Monday, March 26, 2012

Paper Flower Wreath

Or A Good Excuse to Watch an Entire Season of The Tudors

A couple of weeks ago I watched all the Downton Abbeys episodes in two or three days and since then I have been having withdrawl.  Well, we have amazon prime which gives us free streaming video and they were featuring The Tudors.  I never saw it when it first came out because I am too cheap to pay for extra cable stations.  In any event, amazon prime has a large selection of tv shows and movies and I can stream them on my computer or my Kindle Fire at my leisure for free.  

However, I cannot justify just sitting here staring at the screen so I decided to make something at the same time and this paper wreath was just the thing.  I had pinned this one from Handmade Weddings and decided to use their patterns and add some of my own touches as well.

I didn't have a wreath form on hand so I improvised with a cardboard box.  I traced around two large bowls and cut out the "form".  Then to cover up the unsightly parts I wrapped it with some twill tape I had saved from some old packaging.  I've noticed that more things are coming wrapped with twill tape or ribbon and usually there's a couple of yards.  I keep all these scraps in a little basket and then they come in handy for these types of projects.

After that was done I used the aforementioned patterns and started tracing and cutting out the flower shapes from my favorite scrapbook paper.  I bought it a year ago and it is a collection of blues and greens and tans.  It was nice to get it in a stack because I knew all the patterns would coordinate nicely.  I also used this particular paper on my Spring Garland last year.

I cut out a dozen or so flowers and then I started arranging and fixing them on the wreath using my glue gun.  Then I filled in any blank spots with additional flowers.  The key to this is the layering and the folding.  You want to fold the large flowers in the middle of the petals to make them stand up and then layer the patterns and colors.  I glued flowers on both the front and the back of the wreath to add depth.  

My wreath has about 40 different paper elements on it and it took me about 3-4 hours to complete.  It might have been faster it I wasn't so distracted by those naughty Tudors.

I also had to add a hanger to the back.  I did this with 2 paper clips stuck in a huge glob of hot glue.  Then I threaded a piece of ribbon through the paperclips to hang it on a nail.

I did free hand a lot of the smaller flowers.  The scrap paper I used also had some pre-printed flowers that I just cut out too.

I wanted to hang it in our bedroom but the icky wall color in there clashes with the blues in the wreath so for now it is in the kitchen hanging on the cupboard door.

It would probably look really great against some white cabinets - darn - our cabinet painter is so slow:)

~ Gold Shoe Girl ~
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Knock Knock

Has anyone else read Jenny Lawson's blog, especially the post about her big metal chicken?  Well, if you haven't check it out here.  I warn you ahead of time she has quite the potty mouth and her blog is not something you want your kids reading over your shoulder, but if you're okay with that she has a fantastic sense of humor.  The reason I mention it is that if you read the story about Beyonce the metal chicken you will no longer be able to hear "knock knock" without mentally adding an extra word or two to the end of it.  So when I was typing out the title to this post it was hard not to add that certain extra phrase and the plain old knock knock seems all lonely up there without it.  But this is a family-friendly blog so I decided best to leave well enough alone.

This is just a quick post about my new-to-me antique door knocker.  If you remember I won it off of ebay a little while back and I just got around to installing it this past weekend.  It looks fabulous if I do say so myself.  

I had to have something that distinguishes our home from the 600 others in our subdivision and this is it.  I have been scanning front doors in our neighborhood for a while now and I don't think anyone else has a door knocker and certainly not an antique one.  

My husband thinks the neighbors are going to think we cheaped out and are nuts for wanting something rusty and chipped on our front door, but I am hoping that they appreciate the uniqueness and character of our knocker.  Of course, he could be right as our homeowner's association just formed a committee to report back on properties with too many weeds.  Yep, kid you not.   Apparently, a little too much time on our hands around here. 

The weather around here was so nice we put in the screen on the door this past weekend.  I'm not loving the metal bar that goes across the middle but I do love having the front door open for breezes so I guess I have to live with it.  So this one shows without my spring basket.  The knocker looks great but the door overall needs more.

So here we are with both the knocker and the basket.  Although the knocker doesn't stand out as much I still like the overall appeal.  That metal bar has got to go.  Any ideas?

~ Gold Shoe Girl ~
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Monday, March 19, 2012

Nautical Themed Spring Mantle

Finally, my mantle is picture worthy.  I always have a big lull between Christmas and spring.  I just don't have any good creative mantle worthy ideas during those blah winter months.  I went with the nautical theme for 2 reasons:  #1 my husband is in love with all things nautical and his family has had sailboats since he was a kid and #2 the large sailboat you see was on sale 50% off at Hobby Lobby.  Someday I'll get an authentic pond yacht but they are not in the budget this year.

You can see that I kept up the large blue and white tins as a backdrop and then added the nautical details in front.  As we get closer to summer I may add some seashells too.  I have some large conch shells and starfish that would look nice with the boats.

The pulleys were also half-off at Hobby Lobby and I've had the miniature baskets forever.

A close up of the little boats.  I am getting the hang of my camera now so I was able to get some nice clear shots.  Can you tell that the sun is coming across from the right?  Of course, I also did capture the nice fingerprints on the glass hurricane too - oh well. 

Here is one showing the entire back of the living room.  Since we moved in I have changed out the original window treatments.  The previous owners had hung some really dark green valances with matching wood blinds.  It made the whole corner feel dark and short.  The white panels are from Target and let in so much more light.  I really want to upgrade the window moldings and paint both the trim and the mantle white.  And some crown molding would be nice too.  We'll see how the tax return comes out:).

How are your spring projects coming?  Now that the weather's better I have so many things I want to do that it is almost overwhelming.  I'm having a hard time deciding which one to do first.  Don't say the kitchen:)

~ Gold Shoe Girl ~

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The Lettered Cottage

Friday, March 16, 2012

Vintage Style Easter Craft

I was perusing the pbkids website the other morning - I know.  It's a disease.  It's really their fault because they keep sending all these emails.  Anyways, they have these really cute Peter Rabbit Glitter Cut-Outs for Easter.  They looked so good I almost just ordered them.  Almost.  Then I decided I could do some myself and probably for a lot less money.

I immediately headed over to The Graphics Fairy and found the little lamb.  Then I did a google search and found the bunny and the chicks.  I printed all 3 onto white card stock using the best quality setting on my printer.  

After printing I did enhance some of the parts of the bunny with some felt tip markers.  Sometimes when you enlarge things in Word the image quality suffers a bit and filling in things with a marker makes a huge difference.

I decided to highlight just a small detail on each vintage animal instead of outlining the entire shape in glitter.  Now I did have to go buy glitter and I did spend about $10 on glitter but I do now have 15 little jars of glitter to use on any future projects.  I may just be glittering up some paper mache eggs this weekend:).

Here they are again sitting on top of our piano.

Here they are lounging around in the bookcase.  I think I like them here the best.

Another spot in the bookcases.  By the way if you want the details on the bookcase project you can click here.

For the bunny I used silver glitter to outline the ribbon on his egg.

Because the chicks didn't have any accouterments, I thought their eyes were the feature that  could use some glitter.

The little lamb is my favorite.  His bell and collar turned out so nice.

My goal with this project was to make a little something that could sit on a shelf or mantle to make it festive for Easter.  I love the vintage look of these - as if they could have been in our family for years and perhaps they will be.  I am thinking that I could even add some eggs or a basket to fill out the set.  Which Easter animal is your favorite?

~ Gold Shoe Girl ~

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The Graphics Fairy

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tabletop Easter Bunny Decoration

Sorry it's been so long since my last post.  We've been fighting seasonal allergies and catching up on some spring cleaning.  Plus the laundry situation had gotten so out of hand it took me 2 days to get it under control again.  

Anyways, I hit the Hobby Lobby yesterday and I've been working on a few things I wanted to share.  This guy is one of my favorites.  I was inspired by the one that I saw over at Ann's blog On Sutton Place.

My version is slightly different but still same springy-easter theme.  For now he is located on our buffet in the dining room.  I think he cheers up the room.  

You can see from the reflection in the mirror that our dining room is open to the foyer so it's nice to have something fresh on the buffet to entice visitors inside.  

This is the view from the kitchen doorway.  It gives you better look at our buffet.  It's a Duncan Phyfe style buffet that I bought on craigslist soon after we moved to this house.  I have intentions of painting it but not sure what color and I don't want everything to end up painted white so for now it just stays as it is.

I thought I would be all fancy with the photo editing today to give you a breakdown of what this decoration cost me.  As you can see the total cost was only $14.  I already had the moss stuff and the plate and I picked up everything else on sale at Hobby Lobby.  Have I mentioned that you should never ever pay full price for anything there - always print a coupon or wait for a sale. 

This took me less than 20 minutes to put together and most of my time was spent breaking apart the floral stems (I used 2 although I could have gotten away with just 1) and arranging them inside the wreath.

Here's one last view.  I think he's really cute and he would look great as a centerpiece for the dining room table or tucked on a side table in the living room.

~Gold Shoe Girl~

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Friday, March 2, 2012

The Beds are Made

It was fate.  The day after I posted about my son's room redo without the new bedding I found bedding.  I was doing my grocery shopping at the Meijer and I decided to quickly check out their bedding department and there they were - the elusive navy blue comforters.  I had wanted navy blue to complement the other elements in his room and I didn't want to spend a lot since I am buying for 2 beds now.  I had previously found comforters I liked at but they have been out of stock for almost 6 weeks now.  I also liked a navy blue quilt from pottery barn kids, but, of course, they were $100 each plus $35 for shams which is just too much.  Anyways, the Meijer had these reversible down comforters for $40 each.  They didn't have matching shams but that was okay.  After getting the comforters home and deciding they were worth keeping I dragged the little one to the fabric store and got some fabric to make custom shams.

Here's the whole ensemble...

The comforter is reversible and the light blue side goes perfectly with the new wall color.  I was apprehensive that it would clash but it is just right.  I paired it with new white sheets and the new pillows that I made.  I didn't put an additional blanket on his beds because the comforter is really warm, and he also has a fuzzy fleece blanket that was made for him by his aunt that he likes to use.

Once I decided to make the shams I knew I wanted to do something a little special so using some leftover fabric from the curtains I made a monogram for each sham using the same technique from this post.  The only difference was that I decided to edge each letter with a zigzag stitch.  My son's initials are Z and B so I made one sham with each letter.  

The shams are standard size with an envelope opening in the back and a 2 inch flange.  It sounds fancy but it was super easy to make.  There are a few tutorials out there so just google it and find one you like.  I bought 4 yards of basic cotton fabric.  There were 2 choices at our Joann's and I choose the heavier weave because I knew these might get more wear and tear in my son's room.  The fabric was $8 a yard but like usual I used my coupon and got it for half off.  So together both shams cost about $16 and I have about 1/2 yard of fabric leftover.  Similar shams at Pottery Barn Kids were at least $60 for two.  

You can see I didn't stop with the shams.  I used some additional leftover curtain fabric to make 14 inch square accent pillows.  They cost me nothing since I already had the fabric and the inserts in my stash and they took all of 15 minutes to make.  

Then I got a little crazy and decided to make just one more set of pillows.  I had the leftover navy fabric from the shams, and I started looking through my stash and found the burlap.  I thought they would make great combination for a boy's room.  

I did a google search for train coloring pages and used Word to make the images the size I wanted.  Then I printed the images on cardstock, cut them out, and used them to make my appliques.  I then ironed the applique onto the burlap.  I was worried that they wouldn't bond well to the burlap or the glue would seep through the burlap onto the ironing board but luckily it worked really nicely.  I then sewed the burlap front to a matching piece of navy fabric, stuffed it, and finished the seam.  Again another free set of pillows.

They turned out super cute and my son really likes them.  I was a little afraid that he might think they were too babyish but I think because I left them simple and used the burlap they will work for at least a few more years.

So my cost for the new bedding was $80 for the comforters, $30 for the sheets, and $16 for the pillows.  Not too bad.  My son is really proud of his room now and his brother and sister are both jealous.  I have a feeling the next few weeks I may be making it up to them:).  

~Gold Shoe Girl~
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