Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pretty Places: Maine Mountains

A couple of weeks ago Z and I took a little day hike up a local mountain & got to see some gorgeous fall scenery. It was just past peak, so there were some trees that had already lost their leaves. Still, it was breathtaking. (Ignore the date stamp on these pictures.. I don't know what was going on.)

{bottom of the trail}

{along the easy part of the trail}

{a little steeper..}

{the top}

The funny thing about me posting these a couple weeks after they were taken is that we got 4.5 inches of snow the other night. And today.. it was all gone again. Oh, Maine.. how I love you..

Stay tuned for the snow-covered pictures!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

DIY Birch Bark Luminaries

Z and I have been property shopping lately. Sunday, on our trek through a 98 acre, heavily wooded tract of land, inspiration hit. I kept seeing pieces of birch bark that had fallen on the ground and knew I had to do something with them. I absolutely love white birch trees- I grew up around a lot of them, and their white trunks are just breathtaking when seen in a large cluster.

I picked up a couple of glass vases at Wal-Mart for $2 each. I also used some spray adhesive and mod podge I already had. I pulled the bark apart into smaller pieces, and even separated the top layer from the thicker bottom layers where it was possible. The thinner the piece of bark is, the easier it is to attach to the vase.

One piece at a time, spray the back with a thin layer of spray adhesive. After letting it set for ~10 seconds, press it firmly onto the vase. Then, 'paint' a moderately thick layer of mod podge on top & secure with a rubber band. As long as the pieces were staying on okay, I applied several before putting a rubber band around them.


It's important to remember to take the rubber band off before the mod podge dries. If you don't, you risk pulling off part of the bark with the band.

Keep repeating the same steps til you have the whole vase covered. The mod podge will look pretty milky, like below..



But will dry clear, like this:


I opted to leave the glass rim at the bottom free of bark. However, there was mod podge residue there when it dried. So, I took some steel wool (any abrasive scrubbing pad should work) and rubbed around the bottom, being careful not to pull or tear any of the bark in the process.


Once I finished, I placed a smaller glass candle holder with a votive in it inside the larger one. Using the extra candle holder makes it easier to change candles when one runs down. Here's the finished product without the candles lit:



And.. with the candles lit:



Gorgeous, if I do say so myself. What do you think? Would you bring the outdoors into your home like this?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Glass Candlesticks

I know I'm not the only one who loved Keith Johnson and Glen Senk's (Anthropologie & Urban Outfitters big wigs) NYC apartment that was featured in Elle Decor's October '09 issue. Each time I look through the pictures a different accessory or element catches my eye. But, wanna guess what grabbed my attention at first sight in this photo?


The candlesticks. I loovee them. The room is a wee bit too eclectic for my own personal taste, but I'd use those candlesticks in ANY room. I'm on the hunt for some similare ones, but the closest I've found so far are the lumiere candlesticks from cb2.


They're made for taper candles though, and I'd really like to find thicker ones. Anyone have any suggestions??

In case you haven't seen them, here are some other photos of their apartment, all taken by photographer William Waldron:



The living room that was on the cover has to be my fave. But.. that's another post altogether.

You can find a gallery of all the photos on Elle Decor's website.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fail: DIY Candle & Gourd Fall Centerpiece

The hubby and I are staying in my parents' "basement apartment" right now until we can find & close on a house. So.. since there's only so much you can do to make a basement look pretty, I've been having fun storming up all sorts of ideas for my parents. Luckily, they're quite receptive of my projects so it's been fun.

With our recent moving process, I hadn't been able to do any fall decorating of my own. To relieve my "itch" I whipped up a fun little centerpiece.

I found this decorative tray my mom had stashed above the refrigerator.



Then I lined it with a piece of burlap with the ends frayed a bit {I know, big surprise.. :)}.


I placed an assortment of gourds on the tray in a design I liked.



To add a little extra "pretty", I cut out holes in the 3 larger gourds in the back & inserted candles.



Then, just to top it off, I tied some jute around the big candle & two of the gourds (had to use hot glue for it to stay on the gourds). Annddd.. we're done! Somehow in the commotion of everything, I didn't get an after shot.. and now I can't get one.. read on. [For the record, though.. it looked suuuper cute. For real. :) ]



AFTERTHOUGHT: So.. I waited a week to post this, and in that time I found something out. Cutting holes in the gourds causes them to rot.. fast. I came home from work today to find a giant green spot on my biggest gourd & the other two I put candles in were quite mushy. Soo.. nice thought but if you want this project to last longer than a week, I'd suggest figuring something else out.

This is all I have left now.. (the rot soaked into the burlap & even got the tray dirty so I had to wash it).



Can't win 'em all, right?? :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Placemats @ The DIY Showoff Today!

My Numbered Burlap Placemats are featured today on the DIY Showoff. Go check it out!


While you're there, check out all the other yummy burlap & jute projects!! Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Get Excited & Make Things

I have no idea if I'm the last one to see this or not, but I love it. And I thought my fellow creative, DIY-ing readers would just love it too. Remember the uber famous "Keep Calm & Carry On" posters & memorabilia? It's poster child (ha ha, get it??) is even more genius.


This one's toooooootalllly more my style. I don't always do well with the keep calm thing, but getting excited and making stuff?? yeahhh.. I got that part down! Anyone else with me??

One more thing for all you design-loving divas, check out pk's mag giveaway! You know I love me some magazine eye candy!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pretty Places: Maine

I was thinking to myself the other day.. I wish I could show you all the beautiful sights up here. But, since I can't afford to fly all 5 of you that might want to come, up here, I'll just post some pretty pictures from our move and our first few days here. New England seriously has my heart, so it's with great pride that I plaster this post with photos. :) I just hope you love it as much as I do.

{oops.. this isn't maine. this would be ohio.. and the beginning of our trip to maine.}



{entering new england & starting to see some pretty foliage}



{maine's rocky coast}



{hubby took those last two from an interstate lookout. unfortunately the cloudy skies were hiding my beloved Mt. Katahdin.. but looookk at those colors!!}


{these last two are taken from the top of my parents' driveway. in that first photo the part of the mountain on the far right is a ski resort. love.}


{love hilly, winding country roads}


{so picturesque!}

{and to top it off, a rainbow :)}


Monday, October 5, 2009

Design a la Tar-jay

You've read about my love for Target before, but now that I'm 2+ hrs from the closest store, I've resorted to online browsing. What's neat is that they have a ton of online items that aren't even in stores. I was pleasantly surprised with the design of a few particular items.. wanna see??

Thought so. :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Featured!

While I was absent from blog-land with this moving process, I was featured over at Living with Lindsay.

I love this girl- I'm pretty sure we were meant to be friends! :) She shared my Beachy Bathroom Art with her readers. Pop on over to check it out!

Thanks Lindsay!

DIY: Numbered Burlap Placemats

Whew! I'm finally back! I've spent the past week packing and moving like a mad woman. But now, we're officially back in beautiful New England. I haven't had 2 seconds to blog until now. Now that I can, I want to share a little project I completed back while we were in the midwest.

This is part 2 of the tabletop make-over I mentioned here. All you need is burlap, a sharpie marker, some printed numbers, and an X-acto knife. I just so happened to have all those materials laying around my house from previous projects, so it didn't cost me a cent!

Step 1: Print out desired numbers in a stencil font (if your ink is low, it'll look like mine):



Step 2: Cut out the numbers with an X-acto knife. I placed a piece of cardboard behind the paper so I wouldn't scratch up anything else.. that happens enough around here! :)



Step 3:
Use a placemat you already have as a guide to cut out pieces of burlap for your new mats. Tip: cut along the threads of the burlap for an even, straight, & less-fraying placemat.



Step 4: Lay the paper stencil on top of the burlap and trace the outline with a Sharpie. Then, remove the stencil and fill in the middle with the marker. {You can also just leave the outlines.. I was tempted, but decided to go with the full-coverage option ;) }



When you're finished, it should look like this:


To secure the edges, sew a small line about 1/4" from the edge with a similar, tan-colored thread. Then, lay them on your table and do your happy dance!


Such a cheap & chic fix for a boring tabletop. I couldn't help thinking that this would be a genius idea for a big family like the Dugars- each kid would have a number! We have friends with 13 kids, and when they need to make sure everyone's there, they count off by birth order. Numbered placemats just seem perfect, eh? :)

Or, of course.. it could just be the two of you (like us) & you'll love it just as much!