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Monday, November 30, 2009

A Bit of Bubbly~ Craft 1

This darling bar of soap is the perfect size to slip into a stocking or small gift bag. The price to create it is even sweeter.


You will need a box of soaps that have sliding cardboard sleeves that surround each bar of soap. (I found a 3 pack for $2.99 at Marshalls.)


Cut a strip of sheet music (or scrap booking paper) to fit the cardboard sleeve and mod podge it right onto the surface.


Next, dab a bit of glue on each end of your sheet music "box" and add a layer of glitter.



Then sort through your scraps of ribbon, tinsel and holiday picks.



Add a pleasing combination of embellishments to the box in your recipients favorite color palette.


Go make a beautiful mess and be blessed.

Friday, November 27, 2009

GIVEAWAY~ Second Annual Black Friday Freebie

Welcome to the 2nd annual Black Friday Freebie!

Last summer I proclaimed that I was putting myself on a craft buying diet and forcing myself to use up the tons of supplies that I already had on hand. In thinking about the holiday memories I wanted to make with my children I decided that this year we would try to create beautiful gifts or support other artists and select their handmade creations.

1960's sugar bells and trim

Beginning on Monday through Christmas I will be posting tutorials on creating your own holiday treasures and decor for very little money.

Some of the first gifts that we made were corsages topped with vintage embellishments. The Fashionista selected the ribbon combinations and Sweet Boy picked out which treasures of Christmas past would go in the centers.

1940's Spun cotton snowman
You can wear the corsages traditionally pinned to a sweater or coat, or jazz up an everyday pillow with some seasonal charm.

Try placing one atop a miniature tree or a wrapped bottle of cider for a quick but pretty gift.


They can be the perfect finishing touch on top of a present.



Or the crowning glory in your princesses hair.

1940's spun cotton and beaded Santa

We of course had so much fun that we kept on going until the vintage treasures ran out.

Yes, that's right. These are the last of the Christmas handcrafted, one of a kind corsages. I have listed the extras in my Etsy shop.


The giveaway is everything shown in the first photo of this post. It includes some yummy soap, hot cocoa, a crafty book from the queen of Christmas herself, vintage ribbons, trims, and buttons, a corsage of course and a few surprises.
Please visit my shop and select your favorite corsage then come back here and leave me a comment on how you would use the corsage.
Good luck! A winner will be selected on Friday, December 4th.

UPDATE: The Random Number Generator has selected Kathy from Creative Home Expressions as the winner! I hope you enjoy your seasonal goodness.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Blessed Thanksgiving

I am truly thankful for the many wonderful friends I have met through blogging.

Now pardon me while I slip into something more comfortable.



May you enjoy this day spending time with friends and family. My family and I plan to watch the parade, decorate the tree and take time to reflect on the many blessings that have been bestowed upon us.

Black Friday will soon come and with it my 2nd annual giveaway.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Guest Room Transformations

I recently redid our guest room on a very modest budget. I was able to keep the cost under $500 by buying the furniture on Craiglists, waiting for wall paint to go on sale and purchasing drapes at IKEA. Still, all these things put a big dent in my budget. When it came time for pretty little extras I really had to put on my thinking cap.

This is how the high ledge above my closet now looks.


Can you believe these are the same candlesticks? Tuscan is over for me so I didn't hesitate to grab a can of white spray paint.




I then grabbed my handy dandy tube of silver Rub and Buff. With Rub and Buff a little goes a long way. I find that using my fingers works the best to add shine exactly where I want it.




I searched for silver candles for 2 weeks to no avail. I finally went to the Dollar Tree and selected three white candles and proceeded to cover them in a simple sheet of scrapbook paper.




Right next to the candles I placed a box of greenery.



I actually found this beauty on a dumpster diving expedition. It still had its $60 price tag on the bottom. I then proceeded to snap the ugly lions paws right off.

Then came a coat of primer.
This was followed by an application of beloved Rub and Buff. It doesn't even look like the same box.
The same dumpster produce this little gem. It's front metal plate was coming off. I took it home anyway.


Again it was primer to the rescue. I then mod podged a strip of scrapbook onto the center.
The same sweet tube of Rub and Buff was used and resulted in a pretty little box that now holds some of my favorite things.
This painting was done by my mother when she was 13 years old. It is very special to me. But the frame was always a bit to "gold" for my taste.



Ditto for the antique wall sconces.


Thank goodness I still had almost an entire tube of Rub and Buff left. The white porcelain busts are of a boy and girl. They were found at Goodwill for $3.00.



~One can of white spray paint: $4 with a Joann's coupon.
~One tube of Rub and Buff: $2 with a Michael's coupon.
~A pair of white porcelain busts: $3 at Goodwill.
~Two wooden storage boxes: A quick walk around the 'hood on bulk trash pickup day.
~Candlesticks, Picture, and Sconces: All found objects in my home.
A room that makes me happy~priceless!
What is something that you treasure?

Monday, November 23, 2009

A new guest bedroom for under $500

This past April I wrote a post on beautiful bedroom spaces that had inspired me to transform the Fashionista's former lime green bedroom into a soothing sanctuary. After determining how I would use the space, I then set a budget and gathered several things stored in my cabinets and closets that I wanted to use in the space. A set of embroidered linens I had rescued and framed were at the top of the pile. They now grace the entry of the guest room and set the tone of the room.


I also wanted to hang an oil painting that my mother had done as a young girl in the room. Based on the colors found in these pieces of art it was decided that the walls of the room would be lavender. I involved both the Fashionista and Mr. Decor in the decision. It was easy enough for the Fashionista to love the selection as purple is her favorite color. For Mr. Decor lavender reminded him of our wedding colors which were cream and periwinkle.


To me the most important thing in a guest room is a comfortable bed. I have stayed in too many spaces where a lumpy mattress or itchy sheets kept me from a good nights sleep. I found the antique bed on Craiglist for a song. The yummy white cotton matlesse spread and pillow covers were left over from our own bedroom which I redid two years ago. I found the brand new white linen bed skirt and euro shams at a yard sale last spring.

I topped the white linen bed skirt with another Ralph Lauren bed skirt I also had leftover from my bedroom redo. I dyed the white embroidered skirt lavender the same way I did these pillowcases.


The white vintage sheets were also given a dye bath and I then added some embroidery and ric rac to the deep hem. Over the deliciously soft sheets I placed an antique quilt my great grandmother had made. It is like sleeping in a soft cotton cocoon.


Although I wanted white linen drapery panels for the window I couldn't find long enough panels (96") in a bright white that fit the budget. Instead IKEA came to the rescue with white matlesse panels, $29.00 for two. Of course every guest room should have a chair in which a guest can sit on. Remember what this sweet seat used to look like?



Above the chair are three prints of European cities that we have visited in the past. Each picture has a touch of lavender in its midst. Although they are very different in style, I unified the grouping by using white mat board and spray painting all the frames black.


On the wall by the bedside table I framed two antique prints of Flemish figures in black frames along with Sweet Boy's recent Disneyland Treasure. Mish mash for sure. But we really love it and that truly is the number one rule when selecting and hanging art.



On the wall next to the chair are the shelves that Mr. Decor made to my specifications. In last Monday's post I wrote about how we decided to only hang two of the three selves he made on the wall and the remaining shelf was placed inside the closet. Was that a good choice?



Here is a closeup. I didn't want to just fill the shelves with "stuff". Each item has meaning.



I topped a few favorite design and crafting books with an antique photo of a small girl with her dachshund. Next to it sits my antique china Harvey girl given to me by cousin to commemorate our train trip to the Grand Canyon which once featured Harvey girls.


Another vignette features my mothers sterling jewel box atop three of her books. It comforts me to have her things around and it all beautifully keeps to the silver, lavender black and white color palette.


I often take the dust jackets off of books as a preferred look. The lavender mercury votive holder came from Z Gallerie for a whopping .99 cents.


It is a tiny space to be sure. The only other wall in the room features my craft closet which I showed you the contents last week. I topped the upper ledge with a few things I had on hand. They all received major makeovers with paint.



I'll show you several of the transformations and provide tips on Wednesday. The colorful week will end with black Friday and my 2nd annual day after Thanksgiving giveaway.

Be thankful!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Meeting Nie Nie and Christian Nielson was Blissful

Last night the Fashionista and I headed out from our home in the Wild West and moseyed on over to Blissfest. No, it wasn't by stagecoach. :)



As usual, the delightful Dan and Kristin Alber and their petite posse hosted a amazing event, which this year benefited the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.


Thank you Jaimee Rose for this beautiful photo.

The Domestic Bliss staff once again created amazing vignettes worthy of a hoot and holler.


Here I am in my vintage square dancing attire.



It was so good to see sweet friends like Mindy. It has been toooo long.


The magnificent Maija graciously opened her home to a few of the out of town vendors. Now that is my idea of a grand slumber party.


Sweet Tricia has been keeping busy instructing several classes. Soon she'll be heading to Silver Bella.


Of course there were an amazing cast of characters in costume.



I wanted to steal away darling Sophie in her pink cowboy hat.



The most glamorous cowgirl of the evening was Paris Montana.



The Glamarella Junk booth was filled with eye candy.



I couldn't resist taking home one of her "Vintage Chick" t shirts.



I was delighted to run into Jaimee Rose and her dear friend Cindy. Miss Rose is an extremely gifted writer. Her articles for the Arizona Republic are always penned perfection. In addition, she graciously provides glimpses into her stylish life on her wonderful blog. I never miss a post! Jaimee and Cindy win the Chicest Cowgirls of the evening. Their ensembles were as always, picture perfect.

Photo courtesy of Arizona Republic.

Now let me tell you about how I ended the evening in tears. Christian and Stephanie Nielson were the guests of honor this year. Last years Blissfest fundraiser was held in the hopes that this inspiring couple would fully recover from their accident. Many months went by where it was touch and go.
Thousands of bloggers continue to follow their journey on the Nie Nie Dialogues which is written by Stephanie. I have to tell you that it was an incredible experience to meet the Nielson's.
Indeed when I first approached the couple my first words were "I am going to try to talk to you without crying." (I did anyway.) We talked about their children and what an inspiration they are to me as parents. The Fashionista shared her desires for a fashion designed filled future that she hopes will also include
a relationship like theirs.
The Nielson's have been
faced with a challenge in life that at times must seem insurmountable. But they have chosen to take what comes their
way one step at a time. Their story, their life, is truly, truly inspiring. The light they project is a beacon for many. I just cannot describe how joy and happiness truly radiated from this couple and enveloped everyone in their presence. They are spectacularly beautiful people, inside and out.



This morning I placed this photograph above my desk. Recently I have been feeling overwhelmed by school. In the past two weeks I have logged over 40 hours on one project alone. I have 4 weeks left in the semester and 6 classes remain until I achieve my longtime dream of graduating. But thoughts of defeat~ giving up~ have crossed my mind. Yet with perfect timing God presented me with an opportunity to be humbled. Thank you Mr. And Mrs. Nielson for giving me a very precious gift. This photograph will serve as a reminder that I must continue to take on life one step at a time and be a source of encouragement and inspiration to those whom I encounter in my own life.

Be blessed,

Update: For those of you who are unfamiliar with Nie Nie's heroic journey here is a recent post about just one day in her life.