November 30, 2011

Silver and Blue Christmas For You: I'm Changing My Style

Silver and blue is all the rage for Christmas this year.  I'm sure you've seen it in magazines as well as in your favorite stores.


For me, the Dollar Store, Target and Club G.W.  have done it again!  Whaddya think?


I've always been very traditional in my taste with regard to Christmas decorations. But this year I've been itching for a change. A short time ago I never would have associated the colors silver and blue with Christmas.  But somehow it works.  And I'm really liking it!  It isn't rocket science by any means, but I thought that maybe my project might give you an idea or two for your own holiday decorating!



Absolutely love this bird!  (Confession: she's from Target and cost  $3.00.  One of my more expensive purchases!)

So, here's what you'll need:

One plain candle (Target 2 for $6.99)
One bottle acrylic paint of your choice
Epsom salt for the candle (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture, but you probably already have this around.  If you don't,  I know you can get it pretty inexpensively in grocery stores and pharmacies.)
Mod Podge
Glitter
Blue sparkly snowflake ornaments (Target, $1.00 for 4)
Glass bird ornament (Target $3.00)
Pedestal for display (I made mine around Easter time, you can see how here.)
Silver tray for display (Club G.W.)

Dollar Store:
Silver Balls that come in a plastic tube (6 for $1.00)
2 pkgs Blue and White Snowflake Glitter Picks (I pulled the wooden picks out and saved for a later project) ($1.00 per pkg of 4)
White snowflake ornaments (6 for $1.00)
Cost:  $7.00 for items that actually had to be purchased.

The hardest part (and I use the term "hardest" loosely here) is painting the candle.  Just place a rubber band around the candle in the top third of it to serve as a painting guide, then paint only the bottom third.  You'll only need one coat and and it should dry rather quickly.  Then spread the Mod Podge over the painted part of the candle ONLY, and roll it in Epsom salt for that sparkly, snowy look.  Once that dries you can do the same with the Mod Podge on the top half, only sprinkle that part with glitter.  Candle done!

Place the candle in the middle of your pedestal and place the ornaments all around it and on the silver tray beneath.   I attached the bird to one of the styrofoamy (word?) glitter pick snowflakes.  I thought it had the whole bird bath thing going for it.  And I could see this done up in so many different color combinations.  I'd love to see yours if you try it!



I ended up placing some vintage silver glass ornaments in the bottom of my pedestal.  And I think I'll try a very simple plain homemade burlap table runner once I get some time to make it!  Wishful thinking, I guess.

Now don't forget that Tuesday's Club G.W.{Goodwill} with Charm Bracelet Diva party is still going on here.  Please stop by and join us!

Finally, remember when I mentioned that I was floored to have reached 500 Followers and that a giveaway was in order?  Well, get ready cause it's coming!  There are a few items,  lovingly handmade by me, that might just be yours in time for Christmas!  Stay tuned so you don't miss the chance to enter!

Until next time,

xoxo

I'll be linking up here:











November 28, 2011

Club G.W. {Goodwill} with Charm Bracelet Diva No. 22

Hello again!  Time has really gotten away from me so this will be a quick post to get this party going!
Although I'd love to, I'm too rushed to share a find today (sorry!) but I DO have to share a few features, right?





Grab a Featured button from my sidebar, and let's link up for this week's party!

Party Rules

Link up your thrifty finds, and your thrifty find re-dos.

Please link back to your post and not to your blog's main URL.

Please mention the party somewhere in your post or place the party button on your sidebar.  That way others can find out where the party is and join in!

I'd love for you to become a follower so you don't miss the next party!

And be sure to visit the other party guests! 

Don't forget to Like me on Facebook and Follow me on Twitter.  

Can't wait to see what you've got this week!

 Till next time

xoxo



Are You An Early Bird?


My Shutterfly family Christmas card 2010

Are you an early bird?  When it comes to sending out your your Christmas cards, I mean.  Well, I hope not!  Because, personally, I love receiving those cards in the mail as late as the week before Christmas, right up until Christmas eve.  It really helps put me in the Christmas spirit.  

Last year we decided to use Shutterfly for our family cards, and were thrilled with our experience.  That's why I was happy when they contacted me again this year to review their online cards.  The selection is practically endless and the prices reasonable (especially when they're running one of their sales so check them out!). 

Below are just a few of my favorite cards, as well as a great gift idea.

We usually end up using a beach scene.

Black and white is classic.


Look at those colors!

I'm a sucker for monograms.
I'm loving the charm bracelet idea. {Not a big surprise there, I guess.}

I can't wait to pick out this year's card and get started.  Now if I could only settle on what photo to use......wish me luck.

xoxo

  
In the spirit of full disclosure, Shutterfly is providing me with a small number of complimentary cards in exchange for this review. However, the stated opinions are my own.  

November 23, 2011

{Gasp} Christmas Countdown DIY Mercury Glass


Yes, the {Gasp} is for, "Can it really be time for DIY Christmas decor inspiration already?"  Like it or not, I believe the answer to that one is "Yes."  So I'm getting on the bloggy bandwagon right now and sharing the first of many DIY Christmas decor ideas/projects/inspiration in the weeks to come.  I hope you'll join  me!  Today's tutorial:  DIY Mercury Glass.

I abide by the notion that this blog is about being r-e-a-l.   So I'm telling you up front that this project was a r-e-a-l pain in the butt. I mean it.  Let me start off by saying that I've recently come across more than a few DIY mercury glass tutorials in blogland.  I ended up trying three different ones, and essentially mashing them all up together because I wasn't really satisfied with  any one method alone. Hopefully I can spare you some pain by sharing how I did it.  Not saying that my way is the best way, mind you. Just that it's the best way that worked for me.

Sorry about the lack of photos but I was so consumed with making these suckers that I was too busy and/or frustrated to be bothered with taking any!  I only have befores and afters.  Hopefully my instructions will be enough.  Any questions, just shoot me an e-mail or a comment!

Supplies

Krylon Mirror-Like (Spray) Paint
cheap glass containers
vinegar
spray bottle
paper towels
black acrylic paint (any small plastic bottle will do, you don't need much at all)
cotton balls

For starters you'll need a can of Krylon Like-Glass Mirror (Spray) Paint.  I couldn't find it at Michael's, Jo-Ann's or Hobby Lobby so I ordered it from Amazon.  (I've since learned that you might just find it in Michael's floral department, so look there first!) 



I also picked up some really cheap glass containers from the Dollar Store.


      
I initially followed the instructions on the can:  I sprayed the outside of the glass with a few light coats of paint, letting it dry about 1 minute between coats.  Yes, this was my first misstep.  Then I sprayed the newly dried painted glass with a light spritzing of water and let the water do it's magic on the paint.  So far so good.  But after this part I thought that maybe the coating was a bit too see through and that maybe I should have been spraying the i-n-s-i-d-e of the glass?  I had even mentioned this to my daughter prior to spraying, but did I heed my own advice?  Of course not.

Realizing the error of my ways, I then painted the inside of the glass (following the can's instructions), after which I sprayed the inside with a combo of one part vinegar to one part water, followed by wiping down random areas with a wet paper towel, soaked in the water/vinegar solution.  Problem was, I wiped too hard and too much paint came off!  I had to respray the inside!  Lesson: use a gentle touch when wiping down areas on the inside of the jar.

Finally, once the inside was dry, after about 10-15 minutes or so, I put some black acrylic paint on a cotton ball and gently rubbed down random areas on the inside of the glass, leaving a light black/grayish smudge. It was this step that seemed to make the most impact visually. 






CAVEAT:  The paint is really thin and really runny on the glass.  I had a hard time managing to avoid lots and lots of runny, drippy marks on the glass.  I did a lot of swirling, and swirling and swirling, trying to spread the paint around the inside of the jar as opposed to just having a veritable dripfest.  Good luck with that.  Also note that I didn't even try the glass jar with the lid.  Since it was a bit more dimensional than the smooth jars I was afraid the paint would not adhere very well to it.  Perhaps one day I'll test my luck on that.
      
Compared to store prices, I'd say I paid a total of about $4.50 a jar, plus blood, sweat and tears labor.  Truth be told, next time I'd just as soon buy some already made.  Does that make me a terrible DIY-er?  It's not that I'm not proud of my little accomplishment. It's just that life is short, ya know?


And that Christmas wreath behind the glass?  I made it recently and will share it with you soon!  Hope you've enjoyed my little tutorial.  And if you have any similar stories to report I'd love to hear them!

Don't forget to join in Club G.W. {Goodwill} No. 21 here

And Happy Thanksgiving!

Until next time,

xoxo

November 21, 2011

Tuesday's Club G.W. {Goodwill} with Charm Bracelet Diva No. 21, Features and a Holiday Wish

YOU CAN JOIN IN THE PARTY AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST!

I can't believe it's almost Thanksgiving.  Because that means it's almost Christmas.  And that means another year has managed to fly by.  How DOES that happen?  I'm partly excited and partly overwhelmed at the thought of it all.  And so another holiday season begins...............

I want to thank all the well wishers who sympathized with my recent Internet troubles.  It's a real drag to have to deal with it when you're a blogger.  Fingers are crossed as I type this....now on to features and the party! 

I'm loving that the first three features are new faces to the party.  Be sure to stop by all four features and say hello!

Rachel @ Acts of Life
Okay, this is one of the coolest things I've ever seen.  Yes, I know I'm pathetic that way.  But just look at the color!  Seriously, I was longing for a vintage scale for quite some time but just couldn't seem to find one that's reasonably priced.  Then Rachel shares this great e-bay find of only $15.00 (by her sweet hubby, no less!) and I was motivated to give e-bay a look-see.  Somehow {?} I got involved in an auction for a vintage scale and what do you know?  I got it!  For $11.50.  I can see how people get seriously addicted to e-bay.  But that probably won't ever happen to me, of course.  Stop by and say hi to Rachel. Tell her I sent you.

Denise @ Pink Postcard
What do you get when you combine Goodwill, some white paint and a little Pier One inspiration? This gorgeous thrifty lamp redo. I'm loving me some pink right now! Stop on by Denise's blog for a tutorial and feel free to drool over her fabulous white living room!

Can you say ROOKWOOD?  Heather hit the jackpot with this Club G.W. find, one of the best I've seen yet!  This girl knows her stuff, too.  She nabbed up this authentic Rookwood pottery beauty for a mere $2.99.  She says it's worth several hundred dollars!  Cha-ching!  I want to go Goodwill shopping with HER!

Nothing like a 50 cent garage sale mirror to get those creative juices flowin'.  Vanessa really put her personal stamp on this one!  (No pun intended.)  Go on and give her some blog lovin' and check out this crafty redo. 

I know I've featured my friend Anita and her amazing shabby chic Texas ranch at least once before but I can't help myself.  I mean, look at that porch!  Stop on over and she'll share with you an amazing transformation of an old run-of-the-mill chandelier into a spectacular shabby chic chandy. Best part: it was free, thanks to her infamous friend Peggy who I REALLY want to meet. (I think Peggy's like her thrifting angel or something.  Here's to wishing I had me one of those....).

Party time!

Party Rules

Link up your thrifty finds, and your thrifty find re-dos.

Please link back to your post and not to your blog's main URL.

Please mention the party somewhere in your post or place the party button on your sidebar.  That way others can find out where the party is and join in!

I'd love for you to become a follower so you don't miss the next party!

And be sure to visit the other party guests! 

Don't forget to Like me on Facebook and Follow me on Twitter.  

Can't wait to see what you've got this week!

Well, dear bloggy friends, I hope you'll all join in the party this week.  More importantly, though, I hope you all have a warm and blessed Thanksgiving.  Oh, yeah, and that you get the wishbone, too. 

 Till next time

xoxo




November 18, 2011

Burlap Monogram Wall Art


I am SO happy to be writing this post!  I know I said our internet problems were over a few days ago but I was WRONG!  We lost our internet connection again for the umpteenth time and it was more than frustrating.  I'm not going to jinx myself by celebrating or anything here, but the fact that I'm writing this post should tell you something.  Now on to more pressing matters!


I picked up this beauty at Club G.W. a few months ago for $2.99, not knowing what I'd do with her but knowing that I'd think of something!  From a distance she looks OK, but up close and personal you could tell that she needed a small facelift.


Trust me, really.

The picture doesn't reflect it, but it really wasn't the kind of chippy, shabby that I love.  It was just yuk, a very dull white.  It actually looked more dirty than anything.

I loved it for the shape, details and the sweet back side of it.


See what I mean?  Pretty cute.  Anyway, it had no back or anything, so I had to figure out what I wanted to do with it.  At first I was going to make it a small corkboard.  But that would have been somewhat of a pain since the cork would have to be really thin to fit in there and there was no original backing with it. 

In comes Wal-Mart.  Did you know that Wal-Mart is selling fabric again?  I know I mentioned it here when I bought some cotton duck material for my grainsack pillow.  But even better than that, they're selling B-U-R-L-A-P for $2.97 a yard!  That made my thrifty frugal self very happy. 

First I applied two coats of Krylon white spray paint.  Once it dried, I then proceeded to do a rubbing of the back of the frame in order to create a template for the backing.



I then traced the rubbing onto a piece of old corrugated cardboard I had left from another old frame, and cut it out.  Once I had the oval backing completed, I cut out a piece of burlap to fit over it.  I used spray adhesive to attach them to each other.  Add one fabric adhesive monogram I got on clearance at Jo-Ann's and voila.


What do you think?  I know I've been saying this a lot lately, but, I love it!  I really do.


I think it goes well with some of my other burlap decor, too.  Right now it's hanging next to the fireplace, but I think it's too small for that wall.  Perhaps the newly remodeled powder room is just the place?  I'll share that later.


All told, I'm thinking it was $5.00 well spent.  And you?

Have a wonderful weekend!  And don't forget to check back on Moday night for Tuesday's Club G.W. with Charm Bracelet Diva!

xoxo

November 14, 2011

Tuesday's Club G.W. {Goodwill} with Charm Bracelet Diva No. 20, Features and a Burlap Stool Revamp

YOU CAN ENTER THE PARTY AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST!

The last few weeks have been a real pain without internet, printing capabilities, etc. but I think we're finally out of the woods.  I'd share the details here but they'd just bore you to death.  So, on to more interesting things!

Back before my husband and I got married (this December it'll be our 16th!) he purchased this darling little country-style footstool.  The original fabric was a county-style print, later reupholstered by me sometime after we wed.  I remember scoring a pile of "tapestry" squares at a flea market, and I put most of them to good use, as evidenced here.




Like all good things, the life of this baby had come to an end.  I was tired of it.  Tastes change over the years and we have to roll with it, lest we get stuck in, say, the 80's (!). And there's nothing better than already having the materials at hand and breathing new life into them.  So watch and learn.


First I removed the old cushion cover, but not without some struggle.  I used a screwdriver to pull up the staples and a pair of pliers to pull the staples out of the wood.


For some reason, there were 60, yes, 60 staples in all.


Once that was done, I just used the old cover as a template for the new one.


And the best news of all?  Jo-Ann's is selling a printed burlap!  {Thank you Betsy at
Coastal Colors!}  There are two styles.  One has an old key stamped all over it and the other is more of a French postcard/script look which I love.  I chose that one.   And the rest is history.


What do you think?  I love it!




And yes, I painted the thing, but then what did you expect?  I used  Benjamin Moore Cameo White and lightly distressed it.  I'm thankful for my good fortune in snagging up the fabric.  Maybe you can, too!  (It was $7.99 a yard so I used my 40% off coupon and the fabric for this stool ended up costing about $2.40.)  Okay, I'll stop gushing now.

Last week's party was full of great finds and re-do's.  Once again you all amaze me.  And believe me, I'm so glad that there are other people like myself out there who love to thrift and repurpose!  You inspire me each week to be better and do more.  So let's see a few fabs from last week.


Now this is a girl who loves a good chair.  Her estate auction Louis chairs are beautiful just the way they are!  Her post is filled with chair eye candy, so drop on over and say hello!

Deborah @ Confessions of a Craigslist Junkie (love that name!) 
Her DIY mercury glass tutorial using Club G.W. glass is so fabulous that I've already bought the spray paint to do-it-myself!  Thanks, Deborah!


Vicky loves to transform furniture, and she doesn't quit till she gets it right!  So be sure to check out these little lovelies.


Thanks again, ladies!  Now grab a Featured button and wear it proudly!

Photobucket


Party time!

Party Rules

Link up your thrifty finds, and your thrifty find re-dos.

Please link back to your post and not to your blog's main URL.

Please mention the party somewhere in your post or place the party button on your sidebar.  That way others can find out where the party is and join in!

I'd love for you to become a follower so you don't miss the next party!

And be sure to visit the other party guests! 

Don't forget to Like me on Facebook and Follow me on Twitter.  

Can't wait to see what you've got this week!

Link away!

xoxo



I'll be linking up here:

Whisperwood Cottage

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