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Monday, May 28, 2012

Displaying Short Stemmed Flowers

There are many times, as an avid gardener, that I have trimmed up and thinned out flowering plants and am left with an assortment of short stemmed blossoms.  I never have the heart to throw away this pretty little beauties.  I used to throw them in a short glass or mason jar, but many times they were either too short even for those glasses, or there were just a couple of flowers so they would forlornly fall over to the side of the glass to sit miserably on my window sill over my kitchen sink as they died.  Recently though, I came up with this simple solution, which really does look lovely wherever I put it, and I can "stand" the flowers to arrange heights.  They stay in place, and still receive water  Here's my resent trimmings of dahlias:  

The cost: $1 for the shallow glass bowl/vase, and $3 for the decorative rocks.  Both can be purchased at Hobby Lobby. Simple, reusable, inexpensive, and versatile....the rocks can be placed in any pretty glass piece to help with arranging your short blossoms. 

Have an inspired day! 


Friday, May 25, 2012

Great interior design tool!

So while in the midst of designing the boys' bedroom, I came across this FREE design tool by Autodesk.  I love using it!  Even though the selections are somewhat limited, it still gives me a basic understanding of my space.  It also helps me give my dear husband who struggles understanding my inspiration for designs no matter how well I describe them, a tangible visual of what I am trying to accomplish. Several times it has helped pull us from the brink of an avoidable argument. How's that for Awesome?

So here is a snapshot of the basic layout I designed in the attic room:

Because we had to gut the attic after the extensive storm damage,  (See blogs: It Could Happen to Anyone and Trying to Play Catch-Up) we reconfigured a couple of areas like the stairwell and closet to make them safer, more efficient, and get them into code.  Just building up the floor at a bizarre drop allowed us to push back a wall and add square footage to reduce the overall pieced-together feeling of the space. I am so grateful that this CAD program was available for saved us from many headaches.  Hope you enjoy using it as much as I have!

And as a little extra holiday weekend bonus- A fun curation for your Friday viewing pleasure:

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Decoupaging Clothespins

I haven't done a "how-to" in a awhile, so thought I would do a small one today while the house is still relatively quiet.

Many of you have seen my decoupaged clothespins. They are pretty easy to make, but there are a few tips to make sure you are creating something that isn't going to fall apart on you and will look their best for years to come no matter how you use decide to use them.

What you will need for this project:

  • Plain wooden clothes pins
  • Decoupage 
  • Matching printed  paper selection 
  • Small bowl of water
  • Sponge brush
  • Paper towel or rag
  • Trimmer
  • Distress Ink/Chalk (optional)


Measure the flat side of the clothespins. Cut the paper strips to the measurement. Using your lightly dampened brush, apply a thin layer of decoupage on both the side of the clothespin you will be placing the paper on, and the backside of the paper. Adhere together.  Make sure placement is as exact as possible.  Gently wipe off excess decoupage, trying to avoid getting decoupage on the printed side of the paper.  Set aside with paper side upright on paper towel or rag and let dry.  Repeat with all the clothespins for your project.  Let them dry completely (see the directions for dry time on your decoupage bottle).  Optional: distress ink/chalk edges.  Once dry, put another layer of decoupage on top of the papered side and let dry.

Here are some important tips:

Measure the flat side of your clothespins and cut to size as exactly as possible.  This is very important.  Paper that is too big or too small on the clothespins looks shoddy, and larger strips will not stay adhered as well. 

Heavier stock paper works much better for this project.

Do not use xyron, zipdry, or other adhesives instead of decoupage.  For something as small as a clothespin, it does not work as well. The firmness of the top protective layer causes the paper to eventually lift off the clothespin.

I do not recommend homemade decoupage because is yellows and is more likely to crack on this project.

I like to boil (about 15 minutes) and dry my clothespins to breakdown the wood sealant a little.  Clothespins that you buy at the store for laundry use typically have a bit of weatherproofing seal on them that can make it more difficult for a good initial adhesion.

The final seal on top of the paper can be done a second time to make sure it is well-protected.  Just remember to allow the decoupage to dry completely between coats.  

Using high-gloss for the top coat process gives a very unique look. I usually use matte, but using gloss, glimmer, outdoor, or another sheen is totally fine.  

Have an inspired day!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Getting Back into the Swing of Things

April was an insane month.  Too much illness, doctor's appointments, business hiccups, business changes, issues with parenting a teenager, gardening through roller coaster weather, travelling...I seriously hit my capacity.  And my home definitely looks like the May remnants of the April whirlwind.  So while browsing the net, I found this link from Martha:

Great list, isn't it? This is totally tangible for me. When I get overwhelmed with a mess, and feel abandoned by the other occupants of the house when trying to create a solution ;), I tend to just shut down and get tunnel vision on something else.  Unfortunately, as many of you probably know, that isn't a long-term solution. One step at a time, and I think we will get back on track...

Wish me luck!