Thursday, March 23, 2017

Tips on Creating a Woodland Wreath

Happy Spring, Friends!  The weather in Nebraska is in its usual roller-coaster mode for March.  But snow has given way to rain, and the birds are becoming active and buds are popping on our trees, so warm weather can't be far behind.

Our front porch is looking quite barren after a long winter.  Since it's still a bit early to add flowers to the pots and bring out the summer porch décor, I decided to put together a new wreath for our door.  And I was on a mission to spend as little as possible, since I've been forking out a LOT of money ordering furnishings for our Master Bedroom.  I've decided to participate in the One Room Challenge, which gets underway in a couple of weeks, and have been placing some preliminary orders on things that I know will take several weeks to arrive.  Anyway, the budget is squeaking with tightness right now, haha, and this wreath needed to be made mostly with what I had on hand.  Since I am constantly in creativity mode and have a craft room spilling over with "stuff" I was able to scrounge up most of what you see in it.

I already had a twig wreath that had Fall stems on it, so I took that apart to reuse (reduce, reuse, recycle, right?)  And I have quite a collection of various faux stems, flowers, and branches to work with.  A little tip that helps me when I create wreaths is to work in 3's.  Some of you have seen photos of the wall vases that hang in a frame in our hearth room.  I often buy stems in groups of 3's to place in those vases.  Because I love to change things up around the house regularly, there are quite a few leftover branches that had once been used in the wall vases.  And that's where I began with this "new" wreath.  I had 3 of the yellow-green leafy branches you see here and also 3's of some of the less noticeable stems and branches.  It works well to space the branches apart by 1/3 of the wreath and then just keep inserting more leaves and branches at the same basic intervals, rotating the wreath as you go.  Fern leaves are often a go-to for me because they add texture and fill space well.  Buying faux greenery bushes and cutting them apart is a good way to save a little money.

I really like a woodsy look, a little wild and as natural as possible.  Something I learned after working at a floral shop years ago was to always go a little bigger and a little more loose and free than you think.  After all, Mother Nature doesn't paint her pictures in orderly, tight grids.  Usually, she has a free spirit, which was hard for this perfectionistic designer to learn at first.  But the more I practiced, the better I got at it, and I think the results are positive, don't you?  See how the wreath stretches from door jamb to door jamb?  (I'm waiting for my husband and son to complain about that when they use the door!)

Even though I have gotten free with my styling, I'm still working on breaking out of my color comfort zone, haha.  I wanted this wreath to be subtle in color, blending with the green of our front door.  But I added a hint of white for contrast, and there is a LOT of texture that helps it pop from the background. 

There is one little problem we encounter every spring, though.  The finches and robins that come back year after year to build their nests on our front porch seem to think that I hang door décor for their convenience.  They love to build nests in my wreaths, making it hard for us to come and go through the front door; or worse yet, they build their nests near the door on the light fixture and deconstruct my wreaths to use as their building materials!  So, this wreath is actually coming back into the house until after nesting season.  I'm thinking of putting it on our sunporch for a couple of months to pretty up that space :)

I hope you'll all stop back here the first week of April when I begin my One Room Challenge!  It will be my first attempt at this, and I'm excited about creating a gorgeous Master Bedroom for myself and the hubby.


Monday, March 13, 2017

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Holy Moly, Friends, it's been too long since I've posted!  My only excuse is that my mind and body decided to take some unplanned time off for reading, relaxing, and meditating.  I may have had a touch of the end-of-winter-but-still-winter doldrums, or more likely I've just been lazy, haha.  If you are reading this, thank you, thank you for sticking with me and my little blog :) 

At this time of year, it seems many of us are craving the sights and colors of a new season.  In that spirit, I've created some Spring-inspired home décor to brighten and refresh my spaces (and those of my Etsy customers, too!)

Vintage floral brooches have been central on my radar lately.  I painted this keepsake box green and added several jewelry pieces to pretty it up!  I think the lattice design on the top of the box also adds to a garden feel.  Aren't these flowers , butterfly, and ladybug cheerful?

Another one of my favorite treasure-hunting finds has been these bugs, which I've attached to some cute bud vases.  What is more synonymous with flowers than bugs, right?  I confess that I've always had an affinity for insect art and sculpture.  But if you want to see me do a very frenzied piece of creative movement, accompanied by teen-girl screaming, just put a real bug near me (most especially, a spider...GAH!!!)

These jewelry bugs, though, are too pretty to frighten anyone.  Who could resist a little insect crawling up a sweet bud vase?

This bug is a small vintage brooch, which I've attached to a new bud vase that I picked up at Michael's.  The colors and pewter finish have a bit of a Southwest flair, don't they?

For this vase, I went with a "vintage" 1991 piece that I found at our local Goodwill store.  There is a label on the bottom that gives the date; and honestly, I'm not sure if you could consider '91 "vintage" but since it was made 26 years ago, it's definitely not new!  My 27-year-old daughter might not appreciate being called vintage, though, haha.  She has already requested that I make a bug pot for one of her succulents.  That girl is the queen of growing succulents, I tell you!  It's like a botanical garden at her house, and you know that she did NOT get that skill from her mother.

The beetle that I embellished this vase with does not appear to be old, even though I purchased it at an antique store.  There is a dealer there who always has bits and bobs of old and not-so-old items.  I've been eyeing this insect for a while, and then the inspiration struck to make these fun vases.  I am terribly tempted to keep this piece for myself because the color scheme is perfect, but my better sense tells me that it needs to be added to my Etsy shop ;)

And here are some charming little flower wall plaques that I painted and embellished with vintage earrings.  Wouldn't these be cute in a she-shed or girl's room?  I could also see them on a gallery wall - they have a bit of a Boho vibe.

The photo above shows what these pieces looked like before paint.  They were very antique-heavy and dated-looking.  A few coats of chalk paint in happy colors brought them into the present.  And of course you knew that I had to add a little bling to each one.  I mean, it's my "thing."

So, here are the newest Spring items that I'll be adding to my Etsy shop this week.  Let's hope the actual Spring season will soon follow!  Here in Nebraska, we are having another dose of winter with wind chills in the single digits for the next few days...ugh!  I hope it's warmer and sunnier wherever you are.


Sharing with:  Between Naps on the Porch