Today I channeled 19th century England to create a dainty spot of time-period handiwork. When it came to picking an appealing historic craft, the choices were slim. I could stand over a vat of wax all day and dip candles ad nauseum, I could embroider a cushion until my hands seized with Carpal Tunnel syndrome, or I could try my hand at quilling paper. Given my options, I chose the latter.
Quilling (or rolling paper to create decorative designs) has been around since the Renaissance. During Jane Austen's era, it was considered an acceptable form of diversion for women of leisure and their "gentle dispositions." My disposition is far from "gentle," but being a "lady of leisure" sounds dreamy. However, with a houseful of kids, pets, and neighbor kids and their pets, it is unlikely to happen anytime soon. I guess quilling paper is as close as I will ever come to ladylike diversion (unless you consider folding laundry while watching "Downton Abbey" as a ladylike diversion . . . )
With Valentine's just around the corner, I decided to combine the art of quilling with my love of books to create a wreath of "written" roses.
Here is what I did:
1. I rounded up my glue gun, a foam heart wreath from the craft store, some pink glitter spray paint, and several pages from an old book. (Don't worry. No good novels were harmed in this experiment. However, a theory book from college that cost way too much and got read way too little met its end in this project . . .)
2. I traced a lid onto the pages and cut out the circles.
3. Starting at the outside edge of the circle, I cut it into a 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch spiral.
4. I then wrapped the outside end of the spiral around a skewer and continued to twist the paper into a tight roll. Make sure you keep the bottom of the paper lined up as you roll so that the top will begin to flare out like a rose petal.
5. When I was done rolling the papers, I set them on table and let them relax (unfold) a bit so they looked more natural. I then glued the base of the flowers to the foam heart. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat until the heart is covered. (I only did the front of the heart so I could hang it flat against my door.)
6. I lightly sprayed the wreath with some glitter paint, tied a ribbon to it, put it on the door, and voila! "Ladies of leisure," here I come!