Tag Archives: decor

Think Spring- details

Wisconsin Winter, I am done with you.  I decided to redo my decor in hopes of Spring, which brought  12″ of sleet, snow, rain, ice wind, and thunderstorm mix.  Apparently my Spring fever was warm enough to keep away the winter fairies…. I digress.

I posted about my Spring Buffet, but neglected to share the details – how to’s, awesome finds and spontaneous ideas. I don’t have a mantle (Yet, although the basement is almost finished 🙂 so the buffet is my next best option.
Disclaimer: I’m horrible at capturing pictures during the process.  I always think about it during the clean up.  One of my many flaws!

To start I snatched the striped Fabric remnant from JoAnn’s remnant bin.  All remnants were 50% off the original price, plus an additional 40% off… $6.20. Little spendy for decorating a buffet, but I have future plans for this.

On the Left

The Ball Jars, Craf, and Grapevine wreath are staples in my decor toolbox.  I’ve had them for a while and seem to just shift where and how they displayed throughout the year. The silk lilies and Gerber daisies I pulled from my stash of things I forgot about.  The yellow flower (no clue what it’s called) was rescued from a bouquet of flower the husband got me for my birthday.

The Peacock feathers I picked up last summer at JoAnn’s in the 75% clearance section (less than $3.) The mini bird-cage was a Michael’s find ($1). The green and silver picks I’ve had, found last year at a local crafty store (Windsong).  The brown vase holding the feathers, picks, and lilies was a Christmas gift- although I think it was bought from either Michael’s or Gordman’s.  The little bird was $1. at a local craft store (White Barn).

The eggs I made from plastic eggs I swiped last year after Easter (.30 for a package of 20).  This would be the point that I again am hitting myself for not taking pictures.  All I did was paint them different spring colors.   I don’t have the exact colors because I just kept mixing paints until I got the shades I desired.  I started by covering them all with a white spray paint primer (Rustoleum)- not an easy task. I didn’t bother gluing the eggs together because it’s not that important to me if they fall apart.  Never know the Easter Bunny might use them in future years?!?!?  After the primer was dry I created 4 different pastel shades of acrylic paint (Yellow, blue, orangish-tan, and pink).  After they were dry I mixed some brown acrylic paint with a little bit of water in a bowl.  Gather all of the eggs in one spot.  I dipped my brush in the bowl of watered down brown paint.  Then holding my brush over the eggs I flicked the bristles to splatter the paint onto the eggs.  Note: This is not a tidy process, newspaper covering the counter might be helpful. Make sure to roll the eggs over so you get more than one spot of splatter on the eggs.  The beauty is it doesn’t have to be perfect!  I know that wasn’t a A+ tutorial, but hopefully you get the jist.  Here’s a link to a similar process, but with pictures (She used textured spray paint).

Moving onto the right side  (my favorite side)

The jar, as stated above is a decorating staple in my house, likely thanks to my mom or friends who used to can food.  The flowers in the jar are real and trying to survive from my husbands sweetness on my birthday.  The little blue bowl was screaming my name at a garage sale last summer for 50 cents.  I have been waiting this long to showcase her 🙂  The bird was $1. from local crafty store (White Barn) and the eggs we’ve already discussed.

One sleepless night last year,  I got the strange I idea to start picking up cute birdhouses to decorate with and use grapevine and pussy willows to fill in (that will be another post some day).  The white pedestal bird house was a $7. clearance find at a local craft store (White Barn) and the dark green feather are mini-feather rings (2) from JoAnn’s 75% clearance section ($1.97 for both)

Lastly the “Enjoy Life” phrase is Scrabble letters are from the game we own.  I change out the saying throughout the seasons.  And the floral picture above the buffet is one my aunt gave me when she was cleaning out her clutter.  I had hopes of doing something with the frame, but so far she’s a good filler.

Total money spent on this decor: $22.97 Little more than I like to spend, but still under my $25 budget.


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DIY Apothecary Jars (under $5)

I’ve seen many things that justify my need to purchase this amazing adhesive (Michael’s sells for about $4.00- I used 40% off coupon).

E-600 and random glassware

My brain is somewhat scattered full of ideas, but somewhere on YouTube while aimlessly looking for ideas for DIY projects I came across a video to make apothecary jars using candle stands and vases, or candy dishes.  The tutorial is simply 2 steps.
1.  Find a candle stick stand and vase that complement each other, wash & dry thoroughly

2.  Place a small amount of E-600 to the top of the candle holder and set the vase on top.  Press together and let set for 24 hours.

That’s it!  I’m a huge fan of decorative glassware, and apothecary jars are so ideal to change for the seasons so many options.  Here are a few things I’ve placed inside to go with my decor: coffee beans, small ball ornaments, decorative eggs, shells, mini pumpkins, fruit (lemons, limes), fake berries from picks, pinecone and my most recent and new favorite is tissue paper and bows.  Here is a 1 minute decor solution to a 1-year-old birthday party or baby shower

This project is posted at these Linky parties:

The Lettered Cottage



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After much of blog world inspiration I finally compiled a few DIY Halloween projects before the holiday struck. Thanks to the crafting chicks; Just a Girl, Craftily-Ever-After, Dejavu*crafts, The Stories of A to Z and last but certainly not least The Lettered cottage I found enough inspiration to get some projects done to my satisfaction.  I apologize I didn’t do a very good job of tracking the progress along the way.  Many of these projects were created with my family, so the time we spent together was priceless not to mention the fun I had in seeing it all come together.

It all started when I discovered The lettered Cottage and oogled over the fun details she incorporated into her fall themed mantel.  I’m a huge fan of her simple and creative approach to decor.  All that eye candy from this post (which also led me to her spring and summer mantel) also links over to Beth from AtoZ for her Mantel party where the brain chaos began.  I saw a few picture that I recalled from Just a Girl (a regular read for me). Either way….here are the results from a smorgusboard of ideas that I borrowed from the creative geniuses in blogosphere 🙂

The boa wreath was an idea I got last year from Just a girl .  It’s a straw wreath ($1.75), 3 feather boas of your choice ($4.00) and a few stick pins…best of all it doesn’t show dust.  Since I just used stick pins, I can make it fit all seasons by just changing out the color of the boas, if you really wanted to.  Simply pin one end of the boa, start wrapping the boa around the wreath.  I could have used 1 more boa and made the wreath just a little more plump.

The next was the assortment of pumpkins.  Easiest idea ever.  I can’t remember where I found the original idea from, but here is a tutorial from The Sweet Life.  I simply bought 2 1/2 yards of fun fabric ($6.00) and a 6 packs of the cheapest toilet paper around, gathered a few pieces of tissue paper (Sweet Life uses newspaper instead) sticks from the yard and wallah! I also made a few smaller ones by using a couple of baby food jars seeing how I have a few laying around…didn’t work quite as smoothly, as it needed a little coercion from the hot glue gun.  I like the different sizes though-adds some variety.

The “31,” and “eek” blocks and the “Boo” picture were little things that I created, but I’ve also seen around.  The 31 block is just a piece of scrap wood, little paint and a 31 chipboard.  I bought a collection of small easels at the thrift store (5 for $1) perfect for things like this. The Boo frame is a 50 cent frame from a thrift store, that I painted black.  I cut out some Halloween scrapbook paper (25 cents) to size and added the boo chipboard.  “eek” is a collection of the 2.  Altogether I thin these 3 signs cost maybe $1.  Oh I should mention I’m a Modge Podge junky, so that helps adhere the paper to the block and convinces the chipboard to cooperate just a wee bit more!

The Ghost lanterns are a mystery to me now.  I cannot find the idea source behind these…sorry, if you are responsible please acknowledge yourself below! I picked up a few old candle lanterns again at the thrift store.  I bought 4 so the neices and I could each have one.  Coat the inside of the globe with modge podge.  Once covered sprinkle with fine iridescent glitter (I bought a jar of 21 Gram for $2.99 at Hobby Lobby) Then on the outside of the globe take a thick sharpie marker, paint or vinyl and make 3 circles or ovals for the ghost face.  Add a tea light underneath, when you light it the entire ghost shimmers.

The last of the projects was covering plain white candles with some festive paper. The candles were $2.99 and $1.99 at Wal-Mart (although I think I could do better if I were more diligent) and the spider web paper was 25 cents at Hobby Lobby.  A bit ‘o Modge Podge and you are set.  I added an orange ribbon scrap to the larger candle just to make it pop a bit more.  You might notice some more sophisticated one from Beth or Chris!

Now I can play around for Thanksgiving a bit before Christmas explodes in my house 🙂 Happy Autumn (officially the temperatures reached 29 degrees this morning, lets hope the snow waits for just a couple more weeks)

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Baby’s Room!

We have reached a point of satisfaction to house and comfort the much-anticipated child who may join us any day now! Much of the room was handcrafted and created by the future mom and dad.  Keeping things gender neutral we opted for Stripes and Polka Dots in various colors.  Thankfully the walls were already painted with the subtle stripes you’ll see, so we went with it.

Believe it or not, the baby’s room began with a wall hanging design.  The husband cut the wood, the wife put her feeble mind to work to create this!

Each 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 board was painted dark brown (left over paint from our living room).  A 12×12 sheet of polka scrapbook paper was cut into 6×6 squares and then applied to the wood with Modge Podge and later secured by small tacks (the husband did the tacking since the paper kept loosening).  The word DREAM is from a set of self-adhesive set of 4 inch chipboard (Paper Studio from Hobby Lobby) that was painted with Maroon acrylic paint.  The 5 remaining brown boards were painted with a blob of baby blue acrylic paint to accent the letters.  The letters were adhered with an epoxy after the self-adhesive was determined not to be strong enough.  Total cost for this project…about $3. since much of it was scraps I had lying around in my stash of goodies.

Next up was the Crib and bedding- which was all purchased.  Since I already had my colors in mind (Light blue, red, brown and bright  green) finding something that wasn’t too cutesy was a challenge.  Both the Crib and Bedding were purchased at Target.  Thanks to a registry discount, sale and several baby shower gift cards….we stayed well within our budget!

If you notice the shelf to the left- again homemade by the husband and had laid in our basement awaiting a home.  It worked out perfectly to hold a picture frame and baby monitor.  We were given the soothing sleep sounds and light attached to the crib.  It’s a voice activated machine that will flash different colors of light and play womb sounds (which sounds more like ocean sounds to me) for 10 minutes.  But thankfully if it drives me crazy I can manually turn it on and off and do just lights or just sound too!

The next item was a dresser.  I was looking for something practical that could last the child’s entire life, yet be functional as a dresser and changing table.  We looked everywhere and things were either HUGE, or completely out of our price range.  So being the handy Husband I have, he designed and built a dresser.

The drawers are huge, but will easily be filled.  The cabinet on the left has adjustable shelving to help hide anything else that needs a home.  Since this picture we have added the changing pad on top with soft plush cover, and the essentials that you see (diapers, wipes, etc).

To bring things together I wanted to add some curtains to the currently sterile white Roman Shades in the room.  Since finding something to match was painful, and I didn’t like the ones that came with the bedding set, I decided to make them.  I am not a sewing machine so this was a test of my patience.  Luckily when I stopped at the Fabric Store I found the perfect color textile fabric (artichoke is the color) and was on sale for less than $3 a yard (originally $15 per yard).  Having no idea, I picked up 3 yards.  After strolling the store a bit more, I also found hemming iron on tape which was suggested for window treatments (AKA- no sewing involved), and then stumbled upon curtain rods and rings (also 40 % off).  Altogether the curtains came to less than $40.  When I initially started making them I had one design in mind, then hung then and thought I’d try another design and see which one I like better. And I still can’t decide for sure.  Your thoughts?

The only thing we are still planning to get is a glider and ottoman which will actually be in the corner where the dresser is now, and the dresser will be more centered on the wall.  The wall across the crib (above the dresser) will be adorned with homemade personalized items once baby is born.

One last shot of the entire room, complete with baby’s self-proclaimed security guard (Diesel seriously loves hanging out on the floor in this room).

Now all we need is a Baby, which could be any day now! 🙂

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Gateway to the Holidays

While the Holiday season has nearly passed I thought I’d share a few highlights thus far! surprisingly I’ve been extremely good at getting everything done in a timely fashion.

Christmas cards were completed and in the mail the Sunday after Thanksgiving (Sorry some were WAY later, I had to search a few addresses since our computer crashed last year).  In case you weren’t on the NICE list this year- here’s a glimpse at our 2009 Christmas picture

The following weekend, the husband and I spent cleaning and decorating for Christmas.  I don’t have pictures of the outside, but I assure you-it’s magical 🙂

We barricaded Diesel into the living room so we could clean the floors.  He was bound and determined to help however he could.  He even fore-went the treats to Supervise.

Speaking of Supervising…here he is, being all authoritative!

Unlike last year, decorating was much less dramatic.  There was no lifting of the leg, or getting tangled in the lights.  Things went quite smoothly….

(recognize the revolving apothecary jars- Spring, Fall, now winter)
the following day I left for Washington DC for work for the week, and everything seemed to go to hell.  The fully decorated tree was no longer lighting. Eventually the husband figured it was the bottom strand on the tree creating havoc, so he surpassed them in the pecking order and moved onto strand 2.  That same day Diesel discovered ornaments and decided to try a few. He’s particularly fond of the “kid’s tree” I have on the window ledge in the dining room decorated with a bunch of stuffed ornaments from my childhood and adorned with festive stuffed animals.  While no major surgery was done- everyone survived unscathed- he certainly took a liking to them.  He also found my gingerbread cut-out ornaments rather tasty (or maybe not- he only devoured 1).  The following day, Wisconsin experienced a TRUE blizzard.  The entire state was mandated to be closed via the Governor.  Off course, I was still working in Washington with blue skies and 50 degree weather.  The husband attempted to snowblow (we upgraded from 2 shovels from last winter) the 14 plus inches off the driveway. Only to have several equipment malfunctions- thus taking over 8 hours to snowblow the driveway and 2 sidewalks.  All the while the dog’s in-ground fence and collar decided not to work either and Diesel kept making friends with the neighbors next door!

I arrived home Friday that week and took to baking.  After 1 1/2 days we made caramels, peanut butter balls, peanut blossoms, Christmas Wreaths, snowballs, a few snacks for upcoming pig outs, planned some home cooked meals (for a change) and tried a fabulously easy recipe: Ice Cream Sandwich Torte- amazingly delicious, and easy! Diesel helped clean out the cool whip container!

It was the first time in years I accomplished all the mandated Holiday to-dos before the holidays struck.

Something that took a backseat this year was shopping, but we managed to fit a few power hours in this past weekend and accomplish the task.  As of right now (Tuesday, Dec. 22nd at 6:41 PM), Cards were created and sent, all decorating was done, 7 different holiday cookies and candies were made and some even shared, all Christmas shopping has been done, the house and car have been cleaned and all gifts are wrapped and I am partially packed to head to the other side of the state (just awaiting some laundry).

Hope you all have a fabulous holiday season 🙂

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