. -->


Mothers Day Flowers Are In the Bag!

Flowers from the grocery market or corner florist are the default Mothers Day gift... 
every mother knows that.
[sorry, gang, it's not a secret.]
If you are grabbing a bouquet or potted plant on the way to brunch with Mom,
here's a way to make those flowers look like ANYTHING but 'last minute'...

Hit up a vintage fashion boutique or thrift shop
or TJ Maxx, Ross, or Marshalls if you want something new.
Grab a cute, colorful PURSE or HANDBAG or TOTE BAG.
Put the grocery store flowers into the purse!
[for extra brownie points from Mom, add a matching scarf]

it's GIFT and GIFTWRAP all in one!

Shown here, a simple and inexpensive grocery store bouquet of tulips
placed in a double-layer plastic bag 'vase' is tucked inside a vintage beaded evening bag.
A pair of lacy gloves are the perfect finishing touch...

Potted plants from the hardware store are slipped into a plastic grocery bag, 
then nestled inside a bright, colorful spring purse.

a canvas beach tote or woven market bag would work just as well!

A coordinating scarf is an extra-special finishing touch!

Now sit back and wait for the compliments [and glares of jealousy from siblings]
when you present YOUR flowers to Mom! ;)

psssst.... these would also be PERFECT table centerpieces
for a Mother's Day brunch, luncheon, or tea!

shared online:

Funky Junk Interiors | New Upcycled Projects to Make #625

Yesterday on Tuesday | Project Inspire{d}


Mothers Day Garden Party

Sometimes it is the simplest things that really make a day special...
and a few simple touches combined can turn breakfast or brunch outdoors on Mothers Day
into a treat that Mom will love (and you can enjoy, too, because it's EASY!)

This second theme for Mothers Day decor is a 'garden party', 
and was inspired by the tin can flower baskets I shared for May Day.
[my tutorial for those can be found in this post]
The bright happy colors in the seed packets on the cans and in the flowers
create a cheerful way to celebrate Mom as soon as she wakes up!

Simple Ideas for a Garden Party:

* Obvious theme references are flowers, plants, gardening tools, flowerpots, and seed packets.
Using everyday items like this in the decor means you don't have to SHOP for any!

* A vintage floral tablecloth is used on the table and on the buffet.
[Floral-pattern bedsheets, quilts, or fabric would work beautifully, as well].

* A long table placed in front of a porch swing invites a leisurely morning...
pull up a few folding chairs in slipcovers to round out the seating for an alfresco setting.

* The green dishes are simple melamine picnic ware - easy care, easy cleanup!
Plastic wine glasses for mimosas and ceramic coffee mugs come in handy,
and a small ceramic bowl at each place can hold a used tea bag, an egg, or orange peels.
* Yellow cotton napkins are rolled and popped into the coffee mug handles to prevent 'flyaways'.

* A yellow glazed flowerpot holds flatware on the buffet for easy service.

* The tin can flower baskets paired with flowers, fruit, more seed packets and sassy garden gloves
make charming centerpieces - raised up on clear glass cake plates for presence.

* Gifts are gathered up in cheerful gingham checked bags...
and those same bags make PERFECT covers for just-bought flowering plants.
[Use them in the decor in the morning, plant them in Mom's garden in the afternoon!]

Ready to create a similar tablescape?
You can create tin can flower baskets with my Tutorial

More Mothers Day tablescape inspiration in yesterday's post

shared online:
Creative Country Mom | Home Sweet Garden Party


Mothers Day Tea Tablescape

Mothers Day is this Sunday, 
and this week I have two lovely tablescape inspirations for you...

Today's theme was inspired by the Ivy Dome featured on Monday's blog post
[click over to see my 'Fast, Cheap & Easy' TM project tutorial]

This tablescape is built around the ivy's green and white color scheme
and it is a perfect setting for a brunch, luncheon, or tea outdoors...
This table decor is simple, and the style is all in the details:

* A patio, sunroom, garden, or backyard deck is the perfect location for a party...
umbrellas or an overhead trellis provide dappled shade, and sunhats are a thoughtful touch.

* A garden swing adds to the color scheme and is a whimsical seating option.

* Pots of garden herbs coordinate with the color scheme, and add scent to the setting

* The Ivy Dome sits on a glass cake pedestal, sheltering a lilac-scented candle from the breeze.

* Vintage white ironstone and milk glass pieces hold white tulips and herbs, 
as a centerpiece and as individual nosegay favors at each place setting.

* White lace adds feminine charm in a sprinkling of crochet doilies, 
paper doilies as placemats, and vintage lace gloves & scarf on display.

* Clear glass votive cups in the shape of flowerpots coordinate with the garden theme,
and a lacy white cupcake collar dresses them up to serve the first course.

* The color scheme extends to the fresh gingham gift bags, displayed in a twill totebag.
[...and yes, those are the same gift bags that I used in my office!]

* Vintage glassware in green and blush pink adds a soft touch of color...
matched by the blush wine and ginger rose teabags.

Ready to create a similar tablescape?

You can turn a wire tomato cage into an ivy dome with my Tutorial


Tutorial: Wire Tomato Cage Dome

 I find almost ALL of my inspiration for seasonal decorating in nature...
the materials abundant, the textures intriguing, and the color combinations are dazzling 
[and Mother Nature is NEVER wrong - no matter what color ends up next to another!]

Inevitably, I find myself drawn to arboretums, greenhouses, conservatories,
beaches, parks, garden centers, and nurseries when I have free time.
My trusty camera captures color, mood, and ideas at every turn
that serve as inspiration for projects that I undertake.

Like this one...

I was inspired by the idea of ivy-covered birdcages and domes.
 I saw these two above at Roger's Gardens in Newport Beach, CA 
and the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA.

Below, smaller domed cages hanging at Roger's Gardens
really did the trick of getting my brain into gear.
Combining this inspiration with my penchant for using things in unconventional ways,
I put two and two together... and the result was this sweet ivy-covered wire dome:
Wanna' make one?
It's easy - with just THREE CHEAP 'ingredients', two tools, and half an hour!

continue reading for the tutorial...


Got the Cinco de Mayo Blues?

It's Cinco de Mayo! Are you celebrating yet?!

Yesterday's post was all about a quick bar setup, 
built around a yellow & orange color scheme.
Today, I've got the blues!
Add bright aqua and some magenta to yellow and orange,
and you've got yourself a fast FIESTA!

Inspiration for a Sunday brunch, lunch, or dinner table:
Some 'Fast, Cheap & Easy'TM ideas shown here:

* The aqua glass balls in the centerpiece are actually 'water globes' for plant watering...
Used this way, they look like artist-blown glass decor!
[Available at your local nursery or home supply store]

* A teal glazed plant pot stands in as a riser for a serving tray

* The crackled glass vases and blue PLASTIC stemware 
were purchased for @ $3 each at HOMEgoods

* Fresh fruit and flowers in bright colors make the blue POP
My Secret: The bougainvillea flowers here are all faux garlands from the party supply store - 
I just wadded them up and into the vases, and hung a few on the wall by the bar!

* Standard black [or white] dinnerware is a perfect counterpoint to the bright colors
[Want to see a completely different look using that black dinnerware? 
I shared it last fall here along with my post for Broadway+Thresher Magazine]

 confession time..
I worked in the Washington wine industry for years, and learned a LOT about vino.
But I still 'judge a bottle by it's label' when I entertain...
because I want the labels to match my color scheme!

 I usually end up serving a spicy red wine, 
or making a simple sangria using wine and fresh fruit for a lighter touch.
[Don't miss my 'Cheater 'Rita' recipe for FAST margaritas - 
it's in yesterday's post]


EASY Cinco de Mayo!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!
It's Friday, it's the weekend, and it's a HOLIDAY weekend at that!
Not a REAL holiday, you say? any excuse for a party is my philosophy.
and there's no reason to say 'I just don't have what I need to throw a party'... because you DO!

Here are a couple of 'Fast, Cheap & Easy'TM tips that you can use to literally 
put together a backyard bar setup in mere minutes...
so invite the neighbors over this weekend, and celebrate!

This is really ALL about the color story...
The warm yellows and oranges and the natural wood & terra cotta tones
play perfectly off of each other to create a 'South of the Border' mood.
Focusing on one or two colors is a fast way to coordinate elements...

I just went into every room and closet in the house, and pulled out 'stuff' on hand
that would work with the Cinco de Mayo 'story'...

* $1 bamboo placemats cover the bartop
[and if you don't have a bar, stack some crates or benches 
and throw a bamboo blind over the whole thing]

* a textured terra cotta flowerpot is a riser to hold a serving plate

* a clay ROOF TILE serves up napkins
[could also hold fresh unpeeled fruit]
* a terra cotta olive plate : serves up salsa, and the 'pit well' holds the serving spoon

* a burlap shopping bag covers a blue plant pot [it's pretty, it just didn't fit the color scheme!]
 * bright yellow faux flowers from the 'fall' decor box in the garage add color punch
the marigolds in the pot are real, the yellow mums are faux, 
and the ivy was cut from a wall and tucked into the pot.
better to have a full arrangement for impact than a few spindly marigolds!

* beach towels in hot colors and a woven purse & hat top the cabinet for color + interest
[textures of old wood, terra cotta pots with twine wrap, stucco, and baskets really say 'Mexico']

* A big basket lined with a garbage bag and filled with ice could hold Coronas next to the bar
 Now, for the 'Fast, Cheap & Easy'TM way 
to make Margaritas!

I came up with this one years ago, when my bar supplies had dwindled.
I had tequila. And I had lemons. SO, I improvised and created 'Cheater 'Ritas' -
and discovered that this simple version is just as refreshing as the complicated drinks!

[I prefer it made from frozen concentrate with an additional squeeze of fresh lemon juice,
but Crystal Light or Country Time powdered lemonade drink mix will work, too...]

[I prefer my lil' friend, Don Julio Reposado... but Jose Cuervo works just fine!]

ground sea salt . cut lemons and oranges . ice

* Run the cut lemon or orange across the rim of the glass,
then dip the glass into the salt. Add ice.
[option: skip this step and just sprinkle a TIDBIT of salt INTO the glass over the ice]

* Pour a shot [more or less] of tequila into the glass over the ice.

* Pour lemonade into glass to fill.

* If desired, slice up a lemon and orange, and place a slice on the rim of each glass.

* Stir. Drink. Smile.

* Repeat. [REALLY important!]


Now this is certainly no 'Cadlillac Margarita' for connoisseurs, 
but it is a refreshing, cool libation that is a quick treat to make with what's on hand,
and it's CHEAP and EASY to serve for crowds.

Put some salsa music on the iPod, microwave a tray of taquitos and mini-tacos,
and you've got a party!
Please drink responsibly and enjoy your weekend...


Tutorial: May Day Tin Can Flower Baskets

Happy May Day!
I've been making this cute Spring craft for decades:
flower buckets made from upcycled tin cans and seed packets!

I've had a 'thing' for upcycling tin cans for quite a while...
Back in the 90's, I had a decorative painting business
and made these pails - and I handpainted 'vintage'-look seed packets on the front of the cans. 
Hundreds and hundreds of cans!
 I really loved my friends in the restaurant industry, who supplied me with all I could want.
I painted and sold these with designs for every season and every holiday,
in practically every shape and size of can that exists. Mine had little wire handles, too...
see my Painted Pails here!

Now I've created this version that requires NO painting!
You'll love this 'Fast, Cheap & Easy' TM project -
and will have little buckets of flowers to share with everyone today!

* empty tin cans with lids removed
* seed packets (full or empty)
* string or garden twine & scissors
* manual can opener (with pointed end)
* glue stick optional
* flowers clipped from your yard (or 2" potted plants)

1. wash empty tin cans and remove paper labels [GooGone works well on stubborn glue]
2. use can opener to pierce two holes at top edge of either side of can (point down)
3. use back of can opener to roll and press punctured metal FLAT on inside of can (no sharp point)
4. lay can on side, and lay seed packet over the seam of the can (or over stubborn glue spots!). 
glue in place with the glue stick if you wish.
5. cut @ 24" piece of string/twine and wrap it several times around the can and the seed packet,
 near the bottom of the can. Repeat with another string at top of seed packet/can.
6. tie strings tightly on the back side of the can to hold the seed packet in place.
7. cut @ 24" piece of string/twine, double it, 
and pass the ends through both holes on the sides of the can. tie ends together to form hanging loop.
8. fill can with water (@2 inches) 

 9. add flowers!

 10. hang up on a doorknob or display on a tabletop, counter, or shelf...

You can use empty seed packets, or ones that are still full of seeds - 
and if you can fill the can with the same kinds of flowers that are on/in the seed packet,
it's a doubly sweet gift.

[PS: I found these pretty seed packets at the Dollar Tree store - ten for a buck!]

This project inspired a party decor theme for Mothers Day!
See more in this post

shared online:

2016: Project Inspired{d} Party

one project closer | Creativity Unleashed

creative country mom | Home Sweet Garden Party

the answer is chocolate | bff open house link party #26

see post here


upcycled paper party hat May Day baskets

May Day flower baskets, repurposing, upcycling, paper crafts, paper party hat crafts, Dollar Tree crafts, gift wrapping, flower arrangements,
With May Day just a blink away,
I thought I'd share this SUPER EASY project tutorial with you
so you can share the gift of flowers with family & friends...
let's make flower baskets / cones from paper party hats and gift wrap!

For this project, you'll need:

* old paper party hats
* leftover gift wrapping paper in bright colors and/or prints
* some snippets of ribbon (@ 18' long)
* scissors and a glue stick
* 1 plastic sandwich bag and 1 rubber band per basket
* flowers clipped from your yard or a field

1. & 2.use the glue stick to attach a piece of gift wrapping paper to a hat - start by gluing one edge of the paper at the seam of the hat, roll it around the hat, and glue in place at the seam again.
3. use scissors to trim paper to an even depth around the rim of the hat - leave @ 1 inch for folding over.
4. fold paper into the inside of the hat, 'pleating' it neatly as you go.
5. poke a hole through the gift wrap and the hat on each side, right where the elastic chin-band is attached. the hole needs to go all the way through.
6. pull both ends of the ribbon through both holes, so that the ribbon forms a large loop above the cone. tie the ends of the ribbon together so that they sit inside the cone.

If you want to add a special embellished collar to the cone, add it now.
This is a laser-cut paper cupcake wrapper, simply taped into the inside edge of the cone -
It took two wrappers to fit the cone.
7. fill the sandwich bag with @ one ounce of water. roll the edges down and slip the rubber band over the bottom of the bag - cinch it twice to hold the top closed and keep the water inside the baggie.
8. there will be a very small hole at the top of the baggie - tuck your greens and flowers into that hole. it will hold more than you think!
9. then place the baggie inside the paper cone - a great way to stabilize the cone is to sit in inside a glass to hold it upright as you work. this pilsner beer glass is the perfect shape for the cone!

Your May Day flower baskets / cones are ready!
Display them upright in glasses or vases or hang them on a door or cabinet knob.

Here are a few shots of my creations to inspire you:

 I added faux flowers and a flower seed packet to the real ivy in this flower cone, 
and hung it on the front door to welcome May in style...

2021: many thanks to homebnc for sharing my tutorial in their post!

shared online:

2021 funky junk interiors | diy salvaged junk projects #574

2013 creative country mom | Home Sweet Garden Party