Sunday, February 28, 2010

The first thing I do when I start any craft project is...

...forget about the directions.

I am cursed like that.

Seriously.

And then I just go my own way...a trait that has had frustrated a few art teachers in the past causing them to ask me just to get a refund. I mean, seriously. I can take a hint but geez! Some people really WANT you to follow their directions. Sigh.

But...

In my previous post after our weiner dog Oskar came to my rescue, I was left with almost all the materials I needed to make this paper wreath... I gathered up the few other things I needed like my hot glue gun, a 14" extruded styro green wreath, a pencil, my zig-zag scissors and a few other things......although there were no watercolors involved in the original project I felt the need to change it up...

So the first thing I did was cut about 100 paper leaves. I stacked up five pages and then just free-hand cut out shapes...roughly the same size...between 3 and 3 1/2" long and 2 and 2 1/2" wide. Then I put them on waxed paper and used green and yellow watercolors to add some tint to them. I actually made them fairly damp so they would curl up a bit for texture on my wreath. Then I let them dry and started attaching them to the wreath form with hot glue. At first I tried sticking them down with a pencil eraser but I have pretty tough fingers so I quickly abandoned that. I layered them on the sides, too, to make sure the wreath form wouldn't show. Put the hot glue on the front of the leaves that are going on the side of the wreath so the color wash shows. The leaves on the top of the wreath need to have the glue on the back. You would probably figure this out right away but it took me about 5 inches of wreath to get the hang of it.

Just keep going around your wreath until it is completely covered in leaves. At least that's what the directions say.

But...

I am thinking in the leaf gluing process how cool paper roses would look instead of a bow. So what I did was rip the edges off both sides of some pages and then cut them in half lengthwise. Then I smeared watercolor all over the edge and while it was slightly damp rolled it into a flower. I'll show you how in a minute.

The first one I made was pink-y red and I thought it looked boring with the leaves. So then I made purple ones which were a whole lot prettier with the greenish-yellow of my wreath. I think they turned out quite pretty.

I'm going to show you how I did it but don't be distracted by my paint covered non-hand-model hands. They are old. But I like them anyway. But you may not like them and think "OMG! Look at those old, paint covered hands and close this post and then you will miss out on the glory that these paint smeared leaves will become!

So...

Disregarding the hands, here's how I made the flowers.

After you smear your paint all over the edge turn the paint side down and start rolling the rectangle into a little tube...
Then just start forming "petals" with the paper. The paper must be slightly damp or it won't work...or at least it didn't for me...
If you want your flower to be bigger add on more sheets of paper......and then pinch the base of the flower together, wrap it with florists tape... and then cut off right below the florist tape. Carefully fluff up the flower a little bit and then put more watercolor on if you like. Make your flowers different sizes by simply using more or less paper and pinching farther forward or back before you wrap the base with floral tape. Just mess around with it. There is no cost involved and although you may end up with several ugly flowers while you practice it is actually kind of fun once you get the hang of it.

At least I thought it was mostly fun. Except for the brief time when I was making my paper flowers and I had a bad flashback to the one and only time I was arrested in my life. I actually made similar flowers to these in my little jail cell out of paper cups but I didn't have any florist tape or watercolors so they weren't quite as lovely. But that whole sordid tale is a story for another time.

Because here at Jenny Matlock I am always on track.

I never divert from a given course.

NoSirreeBob! I am focused. I am intent. I am...

Huh? Wreath? Wreath? Oh!

So, yea, back to the paper flowers now...

When I got to this part of making the wreath I ran into a little snag because the flower has a kind of thick base that made it hard to attach to the wreath.

So I took the pencil and kind of stabbed into the wreath (vicariously violent - I liked it!) and then poke a hole down with the eraser. I filled it with hot glue and then stuck my flower in...
...and then I filled in around the flowers with a few smaller water-color washed leaves...and...
drumroll please...


I love it!

I like the idea of making one in fall colors, too!

And now I need to go make a smaller one for a gift for a sweet girl I know!

And if you make one send me a picture, OK?

I want to see what happens when you don't follow my directions!

Sigh...

This post is linked to Trendy Treehouse!


PS! This wreath is brought to you by Oskar and my inability to follow directions.

PPS! On Friday I am going to do my Lisa Leonard jewelry giveaway.

PPPS! Bye.

post signature


58 comments:

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Good Morning Jenny Sweetie...
Happy Sunday and look at you girl. I am so proud of you. Look at this absolutely exquisite wreath, and does it ever look beautiful on your door. Tomorrow, while on lunch I am going to the craft store so that I can purchase a wreath foam and give it a try. I will also need watercolors as that is something I do not have either. I may just check the dollar store for both. I have plenty of books that I can use. About what size were your leaves in inches that you cut sweet friend? Ooh and floral tape. I have none of that either.

Awesome, just absolutely gorgeous. Thank you for inspiring me to give it a try. If it doesnt't turn out, no pictures, into the trash, if I make it you will be the first to know. You will hear me screaming clear over there. Many country hugs. Love ya girl, Sherry

beedeebabee♥ said...

Hi Jenny! I really love how your wreath turned out! Your not following the directions, and changing it up, made it even more special! Love the watercolors and the flowers, AND you're so funny, so that was good too! xoxo Paulette

Kathie @ Just a Happy Housewife said...

I love it!!! I also love that you did your own thing :-)

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

How fun! I love it, and I really love the little flowers...and it is fun to get our old hands all painty like that...keeps us young!

Brenda said...

Love that you added the water colors to it. And the roses turned out great. Did you make that up as you went or have inspiration. I went from you post yesterday to the post where you got your inspiration and I think both are good but I like color. I might have to try. Just took down my valentine wreath I made yesterday, I need something springy to replace it.

Deb said...

it really turned out cute....

The Muse said...

Nice colorful tutorial!
(are you left handed?)
I enjoyed seeing your paint covered hands, Ms Jenny...the sure sign, fun is being had during your creative process! :)

Crystal said...

LOVE IT. love it. LOVE IT!!! Now I can't wait to get to the Dollar $tore & get my junk so I can join in! Too cute. It turned out so good. And I don't follow directions either. Just sayin. ;) Have a great Sunday!!!

Julie Schuler said...

I wasn't too sure about this yesterday, but your wreath looks way better than the example. The paint wash is crucial. Those purple flowers really make it pop.
And I love your painty fingers. They are my favorite kind of fingers.

Melinda Cornish said...

it is awesome Jenny....I love the addition of the flowers...and I love your hands too........

beyondbaffled said...

Great wreath - and it looked fun to make as well!

Tina ~ Blessings Friends. said...

Neato, Miss Jenny!

Tina ~ Blessings Friends. said...

Neato, Miss Jenny!

Chatty Crone said...

Well, it looks beautiful (and complicated for me - lol).

It sure is pretty.
sandie

~Kim~ said...

Who needs directions? :-) I totally agree, I think yours is better than the original!! This could be Chapter One in Oskar's book! :-)

Just Breathe said...

You are so creative. I love your twist on this. It turned out perfect. I would actually buy that.
Way to go!

Brenda said...

Leave it to you to make a good thing better. You go girl! You would so get along with my husband. He thinks instructions are just added to things to aoid lawsuits. I say hey are added to help you finish your project in a shorter amt of time while using all the items in the box. He always required extra items not in the box, AND, here's the hicker, he ALWAYS has left over parts (yes, from the ones included in the kit, LOL!). After 16 years, I just ignore him, LOL!

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

Wow! It turned out great!! The addition of roses is perfect! Wonder how I could make one with yellow roses? Maybe with dark green leaves?

Thanks for letting me know!

Katherine

Patti said...

Hi Jenny: love the wreath; what a great idea. I've been meaning to try making paper roses for awhile! I also do not like to follow directions either...makes it more interesting. Have a great week!

sissie said...

Hi Jenny,
Not aren't you the ingenious one?
That is quite a project and your tutorial is perfect. Of course, I'm like you, I never follow instructions, ugh!
I also get in a great deal of trouble for not doing so.
Anyway, I love your wreath and you are so darn funny.
Love you girl!

hugs
Sissie

Unknown Mami said...

You do not need to follow directions! You have skills and vision. Putting your own twist on it seems like an improvement. Well done.

Thank you sooo much for visiting on my SITs day!

Jennifer said...

That's so cute! The technique you used for the roses is similar to the technique I use when I make duct tape roses. :)

Jen said...

Jenny, I craft a lot like you...Directions, ha, who needs them? Oh, usually me in the end. I LOVE those flowers, too cute and cleaver!

Jen said...

Jenny, I craft a lot like you...Directions, ha, who needs them? Oh, usually me in the end. I LOVE those flowers, too cute and cleaver!

mrs. c said...

I think that you wreath is "just darling" that's what we say in the south! I like yours much better that than example, it was too plain foe me. I make those same flowers with playdough at school with my pre-k'ers. Don't you just love making something out of stuff you have around the house! i just might have to try this!

Vicki said...

Yeah, directions are just SOoOo over rated! Love what you created.. and give Oskar a nice little pat on the head. So did you give a winking little hahaha to the hubby?

Keep us giggling my friend (O:

danita said...

that looks awesome! thanks for stopping by my little blog!

Catherine said...

Ooohhh, I love that, Jenny! And I have just the book to make one of those out of... I washed my husband's pocket Bible ;) ... Just one of the many wonderful things I've done to him in the last 15 years (though this one I don't technically take the blame for, because he knows by now that I don't check pockets when I do the laundry) . Nevertheless, I stashed it in my "to use someday" drawer, and now I have the perfect thing to make from it.
And about following directions, I once read that directions are only for people who don't already know what to do ;) .
Blessings,
Catherine

The Lone Dollier said...

Love your wreath - in fact I like it more than the original. Also, thanks for the flower tut. I had been wondering how everyone was making such wonderful flowers and now I know.

Smiles~
Marilyn

Keetha Broyles said...

Well I'd say yours turned out really cute by your own directions!

Linda said...

Jenny I love this wreath! I think the water colors are brilliant! I like the 'plain' ones but this one sings and it is calling my name. Now if I can just make myself try it. I only need water colors, glue gun, pencil, pages, zigzag scissors and well....that's most of the list. Sigh...directions? were there directions? Sorry too busy ohhhing and awwwing!!

diney said...

How gorgeous! Lovely to see your blog and thanks for visiting mine recently.

(I made pancakes with my own batter today which were sooo nice in comparison to those awful Tescos ones I mentioned!!)

Sarah Lou said...

Oh just fabulous! I love adore your writing style, sounds like what is inside my brain!!

Kristi Flanagan said...

Jenny - the wreath turned out great!

Kristi
Punkin Seed Productions

Diana said...

Oh my Gosh! Look at those old, paint covered hands! Only kidding, I loved your wreath Jenny. And I also loved the fall colors idea. Very, very nice!
Love Di ♥

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Ginny, this looks great! Super job!

And now that you brought it up, let me guess... you were arrested in one of those fundraisers where your friends and family have to pay to bail you out of jail, and the money raised goes to charity. That, or you got caught in a speed trap. OR were you protesting???

"Enquiring" minds want to know...

XO,

Sheila :-)

Nancy said...

Look at you!! Awesome wreath! I have to say, love your blog and your humor!! Thanks again for checking in on my new blog, Nancy's Notes!

Life is good! said...

i like, i like! the spring colors are just perfect cause isn't spring just around the corner?

Kathleen said...

Lovely, so unique..you can read while turning over a new leaf..:)
That took a lot of patience...I have none left...I used it all up..

Cheryl @ a pretty cool life. said...

What a fun twist on the wreath that's all over blogland!!

Cousin B said...

Hello, I'm new here. Love the humor on your blog! thanks for stopping by mine! Your wreath is great too!

Jana said...

Okay I love the finished product it is so beautiful! and perfect for a writer and crafter like you! I have to admit I got really excited and scrolled down and then went through and read the whole post. Such an awesome Idea!!!!

Lois said...

Hello Jenny.
I really liked the wreath and am thinking of doing one. It will have to wait until this summer but I would love to try it. I have the perfect book to cut up. It's one that someone was going to toss out and I rescued. It's a book on tree's, in colour no less. I knew there was a reason I rescued that book.
Thank you for sharing and instructing. I am grateful for it.
Lois

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I love it - especially that you added your own special touches to it with the roses. It is gorgeous!

Just think of all the cool wreaths you can make! You can do a beautiful one for Christmas and then do a giveaway which of course, I'd have to win. ;)

WhisperingWriter said...

Wow, that wreath is really pretty!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I love your wreath, Jenny, and that you mad eit with recycleed paper! The flowers add a nice touch!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I love your wreath, Jenny, and that you mad eit with recycleed paper! The flowers add a nice touch!

Helen McGinn said...

I love it. I want to make one in fall colours too. With daffodils. Ooh, and bluebells...mmm...maybe not at the same time.

From craft to jail in one easy step; can't WAIT for that tale! ;O)

xx

Cassie said...

I love your wreath! Very springy....and your little Oscar...love him too! Those little dogs have so much personality.

Pom Pom said...

My daughter and I were just talking about wiener dogs the other day. Funny. Your wreath is fantastic! Thank you for the directions. I get so intimidated by "instructions" and I need to get over it and just bust on through like you do! Happy! Happy!

jennifer said...

Directions give me hives!

I love your wreath. Oh Jenny, it was way too cute! The watercolor was the perfect dash of interest!

Now. Jail. Do tell... :) I'm kidding (ish) because I don't want you to ask me about the cop making us pour beer out (my mother in law reads my blog).

Have a wonderful week!

Together We Save said...

Great job!! I love it!!

Stephanie Faris said...

SO cool!!! I may have to give that a try.

~Kristen~ said...

I love love love it!!! I have been wanting to make a book page wreath for so long now! Each weekend I say I am going to go to the used book store for a few cheap paperbacks to get started. You have inspired me!!! :-)

Kim said...

I think I like yours better than the first picture--so there is something to be said for not following directions and following your own path. Love the added roses too- great job Jenny!

Country Dreaming said...

Very festive for Spring. Now what does your husband think of it!
HA! HA!


Melinda

Sarah said...

Jenny, I adore this finished project. Thanks for giving all the detailed photos and instructions. Now all I need is time. LOL

Yarni Gras! said...

love it! I'm so glad Melinda sent me over. I want a Halloweeny style one! (of course, I want a Halloweeny style everything)