Pinterest Challenge Update #5 and #6 – Pillows and Fan Lampshade

Posted in HOLIDAYS
on March 30, 2013

You might remember that I challenged myself by entering my very first Pinterest Challenge, linking up with Merrick’s Art which is ending this coming Tuesday. The challenge was to pick and complete six pins by April 2nd. What made it challenging for me, is that I began the challenge on March 22nd, giving me twelve whole days to complete the challenge! As of today, I’ve completed four of my six pins. You can take a look at my complete list of pins here, and the carrot Easter wreath I completed here and the dry erase calendar here, both of which I was so excited about.

With only four days left, and an Easter dinner and egg hunt in between, it’s going to be close, but I might just make it! Today, I’m here with an update for items #5 and #6.

Pin #5 was a ceiling fan barrel lampshade. I LOVE this. It turned out so well and just made oodles of difference in K’s room. Literally, it took a $45 fan and turned it into something gorgeous! I used this tutorial over at Six Sisters Stuff to recover the lamp shade – the fabric came from a brand new packaged window panel I picked up at Goodwill for $8.99, that was originally from Target. I was able to use the remaining fabric from the panel to cover a matching table lamp, in the throw pillows for her room and still have a TON left over for other fun projects. The fan pulls were a bit of creative endeavor. I had these great drawer pulls that I’d found at hobby lobby that match the drawer pulls I used when refinishing her dressers. They were the right size, the right shape, but entirely the wrong color. A few coats of fire engine red nail polish and they were just perfect. I attached the pulls by removing the screw, and threading the drawer pull through in reverse order, placing the nut on the bottom and the chain stopper under the nut. I used hot glue what else?  to secure the chain stopper. Success! I just love it when something simple has such a big impact, don’t you?
 

Challenge #6 was to create my version of a set of fantastic pillows I found here at the DIYDish.com, that featured different fabrics and felt flowers of different sizes. I found their tutorial easy to follow, I would highly recommend this project and I had a great time making the felt flowers – I had no idea they were so simple to make, that I could be adding felt flowers to everything! K’s room has a “Paris” theme, and the felt flowers made the pillows look feminine without being too much, and a bit vintage which fit the theme perfectly. While I was there, I came across this free pattern for a dress form pin cushion that I could be looking a little closer at! The “Paris” pillow needs little explanation, but was modelled after a Hobby Lobby pillow I came across. The “Bonjour” pillow was K’s idea and is her favorite! That girl is so creative – I can’t wait to see what direction she takes all that creative energy in when she’s older. It totally reminds me of Pepe le Pew in French Fry form. Originally, a T-shirt that we found, I added the larger border to make it work. There is a tutorial here linked from Uncommon Designs Online that talks about turning T-Shirts into pillows, and there is even a service on Etsy that will turn your T-Shirts into Pillows for you!

Four down, two to go. With the plans for the weekend – I am totally insane. 

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For the love of throw pillows

Posted in DECOR, DIY, LIVING ROOM
on March 29, 2013

I come from a long line of crafty women. My grandmother, whom we called Nanny, was a mass-producer of everything crafty. She knitted, crocheted, sewed, baked, decoupaged.. well, you get the idea. Oh, she also sang in her church choir, spent some time as an independent hair stylist that would be called in for weddings requiring french braiding, AND would often be called upon to can tomatoes for her neighbors. Don’t even get me started on her dill pickles! When she started a new project, she would do it with gusto. I personally possess half a dozen decoupaged picture plaques from the decoupage phase, 6-10 crocheted blankets for each child I have, myself, my cousins – there were 9 grandchildren – and some of OUR children all have handcrafted quilts that she made.
And then, there was the time of the throw pillows. Keep in mind, this was in the 80s where everything was in excess already and just close your eyes and try to imagine. Her throw pillows were often pastel colored, draped and piped in homemade lace, satin and ribbons and were of every shape and size. She very often crocheted doilies to place on the pillows and no two pillows were ever alike. They were true confections. My mother alone could have kept her in business – she had at least 10 pillows on her bed, and my sister and I had close to the same between us. I thought they were truly the most beautiful pillows I had ever seen and have to say, I think that time was the only that I made my bed so carefully, arranging each pillow over and over again. My friends were jealous.  As word got out, before long, she had started a small business making these pillows, and I believe at one time, she was hand-making up to 100 pillows a week. I’m completely guessing of course, but it was a lot – it might have been even more than 100 – she was an amazing woman.

I have a fraction of the talent my Nanny had, but one of the things that stuck with me, is a love for throw pillows. How else can you change a room for less than $20, and even less if you’re making them yourself? I love the versatility of a throw pillow.  Adding the right throw pillow can take a room to a whole new level – a room without them looks stark and uninviting.  Adding pillows says “curl up with me” or “nap”.  Nothing else can provide the decorating versatility that a pillow can. The right grouping of pillows can set a theme to a room without making a permanent change.

I’m a little fickle – I change my mind and like to mix things up constantly – throw pillows allow me to do that without having to take out a second mortgage and they are small and easily stored. I have holiday pillows, outdoor seasonal pillows and my home, I have some pillows that I have recovered 3-4 times as my tastes change. In my girls’ rooms, I used pillows to set the theme. K has a Paris theme – given that she might grow out of this in next few years, I used mostly accessories, including throw pillows, to set the theme. In B’s room, she wanted a zebra print, with lots of glitter and sparkle. When – not if – their tastes change, it’s not a major thing. We can swap out a few accessories, a few pillows, and voila, new room! There are not many things in life that are THAT easy.

I miss my Nanny. I’m so grateful to her for all she taught me and I wish I’d taken the time to learn all I could from her when she was still with us. Still, if she could hear me I’d say, “look Nan! Pillows!” and she’d probably laugh in that way she had. Since I am showing you photos of 8 pillows, maybe I learned I little more from her than I thought – either way, I will keep on making pillows, I will think of her whenever I do.. and I will always, always cherish my large inventory of decoupaged plaques.

** I link up at these parties.
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Holiday Decorating Quickie – Happy Easter!

Posted in HOLIDAYS
on March 28, 2013

I don’t know what the deal is, but I am a little obsessed with the idea of Mr. McGregor’s garden this Easter – I think I’m so done with winter, that I’m dreaming of veggie gardening and spring doing that thing called.. well, spring-ing, or something like that. I’m so influenced by Mr. McGregor and the flopsy bunnies that all that thought inspired this little gem. Here is Flopsy kicking back in the middle of a cabbage head just mocking poor Mr. McGregor. Some bunny is going to be in big trouble! Hardy-har-har..  I know, I know.. groan.

For your crafting pleasure, we offer an inexpensive and super easy Easter vignette including the “Somebunny’s in the Cabbage” centerpiece, a simple candle scape and a holiday themed card, each with a creation time of less than 10 minutes.

Quickie #1:


What I did:

1. I used two packages of tissue paper – approximately 20 sheets. Divide the tissue paper into two groups of approximately 10 sheets each. Lay each group of tissue paper out flat. Fold each accordion style.

2. Scallop all four edges by cutting ends.

3. Cinch in the middle of one grouping and secure with a twist tie loosely – if it is too tight it will not be flexible enough to wrap around the glass vessel. The other group, arrange in a pile in a crisscross pattern, alternating the position of the scalloped edge. Once piled, arrange one group over another in a T pattern. Fan out both groups.

4. Place glass vessel (I used a glass hurricane candle holder) in the center and arrange the tissue paper around the vessel by pulling and separating the tissue sheets, scrunching as needed. The idea is to largely hide the glass vessel.

5. Place Easter grass in to vessel and add bunny. Party on down.

Quickie #2:

 
What I did: 
 
1. Measure the length and circumference of your candle. Cut one piece of wrapping paper to the length of your candle, and one inch greater than the width of your candle, to allow for overlap.
 
2. Wrap the paper around the candle and secure with a glue dot.
 
3. Cut a piece of tulle length 1.5 times the circumference of the candle. Tie around the paper and candle.
 
4. Display! Without lighting!  
 
 
 
 
Quickie #3:
 

1. Cut your scrapbook paper to the size of your frame. My frame was 5×7″.
2. Download and print the rabbit silhouette from here. You will need to right click the picture on the pin, save it to your computer, and print. Cut out your printed rabbit silhouette.
3. Cut an 8″ piece of grosgrain ribbon. Tie in to a small bow.
4. Glue the rabbit silouhette to the center of scrapbook paper. Glue the ribbon tie to the rabbit.
5. Place your completed card in the frame. Enjoy!

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