Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Get Enlightened!

For me, there is nothing more iconic to summer nights than fireflies and hanging lanterns. When I was a kid we spent a week each summer at a campground where hanging lights were strung from tent to tent. A single light bulb hung from the middle of our tent to lighten the little home for the week, and other than the occasional flashlight streaming from the path, glowing fireflies were the only other glimmer of light in the darkness each night. But in that darkness it was magical, because heat and bugs and even humidity all vanished as the quiet moan of a fan breezed across us as we slept. Oh, to be a kid again!

Well, I’m not a fan of outdoor living like I was as a kid, not even for a week at this age. However, we do have that same style of lights hanging across our porch, and when I look out each night I have happy memories from those summer weeks living in a tent when I was a kid.

I do love the honesty of the bare bulbs on that string of lights, but I thought it might be fun to liven things up a bit and adorn them with lanterns of my own design, for at least a few nights this summer.

This project is so simple that it can be done before nightfall, hanging, and lighting your porch. In order to make these lanterns you will only need one of the cone shapes from the Cut Flowers Accessories set on LD (I chose the slotted cone shape to allow for maximum light to be visible). The only other thing to complete this project will be assembled and bradded flowers to attach to each lantern. I made flowers from all of the petal sets from the Cut Flowers collection on LD.

I simply cut out as many lanterns as light bulbs, in a rainbow of colors. A bit of tape secured each cone where the two ends meet and slide together.

Next, I chose various colors and shapes of petals, attached them together with a tiny brad, made a small hole in each lantern and bradded a flower to each one. I didn’t even get the glue out for this project. :)

To hang the lanterns on the lights (the bulbs are approximately 1 and 1/2 inches in diameter, this set is from Target) I folded the tabs in at the top of each lantern and gently slid them over the bulbs. The tabs work as a cover over the bulb and the lantern dangles from it.

Here is a photo, below, of an assembled lantern from above to show the tabs covering the bulbs and holding the lantern in place.

I hope you have some wonderful memories of your childhood summers and are making new ones with your own family and friends. Just incase you are looking for one more thing to create new memories this summer, think about turning this project into a new one. Who knows, this might be just the splash of color missing in your evening skies and future memories. Enjoy and happy summer!

Monday, June 4, 2012

On a Pedestal

I’ve been wanting to share projects that will encourage you to get the Accessories Set from my Cut Flowers collection on LD because I love the possibilities of paper crafting with this set in conjunction with all of the flower sets. In fact I have a few project ideas to share that have nothing to do with the flowers. Ideas that will enlighten you, shall we say. :) More to come on that very soon.

To begin with, from the accessories set, you will find four discs with different patterned edges (each a different color) that have matching cone shapes from the accessories set. One is scalloped, one diamonds, one dots and one slits (for lack of a better word). All are shown as pedestals in the photos above.

Cut out both pieces (disc and matching cone). Assemble the cone so that the small slits at the center top point outward from the cone, like a megaphone with tabs going out at the top. This is necessary in order to glue the cone shape to the center of the disc to make the pedestal stand. Below is an example of how to assemble and then attach the two pieces. You might also want to find the center of the disc and dot it in order to see the center while lining up the base with the disc.

Once you have the pedestals assembled you can add the floral parts. I chose to make flowers from all of the Cut Flowers petal sets and attach them with tiny brads. I used tiny white cupcake liners and candy liners (for candy making) as the mini stands for each of the small, floral centerpieces. Below is a close up of the tiny cupcake (candy) liner with floral pieces carefully attached.

In the photo at top you will see all four pedestals, some with mini floral arrangements, and some with one larger floral centerpiece. If you would like the stand to be a bit more durable, you could add a smaller sized solid disc under (glued between) the top (disc) and base (cone). This will add some stability if you are using the pedestals for something heavier than paper flowers. I believe these pedestals could hold small cupcakes or an individual cupcake per stand. Use card stock or cover stock for the pedestals, or the heavies weight your machine can handle while still cutting intricate pieces.

Create your own arrangements with these pieces and before you know it others will be putting you on a pedestal with your amazing creations!