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

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Holiday inspiration

I can't stop thinking about the holidays and I'm really fighting the urge to put up the holiday decorations.  I mean REALLY fighting it!  I've been cutting my cravings by making some holiday gifts and decorations.  Miss Mustard Seed has really inspired me this year with her sheet music wreaths and ornaments.  I could only get my hands on one book of music so I used that to make this wreath.

But I do have lots of old, falling apart books so I think I will use those to make my ornaments this year.  So far I have only made one of these (I wanted to test out the look before I committed to making a whole tree worth).

But my favorite by far is this book wreath tree topper I made yesterday evening.  I basically used an El Cheapo chipboard like coaster that I bought in a set of four for 50 cents at the craft store this summer ( I just knew that I could use them for something).  I covered it with parchment colored scrapbook paper.  I then made several (maybe 20) cones out of vintage book pages.  I broke out my trusty hot glue gun and got down to work.  So this vintage inspired tree topper cost me nothing!  Well except a couple of hot glue burns.  Yay!

Yes, that's a oil bottle.  Like I said, fighting the urge!

Party time...

Chic on a Shoestring DecoratingVintage Inspiration Friday

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What I've been doing this week...

Some of you may know that my father is an amazing artist...his medium is wood.  He make the most beautiful decorative birdhouses.  Several of them grace my home.  Way back when, he used to do craft fairs and sell his wares but he was making so many birdhouses and so many craft fairs that he burnt himself out.  Well, recently he started making them again and has quite the little stockpile so he is going to do his first craft show is years here where we live (Eureka, Missouri) this Saturday.  I hope it goes well!

Here are just two (of the ten of so) of his birdhouses that reside at my house.

You know, I've come to realize that I have a bit of a compulsive personality.  I start something and I can't stop.  Late last week my newest obsession began...vintage inspired gift tags.  I initially just wanted some to place on Christmas gifts this year, but I couldn't stop.  REALLY.  I COULDN'T stop.  They were so much fun to make, and so easy that I just kept on making them and this is what happened.

 I turned around and thought...CRAP, what am I going to do with all of these.  I have enough here for every Christmas for the rest of my life.  But then I remembered that my dad is doing a craft show this weekend right here in town, so...

Anybody want a gift tag?, I'm drowning here!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Just a little something

I haven't posted anything in a while, because...well, I haven't done anything in a while.  Well, nothing big but I have made a few small things...little additions to the house.  I needed a wreath for the door but I wanted it to match what the inside of my house looks like or at least what I would like it to look like.  I wanted simply, subtle, vintage inspired, frenchy shabbiness.  Wow, that's hard to find.   So I did what any broke stay-at-home mom domestic diva would do and I made something myself.  On the cheap!  I found a clearance wreath at the craft store for $1.99 and I had a bunch of Osenburg fabric from Wal-mart.  I love this fabric...if muslin and linen had a love child, this would be it.  It's cheap.  It's oatmeal colored and has beautiful color variation in the form of speckles with a nice texture.  Did I mention that it's cheap?! 

I also wanted something for the door of the guest room/office.  I cannot seem to leave this room alone!  It's a sickness I tell you...OCDD ( obsessive compulsive Decorating Disordered) but I'll talk about that another time.  So anywho, I decided on a wreath because it would be the perfect fit I already had everything to make it and I had a wild hair and needed it done RIGHT THEN!  Can you say instant gratification junkie?! 
So with the help of a dollar store wreath form, a stash of osenburg fabric and some fabric glue I had a wreath for that door as well. 

Sorry but this photo is NOT doing what it's told!

Be careful, these fabric flowers are addictive...I now have about 10 extras sitting in a drawer!  They are so simple to make...I like my rough and shabby looking so I just ripped (yes, I said ripped...another great thing about osenburg or muslin) about a 1 1/2 inch wide strip and pinched a bit in my fingers to start and twisting the length of fabric as I went just rolled the fabric around the pinched fabric...then glue the last 1-1/2 inch of fabric to the underside of the flower to keep it from unraveling.  Jami at Freckled Laundry has a very helpful video tutorial on how to make them...hers are much more perfect looking than mine.

Here is a list of some linky parties that I will be participating in this week!  Have a great weekend everyone.



Friday, October 15, 2010

I am a huge decorating nerd!

Okay,  I am just a little  bit excited.  Okay, let's get real...I'm bouncing off the walls here people.  As you know I just starting "blogging" (I'm still not convinced that what I do once every 2-3 weeks can be called blogging) and an amazing decorating blog that I have followed for a while now featured me and my mantel on her blog yesterday.  She has several blogs featured for their mantel decor and MINE was one of them.  Pinch me! 

It's official, I'm a decorating nerd.  I can't help myself...I'm really am excited by this. 
Go check it out here:  The Stories of A-Z

Go check out all the amazing work these ladies did with their Halloween decor this year.  I can't believe the creativity!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Autumn is Finally Here!

Autumn is by far my favorite season...jeans, sweatshirts, bonfires, the beautiful colors of the trees and Halloween!  Luckily we have a fireplace and mantle in the home we are in now.  I've always wanted a house with a fireplace so I could cozy up next to a warm fire and read a nice long book while sipping a cup of tea not so much for the actual fire but for the beauty it adds to a room and the mantel that I could decorate for the seasons.  I know, I have a problem.  But it's TRUE!  Somebody please tell me that I'm not the only one who has a fireplace and only uses it as a prop...please?!   So anyway, I finally started pulling out some fall decor and the mantel is done.  Yay! 

Now if you want some real Fall mantel inspiration check out all the amazing people who linked up to the  Nesting Place party.

Do you decorate your home for the seasons?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Nursery turned Guest Room

I finally finished the guest room this past week.  It took such a long time!  I would start, stop, start, stop...I just couldn't keep focused.  When we moved into this house exactly 2 years ago yesterday, we had it set up for a nursery (our daughter was born 4 days about pushing it!).  Since I was very prego I didn't do any painting myself so I was never really happy with the way the house turned out.  Can you say OCD...I think I got it from my father.  I did like the nursery was a shabby shade of green with white furniture...but, the baby is now turning two and is upstairs in a bedroom next to ours.  She is even in a big girl bed now, does anyone have a tissue but I'm fine with her growing up.  So the once green nursery is now set up and ready for my hubby's parents to come and visit in November...we are so excited to see them again.  I must remember to take lots of pictures this time!

Anyway, this is what the bedroom looks like now.  Not too bad for a budget of almost nothing!

I used a smoky blue paint that was a mistint gallon from Lowes, it cost me a whopping $5.00.  The bottom color was an inexpensive Dutchboy paint from WalMart.

I am love with the vintage bedskirt and matching pillow cases I got at a yard sale a couple of weeks ago...for $2.00!

I also have a thing for vintage suitcases so I used those in place of night stands on each side of the bed.  And YES that is a twig plant pot I used for the lamp shade high end designer lamp.

The desk on the other side of the room is a Goodwill find that I painted, distressed and glazed.  Above it is an old plate rack I found at a thrift store and I have the 50 cent yard sale chair I spray painted green.  And I could resist the uber ugly flowery buckets marked down to a quarter each at the hobby store...I tried out the Miss Mustard Seed treatment on those.  LOVE HER!

I have my little lamb and vintage high chair in the corner and some vintage baby dresses hanging from the windows.

I spent just under $100.00 on this room re-do and I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.

Hope you all have a great weekend!