Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Nature-Inspired Tutorials

Disclaimer: I made a goal a few weeks back stating that I was going to complete all of my unfinished projects before beginning any new ones. However, I decided to stretch the rules just a bit. The projects below are perfect for this time of year, and all of the supplies are readily available. Some of the supplies are even free, courtesy of Mother Nature.

I cannot tell you how much I love this diy nature wreath tutorial compliments of maya*made. I think they would be beautiful dusted with some artificial (or even real) snow!


I have had this pinecone garland tutorial from Twig & Thistle bookmarked for ages. It is so simply elegant. It looks great hanging from a mantle, but would also add a nice decorative touch to a fence.

{Twig & Thistle}

This holiday birch wreath tutorial from Design*Sponge is another project I've had bookmarked for a while. I love that it is not your traditional winter/Christmas wreath. There are so many amazing tutorials on this site.


I hope these tutorials inspire you to bring a bit of the outdoors in.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Weekend Wrap-Up


It was another low-key weekend around these parts. The weather Saturday was perfect, warm and sunny. We took advantage of the abnormally warm temperatures to do some yard work, clean out gutters, and get some Christmas lights hung. In my humble opinion it's still a bit early to be decorating for Christmas, but when it takes half a day to get all the lights hung and the weather is permitting you do what you have to. To be honest, I did turn them on for a little while just to admire my handy work. On Sunday, the weather did a 180. It was rainy, and the temperature was much cooler. The perfect weather for crafting, but for whatever reason I didn't work on a single project. In my defense, I need to make a trip to the craft store before I can begin my next project. I did get one crate of the walnuts I mentioned here hulled. One crate down, 13 more to go!

I was so excited to see that Rachel from "One Pretty Thing" linked to one of my Christmas cottage ornaments! You can see it here. There are so many great projects on Rachel's site, it is a great source of inspiration.

Hope your week is a great one!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank You, Veterans


Thank you for your selflessness, honor, patriotism, bravery, and sacrifices. Words could never express the level of appreciation and respect I have for each and every one of you.

Happy Veteran's Day!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

4 Simple Goals-Update

You may (or may not) recall this post  from a couple months back in which I decided to take part in Elsie's "4 Simple Goals" prompt. As I stated in the original post, I tried to pick and list practical goals that I felt I could accomplish. I thought it would be fun to do a updated post to document my progress in getting these goals accomplished. (The updates are in bold.)

1. To Keep This Blog Going. I'm giving myself a time frame of six months, I think that will allow me enough time to get a feel for this new environment, but short enough so I don't run the risk of becoming bored. I want to have meaningful, and interesting things to say, and the minute I feel as though these two things are falling to the wayside, then I'm signing off.

* I have to say, I have really surprised myself that I have kept this blog going for as long as I have. I have a very short attention span, and lose interest in things relatively quickly. I will admit that sometimes I struggle with blog topics, but somehow I continue to persevere. I'm halfway through my six month goal, and only time will tell if I continue on after my initial time frame.

2. Restock my Etsy shop. The shelves in my Etsy shop have been bare quite long enough. I want to find interesting items that both my customers and I love.

*  This goal hasn't been completed for no other reason than my own battle with procrastination. I have several items stashed away that need to be listed but I just never seem to get around to actually doing it. With the holidays approaching I need to get busy!

3. Work on making my dream of owning my own home a reality.

* I know the house plans I want, and where I would like it built but the  lack of funds are prohibiting this dream from becoming a reality for the time being.

4. Complete some (if not all) of the unfinished projects I have laying around my home. I'm notorious for starting a project, and never seeing it to completion. However, this does not dissuade me from beginning another project, which results in the same outcome. I must learn to end this vicious cycle.

* Does it count as an accomplishment if you aren't beginning any new projects, but aren't working on any semi-finished projects either? Some of the projects I have yet to tackle are in-depth (sanding, painting, etc) and would require one to be outside which isn't at all practical in Virginia this time of year. (Yes, I'm using the weather as a scapegoat.)

I'm not doing terrible, but there is definitely room for improvement.

Hope your week is going great!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Seasonal Purgatory

It seemed this weekend Mother Nature may have gotten a bit ahead of herself.

This was the scene when I woke up Saturday morning.

Would someone please remind her that it's just the first of November?

My weekend was pretty low-key, which is exactly how I like them. The only semi-productive thing I did was on Saturday when I had an appointment to get my hair "touched up'. (By "touched up" I mean "get rid of all evidence my hair isn't naturally this blond".) I did manage to get the ornaments I mentioned here finished. I'll share a picture of them soon. I am really pleased with how they turned out.

Was your weekend productive or lazy like mine?

Have a great week!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Random Thursday

This picture was taken over a month ago, and I'm just now getting around to sharing it. It is one of the most charming places I have ever seen. It currently houses an art gallery and a cafe. (On the far right side of the picture is a screened porch area called "The Veranda", which I assume is part of the cafe.)  My favorite feature is/was the different colored shutters. Unfortunately it was closed when we visited, but if the inside is anything near as magical as the outside then I'm certain it's amazing!

Other random notes:

-This news pretty much made my entire week, or month for that matter. So excited!

- I've been painting some cottage (Christmas) ornaments, similar to this. My mom has a friend who owns an antique/home decor shop and I'm hoping to sell a few in her shop. Her Christmas open house in in less than two weeks so I need to get cracking.

-Speaking of cracking, here is this years walnut bounty. All off of one tree. There were two more crates in addition to these, but apparently the squirrels discovered my stash and decided to help themselves. My intentions are to hull, and crack them myself. We will probably keep some to use in baking, and sell the rest.

-This giveaway is worthy of a mention. Click on link for details!

What random things are happening in your world this week?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Wrap Up

Here are a few pictures of our Halloween decorations from this weekend.

*The top-left picture is the result of cutting bat after bat out of plain black poster board and using double-stick tape to secure them to the side of the house. The effect was exactly what I was hoping for. The shadow's cast by the porch light was eerily perfect!

*Inspired by this lady's twig-tree decoration I painted several tree branches with black spray paint, added one strand of orange lights, and for extra sparkle added some orange and black Halloween ornaments. 

*A picture of this year's jack o' lantern. Normally, I carve very elaborate, time consuming pumpkins. However, this year with all the other decorations, and my terrible time management skills I kept it pretty traditional.  

A couple of other Halloween related mentions:

As promised here is a picture of the contents of my Sweet & Sinister swap box. 

It included:

- An embellished vintage picture frame that Christine (my swap partner) painted with chalkboard paint. She also made the "Spooky" banner that adorns the frame.

-A handmade journal/photo album. It has several blank pages just waiting to be filled.

-Also included was a little tin, also embellished, filled with lots of both vintage doilies, and lace.

Another thing worthy of mentioning is that this weekend Rachel from "One Pretty Thing" featured my marshmallow treat lollipop's tutorial in her "Halloween Food Roundup".

Random fact: We had 13 trick or treaters this year. Could there be a more perfect Halloween-ish number?

How was your Halloween weekend?