Christmas in July 2017 ~ Day #3

Hi everyone!

Welcome to Christmas in July! Each Monday during the month of July 2017, there will be a post with a Christmas project designed to help you get a head start on the busy upcoming holiday season. There will be a variety of items ~ from gift packaging to home décor. You might even get some gift ideas for the special people on your list. Thank you for joining me today 🙂

This week’s project: Pinecone Wreath

A wreath is such an easy way to brighten up a front door, fireplace mantle, entry way mirror or any other spot that needs a cozy holiday touch. You can even get the kids involved by going pinecone hunting then upcycling those pinecones into a wreath. ∗Please note: I would advise letting the pinecones sit in a single layer {for example, on a tray or cookie sheet} in the garage or shed for a while before bringing them into the house. This will reduce the likelihood of little crawlies coming into your home. It also ensures the cones are thoroughly dry.

You will need: wreath form {∗Please note: this can be a Styrofoam, wire form or a circle of flat cardboard with a circle cut out of the center, like I did for mine}, pinecones, hot glue gun/glue sticks, silicone mat or paper to protect your work surface, ribbon, glitter/embellishments{optional}.

∗Please note: glue guns get extremely hot! Please take care when using one to avoid burning yourself and it’s recommended  to keep them away from children.

 

 

Starting around the edge of the inside circle, place and hot glue the pinecones. Then gradually work your way around and out towards the outside of the base. Fill in empty spaces as needed. The wreath can be as deep as you want it to be. The main thing is to make sure that there are no empty spots where the base will show through.

  

 

 

Once you are satisfied with the pinecone placements, check the entire wreath for glue “strings” {those pesky fibers of glue that seem to stretch from one spot to another}. Now it’s time to decorate. The wreath can be as simple or as fancy as you want it to be. This one is pretty simple as I just added some faux berries, a burlap bow and some sheer ribbon for hanging. I am considering tucking some fresh evergreen sprigs into it closer to Christmas as I think the green would look nice with the berries. What do you think? 🙂

 

 

 

 

*Please feel free to sign up as a follower to receives updates by email so you don’t miss a thing!

 

 

 

 

See you next Monday for another Christmas in July project!

Erin

The Country Touch

Website: http://www.thecountrytouch.weebly.com

Email: ctrytch@telus.net

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Calender Corkboard

Hi everyone!

Today I have a fun project for you ~ a calendar corkboard. These compact little calendars can be used anywhere in your home ~ on a desk, kitchen counter or night stand. Because they use basic supplies, a few can be created to coordinate with your décor. So let’s get started shall we?

 

You will need: chipboard, patterned paper, cutting tools of choice, adhesive, corner rounder, sanding block or nail buffer, 1/8″ hole punch or crop-a-dile, ribbon, calendar print outs {links below}, stapler or brads, paper piercer/piercing mat {if using brads}, eyelets/eyelet setter or crop-o-dile. ∗Please note: if you don’t have chipboard, don’t fret. Cardboard packaging, like a cereal box will work just fine. Just be sure that whatever you use is a little on the thicker side. This will make it easier for the calendar to stand nicely.

 

#1} Download and print off the PDF calendars. Thank you to http://www.print-a-calendar.com for their free downloads! calendar1   and   calendar2

 

 

 

#2} Cut apart into months. Mine ended up measuring 3″ high x 3 1/2″ wide.

 

 

#3} Stack the months lining up the edges. Staple on each end close to the top or just one staple above the month. Or, if you are using brads, measure and make two pencil marks where you want the brads to go. I measured in/down 1/4″ each way. Pierce holes with a paper piercer/mat.

 

 

#4}  Add brads. Cut a backing mat about 1/8″ larger that the calendar all the way around and adhere calendar to it. ∗Please note: Once 2018 is here, just download, print off, cut and stack the new months. Carefully remove the old calendar and adhere the new stack to the mat to enjoy your calendar for another year.

 

 

#5} Cut two chipboard pieces and four patterned paper pieces {two for the front/back and two for the insides}. I just have two patterned paper pieces shown to fit in the picture. Round the corners, if desired. The measurements for both are 4″ x 5 1/2″.

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#6} Adhere patterned paper to all four sides and lightly sand edges to smooth. On the outside of the front piece and the back piece, measure 3/8″ down and 3/4″ in towards the center, make pencil marks and punch holes with a hole punch. Add eyelets.

 

 

#7} Add some foam adhesive to the back of the calendar mat and adhere to front patterned paper/chipboard piece. Cut a piece of cork that measures 3 3/4″ x 1 1/2″. The cork I used was just thick enough that it wouldn’t fit in the corner rounder so I rounded the corners with small scissors instead. Adhere below calendar. ∗Please note: because the cork is thinner than a typical corkboard, it’s best to use the smallest thumbtacks you can find.

 

 

#8} Put the front and back together, add ribbons through eyelets, tie into knots or bows and trim off the excess. There you go! You now have a pretty little calendar to put anywhere in your home 🙂

 

I hope you enjoyed todays tutorial. As always, please feel free to share what you create!

 

 

 

*Please feel free to sign up as a follower to receives updates by email so you don’t miss a thing!

 

 

 

Until next time,

Erin

The Country Touch

Website: http://www.thecountrytouch.weebly.com

Email: ctrytch@telus.net

Rag Garland Tutorial

Hi everyone!

Today’s tutorial is for making a rag garland. Rag garlands are a fun and easy way to use up pieces of fabric that are just too small to be used for other projects. Depending on the fabrics that you use, they can be created for any room or season. A rag garland will look pretty draped above a head board, strung across a window, mantle, hutch or stair railings, and even as a decoration for a baby/wedding shower.

You will need: length of jute, yarn or ribbon {the length will determine how long you want the garland to be. Also, be sure to add at least an extra 12″ to the total length to allow for the hanging loops on each end, if you want them}, assorted cotton/flannel fabrics cut or torn into pieces about 5″ long by 1″ wide, rotary cutter/ruler/self healing mat or scissors.

#1} The amount of strips required for a garland depends on the desired finished length. I can’t give you an exact number of strips you will need but start with a good sized pile of them. You can always make more strips if you need them. Please note: the strips can be cut with scissors or with a rotary cutter/ruler/self healing mat. If you want a more rustic look, just tear them and you will end up with the frayed ends. To tear the strips, cut 1″ snips along the edge of the fabric{shown below}. This allows you to rip 1″ wide fabric widths and also results in a frayed edge. Cut the strips into 5″ long pieces.  Please note: separate the different fabrics into piles. This makes it easier when you start tying if they are semi-organized.

 

 

 

#2} Begin by making a loop on the first end of the jute. The loop can be as long as you want.

 

 

#3} Start tying the strips around the jute. The first strip will be beside the knot. Be sure the strips are touching so that no jute is showing. Keep tying on the fabric strips until your garland is as long as you want it. You can pull and discard any loose threads as you go.

 

 

#4} When you get close to the end, make another loop. Keep tying on strips until you reach the knot. If you find that some of the strips look uneven, you can snip little bits off of them until you are happy with how they all look. This garland turned out to be approximately 5 1/2′ long {not including the loops}.

I hope that you enjoyed today’s tutorial 🙂

 

Please note: a selection of rag garlands will be available at the Carstairs Artisan Market as well as on The Country Touch website very soon.

 

 

 

*Please feel welcome to sign up as a follower to receives updates by email so you don’t miss a thing!

 

 

 

Until next time!

Erin

The Country Touch

Website: http://www.thecountrytouch.weebly.com

Email: ctrytch@telus.net

Rag Table Runners

Hi everyone!

Today I want to share with you some rag quilted table runners I just completed. There are three layers ~ a top, batting and a backing. Quality cotton fabrics and Hobbs Premium cotton batting are used. The squares are sewn together with the raw edges sticking out which are then closely clipped and then washed/dried to create the signature ragging.

#1} Made with the “Family Tree” fabric charm pack by Moda {Colors: cream, aqua, cranberry, chocolate brown, olive, dark orange, rust}. It measures 13″ x 40″.

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#2} Made with the “Secret Garden” fabric collection by Wilmington Prints {Colors: cream, sky blue, light pink, mossy green, peach, tan}. It measures 13″ x 36″. These pretty pastel colors are perfect for spring!

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Both of these table runners are available at the Carstairs Artisan Market. I have more started and will post them when completed.

 

*Please feel welcome to sign up as a follower to receives updates by email so you don’t miss a thing!

 

 

Until next time,

Erin

The Country Touch

Website: http://www.thecountrytouch.weebly.com

Email: ctrytch@telus.net

 

“Welcome Spring” Stitchery

Hi everyone!

I know that spring seems like a long time away but it doesn’t hurt to dream about it during this cold and snowy weather!  This framed stitchery is a simple design with a watering can and flowers stitched on quilted muslin. I left this stitchery as is but it could be aged with a coffee/vanilla/cinnamon stain. The stitched area measures 5″ x 7″. I’ve had this pattern for years now and finally got around to stitching it. Thank you to Cedarberry Stitches for the free pattern. {I’m not sure if the free pattern is still available online. But if anyone is interested in stitching this design, contact me and I will email the pattern}.

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*Please feel welcome to sign up as a follower to receives updates by email so you don’t miss a thing!

 

 

 

Until next time,

Erin

The Country Touch

Website: http://www.thecountrytouch.weebly.com

Email: ctrytch@telus.net

 

Canned Snowmen

Hi everyone!

Today I am sharing some “Canned Snowmen”. Blanket stitched stuffed cotton batting snowmen dusted with Dazzling Diamonds glitter are tucked inside canning jars. They have stitched eyes/mouths, wood carrot noses and twig arms. They are wearing cozy wool scarves and have peppercorn buttons down their bellies. In one of their twig arms, they hold either a rusty jingle bell, sparkly snowflake, snow balls or sheet music as they stands in a pile of glittery snow. Tags are tied around the jars with natural twine. Some of the tag sayings are “Let it snow!”, “Happy Winter!”, “NOEL” and more.

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Please note:

*I will be doing a blog post to let everyone know when all of the winter/Christmas items are available at Sparkling Dahlia in Carstairs, Alberta.

 

 

 

*Please feel welcome to sign up as a follower to receives updates by email so you don’t miss a thing!

 

 

 

Until next time,

Erin

The Country Touch

Website: http://www.thecountrytouch.weebly.com

Email: ctrytch@telus.net

Primitive Tea Lights

Hi everyone!

Fall and winter are approaching and so is the season for candlelight. The glow and flickering from candles gives a cozy feeling to the home but with that is the worry about having them tip over and start a fire. Especially with small children and pets. So the next best thing are battery operated candles. I picked up a package of tea lights at Michael’s but they look quite plain so I decided to “prim” them up a bit.

You will need: battery operated candles {tea lights or votives}, clear silicone, throw away containers, popsicle sticks or skewers {for mixing}, white glue, small paint brush, cinnamon/spices, parchment or waxed paper.

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*Please note: silicone does have a fairly strong smell. If you are sensitive to smells or don’t want that smell in your home, I would suggest doing these under the stove hood fan or outside and then letting them dry in the garage or shed. Even a basement cupboard or closet would work to keep the smell at a minimum.

Put some clear silicone in the throw away container {such as a single serving yogurt cup cut down to size}. With a popsicle stick/skewer mix in some cinnamon/spices. Just mix it until it’s smooth and a nice brown color that you like.

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It will look like this.

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*Please note: when using silicone, be sure to have your work surface well covered with newspaper, cardboard, etc. Please take care not to let it come in contact with anything such as the counter top or clothing. IT DOES NOT WASH OUT.

Take the candles one by one and dip each flame. I just stuck it down into the silicone, swirled it and pulled it straight up. This will give the flame a nice tip. Place on the parchment/waxed paper. These need to dry very well before the next step. I let them dry for approximately 24 hours. It may take longer depending on the brand of silicone used and the humidity/temperature level in the home.
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Once the silicone flames are dry, mix together some white glue and cinnamon/spices. This can be mixed in a little bowl {as long as the white glue used is washable with soap and water} or just in a puddle on the parchment/waxed paper.
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Brush the glue/spice mixture onto the candles taking care not to touch the silicone flame or get any on the underside of the candle. While the glue is still wet, sprinkle on additional spices and set on parchment/waxed paper until thoroughly dry. Repeat this step until the candle looks just right to you. This is what they will look like after the sprinkling of the spices. They just need to dry now. Don’t worry if there are little bits of extra dried glue/spices along the bottom edge. This just adds to the prim look!
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 Now you’ve got primitive tea lights to add a warm and inviting atmosphere to your home this fall and winter 🙂
Hints:
*If you find that you can’t get the tip dipped all the way to the bottom of it, you can use a toothpick or small brush to spread tiny bits of silicone along it until it is completely covered.
 *Please feel welcome to sign up as a follower to receives updates by email so you don’t miss a thing!
Until next time,

Erin

The Country Touch

Website: http://www.thecountrytouch.weebly.com

Email: ctrytch@telus.net