I hope this spring is bringing you a creative spirit, along with all the rain...with rainy days, there is time to spend at the table with all sorts of baubles and create the day away as we wait for the sun to come out and the temps to rise.
Earlier, I had a wild hair to create due to my good friends, Debbie and Maureen's birthday. They are twin sisters, and I love them both. I sure do love my girlfriends, and whenever I can, I want to show them. But the problem is, I don't wear a watch, nor do I have any clocks in our home...in other words...I somehow feel that I get more hours in a day than others, and end up trying to cram in two days worth of projects into two hours. Sigh...too many ideas, and not enough time. Sound familiar to anyone out there?
To recap: I decided how much "fun" it would be to decorate a three-layer cake myself, and make homemade paper flowers on it and create some sort of French Collar Corsage for the guests of honor. Never mind that I have not seen neither made, nor had any idea how to go about doing this. And never mind that I had about a zillion other things I needed to do, and due, but....hey! Of course I can do this! To see the results of my paper flower cake, just read about it by clicking here.
Do you find those French collars at flea-markets and love them, but wonder what to do with them? I have found ways to display them over the years and use them around the house, but I still have many of them because I just can't resist them when I run across them at markets.
So, I came up with another idea for them: French Collar Corsages...and after the party or event, they may be hung on a door knob as a keepsake.
I had no idea how to go about this little project, but after a bit, I figured it out. Now that I made a couple, I now know a few different ways I would make my next ones. But below are some basic steps to get you started. First, start with SOFT collars, not the stiff, starched ones. If stiff, then just wash the starch out and let it dry soft. I used old, stained ones - anyone who knows me, knows that I don't necessarily like "pristine" items.
First, take a collar, and cross it over like so:
I then sewed a tiny stitch to hold it together, in the center:
I then dug through my collection of vintage buttons and found three buttons and sewed them together to create an interesting larger button and sewed it in the center:
I then added vintage French cuff buttons to the button holes at the tips of the collar:
For this corsage, I used died cheese cloth for my friend, Debbie, because she loves it so much. I was making this for her because I knew she would hang this in her bedroom. I designed custom bedding for her and will be using some fabric from her custom bedding for a leaf later.
I use this cheese cloth, cut into a square, to make a "ruffle" around the button. I fold little sections and then poke it behind the button with a toothpick and glue it behind the button:
As I said earlier, I was also making a three-layer cake at the same time while making these collar corsages...so I didn't get all the steps photographed for each corsage, but the basic steps above was used for each corsage. Below are some photos of the other two corsages I made (while bake and frosting the cake - I am surprised there isn't frosting on them!).
For Maureen, I used feathers, and made her "ruffle" out of old German book pages that I fringed and glued behind the button. Above I began the fringe. Below is a piece of the fringe I cut before I scrunched it behind the button:
You can see the fringe all the around the button now (above) and I then bent it all a little with my fingers. Below, I sewed a little piece of material, and tacked it loosely so that the corsage could be pinned easily.
This next one is for Debbie's daughter, Caitlin, the hostess. This is simple and a combo of the two earlier ones. It has tiny feathers, so she has a little from her aunt's corsage. And it has a little cheese cloth like her mother's corsage, and I added a key because I know she has old keys in her home that are framed.
So here are my three little French Collars Corsages for my sweet girlfriends. They were actually fun to make, and next time, I will enjoy making them even more, because I won't be making a cake at the same time. But the options are endless. Instead of buttons, I could use watch faces. Or a vintage clip earring. Old lace, a cuff link, or maybe even a vintage photo in a tin frame....
When the party is over...hang the corsage on a door knob, dresser knob, or even bed post. Or, recycle it and use it as a "bow" on your next gift package and pass it on!
By the time the party got going, I was pooped and didn't really get my camera out at this stage. I managed to snap a quick photo and then forgot to get a "real" photo later. Sorry for the blurry photos, but you can get the idea. I really do put the camera down, and eat (dry) cake, laugh, drink punch and spend time with my sweet friends, and not just stay behind the lens...because while I love to click away with my Canon....clicking with my girlfriends is a picture-perfect afternoon for me!
|My "Little Debbie"|
|My "Merry Maureen"|
Paper, lace, trim, buttons, glue...it is the making of the "perfect storm" for me. Now, toss out all watches, clocks, and timers within my sight...and now my "perfect storm" is heaven on earth because I am told that heaven knows no time. So, I imagine, that when I die, my heaven will be filled with endless stacks of vintage paper, boxes of old buttons, and tons of trim and finally...finally....I will finally have enough time for all of my ideas!
In my heaven, there will be no such thing as: too many ideas, not enough time.
May you have a chance to create your own personal heaven on earth - even if it is for only a moment, a day, or only during a rainy season. And may you enjoy your perfect storm....
From my house to your house,