White Pumpkin Floral with Succulent

 

The little succulent we made several days ago has been so lonely. It’s time to make it a home, where it can live with other pretty things and be enjoyed by others. Thus, I introduce you to our newest project: the white pumpkin floral arrangement.

Orange pumpkins are bright and cheery and oh-so-autumny, but white pumpkins are classy, elegant, and much more versatile. You can use any colors you want! Let’s move past the rusts, yellows, browns, and oranges and embrace purple, burgundy, green, and gold!

This project takes more time to shop for than it does to put together. In my mind, that a win-win! (wink, wink)

Let’s start with our list of supplies:

  1. a small (or large if you prefer) white foam pumpkin
  2. a large wedge of floral foam
  3. an Exacto knife or similar one that can be extended (see photo)
  4. hot glue gun and glue sticks
  5. 12–15 individual stems of silk flowers, leaves, accents, etc.
  6. wire cutter
  7. your succulent from the last project

Step-by-step instructions

Step #1: Draw or score a line around the top of the pumpkin where you will be cutting the top off. I like to use the razor to score the line. Then I just have to push the blade through on my second trip around.

      

Step #2: Use the cutter to cut through until your have a lid you can pull off the top of the pumpkin. Be careful! This doesn’t have to be perfect. The opening will not show under the flowers and you can later trim the edges of the lid to look neater.

Step #3: Plug in your hot glue gun. (Put the lid aside for now.) Unwrap the floral foam and set aside. Drizzle a puddle of hot glue into the bottom of the open pumpkin. Insert the floral foam while the glue is hot and press down. (You might need to trim the edges to get it to fit inside.) Once it’s set, shave off the top so it’s more or less even with the top of the opening.

   

       

Step #4: Gather your silk flowers and use a wire cutter to cut the stems so you have a dozen or more individual pieces.

        

Step #5: Arrange your flowers! I like to start in the center with one and then move outward until I’ve filled the opening. Add various tall, short, full, textured pieces to make it interesting and beautiful.

Leave a space somewhere toward the edge of the pumpkin for your succulent. Here’s a look at my progress.

        

Step #6: Use the pin on the bottom of your succulent to stick it in place.

    

Step #7: This step is optional. Some people like to have the lid show, making it clear that this arrangement is actually a pumpkin. Others don’t care for the look. 

To add the lid, you will need to put hot glue on BOTH the inside of the lid and on the outer area of the pumpkin where you are going to place it. Press the glue areas together and hold for about a minute, or until you cannot move the lid. I carefully laid the pumpkin on its side while I was holding it down. 

         

Step #8: Admire your handiwork and find a perfect place to display it. Be sure to tell everyone, “I made this! Why, yes, I’ll take orders if you want one.” 

Thank you for spending time with me as I make and play and create projects. I hope you will share them with others and find yourself feeling happier, more creative, and surprised at your power to make stuff.

As always, comments are welcome.


 

Super simple fall ideas #1

It might not feel like fall yet, but inside most stores you’ll see more orange, yellow, and brown than any other colors. While you’re trapped indoors enjoying the AC, why not put together some quick, easy, fall-appropriate items? Let’s get started.

Personalized Pumpkin Placeholders

SKILL LEVEL ♥ easy

I found these wooden pumpkins at Hobby Lobby for $3.99 each (plus a 40% discount when I used my coupon). Other stores have similar if not identical seasonal pumpkin flatties. They’re about 6½” x 3½”. Perfect for small places! But they need a crafty touch, don’t you think? Simple! Grab your black Sharpie, my friends!

I decided to make a pair of personalized pumpkins for one of my favorite couples: Tom and Jen F. 

I added the names in the center. (I did mine horizontally since the names were short, but you could write longer names vertically down the middle. You can also use a super-fine point Sharpie for longer names and more detailed drawing.) I drew some wheat and some other nondescript plant to the sides and some grass on the bottom. Here’s the final version:

Think of what you could do when you have a fall dinner or Thanksgiving feast for your loved ones! Place one at each table setting. They’ll know where to sit—AND they have a handmade gift to take home. Winner, winner, turkey dinner!

As always, feel free to send me your photos of finished projects—or ask me any questions about crafts! tanya (a) heartfeltcrafts (dot) com

Project #2 coming next week! Tell others. Join the blog. Share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Let’s build a big ole team of Heartfelt Crafters! Who knows? Someday I may give out badges!


 

 

Let’s Fill Those Pockets, Part 2

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. —Albert Schweitzer

This is one reason I love doing pocket letters. It allows me to send a little spark of hope, friendship, laughter, or love to my friends. Jennifer and I have known each other for more than 20 years, and most of those years we’ve been separated by hundreds of miles. Mailing each other cards, notes, stickers (I got those yesterday!), packages, and now pocket letters has kept our friendship alive and well. I believe in connections. But connections break if we don’t tend to them. This project we’re working on together in this set of blogs can strengthen the bonds of friendship no matter the distance between the sender and receiver.

Today we’re going to finish that pocket letter! Get out your supplies, including the cards you’ve cut to size. Let the fun begin!

FIRST: I like to insert all of my cards and arrange them in a way that’s random, attractive, and colorful.

   Front (see the binder holes on the left?)
Back

My mixed-bag of papers has a loose theme that could be kitchen-y or calico-y or retro. I just liked how all of the patterns and colors worked together.

NEXT: Now I get to go digging through my containers of embellishments. (I won’t admit how many of those I have.) I’m looking for stickers, decorative elements, etc. to add to each card. Here’s one of my hoards:

ALSO NEXT: The next photos will show you how I took different paper cards and applied stuff to them. 

     

    

ALMOST DONE: After every card has its special message, design, or gift included (tea bags fit perfectly in a pocket!), just put them into the spaces until the page is filled (on both sides if you want).

I added some tea bags to three pockets in the back before sending this PL to one of my new friends, Linda. (Hi, Linda!)

Sending? That’s right! These are meant to be mailed. Just accordion-fold the three horizontal sections and the whole thing fits a standard business-size envelope. If it weighs less than 13 ounces, you only need one first-class stamp. Most of mine take two stamps—sometimes I add a third one if the envelope is extra-thick.

So try one! There’s nothing about this that has to be perfect. It’s easy, creative, and filled with love. That’s almost as good as a doughnut!

Send me your photos of finished or in-progress pocket letters. I’d love to share them with my blog followers and on my Heartfelt Crafts Facebook page. Send them to me at tanya (at) heartfeltcrafts (dot) com.


 

Let’s Fill Those Pockets, Part 1—Plus a Giveaway Prize!

Okay, fellow crafters, gather all your goodies from the previous post and let’s get started!

First, place your pockets nearby. Note that there are nine pockets and each of them opens at the top. (If you have it upside-down, your papers will just fall out. You’ll feel sad, bad, and slightly mad. No one has ever done this. Ahem…) Let’s do some math!

9 pockets = 9 papers, right?

Well, only if you want to make a one-sided PL, which is okay with me. My first one was one-sided. Then I thought, “Hey, what a missed opportunity to double my fun!” So I made sure there were enough papers for 9 + 9 = 18 sides. Does that mean you need to cut 18 pieces? Not necessarily.

If your papers are printed only on the front and the back is white, then you will need 18 pieces (2 per pocket) to cover both sides. However, the wonderful world of paper crafting has provided us with 2-sided printed papers, too. Here’s an example. One side is covered with sweet cherries and the other has a complimentary color/design of gingham. When you slide one of these cards in a pocket, you get a different design on the front and back. This can save you time, but you will want to have 2-sided papers that you really like. 

If you want more control over your colors and patterns, then you will want to cut 18 individual papers. Quick Quiz: Do you remember the dimensions?

2.5 inches wide
3.5 inches tall

How should you cut them? Very carefully! But seriously, folks, you can either cut them with scissors (trace your cards with pencil or make a template and use it) or use a paper trimmer like the one shown below. As you can see, I’ve marked the 2.5 and 3.5 inch lines so I don’t mess up. (Remember the old adage “measure twice, cut once”? Yeah, that actually works.) Having markers helps me get it right the first time. Do what you feel most comfortable doing. Using the trimmer looks like this:

      

 

As you can see, the 3.5 x 2.5 paper fits perfectly in a pocket.

  

It’s fun to move the pieces around until you get them in an array that makes you happy. Here’s mine, from various papers with a kitchen/Americana/fruit theme (front and back). Yes, I’ve made two of several papers, one for each side. It keeps my theme from running amok.

  

This post is running a bit long, so we will finish our PLs in the next post. Here’s a tip: scrounge around your craft room, home office, kitchen, garage, local craft store, etc. for little items that will fit your theme and the pockets. Ideas: stickers, buttons, tiny envelopes (!), misc. embellishments, quotes, photos, cards, decorative tapes, recycle-able stuff, and whatever your heart loves. We’ll be using them to decorate the pockets.

Okay, so here’s the GIVEAWAY!!! You will get points for each of the following. Each point gives you an entry into the drawing. The prize is described below the list.

  1. Subscribe to this blog. (If you already have, you’re my best friend. Truly.)
  2. Post a link to my blog on your Facebook page, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter in the next 72 hours (ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, August 5, 2018). If you do all four, that’s more chances to win! Use the hashtag #heartfeltcraftblog so I can keep track.
  3. Leave a comment at the bottom of this post.
  4. Post a photo of your PL with its papers in place on the Heartfelt Crafts Facebook page. I’ll give you a “like” to show I’ve seen it.

Each entry will earn you a name on a slip of paper. I’ll put all of the papers out on my floor and let my adorable dog, Kirby, select the winner. Photos will follow!!!

Drumroll please! THE PRIZE!

The winner will be mailed a themed set of papers, stickers, and other goodies, perfect for making your own PLs or other paper craft. (Retail value around $15.)

Ready, set, CUT THOSE PAPERS AND GET POSTING!!!


 

A Bit about PLs: Background and Basics

Origins and Other Names for This Fun Craft

A crafter named Janet Lane takes credit for inventing the concept and the name “pocket letter.” She has a terrific website (www.pocketletters.com), and, for a fee, you can join a pen-pal service that lets you share your PLs with other PL creators. Check out her videos (free) to get all kinds of ideas. It’s almost as entertaining as watching videos of kittens doing silly stuff.

But wait…there’s more!

After the whole pocket letter phenomenon took off, crafters were finding a lot of other ways to use the trading card protectors to feature their work. The basics are all the same: nine compartments, each 2 ½” x 3 ½”, that hold all manner of creative expression.

Some call this pocket scrapbooking—use photos in some of the pockets and scrapbook papers and embellishments in the others. Many scrapbookers use a different pocket filler that is 12″ x 12″ to fit in their scrapbooks. For our purposes, however, we’ll focus on the 8½” x 11″ version.

Others use the pockets to hold artists’ trading cards (ATCs). Crafters who like to dabble in various art forms create a pieces of art on 2 ½” x 3 ½” cards made of different kinds of paper. This YouTube video from art supply store Dick Blick® explains ATCs and the papers available:

Basic Supplies 

My favorite part of any craft is going shopping for the supplies—or looking around my office, kitchen, garage, bathroom (oops, maybe not) for ideas and objects.

Trading Card Pages: These vinyl pages hold nine trading cards, 2 ½” x 3 ½”. Now they will be holding your beautiful, quirky, wonderful pocket letters!!! I have found several brands (Avery, Ultra Pro, Office Depot), and they come in packs of 10 to 100 for between $3.50 to $15.00, respectively. Super reasonable!

 

 

Cutting tools: You can just use scissors if you want. However, I found that using a cutting ruler thingie saved me a lot of time and was more precise. I like the 12″ paper trimmer by Fiskars. You can find them at any craft store—and even at my favorite place to spend too much money, Target.

 

 

 

 

Adhesives: Glue stick, glue dots, Elmer’s glue, double-sided tape, basically anything that you can use to get paper to stick to stuff and stuff to stick to paper. To get a 3-D effect for some designs, I like to use Glue Dots and Foam Adhesive pieces.

 

 

 

 

Paper: Now we can get creative! It helps to start with a theme or color palette. You can use construction paper, notebook paper, gift wrap, scrapbook paper—basically anything you can cut into the card shape and glue stuff onto. (It helps if the paper is stiff enough to be able to slide into the pocket. For that reason, I don’t recommend using toilet paper. For this.) The easiest way to get a good theme going is to find a pad of printed paper that paper crafters use for scrapbooking, cardmaking, and general paper wizardry. Each pad has its own theme or color scheme and costs from about $5.00 a pad to $6.99 and more for specialty papers.

Extras: The craft stores are filled with all kinds of embellishments. You can use buttons, stickers, washi tape, sequins, adhesive jewels and dots, lace, ribbon, etc. You are only limited by your imagination (and budget and possibly federal laws that prohibit the mailing of certain substances).

Some of the themed pads also have matching add-ons. The easiest, fastest, but not the least expensive, way to make PLs is to get a group of that kind of stuff. This can be fun—and expensively addictive. Here’s a set I used recently. (All items purchased online at www.scrapbook.com.)

         

And here’s the PL I made using some of these kinds of items (plus some other kitty items I had around):

   

So, that’s all you need to get started. Gather your papers, adhesives, cutters, stickers, tapes, and card pocket holders—we’re going to put one together in our next post! Join me, won’t you?

Spoiler alert: There’s going to be a giveaway offered in the next post. You could be a winner! Of course, you’re already a winner in so many ways, but why not add this to your list? (Oh, and be thinking of someone with whom you’d like to exchange PLs. It’s a team sport.)