Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Holiday "Craps"

I considered calling this post Christmas "Craps," but worried some might take offense. That title appeals to my Scrooge-like tendencies, though. If you read my previous post about winter "craps" using old book pages (here), you'll know what it refers to.

I've been making poinsettias out of book pages. Poinsettias are pretty flowers, and they have so many different varieties now. But they're still not a favorite of mine. Loree at Danger Garden posted a Christmas Poinsettia Challenge, but I didn't feel like live plants were my thing at the moment. So I'm entering a paper one in her challenge, along with some instructions, just in case you might like to do some holiday "craps" too.

I found a petal template on the web that I thought would work (here), but it didn't have any instructions that went with it, so I adapted instructions from somewhere else. So if you try to use that template, ignore the directions on it for how many to cut out. Just cut out eight large, eight medium and eight small ones.

I made three different sizes of the petal (small, medium, large) by printing it, first with two per page, then four per page, then six per page (hope that makes sense.) I printed each template out on heavy card stock, and then cut out eight of each size from book pages that I had torn out of an old, not very good, YA book from the thrift store ($1.99). Once I had all the petals cut out, I colored the edges with a scarlet stamp pad and a sponge dauber. My daubing is rather inconsistent, and the final color is more like a sort of coral pink rather than scarlet, but I figure it's not bad for a first-timer.

Anyhoo, once you've daubed those edges with color, fold the large and the medium ones in half length-wise so the petals have a crease down the middle. Don't fold the small ones! Then start gluing the large petals onto the little circle that you've also cut out using the template (you only need two circles). Glue the first four in a cross, like in the picture below. Ignore the paper plate and the bit of foam, that was just to keep the glue from getting on my kitchen counter.

Then glue the other four, staggered between the first four, like in the picture below.

Below is what you end up with, once you've glued all eight large petals.

Now, start gluing the eight medium petals, again staggering them between the petals that you've already placed.

Glue the first four in a cross, and then the next four.

Finally, with the small petals, curl them with scissors, like you would curling ribbon, but curl the two ends in the opposite direction. They should look like the picture below.

Now, glue those small petals, again the first four in a cross, then the other four staggered between them. Below, you can see how the first two curled small petals should look. Because you curled them, they'll stick up.

Once you've glued on all eight small curled petals, glue a second circle over the center of the flower.

I'm a messy gluer. Be prepared to get glue on your fingertips

Then glue some tiny plastic gems (or you could probably use sequins too) into the center of the flower.

Here's what your finished poinsettia should look like.

Now you get all the fun of trying to figure out how to use your book page poinsettia. If you're cleverer than me, maybe you can figure out how to attach a stem to that big gaudy sucker. I used mine to make some different sort of Christmas wreaths made out of picture frames.

In the picture below you can see one of them, made with a poinsettia that I put some sparkly gold stamping ink on. The gold sparkle is subtle. I tried putting loose gold glitter on the edges at first, with Elmer's glue, but that loose glitter goes EV. ERY. WHERE. I did this in my kitchen, so I have no doubt we ate glitter in our dinner that night, and pooped glitter the next day. So I gave that up, and just went with the stamping ink.

Simple, but I like it.

I was tempted to keep adding to it, but decided this was enough. Hey, they have gold fern fronds at the craft store! I considered using them to make a little gold swag at the bottom of the frame,

Book page birdie nestled in the bow at the bottom

It's hard to really see the glitter effect till you get up close

Here's the wreath frame thingy that I made with the salmon pink poinsettia.

If I had more time I would have made lots and lots of poinsettias and put them on a round foam wreath. Maybe next year.

I'm going to enter one of those wreaths in Loree's Poinsettia Challenge. Technically, her post says that I'm supposed to give grocery store poinsettias a new designy twist, and if you're strict about rules, that might mean I should have used a real live one, but I've always liked playing fast and loose with rules, so boo.

Which one do you like best?