Saturday, March 26, 2016

Butterfly Napkin Folding Tutorial

Spring?  Where did you go?  The heavy eight inches of snow and blizzard-like conditions this past Wednesday and Thursday was much to everyone's surprise here in our area of Wisconsin.  Everyone, including myself, was already so much into the Spring mode.  Being a native to Wisconsin, I should have known better.  However, there is one thing for sure about this time in late March and that is the sun will quickly melt it all away.  Needless to say, it is still a time that I happily look forward in anticipation to the season's warmer weather which will eventually result in green grass and colorful tulips, daffodils and hyacinths.

This post is more of a quick tutorial for anyone wishing to learn how to fold their cloth or paper napkin into a butterfly.   I hope my pictures and explanation of each step will make folding your napkin clear and easy and will be perfect to use  any time during the Spring and upcoming Summer season.  I welcome any feedback regarding my instructions as you complete the process.  So lets begin.

Butterfly Napkin Folding Tutorial

Step 1:  Start with any size napkin opened flat as a square.

Step 2:  Fold the bottom edge to the center of the napkin.

Step 3:  Fold the top edge of the napkin to the center of the napkin.

Step 4:  Place the napkin so it is in a vertical position.

Step 5:  Fold the fabric from the center of the napkin out to each of the four corners.

Steps 6, 7, 8:  Begin at the bottom of the napkin and start to fold the napkin back and forth in an accordion-like fashion to the center of the napkin.  Each fold being about a half of inch to one inch wide.  Place something heavy in the center of the napkin after folding the bottom to the center so that it frees up your hands.

Step 9:  Clip the folded ends on each side of the weighted center so that it will hold the folds in place while you work on the other side of the napkin.  Twist the napkin so that the clips are now on top and the bottom napkin faces you.

Step 10, 11:  For the bottom edge of the napkin, begin by rolling (not accordion fold) the edge of the napkin to the center.  Place the rolled fabric under your heavy weighted object so that you can cut your wire for the butterfly's antenna.  It is the wire that holds the folds together.

Step 12:  Cut your wire ( I used gold jewelry wire) into a length you desire (approximately 4 inches).

Step 13:  Now slip the wire in the center of your napkin or under your weighted object which you will now remove as you twist the wire tight into place.

Step 14:  Now bend over the tips of the wire to form the antenna and remove the clips from the top of the napkin and spread the "wings" slightly open and the bottom rolled sides down.  This is the back of the folded butterfly napkin.

Step 15:  Carefully flip your butterfly over and onto your plate or wherever it will be displayed and add whatever embellishments you wish, such as little flowers, ribbon, etc.  Now it is ready for everyone's admiration.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Wishing You All a Happy and Blessed Easter

At this time of the year,  I can't help but think back over the many years of Easter celebrations when the children were small and so taken up with the story of the Easter Bunny.  Some how the thought of searching for the Easter Bunny and finding a hidden basket filled with chocolates and candy made the hunt a thrill to be recalled for days.   The fascination with the Easter Bunny by no means took precedence over the teaching of the true religious meaning of Easter, but like most families with young children, it became another part of the festivities for the holiday.

Even though my children are now full grown adults and moved so far from home, I some times reminiscence over those joyous times that brought so much happiness to my life.  So in honor of those precious moments, this Easter's posting is dedicated to my children as a fond remembrance and gratefulness for the pure joy and pleasure that they brought to me through the fantasy and tale of the Easter Bunny story.  As small children, their wonder and imagination provided such vivaciousness and excitement.  Just thinking of their energy, gaiety and enthusiasm surrounding Easter preparations such as dyeing Easter eggs, selecting adorable Easter outfits or assembling the Easter food basket for blessing at the church and other family merriment fills my heart with gladness and makes me smile with a great deal of happiness.  These treasured moments will forever remain in my memory and will be cherished for the remainder of my life.  I am truly blessed. 

So to convey the essence of the fun and frolic of Easter past, I decided to create an Easter tablescape that mirrors these valuable and wholesome experiences.  To begin with I found a set of adorable white ceramic bunnies with pink and light green flowered bows for the table's centerpiece.  The use of pink and green in the floral tablecloth captures the liveliness of the holiday with whimsy and joviality.  And, of course, the paper tulip muffin holder and the butterflies in both the folded napkin and the napkin ring emphasizes the beginning of the long-awaited Spring.   

The Easter "basket" canning jar with a wire handle and lid is one of eight jars filled with candy and topped with a jelly bean design fabric for a wonderful Amish family who are friends and who we purchase our eggs from each week.  After the candy is gone, the jar can be used to store sewing notions like buttons, school items like crayons or they can be used to catch fireflies during the warm summer nights.   

And last, I came across these darling Easter cookie presses that came four to a package.  They make the cutest little cheese cutouts too.  With all of the chocolate temptation, it is the perfect healthy Easter snack.    

I wish you and your family a very blessed and memorable Easter holiday.



Friday, March 11, 2016

A Frog's Water Paradise

Here in Wisconsin, we have been experiencing a full-blown epidemic of playful excitement over  the warm and breezy Spring-like weather.  I am so thrilled to be able to ecstatically fling open all of my windows and to let as much of nature inside.  With this sense of euphoria, I wanted to capture some of that outdoor feeling for an inside corner vignette that I am trying to create.  What came to mind for this small vignette is my collection of frogs and a water fountain.

Let me first explain how I obtained the frogs you will see in the vignette.  Each year for the past 5 or so years, I make it a point to attend the Manitowoc Garden Fair.  This year it will be held on June 11, 2016 at the downtown Washington Park location at 1115 Washington Street in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.  Among all of the flowers, garden art and patio/garden furniture for sale, there are several vendors who offer ceramic garden art, one of which sells the most adorable and whimsical frogs.  I paid less than $5 for each of them and purchased one at a time through the years.  The poses of each of these darling little frogs captured my attention and heart and are such a frolicsome reminder of the hot, lazy days of summer that lie ahead.  I thought they make the perfect accent piece to any garden vignette, especially when used with the avocado green leaf serving platters and snack bowl.  They seemed to belong together, don't they? 

Well to continue in my search to find other items along with a mushroom and moss, what else would go well with the frogs other than water!  A table top water fountain makes for the ideal piece to complete the garden frog vignette.  The avocado green ceramic dragonfly water fountain was purchased last year from a little gift shop in Two Rivers, Wisconsin which has closed permanently when the owner decided to retire.  At first I didn't think of the frog collection that I had when I decided to purchase the table top water fountain.  Instead, I was thinking more of the bargain price and the added moisture it would bring to the room since it can be beastly dry in the house during winter.  The water fountain also reverberates the lovely, soothing bubbling sound that provides peace, relaxation and tranquility.  Even though each piece was purchased separately and without the other pieces in mind, when put all together, to my surprise, the fountain, plates and frogs complemented each other very well. 

There is something incredibly calming and rejuvenating about the trickling of water.  Listening to this magical sound conjures up visions of intriguing, spellbinding places yet to be explored.  Perhaps a place like a lush green rainforest that is beautiful as it is extraordinary and enchanting.

You never know...perhaps when these charming little frogs are kissed you might find prince charming sitting in your corner.  Or at most, the result would be a wart on your nose.  I hope this post provided you with a TOAD-ALLY fun experience.