I love the look of brightly-colored pompom garlands. I've seen them on blogs and all over Etsy and Pinterest. I wanted one of my own, to decorate the shelf above my desk. I'm still working on making this space my own, ever since buying the desk and rearranging our home office back in September, and it's coming together nicely (more on this soon). I had been looking for a way to add a little more color to my corner of the office and a pompom garland seemed like a good way to do this - simple and bright, inexpensive and easy to make.
I bought several bags of 3/4-inch pompoms at Hobby Lobby, in a variety of colors - a large bag containing a mixture of pink, green, yellow, red, black, white, brown and light blue, and smaller bags containing orange, turquoise and purple. I wanted to have a good assortment of colors and they were so cheap - about $5 total for all four bags. I only used about one-quarter of my pompoms for this garland, so I can definitely make more (I'm thinking about making one for the GB's bedroom too). I wanted my garland to drape along the shelf, so I used a flexible measuring tape to determine how long the garland needed to be in order to hang nicely; the shelf is small and 40 inches does the trick. I cut a double-length of white sewing thread to this measurement, threaded it through a largish sewing needle and knotted the ends many times, to make a good "stopper" for the first pompom.
As I threaded each pompom, I moved it all the way down to the end. I put the needle straight through the solid middle part of each pompom. I strung my pompoms randomly, not in any particular color order, but I tried to pay attention to how colors looked next to each other. I also used the dark colors - black and brown - somewhat sparingly. I wanted to keep the look very bright and cheerful. The colors photographed brighter than they actually are; the red and orange are not nearly this fiery in real life. When I got to the needle end of the thread, I tied another big knot and cut the ends close to the last pompom. Then I moved them around a little to space them nicely.
My garland was ready for installation. I used thumbtacks, the flat brass kind, to affix it to my shelf. I used three tacks, one at each end and one in the center, to achieve the drapey look I wanted. I'm really happy with it! At first, I felt like I should have used smaller pompoms, like maybe these were too big and fluffy, but it's growing on me. It's festive and it really brightens up my little corner. The desk is white, the walls are white, the shelf is white - it's a lot of white. My garland breaks up the white and brings color and cheer.
Cute, right? I like it very much.
In other creative news, I did some planting with the small Bears this afternoon. Every spring, I plant some sort of seeds with them, usually wildflower seeds in the backyard, in an effort to teach them about the plant growth cycle. Our wildflower seeds are almost always a disappointment; a shaker-can of fifty different types of seeds usually yields growth from about three different types, and the amount of water needed to make anything grow is appalling - shameful, even. I've grown weary of shameful gardening. I decided this year to limit our seed-planting to small pots, to be started indoors. Well, we will plant sunflower seeds in the backyard later this spring, but those are pretty tried-and-true - I can usually make them work. I do like the process of growing from seed, though, and I wanted to continue that with them; there's so much to observe and it's a good learning experience.
I picked up these adorable painted tin pots, almost like little buckets, in a recent thrifting excursion. I paid 69 cents for each pot. They have plastic linings, with drainage space at the bottoms. I thought they were pretty nice. I picked up the seed packets at Home Depot last week. I was so glad to see them there because I had tried to buy some in the grocery store a few days earlier and the floral lady there said they wouldn't get any until April! That seems awfully late to me. I chose basil and chives, because they grow fairly quickly and this family would eat both of them - provided they grow well, of course.
Each small Bear took a pot and made finger-divots in the dirt (I'd filled the pots earlier with help from the LB, who is developing some mean trowel skills).
(Mildly) dirty little paws were examined...
The pots were watered by able young hands...
With hopeful hearts, we placed the pots in a sunny windowsill. When the seeds begin to sprout, we will make observations and write things down. I'll take photos too. I keep my camera in the kitchen, where we spend so much of our time, doing stuff-of-life stuff. Hopefully, in a couple of months, this will include eating foods prepared with our very own chives and basil. I'll happily photograph the pasta sauce, or the pizza, or the scrambled eggs, made with herbs we grew ourselves. Oh, that glorious future meal - I can already see myself making it! But first, we watch and wait.