Obsessed: Dapper Animal Plates

I can never walk out of a West Elm empty handed. And while I am in there, I can’t focus and my attention is drawn to every corner. It’s all so great! And I want to see it all at once. But I was prepared when I walked in this time, as I have been slightly stalking these dapper animal plates online. I came in with a purpose, these plates. And they are even fresher in person. I originally had thought these were small salad plates but they can be used as either or dinner plates. (Or even hung up on a wall as decoration! How cute would they be in an unsuspecting place, such as over a headboard?) Don’t serve anything too messy on these beauties, like lasagna. You want a clean dish, like plain buttered noodles, so you can really see the artwork and give your guests an extra thing to smile about when they are through with dinner. Even though these are a sweet treat, don’t forget dessert. ;)

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These plates also come in, not only bear and doe as pictured but owl and bird, dressed to impress, like this handsome couple.

Rustic Snake Wreath

I recently painted my front door a bright, fruity color (anjou pear AF-425 by Benjamin Moore). I love the new color, it’s fresh looking and like a juicy pear, I just want to take a big bite out of it! But my doorknocker does not feel the same as I do. It oddly stands out and makes both the doorknocker and the color seem a bit uncomfortable together. I needed a quick fix and and that’s when I figured a wreath would come to the rescue. I got inspired by Martha Stewart’s snake wreath and made adjustments to make mine a little more rustic, using moss and “graveyard mesh”  that would go with the new door color. It’s so much fun, yet creepy and just perfect for Halloween! Enjoy and happy long weekend!

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What you will need for this quick and super easy project are:

  • an 18 inch grapevine wreath
  • a quarter of a yard of “graveyard mesh” fabric
  • preserved sheet moss
  • about 6 medium size rubber snakes in assorted colors
  • faux cobwebbing
  • a few faux spiders
  • a glue gun
  • scissors

Start off by cutting strips of the fabric. Cut as you go, wrapping the strips of fabric around the wreath, tucking it firmly in the back of the wreath. Repeat until the wreath is wrapped.

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Do the same with the preserved moss, cutting pieces to fit in between the fabric. Tuck in the moss firmly, using the grapevine branches to hold it in place. Give the wreath a good shake, to see where you need to reenforce the fabric or moss. Tuck in or snip off any stray fibers or moss that looks out of place.

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Next: the fun part!

Arrange the snakes to your liking and then begin hot gluing them on, being aware of not gluing so much to the moss, more to the grapevine and fabric. I started on the bottom left hand corner and layered them on, gluing one by one in order. I used 6 snakes in total. Another method you can use is using green floral wire to attach the snakes to the wreath.

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Lastly, take a little bit of the faux cobweb and stretch it out, wrapping the spider in it and securing it to any stray grapevine branches in the wreath. Tuck in a spider or two on the wreath and enjoy frightening all of your visitors!

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Vintage Tablecloths

Are you tired of looking at that same wooden side table as you walk through the door? Afraid to paint it in fears of (a.) hating the color and (b.) getting paint on yourself and everything in your way as you paint it, including the dog? I’m with you. I make an enjoyable mess but the clean-up is not so enjoyable. If I paint something, I have to be sure of the color, I want to be in love with it. Color makes all the difference, I’ve painted the front door twice within a week and it was only shades apart. Isn’t there a difference between creamy avocado and ripe avocado? My husband didn’t think so either, but that darker shade of green made the door sing. (My husband didn’t hear it sing either. Only I did.) I felt that inner calling to grab that paint brush, but surprisingly satisfied that urge with a vintage tablecloth, giving my little table, style and flair. For a few bucks and a good laundering, a vintage tablecloth can give your little table a new life.

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Updated Vintage Canisters

Have your passed up the perfect set of vintage canisters at a garage sale fearing they are outdated and wouldn’t compliment your kitchen? Easily update them with chalkboard labels. It gives them a slightly modern feel, especially with this trend being so in right now.

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I found these Martha Stewart labels at Staples. There is a nice assortment for all of your chalkboard label needs. They are so cute!  I’m inspired to get super organized and label everything! Happy organizing!

 

Garage Sale Love

This past Sunday, I woke up pretty early and took little Daisy dog out for a little walk and did I walk into a fantastic garage sale. I love garage sales but there are garage sales and there are garage sales. This one I happened to run into, was a garage sale. (You have to say it in a deeper voice gaaaragge sale, with emphasis on the r, while dragging out the a and make the second g roll off your tongue.) As with garage sales, thrift shops and wonderful things of sort, you have to dig a little to find treasures. Or you may have to have something like this below, that has a little bit of mind control to it. Is it just me? Those deep cat eyes peering into my soul and mind. “Buy. Just buy. Buy anything.” The crazy part is I don’t even have a cat. But this plate had to come home with me and I know I could not hang it on a wall, as I would be put in a mild trance and I would be afraid of what it would ask of me. But what a fun plate to eat dinner off of! I’m getting such a kick out of it. I may have to eat every meal of of it, it’s just too funny!  I do wish though, that it could put me in a trance to eat less…

With that note, onto food and beverages, or beverages that lead you to food…A fun vintage cocktail book! The character that vintage books have are in the feel and touch. This one feels like lots of fun was inspired by a few of the cocktails made inside. It’s ashame that I don’t live in Boston but I think that the east coast is close enough? Maybe? I can’t wait to make a few fun cocktails out of this baby!

And last but not least, religious charms and amulets. Another great vintage find with a little wear on them. I always wonder what prayers were prayed and which ones have come to realization. These were set up in a secret drawer and did I feel like I hit the jack pot when I found them! These are nice to wear of course or to hang in your house somewhere. They are especially nice hung by doors or to put into your coin purse as a reminder that you are watched over and protected.

 To happy garage sale finds!

 

Mason Jar Love – Snapdragons, Solidago & Asters

So…I feel a little late on the mason jar trend but better late than never. I just can’t get enough of them! I’m obsessed with making sun tea in them, using them as drinking glasses and of course, using them as vases! Why not spoil yourself today and make yourself a little bouquet (or a really big and gorgeous one) of flowers? You deserve it, for simply being you! Enjoy!

In this mason jar, you’ll find snapdragons, a little solidago in the center and asters in the background.

Peonies in a Fishbowl

Was it my lucky day, one day last week as I found this fishbowl at the recycling center! I decided against the fish fearing Daisy the dog would fall into a fit of jealous rage and push the bowl over the tables’ edge as she would see me dote over our new pets. I even had names for them, Henry and Gail but Daisy is the boss, so I’m using the fish bowl as a vase instead. It’s safer for all of us and with the gorgeous peonies available this time of year, it’s just the perfect flower to fill my new “vase”. I love peonies, they are so pretty and smell like a perfect spring day. When picking out your peonies get a few tight buds to mix in with a few that are opened already so you enjoy your bouquet a little longer. I got one bunch that was opening up with some tight buds and by the time I got home they opened up quite a bit. Give your vase some room so the petals fall where they may, making an even more interesting arrangement.

DIY: Denim Jean Napkins

Do you ever go through your closet and you find jeans that aren’t wearable anymore? And you can’t donate them either. Rust colored splatters of paint across the bottoms, just aren’t in, this season. And coincidentally are you in the mood for new napkins for the dinner table? Then it’s time to upcycle those denim jeans into denim napkins! This won’t work for every pair of jeans, they have to be either the right size or wide width. Or you can be inspired to break out the sewing machine and piece some pieces of denim together with a few simple stitches to make a standard size napkin. This look isn’t for everyone but can be if you love that distressed and frayed look. Have fun upcycling those jeans!  

Start out by cutting the thigh part of the jeans, along the seam to measure roughly about 7-8 inches width by 16 in length. This isn’t the standard size but enough fabric to cover your lap and to rub your face clean of spaghetti sauce. You should be able to make four napkins from one pair of jeans, if not find two similar pairs that are in that non-wearable/donatable pile. A standard cloth napkin is about 15-16 inches in width and length and or larger. If you would like the standard size, take two pieces of the denim from the thighs and give it a simple stitch in the middle. Take your pieces of denim and rub them with a stone to softened them up a bit and throw them in with your wash, followed by the dryer. Once you are ready to use your “new” napkins, fold them so you see the fraying, tie with a ribbon or twine and tuck in a flower.

Glass Bottle Garland

My husband surprised me with roses this morning, for no reason! I love flowers given just because. It’s the simple things in life that can bring us such joy on an ordinary, gloomy, overcast kind of day. It was just the thing I needed. Another simple thing that I L-O-V-E is garland made out of tiny glass bottles. This is just perfect, especially with the warmer weather coming. (It has to come right? It was a brisk 37 degrees this morning! I’m beginning to wonder…) I’ve been waiting for the right moment to use this garland and once I saw that bunch of red roses, I knew it would just brighten the grayness of the day. This is so pretty draped across almost anything, as long as there is a supportive wall behind it. This is sweet on a simple fence. Perfect for summertime birthday parties in the backyard. Bring it indoors to hang against the mantle, on a wall in the bedroom or in any part of your space, that needs a little brightening! Enjoy!

This glass bottle garland holds a dozen tiny buds. It stretches about 6 feet across and the wires are easy to manipulate with the bottles, so they stand upright. Use nails to hold the garland in place and check that it holds the weight securely. Once you add water to the vases, it can get a little heavy. Happy decorating!

Here is a close-up of the way it’s held in place…

Recycling Basket

Earth day is a little less than a week away and it’s not too early to start the earth-loving vibes! One of the best ways to show the earth some love is recycling. It’s something I’m really passionate about. I recycle everything possible, from toilet paper tubes to separating packaging down to their recyclable parts. I forgot where I saw this but I just loved it, it was a split garbage can, one side that had ”Recycle” on it and the other side that had ”Landfill.” That’s the type of mentality that is needed to really “Save the earth,” even though it does take more than the simplicity of recycling. It’s a step in the right direction. In our home, a recycling basket is always out, having it out versus hidden really encourages the recycling efforts. (When it’s time to go to the recycling center, I grab one or two roomy, durable and reusable IKEA bags to sort and to carry out. Once the job is done, they easily fold away for the next time.) As with decorating for your home, match your recycling bin/basket with your decor. Have a more modern look? Rectangular metal bins are a sleek look. Love vintage? Vintage ice boxes or apple crates are a great look. More of a naturalist? Woven baskets are great, like shown like below. Happy decorating and recycling!