Happy Valentine's Day!!!
And so much gratitude to ALL who have supported Spring Bird through stays at the cottage, Woolgathering subscriptions, Great Oak purchases, and so much more! Your support it so appreciated, and we are grateful to have you in our orbit!!!
Sending you love!!!!
This time of year, I begin to crave color! I have had enough of the monochromes of white, grey, and brown!
Garlands are a great way to add color and levity to a drab environment. They are like jewelry for your house. I suppose they signify special occasions. They are adornments that add significance to a house, a tree, a window, a door, or a statue. While garlands were originally made of leaves or flowers, you can make your own lasting garlands from paper.
This garland making method was originated by artist and my sister, Lisa Manning. She came up with the ingenious method of sewing through the thread to as a way to string together the pieces.
If you do not have a sewing machine, you could fix the pieces of paper together by gluing to shapes together and sandwiching the string in between or by using an awl or small hole punch to create holes through which you string your pieces onto a string. Then tie each piece with the garland string to prevent it from shifting.
Once your paper has dried, cut it into strips measuring approximately 1" wide.
Then cut your strips into 1” squares.
You could sew your squares into a garland, or cut them into circles, hearts, or another shape.
It’s helpful to have a good pair or sharp scissors.
With your shapes all cut out, choose string that is about as thick as embroidery floss. It has to be thick enough to be sewn on a sewing machine.
Before sewing, make loop out of the end of the string and drape it over your first shape.
Place the loop on your first paper shape and stitch down. Make sure to backstick so that your sewing doesn’t come undone, and make sure to pierce the string most of the time.
It’s OK if you doff the string and just sew through the paper some of the time, but try to sew through the string most of the time. The string adds strength to your garland.
Continue to add paper shapes until you run out or until your string ends.
To finish your garland, make a loop on the last shape like you did at the beginning on the first shape. Make sure to backstitch to ensure your garland stays together.
After you are finished with your garland, wrap it around a piece of cardboards for storage to prevent tangling.
After watching the thriller Parasite last night, my nerves were already a little sensitive, but the Full Snow Moon only increased the tension. Our bedroom is partially submerged into the ground. So, our bed is at ground level. We have no curtains which allowed the bright moonlight to reflect off of the snow and illuminate our room. It felt unsettling and uneasy, and I felt charged and awake. Our dog Lucy only further prevented my sleep because she was pacing around the room. Turns out there was a deer peering directly at us in our beds. This was definitely weird and a bit disturbing.
So, all of this to say I better understand why the best spells are cast under a full moon, and how the full moon could have the power to transform us into wolves. It was a wild and unpeaceful feeling under that Super Snow Moon last night.
Have you ever experienced restless, full moon energy?
As a kid, I was often granted the opportunity to make cards for loved ones and friends. I took the job very seriously, designing and making custom cards with the receiver in mind.
With Valentine's Day looming and cabin fever setting in, making homemade cards is a great way to be creative while demonstrating your appreciation for loved ones.
There is no wrong way to make a card, but But, for those wanting to try a method other than drawing, Pieced Painted Paper is a lot of fun and a little messy.
Begin by folding a piece of watercolor paper or thick paper like cardstock, in half.
Then, if you wish, you can color the background with a crayon and paint over it with watercolor. This method of painting over a crayon or oil pastel adds texture to your background, which in the case of this card is outerspace.
Have fun painting scraps of paper in all sorts of colors. Let your paint bleed into each other. You may want to reprise the crayon method here, too, for added texture.
Once the paper has dried, cut it into shapes to be glued down.
Here you can be as abstract or figurative as you desire. Again there is no wrong way.
After gluing your cut pieces of paper into your desired composition, paint a protective coating over the entire card. I like an acrylic gloss medium, but a modgepodge would work too.
Finally, when all has dried, write your love note inside and send it away!!! Nice work!
Happy Groundhog Day!
I know this seems like a quirky kind of holiday, but February 2nd has been celebrated for a very long time. This day is significant because it is halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox! That means that today, we are in the middle, a place that I sometimes have difficulty being in. I am always in a rush for the next big thing, and at this moment in February, it’s easy to be hungry for Spring.
I wonder what it would be like to celebrate the inbetween. What would it be like to be happily in transition - to notice some stirrings of Spring (like some birds returning) among the layers of snow and ice?
So, today, I challenge you to notice where you are inbetween in your life and celebrate ALL that you have done to get to inbetween and celebrate all the opportunities awaiting you on your way to becoming Spring.
Anna Lentz, artist, writer, and creativity coach who blogs about making a creative life connected with nature at Spring Bird.