It's not what you gather, but what you scatter, that tells what kind of a life you have lived.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tie Angels

When we lose someone we love, most of us like to have a small remembrance of them to keep around where we can see it and.....remember them. This is usually easier for women than men. Women have lots of little chatchkies that will hold memories for their loved ones, but with men, its harder. What are you gonna do....bronze that table saw? Hang those wrenches in a pleasing design on the wall? Probably not! But you can make a cute little angel out of one of his ties. I know, I know...there are a lot of men out there that don't wear ties, but most of them have at least one that they wear to weddings, funerals, baby blessings or christenings, occasions like that. And if they don't, I know you can find a tie that will remind you of them. Maybe they liked to hunt or golf, or went wild over baseball or basketball. There are ties out there for everything nowadays, so find one that's good, and this is what you do with it.
Gather up your supplies. You will need scissors, a hot glue gun and glue sticks, a 6" or 8" crocheted doily, a wooden bead called a head bead, some really heavy thread (button and carpet thread), the tie, of course, and some miscellaneous trims, like braided trim and decorative cord. (There's also a little star in the picture, but I didn't like it, so I didn't use it.) You will also need a short piece of pearl rope trim, the size you prefer.
Now, take your tie and cut off it about 6' or 8" inches from the bottom of the fat part of the tie. Then cut off the tip of the skinny end and cut a piece about 13" long. This is more than you need, but it allows you some "wiggle" room. Tie a lose overhand knot in the middle of the skinny piece and work the ends around until both are right-side up, then tighten the knot a little. The knot will be the angel's hands. Next, gather up the cut edge of the fat piece (do a fan fold) and tie it really tight with the heavy thread, about 1/2" down. Make a couple of knots so that the thread won't come untied in the future. Take the doily and gather it up, also with a fan fold, in the middle. You might want to try this a couple of different ways. Turn the doily a little each time so that the outside edge of the wings has points or no points, whichever way you like them. One way they will look like mine, and the other way they will look a little more square.

Fill the hole in the wooden bead about halfway with hot glue and work the tied end of the tie up into the hole. Try to get it in far enough to hide the thread and make sure the ends of the thread are inside. Cut a piece of your cord or some ribbon about 4" or 5" long and tie the ends in an overhand knot to form a loop. Glue the knot at the base of the head in the back, with the loop going up. This is what she will hang by. Place the "hands" on the front of the tie, in the center and about 2"-3" down from the head. Bring the ends around to the back and position them at an angle where they overlap at the "shoulders", where the head meets the tie. Cut them the the right length, making sure they over lap about 1", and notice in the photo above that they are cut at an angle. This makes a nicer looking back. Using your glue gun, glue them in place, also gluing between the layers of the arm that's on top, so it will lay flat and not hang open. Now glue the wings on top of the arms at head level, just high enough to hide the knot of the cord loop.

Glue the trim to the bottom of the tie wherever it looks good to you. You can use upholstery trim, rick rack or fringe, narrow lace or even a row of small buttons. I have used any number of things and they all look nice. To finish off her neck, you can tie the cord around her neck or tie it in a bow, and let it hang down under her arms. You could also put a little metal charm under her chin or a tiny flower, any kind of small embellishment. The ends of the cord need to be tied in knots so they don't unravel. Use the pearl string to put a headband around her head (it looks kind of like a halo), and she's done.

I tied the cord in a bow on this one and I don't like it
 as well as just tying it in a knot. The bow is too bulky for my tastes.

Here is an example. I made tie angels for my children out their grandfather's
ties and wrote a little poem to go with them. The drawing was done by
my ex-son-in-law from a picture of my father when he was young.
This one also had matching trim on the head instead of pearls.

And this one is one of the ties made from those worn by family and friends at the funeral of my little granddaughter, Madison, who died at the age of two from cancer. Pink was her favorite color and all the family members wore pink dresses and pink ties. (This shows that tie angels can be linked to the memory of a female, too, I guess.) On these I found these little tiny cloth dolls at Wal*Mart with cute little faces. I had to go to 3 different stores to get enough of them, but finally I got them. I used the heads to make treetop angels for all the family's Christmas trees, too.
Well, there's a few examples of how you can make each one a little different. Add a button, use trim instead of pearls, etc. No matter how you make them, the recipients will love them, because you cared enough to make a personal memento of their loved one.

Hilel once said, "I get up, I walk, I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing." This is what we have to do sometime in our life, so until next time, keep dancing.  Gramma G

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