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Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Wish

Tonight our family will welcome in the new year with a table laden with what my Grandpa Ingalls called “pickens”. We will have shrimp cocktail, crudités, yummy cheeses, meats and sparkling cranberry cider.  Oh and the boy requested bagels bites. (smile) So much for classy eats.

I don’t make resolutions, but I do believe in wishes. Top on my list this year? I hope that I will always be open to situations in which I can be a blessing to others. (The video is a bit dark, but the message is bright.)

Later on our family loaded up in the car to go view all 7,500 luminaries in the neighborhood and it appeared that Rudi the dachshund was the most excited. Please pardon our snorting and obnoxious laughter.

I am thrilled to begin a new year and hope that it will be filled with friends, family, health and happiness for everyone.

Laura

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Top 2010 Projects

Welcome to the Décor To Adore Top 10 Decorating Projects of the year. I have participated in Rhoda’s annual best of the best  for three years now and it is such a fun trip down the diy memory lane. As always I started out thinking “I don’t think I accomplished all that much”.  As I traveled back to the January posts and finished with December I soon remembered all of the projects found on the DTA blog in the past year. Here are just a few…

A side of the road find coupled with spray paint and upholstery webbing resulted in this February classic.

10. Luggage holder

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9. Anthro Inspired Dish Towels

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After creating a great guest bedroom for under $500 I set out to revamp the closet into a DIY’ers dream for just $15.00 back in June.

8. Craft Closet

Back in March, after five years, I finally got rid of the dated oak finish on my bathroom cabinets.

7. Bathroom Cabinets

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One of my spur of the moment, dollar store transformations was a tiny project that garnered the grand attention of the Martha Stewart craft department and Jenny Doh of Crescendoh and Somerset fame back in March. 

6. Paper Doily Garland

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The doilies were used as part of the décor for yet another one of our fabulously fun themed parties held in April~

5. The Almost Famous 70’s Soiree

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Taking an inexpensive painters drop cloth and a bit of paint I created something to jazz up our flea market booth. It received a “like” from Brooke at Velvet and Linen back in October.

4. Painted Floor cloth

My office wingchairs slipcovered in antique ticking and grain sacks took me only eight months to finish, but they were well worth the wait. They made their debut on Sept. 3rd.

3. Wingchairs Slipcovered in Ticking

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The runner up was my most popular furniture makeover of the year from May 24th.

2. Craigslist disaster turned French Beauty

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In past years it has been very hard to select which project should receive the title of #1. This year, however, I knew EXACTLY which post would receive the coveted slot. This post continues to be read and provide inspiration to others on a daily basis. Which is what I had hoped when I originally wrote it back on May 15th. Drumroll please….

1. The Ultimate DIY. (A project that took 23 years to finish.)

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In looking back over the past year it is interesting to see the twists and turns that life had to offer. So often when in the midst of this journey I think “Why is this happening?” Over the years I have learned that time always reveals His plan. Soon after writing the DIY post I met Andrea who had read about it on Cote de Texas (Thank you Joni!).  We found that we were kindred spirits who adored simple, fine French living which led to our partnership in the opening of Metis Linens.  We are gearing up for our next showing at the Long Beach flea market on January 16th. Our inspiration for the spring collection is a collection of confectionary colors. Lucky for us, Pantone just named our signature spring shade as its color of the year.

I am excited at all 2011 will offer. Here on the DTA blog I will begin two new features~ Makeover Mondays and Royal Wedding Wednesdays.  Over on the Metis blog we will begin Fabulous French Fridays.

May you have a very Happy New Year!

Laura

Linking to:

The DIY Showoff

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Christmas Wish from The Gunn’s

Our plans today are to be awoken at the crack of dawn by two eager children. This will be followed by brunch and a quiet day playing games and watching Christmas classics.

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Have you ever wondered how people in the desert make it feel like Christmas? I have been blessed to have lived all over the world and hands down, Arizona rocks the Christmas striped socks in the light display category. Here was last nights annual boat parade.

But hands and knees down, this was by far my favorite video of the season. If you don’t squeal in delight at the sight of the darling sheep and the star I will eat a large piece of fruitcake.

Our sincere CHRISTmas wish is that you be filled with peace made possible by the Light of the World.

Laura

I will be taking the next few days off so that I can reflect and celebrate the 12 days of Christmas (ending on Epiphany~Jan. 6th) with my family. I will return briefly on Dec. 29th.

A small token of appreciation awaits you at the Metis Linens blog.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Catching the Gingerbread Dog

Yesterday I spent the day with these Christmas cuties.

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We had a bit of lunch.

Then spent the afternoon making delightful Gingerbread Houses. The boys sprinted to finish their house, while the girls were so detail oriented. Surprise, surprise. Smile They would like you to vote for your favorite as I could not decide.

Rudi was team lead on the clean up crew.

The evening before I attended a grand event, Moonlight and Mistletoe. My dear friend Jen had a fabulous vintage booth filled with wonderful things.

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I loved this collection of Christmas cards.

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Sassy senorita hanky holders.

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Lovely scarves~ a vintage Parisian gem went home with me.

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Cute pixies.

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Rows upon rows of lovely fabrics and vintage linens to swoon over.

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I knew this hand painted gem of a wallet wouldn’t last long. Jen’s prices were TOO good!

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I added a few vintage embellished corsages to the mix.

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Here is a photo of us together~all sassy red lips and flirty false eyelashes.

I wish you could see the fabulous T strap shoes on my feet, but this is what they looked like.

Of course every Christmas story needs a leg lamp.

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We are in the process of overhauling Jenny’s blog where you’ll be able to see more vintage loveliness. Until then, here’s her contact info. Yes, she ships. (Jen hand makes her business cards~ just one more thing I love about her.)

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Be merry and bright, and happy Christmas eve night! Male sure you check out the Metis Linens blog~ there’s a small token of our appreciation waiting there for you.

Laura

Linking to:

Gollum’s Foodie Friday

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Alternative Christmas Tabletop Ideas

Last week I wrote a post that showcased traditional Christmas tablescapes. This week is all about happy color that is not generally associated with Christmas. While red and green will always play a part in Christmas, I do love the unexpected freshness of red and turquoise paired together.

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How about a punch of purple?

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I would coin this table Rustic Elegance. The addition of a mustardy gold pairs well with the purple. The wooden table and stone walls captured my heart. 

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Perhaps you like purple’s pretty cousin, pink? I love the addition of the gold ribbon to really tie in the collection of vintage Shiny Brites.

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When thinking of natural elements to decorate a holiday table, Gerbera daisies and tulips are not foremost in my mind, but I do love the groupings in the mercury glass.

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Elvis may have had it all right. Let’s bring on the blue Christmas. This image reminded me that I wanted to learn how to make the jingle bell snowflake. Know of any tutorials? This would make a festively fun noisemaker for New Years Eve.

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Sigh. So much to love. First, the simple beaded garland draped around the candle nesting on a plate of greenery~ easy and affective. Next, a cloche of ornaments, yes please. Finally, I always love to sit down to a plate filled with fun. Look at the sweet bird ornament, a small dish of candies and a Christmas cracker. Favors at their best.

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I would like to hit the “like” button on this centerpiece. Begin with a milk glass container and fill it with oasis and top with moss. Push in a wooden dowel covered in ribbon. Place a styrofoam ball covered in various sized ornaments on top of the dowel and finish with a simple ribbon bow.

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At first glance this image may not catch your eye. But on further inspection I love how the various chair are now unified through paint. The simple branch hung as a chandelier is quite fetching. I would possibly add some small jars filled with votives.

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Fresh spring green. The sheerest of tablecloths and simple grasses in clear vases. I would almost file this image away under all things Easter, but it may get you thinking outside the box in terms of centerpieces.

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Speaking of green and centerpieces... this one really caught my eye. Breaking it down~ one clear bowl, a layer of “snow”, large aqua ornaments, a layer of gold pinecones, a layer of smaller aqua ornaments topped with greenery, and more pinecones (au naturale). I haven’t decided how I feel about it, but it does provide a nice springboard in my mind.

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This time turquoise is pared with aged brass and brown. I love how the favor is wrapped up in the dinner napkin and topped with the occupants initials. An idea I will surely borrow. 

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I really love this next image. It is perfect for those who live by the beach or perhaps Australia where it is currently summer.  Again, milk glass shows up.

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Rounding out this post are a few fun images that I really loved but never quite  found a place for. They are alternative takes on Christmas overall. Brown and gold. Non traditional colors, but pretty traditional style.

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I spy with my little eye a deer used as a tree topper.

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Are you smiling? What’s not to love? The white tree topped by red, hot pink and aqua ornaments. Flea market finds~couch, lamp, chest, and various framed images equal second hand happiness. Over the top perfection~ sugarplum pillows. (Fashionista this makes me think of you.)

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The previous rooms more dignified sister. Look at the mantel! I especially love the beaded garland strung with presents.

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Lastly, one of my favorite images of the season. I feel peaceful every time I look at it. I have a similar tablecloth, silver tray and a feather tree. I am just missing an urn, large double faced satin bow and a wee Mary to nestle in the ornies. Next year my friends, next year.

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Today has me stirring a big pot of homemade chicken noodle soup and preparing “girl cheese” sandwiches with lovely sourdough bread and provolone cheese to feed our visiting wee friends, Shannon and Erin. Afterwards we will decorate gingerbread houses.

Is your table set?

Laura

Linking to the wonderful

Between Naps on the Porch

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Soldiers~ A family craft

When I was a little girl our family Christmas tree had dozens of felt soldiers hanging from the branches. My mom had made the sweet soldiers from felt and tp rolls. Here is an image which includes my pigtailed head. Yes, you can tell by the car parked outside, it was the 70’s.

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Several years later we were horrified to discover that a family of mice had torn our soldiers to tiny bits.

Many of you know that my sweet and crafty mom passed away suddenly this past March. My brother Craig recently said in passing that he wished he could have some of the soldiers on his tree as a special memory.

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I spent hours scouring the internet for a pattern or tutorial. I couldn’t believe that not even one existed. So based on my childhood memories and these two photos I came up with this pattern. You can cut out the pieces of felt in any color.  I of course went for the original palette.

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(Right click to save to your computer. Open image in print mode and print an 8 x 10 size.) 

You will also need white glue, gold braid trim, and 4 gold sequins for the front of the shirt. Once your pieces are cut, apply a thin layer of glue to the felt and place it on the tp roll. I used hair clips to hold the seam in place until the glue dried.

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On the top, the “hat” extends past the end of the roll approximately 1/2”. You later apply the felt circles to the top and bottom to cover the openings. 

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Apply gold braiding with a gold sequin on each end to give it a finished look. Add eyes and a mouth from felt scraps. You could also use blue and red sequins on the face for a jazzier soldier.

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Add on the small black strip to create the illusion of 2 pant legs and surround it with a black belt. (I apologize for the lighting, it was a rare rainy day in Phoenix. The white glue smudges disappeared once dry.)

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Although the soldier is not quite the same, I believe it will make my brother smile. To figure out the pattern, cut out the pieces, and finally gluing everything down, took me about 2 hours. I truly appreciate my mom’s efforts to cover an entire tree with soldiers.

Do you have a special ornament from your childhood?

Laura