Friday, August 24, 2012

Dipped Lotus Pod Wreath

I've always liked the look of dipped pine cones and wondered what lotus pods would look like dipped in paint. I had some left over green paint from a painted dresser project and  thought it would be a perfect color to try. Lotus pods can be found at craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Michael's but the packages at Hobby Lobby are bigger (5 vs.3 at Michael's)....and if you're lucky, you can catch them on sale. They come with a handy dandy piece of heavy duty floral wire creating 'stems'.....which makes the pods easy to handle.

This color is Asparagus from Valspar at Lowe's. Isn't it the perfect green??
Luckily, the pods fit right in the mouth of the quart can. Completely submerge the pod and let the excess drip off. It's kind of really messy...I did this outside. Little bubbles formed in the holes, I made sure to pop them before it started drying.
They did not take very long to dry, I used them a couple of hours later. I poked the wire right in the ground and let them dry. Doesn't it look cool? It still looks natural, just amped up a bit.
I had the perfect ribbon in mind to use with the pods and went about making a fall wreath.
I used all five of them and offset the big ones with the little ones on the right
I just love how the the green looks with the warm fall colors! The lotus pods create quite the focal point and even more so painted green! If you like the looks of this wreath, it's available in my shop. Click HERE
Have you ever tried dipping pinecones, or better yet, lotus pods? What color did you choose?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pottery Barn Inspired Halloween Garland

I know it's early, don't kill me....I did a Halloween project.
I was inspired by the cute garland at Pottery Barn and just had to try my hand at it. I've got a thing for garlands and really enjoy hanging them across my mantle. Since I had chemo last week, I rate this project low on the difficulty level, it's a good project that doesn't take a lot of energy. :) Really though, it's super simple and turned out great.

Here's what you need: Jute Twine, Canvas or Painter's Drop Cloth, Black craft paint (and brushes), Sharpie, Instant coffee (and a casserole dish to put it in) and a sewing machine.
The canvas is about 9"x6" and I ripped it (vs. cutting) to get the rough edges. Rip enough for what you want to spell....I did a 'Happy Halloween' and a 'Give Thanks'. I think it would be fun to do 'Trick or Treat' too. 
On the sewing machine, create a small pocket to feed the twine through....finished size of each pennant is 8"x6"
I hand lettered 'Happy Halloween' in spooky Gothic text using a Sharpie. I'm pretty sure there are other methods out there of lettering, I just feel more comfy doing it by hand. 
Fill in all your letters with black craft paint. I think it looks a little more spooky with the imperfect edges
Get all your letters done and let them dry well
Next, prepare a coffee bath in a casserole dish. Submerge each letter and blot extra liquid off on a towel. I just laid them out on the counter and when I got them all stained, I laid them outside in the sun to dry. The canvas stains beautifully!!
Once they are all dry, feed the twine through, tie loops on the ends, and it's ready to hang! Here is the 'Give Thanks' garland for Thanksgiving. I made this for my MIL since we usually have dinner at her house and it will look great across her mantel. Hopefully she's not reading this. :)
I painted simple lettering for this style
...but the Halloween one is staying with me!
I already can't wait to do a Halloween mantle, but I have resisted cracking out the pumpkins so far....but it won't be long!!! You'll probably notice the lettering is not perfect, but I like the added quirkiness....and I'm nothing if not quirky. Ask anybody.
Hope you are inspired!


Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

I find it extremely hard to believe that my boys are back in school already. I can't decide whether the summer has flown by or if because of chemo gone by at a snail's pace. I feel guilty that the boys haven't really had a "fun" summer and basically been watching me go through chemo week, recovery week(s), decent week and then right back to chemo week. It's a vicious circle.

Logan started first grade and a different school. I like how this school system starts in the middle of the week...I think that helps the kids adjust and then it's the weekend without feeling overwhelmed. If you are wondering why you don't see any pictures of Keegan...well, he just flat out refused 'first day of school pictures'. That's ok though, I plan on getting some next week whether he wants to or not. It's my duty as a mother to get pictures! :)

 School started during chemo week (yikes!) and here I am two days into treatments, bloated with least I hope that's what it is ;) My MIL has been an angel, especially this week. We knew it was going to be tough with school and chemo. She has been running around like a champ for me. Getting prescriptions, grocery shopping, doing the dishes, sitting with me in chemo, bringing me lunch during chemo, taking the boys to school, and picking them up etc.....all while working. She is the greatest.
 For some reason, I haven't been telling you the results of my latest 2 cat scans...probably because I've been disappointed in the results. To catch you up to speed...I was to have six months of chemo to try to shrink tumors on my lungs and liver with CT scans after every two treatments. I was really excited to get the results of the first scan....I was expecting the tumors to be know, "let's get this cancer!!"...but they weren't. In fact one had even gotten larger. The majority of them are stable. The doctor said this was not bad....well, it is when you daydream about tumors shrinking and/or completely disappearing! The second scan yielded much of the same: stable.

Logan at his desk, how cute! I love this age!
 Well, six months is finally here. This past week was my last week. I should be feeling a little more positive, but really I don't. I might have to stay on chemo.....and basically: I don't wanna!! (Insert whiny voice)
I have my third and final CT scan (for a while) in three weeks and it will determine whether I stay with chemo or not. So I have to wait. For three weeks. I'm sure that it will get here pretty quick and I will be complaining about having to drink the barium....but I am certainly not getting my hopes up.

Last weekend, I planted some succulents in my little homemade planter. Do you remember these? Succulents are about the only thing surviving right now with the drought conditions.
 It won't be long and I will be adding more mums and kale to the flower bed
What I think will happen, although it could change, is that I get the CT scans in hand and go back to NIH in Bethesda. Maybe they will start me on the experimental drug now (that is for my kind of cancer) and forgo the chemo for now (please, please, please). But we will see, right?
The waiting is the hardest part...any Tom Petty fans out there?? :)

I am signing off for now, but I want to thank you all for the emails and comments. I read each one and I know I can't always reply....although I do try...thank you!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

New Fall Wreaths

Thanks for all the support on Logan's Map Wall and Room Updates, he has really been enjoying his new twin bed and the whole layout of the room. I just received the fabric to make his curtain panels and hopefully I can get them made this weekend.
This week, I have been steadily working on creating wreaths, trying to get my shop full. I know it might be a little too early for most, but I have chemo next week (not to mention school starting) and I know it will be a while before I can design again. So I hope you enjoy looking and even get inspired for the fast approaching fall season!
 (This one has sold already)

I will be away from the blog for a while, it's going to be a tough week with open house, school starting, getting the boys back on a decent sleeping schedule, and having chemo...we'll see how it goes! Talk to you soon!