My house is full of art, most of it drawn by my 9-year-old (and featuring cats), and almost all of it is currently sitting in a large basket that we periodically go through to make albums of things we want to save long-term. In the meantime, though, she’s had nowhere to display her creations, so it was time for a change.
Her room has a conveniently empty wall that’s just crying out for decoration, so I thought I’d frame some of her work– however, with her rate of production it was clear that changing out the displayed pieces would be a ton of hassle if done on a regular basis, so I decided to make a more versatile display. I picked up a bunch of inexpensive picture frames on Amazon (I bought two sets of five) along with some metal clips, and pulled out some sheets of scrapbooking paper from my stash of art supplies. The procedure is simple:
First I cut my scrapbooking paper (12×12″) down to fit the picture frames. I bought 9×12″ frames, which were the perfect size to display 8.5×11″ drawings, so all I had to do was slice a 3″ strip off of each sheet.
Then I removed the backings from the frames (peeling the plastic film off the plexiglass) and inserted my decorative papers into them. This was to add color and keep things looking nice even when there’s no art currently in the frame.
Finally, I got out my hot glue gun and glued a clip to the top of each frame– on the frame part, not on the plexiglass. I’ve seen other people use Gorilla Glue or E6000, but hot glue worked fine for me and it was really easy to work with.
And that was it! Instant art display frames! They look great, are easy to change up with new art, and can double as art storage since the clips hold a whole bunch of sheets at once.
A long time ago, my aunt made me a lovely Christmas wreath to hang on my front door. Sadly, over the years I haven’t taken the best care of it, and it’s gotten more bedraggled than I’d like. Since we moved to a new house I’ve been excited to decorate for the holidays, and updating the wreath was first on my list!
I wasn’t going to waste a perfectly good artificial wreath, but I did strip off all of the decorations and replace them with new gold and red berries, a whole 10-yard spool of red/green/gold plaid ribbon, and just for fun an adorable little owl. Isn’t he cute?
It was a fun project that only took an evening– the hardest part was getting the ribbon to lie just so when all I had to work with was a stapler and some extra twists of floral wire I scavenged from the original wreath. For the record, stapling the ribbon to make little dips/ripples (which I then tucked into the greenery and wired down) was the key to keeping it looking lush and not too stiff.
This year I had two ideas for Christmas ornaments (to go on our FINALLY full-sized tree after a decade of tabletop trees)– an ornament depicting our newly-purchased house, and one depicting the insanity that has been 2020.
I’m actually very proud of the house ornament– I took a photo of our house, plotted it out on graph paper, and built it using layers of cardstock, cut to size with my rotary paper cutter (best way to get tiny strips in the right dimensions), and ordinary Elmer’s glue. There are a few issues with proportion– the door should be taller and the windows aren’t quite right– but it’s recognizable as our home and looks great on the tree!
The second ornament was a quickie– I just bought a basic wood cutout and set it on fire. Can’t get simpler or more appropriate than that…
Just a quick post to show off my awesome tiger pumpkin for Halloween this year– didn’t it turn out gorgeous? I can’t take credit for the design– I used a stencil I found online and it was a really good one. The white areas are completely cut out, the gray areas have the surface of the pumpkin shaved down, and the black areas are untouched.
Several months back, I was out shopping and happened upon this beautiful little glass… thing.
I couldn’t tell exactly what it was– was it a terrarium? A dome-type thing meant to go over a planter? A lantern? All I knew was that it had a roof, a window, and would make a perfect fairy house.
When I was a kid I was always making and drawing tiny fairy scenes– I would try to construct furniture out of leaves, make dishes out of acorn caps, etc. (I will say that it was a lot easier to draw things like that than to make them in real life) Once, I got inspired by a line in Hans Christian Andersen’s “Thumbelina”…
She was scarcely half as long as a thumb, and they gave her the name of “Thumbelina,” or Tiny, because she was so small. A walnut-shell, elegantly polished, served her for a cradle; her bed was formed of blue violet-leaves, with a rose-leaf for a counterpane.
… and I made my own tiny bed out of a walnut shell and some pieces of blue and pink fabric to substitute in for flower petals. It’s safe to say that I was pretty “into” the whole tiny-fairy-furniture thing.
I have this bad habit of browsing through my local Goodwill for kitchen stuff. I say “bad” because it often results in my bringing home something I don’t really need and don’t have room for, but which I just kind of want to own. Examples include the set of pastry rings I’ve never used, the set of Eggies hard boiled egg cookers I used once before giving away, the set of pans to make flower-shaped bread, the pizzelle iron, and most recently the cake pop maker (though I’ve been using that more often that I’d expected). But at least those items had some theoretical use.
The problem is that to get to the kitchen appliance section I need to pass by the shelves of dishware, and I have a weakness for pretty things that let me pretend I’m in a Regency novel. As luck would have it, I was in the store a few weeks before some friends and I had planned to have a fancy afternoon tea party, and I thought it would be adorable to have a set of fancy teacups and saucers to use. Mismatched would actually be better because then it wouldn’t matter if I broke something or if I couldn’t find enough of a single pattern for everyone.
I scoured the shelves looking for pretty teacups every few days (and still keep an eye out for more), though from what I can tell they’re a hot item– they’re only 60 cents and the nice ones never stay available for long. I ended up with thirteen teacups, a set of eight lovely floral saucers (they all match, but they’re so cute I don’t mind), and a miniature teapot that just looked too cute to pass up.
Of course, what’s a tea set without a silver teapot, sugar bowl, and cream pitcher (even though nobody I know puts cream or sugar in their tea)? I found a vintage silver-plated set on eBay. While I think I’d always pictured silver teapots as being rounder (i.e., “short and stout”) this one is still pretty and it’ll make a nice addition to my set, and the little sugar bowl and cream pitcher are adorable. Can’t wait to try it all out together! In the meantime, I’ll be making use of the individual pieces here and there as props for my food photos on the blog.
This is one of the projects that my husband will roll his eyes about. Truth be told, I roll my eyes at myself, too, because it was just such a useless project in the end (and I spent way too much on supplies). Here’s how it went:
Every fall, the artsy boutiques start putting up displays including these velvet pumpkins. They look amazing all piled up, with all the different colors and sizes, and they’re oh-so-touchable and soft. And so easy to make! It was a classic “I want these! I could make these! Let’s buy ALL THE SUPPLIES!” thing for me.
While these really were genuinely easy to make, a few problems arose. The first, of course, is that you need to make a big circle of velvet to gather up into a pumpkin, so you can’t just buy a regular quarter-yard of velvet– it’s too narrow (a fat quarter would work, though). You need to buy at least a half-yard. And the dinky brick-and-mortar fabric stores near me didn’t stock stretch velvet (regular velvet was too expensive and only came in three colors there), so I had to buy online, which basically meant that any orders under $20 weren’t worth paying shipping for, so I bought more. And it’s kind of weird to just make one pumpkin, you have to have at least three or four to make a nice display, and they can’t all be the same color, and the colors have to go together but not be too matchy-matchy… and before I knew it I had 16 different colors of stretch velvet in my fabric stash. Continue reading →