Before my last dinner party, I took a few minutes to work on a few small details. I pulled out my calligraphy kit from a workshop I attended to make place cards and a menu. These little additions were the perfect finishing touches, making the dinner table seem so put together.
While cleaning out and organizing my craft supplies (I have a lot, so after a few projects, everything tends to get jumbled) I found some leftover leather strips. I wasn’t about to throw out leather, so I decided on a quick DIY project. If you have the supplies on hand, this can be done in about 10 minutes.
- Leather hole punch
- Sharp scissors
- Split ring
- Eyelet and corresponding eyelet tool
- Letter stamps
First, take the leather and cut it to twice the desired length of the keychain. Be sure to consider the length of the name or word you’ll be imprinting. On one half of the leather strip and on a hard surface, begin hammering the letter stamps. If the imprint doesn’t take, very lightly dampen the leather, realign the letter, and try again.
Next, fold the leather strap with the right side facing out. Close to the edge of the overlapping ends, take your leather hole punch and cut through both layers. Make sure the size hole you choose will fit the eyelet.
Looking through my Inspiration board on Pinterest, I realized I had a lot of flower crown images pinned. Something about them is so fun and ethereal. With my whole neighborhood blooming with spring flowers, I was inspired to finally make my own. Instead of using fresh flowers that would only last a day at best, I used high quality silk flowers. I picked mine up from Shinoda Design Center in Orange County.
I wanted a blushy and muted color palette so I picked up light pinks, soft yellows, creams, and whites in the forms of roses, ranunculus, carnations, and peonies.
A few other things you’ll need: floral wire, floral tape, needle-nose pliers, and stem wire.
Start with your stem wire. Take 1 piece, and wrap it around the front of your head where you want the crown to rest. Take the 2nd wire and repeat for the back of your head. Bring the two pieces together and wrap the wires together in the overlapping sections. You should have an oval about the size of your head. Test the size and adjust as needed.
Take a 3-inch piece of floral tape and wrap it tightly around the exposed wire ends.
Snip each flower with a few inches of its steam remaining. Lay out how you want your flowers to be arranged. Beginning with your largest flower, lay it against the stem wire. Using two pieces of floral wire, wrap and secure the flower to the stem wire at the base of the flower and at the end of the cut stem. Continue adding flowers using this method.
When you are finished adding flowers, make sure any exposed floral wire and loose stems are covered with floral tape. This secures the flowers and will protect your head and hair from scratches and snags.
And here’s the completed flower crown!
Petals & Penmanship title by Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls
After a bout of calligraphy in the first half of the Petals & Penmanship workshop, we moved on to a lesson in floral design. This second half of the workshop was led by Kiana Underwood, owner of Tulipina, a San Francisco-based floral design studio. I wasn’t familiar with Kiana’s work before , but I started following her on Instagram shortly after signing up for the workshop and I was immediately smitten with her aesthetic. Her designs are refreshingly nontraditional and they have a breezy and organic quality to them that is so appealing.
Each person was provided a bucket of flowers (above), a vase, and a pair of garden shears. Even the bucket of untrimmed, un-arranged flowers looked gorgeous, don’t you think?
Kiana demonstrated how to design a beautiful centerpiece in her signature style – asymmetrical and unfussy. One of her pointers was to use the existing curves and shapes in your materials to create a natural flow. With a quick trim and the right placement, a droopy looking hellebore can actually help shape the bouquet.
She encouraged us to make use of flowers, branches, and vines that are accessible in our own gardens. A beautiful bouquet doesn’t have to cost a lot – just keep your eyes and mind open.
One of Kiana’s favorites is the Juliet garden rose, which she grows in her personal garden.
Even the scraps looked beautiful
Thanks again to Maybelle, Kiana, and Angie for putting together a lovely workshop. It was inspiring to be around your creative energy and I’m looking forward to the next one!
Photos by Robin for Dressed In Orange
Petals & Penmanship title by Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls
Since I took a calligraphy workshop a few months back at Makeshift Society, I’ve been practicing, practicing, practicing. I’ve definitely seen some improvement, but I have been dying to take another class with Maybelle. She’s a great teacher who is incredibly sweet and personable (plus, I secretly want to be her best friend). When she posted about another calligraphy workshop combined with floral design (are you kidding?!) on her Instagram, I signed up immediately!
Maybelle shows us The Language of Flowers
The workshop was a joint effort from calligrapher Maybelle and floral stylist Kiana Underwood. Their inspiration came from a unique find at the Alameda Antiques Faire – a vintage copy of The Language of Flowers. Perfect, right? They held the workshop in photographer Angie Cao‘s beautiful studio in the Sunset neighborhood. Despite the rain and dark clouds outside, the studio was full of beautiful light and life. As soon as I walked in, I was enamored with the styling of the abundance of flowers and calligraphy supplies.
In the last workshop we practiced the alphabet, but in this class we jumped into flower names – some of which were flowers we would be using during the floral design portion. Seeing and writing such pretty floral names in calligraphy was inspiring and relaxing.
This was the first workshop of its kind, but Maybelle and Kiana are planning to host another session in the fall. Sign me up!
Check back tomorrow for a recap of the floral styling portion of the workshop!
Photos by Robin for Dressed In Orange
Only 2 days left until Christmas! If you’re still looking for a quick, unique way to wrap those last minute gifts, why not try stamping your wrapping paper? All you need is a stamp, ink, masking/washi tape, and butcher or plain wrapping paper.
Take your paper and roll it out or cut to size. Take pieces of tape to secure the corners to your working surface.
The simplest version is to use a small stamp that can be repeated in a polka dot-like pattern. I used a small snowflake stamp with white ink and stamped all over – I didn’t try to perfectly space out the stamps because I liked a more handcrafted look.
For something requiring a little more patience, you can use a larger stamp to cover the entire paper surface. I used a wood grain stamp. Because the stamp is likely larger than your ink pad, make sure to evenly cover the entire stamp surface with enough ink.
Position your first stamping at the corner of your paper and press firmly and evenly to ensure the full stamp image comes through. Re-apply ink and position your stamp next to the first stamped area, aligning the edges and corners.
Last weekend, Grace and I hosted a holiday Crafternoon to get us in the holiday spirit. We served milk and cookies from Anthony’s, a local bakeshop around the corner from my apartment with the most delicious cookie flavors. While listening to Christmas music and devouring cookies, we made cards, decorated ornaments, strung garlands, and painted festive tea towels.
To make the tea towels, mix a 1:1 ratio of acrylic paint and textile medium. On cleaned and ironed flour sack tea towels, carefully brush or stamp with your desired paint colors. I made my own stamp by cutting foam sheets into simple shapes. Once you let your towel dry for 24 hours, iron the towel with another piece of fabric between the paint and the iron. After that, your towel is ready to use, is machine washable, and brings a little festive touch to your kitchen. Easy peasy!
Over the weekend, Grace and I attended a calligraphy workshop at Makeshift Society. Our instructor was the charming Maybelle Imasa, an Oakland-based professional calligrapher who travels the world teaching the art of calligraphy (what a dream!). The workshop covered modern calligraphy basics, perfect for beginners. I highly recommend taking a class with Maybelle if you’re at all interested in calligraphy. She hosts workshops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Brooklyn, and Sydney, with a few more international locations to be added next year. If you’re in the Bay Area, she will be teaching another class next month with all proceeds going to typhoon relief in the Philippines.
Maybelle’s husband created these wooden ink well holder/pen rests specially for her workshops and she personalized each with our names. Such a lovely element of her class that you can take home with you.
I’ve been seeing tea tin planters popping up all over Pinterest, and since I had all the supplies on hand, I decided to create my very own. I cleaned out a Harney & Sons tin that was sitting in my pantry and drilled holes through the bottom to let water escape.
I gently packed the container with potting soil and planted a few stems. I pruned these stems from an existing succulent that thrives on my kitchen windowsill. If you’re going to propagate from an existing plant, make sure the branches you choose have at least 2 inches of stem to plant.
Once planted, I added a bit of moss and watered. This darling little creation is now sitting pretty in my bedroom window.