Crafting: Glitter Office Art

Almost a year ago, I got a new and interesting job – which meant getting a new office to decorate. Finally, I had a reason to make some of my glittery Pinterest dreams come true and I can definitely say that creating office art is fun.

To honor my state, I choose a DIY State art.  It was one of my simplest art projects – a 10″ x 10″ canvas painted turquoise with scrapbook red glitter paper in the shape of Arkansas glued to the middle.

Glittery Arkansas

Glittery Arkansas

I also made another artwork similar to Papery and Cakery’s Sprinkle Artwork.  I used another 10″ x 10″ canvas, tons of craft glue, two different type of red glitter (micro and normal), and blue glitter letter stickers.  My kerning isn’t the best, but I like it.

Tons off glue, glitter, and love

Tons off glue, glitter, and love

 

 

 

 

Faux Hydrangea Wreath

Before it was official Spring, I was craving some Spring themed wreath for our door.  The problem was that I wanted nothing Spring holiday specific (like Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, or Earth Day themed).  After searching the Internet, I found a DIY for a Faux Hydrangea Wreath that was absolutely adorable.

My faux hydrangea wreath

My faux hydrangea wreath

My wreath is a little different from the wreath in the DIY tutorial.  I choose a smaller 12 inch wreath and used 8 hydrangea flowers.  I also used the leaves from the stems to edge the wreath.

Side view showing the leaves

Side view showing the leaves

I hate grapevine wreaths. I can never seem to extract one wreath from another wreath.  The grapevine wreath always seem to be get stuck in my clothing or hair. So, I choose a straw wreath.  Using a straw wreath made it a little more difficult to push the hydrangea stems through and meant that I cut my stems about one inch shorter than the original DIY.  However, I really love the look and it’s something that can stay up into June.

 

 

DIY: Wrapped Ribbon Baby Wreath

I’m from the South – the part of the South that makes crazy large Homecoming mum and makes birth/baby wreaths.  Yes, this is a real thing.

Birth or baby wreaths are traditional hung on the hospital delivery door after the baby is born with a plaque or card with the baby’s vital information.  Some new parents transfer the wreath to the front door of their homes to announce that the baby has arrived to the neighborhood.  My mom has made these creative wreaths for her friends’ delivery doors since I was a barely old enough to ask why.  Usually, she would give the wreath to the couple at the hospital.

When my friend announced that she was pregnant, I decided to continue this very Southern tradition in a slightly more modern way – with a wrapped ribbon wreath.

Baby Wreath

Baby Wreath

Materials

  • 1 12 inch straw wreath
  • 2 rolls of 1.5 inch wide solid ribbon (approximately 16 yards)
  • 6 to 8 inch section of 5/8 inch wide patterned ribbon
  • 1 medium-sized wooden letter
  • Hot glue gun with hot glue
  • Yarn (I did not measure the amount of yardage I used, but I would suggest making sure that you have more than you think you need.)

Directions

  1. Wrap the widest ribbon around the wreath and the secure the ends with hot glue.  I was able to wrap the ribbon around the wreath without cutting any of the ribbon.

    A false start to the wreath - one roll of ribbon wrapped around the wreath

    A false start to the wreath – one roll of ribbon wrapped around the wreath

  2. Tightly wrap the yarn around the wooden letter.  This can be difficult – Just wrap as tightly as you can covering as much of the letter as you can.  If you have difficulty wrapping around a curve or an angle, try wrapping the yarn from a different direction and meeting up with your yarn at the present location.

    Tightly wrap the yarn around the letter.  Tigher is better.

    Tightly wrap the yarn around the letter. Tighter is better.

  3. Hot glue the ends of the yarn down. Press and hold down for approximately 1 min.
  4. Hot glue the wrapped letter to the wrapped wreath. Press and hold down for approximately 1 min.
  5. Hot glue to the ribbon to the wreath at the appropriate area. Press and hold down for approximately 1 min.  Let sit overnight to complete dry.

    Now to dry ...

    Now to dry …

  6. Ta-da! One beautiful, Southern baby wreath ready to hang.

Merry Unbirthday Party Decorations

I had the honor of creating decorations and some food for a surprise unbirthday party. I don’t think that I have ever had so many ideas for one party before.

This is what was created.

Somehow, I didn’t get pictures of all of the card garlands and pom-poms.  They were hung in the room with the food and the main sitting room.

The Eat Me signs were purchased as digital pdfs from Etsy seller ianandlola.  I hot glued the signs to toothpicks to make the signs stay up easier.

The card houses were also hot glued together to ensure a perfect card house at party time.

Experimenting with Mason Jar Salads

During the summer, I crave salads of all kinds. Discovering the trend of Mason Jar Salads or Salad in a Jar was like a godsend for my summer work lunches. These have been all over Pinterest lately. They caught my attention because they looked like an effective way to bring an interesting salad without having a lunchbox full of separate containers for each ingredient. — So, I had to do an experiment to see if these salads in a jar would actually work.

One of my mason jar salads

One of my mason jar salads

I didn’t go out and buy mason jars. I live in the South and I’m crafty – I just used spare mason jars that I had hiding out in my kitchen. A lot of blogs posts about these salads marvel at how cheap these jars are. Yes, you can get a dozen for approximately $10.00 – but make sure that you pick up a set with both jars and lids. From my experience, the jars and the lids are usually sold separately.

Most of the salad in a jar recipes called for quart mason jars. Using a quart mason jar for a salad just seemed like a little much to me (that is 4 cups of salad!); instead, I used pint mason jars (only 2 cups of salad). After eating my very filling mason jar salads, I cannot imagine having a quart jar full of salad for lunch.

From jar to bowl - and only two cups

From jar to bowl – and only two cups

I made each of my salads the night before but supposedly, these can be made days in advance if you layer correctly. Based on my experiment with these salads, I would only make a lot in advance if you have very fresh ingredients.

How to Layer Your Jar Salad

The key to these salads is to keep the greens separate from the liquid or dressing. The Skinny Mom’s Kitchen suggests giving the jar a quick wipe with a paper towel and completely drying all ingredients before you start to assembly (to reduce the liquid in the jar). Try to not get the dressing on the sides of jar – or your salad will wilt before you eat it.

This helped me a lot in making my salads in a jar.

The basic layering of the salad in the jar is dressing, hearty bits, lighter bits, and greens on top. The Paleo Mama blog suggested that cut tomatoes should be at the bottom of the jar due to their higher water content — which worked perfectly! Whatever you put near the dressing, be prepared to have it marinated in the dressing. I had to push my cut tomatoes into the dressing to get enough lettuce for a healthy salad. A few blogs have the lighter bits (such as nuts, seeds, or cheese) on top of the greens, but I like the look of having those ingredients just below the greens.

None of the blog posts that I found mention cutting your greens prior to putting them into the jars.  However,  if you cut your greens, then you can put more into the jar and get a fuller salad.

Once you finish layering your jar, you store it up-right in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat it.

My Experiment Experience

By using the pint jars, I didn’t have any difficulty in getting the jars to stay up-right in the commute to work. The pint jars are small enough to fit into a lunch bag and still have room in the bag for dessert.

I didn’t notice any texture or flavor issues. By making the salads each night, nothing stayed too long in the dressing. I didn’t have any issues with the bacon but I made sure to place it closer to lettuce than the dressing. I like chewy bacon and my bacon seemed to stay chewy.

I didn’t use any recipes for my salads. I just layered whatever sounded interesting each day. Of my more interesting combinations, I ended up with a caesar turkey club and southwestern turkey salad.

My favorite part of these salads is pouring them out into a bowl at lunch. Due to the layering, the salads look like something you would get at a restaurant. It wouldn’t be impossible to eat the salad out of a wide mouth jar but I prefer eating it out of a bowl. To ease the hassle of carrying two containers for your salad, you could buy some paper bowls to keep at work.

Absolutely delicious!

Absolutely delicious!

Crafting: Parade of Elephants Baby Shower

A friend asked me to craft some decorations for an elephant themed baby shower … and this is what I came up with.

Beginning of the parade of elephants

Beginning of the parade of elephants

As a crafter, I always try to link to the exact place that I bought a specific template, fabric, yarn, or the name brand of a product; however, not all bloggers follow this method. After a googling and cursing websites, I went with Plan B – I traced an elephant and made my own template.

This template became the medium parade of elephants, the large parade of elephants, the small elephant mobile, the mother and baby elephant rosette, and an elephant mom to be pin.

Elephant Mobile - Almost too cute to give away

Elephant Mobile – Almost too cute to give away

Mom to Be Pin

Mom to Be Pin

Welcome Baby Rosette for Door or Lamp post

Welcome Baby Rosette for Door or Lamp post

A finished elephant parade garland on my mantle

A finished elephant parade garland on my mantle