For the love of silver…for the love of life!!

Posts tagged ‘tinsel’

A Flash of Inspiration!

Well, my 3D craft workshop went down very well with the MENCAP group  on Monday and we were able to make a veritable army of ‘tatty tinsel fairy’ clones – 19 in all.  Everybody was really proud of themselves and what they had produced and were very excited that they were going to be able to put their creation in the ‘place of honour’ – on top of the Christmas tree at Christmas time.  There was a lot of laughter and more than a bit of chaos as fairy heads rolled onto the floor – and floaty skirts wouldn’t lay straight – but we got there eventually!


This photo shows the first batch that we made jostling for table space with their wide skirts!

So – another challenge is in store for them all next Monday!  We are going to make ‘Flickering Candle’ table decorations.  Last year I had thought about making something based on a candle with the group – but I couldn’t think of a way to make them look exciting without the risk of people trying to light the candle – with the obvious health and safety implications.

This year I got it sorted!  My son bought himself some tea-light candles from the place where he does week-end work.  But they were candles with a difference!  They were LED imitation candles…battery operated…and turned on and off with a switch on the base!  They were so neat!  Exactly the same size as a normal tea-light candle but battery operated!  I was sorted!

So – I began to work out how to do it.  It is all based on old and out of date or damaged DVDs, CDs and computer discs onto which I have mounted – with my trusty glue gun – a thin card tube just slightly smaller than the tea-light candle.  I then designed a holly pattern border and printed it out onto sheets of thin card which were then cut to size so that they were able to wrap fairly snugly round the candle, and these were then glued to make tubes.  These can then be slipped over the tube stuck to the disc and when the tea-light is inserted into the top the smaller tube on the inside prevents the candle from slipping down into the printed tube!  I hope you got all that!!  So this allows the tea-light to be lifted out in order to turn the switch on the base on and off.

I have been out for walks in the woods collecting fallen pine cones which I have sprayed with gold spray paint and have rediscovered tinsel from last year’s decorations – as well as some wire-edged tartan ribbon and some gold ribbon rosettes.  And I have been able to find in the local Pound Shop (Dollar Store) fabric poinsettia flowers, christmas tree coloured garlands and mini gold baubles!  I have inserted wire into all of these decorations so that all the members of the group need to do is wire the different decorations onto a piece of the deep green garland and when everything is secure, bend the garland into a tight circle and attach it to the disc with double-sided sticky tape so that the candle protrudes through he middle of it!

It is all so simple but that collection of odds and ends and woodland litter turns into this delightful little table centre!

I think they will all be thrilled to make this and I am sure those candles will be flashing on and off all through Monday morning – accompanied by much laughter and chatter!

My!  These Monday mornings are hard work – but so rewarding!

My last design for this year will be for Monday November 30th….and that still needs a bit of developing…but I’ll give you a sneak peek sometime next week!


Away with the Fairies

Last year I was given the opportunity to participate in some craft workshops for the local MENCAP group (a group of adults who have various physical and mental difficulties).  I was asked to design some Christmas themed activities that involved the creation of finished pieces of 3D craftwork and then demonstrate to and help the members of the group to make up the designs for themselves.  It was quite a feat – trying to think up ideas for interesting and worthwhile activities that were challenging – but not impossible for the members of the group to achieve – with a bit of help if necessary, but I came up with a few ideas and successfully delivered the workshops – and they must have liked what I did because they have invited me to do 3 more this year!

The group is run by volunteers and is funded by donations so there is very little spare money to be had.  Materials for activities have to be carefully sourced to get the best value and ‘reduce reuse and recycle’ is a bit of a mantra.

To get the best results for everybody in the group I make up ‘kits’ for each design – providing everything that is needed and where there is a particularly difficult technique or something too dangerous for the group to do individually I provide that piece ready constructed within the kit.

This year I have been asked to make enough kits for each member of the group and about 10 extra – which they hope to be able to make up and then sell to help to raise money for the group.  So I have gone into ‘mass production’ mode!!

I have only had a couple of days to come up with my 3 designs – and the first workshop is on Monday…so jewellery making has gone out of the window for now and I am into making a mess in a big way!  My first design is for  a Christmas Fairy….and it was influenced by the fact that I was given a huge bundle of fabric by a lovely lady called Clare.  I hope she will approve of the use to which I have put it.  Thank you Clare!!

The living room floor of my house is now the fabric cutting area and storage area for bags of purchased materials.

My kitchen work surface  doubles up as the workstation for messy and/or dangerous glueing and screwing type activities.  I have used loads of hot glue sticks in making the fairies’ wings, sticking wired tinsel to their skirts and giving them ‘tatty’ hairdos by sticking tinsel wigs to their heads.  And their heads have been made from plastic baubles which have had the hacksaw, drill and countersinker treatment to give them a point of attachment to the main body, which….wait for it….is a disposable plastic wineglass!!!!  Hah!  I am just so brilliant sometimes!!! Hahaha!

The dining table is now my main kit construction area.  Sorry everybody!  Dinner on laps for the next day or two!!

And the carpet of the entire ground floor of my house is scattered with flecks of tinsel and glitter!  Ahhhh!!  Pretty!!!!!  Hmmmm…I think that was what my dearly beloved muttered anyway!!!!

While the house is in such a mess I think it is a good idea to try to get the kits for week 2 and week 3 done as well…I really do have a long-suffering family!

But for the first workshop…this is what we will be creating…

The Tatty Tinsel Christmas Fairy (here sitting on top of my work lamp!)

She is designed to sit a-top the Christmas tree, as the plastic wine glass extends right down the stem of the glass giving a good 4 inches (10cm) of room to insert the top of the tree.  But she is equally as stable standing on a table – and I hope you will agree – she is beautiful enough to grace any area in which she is placed.

I hope we have loads of fun making her 25 cousins on Monday and that the 10 destined for sale make a nice little packet of money to fund some of next years activities!

I’ll post my week 2 design next week.

As usual – I would love your comments!

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