Friday, September 28, 2012

Michelle's Musings: Fall Feather Centerpiece, Yankee Doodle Meets Country Fall

I love Fall. The trees are filled with my favorite colors, and nature is at its finest - a beautiful mess of colorful leaves falling and landing in random, scattered places. (And there are piles of leaves to play in!)

I have been disappointed this year because it seems that in some stores, Fall is being taken over by Halloween and even Christmas! I mean, those are two great and important holidays, but I would like for once, rather than striving to get ready for the season ahead, to take the time to breathe in the season that is now falling all around us. The magic word - now. I think that in pausing to enjoy the now, life finds a new calm and peace.

So, to honor my desire to enjoy the season now, I have created something that merges several things that remind me of Fall. These items include red and yellow flannel, twine, wine corks, and feathers! I know, these are kind of random things, but they really do remind me of Fall and help me to stop and soak in the moment (now I just need an Amish market, an old red barn, and a field of sunflowers to complete the idea!).

I decided to make a vase for these awesome feathers I found at a craft store. Here's how that went down...

jar/bottle (I used an old spaghetti sauce jar)
twine/jute/raffia (whichever you prefer or have on hand)
wine corks (I don't like wine, so I purchased six for about $2 at a craft store)
feather stem (or a real feather, flower, leaves, etc. that you wish to display)
2 small strips of flannel (I bought this flannel on sale for $6/yd. and plan to make a blanket..I just cut a strip from the edge to use for this project - you could even use colorful burlap if you prefer)
rocks or vase gems
hot glue gun/glue

Using your hot glue gun and only a tiny amount of glue, wrap your twine/jute/raffia around the jar or bottle, glueing down every few inches. A trick that I learned: As you go around the vase and come to a part that was previously glued, if there is a big wad of glue in the line of your twine, use your fingernail to cut the extra glue away from what is holding the last run and get it out of your way - this makes it much easier to make it look smooth.

If you choose, you can put your twine around the entire vase, but I did mine in sections to save time, rather than glueing twine under where I planned to put the flannel.

Once I finished glueing the first section of twine (from the top of the vase until a little way down), I took one strip of flannel and tied it around the vase. I cut the edges into Vs and turned them under, so they would not stick out so much but have a little class and purpose. I then glued another section of twine and tied another piece of flannel around the vase. Then, I did another section of twine, and I was finished!

Some confessions - my glueing of the twine was not perfect, and you could see through some spots. At first this bothered me, then I realized that no artwork is perfect and that it actually made me feel like it was sort of a "window." And what reminds you of Fall (and of our blog!) better than a window?! Fabulous, I know. Also, there was a space left open right under the tie of my flannel pieces. At first, I was going to fill this in with small pieces of flannel, but I realized that like the twine, it gave a little window into the vase. So I left it :)

I was then ready to start stuffing my vase! I used some black rocks that I stole from another vase I was no longer in love with. I purchased these several years ago at a dollar store. You can use whatever color, shape, etc., you like! You can even grab your kids and go outside hunting for rocks! To confess again, I did not have a whole lot of them on hand, so I stuffed the top of the vase with a plastic bag. Hence, you see white under the top flannel piece. Ha! I laugh in the face of imperfection :)

Then I topped the vase off with my corks. I don't know why I like this, but I do. I think it gives it a nice, funky touch. If you don't like them, leave them off. (I don't care!)

Then, like Yankee Doodle, I put a feather in my hat! Well, in my vase. The stem was too long, so I bent it to the length I wanted it. I did not have wire cutters in my immediate vicinity, so I just left the extra. I think that is ok!

And just as simple as that, you have a nice little piece to remind you to step back and enjoy the beautiful moments of Fall. They are fleeting!

Surround your vase with some awesome, multi-height candles and whatever other objects remind you of Fall (pumpkins!), and you can use it as a little display! (I just put mine on my dresser, but be creative - do whatever you like!)

So, after you read this and Pinterest a little more, grab a good book or magazine or a good movie, some yummy warm coffee (or something stronger, if that tickles your fancy), and your favorite flannel blanket, open the window, and enjoy the beautiful moment!

Happy crafting, and Happy Fall!!!

Peace y'all,
This project has been linked to The Stuff of Success, Tater Tots and Jello

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