Monday, January 9, 2012

Guest What? It's Something New!

Without even noticing, I became a stalker. I have begun to stalk my friends as potential guest bloggers. Anyone who posts something cool on facebook is immediately inundated with comments from me about guest blogging on Happily Home Sewn. 

Here is an example of such an exchange that JUST happened...helping me realize that I might have crossed over into annoying:

Friend X (soon to be HHS guest blogger hopefully) mentions that she's trying to start a blog to share recipes and health stuff.

Jessa (that's me) pipes in: sweet! Happily Home Sewn needs a guest blogger for such a topic. Wanna guest blog sometime???

Jessa (instantly realizing her annoying-ness) comments: See how I just made that all about me? Sorry about that. That is going to be an awesome blog and I can't wait to read it and get inspired.

Friend X graciously courtesy LOLs. 

That was the actual exchange.  Sad. 


A similar exchange occurred a few days ago and happily resulted in our first Guest Blog by one of my crafty or otherwise fabulous friends! 

So, without further ado...check out these Post-Christmas-Dead-of-Baltimore-Winter crafty musings (and a warning about goats) from my friend Sarah:  

Since Christmas is over and Valentine's Day and Mardi Gras are more than a month away, and I needed to find something artistically inspiring about the start of real WINTER in Baltimore to inform my aesthetic.  Even more, with the big Christmas wreath gone, some very ugly cracks in the wall paint of our vestibule were once again exposed (this is honestly what inspired one of my first wreath-making endeavors about a year ago--laziness--I'd painted the vestibule no more than 5 (Okay, maybe it was more) years ago and I didn't want to do it again anytime soon.
While walking the dogs last week in our city neighborhood, I came across a tree whose trunk was surrounded by perfectly-formed acorns. Most had lost their caps, although the caps were also scattered on the ground (and you can make stuff with those as well). I picked up as many of the acorns as I could find, some I had to sort of dig out of the ground.  Surprisingly (or maybe not for Baltimore) nobody asked me what in the world I was doing as I sat there on the sidewalk with my Tupperware container full of acorns. I took them home and washed them well with soap and water and let them dry for a few days on paper towels in a bowl. I didn't have enough acorns to make a whole wreath (I cased the sidewalk trees of the neighborhood to no avail) so I decided to go with a "shades of brown/squirrel-food" themed wreath and bought a big bag of mixed in-shell nuts at the grocery store. I used a flat light wood-colored wreath form from Michael's craft store and hot-glued my nuts and acorns to the form.

When Googling "acorns" and " acorn crafts" I came across the factoid that only types of Oak trees produce acorns. Oak leaves and acorns are poisonous to horses, goats, sheep, and some other animals, so leave your goat behind when you go gathering acorns. I was reminded by the photos on Google of how pretty the shapes of oak leaves are, so instead of a bow to accent the wreath, I decided to draw some oak leaf shapes on cream and brown felt and cut those out and hot-glue them to the wreath. I bought adhesive-back felt for the interior leaf of the design. That is just about the greatest thing; sticky-backed-felt.

A nut/acorn wreath could be a crafty way to memorialize a favorite tree.  Gathering pecans is a memorable activity in the American South and a wreath made with the pecans from a special tree or location seems like a swell idea. My next Dead of Winter craft projects include: a Mardi Gras wreath made from hot-glued Mardi Gras beads and plastic King Cake babies, and 3 small bare winter tree black ink/brown watercolor drawings framed in three differently-shaped small white frames (say, an oval and a rectangle and a circle or square). The latter will cover those wall cracks nicely and match the colors in the nearby Acorn/Nut Wreath.

Sarah Ramirez Cross

Thanks so much Sarah! I'm heading out now to get me some sticky-backed-felt (never heard of it before! Thanks for tip!) and to gather some acorns. I'll leave our goat at home. 

Make sure to visit Sarah's etsy shop. I've known her since college where she was my R.A. freshman year. She's crafty and clever and was willing to turn a blind eye to the harmless silliness 18 year old girls. Best R.A. ever (except for perhaps, my husband, who bent more than a few rules sophomore year when I became his girlfriend. no comment).


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