Sep 30, 2010

fall inspirations

Before I show you some fall decorating inspirations, I wanted to see if any of you have noticed a new tab in the Blogger tabs.
It's at the end of the usual tabs (following your posting, comments, settings, etc.)
The 'stats' tab.
It is a really handy tool that gages who is visiting, how many times they visit- even broken down by hour, day, month, and year! 
It also tells you the peak times of day that your blog is getting the most traffic. 

If you haven't checked out this handy tool, you should!
It was quite eye opening as to where my largest volume of traffic was coming from!

****
On to of my favorite tear outs for fall!
I have a big file box that I keep all my decor tear out inspirations in-
do you?


from Better Homes and Gardens


Better Homes and Gardens

Country Living
I made my pumpkin last year like the one pictured on the bottom!

This is me last year, carving and painting the pumpkin- you can even see me referring to the magazine for guidance.  It turned out awesome...although I didn't get any 'after' pictures.  Bedtime was right after pumpkin carving; stuck the pumpkin on the porch, and then true to October weather here in the NW it rained- HARD.
All the paint washed away! 
*sniff*  :(
Lesson learned.

Better Homes and Gardens
My favorite Halloween decoration!!
Every year I think I'd like to finally make this- it's not difficult- I just don't seem to have the right spot to hang it!  Orange and silver paper party cups trimmed with ball fringe and rick rack.  I just adore ball fringe, so you had me there, BHG. 
A string of holiday lights poked through the bottom of the cups to make a cute, festive garland.

I really need to figure out where I can do this- it's too cute to pass up.

Hope you enjoyed some fun fall inspirations!

Sep 29, 2010

harvest centerpiece

I was on the hunt today for a white pumpkin, because I was all set to make my favorite seasonal centerpiece (nothing fancy, I just like it....)
and NO white pumpkins yet!! 

So, I guess I just wait until they are available, and then I can do some swapping around the house for the centerpiece then.

Before I start, I just wanted to say a big thank you to Kyra from Racks & Mooby, and Michelle from Emerald Cove for their gracious and kind bloggy awards this week! 
I am humbled that I inspire anybody out there,
and to have two of you express it- well, there's
just no way to say it except THANKS!
:)
You both inspire me as well!

****

I'm starting with the 'after' picture, and then go from the beginning of how it all came together....


I cleared everything off and started with a blank slate.



The supplies I started with- glass cylinder vases, candles, mini pumpkins, acorns, burlap, twine and a seasonal mix of fall items.
The vases and candles I had on the table before but they had sand and seashells in them.


I put the acorns in the bottom, I didn't need much, here's why:


I cut 3 1/2" width of burlap to go around the vase, and then went around it with some twine.

I started laying out the elements to the centerpiece, and it definitely needed some fabric.  So I started playing around with some runners and tablecloths I already had, and didn't like any of it.  Maybe something from my fabric remnants?
I found this piece, and liked the neutral colors in it and the texture.
(it used to be a fabric piece from another slipcover project!)
It was a good size piece, and I didn't want to sew it for time reasons
and in case I wanted to use it for something else,
so I just folded in the edges and ironed it!
The selvege edge was already frayed, and I thought it looked kinda neat!

I scattered the items from the BH&G box of fall goodies
and here's the end result, one more time!


Burlap is very inexpensive- I think I got the whole piece (a yard and a half, I think) for a couple bucks.
I always have twine on hand.  The BH&G box of fall filler was about $5 from WalMart.  The mini pumpkins were $2.50 per bag- I got two, also from WalMart.  Acorns- I was hoping to go out today, enjoy the warm weather and just pick some up at a local park, but I spent too much of my time trying to find the elusive white pumpkins. These are faux, and were $2.50 for a small package.

Since I was already using real pumpkins, I put the ones from the boxed set in some of my china pieces!



Happy Wednesday to you all! 

I'm linking up to:

Sep 27, 2010

a garage sale, bench sneak peek, and a slipcover how to

We had a crazy weekend of weather here, so it dictated a little bit of the projects going on around here! :)
Saturday was gorgeous and 80 degrees, Sunday morning we woke up to rain showers!  It was still warm (mid 70's)  but what a crazy bunch of weather!

Friday morning I followed some signs to a garage sale and picked up these:


aren't they amazing??? I was mostly interested in the big sugar pine cones- but with the $5 price tag, I wasn't going to haggle anything.  Didn't really need the bucket, but who cares?!! I looked for some of these very pine cones last year on Ebay for Christmas, and the cheapest I could find was $12.  So I definitely snapped these up.


I also found all these music sheets- I got them for a couple bucks.  I plan on using them for some craft projects in the future.  I almost hate to think of cutting them up....(maybe I won't!)
I couldn't resist the Perry Como.  I love him!  :)

Next, on Saturday we finally got the rest of the bench put together!  I was so happy.
It has been quite the process, but when I do the final reveal I explain more on that. 
Not a hard project, it's just been interesting.
You may remember I got the headboard and foot board at a thrift shop a few weeks ago- sneaking in at the last minute before they closed! 
Here's the sneaky peek:



I'm hoping today I can get some trim pieces for the front and sides and then start in on the painting this week.
Can't wait to see it in our nook!

I also was able to finish painting the inside of our china cabinet in the dining room-  I am loving it.  I also rearranged the pieces that were in it, because I was never quite satisfied with how that was looking. 
Here's the before:


and now:


Finally, last night I was able to complete one of these before the Amazing Race started
(one of my favorite shows!!)

I started with some storage cubes from Target.  I think they were on sale for around $12
when I purchased them.


I purchased 3 1/2 yards of fabric.  I first cut a square to cover the top and sides of the lid, making sure to add enough length around the sides for the seam allowance.


Then, I cut two 15" widths of the fabric (45" wide) for the sides. 
 (I decided to do a skirted bottom.)
Sewed the sides of the two lengths together so it made a circle around.
Then, I ran a basting stitch a half inch down from the raw edge so that I could cinch up the fabric for the ruffle.


And, pinching the corners of the top (lid) piece/square, I pinned them to make it snug to the fabric, and ran a straight stitch with my machine to create the slipcover.
all under Bella's watchful eyes.....


Then, I put flipped the fabric on the lid so it was right side out, put the skirted fabric over the top so the right sides were facing together, and pinned the skirt in at the corners and the four middles of the cube to hold it in place while I made sure the basted edge and ruffle were evenly spaced.  It's the most time consuming part, but you don't want to have areas of no ruffle or too much!  Keep re pinning as necessary, and put straight pins in every few inches to keep the two fabrics together and hold your pleated edge.


Making sense?
Next, stitch through both the top piece and your skirt.  Remove the pins and tear out your basting stitch with seam ripper or small scissors.
Lastly, pin your hem and stitch, or use Steam a Seam to hem!  That's it!

Voila! 
We now have extra storage and seating in our family room! 
:)
I have one more of these guys to make, and then I will show you how they look in their new space. 
I am very happy with the results!
The fabric was $6.99/yd and the ottomans were $12 each-
so for under $30 we have these lil beauties!

Enjoy your Monday!

Sep 24, 2010

some fall favorites & a decorating update

If I was bold enough, I'd show you a picture of the disaster area I've created in just about every room! 
aaaaahhh!

I've been having fun thrifting, garage saleing, and adding more projects to my to do list than I should- hence, the disaster area.  I keep starting new projects while the others are half done. 

Here's one completed project- not a huge one, but I like how the fabric breaks up all of the dark going on with the coffee table.  (which I am still loving, and grateful for such a great thrift shop find!)


I also found the lantern at TJ Maxx a couple weeks ago, and look what I saw in the new fall Pottery Barn catalog....

yahoo!  I got mine for $6.99- PB's small is $29.00!!
The exact same lantern!
awesome find.

I am also working on some slipcovers, in the same fabric as above, for some additional seating
and storage for our family room...a later post!
:)

****

And with the start of fall, some more of our family's fall traditions and decorations....

I'm not much of a scented candle girl, except for September through December! 
We always love to have this particular scent wafting through the house during the fall months...


and my husband's family always enjoyed this little concoction in their home-
we've continued the tradition here!

Candy corn and salted peanuts!  Chewy/sweet and crunchy /salty!
a dangerous combo to have sitting around the house!!

My favorite wire basket filled with fall.

I wish you all a wonderful weekend ~  
hopefully by Monday I will have some completed projects to show you! 
Fingers crossed there will be time to work on the bench!

Sep 23, 2010

fall porch decorating

Yesterday I went to the happiest place on earth, and it wasn't Disneyland.

Maybe I should say it was my happiest place on earth...

Al's Garden Center!

Every year they offer an amazing deal:
for $15.99 you get:
a small bale of hay
corn stalks
an 8" mum with just about any color you could imagine
and a pumpkin- any size!

Al's is a family run business, and they have been around the NW for a long time.  The second and third generations are now growing and running the business.  These Fall Harvest kits are grown by the grandkids!  Isn't that awesome!? All the money they make on these goes to their college fund!  :)


Here's a little tour of Al's just so you know why I love going there so much!


there were some pretty big ones in these bins for $1.49!!  What a deal!


All of their display table are this gorgeous.  It's so hard to walk away and not want to take it all!!

I just love these ceramic mushrooms. 
They would go great in my garden with my two gnomes that I hide in between the shrubs.

****
I got my Fall Harvest kit, and headed home. 
I was really tempted to get some more pumpkins (I got 4) and some more mums (only two).  I got my porch decorated, and I think I might have to go back in....
We'll see.  I'm wanting some of those little tiny pumpkin / gourds, but I haven't seen them yet.



I'm sure there will be more added to the porch, but for today, that's what it looks like!

Enjoy your Thursday!

linking to:

The Shabby Nest

Sep 22, 2010

fall is here

It's that time of year.
Fall decorations are making their way out around the house,
and our family's favorite fall dinner is on the menu. 

Here are two traditions we have for this time of year.

I always scatter Halloween pictures of our daughter around the house in fun frames.
Some are store bought as-is; others I purchased at the dollar store
and perked up with paint, ribbon, and embellishments.


And every year on the first day of fall we have this for dinner-
Wild Rice Harvest Casserole.
It is super yummy- and the aroma is heavenly while it bakes.

Not only do I make this for the first day of fall, but it is also my go to dish when I take a meal
 to a new mommy or a family in need.  It's one of my most requested dishes.
I got it from Taste of Home years ago!

A creamy chicken and rice casserole with the added luxury of cashews baked in.
♥♥♥!!
Here's the recipe, I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!


4-5 cups diced chicken
1 cup chopped celery
2 T butter
2 cans cream of celery or cream of mushroom soup
2 cups chicken broth
1 small chopped onion
1/2 cup wild rice, and 1/2 cup white rice (not instant)- rinsed and drained
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
3/4 cup cashew pieces
chopped fresh parsley

In a skillet, brown chicken and celery in butter.  In a large bowl, combine soup and broth until smooth.  Add onion, rice, poultry seasoning, and cooked chicken mixture.
Pour into a greased 13x9 dish.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.  Uncover and baked for another 30 minutes.  Stir and sprinkle with cashew pieces. Return to the oven for 15 minutes or until rice is tender.  Garnish with parsley.  Let sit for 5 minutes before serving- it's piping hot!!

Happy First Day of Fall!  Enjoy and share your traditions!

Sep 21, 2010

fall front door

Today is a super busy and fun day, so I'm keeping today's post simple and linking up to Kristin's link party on front doors!
I'm hoping to get everything more fallish by the end of the week, but I did get my fall wreath out yesterday.
:)



I'm going to be making our favorite first day of fall casserole tonight (I know it's tomorrow, but we're gone tomorrow night, and it's tradition at this house!!) 
I'll share the recipe with you this week as well.

Enjoy your day!

Linking to:
my uncommon slice of suburbia

Sep 20, 2010

failure and determination

I am exhausted. 
I decided to paint the master bath on Saturday while my husband and daughter went to a football game.

here's the before:


You can see that I had my sample on the wall. 
Actually, I've had that sample up since the beginning of August. 
A good long time to look at it.
Because I was soooo tired of all the beige.



It worked with the red- except the red in the bedroom is gone.



And everything was beige!!!
the ceiling too! You can see from the light fixture that there's this golden-y beige glow....
lots-o brown. 
And what spurred on this job?
This....
That's right. 
The trashy looking light fixture. 
 It was very nice- except one day I noticed a crack.  You can see it on the left there. Upon closer inspection, the whole thing was cracked!  I was really worried that the glass globe would just fall off and smack somebody in the head, so I took it off! 
And this is what we have.
A painting project from a light fixture that needs to be replaced. 
Well, that and the master bedroom makeover.
 *****
Round one:
Beachy blue!  White ceiling!

I was loving the brightness and lightness of the new color!

the ceiling with bright white paint- you can see the major difference already.

 In the middle of the second coat, I started feeling like this wasn't working.
Don't you hate that feeling? 
Me too.
Because I was sore, and tired.
All I could hear in my head was:
Fail.
Big fat fail.
The colors in the bedroom weren't the same shade of blue.  And I knew that would bug me.
Plus, the brown tile and the blue just didn't go together. 
We're going to trade it out for something more "us" in the next little bit,
but in the meantime, I knew I couldn't live with this.
Ugh.

*****
Round 2:
I had some leftover paint from the bedroom-
Benjamin Moore's Indian White, mixed up in Home Depot's Behr paint.
I had about a third of a can left, and started cutting in.



Much, much better. 
I liked that the bedroom color was flowing into the bathroom now instead of chopping up the rooms. 
And, the more I thought about it, the more I liked it because it reminded me of the picture I posted last week:

And you know how when you get on a roll,
 you can just start to see everything come together more readily?
yay!
The Indian White goes better with the current tile until we transition to the new stuff.
The floors will have the white vintage octagonal tile with a gray or tan grout.
I found some white marble tiles that we can put on the countertops and around the tub deck.
White beadboard around the tub base.
I wasn't totally sure what I was going to do about the drapery treatment,
but now I think I will just carry the bamboo roman shades through (same as the bedroom),
and then a breezy white curtain to top it off.
Some individual swivel mirrors,
and polished silver light fixtures with frosted white shades.

Yep.  That's the ticket.

oh, and just so that you don't think all that blue paint went to waste...
I found the perfect spot for it.
On the back wall of my china cabinet. 
:)


Happy Monday everyone!

I'm linking up to:

Making