Friday, November 18, 2011

Nutcracker Knockoff

I heard the first Christmas song on the radio this morning.  It reminded me that I needed to share these awesome nutcrackers with you today!

I saw these awesome Nutcrackers online at one of my favorite window shopping stores, West Elm.  But with the small one starting at $29 there's just no way I can justify that!  Not to mention, there's not the widest variety of colors to choose from.  (do you see where this is going?)

Then I came across this knockoff at House of Hepworths and I liked where Allison was going with her idea.  (she has a great tutorial too).

So, I took both ideas (and knowing that I definitely wanted some color) and ran with them.

Let me also say - if you make these yourself get some double stick foam tape (3M makes some) and double stick the bottom of the nutcrackers to the lid of a spray paint can (or something similar).  It will serve two purposes A) it will give you somewhere to hold while you paint them {everyone paints things while holding them, right?  I found it was the only way to really get them coated well} and while you glitter them, and  B) it will make it easier when sitting them down to dry so they don't topple over.  Ask me how I know this.

Left: glittered white Center: textured metal paint (black with copper flecks)  Right: glittered apple green

I used just about every color spray paint I have :)  and I added my favorite accessory:  Glitter!!

Left: plain red with glittered axe Center: plain blue with glittered drumsticks and drum Right: glittered orange

Left: glittered aqua  Center: glittered red  Right: hammered metal paint in gray
Some of them are solid glitter, some solid paint, and a couple of the tall ones I added just a touch of glitter.

Left: glittered apple green Center: glittered lilac  Right: hammered metal paint in gray

And here they are all lined up outside.  My little nutcracker terracotta army.  And no, I'm not completely nuts (you did notice I had to say not COMPLETELY nuts, right?), I only have one of these in my house (the little fat red one) the others are going to the shop today!

Are you getting in the holiday spirit yet?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Boa-tiful Christmas Mantle

I have a fun, easy, beautiful Christmas garland to share with you:

None other than a white feather boa!! :)  I thought it would be mostly gaudy and tacky, with a side of fun and 'ok' but I was so not giving my idea not enough credit.  The boa is fabulous (yes, a little gaudy still) but fabulous none the less!

I just strung two boas across my mantle with a string of white lights and voila!  Instant awesomeness.

Do you recognize these trees?

Last week I told you about them in this post.

Now they're on my mantle and I put lights in one and the other I stacked on top of an old pot (painted teal) to make it taller.

And these candlesticks?  Also from last week's post?

Now they add the a little silver to my thrifted glasses which are the perfect touch of color.

One was a teal glass that I painted the inside of with looking glass spray paint.  The other one was a clear drinking glass I painted with krylon's glitter blast spray paint (sparkling waters).  I haven't used this before and I have to say even though it coated wonderfully I was rather irritated when after using the can ONCE (to paint this glass) the nozzle stuck in the OPEN position and I could not.  get.  it.  stopped.  The entire can sprayed out in my trash can (outside).  Needless to say, tomorrow I will be getting a new one.  Hopefully they'll trade it out - we'll see how that goes.

Anyways, here they are side by side - one sparkly with glitter, the other shiny and sophisticated, but surprisingly very similar in color (that part was all luck - I bought the paint for a different project and had no intention of painting this glass - maybe that's why it sprayed all out ;) ?

And here's a nice dark picture of my mantle.  Tomorrow when it's light I'll photograph it in the daylight.  I was too excited to share and didn't want to wait for pictures. UPDATED: with daytime photos :)


ps.  remind me to tell you the story about half the stuff off my mantle coming crashing down around 11pm last night...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Goodwill Hunting with bonus tutorial

I heart goodwill.  Like super big red glittery ruffeldy puffy {heart} goodwill.  I heart it as much as I heart driving around looking for trash people put by the road for me to stuff in my car to take home and make something new out of.

I like other thrift stores too (notice I use the word like).  I know a lot about goodwill and their pricing too.  I know there's one by me that charges more than others because apparently they think THEIR donated stuff is worth more than other stores donated stuff.  It's ok, I still shop there, but I'm careful what I buy.  I know where four goodwills are within driving distance.  I know there's an awesome one across town that I go to when I head that way (it's like 45 minutes from me).  I also know that they open at 9 am.  Perfect timing for me when I have to take kids to school at 8:30, I can stop and get a coffee and be there when they open.  Genius.  

I have been to all four GWs near me this week.  Hm..what does that say about me?  Nothing else to do it seems.  That's so not true.  I'm getting ready for Christmas (first time I have EVER been ready to decorate so early - thanks Pinterest!) and my shop needs more stuff! I thought I'd share a few things I've found this week.

First - this nifty lamp.  Lovely Terrible phone pics here, sorry!  White ceramic barrel base.  Wooden stem (is it a stem?  who knows.  looks like a stem to me!).  I thought I would cover the flat part of the base in some awesome damask.  Maybe paint the stem a nice bright color - maybe teal or fuschia, and a new shade.  I found a couple shades also, but neither worked with this shape.  This one needs a drum shade - nothing with even the tiniest of taper, trust me, I tried.

This (again, wonderful pic) is the shade I picked up.  Medium gray with a little texture.  Perfect shape and size!  Here's the lamp is trying it on for a fitting ;)

Three silver candlesticks.  While they all look similar they do not match.  I also got some glasses to make into mercury glass and put on the top of these.  I thought they'd look nice on a Christmas mantle.

Then I got these glasses.  They're the perfect size for the candle holders.  I'm trying to get the mercury glass technique to work on them.  Honestly, I think I have a bad can of looking glass spray paint.  This can isn't working at all like the others have.  I need to go get a new can and try this.  Because if I hadn't done mercury glass before (see here) I'd have given up by now!!!

See?  Fits nicely.

Two drum shades and a stick lamp.  The chocolate shade would be perfect for a pendant light.

And a bonus tutorial for you :)  Yay!  I know you're SUPER excited now!

I also picked up these candle holders (the pic shows one, I promise there really are two).  Wouldn't they look great on a mantle?

I mean, you know WITHOUT the candle holder thing on top and then painted white?  Maybe even with some Christmas lights poking through?  I thought they were Awe. Some!  So, here's how I did it.  Take your hammer.  Beat the metal round thing on top.  Beat it some more.  Wait - a few more times.  All around the circle.  If it starts bending down, then beat it from the bottom.  There's nothing nice and sweet about taking this bad boy apart.  Mad at someone?  Great!  Use it to beat this thing apart.  Eventually the welds (there are 5!) will break and the circle will come off.  Then you're left with this:

Throw the circle in the trash.  Save the tree.

Get your spray paint out.  Paint them.  I didn't want mine perfect.  I actually liked them the way they were, but I wanted them white, so I painted.  Here they are.  Sitting in my garage waiting for their place on my mantle.  :)  yay!  I think they're so pretty.  They'd be awesome in a bright color too.

And one two last photos. I'm raising my boys right - already painting furniture! I'm so proud.  lol.

Go forth and create!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Breakfast room before and after

{I had no idea this post was headed this direction!  Very wordy... be prepared} 

With the holidays looming I have this sudden urge to get the house in order (maybe I should blame it on Pinterest :).  My house has been a big, giant dorm room of sorts since we moved in over 4 years ago.  If you've seen pictures of my house now you probably question this, but let me assure you - it was bare walls and furniture a year ago. 

I didn't have any confidence in myself.  I didn't think I had any style - well, I wasn't sure of my style.  Would other people like it?  Would they approve?  What would they say?  The questions were binding.  They prevented me from moving forward.  I've never been a catalog page girl - don't get me wrong, I L-O-V-E Pottery Barn, West Elm, Restoration Hardware, Anthropologie, Crate and Barrel... the list could go on, but as much as I love their stuff (NOT the prices) I always wanted to be different (but was still worried about what others would think).  Not to mention I have two little boys.  Two adorable boys (only a year and a half apart) who LOVE their toys...  I was exhausted, overwhelmed, and undermotivated.

A little less than a year ago I started refinishing furniture.  Enter Lizzy.  We were mere acquaintances a year ago, but that has changed.  When I put my first piece of furniture up for sale, she snapped it up.  She has since bought about 7 pieces of furniture from me.  She was IS my biggest cheerleader, the one there saying 'you can TOTALLY do this!'  When I started decorating inside my house it was only on top of one dresser that I had painted.  Then slowly it overflowed onto my mantle {see the mantle here} well, today It (the decorating) finally made it to my breakfast room (the kitchen, living, breakfast room are all open to one another).

Lizzy is a huge part of the reason that I took the leap to finally decorate everything.  She believed in me, she reminded me that it's ok to not be perfect, and that it didn't matter what ANYONE else thinks as long as I love it.  She helped me find me (and God) again amidst a sea of chaos.  We all need a friend like Lizzy.  Someone who will stand in your corner and shout your name to the Heavens.  Someone who just says 'do it, it will be perfect.'  And with that, here is the reason I started this post in the first place.

Here's the before:

I took that giant photograph up there (the tulip) about 5 years ago.  I love it.  It's beautiful.  But it does NOTHING for the space.  It adds zero personality. So, I started with the beautiful window my mom brought me back from New Mexico, then the big vintage frame with the blue around the edge, and I filled in the space from there.  I didn't buy anything for the redo - it's all stuff I already had. 

The ornament is a mercury glass ornament I made using this technique.  I tried hard to perfect the technique so I could write a tutorial, but it just. wouldn't. work.   The scrolly thing under the framed ornament is from a lamp I picked up off the side of the road.  The lamp was useless - totally falling apart, but I salvaged this piece off it and thought it would be cool somewhere, someday.  I guess today was the day.

It's been pretty rainy here today, so I will get better photos once it's not as dark outside.

I think I'm going to do some holiday subway art to go in there somewhere, but for now it's done.

Do you have a Lizzy in your life?  Someone who roots for you when even you don't feel like rooting for you?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Anthropologie knock off vase

My very own Anthropologie chrysanthemum vase!

I LOVE this vase (who wouldn't??)

I love everything about it.  Size, color combo (especially the color combo) but I'm to cheap thrifty to spend $28 on one.  I was in my favorite store (goodwill :) and found this obnoxious lovely number.  You might want to slip your sunglasses on.

I lucked out because it's a great shape, and has nice flowers, but seriously?  Pumpkin orange???  Don't worry, I fixed it.

Whew, better already.  Primed and painted with the aqua color.  At this point the vase itself is finished.

Then I hand painted the orange flowers with Gloss Enamel (found with the acrylic paints in the craft store).  I mixed some red with some orange to get just the right color.  Please pretend the mess in the background really isn't there. 

And here it in it's new home.  (Next to my new mercury glass chalkboard and my west elm knock off vase!)



What's the verdict?  Like it?

Happy autumn!

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