Sunday, November 18, 2012

Gratuitous Fall Post

Before the influx of winter/Christmas posts begin, I thought I'd make an effort to post one last gratuitous fall post.

You may remember this post from back in the summer where I shared how I decorated our storage building. Although I loved the whimsical details, it wasn't an aesthetic that would transition well into the autumn season.

The first change I made was repainting the mirror from it's prior lavender color to a more appropriate pumpkin shade of orange.

Also, to come down were metal butterflies that adored each door. They were replaced with inexpensive grapevine weaths found at a local discount store. I spray painted them black for a bit of a Halloween-y feel, and decided to leave them for the remainder of the season.

The last change was made to the window boxes. The spent impatiens came out, and cool weather loving johnny-jump ups went in.

I'm already looking forward to transitioning it from fall to winter.

Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving! 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Crow Shutter

Some of you may remember this post from March where I restyled an old shutter to make a cheerful Easter decoration. I enjoyed the transformation so much that I decided to use the same method to make a Halloween shutter.

I wanted the crow to be the main focal point so the only embellishment is a tiny red bead for the eye. I attached hooks and wire from a picture hanging kit to the back and now this crow is sitting (or standing) menacingly by the front door in anticipation of All Hallows' Eve.

Thanks again to Terri at A Creative Princess for the inspiration.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Making It Spooky

I first saw the tutorial for the above display last year. Unfortunately it was too late in the season to make my own version so I filed it away with the intention of re-creating it this year.
Here is my adaptation:

I followed the tutorial almost specifically, except for a couple of minor changes. Instead of using balled up newspapers/leaves to stuff the "head",  I used 8" Polystyrene balls. I found this gave the ghosts heads a more unified shape. Also, instead of using packing tape where instructed, I used clear zip ties. Obviously, these are just the changes I made, and like. All tutorials are open to interpretation.

For the '"fire" we used cut pieces of branches to make a teepee shape, then used two strands of orange lights (found at Target) to wrap the shape.

This was a great afternoon project that I'm sure will go down as one of my favorite DIY projects of all time.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Side Project

This lone chair, which is believed to have belonged to my great grandparents, has been waiting patiently for its turn to be turned from something drab into something more aesthetically pleasing.

This weekend, armed with sandpaper, primer and paint that is exactly what I set out to accomplish.

The base coat of primer in itself made for a drastic improvement.

Normally, I use Rust-Oleum primer which is my go-to primer. However, on this piece I used Valspar and was disappointed with its (lack of) coverage.

Here is the finished piece. Funny how a little paint can completely transform a piece. 

 (Color is Krylon Blue Ocean Breeze.)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sprucing Up The Ordinary

Above is a shot of our otherwise ordinary, but whimsied up storage building. This building is an extension of our home, and like our home we decorate it in accordant with the seasons/holiday's. Nestled in the trees away from view, it's black and white exterior was anything but cheerful, a problem quickly remedied with some pops of color.

We took down the previous "door ornaments", and after a fruitless craft store search, found these metal butterflies at Family Dollar. Not only were they cheap, they matched the color scheme perfectly! 

Since this building is in the shade, I planted shade-loving (purple) impatiens in the flower boxes/baskets. We found these unfinished mini-birdhouses in the dollar bin at Michael's. I painted them using shades of blue and white to coordinate with the butterflies on the door. I attached them to dowels using hot glue and stuck one in each basket.

This last piece is based on this tutorial. At first I wanted a windchime for this space, but never found one I couldn't pass up. When I saw the tutorial for this mobile I couldn't wait to make one! It was a quick, and inexpensive project that adds just the right touch.

Do you add special touches to the various sheds/buildings on your property?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Nature's Whimsy's

Disclaimer: If bugs/insects make you squirm, you may want to skip over this post.

My initial thought when I first noticed this beetle was, "That is the freakiest thing I've ever seen."

Second thought, "I better run and get my camera!" 

After a quick internet search I found this beetle to be a Female Broad Necked Root Borer.

Here's a little more info:

The stinger is actually the ovipositor of the female and she uses her ovipositor to deposit eggs.  According to BugGuide:  “Eggs are inserted into ground (or under litter) in groups. Larvae tunnel downward to feed on living roots of a variety of trees and shrubs. At first they may feed on bark, but then proceed to hollow out small roots.

Initially, I was a little hesitant to post these pictures. Then I reminded myself that is what this blog is, a journal of sorts on all the unusual and whimsical things I come across in my everyday life.

(Also, after seeing this girl  in her beetle attire, how could I not post the real-life inspiration?)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sneak Peek

Here is a little snippet of some vintage items I have acquired over the past couple of years.

The majority of these items were found at auctions (and yard sales) with the intent of reselling them in my Etsy store. However, after not making a single sale (and getting tired of paying to renew the listings), I "closed shop" and these items have been sitting in storage ever since.

I've decided it's due time to drag these (and other) items out and open a vintage pop up shop. Items for sale will range from home decor to vintage clothing, all of which are in great vintage condition.

I haven't worked out the details as to when these items will be available, but I will definitely give advance notice here on the blog as to the when and where.

If you are interested in any of the items above and need/want further details, just leave a comment and I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Windchime Inspiration


Above are a couple of my favorite windchime images. (Found via Pinterest). Recently, I have been adding some whimsical touches to a storage shed located on our property, and I'm really wanting to make a windchime for that extra dose of whimsy.

The picture on the right has been a long favorite of mine. My sister (after seeing I had the image pinned) even managed to find a biscuit/cookie cutter almost identical to those in the picture. Now just to find the perfect array of bits and baubles.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Nature Instax

Do you find yourself saving/putting back certain items waiting for just the perfect occasion/reason to put them to use? This is exactly what I have been doing with my Instax Mini.

I was gifted this camera two (maybe three) Christmases ago, and up until a couple of weeks ago had only used it twice. (In over two years, I had taken a grand total of two pictures.)  I really have no great excuse for basically hoarding this camera, other than I didn't want to waste it. (Which is exactly what I was doing by not using it.)

Above are the first two shots I took while getting reacquainted with this camera. On the left is a shot of some climbing roses. It's hard to make out in this shot, but the picture has a gorgeous shabby chic/antique quality to it. The photo on the right is the remainder of a robin's eggshell.

Pastels aren't the color palette I tend to gravitate toward, but I am loving how those colors show up on film.

How are you at putting items to use?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Birds Interrupted

Introducing the three tiny inhabitants currently residing in the nest I posted about here.

(My favorite part is from  1:15-1:21).

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Make Your Own Outdoor Chandelier

I'm guest posting over at A Creative Princess  today.  If you are interested in making your own outdoor chandelier, you can find the how-to here.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Shelf Restyle

Regardless of how many times I vow that I will not begin a new project (until I complete some of the numerous works-in-progress I am currently neglecting), I still find myself unable to leave these (what I call) diamonds-in-the-rough behind.

A couple of weeks ago, during my lunch break at work, I decided to check out a couple of local yard sales. (Three of them to be exact.) I was lucky (?) that I found some great things, the shelf above being one of them. I knew immediately when I saw it that I wanted it, but when I looked for a price there wasn't one marked. When I asked the lady how much she was asking for it and she said $1.50 I couldn't get it in the car fast enough.

It's true width and height doesn't come across well in this Instax photo, but this piece is quite large. I look forward to seeing how much of an improvement I can make on it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Cutest Shop Ever

This past Saturday, my little sister graduated with a Master of Art degree in Sports Management, and this post should probably be about her great accomplishment. However, I don't know that she would appreciate me publishing pictures from her graduation ceremony for the world to view. Therefore, this post is going to be about a very cute, and very eclectic, shop we stopped in on our way home.

Anywhere that has a pink, plastic flamingo in the flower box has to be good.

I love love love the brightly painted flower pots, and the use of bowling balls for a garden border.

I have been wanting a bottle tree for years. This one was made from welded pieces of rebar. (If you aren't familiar with the history of bottle trees, you can read about them here.)

These pastel painted doors were out in the back of the shop. I'm not sure if they were merely for decoration or for privacy. Either way they fit in with the aesthetic of the shop perfectly.

Such great design/decorating ideas at every turn!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

We Had A Party

This past weekend, my sister and I put together a little birthday party for our mom. (Her actual birthday is April 26th, but with that falling on a weekday we decided to postpone having her party until the following weekend.)

Anyone who knows our mom knows that she is a huge fan of country music singer Toby Keith. Using this knowledge, and taking inspiration from one of his more popular songs, we organized a small-scale celebration that any Toby Keith fan would recognize and appreciate.

We kept the decorations, or tablescape rather, very simple by keeping to the red theme in every aspect of the decorating and supplies. The letters for the banner were cut out of glittered card stock and strung using fishing line.

Can't forget the most important part of any birthday celebration, the cake! In the shape of a "Red Solo Cup", of course. (A little of the lettering got smeared during the transfer from box to table.)

Overall, I think the party was a success. The birthday girl enjoyed it, and that is all that really matters.

Happy May Day!

Friday, April 20, 2012

For The Birds


Stored in my memory bank are numerous "I'm going to try that" ideas/projects. Admittedly, few ever make it to fruition. Above is one example of a project I wanted to recreate but have yet to do so. However, it did serve as great inspiration for my own little yarn experiment. 

Earlier in the week I noticed a robin in the beginning stages of nest building. Never one to notice a nest in mid-construction I decided to see if I couldn't help him/her along. Using some leftover yarn, I cut pieces in various lengths and (had help) hanging them from several branches near the nest.  

A couple of days after hanging the yarn we noticed this.

She (or he) had woven one of the pieces into the nest! I would have preferred to have used a more brightly colored yarn, but the beige was all I could find.

This nest will hopefully make a great addition to my growing nest collection. (Once momma and baby bird's vacate, of course.)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mirror Makeover

Evidenced by the photo above is the loot from one of my more successful yard sale jaunts. (If like me you equate success with finding a lot of great things for a great price.)  I found some great pieces, and the best part was it only cost me $5!

Almost everything was in great "working" condition. Everything except the mirror. (Keep in mind it only cost  $1.) It was in need of a serious restyle. It's cheap plastic frame, once white, was now dirty and dingy.

Some spray cleaner with bleach and a scrub brush restored the frame to its former plastic glory. A couple of coats of Krylon Gum Drop Spray Paint and here is the restyled piece.

I am really happy with how it turned out!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Piano Bench Restyle

After seeing this post  ages ago, I began my hunt for the perfect piano stool to restyle. I was lucky in that I found this one at a local auction for a mere $5.00.

Fast forward a year later. The above stool is still in the same condition as the day I brought it home. (I am the worst at finishing (in this case, beginning) projects.) A lot of you vintage lovers would likely leave this bench as is. Personally, I can not wait to rip off that 70's vinyl seat covering.

Here is the inside:

Other than knowing I want to paint the wood a lighter color, I'm not for certain what (style) direction this little stool will take.

Maybe something similar to this gorgeous bench:


I'm hoping by making it public knowledge that I'm terrible at starting/finishing projects that it will shame me into actually completing some of them. First step is admitting the problem, right?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


No picture today. Just words.

 I find myself, after (two) years of blogging, still searching for my niche in the blogging community.

When I started this blog in 2010, I knew the likelihood of it becoming a phenomenon was nonexistent and that was (and is) completely fine with me. The only goal I set was to eventually reach 100 followers. Pretty reasonable goal, right?

Suffice to say this will never be a fashion blog. I enjoy keeping up with trends, but it isn't something I'm completely enamored by. The majority of the blogs I follow are fashion-oriented but it isn't something I feel comfortable attempting. (Unless you are interested in seeing my collection of jeans, and t-shirts, then I might reconsider.)

Another thing I can almost guarantee you, the posts on this blog will no doubt remain as sporadic as ever. I admire those bloggers who have the time (and subject matter) to post numerous times a day. However, I am not one of them. I work a routine 9 to 5 job, and every step of this blog since its inception was completed during work hours. That is why you will very rarely see a blog post on a weekend.

I know this is all out a bit out of the blue, but after reading this post I was inspired to put a few truths out there. And you know what? It feels good.

Be back soon.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mr. Bunny Shutter

Soon after completing the shutter restyle I posted about here, I decided to make another. (This of course after stating adamantly that I would not make another one.)

And here he is:

I knew I wanted this shutter to be a "Mister Bunny" to complement the "Miss  Bunny" shutter that I made previously.

I cut a bow-tie shape out of a scrap of chenille fabric and attached it using those same Velcro coins.

 Detail shot:

I used the same steps to complete both shutters. Details here.

A couple of mentions:

Terri over at A Creative Princess has written a sweet post about my "Miss Bunny" shutter. You can find the post here.

Also over at A Creative Princess I am offering a little giveaway. To enter, go here.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Shutter Restyle

I knew when I first saw (and saved) this image over a year ago that eventually I would like to make my own adaptation. 

I was lucky in that I didn't have to search too far to find some old shutters. These shutters (along with another set) had been collecting dust in the barn for years. After a little rinse from the water hose they were ready for step two.

I knew I only wanted to work on one panel at a time so I just unattached the two by removing the hinges connecting them. After sanding each individual louver, I primed both sides of the shutter using my all-time favorite primer.

The next step entailed a trip to the copy store. (In my case, Office Depot.)  l knew I wanted the bunny shape to be confined mostly to the slat area of the shutter; using those measurements I had a small bunny-shaped template enlarged which I then traced and cut out of poster board to make a more durable stencil. Using just regular masking tape I attached the stencil to shutter and sprayed over the entire shutter using Valspar spray paint in Cameo Pink.

After removing the stencil there were a few small spots that required a little touch up with a small paintbrush,  otherwise the method I used worked out very well. I bought a few egg-shaped wooden cutouts and painted them in a variety of springy colors and added some glass glitter for a little sparkle. They are attached with hot glue.

I knew I wanted something more original than just a regular pom-pom tail. I knew I wanted her tail to be flower, but what to use? Then it hit me, chenille! I found the perfect lot of scraps on Etsy and this piece was in the mix. It was perfect and exactly what I was envisioning! It's attached using these Velcro coins.

I'm really happy with how it turned out, and have already started on bunny shutter #2!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Collection: Bird's Nests

Before I tell you a little about my bird's nests collection I wanted to go into a little detail as to why it has been a week since my last post.

Over the years, I have supported a handful of my favorite blogs by being a sponsor. On occasion, I would submit/donate a handmade item to be included in a giveaway on these blogs. Only recently did I consider offering a giveaway here on Whimsical Woodland.

It is disheartening that after an entire week I still have no entries. I have since changed the post from a "giveaway" to an "I made this" post in hopes of erasing the evidence of my failed attempt at a giveaway. I gave it a week which I thought was ample time to garner a response, and now I am moving on.

So now about that collection of nests.

I have collected/saved birds nests for quite a long time. At one time my collection was more expansive than it is currently. This in part to my method of storing these delicate items. (Storing nests in a barn is probably not the most intelligent thing I've ever done.)

So this is my collection currently. I have collected these nests from a variety of different places long after they had been abandoned. Some were found when cleaning out bird houses, others from low lying branches, but the majority were found in the yard after a storm had blown them from their perches.

I think it would be a fun little challenge to try and identify which nest belongs to which variety of bird.

These nests would look great displayed in something like this.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I Made A Necklace

Jewelry isn't normally the genre of crafting I tend to gravitate towards. However, after seeing this tutorial I thought I would be adventurous (my idea of living on the edge) and give it a go. 

I must say I was quite pleased with the end product. The simplicity of the design and nature-theme fit my aesthetic perfectly.  

Monday, February 27, 2012

Nature Lover

Whether you are a regular reader of this blog or you just happen to drop by sporadically I think it is evident to all just how much of a nature enthusiast I am. I mean, if the name alone doesn't give a strong indication then I don't know what will.

These are a collection of photos taken over the past several months that would have been very Valentine appropriate if one had planned ahead. I happen to not be one of these "plan ahead" types so you are getting them now.

It would have been easy to overlook the common characteristic in these photographs. But lately, I've been making more of an effort to slow down, and take note of the small things. I'm definitely learning as I go, as this isn't something that comes naturally to me.