Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sweater Wreath

Yesterday I posted for the first time in a while and wanted to give a little bit of explanation as to why I haven't been around.  I really appreciate the kind comments.  I hope I didn't leave anyone with the impression that I've been sitting around in my house robe drinking schnapps alone all winter.  Normally I like to constantly have a project of some sort going and recently I just haven't been super motivated to do them.  Any time and extra energy has gone to running Babe Jr around and keeping mud out of the house.  It's been a rainy winter.  But a really awesome thing came out of that post.  I linked up to a blog party I came across, on DIY by Design appropriately titled Winter Blues Wednesday.  One of the other entries was this super cute Valentine Sweater Wreath.  I was so excited when I saw it, I pinned it immediately and ran around gathering things to start a new project.

Ta daaa!!

sweater wreath

I've seen wreathes made with pool noodles online a lot recently.  I've had an extra piece of pipe insulation squirreled away just for this purpose.  By squirreled away, I mean, its been laying behind my trash bins outside since Mr Backwoods used some to cover our water lines around the pump and under the house.  The piece I had was about the same size as a pool noodle.  I just needed half so I used a steak knife to saw it in two. 

I have a bin of clothes Babe Jr has outgrown in our storage room; I knew there were several sweaters and scarves.  For my wreath I used the sleeves of 2 sweaters (mine were kids size 8, the other blogger used adult sweater sleeves) 3 scarves, and a couple of fuzzy socks.  I had to cut the toes out of the socks to slide them over the noodle, the scarves are just tied on.  I spent the most time arranging the order of the scraps because I wasn't really sure how many I would need.  I really like that I had a variety of colors so this can stay on the door past Valentine's day.

 I was afraid packing tape alone wouldn't hold the shape of my wreath since the circle was fairly small and that foam stuff is tough.  This piece was hollow in the middle since its meant to cover pipes, I'm not sure if pool noodles are or not.  But I straightened out a wire hanger and ran it through the middle then twisted the ends together tightly with pliers.  Then I taped the foam ends together over the wire.  The wire hanger gave me the ability to bend the whole thing and shape it just the way I wanted.  Once I had it secure, I used the last scarf that had not been cut to tie the bow right over the seam.

sweater wreath

I'm so happy with how it turned out, and even more so that I had all the materials on hand.  Yay for being thrifty and using what you've got!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tablescape update

My goal for December was to update here twice per week. I only managed that the first week giving a whopping total of 2 posts for the entire month.  Sadly this is my first post for 2012.  The winter blues hit me hard this year; unfortunately I've been slacking in a few areas of my life.

Yesterday and today we got a few hours of clear sky and sunshine, so I finally dragged my butt off the couch and out of the house in search of pine cones and branches to update the apothecary jars on the kitchen table. They've been empty since I put away the Christmas decor a few weeks ago, so I searched "apothecary jars" on pinterest for some inspiration.  I mixed up a few of the ideas I found.

apothecary jars

I wanted something cheap/free and I like a natural look.  The pine cones and branches were both collected within a few steps of my drive way.  The little do-dads in the bottom of the branch jar were borrowed from a mix of potpourri /decorative balls that normally reside in a basket in the living room.  I tied the branches together with a bit of fishing line and the do-dads keep the bunch from leaning.  I was going to look for a fake bird's nest and eggs for the stemmed jar next time I'm out shopping, but I already had the mossy rocks on hand.  If I still find a nest, I think I'll just set it right in on top of them, then I can even use a small one and it will still fill up most of  the jar.  I think it works perfect for this time of year, post Christmas but not quite spring.  I'm not big on blatant Valentine decor other than maybe a wreath.

I took photos of my Christmas decor in addition to the tree, but never actually made it to posting them anywhere.  This is what the table looked like through the holidays.

apothecary jars

The little mirrored tray had been borrowed from my bathroom.  Now it's back in its home corralling miscellaneous vanity paraphernalia.  I want to find one to keep in this spot permanently, I'm keeping it in mind next time I hit the flea market or a thrift store.  It not only looks nice, but makes moving the everything off the table for a meal or project one easy step.

The days are finally getting a little longer.  If I can stay on the winning side of my allergy battle, I feel like I might someday return to the ranks of productive members of society.  Unfortunately, when you're depressed your immune system isn't up to par and you can get stuck in a vicious cycle of feeling down because your sick or being sick because you're so down.  I'm fighting not to let the cycle totally set in.  The holidays were rough because of some financial issues and living this rurally you don't get out of your house nearly as much once winter hits.  A few times this month I've had days when I've been feeling especially peppy and I've tackled big jobs I'd been putting off in the house, like reorganizing our storage/spare room.  Twice the chores involved stirring up a lot of dust then I spent the following several days feeling awful from the allergy flare up and doing nothing but laying around.

I know Spring will bring pollen and probably high mold counts, but warmer weather and more sunlight make up for both.  I'm so ready.  I'm anxious to pick back up on projects that I've set aside, maybe start some new ones.  Right now my main method of social interaction has been Babe Jr's games.  It's been a good way to get me out of the house interacting with other people, but I miss spending more time with my non-sports-mom friends and family.  I definitely need to make it a point to nourish those relationships as soon as basketball season is over.

So basically, I'm still around.  I just haven't been the most motivated person the past few months.  I'm looking forward to more interaction with friends family and blog readers.  Until sunny days return for good, hopefully I can make due with antihistamines and Vitamin D supplements.

Edited to add: It's been awhile since I've entered a blog party, but I though this post was particularly appropriate for this party.