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Monday, April 30, 2012

Saturday, April 28, 2012

this wild idea.

{image found here}

there are few things i love more than stumbling upon something that leads me to stumbling upon something even better, until inevitably, the stumbling leads to falling right into the thick of it. that thing, a good book, a new favourite show, the perfect little restaurant, changes so many things for you, you wonder why it took so long to find it in the first place. that thing you were meant to find, whether on purpose or pure happenstance, has made it's way into your life, and now you have no choice, but to do something with it; 
let it entertain you, let it change you, let it inspire you.

i stumbled upon this wild idea, and now i'm stuck in it, like 4' of thick, wet, lovely mud, and i don't really want to get out. it has me wrapped around it's pinky finger, in anticipation of what's to come. theron humprhey, the southern, beautifully bearded fellow fueling this project, quit his job as a commercial photographer (he has a master of fine arts in photography) because "one morning he woke up, and decided he needed to use photography to connect with folks and tell their story". the plan: travel to 52 states, in 365 days, with his pooch maddie, each day making a point to meet someone new, and share their story. he comes into their lives, just for one day, sees what they are all about, and then moves on. what he learns, he shares on his website day by day, and although they are only fragments and pieces of a much bigger picture, they have a beautiful way of showing how incredibly connected we all really are. we all leave dishes in the sink. we all have a passion for something. and we all, whether we want to admit or not, make mistakes.

along the way, theron started sharing photos of his pooch, and her amazing talents. i thought india was cool shit, but maddie, she's like an acrobat, a ballerina and a model all rolled into one strong, little body. the companionship between the two of them is my favourite part of the journey he is they are on, wherever he goes, she is right there with him, and the bond they have formed because of that, makes me feel like a terrible dog owner and seriously jealous all at once. love maddie here.

this wild idea has me changing my way of thinking. thinking about how beautiful it is to know that people i don't even know, are able to take hold of their lives and live them. thinking about how much i think about doing this for myself. and until i can get to a place within myself, where i can muster up the courage, the strength and the balls to do something about filling that space between my head and my heart, i will continue to live vicariously through the lives of the lucky ones.

you'll need more than a cuppa tea to enjoy this wild idea. make a pot, and get under a blanket already. 
let it entertain you, let it change you, let it inspire you.
love this wild idea here.

Friday, April 27, 2012

i learned how to make a gif.

that's right. gif.
what the hell is a gif? 
no one knows.

but it has bad news written allll over it.
happy fuckin' friday!

ps-i would also like to thank everyone who has 'liked' pretty things & potty mouths on facebook this week. so much love for all y'all.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

paper anniversary: this is when shit gets crafty.

framed vintage map hearts.

june 11th will be our 1st wedding anniversary. 

they say time flies when you're having rum fun, so we must have had a lot of rum fun this year, because it went by let me tell you. with this special day only a few short weeks away, i thought i would get the hamster on the wheel and plan a special gift for paulie. 
he deserves it for having put up with me for a year and for not going bald in the process. he's the best.

now i would be lying if i said that having paper as the 'gift item' for one year anniversaries didn't make me pee in my panties happy, because it sure as shit does. as a fan of pretty paper crafting, i love the endless possibilities when it comes to making something special, personal and unique, so i have perused pinterest for some inspiration, and am very happy with what i have found thus far. there are so many amazing ideas in fact, i  had to create a board specifically for the amazing stuff that could inspire something really perfect to make. i am leaning towards using maps in some way--either to note where we got married and where we honeymooned, to use as a representation of the places we'll go, and/or to wrap the actual gift with. maps could be a cost effective, but still interesting way to use 'paper'. i have also seen some beautiful projects that could be done with the lyrics of our first dance, meaningful quotes & phrases and personalized silhouettes. paul's heed may be a little too large to attempt the silhouette projects, however it would certainly be identifiable. i can promise you that.

in the next little bit, i will form a plan and start gathering my supplies, but in the meantime, 
here are some of my favourite inspirations for paper anniversary gifts so far.
where we met. where we married. where we honeymooned.
well isn't this friggen' perfect?
simple. clean. beautiful but still masculine.

Monday, April 23, 2012

pretty things & potty mouths on 'the facebook'.

i have wanted to make a facebook page for 'pretty things & potty mouths' for weeks and weeks now, but because i'm a giant weiner, i have been holding off until i was ready. the other night while drinking rum and cokes and watching movies with paulie, i told him i was a bit scurred to take this step. the convo went a bit like this:

"paul. i want to make a facebook page for my blog"-amanda
"but i'm scared to"-amanda
"then don't"-paul
"but i want to"-amanda
"then do it. what's your problem?"-paul
"i have no fucking clue"-amanda

and with those prophetic words of encouragement from my hubby dearest, i give you pretty things & potty mouthsfacebook lovin'. whether you want to 'like' the page yourself, share it with friends or any pretty things and potty mouths you think would enjoy what's going on around here, i would really love that. i would love that a shit load. and if you don't, that's ok too. but i would prefer if you did.

Friday, April 20, 2012

the meanest mac salad.

now that the warmer weather is her the bbq's are just rolling in and i am lovin' every minute of it. growing up i could always look forward to my ma's mac salad as part of our family meals, and i have sort of adopted the recipe as my own. since the beginning of time every bbq, picnic, cottage meal or party with friends has included this mac salad. it has become a staple, and some friends know i will be bringing it without even asking. it's quick, easy and super delicious--just how your summer mac salad should be.

how we do: the meanest mac salad
{serves 10 hammered friends.}
prep time: 20 minutes
cook time: 10 minutes
chill time: 2 hours (if you can wait that long)
eating time: faster than you could drink a beer. well, maybe.

you will need:
1 x 900 g package of 'scoobi do' pasta
2 tins of flaked white tuna
1 vidalia onion
5 stalks of celery
1 cup of real mayonnaise-miracle whip will not do
2 tablespoons of milk
2 tablespoons pickle juice (to be discussed) 
salt & pepper
alright, i already know what you're thinking a} what's the deal with the 'scoobi do' pasta? well, it's what my mom has used my entire life, we have tried other pastas, and it never, ever, ever tastes as good. so just use the 'scoobi do' already. b} mayo vs. miracle whip. mangia cakes use miracle whip (no offense to any mangia cakes) and the mayo makes all the difference in the world. extra creamy and more calories, so obviously it's going to taste better, and 3} pickle juice? yes. pickle juice. i usually don't tell people it's in there because they get all weird about it, but this little tip here is what separates my mom's recipe from my recipe, and a good mac salad from a fucking fabulous mac salad; the meanest mac salad. i learned this little tidbit from a few of the girlies i work with and because i'm osbessed with pickles, i had to try it for myself. it adds a bit of tang & saltiness and brings out the flavour of the tuna and celery. you can use this trick for potato salads, pasta salads and pretty much anything in the world.
bring a large pot of water to a boil add kosher salt and a splash of olive oil. the olive oil is optional but we do it so the pasta is silky and doesn't stick together. you will be rinsing the pasta anyways, so the oil will not affect the taste of your mac salad.
while your pasta cooks you can get your celery and onions chopped into small, bite size pieces. i like using 'vidalia' onions because they add the onion flavour without being so strong and stingy like a cooking onion. add as much or as little of the veg as you like. i prefer to have some celery and onion with every bite of pasta, so i use the whole onion and at least 5 stalks of celery.
once the pasta is cooked, get it into a strainer and run cold water through until it's chilled. you don't want to add your veg and sauce to warm pasta, so running cold water over it works like a charm. once the noodles are cool, strain the pasta really well. water gets into the crevasses of the scoobi do, and if you don't strain it well, the mac salad will end up soupy, watery and caca. 
shake that shit until it's no longer dripping.
put your strained pasta in a nice big bowl (i use the one i serve the mac salad out of) and add the celery, onions and tuna. season with some salt and pepper, and mix well. if it's easier to add half the pasta to the bowl at a time, do your thang, you just want it mixed well.

now it's time to make your mac salad sugo. instead of just adding the mayo to your pasta directly, my mom always prepares the sauce or dressing in a small bowl beforehand, this way you can control how much you add, and can get it to a consistency that is creamy and smooth. add your cup of mayo, 2 tablespoons of milk, and  2 tablespoons of pickle juice in a bowl and stir until smooth. at first it will look like chunky cottage cheese, but once you stir it for a minute it smooths out and is the perfect texture to fully cover your noodles. add your sauce to the pasta, season with a little more pepper, and you have the meanest mac salad ever. i promise that everyone will have some and you will most likely have enough for lunch leftovers the next day. enjoy as a side with burgs and dogs, steak and corn on the cob, or any other summer meal you prepare on the bbq. life is good.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

instagram love: favourite follows.

throughout my time on instagram, i have found a few really amazing people to follow. sometimes it's because they have commented or liked something i have posted, or were someone a person i follow liked, either way, i'm glad to have found them. my favourite thing about the app, is getting to see little moments in people's everyday lives, through something as simple as a photo. although i become slightly jealous that some of these instagrammers live in such beautiful cities, that they could photograph pretty well anything in front of them, and it turns out picture perfect, it's still a great way to get inspired. can i do that here in welland? no, not so much.

so, to share the love, here are 3 instagrammers i currently adore following.
a fellow canadian, his feed is probably my favourite. he calls himself a "toronto art director/iphoneographer/traveler", pretty much all my favourite things. his main subject is his french bulldog 'ernesto', and this pooch is ridiculous. ernesto? really? i want him and india to date. he sounds like a rico suave spaniard, who could sweep her off her paws. i thought india was a model (we have started calling her 'windy crawford'), this pooch blows her skills out of the water. these are a few of my favourite photos of his.
this gentlemen currently resides in london, who loves to cook, and photograph the things he makes and the places he has been. he is really good at snapping a pic at the right time, and easily captures the special moments in his life. everything he makes looks delicious, and he makes me want to visit london more than i did before discovering him on instagram. he also writes a great food blog, with pictures that look as lovely as the food he makes.
and of course one of my favourites lives in paris. they are actually a couple, that describe themselves as "a creative couple, in love with provence, with lots of projects in mind". every morning they post their breakfast (which is usually set up to resemble a face) and continue to share the prettiest pockets in paris throughout the day. i adore them.
if you use instagram and are looking for some inspirational, creative people to follow, please check out these peeps, they are worth checking out! and if you follow someone you think i will love, feel free to share! i love that kind of shit.

Monday, April 16, 2012

i saw oprah effing winfrey today: part two.

"the single greatest thing you can do to change your life today, 
would be to start being grateful for what you have right now. 
and the more grateful you are, the more you get." --oprah


the word of the day, it resonated through all 8,500 of us, hanging in the air, thick and warm, you could almost touch it. it was like we were wrapped in it, a soft cashmere blanket of gratitude. if i could feel even a fraction the way i did today, everyday, i couldn't possibly forget to be thankful ever again.

alarms set for 5:20am (i have never woken up that early in all my life, and never plan on doing it again), we were up with the birds and in full on oprah mode. we made it to the metro toronto convention center by 7:15am, thinking we were there in plenty of time to get a great spot in line, until we spotted 8,498 people were already waiting to get in. we thought we had pulled a quick sneak attack, when we found a line that had formed inside, but by the time we reached the doors to the convention center, we realized we weren't going to be as close to oprah as we wanted to be. and we wanted to be real fucking close.
we found two seats towards the front half of the venue and assessed the situation. there were massive monitor's set up everywhere you looked, a giant stage that spanned the entire front of the room, and a sea of jewel toned females as far as the eye could see. a couple "token" men were spotted throughout, but with the amount of estrogen that was pumping through that place, i'm surprised their little dink and balls didn't fall off and they turned into women the second they stepped foot in that room. the show was scheduled to start at 8am, but it wasn't until after 9:00 that the first person took the stage. we were read a policy about this being a live taping, and that we could be on television, and were told that we were allowed to have our phones and camera's out to take pictures, text, tweet and facebook at any point, and were even provided with free wifi. i love that it was a fully connected and interactive event, and the whole point of the day was to share what we learned with the people in our lives.
deepak chopra, iyanla vanzant, tony robbins and bishop t.d. jakes were the 4 key speakers that made up oprah's panel of experts for the lifeclass. each of them spoke for around 30 minutes, sharing stories, lessons and techniques to get yourself in a state where you can fully be present in your life, and thankful for the things you have in preparation for the things to come. about 10 minutes in, i wished i had brought a pen and paper, there were too many amazing things being said not to document all of it. instead i grabbed my phone and made notes on the key lessons being shared, these are a few of my favourite teachings:

"life happens to me, and not for me"-iyanla
"the world is a university, and everyone is a teacher. make sure you wake up tomorrow and go to school"-the bishop
"some people experience post traumatic stress, other people experience post traumatic growth"-tony robbins
"if you feed something, it will grow"-the bishop
once each "teacher" had a chance to speak, it was time to bring out the big guns (literally, oprah has giant breasts), and miss. winfrey made her way on stage. the crowd erupted in screams and applause, but it was mostly tears. i'm not kidding, there was not a dry eye in the joint, myself and jules included. having that woman in the same room as us, changed everything. to have that kind of effect on people, to give off an energy that is so positive, and so powerful--that's the kind of woman i want to be. it's the kind of mother, daughter, wife and friend i want to be. that may have been the greatest lesson i learned all day: be the kind of person you want to meet, the kind of person who can turn others into the best person they can be. now that is something to be grateful for.

during the show, oprah had tony robbins do an exercise with everyone, which he calls "emotional flooding". he had everyone clap their hands, chant and scream to get their heart rates up, and then hold your hand to your heart and close your eyes. he went through a list of memories he wanted you to reach for, and put them in the forefront of your heart. "a spritual moment when you felt connected. a sexy moment. a memory of laughing as a child. a great smile." each memory was 'stacked' on top of the other, until you felt 'flooded' with only real, honest, happy moments, and it brought me to tears. it brought everyone to tears, it was the only sound in the entire room. all 8,500 of us, standing with our hands on our hearts and tears streaming down our faces, it was the most powerful moment of the entire day. at the end of the exercise i turned to jules, and we couldn't do anything but hug each other and smile. sharing that moment with her, is something i know we will both cherish forever.
after all the tears and life lessons, the icing on this giant, beautiful oprah cake, was when she made her way through the crowd to thank us for coming. she made her way from the stage, to the back of the room, and back around. we didn't want to run around and try to get near her like everyone else, it was kind of scary to see her get pushed and shoved around, even though she was totally surrounded by her posse, so we waited to see if she would come to us. and she did. we found the perfect spot, not too crowded, and watched as she made her way towards us. my hands shook so bad i couldn't take a proper picture to save my life, but touching her shoulder as she walked past, and being able to physically put myself into oprah's life...holy fuck. something i never imagined happening, and wouldn't even bother dreaming about. it was an honour to even be near her, and i love her even more than i did before.

the day came to a close and we left the convention center so light we were basically on our tippy toes. the line up had already formed for the evening class, and the streets were crowded with people smiling from ear to ear. jules and i grabbed some drinks at the bar across the street, and sat on the patio in the sunshine to "debrief". we talked about our favourite moments and the lessons that impacted us most, and we thanked one another for being able to share an experience as encouraging and motivating as the whole day had been.
before going to the show, i told jules that i was disappointed that i didn't list "seeing oprah live" as one of the items on my 30 by 30 list. i told her i didn't think it would ever be possible, and didn't want to ''waste" an item on my list that seemed so unattainable. then jules told me that seeing oprah was the number one item on her own bucket list, it always had been, and would always be, regardless of the almost impossible opportunity to accomplish such a task. jules showed me the value of reaching for a goal you think you can't possibly imagine accomplishing, because when you do, the feeling of crossing that goal off your list-me oh my, what a feeling it is.

today i am grateful for oprah. i am grateful for jules. 
and i am grateful for having them both in my life, at the very same time.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

.i'm going to see oprah effing winfrey tomorrow: part one.

i'm going to see oprah tomorrow. yes, you read it right, but just for shits & gigs, one more time with feeling, 
i'm going to see oprah tomorrow.

holy shit.

i can't believe i have held off this long on writing a post about it, but it didn't actually feel real, until i held the ticket in my hands for the first time last night. and the minute that gorgeous glossy card stock slipped into my  hot little hands, it all felt real. really fucking real.
a few months ago, my friend jules and i were chat chitting about how the oprah's 'life classes tour' kept creeping up on our facebook feeds, as we both 'like' oprah on facebook, naturally. one day, 'her' status was about the tour coming to toronto, and i wasn't the only one who noticed, jules did too. that night we talked about how amazing it would be to see her live (as we have discussed a million times before), and decided we would check to see if tickets were still on sale. of course, they were already sold out, probably within the first 20 seconds of being available, this is oprah we're talking about. bummed, but not defeated, i kept a hairy eyeball on oprah's facebook posts like it was my job, and it paid off big time when she announced another block of tickets were going on sale, as she added another show to her stop in the t dot. within minutes of the tickets going on sale, i was on the phone with jules, debated the $190 tickets for about 1.2 seconds, and we ordered 2 before they could be snatched away from us forever. 

i'm going to see oprah tomorrow.

now, the decision to see oprah wasn't based on the fact that it would be "pretty amazing" to see her live, or the perfect reason to book a monday off to spend the day with one of the best girl's i know, (jules, not oprah. well her too obviously). it wasn't really a decision at all, i don't know that i had any choice in the matter actually. this is oprah. oprah winfrey. the woman i grew up watching since as far back as i can remember. there was never a time when oprah wasn't around, she's been on my television since i was 7 years old. i can remember watching the episode when she hauled a wagon of meat on stage to represent how much weight she had lost, in my mom's bed with her. almost everyday in high school, i would come home, grab a snack, and sit down to watch oprah at 4:00. i have laughed with her, learned the "ugly cry" from her and became a maya angelou fan because of her. she's like that fabulous black auntie 
everyone loves to be around, that i never had.

i have learned some of the best lessons and most wonderful words from oprah, and we have never even met. a few i think worth sharing.
"breathe. let go. and remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure."

"so go ahead. fall down. the world looks different from the ground."

"we are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep."
a quote from 'the tempest' by billy shakespeare she loved.

and maybe my favourite, which is one of her favourites, a dr. maya angelou lesson, "when you know better, you do better."
preparing for the show has included emailing jules daily with the same subject line each time, "omg. this is really happening", picking out an outfit (which was more difficult than picking out an outfit for any date i have ever been on with a boy, almost more difficult than picking my wedding dress out, and includes new pair of panties--only the best for oprah), painting my nails worthy of an oprah taping, and planning a sleepover in toronto at our girlfriend jen's place tonight, dinner and drinks with friends will be the perfect way to spend  'oprah eve'. 
my oprah outfit. because oprah doesn't want any dirt bags in her audience, she clearly states a dress code for all her attendees. no tank tops, shorts, all black clothing. colour is suggested. what oprah wants, oprah gets.
my oprah nails. coral + pink & a hint of turquoise.
chevron pattern bling nail.

paul says he is thankful i am going with jules and not him (not that he was ever considered, it's always been jules), as he is confident i will have the same reaction to seeing oprah for the first time, that i did when he took me to see david bowie for my birthday a few years ago (i have had an unhealthy crush on david bowie since i was 3 years old, and saw him and the outline of his penis in those silver spandex in the labyrinth). first i scream like a crazy person. then i bawl (ugly cry for sure, no questions asked) followed by sobbing like someone has just killed my entire family and pets. am i embarrassed? no. should i be? absolutely. do i care? not a single iota of fuck will be given.

because i'm going to see oprah tomorrow.

Friday, April 13, 2012

happy fuckin' feel good friday.

well this just made my whole damn day! i love this kind of shit, and never get tired of hearing stories that change people's lives, even if only for one day. random acts of kindness, good deeds and planned surprises, especially when done for kids, warms the cockles of my wee ol' heart. so when i saw this posted on facebook by keiko lynn, one of the blogs i stalk, (she is a total stunner and her boyfriend bobby is an absolute babe), i had to share it. i watched it in my bed this morning, cuddled with india and lennon, and had tears in my eyes the whole time.

when a creative child makes a connection with a creative adult, beautiful things can happen, and 'caine's arcade', is a beautiful thing. i love that his father gave him the space and the 'ok' to let his imagination run free. i love the determination and drive caine has to grab his little arcade by the balls, and make it the best he can. and the smile on his face when he realizes what is happening on his 'big day'? oh lawd. i die.
if i ever got the chance to visit 'caine's arcade', i would spend every penny paul owns in it.
so grab a tea and have a watch. it'll make your whole damn day.

happy fuckin' friday the 13th!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

i have a girl crush. on amy heidemann's suicide roll.

{image via}

ok, maybe i'm crushing more on her 'suicide roll' than her, but she's pretty cute too. if you don't know who she is, welcome to the club, i didn't even know her name until i googled her (ok, i googled her hair) just recently. she sings in the duo 'karmin', which isn't 100% my bag, but does make me dance like a dink in my car, and run my ass off on the treadmill when 'brokenhearted' comes on my ipod. 

her style however, is 150% my cup of tea, and if i had the balls, i would sport those crop tops and that ridiculous hair everyday of my life. she has an adorable 'pin up girl' style that i love, but can't seem to pull off because i'm too much of a scaredy cat. while creeping her on the internet, i came across a tutorial she did for her signature do, the 'suicide roll'. i attempted it last night, and was fairly successful considering i have 1/8th  as much hair as she does. but when i showed it to my toughest critic paulie, he quickly reminded me how much he likes it when i "poof" my bangs back and put the rest in a ponytail. basically, he wasn't diggin' the roll. however, i do. a lot. so screw em'.

Monday, April 09, 2012

naughty in nautical.

normally i would associate anything 'nautical' or 'beachy' with the summertime-going out on a boat, being lakeside, or on vacation. but this spring, there is just too much cute shit out there, to confine this adorable style to just three short months. i usually don't wear much navy, red or polka dots, but would gladly take any of these items, and wear them like i don't get sea sick on every boat i've ever been on, and don't hate being around live fish with every fiber of my being.

i love the combo of tan and creams for accessories like chunky belts, strappy heels and canvas totes, and  adore the 50's vibe that seems to go hand in hand with nautical style. a couple gold pieces (the shell necklace is so pretty), cherry red nails and you're ready for a date on a massive ship, drinking champagne with your pretend loaded boyfriend.

ahoyyyy matey!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

easter pooches & polka dot nails.

easter has become one of my favourite holidays, mainly for everything that makes it such a pretty celebration; pastels, spring flowers, sunshine and all the bunnies & chicks-it's almost too much for me to handle. of course time with family and friends to stuff our faces is always the best part of any holiday-- including all of our pooches. usually when my family gets together, there are at least 4 dogs, sometimes 5. and to make sure they feel like they are a part of the action, i try to bring a few props along.

this time, i wanted to make something myself, and when i saw these bunny ears on the martha stewart website, i knew they were going to be perfect. they were super easy to make, and cost about $3 a pair. i attempted a pair for both the cat and dog, but lennon went ape shit when i put them on him, so that ended right quick. i will probably bring the spare pair to paul's cousin's first birthday party this afternoon. 
maybe they will end up on the baby, maybe i will get them on paul's uncle jim when he is taking his nap. 
either way, it should be interesting.

if you want to whip up a pair yourself (i know it's kind of late, but they are honestly so easy, you could make them in 15 minutes), follow the instructions in the link above, and you'll be good to go. martha complicated the project a wee bit by adding a step where you apply fabric stiffner to regular felt, and allow it to dry for several hours. for an extra .50 cents, i purchased "stiffened" felt, and it worked like a charm. sorry martha, i'm your 'quick & easy' pretend apprentice. not all of us have countless hours and assistants to do our shit for us.
because the bunny ears took two shakes of a lamb's tail to make, i whipped up an easter mani that is simple and sweet. 
pastels + polka dots + matte coat = perfect easter nails. switch it up with stripes, a scalloped edge or glitter. 
 i hope you and your family have a beautiful holiday!

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

springtime in the city.

even welland has bloomed over the last week or so, making everything a little easier to look at. however the cold snap last week caused frost damage on all the magnolias, leaving them brown and really caca looking. i knew it was going to happen when i saw their woolly buds start popping open by the third week of march; all it takes is a few warm days and those things are making an appearance more premature than a 16 year old boy. i was able to get a few pics before the frost did it's damage, along with some other pretty blooming trees and lovely moments from the past little bit. surprise surprise, pink is the dominating colour in my life.

ps-instagram is available on android now if you're looking for something to get addicted to.
pss-i have given my blog some lovin' over the last wee bit. hope you like it!
kisses for windy. pink hydrangea. tea & fires. 
magnolia. monday morning babies. avec lennon.
happy spring craft. pink lemonade + vodka. in bloom.

Monday, April 02, 2012

hearts & crafts: cute shit you can make for spring.

as of yesterday, my valentine's day wreath was still hangin' out on our front door. i should be embarrassed, but it's so cute, that i'm not. however it killed me a little to let st.patty's go by without changing it, and i couldn't let that happen for easter, so i made something that will work for the holiday, and that i can keep up until i find something to make for the summer. i am really happy with how it turned out, and it took less than an hour to make.

how we do: happy spring wreath
i was able to purchase everything i needed at michael's and with my 40% off coupon, got everything for less than 20 bones. you can make any variation of this you like by changing up the colour scheme, using mesh instead of burlap, felt flowers instead of silk and the list goes on.
start by laying your burlap across your wreath the way you like: straight across, on an angle, or two rows, the choice is yours. leave enough that you have the same amount on each side, and glue it down to your wreath. at this point, you can gauge what size letters you will need to print out.
 choose a font you like and print out your phrase. "happy spring", "welcome" or "beat it", whatever tickles your pickle. i used 'century' font at 200pt , and it miraculously turned out perfectly. cut each of the letters out of paper before cutting them out with felt, to make sure it will fit across your burlap banner nicely. once you're good to, get your letters cut out with felt. you will need super sharp scissors, a large glass of wine and some serious patience. welcome to the shittiest part of the project.
tip: i'm an asshole and chose a 'serif' style font (the kind with the little detail at the ends of each stroke). to make your life easier, you could choose a 'sans serif' font, and this step would take 1/3 the time. ps-'sans' is french for without.
once your letters are cut out, place them where you want them on your burlap, and then glue them on with a bit of hot glue. you want to get your spacing right, and i don't want you throwing this thing out the window if you start gluing them on and end up only being able to fit "happy s" on your burlap.
with your letters in place, you can trim the ends of your burlap however you like. i kept it clean and simple, and just did a 'banner style' cut into each end. the burlap isn't perfectly stiff, so the ends do flop a bit, but i don't mind a little flopping action now and then. 
shit can't always be stiff.
the hardest part is over, and the rest of this project is easy peasy, so grab another glass of wine, you could finish this baby hammered. separate the branches of your silk flowers, and cut off a few to start. i only ended up using two full branches, and a few extra blooms to get the fullness i was looking for. if you want more, use the whole stem. i didn't want to ruin my good scissors cutting through the plastic and metal of the flowers, so i used the clippers i use when cutting fresh greens and flowers. 
worked like a charm.
decide where you want the flowers and start inserting them into the wreath. i didn't bother gluing them in, as the wire in the branches allowed me to bend them into place beautifully. i also weaved the flowers into the grapevine, so it looked natural and like they were growing out of the wreath. if i ever want to change up the wreath, all i need to do is pull out the flowers, pop in some new ones, and voila.
i cut the burlap lengthwise down the center to make a strap to hang the wreath with, but you could use anything from raffia, to twine or satin ribbon. it looks really pretty from the street, and once i get some petunia's planted in my urns, i will be good to go. 
happy spring bitches!
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