Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"Deep in the Heart of Texas" Snow Globe

I have gift giving on my mind so I thought I would share with you one of my favorite little gifts. I received one of these a while back and now I buy one for my kid's teachers every year at Christmas. This is, of course,  a snow globe of San Antonio. You can see the little Alamo there down at the bottom. And no snow globe of San Antonio would be complete without playing, "Deep in the Heart of Texas." These cute little globes can be purchased at Saks Fifth Avenue. They run out pretty quickly every year so if you want one, get it now. They have a lot of other cities to choose from too depending on where you live. I know it always makes me smile and the kids love it too. So if you know a snow globe collector or just someone who loves their city, this might be a good little gift, y'all.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wreath Crazy

Christmas wreath and greenery
OK. So I'm going a little wreath crazy this year. I admit it. I need help. That's the first step, right? In all honesty, I tend to focus heavily on something when I am avoiding something else. The Christmas tree...every year we think about getting a fake tree because there is always drama with the real one. Just getting it from the lot to the house in a mad rush that it doesn't dry out before we can get it in to water. There have been years where I have refused to light the lights because the tree looked so dry that I was sure it was going up in flames. Then there was the year that we brought in what I like to call blister beetles with the tree and just when I thought we had gotten them all, another one would attack out of nowhere. Then another year when I was up on the 10' ladder and a lizard jumped out at me when I was stringing the lights and I nearly broke my neck. It was like something out of Christmas Vacation. We actually looked at fake trees last year and I was horrified at the cost! I think we are going to go with a real one this year despite the impending drama. I can't wait to see what new challenge that will bring. Anyway, on to more wreaths...
As you can see, I go with a pretty simple look. Just a bow and maybe some greenery or pine cones, not too fussy.

Rustic Christmas fireplace mantle with wreath and antlers
The mantle will probably change a little once all is said and done. I have something that I want to add if time permits. The antlers are a new addition from the D.R. Horton ranch. I love them!
front door Christmas wreath with lighted grapevine
Last but not least, the front door wreath. My $5.00 Home Depot find. I just added the bow.

 So, I've done all I can do and I'm going to have to force myself (and my husband) to go get the tree. Wish me luck!

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Christmas Decorating Finds


 I wanted to get this post out today in case anyone still has some Christmas decorating purchases to make. Home Depot has fresh wreaths and 15' pine garland for $5.00 each. Bargain! ( I added the bow. )

The greenery is just what my little armoire needed.
These are two finds that came from Hobby lobby. I love the mossy bark and I knew that I wanted to do something with it. One of my projects is below.




I also used the greenery to hide some extension cords. My house has a severe lack of outdoor outlets so every year I have to get cords from one side of the porch to the other.
The door needed some jingle bells too.

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Friday, November 23, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a LITTLE Like Christmas


The Thanksgiving dishes are finally put away and it's time to pull out the Christmas decorations. I have a few little projects complete but just don't have the energy to face the crowds today although I'd love to go get our tree. I starting snipping some greenery from outside earlier and was dive bombed by some poor insect that I inadvertently brought in with me. We had a brief fight in which I was the winner...I think I've had enough for today. The turkey must be kicking in so I think it's time for a nap. Happy decorating and shopping to the rest of you!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Pretty Bird


OK. This wing hanging out (at least I think it's a wing, I don't want to know) is not very attractive. The first year that I made a turkey myself, my mother tried to explain to me over the phone how to tuck it under. It's easier if you can see it instead of having it explained to you, so the following are pictures of how to do it. Ever year I do this, I don't think I'm doing it right because you really have to force it sometimes and it feels like it's going to pop.
First, pull the wing towards you while lifting up the main part of the bird.

Start forcing it under the bird. It might fight you a little here...

Now that it is under, repeat on the other side.

Now put the back side of the wing under the leg and you're ready to oil and season.

My husband and I have done a little experiment every year. We make a breast and a whole bird and we switch off on each using either butter or vegetable oil. Every year the vegetable oil is the favorite and it's a lot easier to spread over the bird too. If you usually use butter, you might want to try it out and see what YOU think.

Then we season with salt and pepper and in 3-5 hours it will be ready to go.YUM! The house smells great!!
I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

 thanksgiving table decor
Getting ready for tomorrow...I don't know what I was thinking going to the coast for 4 nights and coming back to cook & clean for Thanksgiving but I'm finally in the home stretch at least for today. The cream corn and mashed potato casserole, check. House semi-clean, check. One of the tables set, check.

At the last minute, I had to think of something for beneath the candle holders. While away my painted pumpkins molded. Luckily, I'm a saver and I found these wine corks. Even though I don't have nearly enough, they'll do. (We need more happy hours over here.) I couldn't find my place mats at all but the tablecloth will serve that purpose. Every year I get out "the good stuff" and things are always missing. Glasses broken from the year before, silverware that looks like it got the disposal treatment, etc. It's a good thing that I like to mix and match...three different types of glasses and two different types of inherited silver. It makes it more interesting.:)
thanksgiving table decor
I wanted fresh flowers for the table but just ran out of time so the infamous relish tray will have to serve as the centerpiece this year. How can I be 40 something and my mom still makes me do things that I don't want to do? I hate that relish tray! I REALLY do! Well, the silver is pretty. I mean I hate the relishes... picture to follow. Also coming tomorrow, the trick to making the bird pretty. I need to post this more for myself than anyone else because every year I forget how to do it. That way I will be prepared for Christmas at least. You'll see what I mean. Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

And the Stockings Were Hung by the Chimney With Care...


I know it's not past Thanksgiving yet but when I saw these Anthropologie stockings, I had to share. I have a couple from a few years back that I just love too that you'll see coming up in a week or so. While they are really pretty, they are not completely practical for stuffing but I hang them in all kinds of places for decoration. I know you've seen me write this before but if you haven't been to Anthropolgie, now is a great time. They have beautiful Christmas decorations and ornaments. I know when I leave there I am ready to go home and be crafty. They even have Holiday craft classes that you can take. FUN! ...and ,no, they are not paying me to write this!!! :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

DIY Map Dresser

coastal inspired beach dresser
This is a dresser that was originally in my son's room. It was all white with round wooden knobs. I recently changed up his room to a baseball theme and with the addition of a new desk in there, I had to move this dresser. I had been wanting to do a project with mod podge on furniture and thought this would be a good opportunity. I knew that this would have to go in my guestroom and the inspiration in there is the coast, my home away from home. I had to have at least one room in my house that reflected my love for the beach and all things coastal. This was the perfect place, my "get away room." I went to our local marine store, West Marine and was so thrilled when I found some ship maps of the Gulf Coast near Port Aransas.

The next addition to the chest was the boat cleat hardware. These are not only great drawer pulls but are perfect for coat racks as well. They come in different finishes but I selected the galvanized because I like that rustic look.

The most difficult part of this project is getting all of the bubbles and creases out of the paper that you are working with. Since the maps were originally folded, it made it impossible to get the map completely flat. I used my inept mod podge skills and the creases of the map to my advantage by adding some stain to the top of the paper which actually enhanced the creases leaving a cool aged look.

This was a really fun project and I can't wait to try another piece of furniture! I am still working on a few more projects in my guestroom but as soon as they are completed, I will do the full reveal.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

The Bedroom and Sitting Room Project

The following are a few pictures of my mom and Stanley's Monte Vista bungalow. Like my house, things are always being "tweaked". Above the bed are two of the new additions to the room purchased at the Junior League's Ole Marketplace last month. The girl that made the sconces took an antique rosary apart and added the pearls and jewels from it to the iron sconces. What a cool idea! Now that I'm writing this it is occurring to me that maybe you shouldn't take apart a rosary, but I'm not Catholic so I don't know the rules. The picture above the bed is an old window frame with dictionary pages decoupaged and stained to give an antique feel with a series of textured white roses above the printed background. Beautiful.


I love helping my mom at her house because her look is very different than mine. It has a much more cottagy feel that I love but am not really able to do in my own home. I have to make some compromises as my husband is not really in to the ruffles, the wicker, the crystal chandeliers and so on. We moved a few things around the other day and came up with this cute little reading nook.
This was the big project in the room that day. Finding something to hide all of the cords next to the desk. After a good scrubbing and a little paint these trunks were a perfect choice because they not only hide the cords but provide additional storage for files and papers.

Another little moment that I love in the room. We found the pitcher and bowl in an antique store in Artisan's Alley a while back. It is just so cottagy. I love it. I think the duchess really needs those lamp shades. I'm on a mission to find a similar stencil for lamps to be included in the girlie closet that I'm dreaming of for my own house.

We will take a tour of the rest of the house later on. Possibly after the Christmas decorations are up. So please stay posted!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Vintage Trunks

vintage shabby chic trunks
While shopping with my mom last week at some antique and thrift stores on Hildebrand, we came across some old trunks. We were looking for something to hide all of the cords next to the desk in her house and thought that a couple of these would be just perfect and create more storage for her since the desk is very open and only has one drawer. Of course, I say "OLD" trunks here and not "VINTAGE" because they didn't exactly look like this when we bought them. We had to have a little vision here as you will see in one of the photos below.  In my excitement to get them painted, I forgot to take a before picture of the upper trunk which was a strange brownish color that looked almost like laminate. The brown one was $18 and I believe the blue one was $35. We needed 2 of them to stack to hide some electrical boxes there so we bought both.

After washing off all of the filth, eewww, I spent about an hour taping off all of the beautifully rusted hardware and old leather handles which was well worth the time. The stamps weren't nearly as cool as they look in the picture so I had to paint over them.
I painted the rest of the trunk with some leftover primer that I had in the garage. (Sherwin Williams P-5 tinted primer) It is a great soft blue grey color.

When painting this one, I painted it so that some of the brown would show through giving it an aged look. With all of the nooks and crannies in the chest, it's easy to just lightly brush over those areas to let the brown show through. The metal on this was not that great so I just painted over it and I removed the ugly black vinyl strap on the front of the case.




Here is the finished product. I love trunks but if they are in good condition, they are usually priced to reflect that. So, if you're on a budget don't be afraid to use a little elbow grease and bring one (or two) back to life.    
cottage shabby chic room
Here's a sneak peak into my post for tomorrow which will be some of my favorite moments in the room we have been working on at my mom and Stanley's Monte Vista Bungalow.


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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Make Your Own Bulletin Board

 DIY bulletin board
I had this old frame from Hobby Lobby that I was not using because I accidentally broke the glass. I decided to use it to make a custom bulletin board.

If you would like to try this project ,these are the items that you will need:
frame
foam core
measuring tape
utility knife
scissors
rope or ribbon
fabric
batting
tacks
staple gun w/heavy duty staples

This is what the back will end up looking like.

First step: Measure your foam core to fit the opening of your frame, cut with a utility knife. (note: I use a straight edge with a cork back for cutting. This keeps the knife from slipping. OUCH!)
Step 2: Cut your fabric and batting an inch or 2 wider than your foam core
Step 3: First lay your fabric down (right side down), then lay your batting over that, then put your foam core on top. Fold the edges of the batting and fabric over the foam core and staple down with heavy duty staples.
Step 4: Measure for your tacks or buttons.This is the tough part. To do this, I found the exact center to start. If you look at the picture at the top you will see that there are horizontal and vertical rows of tacks. There is a little math involved here as you will have to figure out even spacing in between tacks and that will depend on the size of your frame. Mark your tack placement with a pencil.
Step 5: Cut your ribbon or rope. Leave enough to wrap around to the back of the foam core so you can staple it down. (See pic. above)
Step 6: Place your ribbon in rows over your tack marks, flip over and staple to the back one at a time.
Step 7: Once your rope or ribbon is stapled to the back, you will add your tacks where the rope intersects. I found that the tacks alone will not hold, so you have to use the staple gun to staple down the rope and fabric first, then add your tacks.

Staple down into foam before adding the tacks. The tacks will go where the rope or ribbon intersects.

Step 8: Attach your masterpiece to the frame. (see middle picture)
(If you do not have a hanger already on the back of the frame, you will have to add one.)

This is the finished project. Ready to add pictures or mementos. I used a putty colored burlap, painted the once brown frame white, used jute rope and antique brass tacks. Of course you can use all different kinds of items to make this project unique. Instead of rope, you could  use ribbon. Instead of tacks you could hot glue jewels, buttons, bottle caps, wine corks, shells or any number of things.

This will be going in the guestroom. The side of the room that you haven't seen yet but will be revealed soon.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cheap and Easy Headboard Idea

 cottage coastal bedroom

 This is a photo of my guestroom. Like all of the rooms in my house, it is a work in progress. It has gone 3 years without a headboard even though I have had these shutters sitting in a closet since we moved in to this house. The original owner had these hanging in the kitchen and they were painted red. I wasn't really sure what I was going to do with them until a shopping trip to Anthropologie. They had some industrial lights on sale 1/2 off and I knew they would be perfect hanging in the alcove the bed sits in. The tall shutters would hide the plug and cords perfectly.
I used a ceiling hook and s hook to hang the lights centered above the bed.  I then attached the cords to the wall with these little thingies. I'm not sure what they're called but they have a nail on one end and a place for the cord to fit underneath on the other side. They will be hidden by the shutters.

I added an electrical strip for the three cords that has a switch to turn on and off the lights.


The strip is hidden behind the end shutter within reach to turn on and off.


The next step was painting the shutters. One side was red and the other side was stained. Having a base stain makes it easy to get a distressed finish with less work so I used that side. (If you buy these at the home improvement store, stain them first before painting.) The turquoise color that I used is Behr Gulf Winds. I painted leaving some of the stain showing through. I have found that this is much easier than painting the entire thing perfectly and then sanding it down to expose the wood. There was already some old white paint on them which wanted to show through too. To add an even more distressed look I used minwax aged oak gel stain sparingly on some of the boards to make them all a little different.


With the shutters all painted, it was time to install. Originally I had planned to attach them all together with hinges but I actually ended up liking the way they looked just leaning up against the wall. This also created more room for the electrical strip and cords in back.

The completed project. Since the shutters were very tall, I did not need to attach them to the wall or the bed but if you use small shutters that don't go down to the ground, you could attach them to the wall.
So, this side of the room is now complete. I have another project on the other side of the room which I will show you later on. Stay tuned...

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