Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Wreath, of the Yarn Variety

I had started to see many yarn wreaths pop up on the internet and with Christmas fast approaching, wanted to give one a try. I didn't, however, really see any tutorials for one. So, while shopping one day, picked up a styrofoam wreath form (only 10", starting small for once) along with some raspberry and dark lime green yarn. Just when I was about to start work on this yesterday, I came across this tutorial, on Take Heart's blog, found via One Pretty Thing. (If you are a crafter and don't know about One Pretty Thing, you are missing out! Everyday, she scoures the web in search of tutorials and posted them here! I check it everyday and find a ton of project ideas there.) I whipped this up one evening, while watching TV, it went much faster than I would have thought. I'm on the hunt for some pretty velvet ribbon to tie around the top, the ribbon selection at the big box fabric and craft stores is dismal, perhaps I'll find some online. (I did just order ribbon from The Ribbon Retreat. Great selection, really low prices!) This wreath did not end up being very Christmas-y in the end. But, I think it will pass. When you see a wreath in December, you can't help but think Christmas, right?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Addicting Art of Decoupage

I had some additional circus paper leftover from this project, and not wanting it to go to waste, knew what to do with it when I saw this little paper mache box at Joann's for $1. I think it will make an adorable gift box for jewelry.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Two Book Recommendations, Decoupage

Just this summer, I finally read, "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen. It's a FANTASTIC book and I can't believe I've waited so long to read it. I won't be giving too much away by mentioning that the plot revolves around a circus. Reading it lead me to re-read a favorite of mine, that is also circus themed, "Wonder When You'll Miss Me" by Amanda Davis. I highly recommend both. So I happened to be at Micheal's the other day, shopping for scrapbooking paper (and no, I'm not a scrapbooker, but am a little obsessed with papers-you should see my notebook collection-and have recently taken up decoupaging) and came across a circus print!! It immediately made me think of these books, but then I put it back, telling myself that the last thing I possibly need is more paper. But before leaving the aisle, saw it again and told myself I could have it (especially given that we're talking about .69 a sheet, not a huge expense), but I had to actually DO something with it. So, this is what I came up with. I had bought this little galvanized bucket over the summer, fully intending to put a plant in it. But when I got it home, realized that it was much to small. It's just been sitting there on my window sill for months. I decoupaged it with my pretty circus print (and a sheet of a coordinating print) and now I have a new little pot.... Think I'll use it in my kitchen for a pen holder.
If you haven't tried decoupage, you must! It's such a quick (if you don't consider the drying time), easy (if you have the patience for cutting) and satisfying project. Messy, too. I don't mind it, but I wouldn't recommend that you do with with, say, freshly manicured nails. I've even recently come across a blog entirely dedicated to Mod Podge (a decoupage medium), Mod Podge Rocks. I will caution you, after you've completed your first decoupage project, you start feeling compelled to cover everything you own in paper.
**Decoupage tip: I've discovered that covering your work surface with wax paper keeps everything clean and your project will not tend to stick wax paper as it would to, say newspaper. Wax paper will also keep your project clean (as opposed to newspaper). That Mod shows EVERYTHING.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Picnic Bag

I haven't blogged for a while. Not that I'm not working on stuff, just that I've been working on a few presents, so I can't post those...don't want to ruin the surprise! I came across this bag that I made LONG before I had a blog, but it was such a good tutorial, I wanted to share it. It would make a great gift bag...imagine it filled with a bottle of wine, some cheese and a baguette. I also think that it would make a good little lunch bag. So, introduce you to sewtakeahike's Lucille Bag. Now go directly to your sewing machine and make some for Christmas!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Little Autumnal Baking...

Last weekend, I bought a few too many apples at the Apple Festival, so I searched and searched this week for some sort of apple recipe. I finally came across this Whole Wheat Apple Muffin recipe on Smitten Kitchen. If you're at all interested in cooking blogs, I highly recommend Smitten Kitchen. Not only can this girl cook, she can also take a really beautiful picture. (Cannot help but to link to her posting for her son's 1st birthday cake-so adorable!!)
I did not officially, make whole wheat muffins, as I didn't have whole wheat flour on hand, but used 100% all purpose flour and it seemed to work out fine. These muffins are so moist, so delicious. Definitely worth making from scratch. And while my surplus of apples is finally dwindling, I have no idea what I will do with a dozen muffins and 16 mini muffins....

Saturday, October 2, 2010

National Apple Festival

I joined my friend Heather and her family on an annual trip to the National Apple Festival in Biglerville, PA. As you may have guess, they had just about every apple delicacy ever imagined: apple pizza, apple daquiris (misnamed, as they were non-alcoholic), apple sauce (which they were making right there on premises), apple butter, apple cider and of course, apples in many varieties. We ate a lot of fair food (pumpkin funnel cake, anyone?), walked around a lot and bought our weight in apples. It was a gorgeous fall day and full of good wholesome fun in the country.