Monday, December 27, 2010

Project Restyle

How was everyone's Christmas holiday? I hope it was full of all things wonderful. My holiday was nice, albeit bittersweet. It was the first Christmas since losing both my father and grandfather, so there was a definite void this holiday season. Maybe this is the reason I just couldn't seem to get it all together this year. I did manage to make some homemade candy and get my sister's handmade gift completed, so it wasn't a complete bust. 

(I'll share pictures of what I made her, as soon as I remember to take pictures of it. )

In other news, have you seen the new project Elsie and Rachel developed?

Here are the details:


"Project Restyle is a just-for-fun creative group focused on ReStyling damaged, unwanted or unusable goods into fresh, beautiful pieces"

Project ReStyle Guidelines

1. You must use unwanted, damaged or unusable vintage or used items to ReStyle. One of the big purposes of the group is that it encourages green living and is budget friendly. You can use items from your own closet/attic that you no longer love, thrifted finds or hand-me-downs.

2. Take a Before & After photo of your ReStyled project. It's that simple!

3. Share your creative work on your blogs and in our Flickr Group. If you don't have a Flickr account, it's free to join. We'll be choosing favorites each week to share on our blogs, so you'll want to be sure to join the fun.

4. You can create fashion, home decor or gift items. There are no limits on what types of items you can ReStyle! Be creative and make items you know you can really use!

 I can't wait to participate! I already have a couple of items waiting in the wings ready to be restyled!

To find out how to participate click here. The best part of this project? It's FREE, which is great for all of us finding ourselves carrying empty wallets these post-Christmas days.

Hope your Monday is treating you well.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Still Here

It certainly wasn't my intent to go (nearly) an entire week without posting. I will admit I was starting to get into a blogging rut, and I think taking this unintentional hiatus was a blessing in disguise. I have only a few short weeks left in completing my blogging goal, and though I'm not entirely sure if I'll continue blogging once this goal is met, I do know that I want to (attempt) to be more consistent in posting. We'll see how it goes.

I don't think I have ever mentioned that I do all my blogging from work, have I? It's true, and that is one reason for my recent absence. Last week (in the midst of my rut) we had a bit of a snow and ice storm, and I ended up working just half the week. I could blog from home, but I find it easier (and less distracting) to do it here, at work.

A few pictures of nature covered in ice:



More icy pictures can be seen here.

The ice made for dangerous driving (and walking) conditions, but it was certainly beautiful.

There was a lot of exploring and shopping done this weekend. I'll be back tomorrow to tell you all about it.

Hope your week is off to a great start!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Flowery Weekend

It was another snowy and cold weekend here, so don't let the title of this post fool you. Although, it is nice to imagine a climate warmer than the one in which we are currently living. (Am I the only one who does this?)

Yesterday my mom, sister and I went to a local museum to see the work of a local garden club that was being featured. Each individual club member creates arrangements/displays using many different types of design material. (i.e. leaves, berries, dried flowers, fruit, etc.) Each arrangement is judged, and ribbons are awarded.

Here is the museum/house in which the flower show was held.




You can read more about this home, and it's former owners here.

Here are a few of my favorite displays from the show.


Many more arrangements can be seen here.

Which is your favorite?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Welcome

{via weheartit}


Just wanted to take a second to formally welcome any new readers that may have found their way via "One Pearl Button". I hope you enjoy your visit. Please come again soon!

*Be back tomorrow with "Flashback Friday!"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sponsorship Giveaway

As promised, I'm back today to share with you the little surprise that I mentioned in yesterday's post.

But first a little back story.

I first became acquainted with Alli from the blog "One Pearl Button" when we were both "classmates" in Elsie's "Style School" class. I was instantly drawn to her design aesthetic, and she has since served as a major source of inspiration. So, when I saw that she was going to begin taking sponsors for her blog, I jumped on the chance to come on board. It feels so good to be a part of something that you really believe in and support wholeheartedly.

Now for the surprise..

Alli is going to be having some sponsor offered giveaways soon, and here is the little something I'm contributing.




It's a small Christmas cottage, painted entirely in white to match any decor. It is completely covered in glass glitter, and will come with a single light cord (similar to this).

If you would like for this to be an addition to your Christmas/winter decor then be sure to keep a close eye on Alli's blog for all the details.

Happy first day of December!



Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Nature-Inspired Tutorials

Disclaimer: I made a goal a few weeks back stating that I was going to complete all of my unfinished projects before beginning any new ones. However, I decided to stretch the rules just a bit. The projects below are perfect for this time of year, and all of the supplies are readily available. Some of the supplies are even free, courtesy of Mother Nature.


I cannot tell you how much I love this diy nature wreath tutorial compliments of maya*made. I think they would be beautiful dusted with some artificial (or even real) snow!

{Maya*Made}


I have had this pinecone garland tutorial from Twig & Thistle bookmarked for ages. It is so simply elegant. It looks great hanging from a mantle, but would also add a nice decorative touch to a fence.

{Twig & Thistle}


This holiday birch wreath tutorial from Design*Sponge is another project I've had bookmarked for a while. I love that it is not your traditional winter/Christmas wreath. There are so many amazing tutorials on this site.

{Design*Sponge}




I hope these tutorials inspire you to bring a bit of the outdoors in.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Weekend Wrap-Up

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It was another low-key weekend around these parts. The weather Saturday was perfect, warm and sunny. We took advantage of the abnormally warm temperatures to do some yard work, clean out gutters, and get some Christmas lights hung. In my humble opinion it's still a bit early to be decorating for Christmas, but when it takes half a day to get all the lights hung and the weather is permitting you do what you have to. To be honest, I did turn them on for a little while just to admire my handy work. On Sunday, the weather did a 180. It was rainy, and the temperature was much cooler. The perfect weather for crafting, but for whatever reason I didn't work on a single project. In my defense, I need to make a trip to the craft store before I can begin my next project. I did get one crate of the walnuts I mentioned here hulled. One crate down, 13 more to go!

I was so excited to see that Rachel from "One Pretty Thing" linked to one of my Christmas cottage ornaments! You can see it here. There are so many great projects on Rachel's site, it is a great source of inspiration.

Hope your week is a great one!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank You, Veterans

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Thank you for your selflessness, honor, patriotism, bravery, and sacrifices. Words could never express the level of appreciation and respect I have for each and every one of you.

Happy Veteran's Day!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

4 Simple Goals-Update


You may (or may not) recall this post  from a couple months back in which I decided to take part in Elsie's "4 Simple Goals" prompt. As I stated in the original post, I tried to pick and list practical goals that I felt I could accomplish. I thought it would be fun to do a updated post to document my progress in getting these goals accomplished. (The updates are in bold.)


1. To Keep This Blog Going. I'm giving myself a time frame of six months, I think that will allow me enough time to get a feel for this new environment, but short enough so I don't run the risk of becoming bored. I want to have meaningful, and interesting things to say, and the minute I feel as though these two things are falling to the wayside, then I'm signing off.

* I have to say, I have really surprised myself that I have kept this blog going for as long as I have. I have a very short attention span, and lose interest in things relatively quickly. I will admit that sometimes I struggle with blog topics, but somehow I continue to persevere. I'm halfway through my six month goal, and only time will tell if I continue on after my initial time frame.

2. Restock my Etsy shop. The shelves in my Etsy shop have been bare quite long enough. I want to find interesting items that both my customers and I love.

*  This goal hasn't been completed for no other reason than my own battle with procrastination. I have several items stashed away that need to be listed but I just never seem to get around to actually doing it. With the holidays approaching I need to get busy!

3. Work on making my dream of owning my own home a reality.

* I know the house plans I want, and where I would like it built but the  lack of funds are prohibiting this dream from becoming a reality for the time being.

4. Complete some (if not all) of the unfinished projects I have laying around my home. I'm notorious for starting a project, and never seeing it to completion. However, this does not dissuade me from beginning another project, which results in the same outcome. I must learn to end this vicious cycle.

* Does it count as an accomplishment if you aren't beginning any new projects, but aren't working on any semi-finished projects either? Some of the projects I have yet to tackle are in-depth (sanding, painting, etc) and would require one to be outside which isn't at all practical in Virginia this time of year. (Yes, I'm using the weather as a scapegoat.)

I'm not doing terrible, but there is definitely room for improvement.

Hope your week is going great!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Seasonal Purgatory

It seemed this weekend Mother Nature may have gotten a bit ahead of herself.

This was the scene when I woke up Saturday morning.








Would someone please remind her that it's just the first of November?

My weekend was pretty low-key, which is exactly how I like them. The only semi-productive thing I did was on Saturday when I had an appointment to get my hair "touched up'. (By "touched up" I mean "get rid of all evidence my hair isn't naturally this blond".) I did manage to get the ornaments I mentioned here finished. I'll share a picture of them soon. I am really pleased with how they turned out.

Was your weekend productive or lazy like mine?

Have a great week!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Random Thursday


This picture was taken over a month ago, and I'm just now getting around to sharing it. It is one of the most charming places I have ever seen. It currently houses an art gallery and a cafe. (On the far right side of the picture is a screened porch area called "The Veranda", which I assume is part of the cafe.)  My favorite feature is/was the different colored shutters. Unfortunately it was closed when we visited, but if the inside is anything near as magical as the outside then I'm certain it's amazing!

Other random notes:

-This news pretty much made my entire week, or month for that matter. So excited!

- I've been painting some cottage (Christmas) ornaments, similar to this. My mom has a friend who owns an antique/home decor shop and I'm hoping to sell a few in her shop. Her Christmas open house in in less than two weeks so I need to get cracking.

-Speaking of cracking, here is this years walnut bounty. All off of one tree. There were two more crates in addition to these, but apparently the squirrels discovered my stash and decided to help themselves. My intentions are to hull, and crack them myself. We will probably keep some to use in baking, and sell the rest.

-This giveaway is worthy of a mention. Click on link for details!

What random things are happening in your world this week?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Wrap Up



Here are a few pictures of our Halloween decorations from this weekend.

*The top-left picture is the result of cutting bat after bat out of plain black poster board and using double-stick tape to secure them to the side of the house. The effect was exactly what I was hoping for. The shadow's cast by the porch light was eerily perfect!

*Inspired by this lady's twig-tree decoration I painted several tree branches with black spray paint, added one strand of orange lights, and for extra sparkle added some orange and black Halloween ornaments. 

*A picture of this year's jack o' lantern. Normally, I carve very elaborate, time consuming pumpkins. However, this year with all the other decorations, and my terrible time management skills I kept it pretty traditional.  

A couple of other Halloween related mentions:

As promised here is a picture of the contents of my Sweet & Sinister swap box. 


It included:

- An embellished vintage picture frame that Christine (my swap partner) painted with chalkboard paint. She also made the "Spooky" banner that adorns the frame.

-A handmade journal/photo album. It has several blank pages just waiting to be filled.

-Also included was a little tin, also embellished, filled with lots of both vintage doilies, and lace.

Another thing worthy of mentioning is that this weekend Rachel from "One Pretty Thing" featured my marshmallow treat lollipop's tutorial in her "Halloween Food Roundup".

Random fact: We had 13 trick or treaters this year. Could there be a more perfect Halloween-ish number?

How was your Halloween weekend?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Hallow's Eve



Wishing everyone a candy-filled, spook-tacular Halloween weekend!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

All About Hallows Eve

You might remember me mentioning in one of my earlier posts about signing up for Artsy Mama's "Sweet & Sinister Swap". I was partnered up with a great gal, Christine. (Her blog is definitely worth checking out, she is one very creative lady.) This week I received my swap box, and here is a glimpse of what she included.


You have no idea how much patience it took to get this shot when all I wanted to do was tear into it all. She wrapped everything so beautifully, using items I would have never considered. (i.e napkins and gauze) I did finally get to open it,  and I was so impressed/pleased with everything she included. I have yet to get a shot of everything since I've opened it, but it's definitely on my "to-do" list.

A couple of other Halloween notes:

* I have what I think is such a fun idea using this template.

* I am kind of bummed that my Ms. Havisham display more than likely isn't going to be happening this year.   I never realized how impossible it is to locate a mannequin. I probably should have started looking a little earlier.

* I still really need to pick out my pumpkin carving pattern already. (Here, here, and here are pictures of pumpkins past.)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Marshmallow Treat Lollipop Tutorial

This weekend my sister and I attended an annual Halloween party. Every year we take some kind of  treat to share among the guests. One year we put together these witch brooms, and another year we went traditional and made candy apples.

This year we made these:

Here is how we did it.

First you need to gather your supplies:


Your next step will be to assemble the actual lollipop. (That sounded better than telling you to stick a craft stick into a marshmallow treat.)



Next place the candy melts into a microwave safe dish (you could also use a double boiler), and melt your candy into the proper consistency. (I didn't get a picture of the candy after it was melted, only before.)



Spoon the melted candy over your marshmallow treats, and place on a wax lined cookie sheet and allow candy to harden:


Once the candy has harden, place each lollipop into individual treat bags and tie off with a festive ribbon.


These are really fun to make, and all of the ingredients/supplies are readily available. These can be interpreted many different ways to coordinate with any holiday/celebration. If you try your hand at making these, I'd love to hear about it!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Five Guilty Pleasures

 Elsie from "A Beautiful Mess" had a really fun blog post recently listing 10 of her funny habits and guilty pleasures. I thought it would be fun to do a similar post with a couple of differences. Instead of listing 10, I'm going to narrow mine down to five and I'm going to break mine down into two posts. Up first are my five guilty pleasures!

-Spray paint. I love how one can of paint can transform an ordinary object into something extraordinary! Sometimes I'll buy a can just because I love the color!

{Source}




M&M's. What's better than M&M's? M&M's in ice cream!
 
{Source}


Mr. Adam Lambert.  Look at that face. Does this even need an explanation?
  
{Source}

Calvin & Hobbes. Best. Comic. Strip. Ever. I think I enjoy reading it more now than I did when I was younger!  


{Source}


Craft stores. I guess I could be spending my money on much worse things.
 
{Source}

What are your guilty pleasures?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Inspiration And A Surprise

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Just a little autumn inspiration for your Friday.

Speaking of inspiration, you might want to keep an eye on Kellie's blog the next few days. There just might be a little contribution from yours truly.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Miss Havisham Has A Dress

Remember this post? If you do, then you will recall my interest in incorporating the Charles Dickens character of Miss Havisham into this years Halloween decorations. One very important element of the story is that of Miss Havisham's wedding gown. I knew I wanted (needed) a dress in decent vintage condition, nothing too perfect nor too pricey. So, I gave myself the challenge of finding the perfect dress for $20.00 or less, and here is what I found.



To be honest this particular dress wasn't my first choice. My first choice dress was more ornate, with tons of bead work. I was "watching" it on Ebay, and eventually placed a bid. Needless to say it went for a lot more than I was interested in spending, so I continued searching. This dress also came from Ebay, and it was one of those "make me an offer" sells. The listing described it as a bit yellowed, which I thought merely added to the character of the dress. I love to imagine the woman who wore this dress. How old was she? What did she look like? Did she live happily ever ever? I like to think she did.



 Here is an updated picture of the candelabra I posted about here. Initially, I wanted to paint it black, I thought that would make it look very Halloween appropriate. However, I knew I wanted it to have a chandelier-like look, and that I wanted to use black drip candles (found here) for effect so I chose to paint it silver instead. I'm really happy with how it turned out! 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pictures & Plans




I have recently begun re-reading "Great Expectations", and am truly inspired by the melancholy character Miss Havisham. (If you aren't familiar with this Dickens classic, you can read more about Miss Havisham here.) So inspired in fact that one of my main goals is to incorporate this character into my Halloween decorations. (You can see one element of my decorations here.) I'm still in the planning stages, but I hope to share my progress here.

The above pictures are from this photostream, which is definitely worth a look around.

What are you inspired by this Halloween season?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Autumn Mosaic



This was so much fun to make! (I used my own images.)  Make your own here!

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Makeover For Monday


I purchased this candelabra at an auction a couple of months back for just a couple of dollars, and unfortunately it has been sitting in storage ever since. This weekend I decided to drag it out, and with the assistance of Krylon, gave it an entirely different look.



Can't forget the underside.

I have big plans for this little candelabra, which may or may not have something to do with Halloween. I'll be sure and post pictures once it's completed.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I Won A Ribbon (And $2.00)

Source
One of my favorite childhood memories is that one week in late summer when the fair would come to town. My family lives in a very rural area, and the fair was a pretty big deal. I remember being a child in the back seat of the family car, making the trip to town to drive by the fair the night it opened. The bright lights of the rides glowing in the night sky, stirring up quite the feeling of anticipation and excitement in my little kid self.

Not only did we go to ride the rides, savor in some tooth-rotting cotton candy, or on occasion sashay our little selves across the pagent stage, we would also enter items in the exhibit barns. It was quite fun deciding on what flowers, vegetables, and/or craft projects to enter. Zinnia's, Marigolds, and fuzzy poster's usually being my items of choice.

As children do, my sister and I grew up and life got busy. The fair lost it's luster, and we stopped entering things into the exhibit barns, sans this year. This year I decided I was going to try my luck, and enter a couple of pictures I had taken just to see how I would do. First of all, I must tell you that I am not a photographer. I'm just a girl with a camera who likes taking pictures of random things.

Here are the two pictures I entered:



Neither was framed elaborately (the frames actually came from the dollar store), nor were they professionally developed ( unless you consider those print-it-out-yourself machines at Rite Aid professional). However, that didn't deter me in the least. I was proud of them, and I hoped the judges would like them as well. Evidently, the judges saw something they liked, because my photograph of the lizard won third place, and $2.00 in prize money!

I would love to hear about your favorite childhood memory, so feel free to share!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Halloween In September

I spent much of this weekend working on several different craft projects, some of which included items for Artsy Mama's Sweet & Sinister Swap. I'm really pleased with the progress I've made thus far, and would love to show you some sneak peeks. However, I know that my swap partner reads my blog, and I wouldn't want to ruin the surprise.

So instead, here are a couple of pictures of some Halloween inspired items I've made in the past: