Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Aluminum Can Planters: A Tutorial

There is something you have to know about me: I AM CHEAP.
I hate spending money more than I hate doing the dishes. (unless it's money on crafting supplies or thrifting, there's always money for that!) But, I'm always trying to find a way to cut corners. Have you noticed how expensive planters are? C'MON! it's made out of plaster and painted, why is it that expensive? But I love flowers and happen to work at a place that has a kitchen. So I begged and pleaded with the dishwasher boys to save the industrial sized aluminum cans for me.

I brought them home and gave them a quick coat of spraypaint...

and drilled some holes in the bottom for drainage and then filled with rocks, dirt and plants.

I found these cute knives at a yard sale (20 of $3!!)

And wrote on them with a permanent marker to use as plant stakes!

It makes a very pretty presentation on my front porch steps.

Man, I love summer.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

stitching a chicken.

Today I started stitching this rooster. I plan to make it a part of a market bag I'm making for my big adventure on Saturday. This town a little ways south of me has a HUGE community yard sale. And I need a big, big bag with a comfortable handle to tote around. my wallet, my camera and all the good stuff I find? yes, put it in the bag. I found this vintage kitchen towel at my local thrift store this past week. And for two quarters, I couldn't resist bringing him home. I'm adding a few more colors. I'll post the finished bag before I set off into the wild in search of deals. I'M SO EXCITED! 

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Peonies and Carnations. A tutorial.

I have to admit something. I love pink carnations. I know that carnations are the store brand flower of the florist world, but I swear; if any boy ever bought me an armload of pink carnations, I would probably hand him my heart in a little box.

My mom works at a local florist and I love to visit her there. Surrounded by flowers, how could you ever be unhappy? When they get shipments of carnations, they keep them in five gallon buckets at room temperature to settle and open. It's like a color wheel of carnations. I just love it. These pretty pink (leaning on peach) carnations asked me if they could come home with me and I said yes. With a boy who has an utter disdain for carnations, I'm perfectly happy buying them for myself and bringing them home in my bike basket. ha!

However, even with a mother who makes arrangements for a living, I'm absolutely terrible at putting together an arrangement. But I have found a way to do it with ease that even the least capable can make. You'll look like a pro. 
The Supplies:
A vase or a tin can. This is a recycled tomato juice can. 
Tape. I try to use something that will match the container. You can purchase florist tape at the craft store, but for this, I used mylar tape. It matches the can and I had it in the craft closet.
Flowers. I brought home pink carnations and cut white peonies out of my yard. 
Greenery. You can use anything! These are pieces of a bush in my front yard that is getting ready to bloom so it had nice buds on it. Greenery is a godsend. It will fill any holes that you miss and give you a nice base.

Step One:
Cut strips of tape to make a grid on top of your container. This is called a frog. You'll be poking the stems of your flowers through the square holes.

Step Two:
Begin placing your greenery around the base. I always start with greenery because it's easier to get around the bottom before you put your flowers in. 

Step Three: 
Begin placing your flowers. I started with the peonies because they are big and fluffy and take up a lot of space. It then allowed me to place my carnations so you could see them prominently. Here is a helpful tip! When cutting your flowers, place them next to your container and snip your stem level with the table. You will never cut a flower too long or short again! No more pulling a flower out a million times to snip just a little off!

Step Four:
After your flowers are in, you can take extra pieces of greenery and fill in any gaps you may see. 

And there you have it! A beautiful arrangement that is super quick. (and no one will ever be the wiser!) I sat mine next to my sewing machine as I was making some curtains for my bedroom redo. (Super easy curtain tutorial forthcoming!) I wanted to be outside but had inside work to do. I'm glad I got to bring some flowers indoors. 

I hope you are having a lovely weekend!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Thimble Necklace Tutorial

I've been thinking about this project for a very long time. Today it was sticky with heat and humidity and in the middle of  trying to get my house clean, I just dropped everything and did it. I absolutely love it. I love it so much, that I want to show you how to make it.

Sewing Pins in with the color heads you like
Metal Thimble
Coordinating threads. (my thread came from the edge of some fraying fabric I adore.)
Hot Glue Gun
Tiny Drill bit and Drill

Step One:
Drill a small whole directly below the lip of the thimble. Watch your fingers and go slow!

Step Two:
Fill the thimble 1/4 of the way with hot glue. Let the glue cool slightly and start placing your pins however you wish. I'm very much into pink right now, so most of my pink pins were towards the front. You need to work quickly to get them placed how you like them as the glue will cool quickly. Adding little bits of glue at a time, move your pins around until you are satisfied. Be careful not to hold onto the thimble as it will get very hot as you squeeze in more and more glue.

Step Three:
When your thimble is 3/4 of the way full, ball your threads and place them into the glue. You can use an extra pin to arrange the threads and make sure they are attached to the glue.

Step Four:
If you would like to attach your thimble charm to a chain you will need to place a ring in the hole you drilled. I opted to attach mine to a length of colored hemp with a simple loop through the hole.

Step Five:
Wear it with pride!

I hope you enjoyed making this charm as much as I did! I guess now I have to get back to cleaning. sigh.

P.S. If you don't want to make one yourself because of the heat and humidity at your house you can buy one here


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