Monday, October 31, 2011

More Dahlia's and a Tutorial

Last night I made a few more flowers while watching 
The Manhattan Murder Mystery

Some of you have asked how to make your own.
Well, I must start by saying that I did NOT invent this flower
Though I'd love to take credit.
Here is the girl who showed me how to make them.
I just tweaked it from there.
So you can either follow her tutorial, or mine, but hopefully,
 either way, you can create your own and enjoy!

How to make a Felt Dahlia:

Start by making a template for your petals.
I folded part of card stock paper in half and cut one side of a large petal.
My largest is 2 1/2 inches

The 2 1/2" petal base will make one right at 6 inches in diameter, 
That's one large flower :)

Taking my large petal, I traced it on card stock and kept the traced one for permanent use.
Taking the folded one, I refolded it and cut off one centimeter along the outside of the petal.
{Making it 2cm smaller than the other}
Then I traced it and kept the tracing.

Taking my folded one again, I refolded it and again, cut off 1 centimeter following the outline.
Each time I do this, I trace out the image so that I can have one for keeps.

Then I took off more...

And more...

And more...

And more.

Cut out all of your tracings and keep them for future projects.
I used card stock because it would hold up for multiple uses.
I might use stencil paper next time for longer lasting copies.

Now that we have our templates, lets get started!

For this flower, I used my small, xsmall, and xxsmall petals.
This will give me a flower that is just about 4 1/2 inches in Diameter.

Cut strips of felt the width of your petals.
I used a sheet of felt from the craft store that is 9x13" and cost 29 cents.
Each strip was 9"s long.

I cut 3 strips for my bottom petals using my small template.
{Turns out for this flower, I only needed 2 of the larger strips}
2 strips with my xs template
And 1 strip with my xxs template.
I then cut a circle 2" in diameter.

I like to stack all of my same-sized strips together, pin them to keep in place
and then cut them out.  It saves time :)

Apply a small dot of hot glue to the bottom corner of the petal.
{Sorry for the detailed, grody picture of my glue gun, she and I have come a long way together and she only cost a buck!}

Pinch the 2 bottom corners together...

Then quickly smoosh in the bottom, so that you have 3 points on the bottom.

You now have one petal.
Continue making the rest of them.

Now attach your petals to your circle.
Apply 1 dot of glue to the bottom back of your largest petal.

Stick the largest size petal to your circle, let if hang off your circle.
Only about 2 centimeters need to be on the circle.

Working around the circle, keep adding the petals.
I overlap the flat edges.
Be sure to angle a bit so you make a circle ;o)

This is what your first circle should look like:
{I used 13 petals for the largest row}

Now start your second row using the next size down petals.  Attach it the same way.  A little bit in from the larger row and work your way around again.

When I'm making small petals, instead of a dot of glue that usually gets messy
I'll do a thin smeared line of glue.
It's less visible at the end.
{And I burn my fingers less}

The second row of petals:
{9 petals for mine}

Add your smallest petals to the final row the same way you did the others.  Sometimes you have a small circle left in the middle, this time I didn't  It doesn't matter
{6 petals for my center, I normally have all odd numbered rows}

Now play around with ideas for the center...
{I wish I had a nice collection of vintage buttons to work with but I don't}

Once you have the look you like, hot-glue that baby to the middle!
Don't forget to add a brooch pin or hair clip to the back.
And there ya go, a 4 1/2 " dahlia made by YOU!

If you're wondering what they look like with just 2 rows of petals:

I made these 2 with my smallest sized petals

To make a rosette type center:
 Cut a long strip of felt
This one is 2 cm wide and 6 inches long
{Depending on the amount of space you have in the middle, you may want to make it longer or shorter}

Roll it into a circle,
Dab a large amount of hot-glue over the entire back
Then stick it in your flower's center while it's still hot.
Push down and your done!

I hope this tutorial was helpful!
Please show me your results if you decide to make your own.
Have a lovely day...
Well, it just started raining and it's chilly outside
Seems like the perfect time to make one with a good movie :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dahlia's Dahlia's Everywhere

Since I'm sick and closed in doors all weekend,
I've been on a Dahlia making kick.
Husband says I've made too many
Then I showed him my stack of felt and said
"I'm just getting started!"

I LOVE making these!  
I've given 2 away
and I forgot to take pictures before I did.

I'm trying not to make that mistake again, but I'm sure I will.

KennaKat cuddled with me while I made these last night
and requested a pink one for herself.
 So this one is hers :)


Ethylwolfe is cuddling with me while I check my blog and pointing at the Blog name he asks
 "What does that say?"
and I say "The Speckled Kat"
he says "That's what I thought.  You spelled Cat wrong."
"I know, I did it on purpose."  
He gave me a funny look as to say 'why would anyone misspell on purpose?'
Then I proceeded to explain the meaning of the name 
"I have freckles, so I am 'Speckled' and my name starts with Kat so I came up with the name Speckled Kat."
He looks at me with a look of complete understanding and a look of awe as he came to the conclusion that his mom might actually be cool as he says "Niiiice!"

Since our camping trip "Nice" has been his new word.
He uses it all.the.time.
It's an expression of appreciation for things, for anything he finds cool.
I love that he has his first overly used word :)
What are your kids saying?  What words did you overuse as a kid?

I went through a faze where I overused stellar and groovy in elementary school.
I wanted to show that I was cool and mature enough to use the outdated cool words.
Cool, Like {Still overuse that}, So, Sweet -all words overused by myself.

Have a lovely Sunday.
We are all hacking up lungs in this house...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

What we're reading...

So I've decided to try and do a weekly book post.
It will mainly be about the books that I'm reading or have read with the kids.
Hopefully it'll give you ideas on what's good out there, and HOPEFULLY you'll throw suggestions back my way.  I'm always looking for something else to read with the kids.  We go through an upwards of 30 library books a week, and I'm running out of ideas to check out.

First up for this week are the little house books by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
I've been reading her books to the kids every night for months now.
So this is an overview of all that we have read so far.

First is Little House in the Big Woods.
Ethylwolfe really loves chapter books and he really loved this one.
KennaKat didn't start out too interested but even when she was playing with her doll pretending not to pay attention, if anything happened to Laura or Mary, she was quick to be concerned and show interest.

Book two, Little House on the Prairie.
Again, loved it.  The details of what it was like being a pioneer family almost makes me want to build a place in the woods and live off the labor of my own hands..Almost.  E noted "They sure are hard workers.  They never have time to play."  More exciting things happen and the kids were very interested about what was going on.  Poor E was on the edge of his seat many times.  And they met Indians, how cool is that!

Book three, Farmer Boy.
At first, E was upset because this book is about Almanzo, Laura's husband as an 8 year old boy.  He wanted to know what happened to Laura and was mad that she wasn't going to be in this book.  But Almanzo quickly earned our love.  By the end, E loved the story and was sad for it to be over, KennaKat too.  This was one of my favs so far.

Book Four, On the banks of Plum Creek.
This book is full of disasters for the poor Ingalls family.  It was one thing after another for the family.  But there was still fun and adventure.  E enjoyed this story also.  Laura was always getting into something and having fun.  KennaKat's interest really raised once we got into this book.  Almost every night she sat and listened instead of messing with something else while I read.  She was constantly worried about the family.

Book Five, By the Shores of Silver Lake.
We are on chapter 6 of this book.  My sore throat and loss of voice lately has slowed down my reading this week to only one or two chapters a night.  Hopefully I'll be over this cold soon, and we can pick up the pace. The story starts out dim as the family prepares to move for the umpteenth time.  They are further outwest and the girls are older.  Laura is 12 now.  I'm not sure how interested the kids will be with the rest of the books as they can't relate much, but I plan to finish the series anyways.  We can always read them again in a few years.

Did you read Laura Ingalls Wilder's books when you were a little girl?  If not, you should read them.  They are interesting and insightful.  I enjoy them now as much as I enjoyed them as a child.  There are some parts that you may have to skim over, for instance all of the Christmas Celebrations in every book or some of the bits about the Indians.  I generally just changed the words around and omitted certain phrases and songs and kept going.  The kids hardly noticed.  But other than that, they are good clean books to read to the kiddos, which is always hard to find.  Also, Ethylwolfe was concerned about the family going to church in On the Banks of Plum Creek.  But I explained to him that this was before Kingdom Halls existed, and they didn't know about Jehovah, but they were still good people and they were doing the best they could to stay that way.  So he was ok with it. :)  At the end of each reading session, I'm left with E begging me to read 'Just One More Chapter' so I'd say it's a good sign that your kids will love them too :)

What books have you enjoyed reading to your kids lately?

First Field Trip in First Grade!

Last Friday {before we went camping} KennaKat and I joined Ethylwolfe on his first field trip in first grade.
His School was having a literary Festival at a local book store.
This is how it worked...
We walked .7 miles to the free bus line, hopped on the bus, rode for a mile, got off, walked .3 miles to the book store.

The kids were excited...I was excited!  I don't get enough bus riding apparently.
I'm still excited every time I get to ride a bus.
{It's so big, you don't have to drive, you get to see weird people, you don't have seat belts}

Leaving the school, on our way...
The kids had to hold their buddies hand the entire way.
I was impressed with how well they did.

Waiting for the bus with 2 of his buddies

A game of Rock.Paper. Scissors to pass the time

Boarding the bus with the teacher directing the way

KennaKat enjoying the ride


Enjoying his trip

Listening to a parent read

Gathering all the ducks she could  find

Heading back to school, the kids were pretty tired

Waiting for the bus
She fits right in doesn't she?
It was a fun afternoon.  I love this school and how they walk all over town.

This past Thursday, his class went on trip #2 to the local Carolina Theater and saw a play.
KennaKat and I didn't go because there was only room for 2 parents to attend and we decided to leave room for other families.

They walked there as well, but the walk wasn't nearly as long.