Sunday, March 26, 2017

Signs of Spring

Hello All!

Well, as disappointed as I am that winter was a farce this year, it's surprising to me how happy it made me to see the daffodils blooming under the tree in the front yard.  That little wink of bright yellow is so delightful!  Those little daffies were the inspiration I needed to shake off the last remnants of the winter that wasn't and breathe fresh air into the house.  My dining room is my homage to them.

The last time you saw my dining room it was done up in it's Christmas finery and looked like this:

and now that Spring has sprung...

It started with planning what silk flowers I would use.  The first choice was to use silk daffodils but I just didn't like the way the looked.  Luckily, the faux forsythia branches saved the day!  I love how the mirror behind them reflects them back!  Generally, I wanted to lighten the feel in here with simplicity and bright colors.  For the winter months, I love using faux fur and chunky knit throws so for spring, the natural color linen feels breezy.

To bring the forsythia to the table, I used these gorgeous green vases to display them:

I layered different sizes and heights of clear glass candlesticks --my favorite!  It makes the table look bright and airy.

The tree slice centerpiece is a nod, even if it's just a small one, to my love of live edge dining tables (Arhaus has them and they are stunning!  Check them out HERE.  I enjoyed browsing their website for other inspiration too HERE.)  The yellow etched glass candlesticks are vintage and thrifted also.

I really like the look of the natural bark edge among all the pretty glass!

The place settings are a combination of thrifted vintage glassware (Imperial Glass Candlewick and Anchor Hocking Block Optic) along with new dinner plates I found at Pier 1 (Field Notes).  The stemware is Lenox Firelight.  I used vintage gold plate flatware (thrifted) and tiny glass bud vases/place card holders (also thrifted).

I had every intention of using the Williams Sonoma bunny plates I bought a few years ago.  However, these plates caught my eye because of the yellow-leafed branches.  They really are perfect!  With a sale and purchase incentives, the set of 6 cost around $40.

I layered it with my trusty candlewick:

...and tucked a wisp of forsythia into the glass bud vase.  I might end up hosting brunch this year so I wanted to add a coffee cup and salad plate (Anchor Hocking Block Optic).  It added even more yellow to the table.

Please ignore the fact the flatware isn't placed properly in this pic!

This forsythia wreath on the thrifted antique mirror brings in the eggs from the plates.  The little purple flowers keeps it from being too matchy/matchy

It really is lighter and brighter in here!

The sweet bunny pillow came from TJ Maxx.  I bought one for myself and another for my sister, Shelly.  I know she'll love it!

There is one more--well, two more--items I'm going to add to the decor.  I found these at Arhaus and they will be so great in here!  They will sit next to the forsythia branches on the buffet.

I wanted to share the antique mantel even though I have only just started with it.  I found that awesome silver plate eperne at Bthrifty ($3) and I cannot wait to use it to create a live flower arrangement.  I also found the giant basket ($4.50).  I'm considering putting some forsythia branches in it too but might just go with some silk hydrangea.   The adorable linen and gold flag banner was on the clearance rack at TJ Maxx.

Happy Spring!  Have a great week :)

Friday, March 3, 2017

Is it Easter yeti?

Hello All!

Isn't this the cutest un-abominable snowman you've ever seen!!  He's from the BB Beast Friends stamp set from My Favorite Things.  I colored him with copics and the egg he's holding is from the Mama Elephant Just Hatched stamp set (another favorite!).  The card was cut using a Sizzix flip card die.  The card stock is lemon tart from Papertrey Ink and the pattern paper from DCWV.

This is just a funny little card I made for my sister who is supposed to visit for Easter.  I'm ready for her to be here and thought this was a funny way to tell her!  I figured she would get a kick out of this furry little guy holding an Easter egg.  Once you flip open the card, you find the egg has hatched!

and the broken egg has fallen to the ground:

I'm looking so forward to the weekend!  I have been working an alternate work schedule which means I put in extra hours each week but then I get to have a day off every two weeks and today is my day off - woo hoo!  I'm already dreaming about what stamps I'm going to be coloring up!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Exploding Box

Hello All,

I made this little exploding box for a co-worker.  I will admit it was a bit self-serving because while it held a little gift for baby, it doubles as a brag she can fill it with pictures of the baby to share with with of us at work!

Here it is closed.  The nursery had a vintage sports theme so I tried to incorporate little sports nods throughout.

When you open it, the pages fall open revealing a sweet little pair of "sneaker" booties (Buy Buy Baby).

I used digital paper from Lilly Bimble,  Little Prints Party and Below Blink.  The image is Bella, from Whippersnappers.

With a little masking, and addition of a clip art baseball cap, little Bella became a little slugger :) He's colored with Copic markers.

This is one of my all-time favorite stamps because the image is perfect for plopping a pacifier in the baby's mouth.  I made the tiny pacifier using a brad and the plastic "C" clips used for making friendship bracelets.

The sentiment around the image is computer-generated.  The "it's a boy" sentiment is from a rubber stamp from Michael's back when they had those awesome $1 bins!  It's stamped with Versamark ink and embossed with Ranger white embossing powder.  I cut it out using a Spellbinders circle die.

I used Bazzil card stock for the box and the patterned paper was cut using Lawn Fawn stitched rectangle dies.

Have a great week!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Even A Unicorn

Hello All,

I just wanted to share a card I made using the adorable stamp set, Believe in Your Dreams, from Love Cynthia stamps.

I stamped and embossed the image on Bristol watercolor cardstock and used Zig Clean Color watercolor markers and a water brush to color the image.  There's also Wink of Stella clear glitter on the body of the unicorn.  The background is sponged with distress inks.  

The sentiment is embossed on vellum.  I took a close-up of the image:

It's a little dark but the image is just so precious I wanted to show the detail!

Have a great week!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Coffee and Donut Valentines

Hello All,

I wanted to bring some work-friendly Valentines for co-workers and when I saw the Simon Says Stamp February card kit, it inspired a coffee and donut treat!  The tiny coffee cup die started the whole thing.  Those little arms hugging the does me in!  I knew my vision would come together when I found the Lawn Fawn Donut Worry stamp and die set!

I used the We R Memory Keepers Treat Carrier die to make the holder and it came with the sweet little banner die that I used to cut out the computer-generated sentiment.  The banner is edged with Wink of Stella glitter--love those pens!  The coffee cup sleeve is a Spellbinders die from the Hipster 1 set.  I crimped the paper and then cut them out.

Since I was making 20 of these, I opted for digital paper so I could print as much as I wanted.  The paper for the coffee cup wrapper and treat carrier is from LaBoutiqueDeiColori Etsy shop.  I wanted to put something on the top of the coffee lid.  I also planned to put the carrier in a cellophane bag so I wanted to make sticker seals (using the Xyron).  I found sprinkles digital paper from Graphic Design by Mia Etsy shop and it was perfect!  I used a Spellbinders circle die to cut the seals and coffee lid toppers.

Each treat came with a K cup tucked inside the mini coffee cup (matching lids HERE) and two Hostess strawberry frosted mini donuts.  The whole thing was placed in a cellophane treat bag (Stampin' Up).

and sealed the sprinkles sticker and to/from tag:

The tag was a "print-then-cut" image available on Cricut Design Space.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Dining Room Update

The chairs came! This post is pic heavy and I'm pretty certain scrolling through is not unlike someone hauling out their gazillion vacation photos for you to look at.  Don't feel obligated to flip through them ;)  I couldn't help myself.  I have been obsessed with the light in here with all the flock, crystal, and clear glass. Sure wish I could photograph it better!

I am seriously crushing on the chairs!! Who know that dining room chairs could be so exciting!?  

In addition to the five Christmas trees I put up this year and thanks to a crazy good after-Christmas sale, I was able to add these beauties to the mix.  They will be more polished next year but I didn't want to wait to see what they looked like.

I brought the lamps down from the blue and white guest bedroom.  The navy blue looks so pretty against the teal walls.

Although the thrifted antique silver plate flatware has been stored away now, I still had the place settings out. The snowflake plates are Harmony House (1956).   The stemware is Lenox Firelight.  The sparkly napkins and snowflake napkin rings came from Pier 1.

The two tiny crystal mini taper holders came from Goodwill last week.  They were $2!  Their shape is so neat and that's what caught my attention.  Discovering they are crystal was a delight :)

The fabric and nail heads on the chairs match the chesterfield chairs perfectly --such a happy accident!

Ok, that's enough for now.  I have been crafting up storm and hope to get some cards posted soon!

Have a great week :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2016 Christmas Home Tour!

Hello All!  I wanted to get this posted before now, but as usual, I'm behind.  It's crazy because I started decorating before Thanksgiving and figured I'd post long before Christmas. LOL-nope!  I did spend the first two weeks of December commuting to DC for training.  The commuting business is for the birds!  Nearly two hours to get there and the same if not longer to get home.  I took the train downtown and then hit the subway.    It gave me valuable perspective on my normal 20 minute commute, in my own vehicle, and the free parking lot!

The front door was replaced this year.  Lowes made it a positive experience but it didn't start out that way.  Originally, the guy who installed the basement doors was also contracted to do the front door.  It was a nightmare.  He kept "forgetting" to include things in the contract we discussed-- like a transom, glass pattern, door color -- and then use the opportunity to try and jack up the price.  God had our backs though and by the time he claimed the contract was going to have be redone AGAIN because the glass pattern he verified was available for our choice of style of door actually wasn't (and tried to soak us for yet another $1,000) the basement door he installed was leaking.  We canceled the front door contract.  Even better, we were able to cut ties with him completely and deal directly with the manufacturer to rectify the basement door problems.  It was such a headache to deal with a private contractor that we opted to try Lowes for the front door.  It was hands down the right way to go!  Not only did we get a much nicer door (and storm door!) we saved a lot of money and, the most important thing, the install was conducted by complete professionals so it went smooth and quick!  I am so grateful too because with the front door having to be installed into a stone facade, I can't imagine what disaster we'd have had if the door was installed by someone who didn't know what they were doing.  I like before and afters so, for posterity, here is the old door:

and here's the after:
The door is by Therma Tru --same as the old door.  We had to buy from the same manufacturer because of the unusual size (it's narrower than standard).  The glass pattern is called Maple Park and the color is dried cranberry.  We kept the exterior color the same so we didn't have to go through the change process with the HOA.  Plus, if the color changed, the shutters would have to be painted also. Too much work - LOL!
Here's the interior:
It's so pretty!  
Outside, these pots/greenery flank the porch.  I also have the white wood nativity in the yard.

The pine cone balls light up and look gorgeous at night!  Blech, I don't like all that orangey light but I don't have camera skills ;)
Once inside, it looks like it snowed :)
The walls look mustard-colored in this pic but they're not.  Again, I'm blaming my lack of camera skills.  I didn't get the staircase painted/stained this year - womp womp.  I'm moving the task to my 2017 things to do ;)

Ah, this is better - doesn't it look like it just snowed!?

The flocked garland (Vickerman) came from Overstock.  
It's just as pretty during the day:

It matches the flocked tree in the living room:
I played around with the decorations on the antique mantel and ended up opting for a wintry flower arrangement in a vintage iridescent vase with twinkling lights:
 I kept the same decorations as last year for the console.

I ordered dining room chairs back in October but only the armchairs have come in so far.  Much to my dismay, the side chairs were back-ordered until January.  The week before Christmas, a notification was sent out that the chairs were shipping from the warehouse so I was hopeful they would arrive before Christmas.  I decorated the room and set the table just in case but sadly, they didn't make it :(  What really stinks is that I missed the phone call on Christmas Eve (by an hour) to schedule delivery for January 5th and because of that, it may well be mid-January before I get them.  Ugh.  Yes, there are bigger problems in the world so I'm trying not to feel to sorry about it ;)
This little potted tree is a real sparkler and the lights twinkle too.  It came from Pier 1.

I like to sit in here in the morning with just the tree lights on.  It's got that just snowed look too.  I added glass drops so it looks like icicles.
I bought a new tree for the sun room.  I love flocked Christmas trees.  I also love white Christmas trees.  Two days after Thanksgiving my Mom, sister, and me were out shopping and ended up at Hobby Lobby.  I see this white Christmas tree and to my delight, it's flocked!  Super cool.  It also had multi-colored lights and this poses a dilemma for me.  I like the look of the colored lights but I'm fickle with decorations and not all my ideas work with multi colored lights.  Still, the tree was full and beautiful so I was checking it out when what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a small red switch that says "multi" AND "clear".   That's right folks - this tree is equipped with magic that allows me to switch from multi lights to just clear lights --or if I am really feeling cheeky, I can make the tree flash clear then multi!  AND, yes there's more, it was 50% off -- That, my friends, is like finding a Christmas unicorn. :)  Away to the counter I flew like a flash threw open my wallet and laid out the cash.  I stuffed it in my SUV with care and rushed home to put it up in the sun room and it's still there.  
It's so beautiful at night!  It could just be that the multi lights are on more often then the clear ones nowadays ;)
I replaced the family room tree this year with one that is supposed to be "frosted":
It doesn't look frosted at all but I'm not disappointed with it.  With all the flock in the foyer, front room, and sun room, the green is pleasant in here.  I like my "themes" so this one is "rustic reindeer".  
I thrifted some vintage flocked and plastic reindeer and worked them into the tree:
This tree was fun to decorate and incorporate some family treasures:

That sweet little Santa ornament was hand painted by my Gran and Shelly gave me the darling snowman.
I kept the mantel simple using just preserved boxwood topiaries and the reindeer art.  The glass ornament garland came from Pottery Barn.
I made the nativity (more on that below!)
Here is a closer look at the nativity.  There were two decor crafts I made this season.  The first is the glass glitter nativity.  The Hymns and Verses blog posted a beautiful handmade nativity a few years ago and luckily the blog owner generously made the pattern available!  Next year I'm going to add the shepherds.  The backdrop was made using foam board, LED lights, a drill and black felt :)  I love the simplicity of it.  Although my photograph doesn't capture it, the glass glitter glistens in the light from the garland above and the Christmas tree.  It also matches some of the ornaments on the tree that have the same kind of glitter.

While looking for a replacement tree for the family room, I stumbled upon this beauty.  It's cream-colored!  I didn't even know that color existed in the world of Christmas trees.  Once I did - *obsessed* with it!  The decorating possibilities are endless.

Since I already met my decorating expense quota for this year, I'll have to wait until next year to get the ornaments.
This little cutie was a gift from Dan.  It's rose gold!!!  It looks adorable in the craft room all done up in blush and beige.

I used a kissing ball with pink crystal for the topper!  I just flipped it over and wired it up.  I love how the Christmas lights (and sunlight) shines through it.

Since this one is in my craft room, I could go as girly as I wanted.  
And finally, here is the second decor craft.  My sister and I made these after she saw them at a craft fair.  

This is Shell's:

Aren't they adorable! We bought cheap lamp shades from Ross ($5), flipped them upside down and covered them in black felt.  We cut circles out of cardboard to close off the top of the lampshade and to create the brim and covered them in felt also.  Using a glue gun, we glued everything together and then decorated them with ribbon and greenery.  

So there you have it --Christmas 2016!  It's hard to believe we will be ushering in another new year in just a few days!  Happy New Year all :)