21 November 2012


My dear friend, Carlyn and I worked together in San Francisco several years back. We also traveled to Europe together and she taught me to love stamps. I quickly came to adore Carlyn and her style. We had such a great time working together at Man Bites Dog. We even carpooled, a 10 minute drive each morning. She has inspired me continually over the years and I'm so grateful for our friendship. As we approach Thanksgiving, I feel it appropriate to include her on my little blog. Thank you Carlyn! You're just too cool.

Mini-Gratitude-Banner Centerpiece for Thanksgiving Feast!

- Dowel Rod (I got the absolute smallest, thinnest size so I could cut it with a scissor. I found it at the hardwarde store on my street but you can also get them on HomeDepot)
- 3 colors of felt (this bundle is from Purl) which provides lovely color combinations.
- Clay (for propping up the dowel rods)
- String (to attached banner to rods)
- Scissors for cutting small type letters, X-acto and rotary cutter for cutting triangles
- Needle and thread (not pictured)

01. Select your felt colors - 2 colors to maybe alternate with the little flags, and one color for your type - and cut the triangle shapes out. I used a triangle template 2" across on the top, but you can vary it depending on big you want your banner. Plan ahead what word you want to use, so you can count the triangles you will need to cut.
02. Cut out your felt letters. I provided two type templates: one is a more organic, loose typeface that allows you to incorporate the rough edges that come along with cutting out felt letters this small. You can amend that as you go and make it your own. The other typeface is Helvetica - and you can use that if you are looking for a cleaner read. You can pin a copy of the letter to the felt to make it easier to cut.
03. Hand sew a few stitches in a supportive area of the letter to attach it to the flag. Only a few stitches are necessary, this way it "floats" a little on top of the flag.
04. Punch a hole in the corner of the first and last letter.
05. Chain sew the flag together on a machine.
06. String the letters on to the dowel rods.
07. Use clay to prop up the rods (or find another spot to hide them - in a small jar/vase etc.)

Voila! Centerpiece!

16 November 2012


My holiday decorations are pretty simple and usually a bit monochromatic. I don't get too overly colorful. That will probably change soon as my kids express their love of purple, blue, yellow and green. But I'd like to keep it my way as long as possible. I feel the need to hang on to SOMETHING... clothes are no longer my call. Sparkles, crazy colors and patterns are taking over their closets. I'm not quite ready to embrace all things KIDS just yet.

I really liked these gold dipped feathers. I hung them with washi tape and fishing line. They gently spin ever-so-slightly and sparkle. Love them.

White feathers
Gold Paint - Martha Stewart's Metallic Paint (Golden Pearl)
Gold Glitter
Sponge Brush
Tin (or something to contain the mess)
Newsprint (or something to contain the mess)
Wax Paper (something to lay them on to dry)

I saw someone else do this and she dipped the feather in and wiped the excess off... The paint is pretty thick so this created a pointy feather for me. After some playing around, I decided the best way was to paint it on with a sponge brush from the get go.
1. Brush one side of the tip of the feather with the gold paint. Lay out several on wax paper.
2. Glitter that batch and let dry.
3. Repeat for the other side.
* If any are pointed, frayed or not shaped like you want, cut them. I like them to be rounded at the tip so the ones that were pointy, I cut and ended up using them. I also had a batch that was a bit frayed naturally and those looked great too. It's hard to mess this one up.

12 November 2012


We didn't carve all of our Halloween pumpkins so I'm using a few of the small ones for the pedestals I made for Emily's farewell party. The pedestals are made from a vintage brass candlestick and goblet each glued to vintage salad plates. I must confess, I made those on the fly (for a wee $4 total) with just hot glue and they need to be epoxy'd before they fall apart, break, and make me cry. I had no idea how much I'd end up using them and have since fallen in love with them. It's time to make them more permanent.

I also made an acorn cap wreath for our back door. Our front door requires a wreath that can handle the elements which means our options are limited. So our inside back door is my opportunity for more fun decorative wreaths each holiday.

12" Styrofoam Wreath
Wool Brown Felt - Cut into 2" strips
Hot Glue Gun and Glue
Acorn Caps - Approx. 150 (I ordered on etsy)
Wire - I'm not sure of the gauge, I just used what I had. Heavy, but bendable.
Ribbon - At least 2" width, approx. 1 yard

Extra Wool Felt - To cut leaves (Fall colors)
Felt Balls - (I ordered on etsy)
* Felt Balls and felt leaves for alternate cluster at the bottom

1. Cut a 3" strip of heavy wire and bend it into a U Shape. Insert that into the back of the Styrofoam wreath. I also like to hot glue at the entry points just to secure it until it gets wrapped.
2. Wrap the wreath with felt strips using hot glue to start and finish each strip. This can be fairly sloppy, as it will be mostly covered with acorns. The back will be visible though. I like to wrap and glue extra securely around the wire hanger.
3. If needed, sort your acorn caps in small, medium, large. If they're all about the same size, no worries, just start gluing.
4. Glue acorn caps onto the wreath, starting at the top (where the wire hanger is) and glue an entire row all the way around the outer side of the wreath.
5. The next two to three rows will be the most visible so if you have a variation of sizes, use your best caps for these rows, and try to keep the sizing even if possible (Probably the medium/large).
6. The last row will be on the interior of the ring and might need to the smaller acorns. Some people spray paint at this point, but I like the naturalness of the acorns as is.
7. You can use the ribbon for a bow or as a loop for hanging.
8. * I had a few felt balls and left over caps so I used them to make a cluster and cut out two oak leaves in different colors of wool felt.

10 November 2012


I've wanted this tray by Up In The Air Somewhere for a while now. And I love to gold leaf things so I thought this would be a fun and fairly simple project. However, there were some things to learn. So I consider this a trial run. When I do it the next time around, I'll keep these things in mind. 

White tray - I found one at Target for $12
Masking tape
Xacto Knife
Gold Leafing kit - Gold Leaf, Sizing
Small Sponge Brush
Mod Podge

1. First start taping by creating a triangle off of one of the short sides.
2. Use the width of a piece of tape to mark where the next row should go and build out from the first triangle to the long sides.
3. When needed, create a different angle to create some variation in the pattern. This can be altered many different ways.
4. When all of the tape is down, carefully cut around the outer edges. And you know, this depends on the kind of tray you get. The tray that I first fell in love with doesn't have edges, and you'd wrap the tape around, but this tray has sides so I cut them. It was too kooky on the rounded corners to make the tape go up the edge. This is a more functional tray with the edges so that's good.
5.Tape around the interior edge to keep a clean line.
6. Using the sponge brush, apply the sizing and leave on for about 20 minutes. Read the label, this may vary, but the kind I use needs to sit for a few to get tacky.
7. Start laying down the gold leaf. I use a soft brush (It's actually a blush brush) to gently get all of the gold to stick and fill in all of the spots.
8. Gently peal off the tape.
9. Apply Mod Podge or another sealer with the sponge brush.
* NEXT TIME, I'd like to pour in a layer of acrylic to keep it very thick and sealed.

This particular tray has a slight convex bowing and it wouldn't work as well to apply a layer of something thick like acrylic, so I stuck with the Mod Podge. It's not as durable, but very cute and functional for parties and such.

Note - Mod Podge will dull the shininess of the gold a bit so if you don't want that, acrylic spray might be a good alternative. Just be sure to tape off everything you don't want sprayed.

05 November 2012


I bought these a while back but Halloween decorations took over. I love the color combinations and would like to thank Target and Campbell's for bringing a bit of Warhol color to my cupboards. It makes me smile.