Friday, April 7, 2017

Craft Slump: Is It Over?

I have had a rough run of crafting and home project struggles. Maybe the tee shirt quilt was the turning point. I sure hope so.

We've been without real snow-on-the-ground for a few weeks now, maybe even a month, and Spring officially sprung about two weeks ago, so it is definitely past time for replacing the door decor. I looked at my pins and then poked around for more wreath pins and found one that I thought would work well for us. And I thought I had most of the materials on hand.

Photo from less-than-perfect Life of Bliss

I had bought a couple of large embroidery hoops at thrift stores for another, up coming non-embroidery project, but only found one-and-a-half of them. That other half is what I was going to use. I am really trying to use only materials from stash to make things like this so I really didn't want to buy another, in particular I didn't want to buy a brand new one and of course finding one at a thrift store is touch and go. Sooooooo, I went back to the pinterest board (like drawing board, only I can't draw... see?) & saw some completely different things, saw some nice things for other times, & then got to thinking about the small stash of wreath forms I have rescued from old wreaths, etc.

That's right, I chose to grab a pic of these on the deck rug with exactly the kinds of forest detritus one would expect to find on the rug on a deck of a house in the forest. Now, I gave it a shake, but this was the best i was going to get without involving a vacuum or at least a broom and I just had too many other things to do. 

TA DA! I had copper spray paint, two sizes of wire wreath forms, some faux greenery (the one thing I bought for this project), paperboard, paper, exterior Mod Podge, embroidery floss, wire, etc. and so forth. Easy enough to spray paint the wreath forms then cut apart and attach the plastic plant pieces to the painted forms.

That's right, this photo is taken on the side of the house, because the lighting was decent enough. Also, I probably could'be done with with the photo above, but didn't think of it. So there! 

Now, affirmations and such aren't really my thing. Nothing wrong with them, they're just usually not a touchstone for me. Same for "word decor" most of the time. Super cute in lots of places, but usually the words available don't speak to me, so to... uh... speak. This even more so for Eric. In fact, I'm pretty sure he'd be insufferable if I put something like "happy" on our front door. So what was I gunna do? Oh, I know! Something a little obscure and more than a little sassy! Now that's our style.

When thinking about spring-y words and ideas, I remembered "vernal." This totally jibes with my preference for "autumn" over fall - as they are both associated with the equinoxes. YEY!

I just found a suitable font online, installed it, typed it in 260 point using an open source word processing program, transferred it to paperboard with carbon-less paper, painstakingly cut it out with many brand name craft knife blades, then decoupaged scrapbook paper to it with exterior grade Mod Podge. A mere 12,600 seconds later I had my sassy phrase*. I had the birds already in my vast and impressive stash

Hopefully next month it will be warm & dry enough for me to prime and paint that door jamb to match the door and moulding.

At this time of year no one is really using the balcony door, but it is visible and it gives me some satisfaction to coordinate it to the front door directly below it. I already had the bird silhouettes AND there are two different bird nesting "vessels" on that balcony that have been used every year, so it seems appropriate to use them.

My wreaths aren't really at all the vibe of what I initially set out for, but I think they suit us, our house, and my strange urge to hang stuff on our doors even though we never have people over and aren't expecting house guests until Summer. I do still really like that inspiration piece, though, so maybe I'll keep my eyes peeled for another embroidery hoop when I'm at the thrifts. Hmmmmmm.

Some details, because if there is one thing I am all about, it's the details.

Just look at these cute plaid birdies! I just love plaids, checks, and tartans, so it was nice to get a chance to use them around the house. And so nice to find some that aren't mostly red.

Because our doors have mullioned half-lights the backside of anything we hang on them is visible from inside the house. So I also decoupaged the back of the birds and the words. I used a green gingham paper for that.

*ver-nal: adjective of, in, or appropriate to spring
AF: (look it up)


The creepy couple faux chocolate jackalopes are still incomplete.

The mini-diorama of Dr Morrison Hedwith's Basement Alchemical Laboratory was successful, for the most part, but it was indeed a bit of a struggle. And hey! It was selected to be a Featured Project for half of April on Craftster! This means ALL the mini dioramas of Dr Hedwith's lab ever made to this point have been Featured Projects! Check out Deanna's here.

I have finally started back to work on the downstairs bathroom redecorating. I really hope to have all the cabinetry and the "new" shelf-thingy done by the end of April. The initial parts of this phase are somewhat dependent on weather as I am sanding the cabinets and whatever I can take outside to sand, I will.


  1. Congratulations on your diorama being featured. The wreaths look great on the doors and I do like the extra detail of adding paper to the backs so people inside looking at them get to see pretty paper too. Your re-use of products is inspiring.

    1. And since spring officially ended last week, I just took them down today. I don't have a project in mind for summer, so for now the doors are looking a little barren. Of course, I am going to start working on modifying and reinstalling the screen doors soon, so that might have to serve as our "decoration" for the summer. :)


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