Where The Lone Star State Meets The Puget Sound
A Fine Mesh Of Two Great Styles

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Changes In Attitude, Changes in Lattitude

Hello.  I have reemerged at The Starfish Studio.  You will find me there with regularity unless the sun is shining.  Then you will find me in the garden.

I hope you will stop by.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Lighted Garland

It is often said that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.  The idea for this raggy lighted garland did not originate with me but rather with Holly Browning, the creative and talented author of 

Please spend some time browsing Holly's first-rate blog.  I am always so inspired by her home decorating genius.

I am so fortunate to have an electrical outlet strategically placed just above the mantle.  Could it be that the original builders of our house were thinking about Christmas when they did the wiring? The house was built by the original owner himself in 1952.  I have had many houses during my 31 years of marriage but this is the only one with this cherished feature.

This was not a quick project by any means but I have to say that it was extremely gratifying.  I used a strand of white lights on white cord and a ton of muslin of high quality that I found at a thrift store.  The look was created by tearing the muslin into strips 1.5" wide.  I then cut the strips into 7" lengths.  Each strip was lovingly tied onto the strand of lights.  You can find complete directions at Holly's blog.

Once again my Pottery Barn reindeer, which were gifts from my parents in 1993, are standing guard above our stockings.  They are looking as regal as ever!  Fortunately the candles are still available on Pottery Barn's website.

Yesterday I found a cute little package of gingerbread ornaments on my front porch.  They had been delivered by a sweet friend.  So I nestled them into my garland.

Thank you Holly for such a wonderful idea.  I love my mantle more this year than I ever have.

Christmas is but a few days away.  I hope your heart and home are ready.

Warm wishes!

Linking to SNS at Funky Junk Interiors.

Photo Garland

Here is another of my favorite projects from this Advent season.  This is a modification of a garland that was posted on Dear Lillie last year.  I bookmarked it in hopes that I might be organized enough this year to create one for myself.

The success of this project depends upon the details~

I really like the wire cable I purchased by the foot from Lowe's.  It hangs just right with no slack.  It looks just a tad industrial, which for some reason I'm attracted to, and it was just $.27 per foot.  And I especially love how my husband created the loops in each end of the cable because it looks so finished.  Lowe's also sells the little metal pieces for crimping, which I hope you can see in the below photo.

I used color digital photos from the past twelve months, but I modified the color saturation using Picasa so that the photos are now black and white.  I had to upload them to a photo processing website,  MPIX,  in order to have them printed as 3.5 X 5 inch photos.  I was hoping to achieve a retro look; a sort of old photo album feel that was so prevalent during the first half of the prior century.  There are not very many places to get this size print anymore but MPIX provides a myriad of size choices.

The photos are mounted on basic black card stock.  I followed Dear Lillie's lead and used photo corners, and I especially like the metal bookplates with little labels that remind us of the date or event of each photo.  

I think this string of photos looks better hanging in front of this green garland than it would have hanging alone or against a less festive background.  I chose to use only one clothespin per picture because I felt it was a little more tailored.  I didn't want the clothespins to be a focal point, but rather the photo itself.

My garland of memories is hanging above the kitchen sink.  We spend the most of our holiday time in the kitchen, right? At least for us, the kitchen is the heart of our home so it's the best place to showcase special memories.

Thanks for having a look!  Sending tidings of comfort and joy...

Linking to: Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Romance Novel Wreath

I have two Christmas decor projects new to this year that have made me especially happy. The first is my repurposed (free and somewhat seedy paperback) book page wreath, which I am proud to share today.

I found some random giveaway books at our local quilt shop.  (The content of the books appears to be a little less wholesome than the quilt shop's image).  However, I am so happy to have found these particular novels because one of the paperbacks is appropriately yellowed.  My wreath has a comfortable and attractive vintage feel thanks to the aged condition of the books.

I began by wrapping 1.5" strips of burlap around my wreath.  The next step was to punch out the book pages and I used a 3" diameter scalloped punch.  This is not a hard wreath to make but it is labor intensive.  I spent the better part of a day working on it.  This represents many hours of 'punch and glue'.  However, I set my iPad on the table in front of me and happily streamed a variety of British TV via Netflix while I worked.

Despite the fact that I burned myself severely with the glue gun a couple of times, the wreath was well worth the effort expended.  It blends nicely in my mostly-neutral decor and it's perfect as an all-winter-long-accent.  

Remember~ coupons, coupons, coupons.  A coupon for the 3" punch and a coupon for the wreath.    And as I mentioned, the books cost nothing.  My time was the biggest investment.


Linking to Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Easy Advent Candles

If you, like I, enjoy decorating with neutrals and naturals, you might want to try this easy-to-follow Advent candle project.

To begin with, a shopping list: I bought a case of 12 pint sized Mason jars at our local Ace Hardware, and one carton of Epsom salts at Walgreen's.  In addition I bought a yard of muslin from Walmart for less than $2.  I found tea lights at Dollar Tree.

To get started, I tore the muslin into 1/2" strips, length wise.  If you don't like the selvage edge just tear it off too.  You will need half as many strips as the number of candles you are making because you cut each strip in half. OK, so I'm serious.  Cut a tiny slit in the fabric and then, "let her rip"!
 Raggy is good!

Take the lids from the jars and store them for future use.  Then tie a strip of muslin around the mouth of each jar.  I used a very casual square not.  The idea is to create a relaxed look so don't worry about making the knots perfect.

The next step is to fill the jars partially with the Epsom salts.  Just fill to a level that is pleasing to you, and drop a tea light candle into each jar.

To make the tags and the numbers I used a die cut machine (Cricut).  But you could alternately buy shipping tags from an office supply store and number them with a marker (my printing is not that good).

I have only days 20-25 on my counter because our son will be home during that week.  My plan is to read an Advent scripture each night and then light the corresponding candle.  On Christmas night, all 6 will be lighted.  But imagine how beautiful it would look to have an arrangement of all 25!

Do I have the world's tiniest creche?  Perhaps, but I love it.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Bee Mine

Today I have been married to my wonderful husband for 31 years.  (I could get really corny here and refer to him as my 'honey').  Anniversaries are a celebration of the blessings of another year together; and the sharing of love and devotion.  Lavish gifts are not a requisite, but rather the expression of a mutual deep affection for one another.

I made Larry an explosion box as a token of that affection.  Have you seen one before? Have a look inside mine.

Explosion boxes are a blast to make and equally fun to give.  The concept involves layering pretty papers and loading the pages with special things of significance

I used a combination of scrap booking embellishments, old photos (which I resized, copied and cut), and favorite quotes from our dating days.

Scrapbook and craft stores feature so many cute add-ons like this.

I must say, at the risk of boasting, that the box is adorable and Larry loves it.  Larry is a very practical sort (educated as a Mechanical Engineer).  He rarely comes home with a frilly gift unless I am pretty forthcoming about my wants.  I was pretty tickled when he made a special trip to Tuesday Morning, just to grab one of these~

YES! An electric pressure washer!  And in addition, a ROKU has been shipped.  What a romantic devil. For our first Christmas he bought me a glue gun.  Woo Hoo! Is our life beginning to sound a little like the old sitcom,  Tool Time?

But let me conclude by saying with all sincerity that Larry has made all of my dreams come true for 31 years and I'm sure he forever will.  I am a very blessed woman.

Thanks for stopping by~

Linking to Wow us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
                Open House Party at No Minimalist Here

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Mixed Blessing

A very dear, senior saint, who attends my church is moving to Arizona in early June.  She and her husband are already in the process of dismantling their pretty home.  Earlier this week we met at her house for coffee and a chat.  Sadly, she has been recently plagued with memory loss; so much so that she didn't even remember that I was coming.

She has such a sweet spirit.  My friend seems unaware of her disability and carries on seemingly unruffled. She conducts herself and her life with such dignity~ she exudes grace.  We had a lovely time drinking coffee and sharing family updates.

Upon leaving, we agreed that I should take one of her favorite houseplants; a lovely shamrock.  I was so touched.  I was unsure of where to place it.  If I buy a houseplant, my attitude is rather, "cest la vie".  But when a plant is entrusted to my care I feel compelled to become a good steward.

Isn't this pretty?

{Yeah Baby!}

Lately I have been perusing (again) one of my favorite coffee table books, Flea Market Decorating.  Even after a decade, this book is still my favorite compendium of style and budget.  It's a coffee table book that is truly at home on my coffee table.  Anyway, a stair balustrade pictured on one of the pages reminded me of something I have had stashed for many years~ an old newel post.  I asked Larry to bring it from the basement.

After cleaning it up I resolved once again to use it as a plant stand.  A plant stand with a {barley} twist perhaps?

Ah~ A sterling example of refined rustic!

Or should it be, rustic-refined?

Larry put one screw through the bottom of the galvanized bucket which holds it to the post.  I'm a quirky gal and I like this look.  I also like being reminded of my dear friend each time I walk through my front door.

I'm sad to say farewell to a lady whose faith has inspired me for a decade.  But I am convinced that the move is for the best.  She will soon be surrounded by family and friends of longstanding, and she will have more than 300 days a year of glorious sunshine. How can I not celebrate such a decision?  

Our church is also a family and our doors are always open.  If life brings them back, we'll be here for them.  Therefore, I refuse to say, "good bye". I think instead I will simply say, "Until we meet again..."

And I bid you the same.  Thanks for stopping by.

Linking to Masterpiece Monday at Boogie Board Cottage.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Springing To Life

It only takes a couple of sunny days to put a little spring back into my step.  I'm tiring of last season's colors and have been on a serious roll around the house; moving accents around and adding touches of spring vibrancy.  It all started with these~

OK, so which came first? The designer chickens or the eggs?

I love these eggs for Easter.  My house doesn't look good wrapped in 'cutesy'.  Pinks, bold blues, purple... just not a good fit.  So, after hard boiling, I decided to exercise a little creative license with the notion of Easter basket.  I chose, instead, to once again put to interesting use the old Pier One hurricane.

So all of this just to tell you that from these eggs an idea for a new vignette was hatched.

We have this little ledge along side of our winding staircase.  There is no utilitarian use for the ledge; it just evolved in a remodel of the stairs.  The vintage Pottery Barn telephone reminds me of my grandmother's house.  Her little house in a Los Angeles suburb was built in the 1920's.  It had a cool telephone nook and an old phone with a party line! 

Above the ledge I hung an original oil painting done especially for me by the mom of a lifelong friend.  I grew up a few doors from my friend and her mom was very special to me~ and so is this painting.  Aren't the colors beautifully airy?

I have always felt that the painting was perfect for a cottage by the sea.

And here is a view of the staircase~

Larry designed and built the stairs.  They lead to our sleeping loft.  Ooh la loft! The topic of a future post. 

I hope you will avail yourself of all the lovely vignettes over at  Marty's Table Top Tuesday  Marty's blog is always bursting with creative inspiration.  I'll head to the loft and take a few pictures.

Thanks for reading along! Come back and visit me soon.

Vintage Bombay Makeover

I really like classically styled, Bombay Company home accents.  I spotted this desk organizer recently at the Kiwanis' thrift store here in town.  Despite its imperfections I liked the $3 price tag!

Some of the gouges were pretty significant.  I bought a little can of wood filler which Larry was able to use as a patching medium.  After thorough sanding we were ready for spray paint.  By the way, if I use the word "we" it most likely means that Larry did the work.

Presto~Change-o!  I am really pleased with this redo~


A new message center on the kitchen counter complete with essentials~ pens, pencils, paper, emery boards and a spare pair of reading glasses.  A home can never have too many pairs of glasses.

Thanks for visiting.  Get more out of your Monday by visiting Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Longing for Spring!

We haven't had an extreme winter but it has been appropriately wet.  Soon the crocus will begin to emerge, the cherry trees will burst forth.  The robins have already returned to the yard; a welcome harbinger of spring.

Apparently terrariums are all the rage this year.  I found this image on Google.  I was inspired to to try an abbreviated adaptation and to share with you what I call the 'Grandmother of All Cloches".

Our local grocery markets are selling English Primroses.  Primroses are very hearty perennials in the Northwest.  In fact the primroses in my outside beds are already blooming!  I bought a good supply of pink ones and planted one in each of the Dollar Tree cylindrical vases I had left over from Christmas decor.  I embellished them with the ribbon that I used for my pink baby shower on Sunday.  My mini-terrariums really boost my spirits on an otherwise gloomy day.

Now, the bell jar {cloche}  

Ha ha ha.  This is a big bell!  On display next to it is my valentine from my sweet husband.

It's OK to 'heart' something on Valentine's Day.  I heart Bombay Company and am so glad they resurfaced at a few stores.

Larry also bought me this cute little easel to display my lovely box.

I'm joining the collective creativity at Wow Us Wednesday!  See you there.

Hugs, Dana