Grocery Store Floral Arrangement

I had a holiday dinner party a couple weeks ago, and grabbed some roses from my nearest Trader Joes, as well as some extra filler flowers from my local grocery store to put together my own centerpiece arrangement. I’ve never tried this before, so for my first attempt I was really pleased with the results!

Flowers

The colors in this arrangement are perfect for Valentine’s day, too – so if you’re already in planning mode for a special dinner date, this would be a great addition to your table!

Thanks to Pinterest, I’ve learned a couple great tricks that helped turn my grocery store stems into a beautiful arrangement.

Flowers1

I used a simple, short & square glass vase for this one – but next time I will definitely be branching out with my vessel choices. The first step is to tape off (simple scotch or masking tape will do) your vase into partitions. You can tape it into either four or six sections – I went with four.

Flowers2

Start with your hanging greens/filler stems, and balance out each of your four quadrants. I used a mix of greens – like ferns, some form of evergreen, and some other green stuff that I don’t know the name of. I also used some gold-painted leaves for some added glam.

Flowers3

Next, I added the white mums, again filling each quadrant so they were equally balanced. The roses went in last – plus a few glittery decorative pieces that were in the filler bunch from the grocery store.

Flowers5

I was pretty proud of my first attempt at arranging flowers like a grown-up, considering my typical practice is to do a quick diagonal cut on the stems and plop them in a vase. Flowers make me smile, no matter how you plop-em, BUT I totally love this!

Flowers6

Where do you buy your flowers? Are you lucky enough to have a market or local florist where you can pick up pretty blooms – or are you a grocery store flower girl like me?

Tissue Paper + Gold Barcart Banner

Hey friends! I hope you all had a wonderful, restful holiday. Ours was busy, filled with family & friends, and wonderful as always. Despite feeling a bit sad when the Christmas excitement comes to an end, I love the week between Christmas and New Years (which I am always so fortunate to have off with my husband, since we’re both in education). We are always so productive – in between visiting family and spending time with friends. It’s a great time to organize, clear the clutter, and refresh for a nice new start in the new year.

Cheers8

Do you have wild & exciting plans for NYE? Are you having a celebration of your own? Maybe you’ve got a barcart that needs some dressing up – in which case this little DIY is just for you!

CheersMaterials

My wonderful husband gave me a Silhouette Cameo for Christmas! I can’t even express how excited I am to figure out everything I can do with this baby. As a little “tester”, I used it to make these letters out of gold mirror cardstock. When it started ‘cutting’, I yelled for my husband to come and see how awesome it was! I know I’m super late to the Silhouette party, but boy am I happy to be here now!

Cheers1

Anyway, you can cut the letters any old way, if you don’t have a Silhouette. Then I folded a sheet of tissue paper in half and taped the letters onto the paper.

Cheers2

I then cut the garland into strips, and taped some pretty white & gold baker’s twine (from the dollar spot at target!) into the center of each strip.

Cheers3

Now my bar cart is all dressed up and ready to party!

Cheers4

I’m also obsessed with some of the other items on my cart right now (still lots of holiday stuff, I won’t take that down until after NYE) -like these awesome fox glasses from Paper Source (another Christmas gift from my amazing husband, though neither of us can tell you what they say).

FoxGlass

They match my fox-topped cocktail shaker bought on sale at Target last week.

FoxShaker

Our bar cart is stocked to the max with wine (holiday gifts from friends, coworkers, etc.) and two random bottles of tequila that we will probably never drink.

Cheers5

But who knows. Things might get crazy. Cheers! 🙂

Six Easy (and Practically Free) DIY Ideas for Holiday Artwork

6DIYHolidayArtworkIdeas

Hey guys! I had so much fun sharing my holiday decor in my Holiday Home Tour 2013 (which you can see here, here & here). Most of these ideas for easy (and super affordable) DIY holiday artwork were seen in the tour. I love simple little pieces that can be ‘subbed in’ for the non-seasonal art you may already have scattered throughout your home. Some of these pieces are just stuck on top of whatever print is typically displayed – which means you’ll save by not buying new frames, and you can pull out the holiday artwork and be back to ‘normal’ in a flash!

Here are six ways I updated my walls for the holidays this year. Since many of these pieces were created using supplies I already had on hand, my total ‘new’ costs for all of these pieces combined was probably somewhere around $10!

Burlap & Wood Reindeer Art

photo 1

To make this simple & rustic holiday art, I painted a wooden reindeer head cut out (found at Michael’s for under $2) with white craft paint (or whatever color you choose). Cover the glass with burlap (or whatever fabric you happen to have lying around), and glue the reindeer to the fabric. Stick it in your frame, and you’re done!

Stenciled Kraft Paper Art

XmasBedroomArt

Stencil a festive animal, word, or other design onto a piece of kraft paper. Frame it. Go get a pedicure with all the time you have leftover after this project. (Don’t have a stencil? Make one by printing out clip art in the design you want & cutting it out!) Chances are, you already have everything you need to do this… which makes it technically free! But if not, you can probably get everything you’d need for less than $5.

Framed Chalkboard + Wreath

HT6

If you don’t already have a framed chalkboard somewhere in your house, you can make one! I made mine without even opening a jar of paint – here’s how. Hang a wreath in front of your new chalkboard with some pretty ribbon, and add some inspirational text. But don’t thank me for this idea, I saw it here, here & here first. This one is ‘free’ to make too, if you already have a chalkboard, some ribbon, and a wreath!

 

Framed Holiday Card

ChristmasKitchen5(1)

This really can’t count as a “DIY” project as it pretty much only requires the ability to put something into a frame. But I am obsessed with these holiday postcards from Rifle Paper Company, and am using them this year to send quick well wishes to friends and family. I love them so much, that I framed one in my kitchen, and one in my bathroom! Use holiday cards from your stash, or a pretty one that you received this year, and enjoy another free new piece of holiday artwork!

DSC_1455

Merry & Bright Typography

I just played with some fonts on my computer and printed out this little fella onto some recycled cardstock and framed it. Boom! Easy artwork!

photo 4

Burlap & Ribbon Tree Wall Hanging

DSC_1429

I shared this little project last week and again – I made it completely out of supplies I already had on hand. (Ok, maybe I am a burlap/ribbon/glue gun hoarder… but maybe you are too!?) You can probably guess how I made it (think hot glue gun), but you can see the original post here!

DSC_1441

So, what do you think? Any ideas you would try in your home? What are some other quick & inexpensive ways to deck your walls for the holidays? I’d love to hear your ideas!

A Burlap, Red and Gold Christmas [Holiday Home Tour, Continued!]

Welcome back to my Holiday Home Tour 2013! Yesterday I shared my kitchen Christmas decor, featuring red, mint greens, ornaments (and Emma’s personal Advent Calendar). Today we will venture out in the living room, where you will see my obsession with burlap in full effect. My holiday decor combines the beauty of rustic and natural elements (like branches, evergreen sprigs, galvanized metal, birch and burlap) with touches of red, gold, and silver.

HomeTourCollage2

An important decor element to our home is our sweet, fluffy pup Emma. Every home should have one.

HT7

{Burlap & Ribbon Christmas Tree Wall Art}

HT9

DSC_1219

HT11

Our Target bar cart is well stocked with wine for the holidays.

HT3

HomeTourCollage1

The tree is decked out in burlap ribbon, red & gold ornaments, and our favorite woodland creature ornaments.

DSC_1257

Everything on the tree is something we already had, with the exception of these little bottle brush squirrel ornaments from Target that I simply couldn’t resist. (Turns out, Emma can’t resist them either, so they live high on the tree!)

DSC_1260

For a small house, I’ve taken a rather ridiculous amount of photos. Check back tomorrow for the final installment of my Holiday Home Tour 2013!

Handmade Burlap Stockings

You may or may not have noticed (depending on how loyally you follow my Instagram newsfeed…) that I am utterly obsessed with all things Burlap this Christmas season. A month or so ago, I was scouring Etsy with the hope of purchasing some burlap stockings to hang this year. I was about to purchase some, when I was struck with the brilliant idea of convincing my mother – who has legitimate sewing skills, unlike myself – to “help” me make my own handmade stockings.

Stockings1

In the interest of full transparency, I should tell you that by ‘help’, I pretty much mean that she did ALL of the work. I supervised, which worked well for me as I quite like being in charge of things.

Stockings5

According to my mother, who did the sewing, this is a fairly simple sewing project – and the rustic & homey feel of burlap really takes the pressure off trying to create something “perfect”. The imperfections are the beauty of it, don’t you think?

Stockings4

It was also very special to me to do this little mother-daughter project. My Mommom, who passed away this past winter, made beautiful hand-knitted stockings for her children, her children’s husbands, and her grandchildren over the years as her family grew. Even though these simple little burlap stockings will probably not become permanent fixtures in my family Christmases, I know that my mother and I both felt slightly closer to her as we worked together on this project. I am so grateful that the tradition of creating handmade items for our homes and family members is one that will continue in our family – in whatever form it takes.

Our process was not super technical, but if you’d like to create your own burlap stockings, here’s how:

First, collect your supplies:

Burlap (a few yards depending on how many you’ll be making)

Cotton or Muslin for the lining

Paper for creating a pattern

Fabric Scissors, straight pins & a sewing machine (or hand sew them w/ a needle and thread!)

To create our pattern, we just traced a random red stocking we had on hand onto a paper bag.

Stocking8

We added a seam allowance of about 1/2 inch. The pattern for the lining material had an extra 4 inches at the top, for the cuff fold over.

Using straight pins to secure the pattern, I cut two pieces at a time (you need two lining & two burlap shapes per stocking). I was really good at the cutting part, and that was pretty much all that I contributed to this project.

Stocking5

Next, my mother sewed together the inner & outer pieces, including a small hem at the top of the liner that would fold over to create the cuff. Stanley, my parents’ Siamese cat, posed for a little photo shoot while my mother did the work.

Stocking6

I chose not to attach the liner to the burlap stocking, since the cuff held both pieces together pretty well. This way I can always change the inner or outer material (in case I make myself completely sick of burlap sometime down the road… which is not likely!)

Stocking1

I attached a jute twine loop with a safety pin (so it is also interchangeable), and pinned through both layers to add some extra security.

Stockings3

I added some unpainted wooden letters with our initials (including Emma, of course – her stocking will be stuffed with bacon flavored treats and squeaky creatures).

Stockings

Then, I used my only-daughter-charm to convince my father to cut a branch off of one of the trees in my parent’s back yard. Since we do not have a mantle to hang our stockings from, I turned the donated branch into my stocking hanger!

StockingsConsole

I’m totally smitten. And the best part is that I only spent around $10 on the white muslin and wooden letters, and had everything else that we needed on hand! (That cute felt garland, by the way, was an awesome Target grab a few weeks ago).

What kind of stockings did you hang this year? If you, like me, don’t have a mantle to hang them from, what creative ways do you find to display them in your house? Filling my husband’s stocking with goofy little things is one of my favorite Christmas activities, and I can’t wait to do it again this year!

Guilty Pleasure

Yes, friends….

I paid an extra $5.00 on my last Pottery Barn order to have the items I purchased (for myself) to be gift wrapped.

Today I received this gorgeous package in the mail.

It was worth it. PB gift wrapping is just so lovely, and they just switched to the holiday print. I wanted to see it for myself. So I gave myself an early Christmas present.

Happy Thanksgiving!