About Lindsay Obermeyer

I am an artist, designer, author and educator with a passion for the textile arts. A natural-born colorist with an eye for detail, I have been exhibiting my work in galleries and museums around the world for 25 years.

Mother’s Day Ribbon Topiary

smoothfoam-Mother'sDay-Topiary

“A mother is a person who, upon seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.” ~Tenneva Jordan

For Mother’s Day, make a special brunch and adorn the table with a cheerful centerpiece that Mom can enjoy for months. Ribbon topiaries don’t need water and are totally non-fussy. These DIY topiary centerpieces can easily be customized for other holidays or celebrations.

You will need:
4″ Smoothfoam cube
2″ Smoothfoam ball
Green acrylic paint
Ribbons in a variety of colors
Decoupage medium
Patterned papers or tissue
Glazing medium
Sequin pins
Ruler, sponge brush, scissors
1/4″ wood dowel rod, cut to 12″ long
Small hand saw
Phillips screwdriver or knitting needle

Obermeyer-Mother'sDay-Topiary2

Paint the cube and dowel green, allow to dry. Collage favorite papers to the cube using decoupage medium, allow to dry. Brush glazing medium on the cube to protect your collage and give it a glossy finish. Allow to dry.

Use the screwdriver or knitting needle to pierce a pilot hole into the Smoothfoam ball. Push the ball onto the dowel. Pierce another hole into the center of the top of the cube and push the dowel and ball inside.

Cut several 2-3″ lengths of each color ribbon.

Obermeyer-Mother'sDay-Topiary3

Roll each ribbon into a cylinder and pin it to the ball. I pinned a mixture of orange and yellow ribbons for blossoms, then I filled the spaces in between with green ribbon for leaves.

Spring Chickadee

smoothfoam easter chick

Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s Party!” — Robin Williams

Several of my neighbors raise chickens in their backyards. The anticipation of waiting for each little spring chickadee to hatch is behind the inspiration for this project to decorate your Easter table or to celebrate spring in general. It’s also a fun way to use your scraps of spring-themed paper.

You will need:
One 3″ Smoothfoam ball (cut in half)
One 6″ Smoothfoam disc
Two 12″ x 12″ sheets of spring-themed paper
One 1″ circle punch
Tacky glue
2-1/2″ googly eyes
3 yellow pipe cleaners
20″ length of 1″ wide yellow polka dot ribbon
Straight pins, scissors, toothpicks

Punch 60 circles from your spring paper. Working concentrically from the outer edge into the center, glue the circles to the disc, overlapping the circles slightly as you go.

Take three toothpicks and push them deep into the back of the half-ball for the chick’s head. Spread some glue onto the back. Center the head over the disc and push down, allowing the toothpicks to pierce into the half disc. Glue folded paper circles to cover the seam between the half-ball and the disc. NOTE: The head is brown as I had painted it for another project which I never finished. You do not need to paint the head.

Obermeyer-Smoothfoam-chickadee3

Continue to glue the circles to the head the same way as the disc, overlapping each circle slightly like feathers.

Obermeyer-chickadee5

Bend two of the pipe cleaners into feet by bending a zigzag in the middle of it and the holding the ends together and twisting. Use your scissors to pierce two holes at the base of the disc and push the twisted end of the feet into each hole.

Obermeyer-Smoothfoam-Chickee copy

Begin pinning and gluing the ribbon onto the side of the disc between the feet. Glue the ribbon all the way around the disc. Pin down any bits that seem to be curling.

Eyeball the placement of the googly eyes and glue into place.

Bend half of the third pipe cleaner into a loop. Bend the other half into a second loop and twist the ends together. Pierce a hole with your scissors between the eyes, but slightly down for the beak. Push in the ends of the pipe cleaner beak.

Your chickadee will stand up, though he is a bit wobbly as a newborn chick.

Valentine Conversation Heart Bouquet

smoothfoam heart bouquet

Oh, if it be to choose and call thee mine – love, thou art every day my Valentine!
—Thomas Hood

Who doesn’t love conversation hearts for Valentine’s Day? This bouquet is a quick craft, perfect for kids – it takes just about an hour to make, including drying time.

You will need:
3″ Smoothfoam cube
Conversation heart stickers
Pipe cleaners in an assortment of pink, red, hot pink and metallic
Sponge brush
Pink acrylic paint
Screw driver or knitting needle
Narrow Valentine-themed ribbon
Scissors, ruler
Tacky Glue, glitter glue

Let’s Create!

Paint 5 of the 6 sides of the cube. Allow paint to dry.

Glue a 14″ length of ribbon around the top edge of the cube.

Punch a hole at the top center of the cube with a screwdriver or knitting needle.

Obermeyer-Valentine-Bouquet3Prepare each conversation heart flowers by peeling the liners off of two heart stickers and pressing the pipe cleaner between them. Push the pipe cleaner stem into the hole on the cube. Add about a dozen more such flowers.

For variety, you can twist together two pipe cleaners and shape the top third into a heart to tuck into the cube.

Embellish the cube with glitter glue dots.

Holiday Photo Cube

smoothfoam photo cubeThe holidays have come and gone and now it is time to tidy up after the festivities. I never know what to do with all the Christmas cards, especially those with photos of family and friends. It just doesn’t seem right to toss or even recycle the photos. A Smoothfoam photo cube is the perfect solution. This way I can see the images year ’round on the bookshelves within my office.

You will need:
Christmas card photos of family and friends
3″ Smoothfoam cube
Washi tape
Paper trimmer, ruler
Scissors (look for non-stick blades)
Tacky glue
Sequins and sequin pins
Ball head pins

smoothfoam photo cube

Trim your stash of holiday photo cards to 2.75″ squares. Choose your favorite five (no photo for the bottom).

Center and glue each photo to one side and the top of the cube; allow to dry.

Frame the photos on each side with 3″ lengths of washi tape, folded over the edges of the cube.

Pick up a sequin cup, face up, with a sequin pin and push one into each corner of the cube.

On the bottom of the cube, push a ball-head pin into each corner, angled slightly toward the center of the cube, to act as feet for the photo cube.

Quick and Easy Halloween Window Decorations

halloween smoothfoam decorations

I originally created this Halloween decoration project as a series of characters to hang vertically as a single door decoration, but my crafty young niece, Margo, liked each character so much on its own, that I present them to you this way. She thinks it would be cool to hang one in each window and I agree! I’ll need to make a few more to fill all the windows in the front of my house. 

Supplies:
Two 12″ square  Smoothfoam Scrapbook Mounts
Two 10″ Smoothfoam discs
Acrylic paints – black, fluorescent orange, green, red
Sponge brushes, small round-tip brush
12″ pipe cleaners – black, purple, bright green
1″ googly eyes, 4.5″ googly eyes
Halloween-themed ribbon
Glue, scissors, dull pencil
Knitting needle or screwdriver

Creepy Cat
Paint a disc with 1-2 coats of black. Position the eyes and glue them into place. Below the eyes, paint an upside-down mouth in red; add a small tongue. To make his ears, cut a black pipe cleaner into two 6″ pieces and bend each in half. Spread the bottoms out by one inch and position them along the top of the disc. Poke holes in the disc with the knitting needle and push in the bent pipe cleaners. Poke holes one either side of the nose and push in short lengths of purple pipe cleaners for his whiskers.

Giggly Ghost
You can leave the Smoothfoam unpainted, or paint white if desired. Draw two eyes and a mouth and fill in with black paint.

Petrified Pumpkin
Paint a disc with 1-2 coats of orange. Try fluorescent orange for a little nighttime magic. Draw a Jack-o-Lantern face on the disc and fill in with black paint. Shape a green pipe cleaner into a stem, poke holes at the top of the disc and push in the ends of the pipe cleaner.

Frightened Frank
Paint a square sheet with 1-2 coats of green, position the large google eyes and glue into place. Draw the hair and mouth, then fill in with black paint.

Back to School Teacher Gift

Smoothfoam teacher gift pencil holder

“I like the process of pencil and paper as opposed to machine. I think the writing is better when it’s done in handwriting.” —Nelson DeMelville

With the arrival of August comes the back-to-school supply list. Why not send your child off to school with a great teacher’s gift – a creative DIY foam pencil holder using a Smoothfoam cube! The teacher will appreciate it, and you and your child can squeeze in a little last-minute summer crafting fun. Learn how to make your own back to school teacher gifts below.

You will need:

3″ Smoothfoam cube
Acrylic paints – dark chocolate, tomato red and antique gold
3 foam paintbrushes
Stencil of fall leaves
Orange glitter glue
12 pencils
Knitting needle

1.  Paint the cube brown. Allow the first coat to dry and paint a second coat.

2.  Position the stencil on the cube and dab a bit of yellow and red paints over the stencil.  Allow the colors to mix together a bit. Once dry, touch up with a small brush if needed.

3.  Add the veins of the leaves with glitter glue. Do one side at a time and allow to dry before adding veins on another side of the cube.

4.  Determine the top of the cube and punch 12 aligned holes with the knitting needle, or a screwdriver works too. Add the pencils and you have an adorable teacher’s gift!

How to display crochet mandalas

crocheted Mandala

Crochet is my passion. I am rarely seen without “my work” as my Gam called it. These days my focus is on mandalas. You may read more about this art on my blog. I’ve been making up patterns of my own, as well as learning from other designers’ patterns.  I’ve accumulated well over 60 of these circular crochet wonders.

crochet mandala displayHow to show them off to their best advantage has been eluding me for weeks. I tried hanging them on the wall with just a simple nail, but the textiles eventually pulled out of shape with the force of gravity. I will be showing my crochet mandalas at various galleries around the country, so I need them to stay in good shape. I wanted them to stand away a bit from the wall, to give them more presence.

smoothfoam discs to display mandala

 

Smoothfoam discs are the perfect solution! They are inexpensive, lightweight (a consideration to take into account when packing and shipping) and easy to use.

After I blocked my crochet mandala, I pinned it to the disc with evenly-spaced ball-head straight pins. For a hanger, I just bent a paper clip into a U-shape and pushed the ends into the top of the disc.

Done! So simple and yet so effective. Try using Smoothfoam discs or sheets to display any fiber art, textiles, embroidery or cross-stitch samplers.

 

4th of July Topiary

smoothfoam 4th of july topiary

May the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy, more lovely, than this – our own country!  ~Daniel Webster

Having company over for the 4th of July? This is a quick 4th of July topiary decoration decoration to make for your table. Adapt it to other holidays by changing the color scheme – pastels for Easter or fall colors for Thanksgiving. Be sure to check out our other fourth of July decorations!

You will need:
3″ Smoothfoam ball
3″ Smoothfoam cube
1.25″ wood dowel
Red craft paint
5 yards each of red, blue and silver (or white) ribbons
DecoArt Metallic Lustre – Silver Spark
Silver and white sequins
Sequin pins
Fabric glue
Ruler, scissors, sponge brush
Knitting needle

Rub silver Metallic Lustre on to the dowel using a paper towel. Allow to dry and then buff to a shine using another clean paper towel.

Punch a hole into the base of the ball and also into the center of the cube with a knitting needle. Paint the cube red and allow to dry.

Insert the dowel between the curbe and the ball.

Cut a 5″  length of ribbon, roll it into into a cylinder and pin it to the ball. You may need two pins for wider ribbon. Repeat this procedure, randomly placing the colors until the entire ball is covered in ribbon loops.

Cut 12″ of the silver ribbon, tie it into a bow around the dowel just below the ball and trim the ends as necessary.

painted smoothfoam cube

Cut a 12″ piece of blue ribbon and pin it around the top of the cube. Cut another 5″ piece and form a loop with the edges overlapping and glue the edges together. Cut a 2″ piece of red ribbon, fold it over the center of the blue and glue the ends in place to make a bow. Pin the bow to one side of the cube.

Pin sequins across the surface of the cube for a little extra sparkle.

Teacher Appreciation Gift – A Painted Planter Bowl

smoothfoam painted planter bowl

I can no other answer make, but, thanks and thanks.  ~ William Shakespeare

As the school year begins to wrap up, it’s time to thank the teacher who spent their days with your child – nurturing, encouraging and assisting them to become their best. Why not give a gift that grows through out the summer? A Smoothfoam half-ball is lightweight and so easy to move around on the counter or porch. It will insulate the soil and prevent it from drying out too quickly. Custom paint the outside with the teacher’s favorite colors or with your child’s school colors. Pick out a small plant or delicious herb, such as this lemon thyme, and plant it. Your child will be proud to present it to his or her teacher. “Look at what I made and planted!”

You will need:
8″ Smoothfoam half-bowl
Acrylic paint in two contrasting colors
Paintbrush
Round-head sponge brush
Screwdriver
Small potted plant and potting soil

1.  Poke a few drainage holes through the bottom of the bowl with a screwdriver.

2.  Paint the outside with your first color and allow to dry thoroughly. Paint a second coat if needed.

Obermeyerherbpot

3.  Apply polka dots in the second color with a round brush and allow to dry thoroughly.

4.  Add potting soil and the plant. Water it until soil is moist.

HINTS:  As Smoothfoam is lightweight and a great insulator, use it to line your favorite hanging plant pot. If you don’t want to add holes for water drainage, add some pea gravel to the inside of the bowl instead before planting. This allows for some interior drainage and keeps the roots from getting waterlogged.

Recycled Magazine Wreath for Earth Day

smoothfoam wreath with recycled magazinesWhen one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.
—John Muir

Earth Day, April 22nd, will soon be upon us. I love to celebrate this day honoring mother nature. I designed this hydrangea-inspired recycled magazine wreath as both a tribute to spring and a means for recycling some old magazines. Try one of our Earth Day craft projects today!

You will need:

8″ Smoothfoam disc
Mod Podge
Sponge brush
Flower punch
7/8″ wide Offray ribbon (5 yards)
Straight pins, paper clip
Scissors

Punch out several dozen flowers. I worked with interior design magazines, so I chose pages that were primarily blue or rust. I glued the flowers into place with a little Mod Podge, working from the outside inward, overlapping the petals slightly as I worked. This gives both a visual and slight physical texture to your collage. Be sure to coat the surface with a layer or two of Mod Podge. Allow to dry thoroughly.

Obermeyer Hydrangea 3

Cut twenty 3″ lengths of ribbon. Roll each ribbon into a circle and pin it to the edge of the disc with two pins. Repeat this process until the entire circumference of the disc has been covered. They end up looking like fluffy petals to a flower.

Cut a 15″ length of ribbon and pin to the back of the disc, allowing the majority to show below the flower as a stem.

Open a paper clip and push it into the back of the Styrofoam to make a hanger. Hang it on a wall as decoration or adorn your door with it.

Hint:  If you have no ribbon, then cut 1″ wide strips of magazine pages and use them in same manner around the edge!