Peony Party

You guys! It’s been far too long. No really, I missed you! Can you even believe it’s officially summer? Gaaahhhh! Someone hit the snooze button on the summer clock because time is just flying by!

Apparently I didn’t see the Go Slow sign that spring was just around corner. I sped right past it. Put the pedal to the metal and floored it right to the end, took a sharp right and screeched to a halt right before Summerville.

I had taken a few photos back in April when I was visiting Mount Pleasant Cemetery. I had never been there before and was awed at how beautiful it was. I wish time had of permitted, I would have loved to have taken a stroll, so many beautiful trees in the early stages of spring budding.

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And the light. There is something almost tangible about spring light. And the warmth, that curl up like a cat in a pool of warm light.

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I guess I must have slowed down a bit to catch sight of it. But life has a way with stepping on the gas. You get busy with one thing and then another, and before you know it another season has come and gone.

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With April’s sunshine and warmth ending, May brought with it, what felt like, never ending clouds and rain. So much rain. And with the rain came the flooding – in my basement. My creative hub was in a state of such upheaval that none of the projects I had wanted to start were going anywhere.

And while I was huddled up inside, cursing the river that ran through my basement, a party was brewing up outside. I wasn’t invited. It was private, but I snuck a peek.

The peonies were partying.

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They started the dance with a reach for the sky stretch, followed by an explosive display of leaves and buds. But the highlight was this display of beautiful blooms.

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So short lived, I nearly missed it.

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A couple of heavy rains the following week and that was it. The Peony Party was over.

But I hear the music playing again. I’m not missing the next party….

The Hydrangeas are having a Hoopla…

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To quote Ferris Bueller “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”. Before you know it the roses will be having a rave! Happy week everyone!

Easter Bunny & Carrot Banner

Hi friends and welcome back! I can not get enough of this gorgeous sunshine and warm temps. Did you survive last week’s string wrap-a-thon? No? Consider it a head start on next year’s decorating! If I didn’t challenge your patience last week, I might send you over the edge this week.

Here’s something you need to know about me. I’m not always a quick craft kinda girl. And I’m not even a super imaginative crafter. I cheat. And not only do I cheat, I’m cheap too. I see random things I like all the time. And I think I can totally rock it and make it myself for a fraction of the cost…. today is no exception.

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I admit I saw this in a store and ‘pffftttt‘ at it. “I can sooo do this”. And of course it turned out way better than the one in the store :).

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Like last week, all the materials needed can be found at your local dollar store, Walmart or Michael’s. Remember, that you don’t need to make this exactly as I have. Use this as your inspiration and add your own twist. You will need….

Rabbit and carrot template
white, orange and green felt
white, orange, green and black thread
ribbon
sisal string (could be plain, or coloured or maybe a really pretty ribbon)
black beads
poly stuffing or cotton balls
sewing machine/glue or hot glue gun/needle and thread

This project has a lot of different steps, which means that I could go on and on and on and on for-ev-er…. So, rather that blether on, and you possibly fall asleep while at your computer, and then faceplant onto the keyboard making the ‘C’ key repeat CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC….. and you drool and short circuit something, lemme just save you by giving you a lot of photos and minimal instruction. Besides, you’ve totally got this!

Like I said, this is a bit of a long project. To make it faster, I recommend using your sewing machine. Don’t have one? No worries, plug in your glue gun (because hot glue, billions of little glue strings and burnt fingers will make this more fun) or to draw the fun out even more, grab the regular tacky glue or needle and thread! In the photos I showed hand sewing using a blanket stitch. It’s an easy stitch, goes quickly and looks pretty. I recommend doing this over gluing, but you be the judge of your own skill and patience.

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Chocolate. You need chocolate to get you ‘motivated’!

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Start with your templates. I found this wooden one at Michael’s when gathering my supplies and knew the size and shape would work well. Go on line for shapes that you like of rabbit silhouettes if you can’t find any in the shops. The simpler the better. Being wood also held up well with tracing. For the carrot template, I made a small cone shape from card stock and went all free form with the carrot top. Just keep the rabbit and carrot roughly the same size.

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No parabolas formulas are needed today, but I totally suck at math so I’m not helping you on this! Figure out how long you want your banner to be, how many bunnies and carrots you want on it and how far apart they will be from each other. Oh, and don’t forget that you need double the amount of bunnies …. OMG, math is so exhausting!

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I suggest you NOT cut out more than two layers of felt at a time. *Tip* – trace out your shape on one piece of felt and then staple your layers together. This prevents the felt from shifting while you’re cutting, keeping the details sharp and your bunnies won’t lose any ears!

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OK, fast forward – you’ve now got all your templates cut out. Yay for you, you deserve a chocolate!

(If you’re not using the sewing machine, this is where a large tray on your lap comes in handy while you watch a marathon of Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey or all 10 seasons of Big Bang Theory…)

Double layer of bunnies. Machine sew/glue/hand sew around the edge but leave the bottom open. Yeesssss, take the staples out!

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Gently stuff your bunnies with batting or pulled apart cotton balls. A chopstick or crochet hook will help get the stuffing all the way to the tips. Gently push the stuffing – don’t cram!

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Close ‘er up!

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Ooooo look! Chocolate! Yes please!

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Attach the green tops to the carrot by slightly overlapping and using a running stitch through the base of the green, leaving long ends.

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Close up the side of the carrot and gently stuff.

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Tie ‘er up!

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(Chocolate time!!)

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Sew/glue on eyes on BOTH side of bunny.

Mmmmmmmmmm, choc-o-late!

Bow tie time! Go on Pinterest to find out how to make perfect little bows using a fork (wait – whaaaaat???). It has been repinned a bazillion times so I’m not sure who the original, but BRILLIANT, author is. Shout out to whoever you are! Trust me when I say it’s easier to view those versions than any photos I could post of my clumbsy hands trying to do it! You’re welcome!

Make ONE for every bunny.

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Just ooonnne more!

By now you are either in a chocolate coma or climbing the walls after rewarding yourself along the way. Time to step back from the edge and put your thinking cap on. You need to lay out your bunnies and carrots to decide if you want ALL the bunnies going in ONE DIRECTION or if you want them to ALTERNATE.

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Once you’ve decided which way the bunnies will go, while still in place, put a little dot where the bow tie will go. (I KNOW you’re smart enough to know, but you’re still on a sugar high and might go rogue with that glue gun…) That dot will remind you where to put the bow tie in case you jump up suddenly because you’re bladder can’t wait another minute or the cat decided that those cute little bunnies needed some sense batted into them or you DID go rogue with that glue gun and you’ve burnt your fingers – again, and you ended up scattering those poor little creatures all over the floor. See? I got your back 🙂

Attach the bow.

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Attach the carrot and bunny, alternating, on to the string. Do your own math. Or eyeball it. Whatever you want. It’s all good! I would sew them on to the string – but I think you might be at the end of your rope, because, well, you are kinda strung out by now 🙂

Just a reminder that Easter hunts are not a competitive or contact sport so take it easy around the kids. If you ask nicely, I’m sure they’ll share with you!! Happy Easter friends! Enjoy your time with family and friends.

Disclaimer: All inspirations, words, photos and opinions are my own. I bought the chocolate (and my husband ate them) but wasn’t paid to do so!!

Easter Carrots

Easter.
Rainy days.
Trees budding.
Bulbs sprouting.
Pastels and bunnies.
Eggs and carrots.
Oh, and chocolate

…lots and lots of chocolate

For me, Easter is a time of renewal. A fresh start after a drab and dreary winter. Where colours come alive and the birds start chirping for all the world to hear!
And chocolate, of course.

Here’s a fun take on carrot cake, no baking required.
You will need:
Orange string (or plain sisal)
Newspaper
Tape and Double sided tape
Glue
Faux spikey greenery
Wire cutters or scissors
Orange paint (optional)
Most items can be purchased from your local dollar store.

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Take a sheet of newspaper and rip in half at the centre crease.
Scrunch and twist the paper to roughly resemble a carrot.
Use tape to secure the general shape. You want it kind of lumpy and twisted to give it some interest.

At the top, push your finger into the paper to create a rounded top. Grab a pencil and push it in about a ½” to 1”.

Secure a piece of double sided tape to the bottom of the carrot, towards the tip. I added a small dot of hot glue to really make sure the string adheres.

Now take your string and start wrapping. And if you’re really clever, add a rap while you’re at it!

Now, use what you like here. If you don’t care about a million glue strings and burnt fingers, you can use your glue gun like I did. Maybe do as I say and not as I do…. 
When you’re wrapping the string, stop every so often and secure another piece of double sided tape. This will stop the string from sliding and shifting. Make sure if you stop mid-way you grab another piece of tape and secure the string. Otherwise it will unravel – along with your mind!

Make sure when you’re wrapping that you’re also pushing the string close to the last row. You want the string to cover the newspaper completely.

As you near the top, secure more pieces of tape over the top to the centre whole. Keep wrapping until done. Use another drop of hot glue to secure the ends.

If you couldn’t find orange string and used regular sisal instead, now’s the time to pull out your orange paint. Slightly water down the paint and apply to the string with either a sponge brush in a pouncing motion or with a brush.

Using your wire cutters or scissors, cut off pieces of your faux greenery and hot glue them down the whole at the top of your carrot. Don’t add too many. Carrot tops are kind of scrappy thin. If you can find green raffia, that would be a great substitution.

Make a bunch of carrots and tie with a pretty ribbon or several loops of sisal string. Display on a plate, a basket or in a crate.
Have fun and use your imagination!

Oh, and a chocolate reward (or two)!

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