Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Quill You Still Love Me Tomorrow?

I've been focusing the majority of my time on getting my Etsy shop open (sneak preview above), so I’ve neglected my blog terribly.  Luckily (or unfortunately), three of the four crafts I undertook from Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Crafts book did not exactly impress me, so I don’t feel too guilty.

With it being Valentine’s Day, I thought I would share with you the quill card that I made for my husband.  It’s my own take on one of Martha’s crafts – a quilled heart shape.

My husband and I are going on ten years of being together – five of them as husband and wife.  I decided to make ten quilled hearts in gradually larger sizes signifying how my love for him has grown over the years.  Under each heart, I noted the year and then I glued them on a white card with debossed hearts on them. 

The only supplies I needed were:
  • Card stock
  • Rotary paper cutter
  • Quilling tool

You make the hearts by using either quilling paper or if you’re cheap like me, making your own with a rotary cutter.  I made each strip 3/8” wide (totally arbitrary) and then folded it in half and rolled the paper towards the fold using the quilling tool.  To make smaller hearts, I cut off more and more from the length of the paper strip.

Here are nine of the ten hearts.  

I was originally going to do one heart per Valentine’s Day that we’d been together, but after I attached the hearts to the card and started writing down the years, I miscalculated.  Of course I did.  Hence, TEN hearts and making it more about the years we’ve been together.  Nothing like a good, creative story, right?

Here is the card that I already had on hand, but really any card would work (besides, you can't really see the debossed hearts, can you?)

I glued down the hearts with Elmer’s glue (put a little on the back of the heart and then hold it in place until it’s dry enough to keep its shape). Next, I took a colored pencil and shaded over the debossed hearts and took a fine point black pen and wrote down the years we have been together.  Note, don’t be stupid like me and miscalculate.

I love it when things turn out:

My other three projects involved creating flowers out of paper.  The first one I undertook was supposed to be a rose using the quilling technique – it sounded so elegant in her book, “Quilled-Rose Nosegay.”  What a joke.  A hideous, ugly rose that I immediately tossed in the trash after the obligatory photo.

Same supplies as the card (paper, rotary cutter and quilling tool).  The technique was different and not at all comprehensible.  I still don’t know if I did it correctly because Martha’s instructions were so inadequately described.  Here’s a link – let me know if you can figure it out, and if so, send me a picture if it looks better than this horrid thing.

The other two involved tissue paper.  The supplies:
  • Tissue Paper
  • Floral wire
  • Floral tape
  • 1” Styrofoam ball (for rolled petal flower)
  • Scissors

To make the “Curly Petal Flower,” you cut a strip of tissue paper to 16-by-3 ½ inches.  Make 2-inch wide accordion folds by first folding the paper behind the strip, then folding the paper in front of it (am I mistaken, or is this not the definition of accordion folds? Someone help me out here).  Make 3-inch deep snips in the tissue paper to create fringe, then wrap the unfringed end around floral wire.  Secure the paper to the stem with floral tape and then use that tape to wrap the wire.  Lastly, run the scissors blade along the pieces to create fringe, and fluff.

Accordion folded and "fringed"

Wrapped with floral tape

Curled and fluffed

I take that back.  Do none of the above and don’t waste your time.

But wait!  There’s more!  RIP Billy Mays.

For the “Rolled Petal Flower” project, you cut the same sized strip as the Curly Petal one above (or decide that it’s a totally stupid number and make your own size).  Make 2-inch accordion folds with the same inane instructions as above and then trim and notch one end through all of the layers (see my picture below). Insert wire into the Styrofoam ball, and place the ball toward the bottom of the strip of tissue paper.  Roll the tissue around the ball and twist at the bottom.  Remove the ball with tweezers (or if you’re frustrated like me, just stick your fat hand in there and grab it), and wrap floral tape around the bottom of the flower and stem.  Finally, throw it away because you’d be embarrassed to give it to anyone.  Thanks Martha.

Accordion fold 

Trimmed and notched per Martha's instructions

S'more.  Oops, no that's a ball with wire going through it

Post-roll with floral tape

Here's another sneak peek of one of the items I'll be selling on Etsy (note, everything is handmade by me - letters included) :)