Nov 29, 2011

It's been awhile!

Hi everyone.  Aren't the weeks flying by?  I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving.  We're having ours next Sunday because my brother wasn't able to attend.   I already ate two pumpkin pies so apple and elderberry will be dessert with the turkey.  My thumb finally healed and I completed the little sampler along with a few more sewing projects.  Husband was sweet enough to wash the walls for me and while we were moving everything around, I kind of misplaced it.   The fabric and chart for the second sampler in the set is with it and I'm sure I will locate it soon. 
I'll be decorating my little trees with lights tomorrow and am hoping there are no incidents.  I have no patience with light strings.  None.  Last year, a six foot pencil tree (the skinny ones) became a tree rocket.  I tried so hard to be patient and calm, but after so many tries, I slid open the window next to the tree, and threw it like a javelin.  It didn't go very far but far enough to clear the window frame and have the squirrels scatter.  Felt good. 
I bought teeny lights this year and they work really well on primitive trees.  The bulbs I use on the window candles are silicone coated.  They sell string lights with the coating but they are pricey so ..... I make my own.  It works on the teeny bulbs or the regular miniatures.  You can purchase clear 100% silicone caulk, or use white or ivory.  The clear allows more sparkle and light and the solid gives more of a glow.  It has to be silicone, not the acrylic blends. 




If you have a basement or garage to hang them, it makes it easier since they will be drying out of your way.  Secure each end so the string hangs high enough to be accessible for dipping.  Make sure it can't fall or you'll have a real mess. They really should be hanging down so the long swirl tip won't bend over.   I squeezed the caulk out in a little pile into a cut off styrofoam cup but it works better on something flat.  Dip or roll the bulb until it's covered and either leave the top swirl or just pat it into a ball.  Move on to the next one hanging from the string.  It takes several hours to dry and you can go over them again for a really thick coating if you'd like.  Mistake?  Just peel it off and re-do.  It's best to wear a pair of exam (latex) gloves because the silicone is completely waterproof and very hard to remove.  The caulk starts drying quickly and becomes thicker and more difficult to dip, so squeeze out small amounts at a time.  I may try one with ivory/beige this year too.  It lasts forever.
I had a few emails about the nut garland that I mentioned.  All you have to do is drill any nut and string with fishing line or wire.  I hold each one with channel locks or large pliers because they can roll while you're drilling.  For my small trees, I use the hazelnut garland which I display all year hanging over a window.

 
I haven't found the bins of nuts this year so I resorted to buying the bag which is more expensive.  Almonds do not string well and pecan shells crack more easily so I stick with walnuts and hazelnuts.  I make large garlands with pomegranates, walnuts, and dried oranges, but for small trees, only hazelnuts. 
 I've been checking EBay for santa charts among others and they aren't even selling for $1.  After Ebay fees and especially Paypal, if you charge .$50, you end up with $.15 so it's really not worth the massive amount of time to scan and list each one, then pack and mail.    You can list up to 50 items free every month and those fees are only if the item sells.   But it's so much time to scan and list and I see many of the same charts not selling so I plan on donating or recycling.  I did list and sell the Shepherd's Bush stockings, mainly because the Cork linen was included.  I have a few things on now, and will be listing the large Cinnamon Stick santas with fabric next week.  At least I got rid of all the 19 count and am hoping these charts w/fabric will also go, along with a full yard of Klostern.   If you are interested, my Ebay ID is early-works and you can find me here.
That's about all I have for 'ya.  Hope you have a great week and nice weather.  The "s" word is in our forecast.   Drat. 
I welcome and appreciate my new followers.  Thank you thank you thank you.  I hope I won't disappoint you and plan on showing more needle to fabric.   Till then, thank you for visiting, stay safe and warm!



18 comments:

cucki said...

hello dear, so lovely to hear from you..i love the tiny lights..they are nice..and the tree hazel nut decoration is truly very nice and very different..
enjoy the thanksgiving time next sunday with your brother..
keep well.
hugs for you
cucki xx

Shirlee said...

Nice to see you posting again & so glad your thumb has healed! The lights are lovely & I'm going to try that hazelnut tree garland : ) Thanks for the hoot about your missile tree ... I thought I was reading something about myself at first : ) Blessings, Shirlee

Margaret said...

You're always so creative! I never would have thought of doing that to make the lights. And the nut tree idea -- so pretty! Hope you enjoy your postponed Thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

Your nut garland brings back so many childhood memories for me. We had a huge hickory nut tree in our front yard. My mom spent hours picking up nuts then drilled holes and strung them to hang on our Christmas tree. The meat from those that cracked open were used in Christmas cakes. I can still smell the wonderful hickory nut aroma. Oh my! Blessings - kelley

Sherry said...

Oh my, you are so talented! I just love that candle light. I hope you have a nice Thanksgiving with your brother. I always love reading your blog!

Chris said...

Wow,
That is so cool how you make the silicone mini lights. I also love your hazelnut garland.
I am glad to hear that your hand is healing and I hope you have a joyous Thanksgiving celebration next weekend!

Laurie in Iowa said...

What a creative idea to dip the lights in silicone. Enjoy your delayed Thanksgiving feast.

Joy said...

You are always so nice to share your ideas!! I love the silicone bulbs and use them through out the house...never would have thought they could be used on tree lights...thank you, thank you!

Glad to hear the thumb is healed. Can just picture you throwing the tree javelin;)

Rebecca said...

Thanks for the silicone tip. I love the look of these. I'll have to try it soon.

Elizabeth Ann said...

I have discovered the joy of trees from Wal-Mart. Three plugs, fluff and decorate! But I love your little tree with the nut garland and I am thinking some little ornaments done on 40 count would look so cute! I'm not sure where you would buy a tree like that here in Idaho. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with your family!

samplerlover said...

My goodness Marly, you are so clever and you come up with some wonderful ideas. Love your feather tree. I would love one of those. Pity my house wasn't bigger - Sandra.

The Scarlett House said...

I just love your blog! I always learn something new from you.

Carol said...

Your blog is always so interesting, Marly--amazing the things that you have discovered you can do yourself!

Hope your Thanksgiving dinner with your brother is very special--the pies sound great!

Penny said...

Whenever I see a post from you, I know it's going to be interesting. :) I love the lights and nut garland, both things I might like to try. Very funny about the tree rocket ~ it sounds like something I might do. :D
Glad to hear that your thumb has healed!
Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Siobhan said...

You are SO creative!! Thanks for the tips on doing the lights and the garland. I have grand aspirations of stitching enough ornaments that I'll need a new tree but that hasn't happened yet. When it does, I plan to do very simple lights, etc. Anyway--thanks for showing the how-tos!

I am glad that your thumb healed! Hope you find your stitching project. I'm so glad that I'm not the only one that happens to!

Suzanne said...

I always love your projects, they are so creative. The nut tree is a great idea, but as my eldest daughter has been diagnosed with a tree nut allergy, it probably wouldn't be a good idea at our home.

Del said...

Hi there,
I love all your work and the lights are a wonderful idea. I don't have a blog and I may be telling you an idea you have already thought about but... Re selling your stuff...I visit another blog of a cross stitcher who sells directly from her blog. I don't know if this incurs fees or whatever but she was an ebay seller for years and has decided to go this way. Her bits and pieces do sell, eventually. Just wanted to throw the idea out there.
Happy stitching

Mindi said...

Thanks for posting the tip on making the fancy lights, great trick, and I'll have to try it. Nut garlands might be a tad harder, since I tend to eat the nuts and then there's not enough left to make a good garland with.

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