September 30, 2011

Acorn Bling!

It's my favorite time of year...Autumn is here!  I couldn't wait to start decorating this year. I have been bursting at the seams with creativity!

Don't think you have time, energy, or money to decorate? This craft took me around 30 minutes, cost under $4 and I let my kids get in on the fun by helping me collect the acorns...and we were lucky enough to get to them before all the squirrels did!

I love all of the oranges, reds, yellows and browns of fall, but wanted to add a little metallic sparkle to it all. So, here's all you need to glamorize some acorns:

--a handful of acorns, silver or whatever color you choose of spray paint, a cardboard box or newspaper. I used Rust-Oleum Bright Coat Metallic spray paint-(look for a very shiny silvery-gold cap, not the dull gray ones).
--or for a kid-friendly version: craft acrylic paint, paintbrush, newspaper, small cups for putting paint into.

-Now I learned the hard way that acorns need to be prepped before using inside the home-little larvae started to come out into a vase I had them in. Yuck! But there is an easy way to kill them...

-Bake the acorns on 350 degrees for 15 min. I wrapped them in foil on a baking sheet for a cleaner prep.
-After they have cooled, I put a handful of acorns in a small cardboard box.

-Then, I lightly sprayed them with shiny chrome spray paint, rolled them around in the box, sprayed them again. Allowed to dry in the box.

-After they were dry, I wanted to expose some of the brown, so I lightly sanded them with sandpaper.

If you want to do this craft with kids, I would suggest using the acrylic craft paint and a paint brush instead of spray paint.

Or, they could dip just the ends of the acorns into a cup of paint, then allow to dry on newspaper. That simple! A variety of bright colors would be fun.

To finish and add a little elegance, I put the acorns in a small glass vase and wrapped a sheer bow around it. Such a pretty transformation of the humble acorn!

I would love to hear from you! Let me know if you try this idea how it turns out.

Well, now it's time to hunt down some acorns...and be careful around those squirrels!

September 21, 2011

Creating My Own Style and Avoiding That Cookie-Cutter Look

If there's one thing I want to avoid in home decorating, it is a room that looks just like a furniture catalog, untouched like no one lives there, with perfectly matching sets of everything from furniture to bedding and curtains. I think rooms should reflect your personality, culture and values-and tell a story--and I absolutely think it doesn't have to be expensive.

 To finish up the posts of my bedroom redo, I am sharing a few photos and ideas of how I added a mix of old and new, vintage and global accessories to create a look all my own.

A look inside the door

pretty jade plant

distressed frame
The above frame was an old one I had, originally black painted wood. I freshened up the look distressed style (my favorite!) with a little flat white paint, a touch of pale green, and a sandpaper finish.

curtained closet

When our closet door broke, I didn't freak out. Instead, I improvised by adding a tension rod and a single curtain panel to the doorway. I actually like this look better-I think it adds a global feel to the room.
antique stool stand
 I found this cool blue stool at an antique shop. I think it looks and works great as a nightstand. And another distressed frame I updated.

bird made from zippers

My friend Danielle, is oh-so-talented at making gorgeous recycled art-this bird was a birthday gift for me, made from jean zippers! You can check more of her work out at PaperDenimArt.

fun free and cheap stuff! 
This table was sitting in a friends' garage. It was given to us and it fits perfectly in the corner as my nightstand. I have started collecting old metal trays and I love this one-from our neighbor's garage sale--everything looks better on a tray! The pretty white lantern was a cheap thrift store find.

So, this finishes up my show-and-tell of my bedroom redo--until I finish my headboard idea and show you that, and update the lighting. Next, I will be showing you some crafty ideas I've been working on from my favorite season--autumn! 

September 12, 2011

Go Ahead and Color on your Walls...

This is part two of part one my bedroom redo, and as promised, I will show you how I drew a mural on one of the framed parts of my walls and on my built-in vanity--one of many unique architectural details I love in our 1920's home. (I'm not sure what the technical term is for those framed-in parts, but they got my creative wheels turning on what to fill them with).

Now this was only my second time doing a mural-my first one I painted was when my friend Cara asked me to paint a huge Eiffel Tower in her hot pink bathroom-now that was fun! Since I had a little experience and success with the first one, I decided to try it again!
The quilt that inspired me

My mural

So, to go along with our pale yellow walls and gray trim, I found this gorgeous quilt with darker yellow and gray tones with a nice flower pattern. I decided to reproduce some of those shapes and patterns on my walls.

I used Permapaque metallic pigment markers-for $5.99 at Hobby Lobby-very long-lasting, smooth and easy to use. I wasn't concerned with perfection, just eyeing the quilt and drawing away. (I knew I had more of my yellow wall paint as back-up if I REALLY messed it up...) But I didn't!

I then filled in some of the shapes with a darker yellow and some of the gray trim color, and I was done!

Across from my mural is the built-in vanity, which I painted that rainwater color I love, with gray trim along the base. I used silver paint marker to draw in little birds on a vine on the drawers and some flower patterns on the top cabinets. I love that I can see the reflection of my mural when I look in the vanity. I am so happy with the results of my artsy little corner.

Next, I am brainstorming what to do for a headboard--ideas, anyone? I welcome your thoughts!