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Getting Fabric On Ball Ornaments


Every Christmas I come up with a new idea about how I want to decorate the tree. This year I'm thinking lots of cozy reds, plaids, flannels and twine. Instead of buying new ornaments, I'm going to work with what I have and cover some ball ornaments with festive fabric.

Below are the supplies I used: decoupage glue sealer, scissors, a ball ornament and foam pouncer.
 First, I cut enough fabric to wrap around the ornament and overlap just a tad, about a 1/4-inch. Then I cut the length so that it was long enough to over the top and bottom of the ball.
Next, I covered the middle of the ornament with decoupage glue and then stuck the fabric back on the ball. 
Then I cut fringe on the top and bottom. I cut each strip of fringe to a pointed tip. This will keep the fabric from bulking up when you go to adhere it around the ball.  You may find it easier to do the fringe cutting before you put in on the ball. 

Start with the first piece of fringe and press it down (make sure there's glue underneath). Press the next strip down so that it slightly overlaps the first and smooth down with your finger. Work your way around the ornament and repeat on the bottom. 
When all the fringe is layed down, go over the entire ball with more decoupage glue. Hang to dry. 
If you're feeling like your ornaments could use a little makeover, go ahead and give this a try. 

I have a bunch more of these to do, so I'd better get cracking! 

Drying Flowers, Iron vs. Books

I decided to do a little test this summer to figure out if ironing flowers would work as well as my tried and true method of pressing them between the pages of a book. 
The book pressing method is so simple, but requires some patience. It takes about 10 days to get blooms perfectly flat and dry. 



Below are my flowers and foliage after being pressed between 2 sheets of parchment paper under a stack of heavy books. This was on day 10. The leaves are nice and green and very flat. The petunia flower kept it's beautiful purple color. 

They're kind of perfect, but let's see if we can get these results without the wait. It's time to get out the iron! 
Here's a new batch of flowers and leaves. 
Just as with the book method, I placed my flowers and leaves between 2 sheets of parchment paper. 
With my iron on the highest temperature setting without steam, I went over the flowers for about 3 of 4 minutes. 
And the results are in. This was definitely not as effective as using books for pressing. The leaves are not flattened and, what's worse, the pretty purple petunias turned brown. And my bell flowers look like they've been run over by a truck, or at least a bicycle. 
So there you have it. If you want really gorgeous pressed flowers that retain their color, you'll have to just wait. You'll have better looking results and there's hardly any active time at all.  

Fairy Garden Party

If planning a little girl's birthday doesn't get you crafting, I don't know what will. My sweet Isla turned 6 this month and we celebrated in the backyard with friends, lots of sweet treats, a piñata and a fairy garden craft. 
 I made the little fairy bunting banner by cutting out little triangles from burlap cardstock. Then I hot glued the back of each triangle to string and then glued the string around the ends of 2 skewers. 

I found the little chalkboard in the clearance bin at Michaels for less than $3. The girls and I painted the frame pink. 

Poor letter I. It's not the flashiest initial and it's often confused with the lower case L, but covering a cardboard cutout I-shape with little tissue paper rosettes helps it look special. 
I don't often refer to craft projects as easy, because even the simplest DIY projects can get pretty complicated. Especially if you're a perfectionist and aim to have everything look just right. The paper chain, however, really is hard to mess up. My 7-year-old helped me make a super long chaing to hang outstide on the shrubs. 
In the backyard, I set up a few fairy gardens. Last year we only had 1 little miniature garden. This year we have 4, thanks to me ordering the wrong scale accessories for the birthday party craft. That mistake left me with an abundance of little fairy furniture that I decided to keep. I'm really not sure who gets more excited about fairy gardens... me or the kids. 



I love how my husband hung the cupcake piñata with transparent fishing wire. It kind of reminds me of a surrealist painting. 
Some of those "mistake" fairy accessories decorated the outdoor table. 
I grabbed the wooden mushroom from my son's room.
I'm learning every year how to better adapt the menu for our young party guests. These white chocolate-covered marshmallows were a huge hit. 
To make these, I just melted a bar of white chocolate in a glass dish over boiling water, added some red food coloring and dipped jumbo-sized marshmallows in. Then I sprinked some sugar crystals on top and let them cool for a few minutes before serving. 

The first week of July is always the most colorful in my garden. 

Can you spot the garden jewels in the background? Their sparkles help catch fairies, of course. 
I got that idea from an episode of The Jennie Garth Project. You just hot glue some gems onto some fishing wire and hang. 
And there's Judy, a fixture at all our backyard events. 
I'm just going to show off now. There's my herb garden growing vigorously. 
And my day lilies and daisies. 
One thing that made my life so much easier this time was to just buy the cake at the bakery! It came all packaged up so our dog couldn't get to it. 
There's the happy birthday girl. 
 And here's the beach scene fairy garden all the girls made. 

I bought a few packs of anuals (look for plants that grow no more than 3 or 4 inches tall) and ended up buying umbrellas, buckets and sand from Michaels. The little fences came from Cosumercrafts.com. I had some moss left over from a previous project which we used around the base of the plants. 

One note: if you make a little mini garden with sand, it's best to place a piece of wax paper or plastic over the potting soil before you layer the sand. It will help keep the sand from getting mixed up with the soil. 
 A fairy garden isn't complete without fairy dust! That's just some glitter funneled into pretty little glass bottles. 
 Miniature garden shovels were perfect for scooping out the sand. 

And that was our fairy garden party! 
 
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