I have a first to announce. This is the first craft project I have done that I had sore muscles from. But it was totally worth it!
The sore muscles were my shoulders and they were sore from the repetitive motion of wrapping yarn around the wreath form. For like 40 minutes. Not easy, folks.
Here is what the before of the wreath looked like:
I ripped that poor guy apart. You know I’m going to want to make a new one in the fall anyway, so no harm done. Except to the wreath. That was really harmed.
So a quick tutorial on how to take a wreath from fall to spring without spending more than $2.00. Yes, this cost me $2.00. Crazy, right?
Yarn in the coloring of your choosing (Free cause I already had some, but at MOST $6 if you don’t happen to have any yarn and if you don’t have any yarn, SHAME ON YOU!)
Felt Flowers ($2.00, fifty cents each for four sheets of felt, 3 in flower colors and 1 color for the center, like yellow)
Wreath Form (you can buy one of these pretty cheap at your craft store, or rip the burlap off of your old one like I did OR you can use a stinkin pool noodle! Google it!)
1. Wrap your wreath form in the yarn of your choice. Pretend that you are training for the crafting Olympics and you need mad shoulder muscles in order to kick crafter butt and win the gold. That’s so silly. I didn’t pretend that at all. That would be ridiculous. Seriously, it takes about 30-40 minutes to wrap the whole thing.
2. Use these instructionsto make your felt flowers. These are time consuming as well, so you might want to break this down into a two night crafting extravaganza.
3. Pick where you would like to place your flowers on your wreath and hot glue them on. Tada! Done.
I thought about adding something, a bunny, a bunting, an initial… But I really like how simple this is. It suits me.
Felt – a color of your choosing and then something that would work for the inside part of flower, like yellow
The first thing you have to do to make these lovely flowers is to cut up the felt. Yes, you have to use a ruler. No, it’s not my favorite part either. I’ll break it down as best I can. With the felt horizontal, you will cut three strips that are 1.5 inches wide, then two strips that are 1.25 inches wide and one strip that is 1 inch wide. Not so bad, right? Next you’re going to cut each strip into squares. Measure the 1.5 inch strips into 1.5 inch segments, the 1.25 inch strips into 1.25 inch segments and the 1 inch strip into 1 inch segments. Get it? Just sort of? Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be exactly right as long as you end up with three different size squares.
2. Now you’re going to cut out a circle. I used a spaghetti sauce bottom to trace out a circle and my circle was about 3 inches in diameter.
3. Up next are the petals. I read tutorials on how to do this and was advised that using a hot glue gun would result in burnt fingertips. And it does. But I did it anyway because I am not patient. So, if you choose to use a glue gun, as I did, be prepared for a few hurt fingertips. My other piece of advice with the glue gun is a little goes a long way. Too much glue will look messy. Trust me on that. To make the petals you are going to take your squares and cut them into little pentagons, or some shape close to that.
Once you’ve cut out the pentagon, place some glue in the bottom middle and then fold the two bottom sides into the glue. It will look petal-like when you are done. Repeat this about 4 million times. Just kidding. But it will feel like that before you are done with all of the petals.
3. Now the fun part! Assemble the flowers! You’re going to attach the largest petals to the outside rim of the circle that you cut out. Place it so that where the petal starts to open is at the edge of the circle.
Attach them all the way around with the glue gun keeping them as close together as possible. Once the outer rim is complete, use the second largest petals for the middle and then the smallest petals for the inner part.
4. The last part is to make the inner yellow part of the flower. I basically just cut a really skinny strip of yellow felt. It was as thin as I could cut, sort of a little thicker than embroidery floss. I took that and rolled into a little ring and glued it in the middle.
And voila! It’s done. I have plans for these pretty little flowers. Stay tuned!
The last time I bought myself a mattress, I was very pregnant with my daughter who is turning 11 this year. It was time for a new mattress. Funny side story, I was petrified that my new mattress would be ruined if my water broke while I was sleeping, so I put a plastic shower curtain under the fitted sheet. You have no idea how uncomfortable and hot and loud it is to sleep on a plastic sheet.
As we’ve discussed, I’ve made this the Year of the Bedroom. I started in this corner and the bed moved in to 2nd place because I could NOT take the old mattress anymore. I woke up everyday with aches and pains and I swear, I don’t think I had dreams anymore. How sad is that?
I learned a few things from mattress shopping.
1. Don’t drag your head with a lot of pre-shopping on the internet. You can’t pick out a mattress on-line. Don’t try. Check out prices, but don’t go crazy trying to figure out what you like. I think it’s best to go to the store with an open mind. You might *think* you like a plush bed, but when you lie on one, you might be surprised.
2. When you get to the store, ask to test one mattress at each level of firmness. We went to Sleepy’s and when we walked in the salesman asked what we were looking for. I said I had no idea and he pointed me to three beds in the corner and told me to try each one. One was super plush and soft, one was very firm and the third was in the middle (Goldilocks, anyone??). The most comfortable to me was the middle of the road guy. That immediately cut our options by about 1/3.
3. Spend some money on the mattress. After sleeping on a bad mattress for a long time, I knew I didn’t want to go cheap. Once I had picked out the firmness that I liked, I tried three different mattresses at different price points. The cheapest was not comfortable. AT ALL. The most expensive was negligibly more comfortable, but WAY more expensive. So, I went with the middle price point. We ended up spending $1,500 and that included taking the old mattress away.
4. Ask for freebies! We got free pillows and a free mattress cover.
5. When the guys deliver your mattress, remember to put the bed skirt on before they put the mattress on top of the box spring. I didn’t and I am dreading the task of putting that thing on! I so wish I had thought of it at the time. Speaking of the delivery day, clean under the bed before the guys get there. It would have been extremely embarrassing if I had forgotten to do that.
All in all, we were in the mattress store for about 20 minutes. I’m not exaggerating, I swear. And I can’t tell you how much I love my new mattress. It is so comfortable and I wake up feeling so good in the morning. Like, I actually rested for 8 hours straight. It’s definitely in an investment, but I’m glad we finally did it!
Spring has made an appearance in Massachusetts! Snow is melting away and it is finally time to shed the giant down parka I have been engulfed in all winter. At least for a few days. You know what spring makes me want to do? Shop! Obviously. Just like all of the other seasons do. I’m definitely in need of a lighter jacket for spring. It was nearly sixty degrees when I left work tonight and I drove with the jacket OFF!
My criteria for a spring jacket is that it can go from work week to weekend and screams “Spring!”. These four definitely do that for me. The green is nicely structured and a military style jacket always reminds me of spring. The classic beige trench is beautiful and timeless. But, I think the winner will be one of the two pink options. I like the light pink sweater/coat because it seems like it would be very versatile and also cozy and comfortable. And the hot pink trench is that great mix of traditional with a little wow factor.
And I almost forgot my biggest requirement for a spring coat (or anything else for that matter)… It has to be affordable! All of these are under $60! I can’t lie, though, $60 is too much for me. The two pink jackets are less than $35 which makes them all the more lovely
I found a new flea market and I’m obsessed with it. The guy that runs most of the booths cleans out estate sales and then sells all of the unwanted stuff. It’s like the circle of life for tchotchkes, art and lamps. And I love it all.
These were the first things that caught my eye. How pretty are these? I love the frames. I love the paintings (drawings?). They were large and I totally wanted them. They were $25 each. Which I think was an ok price, but not in my budget.
And you know the embroidered birds were right up my alley.
No, not the Absolut candles. The crystal candlesticks. So pretty!
Where can this fit into my life? I may need to redecorate the whole house around this bench.
And these lamps were the last finds of the day. I really wish I had grabbed the ceramic one. Super unique. Would it go with the yellow bench, though?
What did I bring home? Nothing! We just bought a whole house of windows and 4 tires. So, I cried all the way home. Damn you, drafty windows and bald tires!
I might have spent an hour or four pouring through West Elm last night. You know what that means, right? It’s my favorite bloggy game, Buy It, Spy It or DIY It. Do we need a rules refresher? A “Buy It” means, get your wallet and hand over the credit card. This is well priced and lovely and functional and you need to own it now. A “Spy It” is something pretty cool, but you’re pretty sure you’ve seen something similar enough at a better price. Probably at Target or maybe at a thrift or consignment shop. “DIY It” means, dude, you can totally make that!
Buy It! Not the couch. Ok, fine you might want to buy that, too, but I’m talking about the wallpaper. Yes, that’s wallpaper. I’m officially obsessed with it.
DIY It – I love this for a baby’s mobile, or just for my mobile. You could totally make this out of straws.
DIY It – ALL DAY LONG. I just made this. Well practically. Remember this post?
Spy It – I love these mirrors, but I know I’ve seen similar at a big box store that starts with T and rhymes with Larget.
Spy It – I have a nearly exact replica of these stools in my kitchen. I got them at Overstock for way, way less.
Buy It! – And do it quick cause these gorgeous pillows are on sale for $14.99. Hurry up, I will wait here. Don’t forget to come back.
DIY It – OF course, right? I love these so much. A cute box and some paint and tape and these will practically make themselves!
The subtitle to this post is “My Cutest Fail”. I’ve been wanting for a long time to try weaving. I finally bit the bullet and bought a loom.
I found the pattern for this adorable clutch in Joann’s project listing, here, and I thought it would be fun to make.
It was fun, in an extremely frustrating way. I’ve never woven anything before. Okay, maybe a place mat out of construction paper at some point, but nothing since kindergarten. This was probably not the best project to start with. I ripped it out more than once and started over. There are countless strands of thread to fight with. I forgot the basic concept of “over under, then under over on the next row” several times. SEVERAL! I wish I had started with something simpler for practice and then given this a go because in the end, while it’s sort of cute, it’s obviously not as perfect as the finished product from Joann’s website. I used a lot of very pretty thread that got so tangled it is basically destroyed. I plan to give this to my precious daughter who will never know the difference. (Just kidding, she would totally know the difference, plus she reads this, so I’m not fooling anyone).
I do have some tips for you that you might find helpful.
1. Never weave in the dark. You need really good light to manage all of that up and under.
2. Over under for one row, under over for the next! I should have paid someone to taser me every time I messed that up.
3. Don’t ever let the thread fall off the hook!
4. Watch a youtube video on weaving. Seriously. I worked from the instructions from Joann’s and the instructions from my loom kit and they were lacking (full review of the loom kit to come! I need to work with it more).
5. Be prepared that a project like this will take several hours over several days. Or maybe that’s just me. A crafty person could probably whip this out in 45 minutes.
I did enjoy the meditative quality of the repetitive work. At least until I made a mistake and then I wasn’t feeling so zen. And I really do love the overall look of the bag. The colors are great. I like pattern and the texture. I’m not really sure how practical a woven bag is, but I’m definitely going to keep an eye out for more weaving projects and I will share them, success or fail.
PS – It just dawned on me, if you are a weaver, please pass on tips or a great tutorial! I’m mostly wondering how on earth you get the ends neat. Mine are a mess, obviously.
February. I’m glad to see you go. Here in Massachusetts we were buried in snow. Like 9 feet of snow and that is not an exaggeration. Roofs collapsed. Roof dams became a part of our daily vernacular. Giant snow banks caused car accidents (just ask me, I know first hand). Every time I see an Instagram post that says “It’s snowing!!!” I want to reach through the phone screen and say, “That is not snow! THIS is snow”, in my best Crocodile Dundee impression. It was quite depressing, actually. I didn’t have a whole of motivation for blogging, or anything else for that matter. (Don’t worry, March has already started out much better! I could hear melting happening all day today!). So with that disclaimer, here is the State of the Blog for February 2015.
Increase social media presence/followers
Pinterest – 550 Followers – Lofty goal in short month! Achieved! 552
Hold steady with page views. This month is three days shorter and while I am close to the same average page views, I’ll be happy if I can stay around 8k page views this month. Achieved! 7700 page views in this short month
Work again on the look of the blog. I think the header picture needs an update. Same pic, just crisper. – Not achieved
Get back to more house posts. I love craft stuff, but I don’t want to leave the home decor in the dust. Achieved! I did a post on a fun update to the bedroom.
Find and start a free photography tutorial. (I’m cheating a little on this because I have already found one. I just haven’t started it!) Not achieved. Carrying over to next month!