Sunday, June 24, 2012

Fourth of July Wine Charms

We are getting ready to host a cocktail party for our friends who moved to Chicago last summer.  They are passing through our area for a few days over the Fourth of July holiday.  I've mentioned these friends before - these two are our 'travel buddies'.  The four of us go to Disney World at least once a year together (one year we went three times!) and about every other year we plan a non-Disney adventure.  We've hit New York, Dublin, Rome, Venice, Florence and Hawaii together.  My DH and I have traveled places with other couples and sometimes it works and other times not so much.  It's great when you find travel companions and it just clicks.  Since our friends moved most of our mutual friends haven't seen them since they left, so it's time for a get together for sure!

I'll be sticking to a red, white and blue theme for the gathering.  I pretty much use these colors the entire summer when entertaining.  I keep my "Fourth of July" decorations up from Memorial Day (at the end of May) until Labor Day (beginning of September).

Now on to the wine charms.......
I used the same techniques I used in my St Patrick's Day Wine Charm.
I again used shrink film and a trusty Cricut cartridge.  I found my images on the Stand and Salute cartridge.
I cut the dog tag images at 3.25 inches and the Liberty Bells at 3 inches.  Then I colored them with a marker, punch a hole in the top and baked them in my oven.  After they came out of the oven I coated them with glossy accents to make them, wellllll...... glossy.  The dog tags gave me two shapes: the actual tag and the cut out from the center.  I used those extras as accents on other charms.

The last time I did wine charms I posted a picture of the tea cart in our foyer, so I thought I'd do the same again.

The apothecary jar on the left contains a few altered ornament balls which I coated the inside with glitter; the middle jar contains some red, white and blue wire garland; and the right some coconut creme Hershey Kisses.

I'll post about other items for the party after it's over (I can't make everything weeks in advance).

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Fourth of July Themed Candle Holders

Nice weather and spending evenings out on our deck are finally here!  Two years ago we had a large deck built onto the back of our house.  Since the weather has warmed up and the days are getting longer, we enjoy spending a hour or two after dinner out back on our new area, listening to music and just spending time together after work.  

One thing we do not enjoy are the bugs!  I found the Conceal candles from Yankee Candle work well.  These candles do not have a typical citronella smell to them, are DEET free and at the end of last year they were on sale for buy one get one free - so I stocked up!

I have found that whenever I use tea light candles outside in a regular tea light holder, they tend to blow out from even a light breeze.  I decided to see if I can create a fun little holder using rice and pint size Ball jars.  

I purchased a 10 pound bag of rice (way more than I'll ever need), a case of Ball pint jars, red and blue food coloring, and used the Conceal candles already in my stash.  I worked in batches of two cups of rice each time.  That filled about 4 jars (two cups of blue, two cups of red and a little less than one and one half cups of plain white).  It took a lot of food coloring to get the colors the way I liked them - about 40-50 drops for each.  After I mixed the colors I filled each jar about a third of the way with each color.  I did a mixture of color arrangements, some started with the red rice, some started with the blue.  
I do have a few dozen boxes of the Conceal votive size candles.  I decided to use them as well for this project.  I placed the votive in a clear glass votive cup first and filled the pint jar with as much rice as was needed for the height of the votive to match the height of the jar.  I don't think using the votive is very practical, since it will be difficult to replace the candle without mixing all the rice.  I think for this project the tea light size candle is the way to go for easy changing of the candle.  We plan to use these for the rest of the summer season.  I've already made about ten of these and have given a few away!  

Here is a little view of where my DH and I spend our evenings together outside.