Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Pillows

I decided to make some Christmas pillows this year.  After "pinning" a bunch this is what I ended up with!  For the first one I already had this plain red pillow and decided to add a white felt poinsettia to it.  I followed the tutorial found at centsational girl.  She sewed on her petals, but I just used hot glue since the pillow was already put together.

Very easy!  I love the pop of white against the red.

For my next two pillows I used the fabric I had leftover from my fabric poster board Christmas Trees (click here to see them).  I also got the great tip from Mandi over at Vintage Revivals to use feather pillow inserts from clearances pillows at TJ Maxx.  I found some clearance pillows for $5 and after throwing away the ugly cover, kept the feather inserts to use in my new Christmas pillows!

Here is my inspiration photo for a deer pillow I decided to try my hand at.  
The full tutorial is on the Sew Homegrown website (click here to see it).

Here is how mine turned out-

I did buy have to buy some red fabric for the deer head, I found it at Ben Franklin's.   The "inspiration" pillow looks a lot better than mine but I was afraid that if I tried my hand at zigzagging all the way around the deer head I would only make it look worse (not to mention I think it would take forever!).  So I just went all the way around the head with just a strait stitch.  Hopefully that is good enough!

Finally I used this picture from Ballard designs for my last pillow inspiration.

Basically, the same idea as the deer head.  I did zigzag around the ornaments on this pillow.  I found it a bit tricky, it's definitely far from perfect (but looks ok) - thankfully I made this one first and as a result decided NOT to zigzag all around the deer head!

And with that, I am wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  Look forward to BIG CHANGES next year  - we're planning to finish the basement (and more upstairs too)!  I'll keep you posted - see you in 2012!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Decking My Halls - Part 7

Christmas touches in the Kitchen and Dining Room

I added some red dishes to my kitchen hutch (I found them at TJ Maxx).

In the dining room I hung two wreaths together in each of the far windows.  Also I finally got a rug!!!!  It is my Christmas gift and I'm not about to wait to unwrap it!

Here it is close up.  It has a grey tone with different shades of blues and tans.  I love it - it ties in great with the colors I already had going on so that is nice.  It is from Ballard Designs (click here for more details).

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Decking My Halls - Part 6

At Christmas time I like to switch out the pictures in my frames for more "Christmasy" ones along with red mats.  I keep the christmas photos and mats stored in the picture frames all year long then just rotate them to the front at Christmas time, then rotate back to the regular pictures once Christmas is done.  Same frames and same hanging arrangement so that makes it very easy!



These ones are my favorite!  The bottom picture is of the LDS temple in Salt Lake City, we go there every Christmas time to see their beautiful light display - it's gorgeous!



You can find the Christmas Subway Art Printable from this website.  I like that it has blue in it that ties in with my secretary desk.  The snowflake is one of my ornaments that I took a picture of, I played around with it using some picture editing software and then printed it out at Costco.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Decking My Halls- Part 5

We just got out house lights up.  I know - we are on the slow track this year!  

Our Elf is having fun around here too.

I am getting my elf ideas from Pinterest!  Or check out these two websites for lots of ideas.
I think on Christmas Day our elf might be holding our camera with this picture beside him for our kids - 
check out this website

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Decking My Halls - Part 4, The Christmas Tree!

We finally got our tree up on Monday.  I had to wait for it to ship since I just purchased this new tree from Home Depot on line the day after Thanksgiving.  We needed a new tree for this house since our old 7 ft. tree looked way too short with our 10ft. ceilings (plus our old tree was not of the "pre-lit" variety, I'm excited for that upgrade!).  After some searching I decided on this one because it had good reviews, a good warranty, a lot of lights and branches, and it was a decent price (on sale it was $297 and they offered free shipping!).

Years ago I bought a red berry garland from Target and then cut it apart to create a bunch of berry "sprigs" that I could poke in the branches all over the tree.  Most of the balls on the tree are silver, some are large jingle bells.  I also have quite a few large metal stars that I spray painted red and use for ornaments.  The last thing I add to my tree are about 12-15 of these wire star strands, it adds some subtle sparkle.

at the end of the season I wrap them around my hand to create a small wire circle, then the next year when I  pull apart the wire circle it has a nice curly-cue effect that works well to stretch between the branches of the tree.

I'm not going to lie, it took FOREVER to spread all the branches out to make the tree look natural, I am hoping that since it is brand new -this year was the worst that process will ever be!  Otherwise I am really happy with it!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Decking My Halls - Part 3

Well this was fun while it lasted!

Unfortunately after only 2 days of misting the garland with water to try to keep it alive - the command hooks started popping off the wall.  They do not like water misting!
So I am converting to fake garland for my indoor arches!  

 For now I decided to use the live garland elsewhere.  Since it seems that live garland has a tough time indoors because of the dry heat that is constantly blowing around, I decided to move it outside.  Hopefully it won't dry out as quickly.  On the plus side, now I don't have to constantly clean up the droppings! 

For the rest of the outside decor I hung lit wreaths in the windows.  They were on sale for $5 each at the end of the season last year from Walmart.  

The wreath above the entrance way I got at Taipan for around $25 then added some sprigs of red berries and ornaments that I had on hand from end of last season sales as well.

It is so much cheaper to buy a plain wreath and add stuff to it yourself rather than buying one with ornaments or berries already on it.  At taipan the same wreath I bought with berries added doubled the price to over $50 (sprigs of berries don't cost that much and they are very easy to add to a wreath with some floral wire).

Friday, December 2, 2011

Decking My Halls - Part 2

Many of you already saw my fabric covered poster board Christmas trees (if you wan't instructions here is the original post).  Anyway they look great with some live garland on the sofa table.

Here is another favorite Christmas project I did a few years ago.  I got some Styrofoam sheets from the craft store then cut them out in the shape of letters.  For a pattern I just printed out the letters on my computer.

I then covered the letters in moss (just hot glued it on), and then glued berries on the fronts of the letters.  I love this star Christmas tree topper just sitting in the window next to it for some sparkle!

It's an easy project you could adapt for lots of different holidays and spell out lots of different words.  They now sell wood letters of all shapes and sizes which would make the project even easier - but it may be cheaper to go the styrofoam route!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Decking My Halls - Part 1

I am busy decorating for Christmas (still not done).  It is taking a lot of time since I am only able to do a little each day.  Rather than waiting until it's done to blog about it all - I'll post little by little just as it is going up!

So come on in!

Ballard designs has this beautiful picture of a home at christmas time with garlands lining the arches and I was inspired!

I have been on the lookout for a nice fake garland that is simple but real looking.  When I saw that Costco sells 25' of live garland for just $14.99 I flipped.  It smells and looks wonderful!!!  There is nothing that gets me more excited than beautiful cheap decor!

 Each arch took about 20 feet of garland and I cut off the remaining 5 ft to use on my stair banister.  So for $30 I got two large arches and my stair banister covered in beautiful live garland - what a deal!

This is how I hung the garland - those are command hooks lining the arch (six hooks for each arch).

Here is the entryway bench looking festive with a couple Christmas pillows added to the mix.

Here is the banister.  Ignore the droppings on the carpet - I should have vacummed BEFORE the picture!

You may be able to tell that the garland on the left is fuller than the garland on the right.  I only bought one garland from costco last week to try it out then went to the store again yesterday to buy the second one.  So obviously there has been some significant shrinkage and drying out in just one week.   :(    I am now misting the garland with water every couple days in hopes that it will last until Christmas.  I'll let you know my verdict at the end of the season - I may be searching for fake once again!

Friday, November 25, 2011

My Barstool Saga Continues

My barstools were such a dissapointment that some friends encouraged me to try to return them to Overstock.  The quality is obviously not good since these chairs have only had 30 days of use and already look like this.

I called Overstock and they were happy to help me out and I am able to return them!!!! I am so impressed with their company now - their customer service really was great.  I will definitely work with them again on other purchases.

As far as new barstools, I decided to try these ones from Target.  Mainly because they have a 90 day return policy (unlike overstock's which is just 30 days).  And they are easy to return since I can just return them to a store if needed.  So these ones are on the way.
The backs are not as tall which I am sad about but I couldn't find any other white leather chairs with a high back.  This time I will be leaving these chairs unpainted for at least a 90 day period to test the quality of the chairs.  If they pass the 90 day test I will then be investing my time and painting these ones (same paint and pattern as last time).  I think this time I will not be using the acrylic finisher and test how the paint holds up on it's own.  Hopefully the results on these ones will go a lot better!  By Valentines I'll let you all know - Ha Ha!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Even More Painted Leather Barstools!



This particular stencil comes from olive leaf stencils.  I love the look of this stencil - but I'm not going to lie, it took about 3 times as long to do these barstools as it did to do mine (click here to see).  This pattern is a little busier than mine and each of the lines are thicker so both of those things meant that this was a much bigger project.  They probably took about 15 hrs. to complete.  The paint is once again from and the color we used is called "avocado green."

These chairs did not come apart so I had to stencil them "as is" which was also a little bit more tricky.  Once again I lightly sanded the chairs first so the paint would grip a little better.  I tried using a foam roller brush this time but went back to my good old "spouncer" because I found I had better control and the paint seemed to get a little better coverage with the spouncer.  The areas of the stencil that bled cleaned up fine with a wet wipe.

And here they are at "home" in my brother Eric's kitchen.

I'm biased but I think they turned out Beautifully and that they look great in their kitchen!

Once again a worry free solution to dining in style!
To see all my painted leather chair posts click here.