Wednesday, November 30, 2011

ikea lantern + monogram towel = unique gift

WARNING:  Friends & Neighbors & Hostesses - No Peeking!!

I saw these lanterns at Ikea and I knew I wanted them for something.
I came up with this idea for a unique personalized gift perfect for a hostess or neighbors!

The lantern makes a festive presentation, I love a container that's part of the gift. 
Here's what I put inside, but the possibilities are endless.
DIY Monogram Dish Towel
Our favorite cookies from Ikea, homemade treats would be nice,
 but if you're short on time these are delicious!

One of my favorite bloggers, Rene from Cottage & Vine showed us how she
made these personalized towels, and I totally copied her!
 If you've never visited her you're missing out, big-time!! 

I picked up these cotton towels at Ikea, too.

Iron your towel, choose any pattern or letter and trace it onto freezer paper,
cut out your pattern with an exacto knife
 and then place the freezer paper on your towel and iron again.
This secures the edges so your fabric paint doesn't bleed beyond the outline.

I used a stencil brush to apply fabric paint (purchased at Michaels) just make sure
you don't load much paint onto the brush, it should be fairly dry.

Let dry and remove the freezer paper....ta da!

I rolled the towel up and tied with a pretty ribbon.
Add a bow, bell and some evergreen tied to the handle and you're good to go!  

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

painting glass vases

In case you're all wondering about the cream colored, thrift store vases on my bookcase,
you're in luck
I'm spilling my secret...

Look familiar??

When you're thrifting, focus on the shapes you like, don't pay any attention to the exisiting
       color or pattern - we're going to use the #1 product a DIYer couldn't live without!          


 If you see a 'pair' of vases in a great shape....jackpot!!!
I did these in a matte finish then used fine grit sandpaper to give them a rustic look.
(you'll understand what that means when the big secret is revealed)

Or, one in the color you're actually looking for...double jackpot!!!

You can even paint new pieces, this pair came from my favorite store,
 Home Goods, clearance rack - they were a peachy color.
I used a cream color followed by clear gloss. 

These will be showing up on my Christmas mantel...soon!

Finally...the secret...shhh,
simple spray paint.

If you missed them on the bookcase all spiffed up, go here.

Happy painting, friends!

Monday, November 28, 2011

bookcases styled simply

In yesterday's post I told you I wasn't oozing with excitement when I opened
my boxes of decor, which led to a new plan.

The goal  ~   a simple, clean look.

First, I removed one shelf, three seemed to work better with the 'less is more' plan.
 To create symmetry on the top and bottom shelves I chose matching vessels
stacked on piles of red books, on the center shelf I included the angels
 so everyone would know I do love a little holiday decor!

Keeping the color scheme coordinated helps the look feel less busy. 
(the books and vessels are old thrift store finds I had) 

The greenery from our yard adds some texture.

On the left side of the fireplace I removed another shelf - only five more to deal with!
More red books, cream vases and a gold tray to keep the elements consistent.

Found a spot for my favorite sunburst mirror....

...and made some artwork on my computer.

I have a Santa I'm thinking I'll add in place of the greenery on the top shelf.
(Looking at your photos is a good way to see what needs tweaking.)

If I end up with any spare time (HA!) the back of the bookcase is screaming for a
little pattern....what do you think? 

The mantel is in the works, how is your plan coming along?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

a trick for styling a bookcase...

When I opened my boxes of Christmas decor this weekend I wasn't feeling the love.
I hauled it upstairs and put out a few treasures, only to decide I was in the mood for...
a little less Christmas decor.

I started re-styling my built-in bookcases in the family room.

Do you ever remove or adjust your shelves?
It couldn't be simpler, and you have a new canvas and fresh perspective for ideas....

Here is the beginning of my 'less is more' theme for this year.

Recognize my branches? The mirror was an old thrift store find for $8!
This space is large (56" high) and could have easily taken on a cluttered
Santa, angels, reindeer, snowflakes holiday accessory look if I had filled four shelves.
With a mantel and several other shelves to style,  I liked the simplicity here.
A few large pieces make more of a statment than several small ones,
 you'll notice in the following bookcases.
                                                           Here's some inspiration:

                            Pinned Image

                         Love the addition of artwork, it's on the re-style list for after the holidays.

                    Pinned Image

                     Removed shelves and interesting, unique adjustment on the right for books.

                                   Pinned Image

                                                     Shelves removed, symmetrically.

                                      Pinned Image

                                                  Notice the subtle symmetry here, clever.

           Pinned Image

Tomorrow I'll show you how I created symmetry
 in the rest of the bookcase and
more of my 'less is more' holiday decor.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

happy thanksgiving

               Pinned Image

~  be thankful in all circumstances  ~
                      1 thessalonians 5:18      

Wishing you and your families a wonderful Thanksgiving day!


pottery barn inspired wreaths

Normally, I'd choose to put together a more unique look than copy a page right out of a catalog,
                                     Pottery Barn - Christmas 2011 - page 76
                                                      I am so copying you!
                                            White house with black shutters.......check
                                            Picket fence and double gate...........check
                                            Wreaths for windows & gate...........check
                                            Cheap bows for wreaths............umm, yes
                                            Garland for railing............................check 
                                            Covered entry.................................nope
                                            Red door........................................nope

                I've always put wreaths (adorned with cheap red bows) on my windows and gate,
                                     and garland on our front fence and porch railing.
              After a trip to Dollar Tree for ornaments and my garage attic to retrieve the wreaths,
  I'm only 658 ornaments, 219 glue sticks, underestimated hours of labor and a dusting of snow,
                                     away from the picturesque perfection of page 76!
                 Do you think it's tacky to ask your Thanksgiving guests to bring a glue gun?  :)                        

Monday, November 21, 2011

our thanksgiving table

The Challenge:
Put together our Thanksgiving Table using what I have, spending no $$!
I came close, I spent $1! 

A little unconventional, but here's what I used ~

Flagstone pieces leftover from our patio became chargers,
thicker slabs are the perfect rustic texture I like to pair with silver pitchers and trays.
Dried hydrangeas from our yard took the place of fresh florals.
Spice jars filled with additional hydrangeas give each place setting added interest.
  Candles are included in the centerpiece and rows of votives line each end of the table.   

Napkins I made a few years ago coordinate with the neutral palette, and
the simple glass salad plates allow the pattern to show through.
A collection of mis-matched wine glasses complete the look.


Once I got the place setting arranged I moved on to the centerpiece, making sure
the height of my pitchers were varied by using thicker slabs of stone.
It looks a little empty in the space to the left and right of the centerpiece...hmm.

A row of six votives on each side, looking better.
(If you don't have any of these you should get!)
Still tweaking...some silverware was still in the dishwasher.

Checking the look of the rows of votives - yep, just what it needed to fill in the empty space. 

The buffet, set with plates and cups, in anticipation of
the desserts we'll be indulging in!

      If you missed it here is the Do-Ahead Thanksgiving Menu I shared.

Btw if you're wondering what I spent $1 on ~ it was two small glass vases,
       the cute ones that don't look like spice jars.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

11th annual christmas party details

The invitations are being delivered today.
                                     It's an intimate get-together with 10 special girlfriends,
                                             it started when our kiddos were toddlers,
                                        the oldest of our group just turned hoo!

                                                            Cocktails, Appetizers,
                                                         Gift Exchange & Stealing,
                                                    After Dinner Coffees & Dessert

            They all politely play along with my rule ~ a 'theme' for the gift exchange and the
              anticipation they'll think outside the box, and bring something wildly creative.
                                                    They do not disappoint!!

                                I try to come up with an invitation to introduce our theme...

Pages from an old dictionary were the inspiration for the invite this year.

Since there are 2,408 pages, I didn't think anyone would miss a few.

 ~  Cut the pages into 2 x 3 inch pieces (16 per invitation)
 ~  Form them into cones, use a glue gun to secure.
~  Attach 16 cones to a 4 inch circle using your glue gun
~  For a bow cut 2 slits in the center of the circle, thread your ribbon
through to the front and tie. I chose a  pale shimmery satin.  
~  Print your party details on cardstock and glue below the bow

All set!

What clever gift would you show up with?


Thursday, November 17, 2011

make a simple statement

                                           Where do you keep your fireplace logs?
Have you ever thought of stacking your firewood inside?
                                               Wouldn't it be fun for the holidays to bring                  
                                    them in and dedicate a special nook or shelf or corner? 

 daryl carter
                                                                  emma reddington on design sponge                                                                                                                                                
                                                           Next week I'll show you....

                                                      where I decided to put my logs,
                                                       my Thanksgiving table setting,
                                     the details and invitations for my 11th annual Christmas Party,
                                              a holiday decor project - think Pottery Barn!
                                                     Have a fabulous weekend friends,
                                                                    be healthy
                                                so you can justify indulging next week!
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