Spring Wreath with Paper Flowers

 

 A while back, during one of my weekly trips to Hobby Lobby, I found these fun paper flowers.

paper flowers

I just loved them! I didn’t really know what I would do with them, but I knew I had to have them! Eventually I decided I could use them for a wreath for the front porch. After all, they did match my yellow chair and other porch decor perfectly!
I decided to make this one pretty simple. I got one yard of brown burlap, the flowers and a straw wreath.

I cut the burlap into strips. I wasn’t too careful to make sure they were straight or even because it’s burlap, and it’s not supposed to look perfect!

cut strips burlap

I used hot glue to secure the first strip to the wreath and wrapped the strips around the wreath.

wrap burlap wreath

Each time I needed a new strip, I glued it to the back side of the wreath, close to where the previous piece ended.

wrap burlap wreath

I wrapped the wreath in two layers of burlap.

burlap wreath how to

I cut the stems off of the flowers.

cut bud from stem

And used hot glue to attach them to the wreath.

hot glue buds flowers

I arranged them in a cluster to hide the leftover stem pieces.

paper flowers

I didn’t like the bright green color of the leaves, so I spray painted them with a pretty avocado paint.

paint silk leaves

Then glued the leaves to each end of the cluster.

And here is my new spring wreath! Complete with a yellow striped ribbon to match my fun yellow chair!

Strawberries are Here!

The boys and I look forward to strawberry season ever year. We are so lucky to have a strawberry farm right down the road. And even luckier that they offer the opportunity to pick your own! This year, the picking season started early. Since we had such a mild winter and temperatures warmed up early here in the South, the strawberries are already growing and the fields are open! So I took the boys for our first trip to pick. We will be back at least one more time! We can’t get enough strawberries!

and they’re off. . .

The kids were so excited! We are so lucky to be able to do this every year! This really is one of our favorite family traditions!

Parker Reese had fun picking. “Mommy, is this one okay?” he would say.

Jackson just liked eating. He even argued and begged when I told him, “Enough!” I’m pretty sure he ate a gallon himself! I swear, one minute his box was half full and the next time I looked it was practically empty! This boy LOVES strawberries!

Jackson nagged at me about the photos. “Do we have to take pictures?” he asked. Of course! “But that takes too long,” he whines. My response, “Oh well. You’ll appreciate them later!”

All I had to do was promise he could eat more strawberries and I got a smile!

Onward, to pick {and eat} more strawberries!

Parker finally joined in and discovered how fun and delicious it was to pick and eat!

And I’m telling you, Jackson didn’t stop!

In the end, I had to pick them myself because the boys just kept eating them! While the boys napped, I cleaned up the berries. Here is the inventory. . .

Whole berries for snacking, cut berries to freeze for smoothies, cut berries for a dessert. Large, pretty berries to make chocolate-covered strawberries.  And I even had some to give to my SIL.

Here are a few of the recipes I shared from last year’s strawberry season.

{chocolate-covered strawberries}

{strawberry walnut bread}

{baby blue salad}

And here is a new dessert I’m gonna make. I found one version in my Southern Living Cookbook but also found another, similar version on Pinterest. Ready to drool?

I’ll let you know how it turns out! Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Paper Mache Eggs: Part I

What started as a simple paper mache project, turned into some pretty fancy eggs!

I gotta admit that I was pretty pleased with myself! You see, I really only had intended on covering the eggs with a decorative scrapbook paper.

It all started like this. . .

Some plastic eggs, water, Decoupage (I ended up using Elmer’s glue), sponge brushes and bowls.

I mixed the glue and water {I didn’t measure, but I’d say 1 part glue to 3 parts water} and poured into smaller bowls. I guess I forgot to mention that I let the kids make some of these too. I gave them their brushes and bowls and let them go to town.

Anyway, I used some packaging paper as my base coat.

I tore it into pieces. . .

and soaked it in the glue mixture.

Then covered my egg using the traditional paper mache technique. I did have to shape and smooth some of the paper with my hands.

Next I took my Stampin Up! designer series paper and matching cardstock. . .

*If you are not familiar with Stampin’ Up! dsp, it’s double-sided with coordinating colors and patterns. They also have coordinating cardstock papers.

and tore it into pieces.

For the most part, I used one designer series paper and along with one color cardstock paper on each egg. I did a little at a time, letting each layer dry a little before adding the next. When they were completely covered, it took overnight to dry. I even had them under a heat lamp for several hours!

But in the morning they were finally dry! This was where I had anticipated being finished. BUT, it needed something else. {You’ve never heard me say that one before, have you?}  If you are a regular reader, I’m sure you could guess what I did.

Yes, I took out my Distress Ink pad and started inking it! To do this, you just lightly brush the ink pad against the paper in a back and forth motion.

Much better.

Then, I added one coat of pure Mod Podge because I like the little hint of shine in it’s finish.

And now, I thought I was done! But I wasn’t! I had another idea.

So I grabbed a few coordinating Stampin Up products and worked on the eggs some more.

But I’m going to share that with you tomorrow. For now, just take a sneak peek!

Ugly Bunny

Sneak peek?

Late last April, I went on a weekend shopping spree hitting up all the garages sales, thrift stores and Goodwills I could find? I got some pretty good finds that weekend, including these. . .

Do you remember? One of those finds was the ugly chocolate bunny. Why the heck did I buy this item? Because I saw it and immediately thought, “WHITE! This bunny needs to be white!” Easter had already passed, but I remembered this Pottery Barn bunny knock-off from The DIY Showoff and thought, I can make this bunny look fabulous like hers!”

Then I looked at the price. 99 cents. Really? Get in my buggy little bunny!

But I almost forgot about i! A memory of it popped into my head the other day and I scrambled to the storage closet to get it because I knew if I waited I would forget about it again! As I pulled it out from all the other junk great finds stored in there, I started thinking to myself how crazy it was that when I tossed it in there last year, Easter seemed so far away! But here we are again, already. And here is the ugly bunny!

So I undressed the bunny and got rid of his accessories.

I sprayed him with a light coat of primer.

Then two good coats of white, satin-finish spray paint.

As usual, my plan was to stop here. I wanted a white bunny. However, as usual, I couldn’t leave him alone. I’ll give you one guess as to what I did next. . . grabbed my sandpaper.

I distressed the little guy, which took a little effort since I sprayed him pretty heavily with paint. If I plan on distressing I usually go a little lighter.

Now he was perfect!

I paired him with a mossy Easter basket on my foyer chest.

Happy Easter!

DIY Spring/Easter Napkin Rings

I was at Hobby Lobby the other day {I know what you are thinking, me at Hobby Lobby, no way!} and found these cute little grapevine mini wreaths. It’s hard to tell from the picture, but they are about 3″ across.
 I started thinking “Hmmmm, what I could make with these cuties?” Then it dawned on me, they are the perfect size for napkin rings!!! So, I threw them in the cart. I kept shopping, and here is what I came home with:

The mini grapevine wreaths, little bird nests and some mini speckled eggs-on-a-stick.
And here is what I did:
Cute little nest napkin rings!!
Here is how I did it: 
I removed the eggs from the wire sticks and used a hot glue gun to glue them inside the nests.
 I then hot-glued the nests at an angle on the grapevine rings.

And this is how they turned out! 
Very easy, very quick, cute Easter/Spring project!

Grapevine rings $2.99 = at 50% off
Nests = 99 cents (each) x 2
Eggs = $2.99 at 50% off.
Total = $5.00
5 bucks!!

Time for Growing Veggies!

My boys and I spent the entire afternoon outside today. It was gorgeous! However, I know I will pay for it tomorrow {allergies}. After Little Man #2 went down for a nap, Little Man #1 and I worked on getting the veggie garden ready. 

Prepping the spot.

Here is the little corner of our yard that we call our garden. It gets tons of sun and is the perfect spot for growing veggies. Last weekend we cleared the area of last year’s leftovers and the weeds that had grown during the winter. 

Lots of them! Then we mixed our compost {PEE-EEW} with organic vegetable soil in the wheelbarrow and dumped it in the garden We combined it with the existing soil using a metal rake. Let me tell you that the compost was the smelliest stink I’ve ever smelled in my life. And it lasted for DAYS! Awful!
Ok, so the garden is ready to go. 
Let’s plant some veggies!

So I put my kid to work. NO, just kidding! He wanted to use the big shovel, so I let him try. He put it down quickly and returned to his little plastic one. And yes, he is wearing snow boots. When I told him to grab his shoes from the closet, he came out with these. Bless his heart. 70* and wearing snow boots.
 Here is what we planted. . .
Onions, red and white. I’ve never grown onions before, so we’ll see. Apparently, depending on how far apart you plant them, they can be grown as large onions or green “table” onions.  We planted the white to grow as green onions. We also planted asparagus {not much to photo, it was just an ugly root}.

Green bell peppers. These didn’t do so well for me last year. I only got 2 peppers, I think. Hoping for more this year. 

Sweet red pepper. A couple of the leaves got stepped on and broken off so it looks a little pitiful. Again, not very successful last summer, so I will give my peppers extra tender loving care this year. LM #1 eats these like apples. Swear! It’s his favorite “treat” when we go to the farmers’ market.

LOVE heirloom tomatoes. This is Cherokee Purple. It was the only one I could find when I bought my veggies the other day. I’ll be on the hunt for more. Especially the yellow/orange variety.
Good ole Roma tomatoes. I still need to get some grape or cherry tomatoes and a big red variety. I’m on the lookout for one that I like. Last year I grew little yellow pear tomatoes {which I LOVED}. I swear to you, it provided something like 10 little tomatoes a day! At first I was excited and just popped them in my mouth like candy. But after a couple weeks, I got so tired of them. If I have room, I’ll plant them again.

And now for herbs. 

Flat-leaf parsley.
Sweet basil, of course. LOVE this stuff.

And these guys {lemon balm, oregano, and chives} are perennials and come back every year. I also have mint which I noticed just starting to peak through the dirt today.

And last, but not least, we planted strawberries! Another newcomer to our garden this year. We shall see. Pretty sure the bugs will eat these up.

Now we just water and wait {and pray we won’t have one of those spring freezes that always come right as the Azaleas start to bloom}.

You Know You’re Old When. . .

you’re exited about crafting on St. Patty’s Day!
St. Patty’s Day is officially over and I did not drink one single green beer! I remember in our younger years {you know, the days before the kiddos} St. Patrick’s Day was one of our favorite holidays. Who doesn’t like to go out and enjoy several a few good beers? Well, instead of going out and celebrating, I stayed in and created a new spring wreath for my door. And you know what? I didn’t miss going out. I could have spent twice the money on green beers with nothing to show for but a headache and a beer gut! Instead, I got this. . .

Here is what I started with:
A large, oval-shaped grapevine wreath and ivory wire-edged ribbon.
{Hobby Lobby – $5.99 and $7.99 both at 50% off}

4 ivory and pink hydrangea stems.
{Dollar Tree – $4}

3 vine sprigs
{Hobby Lobby – $4.99 each at 50% off}
1 moss-like branch
{Hobby Lobby – $4.99 at 50% off}

A box of pink and green speckled eggs
{I bought these last year from Homegoods.}

I started by cutting the vine into smaller pieces. I divided the leafy stems into about 4 pieces and I cut the hydrangea blooms off, leaving about a two-inch stem. I also removed the leaves.

I arranged the vine evenly around the wreath. I secured it using a hot glue gun. The good thing about a grapevine wreath is that you can tuck added pieces inside the intertwined branches and they blend right in.

You can also hide the glue {which can tend to turn colors over time} under the intertwined branches.

Then I glued the hydrangeas in a cluster, leaving some space in between to add the leaves and the mossy pieces. First, I added the hydrangea leaves around the outside of the flowers as well as in between to fill in the empty spaces. Then I added small pieces of the moss branches just to add a little more green.

I created clusters of eggs in a few different spots around the wreath. I applied hot glue to the bottom and back of the eggs to attach them to the wreath.
Like so.

I wrapped the ribbon around the wreath and tied a pretty bow to hang it.
And my door is ready for spring! Now beer would have cost way more than this wreath did! It was just a hair over $20!

Signs of Spring are Popping Up

I was out in the yard playing with my boys when what to my wondrous eyes should appear? Several signs that spring was finally near! 

I first noticed the Daffodils which were ready to bloom.
I love Daffodils! Just when we think winter will never end, these beauties show their yellow flowers, giving us the first signs of life and reminding us that spring is indeed in our near future.

As I wandered around the back yard I couldn’t miss the mounds of these. Spring Beauties (Scilla Siberica) have beautiful small blue flowers and multiply like crazy so they can be separated and planted elsewhere each year (which is why they are all over my yard, front and back).

I continued my search and noticed these in my front yard. The blooms are small, white, bell-shaped flowers. They are pretty when they are in bloom, but they don’t last long and their leaves fall flat. Not sure if they are Snowdrops (Galanthus) or Lily of the Valley. 

Another of my favorites is my pretty, crooked, drooping little tree in the front yard. It took me forever to figure out what this little lady was. My conclusion: it’s a Weeping Cherry (I think). Whatever it is, it’s pink blossoms are beautiful and bring happiness and life back to my yard after the blah of winter. Any day now it will be in full bloom.
And finally, my hydrangeas are peeking through! Periwinkle and pink, they border the house and back deck. 
Others in my yard that will be showing soon: Azaleas, Irises (in many different colors), my pink Almond Bush and my Snowball bush.  
Spring is near. Praise the Lord! I am over winter!