Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Thinking outside the wreath

Do you put something on your front door for each season? Do you put anything on your front door at all?

I try to put something on my front door, it may hang there a while or over -stretch a season as my spring wreath did,

but I always like to have something on my front door.   To me it says welcome and gives the visitor a glimpse of what to expect inside. 

In the past I've decorated my front door with a variety of things.  Really, let your mind go, you can put anything on your front door. 

This past summer I bought a tall basket from Hobby Lobby.  This fall I filled it with flowers I've collected over the past 2 years on sale.  I put the flowers in and called it good for my fall door.

I like the unexpected aspect of the basket and flowers.  A bit of a departure from the normal wreath and as a bonus, crazy easy! 
Last year I had a burlap wreath on my door.
This year the wreath is hanging on the side of the house, next to the door. 

Let's explore some other ideas for your front door outside the standard wreath.  What else could you put on the front door? 
How about a mirror, a picture or framed art?  Dishes, meaning plates, would be different.  Empty dollar store frames could be painted any colors, taking out the glass and just hanging the frames either in a group or overlapping could be very interesting.  Tree branches with birds in them and even a nest for spring would look really great.  For Halloween you could take those same tree branches and put crows in them or hang small skeletons from them.  Better yet you could buy some dollar store pumpkins and using a 3m hook, hang pumpkins from your front door.  At Christmas you could buy a small, say 3 foot tree, flatten the back so all the branches are toward the front, hang it on the front door and decorate it.  How cute could that be! 
Here are some ideas I got from Pintrest for a front door.
How about a paint stick address plaque?  Home Stories A to Z will walk you through how to make this cute plaque for your front door.  It is easy and can be color coordinated for your house. 
Here is an address plaque I made for my own house.
How about using a shutter and making this?
You can even make gift tags for your front door.
Imagine what you could do with these!  Make ones that look like small flags for 4th of July.  Shape them like eggs for Easter.  The possibilities with this are endless! 
Monograms are all the rage right now.  How about something with a monogram on it? 
Here's one I made for my Mother-In-Law.
You could also try one of these.  You could change the colors up for each season.  How cute would that 'B' look in Christmas paper!! 

I just hope to stir everyone's creativity and get you thinking and I hope you try putting something on your front door if you don't already and if you do, I hope you try something outside the box or wreath! 
Have a great weekend.  I hope to get my shelves finished and decorate them.  I also need to get out my Halloween boxes, yes I have boxeS!!  I'll need to go through everything and decide how I want to decorate for Halloween. 
Can you believe that October is next week!?  Is this year flying by for everyone or is it just me?  It just seems to be going by crazy fast. 
Till Tuesday, stay safe!
Thanks so much for stopping by.  I hope you come back soon.  If you have any questions you can email me at -
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Next week I'll be sharing some more crafts.  I have a Halloween door décor idea and I hope to share my completed bookshelves, wooden tray and I can't wait to show you what I've done with some remnants of our dead tree! 

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Best Laid Plans - pumpkin craft

I was so excited to blog today about my new shelves that I found at Wal-Mart.  Yep.  They are BH&G shelves that were reasonably priced.  I was excited to teach you how to style shelves, the rule of thirds and to show off something that I've been trying to work on for a year now.

See I have this odd small space next to my fireplace.  It is only 26 inches wide and 18 inches deep and I've been wanting to put something there for, well forever. 

I did have this old 1980's stereo cabinet there but it was too big and took up a lot of space.  I don't have pictures of it because I never styled it and really just kept some wine on it.  But trust me it was big and bulky and well it is a stereo cabinet!  I'll come up with something to convert that into later but I digress.

The space....  So I measured, 26 inches wide.  Yes I measured at the baseboards, yes I measured twice.  I bought the cabinet and came home very excited.  My husband and I put it all together and stood it up and... well I bet you know where this is going.  Yeah, it didn't fit.  Too big, by about 2 inches. 

The moral of this story.  When you buy cabinets make sure you look at all the measurements.  These have 26 inch shelves.. shelves.  That doesn't include the sides, yeah... sides. 

So now the cabinet is down in the basement until I can decide what to do with it.  BUT and best yet, my husband said, 'I can build you shelves if that is what you want.'  I was like, WHAT?  We've NEVER built anything before.  He said, "how hard can it be, we are building boxes.  That is essentially what shelves are."  So we are building them!
  Needless to say my house is now a mess but the unit is all in we are going to do the movable shelves this week then stain it and DONE!  I'll share it all with everyone once it is done.

So today I thought to bring you a messy but easy craft using dollar store pumpkins and some old sheet music my Mom gave me.  You can use anything, tissue paper, craft paper, newspaper etc. 

You will need:
1 dollar store pumpkin
Modge Podge - or glue and water mixed together
At least 3 paper plates
Tissue paper, newspaper, sheet music etc.
1 paint sponge

First step is to rip up your paper into small pieces.  SMALL.  Especially when working with an irregular or round surface.  You need the pieces small so you can manipulate them easy.
Next, pour your Modge Podge out onto one of your paper plates.  Remove the tag from your pumpkin and, setting it on the 2nd paper plate begin painting it with your Modge Podge.  Don't be afraid to be heavy handed with the Modge Podge on this step! You really are gluing paper to the pumpkin.
I worked in sections and took the ripped paper and started gluing it to the pumpkin. 
 Don't worry about being neat.  The smaller the sections the better the outcome.  I started with larger pieces of paper but went to smaller ones as I got into the gluing.  Don't forget the bottom of your pumpkin!
 The final step is to paint the glue all over the outside of the pumpkin.  This will dry clear.
To dry, place it on some additional ripped paper and set the pumpkin on the 3rd paper plate to dry. 
It is messy but I think it will turn out pretty great.  I'll show you the final product in my decorating later this week.  I think I may do one with some pretty fall tissue paper as well. 

I'll be back on Thursday with ideas for a fall front door, we'll be looking outside the traditional wreath.  I've got some great ideas to share.  Until then, thanks so much for stopping by.  Be safe!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wooden Tray Pinspiration

For this weeks Pintrest Inspiration I have a wooden tray.
Here are my inspirations

I really like wood accents for fall and these wood trays are perfect for a dinning table or any flat surface. 
Here is how I am creating my version of these trays. 
You will need a 1 inch piece of wood.  I used pine because I want to have the knots in the wood.  If you don't want something that rustic use birch, maple or oak. 
Next I measured my table. 
Now here's the tricky part.  You need to measure with the place settings in mind.  I chose my chargers and actually set a place at one end of the table for my measurement.  When you measure the place setting don't forget glasses or anything else you may use in a place setting. 
Next you need to measure the table then take away the measurement of the place setting X 2 (one for each end of the table. 
Now taking your measurement mark you piece of wood.

My husband suggested a square to make sure you are straight in your cut.  To me it didn't matter as I was going to beat this thing up anyway but to get his help we had to cut it his way so we made the line straight. 
Next you cut using a saw.  I wasn't allowed to use the saw because as I was told, 'you'll cut off a finger or something, let me do it.'  Who am I to argue!!!
If you don't have a saw, do your measuring before you go to the big box store.  Most of those places will cut the wood for you for free. 
Now for the fun part.  While I did sand the piece to remove any rough edges, we don't want splinters now do we? you don't have to do this step. 

I used 2 kinds of sanders a belt sander and a hand held one. 
I loved the idea of beating this piece of wood up and trying to make it look older.  We took nails to it and scored it.  We took chains and hit it over and over.  It was very therapeutic.  We even took the sanders and scored sections, rounded some edges and sanded the sides down unevenly.  The idea is to make it look old and beat up, not new and pretty. 
I bought round feet for this piece at Hobby Lobby.  I want to elevate it off the surface a bit. 
Right now the piece is sitting on the side of our porch along with the piece of wood I had cut from our tree.

I am trying to expose them to the elements a bit to help with the old look.  Then I get to attach the feet and stain it.
Next week I will show you the finished piece on my table. 

Have a great weekend!  Stay safe. 

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Fall outside and the felling of a tree

Today I was going to show you my dinning table all set for fall... however life got in the way this weekend and today. 
Remember my half dead tree in my backyard?  You can't really tell from the picture but the back half had no leaves and it leaned to the right quite a bit. 

Well my husband decided to remove it on Sunday.  Yep take it down.  He enlisted our youngest daughter and her boyfriend to help, lucky me I didn't have to cut, pull ropes or climb a tree!  I was excited! 
Well there's now a hole in my yard where a tree used to be.  Now what to put there?  Any suggestions?
The stump has to come out, this sounds like fun. 

And I didn't get out of moving around large pieces of tree either BUT... I did get a couple of ideas for decorating.  Yes from the tree!
I had the boys cut me this..
Now I have to sand it and clear stain it but it is going to be awesome on my table!  It is about 2 inches thick and weighs about 25 pounds!  I have so many ideas going through my head for it that I may have my husband cut me another one, smaller though.  I could paint it with chalkboard paint and prop it up on my mantle and write all kinds of things on it.  I could have smaller and thicker ones cut at different heights to use as candlesticks.  I could have thinner smaller ones cut and use them as chargers.  The possibilities are endless! 
But I am tired and sore from lugging large branches and hunks of tree around my yard.  Though I admit I am excited for the décor possibilities and all the nice firewood we will have next year.  This stuff has to dry out a bit first. 
I've got a real nasty bruise and scrape on my thigh, I have no idea how I got it but it is even swollen. 

Needless to say I didn't get to work on my dinning table.  So today instead of looking at my dinning room table, and I still have my living and dinning room's switched in September, I thought I'd share the outside of my house.  
Let's start with the front yard.

I still have the same scarecrows as last year.  I've moved some of the wreathes around but other than that It is pretty much the same.  I have some hay bales and mums in decorative pots.  For the front door I bought a basket that the original use was for umbrellas.  Instead I've placed a bunch of faux flowers in it, tied it with a ribbon and called it good.

The flowers I've bought at Hobby Lobby, Michael's and other craft stores on sale over the past 2 years.  Last year these were on my mantle.  I like the look, it is effortless, unexpected and let's face it, EASY!
Right inside the door you will find my small glass stand and mirror.  This year I did a juxtaposition of rustic and traditional fancy with this.
 I did it again in the kitchen.

I like to use my everyday things in my special decorating.  I don't always put everything away and just have out special things.  I think it makes my house feel more homey and more like normal if I decorate using my everyday objects. 
I also try to bring a bit of fall to every room in my house.  The above is in my kitchen.  Don't confine your holiday or special decorating to just one room! 

Now to the backyard.  Here in Colorado, September and October can be iffy for outdoor eating.  It can be relatively nice during the day, it is almost always sunny here, but as the sun goes down it can get cool quickly.  Though some days it can stay in the 70's till 9pm!  You just never know.  I decorate my back porch for fall every year all the same. 
This year I decided to flip my dinning and seating areas around for fall.  The sun sets almost directly behind my house this time of the year and I'm always the one with the sun in my eyes while trying to eat dinner. 
Usually as you walk out of my sliding door there is the table.  The seating area is then to the left.

For fall I flipped them

For decorating I stayed simple.  I took a Target lantern, I got it on sale 2 years ago and placed 2 strands of garland in it, placed it on the coffee table and called it good.  I could put a set of battery operated Christmas lights in there to give the outdoors more ambiance in the evening. 
I also added some faux flowers to replace the summer one's in my box.
I don't seem to have quite as much room this way but I do really like the change!

Now the sun isn't in my eyes when we eat outside.
My tip for today is:  Don't forget to add a bit of fall to every room in your house. 

On Thursday I'll give you the full tour.  Till then be safe!  Thanks so much for stopping by.  I appreciate you reading. 

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fall Buffet

I hope everyone is having a great week!
Here in Colorado it has been getting cooler and cooler.  They had snow in the mountains last night and it snowed on Pikes Peak today!  I live at the base of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs and we are expecting our first freeze of the season Thursday night and Friday night.  Time to bring in my plants for those overnight freezes!  Luckily, or unluckily it won't last long and it is supposed to be in the 70's for the weekend with overnight lows only in the 40's.  Fall and winter just can't get here fast enough for me!

Today I am sharing my buffet.  I've got this hand me down antique buffet from my grandmother, actually I've got the whole set, the smaller version that I call a server (we use it for a liquor cabinet) and the china cabinet and the table with 4 chairs.  None of these pieces has a nail in them, they are all dowel and holes to hold them together.  I love these pieces but hate them at the same time, they are heavy and big, really big and I've got a small space.  If you have been following me, yes, this is the buffet with the broken leg, and yes, it is still broken and held together with black duct tape. 

So the rules that I follow to decorate a flat surface again are.
1 - some symmetry.  I don't particularly like matchy-matchy but you do need some symmetry
2 - vary your heights and your depth- this keeps the eye moving
3 - group thing in 3's as it is more pleasing to the eye
4 - layers, layers, layers.

So here we go. 
I started by laying down an orange runner that I got on sale a few years ago at Pottery Barn.  I then added a lamp on one end.  I set the lamp on some old books that I painted white and stamped.  For some symmetry I added a Yankee Candle tart burner at the other end.  In the middle I put a box I found at Hobby Lobby.

 Next I placed a faux garland down. 
This was my starting point.  I then started adding hale bales, faux pumpkins, more garland, pinecones and rocks to the mix.

The lamp and shade I got at Target last year.  You'll notice an empty iron holder there... I have printed off a fall print, I just need to get a dollar store frame and fix it up.  This is it!  Remember to keep stepping back and look at what you're doing to see if you like it.  You'll noticed I varied the height of things, did a lot of layers and grouped things in 3's.  I've got some symmetry with the lamp and the white pumpkin. 
Let me show you how I did it on the shelf above the buffet.  Here is where the shelf sits.

I added a layer of faux wheat and sticks.
Then I added my fall blocks I made.
Next I added something for height.  I bought this fake silver tray at the dollar store and painted the middle with chalkboard paint.  I wrote some fall things on it.  I added a fall 'face' that I've had for years, a new little fox from Gordman's and a glass jar of rocks I've collected on one of our many hikes.
This is what the entire shelf looks like.
You'll notice I made it more heavy on one end.  This is on purpose as it sits so close to the buffet and the height of the lamp is so close if I made it heavy on the close end it would look unbalanced.  I tried it and I didn't like it!  Remember if you like it then it is PERFECT.

Now let me show you my box on the buffet.  I could make a box and do the same thing but it was on sale so cheap, $2.00 I think with my coupon that I couldn't pass it up. 

All the faux pumpkins are from Hobby Lobby.  I either shop the sales or the end of the season when all the things are dirt cheap.  Also if you have a smart phone each month Hobby Lobby has an online coupon for either 20 or 40% off one item!  They'll take it right off your phone! 
So how did I do this? 
Excelsior.  Now this is messy, I mean really messy but it is a great way to 'lift' things in a box or a bowl. 

I filled the box with the Excelsior then placed my pumpkins in them. 

You could use real pumpkins and or gourds but first make sure you wash them with some bleach so they don't rot as fast.  I used fake.  You use the same idea for decorating your box as you do for any flat surface, layers, vary the height and some symmetry. 
This is what I finally ended up with.
Just keep playing with it, adding or taking away until you get what you like.  I added some faux pumpkins to the front and sides to give the box weight and relate it to the rest of the table. 

I hope you try decorating flat surfaces in your home. 
Next week I'll show you my dinning table, my outdoors and how I bring a bit of fall to almost every room in the house.  Don't confine your seasonal décor to just one room, spread it around. 

If you have any questions just shoot me an email, I will respond promptly.  Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you come back again soon.
Have a great weekend.  Stay safe!

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