September 4, 2012

How To Make A Deco Mesh Pumpkin

When I recently traveled to a nearby town to purchase deco mesh
from a store with a better selection than I could find locally,
I took the opportunity to look at wreaths that they had made
up.  A really cute one was the pumpkin wreath.
autumn door wreath

Well, it's not a round wreath but more like door decor made on
a wreath form.  The store had it made up on an official "work
wreath" but sometimes they are hard to find.  Here's how I made
one using the same technique as the store's wreath but with
readily available supplies from a craft store.

The pumpkin decor above was made on a 20" wire wreath form.
Other supplies purchased were a 21" X 30' roll of orange
 deco mesh, orange chenille stems, and orange craft paint.
 The two smaller rolls are optional...I'll explain later.

wreath form $4, deco mesh $10, chenille stems $1, paint $2...all these from Hobby Lobby

Because deco mesh has an open weave that you can see through,
I suggest painting the wreath form orange so that it won't be as
noticeable in the finished door decor.

After the paint dries, add the chenille stems to the wreath form.
This is the "pattern" that you will need:
7 twisted stems on the top and 7 on the bottom

 Twist the stems at least a couple of times tightly 
onto the outside wire of the form.

The outermost top side stems were 12" apart from the bottom side stems.

Then fill in along the top and bottom with more twisted stems
and glue them into place.  Originally I used a craft glue but got
tired of waiting for it to dry and added hot glue too.  Be sure
before you glue that the "open arms" of the twisted stems
are on the rounded (the "good" side) of the wreath form.
(The above photo is showing the back side of the wreath form...I was lazy and did not paint the back.)

After the glue has dried sufficiently enough to keep
the stems in place, you can start adding the deco mesh. 
 Leave at least 12" of deco mesh as a "tail" before your first gather.
  It will be tucked into the wreath later.

Gathering or pleating the deco mesh is important to give it a "poof".
I found it easier just to do tiny accordian pleats and keep them pinched
until securing the pleat point into the arms of the stems.
Your first pleat will be twisted into the first top side stem's
waiting arms. Twist tightly a couple of times.

Move down the deco mesh and make another pleat a little more
than 12" away.  You want this to produce a nice but not too high
of a poof when you attach it to the twisted stem below first
point of attachement.  This will be the side of your pumpkin.

From that point, you are going to take the mesh towards the top
of the wreath. Your third point of attachment is the twisted stem beside the first point of attachment. Gather/pleat the deco mesh at a point that produces a little more of a poof than your first poof.
 You are going to want higher poofs as you go toward the
 center to make the shape of a pumpkin. 
 After the center, you will decrease the height of the poof. 
 Do not cut the deco mesh at any point along the way.

Instead of going around the sides of the wreath, you are going to
go across the center of the wreath in an up and down pattern.
Always gather/pleat the mesh before twisting it tightly onto the
wreath form with the glued down chenille stems.

The center poof should be the biggest/highest one.

Don't skip any attachment points as you are
 going top to bottom with the mesh.
 You need all of them to make the pumpkin full enough.
After you have attached the pleated mesh in the last chenille arms,
you can cut the mesh leaving about another 12" tail. 
 You can just push the tail at the beginning and the tail
 at the end into the backside of the poofs. 

I only had a few feet left on the roll at the end and decided to
pull a few of the waving chenille arms to the backside of the
 wreath and attach the rest of the roll on the back to make it a little more visually full.  You would not have to do this step.

Again, just tuck the ends into the backside of the poofs.

To hide the arms of the chenille stems you can either wrap them
along the wires of the wreath form (this adds stability)...

...or just push them towards the center of the wreath out of sight.

To add deco mesh leaves to your pumpkin, make the beginnings
of a bow with 4" green deco mesh ribbon....

...and at the pinch point, secure it with an orange
chenille stem. Then cut the loops vertically.

Cut the ends of the mesh into a pointed oval like a leaf. 
Attach the "leaves" near the top of the wire form with
the chenille stem.

To make a deco mesh stem, roll about 16" of brown mesh ribbon
into a spiral/roll.  The picture of making the stem looked naughty.
 I didn't want it taken "out of context" so it is not here.

Wrap a chenille stem around one end of the "stem" and attach
it to the wire wreath form at a point amongst the leaves.

If you don't want to buy rolls of deco mesh ribbon just for the
leaves and stem, here is an alternative I came up with with
things I had on hand. You might be more creative.

I painted some fake leaves a happier green color.  For the stem
I hot glued at toilet paper roll in half and painted it brown-ish.

Chenille stems were added to the leaves and stem with hot glue.
Then they were wired onto the top of the wreath form.

I had to do a little pulling, pushing, tucking to the orange poofs to make them a better pumpkin might need to also.

September 2, 2012

30 Chances For You To Win Flooring

Did you know about the give away that Shaw Flooring
is having on their Facebook page?

Every day in September, Shaw Flooring is giving away a room
of flooring on their Facebook page.  They are having a special
promotion for September that involves some bloggers that you
probably know.  Shaw selected 30 blog projects that were
submitted to be in the give away.  Each day of September, one
 of the blog projects will be featured on the Shaw Facebook page.

(Sorry these photos are blurry.  I have seriously lacking computer skills and the only way I
know how to do a "screen capture" is to capture it with an actual photo from my camera.)

Here is the best part, everyone who votes each day will be
entered into a daily drawing to win 180 square feet of flooring!
Each day's winner will get to choose flooring from the new
HGTV HOME Shaw Flooring line.  I got to see the line at
the Haven conference back in June and I was very
impressed with especially the looked very high end.
I'm guessing they had some of the HGTV designers help
develop the products.

You do have to register to be eligible to vote and be entered in
the give away but you only have to register one time for the month.

After you register, you can vote each day for one of 30
different projects featured.  Be aware that you can only vote
once each 24 hours.  I thought it was more like you can vote
for several at a time (for instance, in a blog party where you
can "like" more than one entry).  It is only one vote per day.

Each of the entries has its own card on the voting page.
I was honored that my entry was chosen to be in the contest.

For the submission, we were to send ONE picture of the project
that we wanted to be put in consideration.  I couldn't think of
ONE picture that would convey the concept of using prints
to make faux paintings so I made a mini-collage.  That in turn
makes the pictures "mini" too...kinda hard to see...oh, well.

When you click on the orange title of the project on the card,
more information about the project comes up.

Each of the projects will be featured one day of the month
(but they don't tell you what day) on the Shaw Facebook page.
You can vote for any project any day of the month.  The "cards"
were in a different spots on the page today (the second day of the
event) than they were yesterday.  Maybe they are going to move
the position of the cards each day to give each project an equal
showing on the voting page.

Even though you can only vote once every 24 hours, you seem
to be able to leave comments on as many projects as often as
you want to.  I have no delusions that my little home project
would win but if you do register to vote please please come to
 my project and leave a comment on it so it won't look so lonely. 

If I understood correctly, the blog entry that wins the most votes
gets a room of Shaw flooring along with an area rug to give away
on their blog.  So YOU have an opportunity to win the same thing
that the winning entry wins just for voting!  

Another aspect of the September HGTV HOME Shaw Flooring
promotion is that participating dealers are offering "Any Room
One Price" sales. 

The prices are good for up to 180 square feet of flooring.
That's the size of a 12' x a 15' room.

Since my pictures are so small on the entry, here are larger photos
and links to the original blog posts about making prints
 into artwork in case you would like to see them:

                                               "From Art Print To Painting"

I hope that YOU will win yourself some new Shaw Flooring!

September 1, 2012

My Current Favorite Room

I want to join in the "Favorites On The First" blog party over at
Alison's gorgeous blog The Polohouse so here is my party post.

This month's party is themed "Your Favorite Room".

My current favorite room in my house is my dining room.
I have recently done several projects in the dining room which
have lightened it up and cut down on the amount of wood tones.

One of the things that I liked about the dining area when
 we bought this home eight years ago is that is
open...almost like part of the foyer of the house.
That makes it feel bigger than it really is.

Originally there was an opening to the kitchen on the short wall
but we had it closed up.  That provided a solid wall to place this
large piece of furniture against and added kitchen privacy.
(The white door in the above photo goes into the master bedroom. 
 Going on around down the small hallway leads to the kitchen area.)

The dining area is also open to the family room which you
would enter if you walked to the left after coming in the foyer.
The lamps are made from vases that I found at a garden center.

The dining room table is a French reproduction.  It has survived
"the cuts" of combining two households AND downsizing.

Poor pretty thing also has to serve as my crafting table and
has the scars and paint splatters to prove it.
It also serves as a good place to stage seasonal vignettes.
Oh yeah, and sometimes we actually have company and eat here.

My husband got tired of sitting in wobbly antique chairs so we
bought these sturdy but not spectacular chairs from a furniture store. 
 We call them "The Big As# Chairs" because the seats are so wide.  I have plans for them to give them more personality.

So one change I recently made was to add back a chandelier.

When we moved into the house, we took down the very tacky
chandy and just had a ceiling mounted light in the dining area.
That allowed me to have tall elements on the table like

I had been saving photos for years of Italian chandeliers in
hopes of making a low budget copy and I finally did.
You can see the process if you would like at the post The Chandy Challenge.

Probably the biggest change I made was to paint the antique
bookcase/chest.  I debated myself for years about this and
finally took the plunge.  Below are some before and after photos.

Two blog posts about that piece are "To Paint Or Not To Paint" and

Another paint project for the dining area was to paint the
dark green mirrored screen a more fun color.

 You can read more about the screen at the blog post "A Chalk Recipe to Try" .

Something that I would still like to do for the dining area
is to make the wall sconces and the foyer light fixture a
little more like the chandelier.  It don't want matchy-match-y
but some similar elements could be added.

Also I want those "Big As# Chairs" to have some sassy
slipcover skirts added to further decrease the amount of wood
 tones in the room.
  Eventually, they will probably be painted.
Stay tuned to see more changes and vignettes from my dining room! 
 If I get more projects done in other rooms of my house,
they might replace the dining room as the fav.

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