Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The winner is:

This is just a quick post to announce the winner of my Valentines Day giveaway.   I have been without my computer for two days due to a virus. 
True Random Number

She chose the Swag with the Sea Shells and Dried Flowers.
This person found my giveaway at
Thank you to everyone who entered and supported my giveaway.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Making a Keepsake Wreath

I have a bunch of great stuff I have collected at the beach or walking in woods.  I try to use some of these things in my wreaths to make them special one of a kind creations.   If you have a  similar collection of items, you can simply display them as a table centerpiece in a clear glass container or use them to make a keepsake wreath. 

You can use any kind of grapevine wreath.  Here is a heart wreath that I used to make a wreath with sea shells that I painted sea foam blue.
Grapevine twig heart with spanish moss base

Using hot glue - glue a base of spanish moss around your grapevine base or where you want to add your flowers.  Here I have added it all around the heart twig form.  Adding moss first really makes it much easier to attach and secure your flowers or other items.
Sea Shells painted sea foam blue

You need a filler, backround material (like silver king or german status), accent flowers (roses, celosia, globe amaranth), and something long like larkspur, eucalyptus or even lavender.  You can use either silk or dried flowers.  You can add anything you may have collected like seashells, pine cones, interesting stones, twigs, bark, or what have you.
Finished heart with sea foam blue seashells
There are more photos of the heart wreath above in my Artfire Shop.

keepsake wreath with driftwood, seashells, seaglass and dried flowers

The wreath about is one that I made as a gift for my mother.  I used sea shells we collected together on the beach, along with driftwood and sea glass.

After you have glued the spanish moss on the wreath base, take your filler material - break the branches into two or three inch long pieces and begin to glue each piece into the moss until the whole base is covered.  Rather than a glue gun, I use a glue pan. With a glue pan, you can just dip each stem into the glue and then place carefully onto the wreath base.  If you are using something sturdy for the long stem material like eucalyptus you can add that next in the same manner.  Break it into short pieces somewhat longer than the filler so it will stand out and hot glue it to the spanish moss base.  You might need to tear off the bottom petal of the eucaluptus so you can push it into the moss base.   If your stem material is more fragile, like lavender or larkspur add it last so it doesn't get damaged while you work.  Once you have the filler and stem material evenly distributed around the wreath you can begin to add your accent flowers.  Apply hot glue to each flower and carefully attach to wreath.  At this point take your keepsakes and also glue those harmoniously about the wreath.
Grapevine Wreath
The above grapevine wreath is available in my Artfire Shop. Spanish moss was added to the above wreath just at the top where the flowers were glued.  Silver king was used for the filler.  The accent flowers were off white globe amaranth and velvety pink celosia.  The eucaluptis and larkspur and twigs are the long stem pieces. 


This wreath is in my etsy shop  -  The filler used for this wreath is a soft green emerald king.  The accent materials are globe amaranth and seashells.  The long stem materials used are wheat sprigs, and soft white larkspur.

I hope you can follow these instructions and will create a keepsake for yourself to remind you of a special place that you have visited.  Here is a special place we visited where I collected sea shells that I'm reminded of when I work on my wreaths.

Rockport, MA

Sunday, February 6, 2011

New ideas for dinner!

I was in need of some new ideas for dinners -- I was really tired of the regular rotations in our dinner menus.
So I found this program called   E-MEALZ Easy Meals for Busy and Frugal Families.  For $5.00 per month, you receive a weekly menu plan along with the coordinating shopping list.  I have unique challenges as I have finicky eaters in the family.  For example, one doesn't eat chicken another doesn't eat ground beef.   That alone eliminates a bunch of recipes.  I knew that with the limited range of recipes that my family would eat, that I probably wouldn't be able to follow their plan every day, but I have been using it for about three weeks and have found each week two to three recipes to try.  The weekly plan offers a wide variety of menus and the recipes are easy to follow and easy to make.  They offer many menu plan options to choose from.  I choose the any store plan but there are also shopping plans for certain stores like Walmart, Publix, Krogers and others.  These plans coordinate the menus with what is on sale that week at that store to maximize savings.  There are also diet options, like low carb, low fat or point system plans.  They allow you to switch plans one time if desired and I plan to sometime switch to the vegetarian plan as one of my daughters would like to be vegetarian.   I am not really someone who naturally can plan ahead nor do I have the time, therefore having someone do this weekly meal plan for me is very helpful.  Check out the e-mealz plan for yourself.   If you or your family like a wide range of foods, this would be even more helpful to you.