November 29, 2012

9 DIY WREATHS - for any spot in your home!

Happy Holidays, everyone! We are in the midst of those few, fabulous, fast, weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas and like many, we have pulled out our boxes of Christmas decorations, dusted them off, and decked out our home once again for one of my favorite times of year. I will show pictures later of our merry abode, (once we get the tree!), but I thought now would be a good time to share one of my favorite Christmas DIY projects in case you want to try for yourselves!
W   R   E   A   T   H   S   !
Typical, right? I know. Not very original or jaw dropping. I have always really admired wreaths, though. The beginning of my love for wreaths most definitely started on Duke of Gloucester street in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. If you ever get a chance to visit Colonial Williamsburg over the holidays, you will not be disappointed - for many reasons. One of them being the hundreds of homemade wreaths using nothing that cannot be found in nature. Fruit, vegetables, nuts, pine cones, seashells and so many more little things I would NEVER imagine adorning on a wreath - but they're absolutely beautiful and no two are the same. 
A couple months ago I began to get several requests for some different kinds of wreaths. It certainly got my creative juices flowing and I realized wreaths can be really chic! After completing the wreaths that were requested, I started looking for more things around my home that I could use for wreaths. Here are a few different styles that I made that were very easy and cost next to nothing, (or literally nothing!)
Tightly wound tulle wreath
I used a wire wreath frame and just wrapped the tulle around it, several layers thick. I started off tight with the first few layers, then kept the final layers looser for a soft look.

Loosely wound tulle wreath
Same steps as above, except I kept the tulle super loose and kind of 'messy' for a fuller look. Tied with a wide strip of burlap.
Tissue paper wreath
I used a wire wreath frame, floral wire, and about 8 sheets of tissue paper, cut into quarters, (square). I pinched each square of tissue paper from the middle, gathered it up like a cone, and pierced the tip of the cone with about 2 inches of floral wire. I attached each tissue cone by winding the wire around the individual rings of the frame. Keep the 'cones' close together for a very full and fluffy look.

Small tulle strip wreath
I used about 1" thick x 4-5" long strips of tulle and a wire wreath frame. I tied on each strip of tulle, (in a simple knot), until every ring was full of tulle. I used this wreath for our dining table centerpiece this year. Filled with some used, creamy white votives and some sprigs of red berries, it's the perfect centerpiece in our dining room right now!

Large tulle strip wreath
Same steps as above. For this wreath I used two shades of tulle - gold and a very soft peach.
Book page wreath
The low down on how to create this elegant wreath can be found in this post, (full instructions with pictures of each step)

Wound fabric wreath
I used about one square yard of scrap fabric that I had and cut it into one long 4" wide strip. I wound the strip around a wire wreath frame and just tucked the end inside. Finished with a peach tulle bow. I like how this wreath puts a festive touch on our guest 'nook', especially since we'll have two very special guests over Christmas when my husband's parents visit!

Spray painted garland wreath
I used an originally green garland wreath and simply spray painted it in glossy white. Adorned with sprigs of red berries, this wreath is a beautiful combination of simple and classy.
 Frosted 'recycled' wreath
This one might be the cheapest of all, (as far as both time and money). Just leave your Fall wreath up but spray paint it white! I love how our once vibrantly full of color Fall wreath looks under a wintry layer of 'frost'.
Alright, I know I'm not the only one who's been making some wreaths. If you've ever made a wreath, what were your favorite items/supplies to use?
Thanks for reading!

November 27, 2012

Our Thanksgiving

I hope you all had a truly wonderful Thanksgiving! Ours was just what I'd hoped for; a cozy, memorable day surrounded by a handful of my favorite people. I've got a few fun photos to share of the day, but I'll start with the table. A few weeks ago I shared this post about some appealing Thanksgiving tables that I found inspirational when thinking about how to do our own.

Of course, the very least important thing on Thanksgiving is how the table looks. But, it was a fun project for me to try since our table is never set. Our kids still eat on colorful plastic toddler plates which sometimes end up on the floor on top a pile of noodles or pb&j. In the rush to get dinner ready for the 5 of us, 3 of whom get ansy 10 min before I'm ready to serve, I'll fly into my seat next to my husband only to realize neither he nor I have silverware, a napkin or a drink. It's awful! Thanksgiving was just a fun excuse to make our table pretty :) And it wasn't without help from my creative Momma who has a fantastic eye for 'pretty'! Also, she is a genius for suggesting and supplying the disposable dinnerware. How wonderful it was when we were finished with our meal, in a state of turkey coma, to throw everything in a big Hefty bag!

Our Thanksgiving table, 2012

Post meal...
 Reading with (Great) Grandma Livi
Driving trucks on Daddy's legs, (and lots of football!)

Napping with Uncle Caleb
Goofing around with (Great) Grandpa Doug
Taking a cute picture for Mom with my brother, Caleb, and sister, Casey
And a handful of mischievous ones

Snuggling with my sister and Mom
And just enjoying one another :)
So thankful.
And thank you for stopping by!

November 26, 2012

Brand new favorite

I am the girl who cries "favorite!" Every few weeks, it seems, Matt will walk in the door after a long day at work and I will be spilling with excitement over my latest piece, telling him it's "my favorite one I've ever done", and "it couldn't BE more ME!" I literally bubble over when I am this excited about a piece. When I step back after finishing something and see that even a piece of furniture can take on the vibe and style of the person who worked on it, I get giddy. The feeling never, ever, gets old...which is why after two + years of doing this it is still as much, (if not more), fun as when I started!

So here it is: My current favorite piece!
A beautiful china cabinet with caged doors - just what I've been looking for - for THREE years!
You may be thinking, "Gee whiz, it took her 3 years to find this? I see these all the time!" Let me rephrase. It took me 3 years to find this in my budget" Granted, it's not like I was looking every day or even every month. I'm sure a few good ones probably came up on my local craigslist and I didn't even know it. Here's what happened: I found an amazing dresser on craigslist at an even more amazing price. When I went to pick it up, it was in a garage STOCK PILED with solid wood, antique pieces. I spotted this piece, (which was separated into two pieces), in the middle of the garage surrounded by 20yr old boxes of cereal, 40 year old toys, bugs, dust, etc. I asked how much and was told that it belonged to a roommate and he'd have to get back to me. I told him I would pay $35 max, since it didn't have shelves, (low, I know, but I have a hard time paying more than $10-$20 for anything, so to spend $35 on a piece I didn't really need was a lot). 6 weeks went by after I turned down a price of $60, and finally I was offered the piece for $40. $5 more than my max....but I went for it. My sweet husband encouraged me to go for it, knowing how much I really liked this piece, (AND we found just enough scrap pdf board in the garage to make the shelves, so that cost nothing!)
 So, I got this one for $40. Now that it's finished and in our home, I think it looks priceless. I hope to have the opportunity to pass this one down in my family. :)
I spray painted the caging in the doors as well as all the hardware black. It really is beautiful hardware and perfect for this piece - never let the finish on a piece's hardware sway you. It can always be spray painted!
Matt says my decorative Christmas angels look like they're in jail. Hmph!
 I heavily distressed this piece, and for no other reason than it just kept looking better and better the more I did!
That's what I'm talking about! A gorgeous, solid china cabinet that leaves lots of space for my little ones to do their laps! My 3 tots have a habit of running circular laps through the kitchen, dining room and living room. This is a high traffic spot and I wanted to leave it as open as possible for them. :)
After completing the gallery wall to the left and now the china cabinet, our dining room feels so much cozier! Since we have such an open floor with no definition between the dining room and the living room, the presence of this china cabinet really helps to enclose the dining room, making it feel like it's own space apart from the rest of the floor. I know that adding a rug under the table and chairs would also help greatly, and trust me, I have been tempted time and again. But my excuse is my toddlers. They're just not the cleanest eaters yet. Not even close, actually. After every meal I am on my hands and knees picking up crumbs, wiping up milk. It's easy to just clean the space up in a few seconds with my swiffer mop...I do NOT have the time nor the energy to be spot cleaning a rug right now. We'll be rugless for a few more years probably, so I have to define our dining space in other ways :)

And congratulations to
who won this fun holiday sign over last week's giveaway.
She was the only participant! Guess you guys aren't into cute, free signs ;) Oh well.
Horray for Megan!!!
Thank you for reading!

November 21, 2012

On a whim...

...I decided to make a gallery wall in our dining room!

It is something I have seen over and over again in magazines and have wanted to have somewhere in my home, but just didn't know the right spot. Then it dawned on me last night during a silly dinner with my husband, (whom I adore), and our 3 little ones, (who had us roaring laughing), that the dining room can be the most personal, real, spot on one's home. We share so many conversations around our dining table, both seriously important and ridiculously goofy. Tons of laughs. We've watched our children grow day by day, from one meal to another in our dining room. We've shared sweet memories with good friend and visiting family members there. It suddenly just felt like the most obvious, perfect spot for a fun gallery wall! And I didn't want to just throw anything up on the wall. Sure, we've got tons of pictures, letters, cards, etc that I could have used. But I hunted down each and every one of these items, specifically for our wall.

{A sweet 'thank you' from my sister a few years ago}

 {My favorite picture of my twins, Colin and Shire, at 1yr old}

{An old photo of a great, great uncle, given to me by my Grandma Livi, and a favorite wedding photo}

{A photo of my husband and me, BC, (before children), and my favorite photo of my husband as a baby with his sister and father}

{Photos of my little ones from Fall 2011. They look so different now, but why put up pictures of what they look like now? I can see them every day. I love seeing 'old' photos of them as I hold memories of those 'early days' close to my heart}

{Handmade doilies, passed down from my Grandma Livi, and some beautiful hardware I removed from a piece a while ago and just couldn't get rid of}

There you have it! Our gallery wall :)

Don't forget about the vintage holiday sign giveaway going on until Sunday, November 25! Click here for details and to enter!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!