. -->

11.30.2012

Warm Up With a Scarf Wreath!

over the years, i've grabbed whatever is at hand (or, um, on the floor...)
to create interesting and personal decor for my home each season -
and that's REALLY the case for the Holidays.
an old wreath form gets a new lease on life around here quicker than you can say 
'Fast, Cheap, & Easy'!TM

above and below are two of my own wreaths,
and let me tell you - making them is SO SIMPLE!

here's a quick tutorial:
1. grab a foam or straw wreath form (new or used)
2. find a knit scarf or two (new or used)
3. pin one short end of the scarf to the top of the form (use long straight pins)
4. wrap the scarf tightly around the wreath form, pinning as you go.
5. when you get to the end, pin in place.

if it's a big wreath form, you'll need more scarves. 
hit the dollar store or goodwill for cheap and colorful materials!
you can add whatever you want to embellish the wreath


for the soft knit wreath above, i used burlap and vintage ribbon to make a 'bow' 
then added a bling-y 'blessing' ornament and a vintage crystal.
 [the wreath is hung on my screen door from a woven grass belt!]
 for this one, i used a knit scarf with fun fringed ends.
when both ends met at the top after wrapping it, i foofed the fringe out
and added a vintage ribbon and a flower made from an old chenille stem.
a simple piece of heavy cardstock offers a welcoming message.
 this one is made up of a super-long scarf that i made out of sweater remnants,
tied with a bitty 'scarf' (another remnant), and a felt snowflake ornament.

find my scarf wreath tutorial here

 mine are simple, because that's my style.

now, there are some other gals out there making some drool-worthy wreaths
out of scarves, sweaters, and felted fabrics...
get a load of these!


all three of these brilliant ideas are from the amazingly talented Betz White!

how about this beauty from Bloomsbury Loft!

i met owner/designer Judith last May at the Springfield Ohio Antique Show,
and was instantly delighted by her colorful palette and playful creations. 


this one is from RecoverGirl  - and her post is a tutorial!

in the course of research for this post, i discovered that 
the tv show CRAFT WARS actually had a challenge for contestants
to make a Christmas wreath from old sweaters!


Margot Potter was one of the contestants on that episode,
and she's sharing her considerable talents 
for creating this yarn-wrap wreath in a tutorial on her blog!

are you inspired yet?!

go ahead - grab some of those old funky Christmas sweaters hidden in the attic
(yeah, the ones that look like Bill Cosby wore them in the 80's)
and make some colorful flowers for your knit scarf wreaths!

11.28.2012

Fresh & Green Holiday Decor Ideas!

 to follow up the fabulous SnoWONDER-ful Giveaway last week,
i thought you'd like to see a few more ideas for using it in your Holiday decor!
above, a vintage glass pie plate is filled with sno-balls made from the magic SnoWonder faux snow. 
yes, they hold their shape like that - and are still wet and 'cold'!
they look absolutely real - except you can't do THIS with real snowballs:
 what else can you do with SnoWonder faux snow?

one year for Christmas Eve dinner,
i placed a scoop of sno inside my collection of vintage Santa mugs
and used them at each placesetting:
 i like the simplicity of the sage green ornaments hanging from the chandelier on spiraled pipe cleaners, too.

btw, my spiffy white Santa mugs started out just like the ones you see in antique shops - red and white. 
i just soaked them in hot water and soap, then used an old credit card to scrape off the softened red paint.
it was an easy fix to stay true to my own style!
i am a big proponent of using ornaments all over the place - not just on the tree.
[when the tree is full, you gotta' stop.
but when you fill other containers with them, you can keep going!]
in the photo above, you see a HUGE aluminum pedestal punch bowl filled with a mound of SnoWonder,
and various ornaments nestled into the snow. 


TOP TIP!
see the white, chartreuse, and silver bell in the photo?
it has no back. really. it was broken when i bought it. 
nestle broken ornaments or figures into snow, or glitter, or greenery,
and no one will ever see the back and know that it is not a perfect vintage treasure.
 a clear glass footed bowl also plays host to SnoWonder and some ornaments.
mixing up the ornament sizes, patterns, and shapes makes for an interesting display.
the monochromatic palette of white, silver, and clear neutrals
is invigorated by the shades of green: evergreen, celadon, sage, and chartreuse.
 a white ironstone platter with a huge crack in it 
is still able to serve up a healthy serving of ornaments on a bed of fresh Sno!

since SNOW was the major theme of my Christmas decor that year,
it carried into other ways to bring wintery delights inside.
i mixed clear glass, silver, and white neutrals
with some fresh green colors for simplified style...
 with a soft color palette and not a lot of 'stuff',
the whole look is clean, spare, simple, and spacious...
in a 900 square foot Cottage, keeping it spacious was important! 
i used a fake tree, with mini white lights and strands of large white light bulbs.
sadly, the large bulbs ended up BLINDING anyone who looked at the tree at night!
so I took some polyfil stuffing and placed a 'pouffe' of it as 'snow' over each bulb to soften the brightness.
[NOTE: these were NEW bulbs and burned cool - 
please DO NOT place anything over old or hot light bulbs!]
 i also used large plastic glittered snowflakes on the tree [with one as a topper]
an abundance of white and silver glass ball ornaments in various sizes and finishes
and some funky paper ornaments with glittered designs....
they were gift tags that i bought at a paper supply store on clearance!

[if i were to replicate this look NOW, 
i'd use manilla tags stamped with a green inked design instead]
 on the mantel, glass and silver containers were grouped on either side
and filled the glass vases with MORE ornaments in green, white, and silver - 
i love doing this - it's so easy, and keeps ornaments from breaking!
some pine boughs and white mini lights finish it off.

i also made some fun poinsettia-like flowers
from vintage pipe cleaners and silver resin mini-ornaments.
[i am looking for more of those shaped pipe cleaners
and will put together a tutorial for you soon...]
the flowers sit in a tall silver florist's bucket, with some greens, a large ornament, 
and some dripping silver glass garland.
i like them a lot better than real poinsettias, but those would look lovely here, too.
especially the 'Limelight' variety with bright lime green bracts. 

it didn't take a lot of 'stuff' or money or even time to put this look together - 
just a fresh idea, the color green, and Snow!

 click HERE to visit the SnoWonder website

11.26.2012

Break the Christmas Color Code!

Todays' post comes to us from Lisa Maughmer,
Lifestyle Editor at BROADWAY+THRESHER Magazine.

Lisa is also the proprietor of the vintage boutique Urban FarmHouse in Thornville, Ohio, and has been selected as one of Romantic Homes magazine's 'Romantics' design & style leaders.

Lisa is sharing some fresh 'new country' decor inspiration with us, to show us how unexpected color choices in our Holiday decor can bring BIG results... enjoy!

In my dining room, I let the cupboard choose what "dress" she wanted to put on for the party this year. 
While her main color is a sea foam green, she has many layers. Gray, teal and cream all can be seen peeking out here and there so it was decided: silver, faded blues & greens, tarnished glitter and "dirty" ironstone. 
This fabulous cupboard is dressed quite simply for the season's soirees. 
Plates and bowls are still available for use without being buried (and make your everyday items serve double-duty as decor! ~ Deb) Gather up your collections of ornaments to fill up your bowls and tureens. It's quick and easy. You'll be ready for the shopping, baking and entertaining in no time!

 Pieces of drippy, mica dusted snow add the crowning touch, like the icing on a cake!
Don't pass up those pieces of ironstone at your favorite haunts just because they don't have a lid! 

You can usually pick them up at a pretty fair price, and once they are filled with collections of old ornaments, their beauty will shine through. (Who says ornaments can only go on a tree, anyway? ~Deb)
Rustic and well-loved ironstone bowls are overflowing with heirloom ornaments in shades of blue, cream and green.
Petite ironstone teacups serve up sweet treasures: They are perfect for holding a vintage feather tree glass ball.
Tuck loose ornaments into the of cupboards and shelves. Mismatched shapes and colors add more interest, and even the Christmas Eve mouse is taking a peek! (EEEEEK! ~ Deb)
 

Grouping like colors together makes a collection stand up and get noticed. Even a cast off glass door knob becomes a festive bauble.
 
Garland doesn't always have to hang on the tree. It's perfectly content piled up on this cake stand. (It also looks FABulous heaped into glass candy dishes! ~ Deb)
'One-sies' can add charm to any vignette:
A lone (but stylishly glittered) deer stands guard over a single vintage ornament. 
Below, a charming ornament gets the spotlight




Thank you, Lisa! Such great inspiration for the Holidays!

Remember, Christmas is not all about red and green... it's about making your rooms festive, comfortable, liveable, and memorable for you and your guests. Pull colors from your 'everyday' palette, or bring out a special collection of china, glassware, or linens and let them drive your color choices this year. Just a few touches of a fresh color scheme will make your holiday season bright...

11.19.2012

Front Porch Holiday Decor: Raid the Garden Shed AGAIN!

when you drag out the holiday decorations, what area do you decorate FIRST?
i'm a front door / front porch kinda' person. 
i figure if you begin by creating a warm seasonal welcome at the door,
everything else you do looks that much better!

OK, i'll fess up...
i also think that if your front door / porch is decorated the day after Thanksgiving, 
you blow your neighbors away. 
you win the neighborhood 'who gets their lights and wreath up first' contest.
even if the inside of your house looks like a tornado hit, you look like superwoman!
so, let's start at the front door!

in THIS POST back in August,
i shared photos of my fall front porch: 
well, the decor you see in the photos in today's post is based on the SAME elements used back then:
stuff from the garden shed!
 the galvanized buckets, watering can, and plant stand all stayed in place for the Holidays.

after removing the fall grasses, leaves and pumpkins,
i flipped over the bottom bucket, and then filled all of them up with greens
that i cut from our trees.
the details include a little miniature tree [fake],
pinecones, a birdnest, a banner & burlap stocking that i made
 and
one very cool vintage light globe nestled into the top bucket of greens
is lit from within [night light bulb] to add a soft glow at night.
it looked like a glowing white snowball
and regarding those greens....
you're going to want to pay close attention here, 
because this is my NUMBER ONE 'TOP TIP' for Holiday decorating on the cheap!

HOW TO GET FREE GREENERY:
stalk the landscapers in your neighborhood. 
know when they come - not just to do YOUR yardwork,  but the neighbors. and the common areas.
take them a plate of cookies
[why, yes, i AM suggesting that you SCHMOOZE them!]
and then ask them for some cuttings...
evergreens, pine, fir, cedar, boxwood, magnolias, bay laurel, cypress -
no matter where you live, there are always bushes, trees, and hedges being trimmed.
FREE MATERIALS!

just ask them for the greens before they load it all into their chippers or trucks.
 you will be saving them money when they go to the landfill, so they usually always hand over the goods.

if you live in a rural area, always make sure you have permission to be on the property to cut boughs.
and don't steal them from your neighbor's yard at midnight ;0)

i have been known to pillage greenery from abandoned warehouse complex parking lots
but i am not recommending that YOU do that!

ok, back to the porch...
there was also a very long wood bench (made from an old headboard)
that i cozied up with a huge burlap pillow and a bagful of 'gifts' - 
really just simple boxes tied with burlap & ribbon.
between the bench and the door, there's one of my old folding wire shopping carts,
filled with greenery.
an old snowsled leans against the wall behind the cart, 
and an old brown umbrella is a fitting final touch for the Washington winter weather. 

i didn't buy anything to decorate with -
i just combined things i already had to create a mood.
the white, brown, green, and gray color palette
made for a serene setting that coordinated with the beach house,
and it welcomed neighbors, friends, and family well into January, too...

11.14.2012

Fall Tablescape: Urban Chic

welcome to all who are arriving via my guest post
over on
BROADWAY+THRESHER Magazine's blog!

HOMEWARDfound is all about inspiration for your seasonal decor, 
making use of everyday 'found' items and natural elements
to bring fresh beauty to your rooms each season...
decorate without spending a lot of money!

 my table decor design for B+T 
was created with a cocktail or dessert party in mind -
easy to accomplish in a small space OR on a tight timeline

friends popping in spur of the moment?
grab some of your basic household goods and put them together in a new way
[i call that my trademark 'Fast, Cheap, & Easy' decor!]

this design scheme features a masculine style,
using industrial materials like galvanized metal and wire, 
the roughness of wood, the smoothness of clear glass, 
crisp black dinnerware & linens, and a few whimsical game pieces. 
a few unusual serving ideas make this compact bar or dessert service station
function effectively while looking stylish:
 dessert-size flatware is held in a footed clear glass votive cup, anchored by Scrabble tiles
a dinner plate sits on top of a galvanized watering can,
to elevate and serve aperitif glasses, appetizers, or desserts.

think of every item you own as a possible decorative item, 
and you'll never run out of possibilities for a stunning table, room, and party.
and remember, even though we all love surfing pinterest and blogs and mags for ideas,
don't get hung up on 'what's IN'.... express YOUR OWN STYLE!
________________________________________________________

i would like to express my gratitude and thanks to 
David Gobeli and Andrew Kohn, 
Editors of BROADWAY+THRESHER Magazine,
for asking me to be a contributor to their new publication and blog.
i am honored to be included in their vision,
and look forward to bringing you content that inspires you creatively
and shares the stories of the many creative artisans and businesses in our world. 
________________________________________________________

11.12.2012

Fall Tablescape: Urban Style

this fall tablescape inspiration goes to show that sometimes, 
the most UNexpected touches have the biggest impact...
starting with the centerpiece, we see the VERY non-traditional choice of black.
this is, decidedly, NOT your grandma's Thanksgiving table!

stacking serving bowls and plates and platters creates tiered display pedestals,
which are loaded up with vegetables and fruits in a green - brown - black scheme
that would fit an urban setting perfectly...

the star of the composition is a soft sage-green pumpkin with the word 'blessings'.
this one was scratched with a nail during the growing process and healed over
[but you could get a similar effect 
by using a tan or brown paint pen to write your chosen word]
a brown crust of bread and green vegetables add to the color palette

candles are displayed in simple clear glass holders, 
which coordinate with the clear glassware used at each place setting.
why NOT play around with your table settings?!
Scrabble tiles stand in for place markers and in votive candle cups
and giant versions of the tiles serve as coasters and accents in the centerpiece...
[you might even make up games to play during dinner, using the letter tiles!]

I used this candle idea again in this 5 minute fall tablescape 

the use of clear glasses, simple everyday flatware,  and the unusual choice of black dinnerware 
adds chic, contemporary, urbane style to this table.

the green linen napkins reflect the colors in the vegetables, and a wood napkin ring is used in an unexpected way:
the napkin ring holds a green [fig? nut? no idea what these are. 
i found them on the ground at a local park and grabbed them because of their COLOR!] 
and sits on TOP of the napkin, which is folded into a square and placed in a bowl.

a variation on this style would be to use a sage green tablecloth, coordinating with the napkin and pumpkins:
coming up on Wednesday, another variation on this look will appear
 in my guest post over on the BROADWAY+THRESHER magazine blog
it features some great ideas for a cocktail or dessert party!

PSSSSSTTT...
You can find my tutorial for making Giant Letter Tiles HERE!