DIY Crafts: Branch Wreath (Take #2)

Probably the last crafts post (although I am trying to squeeze in one more thing before Christmas comes around) for the holidays and its a Take 2 of Branch Wreath. We’ve been having some really crappy weather so its rather gloomy. To cheer up my in-laws, because I do that every once in a while when I have something fun to share, I decided to make them a new wreath, specifically a branch wreath (since that is apparently my new obsession).

This one is definitely more for my mother-in-law who likes angels (according to my husband) so we found the only angel decor and built the wreath around it.

Here’s our shopping haul at Michael’s:

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  • Gold Branch Wreath
  • 1 Mistletoe
  • 1 Fir and Pine Cones
  • 2 Angels
  • 2 Holly Leaves with Birds
  • 2 Eucalyptus and White Berries
  • 2 Snowy Branches (I don’t know how to describe them but its the long white ones)

After a lot of deliberation and moving things around and a floor full of gold sparkles and branches, this was the final result.

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In my opinion, I actually think this one beats my own (which I am not working on fluffing up a little to give it more volume). This is where this one has more of and works pretty well also. It feels more dimensional and has some depth with layers of different decors. I did hot glue the pieces into the wreath so that my in-laws can store it without anything breaking off.

Improvements to this one (because what crafting wouldn’t have that in my opinion):

  • I’d have added another angel to give it a row which would make it an obvious centerpiece.
  • Would have gotten some wire to tie down some of the stems that are embedded in the wreath as I had to twist it forcibly and then glue it to the wreath and hopefully it won’t come out

Other than that, I’m pretty happy with this one. It highlights the theme I’m going for and adds the greenery and the color scheme works pretty well. I like the symmetry but also the parts that stand out are the ones where its subtle changes with the mistletoe on one side and the fir and pine cones on the other, giving it subtle differences. Its an improvement in my opinion from the previous one because it adds some three dimensional feeling to it.

I’m not quite sure that I’d work with a gold wreath again though because its a very dominating sort of backdrop color palette that very few things seem to work with. Maybe I’ll try out the silver wreath next time (or maybe the red which is the remaining option, I think, but that might also be hard and not easy to decorate the house with).

Future wreath themes to think about: North Pole or Rustic Woodland

You can check out my previous wreath post HERE.

DIY Crafts: Marbled Ornaments

It seems crafts are definitely in the air as I tackle on something that I’ve seen around the Facebook feeds and Youtube front pages over the past year and while it was for some other things like car aesthetics and such, I decided to try to do it for ornaments as I did some research and some people do it as well.

This was a learning process so most of it was a failure BUT, I think I had one that turned out okay and the other ones, I’m going to redecorate so that they can be used for tree. As for why its a failure, I’ll talk about at the end. The process in general works but its more the execution…

Anyways..let’s check it out!

Craft accessories

Marbled Ornaments

  • Old nail polish
  • Clear baubles (mine are glass, but they do sell it in plastic..not sure how that would end up though)
  • Room temperature water
  • Old container (not reusable for any edible items)
  • Toothpicks
  • Cotton swabs

How to do it:

Marbled Ornaments

  1. Fill the container with room temperature water. Take the nail polish color(s) you want to use and drop it into the water. It should float and expand.
  2. Quickly, use the toothpick to make the patterns (if its multiple colors). I believe you can for single color also but I haven’t tried before.
  3. Use a glove if you want to cover the entire bauble or dip it half way to wrap it up. Remember to use a cotton swab to pick up any left over colors from the water before re-emerging the bauble from the water.

Marbled Ornament

Voila! That’s the final and most successful one (at the sixth try)!

But I’m not going to cheat all of you out of all my failures as well so here’s all six of them…

Marbled Ornaments

Look at it like how you’d do a C shape and that’s the order of how it was done.

  • The first was the result of not having a cotton swab to pick up the excess so it dragged all over it creating a huge thick smush. The colors aren’t bad but that blob doesn’t work with it.
  • Two and Five has the issues of mostly choosing bad colors so it just blended together into a whole lot of nothing.
  • Three and Five suffers a bit from the first issue I had but also had these issues of the toothpick dragging too late and it had already formed the film so the colors moved all into a bunch
  • Six is by far the best one both in marbled effects as well as the color combination

There you go! That’s the little DIY Marbled Ornaments that I did! Its really a lot harder than it looks. I wanted to try it to get rid of all the old nail polish that I can’t use anymore because its separated or whatnot. I wonder if using not so separated one would be better even if I did shake it to make it work. There is a big nail polish fumes emitting from the bauble though. So you will want to air them out a lot before using these DIY Ornaments.

Other than that, it is pretty fun to mix and match colors and work on this. Like I mentioned above, I will probably find some way to incorporate other old things and add some stuff to these failed ornaments so that they can be used one way or another to hide the issues on the surface. I’ll see what I can do. Maybe I’ll do an Instagram post on it or something when I’m done.

Have you tired marbled ornaments with nail polish?
If you have, please tell me whether you were successful and where you see my issues are. Any tips and suggestions will be highly appreciated!

DIY Crafts: Branch Wreath (1st attempt)

Signs of the early years of Tranquil Dreams is coming back into shape this December as I get through some housekeeping for the blog going on in the background, I’m having this sudden urge to get back into doing some DIY crafts and also some cooking and baking planned as well. Its going to be (hopefully) a fun little December that will get back on track on all the positive things that I’ve always liked doing as a crafty and creative outlet that is a very wonderful release for me when I manage to put together something nice.

First project to tackle is a branch wreath. I’ve put together all the wreaths at our current home and while it might not be as economical as a store-bought one, all of mine are unique to what I want on there and how I want it to look like. Feeling like a bit of a change, I went for a branch wreath at Michael’s during the Black Friday Sale and picked up a bunch of wreath decorations to see what I could do.

Here are all the supplies that I had bought:

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  • Branch Wreath
  • Wreath Decorations

There’s something very different from doing a branch wreath than doing a pine wreath. It has to do with the whole messy elements of trying to put all the elements in. Putting in the decorations is trying to find that spot to hold them in place while hiding the sticks holding them up also. I didn’t use any wire which you could get or go with using hot glue to keep them all in place. With that said, designing branch wreaths are more minimalist in some ways where less is more.

Here’s my first trial which didn’t quite look like how I wanted so it was quickly pulled apart to rethink and redo…

Branch Wreath

Back to zero, I did some research on Pinterest on how branch wreaths usually are structured and then thought about a new structure where I would go find some supplies that I had bought before but never used. There some gold hollies and berries that I had picked up a year or two ago at Michael’s at a previous sale but never found a way to implement in anything else.

The final branch wreath turned out like this:

Branch Wreath

The final one looks like this.

It is a very simple first attempt and I can see some places where I can improve at filling in the gaps and making it feel more full and giving it some more volume as well. Overall, I am fairly happy with it as it does have the fun little elements of Christmas that I like and its along the lines of what I wanted to do.

Branch wreaths are this very interesting element to discover because of the whole fitting the pieces into a more classy style and it also has this less is more element to it while giving it space for the branches to have its compliment to whats put on it. I’m definitely having some more ideas on what themed wreaths to do. But there’s still time to maybe spruce this one up as nothing there is set because I also like my wreaths to have the chance to change it up when I get tired of looking at it. This version doesn’t have any glued elements and just held from strategically placing them to hold in place by the branches under and some of the wired holders on the wreath decorations.

*As a side note, I am working on a second one as a gift so expect a post on the new one (along with an update if I do change something on this one). That one is looking a lot more refined than this first one in my opinion so far but the theme isn’t fitting in as well as I’d like it to so its still in the making. *

Making Yarny from Unravel!

Happy Sunday!! Today, I’m here with a fun little crafting project. Maybe you know what Unravel is or maybe you don’t, but that doesn’t matter. Yarny is the darling little yarn boy in this independent game called Unravel. We covered on the debut episode of Game Warp and even had a little challenge to make one of our own. Its been almost two months but its only right to get it done before our next game review podcast comes out sometime next week.

unravel

Here’s the video of how to make Yarny if you want to give it a try:

Here’s just a picture trail of how mine was done along the way!

Yarny

Materials

Yarny

Yarny Skeleton

My Yarny

My Yarny

What do you think? The head kind of is a little off but I think it was okay. But to be honest, I had to rework the skeleton/frame one for the arms, legs and the head. In face, my Yarny might have two skeleton frames to give it that shape. Crafting skills is a little rusty. However, I have never worked with wire before so I think it was okay.

Now, I have a ton of red and white yarn left. What crafts to do with them now? Any suggestions?

Christmas: DIY Ornaments!

Man, it seems like I make ornaments every single year! I was gifting them. Then I made some for my own tree last year.  This year, the tree is done but I still had some leftover glass ornaments that I could use so I figured that I’d start making it for next year. I had found a really simple DIY ornament on Pinterest and it had me intrigued.

Let’s make some ornaments! 🙂

DIY Ornaments

What you need: 

Glass ornament balls (not sure if it works on plastic)
Acrylic paint (whatever color you want)

Acrylic paints I used: Gold, Silver, Frost

Acrylic paints I used: Gold, Silver, Frost Translucent & not shown here: Extreme Glitter/Silver

Making this is super easy if not a little time consuming. But once you figure out the technique that works for you, it’ll be a breeze.

Pretty much, you put some paint into the glass ornament ball.  Then you shake so that it covers the entire interior. My suggestion is to cover the top with a kleenex or paper or something so that when you shake it won’t come flying out and dirtying your furniture or clothes, etc. At times, shaking doesn’t work so you can try tapping it on the table.

 I started with the batch with small ornaments for the first night and then tried out the big ones the next day. Here’s how it turned out:

DIY ornaments

The first batch was all clear cut.  Two of each: metallic gold, metallic silver and translucent frost.

The next night when I decided to give this another go.  I did one more metallic gold as I thought their effect was the nicest but tried out the Extreme Glitter ones.  In the back row, you see that I got a little more creative and started mixing.  You can actually see it here.  The top right is a mix of told and silver. You can’t really see it because of the glare but it swirls in the bottom and the middle. The one right above it was a mix of Glitter and White (which I also didn’t list up on top).  The effect isn’t too bad.  If I could only figure out how to make it a little more structured.  Maybe with paintbrush strokes or something.

This year making these is really in preparation for next year since we’re done with ornaments and the tree.  And, I was cleaning up the boxes in storage and found these sitting around waiting to be decorated and crafted. I have two more packs. I’m sure I’ll figure out some fun way to decorate them next year 😉 For now, back to the storage they go.

Do you like to make your own ornaments? 

2013 in review!

I was going to do a post on 2013 recap but since WordPress did one for me, here’s the simple version while I put together my more detailed one. Check this out! 🙂 Visit some of the posts that are popular if you’d like.  I’ll be back with something very soon! Some 2014 forecasts as well and some last minute decisions to make as to the direction of where all this is going 🙂 I know some of you will cross the New Year’s point and if you have: Happy 2014!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 47,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 17 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Christmas Shopping at Salon des Metiers D’Arts & More!

Wow! Its been a pretty intense weekend on my end! Thats usually how December weekends look all the way to 2014!

I finally  had time to sit down in front of the computer and type this up!

For those of you that follow my workouts know that I’ve been on my Dietbet, after Friday night’s Dragonboat practice, I lost a bit more weight on my weigh-in making the first week look pretty alright.  Plus, it was an intense workout and it was pretty fun.  It felt great to get back into paddling, although after a long break, my behind is aching again.  Still, I’m happy to be back. One more practice before we have Christmas vacation and resume in January. I’m still on part-time for winter however, but its probably for the best.

Wet after practice

Wet after practice

Saturday was an early start! I went out for a walk to the bank instead of taking my car.  It was supposed to be warm but I still geared up.

First take!

First take!

So, I left in that outfit and then when I walked outside onto the street a gust of wind reminded me that I forgot something so I went back and put on my new hat.  Its really well insulated and that was my Black Friday find 🙂

New Hat!

New Hat!

After that was piano and then running off to my annual Christmas shopping at the Salon des Metiers D’arts of Montreal which is also called the Montreal Arts and Crafts Show. It features arts and crafts entrepreneurs and companies based on Quebec.  It usually has some pretty awesome stalls to start and in the back is where we hit the food and wine products which is a whole lot of tasting involved.  As I’m on antibiotics, my friends did all the tasting of anything alcoholic while I just sniffed it to get an idea and they gave me suggestions as to which was better.  Still, one stop to clear most of my Christmas shopping is a sure win for me.  Lets check it out!

Salons des Metiers d'arts Montreal

Everything that I bought at the show

Lets take a look one by one!

First buy was last year’s winner in my book, food-wise, La Nougaterie. They sell nougats and this year they even had marshmallows and for $20 it had 3 nougat bars with a bag of marshmallows and the little Christmas basket. Thats the one in the center on that picture.

Nutra-Fruit Salons des Metiers D'arts Montreal

Dried Orange Cranberry & Cranberry with Apple Ice Wine Jelly

Next was the Nutra-Fruit kiosk with their Dried Cranberries infused with Orange flavor which was super delicious and out of all their jellies, my friend said that this Cranberry with Applie Ice Wine Jelly was pretty good.  I gave this to my mom as her birthday gift as it was also her birthday on Saturday 🙂

Dinette Nationale

Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

Next one is a new kiosk called Dinette Nationale who is a sweet factory.  They have this awesome tasting Pistachio Shortbread Cookies.  I gave those to my boyfriend’s parents earlier today since they love pistachio and shortbread so this was a winner 🙂

After that, is the highlight of the show for us.  Not so much for me because I only got to watch all the tasting.

Wines

Wines

I ended up with these 3 bottles.  I’m going to gift the two on the side and the one in the middle is for myself and Christmas dinner. The two on the left are apple ice wines (my fave!).  The one on the left is a new one and it requires a day of refrigeration and then an hour before to put in the freezer to fully get the best flavor.  The one in the middle is Neige Recolte D’hiver, which is their reserved batch and its one of my favorite ice wines.  The one on the right is called Bise D’automne and its a white wine infused with apple, pear and almonds.

Last up, we have this:

Cassis Monas & Filles

Blackcurrant Jelly and Blackcurrant Ketchup

Cassis Monna & Filles is a winery that focuses on blackcurrant flavored products.  I first bought their product for the Creme de Cassis and Blackcurrant Liquour which makes a wonderful Kir or mixed with their recipe, a very delicious blackcurrant based Sangria. This time, I tried some of their jelly and whats funny was that they introduced their new product as Christmas in a Jar.  When I tasted it, I felt like it had hints of ketchup taste to it and that was weird because I thought it was jelly but it turns out, its actually Blackcurrant Ketchup.  Its good for meat pies and white meat, similar to cranberry sauce 🙂 The other one is Blackcurrant Jelly.  These were bought for my own home.

That whole thing took about 3.5 hours to get through the whole thing. Its a pretty neat show.  I enjoy going every year and its fantastic for nice original gift ideas to meet all the needs that you want. A very efficient Saturday 🙂

On Sunday, I had a full day of running all over the place and finally, at night I managed to settle down to take pictures of my Christmas decorations.  My little Christmas tree as always…

Christmas

My Christmas Tree

And finally, last time with the girls, I bought a whole bunch of stuff for Christmas decorations for a wreath and I put one together and it looked like this!

Christmas

My Christmas Winter Berry Scented wreath!

I bought everything separate but it was great to put it all together! What do you think? My first time putting one together so a little encouragement please? Should I add something more?

I’m going to spare you all music video since I just posted one whole post on it earlier today, if you missed it, check it out HERE!

Are all your decorations up? How is Christmas shopping going for you?

By the way, just wanted to give a little update! Christmas marathon starts tomorrow and I’m going to weave in some 2013 movies that I’ve been meaning to catch up on to wrap up the year in style 🙂