Wednesday, August 28, 2013

DIY Paper Flower Wall Take 2: Part 2 Card-stock Large Flowers

Recap for those coming to this post first:

Last post I talked about the canvases and the coffee filter flowers to be used as filler. Since last writing I've finished two full coffee filter packs (200 each pack) worth of flowers which made 60. 

Now, it's time to get started making the bigger flowers. The next step after making a good amount of base flowers is to make the largest flowers on the board so you can get an idea of how much space is left when creating the medium and small sized flowers. When I say large flowers, the ones that I'll show how to make next range from 18" to 24" in diameter. 

First - the basic petal flower. This flower is the easiest to make.  In the picture below you'll see the shape of the petal you need to make. Next to the cut out petal, you'll see a full 8.5x11" piece of paper for scale. Each petal should be the size of a full piece of paper. 

Once you've made 6 petals, stop and fold each petal in half using the point of the petal as your guide for the center. It's ok if this isn't perfect. 

You'll see in the picture above that the petals have been folded in half to create more dimension.  There are six petals here and they are easy to arrange.  The petals all line up in sets of two. See below:

Once you've glued the three sets of petals you can arrange them on top of one another as shown here:

Then, you'll recognize the center of the flower- which is one of the coffee filter flowers from part 1 of this post.

I made five of these big guys, three for the center canvas and one for each of the smaller side canvases.  You can see how things are starting to fill up here:

Sidenote: I didn't put all of the coffee filter flowers on yet because that's the fun part at the end where it will look complete as soon as you fill in the small gaps! Don't be tempted ;)

The End Results!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

DIY Paper Flower Wall Take 2: Part 1

It was definitely daunting to start over with this again now that I know how much time and effort went into the first one - but for those of you hoping to make one of these, it is definitely worth it!

Recap for those coming to this post first:
Original Paper Flower Wall
Paper Flower Wall Take 2

I started with two main supplies this time. A pack of 200 coffee filters and a pack of 100 sheets of thick cardstock paper. Last time we used any type of cardstock or thick paper we found, and honestly a year later the flowers are still keeping shape pretty well! This time, I decided to try a thicker paper. (Mostly because it was all they had and yes, that is how most of my decisions are made!) I bought cardstock from Michael's that says "heavyweight" on it and also says 110lb. Now, did it weigh 110 pounds? No. So why it says 110 pounds, got me. But I bought it anyway. I'm also going to keep track of how much this wall is costing me as I make it, which is something we didn't do last time. So the paper was $12.99 but with my 40% off coupon, seriously don't even walk into Michael's if you don't have the Michael's coupon app on your phone!!, it was $8.00.  Then the coffee filters from Target were $1.00 for 200.

So, first step - making the small, filler flowers. This can be a little discouraging and I did this last on my previous wall. I decided to start with this first this time around. When you are finished making large flowers there are often gaps between the flowers, some of you may not mind that - especially if your canvas is white and your flowers are white - I however, am OCD and need to have every square inch of this covered. So, under some of the large petals that poke up or in between two odd shaped flowers you need small filler flowers to fill the gaps. The coffee filter flowers are the best for this.

Each coffee filter flower takes 6 coffee filters: 2 cut for the base layer, 2 cut for the middle layer and 2 cut for the top layer.

Base Layer: Fold the coffee filter in half, three times.  Then cut the shape as shown below.
Middle Layer: Fold the coffee filter in half, four times. Then cut the shape as shown below.
Top Layer: Fold the coffee filter in half, four times. Then cut the shape as shown below. 

You need to fold and cut two of each layer to make the flower, I suggest you keep all of the leftovers, just wait for the following step. Hot glue all six of these on top of each other, placing a dab of glue between each layer in the following order: 2 base, 2 middle, 2 top. Now all that is left is the center of your flower.

I used the left over trimmings of my coffee filter to make the center of the flower.  After you cut out one of each of the layers, your leftovers look like this:

You can use any that you want, but I used the one in the bottom right (the trimmings from the base layer). I grabbed this and squished it together and it instantly looks nice because of the style of the coffee filter itself. See below:

Then, with no real method to my madness, I used way too much glue and covered the bottom of this and pressed it onto the flower. Alternatively these could look really cute with buttons in the center, circles cut out from a different color paper, etc. 

The pack of 200 coffee filters will make about 33 flowers which is a really great start to filling your flower wall. Now, it obviously isn't going to look like much progress is made, but you'll be really happy you have these towards the end of the project. I am planning to use two full packs and make about 60 flowers. 

So far for today: total of $10 for a pack of cardstock (to be discussed in Part 2 coming soon - subscribe to follow by email to get my updates as I post them throughout the next few weeks) and two packs of coffee filters. 

Next Step: Large Card-stock Flowers
Final Product: It's finished!

DIY Paper Flower Wall Take 2!

The most popular page on my blog is the paper flower wall I created for our wedding. That wall was created with magnets and three large magnetic pieces of sheet metal. Now that we've moved, any requests I get about the flower wall are really just not feasible because of the travel and logistics. However, I was recently asked if someone could use the wall at an adoption party they were throwing for a friend (more to come on this). I wanted to be able to provide the wall, but knowing that I just wouldn't be able to drive to go get it and then transport it made me think it was time to create another one.

This time I'm going to make the wall on canvases with hot glue.  It will still be in three segments like before, but the canvases will be up on artist's easels. This is still going to be large and create a statement, but it's also much easier to transport, store and use in my home!

The canvases are the following dimensions 24"x48", 36"x48" and 24"x48".  They are really quite substantial and when I lay the three of them together they cover about a 7 foot by 4 foot space. I am planning to stand them up tall - so they will be 48" high PLUS the height of the easel which I'm hoping will make the whole thing right around 7 feet tall. With the three separated and then placed on easels it's also going to give more flexibility for the set-up. I'll be able to arrange them in one straight row either lined up flush, or with a gap between them to make it appear larger. I'll also be able to position the two end canvases at an angle which is something I thought would have looked interesting with the last wall, but wasn't possible.

I'm planning to post updates here with a DIY on each flower included and finish up with how I arranged them. Also, this time the flower wall isn't going to be bright white this time, it will be soft white and ivory. With the last wall, pictures came out great but sometimes it was difficult to see the definition depending on if you were using a flash or what the lighting was like. Once it is finished I plan to hang it in my office covering an entire wall when it isn't in use, which I'm really excited about!

Since I'm starting all over again, if you have any suggests please comment! Love to hear what you guys think :)

Updates Posted Here!
PART 1 - Coffee Filter Filler Flowers
PART 2 - Large Card Stock Flowers

Sunday School: Heaven & Angels

One of my first goals for this blog was to be able to document our Sunday School crafts for the toddler's. I search for a lot of inspiration on Pinterest and other sites and hope that these posts will be helpful to someone else out there!

The first craft I'm posting is one of our most recent ones before we left and I honestly think it was my favorite of the whole year and a half.  We talked about Heaven and all of the marvelous things they'll find there one day. We talked about a tree with all types of fruit on it, (they weren't too impressed) and we talked about Angels. The little ones also informed me that in heaven we will all be able to climb trees like monkeys and there will likely be an unlimited supply of goldfish. (Wish I would have planned my craft around that!)

The first step to this craft was to trace one of their little hands in the middle of a large sheet of paper. We then gave them markers, stampers, etc to decorate the entire big sheet of paper.

Next time, I'll use poster board instead of light weight paper for this. After they have their artwork, I folded the paper in half and cut out two of their hands.  (You could have traced both, but they stand still for exactly .03 seconds and it was easier for me to cut them like this.)

I also had large Popsicle sticks ready with a smiley face and the word "Angel" or "Heaven" written on them since some of them are beginning to learn their letters/words.

I then took the two hands that I cut out and glued them on the back of the stick.  I put the thumbs facing down and overlapping. See below: 
Then, when you turn the Angel over you have beautiful wings:

I loved how these came out!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Guest Blog - Innovations That Changed the World: A Man’s Take on “Color”

Below you'll find a guest blog entry written by my husband, whose ridiculous idea outlined below was cause for a good amount of laughter and heated discussion. I hope you enjoy his thoughts on "color" as much as I do. 

From the wheel roughly 10,000 years ago to penicillin in the late 1920s to the new color system invented in the summer of 2013, the history of man has been altered and dare I say bettered by men bold enough to change the world they live in for the common good.

I can’t say for sure how the wheel was invented. Can anyone really? But, as all great minds do I have my theories. The thread that connects them is one simple fact - one day a man, probably sick from bouncing around and pulling carts with square tires thought there had to be a better way. He thought to himself – what causes my stomach to churn with every bump in the road and my back to ache with every rotation of this square rock attached to the bottom of my cart? He probably stared at his square wheels for a brief moment of time as a crow circled above him waiting for the tired soul to give up, but then he noticed the culprit, the corners. Take away the corners and we are smooth sailing. Well technically smooth riding – the guy probably didn’t also invent a system to utilize wind for transportation, someone had already beaten him to it. You are probably asking yourself why I am pontificating on this word picture and I will tell you. Just such an important innovation has finally been realized and for the greater good I will now share it with you. I give to you people of this simplistic world, children, creatures and blog readers the newly improved color system.

If you follow my wife’s quite impressive, creative and overall just plain adorable blog you have probably figured out she is fond of incorporating various colors into her creations and manipulates often unknown colors to add the perfect touch. As a supportive husband and fan I actually do care to listen to her ideas and plans. So when she tells me that she is going to use chalk paint on a china hutch (if anyone can answer what a china hutch is I would appreciate it – I think she might be painting our nice plates) well I was more than supportive. I have to admit though that I hesitated when she told me what color she was going to paint it. She proclaimed she was going to use a mixture of white and provenḉe. My first thought was that the city of Providence, Rhode Island had its own color. My next thought was that I actually have no clue what that color is. For all I know she just told me our china hutch was going to be painted white and chicken. I let this one slide though because, per usual, I am confident she will make it look good. Not too much longer after this provenḉe incident we had, one could say, a little misunderstanding. Home Depot played the set to our next little adventure. She was looking for a new color for her office and pointed at a color on an example sheet and said, “This looks nice.” I agreed and said that’s a nice light blue. “What? It’s Sea Breeze.” UNCONTROLLABLE FACE SEIZURE. Oh excuse me, sea breeze, of course. When you say sea breeze I immediately think of one specific color. Oh wait, no I do not. Are we talking the Atlantic Ocean near Maryland breezy color, or perhaps the old classic Oahu breeze hue, or dare I bring up the BLACK SEA. Who names a color after a noun, it’s ridiculous and dare I say on behalf of supportive significant others everywhere it is bordering on irresponsible. In an effort to not show my complete bewilderment in such a fine establishment I once again, let this one go. I cannot say the same for the last incident, the catalyst for my invention. While driving to the in-laws and once again talking about colors another ambiguous hue was strewn about in our conversation like an algebra problem on an English test. I cannot remember in what context this color was brought up, but it was and I cannot forget it. My wonderful wife mentioned painting something, somewhere grass green. GRASS GREEN. Whose lawn are we talking about here because in the car at that very instant I was looking at her neighbor’s grass and I saw 15 different shades of green and because the guy is a little lazy on his lawn maintenance I saw a couple shades of brown too. Sorry for throwing you under the bus buddy, but you are proving a point here for me. Are we talking about Alabama creeping green, Bermuda grass, or for heaven’s sake Kentucky BLUE grass?! Yes blue green grass. Try to wrap your head around the guy who invented the name for blue grass and you can understand my frustration. At this point I lost it and immediately my fantastical brain got to work and the idea came to me like lightning. We, as a society, need to stop naming colors ridiculous things like malachite, provenḉe, and razzmatazz (honestly razzmatazz – I know what color grass the guy was smoking who named that one) and come up with a simple number system.

Here is how the system works. Each color is given a number on a scale of 0-1. You take the basic primary colors, for this example let’s use blue. A normal, everyday blue is 0.5 blue. A darker blue say navy blue for some color snobs out there is now a 0.75 blue. Your night sky blue, yup that’s about a 0.9 blue. That light blue I discussed earlier, cough sea breeze cough, is now 0.2 blue. Now instead of asking me what I think about the color of that wall in sea breeze and my brain freezes up like I just consumed a large Wendy’s Frosty in one gulp you can say “what do you think of that wall in oh let’s say a 0.2 blue” and BAM I know exactly what you’re talking about. You can now describe anything to me or anyone else using the new color system, and your every day, nay not just every day, your peasant off the street who has lived on an uninhabited island for his entire life will be able to follow you.

Let’s try a little exercise. You say, picture the BP logo it is forest green with an inner layer of grass green, followed by another inside layer of icterine hue and then some white. Okay, now let’s pretend I’ve never seen the BP logo. You just mentioned an inner layer of icterine and I’m a bit worried that the icterine is malignant or possibly spreading throughout my body because I’m so confused by what you just said, but I move on, unable to complete your simple task of picturing the BP logo. Now let’s use my system. In that system you would describe the BP logo as an 18-point flower with the first, most outer layer of the flower, being a 0.65 green, followed by the next layer of the flower as a 0.3 green, once again followed by a 0.6 yellow and finally 0.5 white. I would then say “wait are you talking about this thing I see on the side of the road all the time and now sponsoring ridiculously cheesy ‘Visit the Gulf because we didn’t screw it up too too bad’ commercials?”

Now my lovely wife was helpful enough to point out what she thought was a flaw in this system (turns out it was just an innovation to my innovation). She pointed to my shirt, she described as “teal” and said “what color is that?” First I thought – what did she just say…teal? Did she bite her tongue trying to talk about seals? What is this teal you speak of? I responded that the new system can be used like latitude-longitude. This shirt is a 0.3 blue and 0.7 green. BOOM. Now that may equate to a 0.5 teal but no one knows what on Earth that is so let’s go with my system.

As a reader and follower to this creative work of genius my wife has created you may be hesitant to accept this innovation in color, but do me a favor, go grab your husband, boyfriend, father, brother or nearest guy to you and run the idea by him. I’m pretty sure he will say it’s like seeing 0.5 blue sky for the first time.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Our New Place! Williamsburg: Home of the Frogs

Well, we are here! Finally moved in and most of our stuff is unpacked. Everything went really smoothly with the help of our families.

We drove up on Friday night to drop off a lot of fragile items and take a look at the place before everyone joined us on Monday. We decided we needed to paint the downstairs bedroom which was previously a pretty bright shade of green. After unloading the cars we took a trip to Lowe's where we met a really nice paint guy, people here are reallllly nice. Anyway, we got some paint and all of the supplies we needed and headed back. We unloaded them into the front bedroom and then turned the light switch. Well, you guessed it, no light. And no - of course we didn't bring lamps with us our first trip down. So instead of saving the task for another day (it's 9pm by the way) we scramble through all of our boxes and find a very small desk lamp I had in my old office.  The lamp literally served NO purpose in my old office beyond looking cute but we plugged it in anyway. It lit up about a 1' radius. So we took of the lamp shade, sat there for awhile and waited for our eyes to adjust to the darkness and decided midnight painting in the dark was certainly in our plans.


Finally around 1:30am we finished up and drove 3 hours back to the DC area.

So, for the biggest surprise of the evening/early morning...our patio is home to a whole large extended family of frogs and salamanders. And they aren't the ugly croaking frogs, they are teeny tiny little bright green guys! And they are everywhere. When you open the door they fall from the sky, like one of the plagues, and they smack their bellies on the ground - that's a little stressful for me. Here's one of the little guys that lives on our door frame.

This past Monday we drove down again to check out our midnight paint mess and to move in the rest of our stuff.

I wasn't able to spend as much time as I wanted getting all of our things together because of some orders that came in over the moving days!

More picture updates to come soon!