Dec 1st, 11
Wrapping Lesson 1: Go outside.
I went out for a walk with my dogs and this is what I found. My basics are craft paper, scissors and tape. Keep it neutral when adding nature. I use a bit of wrapping paper and ribbon in these gifts but the natural elements are my bling. You don’t need to buy fake nature at a craft store, it’s free for the taking.
Sheesh, don’t you love it! Invest in some baker’s twine. It will last you a forever. Supplies: craft paper, twine, a bit of wrapping paper and nature.
Leaves and a bit of velvet ribbon adorn this bag. So easy. Nothing more to say. except for the awesome tag that I made with my chop saw and a birch log.
You wish you could smell this one. Craft paper, ribbon, raffia and rosemary. Mmmmmm
My most favorite…….bark wrapped around, acorns hot glued to a black velvet ribbon and craft paper. Crazy! I have to show one more pix.
Nov 27th, 11
I wanted to make a statement with huge wreath for the empty wall that leads to my front door. I envisioned it to be 6′ tall but it ended up being 4.5′, still larger than you can find in a store. It took a couple of hours and only a few supplies. You can see it coming down the street, you’re gonna want one!
Supplies needed; the base was made with two rolled up vines for $9.99 each from the craft store. I am lucky to have an olive tree with branches a plenty. The green paddle wire and lights were from last year.
I unrolled the first vine and wired the ends together. I started adding branches to build it out and make it circular.
I took the second vine and added branches to make it straight. I wired both ends to the circle. Just keep wiring and adding branches. Finally, wrap on the lights. Use lights with brown wire so they don’t stand out. It took 3 boxes of wreath lights.
Super rad! I think it will live there year round.
Oct 10th, 11
If you know me, then you know I love wrapping gifts. If you know me, then you know I always wait till the last minute to wrap your gift and somehow, it turns out lovely. All you need is some brown paper and something vintage. I like to keep a box of vintage papers, laces, ribbons and tags in a “go to” box. For the gift above, I used some brown paper, twill tape for the ribbon and a vintage photograph for the tag. I made flowers using old sewing patterns, masking tape and wire. It looks complicated but it’s really easy. You cut some circles out of tissue and scrunch them up, poke a wire in the middle and wrap some masking tape around the bottom to hold it on the wire. You can use old book pages, catalog pages or plain tissue. Anything you have on hand. I like making them big for maximum impact.
I found some Moroccan ribbon at the flea market and bought a few yards for a couple of dollars. This was from a basket of scrap ribbons she was just getting rid of. Hopefully, my friend will keep the ribbon and reuse it. I also picked up the little drawstring bag at the same vendor and made it into the tag. Who wouldn’t want this gift?!
I used the same brown paper and twill tape but added a vintage doily. This would make great wedding wrap.
For this gift I used vintage wall paper! I love collecting wall paper at garage sales and thrift stores to add to my gift wrap supply. They are generally too thick to wrap an entire gift but you can use it like I did here and it makes awesome tags (and invitations, but that’s another story). The rolls are usually quite large, cost pennies and are pretty interesting. This one is silver metallic with pink flocking. Can you imagine this on your walls? NO, but it looks great here! I also have grass paper and some funky 70′s wallpaper. Just remember to “think outside the box” when it comes to wrapping and your gift will always be opened first!
Oct 3rd, 11
This week we had a mishap with our tray of candles that we keep on our patio table. They melted in the 100 degree California sun and ran all over the place. I started to throw them away but then thought……..what if? What if I re-melt the big candle and make some new candles?
First I shaved off the dirt with a peeler. Then I took the candle and put it in the microwave on the “melt chocolate chips” setting in a microwave safe dish. I had to run it through a couple of rounds until it was sitting in a puddle of wax. I read online that it is best to have a candy thermometer to get the wax the perfect temperature, but we don’t have one so I just put in for a few minutes at a time. I had some wicks from a previous project that you can find at craft stores for about $3 for six. In a pinch, string and a pencil will work too. All I needed was some vessels for the new candles. We had grapefruit for breakfast, so I tried that. It turned out beautiful and smelled good, too. Perfect for Halloween!
Then I tried an abalone shell we had in the backyard. This time I mixed in some patuli oil. They have candle scents at the craft stores but I think they are pretty stinky. It’s worth the investment of a nice essential oil.
Happy day! The abalone candle is so lovely and serene. So next time you have some old, dirty candles, make some new candles from them. Try using an eggshell, teacup, flower pot or coconut shell as a vessel. I’m going to start collecting vintage glassware for this project. I hope my friends aren’t reading this because I know what I’m making for holiday presents!
Sep 1st, 11
I recently ran across a UK artist named Anna Garforth. She does some crazy typography installations using moss, edible biscuits and recycled materials. It is so simple yet so inspiring. I am loving her typographic wonders.
One of her latest works is the moss cross for the Urban Physic Garden. Moss contains healing properties and was often used to treat wounds duing world war II. Who knew?
Sep 1st, 11
Someday I would love to have a one of a kind headboard like this one featured in Elle Décor. It is an antique Indonesian wall panel that designers Jose Tavel and Cara Cummins found. I love how they pair it with a modern bed frame and simple bedding.
Until I can afford a beautiful antique, I can repurpose some salvaged doors and still be stylish! You can find old doors at salvage yards and flea markets. This bedroom is from Dreamy Whites:. Try using them as table tops, shelves or just lean them against a wall with hooks and a mirror. So don’t pass up an old door next time you run across one!
Aug 1st, 11
Here is a stain that takes only a few items and a few pennies to make and has a lovely warm tone that only gets better with age. I am transforming a $5 garage sale chair but this recipe is awesome for a large job, like a fence, so make extra!
The items needed are: 1 bag of steel wool from the hardware store, old bucket, water, 3 cups vinegar, old spray bottle and a funnel.
Put the steel wool into the bucket and cover it with water. Let is sit for a week so it is a dark rust color. Stir occasionally. Add more water if it evaporates. After a week, add the vinegar and let sit overnight.
Toss the steel wool into the trash and pour the rusty stew into an old spray bottle.
Simply spray on the stain! I gave the chair two coats.
Just add cushions!
Jul 26th, 11
La Maison Pujol is a small bed and breakfast in the south of France that I would LOVE to visit! Not only would I be in the south of France but I would be in my element; stumps, modern chairs and vintage letters.
It is decorated with a mix of vintage and modern designed by Phillipe Phi who transformed an old winery. There are only 5 rooms but the location looks breathtaking! Put in on your “must visit” list!
Jul 19th, 11
My friend Jen is moving and getting rid of everything including her collection of vintage fabrics. Lucky us! We wanted to make her a housewarming gift using her fabric. Here are a couple of easy projects using left over fabric scraps that you and your kids can do!
Your probably have everything you need without running to the store. Jars, clothespins, scissors, craft brush, glue and fabric scraps. The fabric can be anything; denim, bandanas or old shirts. We used some torn kimonos from Jen.
First cut the fabric to fit on the clothespins and jars. No measuring necessary.
Mix the glue with some water to thin it out. Or use Modge Podge. Paint the clothespin with glue, put on the fabric and paint the top of the fabric with glue.
Do the same thing with the jar. Paint some glue on the jar and apply the fabric.
Paint some more glue on top of the fabric. Take a damp towel and wipe off the extra glue before it dries.
Use the jars to hold pencils, flowers or candles. We wrapped a wire around one to hang with the candle. Makes a great gift for teachers, new neighbors or grandparents!
The clothespins come in handy to attach a tag to a gift.
Or on a string for notes! So easy!