Friday, January 21, 2011

DIY Felted Floral Wreath with a Free Giveaway!

I've been trying to put this post up for what seems like weeks! Maybe it has been knows.  Around here it is one snowy day into another.
 Winter's still hanging around.  I'm waiting for it to leave.  I have two hands on each side of the door with my foot up waiting to boot it on its bottom.
It's been a while since my last post (sorry 'bout that) and I was thinking that I wanted to make something to give me a little cheer.  So off to the craft store I went on Friday's lunch break in preparation.  I had big plans of locking myself in the house and just make stuff all weekend, but it never works out that way....
However, there was one successful creation!  So I decided to share it and for those who dont have the time to make one of these pretty 'lil things, I'm giving one away to a lucky commenter.  (see below for more details)
Break out the glue guns! Or, Charlie, as I refer to mine.  Yup, my glue gun has a name.
Start by getting a foam wreath form, one roll of yarn and enough sheets of felt for as many flowers you want. For the wreaths shown, I used a 12" form.  Thinking about it now, I wish I would have gotten a 14" just so it would be a little bigger and I was able to add a few more flowers.

 Decide how you want the colors to be laid out and cut your circles appropriately.  The bigger you cut your circle, the larger the flower will be.  I was able to get four small flowers from one sheet.  For the larger flowers, one whole sheet was cut into a circle.(I cut extra as I was making two wreaths at once)

 Start by placing a line of glue to hold the beginning.  Give it a few minutes to take hold then start wrapping!  I found that by holding the wreath form in between my knees and passing the yarn through went fastest.  I was able to wrap the first on while watching an episode of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.  Killed two birds with one stone.

Once the wreath is wrapped completely, start cutting again. Cut the outer edges of the circles to make soft waves, then begin cutting the circles into coils.  (See photos below)

Once the felted coils are cut, start to make the flower by rolling up the the coil from the outside making sure that the smooth edges are even.  (The wavy sides will be your petals.)

Squirt the glue gun on the botton of the flower and use the middle of the coil to lay on top of the glue.  Let it dry a little while then glue it onto your wreath.
 I also added some little leaves to mine with good 'ol Charlie.

So now time for the giveaway.  Same as last time, leave a comment and a lucky commenter who will be picked at random will receive the wreath shown below!  The giveaway will be open for one week.  Good luck!  And remember, you must be a follower of my blog!


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sundays, Not Always Fundays

This is what a snowy winter weekend is all about.
We had a small snowfall Friday.  One that was anticipated for all day.  When it started, I grabbed that as an excuse to get out of my cubicle and head for the closest door.  Snowflakes the size of fists came down in the most calming way and knew just where to stick themselves.   And when I woke on Saturday morning, they were all still right where they landed. 

I have issues with Sundays.  Can't live with 'em, cant live without 'em issues.  Early morning is usually spent running errands, trying to give myself the time limit of "Ok, lets get this, this and this done before noon".  I do this because I get home and there are millions of other things to do.  This morning it was Lowes, Target, and Grocery Shopping.  I could think of better things to do and better places to go but we need to get prepped for the week.
Lowe's was our first stop this morning.  Blah! Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good trip to Lowe's every so often, but thats in the spring when you walk in the doors and are instantly hit with the smell of plants and dirt.  Yes, I like the way dirt smells.  To me, it's the epitome of Spring being around the corner just like the way burning boat fuel lets me know that summer has begun (I'm really jones-ing for that smell right about now).  And today there was none of that.  In fact there were empty shelves and empty aisles.  
So as I pushed the cart and followed my K around while he was looking at small plastic parts for something, I have no idea what, I was thinking about how I hadn't posted on my blog for a few days.  Then I looked down at our cart and realized that I had a tip to share!  I had ran into a friend one day at Target and she looked at my cart and said "What a good idea, I've never thought of doing that"  It's become such a habit to me, that I don't think twice when I do it, it just happens. 
Buckle your goods in!

I do this for many reasons:
#1- I dont want to carry it around.
#2- My hands are usually full of other things, coupons, lists, pens, my phone.
#3- and this is my biggest reason- If someone ever tries to snatch it, it's "Sorry Sucker", they aren't getting away with it!

Back to my case of the Sundays, not always fun days.
Given the snowy and chilly weekend and a possibility of snow during the week I wanted to make a big pot of chilly.  One that would suffice for dinner at least two nights and maybe a lunch or two with a frozen batch in the freezer for a Chili for dinner on a whim at a later date. 
I spent the afternoon cooking 4lbs of meat, not my favorite thing to unwrap, cut, cook, look at....but I do it.  And although I hate the process, the outcome is delish.  I'm not one to toot my own horn, but I can make a darn good Chili.
 If you are ever looking for a good chili recipe, this is what I start with and use as a foundation: 

I use this False Alarm Kit and the 2 Alarm Chili Kit.  I combine the two and there is a kick but I'm not running for a glass of milk.  It gives you all the seasoning you could think of putting in there.  Each box is made for 2lbs of meat and all it calls for is tomato sauce and water. This is a great foundation chili because there are so many other ingredients you can add to it.  
I start by cooking 2 pieces of bacon per pound of meat while sauteing onions, red onions, green/yellow/and orange peppers, a chili pepper and garlic.  I mix it all together, saute it a little more then mix it all together and at the end throw in some kidney beans. Yummy! And I'm not even too big of a meat eater but all the flavors really come together and it's irresistibly good.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

And the winner is......

Thank you, all 5 of you :) for leaving comments for my first giveaway.  You'll always have a special place in my heart when I make it big in blog land. If that ever happens...

The lucky winner is...Meghann!  Yay Meg!
I would like to mention that without Meghann's crochet lessons that one summer Saturday night, these gloves would not even be in existence.  Yes, that's right, I'll admit it.  I am 30 years old and one of my best summer nights was sitting at Meghann's, drinking wine, and crocheting.
Speaking of my fellow Craft-a-Crator friend ( I just made that word up), I have been meaning to feature her newest venture.....HodgePodge Paper.  She's an amazing artist and started up a paper craft business with unique and custom designs. 
Check out just some of her designs below: Click on them to enlarge.
This was my favorite Xmas card this year, it's an actual graphic rendering of their house.  It has a South Park feel to it and I'm just waiting for Cartman, Stan, Kyle and Kenny to come around the corner....
The shower invite above also had matching Thank You cards and a matching birth announcement.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year! Now Get This Crap Outta My House.

Christmas was so last year!   I needed to get all the crap (for lack of better words) outta here yesterday.  It was New Years day and I wasnt about to go into the new year with all the decorations still up.  What a mess!

Bad back and all, I heaved that tree right out the front door myself.  I'm still finding pine needles on the floor after multiple sweeps.
For me, one of the most annoying things to take down and put away are the lights and garland but I had a eureka! moment.  I know they sell light winders to store your holiday lights, but I wasnt about to run to the store and pick these up, much less pay for them.  One of my resolutions is to be more frugal.....we'll see how long that lasts.
I decided to make my own.  If there is anything in abundance around any house after Christmas, it's cardboard.  Using a box cutter I cut rectangles, made a slit on the top and bottom and made my own light and garland winders!  My K pointed out that next year when we string the lights on the tree, it will be that much easier as we can just pass the winder around.  Just wanted to share this little idea with you.