When quarantine started back in March 2020, my mind was all over the place and I was seeking clarity and consistency. So in my moments of frustration, anger, sadness, hopelessness, and boredom, I focused my mind on something mundane. It actually helped me focus on my thoughts in a more constructive manner instead of ruminating on things.
This craft has focused my mind many times in the past few months, allowing me to have a brief moment to focus on something easy, when the world around us seems to be uncontrollable. And even though it’s easy to do, it just take a lot of time. Ironically, quarantine gives you that time.
Hard foam ball
A prep station (I used a bead board)
Reading glasses (I need them) :)
Take a straight pin and thread with a seed bead and sequin. Insert the pin into the ball. This will be the starting point from which you will place all subsequent sequins. Here are some more tips:
First off, it takes way more pins and sequins than you really think. I would suggest buying a few boxes to start. (For example: the smallest ball used about 450 pins)
I used a bead board (typically used for beading and jewelry making) but what is nice about it is the beads don’t go rolling everywhere.
I used smooth foam balls this time around (instead of the traditional styrofoam ones) and found it is easier and produces a better end result.
I actually spray painted the large black one with black spray paint before any of the sequin pins went on. This way I avoided any white peeking through when finished. (I lovingly call this one the Death Star.) You don’t really need to do this pre-paint with the lighter colors.
Thread multiple straight pins upfront before applying to the ball both to save time and to make it easier to set your pattern.
Start from one pin insertion, and use this as the center point to apply additional sequins around the first. This technique allows for concentric colored rings if you desire.
You can match colors of the pin/bead/sequin to make a more unified look, or you can change up the colors to make the look more unique. The choice is really up to you.
As you add new sequins, lightly overlap the previous sequin, staggering them so they fill the gaps that expose the foam ball.
Continue adding sequins in one color or various colors depending on what you want as an end result. Keep doing this until you’ve completely covered the ball.
I didn’t stop at one…but I kept going, and now I have a whole bowl full!
Once you have a collection, you can place them in a bowl or even attach ribbons to the balls to make hanging ornaments.
(Quote from “Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame: College Course”, www.independent.co.uk. November 17, 2010.)
Holiday Wreaths with Fortunate Orchard & Field Trip Society
Last Sunday I attended this wreath making class with Field Trip Society and Fortunate Orchard. It was a perfect opportunity to start off the holiday season, as well as catch up with some friends that I haven’t seen in awhile. Field Trip Society offers awesome classes, and this one was as great as the ones I’ve taken in the past. A few of the folks in the class have taken this one before and it’s become a holiday tradition for them. I think I agree with this sentiment, and will probably do it again next year!
The class was held at the Seward Park Audubon Center. It was a drizzly and cold day in Seattle, but this location was so awesome. We warmed up by the fire with cookies and hot cider.
So many gorgeous swags of greenery and additions like branches, pine cones and dried berries.
The instructions weren’t complicated, but it just took some good old elbow grease (and some gardening gloves) to tie all the boughs onto the grapevine wreath.
THE FINISHED PRODUCT
Here is my first ever created wreath! It’s not super clean, but I kind of like it’s natural look. :)
The month of December I was able to slow down for once and relax. I was able to put my Christmas tree and decorations up early and enjoy them. I also had time to catch up on my DVR, as well as even watch some cheesy made-for-tv holiday specials. :) I also had time to revisit some of my old holiday DIY posts, and clean them up a little for my blog. I especially reflected on 25 Days of Crafts that I did back in 2013 with Cathie of tinsel + trim. It was so fun to go back through all our crafts…remembering all the late nights we spent working on them. :) We were so crazy trying to attempt that.
So whether you have the time off or not, I hope you all had some time to enjoy the festivities, and reflect on the season. Here is a sneak peak of my house all ready for the big day.
Merry Christmas to you and your families!
When the season gets away from you, the best way to still get in the holiday spirit is to find easy ways to make your existing decor festive. This year I decided to put a reindeer (one of a whole bag full) to good use, and make him a new tropical home (in my terrarium.) And why do I have a bag of plastic reindeers you ask? I honestly have no idea. :) Of course I couldn’t just shove him in the terrarium and call it a day…I had to spray paint him gold. He looks so much more festive this way.
Small to Medium sized terrarium rocks
Small terrarium rocks
Gold spray paint
Mini bristle brush tree
Place some medium-sized terrarium rocks at the bottom of your glass terrarium. This layer is to help the soil drain, and you can use whatever color of rocks you’d like. I used black colored rocks (because that is what I had on hand) but rocks in a different shade help give the terrarium interest.
Then add a little soil. Create a small well in the center and plant your plant, gently pack the soil around the base of the succulent.
Once you have the succulent planted, use a plastic spoon to insert the small terrarium rocks around the base of your plant.
Spray paint your plastic reindeer gold, and let it dry. Once it’s dry place it into your terrarium…along with any other fun objects you would like to add.
Such an easy way to make everyday decor festive!
Modern Christmas Decor
I have historically been a little schizophrenic when it comes to my Christmas decoration themes. Here are some of the themes I’ve had in the last 20 years.
Shabby Chic Country – Think patchwork, torn fabric, and wooden bead garland.
Rustic Wrought Iron – Most of my ornaments were metal. I did however LOVE my tree topper that was wrought iron multi-spoke stars.
Red, Green, and White – This one is obvious.
Traditional – Tipping off the previous theme, but think Christopher Radko style ornaments in the previous color scheme.
My latest theme? Modern black, white, gray, and gold. We’ll see how long this one sticks. :)
So in honor of my inability to stick to one Christmas theme, here is a round-up of my favorite modern Christmas decorations this year.