July 30, 2012

Floating Candlelit Apples

Here's a quick and easy fall decorating idea that can be used both indoors and out - floating apples with candles.

Core out the top of your apple.   To make it easy, press the top of the tea light holder into the top of the apple.  This makes an impression in the apple showing you where to cut.  You will need to scoop out some of the apple for your tea light to fit and prevent your apple from cracking.  

Fill a container with water and add your apples.  Today, I used a large, pumpkin shaped stoneware bowl.  The finishing touch is to add some fresh chestnuts to the water to fill in the gaps between the apples!    For outdoors, you could use a galvanized tub or bucket!

I like to do this for parties in the fall and especially by the front door on Trick or Treat night!

Thanks for stopping by!  Here are some of my other fall decorating ideas!


Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart!

I found a nice carved frame this summer at a yard sale, but it was a not so pretty shade of  gold.  I painted the frame white and distressed it.  Than I added a piece of thin plywood that I painted with chalkboard paint.  For the longest time, I couldn't think of what I wanted to write on my chalkboard.  Then, today, I was going through my bin of "all things fall" and saw a little stitchery that said "Give Thanks".  

Immediately, I began to sing the song, "Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart".  I really love it when that happens - seeing something that triggers a song! 

Then I ventured up into my attic, which must have been over 100 degrees, in search of my cornucopia.   It was miserably hot up there, but "Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart" kept going through my mind!  I finally found the cornucopia tucked in a corner and brought it down into my 70 degree, air conditioned house!  I filled it with some stalks of dried wheat, walnuts, chestnuts, and faux fruit. 

It may be July and months from Thanksgiving, but it's always a good day to Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart!

Linking this post at:

Cowgirl Up Link Party at Cedar Hill Ranch
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm
Best DIY Projects of July Party at Beneath My Heart



Autumn in July

I'm sure you've heard of Christmas in July, but what about Autumn in July!  I've been busy today decorating a few areas of my home for the "Autumn Decor" Talent Scouting Party at WhisperWood Cottage.   First up is my mantel.  This year I decided to go with a slightly untraditional  palette with shades of green and pale yellow.    

When I put together an arrangement, I like to mix real with faux (fake)!  The twig branches with berries are real, but the leaves are fake!

The "harvest" banner is left over from last year.  I printed the letters on old book pages and then added a moss green card stock to the back. 

Sharing at The Talent Scouting Party @ WhisperWood Cottage.



July 24, 2012

A Vintage Doll Bed and a BUMP on the Head!

Life is never dull!   I have been wanting to share one of my latest thrift finds, but had an unfortunate (clumsy) accident that has prevented me from blogging the past few days.  But I'm back today and excited to share this - a vintage doll crib!

Isn't it adorable!  I love the wheels!

And the cherubs!  (my son says they are creepy!)

I noticed this crib the last time I was at that thrift store about a month earlier.  It had been filled with throw pillows for sale.  I checked the price and it was $50, which I thought was a little steep for something I really have no use for!  But last week, the pillows were gone and I checked the tag and it was marked down to $20!  I think I'll take it! 

A fresh coat of Annie Sloan Old White and some ruffled shabby bedding and it will be even more adorable!    I guess it will either wait for grandchildren or I'll sell it for a profit, but I just couldn't pass it up!

My other purchase that day seems to go hand in hand with the doll crib.  I saw this tiny set of tea cups and saucers.   They were .50 each and are white stoneware.  I like them because they are primitive and not fancy like some children's tea sets.  I think they were a bargain for $6!

Now for the bump in the head - on Saturday I decided to move some things around in my growing collection of junk in the garage and ended up getting hit in the head by a falling object - I'll spare you the details.

I looked in the mirror and there was a lovely goose egg bruise on my forehead.  Later in the day I felt tired, nauseous, and had a horrible headache that lasted through the weekend.   My hubby came home on Sunday from his "Wild Hogs"motorcycle bonding trip with his four brothers and told me that I HAD to go to the doctor to be checked and yep, I have a concussion!  So ladies, please be careful when moving the piles of junk that have amassed in your garages!  I know I'll be more careful from now on!  

The doctor told me I needed to "rest my brain" for a few days!  That almost made me laugh out loud right in front of her!  It just sounds so funny - Rest your brain!  So that's why I've been away for a few days - I've been resting my brain!


Sharing today at:


July 16, 2012

Raggedy Ann Baby Shower

I'm finally back from among the missing in blog land!   I'm sorry for my absence, but I'm back and hope to be posting regularly.  I've been super busy and have a lot to share!  

On Saturday I decorated for a Raggedy Ann themed baby shower for a dear church friend.  The location was the upstairs of an old building full of charm and character!  I've been working on the shower decoration ideas for a while, but this past week I had to ramp it up to production mode!  I love to decorate for any party and this one was a lot of fun!

When guests entered the building, they had to go up to the second floor.   This was the little display at the entrance at the base of the stairway.  The highchair was my father's.  This large Raggedy Ann was loaned to me by my friend, Cindy.  She is a handmade Raggedy and was perfect to greet everyone!  I made the chalkboard from a cupboard door panel and draped a small banner of hooked rug hearts to the top.  

The focal point of any baby shower is the gift table.  

I covered a long table with a patchwork quilt and on one end placed my mother's rocking chair.  The Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls were again loaned to my by Cindy.   The Raggedy Andy was her husband's as a child and was unlike any I have every seen.  He had a leather-look belt and shoes with real laces!  The tin star at the base of the rocker was made by a local craftsman from a Lancaster County tin roof.  The vintage metal "Toys" sign had been mine when the boys were little, but I passed it on to the mom-to-be for her Raggedy themed nursery.  

I made the "Heaven Sent" banner from a denim shower curtain.  The top banner triangles were cut from the top of the shower curtain.  Each triangle was attached with torn strips of fabric tied through the shower curtain's grommets.   There were only enough shower curtain grommets for the word "Heaven", so I used the bottom of the shower curtain hem for the word "Sent" and fed jute twine through the hem casing for hanging.  Gingham and calico print fabric was used for the letters.  I fused the fabric to interfacing and once they were cut, I ironed them onto the denim banner pieces.  The final touches are just scraps of matching fabric and red ric rac trim.  

Alicia and Daniel decided not to find out if they are having a boy or girl, so I wasn't sure what words to use for the banner.  Most baby shower banners are either "It's a Boy" or "It's a Girl".  I googled "baby shower banner" and came up with a few ideas, but decided on "Heaven Sent".  

I made a clothes line using jute twine at the front of the table and hung simple white onesies that I stenciled with little "I Love You" hearts on the chest  -  just like Raggedy Ann.  

I used my Silhouette cutter to design and cut a stencil from Contact paper and filled in the stencil with red fabric paint, so the onesies can be washed.  I love the way the heart outline is like stitches!  

Some of you may remember this large dresser frame from a previous post.  I found it at a yard sale earlier in the year for $5 and it has been in my garage just waiting for the perfect opportunity to make it into a chalkboard.  Here's a pic from the day I found it. 

And here it is transformed with a little homemade chalk paint on the frame and chalkboard paint on a thin piece of plywood attached to the back.  

I found the image of the Raggedy Ann and Andy on the internet.  It was a coloring page.  I printed it out on a transparency and with an overhead projector, I traced it with chalk onto the chalkboard.  I wrote "It's a Boy or Girl?" at the top.  After I had the basic outline done, I made all the lines darker and then did some shading and highlighting with the chalk.  This made a big statement, but was so easy!  We had pieces of red and blue paper for the guests to vote for boy or girl.  At the end of the shower, we counted the votes and - can you believe - it was a tie!  The small Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls are ones I purchased for the new mom.  

On that note, if you are looking to buy a Raggedy Ann doll, good luck!  I called the local big name toy store, four small independent toy shops, a doll shop, as well as WalMart, Kmart, and Target.  None had a Raggedy Ann doll.  I finally found these little ones at a Lancaster County tourist gift shop thanks to a tip from one of the other stores!

I used Dollar Tree red gingham wrapping paper to cover the table and draped a rag banner to the front of the table.  I purchased coordinating fabric remnants and my son's girlfriend and I spent an entire evening  ripping the fabric into strips and tying them onto jute twine.  We made so much that we were able to use it in several places!  Thanks for helping, Sarah!

For favors, I filled small bags with  kettle corn and attached a tag that said "ready to pop" that I designed, printed, and cut on my Silhouette.

I had to share the Raggedy Ann and Andy cupcakes made by the shower hostess, my niece Kala, with the help of my sister-in-law, Connie!  Aren't they adorable!  

They also made Raggedy Ann and Andy round cakes!  I love Ann's eyes - made from miniature Reese's cups!

Here's a pic of the glowing Mom-to-Be, Alicia!  It's a little grainy because it was taken with a cell phone camera, but I think it is an adorable shot of her!  

We all had a wonderful time at the shower and Alicia got some great gifts for the baby!   Thank you, Kala, for asking me to help!

I'll be back tomorrow with a little DIY decorating tip!  Thanks for hanging in there with me!


sharing today's post at:

Debbiedoo's Newbie Party
Between Naps on the Porch Metamorphosis Monday
DIY Showoff DIY Project Parade
The Dedicated House Make it Pretty Monday
Coastal Charm Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style Wow Us Wednesday
Stuff and Nonsense Friday's Unfolded


July 4, 2012

Dresser Transformation

This project took me waaaay longer than it should have.   Not because it was difficult, but because I was so indecisive about what I was doing.   You see, I'm pretty traditional by nature.  I don't really do a lot of "outside the box" decorating in my home.  I love antiques and have been very hesitant to paint them.   I wanted to try my hand at painting a piece of furniture, but wanted to start small.  We have a dresser that was originally part of our nursery furniture.  Because it is small, it fits nicely in the upstairs hallway.  It was a pretty cherry finish with brass hardware (not the nice brass either), but it was classic in style and pretty much the way I roll.   Unfortunately, I didn't take any before pics. 

Since I finished my bathroom makeover in grays, tan, and white and loved the way it turned out, I decided I would take a bold step for me and paint this little dresser and give it an updated look.  I painted the entire dresser first with Anne Sloan Graphite.  Here's were I start to get bold, I painted two coats of Annie Sloan Old White on the drawers and dresser top.  After lightly sanding everything, I used dark wax over the entire piece, added some new black hardware, and took a step back to admire the new look.  Except, I didn't like the new look!  And, what's worse, hubby and the boys didn't like the new look!  It was missing something. 

So, here's were I get really bold!  I decided to paint the top of the dresser with chevron stripes.  The top was already painted in Old White, so I just added the stripes in Graphite.  I lightly sanded the top again and applied a little dark wax and buffed it out.  At first, I really wasn't sure, but by the next day, it was starting to grow on me.

The next step was finding the right accessories.  The artwork in the hallway had to go!  We live in Lancaster County, PA.  Amish Country.  I had a very traditional Amish print by Nancy Noel hanging above the dresser.  Well, this was not going to work with my new chevron striped dresser!  I had some blank canvases in my stash and decided I would visit my favorite source for vintage graphics, The Graphics Fairy, to see if I could get some inspiration.  I found an amazing graphic of a hot air balloon with a toy advertisement from Conshohocken, PA, which is not far from where we live!  I fell in love with it and knew that it would be perfect for the spot above the dresser.  I printed it out in black and white and took it to Staples to have it enlarged to 18 x 24, the size of my canvas.  I carefully cut out the graphic and laid it on the blank canvas, but it looked blah.  I decided to break out the watercolors and do some accent painting.  Then I decoupaged the print to the canvas and aged it with some dark wax.  

The accessories on the dresser are things I had around the house.  The Stetson straw hat was my grandfather's and was just sitting in a hat box.  I decided it needed to be on display on my new dresser.  I used a wooden candlestick for a hat stand.  The little red elephant is a recent find.  It is cast iron and I think it was a small doorstop.  I paid $1 for it.  The "C" was purchased at Marshall's.  

So, my family is still unsure about this new look.  It's going to take some getting used to for all of us.  If I decide later on that it really isn't me, then I can always repaint it.   I would love to hear your thoughts on the dresser - good or bad.    I value your opinions! 

Wishing you a Wonderful 4th with your Family,

Sharing today at:

Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
Inspiration Friday At the Picket Fence
What Have You Redone at Redoux
Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest
Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground
Brag Monday at The Graphics Fairy


July 3, 2012

And the Winner Is . . .

Thanks to everyone who entered my first ever giveaway!  And the winner is .  .  .  


What a great giveaway! I visited your Etsy shop and I have to say the butterfly pillows are my fave.   Also love where the "Bloom where you are planted" sign too.

Congrats Sandy!   The butterfly pillow covers are yours!   I'll be in touch to get shipping info.  

In other news, I've been super busy!  Last week I went with hubby and 16 teens to the Creation music festival.   Our youngest was along and our oldest and his girlfriend were there as counselors.   It is a four day event, but I only stayed for the first two days.  Our middle son had gone to the beach with a group of his friends, so, I came home to a blissfully quiet house (which is a rare occurrence)!   I worked on a few things for my Etsy shop and for the house, did some much needed cleaning, and watched chick flicks!   
Today, was about getting back to normal after everyone returned home and tackling the mountain of laundry they brought with them!  I hope to be back tomorrow to share what I've been up to!