Friday, November 30, 2012

Displaying Holiday Dishes ~ The Friendly Village

We've had these charming holiday dishes for some time.

The pattern is The Friendly Village by Johnson Brothers. They belonged to my husband's Great Great Aunt Toni, who lived to the ripe old age of 102.
Although we try to use these dishes every Christmas, they spend most of their time packed in boxes. If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's dishes that are easy to access--get used. Dishes in boxes--don't.

This is our first Christmas season in our new home and I'm so excited to have room in my new kitchen to make better use of these pretty dishes and put them on display.
The best part--these dishes are dishwasher and microwave safe AND the pattern is still being produced--So if one of my kids breaks a plate, I just order a new one. Wink.

Did I mention these dishes are reasonably priced?
Yep. That too.

Here's the turkey platter mounted to my dining room wall.

and a nook in my kitchen.

and yet another platter above my sink :-)

I've been recovering from major surgery and unable to drive so I used fresh roses and rosemary from my garden and some silver mercury glass ornaments as accents.

Now how nice does my breakfast look on this festive plate. I look forward to using these dishes every day this Christmas season.

If you have special dishes that you love. I hope this posts gives you a few ideas how to enjoy them for more than just one holiday meal.


~The Lemonista

Feathered Nest Friday

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sugar Plum Fairy Tutorial

Be still my heart...

These Sugar Plum Fairies turned out so stinkin' cute, I actually squealed!

I put a lot of thought into this years holiday craft. My Mason Jar Snow Globes & Terrariums post from last holiday season is my most popular post of all time, so I didn't want to disappoint.

The best part about these holiday decorations--they are my children whom I love and adore. In fact, I'm tempted to make our whole family. Gosh, how cute would our pets be dolled up as holiday fairies!

These take a little time but are surprisingly easy to make. I've displayed my fairies on velvet plums but you could also hot glue jute twine loops on their backs and hang them as Christmas Tree ornaments!

First we start by making the plum, following my Velvet Pumpkin Tutorial. I ordered the Dusty Lavender silk velvet from the Etsy seller listed in this post, but any shade of purple velvet would be pretty for this project. I made my plums about the size of an orange by starting with a 9" circle of fabric.

The only thing I did different from my Velvet Pumpkin 101 tutorial is to glitter the stems.

I painted the stems with craft glue, then sprinkled them with fine crystal glitter. Next, I added glue in just a few extra spots to look like where snow would fall, and sprinkled on a course crystal glitter.

These are real pumpkin stems. I save all of mine off Halloween pumpkins and also collect all the stems I can from my parent's garden. Any gourd stem will work. The grocery store will often have a nice supply of small pumpkins and gourds this time of year.

I also glittered the tiny candy cane ornaments found at Michaels in the miniature ornament section. I got a whole assorted box of them for $2.99!

Once the stems were dry, I glued them to my velvet plums sprinkling some more course glitter around the base of the stems before the glue set.

Now it was time to make the wings. I wanted a vintage feel, so I used old book paper. You can find old books at a thrift store or there are several etsy sellers that have old book pages listed. I got 10 pages of an antique French book for $1. Grin.

Start but coating the entire back of your book page with a glue stick and then stick it to card stock. I purchased the card stock at Michaels for around .30 cents per sheet. My pages had text on both sides so I just picked the prettier side to show.

So my pages would dry perfectly flat, I laid heavy books on them until they dried.

 I drew a template how I wanted my wings to look. Now, really anything goes here. If you google fairy wing template, a ton of ideas will come up. I wanted my wings to be a cross between Tinker Bell and a butterfly, so I did a two part wing.  You can go as big or small as you like.

I traced my template onto the booked pages glued to card stock.

Using a sharp pair of scissors, I cut out my wings.

I put a small amount of craft glue around the edge of my wings and dipped them in Martha Stewart sterling tinsel glitter.

When the glue was dry, I used a little bit of this Distress Ink (color Pumice Stone) by rubbing one of the kids water color brushes in a circle on the ink pad and then rubbing off most of it on another piece of paper before making soft circle stokes on the outer edge of my wings.

Now that I had my wings looking vintage fabulous, it was time to make my fairies.
Using the same method I did with the wings, I mounted photos of the kids with a glue stick to card stock, making sure I covered the entire back of the photo.

I used a 4"x6" Sepia photo of the kids, cropping so they took up almost the full length of the photo. These were their Easter pictures but since I've printed them in Sepia, no one is the wiser. Wink.
Once the glue dried, I used a sharp pair of scissors to cut them out.

Time to attach the wings!
I used a double stick foam tape to give the upper wings some dimension, but you can using any tape or glue you like.

I used hot glue to attach the bottom wings.

Every real Sugar Plum Fairy needs, well, something sweet to hold, so I hot glued a candy cane to each of their little hands.

This next step is optional since the card stock is pretty strong, but I figured the legs would be the weakest point on these decorations, so I decided to reinforce them with wooden kabob skewers purchased at the grocery store.

I attached the stick with hot glue.

Just think of the possibilities here...

How gorgeous would it be to add these darling Sugar Plum Fairies to a holiday bouquet or a lovely Poinsettia?

After I had my fun, I decided to get down to business again. Grin.
I trimmed the wooden stick to the bottom of the fairy feet.

Using a hot glue gun I glued the fairies to my plum stems.

I used quite a bit of glue and had to hold the fairies in place for several minutes until the glue completely hardened...

But the results were pure magic!

Quite possibly my favorite Christmas decoration of all time.

I love these so much, the dog, hamster and chickens are next! Ha.


~The Lemonista

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