Monday, October 31, 2011

It's The Witching Hour

Happy Halloween all!  Since my little spook is in high school now, our Halloween is pretty low key.   I miss the excitement this day brought when the kids were little :( 

In past times all the pumpkins would be carved and the Halloween costumes would have been well worn by today.  Today would have been filled with dressing in costume for a school party and trick or treating afterward.  Then naturally, Wonder Hubby and I would ah hem....check the candy.  Bless my kids hearts I don't think they knew they even got chocolate stuff till they were 8 or 9 since we skimmed all that off first!  I know we are bad!  Don't feel too sorry for the little spooks though, believe me the grandparents always loaded them up with plenty of the good stuff.

 I normally do quite a bit of decorating for Halloween but this year I've been a little off.  I was busy preparing for BDJ to come home from Las Vegas for a visit for the 1st time since May and just not feeling the Halloween bug this year, so I didn't manage to decorate much but I will give you a peek at what I did do.

Halloween Mantel
This is my fall/Halloween mantel.  The vintage ghosts and letters I showed you in this post are easily removed and the ceramic jack-o-lanterns are turned around and presto, no more Halloween, just fall goodies.

I love my letters and the old scarecrow birdhouse.

Fall Decor on Writers Desk

I love this old table and dressing it in anything looks great.  I especially like the Autumn letters I made last year.  I liked them so much I made some sets for friends.

This little wreath was whipped up with stuff I found while organizing the garage recently.  I painted the individual pieces up and arranged them on the wreath then added a bow.  I am a big believer in using what you have so I ended up with the yellow and black bow....and it has got to go!   I'll catch some orange ribbon on sale after Halloween to make a new bow and update the wreath next year.  For now it is just right for the playhouse.

This is Mini's playhouse.  It is officially called Miss Mara's.  It may soon become Miss Mama's as it has so much potential and Mini is too old to have interest.  I have so many ideas for where I could take this place.  Writing nook, craft room, potting shed I still can't decide.

The personalized candy corn always makes me smile.  Don't they just look happy?  Although, strangely my candy corn is missing...gotta make a new one.

All my planters are decked out in Mums and Scarecrows.

Wonder Hubby and I made this little guy years ago.  I didn't take a very good picture but the signs read Harvest Time, Pumpkin Pickin, Leaf Rakin, Nutty Fall Fun.

This was my favorite fall decor. BDJ and Mini together while he was home for a visit.   Wish they could stay right here just like that forever.

Another photo of Miss Mara's with Mini's maple tree.
We planted this shortly after we built the playhouse and the color is so beautiful it is breathtaking.
Thanks for taking my little Halloween/Fall Tour.  Hope you all enjoyed a beautiful fall day and a Happy Halloween.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Getting Beachy with It - AKA The Saga of Circus to Coastal

I have been happily moving along on the transformation of Mini's room from Circus to Coastal.  I wanted to make as many of the elements in the room as possible so today I would like to share a few of those projects with you.

After the room was painted I discovered the paint color I had chosen wasn't the easiest color to match, especially since I had this picture in my mind of what I wanted.  One of the things I had pictured was white bedding with shams, a bedskirt and accents in a worn canvas chair/beachy feeling fabric and it had to be striped.  It seemed like I had seen the a million times but everytime I found something it didn't quite match and wasn't the exact fabric I had in mind.  My mother (aka The Nana), Mini and our spare, Bri went shopping recently and of course we did our time at JoAnn.  Don't you just love that place?  I have the hardest time staying on task when shopping there!

I had looked here previously, as well as Hobby Lobby and every website possible to find fabric but on this shopping day I scored big!  Aisle 1 - on sale was this fabric.

It was exactly what I had in mind!  Don't you love it when that happens?  I rushed home and The Nana and I set about turning el perfect fabric into these shams.

They are lending just the right feel to the room.   I also picked up some burlap on this shopping spree.  I have been seeing so much of it out in blogland and just love it.  I really felt it would give some natural feel to my room transformation.  I had wanted several words cut out of wood and painted in the room, 2 of which were to be Drift and Dream.  I mean when I'm at the beach that is just what I want to do..drift on my float of the waves and dream about never going home!   Since my attempts to cut these out had ended badly I wanted to add these words to my pillows. to do that.

Before I go any further with this project you need to know this.  I can sew but I really don't like it because, well, because it involves math and following rules.  You know that whole measuring thing with those little lines between a 1/4 of an inch?  Do we need those?  Then there is the whole sewing in straight lines thing...there are those rules again.

The Nana on the other had has sewn for years.  Clothing, drapes, upholstery, my wedding gown!  So you can imagine what it is like to learn from a pro...she learned back in the day and will turn a jacket in a store inside out to inspect the seams.  There is absolutely no hope that I will ever sew as well as she does but I do make an attempt from time to time.  In the interest of full disclosure I generally like to have her onsite when I make these attempts.  A lot of the time she ends up taking over the project because I never sew to suit her don't care like I should!  I was so tickled to complete the shams above by myself.  Okay, The Nana was here and did help with the cutting since I cannot cut straight but I did the sewing and the ironing (ironing and seam trimming is uber important to The Nana).  Coming off this big win I decided to take on the burlap pillows unsupervised. 

Before figuring out how to add my words to the fabric I needed to get all the pieces cut.
The cutting was a bit challenging due to the loose weave of burlap but hey with all that give I figured I could make it work.  I may have figured wrong...err none of the pieces seemed to match up.

Not being deterred by the non matching sizes I moved on to adding the words.  First I printed off my text, this took a bit as I needed text that could be turned into a stencil.  Then using a tip from a fellow blogger I taped my text to a sheet of wax paper, wax side down.  Using an exact-0 knife I cut out the stencil then ironed the wax paper onto the burlap. easy was that?  I will be using this idea again and again.

After letting them dry I went to work turning them into pillows.  Easy enough right?  Well for most people yes easy, but I can make a mess of anything.  After I made several attempts that included sewing the worded side on the inside and leaving the stuffing opening on top, I took a break.

It was The Nana's birthday so I prepared dinner and Mini made cupcakes from scratch and we celebrated Nana's big day.  Okay, the truth is when she arrived dinner wasn't quite ready and I showed her my "pillows."  "Oh, those are really cute!" she said.  So I confessed all my mistakes (cause by lack of attention to detail).  She felt sorry for me and helped me remake the problem areas and close them up.  Thanks Mom!  Then we enjoyed our dinner and birthday cupcakes and then plopped these cuties onto the bed to check them out. 

Mom and Mini

 They are just right...can't wait to show you the whole effect when I reveal more of the transformation.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mini Projects

While I was working on my garage cleaning and organization project I found several boxes of seashells.  Wonder Hubby had asked me no less than a dozen times over the past few years when I was going to throw them away and I would always respond with my standard "I'm going to use these in a project."  From time to time I did think why don't I throw these away but somewhere in the back of my mind I knew I would regret it if I did.  So they had been boxed and bagged and sitting around here and there for years when the whole coastal feel room was born.

It was now or never to use them.  First I rounded up I glass containers to fill with shells once filled I Wonder Hubby drilled holes in several shells that allowed me to make shell tassels.  So simple but so pretty. 

I still had tons of shells and I still had some sea glass left over from this project so I decided to try my hand at some decorative balls.

First off I did a couple of wash and dries to clean off all the sand....I know I had done this already...why can't you ever get rid of sand?

Then I picked through all the shells and sorted by size to get the ones that were the most interesting and the right size.    I used a paper mache' ball (.99 at Micheal's) as a base and hot glued on the shells.

I did the same process for the sea glass.  Below is a picture of both balls displayed on glass candlesticks for now.  I'm thinking about either frosting the glass on the candlesticks or finding some bulkier wood candlesticks to distressing.  What do ya'll think, frosted or distressed?  I think they turned out really well and were a lot of fun to make.

Friday, October 21, 2011

I have Friends in Coastal Places

Recently I was chatting on the phone with Sherry at Garden of 65 Roses aka The Hawaiian Heifer.  I asked what she was doing and her reply was crafting.   Ok, I'll bite I thought, "so what are you crafting?" I asked.  "I can't tell you" she responded. Strange response because normally she would have immediately begun to tell me about her latest project.  What?  Turns out she was being herself and doing for others and fortunately for me this time I was the others!  Yippee!

Sherry and I have a long history of crafting and junking together and we both LOVE cheap projects.  In fact most of the time the cheaper the project the more we love it.  She had landed some sort of goodie for me at the local Goodwill and was making it over.  All I knew was it was for my coastal room.  So I practically camped out waited patiently by the mailbox for my package.

When it arrived I immediately ripped into it.  Aww...what a cute little candle holder and a bag of sea glass.  Sherry has quite a collection of sea glass and introduced me to this easily addicting hobby when we visited her on Oahu last summer.  I was sorely disappointed this year when we vacationed in Florida to find no sea glass.  Apparently it is some pretty elusive stuff and you have to find just the right beaches to find it.  Bummer, as looking for it is so much fun. 

As soon as I had completed the bedside table I posted about here I knew it was just the right place for this sweet gift.  So I placed it on the bedside table and admired it everytime I was in the room.  Yesterday I was doing a little cleaning up on my paint table and ran across the box this little goodie arrived in.  I was just about to toss it in the trash when I noticed something white in the box.  Upon further inspection I discovered it was a card.  In my excitement of opening the box I had somehow missed it.  The card was a Maxine (my favorites because they are so sarcastic just like The Hawaiian Heifer and I...teehehe) check out what the front of the card says.  Opps!  The good news is there is several thousand miles between us so I am safe for a while!   Also in the note was the printout below of the before and after (what a true blogger!). 

I think it is just about perfect!  It does get a little better, Sherry landed this cutie for only .49 cents!   Woohoo gotta love some Goodwill.   Well now that just makes it even more perfect doesn't it?   I am so thankful to have such a thoughtful friend.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Going coastal may make me go Postal

Ya'll are going to have to indulge me a bit here as I ramble try to explain this post title. I'll try to keep my rambling to a minimum, or ,as my kids tell me, "give us the condensed version please."  Seriously, they don't seem to understand that what shoes I'm wearing, if I'm having a good hair day, whether the clerk at the grocery was nice, or what the weather conditions were are important facts in telling about what I'm doing. Duh!  So hang on, here we go.

Back in May, BDJ graduated from college and took a job in Las Vegas (okay, all you moms out there know that this alone is traumatic and I think I'm doing quite well with it  despite what my family says, thank you very much).  The day after graduation we helped him pack up his house in Memphis, transport it back here, and plopped it all in our garage.  He arrived home a couple of days later and within 2 weeks had sorted through both his belongings in our garage and what was left in his childhood room to make his new life fit into a Ford easy feat.  Piece by piece he threw away pieces of his life that no longer seemed necessary to him (no sweat, I just went behind him and dug it out and squirrelled a lot away in the attic).   His room was now a shell with only his bed and his wall of awards left.  At least I could sit in it from time to time and pretend he was just away at college, right?  Just 2 short weeks after he graduated we stood in the driveway as he and all his wordly goods pulled away from us and headed out on a 27 hour drive into his new life.

Wonder Hubby and Mini disappeared into the house as I stood in the driveway till I could no longer hear his car in the distance, wondering how long it would be till I saw him again.  Pretty emotional stuff.  So I went from copiously weeping to sniffling and headed inside worried that the positive spin Mini had put on this move was only her game face and that I would find her curled into a ball mourning her brother leaving.  I was totally unprepared for what I saw when I went into BDJ's room.  Mini announced as I walked in "I'm moving in."  This was something that had come up from time to time since BDJ left for college but we just never responded.  Apparently she had cleared it with her brother and was well on her way.  By the time I arrived she was ready to disassemble his bed and had already removed his awards from the walls.  She must have started before he was out of the drive.  So much for my shrine (I know it was probably a bad idea anyway) and any hopes that if I left his room he might come home.

Within 2 days, Mini had online shopped new bedding and curtains and had even arranged furniture moving help and was completely ensconced in "her" new room.  The good news is BDJ didn't have room to put his queen bed in the Mustang so I now had a start on a guest room.  Since I am obsessed with really enjoy the beach, I knew that creating a space with a calm, beachy kind of feel was right for this room.  Plus I thought I could make this look gender neutral.

Step one would be painting the room as Mini had painted it a hideous blue 3 years ago and decorated in what I called Early Circus.  I didn't spend much time with her in this room as the colors and patterns made me a bit queasy. 

This picture makes the room look like a nice blue - pictures are deceiving believe me.

 After only a few days of driving Mini and Wonder Hubby crazy with paint chips asking for input on paint colors, I was happily taping and preparing to paint.

 Since I was intentionally dragging around to fill time I was in no hurry to complete the room, I painted on and off for a week or so.  I was actually finishing up the paint when brush in hand I answered a phone call from BDJ.  "What is in my room right now?"  he asks, "Umm, your sister," I respond.  Despite assurances from Mini and BDJ, he seemed a bit annoyed by this information.  For a few moments I secretly was hoping his dream job in Las Vegas hadn't worked out and he was coming home ( I know, I'm a little sick).  Soon I understood why he was asking. One of his best friends needed a temporary home and since I was down a kid we got Bri (aka our spare).   Literally as the paint dried I quickly pulled together enough bedding to make the room presentable and within hours welcomed our spare daughter home.   So, although painted, my coastal feel room went on hold for a few weeks.  Like all kids, they eventually manage to escape and Bri got away as well (kind of, since I demand that she is here at least once a week:).  Down a kid again, I got back to work.

Since then, I have been adding pieces one by one that eventually will come together to create my coastal room.   The process of finding the right pieces and making them work has been seriously frustrating, thus the feeling that I may go Postal.  Especially considering that BDJ will be home in 5 days for his first visit and I'm feeling bad that his room is gone and the guest room isn't complete. 

Now that the room was painted and a bed with doable bedding was in place, I was ready to add stuff.  I had seen this headboard at Pottery Barn.  So finding just the right shutters to create a similar headboard was priority.

Once again my ADD kicked in and I was dragging this old nightstand out of the attic. So much for priorities.  This guy has been around.  In a former life it was Wonder Hubby's when he was a kid and then early in our married life became an "entertainment center" for our big 12 inch, no remote, black and white TV with a coat hanger antennea and then lived on in BDJ's Americana themed room.
Not only was it painted like a flag, but it was crackle painted, and since I was in a hurry being lazy, it really needed to be stripped and sanded.

 After some thought, I decided since I was going for a worn, coastal cottage look I would just paint over it all and make it work.  So I started by sanding with my handy dandy hand sander to knock off any loose crackled paint and then painted it white.  My first intent was to paint it white then black and distress it to show the white.

Red, White, and Blue are hard to cover, so the white took several coats.  Then after candle waxing the edges and a couple of coats of black it looked like this.

Ummm...upon further study I decided that was too much black, even with distressing, so back to white she went.

Finally, after many coats of black and white, lots of waxing, and some light sanding, this is how it looks.

It is now happily living in the guest room, waiting till I get around to finding the perfect hardware.  I will, I will....eventually. 

So there you have it my Coastal feel room is officially on its way.  I am working on various projects to use in this room that I will share in the coming days.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Finding Treasures and Halloween Crafts

Yeah for me....I cleaned the garage!  It isn't perfect by any stretch but it is quite the improvement from where it was.  It is amazing what you discover (both good and bad) when you tackle a cleaning project.  I saw some things I couldn't believe where hanging out in the garage and I found some goodies too.  I discovered an oar that was aged perfectly and a cool old Coke crate that will be used in a later project.  I stumbled on quite a few half done projects, supplies for things to make I can't imagine I ever wanted as well as many things to add to Wonder Hubby's Honey Do list (teeheehee) . 

One of the things I stumbled on where these ghost shapes I had cut out years ago and painted white then abandoned.  I have turned them over for the photo cause..well they were dust covered and pretty nasty.

I have been noticing a trend in vintage holiday decor particularly Halloween decor.  I was talking to a friend a few days ago and she was ecstatic over some vintage decor she had found at our local Habitat for Humanity store for a song.   With this in mind I knew I wanted to somehow make these vintage looking.  I started by painting them both black.  I let them dry then used an old candle to go around the edges and a few spots on the surface.  Then I painted them with a cream paint and sanded the waxed areas.

Looking Pretty Vintage

The ghost on the left is before distressing and little guy on the right has already been given the business and is looking a little worn...just what I wanted.  Now what to do with them?  Should I hang them?  Put them on a wreath?  Lean them against something?  This I would need to ponder.

Remember how I told you I discovered many half done projects?  Among those was this little sign and some old blocks Wonder Hubby had cut for me ages ago.

 Both were already half done projects and I liked neither of them.   Since I am a little ADD when it comes to projects and considering that I was pondering, I dropped my little ghosts and started on the sign and blocks.  Both were painted, waxed then painted again.  I then sanded, did some laundry, cooked, walked the dog and slept a couple of times before I managed to complete them. 

Then I had a little ah ha moment and decided to attach my little ghosts to wood blocks as stands.

Sporting their stands.
 Here they are as part of my fall mantel decor.

Good things happen when you clean and organize :)