Parks and Recreation and New Autumn Decorations

It’s almost Thanksgiving! It’s safe to say that 2012 has flown by faster than other year for me. The first half of the year was spent planning our wedding and the rest of it has felt like smooth sailing. And, hey, we’ve been married over five months now! That’s like a record if we were Hollywood¬†celebrities.

I spent a week in Ohio with my friend Sandy while her husband was out of town. I helped watch their baby Ben while Sandy had to work. I think that was my first real, extended experience with a baby. There might be pictures soon to prove to you all that I held a baby in my arms and didn’t drop the child or explode into flames!

When I wasn’t in Ohio, I was slowly working on this rag wreath for the autumn season. I had intended to finish it much sooner, but I kept getting distracted by (finally) reading Harry Potter. Oh, and applying to several other jobs. Don’t worry, I haven’t lost sight of why I have all this free time. I am ready, ready, ready for my next job.

Autumn Rag Wreath

Interested in making your own rag wreath? Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 yards total of fabric; I used 4 different patterns in 1/2 yard of each
  • Ribbon to make the bow and hang the wreath
  • Scissors
  • 1 metal wreath frame — I found mine at Michael’s and used a coupon, but I’ve seen rag wreaths that simply use an old wire hanger. Of course, you won’t need nearly as much fabric for those.
  • Some autumn embellishments — These were 80% off at Michaels because I bought them November 2nd. I think this entire project was about $10. Not bad!
  • Hot glue

To make the wreath, cut your fabric into 1″ by 6″ strips. You could make them different lengths and widths, but be careful not to cut them too short or it’s a real pain to try to tie the knot. Don’t ask me how I know that.

Then randomly tie your strips onto the metal frame. I double knotted my fabric because I didn’t want my hard work to come undone. This part takes lots of patience and far more time than you might imagine. That’s where Parks and Recreation (or your other favorite streaming TV show or movie) can come in handy, trust me. Leslie Knope, I wish you could be our president.

autumn rag wreath fabric

Once you’re done tying all those strips, give yourself a pat on the back. No, really. You deserve it.

Add your autumn embellishments! Depending on what you’re adding, you may need hot glue. I used it just to keep small parts of the decoration in place.

Autumn rag wreath embellishments

Finally, tie a loop of ribbon onto the top of your wreath. I busted out my old floral design skills to make a bow on the top, but it’s up to you how you want to decorate your wreath.

Autumn rag wreath bow

If you’re like me, you’ll finish it just in time for Thanksgiving. But at least this one will be ready for the season next year.

I suppose now it’s time to get started on a Christmas wreath. . . .I recognize that I might have a wreath-making addiction.

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This is (was) Halloween

Well, we survived “Superstorm” Sandy just fine, except our Internet and phone line have been down since Monday. So my Halloween post has been delayed a few days. Oh well.

I wanted to share with you what Halloween looked like in our apartment.
Boo! Wreath
This was my first attempt at making a wreath, and of course I have Pinterest to thank for the inspiration behind this wreath. It took a lot longer than expected, but it was a nice activity to keep me busy in between periods of job hunting.

silly Halloween card
My mother-in-law, Cindy, found a Halloween card-making kit at a shop in Kansas. She didn’t have time to make the cards, so she gave the kit to me. This particular card was sent to my nephew. I loved this design because it was a huge googley eye! What fun.
Spooky wreath
The first wreath was so fun, I had to make another. This time I didn’t even use Pinterest or any other instructional guide, I just made it up!
First, I wrapped a styrofoam wreath with black yarn. I liked the vibrant yarn that I also found at Michaels, and really wanted to use it, too. It just felt appropriate for a Halloween wreath. I took leftover fabric and paint from my rag wreath to make the banner that reads “Spooky”.
Better call the ghostbusters
We had this ghost from last year. I’m pretty sure we found it in the Target Dollar Spot. I had a good little giggle when I placed this guy next to Chris’s Lego town. From some angles inside the apartment, it really did look like the ghost was terrorizing the neighborhood!
Leafy jack-o-lantern
I used my college textbook, Michael Dirr’s Handbook of Woody Landscape Plants to copy some of my favorite autumn leaves onto paper. Once I had my template, I used that to make my leafy jack-o-lantern. From left to right the leaves belong to the following trees: American sweetgum, white ash, white oak (top), black tupelo (bottom), and red maple.
our decorated apartment

Chris and I hope your Halloween was delightfully spooky!

Our New Favorite Pastime

The weather here was too gloomy and overcast for Chris to do his outdoor filming today, so he finished what he could this morning and then we decided to head out to run a few errands.

We ended up in Old Town Alexandria at a great little yarn shop.

Selection of yarn at Fiber Space in Alexandria

The store clerks were very nice and did a great job of coming up to me and asking if I needed any help.

“Oh, no,” I would begin to explain, “My husband is the one who knits in our family. You’ll have to ask him.”

And then I would watch their heads slowly explode with excitement as they processed what I had said.¬†I think that’ll become my new favorite pastime. Explaining that my husband knits and watching people’s reactions.

I’ve already gained a fabulous pair of wool leg warmers (perfect for winter in the apartment when Chris is usually warm and I am consistently chilly). His new project is a snood and matching pair of mittens.

Soon he’ll try to teach me how to knit, but for now I’ll enjoy the shocked look on someone’s face when I get to explain that my husband knit the scarf or mittens that I’ll be wearing this season.