Sunday, October 21, 2012

Wired Glass Jars & Bottles

I love glass jars and bottles.

When we got married - 24 years ago, I convinced my hubby that we should start a collection of art glass pieces. We got a few nice glass pieces for our wedding but that's about where the collection stopped! Once children and bills start taking over, there's not a lot left to spend on expensive hand-blown glass!

So, how have I managed to fulfil my passion for glass collecting??

Recycling glass jars of course!

One day, at a homewares store, I noticed they had cute glass jars with wire handles - that cost A BOMB! It was then that I decided I would rinse out and take the labels off all the cute and interestingly shaped glass jars from food products we used at home. I keep a bottle of this label remover under my kitchen sink just in case I come across a nice bottle I want to recycle.

Sometimes I would buy a certain product at the supermarket just to get the jar it was in! My favorite jars and bottles are - essence bottles, pasta sauce jars, embossed jars, cordial bottles, mustard jars, and antipasti jars.

These ones usually have great shapes and interesting patterns embossed on the glass.

I have added wire collars and handles to hundreds of jars and bottles with these easy steps:

1. Cut a piece of wire twice the length of the top of your jar.
2. Make a loop at one end.
3. Make 2 more loops at the 1/2 and 3/4 points along the length of the wire. These will be the loops for the handle to hook on.
4. Thread the end of the wire through the first loop and tighten the wire around the top of the bottle. Bend the end back so the collar is now secure. Cut the excess wire.
5. Give the 2 handle loops an extra twist with the pliers to tighten the wire collar.
6. Cut another piece of wire for the handle and thread through the handle loops. Bend wire back to secure the handle in place.

I have built up a great collection that I've used to decorate many functions.
I've also added hooks to some of the handles so that the jars can be hung if needed.
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A Giant Wire Chandelier

I've been working on some decorations for a wedding that is being held at a fabulous venue in Sydney called The School and suggested to the client that we make a giant wire chandelier as a decorative feature. She loved the idea, so I decided to make a mini- version as a test and we will be taking it to the venue to see how it can be sized to fit.

It started out as a concept drawing and bit by bit I put it together. Of course, starting with the tools...

Then creatively putting together the different lengths of wire...

I needed to 'tie down' the wire so the struts don't move around the rings. This required an additional short length of wire threaded through the wire loop, and tied down to the ring.

My fingers took a bit of a beating from all the twisting but I was thrilled with the result!

The finished Chandelier - not the easiest thing to photograph!

We will see what works best in the space- either using the wired bottles and jars hanging from the chandelier with sprigs of greenery and flowers, or maybe even covering the whole thing with fresh or even silk flowers.
Whichever way, i think it will make a wonderful happy festive statement!
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Monday, October 8, 2012

Corsage Season

Last year, my son was asked to a school formal and aside from all the expenses involved... suit, shirt, transport, cover charge,  (I hate to think what the girls spend on their hair, makeup and outfits....)

there was also the CORSAGE to think about.....

I only had to walk in to one florist to realise that these kids were forking out an unnecessary fortune for a corsage, and so I suggested to my son, that I would make all the corsages for his mates to give their dates.  Not only would I make them, I would make them BETTER than anything I'd seen at the florist.

Some of the corsages I made by hand.

I asked the boys to find out what colours their dates were wearing, and did an assortment of different corsages for them.  They all had a wide satin ribbon to tie on to the wrist so they were totally adjustable.  (We had a 'how to tie on the ribbon' lesson in the kitchen before the boys went to pick up their dates!).

All my corsages had a gorgeous WOW factor - with a bit of drama thrown in with the colour combinations, the addition of feathers, diamantes, pearls, greenery, and floral embellishments.  The girls told me that they were very comfortable to wear due to the quality and width of the satin ribbon that I used.

I've done a lot of work with flowers in decor, arrangements, table settings, and event centerpieces, and now happy to add corsages to that list!