Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Autumn Wreath - Part Two

Yes, I know I just made a new autumn wreath last year, but I found these fabulous flowers - zebra and cheetah - so cool!! - and just had to make something with them! (And wreaths are pretty much what I can make - my flower arrangements never turn out quite right!)

I started with my summer wreath that literally melted apart it was so hot this year - notice all the old hot glue - and fern and flowers that coordinated with the big ones that I love! The wreath at least was free, but even purchasing everything on a half-price day the flowers and foliage were around $30 (the animal prints are regularly $7 each - yikes!) Oh, I found everything at Michael's - the animal prints are from the "safari floral stem collection."

I really wanted the animal print flowers to go all the way around like my sunflower wreath, but they were quite pricey and since I went on the last day of the sale, they were down to these five.
I used the same steps as on my other autumn wreath - main foliage, big flowers, more foliage, and then the smaller flowers. (I didn't use the cream colored ones.)
Normally I just pull all of the flowers off and glue them directly to the wreath, but this wreath is on its last legs, so I cut the stem 3-5" on each flower so that I would have plenty of room to adjust them and make them do what I wanted.

I just couldn't wait and put it on my door tonight - sorry about the flash!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Homecoming Mum Making Experience - Finished !!

I'm so excited that they are finally finished - Homecoming seems early this year and I was so stressing about getting them done just right! They are for my oldest and her "big sis." These mum are both larger than my first one - about 40" long with 36" streamers and the mum flower is 6" across and 8" across with the backing. I think they are a really nice size without getting in the way too much.

And I have to share - When I was trying my youngest daughter's mum on her she asked - "And why am I wearing this again?" My husband (not a Texas native) thought this was too funny and rolled his eyes when I told her it was because she was a Texas girl and that's what she's supposed to do at Homecoming! I loved the mums I had at Homecoming (back when the flowers were real!) and I hope my girls love these just as much!
I put these together just like the smaller mum - I just added more embellishments.
I made some military braids (I looked at several sets of instructions and practiced quite a bit - I also had to adjust the ribbons more tightly after I finished, but they turned out just as nicely as the ones in the stores and as long as you are careful not to crease the ribbon the adjusting goes quite smoothly.) I also made some diamondback style braids that my daughter really liked. (Again, it just took a bit of practice after looking at instructions.) You can also buy the military braids at a craft shop if you'd like.

Before I got started attaching everything I made up some ribbons with footballs, bells, and megaphones. (I punched out some star shapes from glitter paper and attached them to the megaphones.)

I wasn't quite sure how to finish the ends of the braids, so I stapled and then used hot glue and ribbon to cover the staples.
I glued the ribbon and charm on the front and then wrapped and glued the ribbon that I tied everything with around the back.

I laid the flowers and ribbons out to see what I had and decide what all I was going to use. I used zebra ribbon, school spirit ribbon, 2 different braids, name ribbon, homecoming ribbon, gold star chain, gold cheer chain, curly ribbon with megaphones, bells, footballs, and skinny gold sequin ribbon.
Using 36" lengths, I began the streamer circles by attaching 9 (#9) ribbons (4/5 red and 4/5 black) to the fronts. My daughter felt they needed to be fuller, so I added 7 (#9) more ribbons (3/4 red and 3/4 black) ending up with 16 lengths on each circle. I also added 8 (#3) ribbons (4 red/4 black) to each.

I almost forgot - I found the cutest little lion head pens, ripped the heads off, and glued them to the center of the flowers. They weren't quite big enough all on their own, so I added a little embellishment to teach of them! I used different color accents since the bases are different colors (one is more red, one more black) and so they would each be unique.

I don't have a picture, but I then laid out all of the "fancy" ribbons and chains on top of the streamer base so that the colors and chains were balanced, not exactly symmetrical, but spread out so that one side of the mum didn't have too much red or too much black, etc. You can get an idea of how this looks by checking out my other mum post.
I used the homecoming ribbon for the center, attached the zebra and school spirit ribbons more-or-less evenly on the sides and then also placed a braid and gold chain on either side. I attached the braids, chains, and skinny ribbons on top of the fatter ribbons.
If you look at both mums you can see that one is more black and one is more red, but they are both balanced. I made sure everything was stapled down, glued the flower on top of the streamers (a lot of glue), and glued a plain circle to the very back to cover the staples.

I have tons of photos of the completed ones!

I angled the bottom of the ribbons just a bit to give it a more finished look.

Close-ups of the military braid and zebra striped ribbon. I found the star garland in the Christmas section at a craft store.

Sequin ribbon, cheerleader chain, and megaphone charm.

Close-up of the diamondback braid and a bit of the black velvet sparkly ribbon adorned with shimmery gold and white bows.
Mum #2!

Cheerleader chain and military braid.

Happy Homecoming!

Monday, September 5, 2011

My Kitchen Subway Tiles

This is how I dreamed my kitchen could look - like the gorgeous kitchen in the 2009 Coastal Living Idea Cottage.

I knew the honeycomb tile wouldn't be in my budget so I thought I'd try several colors of subway tiles (which I've always loved!).
I still have a long way to go, but here is my kitchen wall so far!
And I do have a stainless venthood just waiting...

I used 3 shades of white and off-white to replicate the various tones in the tile that I love. I laid out several rows at a time and then placed them row by row on the wall.

I chose dal subway tiles arctic white, almond, and biscuit in a matte finish.

I have moldings to finish (as similar as I can get to the ones in the idea cottage) and outlets to change out before I do more and I have to work up the nerve to try out a tile saw but I'm really excited to see that it is looking just like I hoped!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Looped Dimensional Homecoming Ribbon

Sneak Peek - I'm almost done!!

These are instructions on how I made the looped ribbon with the letters that spell Homecoming. You can alternate the colors of ribbon and letters, add layers in different colors, or even use larger ribbon with trim. You can also use thinner ribbon and smaller letters for garter-sized or petite mums.

I started by cutting lengths of the #9 (1 5/16") ribbon into 6" strips - I folded each one - pretty side out - together and stapled to form a loop. I made a total of 18 - 10 to spell Homecoming, 4 for the year, 1 to separate them, 2 more for the top to hide all of the staples as it leads to the top of the mum, and 1 from another ribbon that had a lion design printed on it.

I made all of the loops first and then placed each letter (each is 1 1/2" tall) so that the top of each letter is approximately 1 1/4" below the top edge where the ribbon is stapled together.
After attaching the letters on the loops so they appeared centered I tried measuring to see if I could apply the letters first - I thought it would be easier so I wouldn't smash the loops - but for me it was easier to apply after I made the loops. They just ended up looking better this way for some reason!

My mum's longest ribbons are 36", so I used that length and started about 5" or 6" from the bottom just because I hadn't decided yet on how I wanted to finish the bottom. (I ended up adding an additional ribbon loop with a lion's head and then cutting off most of the rest so that the ribbon appears to end in a loop.)

I stapled the bottom symbol first and then placed each number or letter approximately 1 5/16" above the previous loop. So, from the raw edges of one loop to the next is approximately 1 5/16" - your measurements might vary depending on the size of your ribbon and letters. I used 2 vertically placed staples on each loop. The back of the ribbon has the sharper edges of the staples, but doesn't really seem to be an issue since there are so many layers or ribbon beneath it. I tried to staple so that the staples were the other direction, but it was just too hard to see to line up the stapler with the ribbon edges. You can always hot glue another ribbon to the back if sharp staples are an issue on your mum.

This is how they look from the side. The farther one away has had glue applied, the nearer one has not.

For a nice finish and to make the loops stay where I wanted I applied a bead of hot glue right below the staple line after I had everything stapled.
Aren't they fun?! You can spell out whatever you'd like as long as your mum has the space!