Thursday, February 28, 2013

My recent wreath addiction...

When I purchased the clinic, it came with some boxes of decorations for the holidays... most of it was ticky-tacky, definitely NOT my style, and went into the trash. I managed to salvage a little to spruce up the lobby at the appropriate times and I have added to the stash for the last 2 years, and will keep buying items that strike my fancy - usually at the killer after-the-holiday-sales events.

This year, we began the "festivities" by decorating for Halloween. I found an old straw broom in the attic - the kind meant as a decoration, not one to actually sweep the floor with - I have NO idea where it came from; don't remember if being up there when I bought the place, but neither do I remember purchasing it. Oh, well... At any rate, I made a fancy, appropriately colored bow for it, added a couple of huge hairy spiders, and hung it diagonally across the strange short window in the clinic lobby. I was so in love with the look (I hate that window) that I decided to keep something hung there at all times - thus my recent wreath addiction. I have decided to make a wreath for each month - if there is a holiday in the month, I use that as the theme - not sure what I'll do when I hit a month without a holiday.... I started with November, but of course, I didn't take any pictures of that one, or the one that I made for December, before I wrapped them up and stored them in the attic - you'll have to wait until the end of 2013 to see them (unless I get the wild hair to unwrap and photograph them beforehand... not likely).

I "discovered" deco mesh and absolutely LOVE it for making wreaths. I love it so much, that I used it for November, December AND January's wreaths. THIS is the wreath I made for January, in honor of New Year's, of course -

Love the way it blocks most of that wretched window... LOL

And a close-up

I used 10" black deco mesh with silver threads, and a 6" silver deco mesh for the main body of the wreath, then added silver and black ribbon; the accents are wonderful, glitter-covered plant-like pieces that my daughter picked out at Michaels one day.

Not be stuck in a deco mesh rut, I decided to change materials for February. I found this nifty wreath on Pinterest -

Details on construction of the wreath can be found on this blog - Sew Much Ado. Seemed fairly straight-forward and simple, and I was hooked. I did decide to make a double heart wreath, just for variety - I ordered 2 extruded styrofoam heart wreaths online; I notched out one of them, then overlapped them, securing the 2 hearts together with hot glue. This is where things went awry...

Maybe my heart forms were much larger than those in the original blog... maybe I rolled my roses tighter.... maybe I packed them closer together on the wreath... I'm not sure. What I can say is this - the original instruction estimate the need for 1 yard each of 2 different fabrics. I decided to use 4 colors - 2 on each heart - so I started with 1 yard of each color thinking that would be sufficient. Not so. I got an additional 1/2 yard of each color. Still not enough, so I went back and got ANOTHER yard of each color... that makes a total of 10 yards of fabric that I used for the wreath!! (The finished project weights 3-1/2 lbs. - that might not seem very heavy, but keep in mind this is a WREATH we're talking about!!).

I absolutely LOVE the wreath, but would NEVER make another one! Each piece of fabric had to cut into 2" strips (Thank GOD for rotary cutters!! Don't think I could have done this without mine!); each strip was then folded in half and ironed, sewn and gathered, then rolled and glued into a rosette. I did take a picture of the individual rosettes -

Finally, the rosettes were glued onto the wreath form. A client asked me how much I would charge to make one for her... I said $600, because I don't think I'd do another one for less than that! Materials cost about $65 ($22 for the wreath forms, and about $30 in fabric, $4 for the ribbon, and over 100 glue sticks) but it took weeks and weeks of my efforts, in addition to the assistance of my employees who rolled and glued the rosettes for me when it was slow at work!

I'm not going to detail the construction of the wreath - if you want to make one, check it out on Sew Much Ado's blog - she provides excellent instructions and pictures to walk you through it step by step. I see no need to reinvent the wheel and believe in giving credit where credit is due - this definitely wasn't MY creation. But, here is MY final product -

And now it's the end of February, and while I have my idea for the March wreath, it just occurred to me today that I haven't even purchased the materials to make it! Thankfully it's a relatively simple one, at least compared to February's wreath, so I should be able to get it finished next week!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Success is measured in baby steps in this house...

It's hard to be motivated to work on the house when I get home from a long day at the clinic, but if I don't persevere, it won't get done. I can get the hubster to do simple, focused tasks, like removing the carpet or putting up a ceiling fan, and, hopefully at some point, building a platform bed for baby girl, but the decorative stuff just isn't up his alley, or even in his neighborhood. He has NO vision, and no patience. I asked him to touch up the ceiling around the fan base where we had to remove the medallion... he grabbed a can of paint out of the garage without, apparently, reading the label OR the handwriting on the top of the can (it was CLEARLY labeled "Office" and the office ISN'T white), and painted quite a bit of GREEN before he noticed that it wasn't flat white. Needless to say, I now have to repaint the entire ceiling, since I can't find anything to match what's already up there (seems like it should be simple, huh? but white isn't necessarily white when it comes to paint) Anyway, I don't really WANT him to help me any more than HE wants to. So, I try to accomplish at least a little bit each day. I'm working on repainting the walls, but today I'm flaunting the new ceiling fan / light which is actually up and running.

This was the fan that I fell in love with and wanted desperately - the Casa Deville Pretty in Pink

Oh, how this gorgeous item made me drool... at least until the $370 price tag nearly stopped my heart. On my "pay as you go", bare minimum, DIY budget, I just couldn't justify the extravagance... So, I settled for this one - the Hunter Dreamland

Luckily the blades were reversible to a solid pink - I couldn't stomach those tacky daisies. It's not as bright a pepto pink as it appears in the picture; it actually matches the pink wall (Glidden Peony Pink) quite nicely. It just needed a little blinging. I took the crystals off the old (new) chandelier and repurposed them to give the fan a little sparkle. It's not quite as fancy as my original drool-worthy find, but it's cute and feminine and with a price tag of less than $85, definitely easier to stomach!! So, here she is.... (excuse the pics; it's very hard to take pictures of a lit light fixture in an otherwise darkened room; I may have to attempt new pics in the daytime!)

Now I just need to find some uber sweet fan pulls to replace the basic metal ones, and we'll be set! Now, back to painting...