Wednesday, November 27, 2013

holiday project #3 - inspired by Pinterest & a fabulous find, named Terrain

This "project" wasn't really a project at all, more of an assembly of what I already had on hand... except the cotton.

I came across this picture on Pinterest a few weeks ago.
I loved the twinkle lights, mix of bottle brush trees, a bit of cotton and of course some sparkle!  Much to my surprise this was actually a picture from a company for their golden shadow boxes... all dressed up for the holidays!  The company is Terrain and you really should take a peek at what they have.  Really beautiful items that remind me of a store that I love in Seattle, Ravenna Gardens... but be prepared for a bit of sticker shock!

I decided to follow the saying that "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" and copy one of these, after all I have a shadow box, twinkle lights and lots of bottle brush trees... I did have to purchase some "snow" but being cheap I just picked up a bag of cotton balls for $1.59.

Here's my shadow box in a little corner of the dining room, still decked out for fall... So I cleared everything out to start fresh.

Opened up my bag of cotton balls... and started fluffing and pulling them a bit to be less ball like and more, well snow like.

I pinned my twinkle lights carefully to the back of my shadow box... it's padded... and meant for pinning.

Added trees and my "snow"... but on second thought, I think the snow is still a little too ball like and I'll need to do some more fluffing.

From afar... or at least 4 feet away.

I even broke out my newly purchased vintage tree topper, after all the colors were just right.

And since these twinkle lights are led, battery operated AND actually come on and go off by themselves each evening...
I just may keep them up all winter... with some plain green trees... and snow of course.

Now I'm off to take my pecan bars out of the oven for tomorrow... this recipe is the best and I don't usually like pecans!

Happy Thanksgiving to all,

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

click-ity clack

So no holiday project this weekend... my daughter was up visiting and I didn't get much done except to well, visit!  On Monday I took the day off of work and headed to the annual Christmas sale at a local thrift store again this year with my Mom.  Like last year, I came home with a bag full of vintage goodies, like this cute little Santa bell.  I wasn't quick enough to scoop up a few of the vintage Santa mugs that were there but I did find two of these little bells... with very similar faces to my Santa mugs.

I also came home with this beauty.  It was a typewriter that my grandma used, but my Dad said it wasn't her typewriter since that one disappeared when he and my uncle were in college... he thinks this was my great-aunt's and then later the one my grandma used... are you confused yet?  Of course these means this would be the typewriter I remember my grandma using.  And she came with her original case.

And she still works!  Although I cheated on this little Christmas poem... since the ribbon doesn't have much left on it and I need to track some replacements down.  I used my computer and a font similar to an old typewriter to print out "Twas the Night Before Christmas"... of course it was also much faster since I could copy and paste, hit print, voila... I was done.... If I'd typed it out, well there would be typos AND I'd probably still be working on it!

I think this typewriter may be one of my holiday centerpieces... changing out the poem, song, saying or whatnot.  It may even find it's way to the guest room where I could leave a nice message for my guests to read before bedtime.

And yes, I think Santa agrees with me,

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

holiday project #2 - this time it's a pottery barn inspiration

My little holiday craft project this past weekend was once again a copycat... a popular copycat since I have seen it on other blogs and Pinterest as well.  It's my take on the Pottery Barn vintage looking holiday mirror.

This one was on Pottery Barn, and not for just a few dollars, as you can imagine.
via Pottery Barn

For my version, I started with two thrift store pictures... The smaller gold framed one was just $1.99 and the larger one was $6.49.  Since our local craft stores haven't sold the needed Looking Glass spray paint by Krylon I resorted to Amazon.  This little spray can isn't cheap ($8.99 a can) but from past experience I knew I could get a number of mirrors out of one can.

My next supplies, and steps, were a print out of the Pottery Barn picture and a couple of Sharpie markers, which I already had.  I removed the glass from my frames and just traced over my copied (and enlarged) image.  Since I wasn't sure how the gray/silver marker would show against the finished mercury glass like background, I used a combination of the gray and black.  I thought it looked more rustic this way as well.

The larger frame needed a paint job too.  I decided to go with a sort of faux zinc look and broke out my stock of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint sample jars.

First I used a solid coat of Paris Grey.

Then brushed on a spotty coat... almost dry brushed in fact, of Graphite.

The final coat, also a light coat, of French Linen really gave the frame the look I was going for.  The other grays were a bit too gray and the French Linen toned that down.  A light sanding, coat of clear wax and a buff job were all that was left for the frame.

Once my lettering was complete I took my glass, spray paint and water in a spray bottle outside to work on the mercury/old glass mirror part of the project.  I used the same steps as I did when I made these mirrors for myself.  Other blogs and Pinterest projects use different methods for the vintage glass part.  Some even take real mirror and distress them with acid... I like this technique since it's pretty easy and I don't need to wear rubber gloves!

You can see in these up close photos that the mirror has an aged look to it... it's harder to see in the full shots of the piece.

And speaking of full shots?  Have you ever tried to take a picture of something that reflects without getting "stuff" in the mirror?  It's tough!  I finally took all my pictures down in the hallway and stood off to the side to get one full picture without me or a bunch of stuff reflecting back!

I'm pretty happy how this one turned out.  It's about 11 by 14 or so in size and will be a gift for a family member.

The smaller gold one?  Well it turned out a bit of a fail... I didn't realize the "glass" was plastic and when I tried my Looking Glass spray paint on it, well, it just turned out a frosted gray!  Since this one is just a standard 8 x 10 I'll pick up a super cheap frame at the thrift store and use that glass in this frame since I want the gold and silver look... since this one was just $1.99 an extra $.49 or $.99 for another cheapo frame won't break the budget!  And it will give me time to work on my gold/silver marker layering technique as well... because I'm not overly happy with it either... or maybe it's the image I chose.  Hmmmm.

Not too bad for two gifts.  I barely used any of my first can of paint... even if I have to pay $2.50 for another frame I'll still be under $20 for two gifts!

Now on to the next project,

linking up to



Sunday, November 3, 2013

holiday project #1 - fluffy & fun, anthro inspired, winter wreath

It was a good weekend to finally cross a little craft project off my list.  A project I started way back in August when I was on vacation.  I had come across THE wreath on Pinterest... you know the Anthropologie "pom pom yarn wreath knock off" that everyone seems to be making... or maybe made since I seem to have caught on a year too late.

I stuck with the idea I found on Pinterest.  It suggested using a roving type yarn.

And now I see why.  The super, fuzzy, fluffy, off white roving yarn really worked well.

I found mine at Michael's... we don't have the luxury of a Hobby Lobby in these parts so I'm stuck with Michael's or Joann Fabrics when it comes to most crafty projects.  My wreath took two skeins/balls of this yarn.  At $6.99 it isn't the cheapest yarn, but fortunately for me wool yarn was on sale way back in the middle of August and I got mine for just $4.99 each.

 The directions I followed didn't call for anything other than my hand to wind the yarn around.  Super simple that way, just me and some scissors.  Each pom pom is made up of 40 wraps of my hand.

Slip it off and tie it in the center with a 6 or 7 inch piece of yarn.

And start cutting all those loops.

And voila.. a little bit misshapen pom pom!  The directions suggested a little tidy up trim, and I did.  Now just to wind up, tie off, cut and trim oh about 30 or 31 more of these bad boys.

 Michael's was also the place I found my wreath form.  I used the 12 inch straw wreath and T-pins, but you could use hot glue, Styrofoam wreath, etc.  The straw wreath was cheaper (at $3.99) and I had a coupon (40% off) to boot!  I did have to buy a package of T-pins since I didn't have any hanging around... they were $1.99.

 Now it's time to start adding on my pom poms.

I started with a circle around the top/front and then went back and filled in the center... then the outside.  I even left a small space to slip a ribbon through.

And here it is.  Hanging on my garden gate.  I'm loving how it looks but it may come down for the actual Christmas holidays and move to another spot... but the beauty of this wreath is the snowball pom pom look can carry on through January and February so I'm sure it will move back to this spot around New Year's Day.

And another, farther out view.

 I'm happy I looked for the roving yarn and didn't settle for a wool blend.  I like the way the cut ends of the pom pom are very blunt with the roving wool.

 Oh, and the ribbon?  A nice aqua-ish color... and free since it came wrapped around something.  A blanket I think... and it even had Velcro sewn on so I could easily loop it over my garden gate and hang it up!

Believe it or not, this project only took about 1 to 1/2 hours to complete.  Winding the pom poms went pretty fast and pinning them to the wreath form took literally minutes.  And at under $15.00 was a bargain as well.  Apparently the Anthro version is just a tad bit pricier.

 Why yes, it is as soft and fluffy as it looks!

And this project has really inspired me to get some other projects done...

Perhaps even another pom pom wreath with the addition of a few gray pom poms is in my future?
For a little gift to a new homeowner that I know.