Iron Craft ’15 Challenge #22 – Leaf Covered Pumpkin

For this Iron Craft challenge we were to craft using the colors of fall. I didn’t just use the colors, but also fall leaves and a pumpkin…well, fake ones.
Iron Craft '15 Challenge #22 - Leaf Covered Pumpkin
Recently, I had gone poking through some antique stores and ran across this leaf covered pig.
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It was an odd little thing, but gave me the idea to cover a pumpkin with leaves.

It seemed like an easy project, but the pumpkin is plastic and the leaves are plasticy which made getting them to stick on the the pumpkin flat tricky. (Susi discovered the same thing when making leaf covered candle jars.) It helped to keep pressing them down from time to time while they are drying. Adding a coat of Mod Podge to the top made some of the ends stick out a little, but I actually don’t mind that little bit of texture.

A note about the leaves: If I was going to do this again, I might look for paper leaves like you sometimes see in baking stores. These plasticy leaves worked in the end, but make sure you look for some that you can take any plastic veining off of as that does help make them flatter.

Leaf Covered Pumpkin

Supplies:

  • faux pumpkin
  • faux fall leaves
  • tacky glue
  • paintbrush
  • glossy Mod Podge (optional)

1. If your leaves have plastic “veins” remove them is possible. Mine peeled right off.
Iron Craft '15 Challenge #22 - Leaf Covered PumpkinIron Craft '15 Challenge #22 - Leaf Covered Pumpkin
2. Lay a leaf upside down on your work surface and use a paintbrush to cover the back with a layer of glue. Make sure to get paint to all the ends.
Iron Craft '15 Challenge #22 - Leaf Covered Pumpkin
Starting at the bottom of the pumpkin, glue on leaves overlapping them to cover the pumpkin.
Iron Craft '15 Challenge #22 - Leaf Covered Pumpkin
I tried to vary the colors of the leaves as much as possible. Continue adding leaves until as much of the pumpkin is covered as you’d like. The leaves want to pop off so keep pressing them down as you work. Let Dry.

3. If you want a slightly shiny finish, add a coat of glossy Mod Podge over the leaves. I started with a paintbrush, but found I got a smoother surface just using my fingers.
Iron Craft '15 Challenge #22 - Leaf Covered Pumpkin
Let dry.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2015 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Happy Thanksgiving

On this family day of food and good cheer, Kathy and I would like to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving. We are both so grateful for our crafting community, both on-line and those that we have been lucky enough meet in person too. 6326434030_525199f998

I hope you all are surrounded by good food, good company, and inspiring creativity. Warm wishes for a great holiday.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at justcraftyenough AT yahoo DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2013 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Project: Boxwood Wreath

We have a new house (!) and there is boxwood in the front yard. Since we moved in, I have wanted to do a boxwood wreath.
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I did it! And now you can too.

Boxwood Wreath (the real deal)

Supplies:

  • 18″ wreath
  • berries or decoration (optional)
  • floral wire (26 GA)
  • boxwood clippings

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Tools:

  • gloves
  • wire cutters
  • sheers

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Start by gathering the boxwood clippings. (Or buy your greens.)
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Cut 50 – 60 20 inch lengths of wire.
Organize the clippings into clusters and wire them together. Leave long tails coming from one side to use to wrap the clusters to the frame.
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Work on making clusters for a while.

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Then, begin twisting the clusters to the frame. Pick a starting point and work “backwards” from there. Lay your first cluster down and then make the bulk of the next cluster cover the stems and the wire from the first one.
It will be easier ,and more stable, if the twisting wire is covering two or more of the frame wires. If you twist the tail wires around 1 wreath frame wire, it will be wobbly and off balance. But if you widen the two tails apart and feed them around two (or more) wreath wires, you will have a more stable hold.
Here is a detail of the back of the frame.
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Carry on until you have gone all the way around.
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Trim as you see fit. And embellish as you see fit. I did neither in the end. I liked the rustic look. I thought it looked good a little fringey. And I liked it just green.

A note: This did not last as long as I would have hoped. I thought that I could use this from Thanksgiving through Christmas. I planned to leave it green and then add the berried when I decorated the house for Christmas. In fact, it really only had 2 very good weeks. Then, the branches started to dry out and some of them yellowed on the ends. We are in Northern California where we enjoy warm sunny days almost all year around. So maybe the snow, and/or more precipitation would be better, and help it last longer. I’m not sure. But if you want to do one for yourself, wait until the last possible time to do it, so that it will be fresh for you in the peak of party season.

 

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at justcraftyenough AT yahoo DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2013 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Our Thanksgiving Planning Conversation

I am hosting Thanksgiving at my house this year. For the FIRST TIME EVER.

I am thrilled. And grateful that so many of our friends would want to come over and share the holiday. It will also be our first holiday in our new house. We moved from a 1906 Victorian (“fixer house”) in San Francisco to a 1957 Ranch in the San Jose suburbs. Our whole old house could fit in the space of my new kitchen. No exaggeration there. So we will just fill every large new room of the house with holiday cheer and friends and family. There is enough room and counter surface in the kitchen to have lots of work stations and get lots of help.

I have been looking at holiday preparation web sites and finding check lists. The thing is, some of those check lists were written for people who have a staff. I didn’t find one that will exactly work for me.  Kathy and I were having a conversation about it and I thought we should ALL have a conversation about it.

Here are Kathy’s tips to me for a successful Holiday:

1. Don’t stress yourself out trying to give everyone their traditional Thanksgiving. You could lose you mind. You’ll get people who will say things like, “We always had sausage in our stuffing.” or, “It’s not Thanksgiving without green bean casserole.” Set your menu and stick to it. If someone wants to bring something special they can.

2. I find when cooking for a larger group like this it is best to keep it simple and classic, roast turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, rolls and a green vegetable or salad. I might add a sweet potato dish. I do a rockin’ no cook cranberry sauce that I make ahead of time. Everyone seems to love the classics.

3. That said if someone offers to bring things let them! Let them bring the pies and the rolls.

4. If no one is bringing pies, buy them. I’m sorry, but Mrs Smith’s pumpkin pie is as good as anything I could bake. Add homemade whip cream and it is perfect.

5. Really think about timing of cooking and do as much as you can ahead of time. Think about the size of your oven and what can cook together. With me I usually couldn’t fit anything in with the turkey. So, I had to think about what could cook in the time the turkey was resting or what could be pre-cooked & reheated. Matt’s mom does a lot of things the night before and then reheats them in the crock pot, even the mashed potatoes. Plus you don’t want to be in the kitchen the whole time everyone is there.

6. Assign your guests jobs. Put someone in charge of making sure everyone has drinks. Tell someone else it is their job to mash the potatoes when it is that time.

Wanna know about the “rockin’ cranberry sauce” in #2?
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In reading the list, I realize that it’s not all about the cooking and the menu. It’s all about managing my own personal self. (Such a smart friend I have, no?) And I think that is what is missing from the on-line check lists. They don’t have “set your boundaries” kind of tips. Thankfully we don’t have a ‘dynamic’ here. So we don’t need to talk about “keeping Uncle Lushface out of the booze” or anything. But keeping yourself happy and enjoying the day is a critical piece of the success of the day.

How far ahead would you set the table? If I do it 3 days ahead, will it get dusty? Should I throw a sheet over it? (Is this ridiculous?)

Who has tips for me? Bring it on.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at justcraftyenough AT yahoo DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2013 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Iron Craft Challenge #19 – I-cord and Grapevine Pumpkin

Are you like me? Do you walk about gift and decor stores saying, “I could make that”? Do you furtively try to snap photos without getting caught by the store clerk? Well, that is how this Iron Craft project came about. I was at a high-end decor store here in Minneapolis and saw these grapevine pumpkins with i-cords in fall colors running through. I loved how they looks and knew it would be very easy to duplicate.
Iron Craft Challenge #19 - I-cord & Grapevine Pumpkin
The hardest part of this project was finding an undecorated grapevine pumpkin. All the ones at Michael’s and Jo-Ann had so much stuff hot glued to them already. (Come on craft stores, we want to glue our own stuff on!) I finally found the one I used at Menard’s, a hardware store. You can also get them online, but I wanted instant gratification. At 14″ my pumpkin is quite a statement piece as a centerpiece or in a fall display.

This project really couldn’t be simpler. I used worsted weight yarn in fall colors from my stash, though you could really use any weight yarn you have on hand. I personally stayed away from bulky weight yarns as I wanted thinner i-cords. Then just knit up i-cords that are long enough to go from the top of your pumpkin to the bottom. You can add as many cords as you want.
Iron Craft Challenge #19 - I-cord & Grapevine Pumpkin
My pumpkin was open at the bottom so I pulled the tails of the cords inside and tied them in. (That way if I want to change it up next year, I can just take the i-cords off.) A tapestry needle was helpful in pulling the tails to the inside.
Iron Craft Challenge #19 - I-cord & Grapevine Pumpkin Iron Craft Challenge #19 - I-cord & Grapevine Pumpkin
For pumpkins you can’t reach inside of, you could weave in the ends of the i-cords and glue them to the pumpkin.
Iron Craft Challenge #19 - I-cord & Grapevine Pumpkin
I added a few fall “berries” around the stem of mine to finish it off.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at justcraftyenough AT yahoo DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2012 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Iron Craft Challenge #45 – Minimalist Turkey Candle

This week’s theme for Iron Craft is fall, which here in the States makes a lot of us think of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving for most of us means turkey. I’ve had this idea for a minimalist turkey candle bouncing around in my head for awhile. I just couldn’t figure out what to make the head and tail out of that I could cut and shape easily. Then it hit me, popsicle sticks! They are soft enough to cut with a utility knife and already have the rounded shape I need for the tops.
Iron Craft Challenge #45 - Minimalist Turkey Candle
This is a super quick project that you can do in about an hour including drying time for the glue. You don’t have to leave it as minimal as I have. Get the kids involved and have them color the turkey with markers before you glue it together. You could paint the turkey to match your table setting or stain it a darker wood color. (I almost stained mine red mahogany, because I had a small can of stain, but decided I liked the light color especially with the light brown candle.)
Iron Craft Challenge #45 - Minimalist Turkey Candle
I think I bunch of these as a part of a Thanksgiving centerpiece would be so striking.

Wooden Turkey Candle

Supplies:

  • 3 popsicle sticks
  • utility knife
  • fine sandpaper
  • wood glue (optional)
  • glass or hard plastic tea light holder (you could use a larger candleholder, but you will have to adjust the size of your tail feathers and head as well.)
  • tacky glue

Assembly:

Cut 5 tail feather, 2″ long from the ends of the popsicle sticks using the utility knife. Score the line you want to cut and then press hard down with the knife until it cuts through. Sand the rough edges.

Cut the head from the remaining popsicle stick end by cutting a piece 1 1/4″ long. Then cut an angle for the neck as shown below.
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Make the tail by glueing the tail feather together.
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Lay two feathers at a slight angle from each other. Put a little glue (tacky or wood) on the end of a third feather and place in the middel of the first two.
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Let dry and turn over. Glue on the remaining two feathers as shown below.
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Using the tacky glue, put a small bead of tacky glue on the bottom half of the straight side of the head. Glue to the candle holder.
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Glue the tail to the opposite side of the candle.
Iron Craft Challenge #45 - Minimalist Turkey Candle
Since you are dealing with wood and flame, do not burn this candle unattended.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at justcraftyenough AT yahoo DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2011 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Weekend Eye Candy

It’s not too early to start thinking about the Thanksgiving table.

Wine Country Life has a great tutorial on making custom labels for wine bottles for Thanksgiving. These would be great if you are bringing wine to someone else’s house for dinner.

Pumpkins and gourds make for a lovely centerpiece especially with they are gilded gold like these from Shrimp Salad Circus. She not only show us how to gild them three different ways, but also how to turn them into candle holders.

Pottery Barn sells these dried pumpinos for filling vases, but I think you could do something similar with chestnuts or walnuts and get the same beautiful look (plus you could eat them later too!).

I love the look of these candleholders made with real leaves from Martha Stewart, lit they would be amazing. Unfortunately, I think I’m too late to get such brightly colored leaves in MN.

Have you started planning how you will decorate your Thanksgiving table? Do you have a traditional centerpiece you use every year?

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at justcraftyenough AT yahoo DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2011 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish