Thursday, September 23, 2010

A New Hobby!

I have lots of hobbies.
I like to read, write, and watch TV and movies.
I also enjoy cooking, baking, gardening and water aerobics.
This gives me an acceptable combination of sedentary and active hobbies, as well as physical and mental.

Lately, I've also enjoyed playing with interior design-type tasks.  For example, I love the way our guest bedroom turned out!
I also arranged a fake dried fruit basket centerpiece for our kitchen island.  I decided it was time for some sort of accent color to go with all of our greens and browns--and red it is!  (For now :-D).

However, there is one type of hobby I have never tried.
I have never attempted to be "artsy craftsy"--mostly because my few ventures into that arena have ended in catastrophic failure.  
I don't consider the fake dried fruit basket to be craftsy because, well, I didn't actually make any of it--just arranged what was already there.
I've always wanted to be able to engage in some sort of craft, but I could never find one for which I had some talent.

Until now!
I am so excited!  I found a craftsy thing I like--flower arrangements!
I've always enjoyed buying fresh flowers and arranging them in a vase on our breakfast table.
However, the one vase I had was too high-profile for that particular table, and the flowers made a huge mess as they started (or rather finished) dying.
So I decided to take a different approach.

I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a small, round vase on sale for 50% off.
I also bought Craft Water, and some fake flowers by Fresh Picked.  The flowers were also 50% off (I love Hobby Lobby), even though the Craft Water was not.
I came home and got to work on my very first flower arrangement.

My first step was to gather my materials.
I place the Craft Water and tongs on the cabinet next to the stove.
I then placed the Craft Water bottle in a pot, and filled that pot with water until the bottle was 2/3rds covered.  I turned the water on high heat.  I let the water boil for 15 minutes so that the Craft Water gel turned into a liquid.

While the 15 minutes were passing, the flowers went on the island.  I used the vase as a measurement tool and proceeded to trim the flowers off their main stems, keeping the leaves and stems needed.

Once 15 minutes had passed, I used the tongs to remove the Craft Water bottle from the boiling water and set it on the counter.  Using hot pads, I poured the boiling water down the sink and killed the fire under the burner before returning the pot to its original place.  Next, I placed the vase in the still-hot pot.  This allows the vase to come up to the same temperature as the Craft Water.  I then carefully poured the liquid Craft Water into the vase and let it sit for 10-15 minutes (this makes all the bubbles go away!).

After the time had passed, I carefully removed the vase--succeeding in only burning myself once!
I then had fifteen minutes to get my flowers arranged as I desired. 
Then I let the vase and arrangement set for another 20-30 minutes to make sure the Craft Water had set.

Finally, my first arrangement ever took it's place on our breakfast table--and when my husband got home, he thought it was real!
I'm very happy with the way it turned out, and glad I stepped outside of my comfort bubble and gave this craft I try--I now have a new hobby!


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