Let Your Heart Sing with a Tussie Mussie

Back in August I was visiting Donna Downey’s blog and she posted a how to make a ‘Tussie Mussie’ and you might be wondering what the heck is a Tussie Mussie.  The easiest way for me to explain it is that is a cone container made from canvas.  I thought what a great idea and a new way to play with paint and collage and make something besides a picture, make a wall decoration that can be the home to some flowers or moss or who knows what, be creative.

Here is the one I made,

Tussie Mussie

not exactly the way it was constructed by Donna Downey but it still worked out fine and the finished piece ended up being a lovely Birthday gift for a very dear friend of mine.  She loved it!

I painted some canvas and then cut into two triangles, sewed them together,  then proceeded to add collage elements and some text. I added two eyelets at the back to attach ribbon  for a hanger.  I made some coffee filter roses and then coloured them with watercolour – to fill the cone, using some dried moss as filler to hold the flowers in place.  I bought the canvas at the art store which sells it by the foot.

To get further instructions visit www.donnadowney.typepad.com and go to her blog post August 21/12.

This was a fun project and it makes a great hostess gift.

Until next time

Michelle

Tussie Mussie

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Spice bottle repurposed into a vintage-look vase

I recently was searching for a vase for the bouquet of coffee filter roses I had made and was having trouble finding something that would work well size-wise and also highlight the vintage look of the roses.  I purchased a couple of vases but they just didn’t do the flowers justice so I thought why not make a vase.   I had recently finished a large Costco size bottle of cinnamon and decided to repurpose the bottle into a vase as the opening was the perfect size for the stems of my handmade roses (coffee filter rose instructions in an earlier post) and it wasn’t too tall.

I cleaned the bottle out and then when it was totally dry I started off by wrapping it with masking tape and then I proceeded to attach old ripped book pages randomly with soft gel medium.  Once the bottle was totally covered paper mache style I went over it with another coat of the gel medium to seal it.  Next I did a light glaze of gesso mixed with a little water to allow the text to still faintly show through and to give it bit more texture.  Next I added some colour with a mixture of 50/50 water and Liquitex soft acrylic – Bronze Yellow and painted over the whole bottle to give it a vintage look.  Next I used some distress ink to add a more aged look.  I thought it still needed something else so I took some string and wrapped it around the mouth of the bottle and then made a heart on the front side, attaching with soft gel medium.  After it was dry I used some distress ink over the string so that it would blend in.  The results were just what I wanted and I liked how the roses looked in the vase.

Now I have started another vase from a mayo jar, only this time I used wallpaper tape.  I will let you know how it turns out.

Til next time, look around and see what creative way you might be able to recycle a jar, box or whatever into some art.

Michelle

Handmade vintage-look roses from coffee filters

`Self-worth is a stepping-stone to Self-love
Relax your fears and spread your goodness for all to see`

I first discovered coffee filter roses back in the spring when I was searching for alternatives to live flowers for my daughter`s wedding – Martha Stewart has this great tutorial on her Website by crafter Cassie Chappell  http://www.marthastewart.com/266346/paper-roses  I tried making a few roses, using watercolours to tint the roses and I loved what I created, but they were time-consuming to make and I had lots of flowers to make for the wedding, so I ended up making Mexican tissue flowers instead. You can see my Mexican tissue flower creations in an earlier post.  I discovered  The-White-Bench Blog http://the-white-bench.blogspot.com/2011/09/tutorial-coffee-filter-roses.html  by Monica who lives in Italy, I find it amazing that we can be in touch with artists sharing their talents on the other side of the world.  She generously provided a tutorial of her version of the coffee filter roses in a vintage style which I absolutely loved.  I decided to try Monica`s take on the filter roses and have created 16 roses to use as Christmas gifts for my special girlfriends. 

I used the pattern available for download from the Martha Stewart site and instead of using florist tape to wrap the rose petals I used thread instead; once the rose petals were all attached I positioned the petals and then dipped and soaked the rose into a coffee and cinnamon mixture, and then sprinkled a bit more cinnamon on the petals, rubbing the cinnamon into the leaves.  I placed the tinted roses onto a tin foil covered cookie sheet and into  the oven at 350 for 15 minutes, be very careful, put the timer on, because if your oven is too hot the leaves will burn quickly.  I put my flowers in before the oven was totally heated and then left them for 15 minutes then turned the oven off and left the flowers in the warm oven for another 5-10 minutes to ensure they were totally dry.  I brushed off the excess cinnamon on the petals and wrapped the stems with masking tape and then attached a chop stick with masking tape wrapping down the stick until it feels secure, (who knew one day all those chops sticks I have saved would come in handy).  Next I took ribbon and wrapped it around the chopstick; using the pointed end of a chopstick I curled the petals to give a

Coffee Filter Vintage Roses

more realistic look to the flower.  I have saved vintage lace ( I think my grandmother actually crocheted the lace long ago) over the years and used that to embellish the rose stem.  I had a roll of  pearls that I wove into the vintage lace and then grouped 2 or 3 together and tied some burlap around the stems and added a vintage looking button on the knot to finish it off.  I love the finished look, the

Coffee Filter Rose Bouquet

flowers are beautiful, they will last for a long time and they smell good….cinamon.  I think they make a great hostess gift or a lovely gift for a friend, plus they are inexpensive to make just takes your time.  The final touch was adding a little hand painted shipping tag that I stamped with Thank You, Merci, Gracia  for a very special person.  

Once you get into a rhythm of making these roses it doesn`t take too long may be about 30 minutes per rose and the results are well worth the time.  I am pretty sure I will be making more and even some for my own home. 

Until next time – happy creating!

Michelle

Handmade Flowerless Wedding Bouquets and Corsages

Now that my daughter’s wedding is over I can write about the beautiful wedding bouquet she made.  She decided that she did not want to have any live flowers at her wedding so she designed the bridal and bridesmaid bouquets herself by using tulle and pretty coloured Christmas bulbs.  Her colours for the wedding were fuchsia, kiwi and robin egg blue and amazingly every time we went looking for decorations right down to the plates and cutlery we were able to find the exact colours.  So when all of the Christmas decorations were out we were in Michael’s and there were the perfect bulbs in all her colours for the bouquets.  She created such beautiful bouquets for herself and her attendants and the  nice thing is that they will be able to keep them for a long time.  She made a mini one for the bouquet toss. 

Handmade Flowerless Wedding Bouquets

So trying to follow tradition and having some sort of corsage for the mother-of-the-bride and mother-of-the-groom I designed lovely wrist corsage, a pink one for myself that had an elastic beaded bracelet in pink tulle and ribbon and a blue tie-on corsage for the groom’s mother.  unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the blue one before it was presented, but I did take one of mine. 

Top view of wrist corsage

It was really fun designing them and they were very  comfortable to wear and will be a long-lasting memory of my daughter’s wedding. 

Handmade wrist corsage

I made all  of the reception decorations using tissue paper to create Mexican tissue flowers in all of the colours.  For the head table I created a garland made from the flowers.  The table centres I collected branches and we spray painted them white and added some iridescent sparkles to them when they were still wet so they would glisten.  Then I made tiny tissue flowers which I glued onto the branches.  We found some great tall freezer glasses

Handmade table centre piece

 that were the right colours to use as vases, added a battery tea light to the bottom of the glass and then some tulle for filler and then the sprayed branches.  They looked really good and were so inexpensive to make. 

So it goes to show you if you really get creative you can decorate on a very small budget and still have it look magical.

Til next time, happy creating

Michelle