Pumpkin of Twine

I have been enjoying changing the color palette of some of the fall decorations I made several years ago to reflect the coastal theme of this house. I have kept the traditional fall colors for the outside decorations:

fall side porch_1

but wanted more grays and blue-greens for the inside decorations. I have been able to buy some pumpkins and floral sprays in blues and greens, but I wanted to add in some of my own decorations as well. One of the best parts about handmade decorations is that you can make them in any color you want, and today, I am going to do just that!

old pumpkin_1

I saw twine pumpkins similar to this on Pinterest several years ago, and I knew I had to make one. This pumpkin is right up my alley with it’s rustic, vintage charm. I have several areas that would be perfect for this pumpkin, but it needs to be updated before it can be put on display. Let’s go up to my studio and I’ll show you my process, so that you can make one too.

twine pumpkin supplies_1

Besides the ball of twine, you will need some stuffing material, patterned paper for the leaves, ribbon, buttons, and something for the stem. I am going to be using a wooden spool, but you could also use a wine cork, twigs or cinnamon sticks.

I started by filling in the hole with my stuffing, and laying out and attaching the buttons to the dark gray ribbon with glue dots.

buttons on ribbon_1

ribbon on pumpkin_1

I attached the ribbon to the twine with straight pins. I loved the lace band I used on my original pumpkin, but this house isn’t a doily and lace kind of house. The satin, dark gray ribbon is more fitting for this house, and the cream buttons help tone down the strong color and bring in the vintage charm I like.

The next stamp is to die cut the leaves from the patterned paper I chose. Once I was happy with the arrangement, I adhered the leaves together with glue dots and attached them to the ball of twine with straight pins. The pumpkin just wasn’t full enough with the three leaves, so I added in a couple of copper foil leaves I had left over from another project. What a difference that made!

first set of leaves_1

I am pretty sure that on my own I wouldn’t have chosen to mix copper with gray, but I’m so glad I took a chance and added the foil leaves in because they add some much needed bling and pizazz.

While I was pleased with the addition of the copper leaves, I wasn’t happy with the gray patterned paper I had chosen. It certainly fit in with the other two patterns in that there was a white pattern on a colored background, but it just wasn’t dark and rustic enough for my liking. Back to my paper stash! I ended up finding a wood-textured pattern in gray and die-cut another leaf from that to try.

Leaves added_1

That did the trick for me. The other gray paper was too feminine and just didn’t command enough presence and have enough weight to it. This paper is much better. Creating anything handmade is all about trial and error, and it’s worth the time it takes to try different options to ensure you’re happy with the end result.

The only thing missing is the stem. I tied a bow around the wooden spool with the gray gingham ribbon, attached a button to the bow with a glue dot, and hot glued the spool to the stuffing in the center. I also added a small tag to bring in a little more charm, and my pumpkin is now updated and ready to report to duty.

twine pumpkin_1

pumpkin close-up_1

Here are the two pumpkins side by side, and the comparison really highlights how I have grown and expanded as a crafter.

old and new together_1

There was a time that the old pumpkin would have been enough for me, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the updated version. I am so happy with the way this turned out–the colors work well together and the additional leaves just take the whole project up a notch. The cream buttons and gray gingham ribbon add some much needed softness and vintage charm that I love. Isn’t it amazing how some leaf die-cuts, patterned paper, ribbon, and buttons can transform a ball of twine into a rustic but charming pumpkin!

Let me show you the two spots I was thinking about putting this pumpkin, and you can help me decide where it looks better.

pumpkin on table_1

The first option is on this table at the bottom of the stairs, or

pumpkin in pantry_1

on top of the dishes in the pantry. I’m open to suggestions, so leave me a comment with your thoughts.

Well, we did it my friends–a job well done! Thank you for keeping me company this afternoon as I have missed our time together. Have a wonderful rest of your weekend, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet; the sand be your seat; and your friends out-number the stars”.

-C-

 

 

 

Advertisements

Song Lyrics and a Computer

New Stamp Set and Dies_1

Stampin’ Up! recently released their 2015 Holiday catalog, and the minute I saw this stamp set and coordinating dies, I knew I had to have it. Not only was I excited about the possibility of using the dies to create all sorts of layered scenes, but I was also excited that the dies were sized such that they could be used on tags as well as cards. I also liked how the sentiments in the stamp set were curved to follow the lines of the dies.

My favorite part about this set is the horse-drawn sleigh die, and the first thing that came to mind when I saw it was the song “Over The River And Through The Woods”. I think these song lyrics and a horse-drawn sleigh scene were meant to go together on a card, so I could hardly wait to make that happen. If you look at the stamp set, however, you will notice that these song lyrics are not one of the sentiment options offered. Does that mean the game is over? Hardly. I’m going to show you how I made the card I pictured in my mind a reality by creating the song lyrics on the computer.

The key to success, I’ve found, is choosing the right card stock. The weight of the card stock is important because it’s going to be going through your printer. You want a card stock that is lightweight and flexible enough to be accepted by the printer. The color of the card stock is also important because you need to be able to see through it when holding it up to the light. So, I’ve found that using white, cream, or a light pastel color are the best options.

The first step is to prepare your card front or project to the extent that you can, so that you can see exactly where you want your sentiment to go.

Prepare card front_1

Since the focal point of my card was the scene layers, I needed to cut them out and place them on the card panel, so I could determine what space was left for the sentiment. Once you have a general sense of where your sentiment is going to go, it’s time to head to the computer. As a side note, in order to get the trees on the lefthand side of the paper for the top layer, I just turned the paper over after I cut it.

The second step is to select a font and font size, and type out a sample of your sentiment.   It’s important to take the time to select a font that matches the style of the project you are working on. Having your project planned out and somewhat prepared helps you determine what font size to use, as you have a general idea of how large or small a space you have to work with. For my card, I knew I wanted to use a larger font size to help take up some of that white space at the top of the card.

Once you have your font style and size selected, it’s time to type out a sample of your sentiment. I use Microsoft Office Word, and I always align the wording in the center of the paper. I type all drafts in black ink, as it shows up the best underneath card stock when held up to light. Once I am satisfied with my sample, then I’ll change the color, if needed. It takes a lot of time and trial and error to get everything just the way you want it, so be patient. I print each draft that I type, and place the card stock over the draft and hold it up to the light to check for size and placement.

Determine Placement by Holding up to Light_1

When you are satisfied with your typed sample, and have the card stock panel placed just where you want it, use scotch tape to tape the card stock panel to the copy paper and mark all four corners of the card stock with a pencil. The pencil marks will help with paper placement, should you need to make multiple copies of the sentiment. I have made my marks with a marker in this sample for better visualization.

Tape & mark paper position_1

You are now ready to print a trial onto the card stock. All you need to do is turn the copy paper over, and place it in the paper tray making sure that the card stock panel is at the top of the tray.

Print sample on cardstock_1

After the sample was printed, I placed my scene layers back on the card stock panel to get a sense of what the card front was going to look like.

Verify position by placing layers_1

Perfect! If you’re satisfied with everything, you can remove the scotch tape from the card stock panel only; leave the scotch tape on the copy paper. If you only need one copy printed, you can now finish your card. If you need to print more copies, just place another card stock panel where your pencil marks are; use the same pieces of tape on the copy paper to hold the card stock down; and print. Continue these same three steps to print the remainder of copies needed.

Once all of your printing is done, set the copy paper aside, and finish your card.

Completed SU card_1

Since “Over The River And Through The Woods” is a Thanksgiving song, I wanted to use a fall color scheme. I also wanted the card to have a down home, country feel, so my embellishments included a button and some lace. Here’s a close up of the embellishment:

SU Embellishment close up_1

This is the first time I’ve tried using a short piece of lace underneath an embellishment like the banners, and I know I’ll be doing this a lot more. I love how such a small piece of lace can add so much charm.

Once I was done with this card, I ended up cutting more scene layers out of other patterned paper, and I made three more versions of this card.

Whole group of cards_1

I’m so happy with how these cards turned out; they ended up looking exactly like what I had pictured in my mind. That doesn’t always happen! The best part was that I was able to increase the versatility of this stamp and die set by creating a sentiment on the computer. It’s always fun to get more bang for your buck!

As for the copy paper I used, I documented all of the specific details and measurements I used to create this card, and I’ve saved it in a file. That way, I can come back to this paper at any point in the future and have all of the information I need to recreate the same card.

Better instruction sheet_1

Well, that wraps it up for me today. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet, / the sand be your seat, / and your friends out-number the stars.”

-C-

 

 

 

 

 

Threads of Gold

I saw this card several days ago, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it:

Joy & Peace Wreath Card

I liked everything about the layout. I liked the burgundy paper at the bottom of the card, and more specifically, I liked the large plaid pattern, the edging, and the contrast it gave to the white background. I also really liked the wooden star–it’s so tiny, and yet it makes a huge impact on this card.

I couldn’t wait to try this layout today, and while I don’t have any wooden stars, I do have some wooden leaves, so that set the theme for my card. I chose my color scheme, gathered my papers and ink, and let the creativity begin.

I started with a Very Vanilla card base, and then I cut the patterned paper for the bottom and added the wooden leaf. I laid out different leaf dies until I found the right size and set the die on the card for placement.

Beginning of card_1

Next I stamped the leaf that coordinates with this die, and quickly watercolored the design centers. I cut the leaf shape out with the die, and also stamped the sentiment in the upper right corner.

Card step 2_1

The card was really beginning to come together, but I needed to fill in some of the white space around the leaf. I ended up stamping some paint splatters behind it, and, while that certainly helped, I still felt like the card needed something more.

Card step 3_1

I tried using all kinds of things behind the leaf–linen thread, vintage lace, part of a doily–and I also tried a gold button on the stem. Nothing was working for me; all of the above options either looked too heavy or looked odd and out of place. I then tried bunching up some fine gold thread, and that was it–that’s what this card needed!

Gold thread_1

The gold thread added the extra visual interest I was looking for without being heavy, and the messy bunch gave the impression of movement, like a gusty wind. I attached the leaf over the thread with dimensionals, and here is the finished card:

Finished card on tray_1

I’m quite pleased with how this card turned out, and I owe it all to threads of gold. Have a wonderful weekend, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet, / the sand be your seat, / and your friends out number the stars.”

-C-