Sunday, November 19, 2017

Matte Christmas Ornaments

I don't usually start thinking about Christmas until after Thanksgiving but...

I was walking through Target the other week, fully intending on grabbing the couple items that I needed (aka how all Target trips start, right?), when I rounded the corner to find that the new Hearth and Hand (aka Joanna Gaines) line was out.  Luckily, I had only grabbed a basket and not a cart, or I'm pretty sure I could have purchased the whole shelf.  Anyone out there have the same problem?!  Everything looks so simple and cozy, and I like that the line is made up of smaller items (accessories) that are decently made, rather than cheap replicas of bigger pieces (furniture).

Anyway, it was before Halloween, and so I could not bring myself to purchase anything from the Christmas section of Hearth and Hand, but I really liked these ornaments:


Source: Target (white and black

They are made with a matte finish, and I like the little x details.  They weren't terribly expensive ($13 for a 8), but I decided to try to make my own this time.

So, this is what I ended up with:





I bought both plastic and paper mache ornaments from Michael's along with gray (Ash Gray) and cream (Parchment) colored chalk paint.  The plastic ones were much more cost effective, and the chalk paint stuck to them, so I would recommend those.  I've linked to the supplies at the bottom of the post.



It took two coats of the base color, then I added little v's, sort of like the ones that I would draw as a kid for birds rather than hard angles.  

  
You can see that they are hand-made (or at least hand-painted), but I kind of like them that way.  The matte color will look nice with the wooden and metallic ornaments that I plan to hand them with.  The colors I chose were very neutral, but the same idea works in any color scheme.  And in case anyone needs to see them in place, here they are on a tree in my backyard. :)



  
Here's the source list:
Plastic Ornaments - on sale at the moment for $5 for 12
Parchment (Cream) Paint (I bought the 8oz bottle, but this 2oz would be plenty for a dozen ornaments) - $2
Ash Gray Paint (They only have it in the larger size, but you could buy this black and lighten it up a little with the parchment) $7.50 or $2

I realized later that I could have used some cheap old ornaments I had laying around and just painted those, so if you have some, consider that too!

Oh, and if you need some more holiday inspiration, you can check out some projects from past years here:


 


Have a great Thanksgiving!
~Amy

Thursday, January 12, 2017

On to the Next Project

It feels like we had a lot going on in the second half of 2016. At work, with family, and at home. My mind is always working when it comes to the house, but with our busy schedule and some major house repairs in the forecast, I was hesitant to spend money on the more decorative things.

One of the things we had going on this fall was helping some family members move and downsize.  These family members were really hoping that the possessions they had to leave behind would be put to good use, and so we all went through carefully to see what we could make use of.

Earlier, I had been noticing how much our living room couch doesn't fit the feel of our home. We bought it when we first got married and were living in a different space, and we didn't feel the need to spend much money on it. So, it's brown, cheap and falling apart.  I found a clean lined, tufted back, mid-century styled couch from West Elm's website that I liked, but the $1200 price tag, although fair, meant that I really had to be sure about this couch. 

Our Couch


So, as I'm walking through this family member's home, I came across a clean lined, tufted back, truly mid-century couch. I have spent plenty of time around it and never looked at it twice before, but after spending some time online looking for that specific shape, it stuck out to me now. The only problem? The floral upholstery wasn't quite what I was looking for. But a free couch? In the right style? Done.

Can you see it??

After calling an upholsterer (not easy to find, BTW), and learning that he was unavailable, the thought starting creeping in; could I? How hard? Its just pulling fabric off and putting fabric on, right? The fact that my family member had actually reupholstered this couch once before meant that it was at least theoretically possible. I guess the DIY gene, like the engineer gene, is hereditary?

Note, hubby told me I was crazy before the couch went on the moving truck. But this freight train had already left the station. I mean, why not try when it's free?!

And so begins my entry into the world of upholstery. 

I bought a book, to help me figure out what is really involved. The one I purchased, here, has so far proven to be great. Very much worth the price, and it's actually a little inspiring too!

As you'll see in an upcoming post, I decided to start small with a chair, to test the waters in a relatively low risk situation. Stay tuned to see how that went, whether or not it gave me the confidence to try the couch, and if reupholstering can save you any money compared to buying new!



Ahh the distractions from daunting home repairs...

Wish me luck!
Amy

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Better Late Than Never? (Christmas 2016, Outdoors)

So... This post is way late.  These were my Christmas decorations for the exterior of my house, but let's just call them winter decorations, ok?  Most of them will carry through the winter just fine, and will keep my front entry from looking totally bleak, so we'll just roll with it.


Merry, err, Happy Winter, everyone!

My wreath, from a local greenhouse, is made from birch bark, and I like that it is very simple, and also that i can save it for next year.  I added the ribbon just to make it a little more festive.  For you know, winter. ;)



I made the planters (see that post here) that sit on our front porch, and filling them seasonally has been fun.  Once the fall grasses finally died out, I was looking for something nice and green, but still simple, to fill them.  




In my opinion, good arrangements have a mixture of color and texture.  There was a pretty simple formula for this one: a few different greens (pine branches and the furry thing in the corner I can't remember the name of, and the osage orange), a pop of color (berries), one more layer of texture/fill with the pine cones, and one shiny/metallic thing (the ornaments).

I also added a few lanterns, and shoved a string of lights in them to give them a nice glow at night.  I think painting the wood scraps that they are sitting on would have looked nicer; maybe next year.


I also filled our window boxes with some greens, artificial berries, and a candle:


Which looked pretty neat when an ice storm came through:


A few more photos, just for fun:



From the ice storm: