Yarn and rosettes and ribbon, oh my!

To anyone that knows me, it’s clear that I have a crafting addiction.  I can’t get enough of it and I really do enjoy a variety of projects.  I crochet.  I’m learning to knit (or trying to at least). I sew, mostly home items like pillow covers and curtains.  I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty when it comes to a project and, in all honesty, I always just feel better when I’ve got something physical to show for my work.  There was a point in time a few years ago when I was simply too busy, too tired and too broke to do much crafting at all; my extremely limited down time consisted of falling asleep in front of the television.  That was, quite possibly, the most miserable time of my adult years and the moment I was able to get to a Michael’s and find some lovely wool-blend yarn and a crochet hook, I felt much, much better.  I was still stressed out, but the simple act of just starting a project was enough to improve my mood.   It’s a stress-relieving tactic I use still.

But you’re not here to be regaled with a lengthy diatribe about how I find personal satisfaction in the act of creation, are you?

I consider myself lucky to have an incredibly diverse variety of friends.  I’m an Equal Opportunity Friender.  I don’t care about the color of your skin or the way you worship or what you do with your naughty bits as long as you are a genuine and good person.

Enter R.*  We met at my last job and I can say sincerely that she is a good and genuine person… who just happens to have the mouth of a sailor and the sense of humor of a 12 year-old boy.  A few years back, she and her wife decided that they wanted to expand their family and R. was able to conceive.  It came on the heels of her losing her mother suddenly so, naturally, our little dysfunctional work family was completely thrilled.  A few months down the line, she gave birth to a baby girl whom they named after R.’s late mother.

(* Name hidden because I’m sure she will kick my butt for mentioning her whole name.)

After seeing the Facebook post I made regarding the adorable autumn owl wreath I made, R. said that she wanted a wreath for her daughter.  And who am I to deny that adorable little girl a wreath?

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Unlike my Fall wreath, this one was very much a lesson in trial and error.  I wrapped, and rewrapped, the styrofoam form before I finally got it looking the way I wanted it to.  Mostly.

For your viewing pleasure, my supplies:

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You’ll notice the presence of some sheets of scrapbooking paper and an adorable baby-weight skein of yarn.  Yeah, I tried to use those and it just… wasn’t working out.  The original idea was to use ModPodge and cover the cute wooden letter in the paper.  Disastrous isn’t too strong a word to use to describe what happened there.  So yeah, that was scrapped (Get it?  I scrapped the scrapbooking paper.  HA.)

First up was the whole “wrap a ton of yarn around your wreath form” step.  Now, I have a confession to make: I am a crocheter by choice, by training, and by genetics.  Both of my grandmothers crocheted and taught me how to at the tender age of six.  It wasn’t until I was in my late teens that I discovered how fulfilling it could be and started actually working to make what I was creating look good rather than messy.  I’m still learning, but I don’t think you ever stop learning a thing like that.  But, having a nearly life-long love affair with hook and yarn, my yarn stash is a little terrifying.  Some is out on display, but most of it is boxed up in a closet, mostly because I still have a dream of turning the den into my Crafting Arena and there are other places we need to spend our money right now.

Given that my stash is extensive, I went to it for the yarn on this one.

IMG_0002I lost the label on it long ago, so I have no idea what brand it is, but I do know that it is acrylic and worsted weight and it has just a little bit of sparkle in it.  Perfect for a little girl who gets treated like a princess.

Once the form was wrapped and the ends secured with a little dab of hot glue, I went to work making the rosettes.  As R.’s daughter specifically requested pink, she got pink.  Two shades of it, even, and I added white in to break up the sea o’ pink.  With the help of a large can of enchilada sauce in my pantry and a piece of scrap paper, I made myself a circle drawing template and went to town.

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Let me just tell you… drawing circles on felt isn’t the hard part of making rosettes.  It’s cutting the little buggers out.  To pass the time, I did this in front of the T.V. over the course of a couple of nights and marathoned Breaking Bad.  After the circles were cut out, I spent the next several hours cutting each circle into a spiral and then rolling each spiral into a rosette.

IMG_0005The tutorial I was following (in a general sense) said “Hey, you should totally sew these all together!”.  My answer to that was “LOL NO. Hot glue.”  A dab on the side to secure the end of the “petal” and a light coating on the bottom to secure the flap and all the different layers and we’re good to go.

Since the scrap book paper wasn’t going to work, I tried wrapping the M in yarn.  That was even more of a joke than the paper.  I think it would have worked with a letter that was more blocky in style, but I went with the cute scrolly one.  So off to Joann’s I went to grab an appropriately pink paint.

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I think it came out better than it would have with the paper, personally!  Once it dried, all that was left was the assembly!

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I thought it turned out cute, but it was very obviously missing something.  Even expecting a ribbon wreath hanger wouldn’t help that huge blank space at the top.   The solution ended up being pretty obvious, but it took me a while to think of it.

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A bow!  I didn’t have floral wire to hold it together, of course, but I do have picture wire, so I McGyver’d that sucker, hid the wire with a scrap piece of ribbon, and glued the hell out of it all.  I even had just enough ribbon left over to make a (short) hanger for it.  And here it is, hanging on my (dusty, really need to clean that) door!

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