Sunday, February 23, 2014

What to make? What to bake?

I discovered something while planning for Christmas gifts this past year, but a friend of mine reminded me this past week.  First, a little back story...

This was Scott and my 11th Christmas together.  For the past 11 Christmases I have done a majority of the Christmas shopping/making/gift planning.  Some of you know exactly what I'm talking about... and since my first real job as as a gift wrapper at JC Penney, I also wrap a majority of the gifts - usually all except mine.  Scott is actually a pretty good gift wrapper, for the record.  

This year I had some issues planning for my sister-in-law, Jessica.  She's really not difficult to shop for, but I know we've given her a few scarves, jackets and other clothing over the years.  I wanted something more original.  Maybe something for their new house?  I didn't know what to do and had major creative block trying to think of something.  

ENTER PINTEREST - to save the day once again!

I was surfing on Pinterest and saw some really cute stuff Jessica pinned.  Then it dawned on me - I don't have to ask for a list or suggestions from her; I can just check her pins for something she would like!!  It was genius!  (I know this isn't something new and many of you have done it, but I felt awesome thinking of it!)  

Jessica pinned a beautiful jewelry board (similar to this, but not the same.)

I knew I had to find/make/buy something.  I headed to Hobby Lobby and started filling my basket with a frame and ribbons... then I roamed down an isle and found one!  Perfect!!  

With the crazy last few months I have had it doesn't surprise me I forgot about this.  That was until a friend of mine offered to make us dinner while I was out on medical leave.  She was trying to think of something to make for us and ended up surfing my Pinterest page for the answer.  (Thank you, Amy Brown, for the delicious cream cheese chicken enchiladas!)

So, the moral of the story:  When you're looking to make something for someone, bake something for someone, or just hit a creative block on what to get them... check out their Pinterest page!


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Picture Frame Wreath

What you will need:   
24-2x3" frames
24 of your favorite photos
18" grapevine wreath
floral wire, ribbon (if you want)

When I first joined Pinterest I pinned a beautiful wreath made of picture frames, hoping one day I would be able to make it for my mother-in-law, Linda. This Christmas I decided that would be the perfect gift for her.  I started by asking her to pick about 20 of her favorite pictures - group, singles, old, new... pretty much whatever she wanted (which caused some problem on her part because she wanted more direction than I was willing to give).  I already had a few photos I wanted to include, hence only 20 and not 24.

While Linda perused through years of photos looking for her favorites I set off looking for small pictures frames.  I decided I needed about 24-2" frames of different shapes and designs.  I did know I wanted to stick with "silver" for the color scheme.  I hit up Hobby Lobby first... they have a great selection of small frames but they were really expensive, even with the 50% off, when I would be buying over 20.  After that I strolled over to The Dollar Tree where I hit the jackpot!  I bought pretty much everything they had, as well as a few that really caught my eye at Hobby Lobby.  

Once Linda gave me the photos she loved, I scanned them into my computer and used Picasa (a free program) to crop them all down to 2x3 and adjust them all to black and white (my preference). Then I printed them all on regular paper (you could use photo paper if you wanted, but I did not find a need to since I have a nice printer).  Then I used a cutting board to cut them all out.  Then they are ready to go in the frames.  I laid all mine out to make sure I had everything like I wanted it!

After putting all the pictures in frames I did have to prep the frames.  The "arm" on the back of the frame used to make it stand had to go.  I was able to do this to most, but my "good deal" frames from The Dollar Tree needed their stands hot glued down.  Basically you are making something to weave the wire through.

Floral wire laced under the stand on the back of the frame - stand has been hot glued down.
 When all your frames are ready you can begin placing them on your wreath.   I loved the way this worked on the grapevine wreath!  There were a lot of place to weave and twist the floral wire to when attaching the frames.

The hardest part was making sure there weren't too many pictures that were similar (the same people, even or layout - landscape/portrait) in the same place. I did have to move some around after adding more.

 As you can see, my style leans more towards an overlapping, eclectic mix.  I didn't really want the wreath to show through too much and I wanted as many pictures on as possible.  Some had to be twisted to just the right angle so the photo next to/behind/etc. could still be seen. 

 Once I finished attaching and adjust all the frames just right, I attached a burlap and lace ribbon to add a little something extra.  I thought the final product was perfect.  I'm sure I'll make another one of these soon... for me! :)