Pinwheel Bouquet


As a program coordinator at Arizona State University, I often have fun creating an event for the College of Nursing & Health Innovation.  This month we will be participating in Sparky’s Carnival on the downtown campus, an event geared for new students.  I am taking the carnival theme and working it with my trusty sidekick, Jasmine, our amazing student worker and we are having fun as we work.  It’s amazing what can be created with basic supplies when we have the right tools.  I am often asked for more specific information on the products I use to get results in my blog posts.  I will, going forward, be including links to what I use and hope it will be helpful.

I wanted to share this pinwheel bouquet we will be using as a centerpiece at the event because it works for any type of celebration, depending on the type of paper used, and helps create a fun atmosphere. I cut assorted scrapbook paper using my portable paper cutter  in 6″ and 4″ squares so I would have two different sizes of pinwheels.  Then 2 pieces of the same size paper (not same color or print) were attached back-to-back using square adhesive tabs to create a pinwheel (I have included directions to making pinwheels below).  Drinking straws were used for the handles – (wooden skewers can also be used).  I found a black vase at a thrift store for $3.00 and stuffed floral foam into the opening, which I cut to fit for the straws to stick into.  Then I used glass pieces to cover the foam.  These glass pieces can often be found in thrift stores on the back wall of items that are bagged up.  They come in an assortment of colors or clear.

I also found that a miniature glue gun worked well with this project.

Here is the link I used on how to make pinwheels.

If you give this project a try, please let me know – I’d love to see your creation.


A Special 80th Birthday – Part 3 – Desserts

It’s time for Part 3 of my aunt’s 80th birthday party. I am having such fun sharing this special day with you. As I mentioned in an earlier post my aunt has some eating restrictions and so foods need to go down smoothly. It wasn’t hard to think of something that she would enjoy for dessert because she Loves ice cream so I created an ice cream parlor of sorts. Over the years I’ve collected ice cream dishes in all shapes and sizes which worked perfectly.  If you’ve missed the two previous posts you can get caught up. Part 1 – Activities and Part 2 – Lunch 

AME Ice Cream Parlor

Ice Cream Parlor – Sundae dishes I’ve collected, pink $1 pails from Target for garnishes, the present cookie jar was $3 at a thrift store (after a good scrubbing it was ready to be the focal point) and a small crock pot to heat up the hot fudge sauce.

Ice Cream Scoops
Premade Ice Cream Scoops

AME - Petal Flowers

 Petal Cookies

AME - Desserts with ice cream
Dessert Display

AME 80 - Desserts
Carrot Cakes, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Petal Cookies


Planter and Lamp Makeover

This idea has a lot going for it – it’s simple and inexpensive.  It doesn’t require anything but fabric, a rubberband or two and some decorative ribbon.  Yet it has the potential to give a decorative planter or lamp base a makeover.  

Floral Arrangement Makeover 

We moved from California to Arizona in 1991.  At first I wanted to blend into my new state and bought a couple of southwestern themed items for the home – one was a lamp.  After living with that for a couple of months I came to realize that I may live in the dessert but I’m most comfortable in a eccentric country and mediterranean decor.  I was raised to do with what you have and as a stay-at-home mom money was tight so I knew if the lamp was to be saved I needed to get creative.  

I took the lamp shade and bulb off and started weighing my options.  Painting would not work because the lamp base was raised.  I needed to cover this thing up and fast – hmm?? – it needed a garment.  I went upstairs and gathered a piece of navy blue cotton fabric.  I spread the fabric out with the wrong side towards me, sat the lamp in the center and started gathering the fabric up towards the neck of the lamp.  The fabric was separated in the back to allow for the electrical cord.   I was able to secure the fabric at the top of the lamp with a rubber band and then tuck the ends back into the rubber band which hid the edges.  A piece of raffia tied into a bow to hide the rubber band and the lamp was transformed into something I liked and still works for me today.  A bottle of acrylic paint was used on the tan lamp shade to pull the navy color in. 

I have had success using this process on my navy blue household planters when the pots need to be blend with a party theme (see top picture).  This is also a great idea to use to refurbish thrift store finds and because there are so many fabrics the skies the limit on different options.

 Lamp Makeover