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2012 Fall Wreath

1 Oct

If I had to choose between the expansive modern mansion of Cameron Diaz and quaint cottage in the English countryside of Kate Winslet in The Holiday, I would always, always choose the cottage. Probably no surprise there. I love cottages, which is why I needed to bring a little nature into my fall wreath this year.

I spent about $25 on this wreath because I had the foam wreath base from last year. I wrapped it in $8 moss from Hobby Lobby (you could use a coupon if you were more prepared than I), and P.S. mark which side is the back because I swore I was wrapping all the same way and then ended up with seams on both sides. Der! Then bought a yard of burlap (I’ve got tons left) to make the base for the feathers. Simply make tubes of burlap with hot glue and pin them in an “s” shape. There are some whole wreaths done that way but I wanted more.

Then I added some guinea feathers, a small pumpkin and long feathers that were 40% off in the fall decor section of Hobby Lobby. The perfect accent were peacock feathers, because, well, everything is better with peacock feathers.

Happy fall everyone! I can’t wait to see your wreaths. ‘Tis the best season of the year!

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Cheap Frames and a Wall Collage

30 Aug

Last week I escaped the walls closing in around me and went on a frame thrifting binge. I hit up Through our Children’s Lives and Savers (and a few garage sales as I meandered between the two). I’ve wanted to do something with my uninspired “dining room” (because it’s really just a pass-through to the kitchen) wall, and I’ve wanted to do a frame collage for like … ever.

So I came home with a bunch of frames, a can of white spray paint and a few mats and got to work. The frames cost me in all about $10. Love.

Once I decided what to frame, I began the daunting, but necessary task of tracing all the frames onto newspaper and putting a template up on the wall. It’s still not a foolproof method, but it will save headaches and nail holes. Trace each frame onto the paper, cut it out, and then turn it over and punch a hole through the paper where the nail will hang. It’s genius really. And I stole it from Young House Love.

Sorry, I had already hung the first one when I snapped the pic. 😉 Here’s the result, minus one I added yesterday:

I had fun picking out the content of the frames. From family photos (yes that’s one of our engagement pictures … 10 years ago!).

To artsy postcards our hipster friends send us for save the date cards and thank you notes.

And of course I showcased my love of animals with vintage prints.

Then the little artist had to get involved. I love showcasing what those little hands create.

This wall is also fun because you can see it while sitting on the couch in the living room:

Or while cooking in the kitchen:

This little wall makes me happy every time I look at it. It really brightens up the dark paint in that room and I can’t wait to add more and/or change things out.

ORB-ing Abraham Lincoln + Dryer Vent Pumpkins

28 Aug

Remember that time I spent an afternoon rubbing bronze oil on Abraham Lincoln? Me neither, gross.

But I did happen to spray some awesome Rustoleum Oil-Rubbed Bronze paint on some Lincoln bookends for my dad. The stuff is magical.

Before and after:

He is made of plaster and had some bad chips, but at $.10 each (eventhough Dad gave them $1), I said I could spruce them up real nice! Why, Mr. Lincoln, you are so very regal and dashing in your new coat of paint. Get down with your ORB self!

Since I was outside and covered in paint already, I also decided to tackle a fall project I blatantly stole from my friend Amy’s blog, that she blatantly stole from another blog via Pinterest. 😉

She made her dryer vent pumpkins out of plastic vents from Menards. I sauntered into Home Depot expecting to find the same thing and was sorely disappointed. Same thing with Ace Hardware. They did have the aluminum vents, which the original blogger used, but at $10/vent, that was waaay over my budget. So I dusted myself off and walked into my favorite place: Habitat Restore. I’m like a kid in a candy store in that place. And sure enough there was a scrap of used dryer vent for a whopping $2.

Sometimes I wonder what the people behind the counter there think with me purchasing a lame piece of dryer vent. What the? I’ll spare you the details of this super-simple project. Just cut in two (I had to use wire cutters) and hot glue the ends together. Will the wonders of hot glue never cease?

Then paint away! I chose Rustoleum’s Fire Orange because it’s awesome and plain old white, because…um…what other color do you paint pumpkins? Then jam a stick in the middle and add moss.

So pretty, so cheap and so easy! I heart you fall.

Spring Wreath

20 Mar

The natural progression of starting a creative blog has to be making door wreaths. Or maybe it’s just me. I started seeing so many seasonal wreaths and they were so inspiring, I decided I had to start livening up our front door. So far I’ve made a fall wreath and a winter wreath.

For my first spring wreath I wanted to use felt flowers. I’ve seen tons of tutorials and I’ve always wanted to try some. They’re so pretty! So I chose this tutorial and off I went.

I’m really, really not a girly girl, in fact I hope I only have boys! But sometimes I like to play dress up and sometimes I like pink. Almost nine years ago my bridal bouquet was pink, orange and yellow calla lillies. Still a favorite color combo.

So without further ado…

And since every project is a learning experience, I may try and stuff more petals in next time. The tutorial suggested seven and I only used six on each. And it hurt my hand. For real. I also decided to do two-toned flowers after making two solid ones. The wreath was free from my aunt when my son was born. It nested an owl for a while. And since our door is brown I decided to add more color and spray paint the wreath green. What’s spring without the return of green?

Happy spring everyone! I’d love to see your latest spring project. Let me know about it below. 🙂

P.S. For more flower tutorials visit How Joyful.

Linking to

The Lettered Cottage

Spring Door Decor

Repurposing Old Shutters

3 Feb

Sorry for being a day late posting this week. I’ve been so out of it sick all week that I don’t know what day it really is. But enough of that…here is a project I’ve been dying to reveal for a while. I completed these before Christmas but couldn’t talk about them and ruin the surprise for my nieces. I have four nieces through marriage, ranging in age from 13 to 22 (I think…I’m bad with ages). The youngest was just a baby when I started dating the Rock Star, so yeah these girls mean a lot to me.

I love making them one-of-a-kind, personal gifts whenever I can and I had seen a lot of shutter transformations online. Seemed easy enough. Here goes nothing!

I bought four shutters at Habitat Restore for $2 each. Here are two of the shutters before. Can’t find the other two before shot, but image them taller and painted yellow…

I removed the hinges and pulls and puddied the holes. On the painted pair I sanded down the paint and knocked out a few broken slats.

Then I primed the short pair and used liquid sander on the painted pair before priming.

With a blank canvass, I decided what I wanted to do with each shutter. For the shorter ones I decided magnetic primer would be fun around the edges. Some tips about magnetic primer…the gritty magnetic stuff settles quickly. I had to go back to Home Depot twice to get it shaken and almost broke my arm stirring it the first time. And it takes a lot of coats.

Meanwhile I cut some basic plywood and sprayed them with chalkboard paint for the larger boards.

Then came the fun part…colors! I selected a color for each niece that suited them perfectly. Of course you want to move the slats around and paint from every angle.

For some reason I don’t have a picture of the pink one being painted. After painting, I attached picture hangers to the top (two of them needed wood extenders beneath them so they could hang evenly because of the slat bar that moves the slats up and down) and used wood glue to secure the slats in place.

I nailed the chalkboard pieces to the two taller boards with a brad nailer…ok so my father-in-law did mostly, but he let me use it twice. I’m still learning power tools. Then it was just a matter of presentation. I added magnets and clips to hold pictures or messages.

My two youngest nieces sent me pics of the boards all decked-out in their rooms. 🙂

So…an inexpensive, fun gift for anyone in your life with endless possibilities! I’d say it’s a winner. Have you tackled any handmade gifts recently? Let me know about it below.

Linking to:

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Rustic DIY Winter Wreath

11 Jan

Last fall with inspiration from friends, I tackled my first seasonal wreath. This time around I fell in love with this rustic winter wreath.

I’ll admit this project has taken me a tad longer than usual, but it’s Jan. 11 in Kansas and it’s still 50 degrees outside. It’s been around 60 degrees for a couple of weeks. It’s so warm I just couldn’t get myself in the winter mood, even with Christmas passing. But, the warm weather has been a blessing in the painting outside department, which helped a lot of projects move along.

So here she is, my lovely winter wreath!

My son says “SUN!” whenever he sees this wreath. Zooming out, I’m sure I need to lower it, but all be darned if I can find the motivation…

This wreath was a no-brainer as we had quite a few fall wind storms and a lot of fallen branches. I just snapped off small straight sticks of varying widths and snipped them at random lengths. Then I divided them evenly and sprayed them with white, aqua and turquoise spray paint. I then snagged a cheap foam circle from Hobby Lobby and hot glued the sticks around it.

After the first layer, it was obvious I needed a second to further conceal the foam ring. So out to the yard for more sticks, more paint, more glue. Thank goodness for the warm weather! This time I cut the sticks shorter. The hedge trimmer worked well for this purpose.

So there she is. Hope you like her. She adds some color to the dull winter I’m sure has to be coming around the corner, right? But she still has that rustic winter feel I was going for and will take us right in to spring without a hitch.

Post links to your winter decor projects, I’d love to see them!

Linking to

Holiday Break Finds

6 Jan

I love my Christmas break. I save up some vacation days so I can take at least a week off around Christmas. My mom visits from Phoenix and I always have a million crafty gift things to finish up and goodies to bake. So all my time lately has been spent playing games with family, sharing gifts and talking the days away. I love it. I love my family!

But I did manage to pick up a few things in the past few weeks. My friend Kari from Foreclosure 2 Fabulous was in town and squeezed in some time to see me! I haven’t seen this girl since high school and miraculously that’s about 11.5 years ago. We reconnected over our love of vintage things, but she lives on the East Coast so I’m amazed that we got to see each other at all. I love people who make time for others. It’s so special. She’s also a pediatric psychologist and I love that. In short, she’s amazing. We had a grand time touring a couple of antique stores (one of which was utterly confusing and entirely too 1980s) and a random vintage estate sale that was so awesome to experience together. I rarely have friends along when I get out to sales and it was so great to bounce ideas off one another and laugh together at the ridiculous things you find at estate sales. I think I said “That’s fancy” about a million times; it’s becoming my catch phrase.

Kari also stopped by to take home her precious gift that I detailed here.

From the minute I saw this piece at a garage sale, I knew it was meant for her. And she was ecstatic to haul it home on the plane when it was too darn expensive to mail to her. Kari loves the atomic age and I was so glad I found this piece for her!

Now, onto a few other finds. I came across a baking sheet covered with some sort of contact paper. I have no idea how old it is, but it’s very mid-century fabulous. ($2.50)

I also found this Hull flower pot. Love the colors. ($3.25)

I picked up some things I don’t usually go for at a Brown Button Estate Sale; perhaps I’m getting adventurous at 30. I’ve been doing this almost a year now. First, some vintage stencils, which I adore ($6).

Next, a couple of cool old keys ($2.75):

Three handmade pot holders ($.75):

A small silver jewelry box ($2):

And four vintage dress patterns. LOVE! ($8.50)

Finally, inspired by some highly creative crafty crafting by my friend Megan at Homemade Ginger, I’ve been on the lookout for some vintage sheets I can cut up. I can’t remember how much I paid for the full sheet, but the pillow cases I got for $.50. Excited to be crafty with them!

So that’s the update for now. I feel like I’ve gotten away from the treasures side of this blog, so I’m getting back in the swing. Coming up this month is a house tour (yes, you get to see all the treasures I find too precious to sell!), a tutorial on how to turn shutters into message boards, repurposing barn wood, and more! I’m very excited about this year!

Happy hunting!

P.S. You can find some of these treasures for sale on my Etsy…see the link on the right!