Shannon Berrey

How to make feather centerpieces

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I showed you the centerpieces we made for the Gala yesterday. They are super easy to make. 

I ordered 24" eiffel tower vases. They come in clear, white, or frosted. I wanted to use
 frosted vases because it would hide the 6" stem of the foam bouquet holder and the
 lights. But, they were several dollars more a piece than the clear. 

So, I ordered the clear and bought Frosting Spray {around $5/can at Lowes} and
sprayed several light coats on each. 1 can did about 10 vases.

Here they are after getting their frosting.

 Once we got to Harrah's, we lined the vases up and placed a foam bouquet 
holder in each. {see how the frosting helps to hide the stem}

I bought 2 sizes of ostrich feathers. The most affordable way to buy the {expensive}
 feathers is by the pound. One pound of the taller {21-24"} feathers had around 170
feathers. The shorter wing tips {14-17"} came with around 200 feathers per pound. 

**Tip--if you order by the pound, count your feathers and make sure you have the quoted amount. Don't assume
they are correct. I was shorted 250 feathers!! That's 8 arrangements!! They did, however send me the additional ones**

I used 14 tall and 14 short {wing tips} feathers per arrangement.  We started around the
 bottom of the foam holder with a row of 5-7 of the longest feathers pushed in on a 45
degree angle. Then, moving up the holder, created another row using both long and
short {around 5-6}. We continued creating rows until we were straight up in the middle.       

{my awesome assistants, Angie and that's Heather hiding}

It is best to make your arrangements at least one day in advance. The feathers will relax
and fall a little over night. There were 5 of us making these and we made 42 in about an hour.

We lined them all up as we finished each one.


Once they were all finished we moved them into the Event Center.

Notice that they are lit up?! The vase was placed on a 4" LED disc that contained 9 lights.
 These discs came with 3 AA batteries and an on/off switch {$12}. They are so bright that not
only do they light up the vase but also the underneath side of the feathers.        

These discs were not my Plan A. I bought little battery operated LED tea
 lights that were supposed to fit into the vase.

These were fairly inexpensive {$2/pc} and I planned on using 3 in each vase.
Great in theory, but the vases were only 3/4" wide in the
middle {skinniest part} and the lights were 3/4" tall.    

The light discs ended up working so beautifully and they can be reused in next years gala.

With the addition of the feathers, we ended up with a 40" tall arrangement. This is great
 because it in no way blocks your view while talking to others at your table. But, as you can
 see, the bottom of the vase is super small--and it was placed on the 4" light disc. This made
 me a little nervous thinking that someone might knock into a table and end up with feathers
 in their martinis.

I decided to attach the vase to the light disc with zots dots.


{thanks to my friend Donna for giving me a box of these!}

I used 4 of these super sticky dots on the bottom of each vase and then stuck them 
down onto their light disc. They are not permanent, but, you have to work super hard
 to pull them apart! 

Since we still had the tealights, I wanted to add even more drama to the top
of the feathers by dropping a tealight into the middle of the feathers resting on top of
 the foam bouquet holder. There are so many feathers in the foam that it balanced
itself without needing anything else.

Just the one light added so much drama to the arrangement and allowed the middle
of the feathers, all the way to the tips, to glow. 

Jordan and Shelby made gold metallic table numbers that they threaded on a 
black tasseled rope.


They picked up the bouquet holder and placed the other end of the rope into the vase
and then placed the feathered bouquet holder back in, securing it in place.


***** I am still, years later, getting emails asking where I purchased the feathers and vases. I did not include the store or a link in this post purposely because I did not have a good experience with the company. But, after years of answering so many emails about this, I will share it. Save On Crafts. I do not recommend them!! I was shorted 100's of feathers and the vases all varied in height and mouth opening. The customer service was lacking and the ship time was lengthy. Order at your own risk!***** 

Here's to Hollywood!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Our Gala went off beautifully!! We decorated Friday and Saturday and the red carpet
was rolled out to welcome our guests at 6:30pm Saturday night!

Stop by tomorrow and I'll show you how we made the feather arrangements.

Dreaming of a vacation...

Friday, August 12, 2011

I would pay a lot of green to be able to spend today in this beautiful treehouse.

{The Lettered cottage}

Yes, I said treehouse

{The Lettered Cottage}

{The Lettered Cottage}

heck, I would spend money to be able to escape here today.

But, instead, this is where you will find me.

I wish I was going for this.

But, we will be there to decorate for our annual hospital fundraiser that is happening tomorrow. 

No worries, I've got lots of help.

I'll take pictures for you and we will take a look at them next week. deal?
oh, and check out The Lettered Cottage to see more images of not only the
 treehouse but, the whole camp and the amazing story behind it all.


Have a great weekend! 

How to create Sharpie Wallpaper

Thursday, August 11, 2011

If you visited Rambling Renovators last Friday, you saw pictures of my newly redone
guest bathroom. A guest bath that I began working on several months ago. I haven't done
 a post on the details of how I drew/painted the 'wallpaper', so I thought we would talk
 about it today. 



First, we tiled the floor and  installed some 'faux' wainscoting Check out this post to see
 these steps.  

I painted the wall {and ceiling} a really pale blue. {If anyone is interested in the color, email
 me, and I'll go look!}

Then the fun part--creating my Sharpie art!

Instead of spending a fortune on my favorite Schumacher wallpaper, I decided to draw it
on my walls instead. I printed off a picture of the Schumacher wallpaper that I used as
my inspiration and taped it to the wall to refer to. 

If you really like a wallpaper, you can find out its repeat.  In this particular
paper, this is the distance {left to right} from one butterfly/bird to the next identical


I could have easily just free-formed it, but I really liked the look of the wallpaper, the size
 of the birds, and the amount of color. So, I stayed fairly consistent to it's repeat. Schumacher
 has a cool site where you can actually zoom in on the pattern.

To make the process a little quicker, I zoomed in on each bird and butterfly to the exact same
 'zoom level' I then printed each off onto a piece of cardstock to use as a pattern.

My vertical area was only 34" so nothing was repeated up and down. Once I traced around
 a bird, then an identical bird was traced 27" to the right and 27" to the left. After penciling
in about a 6 ft area, I started sketching in the branches.

Using Sharpies on a wall is a little daunting at first, but they work really well.

After all the branches and leaves were done, I used white paint to fill in all of the birds and
 butterflies. This is not a necessary step, it just helped me to make sure I liked the placement
 of it all.
{you have to look really hard to see the faint white} 

It took several coats of craft paint to fill in the birds and butterflies.

After the paint was dry, I went back and added black details with the Sharpie.

{Hint-- try to end your pattern in a corner that is the least conspicuous}

It took an incredible number of hours to finish, but I am really happy with the results
 and the $600 I pocketed from not buying the wallpaper.


A set of crosstitched vintage framed birds and a $8 Goodwill brass lamp finish
 off the other side of the bathroom.   

I'm still waiting to find the perfect little vintage chandy, and then I can check this
 room off my {long} list!  

Shannon Berrey Bio
I'm an artist, interior designer, wife and mom. Join me here as I share projects, ramblings, and inspirations.
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