DIY: Picture/Recipe Plaque

 

I’ve decided to be crafty of late and made this gift for my sister and sister-in-law for Christmas.   It’s easy, inexpensive and actually something they can use.  I got the original idea from my daughter-in-law, (who gave me something similar for my birthday) who got her original idea from good old Pinterest.

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I purchased this block of wood from Hobby Lobby on sale half price.  You can actually just use wood from Home Depot or Lowes without a finished edge, too, but I like this look. (And, I was already at Hobby Lobby and it saved me a trip to another store.)

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I had this Martha Stewart Bronze Metallic paint on hand from a previous project you can check out here.  (I got this from Home Depot.)

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I painted it the brownish bronze color.

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Then got out my other Martha Stewart Living Pearl paint I had on hand…..

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And ever so lightly dry-brushed on top.

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I purchased this metal Fleur di lis from Hobby Lobby on sale half price, too, when I got the boards.

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I lightly dry-brushed on the cream here, too, to highlight the detail.

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When the plaque was dry I did the back.

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And, lastly I screwed a screw right into the board so the fleur di lis could hang on it.  It’s a little heavy and I didn’t have the correct glue.  And this works just fine.  Then I glued on this tiny little clothespin.  (They come in bags of multiples at Hobby Lobby.)

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It can be used to display pictures…..

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Or, it can be used for recipes, notes or anything else you might need.

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This is the one I made for my sister on display in her kitchen.

Ta-da!!!!!  Easy, inexpensive and cute.  Gotta love it!

Happy Decorating!!!!

Asian Inspired Design: Clean, Classic, Contemporary

 

If you’re the sort that loves the modern element of clean lines and very little clutter you’ll probably be drawn to these Asian inspired spaces below.  No frills, but plenty of style to go around!

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This sleek, sparse style gives a space a classic, elegant vibe.

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And, in our cluttered world and our cluttered lives……

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That can be a very good thing…..

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A very soothing thing.

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Sort of helps de-clutter the mind, don’t you think?

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Peaceful, serene……

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And, can’t we all use some of that?!!

Happy Decorating!

Rustic Chic: Cool, Classic and Full of Character

 

What is it about ratty-tatty furniture that just flat out looks so cool?!  Of course I don’t mean ratty-tatty in the sense that it’s literally falling apart.  Just in the sense it sort of, well, looks like it’s about to fall apart.  There’s something appealing about chipped, peeling wood and aged paint color.

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I prefer to call it rustic chic……

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You know the look….like it’s been dragged out of an English castle or something.

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Maybe because that weathered, distressed look gives us the feel that there’s an interesting story behind it.

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Whether it’s brand new and distressed to look old…..

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Or whether it actually really is old…..the character it exudes is unmatched.

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It gives us a sense of old and yet a purpose in the present and in what’s to come……..kind of the fabric of our lives I guess you could say.  As years go by and we live and adjust and then re-adjust to what life throws us along the way – we age, we weather we “distress”.  And, yet it builds our character and we forge ahead.

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And, in the end we’re all still beautiful in our own unique way.

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Yep, maybe that’s it…..ya know?

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Life can be rustic chic for most of us which may explain why so many of us love the look of it in furniture. Like people it gets old, worn, survives the challenges around them, yet is still full of character……and beautiful.

Happy Decorating!

Opulent Interiors: Mmmmmm……So Magnificent

 

Whether a grandiose, opulent lifestyle is what you prefer or not I think everyone can get a kick out of an over the top opulently designed space.  It’s just always fun to see.  And can be a great place to get ideas for your own home. 

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As for me….I actually love an opulent space…..and could have quite happily been a queen living in a castle.  Yes, it’s true. 

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I can quite easily see myself in this lush bedroom…..with these dogs no less.

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I can see myself bathing in this spectacular tub…..

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Or creating this large, colorful room for my daughter to entertain friends.

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As I always say, over and over again, when it comes to design, any space – even an opulent space can be knocked off in bits and pieces for your own home, too, if you like the look.

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If you’ve read many of my blog posts you know I encourage taking pieces of an expensive looking room and making them work in your own home.  There is a less expensive alternative for almost any opulent piece you see in these pictures.

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So you can duplicate the look in your own home whether big or small.

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Love the eye-popping tangerine.  The new big color for 2012!

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And, I’m all about getting ideas from commercial places like this.  Great floors – and look at that rich stain and the stain glass window…..

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Or even a magnificent cathedral like the Notre Dame.  Take just a piece of this amazing art and work it into your home on a ceiling or a wall, a piece of furniture or just large scale artwork.

I mean…..how magnificent!

Happy Decorating!

English Interior Design: Big or Small – Create Your Own English Manor

 

I don’t think you’ll find a much cozier design style than an English interior.  There’s just something about the layering upon layering of florals, patterns and textures that create an element of coziness all it’s own.

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A well done English design just invites you in to curl up and wallow in it’s lushness.  If you can’t afford all this finery take tidbits from this look and make it your own.  You can find cream colored duvets and shams at Bed, Bath and Beyond, various department stores or online in all sorts of price ranges.  Can’t afford designer fabrics?  Go to your local fabric store and find something similar.  The quality won’t be the same, but you can make it work.  Believe it or not even certain Wal-marts have inexpensive fabrics that are pretty and can be fun.  You can use this same fabric to fabric the walls on a budget.  Go to Home Depot or Lowes and have a board cut for the canopy.  Just staple gun your fabric to the board and hang in on the wall like you would a shelf.

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Can you see what I mean with these inviting spaces?  Go to flea markets, second hand stores – you’ll be amazed at what you can find to knock off the English interior.  Whether dark and study like…..

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Or bright and sunny-like….

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It just makes for a friendly, warm environment.

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See what I mean????

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Layers and layers of prints….

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Mmmmmm……just fabulous!

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Don’t stop indoors….bring the English charm to the back yard, too!

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Don’t be intimidated by this incredibly polished interior with all it’s layers and patterns.  Remember – think garage sales, flea markets, resale……it can be done!

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Or go for a mixture of textures for a more quiet, subtle look….

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A sense of “old” – it feels so warm and cozy.  Don’t you think you could find pieces like these to recycle and recover from a garage sale, flea market or a resale shop?  I’m telling you you can!

So if the English style is your style I say get motivated, get out there and do it!

Happy Decorating!

The Most Glamorous Wedding Centerpieces!!!

 

Well, many of you may remember my son is getting married in May and the wedding vibe is in the air at all times.  Since I’ll be helping them decorate the reception area I’ve been perusing some websites for some snazzy ideas.  Melissa has great taste and very specific ideas on what she wants so after talking with her about her great ideas for tables I’ve been perusing some websites to see what’s out there and what’s been done.  And, can I just say wow!   Take a look at some of these incredibly glamorous tables. 

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How’s this for glamorous?!  Is it a magical wonderland or what?

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Or this…..

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this…..

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or this!

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She loves the idea of doing the clear glass votives with tall flow-y stems, adding flowers, and maybe some lights.

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What’s great about these tall arrangements is that they don’t obstruct conversation, but add such glamour and glitz to the atmosphere.

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Notice the fun addition of the fruit here?  That is a beautiful touch, too. 

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She loves the idea of hanging these crystals from the branches, but unfortunately for her, Daniel doesn’t.  And, he’s fortunately (and unfortunately!) one of those fiancé’s who’s got his own great sense of style and is actually interested in being a part of the selection process.  And, he’s not afraid to voice his opinion. (Sorry, Melissa, the curse of marrying the son of an interior designer!)

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As for me….I LOVE the look of the crystals, too.

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Don’t you?!

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But, it’s certainly not for everyone and it’s not absolutely necessary to have them to create drama, glam and glitz.

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That can still be created with other details.

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Don’t these tables make you just sigh in awe!

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So elegant, wedding-esque and inviting.

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Can you say……….WOW!?

Happy Decorating!

Cupcake Cocktails: Easy, Cute And Yummy!

 

If you saw my blog post here you saw the pictures and reference to the cupcake cocktails I got from the queen of all things cupcake…….that were so cute.    (If you haven’t already checked out her blog you need to make it a point to do so.)   After doing the post I got motivated and decided to make them myself for a small New Years Eve gathering with a couple of friends.  They were super easy and they turned out great.  And, yes, the saying “If I can do this anybody can do this” holds very true.

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You just use a simple boxed cake mix – preferably white, but all I had on hand was yellow so I used that instead.

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You mix it up per the directions in the box and then add a little food coloring to create whatever color of “cocktails” you want.  I split mine into three bowls and added three different food colorings:  green, orange and yellow.

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Then you pour them directly into your martini glasses (after you grease and flour them) just like you normally would a cupcake tin. Place the filled glasses on a baking sheet and place the baking sheet in the oven.  Yes, the glasses can go right in the oven!

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Next take your ready made icing of choice and add the food coloring just like you did with the batter.

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When the cupcakes are done wet the rim of the glass and dip into the sugar or sprinkles of your choice.  (Normally your glass would have the baked cupcake in it – I just forgot to take a picture of that part.)

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Then they’ll look something like this.

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Top them with the colored icing and decorate each one with whatever sprinkles, candy, etc. you have on hand.

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And, voila’!  Here’s what you end up with……cute, huh?!

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I’m not much of a baker so I was quite proud of my cocktail cupcakes thanks to Hoozier Homemade.  (I actually added my own touch later by cutting Twizzlers in half and inserting them in each one to look like straws.  It was very cute, but I didn’t get a picture. Grrrr!)

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My granddaughter, who partied with us for a while, thought they were quite cute and tasty!

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She was there to celebrate and preferred everyone have on some sort of ears or headband.  Our sweet friends obliged her request with fervor.  Cute, Steve!

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Earlier, when the kids dropped off our granddaughter, we were given strict orders to have her in bed at a decent hour since she missed her nap.  So we thought it would be funny to freak them out by sending these pictures to them at midnight!

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But, of course, we actually took them at 7:45p right before we put her down to bed. (Sorry for the lack of quality in these pictures.  My husband used his cellphone.) We just waited till midnight to send them the pictures to give them a little scare! And scare them we did. Too funny!  (I know….a little mean….but you have to admit it’s kind of funny.)

Cupcake cocktails, grandbabies and good friends…….I’d say that’s a very good way to ring in the New Year!

Happy Decorating!!!

A Happy, Heavenly Birthday For My Dad In Heaven! So Many Sweet Memories…

 

For those of you whose dads are still here are on earth with you – don’t forget to hug their necks and tell them you love them – often.  If your dad is like mine the thing they love most in the whole world is their family.  They love their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren dearly and their world is happiest when the family is together….laughing, talking eating – just hanging out.

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Happy Birthday, Dad!

(I’m quite sure cake tastes even better in heaven!)

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For those of you who are daddy’s girls and are lucky enough to still have them here with you – you know how special that relationship is.  So take a moment today and remind yourself how fortunate, how blessed you are that they are still here….

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It’s so easy to take time for granted, but one day God chooses to take them home. And, it’s harder than words can express….

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So hard to let go….

But, our family has such sweet memories of our lives with him, memories we will cherish forever…..

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I wish a happy, heavenly birthday to the kindest, sweetest, gentlest man I’ve ever known…

My father. 

We all miss you so much and look forward to the day we’ll celebrate in heaven with you again!

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