Gumpaste Ranunculus Tutorial

I’m so excited to share another cake tutorial with you guys.  Gumpaste flowers are SO much fun!  And they really add something special to a cake.  I’ve done Gumpaste Ranunculus a few times recently and I am really happy with how they look!  Such a pretty flower!  I’ve loved the freedom of creating my own wedding cakes recently!

an easy gumpaste ranunculus tutorial
Their are a lot of possibilities as well.  You can do it all one color (like above) or multicolored (like below).  You can make them a little larger when you need to (below) or keep them more realistic and smaller (above).  I can’t show you the full version of the above cake yet, but I didn’t want to wait any longer to share this tutorial with you guys!

edible-fondant-sequins-wedding-cake

I love the darker colors of the ranunculus from this edible sequins cake (see the edible sequins tutorial here) but I think I should have done a few less rows, the smaller one looks more realistic to me.  Next time I’ll do another ombre ranunculus that’s smaller.

gumpaste-ranunculus-tutorial-styrofoam-center

Start with your center!  This is a 1 inch styrofoam ball with some 18 gauge covered wire stuck into it.  Get the ball wet, shake off the excess, then wrap it with some of the green fondant (I used avocado for color).

Once it’s wrapped completely I roughed up the top by using another styrofoam ball to create texture.  But you can also use small, sharp, scissors to make some cut marks, both versions work.

gumpaste-ranunculus-petal-cutters

I bought this cutter set, but you can see how narrow it is (the petal).  I wanted wider petals for this flower so I actually bought TWO sets and using needle nose pliers I widened an entire set to create fatter petals.  You can see how much wider (and also shorter) they are once I do it here.

gumpaste-ranunculus-tutorial-center-petals

Using the same shade of green, or one shade lighter for the ombre effect, cut out small petals just shorter than the height of the center ball.  Once you cut them out using the thick flower foam and a extra large ball tool dimple each petal (6 for each center).

gumpaste-ranunculus-tutorial-center

Brush clear vanilla or vodka around the center ball then overlapping place each petal on.  I usually stick the first petal on halfway, wrap around then fill the last petal into the opening of the first petal then lay that first petal down, that way each petal is tucked in.

gumpaste-ranunculus-tutorial-first-row

Moving up a petal size you are going to do the same thing around, but this time with the color!

gumpaste-ranunculus-tutorial-second-row

Using the same sized petal do two more rows!  Easy peasy.

gumpaste-ranunculus-tutorial-petals

I moved up another petal size for the last few rows.  By this time the petals are large enough that it’s hard to get the same curve out of the petals.  Work in smaller batches for cutting out and using the ball tool at this point because you want soft gumpaste for flexibility so it it curves without ripping.

Then place the curved petals into a spoon while your working so it can hold the shape and start to dry before adding it to the flower. You can do all the petals (if you have enough spoons) at this point.

gumpaste-ranunculus-tutorial-third-row

I did three more rows at this size petal!  You can see by this point the petals are large enough to come all the way around the back to the covered wire!  The petals stay around the same height, but those last few petals start to come lower down the sides, but not too much!

gumpaste-ranunculus-tutorial

Hang the flower upside down while it dries so it doesn’t open up too much.  the tighter it is the more realistic it’s going to look.

multicolored-gumpaste-ranunculus

This ombre Ranunculus is actually much bigger, even though it only has 1 extra row (a 2nd green row) it’s because I used the cutters while they were still narrow, making them bigger made a huge difference.

I also left more space between all the rows, while in the orange one the rows are tighter and I love the effect.  I can’t wait to do another ombre one but tighter so it’s smaller and looks better.

gumpaste-peony-ranunculus-dahlia-wedding-cake

So next gumpaste flower tutorial -  do you want to see the Peony, Rose or the Dahlia?

Understanding Google Analytics

I’m obsessed with google analytics, seriously I LOVE numbers and data so of course I find it fascinating! There is soooo much that you can learn from it that can help you build a better blog or website. There is a lot to google analytics of course, so this is just SOME of the basics. I’ll do a follow up with more so leave your questions!

understanding-Google-Analytics

GA is really the only thing sponsors ask for, if there is another one you like, that’s fine, BUT you need to have GA too.  I will mention that if you also have something else installed and notice that your numbers are way off, like GA is double the other numbers, then you accidentally have it installed twice and while it’s hard to give up rockin numbers they are fake and will come back to bit you if you keep it on.

Google-Analytics-accounts

front page, you can see that I have 3 different blogs/website’s that I follow in GA.  You can get your basic visit numbers from here, but not much else until you click over.  And of course the date range, it is always the last month.

Google-Analytics-audience-overview

from the audience overview page you can see in the top right where you can change the date range and get all the numbers you might need.  The graph shows views by day per your date range.  Unique visitors is the number of people who came, visits is the number of actual visits (including revisits from unique visitors, and then pageviews, the number of pages that were seen in your date range.

Also the pie chart shows new visitors vs people returning to your site, clearly not my blogs strength…  At the bottom you can also get a basic overview of demographics, clicking through to seethe top 10 in any area.  To see more in depth numbers and info click on the other areas under the “audience” menu.

Google-Analytics-demographics

Like this is some basic info on what browsers people are using (really that many people are still using internet explorer? shocking!) It’s important to know this so when you make changes to your layout you can test it in your most popular browsers to make sure they all look great.  I have a friend whose blog is a total mess in chrome, but she still hasn’t changed it, so she’s losing her views that are visiting from chrome.

Google-Analytics-location

The next section in Audience I like is “location” (under GEO) I have a very diverse group of readers, from all over the world.  I have my highest numbers in the USA but about 1/2 of my audience is outside of the USA!  This is great to know for sponsors, as I can work with international clients much better than bloggers who only have an audience in the USA.

Google-Analytics-location-state

And the map is totally interactive,  if you click on a country then state and even city you can get more info.  here you can see that CA (my largest state audience) only makes up for 6.51% of my pageviews!  My UT audience is REALLY tiny so I know that working with local vendors, sponsors or activiteis aren’t a great fit for my readers, and if I do too much of them could turn them off.

hovering on the blue circles will give you a close up of the area and hovering over a light blue dot will give you the numbers for that area.

Google-Analytics-number-visits

Under “behavior” is “frequency and recency” and you can see the number of visits each of your readers are giving you!  Clearly most people come once and not again, which is something I DESPERATELY want to make better.  but the fact that I have 50 people that have visited my site more than 200 times is AWESOME!

Google-Analytics-mobile-overview

I love the mobile section – in the overview you can see what people are suing, desktops, mobile and tablet!  It’s amazing going back a year and two how much these numbers have changed.  More than 60% of my readers are mobile, it’s time to invest in making my site more mobile friendly, THAT’S for sure!

Google-Analytics-mobile-devices

And if you click under “devices” you can see even more details!  I clearly need to stick with apple product reviews more! It’s also interesting to see the average time on site based on device!  Tablets seem to do better than anything else for me.

Google-Analytics-visitor-flow

And the final area of audience I like go visit is the “visitors flow” It shows where they are coming from, the page they are starting on, then IF they click over where they click to! clearly a lot of visitors come for just one page, the few that click another though tend to keep clicking (thus the 1.44 pages per visitor).  And the next, next and next pages, you can keep clicking over and see more and more

Google-Analytics-real-time

Moving on to another section – “real time” I kind of DIG this new addition to GA.  It shows you RIGHT THEN how many people are on your page!!!  what device they are suing, referals, social traffic, location, keyword and most active pages from the over view stage  It’s mostly for fun.  You can look at a week/hourly under audience overview if you just want to see when people are on your site.

My girlfriends think it’s hilarious to message me and say, I’m on your site now, do you see me? cause they know I have it on most of the time!

Google-Analytics-behavior-overview

Kay, next section – “behavior” – starting with overview, this quickly shows you your top 10 posts and other basic info.  I love watching my average time on site.  I am loving my higher time on site… I need to figure out a way to keep my time on site up and add more returning visitors, right?

Google-Analytics-pages

Kay I spend the MOST time in this section – Behavior – site content – “all pages” this is going to start with your top 10, but you can click over and scroll through the 2000+ pages that got viewed this month.  I use this to check on my best posts, over time, month, quarter, year, etc…  it’s interesting to see what does better in the summer/holidays, other seasons, etc…

In my case my older posts are rockin it right now (thank you pinterest), now see what posts are most popular and make more like it!  Clicking on the little icon next to the post title info? click on that to be taken to the page!  Now usually you can tell which page they are on, but sometimes it’s nice to click over or sometimes the pages (esp as you get into the later stages) are kind of gobbledygook

Google-Analytics-referrals

Now the Acquisition section – all referrals, here is where you see where most people are coming to your blog from, clearly pinterest is going to be high for most of you.  If your doing your SEO correctly google will be up there too, it’s number 11 right now for me.  You can also keep an eye on places you link up to, if it’s worth it or not, sites you guest post on, etc…  Decide if you want to keep doing link parties and guest posts or if it’s maybe not worth it.

Google-Analytics-referral-site

If you click on one of the referrals you’ll be taken to breakdown page, with links to which posts/pins/FB posts that are actually referring people! it’s amazing, I love seeing which posts are linking to me, and remember if you click the little icon it will open another window with the referring page!  Which is nice when you can’t tell which pin is which, or which fb post is pointing to your site!

Google-Analytics-year-review

I wanted to show you my year in review, it’s a fun thing to look at! Sometimes focusing on one month at a time and you miss the overall vision of your site and posts.  By looking at a quarter or year at a time you can see the overall patter in your blog.  See that high point the day before thanksgiving? Thanksgiving recipes.  See that low point on the right? Christmas day.  See how my views do better in the winter months than the summer? My crochet patterns do better in the winter than summer.

Google-Analytics-year-pages

How about my best day last year?  Jan 5th? WHAT THE WHAT?  The day before Thanksgiving made sense, but a random Sunday in Jan? I didn’t even POST that day? So let’s take a closer look – looking at the top 10 pages from the day you can see that my thread crochet converse shoes were ROCKING that day!!!  Huh? That pattern was 2 years old!

Google-Analytics-year-referral

So where did everyone come from? Go to referrals and we can see that it was featured on homesteadsurvival.com that day, that accounts for a lot of the traffic, and then it got pinned a lot as well!

ANYWAY! I hope this helped make google analytics not quite so scary!  There is even MORE you can do with it (goals, more with demographics, etc…), but these are the things I use the MOST, and I hope you enjoyed it!

Perfect Crescent Roll Recipes with Whipped Berry Butter

Topsy-Truvy-Rolls-And-Berry-Butter

These crescent rolls go WAY back in my family. They always steal the show on Thanksgiving, and many family gatherings in between. In fact, I can’t remember a Thanksgiving where these rolls haven’t been pretty much my favorite part of the meal. They are that good people!!!

Topsy-Turvy-Freshly-Baked-Rolls

I remember my darling Aunt Carolyn making huge batches of these rolls and freezing them to have on hand. I’ve watched the women in my life bake these a million times, and it never gets old. The smell that fills your home is so warm and cozy.

There are so many good versions of this recipe which have been passed down from mother to daughter, sister to sister and friend to friend…. It’s a hot topic which recipe is the best. Who knows? Today I am going to share with you “Crescent Rolls Ala Laura”. Ha ha ha. I have made these so many different ways, but these are my favorite so far.

Topsy-Turvy-Buttered-Crescent-Roll

They take such a short time, and bake up light and fluffy. You can also use this versatile sweet dough to make sweet rolls, dinner rolls, braided bread loaves and so much more. It is an awesome basic recipe that I use time and time again! I hope you love it as much as I do!

Topsy-Turvy-Berries-&-Butter

Whipped berry butter was on the menu and it sure delivered a punch of flavor! Make sure to visit my site for the Whipped Berry Butter recipe here: FRESH & HAPPY. The awesome part about making this is freezing half the recipe for later! Talk about a last minute wow factor for that dinner party you are hosting!

Topsy-Turvy-Fresh-Crescent-Rolls

I’ve chatted with so many friends that have cold feet when it comes to trying their hand at baking. For some reason they fear that they will fail! If that sounds familiar, this easy crescent roll tutorial is a great jumping off point to getting your hands on some dough without all the fuss! I put together a photo gallery of steps to help you on your way to bread making genius! So whats stopping you? LET’S DO THIS!

In a Bosch or KitchenAid mixer add hot whole milk, yeast and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Stir until combined. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Add remaining sugar, butter, salt, vanilla extract and slightly beaten eggs.

Topsy-Turvy-Yeast

Turn mixer on low and mix until ingredients are combined. Turn off mixer and add 2 cups flour. Pulse mixer on low until flour is incorporated. Turn mixer to low and slowly tap in remaining flour a little at a time (to prevent flour from flying everywhere). It is important to watch the consistency of your dough as you add your flour. Add a little and let it fully incorporate into the dough before adding more.

Topsy-Turvy-Dough-Pulls-Away-From-Sides

You want a dough that is soft but not sticky. Once the motor bears down and slows a little turn it to medium speed. Add flour until dough begins pulling away from sides of mixer. Knead dough on medium speed for 10 minutes. Check dough consistency. Press dough with your finger. It should still be soft but not too sticky to handle. If you need to add a little more flour at this point you can.

Topsy-Turvy-Flattened-Dough

Remove dough from mixer and place on a lightly floured surface. Split dough into 2 even pieces. Set one aside. Press dough into a circular shape with hands, keeping it as symmetrical as possible.

Topsy-Turvy-Dough-Rolled-Out

Roll dough into a 1/4 inch thick circle with floured rolling pin.

Topsy-Turvy-Buttered-Dough

Pour remaining 1/4 cup melted butter over flattened dough. Spread it evenly over dough using your hands.

Topsy-Turvy-Buttered-Crescent-Dough

Cut dough into 12 equal pie slice shapes using a pizza cutter. Begin rolling crescent rolls up starting at the curved wide end of the pie slice shape. Roll all 12 slice up and arrange them onto a lined baking sheet. Cover them with plastic wrap or a tea towel. Place rolls in a warm place. Allow them to rise until doubled (about 1 1/2 to 2 hours).

Topsy-Turvy-Rolled-Up-Crescent-Rolls

Repeat with other half of dough. Arrange the other 12 crescent rolls on a lined baking sheet and place it immediately into the freezer. Leave them there until they are completely frozen (about 2 hours). Then store them in an airtight freezer bag for up to 1 month before baking.

Topsy-Turvy-Rolls-Rising

Once rolls are risen to double, spritz them with butter flavored cooking spray or melted butter. Sprinkle Raw Sugar crystals on top of rolls if desired.

Topsy-Turvy-Freezer-Crescent

I love the fact that these crescent rolls only have a single rising time and you can freeze half of the rolls for your next sunday dinner! To bake the frozen crescent rolls simply remove them from the freezer bag and arrange them on a lined baking tray. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm location to thaw completely. Allow rolls to rise till double as well. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Plan on at least 6 hours for thawing and rising time. Take rolls out the morning you plan to bake them. Woot woot!

Topsy-Turvy-Freezer-Crescent-Rolls

These rolls make people happy. That’s all there is to it! You can’t help but eat more than one! Especially when served with some whipped berry butter…. What are your favorite rolls to bake? I hope you take a few hours to experience the delights of freshly baked crescent rolls!

Topsy-Turvy-Frozen-Rolls

Perfect Crescent Freezer Rolls Tutorial With Whipped Berry Butter

2 hours, 30 minutes

12 minutes

2 hours, 42 minutes

24 crescent rolls

Perfect Crescent Freezer Rolls Tutorial With Whipped Berry Butter

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk (microwave on high for 1 minute)
  • 3 tablespoons yeast
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (divided)
  • 2 slightly beaten eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 cup melted butter (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups flour

Directions

  1. Pour whole milk in a microwavable container and heat for 1 minute. Pour it into a Bosch or KitchenAid Mixer fitted with a dough hook.
  2. Add yeast and 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar.Stir until slightly combined. Allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Add remaining sugar, slightly beaten eggs, salt, 1/2 cup of the melted butter and vanilla extract. Turn mixer on low and mix until ingredients are combined.
  4. Turn off mixer and add 2 cups flour. Pulse mixer on low until flour is incorporated.
  5. Turn mixer to low and slowly tap in remaining flour a little at a time (to prevent flour from flying everywhere). It is important to watch the consistency of your dough as you add your flour. Add a little and let it fully incorporate into the dough before adding more. You want a dough that is soft but not sticky.
  6. Once the motor bears down and slows a little turn it to medium speed. Add flour until dough begins pulling away from sides of mixer. Knead dough on medium speed for 10 minutes.
  7. Check dough consistency. Press dough with your finger. It should still be soft but not too sticky to handle. If you need to add a little more flour at this point you can.
  8. Remove dough from mixer and place on a lightly floured surface.
  9. Split dough into 2 even pieces. Set one aside.
  10. Press dough into a circular shape with hands, keeping it as symetrical as possible.
  11. Roll dough into a 1/4 inch thick circle with floured rollling pin.
  12. Pour remaining 1/4 cup meted butter onto flat dough. Spread evenly over dough with hands.
  13. Using a pizza cutter cut dough into 12 equal pie slice shapes.
  14. Roll dough starting at wide end into crescent roll.
  15. Place rolled crescent dough on a lined baking sheet. Make sure the end of the dough is tucked under the bottom of the crescent roll.
  16. Repeate with other half of roll dough. Place one of the baking sheets straight into the freezer. Keep rolls there until fully frozen. Then store them in an airtight freezer bag until you are ready to take them out to bake them another day!
  17. Arrange all 12 crescent rolls on baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel. Place tray in a warm location to rise until double (about 1 1/2 - 2 hours).
  18. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  19. Lightly spritz rolls with butter flavored cooking spray (or gently baste with melted butter).
  20. Sprinkle with raw sugar crystals is desired.
  21. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Or until lightly golden and hollow sounding when you pat the center of the roll.
  22. For Freezer Crescent Rolls:
  23. Remove frozen crescent rolls from freezer and arrange on a lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm location until they are completely thawed and risn until double.
  24. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Frozen crescent rolls are best if used a month after freezing.

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Thanks for oogling the baking process with me today! If you want to drool over some more bread click here:

Triple-Coconut-Mini-Muffins Sweet-Potato-Sweet-Rolls-With-Pear-Ginger-Glaze

Triple Coconut Mini Muffins | Sweet Potato Sweet Rolls With Pear Ginger Glaze

I love hearing from you awesome people! How do you like to serve up your freshly baked bread? Or do you keep it all for yourself… He he. I’ve never done that before……

Paper Mache Jewelry Tray Tutorial

Hey!  It’s Missy from Missy Dear again!  For awhile now I’ve been wanting to try this project.  I’ve needed a little tray for my jewelry but hadn’t been able to find something I liked.

paper-mache-jewelry-tray-tutorial

I have an oval casserole dish that was the right shape, but it was too chunky and the sides were a little taller than I’d like.  So I thought, “Hey, I can just use that for a form and make my own.”  So that’s what I did. And I thought I’d make a great little paper mache jewelry tray tutorial for you all to join the fun :).

paper-mache-tray-supplies

First I gathered up my supplies:
-dish or other object to use as form
-white glue (I got mine at the Dollar store)
-strips of paper (computer paper will give it a little more strength and make it easier to paint than newspaper will)
-craft paint and brushes
-enamel clear coat spray
-plastic wrap (not pictured)

First things first, you need to lay a piece of plastic wrap in whatever you’re using as your form.  This will not only keep your project from permanently gluing itself to the dish, but it will also make getting it out way easier.  Now you’re ready to paper mache.

Paper mache tray process

If you’ve never done paper mache before it’s a fairly simple process.  You just coat the strip of paper in a mixture of the white glue and water (I dipped it into a bowl and squeezed off the excess with my fingers).  The paste I made was 3 parts glue to 1 part water.  Once the strip of paper is coated in the paste you just layer it into the dish.

One thing I did that I think really helped is that I alternated the way I laid the strips.  So on the first layer I did them horizontal to the long sides of the dish, on the next layer I did them vertical, and on the third layer I did them diagonal. I repeated each of those layers twice (for a total of 6 layers) then I let it sit for about 2 hours while I took my daughter to T-ball practice (for the record, a bunch of 5 yr olds playing t-ball is pretty adorable).  Once I was home I did about 10-15 more layers, alternating the direction of the strips with each layer.

Now the longest part of the process – the drying.

Paper Mache Tray drying steps

First I let it sit on the form for a few hours (a).  Then I took it out of the form and peeled the plastic wrap off the sides and let it dry for a few more hours (b).  Finally I took if off the plastic, flipped it upside down and “hung” it from some paint bottles to let it dry over night (c).

Here’s another tip I learned the hard way – use an even number of paint bottles.  I only had one on one side and two on the other so it dried with a little warp in it.  I had to leave it the whole next day with something heavy in it to try to get the warp to straighten out, which only helped a little.

Paper Mache Tray painting

This next step was the one that required the most brute force – trimming the sides.  In wanting the tray to be sturdy enough, I had used a lot of layers.  Which worked great, it is very strong.  However, I had the hardest time trimming it down.  I tried every pair of scissors in the house – including some wire cutters and a little hack saw.  I discovered that my kitchen shears worked the best, but left a pretty jagged edge.  Nothing a little sanding couldn’t fix.

Then just paint, let that dry, then spray with a clear coat.  I chose an enamel clear coat because I was going for that really high gloss look.

paper-mache-jewelry-tray-diy

And there you have it, a gorgeous little jewelry tray you made all by yourself.  Maybe now that all my jewelry is laid out where I can see it I might wear it more often.

What do you think?  Is it something you might want to make for yourself too?

paper-mache-tray-tutorial

Well, if you do make one remember to let me know about it!  I really would love to see it.  You can find me pretty much anywhere, but here are some handy dandy links just in case :)

 photo sot.png  photo sop.png photo soi.png  photo sof.png photo sot.png

Sailor’s Knot Crochet Belt

Hello Topsy Turvy readers! I am so excited to have the opportunity to share crochet patterns with you each month! I blog over at Love City where I write about things that I love most (my boys, crochet, and motherhood). You can also learn more on my about me page!

For a while now, I have been wanting to share some crochet tutorials that focused on basic stitches. I want to help beginners learn each crochet stitch, pattern by pattern, gradually increasing in difficulty, until they feel like experts! My monthly contribution here on I’m Topsy Turvy seems like the perfect platform for such a series!

sailors-knot-crochet-belt

If you have been itching to learn crochet, but feel a little bit intimidated, these tutorials are made just for you! There’s no need to feel overwhelmed by intricate charts and symbols. We are going to make some fabulous projects, one stitch at a time!

sailors-knotted-belt

For any of you crochet experts out there, never fear! These projects are going to be so fun and unique and I know that you will love them!

So let’s get started!

I am loving anything “nautical” right now, so I thought it would be fun to try out my knot tying skills with this sailor’s knot crochet belt!

crochet-knotted-belt

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Supplies you’ll need:
1 skein bulky or super bulky weight yarn (I used Lion Brand’s Hometown USA in )
Size L crochet hook
Scissors
Large eye sewing needle
Measuring tape
Tape

With this belt, the only stitches you need to know are Chain and Single Crochet.
Chain (ch)- Fasten on with a slip stitch. Yarn over hook and pull through the loop that is on the hook. A chain stitch will create a long, continuous strand of interlocking loops.
Single Crochet (sc)- Place hook into stitch. Yarn over hook and pull back up through stitch. Yarn over hook again and pull hook through the two loops on the hook. One loop should remain on the hook when completed.

Abbreviations to know:
st- stitch
ch- chain
sc- single crochet

Make two:

1. With measuring tape, loosely measure your waist. Add 1/2 to 1 inch to that measurement.

2. Ch until strand matches your measurement from step 1 in length.

crochet-belt-free-pattern

3. Sc in 2nd ch from hook. Sc in each remaining st.

4. Fasten off, leaving a 5 inch tail.

crochet-belt-pattern

5. On a flat surface, take the end of each strand and tape them down. With one strand, tape the end with no tail. With the other strand, tape the end that has the 5 inch tail.

6. Create your sailor’s knot by following these simple steps:

sailors-knot-how-to

7. Attach the sewing needle to one 5 inch tail and sew to the corresponding tail on the other side (as shown in block 9 above). Do the same with the other two tails. Finish off and weave in loose ends!

8. Put on your belt and admire your handiwork!

sailors-knot-belt-pattern

If you’re a little stuck, and need more visual instruction on how to tie the sailor’s knot, I made a fun little instructional video for you! Stop by my blog, Love City, today and check it out! I’m also sharing a nautical themed embroidery hoop that sits so cutely in my kid’s bathroom!

I plan on wearing my belt over some of my favorite spring dresses! I’m already dreaming of a beach side, sunset stroll with my sunhat, cute belt, and dress flowing in the breeze.

How will you wear yours? What color will you choose?

More from Love City

crochet-wrap-sweater-pattern mary-jane-baby-bootie-tutorial braided-crochet-headband-tutorial

Wrap Sweater  |  Mary Jane Baby Booties  |  Braided Headband

Braided & Beaded Bracelet

How’s that for some awesome alliteration?

Hey there!  I’m Missy from Missy Dear and I’m so excited to be the craft contributor here at I’m Topsy Turvy!  I’ve long admired Ashlee and I’ve had such fun getting to know the other ladies a little over the last week or so.

Braided & Beaded Bracelet

We’ve been having some crazy weather here in North Carolina the past few weeks.  It’s resulted in 8 snow days since January 1st which means there’s a lot of time that I need to fill with projects for my daughter and niece.  They love to dress up and get “all fancy” so I decided that maybe an easy jewelry project was in order.  And this simple Braided & Beaded Bracelet was just the thing.

This project was perfect for my 11 year old niece, but 5 year old Abi had a much better time watching.  It’s pretty simple as long as you can do a little basic braiding.

Bead & Braid

For supplies you will need:

Bracelet Findings – I used the circle and post kind.
Thread – I used embroidery floss since I had it on hand, but I would suggest something sturdier, like waxed thread. It would make the beading much easier.
Beads – I used some silver glass seed beads.

Now for the fun part.

First let me apologize for the pictures if they’re not very clear on what I’m doing.  One thing I realized while doing this project is that trying to take pictures of a project that really works best while using two hands can be a little tricky.  I’m not sure why I didn’t think to just take pictures of my niece doing it.  I blame in on my prego brain.

beaded-braided-bracelet

1 – Thread whatever you decided to use as the string onto the finding.  I found that instead of tying it on, threading it through and doubling it over was the better option.  That way you don’t have a bulky knot, and it makes the bracelet a little thicker.  And here’s a tip: taping it to the table top helps A TON! Braid about a third of the finished length of the bracelet.  In my case I was making a 6 inch bracelet for Abi.  So, this first braided section was 2 inches long.

bead-braid-bracelet

2 – Once you’ve reached the desired length add a bead to the outside thread that will next be going to the middle.  When you cross it over to the middle, make sure that the thread coming over to take it’s place stays under the bead to hold it up.  If it slips to the top of the bead then the braid will just get longer and the bead will get pushed down the bracelet. Does that make sense?

bracelet-bead-braids

3 – Just keep braiding like normal, only adding a bead to the outside threads after every cross over.  In this picture you can see a little more clearly what I mean by keeping the middle thread under the bead when you cross it over. Another tip: Try to keep your finger behind the beads at all times.  I moved them for the sake of the pictures but it will save you so much frustration if you always have the beads held.  If you don’t the bracelet starts to spin and the beads start kind of moving around.  No bueno.

braided-bead-bracelet

4 – Continue the beaded braid until you’ve done another third of the length (in my case, another 2 inches).  Once you reach that length just finish out the bracelet with a normal braid like in the beginning.

beaded-braid-bracelet

5 – Then just tie it onto the post.  To keep it a little more secure from coming undone I dabbed a little bit of hot glue around the knot.  I’ve never done that before but it sounded like a good idea so I thought I’d give it a try.  I’ll let you know how it works out.

Beaded Braid

And there you have it!  Have you ever tried your hand at a fun DIY jewelry project?  How did it turn out?

Follow along on my blog or social media and make sure you tag me if you make yourself one of these great bracelets!  I’d love to see it!!

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