Friday, June 6, 2014

Tulle Wreath Tutorial!

      Last year, I made my grandfather-in-law a patriotic tulle wreath for his door at the home he lives in. He loved it, and his daughter pulled it out to put on his door again this year. One of the lovely workers at his home asked for instructions, so her boy scout troop can make wreaths. I'm more than happy to oblige! The tulle wreaths are fairly simple to make, and it's kinda hard to mess them up, a perfect craft for a first time wreath maker, back when I made my first one. Here we go!

Tulle Wreath Tutorial

Supplies -
One Styrofoam wreath form, 3 wooden stars (painted white), red tulle, white tulle, blue tulle

 Simple Instructions -

-Cut your tulle into long strips, depending on how big your wreath form is and how large you want the tulle to "fluff" out when you're done. Don't be afraid to cut your strips too long, it's very easy to trim your wreath after you make it! Hobby Lobby sells spools of tulle, I recommend buying that. It's very easy to cut your strips of tulle as you unwind the spool. Try a few different lengths, to find what size you want on your wreath, and then cut all your strips that same length. I don't really have a set amount of tulle to have on hand. I bought one spool of each color, and cut the entire spool into long strips, and used almost all of them for my first wreath. It all depends on how big your wreath forms are and how long you cut your strips of tulle.

-If you are making a flag wreath, it helps to use a sharpie to mark the one quarter of your wreath that is going to be blue. It doesn't have to be perfect, tulle is very forgiving and covers many mistakes! =]
You don't have to mark where your stripes are going to be, it's easier to just count how many strips of tulle you are using for each stripe. You can always go make and add more tulle strips to make your stripes thicker and even them out.

-Take one strip of tulle (I always start with the blue and make my blue quarter of my wreath first) and tie it around your wreath, then knot it. I've tried a bunch of different ways to tie and knot it, and honestly, it doesn't matter. =] After you've tied a few strips to your wreath, you're going to squish the strips together. That's the best way I can think to describe it, slide the strips together so the squish next to each other and you can't see the color of your wreath form through your tulle strips.

-Keep going! Keep tying and squishing your tulle together!

-Once you've finished with your quarter of blue, switch to red or white. At this point, I found it most helpful to count how many strips of one color I used to make one stripe, so I could use the same number for the next color stripe. That helps keep your stripes even and consistent.
With the first flag wreath I made, I didn't have a set amount of stripes in mind, so I just switched back and forth between red and white until I ran out of room. With the second wreath, I wanted 13 stripes. So I started with five strips of tulle for each stripe, and then added for tulle to each stripe until they were all thick and I didn't have anymore space.

-Now that you've added all your tulle and you can't see any wreath form between your strips of tulle, you can judge if your tulle is too long, or too full around. If it is, don't worry! Just take some scissors and "trim" your tulle around the outside, to your desired length. =] Hopefully, most of your strips were about the same length and you don't have to trim it too much! (Above, you can see the difference between the two wreaths where the strips are different lengths. One long, and one short.)

-Then, you're ready to add your stars! I painted wooden stars, but you could also cut stars out of foam board. With an adult, use a hot-glue gun to attach your stars to the blue quarter of your wreath. I found it best to add a thin layer to both the tulle and the star, and then press them firmly together. Move quickly, so your glue doesn't dry before you have a chance to attach your stars. I used three stars for my wreath, but you'll have to decide what you like, based on the size of your wreath and your stars.

-While your hot-glue is drying, grab on strip of each color of tulle. Knot one end and braid the colors together and knot the other end, for a quick and easy way to hang your wreath. After your stars are dry and secure, flip your wreath over and hot-glue both ends near the top of your wreath. Once the glue is dry, you can hang up and enjoy your tulle wreath!

I hope you enjoy my tutorial! I think this might be the first one I've ever written. =] If you have any questions, or if you noticed a mistake, please let me know! And enjoy!!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

June First - Starting Over, Yet Again..

I never feel bad or guilty for starting over. I feel bad that you all have to read about me starting over! =] So, my husband and I made it 50 days into our 100 days. And then we cracked and took a few days off from dieting. I was eating smaller portions and less calories, but I hadn't really committed to low carb, so in the 50 days, I hadn't lost that much weight. So, today I'm starting over with a smaller goal.

Starting today, June 1st, I'm committing to a month of a low carb diet, a month of using myfitnesspal to log my food and exercise, a month of exercising 30 minutes a day/5 days a week. Also, a month of taking my vitamins and metformin every day. And, because it's the first month and it will be a little bit of a shock to my system, my goal is 10lb by July 1st. I'm only going to weigh myself once a week, I've gotten into the bad habit of weighing myself almost every morning. That's not really helping me.

My birthday is this month. I'm going to stay strong on my birthday too. Since my favorite thing to eat for special meals is STEAK, and that doesn't have any carbs!! =] I'm also going to buy some coconut or almond flour, so I can low carb bake! I love to bake and eating sweets, and since I'm not going to hit my final goal weight overnight, I want to set myself up for success. I'm going to research recipes, find some low carb favorites, and still allow myself to eat low carb sweets on those special days. One of my goals is to still have "cheat days", but have healthy, low carbs cheats.

So, I weighed myself this morning for my starting weight. 252.4
My goal weight for July 1st - 242.4

I can do it!! Once I hit that goal, then I will reevaluate and set a new goal!