Friday, December 7, 2018

#throwback Christmas Projects for Children

I'm throwing it back to when I used to design craft projects for children- 
just in case you are looking for some meaningful projects for this season and a way to spend creative time with your children or grandchildren!
(Follow all of the links for early blog posts with details and/or instructions)
Oh, and these posts are very old - pardon the primitiveness of my blogging! 

First up, an inexpensive and easy Advent Wreath. It just takes a little bit of time because of drying times but it's not too late to get this going for this year and the whole family could make it together.

This Advent Calendar was a huge hit. It's reusable and cost about $2.00 to make. Seriously!
I still have parents tell me that it's the first thing they pull out when they decorate and I taught their children a decade ago! Some of them are in college! 
But Christmas traditions are strong!

I wish I had a better picture - it's so cute filled with all of the ornaments and #25 is the star!
It's so, so simple. It's made from a Dollar Store cookie sheet, some spray paint I had on hand, craft paint and some foam shapes. Most people have to buy magnet tape for this but if you have some of the free advertising refrigerator magnets people send in the mail then you might have everything you need on hand. 

And here is a tiny Nativity that anyone and everyone can make! 
I've taught 3 year olds all the way up to senior adults to create these.

I used Altoid tins for a while that I spray painted black. They were free but it became difficult to collect the hundreds I needed when my craft camps were full so I switched to the little paper mache boxes and I really liked the simplicity and texture they added to the project. They are less than a dollar so it's still economical. 
You can also put the verse sticker on the back of the box, use the lid for another tiny Nativity and add a hanger to the top and hang it on the Christmas tree.

So gather up some supplies and found items, dollar tree finds and things on hand and create some Christmas crafting memories.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Mollie's Bottlebrush Tree Obsession

Mollie's bottlebrush tree obsession is strong!

It started with a few and then she saw sweet Paige's mantel last year and from there the hunt for bottlebrush trees took on a life of it's own!

Mollie said "I want to decorate the mantel this year."
And she did!
Our mantel this year: 

They are so fabulous that they are the focal point in the family room. 
The "big tree" is having to play second fiddle to the colorful "forest" on the mantel.

PS. I painted my brick fireplace white last year and I'm still loving it.
 If you are thinking about it - do it! It changed the room!

This one escaped the mantel and found a perch in a little blue and white bowl!

We found our bottlebrush trees everywhere.
Target. Hobby Lobby. Lowe's and more. 

Warning: Bottlebrush trees are addictive.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Peachy Pink Poinsettia Preference

I love poinsettias in the house for the holidays. 
I like red ones just fine. 
Just not in my house. 
The peachy pinks, white or marbleized looking ones just work best for me. 

This gal has her "do" for the season!

I found these huge coral ones in VA on the day after Thanksgiving. 
They rode home with us in a place of honor to keep them "safe" 
so I guess they are "imported!" :)

They look right at home in our Library (which used to be our dining room years ago!)
It's sort of our version of a British "snug" - a small cozy room filled with books and comfy chairs. 

This miniature white one was irresistible.
It's spending the holidays in the downstairs powder room. 

When it comes to poinsettias are you Team Red or Team Pink/Peach/White??

Monday, December 3, 2018

Get Merry!

A couple of years ago Mollie and I decided to host our favorite ladies
 for a festive kick-off to the holiday season. 
It has become a tradition!
We have our "Get Merry with Mimosas" brunch on the first Saturday in December. 
This way we can catch up with everyone before the day and the season gets too busy.

I highly recommend it. 
Brunch food is fun and easy- we do a brunch charcuterie board
 and everyone helps themselves.
 Plus minimal cooking!
We get the house clean and decorated by the first of December
 and then we just enjoy the rest of the month!

 :) When I started looking through the photos for this blog post I realized we never got the cheddar cheese out!! No one ever asked about the sign without any cheese!!
 Mollie and I plan the charcuterie board components in advance
 and I make up the little signs the night before.
 It's supposed to keep us from forgetting anything!! 
Our pickier eaters have said they like that everything is labeled and doesn't touch!! 
But if you want some serious charcuterie board inspo (where it ALL touches) then check out @ainttoproudtomeg on IG!! #goals

 I took these before everyone arrived and it was pouring soooo hard.
 The light wasn't great but it's a simple set up on the island.
I use gift wrap as my "runner" and top it with a huge breadboard.
 This year I ran a strand of small globe lights around the board. 
We just gather our favorite blue and white dishes, rattan trays, vintage cake stands and other favorites from around the house.
We usually have 3 or 4 cheeses, ham, prosciutto, salami, and candied bacon.
There's fresh fruit, candied lemon and orange slices, ground mustard, mayonnaise, 
TJ cranberry relish and strawberry jelly. 
Fresh croissants from the bakery and 
 GF bagels from TJ with whipped cream cheese and cinnamon sugar cream cheese.
I made GF sausage balls (best recipe so far!) and the empty trivet in the picture above was waiting for GF hash brown casserole to come out of the oven. I made it the night before and I made an extra one for us to "test." It was so good. Tasted just like, or better maybe, than the canned soup version!

We tried to "class up" the OJ with a silver champagne bucket! :)
And look at that big silver beauty of a champagne "tub" - easily hold 3 bottles!
I found it at Goodwill a week ago for $10.00. It was practically black but I figured it was worth the $10.00 to see if it would polish up!
It came out beautifully - not a scratch on it!! I guess someone got tired of polishing it!

We added strawberries, pomegranate seeds and cranberry juice to the regular line up of OJ and bubbly!

We love BRUNCH. And we love this tradition! 
And in case you are wondering about the exact definition of Brunch...
Both of these made me laugh!

From Urban Dictionary: Contraction of breakfast and lunch, usually occurring around the hour of 11 a.m. Typically reserved for snobs and biddies who like tea and jam.

And from Wikepedia: Brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch eaten usually during the late morning to early afternoon, generally served from 10am up to 2pm, and regularly has some form of alcoholic drink (most usually champagne or a cocktail) served with it. The word is a portmanteau of breakfast and lunch.

We just hosted a brunch and we didn't see any "biddies"
 but there was definitely "some form of alcoholic drink!"
And bonus points if you can work the word "portmanteau" into a sentence this week!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Plaid Ribbon for the (Christmas) Win!

Mollie and I saw this ribbon at least a month ago and we both instantly loved it!
I recycle my bows for a year or two, until they start to look rough,
 and then I like to change it up. 

You can see last year's sparkly stripe here in the kitchen windows.

We have started "decking the halls" and we are loving it everywhere we put it!
It has so many colors in it and the blue background is such a beautiful shade.

This one is on the front door.
Evergreen wreath is a Black Friday deal from Lowe's,  magnolia leaves from a friend's tree and a BIG bow. I may add some battery operated fairy lights. I'm not sure because I tend to forget to turn them off at the end of the night
 and then the batteries are kaput in no time flat :)

Trader Joe's boxwood wreath, more magnolia leaves (it's the South - we can't help ourselves!), fairy lights (the wire is far less noticeable in real life)
 and the fabulous blue plaid ribbon!

Our giant gold Santa got in on the blue plaid ribbon too!

We are just getting started. 
There's more Christmas decorating to come!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Annie Ray Art!

I want some.
You're going to want some!

I went to a fair in October (I've been meaning to post this forever!)
 and saw Annie Ray's art from across the parking lot. 
And I instantly loved it.

What a great painterly style. 

 I've always loved the skewed perspective tablescapes and interiors of the Impressionists.
So Annie's paintings are right up my alley.
Her tablescapes are my favorite. 

The radish on the napkin gets me every time. 
And the crab, corn and lemon slices in the top picture.
I love all the pattern and the embellishment. 
There is so much to look at in one painting. 
Follow @annierayart on Instagram.

*This is not an affiliated or endorsed post. I just wanted to share some really beautiful, fresh and unique artwork. 

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Elephant on the Porch and More!

I was scrambling to get my One Room Challenge post up on deadline 
so it was mostly pictures.

But I wanted to share a little bit about how I created what we think is a beautiful, relaxing spot without spending much at all.
It is an outdoor space and even though our porch is screened and under a roof 
the elements still take their toll.
This means that things do wear out or fade or suffer
 in our humid, damp weather most of the year.
I can't justify spending a lot, but it is our favorite room "in the house" so I want it to be comfortable for us and welcoming since we do the bulk of our entertaining here.

Almost everything on this porch
 was found at a thrift store, yard sale 
or online thrifting forum. 

I've already talked about the great deal I got on this large wicker chaise here.
I can never, ever leave an elephant garden stool behind. 
This one was at Goodwill a couple of months ago. It's large and had great detail. Sadly it had been broken. Someone had very carefully, practically seamlessly, glued the base back together but the glue had yellowed and they donated it. 
I grabbed it for less than $10.00 and brought it home. 
A coat of the BEST gold spray paint in the world (here here, here and you can't even find the cracks.)
The British say, "It has a wee blighty."
You can't even tell the poor boy had a blighty!
Trunks up!

Now for the big, fabulous bar cart!
If you are lounging around in that hanging bed you might need a refreshing drink!

I found this bar cart a few weeks ago in a non-profit thrift shop. 
I actually left it behind, thought about it for 20 minutes (what was wrong with me?) and then rushed back to get it. It is from a company in Bradenton Fl and I'm sure it spent many sunny days on someone's porch in South Florida.

Humble beginnings. 
We gave it a coat of fresh, glossy green and then added a ton of thrifted, vintage bar cart accessories. 

It will be so much fun to change it up for the seasons.

Literally everything here was thrifted and so inexpensive. 
 The straws are in a thrifted pineapple pitcher (99 cents at GW) and the gold straws came from the party section at Wal Mart. The gold polka dot tea towel is from the Target Dollar Spot. The silver pineapple snack trays are from the dollar store too!

 Tortoiseshell pitcher? Goodwill. Less than $5.00. 
And so far no one has noticed - we drank that wine the night before the photo shoot :)

The pineapples were all thrifted
 and the big pineapple canister also got a coat of my favorite gold spray paint.

No monkeys left behind either!

The brass tray cost less than $5.00 and is holding leopard napkins from the dollar store.

The mantel was salvaged. Read that story here.

Everything on this mantel is thrifted. 
The bamboo mirror was $6.96 and it's plastic!! It's definitely vintage - you can tell it has some age from the back but it looks great and you have to get close to tell it's not real bamboo!
Plastic bamboo is perfect on a porch.
Lamp and lampshade - GW on separate trips. Under $10.00 for both.

Seascape? Yep, Goodwill for $4.94. We love it. The gold frame is thrifted and the contemporary black and white art is just something I painted quickly to work with the black and white from the zebra rug.
The big yellow vase was a quick buy at GW a few weeks ago because the background of the wicker chaise is a nice soft, creamy yellow and I thought this would be fun and a nice modern addition to the mantel or bar cart.

So, see, you can find a lot of great items for not a lot of money. A little paint , fabric or freshening up will do the trick. And a lot of items don't need a thing done to them- they were just donated because people got tired of them. 
This is the ultimate recycling.
And because I don't have a big investment in my decor I don't feel bad if I want to pass something on and change things up. I can resell some items but I often just text pics to friends, someone is usually willing to come pick it up and it gets a new home!

I'll try to share more details about the other thrift finds on our porch in future posts.
And you can always see what I'm finding if you follow along on Instagram!

I hope you have some thrifting luck soon!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

ORC Lucky No 7 - The Reveal.

This reveal is all smoke and mirrors.
And creative editing.

Repairs were not quite finished 
by the time this ORC started six weeks ago (and they still aren't!)
 but I didn't let that stop me!

And we only had one way to go on this project. Really.
It couldn't have gotten any worse!

There are still a few things that will have to be finished construction/repair wise
 and I didn't complete all of my plans -
  so maybe you'll check back and see.

But here is what did happen in the 5 quick weeks of this One Room Challenge...

Thank you to Linda of the One Room Challenge because, finished or not, this is the greatest motivator and we always end up with a space that I'm glad I took on the challenge!

Please be sure to see what everyone else accomplished. So many great rooms.
And check back on the blog because I'll be sharing in future posts where I found some of my items and what I still need to finish and more!