of handmade little ornaments. Adding the little cross branches to the tree gives you a lot of places for ornaments, just like a real tree. I've read several different techniques for making bead ornaments but my favorite way is using jewelry bead pins. They have a flat head that holds most beads in place. If the larger bead pulls through I just use a smaller bead at the bottom. I put a small bead on the top to represent the ornament cap and trim the excess pin, leaving enough to form into a hanging loop. Then you just slide the loop over the branch.
This is a chenille stem tree I made 17 years ago. It is in the dollhouse that represents my real house. Unfortunately, the real house does not have a wonderful stone fireplace like the dollhouse does, lol.

I hope all of this makes sense. If anyone wants to try the tree or ornaments and needs clarification you can comment or email me.


Kathi said...

LOVE your strings of popcorn! Your tree is beautiful too! I've been looking for the perfect tree and this might be it! :)

Kathi said...

Me again! How about some photos of the way you made you tree? I'm having trouble following along by just reading...

Meg said...

The popcorn is really cute!

~MiniMaker said...

I love the Chenille tree!

De said...

Kathi, tomorrow I will take some step by step photos for you. It will make much more sense that way, I'm sure.