Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Silverware Windchimes

Last year I wanted to make some vintage spoon bracelets and got a great deal on a lot of silverware on Ebay.  Somewhere along the line I saw a set of windchimes made with silverplate and decided to make one for my mother-in-law for Christmas to use the various bits and pieces of silverware that I didn't use for bracelets.  It wasn't too hard to make--although bending the fork tines was a bit ouchy on my hands. I used beads that I had lying around the house.  It was just handy that I had enough to make this! 

They sound really gentle and pretty.

Might just have to make a set for us!

To make:

You need:  A piece of iron.  2 sterling dinner forks.  4 assorted shorter forks/spoons/knives.  Pliers.  Leather.  Drill and drill bit (teensy.  1/16 I think I used).  Hammer.  Fishing twine.  Beads.  Scissors.

Get yourself a piece of iron. I had a small piece from a railroad track. Worked great! Wrap a piece of silverware in the leather, lay it on the piece of iron, and pound it flat with a hammer.  Repeat with each piece of silverware.

Drill a small hole in the top of the handle and center and just above the tines of a fork.  Do the same with the handle of another fork.

Wrap the fork handle with a piece of leather to help grip into the vise and avoid tool marks.

Stick the fork handle into the vise right up to the tines.  Bend the tines, center ones forward and back and side ones outwards.  A lot of elbow grease works, as does a hammer.  Just be sure to cover the tines with leather if using a hammer of pliers to avoid tool marks.

Bend and curl the tines using pliers . 
Be sure to put the leather between the pliers and the silverware to avoid tool marks.

Repeat with second fork.

Drill holes in the handle of 4 assorted spoons/forks/butter knives.

Tie the pieces together with fishing twine and beads as shown in the photo. 
I twisted a piece of wire through the top fork and decorated with a large bead for hanging.

Polish well with silver polish.

Voila!  A unique and pretty gift for a garden lover.

Note:  If I were to do it again, I might drill a little hole in each fork tine of the forks that I'll be curling before I curl them.  That way it would be easier and nicer looking when attaching the chime parts.  Just a thought.

Christmas Card

It seems like I only get out Christmas cards every two or three years, so when I do I like to do something kind of fun or creative.  One year, we did a card that was kind of like those "I Spy" books.  You know, where there's a whole bunch of stuff laid out and you have to find little objects among the mix.  I put out Christmas ornaments, beads, lights--and then stuck in little bits and pieces like a little car, paintbrushes, etc to represent certain things that had happened to us that year.  Another year I did a newspaper type thing (that was fun!).  This year I blatantly ripped off an idea that I found on line.  If you'd like to steal the idea from here, go ahead.  It was quite simple to do in Photoshop, and would probably work fairly well in Publisher as well, although it would take a bit more time probably. 

This year our list was trimmed dramatically, so I posted it on FB as well, so friends could see it there.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, our 2011 Christmas card:

Of course, I COULD send out one like this, but since the idea of my kids taking Swedish lessons to prepare their Nobel Peace Prizes seems rather preposterous, I'm just happy to report that we survived 2011 fairly intact and happy, that we're looking forward to the coming year, and we wish you all the very best!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Beautiful RoAnna

When we first had kids, RoAnna was one of our first babysitters.  And now, feeling extremely aged, I had the privilege of taking photos of her blossoming pregnancy. 

She liked the idea of the earth and fertility, and brought some ivy with her.  Between her ivy and what I had, plus yards and yards of fabric, we transformed her into a grecian goddess:

And then, for fun, Rick played around with a set of headphones that he had brought along.  I love that they had idea of what they wanted to do and got into having fun at the session.  It was such a pleasure working with them!  I can hardly wait to meet their little one.