Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fall decor and a free printable

As I'm sure I have written before, Fall is my favourite season. There is something about the cool crisp air, the changing leaves, the warm, yummy tastes and smells (hello Pumpkin Spice Latte!) that hold such anticipation and promise.

Now that Fall has officially arrived, I have my decor all set up. Just in time it seems! Our Canadian Thanksgiving seems so much earlier this year - only a week and a half way!

I have been inspired by all of the fall mantels I've seen on other blogs and on Pinterest boards this season, so I thought I would try my hand at the 'layering' technique that everyone is using.

I didn't want to buy a lot of new decor, so I stuck with what I had on hand. That being said, my layering probably isn't as good as it could have been, but it was fun getting creative with what I already had in the house!

We don't have a mantel, but we do have a nice sideboard in our dining room and that works just as well.

Now you are probably asking, is that a wedding photo in the display??? Well, yes. Yes it is.

My husband and I were married on Thanksgiving weekend three years ago (there is a blog post about it here). So I thought the photo was fitting, plus it helped out with the layering.

The smaller frame on the left was a shower gift. It holds the verses about love from 1 Corinthians 13 in the Bible.

The lady who gave us this gift is a talented calligrapher and wrote this out BY HAND! It is unbelievable when you look at it up close, it is so perfect it looks like a computer font. WOW.

The white frame on the right was originally brass and purchased for 10 cents at a yard sale. A couple coats of spray paint and tada! Funky vingtage picture frame.

Now check out the artwork in the picture frame. This is my first attempt at a free printable for all of my lovely readers! That's you!

Follow the link at the end of the post and you can download it for FREE! Don't you just love free stuff? I know I do!

I gave the candles some height by using glass dessert bowls from my kitchen cupboard. I placed one candle on top of and the other inside of a dish.

The dried bouquet is actually my wedding bouquet! You can see what it looked like on my wedding day at the same blog post mentioned above.

The lantern I picked up this summer at the thrift store. It usually lives in our front porch, but I thought it worked well inside for this display.

The white mini pumpkins I did purchase this year at the supermarket, but they were just 50 cents each, not a big expense.

So, what do you think? Was my first attempt at layering a success? Any suggestions? 

Don't forget to download your free printable! It's available in two sizes.

Note about downloading: This links to a Google Doc.
When it opens, click on 'File' in the top left, then 'Download' in the drop down menu.

I'm linking up with these great link parties this week as well as Centsational Girl's Autumn Mantel Link Party.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Phone shelf update with vintage jar organizer

We keep our phone, pens, sticky notes and other odds and sods on one of the shelves on our ladder shelf in our eating area off of the kitchen. It was a boring little shelf with our pens et all being held in a tired-looking black desk organizer that I'm sure came from the dollar store eons ago. It had been bothering me for awhile, but I just hadn't gotten around to doing anything about it.

Here are the "before shots".

Notice the black book on the left? That is my address book that has got to be about 15 years old AT LEAST. It is soooo out of date, I'm not even sure why I still have it. As you will soon find out, it DID NOT make it into the update! 

I had this charming vintage, coloured-glass jar that I picked up at a thrift store (you can read about other coloured glass pieces I've collected here).

 I thought it would be PERFECT to store the pens etc. And it is! See?

The wire handle holds the sticky notes just right and the lid works to store my clips. Did you notice the nicely coloured pens in the jar? A re-organized pen jar calls for some fancy pens! I dug them out of my craft area. I will get more use out of them on the shelf here than stuffed away in a drawer in the basement!

Here is the finished shelf (clearly my other shelves now need work).

Did you notice my addition? I wanted to add a little something extra to the shelf besides the phone and a jar for pens. I had some little  vintage books that I'd picked up at a thrift store a long time ago (these were also stuffed away in the basement). They are the perfect size and the red adds a little pop of colour. They are very beautiful OLD books and I think I will have to do another post about them someday soon. One of them is a New Testament from 1921!

In order to make them stand on their own, I fashioned myself some homemade book ends out of a cardboard box I salvaged from the recycle bin.

I cut out one corner of the box and cut it in half lengthwise.

I taped the two pieces together to fit the width of my book stack, and VOILA! The perfect book ends. I hid the cardboard inside the covers of the two end books, so they aren't visible from the front or sides.

What do you think? Was the shelf update a success? I am happy to be putting to use some items that were just sitting around not doing anything.

*My apoligies that my photos aren't the best, it was dark outside when I took these shots so the lighting wasn't the greatest.

Check out my Link ups page to see who I'm linking up with this week!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Vintage charm in a box

On my most recent visit to my parents' place, (side note - they still live in the house that I grew up in and it's even the house where my mom grew up - talk about family history!) I was in the kitchen with my mom when she pulled out her recipe box and sighed "look at this mess!" She was referring to her overstuffed, disorganized recipe box. The age of searching for recipes online and printing them out on letter-sized paper has wreaked havoc on recipe boxes everywhere! Can anyone relate to this?

But that's not really the point of this blog post. She continued on and commented that she had had this particular recipe box since she was a young girl in 4-H club. I did the math and we're talking almost 50 years here - now that's vintage! (just the box, not my mother.) It's the only recipe box I've ever known my mom to have and I remember it well. Now, having a love for things of a vintage nature I have a new appreciation for this little metal box that I've seen all my life. It is so perfectly 60's and full of retro charm. I'm so glad she kept it all these years! It was definitely worthy of a mini photoshoot, so I emptied out its disheveled contents to capture all its angles.

Now if I would just organize all my mother's recipes for her, I just might become her favourite daughter...just kidding, my mom would never play favourites. But perhaps recipe organization is a subject for a future post.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

All buttoned up

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the cute buttons I found (read about it here). I had my first opportunity to put them to use this past weekend. My niece turned three and we got together with family to celebrate. Here is how I wrapped her gift.

I love how the green buttons match the green polka dots in the wrapping paper and just make it POP! What a happy coincidence - I had this paper on hand already.

No sewing required here. I just threaded the green ribbon through the button holes with a needle.

The little frill on the edge of the purple ribbon gives it a bit of extra girliness.

With a name like this, how could I not make a flower out of buttons?

I thought about pulling out my glue gun for decorating the envelope, but I went the quick and dirty route and just used double-sided tape. It worked out just fine and dandy.

So much fun to be had with a bit of ribbon and a few colourful buttons!

Check out my Link ups page to see where I'm linking up each week.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fantastic fabric

I am so excited! I ordered some fabric online last week and it has come in the mail. Don't you just love getting packages in the mail? I know I do!

I have been searching for the perfect accent pillows for our living room sofa for awhile now, but I just couldn't seem to find ones that were 'just right'. So I thought maybe I should attempt to make my own pillow covers. I went to the local fabric shop, but again, didn't see anything that I LOVED.

Then I found out about this great online fabric shop Tonic Living from reading this post by {aka} design. I fell in love with sooo many fabrics after checking out their site - you should take a look!

So here is what I decided on. It's called "Gazebo, Cloud". The colours are perfect and I love the water colour kind of look the pattern has.

The fun thing about Tonic Living is that you can order fabric samples for just a $1 each. So in addition to my 2 yards of fabric, I also ordered some fun samples of the other patterns I loved. The samples vary in size, but they are all around 8 inches square more or less. I'm not sure what I will do with them yet, but I think they will come in handy with future craft/DIY projects. Aren't these patterns so great?

So now I'm off to sew some pillow covers. Fingers crossed that they turn out well (my sewing skills are limited)! Stay tuned for a post about my finished pillows!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Chalkboard update and fancy chalk

I nabbed this cute little chalkboard at a yard sale this summer for only a dollar. The price was right, but a makeover was definitely in order. Here's a photo of the before (well, it's partway through its makeover, I got excited and forgot to take a true 'before' photo, but you get the idea).

The natural wood look wasn't doing it for me – a little too folk artsy.  At one point in its life, I bet that little knob at the top had a pair of wooden folk art hearts hanging from it by a piece of twine... I knew right away that it needed an update.

Here is the finished product after I painted it white, repainted the chalkboard area and scuffed it up the frame a bit to give it an aged/distressed feel.

I had these little clips just sitting in my 'office stuff' box, so I decided to use one on the board to give it a bit more functionality.

Here is the finished product. The clip is attached to the little knob on the board with a scrap piece of fabric and I added a coordinating decorative brad to the clip just to make it extra cute! The final piece has kind of a vintage country look to it, much better than the original folk art look.

Right now I am using it as a birthday calendar and I can clip coupons to it that I will use when gift shopping.

A new chalkboard deserves a good box of chalk, right? I had my eye on the 4-pack of nicely sharpened chalk from Martha Stewart's office supply line at Staples. But I couldn't bring myself to pay $4 for 4 pieces of chalk! (Sorry Martha.) I opted for the 12-pack of Crayola chalk instead – it was only 95 cents. 

I thought to myself, if Martha can sharpen chalk, surely I must be able to as well. So I tried it out when I got home and it worked out perfectly! Who knew? I'm so pleased with my lovely sharpened chalk that I got for a fraction of the price.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my new chalkboard and fancy sharpened chalk!

Linking up with:
{aka} design
organize & decorate everything
beyond the picket fence
The DIY Dreamer

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