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Creativity and Crafts

Grammy’s Craft of the Month Club Strikes Again: Yarn Pumpkins, Messes, & Pinterest Fails

Creativity and Crafts
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Living to be over fifty and all, you’re bound to pick up a few life lessons.

Here’s one of them: when it comes to crafting, Pinterest can either be a trusted friend or a misleading purveyor of emotional breakdowns and lies. Sometimes the result is just so, so good. Other times it’s what I like to call a #PinterestFail.

Before we get into my recent crafting project and #PinterestFail, here are a few nuggets of wisdom I’ve accrued during the 2,452,856,818.50 hours I’ve spent on Pinterest. continue reading

Pumpkin Decor Inspiration for your Front Porch and Your Table

Creativity and Crafts, Home Matters
pumpkin decor

For all of you super organized ladies, you probably had your pumpkin Pinterest boards ready for action since August, so this post might be old news to you. But, if you are anything like me, and haven’t had time to spruce your nest with bright orange pumpkins and autumnal glow, go ahead and keep reading this post. This one’s for you.

So what’s the big deal about pumpkins, anyway? Well, around the world, they are considered a symbol of the harvest season. For me, they remind me of childhood, and New England, and pretty wrapped pumpkin bread and too many pumpkin spice lattes.

This past week, I got to take three of my grand-darlings to a real-life pumpkin patch. We bought too many pumpkins to count and had the best time. Stay tuned for next week to see the fun kid-friendly crafts we did with them! (Spoiler alert: it was messy). continue reading

Beautiful homemade wreaths for Fall!

Creativity and Crafts
homemade wreaths for fall
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If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on quite the Fall crafting kick. So when my daughter in love recently called me up to tell me that she just made two amazing homemade wreaths for Fall, I had to share.

She may not be over fifty (that would be weird, right?), but she is fierce as can be and crafty to boot! How did I luck out on a daughter-in-law that loves crafting as much as I do? I’ve enjoyed bonding over our love of crafting and it’s fun to see my grand-darlings joining in on the fun as well.

I certainly hope my son appreciates how beautiful his doors look like this season. He would be a fool not to.

Wreaths are the ultimate symbol of hospitality and festivity. And fresh wreaths made with local foliage mirror the season’s colors better than anything you can buy. Plus, store-bought ones or wreaths from the florist don’t come cheap!

So why not try your hand at making your own wreath? My daughter-in-love promises that if you can safely wield a hot glue gun and are tall enough to trim leaves off of a magnolia tree, both of these wreaths will be a cinch.

Perhaps she will mail one of these to me. Wouldn’t they look lovely on, say, my front door?

I’m heading out of town for a few days but cannot wait to give a wreath a try when I return home to The Pinery!

 

Acorn Wreath

It’s that time of year for many parts of the country where acorns scatter the ground and squirrels run wild. So why not pick up a few acorns and make something wonderful? The squirrels have enough acorns.

What You’ll Need

  • 1- to 14 inch straw wreath form
  • 16 cups of acorns
  • hot glue gun and a ton of hot glue sticks
  • ribbon for hanging and general flare

Instructions

  1. Collect around 16 cups of acorns. You will need more than you think. Look for acorns that aren’t half eaten by squirrels or bugs. Try to have some of the acorns still “wearing their hats.”
  2. Clean and roast the acorns. Here’s a tutorial that explains how to do that and why you should.
  3. Using a generous amount of hot glue directly on the straw wreath form, place each acorn individually. Try to use glue under and in between the acorns to help them stay put once it dries.
  4. Mix up the angles of the acorns, because perfection is overrated. Plus, the variety masks any mistakes you might make! 
  5. Work your way around the entire front of the wreath until completely covered on the front and sides.
  6. Remove any visible hot glue strings.
  7. Loop ribbon around the top and display on your door with pride. You did it!

Note: If squirrels are especially pesky in your neck of the woods, spritz finished wreath with clear acrylic spray. You really can’t blame them for wanting to make a buffet out of your acorn wreath. Just try to make it as unappetizing as possible. 

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Southern Magnolia Wreath

My daughter-in-love has a giant Southern magnolia in her front yard, so trimming 100 leaves was no problem for her! Here in Bend, a Southern magnolia is about as common as a palm tree. But a similar technique could be used with all kinds of leaves or greenery. See the note below.

What You’ll Need

  • About 100 magnolia leaves, with as much of the stem intact as possible
  • 10 to 14 inch Styrofoam wreath form
  • sharp object to poke holes in wreath (like a kebab stick)
  • Ribbon for hanging and adornment (navy gingham and frayed burlap ribbon were used here)

Note: If magnolias don’t grow where you live, try boxwood, spruce sprigs, or other local foliage. You can’t go wrong! 

Instructions

  1. First, sort out your leaves by size so that wreath will have a more uniform appearance.
  2. Starting at the outermost side of the wreath, Using a sharp object to “pre-drill” the holes on the styrofoam wreath form, pierce wreath at an angle to ensure that leaves arrange themselves at a uniform angle throughout. Drill holes every 3/4 of an inch or so. Do four or five concentric circles until close to the innermost part of the wreath. 
  3. Now it’s time to add those pretty, shiny leaves! Start with the largest ones on the outermost circle and work your way around. You might need to trim the stem to more of a tapered shape to help it fit in the hole.
  4. Keep going ’til all the holes are filled with beautiful foliage and the form doesn’t show any more.
  5. To help the bright green stick around a little longer, spritz leaves with foliage sealer.
  6. Wrap a generous amount of ribbon around the top and put this beauty on display!

Note: If wreath form is still showing, you can use a foam brush with green paint to make it blend in a little more. 


 

Another Fun Fall Craft Idea: Candy Corn DIY Coasters

Creativity and Crafts
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As I mentioned in a previous post, one of my favorite things about the beginning of the Fall season is the excuse to craft away and spruce up my home with simple, easy, low-cost seasonal decor.

And why stop at cute leaf mason jar centerpieces and pinecone swags? continue reading

Fall Craft Ideas: Mason Jar Leaf Lanterns and Pinecone Door Swags

Creativity and Crafts
fall craft ideas
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There are so many reasons to love crafting.  For example, I love how crafting lets me give my home decor a face-lift without spending piles of cash. (That’s money I’d just as soon spend updating my wardrobe, thank you very much.)

We only moved into our home a year ago, so it really is too soon to be talking about redecorating. Still, especially when the seasons change, it’s nice to change things up and give your home a bit of a decorating boost.

I spent a lot of last weekend doing exactly that.  After a trip to town for craft supplies and a trip upstairs to raid my craft room, I got to work creating a couple of fun, easy craft projects to dress up my home and welcome the fall season.

continue reading

Easy and Fun Craft Ideas for Grandkids: DIY Magic Bubble Wands & Rock Monsters

Creativity and Crafts
craft ideas for grandkids
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If I do say so myself, I was a pretty good mom. I’m also a pretty good Grammy.

It’s not that I’m a totally indulgent grandmother. There are rules in my house and certain things I have no interest in doing.

For instance, I’m really no good at pushing toy cars around the floor and making motor sounds. Also, I’m not big on activities that involve dirt, danger, or the possibility of encountering insects or reptiles.  And when it comes to hide and seek, I have a limited attention span, especially if the other players aren’t really big enough to hide properly.

However, if you want to read a story, bake cookies, or have a tea party, I’m totally on board. That’s part of what makes me a good Grammy.

But the real secret to my popularity as a grandmother is that I’m all about crafting.  continue reading

Homemade Fun: DIY Corn Hole Game

Creativity and Crafts

One Christmas Eve many years ago, my husband and I assembled a ride-on, battery operated fire engine for our then four-year old son.

This thing was the mother-of-all “some assembly required” joke punch lines. It had about ten gazillion parts and an instruction manual as thick as a small phone book.  And although I graduated magna cum laude from pretty good college, it might as well have been written in ancient Greek. To this day, I’m not sure it wasn’t.

Finally, I had to call in the cavalry, my dad.   Even with Dad supervising and my husband and I assisting, it took us until about two o’clock in the morning to finish the assembly process.

As you can imagine, our son was really excited about his new fire truck! But you know what he was really, really, really exited about?

The box that it came in.  continue reading

FABRIC-COVERED DIY JOURNAL – JUNKY, FUNKY, AND FUN TO MAKE

Creativity and Crafts
DIY journal, prayer journal
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In my recent post on junk journals (if you have zero idea what a junk journal is, you should probably read that post first) I said that after my dear reader and new best friend, Jolyne, made me a completely cute, one of a kind junk journal, I knew I had to make one for myself!

These little journals make delightful and inexpensive gifts for friends, family, and co-workers, and are incredibly fun and easy to make.

Read on to see how I made my very first junk journal.

continue reading

THE JUNK JOURNAL – ART WITH HEART

Creativity and Crafts
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You know what one of my favorite parts about being a writer is?  Going out on book tour.

Why, you ask?

Is it the chance to meet readers face to face?  The opportunity to visit new places? Or the ability to collect ideas, stories, and inspiration for my next book?

Sure. Yes. Absolutely. All of the above.  But you know what’s the really great part of being a writer on a book tour?

The presents. continue reading

A (Craft) Room of One’s Own: Craft Room Ideas, Inspiration, and Eye Candy

Creativity and Crafts, Home Matters
craft room ideas
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In my recent post, Crafts and Creativity: The Secret Ingredient for a Life of Joy, Fulfillment, and Eternal Youth, I made a couple of blanket statements that I stand behind one hundred percent.

  1. Human beings are hard-wired for creativity.
  2. Crafting is good for the soul.

I truly believe this. If you’ve read my books, you know this is a theme I’ve explored more than once.  I also believe that every creative woman (which, as I’ve explained above, means everybody. Including you.) needs a craft room of her own. continue reading