Monday, November 28, 2011

Crafting with Photos Workshop


Recently, I got to participate in a fun workshop led by Boston Handmade member, Lucie Wicker, where she taught us how to make various items using photos! 

 It was loads of fun where we learned how to make magnets, canvases, and ornaments! It was just a great time to gather and be creative together!

One of my finished canvases! A picture of us in Korea's Damyang bamboo forest.
This photo was taken by Kerry Hawkins of Kerry Hawkins Photography

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How-to: Thanksgiving centerpiece idea - Cornhusk Flowers

I just love autumnal decor, and with Thanksgiving around the corner, I was on the look out for centerpieces that would be festive and fitting for the big Thanksgiving dinner gathering.  I stumbled upon this clever idea on on how to make Cornhusk flowers! You can click the links to see all the steps, or I have copy/pasted them below. 

For Cosmos and Daisies:
  • Printable template
  • Card stock (for templates)
  • Dried cornhusks (available at crafts stores and Mexican food shops)
  • Paper towels
  • Scissors
  • Pinking shears
  • Wire, 18- and 32-gauge
  • Dried corn kernels
  • Butter knife
  • Clear varnish
  • White glue
  • Tweezers
  • Brown floral tape
For Sunflowers:
  • Printable template
  • Card stock (for base and templates)
  • Dried corn kernels
  • Hot-glue gun
  • Tweezers
  • Cornhusks
  • Scissors
  • Wire, 18-gauge
  • Wooden dowel, 1/4-inch diameter
  • White floral tape

Read more at Cornhusk Flowers - Martha Stewart Crafts

Step 1

Prepare Cornhusks

For all flowers, soak cornhusks in water for 2 to 3 minutes; blot dry with paper towels. For petals and other shapes, copy template onto card stock. Cut out and place template on slightly damp husk, and then cut shapes. Using your fingers, cup and shape petals while they dry. To make pink husks, soak purple and off-white cornhusks together in a bowl of water overnight. Blot dry with paper towels before using.

Step 2

Make Cosmos and Daisies

These delicate blossoms can be any color and can have either fringed or corn-kernel centers. To make multiple petals, fold a still-damp cornhusk accordion-style, place petal template on top, and cut out, making sure the grain runs vertically. Edge the top of each cosmos petal individually with pinking shears (see finished cosmos petals in step 4). Form stamen by rolling inner strip tightly, and wrap twice with end of wire; roll outer strip around that, and wrap wire again. Make a single center for cosmos, a double for daisies. Fasten with 3-foot length of 32-gauge wire. Attach petals to stamen, wrapping twice with wire each time.

Step 3

Make Flower Centers and Stem

For corn-kernel flower centers, pry kernels from the cob with a butter knife. Seal kernels with clear varnish spray before using to discourage weevils. Make an unfringed stamen, folding center rectangle in half lengthwise (for daisies, use only inner center), rolling tightly, and fastening with wire. Using white glue, affix several kernels to center after attaching petals (a pair of tweezers is helpful for handling kernels). Insert a length of 18-gauge wire into base of stamen; trim to desired stem length, and finish by wrapping with floral tape.

Step 4

Arrange Finished Cosmos and Daisies

Place finished cosmos and daisies in a vase to create a seasonal arrangement.

Step 5

Make Sunflowers

For each sunflower, cut a 4-inch square of heavy red or orange card stock. Use tweezers to pick up a kernel of corn, dab with hot glue, and attach to center of card stock. Repeat, arranging glued kernels in pattern indicated in photo. Continue to add rows of kernels until the flower center is desired size, between 2 and 3 inches across; cut out. Next, cut out 45 to 50 petals in desired size (use small-petal template for 2-inch center; use large petal for 3-inch center), using accordion-fold technique. Hot-glue the petals, one at a time, onto the back of the center disk, making 3 staggered rows so petals overlap.

Step 6

Attach the Stem

Cut a 10-inch length of 18-gauge wire and bend in half, forming a 1-inch loop at top. Bend wire gently just below loop to make flower's neck. Attach the wire to the end of a 1/4-inch-diameter wooden dowel, about 3 inches from the loop, and secure with white floral tape. Hot-glue the loop to back of flower disk. Cut out 15 to 20 calyx petals, using accordion-fold technique.

Step 7

Make Calyx

Hot-glue calyx petals to back of disk, one at a time, in staggered rows, covering entire back from edge of flower to top of dowel. Trim dowel to desired stem length. Cut 1-inch-wide strips of cornhusk. Wrap stem with strips: Hot-glue one end to top of dowel, where calyx petals end, wrap, and hot-glue at other end. Repeat until stem is covered.

Step 8

Arrange Finished Sunflowers

Place finished sunflowers in a vase to create a seasonal arrangement.

All images and directions are from 
Read more at Cornhusk Flowers - Martha Stewart Crafts

Monday, November 14, 2011

Holiday Handmade Gallery - Canton, MA

If you are in the Canton, Stoughton, Norwood, etc. vicinity, make sure to check out
Cristina Hurley Gallery

Location:  3 Rockland St. Canton MA 02021

Gallery hours: Wednesday through Saturday, 11am-6pm

You can find lots of handmade gifts for the holidays, including fine jewelry, cozy scarves, pottery, and more! 

You can also find several of our Asian-inspired pendant necklaces and portable purse hooks too!  

Thursday, November 10, 2011

How-To: Thanksgiving decor ideas

 With Thanksgiving coming up around the corner, I have been on the lookout for festive autumnal handmade centerpiece & decor ideas.  Here are a few fun ideas I found, click the links to read their How-to instructions.

"Cornhusk flowers" by Martha Stewart 
I love the idea of incorporating indian corn in a new inventive way. 

I just love candles, and autumn colors would definitely make the Thanksgiving table more festive.  These would also look great on a fire mantle or on your entrance table.

A different twist for if you like a more subtle colored centerpiece. I love how you add the  small votive candle to the top, making this a functional centerpiece as well. 
This looks like such a fun idea for the family to come together and think up ideas to then incorporate into placemats - they seem like they'd make great discussion pieces! I like the idea of writing things like what you are  "thankful for."