Guest Post: Paper Flowers from Broken Treasures

Today I have the honor of hosting my sweet and beautiful friend Elizabeth from Broken Treasures. Elizabeth and I are friends in “real life” and I admire her on many levels. I can’t wait to see what she has to show us…

Hi there!  My name is Elizabeth and I blog over at Broken Treasures about lots of different crafts but mostly paper crafting.  Rachel is a good friend of mine and I am excited to be guest posting here on Quiver Full of Blessings.

Today I’m going to show you how to make paper flowers using book pages and also cardstock with the Cricut Machine.

Our family had some pretty bad flooding in September from a hurricane and I had to go through quite a bit of our things that had been on the first level of our home.  We had a few boxes of books that were warped and I could not use them.  So I tore off the covers and used the pages to make flowers.

First I used a ribbon cartridge to trace the circle shape onto the book page.  Each page made two flowers.

Then I cut the circle into a swirl pattern ending in the center with a base for the flower.

Here I used Cranberry ink from Close To My Heart to ink around the edges of the flower – giving it some red color.

Then I started rolling.  To roll the rose you need to start at the end and roll towards you until you have rolled all the way to the center.  Let the flower go to loosen up the roll.

Finally glue the flower to the base and it will look like this.  I used a hot glue gun but have also used Liquid glass, tacky glue and even a glue dot if it is strong enough.

Another way to make flowers is using the cricut.  I love using the Art Philosophy Cartridge (it has over 700 images and shapes on it including 9 different flowers!).  Here I cut out the round petal rose at 3 inches.  You can choose your size, image and then “auto fill” and the machine will calculate how many flowers can be cut on one 12×12 cardstock sheet.  I love that feature!

Then you just lift off the flower, ink it and roll it just like the book page flowers.

Now what can you do with all these flowers?  A Ton!  Really the posibilities are endless.  I have made wreathes, candle rings, cards, hair bands, and decorated gifts with them.  I have seen them made using fabric (great thing about the Cricut you can cut fabric with it!) and put onto blankets, pillows, hair bands, or turned into jewelry.  Here are some of my creations . . .

Thanks again, Rachel, for the honor of guest posting :)!  I’d love if you all would stop over at Broken Treasures sometime and say “hi”.

.

Jeweled Christmas Tree Cookie Ornaments

I take absolutely no credit for this project. Upon arriving home the other day after a few kid-free hours, my crew surprised me with these cute little cookie tree ornaments hanging up all over the house. They were so proud of their handiwork!

 

 

As you can probably tell, so far they are mostly hanging in our windows and from some of our light fixtures. We don’t have our tree up yet, but I’m sure they would look cute hanging from that as well. I love how the light shines through the colored portions. Speaking of, can you tell what my hubby and kids used for the “jewels” on their trees? If you guessed gummy candies, you would be right! If you’re interested in the recipe, here’s the one that they followed:

1 1/2 cups flour (white or wheat)

1/3 cup butter, chopped

3 TB sugar

1 egg white

2 TB orange juice

colored fruit candies

cookie cutters

ribbon or yarn (to hang)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift flour into a mixing bowl. Rub butter into flour until it resembles bread crumbs. Stir in sugar, egg white, and enough orange juice to form a soft dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Roll out in a thin layer and cut out as many shapes as possible. Transfer shapes to the baking sheets, spacing them well apart. Cut out small round openings and fill with gummies or candies (you may want to cut these into 1/2 thicknesses beforehand). Also cut out a hole at the top for hanging. Bake 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool, hang, and admire!

Recipe taken from The Great Big Cookie Book by Hilaire Walden.

**I didn’t have the heart to tell them I think they used leaf-shaped cutters instead of trees! Oh well, we’ll call them whimsical and pretend they are tree shapes.

My Top 10 Reasons to Be Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you’re all having a wonderful day with friends and family. In celebration of this day, I wanted to write out some kind of list reflecting on what I’m thankful for this year. Here’s what pops into mind immediately:

1. My fab 5. Daniel, Andrew, Heidi, Joseph, and Joshua. I’m so proud of this gang and love being their Mom!! Their hugs, kisses, and “I Love You’s” make my day everyday.

2. An absolute wonder of a husband. I could go on and on about his many good qualities and why I appreciate him, but I’ll spare you the details 😉

3. My parents. They’re awesome and I appreciate them more and more each year!

4. A comfortable, warm home.

5. Food–not just enough for my family today or enough for the next meal, but plenty stored up in my freezer, pantry, canned goods in my basement, etc. I know I take this for granted daily.

6. Health. It may surprise you to know that I haven’t been to the Doctor in a few years. That’s because I’ve been extremely healthy or, as my Mom-Mom would put it, “hale and hearty.” I KNOW this is something I take for granted all the time. Overall as a family my kids and husband are healthy too.

7. My husband’s job. No, it’s not always ideal and I’ve been known to grumble (especially around the holiday season) about his crazy hours. However, it’s always been steady work and has provided for our needs, even through these rough economic years.

8. Protection. We’ve had a very safe year with nothing major as far as injuries, accidents, etc. I especially had to think of this as I’ve been in 2 near-misses while driving recently. One was an almost head-on collision with my twins in the backseat. Believe me, I was reminded of how short life can be and was thankful for God’s hand of protection on us!

9. Location. I happen to live in a gorgeous part of the country and in a peaceful neighborhood. More importantly, I live in the United States and am thankful for our many freedoms and the country I live in.

10. My Lord. I saved this one for last as it’s by far the most important to me. Without God, I would have none of these other things I just listed. In fact I certainly don’t deserve any of them. I realize that each one could be taken away in the blink of an eye and I need to work on being thankful for all my blessings everyday, not just this time of year. In addition, I am thankful for all that God has done for me by sending His Son to earth to die in my place. If you don’t have a relationship with Him but would like to know more, please feel free to contact me at any time. I would love to answer any questions you have and tell you what a difference it has made in my life.

Well, I could easily go on and on with many more things I am thankful for at this time. However, I’ll stop there for now and wish you all a great holiday.

Blessings, Rachel

Granny’s Cranberry Relish

So amongst the pre-holiday madness, I realize that I’ve been neglecting my blog just a tad bit. However, I’m committed to posting quality content on here and I can tell you now that I wouldn’t have been able to put anything of great quality on here in the last few days. That being said, I now have an excellent recipe to share with you, just in time for holiday meals. My side of the family celebrated Thanksgiving this past Sunday evening. Along with smoked turkey, stuffing, and lots of other awesome sides was this much anticipated dish made by my Granny.

She makes the best cranberry relish! Luckily for me, she also usually sends home whatever is left with us to enjoy. In all honesty, this little bit is what’s left and I plan to relish this relish as soon as I post this recipe. It is yummy, pretty to look at, and easy to make as well. So, if you’re looking for a new recipe for your repertoire, this is a good one!

1 bag cranberries

4 C apples

2 C crushed pineapple

3/4 C sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 package Cranberry jello

1 C boiling water

Chop cranberries and apples. Add pineapple, sugar, and salt. Mix thoroughly. Dissolve the Jello in boiling water. Allow to cool, then add to mixture. Chill thoroughly. Keeps for many days.

Thanks Granny!

Honey Butter Syrup

Okay, this may be the easiest recipe I’ve ever posted on here. However, it is so stinking good that I just had to share it with you all. I discovered this in my new favorite cookbook:

Even though it says “new” on the cover, it’s from 1953. I found it at a yard sale this summer for $1. A dollar well spent as I have found SO many good recipes in here. Actually, I was given the BH&G cookbook from the late 1990’s as a wedding gift and have used it heavily as well. Even if I didn’t use the recipes, I would still enjoy just looking through it at all the cute retro pics, like these:

You can definitely tell this is from another era. Note that the Mom in the pictures always has on a dress, apron, and a smile (no pearls though ;)). I think if my husband came home to me dressed like that he would think I’m either (a) trying way too hard to be cute or (b) that I’ve finally lost my mind. Granted, most days I do like my role as homemaker, but I’m far from looking that polished!

Okay, on to the recipe. This wasn’t even listed as a recipe, just a little one paragraph insert underneath of a waffle recipe in the book. My husband actually discovered it and made it the first time. On Sunday mornings he and the kids usually make some sort of scrumptious breakfast, so they made this with waffles and had me guess what was in the recipe. I was totally wrong! I thought for sure it had either maple syrup or corn syrup in it, but it actually doesn’t. As I mentioned in the beginning, it’s ridiculously easy to make.

Honey Butter Syrup

1 cup liquid honey

1/4 cup butter

1/4 tsp cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

Melt all of the ingredients together on the stovetop or in the microwave (my version). Serve warm!

Birds Nest Jewelry Tutorial

With Christmas just around the corner, these would make a thoughtful handmade gift. Whether made into a pendant, pin, or something else, these little wired birds nests are too sweet.

I know I would love to receive one! However, now I know how to make my own and let me assure you, these cutie pies are super easy to make. Even if you have zero jewelry-making experience, I really think you could pull this off. All you need to make these are the following:

Wire (I used 22 gauge), beads, and pliers. I ended up using several feet of the wire for one nest and utilized glass pearls.

The first step is to string your “eggs” onto the wire. I always do this step first in the configuration that I like. Making a gift for a Mom or Grandma? Coordinate the number of eggs with the number of children or grandchildren that they have. I recently made one of these as a pendant for my Mom with 7 small pearls, one for each of her grandbabies. So, string the eggs on and start to wrap the wire in a circular pattern. The beauty of this project is that you really can’t mess it up! With the gauge of wire I used, I could easily manipulate it without using my pliers often. However, if you use a stiffer gauge, you may need the pliers a bit more. Keep wrapping until the nest looks full. I also try to keep mine flat on the bottom so that it sits nicely. Once I get to the point where it looks full, I also loop the wire around so that it holds all of those layers of wire together. Making little loops, whorls, and curlicues just adds to the charm.

As you can see, you don’t have to limit yourself to white or cream-colored pearls. I’ve also seen ones made of gold wire that look great.

Add a little loop of wire to the top for a pendant, glue a pinback on for a cute brooch, make tiny nests for a pair of earrings, or wrap wire onto the back for a chic ring.

Treasure Island

Our family decided to take a little field trip today to an art museum. Reading this, you may think we are very cultured (we’re not, by the way). However, an opportunity came up for my husband and older boys to see the original paintings used for the illustrations in a book they’ve all read–Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson. While I am a big reader too, I have not read this particular book, but the artsy side of me did kind of want to see these paintings. The series of illustrative paintings was done by N.C. Wyeth, an artist from our region. There were 17 paintings made in the series, all about as tall or taller than myself. They were being displayed temporarily at the Brandywine River Museum in PA, where lots of other Wyeth paintings are as well. Also in the collection were some of N.C. Wyeth’s other works commissioned for book illustrations. We had a great time, though once past the “pirate paintings,” my little guys were ready to be done. Here’s some pics of what we saw:

To show you how uncultured I am, I took these pics while in the museum gallery itself. A couple people looked at me funny, so I whispered to my husband, “Is it okay for me to take pictures in here?” “Oh yeah, you’re fine,” he assured me. Don’t you know, as soon as we left that room, I looked back at the doorway and saw a big NO Photos sign. Whoops! I tucked the camera away after that.

I hope you all had a great weekend as well.

Rachel

Yuletide Yarn Wreath

I’m in a bit of a wreath mode here lately. It all started when an old classmate of mine who sees my blog posting via Facebook contacted me. She was seeing if I had any creative ideas for her and some other Moms to do on an evening without their kids. The first thing that popped into my head was some kind of holiday wreath-making night where everyone throws in a little cash, someone buys wreath-making supplies for all attending, and Moms can chat (without kid interruptions!) and put together some festive decor for the upcoming holiday season. That’s what inspired my wreath post last week and then I realized that I’ve never posted a yarn-wrapped wreath on here before. So, here it is, my festive, Christmas-y yarn-wrapped wreath.

Here’s a quick rundown of how I made it…

Take a straw or foam wreath form and wrap it completely in yarn. I really dug this green color, which has a slight shimmer to it. One large skein is usually enough to cover a medium-sized wreath.

Once this baby was wrapped, I took  red rickrack and wrapped it around in one direction, then reversed and went the other way. That’s how I got those cute X’s 🙂 A contrasting color of ribbon or different color of yarn would work as well. Use hot glue to hold everything in place.

So then I cut out a bunch of circles of the same size in this pretty fabric (a Robert Kaufman print)…

Fold each circle in half once, then in half again, using hot glue to hold together. Place 4 on top of one flat circle and glue down.

Stick a button in the middle and you have this. I made several of these for my wreath and placed a length of the same fabric around the top for my hanger. Add other embellishments and you’re all set!

Patchwork Kickball Tutorial

I’ll preface this tutorial by stating that it’s probably the most in-depth one I’ve done so far. However, the results are incredibly cute and worth the effort.

This one is actually my second try, and while it’s still definitely not perfect, it was far easier and turned out a bit better looking than my first one. Think you’re up to the challenge? My tutorial comes from the book Seams to Me by Anna Maria Horner, who also has a beautiful design blog annamariahorner.blogspot.com.

I will try to give some good instructions as I go, but I have to admit that I didn’t take enough pictures as I went along, so please forgive me ahead of time. Actually, once you get a couple of steps into the process, it doesn’t lie flat anyway, making it difficult for picture taking. For starters, you need to go back to Geometry class–you need to cut out 20 fabric hexagons and 12 fabric pentagons. They all need to have 2 1/4″ long edges on each side.

I chose to make mine using a variety of fabrics from my scrap stash, but you could make all the hexagons in one color and all the pentagons in another. At this point I also need to add that I used all 1/4″ seam allowances and a straight stitch with a short stitch length, always sewing with the right sides together.

Okay, to really get started in assembling this bad boy you need to choose a pentagon and attach a hexagon to one side. Start and end 1/4″ away from the corner, backstitching at either end. (You’ll use this method throughout the process)

Open the two pieces up and attach another hexagon to an adjacent side of the pentagon. You will need to sew one side to the pentagon and one side to the adjoining hexagon, making an “L.”

Repeat this step until the pentagon is completely surrounded by 5 hexagons.( It will look sort of like a flower with 5 petals.)

Choose 5 more pentagons and attach them in the spaces in between the hexagons. A rule of thumb I used as I made this was that no pentagons could touch each other as each one ends up being surrounded by hexagons.

Next attach 5 more hexagons, one in between each space created by the previous step. At this point you will be sewing 3 sides of the hexagon.

Attach 5 more hexagons, this time to the edges of the pentagons that are still open. Again, sew the hexagons on 3 sides.

Add a row of 5 pentagons, each one in the spaces created by the hexagons. Sew them on 3 sides.

Add a last row of 5 hexagons between the last pentagons you just added. At this point you should really see the ball coming together and (hopefully) figure out to sew all open seams together.

You should have one pentagon left over now–I sewed mine on 3 sides, leaving 2 sides open.

Stuff with polyfil and hand-sew the two open sides closed.

This would make a dear gift for a little one in your life. I think that maybe using different textured fabrics or putting a rattle in the middle of the stuffing would add extra fun as well. My “babies” are now 4 1/2, but they still enjoyed playing with this ball after I made it.

Blessings to you this week, Rachel