Every year on the long Thanksgiving weekend, Steve and I get busy putting up all the Christmas decorations and lights, inside and out. I love bringing out my Christmas treasures each year, so many of them have wonderful memories attached to them, especially the ornaments. I still have a cotton Santa I made in 1st Grade and also my brother’s egg carton Santa he made in 1st Grade. This year we had the fun of decorating our gazebo too. Last year about this time, I lost my good friend and neighbor Betty. She loved Christmas as much as I do (and possibly more). Steve and I asked Betty’s daughter if we could have Betty’s tree so we could put it in the gazebo and still have a little part of Betty still in our neighborhood. After we had a good cry, Betty’s daughter was thrilled with the idea and the tree was ours. It looks so proud in our gazebo and is a wonderful reminder to me of my special friend and kindred Christmas spirit.
One of the gifts I’ve been making for friends for Christmas is a set of tile coasters with my photographs decoupaged onto them. I saw this idea in a magazine and just had to give it a try. It was so easy and fun, I ended up making more than I originally planned on. The magazine idea showed beautiful black/white photos depicting winter scenes.
I bought small white 4″ square tiles at Home Depot/Lowe’s and picked up some of my favorite winter photographs to put on the tiles. I sized the photos on the computer to just slightly smaller than the size of the tile, to give it a border and then printed them on regular copy paper. First I painted a thin coat of decoupage glue on the face of the tile and then laid my photograph onto the tile, centering it so there was an even border on all sides. I smoothed out the photograph so there were no bubbles. After this step had dried, I painted another thin coat of decoupage glue over the entire tile, making sure to keep the brush strokes consistent and even. Once this had dried, I sprayed a glossy sealer over the entire surface. Once the sealer dried, I attached small felt cushions to each corner of the back side of the tile.
We have an entertainment center in our living room that has four puck lights in the ceiling of the cabinet to highlight the items on the shelves. We replaced the lights several years ago with Halogen lights, but were recently concerned about how hot they got close to the wood of the cabinet, plus there was a white, dusty residue around each light, so we purchased new LED lights which will be much better and won’t have the heat issue. However, the LED lights are much brighter and are more visible in the center top of the cabinet where there is a leaded, beveled section of glass. So I felt I needed to come up with a solution to diffuse the piece of glass so the lights weren’t so harsh and visible.
I took the whole upper section of glass out of the cabinet and laid it on my work table, upside down. I then found a nice piece of lace in my material scraps and laid it over the glass, making it very tight with no creases and then took a can of spray frost and sprayed through the lace. Once it dried, I took the lace off and the resulting image on the glass was a beautiful lace pattern. After I installed it in the cabinet, I just couldn’t help but stand there and admire it. It turned out so nice and was the perfect solution to diffusing the harsh glare of the lights, but still adding a nice decorative effect to the cabinet.
I had also done a similar project to this on my vanity in our bathroom. I painted the whole vanity in the soft winter white that I used in the rest of the room, and then laid a piece of lace on the vanity top (taping it down on the edges so it was nice and tight) and sprayed a beige color through the lace. It is a subtle design that just adds an extra special touch to the vanity and it’s easy to clean too.