Blog Parties

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I made a wreath! So I had to change up my mantel.

Updated 6/15/10: Linking to The CSI Project for their Dollar Store Challenge. The Thesaurus book I used to make the wreath came from Dollar Tree. There are a lot of paper wreaths out in blogland. This was my version.

Guess what? I decided to change up my spring mantel. Imagine that!

And what caused me to change it up? I made a paper wreath.

Now, I'm really not a crafty girl. Oh, I buy tons of supplies to make all sorts of crafty things. But I never seem to actually get anything made. I usually only make things if in a group setting. You know, when you are with girlfriends or family and you all make some crafty thing together. When I'm by myself, nothing usually gets done.

So I am so excited that I actually made something, all by myself. No friends, no family. But then it was because it was super easy. You see, I only do easy.

I've been seeing paper wreaths all over blog land. I've been wanting to make one for months. I finally told myself it was time. I didn't need family or friends to help me. I was a big girl. I could do this all by myself. And you know what? I did.

This was my kind of project, easy, fast (made it in one evening while watching TV) and cheap. My wreath cost me less than $2.00. I was happy!

These were my supplies. Glue gun & glue sticks (OK, I had to go to Michael's & buy new ones. I couldn't find mine, so I had to pay about $13.00 for the glue gun & a huge bag of glue sticks), Distress Ink (already had on hand), small grapevine wreath (25 cents from the thrift store), Webster's Thesaurus ($1.00 from Dollar Tree), scallop circle paper punch ($10.00 from Joann's, 40% off), pencil (already had on hand). Ok, so this wreath really cost me $25.00 as I had to buy the glue gun, the glue sticks & the punch. But I can use the glue gun, sticks & punch for many more projects. So if you take the cost of these items off, I only spent less than $2.00 on this project.

I used about 15 pages total from the thesaurus book. I used 3 pages at a time & punched out as many flowers from each page that I could. I then distressed the edges with the distress ink. And a splotch or two in the middle. I liked the thesaurus better than the dictionary as the words were bigger.

I placed the flat end of my pencil in the middle of the flower & wrapped it around the pencil. I then hot glued the middle of the flower & placed on the wreath. I just kept doing this until the wreath was completely filled in on the sides & middle.

When finished I hung from a green ribbon & tied it to my frame that is sitting in front of the mirror on my mantel. The wreath was the perfect size. The only thing I am not completely happy with is that it turned out darker than I would have liked. I guess I got a little carried away on the distress ink on the edges. But I can live with it.

I love it hanging from the vintage frame that I painted last month. I took down the botanical rose prints & moved my topiaries to the outside edge.

I never did show you the before photos of the frames on my mantel. All the frames started out a gold color. The larger frame I got at a thrift store for $4.95. I actually have 2 of them. The smaller frames also came from a thrift store, but I got 3 of them for 25 cents a piece as they didn't have glass.

Since I'm not a "gold" fan, I spray painted the frames Heirloom White. They were still too white for me. I decided they needed some contrast, but I didn't have any glaze. So I just used regular brown craft paint. I watered it down & slathered it on. Let it sit for a minute & wiped most of it off. I'm happy with how the frames turned out.

You can see how I left some of the watered down brown paint. It actually gave the entire frame a pinkish color. I like it.

I like how the smaller frames turned out too. You can barely see the etching in the frame. But I like it that way.

Close up of the one of the two smaller frames.

The other reason I changed up my mantel a bit are these fabulous mercury glass candle holders or vases that I picked up at Big Lots last week for like $2.40 each. I bought them to use as candle holders. But I decided to place my balls on top of them (as I didn't have anywhere to store them right now, hazards of being a closet hoarder) & was happy with the look.

They had them in blue as well. But I like the silver better. That way I can use them all year round.

I'm really enjoying my revamped spring mantel. But then I also liked take 1.
Here is my original spring mantel (take 1). You can read all about this mantel here.

And there you have my revamped Spring mantel (take 2). Which one do you like better?

Linking to:

Monday, April 26, 2010

Obsessed aka: I can't help myself

I can't seem to stop rearranging stuff on my table tops. I think I am obsessed with it. I can't seem to stop. I can't help myself.

Here is the table behind my sofa (for now). I keep adding & taking away stuff. I think it will stay like this. At least until I decide to decorate for summer sometime late next month. At least I hope it's late next month.

I've kept the Eiffel tower in this cloche. But only because I LOVE IT!!!! I added the moss rocks from Dollar Tree. And the birdies were from Dollar Tree. I'm toying with painting them white, but so far, I've been too lazy.
Here are some flowers I added. I got the 2 ball flowers (not sure what they are called) on my trip to Tai Pan Trading a few weeks back. I actually only wanted one (the lighter lavender one), but it didn't have a price tag on it. So the girl brought up the darker purple one for a price. When I got home I realized the bagging girl put both flowers in my bag. And only charged me for one. Yipee!!!

Am I a thief? I didn't steal it on purpose. They sort of gave it to me. Should I have taken it back? I live an hour away, two hours in traffic. Do you hear me rationalizing? I hate these sort of moral situations. What would you have done?

In this glass cloche I put the flower ball I made. I know I already showed you this in my flower ball knockoff post. But I don't think I showed you the entire vignette I have it in.

One final look at this table top vignette.

And now I'll show you another table top in my family room that I have changed up.

I'm still not satisfied. But for now, it will do.

I have about 4 or 5 different bird houses in these colors. I used them in my wedding.

I added some moss & some eggs to this apothecary jar. Wrapped some grape vine around the middle and hung a "Keep calm & carry on" tag. And I know you didn't notice that I need to dust this jar.
This is my favorite Catherine Klein print. It's a reproduction that I printed out from one of my CD's with vintage images. The little frame came from Walmart years ago. Came in a package of 2 frames for 99 cents. I have a stash of these frames somewhere up in the attic. Someone will surely find them after I've died & gone to heaven. But maybe I won't go to heaven since I didn't take back the flower that was put in my bag that I didn't pay for. Do I feel guilty? You betcha. Enough to take back the flower? Probably not. But back to my story. After I die, someone will go through all my stuff & find my missing frames. But then, since I only have a son, he'll probably just give everything away without looking in the boxes.

Let's not think of such terrible things. Back to what makes me happy. Decorating!!!

Under this cloche is another green & white church birdhouse. This one is actually an ornament. I placed it on a bed of moss & wrapped some more grape vine around the outside.

Lucky for me & my hubby. I have been able to keep my decorating obsession in check. I have limited myself to only changing stuff up in my family room. Otherwise, I'd probably OD. Or I'd have to go to rehab. We wouldn't want that.

Who knows how long these table tops will stay looking like this. Probably not for long. I can't seem to stop tweaking. How about you? Are you obsessed with changing things up in your decor?

Be sure to come back tomorrow. I've tweaked my mantel as well.

Linking to:
Table Top Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life

Ready Set Vignette @ The Stories of A to Z

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday Favorites-Let's Have a Tea Party

Time for Sunday Favorites again. And today is a special Sunday Favorites. It's the 1 year anniversary of this fun party hosted by Chari at Happy to Design. She is hosting a giveway in celebration. She is giving away a $50.00 gift card to your choice of 5 different places (see above mosaic). Be sure to visit Chari to find out how you can win her giveaway. But I have to warn you, I'm going to win. But I'll at least let you compete. And be sure to wish Chari Happy Anniversary and thank her for hosting such a fun & easy party. And you know that I love anything that is easy. Well most everything. And who doesn't love a giveaway? Especially a $50.00 gift card giveaway!!!

Now on to my Sunday Favorites post:

Those who know me the best know that I can be lazy, or to be politically correct, motivationally challenged. So when Chari first came up with the idea for a weekly blog party where we didn't have to make a new post, but could share a post from the past, I was all over that.

This week for her anniversary, we are suppose to share one of our all time favorite posts from the past. So I'm going to share a post I did on my family blog Manning Family Tree for Tablescape Thursday back in May 2009 . I'm sure a lot of you may have already seen it, but there might be some who missed it. Plus it's my favorite tablescape that I have done so far & I love seeing it again & I hope that you will too.

Now I don't have any daughters (boo hoo) or any grand daughters (we can always hope). But I do have 2 nieces who I call my faux daughters. I'm lucky that my nieces only live about 15 minutes from me, so we see each other quite a bit. I decided that we would have a tea party. Only problem is, I forgot to invite them and we don't drink tea. But I love tea cups, tea pots & everything else that goes with a tea party, so I thought I'd throw a faux tea party for my faux daughters Danica & Taylor.

Since the weather has been beautiful here in SoCal aka: Southern California, we would have our little tea party out by the pool. Oh, oh, looks like someone forgot to put away the extension cord & hose as well as sweep before taking the photo. Men!!! (Did you notice that I'm not taking the blame?)

Here is the tablecloth I started with (I really took this photo when I was putting everything away, but if I hadn't brought it to your attention that the cement is now all cleaned up, you wouldn't have even noticed. Would you?) I got this tablecloth at a thrift store when I lived down in San Diego county. Don't remember how much I paid for it, but knowing me, it wasn't over $5.00. Most likely only a couple of dollars.
Then I used my Bordallo cabbage plates. I only have 3 of the dinner plate size. That is why this tea party is just for 3 of us. The plates came from Ross back in Jan or Feb. I got them on clearance for I think $3.50 each. The silverware is new!!! I got it at Ross a few weeks back. $12.00 for a service for 4. I love the dark color of the bamboo.
Next I layered on my thrift store china salad plates that I got a few weeks back. I paid $2.00 for 4 of these plates plus 2 smaller plates in a different pattern. I love the pink flowers with the green cabbage plate underneath.

Here is a close up of my new silverware.
Then on top of the salad plates I put a different tea cup at each place setting. This is for me. This is my favorite tea cup. It is by Lefton. I got if off eBay. I may have splurged & paid $10.00 for this. I loved the green color with the pink roses.
Here is the tea cup for Danica. This came from ABC Distributing catalog. The bottom says "Formalities". I paid $4.95 for this tea cup. Again, I love the pink roses.
And the tea cup for Taylor. I used a Royal Albert American Rose tea cup but put it on a completely different saucer called June Bouquet by Duchess bone china England . But I think it goes together as they both have pink roses. Both the tea cup & saucer came from the thrift store. Most likely paid less than$1.00 each. I then attached little vintage napkins along with a reproduction vintage print as a name card to each tea cup handle with a drapery ring (in this case it is more like a hook). I love the medallion that was on the ring. I think it looks vintage. I'm finding that drapery rings work great as napkin rings. And they are cheap. I got these at Ross & paid $2.99 for 7 or 10 of them. Since they are actually hooks, they will come off easily from the cup handle. The napkins were part of a lot of 40 vintage napkins that I won from eBay for $9.99. I also put a packet of flower seeds (25cents each from Dollar Tree) at each setting as a little take home gift. I have them on forks bent to make easels (forgot to take photo). Here is my place setting. I love Shasta daisies. They were my favorite flowers when I was a teenager. Now my favorite flowers are roses or hydrangeas.

Here is Danica's place.
And Taylor's. Don't you just love the basket on the napkins? For the centerpiece I started out with this wooden basket that says "Fleurs" on the side. I got this at Costco at the beginning of the year. They originally came with succulents in them, but they were dying so this was a clearance item. I got it for $6.00. I think they originally sold for $20.00 or so. Since I don't like succulents, I didn't care if they were dying as I was throwing them out anyways. I only wanted the wooden basket.

Then I added some silk peonies. I thought the color of these flowers matched the pink in the flowers on the tablecloth.
Next came a birdhouse. I got this a few years back to use in my wedding. Can't remember where I got it from though. I just love this birdhouse. I sat it on a vintage napkin inside the box.
Then I added this little birdie & bird nest. This came from Michael's last year on 50% off sale.
And then I added this iron candelabra. I got this at a trade show in Vegas a few years back. I paid $2-3.00 for this.

I love how this turned out. I guess I should have lit my candles. Oh well, just pretend they are lit.

My tea service items all came from thrift stores, eBay or were free. The pink & white pitcher was an eBay find I'm sure I paid less than $10.00 for it. The tea pot was a freebie from my niece Danica. She had bought it at a thrift store to use for a friends Mad Hatter birthday party. She gave it to me after the party. The sugar & creamer came from a thrift store.

I just love my tea pot!!! I normally collect china that has roses, but I love how this pot has little blue flowers. Something different from what I normally collect.

The goblets are my Libby glasses from Walmart. I think they were like a dollar a piece.

I love how each place setting is a little different. But they all still look good together.

One final look at the table. Did you notice that the concrete is now swept? Isn't hubby a doll for doing that for me? Thanks for joining my faux tea party. Now I guess I better invite Danica & Taylor over for a real tea party. I know they will be asking for one when they see this.

Update: Since I first posted this on my family blog back in May, my niece Danica has asked for a real tea party. So far, we haven't been able to get together to do so. I hope you liked my little faux tea party and that I cheated a little. But wasn't it worth it?