The Head That Wears the Crown

Right after our big trip I attended a workshop on how to make flower crowns with a well-known local artist & florist, Alaska KnitNat.  I’ve seen her work in many photographer’s images and it always looks stunning, so I was interested to learn a bit about how to create something similar for my styled shoots and special projects.  It was a “make & take” workshop I arranged to do a quick photo shoot for a friend a few hours after the workshop so we could use the crown and get some images of it, which is where the image above came from.  It’s a little different posing with a crown since it’s not something most people wear every day, but we had lots of fun with it.  Here’s the basics on how it went together.

The instructor had several flower options available to choose from and these little pink flowers, which I believe are was flowers immediately spoke to me.  I decided to use those and dusty miller that her landscaper friend had given her for experimenting along with some thistles (a nod to our recent trip to Scotland) and lavender.

The starting point is this coated florist wire.  It’s available at both JoAnn Fabrics & Micheals.  Using your own head as a measuring tool, wrap the wire around where you want it to sit and cut leaving 1-2″ extra on each end to create the tie in the back.

We opted to do a ribbon tie at this workshop because it was a bit prettier and allowed for different sizing if it was to be worn by different models.  The alternate is to leave excess room to weave or twist the two ends together.  To create attachment points for our ribbon ties we created a small loop on either end of the wire.

These loops were secured with floral tape wrapped around the wire.  From there, the pieces of ribbon were double-knotted through the ‘eye’ created by the tape on each side.   Now it’s time to start using the florals.

I got so engrossed in the creative process I apparently didn’t take any pictures of this stage, so I’ll try to describe it the best I can.  Using small sections of your selected florals (2-3 small stems or pieces arranged together), you begin to form the arrangement.  Tape the stems of each section down to the wire, working in one direction so each batch covers the stems of the previous batch.  Alternate the direction each batch points off the wire (right or left) in a cross-hatch style so that you keep things full and all the connections on the wire covered.  You also want to make sure your florals are all on the top side of the wire, so that the back side remains flat to sit against the head.

The process does take a bit of planning before you dive in since once each section goes down it’s nearly impossible to add to it because you layer each section with the sticky floral tape.  I forgot to include a thistle early on in the design of mine and had to work it back in trying to secure it without disturbing the other sections around it.  I made it work, but it wasn’t the best option.  I highly recommend just playing with a design or arrangement before you commit to the tape, or make a few practice crowns until you get it just the way you want.

I chose to make an asymmetric design rather than a full crown that goes all the way around the head, so I started my sections about a third of the way down my wire from the ribbon eye loop and stopped about a third of the distance to the other side’s ribbon tie.  If you were doing a full crown you would start closer to the eye loop and continue all the way down the wire.

Here’s me modeling the finished piece after the class.  The Dusty Miller really gave it a unique look and made it easy to transition from fall to winter.  One of the other participants in the class was a local cake maker I’ve met several times.  She also chose to do an asymmetric design with eucalyptus, lavender, thistle and statice.  It had a wonderful woodland fairy vibe and because of the flowers she chose the instructor was fairly certain she’d be able to let it air dry and keep it for years.

I enjoyed wearing my handiwork the rest of the day until my friend’s shoot, where we took turns wearing it.  I even wore it to do some shopping and got several compliments on it – although some didn’t even notice it since it was the same day as a big costume marathon in town!  Here’s one of my favorite shots with the crown from my friend’s session.  It certainly creates a whimsical look.  You can see the ribbon tie sticking out a bit in the back due to the angle.  I left it here so you could get a sense of where it tied, but I’ll probably photoshop it out in the final edit.

Because I also chose florals that kept well I was able to store it in the refrigerator and use it on a senior photo shoot the following week!  It had just started to snow and we were surrounded by evergreen trees rather than colorful leaves so it has a completely different look in this shoot.  I let the senior keep it after her shoot so she could enjoy it and feel like a princess for a few more days.

It was fun learning a new skill and I plan to put that knowledge to work for future sessions to spice up my portfolio.  Have you ever worn a flower crown or have a favorite ‘look’ that used one?  I’d love to see a picture of it for inspiration!  Alaska KnitNat also has a more in-depth, step-by-step tutorial with a video on how to create these crowns on her site, so be sure to check it out along with her other DIY tutorials for fun projects like a Modern Hoop wreath and even how to make grocery store flowers look like a professional floral arrangement!

 

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Last Minute No-Sew Halloween Pillow

Happy Halloween everyone!  I finished this project just in time to enjoy it today and am so pleased with how it turned out I just had to share.  It started with these fun spider place mats I found in the dollar section at Target.  I think the pair were just $3.

I loved the cute fringe on the edges and that the simple pattern didn’t scream Halloween since I’ve moved to more neutral decor, even for holidays.  The place mats already had hems around each edge and had a felt backing.  I’d seen several tutorials on opening up one side of double sided place mats to make pillows but since these weren’t double-sided and I don’t sew, I took the easy route with fabric glue.

While getting a little TV time in, I put a bead of glue around three edges on the back of one place mat and carefully aligned the other one to match.

The glue instructions say to wait 30 minutes to allow a good bond.  I compressed the two place mats together under a cutting board with several heavy items on top of it for about 24 hours to make sure there was a really good bond since this would be a pillow – plus it was already late at night and I had work the next day!  I was left with this cute pocket ready for filling.

I stuffed fiber fill I’d kept from one of many pillows the dogs had worn out until it started to look like a pillow.  I ran another bead of glue along the open edge and pushed the two edges closed.  Now that the pillow was filled the cutting board compression method wasn’t feasible so I dug out a bag of clips I’ve kept and used those along the edge to keep everything together.  I let that sit overnight as well because I had to be away from the house the whole next day.  One of the clips did stick a bit due to some glue that oozed out the side, but I gently pulled the spot back and was able to remove the clip without any issue.

And here’s the finished pillow!  Isn’t it adorable?!  I was at a workshop all weekend so I took advantage of a photo shoot setup to get a couple of good daytime shots for you.

The pom pom fringe was what initially drew me to the place mats and it’s the perfect finishing touch to keep this little pillow fun rather than spooky.

And it looks awesome paired with my velvet boo pillow I got at JoAnn Fabrics this season!  They look so romantic with this set-up and yet still neutral and festive.

Once it was done the Hubs pointed out that I put the place mats together in opposite directions so when you flip it over the other side is upside down, but that’s not a big deal thanks to the semi random pattern.  Since the care instructions are spot clean I plan to keep both of these pieces up high and away from the fur babies, so they last and I can enjoy them for several years.

This was such a quick and easy project that I’m sure I’ll do more like it. In fact I have a couple of place mats from our trip to IKEA last year that I plan to do something just like this with, so stay tuned for those!  Until then go grab your costume and find some treats rather than tricks! I’ll leave you with a few more shots from my fun Halloween themed photo shoot I mentioned in my previous post to get you ready.

DIY Witch’s Broom

With Halloween just around the corner I wanted to share a quick DIY witch’s broom project that was a happy accident.  It started with the purchase of these flower stems at Joann Fabrics.  I was working on creating a headpiece for a Halloween themed photo shoot and loved the look and texture of these flowers.

Upon closer inspection I realized that the flowers stems were just wrapped around branches and could be easily removed.  So I untwisted them, one-by-one while enjoying a little TV time.

I was left with two piles of pretty flowers destined for photo shoots and these two bare branch things.  I considered putting them upright in a vase or bucket with lights for a spooky arrangement, but when I saw the two together I suddenly saw a broom.

I grabbed some scrap black ribbon and wrapped the two stems together.  Normally I would have secured the ribbon with hot glue but I’m not sure I’ll use these the same way next year and I was at my office rather than at home so a few pieces of clear tape did the trick.

It looks pretty good in our office with the other Halloween decorations – follow me on Instagram and Facebook for peeks – but I wanted to get a nice shot of it so I took it back home and propped it up on the wood pile.

Not bad for a free project made from leftovers from another project!  I still think it needs something to finish it off.  Maybe a bow at the base of the stem or a hanging loop, but I can figure that out next year if I use it again.  If you have ideas in the meantime I’d love to hear them! And in case you’re wondering how the flower headpiece turned out here’s a peek from the session!

Isn’t she gorgeous?!  She’s a hair and makeup artist and did the makeup herself based on a couple of inspiration shots I sent her.  I’ll be sharing more of these awesome shots soon and give a quick recap of the location we used, which is a local historical park.  And I’ll be working with this lovely lady again in the future for some other fun ideas. 🙂

Bubbling Brook Farmhouse Market

Hi everyone!  I hope you had a fabulous weekend.  The Hubs and I visited family from Arizona in Kenai and I went on a wonderful garden tour.  I’ll be sharing recaps of both of those events this week, but today I wanted to share a bit about the Bubbling Brook Farmhouse Market I attended the previous weekend.  This is the 2nd year for the event, although last year it was put on by a different organizer and was called Urban Junktion.

Several of the same vendors returned this year, including one of my faves Rustique Designs, who has made a couple of pieces for our home.  I made a bee-line for her booth when I arrived and made sure to check every nook and cranny of her displays to find new unique items.  I’ll share what I got at the end of this post.  I was so busy shopping her beautiful displays and chatting with her about ideas for some more custom pieces that I  forgot to get a picture of her booth.  Although I’m sure if I’d remembered to it would have been so crowded you couldn’t see much as she was one of the most popular vendors at the show, but you can see it right after she set up here on her Facebook page.

The next booth was Sweet Louise Designs who had a variety of adorable home decor pieces and furniture.  Although I didn’t find anything that screamed “take me home” I enjoyed browsing their adorable displays.  I almost pulled the trigger on this heart piece for my nephew’s wedding in October but the colors weren’t quite right.  I’m going to check in with the bride and groom to see what they think and may order a custom one for them instead. 🙂

Another booth that drew me in was Snarl Design, eclectic industrial style.  They had some ingenious light fixtures that included spigot knobs as the switch!  I chatted with the owner for a while about the insulator lights the Hubs and I made for our island and how I loved the history behind them.  I’ll definitely be following Snarl online to see their other creations as they continue to grow.

Of course I had to stop by Brown Chicken, Brown Cow’s booth to browse.  I’ve been a fan of hers for quite some time and love her style.  Thanks to a custom order I placed, I’ll be adding a fun new sign to my kitchen from her in the coming weeks, so stay tuned to see that.

I fell in love with The Distressed Mermaid’s sign.  It was a fresh idea for an old window and a perfect fit for her style.  If I had a little girls room I’d order one of a mermaid just like that!  Although I was in the market for accessories more than furniture I enjoyed browsing her booth and will be watching her online to see what else she creates in the future.

My friend Anne-tiques had a booth full of her Harry Potter themed furniture and accessories, which was a huge hit.  I couldn’t get a shot of her booth without gobs of people in it, but you can see the details of several of the pieces on her page.

A well-known local vendor, Blessed and Distressed was also at the market, which is their last show before they relocate out of state.  Their new hometown is gaining an amazing resource!

Spunky Monkey had amazing scented candles and wine themed decor.  This husband and wife team had a great booth set-up and unique items.  I’d never heard of them before, so I’m glad I was able to meet them and add them to the list of vendors I’ll be watching for future gift and home decor shopping.

Right behind Spunky Monkey was Pioneer Peonies – which made for the most amazing aromatic combination!   I enjoyed picking a bouquet of white, blush and pink peonies to take home at just $2/stem and learned several helpful tips to plan my own peonies.

The local Hannah Yoter band was playing during the event who fit the vintage vibe perfectly.  They’ve been getting some great press recently so be sure to check them out and see them in person if you can.

Outside the event hall there were several food trucks, which was perfect because I’d sure worked up an appetite with all my shopping.  The Barbecue Babes truck was super cute, but since I’d just had BBQ the day prior, I opted to try out a vendor who is a sister to a good friend of ours.

I was pretty bummed that I missed Love’s 907 at the Palmer Garden Faire the weekend prior, so I’m glad they were at the market event.  I ordered the Philly steak, which was messy but pretty darn tasty.  I enjoyed filling my belly in the warm sunshine and wished I’d had room to try their ice cream too!

So here’s a quick look at what I got at the market.  This fun wooden bead garland with lace tassels from Rustique Designs.  They found a home on the mantel well above Brinley’s reach so it stays as pretty as I bought it!

I also got these Rea Dunn mugs from Rustique Designs.  It’s the perfect start to my collection, which will be displayed in the dining room after I pick up the rack I had to have sent to my sister’s house since they wouldn’t ship to Alaska.  First world problems here….

I also got this fun sign from Rustique Designs for the guest bathroom.  I thought it was a perfect for for the space. 🙂

And lastly here’s my bouquet of peonies in my recently upcycled vase. It’s been a wonderful addition to my desk and I love enjoying their fragrance when I’m editing photos.

It wasn’t a huge haul, but like I mentioned, there are a few custom pieces in the works so you’ll be seeing more from these talented vendors.  Next year’s market will be held June 23-24, 2018, so be sure to mark your calendars now and follow Bubbling Brook Farmhouse on Facebook for updates!

A Quick Update to the Craft Shelves

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As I mentioned when I shared our new barn doors in the office I’ve been making a few changes to the craft shelves above the craft cart.  Here’s how things looked the last time you saw this space – a random collection of containers and displays to store my finished inventory and on-going projects.

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And here’s how it’s looking today.  Much simpler and more stylish!

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A bit of purging and rearranging reduced what I needed to store here so I was able to condense it all down to two containers.  I found these cute baskets on sale at Michaels and with a coupon only paid about $10 for both.  One holds finished inventory and the other has bits and pieces of projects in the works.

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Since I’ve stopped making hair accessories and am focusing more on personal DIY and home decor projects I didn’t need the displays I’d used for the smaller pieces anymore so the mannequin was sold and my beloved metal grate became a note board rather than a display.  The rusty oil can will eventually become a small lamp for this table.  I’ve got the lamp making kit, but am still on the hunt for the right lampshade to get that project rolling.

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I shopped the house, pulling a milk glass vase, small plant and wooden caddy to arrange with the frame I already had here.  I also moved our little minion family over here from the other side of the room.  They are much more visible now, which makes me happy and reminds me that we need to have a new minion made for Brinley! 🙂

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I eventually want to get a vintage scale like this one to replace the wooden caddy, but I’m waiting to find a good bargain.  until then the caddy brings a nice balance of tones and texture to the space, so I’m happy with it.

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I still need to figure out something for the blank space next to the metal grate.  My current idea is to make a fabric canvas that can be used as a backdrop for photographing small projects, similar to one a favorite beauty blogger of mine created.  I’m thinking something a little lacy since this is one spot I could get away with it because it’s out of reach of the dogs.

I’m really loving the simple farmhouse vibe this space has now.  It’s a big change for just $10 since the only thing I bought for the update was the two baskets.  We’ve been making a couple of other simple changes around the main area of the house recently that have a similar style so things are really starting to feel cohesive.  I’ll be sharing those updates very soon, but in the meantime I’d love to hear you think of the changes so leave me a comment below.

Linking up at: Knik of Time’s Talk of the Town, Tater Tots & Jello’s BFF and Savvy Southern Style’s Wow Us WednesdayStone Gable’s The Scoop and Thrifty Decor Chick’s Before & After Party!

TDC Before and After

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re:MADE

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Today I wanted to share a fun shop I recently discovered in Anchorage called re:MADE.  I’ve been following them on Facebook for a while now but am not often on their side of town so I have’t been in until last week when I saw a post with those adorable animal pillows you see in the photo above.  I knew they’d be great for my neutral winter decor and could transition into other uses so I made plans to visit them the next day during my lunch hour.

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When I pulled up I spotted their cool re-purposed signage and immediately knew I was going to like this place.  There was so much to look at inside, but I quickly found the pillows I had come from and pondered which to get for several minutes.  I’ll share which ultimately came home with me at the end of this post.

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Nearby I spotted this fun deer art which was created with wood planks and painted license plates.  It would be perfect for an industrial or rustic style room.

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This cute antique desk held fun little paper trees.  If I’d had a spot for either they would have come home with me as well.

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These map phrase frames caught my eye too.  They were all very different, yet each inspired adventure.  My favorite was “I haven’t been everywhere yet, but it’s on my list.”

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There were several large reclaimed marquee lights available.  These would be so cool lit up on a wall to spell out words like FAMILY or PLAY!

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I giggled to see this large pile of driftwood in a back corner.  The Hubs thinks I’m crazy when I collect pieces every time we go riding on the trails in the summer, but apparently I’m not the only one fascinated wit the cool textures.

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These cork trivets and halibut pot holders were great gift ideas for the cooks in your life – or just as decoration for your kitchen.

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These vintage looking pieces were tablet pouches or covers.  The leather tab helped keep the tablet secure inside while the outside just looks totally cool and retro.

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Still wondering what came home with me after my little shopping trip?  These cuties – a bear cub and hare!  They work well with our current pillows and fit right in with the other rustic winter decor I’ve got up.  I’m excited to use the hare again for spring as a nod to Easter and the bear cub will probably move to the guest or foster room.

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I’m kinda loving how simple everything looks after the holidays, especially with the new to us sectional we found on the buy/sell page for a great price.  It’s super comfy and the new pillows just make you want to hang out on it all day.

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I also  brought home this cool vintage sled!  I spotted it as I was heading to my car after paying for the pillows and stepped into the snow bank it was sitting on to check it out.  I quickly put the pillows in the truck and headed back inside to pay for this.  It’s going to be a great prop for winter time family portraits with small children. 🙂

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I’m glad I found this new resource for unique decor and it warms my heart to know that what I spend there helps those in need.  That’s what I call a win-win!  If you’re in the Anchorage area and like upcycled decor I highly suggest you check them out.

DIY Plant Stakes

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Hey everyone!  I know it’s been quiet around the blog recently.  Life has been a bit more hectic than usual and we had a death in the family last week so I chose to take some time to rest and reflect.  Finding time to prep material for the blog is still a bit challenging and we’re currently working on a couple of projects that aren’t ready to share just yet, including one I didn’t plan on tackling this year, but I’m excited about what it means for my garden next season!  In the meantime here’s a fun, quick DIY I did earlier this summer.

Back when I had a holiday tree in our entryway I collected an assortment of cute ornaments for each season and holiday.  Now that I’ve given up the tree I wanted to reuse the ornaments in a new way so I could continue to enjoy them.  I decided they would make great plant stakes for my potted plants on the deck and couldn’t be happier with how they turned out.

This sweet little rusty bee (which ironically is the name of one of my favorite local makers!) was the first I transformed.  Although I didn’t document the steps of his transformation, it was fairly simple.  I removed the small loop at the top of his head  which was attached on the back by bending it back and forth until it popped off.  Next I dug out my E6000 glue and applied some to both the back of the bee and a small rusty rod I had in my supplies that matched perfectly.  Following the directions on the glue tube I adhered the rod to the bee and let it cure for 24 hours.

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Once cured, I tested him out with a couple forceful shakes and he held tight so I found him a home in my vintage crock planter.  He turned out so cute that I decided to do the same to the other ornaments I had in my stash.  Each had a little different set up as each was unique but they all followed the same process – remove any hanging loops or cords and glue a rod to an appropriate point.  Since I didn’t have enough potted plants to keep them all I set aside my favorites to be used in my garden and put the rest up for sale at the recent Urban Junktion show.  I sold several and still have a good inventory available for other shows next season.  Here’s the current inventory as they were displayed at the show.

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There’s a little birdhouse with a heart shaped opening.

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Several dragonflies, who may just stay and live in my garden alongside their relatives that I already decided to keep. 🙂

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This little beetle has the same patina as the bee, but I already have a lady bug plant stake so I’m helping this guy find his own home.

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There’s also a few nautical themed stakes, including these blue and green glittery seahorses.

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I had two mermaids but the red head sold at the show, so now this blonde “girl fish” as my nephew used to call them is all alone with the other sea creatures, including this glittery little fish.

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I still have a good inventory of ornaments for other holidays including Easter, St. Patrick’s Day and Thanksgiving.  I may revamp them for this purpose as well, or I might just find another option since those holidays don’t often correlate with having potted plants to decorate here in Alaska.

Stay tuned for more projects.  Posts might be a little few and far between for a while but don’t worry, we’re working on some fun stuff and will share it soon.