Monday, April 30, 2012

DIY - Photo Wreath for Mother's Day

I find it hard to celebrate Mother's Day without my mom.   I can remember the first Mother's Day after I had Helana, she was just a couple months old and I was so excited.  Not because it was my first Mother's Day but because I could celebrate my mom both as a mother and as a grandmother.  She was so excited to finally be a grandma, and I finally over that last year, learned to appreciate what it takes to be a mom.  So this year, my fifth mother's day without her, I decided to do a little project that included a little bit of my mom. 

She loved linen and burlap.  I thought about burlap for this but I had all this linen and frankly I figured strips of burlap were going to make a big mess I just didn't feel like cleaning up.  I had a wreath left over from my valentine love note wreath so I thought I would do a version of that for Mother's Day.  Like the love notes - you could customize this wreath each year by adding and replacing photographs.  I just grabbed a bunch of photos from my photoshop folders - but the trick was to easily resize them to make a banner.

I used picmonkey to play around with 10 photos and added artistic frames to some and sepia tones to others.  Then I loaded those pictures into Picassa and made a grid collage with a 5:3 widescreen photo frame.  Each picture measures 2 inches wide and 1 1/4 inches deep.

I started out with an 12 inch diameter styrofoam wreath.

I wrapped the wreath in linen strips that I made from a recycled linen slipcover.

I added a little bit of twine to approximately 1/8 of the wreath or about 5 inches.
A separate piece of paper twine is the basis of the photo banner (27 inches long including ties at each end)
Once I decided on the length, I was able to lay out the photo arrangement.

Details : twine/glue gun/flower corsage

A little dovetail in each photo seemed to fit the banner and once arranged, I glue gunned the pictures in place.

The flowers are made from strips of linen (cream one made from thick, cotton ribbon)
You can find many diy's of rolled fabric flower making on-line including here. (my sparkle)

 I think my mom would have loved this wreath.  She would be so proud of her granddaughters and just amazed how much they have grown up over the past 5 years.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Wrap it up Thursday - On the Road Part II

Here is a little collage of some of the decorating I did for Helana's birthday down south this year, a few weeks ago.  As you may recall, my plan was to have a packed up birthday in a box, to make things easier.  I always forget how hard it is to find things down in the Keys and truth be told, I share my birthday with Helana and sometimes I find myself stressing and running around the whole day.  My plan was to try and enjoy it as much as I could, but really, I stopped celebrating my birthday years ago - it really is about making her day special.

I did bring some tissue for the flower poms and then I came up with making some medallion style flowers with heavy kraft paper my dad had in the garage. (you can see a rough idea of how I made those flowers when I did some for grad last year)

 I think it looked rather sweet but, it was a hassle trying to get everything to stay in place.  Next year, I am following the plan below.

Here is a board of what I can easily order on-line and have ready to go.  (The local party store will blow up the globe balloons I hope)

Tissue Flowers - (Pom Love - etsy)  - 5 in krafts, creams and pinks - 18.00
Balloons - large globes (Shop Sweet Lulu) - 5 in creams and pinks - 25.00
Pink Striped Cups - (Shop Sweet Lulu) - 7.00
Striped Straws (Shop Sweet Lulu) - 4.00
Painted Wooden Spoons  (Shop Sweet Lulu) - 8.00
Striped Paper Kraft Bags - (Shop Sweet Lulu) - 7.00
Cake Banner ( Tuck & Bonte - etsy) - 30.00

Optional fabric banner (Tuck & Bonte) - 45.00

Total - $99 (about $150 with fabric banner)

(note: I show the divine twine in bubblegum pink from Shop Sweet Lulu but I already have some so that is not in my total here  (1 large roll is $15)

So, for just a little over $100 (to include shipping) I can decorate and serve up goodies, for both our birthdays, with ease and anticipation.  I think for peace of mind and the ability to take something off my to-do list, this is the route I am going to go for next year.  In fact, I might have enough supplies for two years.  I might make a cake like I did the other day but if I can find something special (maybe William Sonoma) I can dress up something we would all like with the beautiful banner from Tuck & Bonte.

This was a paper banner I made last minute from extra tissue and kraft paper.  I cut out various sized flower shapes from pink tissue to create a flower for the candle.  This was a cake from the local grocery store (It was cookies and cream and Helana loved it ... I know ... store bought ... how could I !!??)

That little banner made the cake seem special and it also meant that we could enjoy our time out on the water on a jet ski and hanging on the beach, rather than slaving away in a hot kitchen.  Hopefully she isn't too scarred by this - store-bought concoction...she seemed to be just fine :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Limited Time - Gatherings Magazine for Free

For the next two weeks, Heather Spriggs is offering the Spring 2012 On-line Magazine - Gatherings -  for free!  Head over to this link to have a chance to look at all the great springtime inspiration(including my nest pin), all in one spot.

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Layer Cake from Better Homes and Gardens

The May issue of Better Homes and Gardens is out and if you haven't seen it, it has the most beautiful, tempting cake on the cover.  It is layers of that color.  You know, tangerine tango.  Maybe not exactly, more pink than that but still very 2012.  I haven't taken on a baking project for a while but this cake had me baking this weekend.  Okay, so it isn't perfect.  Next time I would use more of the icing between the layers and I would work on getting my layers nice and even but I do think that the color is bang on.  So pretty and fresh.

You start by tinting the whole batter with some red food coloring for light pink - taking out half to bake and adding more food coloring to the remaining batter, to get that deeper color.  The best thing about this cake, though, is the lemon flavor.  With concentrated lemonade and lemon extract the cake tastes as fresh as it looks.  It really is a simple cake, designed by Karen Tack of Hello Cupcake, and I appreciated that, as it pretty much took over my kitchen for the day.  Any more complicated and I might have spent the weekend on a cake.

It would be so pretty for a shower, bridal or baby, but I think I might perfect my layers and serve it up for Mother's Day.  Once again, perfectly imperfect... but tasty.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wrap it up Thursday - Neon Coffee Sleeve

I had some felt pieces that arrived to be the back of my prize ribbon brooches, but the colors didn't fit the fabrics that I use for the ribbons.  In fact, when I put them all together, I realized how similar they are to the neon pinks, limes and peaches that you find in everything from cards to scarves to interior design.

1 - Hen & Chicks Collective in Rue Magazine (found in Discover Paper)  2 - Yeah Card from Ship and   Shape     3 - Spring at The Gap    4 - Color Collective (found through Decor8)

I must admit, I have mixed feelings about the neon and color combinations that are so prevalent this spring.  I was around the first time these colors hit the streets.  I had big hair and puffy sleeves and I am not sure it was my finest moment.  Perhaps those times weren't as stylish as these, but I am still not quite sure how to incorporate them into my current style.

So, instead,  I took advantage of these miscued color combinations and put together  a handy sleeve for my coffee that also holds my keys and coffee card.  I'm all set for a quick walk with Rufus.

I used an existing cardboard sleeve as a template and cut one large felt piece in neon green. (1) Then I added bits and pieces including a pouch for a card and a tab at one end for a key fob. With yarn, I sewed the felt pieces to the one large green piece, although you could do this with a machine. (2)  I added one small decorative peach strip with fabric glue.  Once I had my pieces in place, bottom left (3), I turned the sleeve inside out and wrapped it around a cup for positioning (4), also finding a spot to add a bit of elastic for give.  After I sewed the small piece of elastic to the overlapping ends (5) I turned the sleeve right side out and sewed up the the overlap closest to the key fob, so it all lays flat. (6) Now the sleeve is ready to go!

At one end I have a fob to add a car or house key and in the middle is a pocket for a coffee card or money.  I can just hook it to the dog lead and head out the door.

Hello Spring!

Monday, April 16, 2012

From Picnik to PicMonkey

Picnik is leaving in a few days and I have been stressed out wondering how I would quickly fix up pictures and create collages.  On Friday I found out via Hello Hue that some of the picnic people have started up PicMonkey.  So I began to play around with it.  It is also a dream for newbies like me.  It looks like collage is on its way for this program and that will make it almost perfect.

Helana took this picture of Ali with a new hair band.  Look at all the neat things you can do to the pictures.  The girls are really excited to play around with pics for their tumblrs. 

It let me take this birthday picture of Helana and jazz it up a little.  Very "Florida Keysie"

And a polaroid version of a picture taken by the girls, while Scott had me out on the Jet Ski screaming for dear life.  I just love Ali's expression.  Ah ... sisterly love.

I ended up playing with a few project photographs for a new blog banner.  Not quite there yet but I can't go back.  Maybe that's a good thing.

All these cool effects have me thinking of a mother's day project...hmmm...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wrap it up Thursday - Linen Wrap Bracelet inspired by Chan Luu

Inspired by a catalogue, I set out to create a casual bracelet to wear with my summer linens.  I think I will continue to experiment with silkier and brighter threads and maybe even tighter wrapping of the strips.  I'd like to try some different lighter weight fabrics as well.  Really, the sky's the limit.

My inspiration came from the Garnet Hill spring catalogue and these awesome Chan Luu wrap bracelets.

1 - Start with a strip of linen 1.5 inches wide and 26 inches long.  
2 - Iron it in half and sew a .5 inch seam from fold, creating a tube.
3 - With a safety pin, turn the tube inside out (unfinished edges now on inside)
4 - With bright pink embroidery thread, wrap one end as a point, wrap entire piece with thread, stopping every quarter inch or so and wrapping a few times as you make your way along the entire length of the tube.

At the other end, create a loop and wrap the ends tightly with thread for about half an inch.

I love linen with a touch of hot pink and I can think of all sorts of spring outfits this would work with.  The girls think I am too matchy matchy so I plan on going through my fabric stash and coming up with other combinations.  This is almost a reason to visit the fabric store :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Trying to stay ahead of the Curve

Has this ever happened to you.  Last Summer, I put together a couple of tutorials for inspired ideas and one of them included this scrappy flower covered lantern.  I quickly threw it together to make a tight timeline and I was really happy with the results.  

Fast forward a few weeks later and, while the girls and I were getting some camp shopping done at the mall, we passed a pottery barn kids and I stopped in my tracks.  There they were.  Paper lanterns covered in fabric flowers.  Very similar to my project and I said to the girls - everyone is going to think that I did a how-to version of those lanterns - yet I had never seen them before (or ... at least I didn't think that I had)

This spring I did a how-to stamped beach bag for the blog.  I was inspired by a fabric that I had come across from spoonflower.

Fast forward last week when I took the time to look at a PBTeen email that I had received about summer accessories.  Look what I found.  Wow - kind of similar huh?  

I have a friend that works on television and magazine projects and she told me she has to actually remove herself from the blogosphere and pinterest pages from time to time, in order to ensure she doesn't accidentally hijack an existing project.

I can say with complete honesty that I did not see these products when I worked on those projects.

It does make me think that sometimes we can be so influenced by trends or ideas without ever realizing it.  Have you ever thought of a color combination and then seen it in a magazine and thought to yourself, hey I thought of that first?  Chances are we didn't realize that we have been subtly influenced by that color in all the images we see in catalogues, magazines and pinterest.

I'm curious.  Am I the only one that has felt like this?  Do you ever think you have an original idea only to see it somewhere else.  How do you overcome the risk of an unintentional "copycat"?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Rainbow of Peeps

Happy Easter

We just came back from a break down south and instead of taking pictures of manatees and dolphins, I found myself taking pictures of these little guys.  I have never seen such an array of colours and I couldn't resist lining them up and grabbing a quick shot, before I left (they wouldn't be allowed on the plane).

With Easter just around the corner, these little guys would look adorable on cupcakes, as place cards and in baskets but alas... I had to leave them with my dad.  

I suggested he pile them up on a Key Lime Pie!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Wrap it up Thursday - East of India

I started out by planning to show you a wrapping related find from Key West but somehow it turned out to be a tutorial on wrapping up Easter, naturally.

All these great products are from a line called East of India.  I picked up a few pieces from my favourite store in Key West, Besame Mucho.  Oh, Besame Mucho how I love you.  I love all of these especially the "designed with love" tags for homemade gifts and the box of twine.  East of India, you had me at box of twine.

These were my recent purchases, save the thimble.  It was a birthday present to myself last spring from the same store.  I love that thimble and the packaging of course is what sold me.  "Life is not about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself"

Okay so I could put the ribbon and tapes on a paper bag and make it look cute but what to put inside?

I spotted a tutorial over at amy power's inspired ideas that involved wrapping a plastic egg with fabric and or/papers.  I ripped up some linen scraps into strips and glued them onto the egg in a random pattern, making sure to leave the thread of the egg free so that I could put something in it.  I wrapped up the egg with a couple of pieces of twine - very shabby chic.

Now to the bag.  Bits of the paper tape with "follow your heart" and "with love" phrasings looked cute on the parchment bag.  I decided to make a nest, like the yarn one I made in the fall (see here) , but with twine, and filled it with three small felted eggs.  "With love" ribbon, from east of india, ties it all up.  

I am going to see some nieces this weekend and I thought I could fill the eggs with a little pot of cute lip gloss.

I am still drawn to the pops of colour that Easter can bring but somehow when it comes to wrapping up, I find I am drawn to parchment, twine and linens.

Have a wonderful Weekend!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring Desktop Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to the 18th individual entry in my giveaway.    AprilsArtisticAvenue   you have won the spring desktop featured here.

Hello, I am a new blogger and have recently started following your blog, and I myself have a soft spot for crafts and small things that make us artists smile! Thanks for making me smile with these, and if I win, this would be my first blog win-yeah! haha..Can't wait to see what you come up with next!

Keep up your creativity and smiles! :)

Thank you to everyone that entered. I really appreciate your kind words and enthusiasm.

April, send me an email from my profile at right and let me know your address so I can get this out to you A.S.A.P.!!!!!

Gatherings Magazine - Feature - DIY Spring Nest Pin

Heather Sprigg's new issue of Gatherings Magazine is out and it is lovely.  I have been a fan of her previous issues, so it was a real honour to be asked to contribute to the spring issue.  My contribution is a D.I.Y. for creating a spring nest brooch in either linen or felt.  It would be great on a spring jacket or would make a cute placecard for your Easter table or Mother's Day celebration.

Heather is now making it possible to order this current issue and all others -  for only $4 - that means each issue is less than a coffee or $1 each. Click the link above or at right, for more information.

The issue also includes the beautiful styling and words from my friend Maaike of the blog Crejjtion.  Maaike has recently made a move to Canada from Amsterdam and in this issue she shows off her beautiful crochet work and how she is making her new home all her own.

Okay, now it's official - Spring is here!

ps. still time to sign up for spring desktop giveaway here
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