Sunday, December 19, 2010

Dare to DIY Blog Party: Week #6

It's Week #6 for the Dare to DIY Blog Party over at the Newly Woodwards and this weeks theme is: Dare to... Have Traditions!

Dare to DIY

The Mister and I don't really have any personal, household traditions. Hell, this year we didn't even buy each other presents. Between all the projects we've had around the house and his overtime, we haven't even left the house together (besides family destinations) for... umm... maybe 6 months? I don't know, maybe more. Point is, we haven't been anywhere to wander around and point and say "Oh, I'd like that" or "Oooh, pretty". So he has no idea what to get me. Whatevs. Hopefully sometime after the holidays we'll get out and have a chance to wander around town a bit.

Anyway, our traditions boil down to where we spend Christmas. We usually go to my brother and S-I-L's for an immediate family Christmas the day before Christmas Eve.
Hey, she did the ribbon-wrapping-thing last year!

We go to his mom's on Christmas Eve.

And then we go to my grandparents on Christmas day.

This year is going to be a little different because my uncle isn't coming in from Kentucky until the day AFTER Christmas this year. So we're going to have FIVE days of Christmas... I've already told the Mr. he can sit a few out if he wants to, that's a lot of socializing. 

So this year the plan is: S-I-L's the day before Christmas Eve, his mom's on Christmas Eve, my aunt's on Christmas Day (just because it's Christmas), my grandmother's the day after Christmas (when we will actually be opening presents) and again the day after that...

The day after Christmas will probably also be the day we light the alcohol on fire!
My favorite tradition... Read more about it here.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Made me a pillow...

I told you all on Sunday that I didn't get to make the pillows I had planned on for Kim's party, seeing as I didn't have a zipper foot for my machine. Luckily the sewing store near my house was able to procure one for me. I decided to start with an extra accent pillow I wanted to make, just in case I suck at using a zipper foot. Well, I do, but it was a good learning experience and especially taught me it's very difficult to sew stretchy, thick knit materials...

I saw this fabric at Hobby Lobby (shhh... in the baby fabric section) and I just had to have it. It's soooo soft, like almost baby bunny soft. Of course, since it's slightly furry and black it will be coated in dog hair in no time at all! Awesome.

The corners turned out really well, I was pretty impressed since I am impatient and didn't actually measure anything. I just laid out the cover I had that was the size I want and cut around it. My white chalk pencil wasn't cooperating, so I made due.

I love the texture on this fabric! Perfect for pattern-phobes like myself.

The zipper didn't turn out so great, but I'm inclined to blame the fabric and my inexperience. Next time I'll do better!  :D

What have you made recently? Have you ever tried to sew a zipper in stretchy fabric?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum...

I guess it's about time I show you guys the Christmas tree I've been mentioning for weeks.

It looks a little bare because most of the ornaments are white and clear!

I LOVE this tree-topper I found! It's glass, it was only $6.00, and it coordinates well with the ornaments!

Barbie shoes from one of the ornaments my grandmother gave me. I believe this was the 2005 ornament?

We don't have any "personal" or "collected" ornaments besides the ornaments I get from my grandmother every year (which just happen to match the color scheme). She did give me one that was a black and white kitty playing with a poinsettia. Um... Not sure where that came from in the middle of a decade of Barbie ornaments. Plus, aren't poinsettias poisonous to animals? Weird. I am sure if we had children our tree would be covered in glittery macaroni reindeer, candy canes, and fat Santa paper cut-outs, but we don't.

You can see in this shot that I did not get the tree skirt made to coordinate with the stockings... Oh well. It matches the tree well enough. I'm actually lucky that, besides the old green and red stockings, everything I bought for the green tree still went well with a white tree. I was pleasantly surprised when I started unwrapping everything. I hardly had to buy anything this year.

This one is my favorite. When I was looking for a dress for prom I desperately wanted this poufy ivory princess dress with sequin icicles coming down from the strapless bodice. It was soooooo pretty. But I am super pale with naturally strawberry blond hair and the color made me look deathly ill. This ornament reminds me of that dress! lol

More barbie shoes! I hung all of the ornaments with fishing line so they just hover on the tree. Plus, I didn't have any hangers and I was too lazy to run out for something that would be visually distracting anyway.

Barbie shoe box. The ornament came as one shopping bag, but when you open the bag there are three shoe boxes inside with a pair of shoes in each! And each item has it's own little hanger. Awesome.

I really love this little bird too. So quite and unassuming, you can barely tell he's there.

A larger velvet shoe. I think my S-I-L got me this one.

This was 2008's ornament.

All lit up! You can see the ornaments better like this.

It makes me so happy to walk past our tree every day. It's just so pretty! We did have a green one in our last house, but this house is soooo dark (we are surrounded by trees) and the dark green was just depressing. Especially in front of the window.

Diamonds are a girl's best friend...

The Mr. came upstairs after I finished putting it together and said it looked like something out of a magazine. Now I know it doesn't, but it still made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Next year I am going to try wrapping the tree in ribbon before I decorate it.  I'm not sure if that is an old trend come round again or if I just wasn't paying attention last year, but I am loving the idea.

What do think? Do you hate the idea of a non-traditional colored Christmas tree? What does your tree look like?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dare to DIY Blog Party: Week #5

It's Week #5 for the Dare to DIY Blog Party over at the Newly Woodwards and this weeks theme is: Dare to... Deck The Halls!

Dare to DIY

I had planned on showing off the fabulous pillows I made to coordinate with the stockings I linked to last weeks party, but I didn't make any pillows... I spent Saturday morning running to Target, Hobby Lobby, and Hancock Fabrics to make sure I would have all the supplies I needed to make my pillows. I wanted to make {2} 22" pillows, so I bought 2 black 20" zippers at Hancock. I wanted to make absolutely sure I would have enough fabric to make two pillows, so I bought an additional yard of leopard print fabric at Hobby Lobby, plus some pom pom trim and a yard of knubby black fabric for an accent pillow. I bought stuffing at Hobby Lobby, because neither they nor Hancock had 22" pillow forms ( apparently a frowned-upon pillow size). I went to Target because I've had my eye on these big, fun furry white pillows for about a month now and I thought they would be a great foil for the stockings and the pillows, but both Target's near us were out! Grrr.

I got up bright and early this morning (to discover the first big snow of the season! irrelevant to the story), got out all my pillow making crap, opened up a pillow w/ zipper tutorial on Design*Sponge... and realized I needed a zipper foot for my damn sewing machine. ARGH!

So I got discouraged and did nothing. All day. I watched She's All That and My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I sat on the couch in front of the fire, snuggled with the beasts, and read a few magazines... We all need a lazy day occasionally, right? Right.

On a more positive note, I finished all four stockings.

They are by no means perfect, but I'm happy with them overall. I did accidentally make one inside out, and one I attached the cuff and hanger wrong, but that's what seam rippers are for!

Not sure how smart it is to have them hanging in front of a roaring fire with no grate, but so far, so good (they don't actually hang over the opening, it's just the angle of the shot). We are usually in the room when the fire is going and if not, the house is small enough to smell smoke quickly! lol  I kid!

Mister has a grate all planned out and he was actually working on it today, so {fingers crossed} it may be finished sometime this week!

We had a set of three reindeer stocking holders, but I needed a fourth for Dozer. Luckily Target has a similar buck that coordinates well-enough with our existing set. This one below is the new one. His rack isn't curly, like the original, but the body shape is nearly identical.

Mister found this shed antler at one of his work sites and brought it home for me years ago.

Cheap-O garland from Sappington Garden Shop to add a little extra bling.

I've had the mantle finished for a few weeks now, but I wanted to find a fourth hanger and finish the stockings before I showed you guys. For all you newbie readers, can you see why "traditional" Christmas colors don't work in our house? The quartz in the fireplace fights any and all non-pastels or strong colors and I am not visually talented enough to force it to work.

Have you made any decor for the holiday season? Join us for Kim's party

Do you have a dominant feature in your home that you have to fight or work around? Do tell! 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Holiday Vignette

If you've been around here for a bit you surely know that "traditional" is not our style... I definitely tend more towards pretty and quirky to offset all of our antique furniture. The non-traditional extends to holiday decor, as well. I cannot stomach red and green in my home, even for Christmas. I prefer metallics, pastels, and icy tones. I'm also not a fan of "crafty" holiday stuff. "Artsy", yes. "Crafty", no. But all of this means it is difficult to find holiday decor that I like and will actually re-use year after year.

As of now I have one single large Christmas tub and it is mainly full of ornaments. I don't have any real holiday specific decor. No cute snowmen, no sparkly reindeer, no angels. So how do I make things look festive? Hmmm... In the interest of working with what I've got and not spending lots of money on useless crap I'll have to store 10 months out of the year, I threw some ornaments and bows around and called it a day.

On top of our china cabinet.

Bows from Ikea. 

Fall/Winter china with a few bows.

My grandmother buys all the grandkids an ornament for Christmas. Mine has been Barbie for years now.

More ornaments and bows from Ikea. Plus, a candle I bought at Target last year. 

How do you decorate for the Holidays? Do you prefer to stick with  the palette already in your home or do you go all out with greenery and big red bows?

Dining Room Window Treatment

Sorry I have been slightly MIA lately, especially on the finished project front, but I haven't been feeling especially chatty. We've gotten a lot done around the house and I've taken pictures, but then I look at the pics and I convince myself that they aren't good enough (the pics, not the projects). So you are going to get slightly craptastic photos that don't really do justice to my new fabuloso drapes!

We last left off here:

Then I showed you guys my china cabinet redo and you could see the beginnings of something here:

Here's a better shot of the rod on the floor:

Mr. made this curtain rod out of 1/2 inch aluminum conduit, which cost us about $9.00. Then he made four brackets out of 1/2 inch aluminum flat stock:

And here's the after:



Anchored 'em in.

Double pinch pleat. 

Easy schemesey.

Double pinch your drapes at either end. Measure in between. Divide by how many clips you've got. Pinch. Pinch. Pinch. Ta-Da!

It's hard to tell the color. They are from J.C. Penney; Chris Madden Mystique Interlined blah, blah, blah... in Antique Blue. 

My S-I-L came by my house to pick up our old (2 yrs.) Christmas tree (I just wasn't feeling the green anymore) and asked where I got my drapes... "J C Penney", I said. "Do you know what they're called?" she said. "Chris Madden is the designer", I said. "Are they Mystique?", she asked.

Why, yes, they are in fact. Oh, well, turns out she's had her her eye on these in Gold for months (maybe years) now, for their dining room. I'll be sure to share pics of her new drapes when we head over there for Christmas.

Here's a close-up of the fabric:

And here are the finials:

Which are totally 40% off Hob Lob knobs - hot glued on.



What do you think?