Festive Foliage and Friends!

Last Friday I had the most enjoyable day when some friends came around for coffee, biscuits and wreath making.   Mr. L had been busy with his chain saw on our overgrown Leylandii hedge to give us some base materials and I had pruned the eucalyptus and rosemary bushes that I let grow large for this very purpose.  Between the rain storms, I’d nipped out and cut a little holly and ivy and from the hedgerow and I’d gathered some teasels from the scrub land next to our house and some pine cones from a local park.  There are no air miles attached to these wreaths!!

Jane’s husband Dave also came along to offer words of encouragement and be a guest cat bed for Leia….

I’d watched a Gardener’s World video and made a wreath last year so I was the appointed “teacher”.   We started with a 12” wire frame and using binding wire, attached the various base foliage to the frame by winding the wire around the frame and foliage, wiggling it between the fronds and leaves to avoid getting a ‘bandaged’ look!

This process was repeated until the base layer was completed and the wire frame was covered.

Next, we prepared the accent pieces – the holly, ivy, pinecones and teasels – by wrapping the stems with floristry wire.  Our holly was nude so we attached some artificial berries for added colour.

These pieces were pushed through the base layer and secured to the metal frame.  We finished the wreaths by making a bow using wire edged ribbon and secured that into the frame with some binding wire.

Here are Ruth, Joy and Jane with their finished wreaths.  They look so professional!

We had so much fun making these and they really weren’t difficult nor expensive to make so I encourage you to have a go!

Since there was a lot of foliage left, Jane took home a couple of the eucalyptus branches for the church flowers so Dave got his own aromatherapy experience on their return journey!

I made three wreaths in total; one for us and one each for my Mum and my Mum-in-law.  I finished off my wreaths with a bit of spray glitter.

Last year we bought mini Christmas trees, hellebores and cyclamen to put in the wall mangers which gradually died when I neglected to remove them and plant them in the garden in the spring.  So, since I had enough base foliage to make wreaths for about half of Hampshire(!), I decided to fashion some wreath style Christmas trees.  I started with some garden wire mesh and cut and moulded it to form a sort of half cone shape and then added the foliage in tree type layers.

Some accent pieces, fairy lights and a star for the top and my Festive Foliage Christmas Tree (that looks like Cousin It!) was complete.

 

Mistletoe Season Card – with a bunny ears bow!

With the Christmas season fast approaching, it’s time to get making your Christmas cards – although I have been making mine since July!  The stamp set comes with a bow that you can stamp but I thought it looked a bit flat so decided to add a real ribbon bow instead.

If you’d like to watch my YouTube video tutorial, please follow this link               https://youtu.be/jPM1RmNVfQE

The video is unedited and contains all my mistakes for added entertainment value! Please be kind, it was also my first ever go at a YouTube tutorial!! Apologies for the lighting, I’m sorting it out for future videos.

For this card, I used:

Green card base, 4” x 11¾” and scored at 5¾” in Always Artichoke (retired)

Red mat layer 5⅝” x 3⅞” in Real Red

White inner 5⅝” x 3⅞” in Whisper White

White card front 5½” x 3¾” in Whisper White

Strip of Designer Series Paper (DSP) 5⅜” x ¾” in any design you like

2 scraps of green and white card for the labels

A strip of green card left over from cutting your card base. Cut an A4 sheet in portrait at 4” and again at 4”. You should be left with a strip just over ¼” wide.  Cut it in half lengthways to give you the strip of card.

Stampin’ Up! Mistletoe Season stamp set

Real Red ribbon, about 10”

Everyday Label punch

Shimmer Ink – Champagne Mist

SU Garden Green ink

SU Old Olive ink

Memento Tuxedo Black ink

Adhesive pearl embellishments

With a sponge dauber, apply a little (and I mean a little – it goes a long way!) shimmer ink to the green strip.  Punch out a label from your scrap of green and cut it in half along the straight edge.  Dab some Shimmer Ink on the curvy edges of the label.  If you don’t have Shimmer Ink, you could stick glitter on or leave it plain.

Sorry, I didn’t photograph these bits individually but you can see here which sides to glitter the green card.

Adhere the DSP to the left of the card front layer, setting it in about 1/16th from the left edge.

Stamp the open leaved mistletoe sprig with Garden Green and the solid leaved sprig with Old Olive (although I did this the other way around on the video).

Partially stamp the liner and the envelope in Old Olive by stamping off the edge of the page.  Stamp the sentiment on the scrap of white card and cut out with the punch.

Your green glimmer decorative strip should be dry by now so stick it onto the card front, just overlapping the edge of the DSP.

Make the bow.  This method of bow making is called the Bunny Ears technique and is used as the bow loops stay at the top and the tails go to the bottom naturally.  It takes a bit of fiddling about but produces a nice-looking bow.

Begin by making a loop…

…and then make another the same size.

Tie the loops together in a knot.  It will probably look a mess at this stage.

Pull the tails of the bow to make the loops smaller and pull the loops to tighten the knot.  Keep repeating this process until you’re happy with your bow then trim the ends of the ribbon and use a glue dot behind the knot to stick the bow in the gap between the mistletoe stems.

Cut the green label in half and stick each half to the back of the sentiment label, allowing the glittered edges to protrude.  Trim off any green that’s overhanging the top or bottom of the white label.  Apply foam Dimensionals to the back of the label and attach it to the bottom of the card.

For the mistletoe berries, add a few self-adhesive pearl embellishments.

Finally, adhere the card top onto the red mat layer and then onto the card base and add the liner.

 

 

 

Images ©Stampin’ Up!