Friday, 10 July 2009

Christmas in July!

I know that really Christmas comes but once a year - it's just that in the papercrafting world we get to spread it out a bit! When I first saw the Evergreen Holiday set I just knew I wanted to use it on ornaments somehow. Here's what I did yesterday...

These are regular common or garden microscope slides (1" x 3") turned into ornaments for the tree with the help of some stamps, some copper foil tape and some wire. I'm a total novice when it comes to wire work so I was pretty happy with the way this turned out (although I did end up with blood blisters on the tip of my left index finger - I think I must have nipped it with the pliers without noticing!).

What I didn't want to do was get into the whole soldering thing that usually goes along with microscope slide art. It looks lovely but I'm really not sure about the fumes that come off that stuff - I well remember the smell of soldering from my dad and brother doing electronics projects when I was a kid! So I just wrapped the edges of my slide "sandwich" with copper tape (this narrow stuff is often sold for doll house enthusiasts to do the circuits round their tiny houses) and used Superglue to attach jump rings to the backs of the pieces. I even made the jump rings so they'd be the same copper as the rest of the wire work - I'm feeling quite proud of that little achievement :o)

If you didn't want to do the wire work, these would be just as pretty with a chain loop or a ribbon hanger - the sort of narrow silk ribbon sold for ribbon embroidery would give them that touch of vintage opulence!

I was so pleased to find that this little sentiment block fit across the width of the slide to make one with a tall, slim look about it.

On this one, I've just done a simple hanging loop at the top but added a jump ring at the bottom so it has a little bead dangle for added interest there. The trees on this one and the branches on the final one have touches of green Spica glitter pen which looks really pretty in real life but doesn't really show in the photos, sorry!

This last one is my favourite, I think! I love the elegant shape of the cone and the teeny tiny conelets at the tip of the branch!

Stamps (Cornish Heritage Farms):
Evergreen Holiday (All Things Considered line)

Simply Smooth (CHF)

Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)
Stazon by Tsukineko (Olive Green)
Tim Holtz Distress by Ranger (Vintage Photo)

Copic Markers
Copic Spica Glitter pen
Microscope slides (two per ornament)
Copper tape (6mm)
Copper wire (22 and 16 gauge)
Round nose and chain nose jewellery pliers and wire cutters
Czech glass beads

Thanks for stopping by!

Edited to add a note on materials as Tracey asked: I think the entire thing is an eBay special here! Microscope slides are pretty cheap and widely available, eBay just happened to be convenient for me to get them. If you only want a couple, try asking a school lab technician if you can pay for a couple of out of school supplies. My copper foil tape also came from eBay but you'd most likely find it in a model shop since people use it for things like doll house electric circuits and electric cars and stuff. The wire is just jewellery wire so anywhere that sells a decent selection of weights and types should do you. Oh, the Superglue came from the £1 shop - three little tubes in a pack :o)


Karen said...

WOW WOW WOW Joanne...these are gorgeous & would look lovely with the little plaques you made last year!!!!!
That wire work looks fantastic and well worth your effort & blister! XXX

Anonymous said...

These are just seem to be able to turn your hand to anything, and everything you do looks so perfect!
You should sell these on Etsy or such like....I'll be the first in the queue!!

Jackie said...

these look great - what a fab idea!

Kaz said...

Brilliant Joanne! I love these. Well worth the blister.

Anonymous said...

They're fabulous Joanne! love the wirework! x

Traceyr said...

These are really gorgeous Joanne and your wirework is lovely.

Where do you purchase the materials from though?

Nancy said...

These are great, Joanne!! I never knew about the copper tape, and I've always wanted to do something like this without soldering.

This is a beautiful selection of ornaments and truly inspiring :) . Thanks so much for your detailed information!

Janice said...

These are really amazing Joanne. Even better than your little Sculpey signs last Christmas. You have excelled yourself.

Marcy said...

Joanne, these are lovely little works of art. Your scroll work with the wires is just perfection. I appreciate the details you provide as well. Beautifully done, my friend!

Sid said...

Joanne these slides are just lovely, your wirework is really nice.....they look fab !!

Ruth Philps said...

Incredible!!! So Vintage and so expensive looking...I love them!!
I know what you mean about that whole soldering thing!! I have all the stuff but only ventured out to do it once and used the sticky tape stuff...I'd love to do soldering but it's yet another addiction!! I love the curly scrolls you made to hang them from...awesome!!

Darlene said...

FANTASTIC Joanne!! These are totally adorable and what an awesome homemade gift for loved ones!! Sorry about your blood blister but your efforts produced an amazing product! Love the dimension the pine cone slide has ... GREAT job and thanks so much for sharing all the details on these beauties!!! (Not that I'm brave enough to attempt to duplicate these ... mind you ... but thanks) LOL!!

Morti said...

Gorgeous as always - they are LOVELY.

KAT said...

These turned out beautifully! Love the wire work that you did!

Caroline said...

Oh, they are gorgeous Joanne...x

lottie said...

You are so very clever - and I covet those Christmas stamps

I am off to search ebay now for the slides and tape.

Thanks so much for the inspiration

Carol Plume said...

Wow what fantastic and eyecatching pieces - your christmas tree will look fab with them on it. Fantastic wire work would never guess you'd never done it before xx

sue law said...

Beautiful Joanne! I totally agree the last one is my fav too!

Ellen said...

gorgeous, you'll be a jeweller next ; wonderful wire pieces.

Minxy said...

OMG, how like totally awsome are these, i'm speechless, there just like WOW

Gez Butterworth said...

Superb Joanne. You should feel very proud of yourself.xx Your wire work is stunning. Are you sure its your first time!!! I love the red cardinal best. I'd love to see one IRL. Your Christmas ornaments are truly fabulous. Well Done.