December 24, 2011

its the most wonderful time of the year

Christmas Eve is here and I have a house full of excited kids...and parents. Every holiday is magnified and even more fun when children are involved.

 Enjoy the next week of family time, food and friends.

 Happy Holidays from my door to yours.

December 22, 2011

a little tile goes a long way

An early Christmas present - our bathroom is featured on Better After!! (one of my addictions and daily reads) Be sure to check it out, and thanks Lindsey for the mention!

December 20, 2011

stick a fork in her

She's done. And Zelda is her name. She and I have spent so much time together it was only right to attach a name to my outbursts - as in, "Damn it Zelda, why didn't you tell me you had this big chip on your left side?!" (in the interest of full disclosure, she's been done for a few weeks, but with all the holiday hysteria, I've been lazy otherwise engaged and haven't taken her picture.)

I gotta say I have never been this indecisive with a project before and I blame my new "try to plan things out, think ahead a bit more and don't just throw stuff together you freak" outlook. Many, many plans are on deck for our living room, which is where Zelda will live, so I had to plan for what she will be surrounded by in a few weeks (you hear that Luke) rather than what she is currently surrounded by so I'm not "sprucing" her up again down the road.

My $15 garage sale table - before.
For example, she is sitting pretty between two old slipper chairs that could use new cushions. And while those aren't in the budget right now, Santa did get me some pillows I've been stalking on Etsy that will jazz up those chairs. Real nice Clark. (name that movie).

So with the pattern on those pillows, as well as the pillows that will be going on the recovered sofa just across from Zelda (see I told you, many plans) there will be a lot going on. That nixed the idea of adding a pattern to the table, as I had originally thought. But Zelda has such interesting little details I did think she deserved a bit of flair to her.
Poor table top
With all of this in mind I started with a paint color I had used on the corbels in my kitchen by the name of Dusty Miller. Its one of those great colors that changes as the light changes. Its blue, its gray, its almost white at times. Versatile...and since I had some left over, free.

Sanded and Dusty Miller'd
I then added the smallest bottle of paint I could find - a tube of Martha Stewart Craft Paint (for wood) by the name of Highlands. I love the blue and green together. Oh Zelda, you will look so so nice with my new pillows.
My $15 table, after.
I had planned for new hardware but whoever installed the current pull drilled two giant uneven holes, (Damn it Zelda!) so new hardware would have required filling in the holes with wood glue, sanding, re-drilling etc. And to be honest, once I painted the pull, I thought it worked for her. Every old girl needs a bit of funky jewelry.


I love her 'dipped' feet and her painted...molding, for lack of a better word. I had painted all of the molding but it started to look a bit crazy even for me. So I followed that standard fashion advice - Look at yourself before you leave the house, and take one thing off - I'm paraphrasing of course.

Try painting those feet in a straight circular line. Impossible.
She will get a touch up after the holidays.
So there she is. By no means perfect, but certainly a bit happier. And I love her, big chips, weird dents, flame-like hardware and all. 
You can't tell from this angle, but I did paint her molding on all sides.
Her lower level has already become a landing place for toys and she has been a Barbie dressing room on a few occasions. Welcome to the family Zelda.

Zelda dressed for Christmas
Have you crossed any projects off your list recently? Have you ever tried to paint a straight line on a circle?


December 17, 2011

need vs want

With Christmas a week away, we've had a lot of discussions around here about need vs want. I don't need anything for Christmas, but I can always find plenty of wants when I go to the Antique Mall just right down the street.

So this will be my fix, my 'wake up on Christmas morning fun' to satisfy my wants. Because even though (almost) all of these are yummy, I don't need any of them.

Yummy (don't ask my why I keep using that word) teapot with my favorite - polka dots. A disco tea set. I think it is a bit blurry because I was so excited. 

 Great for lighting up the deck and only $20. Holla.

 No, not Julia Child. To the left. A book of House Beautiful issues from 1908-09. Great for a magazine subscriber. Very cool.

Vintage silver ornaments at $1.50 a piece. I think these are awesome enough to stay in a bowl all year round.

 Bamboo bar cart - perfect for my disco teapot.

I saw a similar one on Etsy. Gold. Bamboo. I see a theme developing...

Funky sconces for my fireplace.

These have been in the store forever and their color is awesome. Next time I have a spare $2500, I'll consider it. 

And this does not fall under need or want but 'what the hell'. Where are your pants dude?!

What is on your list? Anything you secretly hope to get even though you don't need it?

December 12, 2011

good enough to eat

I crafted! And no one cried or threw up (a measuring stick for all disasters in our family).

We always get fresh boxwood wreaths to hang on the french doors in our dinning room. But this year, I thought I would try something a bit more fun and something that would last (knock on wood) from year to year. Namely this...
via Pinterest
I read a few tutorials and thought it sounded so easy that I could out smart the foam wreath and go with a cheaper wire wreath. I got my supplies, plugged in my glue gun and started wrapping my wreath.


Wrapping the wire form in duck tape, I got about one row of peppermints on before I proved my crafting ignorance. You silly crafting fool. It was ugly, mis-shapen and the wire wasn't holding up as those little candies were getting heavy. Bust.

I took off my sad first row in disgust before I got a picture taken

So, I printed off a Michael's coupon, sucked it up and bought foam wreaths (I believe they were 16"). The tape went on a lot better and I had a more stable, flat surface to work on. After that it was easy. As long as you have several episodes of RHOBH or Sarah's House DVR'd and a crafting partner you are in good shape.
My crafting partner

Several hours later...ta-dah! 


I'm thrilled. It was easy, relatively cheap and looks great. 

I will say I highly recommend covering the wreath with duct tape first. Some tutorials glued the peppermint directly onto the foam. You will have gaps between the candies and the red background looks more finished. And the glue holds onto the tape a lot better as well. 


Also worth noting, this project uses a LOT of peppermints. Thank god I have a dollar store down the street as I had to use 7 bags for 2 wreaths.




So for less than $20 bucks I've got two wreaths I can pull out year after year (and they smell minty fresh). Have you tried any new projects lately? Holiday or otherwise? Share!

December 6, 2011

tied up with a bow

I took advantage of a morning full of holiday spirt (you gotta feel Christmasy after spending a morning with Santa and his elves) to tackle my mantel before I thought too much about it and psyched myself out. I found my inspiration and got an idea.

I'll make all those hurricanes I have stashed in the basement useful and stick artfully arrange Christmas lights in there and make those suckers glow. But my big honkin strands of lights we use on the tree were not fitting into my little hurricanes.

One trip to Hobby Lobby later and I had 4 boxes of the shortest strand of lights I could find - a white string of 25 for $1.99. Wahoo.

Lazy note/sign of a faux crafter: There are serval tips on Pinterest about how to drill a hole in your glass to get the strand to feed thru the bottom so the cord doesn't show etc. However I'm of the opinion that if you are standing close enough to my mantel that you see little white cords popping from the top/back of my hurricanes and this horrifies you, you have yet to have enough cocktails. Sit down, I'll shake you another drink.

So with my hurricanes all light up I started to play with my ribbon. Tie it around the hurricane? Boring. Wrap it? Not without my glue gun. String it from the... huh? Yeah no, not working.

It was about this time that I had to run some errands and being the excellent example and Mom that I am, I of course neatly organized and cleaned up my project before I left. Yeah right. When I came back though, I saw my 'clean up' stuffed in the hurricanes and thought, you know what, that doesn't look half bad. With a little fluff here and there, I ended up with this. (Sometimes a haphazard clean up pays off)

We call this casual ribbon placement
For shame - my cord!
One piece down. A few more to go.

I also wanted a bit of height and greenery. I'm not spending major duckets to pop those mamma jammas in front of my faux hearth. So I went with a scaled down version. And we will plant them in the backyard when we are done.



I was feelin good, feelin pumped.  But that big black hole was sucking all the festiveness out of my progress.

how DO you take a picture of a mirror without yourself smack in the middle?

I love this idea (if only my fireplace worked I would be all over some red wood).
Great way to fill in the dead space in my fireplace. http://decorartsnow.com/2011/11/09/november-9-2011-store-tour-c-wonder-ful/

So a few snips of wrapping paper and here we are. Thanks Target for making wrapping paper that satisfies my red addiction and my polka dot addiction all in one. And it sparkles too.


Ewww. Ahhh. Ohhh.

So there you have it. (I'll try to take some more moody night time lights pictures if I can figure out the while balance on my camera.) The mantel is done and I'm ready to move on to the tree.

What have you done with your mantel? Do you have trouble getting your stockings to stay in place with little hands around? (we've had to take our down until the big night) Any holiday decorations you are excited about? It can't be just me people. C'mon!
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