Autumn Inspired Paper Raffia Pumpkin

Paper Raffia Pumpkin

Now that the the trick-or-treating is over and I may or may not have eaten 5 pounds of chocolate, it’s time to put away the spooky stuff and focus on celebrating autumn and Thanksgiving.

Pumpkins seem to always be on my mind this time of year, but today in particular, because it was Pumpkin Day at my daughter’s kindergarten. She learned all about the pumpkin parts and the growing process. It was so much fun! So when I got home from Pumpkin Day I decided to make my own pumpkins out of paper raffia.

pumpkin supplies

This project is so easy, all you really need is a spool of paper raffia, 22 gauge floral wire, scissors and/or a wire cutter and glue. Of course I added glitter, but you don’t have to. Oh and candy helps too.

chunky holiday gllitter

Oh and speaking of glitter… For the past few years, I’ve been partial to the fine glitter, especially Martha’s. The chunky kind was always for kindergarteners (shhh, don’t tell my daughter!) But this year I have fallen hard for the chunky glitter! I’m head-over-heels for this holiday glitter pack I found yesterday at Michaels.

To make the pumpkin, take your raffia, and start wrapping it around 3 or 4 fingers (depending on the size of pumpkin you desire.)

photo 5

Keep wrapping…

raffia wrapping

Just when you think you have enough…add more.  Then, before taking your hand out of the raffia, pull the wire through your raffia and twist it tight.
photo 2-1

Oh look, I have a labrodoodle helper!

labradoodle helper

Fan out the raffia, with the wire holding it together hidden in the middle. If at this point you feel that your pumpkin is too spare, grab more raffia, wrap it around your fingers, repeating the process, so it’s the same size and use the wire to attach the center of your second one to the center of the first.

Next, make a stem, using the same process, but only wrapping the raffia around 2 fingers.

pumpkin stem

Wrap it around 5 or 6 times, then start wrapping the raffia around itself.

stem

Tie it off and glue it into the center of the pumpkin.

Now it’s time for the fun part.

glitterI made a glitter paste by using Decoupage glue, both of my glitters and a few drops of water. Then I used a paint brush and haphazardly painted on the paste. So much less messier this way!

I didn’t want them super glittery, just enough to be festive.

pumpkinAnd it’s done!

autumn table

 

photo 3-2

 

Linked to: Tatertots & Jello , Sunday Showcase,
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Spooky Last Minute Halloween Decor


Yeah, yeah, I know. I haven’t written a blog post in.. I dunno, a year and a half now! It’s been on my mind. I just needed to sit down and do it. So. Here. I. Am.

Did you miss me?

I missed you.

So do you want a couple of last minute Halloween decor ideas? If you have a couple of hours I got your back.

Halloween Table

Here is my lovely spooky console table. Since I don’t have a fireplace mantle to decorate, I use this instead. Most of the decorations I already had. I shopped my house, found the candle sticks, stole the bird cage and fake birds from the kiddos, and the creepy rusty old lantern was from a thrift shop.

Candles can go both ways, either spooky or romantic. Black ones are definitely NOT romantic. I found these at Pier 1, but any color will do. Throw on some crows, gourds, leaves and you got yourself a Halloween display!

So to make the creepy tablecloth, run to the store and buy some cheese cloth. Lay it out on your table, so that there is plenty draping over the edge. Grab your scissors, then snip and rip.

Snip and Rip

I ripped the cheesecloth about every three to four inches. Straighten out as needed and voila! Instant tablecloth.

Spider

Next, add on an itsy bitsy spider. I just placed him on the cheese cloth, and he stuck there, like he knew it was his home.

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you should download the app Zombie Me or if you don’t go to zombieme.com. There you can take a picture of your seemingly cute and innocent little girls and turn them into vicious zombies. Like this…

Spooky Photo Frame

Print that out or email to your favorite print shop for printing. When you have it, put it in your favorite photo frame. The spooky photo border is just some black cardstock cut with small scissors and an X-acto knife. And by little scissors, I mean little…Like your husband’s nose hair trimmers. Not really, that’s gross.

photo mat

If you are feeling extra crafty, I suggest you make these plates from House of Earnest

Spider Plate

Aren’t it adorable?? All it takes are a scary rubber stamp, glass plates and some solvent based ink. Check out the how to here.

That’s it for now… Until next year.

Just kidding. Boo!

Linked to: Cherished Bliss, Inspiration Gallery

Making Letters

A long, long time ago, I wrote a post about alphabet walls, and how I wanted to make one for the kidlets. And then I found other things to do and as time went on I kind of forgot about the idea. But lately I’ve seen some really cute ones and now I’m motivated again to do this project.

via BHG

The one above, from Better Homes and Gardens, is one of my favorites.

via Spearmint Baby

And I’m in love with the texture and colors of this one from Spearmint Baby.

Unfortunately, it would take quite a bit of time and possibly a small fortune to round-up a bunch of cool, vintagy, found letters like I would like to. So instead I’m using a variety of my favorite fonts for the letters, to decorate however I choose.

I made the letters above using my Silhouette machine, Elmers Foam Board, an X-acto knife, a pencil and a steady hand.

There are so many free fonts on the internet, so I’ve been collecting them. I then chose what I liked and cut them out on to cardstock using the Silhouette. Then I just traced on to the foam board, and carefully cut out the letter with the X-acto knife. It didn’t take as long to cut out as I thought it would, maybe an hour for the four letters. I smoothed the edges with a sanding block and now they are ready for decorating! Noticed there is no ‘D’ yet..The ‘D’ and the ‘R’ are going to be extra special since they are the first letters of the girls’ names.

Only 22 more letters to go!

Linked to: Tatertots and Jello, I Gotta Create, Serendipity and Spice

Paper Flower Lantern

The moment the Christmas season ended began the start of my creative funk. For the past few weeks I seriously thought I had lost my creative mojo. It was awful. I attempted a couple different projects and played with a variety of mediums, but each time was a complete fail. I couldn’t even make a Valentines project work. I’ll spare you the details, but it was pretty bad.

So the other day I was perusing Pinterest (the greatest time suck I’ve ever known), and came across this lovely photo..

via Pinterest from Manuel Canovas

Ahh, those colors! So fresh and springy, perfect for the Sparkletots’ room! I pulled out my large collection of cardstock and started playing with the blues and greens.

Then..well you know how it goes. One thing led to another and I ended up with this..

Here’s how to do it…

Supplies: cardstock, hot glue gun, paper lantern, a cutting machine, some sparkly rhinestones, baker’s twine

Using my Silhouette machine I cut out some of their 3D Ruffled Flowers, that I downloaded from the online store. Okay, not just some flowers, but 56 ruffled flowers. Each ruffled flower has six pieces. If you are a little crazy and have lots of time, I suppose you could cut all these out by hand, but your hands would start to hurt after a while.

Crumple up each layer individually in the palm of your hand, then glue the layers together. You can glue a rhinestone in the middle, if you’d like.

Grab your lantern and start gluing the flowers on. I used a 99 cent paper lantern from Ikea. Start gluing at the bottom of the lantern, working your way up and keeping the flowers even. I didn’t do that and I ended up having to reposition some of the flowers. Not so fun.

Hang the lantern using your baker’s twine and enjoy the colors!

Linked to: Sumo’s Sweet Stuff, Skip to My Lou, Today’s Creative Blog, Creative Jewish Mom, Blue Cricket Design, Lil Luna, Handy Man, Crafty Woman, Somewhat Simple, House of Hepworths, Uncommon Designs, I Gotta Create, Remodelaholic, Tatertots and Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, I ❤ Naptime, Under the Table and Dreaming, Serendipity and Spice

When Life Gives You Grapefruit..Make A Salad!

It’s time for another When Life Gives You Grapefruit post! I spent some time researching salads with grapefruit as an ingredient, and was amazed by all the creative food combinations that I probably wouldn’t have thought of myself. Grapefruit and beets, grapefruit and blue cheese, grapefruit and lobster! Come on, don’t tell me you aren’t intrigued!

Honey, Grapefruit and Banana Salad (with mint!) via My Recipes

Avocado and Grapefruit Salad with spring fennel. I love fennel! via The Kitchn

New Ambrosia (with Buttermilk-Coconut dressing) via My Recipes

Celery and Grapefruit Salad with Parmesan via The Kitchn

Lobster and Grapefruit Salad if you’re fancy. via Foodnetwork.ca

Ruby Grapefruit Salad with Roasted Chickpeas via Lawfully Wedded Wife

Beet, Endive, Grapefruit and Blue Cheese Salad..yum! via Mango & Tomato

So..which one are you going to make??

When Life Gives You Grapefruits…Make Vinegar

My first project in my When Life Gives You Grapefruits.. Challenge is some Grapefruit and Rosemary Cleaning Vinegar. I usually use some diluted white vinegar for cleaning. It’s natural, very affordable, and does a great job. The chemicals in cleaning products have always irritated me and I don’t want the Sparkletots around those chemicals if I can help it. I personally like the way the vinegar smells, it smells clean to me, but others in the house don’t like it. To help cover up the vinegar smell I add some grapefruit and rosemary fragrance to make the house smell clean and delicious.

Supplies: canning jar with lid, wooden skewer, distilled white vinegar, grapefruit peel, fresh rosemary sprig

Thoroughly clean your jar and lid and put it in boiling water (especially if it has been used before, to get out any residual odors). Heat up enough vinegar to fill your jar, on the stove until boiling.

Rinse off your grapefruit before peeling it. Peel the grapefruit, then scrape off the white insides of the peel (pith) so that it looks like the picture above. I started using a serrated spoon to scrape the peel, but I found it was easier just using my fingernails. Tear the peel so that it the pieces will easily fit in the jar. Then stick them on the wooden skewer and place the skewer in the jar. Break off any part of the skewer that sticks up out of the jar.

Rinse off your fresh rosemary sprigs and stick them in the jar with the grapefruit peels. Once the vinegar is boiling, remove from heat and carefully pour it into the jar. You will instantly start smelling the infusion of grapefruit and rosemary. Let it cool for a couple minutes then put the lid on the jar. Let sit for two to three days.

Once the infusion is done, remove the peel and rosemary and throw them away. Strain out the vinegar using cheesecloth or a coffee filter to remove little particles. If the fragrance is too strong, dilute with some water. Pour the vinegar into your sprayer and get cleaning!

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