-diy-, -needle felting-

Learn to needle felt @ Brooklyn Craft Co. – November 5th

Needle Felted Pets // Nov 5

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Create a tiny woolen replica of your favorite pet! In just three hours you can learn the craft of needle felting, and create a mini animal modeled after any dog, cat or other pet of your choosing. (And if you’re not a pet person, you can really make any shape at all!)

In this workshop you’ll learn:

  • The basics of needle felting, including an overview of tools, supplies and techniques
  • How to form raw wool fibers into intricate shapes
  • How to replicate a specific animal of your choice

All necessary materials will be included: we’ll provide wool roving in a variety of colors as well as needle felting tools, and great instruction. Students are encouraged to bring a photograph of the pet they want to create as reference, but this is optional.

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Wedding Hacks: DIY Bouquets & Boutonnieres (Part II)

I’m finally following up with part 2 of the Bouquets & Boutonnieres post from January!  Hilary and Matt were married in October of 2014. Hilary isn’t into flowers.  I think that she likes them when they are in the ground and wants them to stay that way.*  But Hilary does like bouquets, so we decided to use faux billy buttons (felted balls about 1″ in diameter) alongside various cones and dried lotus pods in place of traditional flowers. By using these materials, the bouquet should stay intact well beyond their golden anniversary.  As they say, pine cones are forever.

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It was quite a challenge to put this thing together!  I ended up sewing everything through a four inch styrofoam ball, using jewelry wire and a long embroidery needle.  To make sure the bouquet was strong enough to withstand the test of time, I shored up every nook and cranny with gobs of hot glue.  The glue gun also came in handy for attaching the fragile white skeleton leaves peppered throughout the bouquet.

Next up was the bouquet for Hilary’s sister Melissa, the maid of honor.  As you can see, this one is simpler.

felted bouquet

This bouquet is composed of larger felted billy buttons (1.5″ diameter felt balls), fake lamb’s ear leaves and white skeleton leaves.  As with Hilary’s bouquet, the stems were crafted by wrapping wooden skewers and aluminum wire with green floral tape.  Before this project, I had never worked with floral tape and quickly learned to love it. Floral tape is amazing and essential when working with real and fake flowers.

Melissa later told me that she was able to stash a few tissues in her bouquet in case they were needed during the ceremony.  I’m pretty sure they were needed!

Hilary and Melissa with bouquets

And last but not least, the spiral cone boutonierres. For these little guys, the bride and groom came over to my apartment and we made them together.  To brighten up the boutonnieres (and bouquets), we brushed gold paint onto the spiral cones, matching perfectly with Matt’s bow tie.

boutonierre

Before finding its way to a groomsmen, this lone boutonniere made for a great ring holder.

boutonniere ring holder

And here is the lovely couple en route to getting married!

Hillary and Matt Wedding Photo

under Grand Army Plaza’s arch (Brooklyn, NY)

* Side note: Hilary and Matt live on one of the greenest blocks in Brooklyn.  I know this because their block won 3rd Place in last year’s Greenest Block in Brooklyn Contest organized by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.  This is no small feat– placing in this contest requires not only interaction but also collaboration among neighbors (a rare phenomenon in NYC), incessant litter patrol, and early morning waterings. The banner totally calls it… “Greening Takes a Village.”

greenest block kbrooklyn

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I think Matt actually built this bench. It’s a good bench.

Coincidentally, Sean and I live exactly one block away from Hilary and Matt on the very same street. Our sidewalks look quite different.  My favorite plant is this 15 foot tall weed.  As you can see, it gets a lot of good light. I’m expecting big things from it…Greenest Block in Brooklyn might be moving one block west this summer!

my favorite street weed

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Wedding Hacks: DIY Bouquets & Boutonnieres (Part I)

I had always assumed wedding bouquets were difficult to make, but I recently learned this is not so! In November, I had the honor and opportunity to make bridal bouquets for two weddings. After giving me a basic description of what they had in mind, each bride set me loose in New York City’s Flower District and were willing to accept whatever I would create… for better or worse.

The first bride wanted something with a simple color scheme, delicate and timeless- think BHLDN, the wedding wing of Anthropologie. Nervous about working with (real) flowers for the first time and intimidated by the overwhelming options in the flower district, a test run was in order. I scoured the DIY blogosphere for hours, trying to figure out which flowers to buy, what supplies I needed and how I should put everything together.  Then I went for it. I was super happy with the results and sent this photo over to the bride for feedback.

trial run bouquet

The verdict was that the overall look and feel was spot on, but these dahlias were a little too dark– she wanted softer colors.  Keeping that in mind, I returned to the flower district the day before the wedding and came back with these stunning flowers, which I originally stored in my not-so-stunning NYC apartment bathtub.

flowers
flowers in the tub

Which turned into this bouquet…

diy bridal bouquet (Photo credit: Robert Caplin)
(Photo credit: Robert Caplin)

 

and this boutonniere!

Paul boutenierre closeup (Photo credit: Robert Caplin)
(Photo credit: Robert Caplin)

 

me attaching Paul's boutonniere in Central Park (Photo credit: Robert Caplin)
me attaching Paul’s boutonniere in Central Park (Photo credit: Robert Caplin)

Here is the lovely couple together. Nicole and Paul, you guys are the best!

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Nicole & Paul (Photo credit: Robert Caplin)

Before I made this bouquet, I was lucky if I could properly identify a tulip.  Now I can at least identify the most common flowers that you would find at the supermarket or outside NYC bodegas.

The flowers were purchased from several different shops in the NYC Flower District.  The selection and availability varies from day to day and the district , so you need to arrive early (like 6am early!) to have the best possible selection.  By the end of the day, it’s often slim pickings.

So what are the flowers that made the final cut?

The large white flowers are dahlias, and the pink flowers are roses.  The green button-like flowers are chrysanthemums, which are sometimes called Spray Mums.  The green berry flowers are hypericum berries. The feathery pink accent flower is an astilbe. The green mossy pompom-ish one is a Green Trick Dianthus.

And I’ll show you the other bouquet in my next post.  Stay tuned!

 

 

-diy-, -needle felting-

Summer Craft Clearance at Brooklyn Craft Co.

Attention NYC crafters! Join me this Thursday at the amazing Brooklyn Craft Company in Greenpoint, BK for an evening of summer crafting. There will be eight other DIY stations. And of course, I’ll be at the needle felting table.

Brooklyn Craft Company

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DIY STATIONS:

 

THE DETAILS:

Date: Thursday, July 24, 2014
Time: 7:00-10:00pm
Cost: $45  <<Includes crafts & materials>>

 

UPDATE: Photos from the event!

Brooklyn Company Craft Night
Photos courtesy of Brooklyn Craft Co.