Blog Parties

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Taste of Spring

This morning before work I decided to venture outside to my backyard. And look what I found.

My peach tree is starting to bloom.

And some of my spring bulbs are already blooming. And it's still January!!!

Spring comes early to southern California.

Lucky me!

Linking to:

Winter Bliss(dom) over at The Inspired Room

Show and Tell Friday over at My Romantic Home

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's still winter

Brrrr! It's been a bit nippy here in southern California. That means it still must be winter.

I have made a decree that this will be the last week of winter.

Inside my house that is.

I wish that I could make Mother Nature comply. But alas, I can not.

Sorry! If I could, I would have all of you living in warm sunny weather.

But since I only have dominion over my own household (I hope that hubby doesn't read this), I can only enforce the decree in my own home.

Before I banish all traces of winter, I thought I would share a few more winter vignettes with you. My winter theme was trees, snowflakes, birdies and silver.

I filled this cheese dome cloche with silver & white glass pinecones and a couple of crystal snowflakes.
I used birds to remind me that spring will soon be on it's way.

I got my fleur de lis and the birdy votive holders from Dollar Tree.

I love this photo holder. I picked it up from Goodwill last year for a buck. This is the first time I have used it.

I have a few CD's with vintage images that I've picked up over the years. I just printed some winter birdy prints and letters to spell out winter. I love how this turned out.

This glittered Eiffel Tower is actually a Christmas ornament. I took it off my tree & put it under this cloche. Added some Epsom salt for snow. I love how the glitter is already tarnishing.

I think this is my favorite cloche I've decorated so far.

Printed out a vintage winter time bird print & propped it up on a flower frog. Stole some rocks from my fountain & used my sharpie pen to write "Brrr". Added Epsom salt for snow.

Behind the print I added a small collection of vintage bottles. Then I added some broken twigs from our weeping willow tree. Placed everything on a silver tray.

I forgot to take a photo of this entire vignette on the sofa table behind my couch. Basically what you are missing are 5 silver candlesticks between this cloche & the Eiffel tower cloche. So you aren't missing much.

I hope that you enjoyed seeing a bit more winter decor. Next week I'm hoping to have all my Valentine decorating done. But I've really enjoyed decorating for winter this year.

If you missed seeing my winter mantel and china hutch, you can see them here & here.

And one final thing, be sure to visit all the parties that I'm linking too this week. There are so many talented people out there in blogland. You wouldn't want to miss them.

Linking to:

Tabletop Tuesday over at Grits and Glamour

Three or More Tuesday over at The Gypsy's Corner

Winter Bliss over at The Inspired Room

Show and Tell Friday over at My Romantic Home

Friday, January 15, 2010

Winter Mantel Tweeked

TGIF!!!!! Oh my, am I happy it's Friday. Has this seemed like the longest week to any of the rest of you? It has to me. I have never been so happy for a Friday in a long time.

I have something to confess to you all. I'm a tweeker. Luckily not the drug kind. But the decorating kind. I'll bet most of you are tweekers as well. Come on, you can admit it.

I know I already posted my winter mantel earlier in the week along with my china hutch. But I tweeked my mantel just a little. So I thought I'd share it with you again.

I added 3 things.
Just small things.
But those small things make me happier.
What did I add to this side of the mantel?

I added the white pinecone. It's an ornament off my tree (which by the way is still up).

Next I added this snowflake ornament to my winter sign.

Did you miss my post on how I made this sign? If so, and you want to see how I made it, click here.
The third tweek was done to this side of the mantel. Can you guess what it is?

I added these cute little birdies. They are actually ornaments as well. I got them on clearance after Christmas at Target. They are just too dang cute!!!

OK, I guess technically I added 4 items, not 3. I counted the birdies as 1 item.

Right now I am happy with my mantel. I think I am done tweeking. At least for a day or two. I really need to get my Christmas trees down. Hopefully tomorrow.

Am I the only one left in blogville that still has her tree up? I hope not.

Come on, it's confession time. You can confess to me if your tree is still up, or if you are a tweeker. I won't tell.

Linking to:

Mantel Party every Friday over at The Stories of A 2 Z

Show and Tell Friday over at My Romantic Home

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How to make your own letter art

Yesterday I posted part of my "winter" decor. That is where I showed you my latest letter art "WINTER" sign that I made. I told you that I would share how I made it.

It is a lot easier than it looks. You just have to be creative. And sometimes, not even that creative.

This is the fourth letter art sign that I have made. And I just keep using the same frame. If you want to see the other three, you can find them by clicking here. It will take you to my "Give Thanks" sign and the links to my "Spooky" sign and my "Family" sign.

First you need to find a frame. I originally got my frame from Kohl's, for about $10.00. It was on sale for 50% off, plus I had an additional 15% off coupon. This particular frame has room for six photos.

Next you need to decide what word you want to make. This time I decided on "Winter". I already had some of my letters from my previous projects, so this time all I needed to find where the letters "W", "E" and "R".

This is where the fun or creative part comes in. I just go around my house and yard to see if anything looks like the letters I need. Sometimes you have to look sideways at stuff. Sometimes you just find something that has a letter you need already painted on it. I've done the latter more and more as I'm basically too lazy to be very creative.

For the letter "W", I couldn't find anything creative that I could find this letter in. So I just photographed one of my letter balls.
The hardest part was fishing this particular letter out of the jar & putting it towards the top and front in order to take the photo. This is the original photo above.

I use Picasa 3 for storing my photos. It's a program by Google. If you have not tried this photo program, it's great. You can do lots of things to your photos without much knowledge or know how. I just crop my photo to 4" x 6" in basic fixes. Then I click the tuning tab in case I need to add fill light, highlights and/or shadows. Sometimes I just click the "I'm feeling Lucky" button in basic fixes. Finally I click on the effects tab and choose black & white.

I do this to all my photos that I want to turn into letters. I save each one to my tray & then print them out in 4" x 6" size. And that is how I get my letters to use in my signs.

For my letter "I", I used this photo of my huge yard finial. I really didn't have to do much to this photo except to crop it down a little & make it black and white. I used this originally in my "family" sign.
When I made my "Give Thanks" sign I needed the letter "N". I couldn't find anything that looked like I could make into a letter "N", so I cheated a little. I used the "N" in this vacation memories frame. See the "N" in vacation? I just took a photo of the "N".
And it turned out like this when I cropped it & made it B&W. I thought it was kind of cool that it has a photo of hubby & I. I used this particular print again for my "winter" sign.

I had a letter "T" for my Give Thanks sign and I used it again in this "winter" sign when I posted about it yesterday. But then I noticed that the plate in the background was my turkey plate. Probably nobody would have noticed, but I did. So I used an older more generic photo of my plate rack.
Do you see the "T" in the railing? There are lots of T's in the railing. See what I mean about seeing letters in things?
Here the same photo cropped down and turned into B&W. The letter "T".

I had to get creative again for my letter "E". I used the back of this patio chair.

Can you see the "e"? Sorry that this is such a bad photo. I had to take the photo late at night, with a flash. Ugh!!! I took my original photo in the daylight a few months back, but forgot to save the chair photo.
And here is how the "e" turned out. I placed the chair back on the ground, on the concrete to take the photo. It was late in the day, that is why there is a shadow. But when cropped, the chair back becomes the letter "e".

I got lazy again when it came to the letter "R". I looked all around & I really liked the "r" used in this Merry Christmas sign.

Even though the writing is in cursive, I still think it works.

Here is the "r" all finished.

And the final result is:
I finally got smart (after four times) and took out the glass for photos.

After you have done this a few times, you start to build up a collection of letters. I keep all the letters I'm not using on the back side of the sign.

That way I'll know exactly where they are when I decide to make a different letter art sign.

Now you all need to go out & make your own letter art sign. If you need help with seeing letters, I sometimes cheat & let Google help me. There are companies out there who sell the individual letter art photos. They can be pretty expensive, but I look to see what they have used for a particular letter. Helps me in seeing letters in things.

I've yet to venture out into the world to take photos elsewhere. Right now I've just used stuff in my own household. That can be pretty limiting, but more personal to me.

Linking to:

DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land

Celebrate the Holidays at Its So Very Cheri

Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage

Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Nite Special