Holiday topiary trees

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Wait? that is a tomato cage? Really? Not all home “crafts” have to be homemade looking. Just upgrade the idea.

So I have this arbor in front of my garage, and apparently rampant, hungry, zombie deer herds roaming my front yard. Seems no matter what I planted in these planters, the mutant deer devour it. I love seeing them and their babies each spring, but nursery bought food is killing me!

So why not, make “fake” trees (can’t possibly taste good right?)

But problem is, the pre=made ones are up to a hundred bucks each, and if you want them 4 ft tall, even more.

Birth of an idea, why not make them, so I did.

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In fact, I made two!

Supplies Needed:

I used 4 tomato cages (doubled up for more stability and tie on places)

Net lights ( 2 sets)

twinkle light 200 cot ( two sets)

Iced Pine garland (4 from Michael’s but they were bogo)

large pine garland 200 feet

zip ties

wire and wire cutters

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So I had the garland from previous years. It was a really nice iced pine with pinecones already attached. Been keeping it in the garage looking for a new use for it because it proved to be “messy” the ice crystals kept falling off my shelves. seems like outdoor would work better.

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I started by putting the two tomato cages on top of each other twisting them so I had more places to tie to. I used a piece of wire to secure the tops together into a pointy cone shape.

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Next I added the net lights. Plain white, but you could do whatever style you like. Since I like a little twinkle outdoors, I also put a couple of strands of blinking ones over the net lights. I figured more the merrier!

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So I started from the top down, since I thought if I ran out, the planter would hide the bottom, with the iced pine. Using zip ties to secure, I wound the garland around leaving some space. If you have enough “fancy” garland you could wrap it snugly. Once these were on, I went back from the top with the plain pine garland and continued to fill in the empty spaces with it. You can tie with the zip ties, and weave into the cage as well.

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I put them into the planters, used some garden staples to secure them and a couple short shepherds hooks. They’re a little light, and the wind knocked them over a couple of times, but now they’re secure! Think the came out pretty realistic, I have spotted the “herd” checking them out. If they eat these, I give up!

Enjoy,

Debbie

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Mrs. Butterworth’s project

So I thought I’d share a sneak peek of my costume this year. I’ve been hard a work in the sewing room with my new bestie Helga, and I have to admit it’s coming out great!

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First, a little inspiration… I do work for a major grocery chain, so it seems inevitable that at some point,

a food related costume is appropriate. the key is trying to make sure its PC appropriate for work.

This blog is going to be mostly inspirational rather than informational.

Not sure you want to recreate it, but the creative process would be the same with any idea.

Supplies Used:

6 yards mahogany brown cotton fabric

1 yard each red, yellow and white cotton fabric

2 pkgs heat and bond iron on fabric adhesive

1 bailing wire for skirt hoop

clasp, frog or tie for collar

21″ zipper

Large yellow rick rack

Sinplicity pattern #3723, pilgrim dress

2 1/2 quart paint bucket (or your head size)

yellow spray paint

fine tip sharpie marker

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Started with a little inspiration, the bottle.

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Found a patter similar to the dress shape/silhouette, used the one with the collar and make it according to directions with all brown fabric.

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In order to get the bottom to stay out, I stole a bailing wire from work, and inserted it into the hem of the dress. Instant hoop skirt.

And then it was on to the “cap”.

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This bucket turned out to be too round, so I found a more straight sided paint bucket. Spray painted it with two coats of yellow and then wrote “twist to open” on the rim.

It was slightly too small to sit down on my head so I secured it with bobby pins on the sides and put elastic through the sides and ran it under the hair bun I had in the back.

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I spent the most time on the apron. made a basic flat apron (the one in the pattern was too gathered so I used the ties and trimmed down the body.

The ties were the same brown as the dress, the base was bright red, and bottom yellow. I used the large rick rack to make the edge “wavy” and around the pocket.

I used a sharpie marker to put the “MB” monogram on the pocket.

The letters were harder. I’m sure there is an easier way, but for me, I first drew them out on plain white computer paper.

I searched for a font that might work, but none of them seemed to be just right.

I also have a cricket dye cutting machine, but didn’t have any cartridges either. Did learn that if you lay out your design and photograph it, you can get a better look at the overall shape.

I realized I had made some of the too fat. Much easier to toss out the paper, than spend all that time cutting fabric multiple times.

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Once I was happy with them, I cut them out of white fabric, put the double-sided adhesive behind them, and bonded them to the brown fabric.

cut around them 1/2″ or so and again placed another layer of adhesive on the back of the brown fabric.

I made the “pat” of butter out of yellow, backed it with brown, did the lettering with a sharpie and placed all the letters BEFORE the final pressing.

You can’t really move them, so making sure they’re spaced is crucial. I actually pinned them since they insisted on moving around on my ironing board.

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I used a brown bun maker, put some gold glitter on my cheeks, put some leggings under (its cold here, and I hadn’t made a underskirt) and off to work I went.

Driving was fun with the hoop behind my head, and the “cap” hitting the ceiling of my car, but….I got so many compliments, it was totally worth it!

I hope you feel inspired to do you own thing, this one I was really proud of!

Enjoy,

Debbie