Fabric Flower Wreath Tutorial

Sunday, January 30, 2011

First of all, thank you so much for the sweet comments about the shoe clip tutorial I put up a few weeks ago! I'm glad y'all liked it. After that tutorial, I got a lot of requests to show how to make the fabric flower wreath I told you about. In case you don't remember, it looked a little something like this:

Well my friends, it's your lucky day! I've been wanting to make a wreath for Valentine's Day, so I decided to kill 2 birds with one stone and make a tutorial of a rendition of the wreath you see above. This time around I used a different color yarn, fabric color and fabric type for the flowers, you know, just to keep things interesting. The fabric flowers you see above are made with yellow flannel, which happen to be the same fabric I used on this wreath:

This time I used some red burlap I found at JoAnn's. I've been wanting to do something with burlap for a while. It gives a different look to the flowers, which is fun to see. But DANG! This stuff is messy. Just be ready to do some serious vacuuming after your project if you choose to use burlap. Anyway, let's get going. Here is what you will need:

You can use any type or size of round wreath, such as styrofoam or straw (straw just happened to be the cheapest at Michael's). If you use the straw like I did, you can keep it wrapped in the plastic since it will all be covered up. First step will be to wrap the wreath with the yarn. This is probably the most time-consuming part of the project, but as long as you have a good movie to watch, it's not so bad. :) I like the look of using yarn that has two colors, so it's not just a plain, solid round wreath... but again, that's just my preference.

After you wrap the wreath, you can make the fabric flowers. As I mentioned, this is a "Valentine's Day" wreath, but I wasn't positive I wanted to always have red flowers. So I pinned the flowers down instead of gluing them. The wreath with the yellow flowers above is glued, so it's up to you. Anyway, here's how to make the flowers:

As mentioned above, you can vary the height of the flowers with how thick your "swirling pattern" is. I like to have a little variation, with some taller and some shorter. Once you have your flowers in place, you are ready to hang your wreath -- inside or outside! Thanks for tuning in, and happy crafting!

Take a Deep Breath

Friday, January 28, 2011

I had started this blog back in the day with the intention of documenting my life -- the good, the bad, and the ugly. My life is far from ugly. In fact, sometimes I have to pinch myself because I feel so blessed. I have an amazing husband who loves me, an incredible family whom I miss like crazy, my faith, my health, and we have jobs that put food on the table. Oh, and we manage to fit some fun in there.

But I would be lying if I didn't say I'm feeling a little worn out. I try to put on a happy face, but sometimes I waver. Russ has been traveling a lot, and it's hard. It's hard on him, it's hard on me, and it's hard on us. We're not even halfway done with this business traveling stint, and time seems to be going slower and slower. I wish I could just run over to my sister's house to help the lonely, quiet nights pass a little quicker. But alas, I cannot, so I just try to keep myself busy. ...I've been running a lot.... I've been dreaming of crafts I want to attempt and hopefully conquer.... I've been trying to make new friends. So in the end, it will be OK. I just feel pretty lame that it's only January and I'm already needing a vacation. Here's the worst part: tax season hasn't even started yet. Dun dun dun...

I already feel a little better. Sometimes I think I just need to get some stuff off my chest. Writing is therapeutic, and I'm glad I have means to let it out time and again. I found these prints the other day, and I think they are meant for me right now. I love the optimistic message. I can't get them out of my head. Aren't they so happy, yet clean and simple at the same time? I just can't decided if I like this size, or the size a tad smaller. A girl can dream, right?

The Lewis Family

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Today was a happy day! Not only did I see that mini Cadbury eggs are already in the stores, but I also was able to fit in a quick run, I met a new friend, and got the mail. Usually mail isn't that exciting, except when a CD you have been eagerly anticipating is included! Us Lewis kids decided to give my mother and father in-law a little different Christmas gift -- the gift of family pictures!

We had the lovely and talented Laura take our pictures. Laura took the photos of my bridal shower a while back, and she also did all the flowers for our wedding. Needless to say, I knew we could count on her. Laura is a good friend of my sisters, but I think I can call her a friend as well, especially since we got to meet up for a while in London. :)

Anyway, Utah was fridgidly cold that week... I'm talking single digit numbers... but somehow she managed to capture some really great shots, with runny and cold noses and all. Here are some of my favorites:

It was obviously a boot day for the girls.

I love this shot of Russ and his siblings. They obviously love each other. :)

Marcella with her new baby, Brigham. This picture captures motherly love perfectly. So sweet.

This is the whole group -- definitely a lot of bodies to keep happy in such balmy weather :) I was especially impressed with how Laura somehow got the little ones to cooperate.

It took a little bit for Benny to warm up, but once he did we were all good to go. He sure knows how to work the camera. :)
It's a miracle you can't see our red-tipped noses. It was so stinkin' cold... especially for a weak Texas resident like me.

Look at that face. I'm telling you, little Lucy melts my heart like butter.

The Lewis girls -- me, Natalie, Marcella, and Argelia. How come I'm always the one person not looking at the camera?

Anyway, thank you so much, Laura! I hope we can run into each other again sometime soon. Hey, if you want to make it somewhere out of the country, I really wouldn't mind one bit. :)

Russell Had a Party!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Russ turned another year older and wiser this past weekend. The main thing he wanted for his birthday was a big party. A big party with all his friends where we could grill and chill. So that's what we did. We had a big barbecue and had a blast. Mother Nature decided to cooperate and gave us a sunny 60 degree day in January. It was fabulous.

Burgers were eaten.
Balloons were popped.
New friendships were made.

We were so grateful to everyone who came. It was another good reminder of how blessed we are to have made such wonderful friends in Texas. You really can live anywhere as long as you have friends to rely on... and to party with of course.

Thanks again to everyone who came! We really had a fun time, and most importantly, Russ felt like "the man" as he got to hang out with his friends on his birthday.

In closing, I'd just like to say "Happy Birthday to Russ!"
I am grateful for Russell.
I'm glad he was born 27 years ago.
I hope his 27th year turns out to be the best yet. I think it just might be.

(PS. Isn't little McKinley Elise the cutest? I may be biased, as we share the same middle name. But no one can argue that her eyes suck you in, and she happily lets you hold her all day long.)

Ok, the end.

I miss this face

Thursday, January 20, 2011

As much as I'm grateful for technology, for some reason this just isn't the same as the real thing.

Shoe Clip Tutorial

Sunday, January 16, 2011

When I posted some of my most recent crafts earlier, it seemed as though the majority of y'all wanted to learn how to make the shoe clips. I don't blame you! They are so fun to have on hand to dress up an outfit. You can wear them on the shoe (obviously), or clipped to a headband, a belt, in your hair, on a purse, a sweater, you name it! Not to mention they are really fun/unique/affordable gifts for that special someone. So let's get going shall we?

There are two different fabric flowers I have used for shoe clips so far. Because I'm feeling nice, I will share both with you! The first is probably the easier/quicker flower and looks best using a thinner/lightweight/synthetic fabric (as opposed to cotton). Here is what you will need:

I bought the metal shoe clip piece from a seller on Etsy. I'm not sure if they are found in your basic craft store (like Michael's or Jo-Ann's... I didn't look). Etsy is a really great source for craft supplies if, while entering something in the search bar, you select "supplies" rather than "handmade." The shoe clips were pretty inexpensive if you buy a bunch at a time. If you would like to get the shoe clips this way, click HERE to get to the same seller I purchased from.

Once you have the shoe clips, here's what to do:

So once you have the fabric flower made, you are ready to assemble it to the shoe clip:

When you make two, you can simply clip it to a piece of paper, and BAM! You've got yourself a fun and handmade gift.

To make the second type of flower, you can use a little thicker fabric if you want. Really, use whatever fabric your heart desires. This flower tends to work better with non-patterned fabric (since you can see both sides of the fabric), but all I had on hand was patterns. I still think it's pretty cute, but a solid fabric would not show white on one side. Confused? Just keep reading :) This is the flower that is showcased in the first picture (the blue striped flower on the black shoe). Here are the materials needed:

And here's the step-by-step:

You can just free-hand a flower and circle stencil, or trace/print the one below:
Once the fabric flower is made, you can then simply glue the metal shoe clip to the felt base (as shown with the first flower) and you've got yourself another finished product. Easy peazy, right? And to finish us off, here is an example of this flower with solid fabric:

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed the tutorial and that you give these a shot! You won't regret it.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Wouldn't you agree?

For some reason this has been an eternal, never-ending week. Each day would draaaaaaaaag on longer than the next. Nothing bad, necessarily, just S.L.O.W. This is definitely one of those days I want to scream T.G.I.F. from the rooftops! Speaking of, does anyone else remember the amazing Friday-night-line-ups on ABC with Boy Meets World, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Family Matters, and Full House?? That was pretty much the highlight of my 11-year-old life. Yes, I had a very exciting life as an 11 year old. I'm sure you did, too. Anyway, this is besides the point.

I have been trying to have a more positive outlook on life (aka not be a Negative Nancy), so some positive moments of the week include, but are not limited to:

Getting back into the running/exercise groove post Holidays, which can be a rough transition. (See previous post)
Watching/being entertained by The Bachelor. Come on girls, no need to keep it a secret anymore.
Getting an unexpected raise!
My mom started a blog! (click HERE for a "joyful" read). I'm not surprised that her writing is so fun to read, she's quite an intelligent woman. But I'm just more impressed that my mom is a blogger now. With a recently purchased smart phone and a DSLR camera. Hellooooo techy mom! :)
Seeing my brother-in-law's band getting some awesome (and well-deserved, I might add) publicity. You all know Nie-Nie, right? Her sister, C Jane, has also gathered quite the following, and has become quite the fan of Fictionist. (See here, here, and most definitely here. She even named Stu one of her "people of the year".) Yeah C-Jane!
The "cold" weather here in Texas. It's refreshing and welcomed.
Making a boss-awesome homemade chicken noodle soup (recipe found HERE). It lasted me all week, and was quite tasty as well. (If you want to give it a try, I recommend using a rotisserie chicken... mmmmmmmm)
Getting my wonderful husband back tonight. That darn business travel thing. Nights at home have been quiet.

Whew! That list was longer than expected! I guess it pays off to look on the bright side of things. Hope y'all have a happy weekend where all of your dreams come true. (A girl can hope, right?)

Running Free

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I've heard you're supposed to buy new running shoes every 3 - 6 months (or 300 - 500 miles), for an average "runner." So since I've had my faithful Saucony's for almost a year and a half, I thought it was about time for some new kicks. I have a few friends that have been running on Nike Free's for a while, so I thought I'd give them a try. Thanks to my mom's lovely Christmas gift, I'm now a new owner of some Free's.

I was hesitant at first, seeing as these shoes are considered a "minimal running shoe," which is a step closer to "barefoot running" with a little less arch support and whatnot. I've now run on these shoes 4 times, and so far I haven't had any support issues. But I can't get over how incredibly light they are! And this may be T.M.I. ("too much information"... for you non-acronymers), but the fact that the majority of the shoe is mesh makes my feet sweat WAY less than they ever have, which is great for my common blister conundrum. Oh, and they are uber comfortable. Like I kind of don't want to take them off. I must mention they run smaller than a lot of other running shoes I've tried on... in fact I went up a whole shoe size!

So based on the above information, I'd recommend these Nike Free's to anyone who's lookin' to try something new for their exercise routine. Or really a shoe to wear at all times of the day... which I'm now tempted to do. Call it a coincidence, but I ran a long run last night, and I shaved 10 minutes off of my previous 6 mile time. I was running free! :)

The Little Man in Action

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Remember the "Little Man Onesie" from the previous post? I made one for Brigham, our little nephew, for Christmas. He loved it so much he had his mom put it on him for his big day of getting blessed. Okay, just kidding, he doesn't talk yet. Actually, all he does is sit in your lap, occasionally smile, act perfectly calm, and pretty much be the most well-behaved baby ever. {Please note, I haven't really been around that many babies. I may be exaggerating.}

Either way, I thought I would show you the Little Man Onesie in action. He's lookin' pretty shnazy, no?

This picture is also the perfect example of why I love little Lucy and her cheesy smiles.

... I think she gets that quality from her Unlce Russ. :)

Craft Shenanigans

Monday, January 10, 2011

In the hustle and bustle of everything I realized I failed to update you on some other fun crafts I have done. Most of these resulted from the awesome craft night I had in December.

#1 - Yellow Flower Wreath. Brittney was the lucky receiver of this wreath, but I keep thinking of it and am planning on making myself one sometime this week.

#2 - The Shoe Clips. I know I already posted about these, but now I am merely showing you one way they can be used. So many possibilities!

#3 - Little Man Onesies. That little bow-tie kills me. Obviously I didn't keep these (seeing as I do not have a child), but am still obsessed with them, nonetheless. In fact, I made a similar one for little girls a while back.

#4 - Flower Rosette Headband. Sada was the brains behind these little headbands, but if I can do 'em, you can, too my friends.

I'm kind of sad Christmas is over and I don't have legitimate excuses to spend hours upon hours making little crafts for family and friends. Although, I could easily justify spending some time making a tutorial if the demand is out there. Let me know if you want a step-by-step tutorial of any of these crafts or projects posted in the past!

It WILL work out

Friday, January 7, 2011

You wanna hear something crazy? Sometimes life doesn't work out how you want it. Oh wait, we all already knew that.

Even though sometimes its hard, I'm still grateful someone else with an eternal perspective is in control. Lately it seems as if so many of my family members and friends (and even yours truly) have been reminded of this amazing lesson. It's a hard one to learn, and it's even more hard to just sit there and watch as those you love struggle through some of life's toughest trials.

But here's the happy part. Somehow everything always works out. Perhaps not in the timeframe or means in which we originally intended, but in the way our loving Heavenly Father knows is best. I read this quote on a friend's blog today, and it put everything in perspective... again. It seems as if I need constant reminders about this. I'll share it here, in case you are anything like me and need a reminder as well.

Back to Life, Back to Reality

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I’ve been singing the tune “back to life, back to reality” in my head for the last few days. You know the one. Once it gets in there, it’s hard to get out. That’s probably because of how real of a statement it is. It’s a cruel reality how fast vacations fly by. You anticipate them for weeks, months even. And then BAM! The vacation flies by at an unexpectedly fast rate. Back to life. Back to reality.

We’ve spent the last 10 days or so in Utah visiting our families. I’ve already touched on some of what we did, but I’m pretty sure visiting Utah is slightly bittersweet, because it only reminds us of how badly we miss our families. We wish we could always be within a short drive's distance, but I guess at this point in our lives we’ll take what we can get. Take a look at some of our experiences this last Christmas break:

We got to visit with some close friends while in Utah. The top left is with Russ's best childhood friend/former roommate, Stephen, and his cute family. The top right is our new nephew, Brigham! He may be the most well-behaved, calm, perfect baby ever. We've got some competition.

And that little orange cup, my friends, is one reason why I miss Utah so very badly. Mango Chicken Salad, I love you. The bottom right is my random and awesome visit at my old college job, the Money Room. Luckily one of my best friends from Spokane (who I was nice enough to hook him up with the job... you're welcome Sean) was working with my old boss, Karla. You know you have a friend when your old boss still calls you on Christmas Eve. It was good to catch up.

I absolutely love getting to play with Benny and Lucy, Marcella's other two older children. Benny is obviously in a super-hero phase, and Lucy is just plain adorable. She melts my heart with those big brown eyes and cheesy smile. And speaking of cheesy smile, the Mr. looks pretty happy there with his new multi-function power tool my parents gave him. (I may be stealing that tool for a few projects in the near future.... thanks mom and dad :))

Again, more snow. We loved the snow, even if it meant bearing below 0 temperatures. (YIKES!). We were also so glad we got to attend little Brigham's baby blessing (pictured in the center). 

All in all it was a great vacation and went by way too fast. But like all good things, they must come to an end, and you must get back to real life.

{ ....aaaaand cue the song}

Dear 2010,

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's been a holiday season whirlwind, and I feel as if I have finally had a little time to reflect on the fact that you have come and gone. And along with that, a new year is here.

We managed to squeeze in a lot of activities into you, but aside from all the fun trips or events we attended, the biggest thing to show is personal growth. I've learned so much about myself, my husband, my family, friends, relationships with all of the prior listed, the Savior, trials, patience, communication, endurance, hard work, and forgiveness. But without getting too serious, in no particular order, some of the things that made me happy in 2010 include:

    Modern Family
    Becoming a stronger and faster runner
    Harry Potter (visiting the theme park, seeing the movie, and re-reading some books)
    Visiting/being visited by family
    Surviving my first tax season, and my first full year in a "real job"
    Becoming a better cook

Because there is always room for improvement, I would like to document some goals (aka resolutions) for 2011 -- more to benefit myself than anything. I know if I don't consciously write it down, it's nothing more than a wish in my mind.

    Drink more water
    Run another 1/2 Marathon
    Save more, spend less
    Perform more small acts of service for those around me
    Make another quilt
    Similar to the above, channel my crafty side even more!
    Gossip less, love others more
    Get better at taking pictures
    Be positive (no one likes a Negative Nancy)
    Stop and smell the roses ... or should I say the dandelions?

Goodbye 2010. But I'm glad you're here, 2011. I look forward to what you have in store.

            Love Always,

A Snowy New Years Eve

Saturday, January 1, 2011

We closed out 2010 in the best way possible--on top of a mountain. I believe this was how we brought in the year last year as well, so heck, I think we're going to make this a tradition. We went to the Canyons Resort, which is a resort I had never ventured to in my many years in Utah. When there are up to 8 resorts to choose from, some get overlooked. Luckily we had such a good time at the Canyons, we went twice this week. With two feet of powder and an enormous mountain, my legs are now officially rubber. 

The reason Stuart (my brother-in-law) and I are laying in the snow as opposed to snowboarding in it, is because we had just gotten done hiking to the top of the peak (over 10,000 feet above sea level! whew!), riding down the face through the un-tracked powder, and were now trying to get out of the backwoods. We needed a breather. Thanks for the adventure, Stu.

The day we didn't go skiing we went snowshoeing. My snowshoes have been in a basement here in Utah for a few years, so it was good to give them some action. It was fun climbing to the top of the peak, looking out and seeing nothing but mountains. It really puts things in perspective, ya know? Goodness, what an amazing place.

I have to give props to my mom. She dominates mountains and knee-deep powder like the rest of 'em. I think she's pretty cool.

I also really happen to like my sister. We had fun when Russell proposed a "family athletic competition" to see who could run the furthest through knee-deep powder. When Russ yelled "go," Brittney and I made it about 2 feet before we sunk through the snow and ended up in a good ol' white-washed face-plant.

Bottom line: I miss snow and mountains. I am in my happy place on top of a mountain surrounded by nature's beauty and the opportunity to escape from the noisy and busy world. I'm glad I could bring in 2011 the right way. 2010 was a great year filled with growing moments and fun times. I can only imagine what is in store for 2011. Let's make the most of it, shall we?