Monday, November 28, 2011

Because I Told Lisa I Was Blogging Today

When Henry and I first decided that it was time for me to retire from bus driving, I imagined long leisurely days, baking, reading, trying out new recipes and quiet rambles with Jada.
What I actually ended up with was life in the fast lane.
I have a ton of blog posts backed up in my brain and hardly a minute to put pen to paper ( figuratively speaking of course!)
My sister Lisa phoned to chat for a bit this morning and asked what I was going to do today.
Blog of course.
However, after we said goodbye I checked my e-mail and discovered that my favorite online print company has an amazing  one day offer which meant I will be spending several hours designing an assortment of items they are offering for free. On top of that, if I spend $40 shipping is free as well. So I have spent a good while designing a gardening calender using my own photos. They usually cost $20 each but they are offering them for only $4.

These are the pictures I plan to use on my calenders

That will make either great Christmas gifts or useful giveaways when I. . . .

Oh wait! I haven't posted about what I've been up to yet! That will just have to wait!

In the meantime I thought I would let you see what Morgan thought would be appropriate to write on my inspiration board after he complained that my Teddy Roosevelt quote was way too long. . .

The odd thing is that most of this is true. . .
Aside from the crack about me eating turtles of course. . .I don't know where he got that from!
 Oma had a good laugh about this one!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Christmas Center Piece Kits

I sold these kits at a local craft fair and thought you might like to see how they are made.
If you don't have a kit you could always make up your own!

I cut these greens and rose hips from my garden.

You want to make sure that you cut your Oasis floral foam   (a floral foam that you can wet) so that there is about 1-11/2 inches above the rim

Float the foam in water until soaked through. I had to flip it ove to make that work.

 Put the foam into the pot. I didn't have a plastic liner so I just folded a large Ziploc  bag  over to fit. (Don't forget this step! I did and ended up with water all over my table when I watered it a few days later.) Yikes!

Cut the pieces left in half and soak

Put in pot trying to keep the tops of all three pieces level

Put the candle holders in the center of the pot

Cut the greens into smaller sprigs that are still long enough to hang over the end of the pot

I like to work all four sides first so the arrangement stays fairly even. I then fill in the corners with  contrasting evergreens. In this case I used cedar on the four sides and golden juniper in the corners. You can change that up  a bit as you work your way up the foam. There is no real right or wrong way to do this. If it looks good to you you've done it right!

When you clip the stem try to cut them on a bit of an angle

You also want to remove any bottom bits so the stem is long enough to poke into the foam. * Don't pull the stems back out a bit if you think you pushed them in to far. That creates an air pocket and will prevent the stems from taking up water. You don't want to place the stems more than once either as it creates hole you can't use again for that same reason

Fill in the greens, covering the foam

Now it's time to embellish! I added some rose hips from my garden

Time to place the candles in the holders. If you find your candles don't quite fit you can always shave the bottom down a bit with a knife.

You can trim any of your additions to a length that works for you.

I love the somewhat rustic feel you get with sticks of cinnamon

I also wanted to place single pointsettia flowers so I cut them off the spray rather than poking the whole thing in.

I made 2 loops with the ribbon and left the ends dangling on either side

I then tied the ribbon around the middle of the loops

I fluffed the loops and put the pick into the foam

Cut the ends of the ribbon and. . . Ta Da! A lovely center piece for the holidays.
Water so it doesn't dry out and you can enjoy it for some time to come!

© A Life of Whimsey