• “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Dr. Suess

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I decided to decorate with green and purple for Christmas this year.

It is a whim that has taken my fancy.
Isn't it marvelous to be able to have whims and fancies?
Many men and women have given me this gift -
 even at great personal cost.
I am grateful.

Last year I chickened out.
I did hot pink and turquoise -
on a white tree.

That seemed radical but it was OK actually.
(It was inspired by some antique ornaments in those colors.)

My first obstacle was the difficulty of finding what I wanted to use.
Did you ever try to find purple poinsettias?

Sure I could get them at the craft store for about a million bucks (but even those were kind of more 'lilac' not royal purple) except I like to keep my money not spend it. The dollar store had white fake poinsettias in bunches of about 10 stems on each one and also some cool looking stems of red berries (that I know I will want somewhere sometime) that also were available in a nice lime looking green - sparkley too!

I NEEDED those.

I spent less than $10 there including all my berries and some funky bells.

I decided the poinsettias could be painted.

And they can - quite nicely - I am pleased to report that the texture did not even change too much. Just spray them lightly and the paint wicks into the cloth and dries almost instantly. They are a bit stiffer but overall pretty much the same.

Yup - I did.  I went down to the local department store, common to small town anywhere, and bought a can of purple spray paint - nothing special - just generic everyday paint in a spray can. There are fabric paints that can readily color even delicate papers etc but they cost more 4 times as much - SERIOUSLY! more than 4 times as much!

Our local ubiquitous department store also supplied some purple ribbon (that was discounted to a buck a spool) and the light strings for the tree (in green).  I had to splurge for one spool of green ribbon but with that and a few (very few) interesting green ornaments I started to dig through my 'stuff' and sort out possibilities.

Hmmm - lots of glitter  - in all kinds -  purple and green [check] AND glow in the dark - I pulled that out as a for sure - it is kind of greenish and might create some fun effects.

I also visited the local 2nd hand stores - you never know what antique-ish or intriguing (and no longer available for purchase elsewhere) thing lurks there.  My tree topper was from such a box some other year - it was just too interesting to pass up then. It is terrific this year.

I found a nice evergreen wreath form, stripped it down to the evergreen, fluffed it up, shaped it a bit and then refurbished it - but that is a different project!

I pulled a white poinsettia off its stem, and separated the layers of petals.

I also left them together,

clipped the top layer with a clothes pin,

sprayed the back

too much paint causing runs and drips
(spray from further away)

and then the front,

dropped the top layer and sprayed the top. I liked that best.

former navy on right

I had taken a large dark blue and silver poinsettia (single layered) off the 2nd hand wreath.  I sprayed it purple too.  It needed 2 coats to cover the darkness of that color contrast of the silver threads. The texture became almost plastic like.

drying outside

The day was warm-ish and I left them outside drying - they were too strong smelling to bring indoors for several hours.

Later I thinned white glue (by about half), and stroked a paint brush dipped in it along the petals and sprinkled them with fine purple glitter.  After they were dry I tapped off loose particles prior to using gold 3D glitter glue to make the center stamens shiny gold again.

These flowers (and berries) turn up on my tree, and in wreaths and garlands hung around the room in several places.  They became a fun and key player in this year's decor.

Today I needed a few more.  I just couldn't be bothered to go through the whole dismantling, painting and reassembly procedure.  I took a 'bush' of whites and my can of paint outside.
I figured I had nothing to lose - worst case scenario they might have to be redone.  I sprayed the underside first while holding them upside down, and then carefully sprayed the top surfaces as individually as possible.  They turned out OK.

 There were some lighter areas on the upper surfaces of the lower petals but as they dried, the paint continued to seep into those areas and they took on more color.  After I glittered them in the same way as I had the others. The glitter did not seem able to just stick in the paint and save me that step.

If you need flowers a specific color - paint them!