November 30, 2011

old wreath given new life

This old autumn-themed grapevine wreath was easily upcycled into something fresh. I just stripped off the flowers and leaves (they were glued on) and snipped the wires holding on the corn. The vines offered easy places to tuck in evergreen branches and holly. I didn't even have to use wire or glue myself, which will make it all the easier to use this base again.

Let this be inspiration for an old wreath that might be hiding in your basement or garage!

I hung it outside on the garden gate. Now just picture a light coating of snow frosting it…

November 28, 2011

fresh and fancy

Thanksgiving is when I like to kick off my holiday decorating by clipping evergreen branches for a session of wreath-making. My Grandma Helen first started me on this tradition. That and a community ed class on wreath-making I took as a teenager. Yes, I was that kind of teenager – arranging dried flowers along with a bunch of ladies at least twice my age. Sometimes I have to laugh at myself.

Anyway, it has become my own personal tradition to make a Christmas wreath with fresh greens. I posted more of a step-by-step process last year for those who are interested. A nice wire base, green floral wire, layers of greens (Christmas tree leftovers put to good use!), and patience are all it takes.

I created 3 wreaths this year. A small one for a decorating vision I have for the mantel. A large one for the front door. And I upcycled a autumn-themed grapevine wreath for my garden gate.

The "before:" metal bases, old autumn grapevine wreath, floral wire, wire cutters, and a tool for trimming all the greenery.

My 3-year-old daughter joins me for some "arting" (as she calls it).

An in-progress photo taken by said daughter. Now she's my co-blogger!

The small wreath. I added fall treasures at the base to serve as the bow. There are dried alliums and bee balm, twisting seed pods, and dried fern babies. I am loving the texture. This wreath will be indoors so I know these more fragile elements will survive the season.

The large wreath for my front door. I used what was left of the Arborvitae branches (I love them for the contrast of shapes since they don't really have needles) with the holly to accent the bottom. There are spruce branches as the first layer and then some softer, longer-needled evergreens on top of that.

November 25, 2011

moss & magenta

I am always thinking in terms of color combinations. On the walk home from my daughter's dance class I spied this gorgeous moss at the base of a neighbor's tree. My mind automatically paired it with the bright pink of a late-blooming rose in a nearby garden. Lovely together don't you think?

November 23, 2011

fabric scraps & homemade birthday cards

Usually I craft my greeting cards with cut paper. This time I used fabric scraps. How lovely! I especially like the fact that the edges are fraying a bit. And that the fabric I used on the card is the very same fabric my dear friend and I have used for crafting and creating together. How very fitting.

November 21, 2011

Autumn pastels

I think of creamy yellows and soft pinks as belonging in spring. But autumn offers surprises too!

November 18, 2011

all knotted up

This blog tells no lies. I first bought fabric for this quilt in July 2010. So it has been over a year that this beast has been under construction. I am proud to report that it is fully knotted and I have moved on to my hand-quilting experiment. I was highly tempted to skip the hand-quilting but there is something so wonderfully appealing to having it cozy on my lap while I work with needle and thread. I plan to hand-quilt one block per row to add texture and mostly because I want to try it.

Or at least that is what I thought. Turns out my hand-sewing and hand-quilting skills are a bit lacking. So it started out very slooooowly.  Then when I was searching for instructions on what to do with the end knot I found this great series of videos on YouTube. One of which shows a way to do the stitches which is not only faster but also more quality. Wow! Amazing what a little proper instruction will do! I must confess I am not following her instructions exactly considering I do not have a variety of quality thimbles (so fancy!) but I am indeed doing 3 to 5 stitches at a time and they are much smaller and tidier than my clumsy up and down produced. Once again this quilt has forced me to learn something new, which quite delights me.

November 16, 2011


I saw this article in the Sunday newspaper recently. Plus, these cube ones popped up in a JoAnn's ad. I once saved these cushion making instructions from the blog Living with Punks. And a quick peek at pinterest shows a whole world of flexible seating options.

These appeal to me for several reasons. One, you can pick your own fabric. I never seem to like the colors and patterns that I can find in stores so making my own is often the best route to go. Two, these are super kid-friendly. They can be stacked and rolled and moved. Three, they're flexible. They can be tables, chairs, doll beds, or cat perches. I can just imagine these soft and friendly poufs floating about my house as needed. Perhaps a stack in my freshened sunroom?

Notice I said poufs with an "s." As in multiple. I always dream big don't I?

November 14, 2011

On the road

The past few weekends have been full of family functions and travels and I just haven't been making time for art, hence the recent lack of posts. I am going to try to get back on track this week.

I love funky typography. Travel is always a good time to spy new signs of interest. Like this number 2.

Black, white, blue, green seemed to be the color theme. I do love these tennies.