Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fall wreath and a pause

 Fall is here.

 There's a chill in the air in the mornings now that has definitely not been present in a long time.  The leaves on the trees are long gone already because of the drought and we're just now leaving our long bout of 100 degree days behind.

 Spring and summer are my favorite times of year so the minute the temperature turns and that chill returns a sense of loss hits me. More this year than normal because we've been cooped up in the house all summer (playing outside in 100 degree heat on a crisp yellow lawn is less than desirable). I think having to get up before the sun rises to get a kindergartner ready reinforces that sense of loss of summer.

The early risings remind me of cold winter mornings in Sweden where I used to rise before dawn, bundle up as best I could and venture out in the snow and cold to get to work. Around 3pm the darkness returned and I had to get home in the dark. Just a few precious hours of daylight in between, experienced through a window at work. No wonder I love the Texas heat so much :) Just not 100-degrees-all-summer's worth of it, maybe :) But daylight is abundant in spring and summer and that's one of the things that make them my favorite time of year.

 We're still trying to find a routine here when it comes to school and speech lessons and the daily grind of things. And on top of that we've just decided it was time to change churches after 7 years. Lots of changes going on, some really exciting and others harder to adjust to.

In the midst of this I have a serious case of can'tgetanythingdone-itis. I have new ideas of cool decor projects pop into my head every day. Just can't seem to find the time and the energy to start anything. At least not the bigger and more spectacular things I know you guys want to see :)

So I've decided to give myself a month off from blogging. Try to find a routine, get some much needed cleaning and organizing done and freeing up space in my head for recharging. Hopefully that one less thing on my to do list will inspire some more creative endeavors and I will be back in time for Halloween. Since we didn't really get any vacation this summer I guess this will be it :)

I leave you with a couple of pics of the fall wreath that I just put out in front. The twig wreath form was purchased at the thrift store, 2 fake leaf garlands were found at Habitat for humanity along with the purple flower clip. The ribbon I had on hand. Leaves and acorns were just hot glued to the form, the ribbon tied on at the bottom and the flower clipped on the ribbon. I used the plastic vine part of the garlands to make a hanger for the wreath, attached with wire to the back. Enjoy, happy fall and I'll be back soon!

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Bible/book cover, semi-homemade

So starting kindergarten has proved a little more traumatic than expected, for the kindergartner as well as the doting parents. But after a few days of tears (yes, I was crying too) I think we're over the hump and the kindergartner reports that she's not sad anymore. Which immediately makes me feel better as well :)

Despite the drama I managed to create a little something. A semi-homemade personalized Bible cover, but it could just as well be used as a book cover for you non-church people.
Because have you noticed that the specialty stores will charge you an arm and a leg for a Bible cover, and that's after you payed a fortune for the Bible itself? And the thrift store has quite a few of these plain monthly/weekly planner covers just laying around. So a little thought formed in my head - why not convert one of the planner covers? For $2 it could be worth a shot.

This is what I started out with.
A plain black fake leather planner with a nice zipper closure and no real blemishes, very sturdy. Which is good when you carry around a heavy book. And no logos either. It must have been my lucky day :)

The inside had your standard binder spine. The binder hardware had to go in order for it to function as a Bible cover. I have no pics of the surgical procedure it took to remove it but it involved some heavy duty pliers and lots of violence to remove the majority of the metal parts. The hardware had been attached to the spine of the cover with some industrial strength brads and I couldn't get them to budge no matter how much I went at it with tin snips, screw drivers and hammers so I had to cut the brads out of the spine, carefully, with an exacto knife. I made sure not to pierce the spine through to the outside, though.

That left me with two craters on the inside spine. I mended any scuffs in the fabric with nail polish and glued (E6000) some ornamental metal plates over the craters.

 You can see a little of the red nail polish near the top metal plate. I got lazy and just used the first polish I found instead of keeping on looking for a clear one. But I intend to just dab a little black over there and it'll be virtually invisible. I'm also thinking of stringing a pretty ribbon or some sparkly beads between the two plates since they come with holes. Haven't done it yet, though.
 A vertical pocket on the right side was perfect for sliding my covers into to keep my Bible from sliding around.
Although it's sadly missing in this pic I later equipped the horizontal pockets on the left side with a legal pad for handy note taking and a pen in the pen holder. Function - check.

The outside was still pretty bland, though. The internet to the rescue! One pretty picture of lotus mehndi was promptly found and printed out in the size I wanted.

I scotch-taped it to the front and traced the outline with the help of a toothpick dipped in white craft paint. Then the template was removed and the rest of the pattern filled in in the same manner, loosely following my inspiration in an eyeballing fashion and adjusting where needed. The beauty with mehndi/henna is that you really can't do anything "wrong", you just invent as you go.

The toothpick and craft paint method is time consuming but it gives fairly detailed results and the craft paint is durable even on this fake leather material.
When compared to the original you can see that I took liberties with the pattern, the general feel is the same though. Style - check.

A quicker alternative for those of you who don't do hand painting. A pretty image or paper and some decoupage medium will give you the same personalized feel and durable finish without all the work.
I branded my newly crafted Bible cover with my initials lest somebody would run off with it. Because everybody knows church people are known to commit theft when they covet their neighbor's Bible cover :)

And that's how I can now tote my Bible in style. Or at least in my own style. For $2 (I had everything but the cover itself on hand). I considered adding more pattern to the front as it still looks a little lonely but the paint won't come off once it's on so I'll ponder it for a while and see what happens. Sometimes less is more and this could be one of those times.

Ps. Linking up with
Someday Crafts
Blue Cricket Design
Domestically Speaking
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