Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Macro Intermission

Sometimes you just need to go stick your nose in the bushes.
I've never heard anyone say that before. But I figure it pretty much equates to "Stop & smell the roses".
Except it's winter in my world & the roses are still hiding.

I was feeling restless & needed some inspiration + some vitamin D + some fresh air. So I took a casual stroll around the yard with my smartphone & little macro lens attachment. And I, well...stuck my nose in the bushes.

I love all the textures & colors.  I even spied spring.
There are so many fascinating things to witness when we become a spectator at close range.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

DIY: Cupid's Arrow

 So far, that pile of pruned apple tree branches in my parent's backyard has provided arms for our winter snowmen on that one day it snowed during Christmas break, & NOW for these Cupid Arrows. I recently made these with my 4th grade STAR Club crew. The kids went ga-ga over this project! My favorite thing about the arrows is the mix of the natural branch with the brightly colored embroidery floss.How about making up a bunch of these to give as school classroom Valentines instead of candy? 
Here's what you need to get started...

small handsaw
wooden stick/branches
hot glue gun
embroidery floss
cardstock (patterned or plain)
white glue
optional: thread for hanging arrows

 Cut a branch to your desired length. Then, cut a slit in one end (the larger end) as shown in the picture, approximately 1/2" down.

 Start wrapping the embroidery floss. To begin, wrap the end onto itself to secure. Hold the floss taut in one hand, while spinning the branch in the other hand. 

 To end one floss color, snip the end with scissors. Then, apply a couple drops of glue. Smoosh & flatten the loose end, spreading the glue around with your fingers. (The glue will dry clear, so don't worry about all the white!) 

 Wrap as many colors as you want & vary the length of each color. I like to scatter my colors about, leaving some of the branch showing through. For smaller tots making this project, try painting on stripes of color instead. 

 Now for the feather. Cut TWO pieces of cardstock however long & wide you want your feather to be. Then, cut them as shown in the picture. (I like using two pieces, because it gives the feather more dimension, but you could use one piece of cardstock if you wanted.)

 Holding the two pieces together, cut a slot on the pointed end, wide enough for your branch to fit in, to about 1" high. 

 Now cut slanted slits along each side of both feathers.

 Glue the two feathers together as shown in the photo.

 Dab some more glue on both sides, right above the slot you cut.

 Shimmy that feather into the slit you made with the handsaw.

Cut two hearts out of a small piece of felt. Hot glue them to the other end of your branch.

Optional: Tie "invisible" thread to each end of your Cupid's Arrow for hanging.
(This project is for display only. Not a toy.)