Thursday, August 11, 2011


 A while back I said that I was working on some special projects.  Now, I can talk about them.  Below, is a picture tutorial that breaks down the steps to make an affordable party bunting for any celebration you may need decorations for.
I didn't get the entire bunting in this picture.  It says,
"Caylee ♥ Tucker"

My daughter is getting married in September, and I wanted to make some buntings (pennants) to hang for decoration.  The colors of the wedding are hot pink and black.  I'm a very budget conscience person, so I was on a mission to create them inexpensively.  Mission accomplished!  Here's a list of the materials I used. 
  • scissors
  • razor knife
  • ruler
  • cutting mat
  • glue stick
  • wide-eyed sewing needle
  • long black construction paper
  • roll of hot pink wrapping paper
  • white yarn
Bunting pennants can be created from any kind of paper or fabric you desire. Here are a few alternative mediums that can be used.
  • scrapbooking paper
  • colorful magazine pages (heavier weight pages will hold up best)
  • cotton fabric
  • felt
  • homemade papers
  • brown paper bags or brown wrapping paper
To cut the triangles for the pennants, I used a self-healing cutting mat and a rotary cover.  The same look can be achieved with a ruler, pencil and scissors.

1.  COLOR SCHEME AND BUNTING MESSAGE - Decide what colors you want your bunting to be and what you want it to say.  To determine the number of pennants to cut, write your message down on some scrap paper and count your letters, symbols, and spaces.

2.  SAYING & LENGTH OF BUNTING - Determine how much space you'll have to hang your buntings.  As an example, if your message/saying requires 10 pennants, and you want each to measure approximately 9" at the top, you will need to add the 9" as well as a little space between each pennant.  One half inch between pennants should be enough, but the space can be longer if you'd prefer.  For ten - 9 1/2 " pennants, you will need about 7 feet to hang it comfortably. The swag will cut that down a little bit.   The key is to plan ahead so you don't have a beautiful bunting and not enough room to hang it up.
3. CUTTING PENNANTS - I used 12" X 18" construction paper to create 9" wide and 11 1/2" tall pennants.
  • Measure 10" over from the top left corner of the paper and make a mark.
  • Measure 5" over from the bottom left corner of the paper and make a mark.
  • Measure 15" over from the bottom left corner of the paper and make a mark.
  • Cut (or draw a line) connecting the top left corner to the bottom 5" mark
  • Cut (or draw a line) connecting the top 10" mark to the bottom 5" mark.
  • Cut (or draw a line) connecting the top 10" mark to the bottom 15" mark.
If you didn't use a rotary cutter, it's time to start cutting on the lines you drew. If you're using a rotary cutter, you can cut 4 or 5 layers at a time.  This will save a lot of time.  Each piece of paper is enough for two pennants. 

  • Find a straight edge to create a nice crisp edge when folding over the top of the pennant.  This is done to create a heavier edge for your cording or ribbon to go through.
  • Fold over 1/2" along the top of each piece
  • Clip the little piece of paper that hangs over, so it is even with the side of the flag. You'll see it once you fold the top edge down. 
  • Crease the edge by running something firm, without ripping, over the fold.

  • Head to your computer and find a font for your lettering/symbols
  • Print out some test letters to determine the size lettering that will fit best on your pennants.
  • Write out what you've planned to put on your bunting, and figure out which letters are needed. (You only need to print out one of each letter needed to use as a pattern)  Ex. HAPPY BIRTHDAY - H,A, P, Y, B, I, R, T, D - some letters are duplicates. 
  • Make a list of each letter and how many of each is needed.  Ex. H-2, A-2, etc
  • Rough cut each letter so they are separated, but they don't have to be cut out perfectly. 
  • Put the letter on top of the medium being used for your lettering, and place a couple pieces of take along the edge on the pattern so it is attached to the paper being used.  (you can cut small pieces of your lettering paper and attach a couple together with tape, so more than one can be cut at a time.  Always place the tape where it won't show on the final piece.)
  • Continue to cut all letters

  • Using a glue stick, carefully glue the back of each letter and attach it to the pennant as desired

  • Find a piece of lightweight cardboard, approximately 10" long, to make a template to use as a cutting guide. 
  • Draw a line that's 1/2" down from the top edge of your template paper.
  • Trim edges so the template is the same length of the top edge of the pennant
  • Place a dot about 3/4" in from each edge. 
  • Measure approximately 1 5/8" from each edge, and mark
  • Measure in 1 5/8" from the dots you just made.  You should have 6 marks on your template.  Look at them to make sure they look like they're spaced somewhat evenly.  Make adjustments if necessary.
  • Draw vertical lines at each mark.  They shouldn't touch the bottom or top of the 1/2" space on the template. 
  • Grab a cutting board and a razor knife, and cut through each line
  • Place the template on your pennant, and carefully cut through the two layers of the flag.  Do not cut through the top edge of the pennant. 

  • Lay out the bunting the way it will go together. 
  • Determine how much cording will be needed to string it together.  Add an additional 2 feet (or so) on each end. 
  • Cut your ribbon or cording  and thread one end through the needle. 
  • Mark the center point of the string/cording you just cut.
  • Starting in the center of your bunting, carefully, place your needle in through the back of the pennant and out the front. 
  • Pull the string to the marked center point.  From here on, you will work the remainder of the string up and down to connect the pennants leaving about a 1/2" (or desired distance) between each pennant.
  • Go back to the center of your bunting, thread the other end of the string on your needle, and work the string up and down through your pennants to the end.

Each pennant measures approximately 10" at the top about 12" tall.

The Cake!

Here are a few pictures of the cake I made for my daughter's bridal shower.  I was searching for something that was a little more fun than a store bought cake.  This did the trick, and it was fun to make. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hail Storm - What the Hail?

♪♫ Let it hail, let it hail, let it hail. ♪♫
It's been a while since my last post.  I have many things planned to post, but I thought I'd post some pictures of our recent hail storm.  On Tuesday, July 26th, we had quite a hail storm on our ridge in Acton, Maine.  The hail fell for about 10 or 15 minutes between 5:45 and 6PM.  I'd never seen a hail storm like this.  It didn't spread far and wide, but it hit us hard and killed our vegetable garden.  Leaves from trees and plants were scattered everywhere.  Flowers fell off of most plants.  It was quite a sight. Just days before the temperature in this area hit 106 degrees. Crazy weather!

A good inch to an inch and a half of hail on the deck.

Mr Frog is still smiling

Debris from the ash trees blanketed the lawn.

Potted plants on ice.  The hail took the pedals off the flowers
and broke the leaves off the plants.

The leaves from the plants were knocked to the ground.

Little garden in the hail




Rhubarb - It looks like it was shot with a machine gun.

Squash of some kind.  The leaves are destroyed.

Green and yellow beans

Footprints in the hail

Fortunately, the shade tent didn't collapse.

Look at the picture to the right.
Those pansies were along the stones
They're gone.

The pansies in this picture were in
the garden to the left.  They were
so pretty.

We're having some great weather now.  Maybe our garden will recover a little bit.  I hope.