August 31, 2012

The Flowers of Vail

Previously, I had only been to Vail in the Winter for sking.
Vail is also very popular in the Summer due to its cooler
mountain temperatures.  The town is really showy with lots of
effort made to plant and maintain flowers everywhere.

In the photo below, you can see ski runs in the background.

These flowers were in front of a fire station in Vail. 
 Maybe the one where Ryan of "Bachelorette" fame works?

See how they used an old fire hose to wrap around the base of the planter?

Not only does the city maintain pretty flowers but homes and
businesses also put on a beautiful flower displays.

Just for fun, here is another ski run in Summer.

Vail has statuary scattered around the town.

A local person told me that people come to Vail for 
the Winters but they stay for the Summers. 

August 30, 2012

How To Make A Curly Deco Mesh Wreath

When I saw the curly deco mesh wreaths on the Internet recently,
I knew I wanted to find out how to copy them.
They have a fun and festive look to them with the deco mesh
being cut in short pieces then rolled into spirals.
how to make a spiral deco mesh wreath

My local craft stores don't have a good selection of deco mesh
but I heard of a store about a thirty minute drive away that had
more to choose from.  I drove over to check it out. 

 The store did have about forty colors of deco mesh
and also lots of wreaths made up for sale.
I took a sneak peek at the backs of the curly deco mesh ones
to figure out how they were constructed.

My shopping cart was full of deco mesh rolls at checkout.
The store did have the official deco mesh "work wreaths" for 
sale but I found when I made some deco mesh wreaths a few
months ago that you really don't have to have them. 

A plain (and less expensive) wire wreath from the floral
section at the craft stores works just fine.

This one is a 16" wreath form and was $4 at Hobby Lobby.

Other supplies for the wreath were four rolls of deco mesh.
At the store I purchased these from, the plain colors were
$6 a roll and the ones with multicolors or metallic threads
were $12 a roll.  On most deco mesh rolls the mesh is 21"
wide and 10 yards long.

 An inexpensive pre-made little scarecrow
came home with me too as a wreath embellishment.

To make the spirals, use the entire width of the mesh and cut it
in 9" to 12" lengths (it doesn't have to be exact).  Tightly roll
the piece of mesh in the center and keep it pinched. 
The finished edges of the mesh will be on the ends of the tube.

Roll 4-5 mesh pieces this same way.  Try to keep them pinched
in the middle and collect the centers together.

Use a pipe cleaner (I think they are called chenille
 stems these days) to secure the centers together.
  Twist it as tightly as possible
to keep the centers rolled and secured together.

Here is what the spiral set will look like held together with
the pipe cleaner:

Place the spiral set on top of the wire wreath (the rounded
side).  Secure the spiral set onto one of the form's wires
with the pipe cleaner and twist it on tightly.

Take the left over pipe cleaner "legs" that are now on the
backside of the wreath form and twist them along other
wires on the form.  What you are trying to do with this step
is to keep the spiral set from moving along the wreath wires.

Here's how the wreath looks with the first 
 few sets of mesh attached:

The choice of colors is up to you.  I chose four fall colors but
you can vary that for the season or occasion you want. 
Your wreath might have more or less than four colors.

To look nice and full, it took about three mesh sets for
each section (where a vertical wire crosses over
the horizontal curved wire) of the wreath. 

Here's the wreath about half way around:
curly deco mesh  wreath

how to make a deco mesh wreath

At this point, I realized the wreath was going to be
bigger than I had thought it would be.
Here's the completed wreath from the backside:

Looks kind of like of like a sassy tutu!
Here's how my "no rhyme or reason" zig zag
 pipe cleaner attachment technique looked:

From the back, push the spirals in the middle towards the front of
 the wreath to add fullness. Another tip: to help the spirals regain
their tightness, roll the spiral around your finger, then release.

Here's the wreath on a 32" wide door:
how to make a curly deco mesh wreath

Yes, it is large but it is easy to see from the street
and makes a big impact.

Remember my original scarecrow wreath embellishment?

I thought maybe he looked too small on that big wreath.

I got a bigger scarecrow to try since he might be more proportional 
to the 120 spirals of Fall fun.  However, he did cover up more of
the spirals...which one do you like best?
 The total cost for this wreath was $35. 

If you want at little less Fall fun with a spiral deco mesh wreath,
try this exact same technique on a 12" wire wreath form...
it will still be impressive but a little bit smaller than this one.
how to make a spiral deco mesh wreath

 Other ways to make door decor with the deco mesh is to 
go around the edge of a circle or heart wreath form or to make
a pumpkin, Santa belly, or Valentine going across a wreath form.
Also you can string the mesh along a wire to make a garland.
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