Saturday, April 19, 2014

Spring Wreath



{Confession} My Valentine wreath hung on my door until today. Yep. Even though each time I looked at it I was reminded that I needed to change it up, winter was being so stubborn that I was left a little uninspired. 
Finally spring began to show her face and inspiration hit!

To create you will need:
grapevine wreath
mactac (also know as contact paper)
pressed flowers
moss
glue

To begin:

Cut two squares of mactac a little larger than your wreath.


Peel the backing off one of your pieces of mactac and tape it down, sticky side up.
 Arrange your flower design in the center.


Peel the backing off your other piece of mactac and firmly press it onto of your flowers. 


Glue it to the back of your wreath and trim off the excess mactac.



Glue the moss onto the wreath.


There you have it!
Ready for the door.



Love and light to you this Easter weekend,

Shanti

Monday, April 14, 2014

Little Felted Chick



Being the season of new life we decided to create a sweet little baby chick.
This craft is a wonderful introduction to felting. These chicks whip up quick and are a very do-able activity even for little hands. If you have never wet felted before this process will delight you! It is wonderful how easily the wool felts beneath your fingers. 

To create you will need:

yellow wool roving
orange and black felt
glue
wooden or plastic egg
soap 
hot water

To begin:

If you are using a plastic egg fill it partially with dried rice or beans and seal it with duct tape.
If you are using a wooden egg it's ready to be used as is.


Wrap your egg tightly in thin layers of roving. Be sure to
alternate the direction of the layers with each new one added, until your egg is fully covered. 



 You want you egg to be hiding completely in the wool with no bare spots. Don't worry how bulky it looks. The wool will shrink a lot during the felting process.



If you are doing this next part with little hands, I recommend popping the wrapped egg into a (cut off) foot of a pair of nylons and tie a knot at the top. This keeps it all together and keeps it from sliding apart.

 Now it's time to felt all that wool together!

Squirt a good squeeze of dish soap onto your egg and dip it in a bowl a very warm water.
Begin to gently squeeze and pat your wool egg, dipping it into the water after every few squeezes or so. Go about this with care as the wool will shift easily. 

After about a minute of agitating the wool by rubbing and squeezing it,  you will feel the fibers knit together nicely and the egg shrink.

Once it feels fairly tight, run it under cold water to shock it and get the soap out. 
Let it dry and it should be good to go!


Cut out two small circles for the eyes, a diamond for the beak and two little feet out of felt.
Attach them with glue and admire your sweet little chick!


I think she made herself a new friend.







Have a wonderful day!

Shanti

Friday, April 11, 2014

Toadstool Fairy House


We always seem to have our toadstool radar on {dreaming up toadstool crafts}.
Inspired by my co-bloggers toadstools for the garden, I wondered if I could use a smaller wooden bowl and create a wee toadstool cottage! 
With some fairy guidance it all came together. 
Seeing perhaps an entire fairy village of these for them to frolick and dwell in!


To create you will need:

small wooden bowl
large toilet paper roll (or if you can't find an large one like this, a container would work)
red & white paint
bits of nature to embellish (we used moss, baby's breath, birch bark and pussy willows)
paint brush
glue

To begin:

Paint your bowl with a couple coats of red paint let it dry fully.
With a small paint brush add your toadstool spots.


Take your toilet paper roll and paint it white.



Then, cut your door shape out of birch bark.


Add on a little acorn cap for the handle and pussy willows if you are inspired.


Glue your door on and add your moss.


We tucked some baby's breath into the moss ~ couldn't resist adding the perfect fairy flower!


Fairy goodness complete!

Fairies
Did you ever hear
Of the frolic fairies dear?


They're a blessed little race,
Peeping up in fancy's face,


In the valley, on the hill,
By the fountain and the rill;


Laughing out between the leaves
That the loving summer weaves.
Frances Sargent Osgood


Our little fairy cottage now lies nestled in the "mountainous region" of our back yard to await the fairies.


Fairy Blessings to All,

Shanti

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Silk Dyed Eggs



Growing up, our family had an Easter tradition of making pysanky eggs. It was very time consuming but the results were lovely. I have fond memories of all of us around the table for many hours working on our eggs.  Each year we brought out the eggs we had made in the past years and had fun deciding what designs we would take on that year.  My mother still has egg cartons full of them from our childhood and has now introduced the tradition to my children.
A few years ago I saw eggs dyed with silk. The intricate patterns reminded me of pysanky and I was intrigued. I liked the idea that they took a fraction of the time yet looked elaborate and beautiful. This year we decided to give it a go. It was so simple and we loved unwrapping our little egg packages to see how they turned out!

To create you will need:

eggs (at room temperature ~ it helps when blowing out the insides)
100% silk scarves or ties
white fabric (we cut up an old pillow case)
vinegar
elastics
tapestry needle or nail

To begin:
Begin by taking your eggs and pierce the top and bottom of the egg with a large needle. This can be done by older children (my nine year old loved the whole process) but obviously with care. 



Next,  pierce the egg yoke (we used a bamboo bbq skewer) to make for easier blowing and enlarge the hole at the end of the egg you will be blowing out from.


Seal your mouth around the top of the egg and blow. 


Once the eggs are empty, rinse them out with water and blow out the water for nice clean eggs.


Gather up your silk.


Cut your silk into squares that will be large enough to wrap around the egg with some fabric left over to wrap an elastic around. 


Decide what part of the pattern you want transferred onto your egg and wrap the silk tightly around the face of the egg. The tighter the silk is to the egg the better it will transfer. Be sure to have the right side of the silk on the inside, facing the egg. 
Secure it tight with an elastic band in the back of the egg.


Wrap it again in a square of white cotton.


Place 1/2 cup of vinegar in a pot, fill with water and then add your wrapped eggs. Gently weigh down your eggs so they don't float above the water (we used a glass lid that was a bit smaller than the pot).
Bring it to a boil and let simmer for 20 minutes.


Rinse them in cold water until you can handle them and then it's time for the most exciting part! Unwrapping them!!!


We were in awe at how this process worked. So amazing!
The back where it was scrunched up was even beautiful. Almost a tie dyed look. 



Here are some of the results we had. 











I think we are hooked.  I highly recommend giving this a try. 
Easy, with long lasting and gorgeous results.


Shanti

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