Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sassy Burlap Wreath

I don't know if you are like me, but I always have a million and one projects that I want to do (thank you Pinterest).  Well, back in November...yes that long ago.... I went to Hobby Lobby in search of the materials to make one of the cute Burlap wreaths for my front door.  I FINALLY made it happen!  I wasn't sure if I wanted to use a Styrofoam wreath form and floral pins or the coated wire forms.  I found a great picture tutorial on the blog "Top This Top That" using the wire form so that is the way I went! See those instructions here.

I used burlap ribbon.  If you bought burlap by the yard and cut it to size, you would probably come out cheaper, but I chose the ease and convenience of ribbon...cutting burlap can get pretty messy.

Once the Burlap was complete, I chose to add some sassy ribbon to it.  I used a wild peacock ribbon and a thinner leather look, fringed ribbon. I chose these because they were more gaudy and would dress up the burlap while adding color.  I cut strips of the black ribbon approximately six inches.  I made my cut at a diagonal to dress up the ends.  I wrapped 4 inch pieces of floral wire to these strips, tied the ribbon in a knot around the peacock ribbon and then used the floral wire to attach the ribbon to the burlap wreath.

I had also bought a gold leaf letter at Hobby Lobby.  It was the only letter C, but when I got it home, I noticed that some of the gold leafing was flaking off.  I remedied this by first painting over the entire letter with Modge Podge.  This helped to seal the gold leafing down and keep more of it from flaking off.  Since it was just in one spot, I covered it with feathers and a part of a broken napkin ring.  I just hot glued them on!  

Finally, I needed to attach it to the wreath.  My first plan was to have the C on one side.  It ended up being too large, so it made the wreath look very unbalanced.  I decided to hang it in the middle. The wreath will hang on my front door which is mostly glass, so I needed it to be secure and not knock the window every time we opened or shut the door.  I used some inexpensive twine that I had picked up a while back and glued it to the back of the letter.  I then secured it to the wreath frame from behind.

The whole project probably took me an hour and a half to complete.  What do you think?  Have you made a burlap wreath?  I think they are very versatile and fun!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Fruit Flies....YUCK!

I was so excited to have a gathering of friends over this week for a Pampered Chef party.  I cleaned my house spotless and had planned wonderful snacks to go along with what the consultant was cooking.  I am a Pinterest JUNKIE and I had decided to try an adult drink recipe that I had found on it that includes fresh raspberries.

Well it was fabulous! The only thing I changed was I used Pinot Grigio instead of the Moscato.  

Now for the downside....with the raspberries came FRUIT FLIES!!! After meticulously cleaning my house for two days, the last thing I wanted to see was my guests swatting flies off!  After the embarrassment,  I researched tons of ways to kill these little boogers.  Finally, I came across DIY life's post on testing the different types of bait. She used everything from toothpaste to tequila!  I found tequila to be the best bait.  I did not have apple cider vinegar which tends to be a favorite of others.  I also used wine and red wine vinegar with dish soap (the dish soap helps make it harder for the flies to get out and they drown easier).  Both of these worked pretty well, but the tequila blew everything out of the park!

In my process, I also tested the effectiveness of different types of traps.  I used the plain old shallow dish method.  This catches the flies, but I also had several hanging out on the sides of the dish...not acceptable for me.  I tried the cone trap shown here.  This trap worked great, but then I still had to look at live fruit flies buzzing inside of it.  Finally, I saw that someone used a mason jar to trap them.  Using the reasoning of a shallow dish, I opted to use a pimento jar instead.  It is very small so it can be hidden easily for discretion.  Also, it is shallow, so flies do not have room to buzz around.  

All you have to do is use a thin nail to poke holes in the top.  You want the holes big enough for the flies to get in, but small enough that they cannot easily get back out!  

In one day, it was amazing how many flies I caught.  YUCK!!  

Remember, that you should also eliminate other things that could be causing the problem. These pests like to lay their eggs on decaying fruit, so refrigerate fruit if possible.    Use a covered trash can and clean up spills in a timely manner.  In your bathroom, hang washcloths to dry.  Fruit flies like places with moisture to lay their eggs. Clean sinks well -  filling them up with bleach then letting it all drain at once will make a swirling motion that will help to clean pipes as well.  I even read that you can pour oil down your garbage disposal to keep fruit fly eggs from sticking.  

I seem to be winning my battle against these gross flying insects, hopefully this information will help you win yours as well!  Let me know how it goes.