Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Burlap Wreath

I love home magazines and I have baskets overflowing with them.  Country Home, Country Living and Home Companion were my favorites.  I have discovered other wonderful magazines recently and they have fired me up again creatively.  I had many hours of "fun" creating floral wreaths and baskets over the years, but then the pull of my writing grew stronger.  I've been writing on and off since I was eleven years old.  Now it seems creating and decorating my home has taken over again.  Thumbing through my older copies and newer ones as well, I saw quite a few wreaths and decided to try my hand at a burlap one. 

I had ribbon left over from a teddy bear I had handsewn. (See the Jack-of-all-Trades post) I, also, had burlap with a lovely french print on it.  I believe the burlap was 4' by 4' and I cut 9 or 10 strips of burlap 4" inches wide.  Don't worry about it being perfectly even.  I then found a hanger and used a wire cutter to clip and open up the hanger.  (If you want you can try to undo the hanger, which I did initially, but ended cutting it off anyway.)  Shape the wire hanger into a circle and then take the burlap and start pushing the hanger through the center of the burlap strip gathering the burlap in two to three inch folds like the bellows of an accordian.  Here's a tip:  Don't try to save time by folding the burlap and then punching a center hole in the folded burlap pile first.  It doesn't work at all.  I found this out the hard way.  I think I am going to try to use a thick floral wire on the next wreath.  I believe the floral wire would work just as well and would be easier to shape.  Once I gathered the burlap strips on the wire hanger, I used the wire cutter/plier to twist and connect the hanger ends.  Fold down the tip as far as you can for safety reasons as it might be a little sharp.  Then tie a ribbon at the top for hanging the wreath.  Add a bow if you like.

Also, I took a lovely ride to Litchfield Paint and Wallpaper on Wednesday and bought Old-fashioned Milk Paint in white, black and Tavern green.  I am going to paint the Ethan Allen piece (shown) and my great grandmother's Victorian rocker.  When my grandfather had retired, he went crazy with the paint.  Anything in his sight recieved a coating or two of paint.  One was a player piano of my great-grandmother's.  I remember seeing the music rolls as a child, but I am not sure where they are now.  I hope I can find them in the basement.  The player piano needs to be refurbished and I hope to give it a new life with milk paint.  I, also, have several dressers from my great-grandmother that I want to paint.  They have seen better days.  I have been using these dressers for over 21 years.  I think I will love them all the more with a spiffy coat of colorful paint.  I can't wait to see Tavern Green on something.  The wonderful gentleman at Litchfield Paint and Wallpaper told me that adding water makes the paint more transparent and adding white milk paint to a color will lighten the color.  I'm excited to see the end result.

The two pieces I want to paint are on the small front porch.  I had my husband put up a bench swing (black finish) along the window wall.  I always wanted a swing of my own.  My grandmother on my dad's side had a bench swing in her yard and my cousins, sisters, and I would sit for hours on a summer's day, swinging and chatting.  So peaceful and such sweet memories. 

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