Monday, November 23, 2009

Alphabet Ornaments

As I promised in the previous post, here is my take on the Alphabet Ornaments from Ballard Designs.

I made mine with clear ornaments, off-white spray paint, black glittery letter stickers, and spray sealant. I wanted a rustic, matte finish on my ornaments, and I chose to do my family's initials in both upper and lowercase. I spent $5 on the letter stickers and a set of 5 clear ornaments, and I already had the spray paint and sealant in my craft box.

You can go a thousand different ways with this craft - instead of letters, you could do stickers of your child's favorite animal or cartoon character; I plan on doing an ornament with all elephants on it for my oldest, I think he'll like it. I also plan on making a set for my parents' house, with antique gold spray paint instead of the off-white.

I'd love to see what you do, so please share here if you make some ornaments!

Everywhere a little sign of the season

I am a firm believer (I'm also a Firm Believer, but that's for another blog) in spreading the festivity of the seasons to every room in the house. Who cares if no one will enter your bedroom? I still like pretty candles dressed up to match the season, and even my bathrooms get a bit of sprucing up.

My main bathroom has an absolutely hideous, banjo-shaped counter, that extends from the sink area to all the way over the toilet. I hate the thing because it's far from my aesthetic, but it does have its merits, and right now a major bathroom reno is not in the budget.

I felt a little bit of fall should be displayed, and the bright orange combined with my cheerful yellow walls makes the little bathroom glow with its own light.

And in 4 more days it's getting a new layer of Christmas goodness!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thou SHALL covet . . .

gorgeous things for your home, and I have to admit that I, too, have become addicted to the goodness that is Ballard Designs. But, their prices? Um, not so much.

Check these out:

Lovely, for sure but $69 is not something I have in my current "holiday decor" budget.

A quick visit to my local JoAnn's is sure to get me some ornamental gratification, which I will reveal next week ;D

Similarly, check out these gorgeous pillows from Pottery Barn Teen - aren't they awesome?

But at $29 to $39 for just the cover (not the pillow form inside) they are definitely out of my budgetary reach.

A more wallet-friendly, holiday-themed interpretation is coming your way next week - stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Festive Garland

Make this easy-to-craft garland with only a few items.

If you scrapbook or make greeting cards, chances are you will already have everything on hand.

Here is what you need. A couple of different sized punches, holiday-themed scrapbooking cardstock, illusion cord (or you could do it with ribbon), and glue, that's it!

Note: I use illusion nylon cord, not the stretchy kind.

Now, take your punches and cut out a bunch of different circles from scrapbook paper. I did a lot of holiday words and phrases, and then just the patterns from the paper. You could do other shapes, whatever you like, just make sure you end up with an even number of each size/shape.

Why an even number?

Because you are going to glue them in pairs.

Choose two circles of the same size, like these.

Leave about a foot off illusion wire free before you start.

Then take one of the circles (I do the pattern on the back so it doesn't really matter if it's straight) and, placing the cord through the center, apply a thin layer of glue.

Then cover with the other circle.

I do the word on this side so I can make sure the letters are aligned with the illusion cord.

Then you move on to the next one. At this point, I placed some weight on the pair I had finished so I could move on to the next one.

This is what the garland looks like after I've done a few pairs.

I alternated the big and small circles, but the next one I do (in red and green) I will do them more random.

Once your garland is the length you want, you leave about a foot of illusion cord free and cut it off.

To hang, you just tape it up wherever you want. I put mine up on a doorway, but you could also hang them in a child's room, or make two really long garlands and criss-cross them over the dining room table. In fact, I think that's what I am going to do with my red and green scrapbooking cardstock!

Enjoy this craft, share it, and if you like it, please comment - comments are love!

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Very Kimba Christmas!

If you're even remotely familiar with the home and garden part of the blogosphere, you have surely heart of A Soft Place to Land. Kimba's voice is so welcoming and soothing, I make sure I check in on her blog at least once a week.

Now Kimba is releasing an e-book with five great holiday projects, go check it out!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Shamelessly stolen from Just a Girl

One of my favorite home blogs is Just a Girl - I love Chris's crafts and sense of style, so when she shared a gorgeous "cone tree" craft for the holidays, I knew I had to steal it.

Chris's trees are beautiful and elegant:

When we went to pick out the yarn, however, my oldest quickly grabbed the Christmas green yarn they had at JoAnn's, you know, the green with the sparkly gold thread throughout - and then I found some little sparkly pompoms that would go great with the finished tree. We're all about the sparkle over here ;D

The how-to is super easy, you just start covering the foam tree with glue and wrap it in your yarn of choice. Then add whatever adornments you want, in our case we did little pompom ornaments and a little cluster for the topper, and here you have it, our beautiful cone tree!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thanksgiving garland, kid style!

It's a cold and windy November day chez nous, so we decided to brighten things up with a sparkly garland.

You'll need letter and fall-themed stickers - I found these leaf stickers on clearance, they have beads and sparkle on them, I loved them! And cardstock in fall colors, I chose dark yellow, brown, and green. Also, double-sided tape or glue dots, scissors, and a stapler.

Begin by placing your letter stickers - to spell Thanksgiving - on your lightest color cardstock. You will then cut squares with the letters on them, and mat them with a darker color cardstock.

Then take your green cardstock and cut out some thin arches, you will be placing your leaf stickers and your squares with the letters on these arches. I did 5 arches for my garland.

Place the leaf stickers and the letter squares on your green cardstock arches. I didn't like the green space between the letters so I added star stickers in the same fall colors.

Yes, we have a lot of stickers in this house. I didn't buy a thing to make this ;D

You should end up with your five arches looking like this. Leave a little bit of green cardstock showing at the ends of the arches with the leaf stickers on them.

Because then you will join them, placing the ends of the arches with letters on top of the arches with leaves.

I chose to staple mine . . .

And then placed a star sticker on top to cover up the staple.

The story of my life: use some sparkle to cover up the defects. It's a good philosophy that has worked well for me ;D

Then, hang up your Thanksgiving garland!

I stuck mine above the entrance to the playroom with double sided tape.

Not bad for an hour's work with my kids. My little one was more interested in doing his own thing, he took one of the green arches and spelled out MAWEEM, he was very proud of himself because he knew the letters :D

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Candlestick, take 1

Because I am sure I will be posting about more candlesticks I've dolled up, but let's start with this one. My lovely, colorful friend here began its new life as a ratty and scratched brass candlestick. I got it at Goodwill for $1.99 because I knew I could make it happy again.

Some glossy red spray paint was all it took to transform it into a rich, beautiful candlestick. I topped Red with a pretty autumn candle ring - because both colors are so saturated, neither orange nor red overpower the other. For the candle, I chose a pretty, sparkly white pillar, although an ivory pillar would work just as well.

And there you have it, a gorgeous fall accent!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Lettuce, tomato and avocado salad

We have been enjoying our first batch of salads that are all from local produce - the lettuce and avocados from our backyard and the tomatoes that I got from a friend for some avocados. When you have good quality ingredients, such as homegrown veggies, you want to do the least possible to them when it comes to seasoning. I took some of my good extra virgin olive oil and some kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, and that was it. The salad was very tasty and refreshing - if you have the chance to get local produce, I highly recommend it.