Monday, December 20, 2010

I need help, I have OCDD.

For those who don't know OCDD is Obsessive Compulsive Decorating Disorder.  Yep, and I have it.  Sometimes it goes into a brief state of remission but then it reared it's ugly head again.  This time the OCDD has directed it's attention at my mantel. 

This is my mantel before:

This is my mantel post OCDD episode.

No major changes.  Just the addition of this vintage inspired wreath.

 I think it looks a bit like an old bottle brush wreath (that I wish I had, by the way). 
I call it my Poor Man's Bottle Brush Wreath.

It was cheap.  It was easy.  My 2 year old helped me.

All it required was some very old tinsel from the thrift store (50 cents) a wreath form from the same thrift store (50 cents) and about 10 minutes.  That's it!  No glue, no mess. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Easy Peasy Holiday Gifts

A couple of months ago I discovered a technique for transferring black and white images onto fabric.  My mind boggles with the possibilities.  Just think: customize plain fabric totes, clothing and pillows with whatever images you can find...for next to nothing!  So far I have only used this technique to make quick and easy kitchen towels to use as Christmas gifts for a few of the people on my list.

This is what the final product looks like.
This set was for my English Mother-in-law.

The star player in the play is a product called CitraSolv.  It's a concentrated cleaning product, that when used at full strength, will transfer black and white images onto fabric.  Your best shot of finding this stuff is at a health food store or on the web.  I found mine at a local health food store for $12.00 but it will last you forever.  I also figured if I didn't end up using it to transfer with I could always actually clean with it!

Supply List:

Fabric of choice
Painters tape
Cotton balls
protective gloves

So here is the super easy tutorial:

1.  Start with a close knit fabric { i.e. no burlap  :(  }
      I started with a pack of white flour sack towel from good ol' Target.

2.  Print out a black and white image of your choice.  The The Graphics Fairy has a great variety and they are all free!

3.  This is the only tricky part...get the image copied using a laser printer.  The process will not work unless you use a laser image.

4.  Place the fabric on top of a few sheets of scrap paper or newspaper to protect your work surface.  Then place the image (image side down) onto the towel then secure the image in place using the painter's tape. 

5.  Make sure you wear plastic gloves to avoid skin contact with the CitraSolv and lightly dip a Q-tip or cotton ball into the solution and LIGHTLY rub over the image.  If you use too much the image will bleed.

6.  Burnish the image.  Basically this mean rub the image until it transfers.  The best thing to use is the back and side of a metal spoon.  Rub all over for 2-3 minutes.

7.  Place an old towel over the new one and iron the towels to allow the leftover CirtaSolv trapped in the fabric to evaporate.

Ta-Da!  There you are...easy, inexpensive gifts for all the people on your list.  They would make a great gift for teachers, hairdressers, hostess gifts, holiday exchange gifts, etc.

Friday, December 10, 2010

My Holiday Home

We have been busy the past month with visiting family from across the pond.  My husband's parents were here for a month visiting with us and we were sad to see them leave last week.  

Since they left I have been a busy girl.  I think I have finally talked myself into attempting to do a craft show next fall so I've started making my wares.  Luckily for me this mean that they currently double as my Christmas decorations this year.  I have the tree up and decorated and the mantel is finally in order.   I started making my decorations about 3 months ago and my collection is mostly made of vintage sheet music and vintage books.  I was both excited and a little bummed to see that Pottery Barn and Ballard Designs have also chosed that them for this year.  Oh well, I guess it just means that I'm in good company. 

I think I'm ready for the holidays.  P.S.  Why is it so hard to get a good photo of a Christmas tree...they never look are good or magical as they do in person (or in magazines)!  What is the secret?

freckled laundry
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest